4 Best hiking trails in Vancouver

There are quite a few reasons you should visit Vancouver, a city that is often considered to be one of the world’s best places to live. As the best-known city in the province of British Columbia, Vancouver has a very interesting official motto: “By Sea, Land, and Air We Prosper,” and it happens to be very descriptive of the quality of life you can find here.

Hiking Note by TracksAndTrails : Hikers, after you are inspired by this article and want to explore the beauty of Vancouver, BC, review the 10 hiking essentials

The downtown area of Vancouver is clean, sleek, and ultra-modern, but it happens to be surrounded by pristine natural scenery that simply begs to be explored. If you are curious about hiking opportunities in Vancouver, the first thing you should know is that there are dozens of trails near the city and hundreds more just outside of the urban centers. Vancouver hiking is one of the many outdoor activities regularly enjoyed by locals, and it can be a great experience for visitors.

Vancouver hiking trails range from leisure strolls around lakes to challenging mountain paths that require patience, stamina, and trekking experience. The following recommendations for Vancouver hiking take into account visitors, which means that you will find them very scenic, accessible, and reasonably easy to accomplish. With all this in mind, here are the four of the best Vancouver hiking trails you may want to complete during your visit.

The Dog Mountain Trail

As part of the Seymour Provincial Park of British Columbia, Dog Mountain has the distinction of being one of the easiest trails for hikers who wish to get a nice view of downtown Vancouver from a vantage point. If you want to share a captivating Instagram post about your Vancouver hiking trip, the Dog Mountain summit will not let you down because it is easy to take a selfie with the city in the background. 

Thanks to the hard work of the B.C. Parks staff, this trail is always in good condition, but the best time to hike it is definitely in late spring or early summer. It should take you about two hours to summit, and you will be rewarded with great views not only of Vancouver but also Fraser Valley. The trail begins and ends at the parking lot of the Seymour Mountain ski resort, which is about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver.

The Lynn Lake Trail

Located in North Vancouver, this all-day hike is more challenging than scenic; it is not for beginners, and even experienced hikers will want to visit the BC Parks website to read the information and warnings about this trail.

You will not want to try hiking Lynn Lake in the winter unless you are pretty good at snowshoe trekking and camping in the snow. At the same time, you will not want to attempt this hike in the midst of the snow melting period; instead, you should wait until the dry days of summer so that there will be less chances of slipping on wet rocks. 

The most appealing aspect of Lynn Lake is being able to log it into your trail book because by the time you reach the highest point of 800 meters, you would have already gained 600 meters of net elevation from the starting point.

The Quarry Rock Trail

This is one of the most popular Vancouver hiking trails among local residents, and the popularity is in large part owed to a local restaurant named Honey’s Doughnuts, which makes fresh pastries you can keep in your backpack for enjoyment on the trail. 

Quarry Rock is a section of a larger trail located in the northwestern part of Vancouver; the trail starts at the upscale Deep Cove neighborhood, where you can see spectacular waterfront real estate before you cross pine forests, rocky formations, bridges, and meadows.

You will experience a net gain elevation of about 100 meters at the highest point of the trail, but you will hike less than four kilometers from start to finish.

Sendero Diez Vistas

In English, the name of this trail means “Path of 10 Views,” and that is exactly what you will get out of this 13-kilometer journey that starts at the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area and returns to the same spot. Although the trail is not very rugged, you should expect an elevation of 430 meters as you approach the summit. Beginner hikers should anticipate a full day on the trail, which is very well-kept and features many rest stops.

Whether you go clockwise or counter, you will find some challenges along the way; even seasoned trekkers cannot complete the Sendero Diez Vistas in less than three hours unless they are long-distance trail runners or cross-country athletes. 

Most hikers start off clockwise because the first of the viewpoints, Punta Aprecio, will appear can be reached within 3.5 kilometers, and it happens to be the steepest climb of the journey. The remaining nine viewpoints, which are also rest stops, will let you see lakes, mountains, and forests.

Author: Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.

Camper Van Rentals Canada

Camper Van Rentals and Touring Canada

Camper Van rentals in Canada give tourists the best way to enjoy a self guided tour of what Canada has to offer. Canada is a country with borders on three of the world’s five oceans. This means that if you are used to traveling in Europe, Canada will require a completely different strategy to complete your tour. This article provides a few strategies that will allow you to have an epic Camper Van tour in Canada and has image and video that will leave you with a thirst for more!

The following Canada Tour options have a variety of time required for each. The least amount of time is at the #8 Camperv Van Tour option and the most amount of time required to complete the Canadian adventure is #1.

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #1

Cross Canada and visit as many provinces as possible!

When planning an across Canada adventure itinerary, you will have vast distances to travel in your campervan to get from one side to another. Beginning by camper van in Vancouver, A couple of German adventures set out to tour in Canada with a camper van from Vernon BC. it requires at least 60 hours of solid non-stop driving to cross Canada and dip your toes in the Atlantic. At the point you reach the Atlantic in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, you will still not be completely across Canada as you will require a ferry ride to reach Newfoundland! 

When you drive across Canada in your camper van rental, you will only get to BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, in that order, with a side trip to Prince Edward Island. You will need to cross the Confederation Bridge to reach PEI or take a ferry. So, that means you have only crossed 8 or 9 provinces and still need to get to NFLD to make it to ten provinces in your camper van. 

The Territories! Many folks forget about the three territories when considering an across Canada adventure. The territories are much closer to the North Pole than the provinces. Since most of Canada’s population lives along the border separating Canada and the United States of America, you will have to drive about 24 hours just to get to the beginning of the territories. Now, if you want to see igloo’s or get to the North Pole, that is a whole other matter. 

I don’t mean to discourage your sense of adventure in wanting to see the north pole or get up close and personal to Polar bears, wolves and other legendary Canadian features, but think hard when making the turn north instead of east or west!

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #2

Tour Maritime Provinces

If you have heard of the Canadian Maritime provinces you are most likely visualizing quaint fishing villages, fishing boats tied to the dock and fresh catches of lobster. I am here to tell you that your speculation is true. When you tour the Maritime provinces with your camper van for hire and visit New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island,  leave the four lane highways and venture anywhere along the coast line, you will find the iconic and picturesque quaint fishing village and feel the authentic cultural vibes of small close knit communities.

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #3

Tour Quebec

Explorers of old, country men and women who built a significant part of the foundation of Canada, amazing churches, forts of old and a whole new language! From the amazing modern Montreal to historic, Quebec City, traveling in a camper van through this province guarantees a whole new experience. Try to practice up on your French language skills though, the first language here is not English!

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #4

Tour Ontario and Ottawa!

The capital of Canada is Ottawa. This is a beautiful city and hey, you might even meet Justin Trudeau! If you are not into the elite upper echelons of Canadian who’s who, fear not, get your camper van pointed toward the Great Lakes and go find the thousand islands or head north to endless fishing opportunities and endless recreation sites to camp for free. Once away from the millions of Torontonians and in the Ontario wilderness, you are also welcome to camp on ‘Crown Land’. Canada is part of the world wide group of countries called “The Commonwealth” countries that were formerly ruled by Great Britain. The Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth, is Canada’s Queen as well. I digress, all that said to say that is why we call our non-private land Crown Land. So, if you are on crown land, of which most of Canada consists of, you can camp for free! There are maps and other sources such as TracksAndTrails.ca that will help you find out where you can camp on Crown Land.

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #5

Tour the prairies

Camper van RV rented from Vantastic Rentals and shown here in the prairies.
RV Rental image provided with permission by www.vantasticrentals.com

The prairie provinces consist of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This group of provinces provides not only Canada but many people worldwide with grains to bake their bread, hence, it is also called Canada’s breadbasket. When In the prairies, you will enjoy vast horizons with beautiful sunrise and sunsets! Aside from that, there are other great tourist attractions. The world’s largest mosquito in Komarno, Manitoba for example!

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #6

Tour the Rockies

Rent a Camper Van in Calgary, pick it up in the Calgary International Airport YYC www.yyc.com and travel to one of the world renowned national parks Banff, Jasper or Lake Louise or all three! Spend a week or three and you will still not get enough of this wonder filled area regardless of what season you visit. 

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #7

Experience Beautiful BC!

Campsite with free camping and is perfect for parking overnight with a campervan RV rental.
In British Columbia there are over 1000 Recreation Sites. Many of which offer free camping. RV camping image provided with permission by www.vantasticrentals.com

Whether you depart from Germany and fly to the Okanagan Valley, home to the Kelowna International Airport ylw.kelowna.ca, or begin in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Vancouver BC, yvr.ca, this will be the beginning of an epic adventure by camper van that you will never forget. Once past the hustle and bustle of Vancouver and the ‘lower mainland’, you will realize the mountains surrounding you are getting closer and closer. Soon, within two hours of travelling by campervan East or towards the Southern interior of British Columbia, you will find yourself on one of the world’s most dangerous highways – fear not, this is a four lane trip to that is very safe. The reputation of ‘The Most Dangerous’ comes from the unbelievable amount of snow that falls on it in the winter time. If you are here to camp with your camper van, then no worries mate! Now you are at the summit of the Coquihalla Highway, look. Yes, LOOOOOK. All that area you see is Crown Land (except for the occasional private back country resort or cattle ranch, and you can camp for free. Or drop by one of the many campgrounds and pay to be serviced with fire wood and amenities such as toilets, flush or outhouse.  – https://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/www/380.html

Canada Self Guided Camper Van Tour Option #8

Tour Canada and visit the North Pole!

This is a myth. You cannot have a self guided trip to the North Pole in a Camper Van. Please try a helicopter or other aircraft or a dog sled from Alert, Nunavut, in very cold temperatures.

Thanks to Jeff from www.VantasticRentals.com for the camper van images.

The Great Divide Trail

The Rocky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world, one of which is the epic Great Divide Trail. Beginning in Waterton Lakes National Park, the trail ends near Kakwa Provincial Park.

The trail follows the crest of the Rocky Mountains which separates Alberta and British Columbia. It is a whopping 1100km walk! The route is not well marked, leaving you to explore the trail as you wish through the vast wilderness and incredible sceneries.

Hiker standing on a ridge from The Great Divide Trail viewing the Rocky Mountain peaks.

Hiking the Great Divide Trail is not for the faint of heart and can be a challenge for even the most experienced hikers. Walking long distances in the wilderness can take a toll and you’ll be wise to remember that many wild and dangerous animals call this their home.

You’ll be passing through five National Parks and eight Provincial Parks, as well as wilderness areas, so you’ll need to be alert for signs of black bears, bobcats, and wolves as well as other dangerous wildlife like Elk and Moose. If you get into trouble along the trail, help is not always close by and you’ll most likely be hiking in complete solitude so keep this in mind when preparing for the hike.

A bull elk sitting in the Canadian Rockies sporting a massive set of antlers.

For the most experienced hikers, these dangers only escalate the experience of walking this trail. So if you’re looking for a truly immersive hiking experience then this is the trail you’re looking for, and it’s one that is on so many hiking enthusiasts bucket lists.

A view of Rocky Mountain Scenery from The Great Divide Trail.

If you’re planning a thru-hike, then give yourself around two months to complete the full route. There are only a few towns along the way so be sure to prepare in advance for food supplies and gear. Remember those black bears when planning your food supplies and when preparing food on the trail. The smell of cooking food can definitely attract unwanted visitors to your campsite. Bringing along some bear spray is highly recommended! 

Navigations skills are key, and having experience hiking long distances through rough terrain will do well to prepare you for the Great Divide Trail. A helpful tool to find your way is The Great Divide Trail App by Atlas Guides. You will also need to book your camping spots or town stays ahead of time.

For some of the best resources on the trail, check out The Great Divide Trail Association’s site. They are dedicated to the protection and maintenance of the trail. They have some key tips from hikers who have completed the trail as well as the best information on planning your trip.  

Classified as one of the most spectacular and challenging hikes in the world, completing the Great Divide Trail is a true accomplishment for avid hikers! Few trails in the world offer this kind of remote hiking experience and this trail will leave you breathless as you discover jaw-dropping sceneries and incredible wildlife along the way. Many hikers have described the journey as ‘life-changing’ and ‘more than you can imagine’. It’s everything you want in a hiking experience and more. 

So, when are you going to take on the challenge?

Yufu-Dake in Oita, Japan

Yufu dake, aka  Bungo-fuji or Hakufu-dake is in the prefecture of Oita, Japan, in the north-eastern part of Kyushu, the southern main island of Japan.  The closest stop on the JR line is in Yufuin.  Take a bus or taxi from there.

The approach give you a good long look at the mountain’s twin peaks.  The false summit is on the right, the true summit on the left (as you approach).  Walk about a km or so across an open area before beginning to climb, gradually at first, through the humid forest.

After about 30 min or so, the trail opens into grassy switchbacks, but resist the urge to cut across.  Once in the crotch of the peaks, you can choose which peak to climb.  We took the true summit, and were ninja-ing our way up on chains which had been bolted to the side of the rock.   This part is not for the faint of heart.

The summit appears quickly once you reach the chains, and the top has incredible views of Yufuin and almost all the way to Beppu.  Our packs were primarily full of beer, and the Japanese people we met at the top, in their northface gear and gas stoves, were shocked that all we brought was a few beers.  By our standards, the climb was not too difficult, and we didn’t need anything that we didn’t bring.

One word of caution… it’s a long walk back into town if you miss the last bus.  trust us, we know.  and 2 sweaty, slightly drunk white guys are extremely unlikely to be picked up as hitchhikers.

There are tons of sweet, day peaks all around Japan.  This one was very close to our house, so we climbed it a few times.  Ask around for local peaks where-ever you might be.

Your Personal Travel Guide - Right Now - on OurExplorer.com 祝愉快!

Jean Liu

Through Twitter I have traveled to  Shanghai, the financial hub of China and met a very business savy travel guide, Jean Liu. Jean states that Shanghai is known for urban tourism. You will find quick urban developments, history of the past and cultural legacy. Passion for sharing the Chinese culture and heritage has led Jean to become one of the founding parners in a dynamic travel business service called OurExplorer.com. OurExplorer.com will allow a website visitor to select a guide in almost any major Asian city and embark on a sightseeing tour for as little as an hour or two or for more time if you have it. This service will be great for anyone traveling to Asia and China and if  someone has a flight layover, they will be able to get outdoors and see some sights that may not have been included in their itinerary!

The 2010 World Expo in Shanghai is almost ready for the world to visit.  Jean Liu welcome’s you to the event! If you have any questions about Shanghai, China, or OurExplorer, your welcome to contact Jean Liu. Jean’s TracksAndTrails.ca interview is below

Happy exploring! Have fun.





How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

By the friend who works as tour leader for hiking. In China.

What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

Seeing the scenery along the way.

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

When hiking in Tiger Leap Gorge, we went down to the Jinsha River and then up to the ladder to heaven. Always along the Jinsha River, but different feeling and views when we were down close to it, or watching it from high above.

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

We usually join outdoor activities with professional leaders, so that no extreme occasions so far.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

Fireflies? Guess they are not that wild. It was a very enjoyable encounter though. We stayed overnight in the village rooms during a hiking in Chiang Mai. There were great trees and a river running by (reminded me of the scenes in “A river runs through it”). Chatting and singing after dinner, and we saw fireflies here and there.

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

2 day hiking in Yubeng village, in the mountains of Yunnan province, southwest of China. Amazing scenery and nice local Tibetan people. Trust and follow your team leader, as they know the place and possibly your strength and limitations.

If you are a website administrator please add your url here.

Your Favourite Hike or Backpacking Trip.

Is your favourite hike a short walk in the city park, a stroll in the regional park or a adventure multi-day backpacking trip?

Share your favourite hike, walk, backpacking thoughts in the comments below.

My favourite local hike is on the Mt. Hayman bluffs.  The Hayman point juts out over the Rose Valley Resevoir and gives you views that take your breath away. Literally!

Yellowjacket Creek Camping

At Yellowjacket Creek you will enjoy 10 Campsites and be able to get there with Road (Motorhome)

Facilities:Tables, Toilets

Site Description:10 unit campsite on edge of Kinbasket Reservoir

Driving Directions:Valemount Area: take Canoe East FSR 19 km south (radio-controlled road)

Woss Lake Free Camping

At Woss Lake you will enjoy 24 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive.

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:

Among the trees you can enjoy a large site with numerous campsites . Sandy beach, swimming and boat access will provide you a great opportunity to explore the rest of the lake .

Driving Directions:

From Port McNeill, travel southeast on Highway 19. Turn right at Woss and turn left at the logging camp office. Go across the bridge and travel another 1.5 km to the Woss Lake turnoff. The campsite is on the right.

Free Camping Map


World's Largest Cave - still being discovered!

One of the reasons I love to hike is because it seems that I always find some unique natural feature that amazes me. Could you imagine finding a cave over 6 Km long and in some places200 m high?

Cavers find an exit in 6.5 km long cave in the Jungles of Vietnam.

This world’s largest cave was first discovered in 1991 when a Vietnamese Jungle man named Ho Khanh. No one had entered it prior because the loud noise from the wind and under ground river freaked everyone out.


In mid April 2009, after hiking for six hours, negotiating a deep chamber and 2 underground rivers, a British – Vietnamese expedition reached the chamber of the amazing hang Son Doong cave.

For more pictures and details of the trip go to this news site.

World Reknown Okanagan Mountain Biking Trails!

Mountain bike trails seem to be everywhere I hike in the Okanagan.  I like to mountian bike but I would never take these crazy jumps and ramps that seem to be built in many hiking areas.  I admire the passion that mountain bikers have for the sport.  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish what has been done in the Okanagan.

I was emailed this mountain biking question recently;

Q) I am interested in visiting Kelowna for the long weekend and doing some mtn biking. I really liked your website and found it very informative. What are the best maps for the area? What are the primo areas? Is it possible to ride around Okanagan Mountain Park in a day?
Any advice you can give me regarding mtn biking in Kelowna would be appreciated.

A) Thanks for visiting Tracks And Trails and emailing your question.  Being that I am not crazy enough to take the extreme single tracks and crazy ramps and jumps that are out there, I have put together a Mountain Biking Resource for the Okanagan that you can view via this link. It includes where to get trail map info as well as fourums to get up to date mtn biking  intel.

My thoughts on Primo areas are;  (Okanagan Park does not have the jumps built)

1) Gillard Forest Service Road.  Dude you just gotta be there.  This place is alive bikes! (motor and non)

2) Powers Creek! Holy Smokes – you aint seen nothing till you been here.  I think I noticed a forum (on PinkBike) that said there was a world class competition here at some point.

3) Glenmore Hills has lots to offer.  Enter the hills at many points from Clifton to the Dog park just past the Kelowna Land Fill on Glenmore Road.

4) Okanagan Mountain Park could probably be seen in a day by ….maybe Phil, or someone else who bikes 400 km just for kicks so they can enjoy the feeling of thier lungs coming alive in agony and pain!

What you want to do here is enjoy the park.  Start with a ride through Wild Horse Canyon, camp at one of the backcountry campsites, continue way up to any one of the several lakes and then loop back to Kelowna by taking the Old CN Trail or exit to the KVR along Mountain Goat Trail (you will have to carry your bike some parts) and ride down to the Kettle Valley Trestles.  Please comment here when you are complete!  I would love to hear about it.

I would have mentioned the Crawford Trail area but I have heard that mountian bikes are not allowed anymore???  Anyone care to comment.

World Class Biking Trails in Kelowna and Black Canyon trail update.

Thanks to a world class mountain biking expert – Johnny Smoke, we now have another update to the Black Canyon Trail in Glenrosa. But even more cool is Johnny’s biking video. As I have hiked around Kelowna, I have come accross many bike ramps, I think Johnny has taken them all by the looks of this video.  Check it out at his website and hire his company to take a mountain biking tour.

(no I wasn’t paid to say that but I do want to encourage him to come back to Tracks And Trails and leave more posts and hopefully more video)

Woods Lake N. Free Camping

At Woods Lake N. Free Camping you will enjoy 16 Campsites and be able to access there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:

Two small sites of open and treed will give you a different experience. There is good fishing opportunity here, as well as good access. The last 3 hours into the lake are rough.

Driving Directions:

Follow Hwy 97 N onto Pinuis FSR, then Will Forest Service Road, then Ingram Forest Service Road onto Ingram/Wood Rd. A link to useful directions and highways in BC http://www.milebymile.com/main/Canada/British_Columbia/Canada_British_Columbia_road_map_travel_guides.html





Wood Fuel Campstove Converts Heat to USB power!

The technology to use wood heat for power has been understood and utilized for decades. Finally an innovative company has harnessed this technology to create a campstove for backpackers and a larger size stove for home use (specially in third world countries) They call it BioLite. Biolite Photo Gallery

The BioLite CampStove was named a finalist in the 2012 Innovation By Design Awards. The awards honor the year’s most inspiring, ingenious and innovative design solutions. Fast Company editors and judges from across all spectrums of business and design selected 56 finalists from more than 1,700 entries submitted by over 1,000 different companies. Winners will be announced at a gala event in New York City on October 16, 2012.

So, the real news is…BioLite Giveaway – Enter Now!

September is National Preparedness Month and we’ve chosen some of our favorite items for a unique Preparedness Pack – a perfect addition to any emergency kit. Enter to win a Osprey Bag full of goods from Mophie, Alite, Life Factory, Goal Zero, and of course, BioLite.  3 lucky winners will be announced on October 11th.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Wonders await in Blue Hawk Mine (abandoned and dangerous)


A low elevation hike, bike or car ride that is fun and interesting as well as easy to get to when all of the hills are still covered in snow is Blue Hawk Mine on Blue Grouse Mountain.

Blue Hawk mine is located on the East slope of Blue Grouse Mountain on the West side of Okanagan Lake. The mine shaft is approximately 90 metres long. It’s now inactive, but at one time 5 metric tonnes of ore was mined yielding 560 grams of silver and 156 grams of gold.

If you want to check out the mine make sure you bring a good flashlight. You may also need some good waterproof shoes or boots. There’s normally quite a bit of water pooled at the entrance. The rest of the mine is relatively dry. The mine contains many undisturbed geological formations.

Here is a link to Blue Hawk details Wikipedia.  Directions are below.

If you geocache, you will find a cache there as well.

Blue Hawk Mine Directions;

From Westside Road take Bear Lake Main Road AKA Lambly Creek Road (Across the road from Traders Cover Park.)
Just past the timber yard, and the 7km marker turn right onto the road leading to the motocross lower pits. There are signs posted.
When you reach the parking lot turn right and go up the hill.
Keep on the same road the rest of the way but there is one turn that goes north to Terrace Mountain, it looks like a main road but don’t take it.

When you see the swamp on your right;

Continue for 0.9km past it and keep straight at the old cabin and continue for 0.5km into the clearcut area.

Keep straight at the intersection (there is now a small trail sign that says Blue Grouse and points at the road going to the top of Blue Grouse I presume.  Continue for 0.2km past the clearcut area

When you see a small road to the right that is quite steep, park and hike for a few meters,

the Blue Hawk mine is on your left going into the hillside.

Track from GPS:
Blue Hawk Mine GPS Track

Wolf Man - a bare foot hiker

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

I grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-lake and spent most of my time outdoors. My grandfather was a World War II vet and believed that young people needed to learn about the outdoors and how to survive.

What has been your favourite hiking trail or outdoor area?

I love the desolation of the mountains. I spent Halloween in the Adirondack Mountains near Mt. Marcy last year and it was spectacular. There is a certain awe that I feel in the presence of mountains that makes you feel very spiritual and close to nature.

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

I spent June and July of 2009 hiking the entire Bruce trail barefoot from Niagara to Tobermory. In Boyne Valley there is a place called Murphy’s Pinnacle. I arrived there late one evening and made the short trip to the summit. Although being only 500m tall, it was so beautiful and moving. I sat there and watched the sun set with my dog.

Have you ever been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

I have learned good directions and have never been lost for more than an hour or so in wilderness. It’s surprising how when you step off trail to camp or relax how quickly the trail disappears into the woods and is difficult to find. Always use landmarks or temporary marking tape to not get lost.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

During my Bruce Trail Hike, I awoke to hear a noise outside my tent. I gently unzipped the tent to find a huge buck staring at me. He breathed out and I saw the mist from his nose. It was a mind blowingly beautiful reminder of the wild place I was visiting.

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. Each year I spend most of my free time in the wilderness. I’ve hiked through Algonquin park, Killarney park, and Frontenac park as well as travelled through the United States and walked barefoot on the Salt Flats of Utah, and the floor of Death Valley. From all those trips I’ve learned how beautiful Canada and the United States really is. I also learned that shoes are not as necessary as people may belive if you are tough enough to handle it. I’ve also learned that if nothing goes wrong, it’s not an adventure

What is your favourite outdoor website?


What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

I always love military surplus stores, gears designed for our troops who are often called professional campers and of course Mountain Equipment Co-Op

If you are a website administrator please add your url here.


Winter Camping Equipment List

Winter Camping Equpment List


  • snow boots plus a backup if needed
  • wool socks X 3
  • polypropyline socks X 2 or extra wool ones
  • long underwear (polyproopylene preferred)
  • fleece or wool pants (no blue jeans)
  • wind / water /snow proof pants
  • underwear as needed
  • light shirt
  • wool or fleece seqtshirt
  • toque (wool or fleece)
  • wool or fleece sweater
  • winter jacket
  • gaiters (recommended)
  • gloves or mitts 2 pair good quality


  • tent with fly (as a backup for the shelter you will build)
  • rope (something you can cut if needed) plus rope or string to be used with various items
  • shovel (aluminum is best)
  • cold rated sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad (a must)
  • liner for sleeping bag if not cold rated bag (fleece or wool blanket)
  • knife, fork and spoon
  • cooking utensils, stove and fuel
  • water
  • flashlight with good batteries
  • candles and lighter
  • bak

Related Blogs