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Saturday, 5 March 2011




Friday, 11 February 2011

Dog Talks with Dave McMahon

Dog Talk emblem

On January 07, 2011 I was invited to speak on the Dog Talks with Dave McMahon. Dave has been a dog trainer for last 26 years. Over the years Dave has taught thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Dave started Dog Talk radio in order to educate others about dogs. Dave speaks with Wolf Starchild who is a canine first aid instructor.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

How to put on Showshoes

How to put on Snowshoes

Recently, I was out leading a hike with the Niagara College Outdoors Club, and came across two women who were on snowshoes.

Both women were complaining bitterly about their first hike in their new shoes. When I approached them, they were visibly frustrated and remarked they were planning on disposing of the snowshoes after this hike as they were rubbish.

A quick examination of their predicament and I noticed they had put the snowshoes on incorrectly. After some quick advice on how their snowshoes needed to be attached to their boots, they were on their way and happy with their purchase.

After the hike, I ran into them in the parking lot and they said I had helped them enjoy the snowshoes and they would have otherwise thrown them into the rubbish bin.

As a result, I decided to create a short how-to film in properly using snowshoes. Please comment and enjoy.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

ESS Advancer V-12 Goggles

ESS Goggles
Advancer V12

As an adventurer, I end up in some strange places. Inside caves, up mountains, even along cliff faces. Not to mention long-distance trekking such as the Bruce Trail.

A frequent topic of interest in outdoor equipment is always eyewear. Although there are various schools of thought in eyewear, I would like to present my personal choice.

When I work as outdoor educator, I often found myself guiding cumbersome, unskilled outdoor people into back country. While providing a wilderness experience to new outdoors people is a passion of mine, it is not without its hazards. One of these hazards is people hiking ahead of me, and having branches snap back and hit me in the face. While this situation is not common, some individuals seem more prone to this kind of behaviour than others.

Searching for the best solution to this problem, I came across an Idaho based company who supplies eyewear to military forces around the world. Their products are used by the British Army as well as the United States Military. All ESS goggles are made in the United States, which is always a pleasant surprise.

ESS Eyewear, or Eye Safety Systems is a subsidiary of Oakley, Inc. Established in 1988, ESS creates advanced eye protection systems for military, law enforcement, and fire/rescue professionals. Designed for the planet's most hostile and unforgiving environments, ESS products use cutting-edge technologies and patented innovations to ensure peak performance and uncompromised eye safety.

Upon learning this, I decided ESS goggles may be the perfect choice for my lifestyle. I searched their website at and chose the ESS V-12 Advancer goggles

ESS Advancer V12

I purchased my ESS advancer V-12 goggles from eBay, as there were few places in Canada that I could purchase them. I also prefer to pay via PayPal for my purchases.

ESS Advancer V12 Box

When the goggles arrived, I was impressed with the carton. They had a very hip looking soldier on the box wearing the goggles.


Removing the goggles from the box, the feature I appreciated the most was the “speed sleeve” cover. A small felt tube of fabric which allowed the goggles to be thrown in a backpack or other storage without worrying about scratching them. The “speed sleeve” is attached to the goggles so it cannot easily get lost.

The advancer V-12's fit perfectly and needed little adjustment. The vents on the goggles allow them to be closed around dust, snow, and even smoke. I was amazed the first time I had a campfire with them on. I snapped the vents closed and did not get that horrible burning eye sensation when the campfire smoke hit my face. In the open position, the vents also help greatly reduce fogging and condensation.

Interchangeable lenses is also another great feature of these goggles. Currently you can purchase clear, smoke, yellow, and sometimes red lenses for them. I use the smoke coloured lenses for day hiking, and yellow lenses for caves and night work. ESS goggles are also protective as “safety glasses” which is a great feature no matter where you use them.

During my Bruce Trail expedition of 2009, I literally lived in my ESS-V12 goggles. From sunrise to sunset, for four months straight I wore these goggles. They showed no signs of wear.

I have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres wearing the same pair of ESS advancer V-12 goggles. The “speed sleeve” has kept them scratch free. The vents keep them fog free, and smoke free. I would proudly recommend these goggles to both the serious outdoors person and novice.

As well as my 2009 Bruce Trail Expedition, ESS goggles have been used on Karl Busby's Goliath Expedition, and Dmitri Kieffers Nexus Expedition

The people who work at ESS are as great as the product they manufacture. I have e-mailed back and fourth with Ari Drougas and Eliza Buck who were friendly and knowledgeable with the product. They love hearing from product users and are also both avid outdoors people. You can expect superior customer service from them.

Whether you are a hard core adventurer, pushing the boundaries of the human condition, or playing Paintball, Airsoft, or using a firearms range - these goggles are for you. They will protect your eyes from branches hitting you in the face, to stray paintballs and hot shell casings.

You will rarely see a photograph of me without my ESS Advancer V12 goggles on. I would recommend the Advancer V-12 to anyone who needs one of the worlds most rugged goggles for protection in all their endeavours.

ESS Goggles

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year 2011!!!

Another year come and gone!

It seems like only yesterday I was making a similar post in 2010.

In the Niagara Region we were blessed with warm +12C weather. Warm enough to still go barefoot. I celebrated new years around a campfire with some friends.

Happy New Year from Wolfmaan

A happy New Year to all my readers! I hope you have the opportunity to get out and explore your world a little more this year!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bruce Trail - One Year Later

SMALL-Profile Photo

A full year has passed since I completed my epic four month journey up the Bruce Trail from Niagara to Tobermory.

Read more here...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Kigo Edge

I am happy to be chosen as a product tester for a new shoe company. Kigo footwear, Founded in 2006 by Jan Kuramoto has created a new outdoor activity shoe which falls under the “light shoe” category (also known as minimalist footwear)

The shoes were designed as a “backup shoe” or “camp shoe” and are easily compressed and foldable to fit into a backpack. They are also a great all around activity shoe. Kigo footwear is eco-friendly. The upper sole is created using recycled milk jugs. The glues are made from cornstarch instead of animal products. They are suitable for vegans!

Arriving in a plain white envelope with no tags or fancy packaging, I was impressed. There was nothing to throw away but a shipping envelope. This is a definite plus to Kigo.

My first correspondence with Kigo was encouraging and friendly. The e-mails I sent were responded to quickly and the company made a **perfect** size conversion when I said that I take a size 41 WIDE.

The grey Kigo edge looked and felt like a set of deck shoes, or wetsuit shoes used when scuba diving. They felt like neoprene. The underside had a fingerprint design which was quite sticky. “This is great for bouldering and rocks” I thought to myself. The shoes looked very narrow and I was concerned they would not be comfortable for my wide, constantly bare feet.

Most companies choose me as a product tester because I take my equipment to some of the most harsh conditions the planet has to offer. The environments I visit are rarely gentle on equipment. Especially shoes. As a barefooter I wear shoes in only the most harsh environments such as mud, snow, and in the cold weather.

Slipping on the Kigo Edge for the first time I was surprised how comfortable they were. The narrow looking shoes felt very good on my feet. The removable insole had a little bit of cushioning, but you could still feel the ground below.

As a Scout Leader I took my Kigo Edge shoes on a backpacking trip to Kelso, Ontario for a weekend and was very pleased with the results.

Kigo Edge were quite sticky on large rocks while hiking, they kept me warm in the cool weather. I was surprised they held up very well through the cold, wet rain and mud. They also had great grip on wet grass.

The next weekend I took Kigo edge to Algonquin Park – and it snowed. The Kigo Edge shoes worked fantastic in the snow and slush.

100km of the toughest snow, mud, and even rocks had no effect on the Kigo Edge. They took everything I gave them.

Would I recommend Kigo Edge's to minimalist hikers, campers, boaters and runners? Absolutely!

Just be careful with the sizing as I normally take a 41 and took a 43 Kigo Edge.

I did not post photos of my Kigo Edge shoes because at the moment they are completely covered in mud

Kigo Edge

  • North American Owned & Designed
  • Versatile
  • Compact
  • Light Weight
  • Warm in the snow
  • Great colour
  • Environmentally friendly construction

  • Narrow looking

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Stories from The Bruce Trail

This is the first installment of a short story series known as "Memoirs of the Bruce Trail" This first story accounts one of the worst nights camping on the trail.

Click here to read the story

Bruce Trail Marker - Dundas Valley

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Headwaters Gathering - Autumn 2010

Headwaters Gathering
Headwaters Gathering

Almost everywhere I go, and amongst all my friends I have always been the “extreme outdoors” person. I am normally the most adventurous, most spiritual, and usually most knowledgeable in the outdoors (some people even label me as an “expert”). I am almost always the most “hardcore barefooter”. The sad part is most of the people I know who share my passion for the outdoors live in far off places, and I rarely get to converse with them except using the internet.

In the beginning of October, 2010 I was invited to a gathering just outside of Orangeville, Ontario known as “Headwaters Gathering”. The gathering is described on their website as “A network and community from southern Ontario and beyond. We come together to share skills that keep us rooted in the natural rhythms of nature and giving back to the land that supports us”. I have met some of the presenters previously and decided it would be a great weekend out.

The location was a little tricky to find, but there were some signs on the side of the road which said “Headwaters” which helped things significantly.

A long driveway took me up a hill to a small home and what looked like a pack of dogs standing around. A small sign directed me to parking in a large, grass field. There were quite a few people there.

Exiting the car with my husky Luka, I was immediately greeted by a few bystanders. I walked over to the large barn and examined the surroundings. Luka went over to make some new friends with the dogs which were running around enjoying themselves.

Perched on the top of the Niagara Escarpment, this rural property overlooked the entire valley below and an outline of Toronto could be seen far in the distance. It was tranquil, with no outside sounds. The crackling of the fire could be head behind me.

A young gentleman introduced himself and led me on a brief tour of the area, and showed me where the campsite was for the gathering. I chose a spot and set-up my tent.

Returning to the gathering spot, I was met by some fantastic and friendly people. Luka had the time of her life socialising with all her new doggie friends, and exploring the area.

I attended seminars from topics ranging from creating a fire without a match, to learning how birds broadcast forest news, even a mushroom hike showing me what are the best mushrooms to eat. The entire weekend was a learning and growing experience.

There were many people there who were living their lives close to nature, and completely “off-grid” or without any modern conveniences. They lived solely off the land in teepees, mud homes, and lean-tos. Some made their clothes out of buckskin from animals they killed themselves. There were many barefooters there who believed that by going barefoot, you are connecting with nature. Others believed that home schooling their children was advantageous to the conventional school system.

Saturday evening brought forth an amasing feast. The pot-luck which was attended by most of the participants included such things as chick pea salads, rice and bear fat, and organic shish kabobs. There were fresh cut green beans, fresh wild salmon, and even a bag of straight pretzels. I haven't eaten that well in many moons.

The evening brought a swap with things like knife sharpening services, and craft projects to singing. It was a spectacular way to spend an evening with everyone. Sadly, I was only able to stay for two of the three days.

There was no prejudice, name-calling, competitiveness, or any other unwanted behaviour. Everyone came together as a community to learn, grow, and network.

The kinship with the people of Headwaters I felt could only be explained as a gathering of the community. A community which is wide and varied, but plays an important part to a new consciousness rising in society. A consciousness of Earth-minded people living with a deep rooted spirituality, devoted to the glory of nature.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Web Page New Look

A friend of mine once said, "there are few things that make you think of adventure like a sextant". As a result, I have given my website a new, softer look and of course included a sextant and map as the background.

I am always interested in comments of my readers, please let me know how you like the new look.