Whether it is your first backpacking trip ever or your first of the season, it can be hard to remember everything you need to bring with you. It can also be easy to get into a rut and bring the same things every time, regardless of if you actually use them. We’ve outlined how we think about packing for a trip, and provided a handy packing list.
With cancelled international vacation plans, many of us are looking at a very empty summer calendar. If you want to try backcountry camping but don't have a reservation, this might be the year to try some random camping. In Alberta random camping is permitted in both Public land Use Zones (PLUZ) and Wildland Provincial Parks (WPP) subject to certain restrictions and guidelines. Many of these areas are very easy to access and are on common maps, such as the Gemtrek series.
There are lots of factors that go into choosing a summer backpacking tent. Some factors are very easy to compare objectively, while others are a lot more subjective. There are three main considerations when choosing lightweight gear: weight, price and durability. In the store, we like to joke that you only get to pick two of the three. In reality, there are several more considerations that go into purchasing a tent. Hopefully, this blog post gives you an idea of the key areas we look at when we are choosing tents.
As we come into the season of New Year’s resolutions and loppet training, increased activity can often lead to new aches and pains. By making an effort to take care of ourselves and prevent injuries, we can perform better, and enjoy the sport more for many years to come. There are lots of ways to prevent feeling tired and sore after a big workout, and to help prevent injuries when taking up a new sport, or increasing the intensity of that sport.
The secret to staying warm while active in cold weather is simple. If you can keep your skin dry, your blood moving, and the elements out; a day out in the cold can be a fun adventure instead of a miserable cold slog. Following from the rule above, there are three main components to a layering system – a layer to keep you dry (base layer), a layer to keep you warm (mid layers), and a layer to protect you from the elements (outer layer).
Cross Country Skiing is a fantastic sport that provides many excellent benefits like being outside and getting exercise. If you are interested in introducing the kids in your family to cross-country skiing but don’t know where to start, we’re hoping this short guide will help. There are several options from signing them up for a formal ptrogam to casual family outings where you all learn together.
We often head out into the back country to relax and recharge, whether it’s that week long trip or a day hike around Canmore, so it shouldn’t be a suffer fest (unless that’s what you’re after). Having the basics is what makes us comfortable and safe – but having a few specific ‘luxury’ items can change a long walk into a memory.
Here are a few of our suggestions to make your next adventure a bit more comfortable:
1. Everything’s better with coffee
As many of you know, some of us here have something of a soft spot for the latest technologies, such as ultralight and durable fabrics, flexible and extremely robust poles & frames, and better technical designs. These have led to significant improvements in the availability of lightweight products - but we’re also quick to mention that lightweight isn’t not the only choice available – or even the right choice sometimes.
Backpacking packs are an excellent example of this, and tend to confuse people more than other gear choices.
A rain jacket is a must-have in the Rockies (or anywhere, really) and a good one is often a reasonably substantial purchase - so who doesn’t want to get a little more life out of their tried and true rain gear? Often, when people think that the waterproof/breathable membrane (like Gore Tex) in their rain gear is ‘worn out’, it actually isn’t. It may just be in need of a quick clean and refresh to get back to it’s former glory.
Alas, it’s approaching that very sad time of year again when we pack away our skiing gear – but what to do with that ski gear to be sure that it’ll be well looked after and ready to go next season? How you treat your cross-country (XC) and back-country (BC) skis when the season ends will make all the difference to how well they’ll treat you at the start of next year as well as the years to come.
What they need is an application of storage wax.