The Happy Camper

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Forget the store-bought dehydrated meals for your next trip. They’re costly and not very creative. Dehydrate your own veggies, meat and sauces and pick up one, or all, of these new books that do a great job explaining how it’s...
Six years ago film maker Dianne Whelan set out to hike, bike, snowshoe, ski and canoe along The Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail), the world’s longest recreational trail, connecting the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Recently, on August 1st,
Ticks have increased dramatically throughout Ontario and Quebec this season; and so has the risk of Lyme disease. They were out early as well (thanks to global warming, once again). By the end of March, I started a routine tick...
Ontario’s Upper French River gets some motorboat traffic from its historic cottages and fishing lodges. It’s been a mecca for anglers and camp owners for quite a few decades (the first tourist camps opened here in the early 1900s). But...
For the third—and last—portion of my Southwestern Ontario camping road tour Kristine and I (and the dogs) moved inland, keeping to some lesser-known campgrounds at Conservation Areas. I worked for the Conservation Authorities throughout the 1980s and it was good...
Here’s part 2 of my big camping road trip of Southwestern Ontario! A good majority of campers use Wheatley as a base camp for exploring the neighbouring Point Pelee National Park. I’ve done the same thing in the past. But...
I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, wandering the woodlots and fishing the trout streams with my father. We’d take his second-hand canvas topped pop up trailer and camp along Lake Erie, Lake Huron and inland. The trailer always leaked during...
For me, the best way to deal with the anxiety after another pandemic lockdown is to head back to the familiar. During the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a road tour down in Ontario's Southwest: hiking, canoeing and camping...
There hasn't been one northern Ontario canoe trip where I haven't listened to a full Ian Tamblyn album before heading out from the access point. I’ve sung along with his classic Woodsmoke and Oranges on my way to Lake Superior,
I’m finally heading off canoe tripping and campground camping for the summer season. Yay me! I’ve got over 30 nights organized so far, ranging from provincial parks and conservation areas across southwestern Ontario to remote paddling trips in northern Ontario.
Paul Kirtley is a professional bushcraft instructor in the UK. He’s a good friend who I’ve canoe tripped with in the past. He’s a skilled paddler, experienced wilderness guide, ethical outdoorsman and he’s the only person I know who could...
The early spring and the lack of the usual cold-hot-cold temperatures across most of Canada this time around has created a perfect storm for biting insects—especially the pesky mosquito. Sales of repellents, bug screens and pretty much and other product...
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