Camping with Kids on The Expeditioners Adventure Camp

 

When some people think of camping, they tend to think about freeze-dried foods and discomfort. But I’ve learned over the years that not all camping adventure are made the same. Sure, sometimes you can be on the peak of a mountain with some freeze dried meals and a meagre thin mattress— but when you’re car camping— you have the ability to have some of the luxuries of life.

A few items that have been superb for The Expeditioners Adventure Camp have been :

1. Coleman’s RoadTrip Grill that uses the green propane canisters became our go-to for meal-making for The Expeditioners Adventure Camp. Not only did we cook whole racks of ribs, bacon, burgers, grilled veggies— but we also used it as a stove top for pancakes, eggs, and pasta. In a way, the bbq became like the camp hearth— where kids and councillors would mill around —wondering what goodies would pop out of it next.

2. Coleman’s 10-Person Dark Room Tent defined comfort. Spacious, light-blocking and cavernous— the kids loved sleeping there — especially with the Queen Sized inflatable mattress inside!

3. And of course pairing the kids with great Coleman Sleeping Bags made for deep sleeps, and happy campers.

So you see, with just the right gear— camping can have many of the luxuries of home!

 

 

The Expeditioners Series: Life is Calling | Presented by Discovery & Jeep Canada

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The Expeditioners partner with Discovery and Jeep Canada for Life is Calling

It’s been an incredible summer exploring so many of Canada’s hidden gems. From coast to coast we surf, climbed, hiked, biked, and even kitesurfed. We hope you caught the series at www.discovery.ca/lifeiscalling

We took an awesome Jeep to each adventure- overcoming some incredibly rugged terrain– and now you have the chance to win your very own Jeep Cherokee or Jeep Renegade. Enter now at www.jeep.ca

Hosted by Whistler’s Four Season’s Resort & Spa

The Expeditioners #TheBCProject : Inspiring people to explore beautiful British Columbia!
Photos by Roberto & Bella
Host: The Whistler Four Seasons Resort and Spa

Bella and I were hosted by the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler. I had stayed there a few years back when I found a ridiculously inexpensive room rate, and my stay was divine. So I was extremely excited to be able to share the experience with my wife when the opportunity presented itself. Our stay began with an upgrade to Suite. The personalized service was immaculate… but what I didn’t imagine was that we would get to see the Northern Lights from our balcony!

There’s so much you can do in Whistler: Ski, Snowboard, Mountain Bike, Hike, Run, Swim, Paddle-Board, Camp and Explore to name a few–but I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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Finally, I’ve included a video of us exploring The Brandywine Waterfalls

Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Watch turtles nest. Open endless coconuts with a machete. Swing a lot in a hammock. Eat lots and lots of fresh and cheap fruits.

HOW TO GET THERE: Best way is to fly into Cancun and then either rent a car (for $18US) per day, and drive down to Tulum (about 2 hours) and then into the reserve. Another option is to take a bus to Tulum from Cancun, and then have a taxi drive you to El Ultimo Maya

WHERE WE STAYED: Sian Ka’an Nature reserve is a little known destination in Mexico. It literally merges with Tulum. Long desolate beaches join with those of the Tulum hotel area. There are few places to stay in Sian Ka’an–ranging from campgrounds (with or without facilities) to $500US per night rooms. By happenstance, we discovered “El Ultimo Maya” a campground with facilities (shower and toilet) and with a Labrador style canvas tent with a queen size bed. The showers have saloon like doors and are somewhat open-air. For tall people like myself, you can clearly see everyone around the campground as you shower. Kinda humerous. As we were usually the only people there, it wasn’t an issue, but I could see it being a tad uncomfortable if you go during Semana Santa (Mexican Holiday)… or if you’re a really tall gal.

For Tulum rates, it’s quite affordable: $600 ($45US) pesos per night in their canvas tent, or $500 pesos per night if you stay the week. Bringing your own tent or hammock and it’s only $150 pesos ($11US) per person per night.

There is a little restaurant who’s patron’s are ready to cut you a coconut, make you some ceviche, or bring you your coffee in front of the ocean. Incredible service. “Cho” (Jorge) or Takyo are some of the most attentive and polite people I have ever met.

Now, on to the juicy part…. this place has it’s own piece of pristine beach right in front of it. We spent many of our 9 nights on the sand, swinging in our hammocks watching the stars and looking for the massive turtles coming onto the beach to nest. The beach is kept clean by the campground– but alas, a few hundred meters down the beach you will find refuse that washes up on shore daily (reality of our oceans.) Still, this aside, the place is jaw-dropping and magical. We lolled away our afternoons kiteboarding in surf and enjoying our incredible private beach, watched for mating turtles….and throughout… fresh coconuts in hand.

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TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Long Bay, TCI, Caribbean, Americas

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I have been there in August, December, January, February.

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. Kayaking. Scuba Diving. Kiteboarding.

WHERE WE STAYED: Providenciales is known to be pricey. On the affordable side you have The Carribean Paradise Inn. This 20 suite inn, is minutes from the beach and run by one of the most amicable staffs I have every met. It’s private, secluded. And perfect for scuba divers and Kiteboarders alike. Being nearby to Long Bay Beach is a major plus! On the higher spectrum are the magnificent villas spotted all over the island and offered by Tranquility Vacation Rentals Turks & Caicos. Ideal for the honeymooner or the family, these abodes will leave you breathless. Just take a look at the pictures below!

Caribbean Paradise Inn: http://caribbeanparadiseinn.com/
Tranquility Vacation Rentals: http://www.turkscaicosluxuryvillas.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Scuba Diving with Big Blue Unlimited
2. Kiteboarding with Kite Provo
3. Conch Festival
4. Sea-Kayaking Island Hopping Adventure with Big Blue Unlimited
5. Romantic boat ride to see the glow worms.
6. Wake-Boarding
7. Deep-Sea Fishing with Talbot’s Adventures.
8. Fine -Dining at Baci’s
9. Hobie-Cat Sailing
10. Island Hopping
11. For those so inclined..there’s even a golf course.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly. Lots of major airlines have direct flights here from places like New York and Toronto. If you search well-enough, you can find round-trip tickets for $500 taxes included.

Having tried a vast variety of sports, it’s not often that I come along one that I had never done before. I ski, snowboard, skate, surf, dive, rock-climb, mountain-bike, run, etc etc. I’ve even gone curling. But that’s excusable only because I’m Canadian.

A few years back, my brother told me that I should try kiteboarding. I had heard of some guy that went flying into a building and remembered it had been nasty. So I gave it little thought.

Then last year, while on my one-month honeymoon to Turks & Caicos with Bella, we got a 1hr intro class into the sport by Kite Provo’s Mike. It was gusty as he took out a 12 meter kite on a deserted beach. We thought we would give it a try. After taking us through safety, we waded into the water.

On my first attempt I was up…if only for some 30 meters before lunging into a uncontrolled rag-doll leap of some fort feet, elegantly face-planting into TCI’s emerald water. I stood-up, a tad- wobbly, grinning from ear-to-ear while still clearing my nostrils from their salt washing.

Fast-forward a year, and Bella and I are in Vancouver’s Northshore Board Store getting kites, harnesses, and boards before embarking on an adventure to Turks and Caicos– to learn to kiteboard. We heard that one of the best places to learn in the world, was indeed Long Bay Beach, on Turks and Caicos’s Providenciales.

On-Shore winds. Shallow water. Sandy bottom. Warm water. And a long long beach.

Learning to kite came with an excitement I hadn’t had in a very long time. The excitement of learning a new sport. And Long Bay Beach was the perfect place to learn. I can now jump 40′ in the air, and Bella can do some really rad riding. Stay tuned as we take this sport everywhere in the world.

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Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel guide to the world.

Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario , CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | Destinations | Travel Guide to the World By.
Photos by The Expeditioners Roberto & Bella
Writing by Roberto

WHERE: Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Canada Situated
Located in the heart of the Temagami region and centre of a 2400km interconnected canoeing network, thousands of years old
A spectacular wilderness park that has a beautiful rugged topography, crystal clear lakes and rivers galore.
The Lady Evelyn River is the centerpiece of the park, surrounded by some of the highest points in Ontario, with stands of towering pine and numerous waterfalls
The park forms the headwaters for a number of rivers in the Temagami area and is connected to four waterway parks
The park protects some of Temagami’s famous old growth White and Red pine ecosystems– which are blissful to camp around. This is indeed a canoe-camper’s paradise!

WHEN WE WENT: We were there this past end of July/ Beginning of Aug. We received our gorgeous Bluewater canoe from our amazing sponsor’s (Impex Kayaks,Scott Canoes and Bluewater Canoes) warehouse in New Liskeard, Ontario- and proceeded to head out for some canoe camping on Smoothwater Lake.

WHAT WE DID: We canoe camped for a week, searching little inlets, enjoying beach campsites, and as always, photographing everything! The bugs weren’t too bad at all and the landscape was phenomenal.

WHERE WE STAYED: All canoe campers know that packing up for a multi-day paddling adventure can be a toilsome task. Luckily, We had the Edgewater Motel and campground that sponsored us for over a week in New Liskeard. A delightful place to stay on the shore of Temiskaming Lake, the jovial banter from the owners is warming indeed. Take a stroll along the water to watch perfect orange sunsets. We stayed here both before our canoe camping adventure, as well as after! The shower and bed was delightful after being out in Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park
Learn More about the Edgewater Motel and Campground at http://www.edgewatermotel.ca/

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARK: Experience the rugged terrain marked by clear lakes and rushing rivers. Hike the Ishpatina Ridge or Maple Mountain and marvel at the stunning panoramas of the landscape below. Photograph the plentiful wildlife and explore the many deep lakes and fast flowing streams that are ideal for Lake and Brook trout. Learn about the parks significant geological, biological and cultural features that are unique to one of North America’s premier canoeing destinations.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Canoe Camping – Lady Evelyne RIver, the Makobe River, Smoothwater to Scarecrow Lake
2. Canoe Day Trips
3. Fishing: ngling is primarily for Brook trout and Lake trout in many of the lakes and streams in the park. Sucker Gut Lake contains warm-water species such as Walleye and Small-mouth bass. Ontario provincial fishing regulations apply.
4. Swimming: There are endless opportunities in the backcountry for swimming including both shallow and deeper water entries along rocky headlands.
5. Birding
6. Boating
7. Hiking: Maple Mountain Trail: 3.2km or Ishpatina Ridge Trail: 3.2 km
8. You can also take a quick hike up Devil’s Rock (just a few km’s from Edgwater Motel) and get some amazing views of Temiscaming Lake

OPERATING DATES:
Camping Dates
April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013
Opening and Closing (Day Use)

April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013

GETTING HERE: Easy Drive from Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa

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Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and time-laspe by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Jasper, Alberta, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I experienced the Jasper area twice this year. Our first pass through was the first week of October. The second was again for a week in mid-November.

WHAT WE DID: We went hiking along the trails behind the Jasper town. We bouldered at their municipal wall. We went for a few 2km swim sessions. We sea-kayaked on Maligne Lake. We walked the whole town, several times. We used it as a base for a winter trekking trip. We hiked through knee deep powder. Around stunning Waterfalss and hoarfrost. Until finally, at Berg Lake we experienced a magical night by a glacier..with stunning Northern Lights above. We stayed up all night staring at the sparkling sky. (See the timelapse we took below!)

WHERE WE STAYED: The Whistler’s Inn – Centrally located–just across the street from the train station and in the heart of it all. A lively bar downstairs with plenty of friendly locals. Elk grazing almost every evening in the parc across the street. Super comfortable rooms with ample space. Rooftop jaccuzi. And an uber kind and attentive staff!
Website: www.whistlersinn.com

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Check out Maligne Canyon & Maligne Lake
2. Visit the Athabasca Falls
3. Explore the Columbia Icefield
4. Take the Jasper Tramway to the top of Mount WHistler
5. Mountain Biking what some call the best trails in the world.
6. Ski at Marmot Bason
7. Hike the Bald Hills
8. Of Golf at the Jasper Golf Course…if you;re so inclined:)

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Drive from Calgary: 5 hours (some of the most stunningly beautiful driving you have ever seen..trust me–we’ve dona lot of driving all over the world, and this drive is the most stunning .. ever! | Drive from Edmonton: 3 Hours and 45min

Jasper National Park is situated 370 kilometers (192 mi) west of Edmonton, 404 kilometers (256 mi) northwest of Calgary and 805 km (500 mi) northeast of Vancouver.

If you don’t have a car, you can take the Jasper Shuttle bus from Edmonton, Banff, Calgary and Lake Louise. Check out: www.jasperadventurecentre.com/shuttle-bus.html

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Diving Africa Part 3/10

DIVING AFRICA
Post 3/10

The streets of Dakar, Senegal were hustling and bustling when we arrived. Vendors hawked their wares. Cars honked without purpose, and people filled every empty space. Not exactly the backdrop I imagined for scuba-diving, but hey..you never know.

The dive shop–named Oceanium was easy enough to find, and was located around an open bar/cafe area, overlooking the Atlantic. We got introduced to our dive-master Mamadou- a tall fellow with a ready smile- who marveled at the quantity of gear that we pulled out of our Jetpacks.

Conversation flowed and we got to spend some time explaining our kit to him and sipped some coffee that would wake-up a 12 year old dead horse. The vibe was like that of most dive-shops, relaxed–but ebbing with an excitement… an excitement to dive.

We detached our bags from the BC’s and prepped-our kit for what was to be our first dive in Africa.

Gear Guide: AERIS Jetpack BC is adjustable to all sizes. From the back, to the shoulder straps to the waist strap–it all adjusts. I’m 6’1 and Bella is 5’4. And the Jetpack fits us both. It was nice not to have to rummage through my checked-luggage for dive gear. Everything was snug in my Jetpack bag section…even my Accel fins!

Find part 1 and 2 at www.theexpeditioners.com

Sponsored by Aeris, Oceanic Worldwide, Lavacore Int’l, Ikelite Underwater Systems

Attaching Jetpack

The Engines

Dive day

Bella Canoe Campsite Review

The province of Quebec is a mecca for canoe-campers. It’s simple, la belle province has over 1 million lakes. And that makes for a lot of canoe routes. There are two types of areas ideal for some paddling multi-night detachment. You’ve got Provincial Parks and Faunique Reserves. Both are fantastic.

For Canoe-Camping within a decent range from Montreal (2-4 hours), I suggest: La Verendrye Faunique Reserve, Papineau-Labelle Faunique Reserve and Mont-Tremblant Provincial Park.

Each lake has a campsite or campsites–that’s relative to the size of the lake. Most sites are not within shouting distance/ what I love most, not even visible from the next site. Truth be told, the deeper you get into the reserve or park, the less likely someone is to have one of the other sites anyways.

The wilderness campsites are marked by a tent symbol and a canoe in a yellow triangle. The fact that the signs are reflective makes them easy to spot from a distance in low or no light by simply turning your head-light on. The sites have a fire pit, a few tent sites, a loo that consists of a up-turned bucket with a hole or a proper outhouse with a white seat and sometimes a grill– and of course, as they are for canoe campers, are only accessible by water.

The cost of these campsites is included in your daily park fee– about $9 per person, per day.

Here is a campsite review by Bella of what a typical campsite looks like.

Sponsored by Scott & Bluewater Canoes
www.scottcanoe.com & www.bluewatercanoes.com

A moment in Vilankulo, Mozambique

We filmed this just off of the beach from our eco-lodge, the Villas do Indico, in Vilankulo, Mozambique. When researching on where we would go, we stumbled upon this hidden gem on the East Coast of Africa. It’s also the stepping-stone to the jaw-dropping Bazaruto Archipelago.

Location: Inhambane Province, Mozambique, Africa

Fun Facts: Vilankulo is named after local tribal chief Gamala Vilankulo Mukoke.
Known both as Vilankulo, and Vilanculos, after Mozambique gained their independence from Portugal, they changed it to the k version.

Sponsored in part by Lowepro Canada & Villas do Indico