Group of Seven: Canoeing Through Algonquin Park

James WerbCamping, Canoeing8 Comments

Group of Seven Canoeing

The water sparkled and danced in the shimmering light of the sun as I dipped my wooden paddle into its depths for the first time. A long-awaited dream of paddling in Canada, Algonquin Park no less was finally being realised as we pushed away from the wooden jetty to start our journey.

Meeting everyone the previous morning, some for the first time was less picturesque as we shook hands amongst a pile of duffel bags and rucksacks on a busy Toronto sidewalk (pavement to us Brits).

There were seven of us in total – me, Stuart, Alan, Rich, Paul, Dave (and Matt who we’d meet up with later on). We would be spending the next 16 days with each other on a canoe trip with little to no contact with the outside world. I hoped we’d all get along.

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Preparing for the Pennine Way: A Wild Camp on Dartmoor

James WerbCamping, Hiking1 Comment

Dartmoor Wild Camp

It’s funny how little time I spent on Dartmoor growing up living only half an hour or so away from it’s wild borders. We’d take the occasional trip up there, usually the popular walk up Haytor from the neighbouring car park, but I had little sense of what lay beyond.

Walking didn’t really appeal, even when the opportunity to train and take part in the Ten Tors Challenge at school came along. Many of my friends took part (though never completed the challenge due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease) but I never felt the sense that I was missing out on anything.

Only more recently have I spent any considerable time exploring the rugged landscape fuelled by a desire to catch up on lost time. Preparing to walk the Pennine Way this summer has provided the perfect excuse to spend more time criss-crossing the wild playground in my backyard.

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Camp Hygiene: Tips for Keeping Clean Outdoors

James WerbCamping1 Comment

Camp Hygiene

Camp hygiene is an important consideration when spending any length of time outdoors. While not washing for a few days won’t kill you, a general lack of hygiene will increase your risk of getting a stomach bug, making your time outdoors far less pleasurable.

Camping and travelling outdoors is not an excuse to forego all personal hygiene. It’s equally if not more important to maintain high standards of hygiene when travelling in a group as bugs can be easily transferred from one person to the next.

There are some practices you can follow to keep clean and hygienic whether you are out for a few of days, weeks or even months.

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How To Go On Your First Wild Camping Adventure

James WerbCamping1 Comment

Wild Camping

There’s no doubt, camping and being outside is great. But why would you want to give up the luxuries of staying at a camp site? At the bare minimum you usually access to clean running water, toilets and a shower.

That’s all very well and good but you’re not exactly out in the wilds are you?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy car camping and sometimes it’s easier to stay at a camp site for a quick getaway. What I don’t like is being woken up by screaming kids at 4am and having a beautiful view spoiled by a 16 man palace with awnings, radio antenna and a carport that makes the Taj Mahal look small.

For me, part of being outside is getting away from others and being more closely connected with the natural environment. You just can’t do that when you’re at a camp site.

So, what’s the answer?

A little thing called wild camping. Getting off the beaten track and heading away from civilisation. The clue is in the name. It’s ‘wild’ camping. There’s no shower blocks or washing up stations. Just you and nature.

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