So I’m back from my trip and had an awesome time. I took inner-city grade 10 students into Algonquin park for a week. Some of the students had never even slept in a tent before. They got up close to nature as the bugs bit them and rain soaked them.
By the end of the week everyone had a huge sense of accomplishment and had learned more about themselves and the wilderness.
Trips like this that push yourself and put you in a new situation that you’ve never been in before enable you to grow as a person. I’m proud of the entire group of students that worked together to get through the trip over muddy hills and sloshing through marshes.
Tomorrow I’ll be sure to post pictures and let you in on more of the trip.
So I leave today on a week-long trip. It is supposed to rain all week (of course). I actually enjoy heading out in the rain…the bugs stay away and I can marvel as my great rain gear does its magic and keeps me warm and dry.
My pack is all packed up and water-proofed and I’m raring to go!
I want to encourage all of you to head out on your own trip sometime this week, even if it’s just a day or a few hours. Go for a hike, a bike ride, a swim and enjoy the outdoors!
In a few weeks I’m leaving for a week long trip in Algonquin Park. I have already figured out my route but I wanted to give you pointers on figuring out your own route for backpacking.
First you have to decide how many miles (or kilometers) you can travel per day. An experienced hiker can go approximately 20 miles (32 km) a day; but for a beginner that is way too far. I recommend when starting out plan for 10 miles a day (16 km) and then as you get more experience and you’ve built up some endurance start increasing that amount.
Another thing to keep in mind when hiking is how much you have to carry on your back. If you are carrying a very large pack that is heavy you won’t be able to go as far.
Terrain also has a lot to do with the distance you’re able to go. Smooth well-worn paths that are dry are much easier and faster to hike on than rocky, wet or muddy paths.
If you’re hiking in the mountains and you’re not used to it the high altitude can make you unable to cover more than 5 miles a day. You might also have a day that is just one long climb so you’ll be going slowly up it and then the next day you might have a long downhill and be able to quickly cover the miles.
So when choosing your route try to consider everything that you might encounter. Do your homework and find out what the terrain is going to be like and don’t over pack!
Posted in Hiking, Wilderness Backpacking
Tagged algonquin park, Backpacking, backpacking distance per day, choosing a backpacking route, choosing a hiking route, choosing a route, Hiking, hiking distance per day, how many miles per day, kilometers, km per day, miles per day
With bug season here sometimes backpacking can turn more into a speed-walk/jog as you try to keep ahead of the cloud of black-flies and mosquitoes. What you need is a good bug spray. I always find the sprays that have deet in them work the best but they are corrosive so you don’t want to get deet on your pack or tent.
I hate wearing bug spray, I don’t like the smell and I always feel sticky when I have it on. I prefer to wear a bug shirt and long pants so the bugs can be all around me but can’t get at me.
The Original Bug Shirt
I have “The Original Bug Shirt” and find it cool in temperature to wear and very effective against mosquitoes and black-flies. You might think it looks a little ridiculous but it’s a smart thing to wear during bug season and you might start wishing you had one when you’re in the middle of no-where surrounded my swarms of bug.
Posted in Backpacking Gear, Hiking, Survival, Wilderness, Wilderness Backpacking
Tagged blackflies, bug season, bug spray, bugs, mosquitoe jacket, mosquitoes, the original bug shirt
When wilderness backpacking it’s crutial to pack small and pack light. A great way to do this is to get rid of the big bulky tent with those tent poles and fly and just carry a hammock tent.
I have a Portec hammock tent that I picked up for only $65 and it works great. The only downfall to the one that I have is that it doesn’t have any bug netting built in. It has the capability to wrap around me but somehow bugs always find a way in. I tend to only use this hammock tent in the early spring before the bugs come and in the late fall after the bugs are gone…though in the fall I do find it pretty cold sleeping suspended in the air.
Portec Hammock Tent
You can purchase hammock tents that come with built in musketo netting and a fly that you susbend above the tent to keep the rain out. These will still save you quite a bit of space and weight.
So check them out and get out in the beautiful outdoors!
With spring coming things are coming alive everywhere. Baby animals are being born and the brown earth is coming back to life.
A friend of mine used to work as a biologist in Algonquin Park. He got to track animals like wolves, bear, and moose. One spring day a few years ago he let my husband and I go along with him as he found and tagged moose newborns.
A Baby Moose
We first had to wander through the bush trying to find the mother moose. Moose can be quite dangerous because they are very protective of their young…so please don’t try approaching one unless you’re with a professional.
We found the mother and she ran away so we had very little time to work with the new baby. It was estimated that this baby was about 12 hours old. We weighed him and he only weighed 16 pounds! We took a blood and hair sample and then put a collar on him, that will grow bigger as he gets bigger and will eventually fall off. They take these samples and record everything so that they can be sure that the moose population is healthy.
Weighing the Baby Moose
We then started hearing the mother moose crashing through the woods towards us so we had to get out of there fast. We left the baby moose where the mother would find it and ran away through the woods.
On this trip I learned a great respect for moose, it was amazing holding that little moose in my arms and feeling its little heart beating so fast.
Holding The Baby Moose
So today it’s pouring rain outside so I decided it’s a great day to write about my favourite rain coat — Arc’teryx Alpha SV.
Me wearing my Arc'teryx Alpha SV Shell
I have had this shell for 3 years now and haven’t had any problems with it. I use it all year round — the winter it’s my outer shell when skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing; in the other months it’s my raincoat, wind shelter and pillow.
I have never had to re-apply the DWR finish and it’s remained hurricaine proof. It has a super adjustable hood so I can wear it when I’m climbing or biking with the helmet under the hood.
Arc’teryx has their two best selling shell coats being the Alpha and the Bata. The Alpha is a bit longer in the front than the Bata and the Alpha also has the back longer than the front. The Bata is a shorter jacket with the front and back being the same length.
Arc’teryx gear is very pricey but they stand by their products and warranty them for life. I’m planning on using this jacket for many years to come and I already feel like I’ve gotten my moneys worth.