Preparing for Ideal Conditions

Picture yourself, exploring your favourite lake. It’s a perfect day, the sun is shining, and you’ve been paddling all day. Maybe you caught a couple fish, took the perfect photo, you were so busy you probably didn’t notice you forgot one thing – sunscreen.

It’s the all too familiar feeling of coming back to your site after a long day of fun and having to feel that sting all night long trying to catch some z’s in your sleeping bag. Luckily, most of us only suffer from a medium rare shade of pink and get off pretty easily. However, some cases of sunburn can ruin a trip if they are serious enough.

Not only are sunburns a nasty way to ruin your trip, staying in the sun too long without being mindful can lead to heat stroke. Which is another good way to put yourself out of commission from all the fun you had planned for the day.

Your best bet on keeping a nasty sunburn from ruining your adventure is protecting yourself before they happen. Here are some of my favourite tips to make sure you can make the most of beautiful camping conditions – 

1. Bring sunscreen

I can’t stress this one enough. Putting on a layer of sunscreen before you head out for the day is a huge game changer.  Apply generously in the morning and again any time after you cool off in the lake. Also waterproof sunscreen is a great option to stay protected even when you’re sweating.

2. Drink plenty of water

Bringing a large water bottle with you on all of your journeys is a great way to make sure you stay on top of hydration. Try to drink about 2 liters of water per day in order to keep from feeling dizzy, sick, or even fainting.

Making sure you keep water in abundant supply on your campsite is an easy way to make sure everyone remembers to drink throughout the day. My personal favourite tool right now is the Platypus Gravityworks 4L Waterfilter. Check it out on the Cascade Designs website here:


3. Cover up – hat, shades, and sleeves

In the case you feel yourself already burning, covering up the area is your best bet from stopping the progression of the burn. Invest in some light long sleeve shirts or pants that you can bring camping with you feel a burn coming on. Hats and sunglasses are another great way to shield yourself from the sun that won’t make you sweat anymore than you already are.

4. Limit your exposure

As much as it sucks, sometimes you just have to step into the shade for a minute and let your body cool down. Taking a break every couple hours allows your group to avoid heat stroke.

5. Bring aloe

Sometimes, you try your best but you don’t succeed. Prepare for a slip up by bringing some soothing aloe vera gel. It’s a great addition to your first aid kit and will help cool down your skin to take away that familiar sting after a long day in the outdoors. Aloe can be found at your local drug store in many different varieties.

Sunshine sets the stage for a perfect weekend, but don’t let it ruin your fun. Be sure to follow these tips to make sure you maximize your fun in the sun! 

What To Bring On Your Camping Trip

If you are getting ready for your next camping trip its nice to have a list of essentials to go through. Every trip is going to be different and what you pack will change from time to time, but a good amount of these things will stick by your side throughout all of your trips. 

Inside the Tent:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping Pad/Air Mattress
  • Clothes (Warm & Cold)
  • Bathing Suit & Towel
  • Rain Gear
  • Lantern


  • Stove & Fuel
  • Pots and Pans
  • Plates, Cups, & Cutlery
  • Water Purification System
  • French Press or Coffee Filter System
  • Sharp Knife 
  • Spatula 
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Folding Grill


  • Cell Phone
  • GPS
  • Battery Bank
  • Camera & Video Camera


  • Tent
  • Tarp 
  • Axe
  • Folding Saw
  • Flashlight or Head Lamp
  • Fire Starters
  • Matches or Lighters
  • Pocket knife
  • Rope
  • Water Bottle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Waterproof Canoe Bags
  • Bear Spray or Bangers

Canoe or Boat:

  • Canoe
  • Paddles
  • Life Jackets
  • Safety Kit
  • Patch System for boat
  • Foam Blocks and Straps for Car


  • Fishing Gear
  • Binoculars
  • Deck of Cards

Packing your Bear Barrel

I will never forget my first trip with a bear barrel, it was truly a game changer. Not only is this a helpful tool to keep your food safe from bears, it is also a great way to cut down on how much you have to carry. I use my bear barrel not only for food but for all of my other kitchen related supplies as well. The only caveat would be that you must be cautious about the weight of your pack or it will not be an easy one to carry. 

I recommend organizing your barrel by either weight, importance, or frequency of use. I usually put things like canned foods, cups, plates, fuel, stove, and others at the bottom. These are typically items you would only need once your on a site and they wont be damaged being in the bottom of the barrel. You might want to keep the snack foods up near the top so that you can dive in for a quick snack after a portage.


What’s in my Bear Barrel?

  • Axe & Folding Saw
  • Fire Starters
  • Pots & Pans
  • Stove & Fuel
  • Coffee Thermos with filter system
  • Mini folding grill for fires (sometimes I hang this on the outside of the barrel to save space)
  • Water Filter (tablets or systems)
  • Plates, Cups, & Cutlery
  • Dry Food (Bread, Canned Food, Jerky, Trail mix, PB, Tang, Noodles, etc)
  • Tin Foil
  • Cooking Oil
  • Rope


Hanging your Barrel:

It is also good to note the correct way hang your bear barrel. This is a topic that has been under debate by many people. The most important thing is to keep the pack away from your site when you are not using it. Whether you decide to hang it in a tree or secure it to the base of the tree, it will not make much of a difference. If a bear wants your barrel and its in a tree, its going to get it down. I will go over this in more depth in another post.