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How to Build a Fire in the Winter

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In basically every culture, the story of how humans discovered fire is enshrined in legend. Greek mythology has it that Prometheus stole fire from the gods. According to the Apache, it was a sly fox that was captured it for us. In Hinduism, Agnihotri Brahmans are still keepers of the sacred flame.

Whatever the case, the point is this: fire is, like, stupid important to humans. The ability to build one is what sets us apart from animals, and basically led to our evolution. For ancient man, it provided warmth, protection from wild predators, and a way to cook food. Most importantly, it kept our forbears alive in the unbearable cold. There’s nothing that taps into your primal instincts quite like going full Revenant and spurring some flames in the harshest of climates. If you’ve never built a winter campfire yet, now’s your chance. Yeah, sure it sounds crazy. Crazy awesome.

Make Your Fire Bed

If you’ve already got a built-in firepit, disregard this part. You’re golden, man. If not, you’ll need to do a little work. Look for a spot that’s protected from the wind. If there’s some snow where you are, shovel it aside so you can light this badboy on solid ground. If there’s too much snow to clear away, pack it down tightly so you have a nice, hard platform to lay your base of logs on.

Get Wood

This will likely be the most challenging part — unless you’ve already got a convenient stack of logs gathered for your fireplace. (But really, that’s no fun. Did Leo have a convenient stack of logs to work with? Hell to the no.) You can search various areas of the surrounding woods for fallen timber. Look for wood that’s as dry as possible. Even if the wood is covered in light, fluffy snow, it may still be dry enough to burn. According to science, the fluffy shit has less moisture content. You can check to see if a stick is dry enough to burn by snapping it in half and listening for the audible crack of breaking wood.

Light That Mother Up

You’ll need some extra help for this, because even slightly damp wood is can be hard to set aflame. So make sure you bring some fire helpers from your local outdoor store — things like fire starter cubes, fire packets, fire paste, cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly, or even some drier lint (preferably slathered in petroleum jelly) can be lifesavers when the weather turns wet and cold. Pine needles, pinecones, and bark can also serve as great sources of kindling. Make sure you light the fire from the windward side — that lets the flames travel through your sticks, engulfing them faster. Also, light the fire low; fire climbs as heat rises, so be sure to have your match or lighter touching the material at the base of the fire lay. Don’t bother lighting it at the top; this isn’t a candle, dummy.

Keep the Flame Alive

There is nothing more depressing than watching your flame die out just after it’s begun (figuratively and literally speaking). Surround the fire with any damp logs you haven’t used — the fire’s heat will dry them out and provide an extra stash as the evening goes on. Also be sure to keep a backup wad of tinder (the dry, dead, fluffy stuff, not the shallow dating app) handy, so that when you’re gone, it will still burn on and on and on and on. (But, all Billy Joel references aside, put the fire out once you’re done.)

Written by: Alex Nino Gheciu

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10 Things You Need To Know About Attending #TGE2016

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Here we are friends. The Gentlemen’s Expo is on and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring it to you. Here are 10 things you need to know about #TGE2016

10) We Welcome Gentlewomen or Gentlemen:

Sure, our show name has ‘Gentlemen’ in it, but our event is for everyone. #TGE2016 is open to anyone who enjoys great experiences, watching engaging speakers and acquiring knowledge.  Seriously, if you like great food, whisky/beer/wine/spirits, sports, tech, style, fashion… then #TGE2016 is for you.

9) Tickets At The Door:

Yes, tickets will be available at door! We are in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building. Tickets are $45 for General Admission and $65 for VIP tickets. Remember the VIP tickets come with an incredible gift bag that features a wide array of products. For real, the VIP bag has so much stuff in it we needed to write a whole blog about it. Find it HERE.

8) Hours & Location:

  • Thursday, Nov 10 – 4pm to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.
  • Friday, Nov 11 – 4pm to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.
  • Saturday, Nov 12 – Noon to 11pm. Last call at 10:30pm.

Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building is at 222 Bremner Blvd. The entrance is right across the street from Steam Whistle Brewing, beside the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

7) See Our Speakers:

We have a stellar line up of speakers that include *takes deep breath* George St-Pierre hosted by Showdown Joe, Jason Grilli of the Toronto Blue Jays, Leafs Legends Wendel Clark & Doug Gilmour, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Ewan Currie and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs, Ian Thornley of Big Wreck hosted by Jeff Woods, Gary Roberts, Mark DeMontis of Courage Hockey, Illusionist Robert Testa, and Hypnotist Chris Jones.

6) So Many Attractions:

There is so much to do once you get inside the MTCC. HERE is the full list of attractions. We recommend that you do a ‘once around’ and see what attractions catch your eye. Talk to the people working there. See if you need to book time with them. See if there is an additional cost. Ask them about the experience. We recommend the Bag Jump in support of TenFed where you plunge yourself from a 30 ft platform. It’s nuts… in a good way.

5) Food and Food and Food:

Our #TGE2016 Culinary Programme is out of this world. So many Top Local Chefs, headlined by the Openly Discussion and the Underground Chef Co Battle that sees Chef Ted Reader vs Chef Jeff Dueck, hosted by Joe Friday and Mike Ward. Check the DAILY SCHEDULES for the entire listing of On-The-Line Culinary events!

4) Tokens & Cash

Tokens are the currency on site for all alcohol. Tokens can be purchased from Token Booths. You’ll be able to use Debit/Credit/Cash at pretty much every other vendor. VIP Ticket purchasers get extra tokens, Just sayin’.

  • 1 Token = $1. (Tokens are sold in 10 packs)

3) Share Away!:

Tag your photos, your tweets, your posts, your snaps with #TGE2016 and #BeBetter

2) Directions:

  • TTC

Yonge-University-Spadina Line: Exit at Union station and proceed west on Front Street to the North Building , where you can access the Skywalk to enter the South Building. Or exit to Union train station and follow the Skywalk to either the North or South Building.

Bloor-Danthforth Line: When travelling west or east, you will need to transfer to the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway Line at either Bloor-Yonge Station, St. George Station or Spadina Station. Then continue until you reach Union Station and exit the subway. From Union station you can proceed west on Front Street to the North Building , where you can access the Skywalk to enter the South Building. Or exit to Union train station and follow the Skywalk to either the North or South Building.

Scarborough RT Line: Travel west to Kennedy Station. From Kennedy Station transfer to the Bloor-Yonge Line. Continue on the Bloor-Yonge Line until your reach Union Station and exit the subway. From Union station you can proceed west on Front Street to the North Building , where you can access the Skywalk to enter the South Building. Or exit to Union train station and follow the Skywalk to either the North or South Building.

Sheppard Line: Travel west to the Sheppard-Yonge Station and transfer to the Yonge-University Spadina Line. Travel south until you reach Union Station and exit the subway. From Union station you can proceed west on Front Street to the North Building , where you can access the Skywalk to enter the South Building. Or exit to Union train station and follow the Skywalk to either the North or South Building.

  • GO Transit

From Union station you can proceed west on Front Street to the North Building , where you can access the Skywalk to enter the South Building. Or exit to Union train station and follow the Skywalk to either the North or South Building.

  • UP Express

From the Union Station UP platform, exit and proceed west through the Skywalk corridor. Take the elevator (or staircase) to street level, Lower Simcoe Street. Proceed west on Front Street, and arrive at the MTCC North Building main entrance.

  • Driving Directions & Parking: 

Driving directions can be found HERE. There is pay parking available on site.  Even though we are posting info about driving, we strongly encourage you to take public transit. You see, there is a wide array of spirits, beer and such available on site and we are strongly against drinking & driving.

1) #BeBetter

The entire event revolves around this #BeBetter message. Soak it in. Share your thoughts with friends, with us. There are plenty of things to do and see at #TGE2016 but let’s never lose site of the ultimate goals: To be better human beings.

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