WhaSUP?

With paddle boarding (SUP) increasing popularity every season it’s a difficult market to stand out above the rest!  Yet there is a paddle board company that is starting to do just that!  We’ve all heard of BluWave or SUPLove…those names are big here Ontario.  The problem with those boards (not that it’s a big problem per say) is that they can be hard to transport.  You need a vehicle in order to carry them to and from your campground or have someone else drive you.  This is where whaSUP stands out above the rest.  Their boards are inflatable and portable!  Don’t believe me?  This is their paddle board…

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And this is their paddle board folded up….

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Yup that’s it!  It’s folds into a backpack the size of my Eureka Dry Pack!  Inside that backpack is your SUP board, your paddle, your leash, the pump, and a guage.  For those who travel by Parkbus to the Provincial Parks…this is your answer to how to transport something like this up…this will fit easily under the bus!  Live in downtown Toronto but can’t take your SUP board onto the subway to get down to the lake?  Just throw this on your back and away you go.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t work for the company…but I know an ingenius product when I see it and I want to share it with you!  I’m looking forward to testing one this summer!  In case you’re interested…the price point is about half compared to other companies.  They are only $750 for the model that I showed you…which is a show special right now and it includes the taxes.  Plus you get everything I told you about!  If you are still set on getting a regular hard SUP board they also carry ROGUE paddle boards!

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Next week I’ll be chatting more with Scott and Peter from whaSUP about their product while at the Outdoor Adventure Show!  If you want to find out more about them visit their website: www.whasup.ca, follow them on Twitter: @whasupboards, or check them out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/whasupboards.

~Enjoy your trip!

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The end of a great weekend #blogathon2

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Well Blogathon 2 is officially over.  This weekend I’ve taught you how to start planning a canoe trip.  What you haven’t seen is the things I’ve been doing in the background.

I have worked on many aspects of this blog and the social media to go with it.

Thanks for being my loyal readers and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you!

~Enjoy your Trip!

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Planning A Solo Canoe Trip – Pt 3 #Blogathon2

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One of the most important aspects of planning ANY trip is when you plan on going.  In my case…I’m going June 20-22.  This gives me 3 days of paddling.  Because I’m going on a Friday to a Sunday some of the major canoe routes may be busier than others so I plan on going up the night before so I can leave first thing in the morning.  As I mentioned before we are going to plan our route.  Before you plan any route though..you need to decide your timeline and how much you want to do on your trip.

ROUTE PLANNING 101

Hope this helps you guys with starting to plan your routes!  What scares you the most about planning your first trip?

~Enjoy your trip!

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Trip Planning Part 4

Back in January I did a 3 part series on how to pre-plan for you next trip to Algonquin Park.  Today I’m revisiting that with the next part.

In just under a month I’ll be embarking on a 3 day trip into Algonquin.  I’ve already gone through the Ontario Parks website and booked my site in Kearney Campground.  (I know it says unavailable but that’s because I booked it haha)

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I’ve picked this site based on a few different criteria.

  1. Privacy – The site is surrounded by trees
  2. Water Access – The lake is right there :) which means some really amazing photos and quiet paddles
  3. One of my readers and friend Katie stayed there last summer and I loved it so I wanted to stay there :)

Now that I’ve picked my site and my dates I need to start my planning phase.  Remember that checklist I put on on here last year?  Those have made it to my computer desktop and are being edited away.  Planning ahead like this makes your trip alot easier to deal with.  As well it allows you to enjoy it more as you already have meals planned so all you need to do is prepare them!

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This year I have a bit of a dilemma that I’m facing and something you may face if you are planning on travelling to the park by transportation other than a car.  I’m going up via Parkbus this year and this means I need to plan extra carefully as I need to take up space on the Go Bus and TTC to get there.  Everything I take has to be able to fit in 2 bags…a cooler and my big dry bag.  Luckily for me my kitchen set (cutlery, knives, and cooking utensils) all fit in one travel bathroom bag.

If you are facing the same dilemma as I am then you will have to cut down on the amount of stuff you take.  For instance, you may need to cut down on the camping “luxuries” that you want to take.  Do you really need that camp stove or are you willing to cook on an open campfire?  Do you need to take those down pillows or are you ok with either a small travel pillow or inflatable pillow?  Remember that inventory I told you to take?  This is where it comes in handy.  You will be able to look at all you have and decide what you need to take based on how much room you truly have.

Other than equipment now is the time to plan my menu as well.  As I said, I have to carry a cooler bag with me…which limits how much weight I can carry realistically.  The question posed to me right now is do I want to take fresh/frozen foods with me or dehydrated meals.  I’m leaning towards a mix of both but because I only have 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners to worry about I’m thinking I’ll be ok with all freshly frozen foods like burgers, chicken, and hot dogs.  The menu below is what I made last year and I’m considering doing it again as it was very tasty!

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On the next post I’m going to walk you through my inventory and take pictures for you that way you can see one of the many ways that you can organize your equipment.

~Enjoy your trip!

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It’s Sportsmen Show Time!

This Thursday marks the start of the Toronto Sportsmen Show.  This show has typically been held on the March Break however this year it is being held from February 7-10.  Will this hurt the show?  Possibly.  It may hinder the families that have made it a March Break tradition from going…not because they don’t want to go but because they may not have been aware that the dates have changed.  I myself usually can’t wait until this show…however in the last few years while at the Metro Toronto Convention Center I’ve not gone because the convention center was small and a little frustrating to get around considering the show took over both buildings.

This year the show is back at the Direct Energy Center at Exhibition Place.  From a visitor point of view…that pleases me because I’m able to see everything without having to navigate between different floors/buildings.  A few of the things I’m hoping to see are:

  • A great group of outfitters
  • New camping technologies
  • New opportunities for camping destinations
  • And maybe some old friends.

Even though the show is starting to become more geared to hunting and fishing there will be 175 vendors/exhibitors within the Outdoor and Travel expo area.  I will follow up this weekend with a review and photos for sure.  I’m hoping to get a few interviews regarding gear and destinations.

~Enjoy your Trip!

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Getting the Paddling Itch!

I’m kind of done with winter already and I’m dying to get on the lakes.  With it being the end of January, it means I can start planning and reserving for the spring.  This year I’m planning on doing a few camping trips and possibly at least one if not 2 canoe trips.  Not to mention the day trips I wish to go on :).  IMG_0647

My first trip is looking to be on the Mother’s Day weekend.  Typically I just go for Mother’s Day however this year I think I want to spend the weekend.  Chances are it will be chilly at night but that’s what my good sleeping bag is for :).

That being said…I’m going to do a series of posts (both video and not video) on how to plan for your next trip to Algonquin.  I’m going to focus on all aspects of staying in the park from car camping to backpacking and canoe tripping to staying in a lodge.  There will also be 2 features from the Outdoor Adventure Show and Sportsman Show.

I’m looking forward to helping you plan your next trip!

~Enjoy Your Trip!

Don’t feel like camping?

Are you looking to get away without having to worry about purchasing or packing all the gear?  Do you want to spend time in Algonquin without leaving the comforts of home?  Luckily Algonquin has options for you.  There are 3 lodges within the Hwy 60 Corridor and many others located just outside of the park boundaries.

Arowhan Pines

Arowhan Pines is a small 50 room resort located on Little Joe Lake.  With its rustic charm, great food, and great recreational activities, Arowhan Pines is a place to stay if you wish to get away from the hussel and bussel of the main corridor.  The 8km drive from Hwy 60 down Arowhan Pines Road will help you get into the relaxed state of mind needed to enjoy the remoteness of the lodge.  With an all inclusive rate this rustic resort is sure to please.

Bartlett Lodge

Built in 1917 on quiet Cache Lake, Bartlett lodge offers their visitors a home away from home.  Your visit begins with a boat ride across Cache Lake to the lakefront cottages which only houses 46 guests.  From there you are whisked away to a world filled with tranquility and nature.  Each of their cottages come with a coffee maker, fridge, and their own canoe.  Cache Lake offers great fishing and park history.

Killarney Lodge

Located on Lake of Two Rivers, Killarney Lodge is located right off of Hwy 60.  Killarney Lodge has been operating for over 70 years and still offer private cottages to their visitors.  Each cabin offers serene views, private canoes, and country dining.  With the call of the loon and access to the Madawaska River, Killarney Lodge is a great family getaway.

Outside the Park there are a large variety of resorts and cottage rentals:

Oxtongue Lake:

Whitney:

I hope this helps you enjoy the park even more!

~Enjoy your Trip

Trip Report – June 15-17 2012

So this trip I went to Pog Lake.  Originally it was going to be me and my dad but it ended up changing to just me.  I had a great time.  I spent my time either with my nose in a good book or my paddle was in the water with my grey Sawyer Solo Canoe purchased back in 1990.  That canoe is probably one of the best I’ve paddled.  It’s so fast in the water!

I ended up camping on site 459, which is where we used to stay when I was young.  I love that site.  You have access to the river, wide open space, and grass.  The down side is that it is wide open to your neighbours too.  Next time I go I’m booking site 455 which has a firepit that over looks the river so at night you can watch the canoer’s pass by.  I had a couple of friends visit me while I was at the site…one was a black bird – 

The other was a chipmunk…

Being right on the river I was out in my canoe a lot!  On Friday evening I paddled the river into Pog Lake.  There is a loon nesting and a beaver busily building his lodge.  The water was so calm and quiet.  It was a paddlers dream!  

 On the way back from Pog Lake the Loon started dancing around my canoe.  It was amazing.  I even had some of the other campers on shore watching it.

On Saturday I did a day trip down to Rock Lake via the Madawaska River through Whitefish Lake.  Again another nice paddle.  I’m looking into the possibility of being able to do a solo overnight along that river.  I love it…but I have to really research the camping possibilities.  I also went out looking for moose that evening.  I had one stop infront of me on the road but as soon as a I got the camera out it was gone…granted there was a huge truck behind me.

Sunday was spent packing up to go home but I did manage to get one last canoe ride in before leaving.  Again I went to Pog but this time I continued along the river to Lake of Two Rivers.  Another great paddle.  I didn’t have time to go across Two Rivers but next time I will.  I immensely enjoyed my trip and I needed it so badly.  Now to find a full time job up north…hmmm!

~Enjoy your trip!

Ways to make your trip that much better

Going camping is great fun for the whole family.  If its your first trip it can be a little daunting.  Here are some general things to remember when staying within any organized campground.

  1. Staying on a hydro site may be more convenient for your hairdryer and tv but do remember they cost more.  You’re here to enjoy the great outdoors and most trailer batteries will last a long time if you use them sparingly.
  2. Be courteous of your fellow campers.  We don’t all want to hear you new speakers or loud parties especially at night.  Remember that there are families around you and people who are there to enjoy the peace and quiet.
  3. Driving everywhere in the campground is not necessary and will cause problems with the eco system in the future.  Besides walking after dinner and around the campground is a great way to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  4. Take advantage of the activities available.  Most provincial parks have an evening interpretive program and a lot of them have museums and hiking trails.  Utilize them, you’ll learn a lot about the park’s history that way.
  5. Make sure that your food is properly stored.  Countless times there have been bears spotted within campgrounds because people have left food scraps out or didn’t lock their fridge up at night.  (Believe it or not, last year someone at Canisbay lake tent camped on a hydro site and brought with them on a trailer a FULL SIZE FRIDGE AND FREEZER.  They left said fridge/freezer unlocked.  Needless to say…that night we had bears in our area)
  6. Prepare for rainy days.  If you are camping with the kids bring along lots of rainy day activities like crafts or books.  It makes the time go faster and they are occupied rather than saying “I’m bored”
  7. Take advantage of canoe rentals if you don’t have your own canoe or you want to try it for the first time.  At Algonquin Park you can rent canoe’s on your way into the park from Algonquin Outfitters in Huntsville or at their Oxtongue Lake location. You can also go to their Opeongo Lake location or have a canoe delivered to your campground from the Portage Store.  Prices vary so check out your campground bulletin boards.
  8. Lastly, take time to relax and unwind.  This is your vacation so treat it as such and return to work fully refreshed afterwards.

~Enjoy your trip!

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