Monday, 17 December 2012


Christmas is coming!
For me this is a time of year for reflection. As the snow builds on the ground my environment becomes more and more insular.  Walks in the woods are serene, almost silent and visitors to the house are fewer and fewer as weather becomes bad for driving.
This is my time to think back about the year that has past and the year yet to come...
I revel in the serenity of the season!
A time for me to hibernate at home and cook game and read book after book.
A time to enjoy the wood I have cut burning in the fire...warming my house and heart.

This year warm weather however has thrown a nix in my seasonal routine!
The snow, try as it may has not yet arrived. This mornings weather is full of fog and rain. 
Making the best of the situation I decided to revisit an old tradition of bringing my daughter to "See Santa" with a modern twist.

A forty minute drive from my house there is a town where Christmas has a different meaning....
An after dark visit to this somewhat bizarre landscape provided for a fun evening!

By day you would never know this environment exists....
All of the inflated hot air fabric sculptures are turned off causing them to collapse flat on the ground and the lights are turned off...but the evening reveals this"magical christmas wonderland"
Complete with a santa who drops his pants!
Ho Ho Ho!


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

As tough as old boots!

This post is about boots...
my boots...

I recently wore out a "newly puchased" pair of boots for the bush in less than a year, and that got me wondering what makes one pair of boots better than another for durability...

Boots are in my mind the quintissential utility footware...
Made to be used under harsh conditions people wear them when their enviroment is severe...
I live in boots in the bush which protect my feet from rocks,  stumps on the forest floor, from mud, water,  the elements and also shield my scent from the animals I hunt...

I depend on my boots!

Indispensable, practical, and sometimes even aesthetic in a form follows function sort of way...
Boots have become part of our modern lexicon
associated with phrases like:

get the boot
die in ones boots
you can bet your boots 
as tough as old boots

Old boots in the past have been seen as strong and resilient items.

People that are "as tough as old boots" are said to be the same...

But really when it comes to actual boots some old boots are tougher than others, and these days some old boots are not tough at all!

Here are some of my old boots...
The pair on the left are close to twenty tears old...their treads are slick from wear and up until recently the boots were waterproof.

A good pair of boots should last you a while...especially a pair of boots made for the bush.
The other pair of boots that I am holding in the photo above on the right side of the picture are only one year old but have holes and leak!

I patched these new boots but at only a year old they have proved themselves not up to the rigours of my life in the woods.
"caveat emptor"
(let the buyer beware)
If you want a good pair of boots do some research before you make a purchase.

All these boots in these photos are a "Baffin style" boot.
This is my favourite style of boot to wear in the woods. 
Sort of like a Wellington boot but has wool inserts and a sinchable cuff on top that can keep the snow out when necessary. They are a hardy choice to wear in the outdoors. I wear them year round from the summer to the winter. 
I had a good look at the two pairs of boots you see in the photos above before going out to buy a replacement pair this time around. What made one pair of boots fit to last decades and the other barely able to last a year?
Taking out my Vernier Callipers I soon found that the thickness of rubber in one boot was almost twice the thickness of the other. 
Both pairs at a quick glance look the same but one is made of much sturdier materials than the other. 
My newest pair of boots are made of rubber twice the thickness of my last pair. 
I'm hoping that they will give me the wear I would expect from a product that you would figure is being made to last!