Thanks Algonquin Outfitters!

Last week we received an awesome little package in the mail from Algonquin Outfitters, and let me tell you… good things come in small packages! They sent us 4 of Jeffrey’s Maps, all different sections of the park, some stickers to decorate our gear and a gift card to spend at the store! We love camping and we love our maps, especially Jeffrey’s. We got this little package just in time to plan our upcoming 8 day canoe trip in the park.

Last night the TwoCanoe crew spent hours pouring over our new maps, trying to plot our route, but we have one small problem. We want to go everywhere and we want to see everything. We don’t know where to go so if you have any route suggestions we would love to hear them. We want to know your favorite lakes, scenic trails, and where we can finally see some moose! We are going the first week of October so the fall colours will be ablaze and we are eager to witness the transformation of the park.

So drop us a line or give us some tips, and thanks again to Algonquin Outfitters, see you in 5 weeks!!!

P.S. Check out Algonquin Outfitters sweet new website and don’t forget their blog, they are working on merging their two previous blogs with over 700+ posts combined. There is a ton of great reading and useful information.

Blood Sucking Leeches!

We are camping people, it’s our lifeblood, it keeps our souls young and spirits free. It rejuvenates and refreshes us. Work days are more bearable knowing that each Friday at 5 o’clock we are free, packing up the car and heading out on an adventure. This weekend André and I didn’t go on a camping adventure, instead we took it down a notch, we turned down the dial, we cottaged. Our cottage weekend turned out to be an interesting experience, we learned a lot about ourselves, our country… and leeches.

My aunt rented a cottage on a creek off Stoney lake, if you’re familiar with the area, the cottage is on Northey’s Bay Road, two minutes from the Petroglyph Provincial Park. André and I, with the rest of my family, drove up on Saturday morning for the weekend. We arrived and eagerly put our boats in the water to explore the creek. We traveled up the creek, and came across a beautiful waterfall. All eight of us scrambled out of our canoes and kayaks to get a much needed back massage in the running water. Within minutes everyone was seated in the waterfall, however I was hesitant to get in. A long forgotten memory was trying to surface…. I vaguely remember getting leeches in a larger, more popular, waterfall called High Falls on Eels Creek not far from here. Could this be that same creek? I’d been sitting in the water for a few minutes when the memory finally surfaced. I stood up and started to get out, not wanting to cause pandemonium, when I couldn’t be sure there were leeches or not. As I tiptoed out of the rapids my dad overheard me tell André that I was nervous about leeches and wanted to get out. Both my dad and André laughed at me and said in unison “You won’t find leeches in fast moving water like this.” I looked at André, seeing multiple leeches on his arm, and said “oh ya, what’s that on your arm!” André looked at his arm in horror, several leeches squirming about, and yelled “leeches!!”  Continue reading

Camping Checklist

Whether you’ve been camping for 5 years or 5 months there is something that almost all campers should start out with, and that’s a camping checklist. A good camping checklist is the backbone to every good trip… trust me, you don’t want to find yourself in the woods on the first day of a 5 day trip and realize you forgot TP!!

You may already have a great list, or maybe you free style it and make a new list every time you plan a trip. If you landed on this page in search of the perfect camp checklist then look no further because you’ve come to the right place. The group here at TwoCanoe has been tweaking and fine tuning their camping checklist for years and I think we’ve finally nailed it! Below is the list however I’ve also made a handy dandy PDF version that you can print off and check items off as you pack. For the print version click here: Camping Checklist

Some of this gear can be considered optional or not required at all, however we do feel that most of the items will be necessary at some point on your trip, whether thats backpacking, canoeing or car camping. We also consider this to be the bare bones of equipment, if you’re a car camper you may be inclined to take more items then what we have listed.

Don’t hold me responsible for forgotten gear, you still need to put these items in your pack, plane, or automobile! However, if you see that we’re missing something let us know, I don’t want to end up in the woods without my… umbrella? just kidding!

Now go pack your stuff, check your list, and have a great trip!

Canoe Equipment:
• Canoe
• Paddle (Incl. 1 extra)
• Life Jacket
• Whistle
• Bailer Kit
• Roof Racks / Canoe Pads
• Tie Downs 

Shelter:
• Tent / Poles
• Tarp
• Paracord 25′ x 6 = 150′
• Spare Tent Pegs for Tarp
• Tent Repair Kit

Fire:
• Pocket Saw
• Fire Starter / Matches

Sleeping:
• Sleep Pad
• Sleeping Bag
• Pillow

Clothing:
• Long Shirt
• Long Pants
• Jacket or Sweater
• T-shirt
• Shorts
• Underwear
• Socks
• Hiking Boots
• Hat
• Rain Jacket / Pants
• Bug Jacket
• Bathing Suit
• Towel

 Kitchen:
• Food
• Food Barrel / Bag
• Barrel Harness
• 50′ Rope to Hang Food
• Fuel
• Stove
• Utensils
• Cook Pot
• Plate / Bowl / Mug
• Spices
• Water Bottle
• Water Filter
• Camp Suds
• Sponge
• Dry Towel
• Garbage Bag 

Toiletries:
• First Aid Kit
• Allergy Pills
• Anti Inflammatory (Advil)
• Pain Pills (Aspirin)
• Toilet Paper
• Trowel
• Toothbrush / Paste
• Floss
• Sunscreen
• Deodorant
• Nail Clippers
• Body Wipes
• Hand Sanitizer
• Chap Stick
• Bug Spray
• After-Bite

Navigation:
• PLB
• Compass
• Map / Waterproof Case
• Trip Plan – Left with Contact 

Cold Weather:
• Tuque
• Gloves
• Long Johns
• Sleeping Bag Liner

Other Necessities:
• Sharp Knife
• Headlamp
• Extra Batteries
• Duct Tape
• Watch
• Sunglasses

Nice To Have:
• Paddling Gloves
• Base Camp Footwear
• Bear Repellent Spray
• Fishing Rod
• Tackle
• Camp Chair
• Day Pack
• Book
• Camp Journal and Pencil
• Cards
• Camera / Extra Battery
• Cellphone
• Candle Lantern
• Hammock

Canoe Trip Gear

Hi everyone! We spent the long weekend in the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Provincial Park! We are going to have lots of photos and videos in the upcoming posts but in the meantime here is a video of the gear that André and I take on our canoe trips. If you have any questions, comments, tips or tricks let us know, we’d love to here from you!

Happy Paddling!

Are we too old for campfire stories?

I’ve always loved a good campfire story, especially a scary one. When I was young I remember sitting around the campfire at my Aunts cottage as she told spooky and unforgettable stories. I would go to bed later and every sound made me think a ghost was scuttling across the floor. It’s nearly 17 years later and I still remember those nights. It’s fun to be scared sometimes isn’t it, even as an adult?

At the end of a long day, after doing hours of paddling and portaging, wouldn’t it be nice to sit around the fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate and take turns telling ghost stories? I personally don’t know any stories, and don’t trust that I can make something up on the spot, but that brings me to my next question, am I too old for camp stories? Or does that part of you never get old? Would you feel weird reading out loud to a bunch of adults? Sometimes after a long day you’re almost too tired to make idle chit chat. Wouldn’t it be nice to sink into your camp chair and listen to a frightening tale?

I think you’re never too old, it’s ok to be frightened by a spooky story, to run to your tent and bury your face in your sleeping bag. Let your imagination run wild, it’s all a part of coming together at the end of the day. So go grab a flashlight, hold it under your chin and tell some scary stories around your next campfire.

Who said tents have to be boring?

I stumbled across these amazing tents today by FieldCandy. They may not be for everyone, but I can still appreciate an original idea. When I first saw them, I was like, “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?” Just because you are out camping doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Not all the designs are wildly loud, in fact some may blend in with nature better then the tent you already have.

I’m not going to run out and buy one, mainly because of the price tag, but it’s still a fun idea. Imagine the shock on someone’s face as they slowly canoe past your site and see a giant cheese tent! It would certainly be a conversation piece, or it would attract hundreds of hungry mice, who knows! Click here to see the whole line.

Here are a few TwoCanoe favorites:

Which one would you buy?