Day hike/ gear test

4:36 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Headed out today on a short day hike, mostly to test out some new Christmas gear. First was the Olympus tough 8010 camera. I'm excited to have a camera that I don't have to worry about bashing around a little bit, and that shoots videos (as you'll see I got to use this function at the bottom).


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I always feel like a bit of the 'slowpoke' with these 2. The always seem to be looking at me with that "you coming anytime soon" look.


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Saw at least 5 flocks heading south for the winter.


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Next test was the layering. Woolpower lite, FA Ignitor, then Salomon softshell. Today was about -12 celcius and it worked well, little chilly on stops. FA Ignitor review to come soon, finally found its limits- great jacket.
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Hiked in this stylish piece of gear. Tuque in the bag for stops and lunch break.




Its was fun having the video for this. I couldn't see them but if you turn your sound on you can sure hear the coyotes letting me know they were near.

4:49 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Very Cool Jake!

Those coyotes sound a little creepy.  :: )

So where were you?

7:21 p.m. on December 29, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Patrick. I was just about an hour from my house at an area called the Rouge Valley. It's actually gotten quite a bit of news coverage recently about coyote attacks. I think it was last year, maybe 2 years ago, a man was hiking with his two black labs and they attacked and killed one of the dogs. Normally you only hear about them going after smaller prey and smaller domestic dogs. Little unsettling for me as you can see my two dogs in the photos! I have run across coyotes many times without issue, but these news stories run through your head sometimes! Even a 120lb mastiff, 80lb eurasier and I stand little chance if they really want us, I've seen packs of up to 8 so we'd be greatly outnumbered. It definetly increases the goosebumps though when you can't see them!

10:52 a.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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The genetic mixing of Canis lupus and Canis latrans is begining to become a very real cause for concern and caution in the areas of overlapping range. 

Walk softly and carry a big stick :)

3:48 p.m. on December 30, 2011 (EST)
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I know this may very well me a mute point with coyotes but I have this new technique I came up with for letting bear know I am in the area if I encounter one.

An air horn.

Its one of the smaller hand held types that you see them use at sporting events and they can be snagged up pretty cheap.

The sound that they produce is extremely loud. Alot more than I could make by yelling "hey bear" or banging on my cookware.

My thought is that a sound of this magnitude may catch the animal off guard as being new and over powering.

Which in turn may really scare the animal away.

Also Jake, do you carry bear spray? I believe if it works on a bear it should have an effect on smaller canines.  

Just a thought.

Nice TR. I am drooling at the mouth to get out on the 5th to play in the hills for 6 days. I know temps have dropped pretty low in the hills.

I hope I get dumped on snow wise but I suspect that I will encounter a dusting at the most. 

Anywho, I have heard good things about the Ignitor. I like FA products. I have yet to own any but I am anticipating that some of their gear will make it into my kit in the not too distant future. 

Nice hat btw. Although I'm not too sure how well it will work in cold temps. 

3:50 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Gonzan- Amen! (in place of the large stick would a large dog be appropriate?)

Rick- Couple thoughts on the air horn.... Does it ever go off inadvertantly? Or is there some kind of lock so it wouldn't go off in your bag? Also, the first time I saw coyotes I was in a forest and was suprised by a pack of them. My first thought was to use the whistle attached to the sternum stap on my pack. This had ZERO effect on them. This is a much quieter noise then an air horn would be, but I was very suprised that they weren't deterred in the least.

That led me to go to MEC to get some bear spray. When the clerk asked me what I needed it for I told him the aforementioned coyote story, he told me he couldn't sell it to me as it was only sold for use on bears. What a load of BS! If I had just lied it would have been fine. Anyway I left frustrated and still plan on getting some as there is no question in my mind that it would stop any attack.

 

-Enjoy your trip. I'm off on the 2nd, length is not yet determined but at least a couple days. We've got snow and projected -16c temps, your welcome to come up here and share it!

6:19 p.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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Jake W said:

That led me to go to MEC to get some bear spray. When the clerk asked me what I needed it for I told him the aforementioned coyote story, he told me he couldn't sell it to me as it was only sold for use on bears. 

 If its use the bear spray or I am a Scooby Snack best believe all eyes are burning...

The air horn that I have has a cap that came with it so no worries of it going off. I would think that the sound of an air horn imo would be far more threatening to an animal than a whistle. 

The sound is much louder and the tone is deeper. 

At least that is my thought. 

6:09 a.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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Jake W said:

..about coyote attacks... ..I stand little chance if they really want us, I've seen packs of up to 8 so we'd be greatly outnumbered. It definetly increases the goosebumps though when you can't see them!

If I recall the instances of coyotes attacking humans are vary rare; most occur in residential areas bordering their ranges  Wilderness attacks are exceptionally rare, you are more likely to have a jet crash on your head.

Ed

3:29 p.m. on January 1, 2012 (EST)
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I gotta agree with you Rick, I think the key point you raised is the tone of the horn. A whistle is pitched to high frequency, something more alike to a prey noise, mouse, rabbit, etc... I just added the part about the whistle because I thought there might be some affect on them, even a minimal one, clearly I was wrong!

Ed- Yes, coyote attacks, as well as all wilderness attacks, are rare. It would be naive to believe that they don't happen at all though, and at least consider your options. That said, is this a big enough problem for me to equip myself with something for protection? No, not at this point. The majority of the time they want less to do with us and get outta dodge anyway. To gonzans point, it is actually more of an issue within city limits, where coyotes especially, are becoming increasingly bold.

7:25 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Those are some cool photos, I'm glad you and the doggies were able to get out for the dayhike!! Congrats on the new gear.

You have the Woolpower 200? Or is the lite something different?

Here in the Southeast US we have Coyotes, and feral dogs (in some places) and from what I have read the dogs are much more aggressive. I've never had a problem myself, but I can't see why Bear spray wouldn't work.

You know, buying things for off label use (like bear spray for Coyotes)  is a liability for businesses. I once had a sales clerk refuse to sell me a radiator cap that was rated for a different temp range than the book specified for my truck.  After some research I went back in the next day and lied.

Thanks for the trip report & video.

Mike G.

1:18 p.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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Nice Shots Jake,

I really like that frozen waterfall, and that wolf sitting in the middle of the trail! 

-12 celcius!!  what ar you Canadian or something!!  What that in real temps!! 

(OK, OK, that was just a little humor, I know we are the backwards ones.) 

Gonza,

"The genetic mixing of Canis lupus and Canis latrans is begining to become a very real cause for concern and caution in the areas of overlapping range." 

I did not think that the Gray Wolf and the Coyote could bread together?  I know that Dogs and Wolves can.  I have never heard of that before.  That would pose a serious problem in close to people.  I wonder how a bread like that would act and hunt. 

I just read up on this and it's quite interesting.  Some think that a few of the sub species of wolves are actually cross breads with coyotes.  Thanks for the head up Gonza.

Wolfman

10:37 a.m. on January 22, 2012 (EST)
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Mike- The woolpower lite is a new line they just introduced, basically a fancy name for the 100 weight. It is very thin, but thats what I wanted in my base layer. The wool itself is very high quality and feels luxurious next to skin. As far as the bear spray thing if I ever feel I "really" need it I will do the same thing you did and just lie, probably gonna be a different clerk who might not even ask.

Wolf- ha ha ha, I always think about going to some site to convert the temps I know (celcius) into what most others here use (fahrenheit), then I think aww screw it, I'll let them do the math! J/K.

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