3,426 reputation
521
bio website furtivecode.com
location Banff, Canada
age 38
visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen 2 days ago

I live and breath in Banff National Park in the Canadian rockies, where I hike, camp, ski (downhill, x-country, touring), snowshoe, scramble and play.

I've camped in the winter in -40c, I've travelled across glaciers and mountain passes both solo and in groups, I enjoy solo camping in the backcountry, and I spent seven years in the military.

My favourite moments are being in the middle of nowhere, with nobody around me, in the middle of the night under a sheet of stars, listening to nothing other than the ringing in my ears.

Chris Lamothe on the Wapta Traverse, in Banff, Alberta


Jul
11
comment How to get a top-mount cooking burner for 20 lb propane tank?
What happens when the tank falls over and its weight is enough to bend your top-mounted stove? Bad idea.
Jun
17
comment How do I determine if a tent can handle strong wind?
Exactly. If you set it up right it shouldn't blow through much, but I always find it a bit drafty, and certainly doesn't retain heat as much. On the plus side, no condensation :-)
Jun
16
comment Do I need to hang a bear cache?
In the Canadian rockies most people use bags and suspend them, any formal back-country site in a Canadian Park will have equipment to suspend them, but I usually have a rope and beener just in case. That canister would be a real pain in a backpack.
Jun
16
comment If a national park trail with its campsites has been decommisioned, can I still hike and camp there?
BTW, I have a friend who's done the divide trail from near Waterton National Park up to Lake Louise or so. PM me if you have any questions.
Jun
16
comment If a national park trail with its campsites has been decommisioned, can I still hike and camp there?
Two implications: 1) fallen trees that won't have been cleared will be a bit of a pain 2) if there were bridges they may have been washed out in last June's flood and not restored, I strongly suggest you look into that.
May
22
comment Warmest and lightest solution for torso
I'll second down. Patagonia's nano-puff and their down sweater (it's a jacket but it probably weighs less than any sweater you own) are extremely light and pack down nicely, and the perfect layer for keeping warmth in at the end of a hike, top of a summit or when it's just cold. I live in mine 9 months of the year, plus camping in the summer.
May
22
comment Warmest and lightest solution for torso
Can you describe the environment and what other layers of clothing you'll be wearing? I'm tempted to suggest a vest but it might not be appropriate if it's your only layer and you're in anything below 5c.
May
13
comment Cheese and eggs on backpacking trips
I've read one trick to keep eggs cool is to put them in the bottom of your flour tin.
May
1
comment Why is a “Czech bed roll” called this? History, uses?
Bedrolls have been around since the times of the Roman empire, it's literally a bed that you can roll up. Would you like me to explain why soldiers might want to roll up their bed? There's your history. In modern times it is synonymous with a sleeping bag, athough they don't necessarily close and many sleeping bags can be stuffed in a sac. There's nothing unique about Czech bedrolls besides that they've been commissioned for the Czech army.
Apr
26
comment In Canada, does a frontcountry campground kitchen shelter typically include a freezer?
Paul: sorry, it should be walk-in campsites. They are campsites where you can't drive your car right up to where you will set up your tent. The walk can be anything from 10m feet to 2km.
Apr
26
comment When (if ever) do backcountry campsites in the major Canadian national parks in the Rocky Mountains grow quiet?
I should mention that sometimes it's good to have people. Certain routes will have minimum group size travel restrictions in aug/sept/oct because of bear frequencies. Usually you'll have to be in a group of 4 or more. This is vigilantly enforced.
Apr
26
comment Can I camp in the backcountry outside backcountry campsites in Jasper National Park?
I can confirm that you can only camp in designated areas and that you require a wilderness pass for any backcountry overnight activity. If you want to do stealth camping, then do it as far away from main trails/routes as possible.
Dec
31
comment Flashlight or headlamp for night hiking?
I prefer no light, it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust and then you're usually fine. Unfortunately this goes out the door if anyone else with you is using a flashlight. Plan B for me is to use a headlamp with a red filter so that I keep my night vision. Flashlights and headlamps create tunnel vision.
Dec
25
comment Walking through a Thigh-high snow
According to the book Staying Alive in Avalanche Territory by Bill Tremper, using a beacon in untrained hands resulted in a 15% reduction in loss of life while in trained hands it resulted in 75-80% reduction. Please cite your stats.
Oct
28
comment Thermal insulation of truck cap
offtopic, but I used to have a favourite rock that I would keep in the campfire and put in the bed of my truck when it was time to sleep, gives hours of extra warmth.
Oct
28
comment Energy bars for outdoors activities: what are the important criteria?
This is the best list. I'd like to add that bars usually fall into two camps: those that offer about 1/3 of all nutrients for the day (e.g. meal replacement) and those that offer specific nutritional features (e.g. protein bar). There's often an overlap of the two, but they are distinct groups.
Aug
29
comment Trek-able peaks in the himalayan range
Can you elaborate on what's required to summit? E.g. can it be scrambled? Do you need to overnight?
Aug
24
comment How to prepare for and survive wildfire?
I'm sure a lot can be added to this post, it's mostly general thoughts, I feel that since I've moved to the Canadian Rockies I've been exposed to forest fires every summer for the past five years, and have been evacuated on more than one occasion.
Aug
4
comment Trekking poles on planes
I can corroborate this inconsistency, I've brought home kids baseball bats (soft, foam) and sometimes they let me bring them onboard, sometimes I have to leave them at security. I wouldn't risk it, better to pay $25 to have them checked then to have to locate a shop and buy them all over again at your destination.
May
13
comment What should you be aware of when planning late-season or summer skiing?
I'd add that kneeling in the snow or falling means you'll get much wetter than you would in the winter, so although it's tempting to wear spring/summer clothing, you'll want at least your pants to be Gore-tex or similar. Wool is a good choice for your top if you want to breath in the heat.