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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MSR Hubba Hubba NX: First Impressions

James WerbOutdoor Equipment Reviews3 Comments

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Whenever I’m looking to buy any new item of outdoor equipment, it usually involves extensive research. I can spend hours pouring over reviews, and speaking to other outdoor enthusiasts. No one wants to make the wrong decision especially on gear that you’ve not only paid hard earned cash for but also could be trusting your life to on an extended trip in the backcountry.

Back in August I was in that familiar position thinking ‘I need a new tent’. I’ve bought quite a few over the years but I find with experience my requirements getting more specific. When I started it was, “I need a tent”, but now it’s more, “I need a 2 person lightweight tent, that’s freestanding and robust”. In fact that was pretty much the exact criteria I had for my last purchase.

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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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How To Stay Warm and Dry in the Wilderness

James WerbOutdoor Clothing, Wilderness Hazards1 Comment

Man keeping warm and dry

Any fool can be uncomfortable, right?

Staying comfortable whatever the weather throws at you takes preparation. Whether it’s a quick day hike or a month long expedition into the wilderness, it’s essential to stay warm and dry.

The human body need to maintain an average core temperature of 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

Dropping just a couple of degrees below this and you could be heading into serious trouble. At 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), you will be on the verge of hypothermia so understanding what causes heat loss and how to maintain your core temperature is vital.

This isn’t just a risk for polar explorers. In fact there’s plenty of cases where hikers have succumbed to the effects of hypothermia in cold, wet conditions after only a few hours on the trail.

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Canoe Camping Checklist For Wilderness Tripping

James WerbOutdoor EquipmentLeave a Comment

Canoe Camping Checklist

Embarking on your own canoe trip can be fraught with confusion about what to bring. This guide will show you the canoe camping checklist I use for planning what to bring on a wilderness canoe trip.

The luxury of travelling by canoe can mean bringing extra items that you’d leave at home if you were carrying everything on your back.

It can be really useful to see what others take to make comparisons with your own kit which is why I’m going to share all the equipment I took when we went on our recent two week trip to Finland.

Going abroad can have its own difficulties, especially if you’re bringing all of your own equipment with you as you have to be mindful of baggage weight limits and restrictions as well.

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