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Wait…what? We’re hiking 650 km? Our Gear List and the Philosophy of Ultralight Backpacking

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If you’ve always dreamed of doing an extended, multi-day backpacking trip, but the thought of carrying back-breaking, heavy loads over challenging terrain has held you back, then it is time to consider a new way of thinking about backpacking. Philosophy of Ultralight Backpacking Ultralight backpacking is a style of backpacking that adopts the Less Is More philosophy. The idea is that by carrying lighter and multi-purpose equipment, backpackers can cover longer distances per day with less wear and tear on the body. This has two advantages: you can travel further…read more

Wait…what? We’re hiking 650 KM? Food and Menu Planning for a Thru-Hike!

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Have you seen that recent Snickers advertisement campaign – Who Are You When You’re Hungry? The wrappers for the famous chocolate bar in this campaign are printed with words like Dramatic, Sleepy, Impatient, Feisty, Confused, Cranky, Irritable, Whiny. I am quite certain that at least a few of these adjectives could be applied to me when I’m hungry (not saying which ones – you’ll have to ask my partner, Stephen. As for him, there is only one word to describe him when he’s hungry– one word to rule him, one…read more

Wait…what? We’re Hiking 650 KM? – How to Train for a Thru-Hike!

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DEFINITION The definition of a thru-hike is hiking a long-distance trail, end-to-end, within one hiking season. The very idea of a thru-hike from a physical perspective can be a daunting one. Day after day, week after week, month after month, one foot in front of the other. Relentless forward progress. A heavy (to a greater or lesser degree, depending on your gear and how you pack!) backpack, travelling over terrain that can include flat meadows, river crossings, mountains, roads, rocks, roots, and switchbacks, or all of the above in one…read more

Smudging Our Canoe

Posted by in get outside, live

Smudging is an ancient practice of the burning of herbs or incense held sacred by many Indigenous cultures. It is a ritual for cleansing, purifying and protecting the physical and spiritual bodies. The effect of the smoke is to banish negative energies and to purify people, clear ceremonial and ritual space, and ceremonial tools and objects. According to Indigenous traditions, certain plants, called medicines, give up their lives so that we can use their smoke for prayers and cleansing. The aroma produced by these plants help us place ourselves in…read more

Pukaskwa National Park Coastal Trail Adventure

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DAY 1: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS “YOU ARE HERE!” the map at Hattie’s Cove Visitors Centre told us. “Here” being the trail head of the Coastal Trail at Pukaskwa National Park and the end result of 13 hours of driving from Toronto spread over two days, and a year’s worth of plans, training, dreams, and excitement. A trip in the making since we completed the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior Provincial Park last season, our dream was to travel once again to the majestic Lake Superior region and experience the ethereal…read more

On Mother’s Day

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For those that are grieving, the year of “firsts” is a painful time. The first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas, the first birthday; each occasion arriving with memories and moments of a lifetime that give rise to both heart-felt happiness and soul-wrenching sorrow. And now it is Mother’s Day. The first one since I lost my mom to cancer, and I am finding this “first” has been the most difficult to face. My sorrow has been difficult to identify, cleverly disguising itself as irritability and sensitivity, decreased patience, inability to sleep,…read more

Wherever Our Feet Take Us

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THE TRAIL   Although not our usual preference for trails, we picked up the Trans Canada Trail at Kennedy Road north of Inglewood. This trail, part of an old railway track, had no roots, no rocks, no hills, no switchbacks. It was flat as the prairies. But that was okay. Today, we were getting our ‘sea legs’ back under us. With our backpacks fully loaded as if we were doing a three day backcountry trip, our shoulders shuddered in protest as we threw our packs over our backs and set…read more

Lake Superior Coastal Trail Adventure

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THE TIME HAD COME Our first through-hike trip on the LaCloche Silhouette Trail in Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario (July 2013; 78 km, 3 days) left us yearning for more adventure. We wanted to plan a more involved trip, test out more gear, and have the opportunity to enjoy a longer time in the beauty of all that is the backcountry of northern Ontario. Fast forward to May 2014. After two additional 3 day trips on the Uplands Trail at Algonquin Provincial Park, and another 3 day trip in Killarney,…read more

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