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Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #72

It has been quite a few days/weeks since I posted a Fade Friday update. So here it is – a day late from Friday.

Fade Friday

The fade lines are really starting to develop character especially around my A Simple Leather Belt Co wallet. A couple of years ago I switched from carrying my wallet in my back pocket to the front left pocket. It is MUCH more comfortable – and the fade lines look gorgeous as well.

Fade Friday

There were two days since my last Fade Friday update that I did not wear my Brave Star 21.5 ounce Cone Mills denim dungarees. One day I was working at the cabin and chose to wear my Carhartt bib overalls. The other day I didn’t wear the Brave Star’s was when I was at a more formal event and I was wearing a suit.

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Durable Goods On the Road

Flashback to Our End of the Summer Camping Trip

Disclosure: the #5DadsGoWild camping trip was made possible through the generous support of a number of businesses – some I mention in the following blog post, including Ford Canada, the Bluemoose Cafe, House of Knives, Farm Town Meats, Stanley and their amazing thermos French Press, and others. However, editorial control as always, is mine.

Ahh … summer 2019. Such a great summer capped off with a weekend with my dad buds in the Lone Duck group campsite in the amazing Manning Park.

Once again we had awesome sponsors for our trip. We had all the bacon and meat we needed – and extra to take home compliments of Josh at Farm Town Meats in Burnaby – my go-to for all things meat.

The team at House of Knives supplied us with survival gear and sharp and shiny knives for everyday carry – who doesn’t need a knife in their pocket? Super handy for opening packages (and candy wrappers). Which does beg the question, why are candy wrappers so difficult to open?

And Ford Canada… they loaned us the mighty Ford Expedition which I had the pleasure of driving for the week leading up to our camping trip.

Honestly, it was awesome to drive such a big vehicle. The sight lines from the driver’s seat are awesome. Sitting up high makes it so easy to see all around the vehicle. Loved it.

Truly an exceptional truck for a large family or moving your dad blogger team around the southern interior of B.C. Ultra-Comfortable and powerful.

Of course Wes and his team at the Blue Moose Cafe in Hope BC fueled our dad bods with coffee for four of us – funny thing, James, the Englishman in our group drinks coffee and Dale is the tea drinker in our group. All good fuel for dads.

However, even though we had survival gear from House of Knives, endless bacon, trail mix fromMcSweeney’s with beef and pork jerky – it really does “work” – and a comfy ride from Ford, what we didn’t have is warm weather!

It snowed! Snow on our “end of the summer”camping trip! Even so, the snow made for incredible images. Even if I was concerned that I may never walk again after waking up, nearly frozen to the ground!

Seeing as we have already reserved the Lone Duck campsite at Manning Park for the same end of September weekend in 2020, I’m now planning what gear to bring for the coming year.

Yes, I’ve got a good sleeping bag, but having the tent collapse on me under the snow load, plus sleeping on the cold ground because my air mattress deflated faster than the Toronto Maple Leafs hopes of winning a Stanley Cup…I’m carefully planning next years sleeping arrangement. Maybe I’ll bring a camp cot.

However, in spite of the cold and the snow, we had an incredible weekend of conversations.

Hanging out alongside – or actually in – Lightning Lake, hiking through the trails of Strawberry Flats, sitting around the campfire and talking without having any kids saying “I’m bored” was such a welcome break from everything.

And add in the fact that we discovered that there is a pub in the lower level of the Manning Park Resort, well guaranteed, we will be back for the third annual #5DadsGoWild camping trip to Manning Park.

Here’s to being even better prepared next year!

What do you use to keep warm and comfortable? Other than a motor home! Sleeping cot? Mattress? What gear do you recommend for me for next years #5dadsgowild trip?

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On the Road Vehicles

5 Dads Go Wild; Ford Expedition

It has now been more than a month since I took part in the annual 5 Dads Go Wild camping trip. And this year, like last year, Ford Canada provided us with a couple of trucks to get us all safely up to – and back from – Manning Park.

Disclosure – the Ford Expedition we test drove was provided for us for the week leading up to and for the weekend of our camping trip free of charge by Ford Canada.

Ford Expedition

To start out, I have to admit that the Ford Expedition is an incredible vehicle. When driving it, you sit up high and the sight lines from the drivers seat are exceptional. Well, other than the blind spot over the left shoulder if you’re trying to shoulder check before doing a lane change.

But the Expedition has large mirrors with warning lights in m them to let you know if there is another car beside you before you change lanes.

I was surprised at how quickly adapted to driving the Expedition.

It has a spacious interior and yet it still feels nimble on the road. When I first got into the Expedition, after driving my comparatively tiny Echo, the SUV felt massive. But even within a few minutes I felt comfortable driving it around the city in rush hour traffic.

Ford Expedition

One thing my kids and I quite liked about the Ford was all the tiny, and yet quite bright interior “convenience” lights.

I liked them because they allowed the kids to do their kid stuff like reading books while I was driving without having an overhead dome light on that distracted (blinded me) me while I was driving. Something that seems minor but it really does make the driving experience that little bit more “convenient” for passengers and the driver.

Ford Expedition

While I was driving the Ford Expedition around town my average fuel consumption was 15 litres per 100 kilometre – according to the reading on the large and well laid out screen on the dash.

The fact that the V6 engine in the Expedition generates almost 400 horsepower can be tempting to “test” out. Perhaps the fuel consumption would improve even more once I got the lead out of my foot! But driving a vehicle with almost 400 horsepower is pretty exhilarating! The acceleration really is wild.

Ford Expedition

Once we headed out of town and got out on the highway the fuel consumption of the Ford really did improve.

Driving at a pretty steady freeway speed reduced the fuel consumption to just over 11 litres per 100 kilometre. Considering that the Expedition can seat seven, and tow pretty much anything you want – like a boat or a travel trailer – that’s pretty respectable mileage.

We had all five of us dads plus a ton of camping gear with us in the truck and it was very comfortable.

So the bottom line – the Expedition is an impressive and very well appointed vehicle. Everything in the vehicle is well thought out. Sure it is a big vehicle. But if you’ve got a big family or a crew you are traveling with, this is a vehicle that will do the job.

Now my next question is, which Ford vehicle should I test drive next?

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Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #42

I missed last week’s fade Friday photo so this week we are on day 42.

Fade Friday

The Brave Star 21.5 ounce jeans just keep on keeping on! Cool thing, two students stopped me on campus and asked if I was wearing Brave Star jeans. They had their own Brave Stars on as well!

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Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #30

Only one day late this week.

Fade Friday

I was asked what belt I am wearing with my Brave Star Slevage and, it is the 1.5″ belt from A Simple Leather Belt Co.

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Durable Goods

Fade Friday #23

Fade Friday Day #23 in my Brave Star Selvage denims. The 21.5 ounce denim is really beginning to soften up. However, I put on a pair of my Levi 501s this week and it was a reality check to feel just how light the 501s feel compared to my Brave Stars!

Fade Friday

This week I took the very bold move of cutting my Brave Star’s to length. I took about 3″ off the legs and then hand-stitched the bottom of each leg (thanks Mom for the stitching lesson).

I still have a cuff at the bottom of each leg but instead of being 8″ of leg rolled up, it is now just 4″ of roll up.

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Durable Goods

Fade Friday Day #16

Better late than never … my Fade Friday of my Brave Star selvedge heavyweight dungarees.

Friday Fade

These jeans just keeping getting more awesome and comfortable.

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Durable Goods

5 Dads Go Wild 2.0

Yesterday after work I loaded my camping gear (a tent, sleeping bag, and a camp stove) into the Ford Expedition we’ve been loaned and headed out through the Fraser Valley.

In the Expedition with me was my friend Michael from Beyond the Rhetoric. We were headed to the Bluemoose Cafe in Hope to meet up with Dale of Parenting 101 and James the Social Dad.

Wes loaded us up with coffee and told us to try and stay safe and warm on our camping trip.

As an experiment, we filled a Stanley thermos with hot coffee while we were at the Bluemoose and the next morning, the coffee was STILL HOT.

As always it was great to see Wes at the Bluemoose.

Did I mention that we were headed to Manning Park? And that when we arrived it was snowing – snowing heavily!

Big, wet flakes of snow.

We headed out past Lightning Lakes at Manning Park and arrived at our campsite – the Lone Duck campsite where we pitched our tents – in the snow.

It was chilly but not cold enough to keep Dale from going for a quick dip in the lake!

More later.

Disclosure: this camping trip has been made possible partly through the generosity of Ford Canada, Stanley Thermos, and our friends at the Bluemoose Coffee among other sponsors.

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Durable Goods

Brave Star Selvage Fade Friday Day #9

Nine days into wearing my Brave Star Selvage 21.5 ounce Cone Mills denim jeans and … these dungarees are AWESOME.

Brave Star Selvage

And, in case you are wondering, the belt I am using with these beastly jeans is my A Simple Leather Belt Co belt.

The Brave Stars are not nearly as stiff and unwieldy as I had feared they might be. For sure they are stiff but they are definitely not uncomfortable.

Until next Friday.

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Durable Goods

Brave Star Selvage; Day One of Fade Friday

I bought a new pair of dungarees! I bought a pair of heavy weight selvage* denim jeans from Brave Star Selvage.

Brave Star

My new Brave Star Selvage jeans are made from a 21.5 ounce sanforized denim that is made on the classic Cone Denim looms located in White Oak North Carolina. Brave Star jeans are stitched together in downtown Los Angeles.

The 21.5 ounce weight of the denim used in these is extraordinary. Most good quality denim is about 13 ounces. “Inexpensive” denim is around 10 ounces. The Brave Star’s at 21.5 ounces…that’s HEAVY. My new jeans will almost stand up on their own!

My plan is to wear these new jeans EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.** For a year. Without washing them.

And my plan is to share a picture of them here, every Friday. I am calling it my “Fade Friday”.

“Fade” is the term used to describe the way the jeans are wearing and developing wrinkles and creases and faded lines into the denim.

Brave Star

So here is my first Fade Friday image – after one day of wear.

*Some people spell it “selvedge”. Others, like the folks at Brave Star spell it “selvage”. Either. Or either works.

**Although I say I am going to wear these jeans every single day, that does not actually mean I will wear them all day, every day. I will likely wear other clothes and make a point of wearing these heavy weights for at least a portion of the day.