The Happy Camper

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Generally, this time of year my camp gear storage area is littered with numerous full, half-full and possibly empty camp stove fuel canisters. I love how efficient and lightweight these (iso)butane/propane stoves are, but it’s quite annoying to try and...
“I used to think it was a major tragedy if anyone went through life never having owned a canoe. Now I believe it’s only a minor tragedy.” Bill Mason, Path of the Paddle (1984) There are countless canoe manufacturers out there,
I couldn’t refuse Ann Wipper’s plea to auction off my guiding services for a three-day canoe trip in Algonquin Park. She’s married to the founder of the Canadian Canoe Museum, and the money would be put towards the educational programs...
I’ve spent over a dozen nights so far dozing on my new Cosmo 3D Sleeping Pad, and I’m loving it! Nemo’s older version of the Cosmo was durable and versatile. However, the new 3D model is a huge upgrade. The “3D”...
Lake Superior Provincial Park turns 75 years old this year. It was as good of an excuse as any to camp out there for the week and take in the park’s beauty. It’s one of my favourite places to hike...
“Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” This is probably one of the most common, accurate and oldest adages. It was Aristotle’s pupil, Theophrastus of Eresus, who coined the actual phrase. But the first...
A few paddlers labelled me negatively on social media when I embarked on my 120-kilometre canoe trip across central Ontario. I get it. It was a soft journey compared to some of my past trips in the far north. There...
This season the mosquitoes are the worst I’ve ever experienced—and I’ve experienced a lot of mosquitoes! Yes, you can eat lots of citrus fruit and garlic, and avoid bananas (potassium is supposed to be an attractant). Taking vitamin B tablets...
“Oh, the places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss I’m heading on yet another “semi-wilderness” canoe journey. I’ll be paddling in Ontario’s Lake Country, passing elaborate cottages and fancy yachts. Why? What happened to the paddler who wrote so much about the...
A tent is like a doghouse: it should only be used for sleeping. If you try to weather out a storm, curled up inside the flimsy nylon shelter, you’ll go bonkers. Your body odour and dirty socks will stink up...
Paddlers have various names for the collection of safety goodies they keep with them at all times, in case they flip in the rapids or capsize crossing a big lake: hip pack, fanny pack, bum bag, butt pack, belt pack...
I’m known for doing goofy things on my local TV morning show, which is exactly why I ordered Exped’s Hyperquilt Duo sleeping bag. I couldn’t wait to get all snuggly inside with the show’s host. It would definitely make for...
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