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  1. #41
    Senior Member PineMartyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenvre View Post
    Been wanting to try my hand at a bow drill for the last few years but never found the time/incentive. Also never used flint, but would like to. Is flint harvestable around here?
    Flints aren't to be found in this part of Ontario, but some people have success with good pieces of quartz. Quartz is widely found in many parts of Ontario and is hard enough to generate sparks from a high carbon fire steel, knife blade, or an old file. Unfortunately, most of the quartz found in central Ontario is highly fractured owing to exposure to weathering and having borne the weight of glaciers, so finding a piece of quartz that doesn't crumble when struck can be a challenge, but there are better quality quartz deposits to be found in southern Ontario. In my experience the sparks generated by quartz are smaller and more short-lived than those generated from a good chert or flint. In any case, I have never been able to start a fire using any concussive techniques with just natural tinders, no matter how dry. I've always had to catch sparks on charred cloth to get a hot enough ember to ignite natural tinders.

    Like you, I've long been interested in bow drill fires, and I've tried my hand at it on occasion, but only recently did I have my first successes with it. It's a pretty great feeling when you finally produce that first glowing coal, so it's a skill that's well worth practicing for that reason alone. It's one I hope to develop and improve this year.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
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  2. #42
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PineMartyn View Post
    Flints aren't to be found in this part of Ontario, but some people have success with good pieces of quartz. Quartz is widely found in many parts of Ontario and is hard enough to generate sparks from a high carbon fire steel, knife blade, or an old file. Unfortunately, most of the quartz found in central Ontario is highly fractured owing to exposure to weathering and having borne the weight of glaciers, so finding a piece of quartz that doesn't crumble when struck can be a challenge, but there are better quality quartz deposits to be found in southern Ontario. In my experience the sparks generated by quartz are smaller and more short-lived than those generated from a good chert or flint. In any case, I have never been able to start a fire using any concussive techniques with just natural tinders, no matter how dry. I've always had to catch sparks on charred cloth to get a hot enough ember to ignite natural tinders.

    Like you, I've long been interested in bow drill fires, and I've tried my hand at it on occasion, but only recently did I have my first successes with it. It's a pretty great feeling when you finally produce that first glowing coal, so it's a skill that's well worth practicing for that reason alone. It's one I hope to develop and improve this year.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
    Well there's my lesson for today!
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #43
    Chard's Avatar
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    Hey all,

    What a glorious Easter weekend here in Southern Ontario! Now that we're about a month out from the Spring trip, I was thinking it's probably a good time for a quick role call of who's still interested in coming out (confirmed/almost certain/unlikely), for how long and which entry point they'd prefer; Canoe or Magnetewan/Rain.

    Like most trips, I assume everyone will bring all of their own gear, but there may be a few questions we'll need to iron out:

    • Group items (group tarps, grills, etc...)
    • Canoes: rented/borrowed
    • Paddling partners
    • Carpooling
    • Interest in group dinners (likely a big stew)


    Finally, whether it's car-camping in Valen's or paddling or snowshoeing through the interior of Algonquin, the main goal of the EGL has always been to bring together like-minded hangers from the Great Lakes region in a safe, mainly alcohol-free, family-friendly setting. I'd ask that we all do our best to keep it that way.
    Last edited by Chard; 04-01-2013 at 15:13.
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

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  4. #44
    Jayson's Avatar
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    Not looking good for us on this one. May change tho.

  5. #45

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    Put me down as almost certain.

    Can drive, competent paddler, no canoe. I'm easy on the rest.

  6. #46

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  7. #47
    Chard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keg View Post
    Great link. I've been keeping my eye on various Algonquin sites including Algonquinoutfitters.com and local satellite imagery.

    I have to admit, things always look pretty dicey this time of year and I get antsy waiting for ice-out. This year it looks like it might be late in coming; one old timer was forecasting May 5 for Cedar.

    The MNR will likely begin their Park flyovers near the end of the month to advise on the status of open water for those heading in for the trout-opener on April 27th. I'll start calling the park around then as well. Things can change dramatically from day to day. I remember a few years ago the lakes south of 60 were choked with rotten ice one day and the next day, after a night of strong winds, were wide open. It was a rough paddle out and many of the bays we passed were still ice covered, and we even ran into a pair of guys that had had to chop their way through to portages only the day before. All it took was one blustery night to open up the area.

    What we've normally done was once we hear there's some open water, we go up regardless and then reassess the conditions when we get there. A couple of times we've driven into the Canoe Lake parking lot only to find the entire bay still locked in ice. That's when it's handy to have a strong Plan B for south of 60!!!! In this case either Bonnechere, maybe Little Coon, Rock, Pen, Welcome or even Louisa.

    Flexability is the watchword so early in the season.


    Yes. That's snow on the ground.
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

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  8. #48
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Due to the ice conditions, does it make sense then to plan for the Canoe Lake entry point so we can have a solid plan B?
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  9. #49
    Chard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Due to the ice conditions, does it make sense then to plan for the Canoe Lake entry point so we can have a solid plan B?
    Hey Bubba,

    We probably won't know about ice conditions until the end of the month, so I don't think anything's wrong planning to push off from Canoe. As you say, being on Hwy 60 definitely gives us more options in the event Canoe's iced-in. We can always adjust our plans if the Magnetewan passage opens up at the last minute, assuming anyone wants to go that way.

    Besides, I'm hoping to spend a few days soloing before the hang (after if necessary) and might just meet you up at McIntosh, so my preference for a route in might be moot. Safety's my concern.
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

    Upcoming EGL Hangs: Winter Backcountry 2014. For EGL notifications, subscribe to the EGL Hang Notification Thread
    EGL Trip Reports: Feb 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, Fall 2011, Video: Algonquin - Spring 2011 - Part 1 of 2

  10. #50
    Chard's Avatar
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    Even as I wait for ice out, it's beautiful up there!

    Algonquin park Ice Out Conditions
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

    Upcoming EGL Hangs: Winter Backcountry 2014. For EGL notifications, subscribe to the EGL Hang Notification Thread
    EGL Trip Reports: Feb 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Winter 2012, Fall 2011, Video: Algonquin - Spring 2011 - Part 1 of 2

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