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!

 

 

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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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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Yellowknife, NWT, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

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

WHERE: Yellowknife (and surrounding area), Northwest Territories, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: It was this past end of August, and we stayed in the area for almost 3 weeks. The end of August is a particularly nice time to go because you are able to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky on every evening that there are no clouds. We captured nightly time-lapse after time-lapse, and can difinitively say that these were the best lights we have ever seen! Secondly, for the outdoorsman, most of the bugs are gone. This is a fantastic thing for canoeists, hikers, boaters, kayakers or cottage goers.

WHAT WE DID: We explored Yellowknofe Old town, getting Bella a pair of handmade Mukluks. We spent a week at the Willow Ridge Retreat on the outskirts of YK, photographing the Northern Lights, Mountain Biking, and took out the canoe on Prelude lake for some mind-boggling sunsets. We also headed out on a spectacular 10 day expedition on Great Slave Lake–exploring nameless islands, feeling the expanse of this enormous body of water, and capturing skies like we have never seen before

WHERE WE STAYED: The Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for the Northern Lights. Being about 25km from town, there is no light pollution here, and you can sit on their idyllic viewing deck all night watching the starry skies be painted in swirls of green, white and purple. We camped in Prelude Lake Territorial Park as well.
Learn More about the Willow Ridge at www.willowridgeretreat.ca

HISTORY: Yellowknife’s name originates from a Chipewyan tribe who used weapons and tools made of copper that appeared yellow in colour. This tribe battled the Dogrib of the area for many years but the Dogrib Dene re-claimed the area in the 1820s. The Yellowknives Dene of today are the descendents of the Chipewyan tribe. In 1825 Chief Akaitcho became a peacemaker when, at Mesa Lake, he participated in a famous peace treaty with Dogrib Chief Edzo, ending the long period of hostility and warfare between the Chipewyan and Dogrib. The city is also known as Sombe K’e, which means “place of money” in the Tlicho language.In the 1930s gold was found on the shores of Yellowknife Bay. It changed Yellowknife forever. By 1936 it was a boomtown to which southerners, often plagued financially by the Great Depression, flocked for work and adventure.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Visit Old Town
2. Stay at the Aurora Village
3. Stay in a B&B Boat House
4. Canoe the Tibbit Lake Circuit
5. Mountain Bike on the Tundra
6. Explore the Gallery of the Midnight Sun & Weaver- & Devore for arts crafts and all your camping needs.
7. Cameron Fals Hiking Trail

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Jets connect Edmonton and Calgary to Yellowknife 6 times per day. Fly with Air Canada, Canadian North, First Air and WestJet

Three highways link the North to Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta. Drive up the Alaska Highway through Yukon to link to the NWT’s Dempster Highway. Follow Alberta Highway 35 north to connect to NWT Highway 1, the Mackenzie Highway. British Columbia Highway 77 connects to NWT Highway 7, the Liard Highway.

There’s scheduled bus service on the Mackenzie Highway, and seasonal bus service on the Dempster Highway. Vehicle and RV rentals are available for the Mackenzie Highway from Edmonton, Alberta, and for the Dempster Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon.

Road Distances: From Yellowknife to:
Miles KM
Vancouver, BC 1613 2595
Edmonton, AB 937 1508
Calgary, AB 1110 1789
Winnipeg, MB 1773 2853
Toronto, ON 2824 4544
Whitehorse, YT 1180 1900
Chicago, IL 3078 4953
Dallas, TX 3150 5069
Salt Lake City, UT 2036 3278
Denver, CO 2391 3848

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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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Kayaking Maligne

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Bear Bang Gear Review: Tru Flare

The Expeditioners Video Gear Review: Tru Flare

Being out in the wild requires you be conscience of the wildlife. For us Canadians that enjoy wilderness travel, there will always be Black Bears and Grizzly Bears to deal with exploring the wild!

You can startle them quite easily if you’re coming up a trail and they didn’t hear you. And your defence against these hairy canines (when you don’t have a rifle) are more intended to deter, than to stop. Enter the Tru Flare, a pen sized device that launches blanks into the air with a loud bang in the hopes of scaring them away. Be reminded that there is no guarantee that a.the bear will get scared from the noise or b. that you’ll actually have time to launch one before being charged.

This one that I demonstrate using is an aar-jarring shotgun-style bird banger that shoots 125 ft away from you. Noise level: 115 dB.

You can also use the pen-launcher for Emergency Flares. Check-out our demonstration of the Bear Bang in Willmore Wilderness, Alberta, Canada (Aka. Bear Region!)

Clouds

Timelapse of clouds in Lake Albanel Qc, Gros Mourne NFL, Manicouagan Qc
Join The Expeditioners on their travels and see the world a little differently!

Subscribe to The Expeditioners Magazine online check out our fundraising campaign and help us launch our magazine http://tinyurl.com/ptd6nhv

Filmed by: The Expeditioners Roberto

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