Signs of my Travel, 1/4

Of all the things I see, it’s the signs that tend to be most amusing. Notably because of a language mishap, but sometimes just because they seem to….well, ridiculous and would never be used in North America. Other times it just something that can be taken wya out of contect. In either way, it’s amusing and interesting to see. So, here are some of those signs. Because I took a lot of pics, I won’t put them all into one post. Unless otherwise noted, all pics were taken by myself.

Click on first pic to open an album viewer.

The real thing about Mushrooms…

I’ve been doing a bit of casual studying about mushrooms and it’s rather a bit fascinating. (No, not those kind…..well, not entirely…). For starters, did you know they are neither animal nor vegetable? They are their own kingdom of species. That fact alone should perk up ears.

There are also over 14,000 different types too! Since learning about some of this info, I’m not paying attention, if not specifically go for, on walks out in the woods. I did a could this week and took a bunch of pics. It’s actually quite surprising how many different types ne can find without looking too hard.

Click on the first pic to view in Gallery Mode.

These ones are from Lions Valley Park in Oakville, Ontario.

I was utterly surprised at the Salamanders. First time finding those in the wild!

These ones are from Eramosa Karst Park in Hamilton, Ontario.

Getting Out: The result

A visitor

While the ‘mini-vacation’ was super nice, got to chill by a fire, took some nice pics/vids and slept reasonably ok, it was only marred by some BS via a text conversation. Lesson: no texting with those who have a hard time grasping concepts.

The overall experience was worth it and relaxing and I got to do some cool star-gazing as it was a very clear night. The moon, while not ful, gave off more than enough light to just walk by. My anti-gravity chair, when fully reclined, gives me a perfect view of the sky. I accidentally got an added bonus when I had the ‘leg’ part aimed towards the fire and thus it captured the heat radiating from the fire. I had a blanket around my legs and a winter jacket on. While the temps was only around 13C, I was quite comfortable staring at the stars.

Rondeau Provincial Park was nice. It was also busy, so not as quiet as I like but wasn’t terrible. Everyone getting in the last of the ‘good days’ before it gets too cold.

The Dragon within Fafnir, my Volvo 2016 XC90 Inscription

I needed to get out

Yesterday was rough. I wanted to blog or read or anything, something kept interrupting me. I wanted to do anything but was merely annoyed by circumstances around me. It was like I could do nothing but be utterly disrupted in any effort. Fine, I’ll get out.

I booked an overnight campsite in Rondeau Provincial Park. It was about a 3hr drive from my place and the weather has been great so far.

No tent this time

Decided to just sleep in the back. I knew it was going to be chilly at night this time of year, and my old sleeping bag was too small for me, so I picked up a new one from Canadian Tire. It was on clearance so I got a nicely rated -2C bag for a reasonable price.

I also picked up some wood/kindling for a fire tonight. Just gonna sit and chill.

My Camping Setup

I am a bit sad that I didn’t make a bigger effort to do more camping this year but I will get one more weekend in before the end of September! So here’s a post, with Amazon links, that goes into some big detail about how I camp right now. Most of what I learned about Solar Panels I got from my buddy. Feel free to check out his blog. Odyssey Camper

Let’s start with the obvious, the tent. Napier Outdoors Sports SUV Tent is the one to get.

Now, I sleep in the back of my Vehicle and use the tent as an extra room. Really handy for those times that it rains out and you need a place to sit. Bonus, they are a Canadian company based out of St. Catherines.

My former 2007 XC90

Speaking of sleep, an air mattress is pretty much a necessity, unless you are a Buddhist Monk….but then again, you wouldn’t be camping in a Volvo XC90 then would you? :)

This year we went again but some idiot decided to hit my vehicle while we were camping again. I had to make due with a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Don’t ever buy a Jeep Cherokee, they crumple like a wet sack

Sadly, that was enough damage to prevent using the vehicle(tire destroyed).

Rental 2020 Hyundai setup….and yes, that’s a pirate flag!

With this tent, there is no rain leaking inside. All vehicles have ‘rain channels’ built into them, to keep water from specifically flowing inside. So, even in a heavy rain, which we did experience the first year, water just flow down those channels. A word of caution, you will need to know where those channels exit. That ‘grey part’ that wraps around the vehicle, goes underneath. I found out that it also went underneath the rain channels on my XC90, so I was literally directing water into the tent. It wasn’t much but I did have to re-position the bottom part so that water could flow properly. After that, it was fine.

Before you even leave your place, you need to setup the tent, make sure that it’s clean and waterproof it! Something like this would work just fine.

Atsko Silicone Water-Guard 10.5 oz

The first time I went camping in this setup, I got a typical air mattress to fit in the back. You will want to measure the back of your vehicle if you do the same as I did. Measure between the wheel wells! Otherwise it’ll be an odd situation when it’s inflated.

Also, do NOT get one with the built-in pump. They tend to be lower quality, heavier and you get really screwed if it breaks. Buy a good quality air mattress and then buy a separate pump.

This mattress is designed for back of vehicles with ‘side lifts’ to accommodate the wheel wells but again, check your measurements!

SUV Air Mattress Berocia Thickened Car Bed Inflatable Home Air Mattress Portable Camping Outdoor Mattress Flocking Fast Inflation (Color 2)

As for the air pump, well you don’t need anything fancy either.

Electric Air Pump, AGPtEK Portable Quick-Fill Air Pump with 3 Nozzles, 110V AC/12V DC, Perfect Inflator/Deflator Pumps for Outdoor Camping, Inflatable Cushions, Air Mattress Beds, Boats, Swimming Ring

You might even want to consider a cheap manual pump as well, just in case.

Now, the single air mattress caused a problem because I tend to toss/turn in my sleep, my poor little 95lb friend Nixy kinda went on a bit of a roller-coaster ride when I did. So then this year I bought some ‘individual’ type. While they look like they wouldn’t be comfortable, I was incredibly surprised and I’m a picky kinda guy for when it comes to being comfortable. (Hey, I ain’t 20-something any more!)

Sleeping Pad Comfortable Camping Mat Ultralight Camp Mattress Outdoor(Green-packs2)

Then you can’t go camping without chairs!

AmazonBasics Zero Gravity Chair with Side Table, Set of 2, Red

These are THE most comfiest of chairs I have ever owned! Hell, if I was tacky enough, I’d use them in my living room! They are perfect for napping in and even better for sky watching. They recline all the way back, you’ll feel like it’ll tip over but it won’t.

Now I also use these chairs for when I drive somewhere and just sit on the edge of a lake or the like. I found that even with the tailgate of my Volvo up, when the suns high, there really isn’t enough shade. So, picked me up an umbrella!

Sport-Brella Adjustable Umbrella with Universal Clamp

Now, we live in modern times. That means having modern equipment with you requiring power. So yes, I have a solar setup as well.

To use a solar power setup, you need 3 things. Solar Panels. A Charge Controller(to regulate the power from the panels) and a battery(to store the power).

This would be a nice solar panel setup if you want to test things out.

ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel Charger for Portable Power Station & 12V RV Battery,Solar Generator,with 20A Controller for Lithium/AGM/Gel/SLA/Deep Cycle Battery RV Camping

Since it also include a charge controller, you would be 2/3rd of the way there.

For a battery, you’ll kinda have to figure out how much stuff are you bringing with you. It should go without saying that bigger electronics need more power. When I went camping last, this was the tech on our list:

  • 11″ iPad Pro
  • 11″ iPad
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone XR
  • ASUS Laptop
  • a couple of smaller battery pack
  • Nintendo Switch

The laptop was the killer power hog, followed shortly by the Switch. Neither of those devices were mine. Don’t skimp on the battery! I paid $300 for my battery and it does me good. (Except when my friend feels the need to bring All The Tech<tm> while camping….)

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency.

Critical Solar Panel Tip: You want to be very aware of shade. My last trip the setup was in a great area, surrounded by trees. While it definitely got the outdoors feel, it totally sucked for having to move the Solar Panels every 30 mins to keep them in the sun! Choose your locations wisely if you want solar power.

This is my solar panel setup.

What you will also want is some LED ‘bulbs’. Something like the following will provide some nice light in the evening when you are inside. While your phone has a ‘flashlight’ on it, it also needs power for everything else it does. Get a dedicated light source and be done with it.

Coideal LED Tent Lights 4 Pack Portable Camping Light Lamp Tent Lantern Bulb for Hurricane Emergency Backpacking Hiking Outdoor and Indoor, Battery Powered for Power Outage

And that’s my basic camp gear setup. Let me know if you want to see anything else about this.

Oh, in case you wanted your own Pirate Flag:

Pirate Jolly Roger Flag Large 3×5 Ft Boat Flag, Moderate-Outdoor Both Sides 100D Polyester,Canvas Header and Double Stitched – Halloween Flags Black Beard Pirates Flags Skull Bones Drapeau

AirBnB

I’m not here to bash AirBnB, but you do have to be careful and research.

Looks like a nice place right? But then this had to be asked and the response was a bit concerning in a few ways.

Ummm, I have questions

So if it’s not available, why is the ad up? And why can’t I reply without booking(this seems to be an @AirBnB issue with their interface?)

It all ads up to be a bit sketchy. So I’ll just have to pass on this.