How To Stay Warm and Dry in the Wilderness

James WerbOutdoor Clothing, Wilderness Hazards0 Comments

Man keeping warm and dry

Any fool can be uncomfortable, right?

Staying comfortable whatever the weather throws at you takes preparation. Whether it’s a quick day hike or a month long expedition into the wilderness, it’s essential to stay warm and dry.

The human body need to maintain an average core temperature of 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

Dropping just a couple of degrees below this and you could be heading into serious trouble. At 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), you will be on the verge of hypothermia so understanding what causes heat loss and how to maintain your core temperature is vital.

This isn’t just a risk for polar explorers. In fact there’s plenty of cases where hikers have succumbed to the effects of hypothermia in cold, wet conditions after only a few hours on the trail.

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Canoe Camping Checklist For Wilderness Tripping

James WerbOutdoor Equipment0 Comments

Canoe Camping Checklist

Embarking on your own canoe trip can be fraught with confusion about what to bring. This guide will show you the canoe camping checklist I use for planning what to bring on a wilderness canoe trip.

The luxury of travelling by canoe can mean bringing extra items that you’d leave at home if you were carrying everything on your back.

It can be really useful to see what others take to make comparisons with your own kit which is why I’m going to share all the equipment I took when we went on our recent two week trip to Finland.

Going abroad can have its own difficulties, especially if you’re bringing all of your own equipment with you as you have to be mindful of baggage weight limits and restrictions as well.

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Incredible Journey Through the Scottish Wilderness by Canoe

James WerbCanoeing4 Comments

Canoe on the edge of Cam-Loch

I turned sharply to see what had hit the water with such force. An unmistakeable splash made us all stop the process of loading canoes and watch as Paul clambered out of the water where he’d been neck deep only seconds before.

He misjudged the depth of the water having taken one step too many from the shore. Cold and wet he stood on the bank and quickly swapped clothes to keep warm. We hadn’t even set off yet but it marked what was going to be a challenging trip for the next week.

Boats finally loaded and cars set up ready for the shuttle at the end, we headed off down onto Cam-Loch and our first camp site. Suilvan loomed in the distance. An imposing peak that rose from the craggy landscape and would feature on our trip for the next few days.

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Finland, an Archipelago Odyssey: Canoeing Lake Saimaa (Part 2 of 2)

James WerbCanoeing0 Comments

The water was pure calm when we woke, with a layer of mist hovering mystically above it. The air was cool and still as we loaded up the canoe. After half an hour on the water we made it to the portage that we’d missed the day before. Fighting through a dense wall of reeds we made it to the shore and were soon hauling our packs and boat across the road and into the water on the other side.

I could see how we’d missed the portage the first time around. It’s so sparsely populated that other than one lorry, no other vehicle used the road at all while we were there. So much for listening out for the traffic noise.

It was another beautiful day and being back on the water heading in the right direction made me relax back into the trip. We weaved between small islands lined with birch and spruce, drifting across the sparkling lake as if in another world.

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Finland, an Archipelago Odyssey: Canoeing Lake Saimaa (Part 1 of 2)

James WerbCanoeing0 Comments

The waves were breaking over the front of our canoe. Marie was noticeably quiet. We paddled hard for what seemed like hours towards our destination along the shore of the largest lake in Finland. The wind attacked us from one side, waves bouncing off the towering granite rock on the other.

Though I kept it to myself, I was thinking how we might get ashore should we capsize. The fear was especially great knowing that everything we needed for our trip was in the canoe with us. Tent, sleeping bags, clothes and various equipment. Let’s just get there as quickly as possible I thought.

Lake Saimaa is a huge archipelago. A labyrinth of over 3,500 islands and a drainage basin the size of Belgium. We’d not experienced anything like it and out first paddle made us briefly doubt our decision to take the trip.

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