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!

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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.

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    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 🙂 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 Train 

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 😄🍅

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! 😀

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.

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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?

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Best part? Reading my book at the top! 📚📚 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!

Traveling the coast with a new guy

I know many people who have done the Oregon Coast, or who see photos are immediately wanting to travel. My boyfriend and I recently did a 5 day road trip. We tented for 4 days, and stayed at a beautiful resort 1 night which was a real treat as you can imagine. Here I’m going to tell you where we camped, what we did and recommend places to check out. Warning: we aren’t really the type of people to lay on the beach, follow the crowds or go shopping so if that’s what you’re expecting…no.

The border of course! Since we were camping we thought it would be a clever idea to pack all our food in coolers so we didn’t need to make too many stops on the way down the coast. Let’s just say this: don’t bring unmarked eggs across the border. And if you ever do get pulled into secondary where they rip apart your nicely packed car…TELL THEM about the banana you have in your purse. They will find it. And they will take it away if it’s stickerless. Oh! And if you fail to tell them about that single banana, it can turn into a $300 fine. Ouch. Just buy your food in the states, it’s so much cheaper anyway!

Once we were successfully across te border we hit the I5, the fastest freeway, through Seattle, Portland and surrounding areas.


We drove and drove. Eventually we cut towards the coast and hit Hwy101, the coastal highway. The first town we got to was Coos Bay, Oregon. Boy, we were hungry. We found this restaraunt/store combination called Shark Bites Cafe where we ordered  burgers and this beautiful milkshake

  If in Coos Bay, I would most defintely reccomend checking this place out. They had great service and yummy food. The relaxed atmosphere was nice and the walls were covered with coffee sacks which in my opinion are real cool.

As we continued down the coast we began to notice these signs…

 Isn’t the little man cute? A serious note but portrayed in an amusing way.
Our first night was spent at Harris Beach State Park, near the city of Brookings, OR. We set up out tent, cooked dinner.

 Yes, this ex vegetarian cooked her first steak…amazing I know! This campsite is pretty civilized, much different than our usual bush whacking, washing our dishes in the river, cleaning my ass with a leaf sort of deal. I most certainly was not complaining about the hot showers and other people around.

After dinner we walked down to the beach for our first ‘Oregon sunset’   Pretty breathtaking.

Day 2: we drove 30 minutes into California to the Redwood Forest. Boy was that  stunning. Imagine how old those trees are, how much weather they’ve endured, how many generations they’ve been standing. I couldn’t get photos of the largest ones…so you’ll have to go see for yourself 🙂

 The Redwoods are inland, but this is what the coast looked like every morning until it began to clear up in the afternoon. This photo was taken at Samuel H Boardman park which was one I was very excited to see. Too bad about the fog.


Night 2: Coos Bay, more specially Sunset Bay is where we camped. Clearly it’s a pretty amazing place to see the sunset. The state campground here was filled with children, obxious ones who were jumping on their parents cars. Literally. I had a drink and prayed if I ever have kids, they’ll behave better than that.

 Ahhhh yes much more relaxing than the sounds of demon children.
Day 3: our plan to see the Sea Lion Caves failed since the signs were very misleading. Instead we saw a ranch advertising horse rides on the beach! Wow let me tell you…horse riding hurts your knees and lady parts and it is totally worth it. I can honestly say that was one of the best experiences of my life. Tip: choose a ranch as close to the ocean as you can so you don’t have to cross the highway on horse back. Your horse will get spooked. There are many ranches offering similar trips so take a chance and do it! It was surprisingly cheap($90 for 2 hours).


Night 3: our night of civilization! We spent it in Yachats, OR. Dinner at Ona Seafood restaraunt was spectacular; fresh seafood and great service. We stayed at The Adobe Resort. Our beach front room was more than we expected. Jacuzzi, bed, ocean view. Oh the fun we had…


Day 4: Back up North to Washington State. We stayed at Cougar Campground, advertised as on “the base of Mount St Helens”. As we drove in I kept joking that the volcano must’ve exploded since we sure didn’t see it! Turns out their full of sh*t and it’s actually 50km away. No sights of the volcano, but no lava either! Pretty beautiful camping spot, don’t you think? 
That’s all for now! Thank you for reading, please like and comment if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you and am happy to suggest more places worth your while. Back to nannying I go…