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.

IMG_20180701_174152_093
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 πŸ™‚

Backpacking MUST haves

I just completed another overnight backpacking trip here in Western Canada and once again I’ve revamped my ‘must have’ list for what I carry up the mountain. I’m not going to tell you the specific place that we hiked to as it’s sad seeing SO many people out in the back country who do not take care of the land, habitats, etc. With that being said if you are curious about doing this hike, get in touch with me and I’m happy to tell you all about where it is.

20170729_180245_HDR

There are so many resources about backpacking, hiking and what you need to have in your pack. My most important piece of advice is think about what YOU personally need to survive and be comfortable. For example my partner requires a flask of whiskey, whereas I really need a bar of chocolate once I make it to the top. Everyone is different and you really need to consider what makes you happy and comfortable. Besides the obvious, a tent, a way to cook food, food itself, I have compiled a list of what I pack when I go on overnight camping and hiking trips. Enjoy!

DSC_1197.JPG
After 15km, almost to camp!
  1. Baby wipes/toilet paper – just do it. Please. I use these magic guys for just about everything. Oh darn, I was eating and food fell down my chest. Oh man, these dehydrated meals made me need to poo, well good thing I have something to wipe with! There are no toilets in the back-country, so let’s just say you will thank me later.
  2. A chair/pad to rest your bum – I don’t need a chair, but it’s nice to have a pad of sorts to sit on especially when camp is rocky or snowy!
  3. Warm clothes! Regardless of the time of year you hike in, it gets cold in the back-country. Think about this- it was 33 degrees C when we left for the hike. By the time we got to camp it was 14 degrees and windy. For every 100m you climb, you lose 1 degree of temperature.
  4. A camera -For me this is something I want as taking photos as I hike motivates me to get to the top. There’s nothing like keeping your head down, walking, climbing and finally getting to the top only to realize you have NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT besides sore muscles. This may be OK for others but I love taking photos so this one is important for me. It can even be the camera on your phone – but I think it’s worth the weight to hike a good camera to the top. I use my Nikon D3000.
    20170729_203420
    Sun is going down

5. A book – easy peasy, no brainer! I love to read, therefore there is nothing more lovely than reading when I arrive at camp. I usually pre download an e-book onto my phone rather than lug a full book up to the top. But again, it’s all up to personal preference.

6. A pillow – let me be clear, when you roll your sweater up into a ball it’s just not the same. I own this guy

7. SHOES! Seems like a strange idea, right? I did not bring an extra pair of shoes on my first overnight trip and regretted it. Imagine you have to go pee, but you are stuck on your tent pad, the rest of the world covered in snow and you have to put your boots back on. No. After 11+ hours of hiking, you want those boots OFF your feet and into some slippers, running shoes, sandals, you name it! Anything but boots.

dsc_0013.jpg

These 7 things get me by when I’m sore, tired and cranky at the top of a mountain. Let me say it again, these 7 things will likely be different for you, but perhaps it’ll get you started on thinking about personal comforts πŸ™‚ Now I want to hear from YOU! What do you take up the mountain? Have you ever done an overnight backpacking trip? Should I answer more questions regarding my trips? I cannot wait to hear from you all! Xox

Kaoham TrainΒ – Seton Portage

OK this is a bit different than my usual post but I wanted to share an incredible experience with you all. I promise to do my September Garden update soon πŸ˜„πŸ…

This past weekend my partner and I traveled to Lillooet, BC in hopes of taking the Kaoham Shuttle, a 1 hour train ride, to Seton Portage. Voted “Canada’s best hidden rail trip” by BBC, we knew we had to check it out!

The train is primarily for locals that live outside Lillooet who need groceries or nessecities that their tiny villages just don’t have. The train does not take online reservations and there is very little information online about it, or places to stay in Seton Portage. We called ahead of time and talked about where to camp – which I suggest you do as well. The people of Seton Portage were extrodinarily kind and welcoming; explaining history of the area and pointing out interesting views along the ride.

The round trip is $10 (dirt cheap!!!) The views from the train are spectacular. If you’re adventurous enough to camp in the middle of no where, you can walk a short distance to a by-donation campground when you get off the train in Seton. We camped by a creek that connects Anderson Lake to Seton Lake. We collected fire wood and built a fire, ans saw 1 bear, who acknowledged us and walked off.

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. All photos were taken by me, if you wish to use them please ask. If you have any questions at all about the trip, or if you’ve done it or plan to check it out…let me know! πŸ˜€

The water colour – it’s really that blue!

Taken from the train

Backpacking and Books!

OK I have one question for anyone who enjoys hiking or backpacking…why? Why do we carry 40lbs on our backs to the top of a mountain? Then why do we proceed to pitch a tent in 3 feet of snow and eat freeze dried meals that make you constipated for days on end??

Well friends, I thought I’d try to solve the mystery. This past weekend my partner took me on an overnight trip to Elfin Lakes, which is in British Columbia’s mountains (Canada).

Boy was it…snowy. Since it’s almost July I assumed the trails would be snow free and glistening a nice shade of green. Wrong! A 21km trek to this view…OK it was worth it.

image

image

It’s quite difficult, I got a nasty sunburn from the sun reflecting off the snow, my feet bled and I probably consumed half my weight in freeze dried meals but the view was pretty spectacular wouldn’t you say?

image

Best part? Reading my book at the top! πŸ“šπŸ“š I’m currently reading Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter. Have you read this one?

How did you like it? What are you reading? Have you ever hiked? 🌲 I’m planning on reviewing a few books in the coming days so stayed tuned for that!