• Safety

    Getting Ready

    I keep a “ditch bag” in my daypack every time I go on a trip, even if that trip is a simple day hike. You can never be too prepared for a potential accident! The ditch bag gets packed alongside a small first aid kit with the essentials for trailside first aid. We keep a much more comprehensive first aid kit at our basecamp. Here’s what you will always find in my ditch kit: A waterproof firestarter kit (wooden matches, lighter, tealight candles, fire starter stick, pocket bellows) there is a sticker on the inside of the lid with my name and contact info. A yellow emergency rain poncho An…

  • Outdoor Lifestyle

    When #WeGetOutside, We Read About It

    One of the things we love to do on a camping trip is catch-up on our reading. That’s usually when I go “old school” and take one or two printed books along with me. Sometimes the books are fiction, sometimes they aren’t.  When we aren’t on a trip, Alex and I love to read other people’s tips, and true stories on blogs and social media to learn more about the stuff we like to do outside. Like a lot of things we do and love, this sparked an idea for a couple of different #WeGetOutside Twitter chat topics. As usual, there were lots of great recommendations for books and blogs…

  • Gear Reviews

    Mountain Warehouse Pakka Waterproof Overtrousers

    Anyone who has spent any time outdoors in Ontario this season is going to have at least one “and we got rained-on” story. Earlier this week, Emma and I added another rain story to our list, as we paddled and portaged for over three hours in the rain. The weather wasn’t great for starting off our three-day canoe trip, but they were perfect for trying out rain pants I bought a couple of years ago, but haven’t been able to really put to the test. Here’s my review of the Pakka Waterproof Overtrousers from Mountain Warehouse. (Seriously. Thay are called Overtrousers. It’s a British thing.) Test result #1: Three hours of steady…

  • An all terrain wheelchair at Conservation Halton
    Places and Spaces

    Conservation Halton helps everyone get outside

    Did you know that there are trails at a couple of Conservation Halton parks that are designed to help people in wheelchairs enjoy getting outside and into nature? And did you also know that there are all-terrain wheelchairs available to help people get on those trails? I know! I think it’s pretty awesome, too. The last time we were at Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Alex and I enjoyed walking one of the wide, groomed paths as part of our hike. We followed it from a gorgeous lookout that provides a great view over the Nassagaweya Canyon. I was so excited that this part of the Escarpment trail made it possible for anyone –…

  • Opinions

    Every kid should go to camp

    Last year, I went to camp with Emma and her Grade 6 classmates for a year-end camp trip to Camp Brebeuf in Rockwood, Ontario. We spent almost 3 days and 2 nights outside, except for when we slept and ate our meals.  As a parent volunteer, it was pretty cool to experience (again) how powerful camp can be for kids. It has been a long, long time since I was a camp counsellor (BEST SUMMERS EVER!!!) but being at camp with the kids brought it all back and just reaffirmed what I have known since I led my own campers when I was a teenager…. Every kid should go to camp. I don’t…