Camping With Steve Wallis – Hunker Down!

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A YouTuber From Edmonton 

Do you like to go camping in Alberta? I sure do. Love it, in fact. That said, I’m not sure either of us come close to enjoying it as much as Steve Wallis does. He’s a YouTuber based out of Edmonton that makes some pretty crazy camping videos. Steve doesn’t just use the designated campgrounds (though sometimes he does), he goes where most people would never think of to camp and he does it in all of the extreme temperatures our wonderful Alberta weather provides. Often Steve is by himself doing solo camping, but he occasionally brings his ‘crazy neighbor’ to join in on the sweet bushcraft camping fun.

Here’s an article from CTV News Edmonton on Steve’s YouTube channel, and here’s a CBC radio interview.

His videos usually have the same format: he explains what he’s going to do, shows the process of setting up camp, makes dinner, has a drink, sleeps, then explains in the morning how it all went. There’s no jump cuts, no flashy intro animations or soundtracks, just straight up camping.

Photo from Steve’s “Spring Camping With Electric Fence In Grizzly Bear Territory” video

His methods are a bit out of the ordinary, which includes a lot of DIY techniques and teaching. In the above video he goes camping in grizzly bear territory, puts up a DIY electric fence, then proceeds to cook smokies. In Grizzly bear territory lol. As much as I love camping, that’s a bit too hardcore for me at present time. I need more experience out in nature before attempting something like that. I think that’s actually what makes Camping With Steve appealing; you can watch him do it from the safety of civilization.


How It All Started

It’s was actually pretty straight forward, he just started camping more and filming everything, then uploading the videos to YouTube. From his Facebook page:

Well, I originally started camping in an RV on the coast of B.C. Canada, then fell in love with hunkering down under the stars, by a campfire, or even in the winter. I started filming some of that for YouTube and people kept watching it, so, I keep on camping haha! If you have any suggestions or comments for my videos you can feel free to message me or comment. Thanks, and until then.. Hunker Down!


Some Videos To Checkout

Below are just a few of the videos I find particularly interesting.


DIY Yeti Style Super Cooler

Using a typical blue Coleman cooler plus a big Rubbermaid bin, and a little spray foam, a little RV rubber roof coating, Steve shows you how to build your own version of a YETI Tundra ‘super cooler’ which will keep your food and drinks colder, much longer, for much less money.

Stealth Camping In A U-Haul Van At -35° Celsius 

This was both crazy, and hilarious. Steve checked the U-Haul user manual and it didn’t say you couldn’t camp inside the van. Parked on a regular public street, in freezing cold Edmonton Alberta -35 weather, he puts up some camping blanket DIY insulation using magnets, cooks dinner on a butane camping stove, has a beer then heads to bed. In the morning he simply drives the van to McDonald’s for breakfast then returns the van.

Don’t forget to use a portable carbon monoxide detector when camping in small spaces like this.

DIY Pontoon Boat River Camping

Why limit yourself to land camping? Steve and crazy neighbor built a boat out of plywood, wooden pallets, rain barrels, 2x4s, tarps and sheer determination. HMCS Hunker Down. To keep warm they’re using a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy which has several safety features, including low oxygen shut off (important to have while sleeping). In addition Steve put together a quick video showing how they made it.

Stealth Camping In Airport Parking Lot With SUV (Highly Patrolled)

Steve stealth camped in the back of an SUV within the long term parking at the Edmonton International Airport, where they have regular security patrols. No step 2 beers this time, in case security caught him. He uses space blankets (emergency thermal blankets) to block out the light, plus insulate the vehicle. Success!

Luxury Snow Fort Camping

You’ve probably made one of these as a kid, or at least tried to. A quinzee is a large pile of loose snow made into an igloo shape, then hollowed out (whereas an igloo is constructed using hard blocks or snow or ice). Once hollowed out Steve uses a normal Coleman propane lantern to not only heat the inside but it also provides an extra layer of stability because the warmth will melt the inside later of snow, turning it into a shield of ice basically. He uses a Jackery portable power station to make rice, power a lamp, and even a small TV. This video was shot during NYE so he also shoots off some fireworks!

Free Camping On Public Land With Tent And Wood Stove

Using a portable pop up ice fishing tent (the specific one he’s using is no longer in production) Steve sets up camp alongside a river for some crown land free camping with his wife. He’s using an Alpine camp chef wood stove for heat + cooking.

Winter Camping Without A Tent

No tent, no shelter and no setup also means no tear down in the morning! This time Steve simply used two sleeping bags and campfire to make it through the night. Looks a little cold but probably the easiest camping ever. Glad no bears showed up!


Conclusion

I love his channel and really dig seeing all of the various ways a regular person can just go out and camp in some .. different methods.

One thing I would like to see change with his videos is the usual beer he drinks. There’s so much better out there than Lucky Lager or Brewhouse. Kills me to see anyone drink those. Maybe an Alberta based craft brewery can sponsor him with free beer for ‘step 2’? 🙂

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