2015 Reel Paddling Film Festival

REEL-PADDLE

We had a night on the town this week to help celebrate the World Tour Premiere of the 10th Annual RPFF. What is the RPFF you ask? Well, it’s the Reel Paddling Film Festival — An event that showcases the world’s best paddling films to audiences in Canada, the United States and around the world. This is its 10th year, and our second time attending.

During this showing, hosted by The Complete Paddler, we viewed 8 of the 10 winning films. My favorite of the night, DamNation, presented the effects of Americas Dam era on the nations landscape and its wildlife. With the use of stunning cinematography, the film explores the negative impact that these engineering marvels have had on the rivers and salmon populations, highlighting the necessity to remove many of the obsolete structures that no longer benefit the surrounding communities.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media publishes four paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines. Aside from seeing some wonderful films, the great thing about attending the festival is that you get a one year digital subscription to each of these magazines, FREE. Pretty sweet deal!

PSX_20150207_141044In addition to the free subscriptions, your ticket is also used in a prize draw for some exciting prizes. Last night, I won this Salus Jazz Freestyle Kayak vest. I’m pretty attached to my current PFD but this has a low-profile, the adjustment straps are all stored cleanly in the front pouch and it feels very comfortable on. I’m also quite fond of the maple leaf detail on the back. I’m looking forward to getting this vest out on the water this spring.

PClogoThere are plenty of good reasons to attend the festival — free magazines, prizes, entertaining films, etc. — but there is another great reason to purchase a ticket. All the proceeds from the event go to support Project Canoe. Project Canoe offers a variety of year round program activities in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as their signature Summer Wilderness Canoe Program.

You can read more about Project Canoe by visiting their website, canoe.org.

If you haven’t already been to one of the festival showings, be sure to check it out. You can find out if the tour is in a city near you by visiting the tour schedule on their website by clicking this link (Tour Schedule).

Camping resources to know and love

When we’re not in the great outdoors, we’re talking about the great outdoors. If we’re not talking about it, then we are guaranteed to be thinking about it. If we’re not thinking about it…..well, let’s just be honest, we’re always thinking about it.

The TwoCanoe crew can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. When we are indoors, we’re often surfing the internet, reading our favorite outdoor blogs or watching our favorite wilderness youtubers. Here we have listed some of our favorite resources so that you can enjoy them as much as we do.

Blogs

  1. Mountain Equipment Co-op

    Not only is Mountain Equipment Co-op our favorite store. They also have one of our favorite blogs.
  2. Backcountry With the Kids

    A family blog with advice on wilderness tripping with your kids. It’s great for those of you who aren’t parents too!
  3. TwoCanoe

    If you didn’t already know, there are four writers for our blog. It’s fun to see a new posts by each of us.

YouTube

  1. Crocket

    Crocket creates videos about backpacking, knives, climbing, canyoneering, guns, and a pinch of martial arts. His videos are entertaining, and he is one of the youtuber’s who have inspired us to create our videos as well.
  2. Maddy the Goose

    While it doesn’t seem that Maddy the Goose has uploaded a new video in quite some time. We’ve watched each of his tripping videos over the past winter while we waited for the spring season to kick into gear so that we could get out there and start tripping too.

Websites

  1. The Happy Camper (includes blog, youtube videos)

    Kevin Callan’s quirky personality is a great example of someone who has fun in the outdoors. His videos, blog, and books have influenced all of us at TwoCanoe.
  2. Grub ‘n Gear

    Grub ‘n Gear is relatively new to us but it’s a great resource to include in your trip planning.
  3. Outside Online

    Outside’s website is a great counterpart to their magazine. Lots of useful articles relating to everything outdoors.
  4. Ontario Parks

    If you live in Ontario and you’ve visited any of our Provincial Parks then you’ve probably been to this website. It’s very useful in not only booking your stay at a park, but planning your trips as well. They provide park updates and plenty of information to help in planning your stay.

This is just a small splattering of resources that we like. Feel free to share in the comments some of your favorite go-to references that help you plan, learn, and enjoy.

Variety is the spice of life?

It is said that variety is the spice of life. But sometimes, I just want good ol’ reliable black pepper. If you’ve followed along with us from the beginning, you’ll see that during this summer we’ve spent a lot of our time in the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. Well, this past weekend was no exception. I believe that we’ve come to the point where we can officially label this ‘The summer of the Kawarthas’. Although we continue to adventure here, we change it up by visiting different areas of the park and setting up camp on different lakes each time. So maybe there isn’t a lot of spice, but each trip tastes a little different from the last.

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Choose your own adventure!!

Ellen and I were supposed to be on the lake paddling today for a short one-night retreat in our go-to park, KHSS.  However, Sunday’s predicted thunderstorms persuaded us to reschedule for next weekend. It was a last minute plan on Thursday, so I guess we can suck it up for one horribly long, eager week. We are venturing into the North-eastern area of the park which neither of us have been to before, so we are quite excited to get out on the water and explore. Luckily, André and Michelle are available that weekend so it’ll be a full crew adventure!

Today, instead, we made a stop at MEC so I could purchase a new lifejacket (woohoo, new gear) and a few maps so that we can plan a couple more trips for the season. With so many options in Ontario, our adventure wishlist keeps growing. Thankfully there are a few more months of good weather ahead to fit as much fun in as possible!

Bon Appétit

Planning a canoe trip can be just as fun, if not more exciting, than going on the canoe trip. Ontario offers so many interesting, and unique tripping experiences that the anticipation of traveling a new route and exploring a new lake is fun in itself.

One important aspect of our trip preparation is meal planning. Now, if you choose to take the same meals and snacks for every trip, I can see how you wouldn’t find meal preparation that exciting, but the TwoCanoe crew does like to experiment and try new things. We also like to prepare all of our foods ourselves. An easier route in meal planning is to buy pre-dehydrated or freeze dried foods from your local outdoor store, but that takes part of the fun out of planning your next trip, and a chunk out of your wallet.

Choosing the food items for your trip depends on the length of your trip, how much you may be required to carry over portages, and what your general tastes are. We like our foods to be light, to take up little space, and still hold tons of nutritional value while tasting great. When you are in the sun all day, paddling or carrying your gear, it is rewarding to have great food to refuel you along the way.

Below you will find a sample trail menu for a 3-day trip.

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YMCA Relay for Strong Kids

Image courtesy YMCA of Greater Toronto

It’s time for us to get into prime portaging shape! And while we’re at it, we might as well support a local charity!

The TwoCanoe crew has signed up for the YMCA Relay for Strong Kids. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, it is a 4 person/3km relay. Each member runs 3 km for a total 12km. Now that should help build some stamina for those extra long portages.

From their website: The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign raises funds so more kids can participate in life-enhancing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body. We believe that everyone should be able to participate in our programs regardless of their financial means. Through generous donations to our annual fundraising campaign, the YMCA is able to provide access to our programs and services, helping to build healthy kids, families and communities.

Their website also promises some after-run celebration and general admission tickets to the Honda Indy the following Saturday. How could it get any better?

Hey, if you’re going for a run that day anyway…why not sign-up, raise some money and support the community!

More info can be found on the YMCA Relay for Strong Kids website.

Break out the Jiffy Pop and Smores!

We couldn’t go on our recent trip without capturing some moments on video. What you’ll see is pretty much a combination of reality tv and the Blair Witch…..minus the tv drama, the never to be seen witch, the $1,000,000 winning’s or the critical acclaim. I guess the only similarity then would be the awkward close ups and my unsteady camera hands.

There are two parts below, covering our 3-day trip in Algonquin this past weekend. Enjoy!