30 May 2013

A-Camping We Will Go

Dave and I LOVE camping.  With a feverish love that neither of us can shake.  We love the process...getting the gear together, putting up the tent, cooking over a campfire, counting the satellites among the stars at night and waking up snug in our sleeping bags.  

Have I mentioned we LOVE it?
We love it so much, we have big plans for camping this summer...we haven't had our fill over the past few years and we need to make this happen.

As such, I thought I would share a few of our favourite camping items with you!
And, just a note...all of the opinions are ours!


Trangia Stove

This is the latest addition to our camping family and we are so happy to have it!  This thing is a piece of beauty.  Dave did a ton of research on camping stoves before we bought one - watching videos, reading pros and cons and assuring that we would make the best purchase for our needs.  This thing boils water in about 5-8 mins, gets our meals super-hot and is easy to clean.  We purchased the Trangia 25-2 HA series.  Camp cooking LOVE.

You can find out more about the Trangia system here!



Ah, my ALPS tent.  A sturdy and reliable piece of equipment that I've owned for over 6 years now.  It has serves us well and I got it on discount from REI one year during a blow-out sale.  It's roomy enough for two plus our gear and with two side-entry doors, makes it easy for us to maneuver out of the tent when needed (ahem, when I need to get out in the middle of the night for a little walk).  We definitely need to waterproof it as was demonstrated during our last trip when it got a little damp due to a bit of rain, but other than that, she keeps us warm and is sturdy as can be!

This model is discontinued, I believe, but you can find more ALPS products here.


Sleeping Pads

The MEC Reactor 6.5 is a beast!  I'd never owned a sleeping pad until a few months ago when Dave and I were at the MEC (Canadian REI) shopping for some gear he will need for an alpine climb he is doing this summer.  A sleeping pad was a must for him and I bit the bullet and got the same one.  They are large and take up the majority of space in our ALPS, but it was a warmer and better sleep than I've had in a long time!  In order to carry them, we actually fold them in half lengthwise and then roll them so we have the ability to stuff two into the same sack.  The first time we tried them out was on a seriously tough tent pad and they worked their magic.  Dave was stoked as he has been craving a sleeping pad for a while!

You can check out sleeping pads from the MEC on their site here!


Sleeping Bags

Again, mine was a fantastic deal off the REI site about six years ago.  For the longest time, Dave was carrying/slogging his old military issue one up the trails...it was bulky and heavy and while providing good endurance training, wasn't exactly what he was looking for in a bag.  Enter the MEC Aquilina.  It provided him with roomy warmth all night long.

We also secured a couple of sleeping bag liners.  Makes keeping the bags clean a whole heck of a lot easier!

You can see more sleeping bags from the MEC on their site here!


Camp Chairs

We don't mind sitting on the ground, but sitting closer to the ground just got a whole lot more fun with our Alite Mayfly Chairs.  You can sit with your legs extended, rock back and forth, it's sturdy and stable and makes for comfy stargazing by the fire...with vegan marshmallows.  We don't usually take chairs with us, and when we did, they were the huge stadium fold-out chairs.  These are much simpler in design and take up a quarter of the space!

Check out Alite Designs offerings - along with the Mayfly Chair - here!


That's what I will leave you with today.  In essence, we are learning as we go and view every camping experience as another opportunity to explore and discover.

So, we say...GET OUT THERE!

26 May 2013

Small Updates

It's been almost a full month since I last posted.  

I've been all over the map, working and taking some much-needed away time with Dave - including a trip to Kelowna and the Rockies for our third(!) anniversary.

I even snuck in a girls' weekend in the mountains to do some trail running and hiking.
It's been a fantastic whirlwind.

In other news, Dave and I have been working on growing our own veggies in the Yara Community Garden here in Moose Jaw.  We planted exactly a week ago and are hoping to see some sprouts in the soil soon!   My herb pot at home has baby sprouts coming up all over.  It's the first time we are doing all of this, so we are treating it as one big experiment.

We've also been testing out our skills with the latest member of our family, our Canon EOS 6D.
The pics below are from the trip to Canmore and the Canadian Rockies we took back in April.  

The Three Sisters just outside of Canmore.  They greet us every time we come into town.

A really cool bridge leading to one of our favourite hiking trails.  We hope to backcountry camp out there at some point!  

Hiking down to the river near the bridge.  Just after we left the shore, the water level rose a ridiculous amount...the place we sat to have our picnic was completely covered!

Baby pinecones.

I'd never been to Lake Louise.  We got there and were able to WALK across the length of the lake to meet up with the hiking trail.  It was one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had.  Stepping out onto the ice...things just didn't feel right.  Once I settled in, walking on water ended up being one of the highlights of our trip!

Staring up at some ice falls.  There were two climbers making their way up the falls.  I am standing next to this huge ice ball that had clearly dislodged itself from the falls not to long ago.  Further up the trail we ran into an avalanche slide that took place only a couple of days before we got there.
Our hikes along Grassi Lakes never fail us.  Amazing views with stunning colour.

06 May 2013


Up in the Air

It's been a whirlwind.  It seems as though just as soon as I get the feet on my ground somewhere, I am getting swept up again and into another plane/hotel/place.  I've been too many places in too short of a time to re-count here and, needless to say, not enough of that time has been spent in Canada.

I find myself struggling with balance.

Home is where the heart is and that is the least likely place you can find me these days.  Away from my heart and away from my home.  I find myself daydreaming about the "what's next?' phase of my life.  A surefire reaction to the amount of traveling I am doing and loss of space and place where I feel most comfortable.

There is only so long I can play George Clooney in Up In the Air before I start wondering just how many miles are worth it all.

Trust me, I know there are people that travel waaaaaay more than I do.  Kudos to them if that is what they enjoy, but I'm getting more and more comfortable with the idea that it isn't me, nor is it who I want to be.  I want to be able to invest time in our new community garden space (more on that soon!), run outside instead of on a treadmill and actually get to yoga classes on a regular basis.

I am finding my needs to be more and more simple.

A yoga mat.
A pair of running shoes.
A bike would be nice.
My love by my side.
Good food with friends and family.
And...in reality...and ultimately, a sense of belonging somewhere other than ORD or YYZ.

*Not that the upgrades aren't great...I'm just saying is all...*