Month: January 2014

Enjoying Winter in Collingwood


Are the roads closed to blue mountain?

I saw this on the way to work today….

This winter in and around Collingwood has been pretty… well wintery. Not everybody is a fan, but here are 5 reasons why it is great!

1. Winter that you can actually do something with! When we have this cold weather and good snow you can actually do winter things! Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skating.

2. The skiing conditions are great! You may have to brave the cold, but skiing since mid December?? Nobody can complain about that!

3. I’ve got an Igloo in my backyard. Nuff said.

4. It gives people something to talk about. Since there is no traffic jams here in Collingwood, the automatic default is the weather. “Yep, its cold out there today, it’s good for the hill…” is usually the line that you get.

5. It toughens up your kids. Making them walk to school in minus 20 degree weather is the kind of stuff that builds character.  Walking through waist deep snow drifts gives them the right allows to tell stories of childhood hardship to their kids.

This weather is all about perspective, so bundle up and get outside and enjoy it. It will soon be gone in May.

Repairing Your Speed Cable Rope

So last week I just spent $27 dollars on a fancy new black and red skipping rope. I also had a broken speed rope from too many double unders on the parking lot. I ordered a spare cable to fix my rope for another $7. Once you add in Shipping of $14 then you have to wonder why a skipping rope costs so much money, and also how do you fix it when you break it!

Go to your local hardware supply store or

big box store and get 11 feet of aircraft cable. Get the 1/16 size cable. This should fix it!

Don’t worry about it being nylon coated, that is just a clever marketing ploy to trick you into thinking that you are buying something a little more special than a piece of cable. Plus it will still hurt like crazy when you whip your shins. Hey look it’s 20 cents a foot! That means you can fix your crazy expensive fancy skipping rope for the cost of a large coffee.

So when you get it home, you realized that the guys at the store did a crummy job of cutting the cable cleanly and you have a frayed end, so you will need a nice pair of wire cutters to make a nice new cut to thread it through the little lock nut deal.

Once you cut that then thread your handle through first and then put the little lock nut deal on there. If you want to go hardcore minimalist then you are done.

If you want to finish it a little bit nicer to customize

your rope so that no one ties knots into it to shorten it because they left their yellow beaded rope at home, then this is what you do. If you don’t finish the cut ends with a crimp or tape or heat shrink wrap then they will fray. If

you have ever had metal strands buried in your hands, then you will agree

with me that this is a good step. I had some metal ferrules for crimping the end of cut bike cables. Your local bike store will have them, or you can come to my place and I’ll give you two. Use a needle nosed pliers or a wire crimper to secure the ferrule in place and bingo bango you are done!

Like I said earlier, no need to worry about the nylon coating, it isn’t going to make a lick

of difference, and it will look scary when you have an all metal rope.

Hope this helps and keep on

rocking in the free world.





Snowboard Coat Rack – A DIY Project

diy coat hanger snowboard

We moved into a new home in the little Ontario ski town of Collingwood. Being in a new home build I wanted to bring a bit of the chalet style into our new house. One way of doing this was to make a snowboard coat rack. It is a cheap way to add a cool feel to your home, and it is perfectly functional. I wanted to keep with my ski hill theme that goes with my home garage gym.


Time involved 2 hours.

Cost involved $ under $50

You can do it too! 


Learning to help and be crafty.

Step 1. Find a snowboard. I went to a used sporting goods place in town and picked out a board that didn’t have any bindings on it and with colours. This is personal preference and I liked the look off a beat up board. I didn’t clean it, and as a friend said “sometimes the beauty is in the imperfection” I picked it up from the store owner for $15.


Cat’s are still useless and it didn’t help me build anything today.

Step 2. Find hooks that you are going to mount to your board. Once again this is personal but you should have an idea of how long your flat surface of your board is before you go into the store.

Step 3. Grab a couple of lag bolts that will secure your board to the wall. It’s not worth doing unless you can overdo it. I’m sure these bolts are overkill, but I didn’t want it to fall down if my kids were swinging from coat to coat.


Step 4. Figure out where the hooks are going to go on the board and you can dry fit them. You are going to have to put lag bolts in and there has to be space for them to go. The hooks should be centred in the board.

Step 5.  I mounted the board first and made sure it was level. I drilled through the board so the lag bolts didn’t have to fight through the metal of the baseplate for the bindings. I predrilled into the stud and then ran the bolts into the wall with my cordless drill and socket driver.




Make sure the board is level and at the appropriate level. I had to check where the boss wanted this one. Once it is mounted it is easy to attach the hardware and the hooks. Some could debate which order you do this in, but I wanted to make sure that I hit the studs.

Make sure it is level. Once you have done that you can mount your hooks


Make sure you trust your level !

and you are done. Mounting your hooks should really be done from the centre of the board out for symmetry purposes. Make sure you pre- drill

the holes for the hooks.


Total cost breakdown of project: 

Board $15

Coat rack hooks $30

Lag screws $3


Total $48

Tools required:



Drill bit


screwdriver or driver bit for cordless drill

socket set or a wrench to fit the lag screws

tape measure

Have fun and enjoy this little afternoon project! Please leave links to your project in the comments.

coat hanger snowboard



More pictures below.





The Man Bag Revolution – No, it’s not a “Satchel” it’s an “EDC” Bag.

edc bag or preppers kit

Examples of EDC bags

EDC bag Aka a “Murse” aka “a Satchel” – Ok… it’s a man bag!

You too can Join the Wolfpack! 

“Its where I keep all my things..I get a lot of compliments on this.. plus it’s not a man purse.. it’s a satchel. ” Alan from the Movie The Hangover

Why does one need a man bag? With so many things to carry these days, keys, phone, a Costanza wallet, I found that it was hard to keep track of everything. I was tired of leaving things all over the place, and that’s why I needed to find a better system.  In my former life as a police officer I had a duty bag that had everything all in one place. I’d grab that bag and go, and it would sit in my cruiser as my portable office which held flashlights, clipboards, paperwork, tickets, a raincoat and assorted pens and highlighters. Having that bag was a way for me to stay organized.

After I left policing, I transitioned to the fire department and once again everything that I needed to work was in my firefighting gear. As long as I had all parts of my uniform, I had all my essential gear. For example my bunker pants carry wooden wedges, pliers, multi tools, structural firefighting gloves, screwdrivers, and other assorted bits of gear that I might need. Once again everything is in one place.

Mitten strings for keys

Before My EDC bag I was always losing my phone, keys, and wallet…


MacGyver and his satchel could conquer the world

My personal life didn’t quite have the same organization, and I struggled with a system to keep all my belongings together in one place. Inevitably I would be asking my wife if she had seen one of the big three: keys, wallet, or phone. Not having these essential possessions at my finger tips was causing me stress and frustrated me. I needed a system, I needed something familiar, I needed a “man bag”! As I searched for solutions online, I found this intriguing world of people who pride themselves on being self sufficient and prepared, I didn’t even know what I was looking for had a name, but I found it as an “EDC” bag or “Everyday Carry”.  Some when they see the EDC bag say “Hey you’ve got a Murse”, but I think they are secretly jealous.

As a kid I was a big fan of the TV show MacGyver. MacGyver carried a backpack with stuff that he combined with things that he found along the way to save the world, he was always prepared and could turn a pop can into a flamethrower. Couple that with a Boy Scout background then you should always “Be Prepared” and the EDC bag allows for that and then some.

satchel or man bag

Contents of EDC or Everyday Carry Bag

Click here for a detailed list of what is in my EDC bag.

bug out bag satchel

Finished man bag – My EDC bag


Want to start carrying your own EDC bag? Then perhaps you should check out these links.

EDC Forums. Full of great photos and discussions about bags and gear.

Wikipedia on EDC

EDC is everyday carry website.

It should be noted that some people don’t carry a bag or satchel, but they just have multi tools and gadgets on their person. I chose to carry a bag because the pockets and pouches allow me to stay more organized.

I’m enjoying the newfound sense of organization and freedom. I’m leading the charge and I don’t care what you call it. It may sound odd, but I relish the fact that I’m generally self sufficient. I don’t need much, and I don’t like asking people for anything (probably to a fault). I’m going to start a man bag revolution and I don’t care what anyone says.

Contents of my EDC Bag

satchel or man bag

Everyday carry bag or EDC



Contents of my EDC Bag

  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Phone
  • Leatherman Wave Tool
  • Sunglasses in case with microfiber cloth
  • Portable backup Phone Charger
  • Zippo Lighter
  • Princeton Tec Eos Headlamp
  • 2 packs of AAA batteries for headlamp
  • Bandages
  • Blue nitrile gloves
  • Notepad
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Couple pens
  • Gum
  • Nailcutters
  • Small foldable scissors
  • zip ties
  • chapstick
  • thumbdrive for computer files
  • Dutch army knife