How to Make Camping Comfortable

There’s something fun about writing this blog post because I find it ironic all together. When I began “hard core camping”, my back hurt, I was freezing cold and I whined a lot. So to think that I now love camping and crave going out into the bush…it is sort of funny!

When I say “hardcore camping”, I mean we go out into the wild, where there are no camp sites and no humans, and pitch a tent or pull the truck up and live for a day or two.

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Logging roads are steep!

Below I have accumulated a small list of camping comforts:

1. Put your tomorrow clothing in your sleeping bag:
I choose my clothing for the next day before bed time and stuff it into my sleeping bag. I do this because a) then it’s close by when you wake up and need to change and b) your sleeping bag is warm and you want your clothing to be toasty on a cold morning!

2. Bring 2 pairs of shoes:
Even on long hikes, I bring a second pair of shoes. I do this because my feet can get wet, blistery and sometimes it’s just nice to put your feet in somewhere fresh, LOL. For car camping I bring my hiking boots and also my running shoes. For long hikes I wear my hiking boots (Lowa Renegade’s for the win!) and bring lightweight shoes(sandals, slip ons) to wear at the top of the mountain. One day I’d love a pair of base camp booties, or light weight slippers but for now cheap sandals work!

3. Learn and accept YOUR boundaries:
My fiance and many of our friends will stay up late, sitting by the fire, drinking, eating and talking. For me, as soon as it’s dark – I want to curl up in my sleeping bag. So that’s what I do. I will read a book, listen to a podcast or just fall asleep really early. I love camping because I feel it’s a reset to our bodies inner clock. Often I find myself in bed at 8PM!

4. Dress warmer than you think is necessary:
I don’t know how many times I’ve read or been told to LAYER my clothing. I understand why layering is good, but if you are car camping (meaning you don’t need to worry about weight) then bring the darn winter jacket! I have a THICK warm North Face jacket and I have zero shame about wearing it while camping, along with my snow pants. Yes, even if there is no snow. I started doing this because I found no matter how many layers of good warm clothing I wear, I was still cold. I always(even in summer months) bring a toque and gloves since temperatures do tend to drop down at night.

5. Bring small comforts:
Always bring small things that make YOU happy. For me it’s alcohol, chocolate and my Nikon d3000 camera. My camera is a must because I use it as a distraction method when I’m cold or hungry. Alcohol keeps me warm and happy and chocolate, well, it’s chocolate. For my fiance, his small comforts are different, and they will be for you too. Just experiment and overtime you will figure out what you can live without and what you need.

There we go, 5 tips that I think will help make camping more comfortable. Because camping does not need to be miserable! If you ever have questions about camping, gear, packing, off-roading, I am here to answer them. Happy camping everyone 🙂

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How do you grieve a Missing Person?

It has been 103 days since my father in law went missing from his home, he had gone out on his morning walk, and he never returned home. 103 days of wondering, 103 days of searching, 103 days of emotional agony, 103 days without our Dad.

The disappearance of my father in law has flipped my world upside down. 103 days is not a lot of time, yet I feel as if my whole perspective on the world has flipped. I have never been a traditional person, however now I feel myself craving tradition and wanting to change my last name for marriage(wedding is coming up!). I want a family of my own, I want to hold onto the few family members I have left with all my might. I feel anxiety, I feel sadness for my fiance, I feel guilt that we did not spend more time with him(my father in law), I feel silly sometimes due to him not being “my” dad. I feel everything, and I feel nothing – all at once. I feel alone, as I don’t know anyone else who has experienced this type of loss…I don’t even know if you can call this loss.

How do you continue to have hope for the rest of time, never knowing whether someone will be found or not? Do I continue to search? Do I try to go on with my life, trying to push away the awful feelings that creep up inside me?

Why is my Pac Choi (Bokchoy) bolting?

Hi everyone, long time no talk! My garden is growing strong this year, especially my luscious spaghetti squash and cucumbers – for some reason they are big, bulky and doing great!

What is NOT doing great is my pac choi (bokchoy). This has actually happened for the last two seasons but I have not been able to figure out a cure. The pac choi I’m using is dwarf white stemmed pac choi from West Coast Seeds.

Every time I grow these guys, this happens: IMG_20180625_121330_401

I water consistently, and I do get edible leaves but the stems are very skinny so as soon as they bolt, I pick the leaves and then the plant seems to be done – so I pull it out.

Any suggestions for me? Do you grow any Asian vegetables such as pac choi? I have been growing more and more Asian veggies(my fiance is Chinese!) and I totally love them – they taste delicious and are easy to use in my cooking. I can’t wait to hear from you guys!

Garden update: spaghetti squash

Sooooo if you know me, you know that I LOVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH. I adore it because it tricks my mind into thinking I’m eating some delicious carb filled pasta, and oh boy…pasta is my all time fave.

So this summer I decided to give spaghetti squash a try in the garden. I had never grown it before but I thought why not! I planted 4 seeds and they all germinated! They have been growing steadily for weeks now and look what’s happening!!! I think those are baby squashes!

I am a bit worried that they aren’t growing fast enough since it’s almost September and then the temperature will start dropping down.

What is your experience growing squash? How fast do these little squashies grow? And should I be fertilizing or anything? 🌱

Direct Composting

Ok I am oddly excited to write this post!!! Am I the only one who gets giddy over burying food scraps? I have been researching direct composting for a few months now and am dying to give it a try. Next I have to convince my fiancé (yes we got ENGAGED!) that the squirrels and bears won’t dig it up.

We have an old ice cream tub on our counter that we collect food scraps in, but I’m considering getting a metal bin like this.

I feel as if I have so much to learn! Does anybody have advice for me when it comes to direct composting? Personal experiences?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! My garden is going to thank me…the soil is lacking nutrients for sure! 🍅🌽

July Garden

It’s coming along!!!…which is surprising since I planted a bunch of seeds in March with no luck.

I am growing spaghetti squash, corn, chinese radish(Daikon) and potatoes. Much different than my previous years!

Now that my seeds have sprouted and they are growing well, I am unsure what to do with my spaghetti squash plants. Help! I have 4 of them(the photo above is my largest one). Do I need to fertilize the soil? Is there anything I need to do to ensure these babies grow me some squash?

My corn seems to be doing alright…all 8 plants are looking strong.

Yes I need to weed

My potatoes are in bags, and the plant themselves are so big that they’ve begun to fall over. I believe they need to flower? I don’t see any signs of this happening so far. Potato experts…what’s protocol for these creatures?

And lastly my Daikon is doing as well as I had hoped…my expectations were low.

It’s been awhile since I posted a full update on my garden, so this is exciting! I have been looking through everyones garden posts and feeling inspired! You people are amazing. Tell me what’s doing well in your garden 🙂 xox

I am adopted.

I said it. That’s right. I am adopted. The first time I said aloud  was while sitting on a dusty, ratty old couch that sat in a common room of my university dorm building. I was 20 years old. And of course I didn’t tell just anyone about this secret, I told a girl who I did not know well but seemed overly accepting and kind of perky – I think this was a safe choice for me. At the time I realized that I didn’t care what she thought so I went ahead and told her, shortly turning into a pile of tears.  Yes, I lived 20 years on this earth not telling a soul that my birth mother did not want me, she could not afford to pay for me. I am still emotional about this of course, but not ashamed as I once was. This will be the first time I ever write it out, and here I am…publicly announcing it.

You are probably wondering why it took me 20 years to tell anybody. I ask myself this when I am reflecting on how sad but also beautiful adoption can be. Adoption is a tumbleweed of being rejected and being wanted – a constant tumbleweed (I honestly can’t tell you why I chose to use this word…I just imagine my emotions tumbling around LOL).

It’s like no other emotional roller coaster I have been on, because it is never over. I am never “over it”, or “done with” being adopted. Imagine this, “meh, today I don’t wanna be an adopted person…” Nope. It is constant. Always there.

I work with infants and toddlers and their families through my work as an Early Childhood Educator and have yet to meet a family that has adopted their child – this saddens me. I wonder if any of them are adopted or what they think of adoption. Sometimes I question my work with families since I did not have that “perfect family” that is common. THIS IS SO UNFAIR. Adoption comes with stereotypes like whether I know who my “real parents” are, if my adoptive parents love me as much as a “real” parent can, and it is such bullsh*t!!! My wish for our world is that adoption becomes a norm, that people are used to and accept.

You know what I also want to change? When I google “adoption” and “I am adopted”, the only resources I find are for adoptive parents. No, I want to hear more stories about being adopted. I feel as if we do not write about this enough. Clearly ( I mean it took me 24 years) it is hard to talk about and brings up endless emotions, burbling sobs and a confusion in your heart, BUT THIS MATTERS. I do not know a single soul who is adopted, I mean I might but I have never been told by anyone that they are adopted. This hurts. I can’t be the only person on WordPress that is adopted. I want to connect…I want to know if you are as messed up emotionally (about adoption etc) as me LOL.

Thanks for listening to my very personal, very emotionally driven post. Next time I’ll go back to writing about books or my luscious garden, I promise.