Tag : outdoors

Trekking in Canada

The second biggest country in the world, after Russia, Canada is a vast expanse of mountains, lakes, islands, forests and rivers. Major cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver are close to the border with the US, while Montreal and Edmonton are a little further north.

Most people live within a couple of hundred miles from the border with America, but Canada has huge northern areas that stretch way beyond the Arctic Circle and with settlements inhabited mainly by the native Inuit people.

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Canada has all the luxuries one might expect from a Western country, but it is also a paradise for those who love the great outdoors – and Canada has more great outdoors than practically any other nation! Trekking is a major vacation activity for visitors, as well as for Canadians and it’s hardly surprising given the stunning natural sights to be seen. The country is also easy to get to, with Air Transat flying in from many different countries and airports.

 

Trekking choices

Although trekking doesn’t just mean hiking and backpacking – travelers can take canoe and kayak trips as part of a trek – hiking is an inexpensive way to get to see nature close up, sometimes red in tooth and claw. Scenery is spectacular, from cascading waterfalls to raging white water through gorges, snow-tipped mountain peaks and deep, dark forests. The Rocky Mountains are the setting for vacation hotspots Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff, ideal places to set off on a Canadian trek.

 

Wild encounters

Trekkers should expect the unexpected, and while heading off into the wilderness without a guide can be an incredible adventure, there are many tours with experienced guides who know where all the best sights and activities can be found. Extensive trails fan out from the three tourist areas, and trekkers might expect to turn their hand to whitewater rafting, kayaking on a peaceful lake, or fishing for rainbow trout.

Almost around every corner there is another spectacular sight, perhaps a steep valley plunging to a gorge below, or layers of ice field to explore, and all around are the sensational views that are such an important part of the trekking experience.

Wildlife can be experienced at any time; the Rocky Mountains hosting a mixture of fascinating creatures. Most famous is the fearsome grizzly bear, and trekkers may come across black bears, elks (or wapiti, and not the same as moose), caribou – perhaps better know to many as reindeer – mountain goats, marmots and bighorn sheep. In the skies above may be seen eagles, geese and other wildfowl making their way to or from their feeding grounds.

 

Resting places for the weary

When the day’s trekking is done having the right place to rest is essential. Serious trekkers will head out for several days and stay in well-appointed campsites to be close to nature.

These vacation areas can also provide the height of luxurious accommodations, with fine food and a relaxing atmosphere providing a real chance to unwind. The smaller local inns also offer a warm welcome, and self-catering lodges and cabins are also a popular alternative with many trekkers.

 

 

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration, Natural Wonders, Travel Tips

off roading in the snow

Adventure in the Winter

If you are the outdoorsy type who enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, swimming and other active sports, the onset of winter may slow down your activity plans. But although the spring, summer and fall are some of the best seasons for outdoor activity, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of the winter months. Don’t let freezing temperatures and snow keep you inside. Here is a list of popular winter activities that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

off roading in the snow

1. Skiing and Snowboarding. Hit the slopes and stay active this winter season. Perfect for singles, couples and families, skiing and snowboarding is the perfect way to experience amazing mountaintop views, plus get in a little exercise. Many ski resorts open around late fall after the first snow, and depending on weather conditions, you can ski up into the beginning of spring.

Skiing and snowboarding requires at least 30 centimeters of snowfall, with higher elevations requiring additional snow. Engaging in these activities when snow is powdery or fresh contributes to greater control. And since freshly fallen snow is softer, there’s less pain if you fall down.

2. Rock climbing. Some people wouldn’t dream of rock climbing in the winter. However, winter rock climbing is a popular and safe activity, as long as you’re prepared. Given the fact that rock climbing is physically exhausting when temperatures are mild, extra care is needed during the winter. Outdoor temperatures plummet in higher elevations.

With this said, dress in windproof pants, insulated clothes and warm gear (winter climbing gloves, hooded jacket, goggles and warm socks). While weather conditions don’t have to be perfect, you shouldn’t climb in inclement weather (a rain storm or high winds) or at night.  For supplies and equipment to get the most out of your adventure, contact your local Rugged Ridge dealer.

3. Off-roading in the snow. Take adventure to a new level and drive your 4 x 4 on snowy paths through the mountains or woods. Driving on unpaved roads and natural terrain is one way to explore infrequently traveled areas. To get the most out of this experience, check weather conditions before hitting the road. Choose areas with wet, heavy snow since it’s easier to drive on these surfaces. Lower the air pressure on your tires before heading out, and travel light to stop your car from sinking into the snow.

4. Ice skating. Plenty of facilities offer indoor ice-skating during the winter months. But to gain a true winter experience, look for outdoor ice skating. Some cities set up public outdoor rinks or allow skating on local ponds. For a pond to be safe for ice skating, the ice needs to be at least 6 inches thick across the entire surface.

With so many options during the winter months, there’s no reason to stay indoors. Life is too short to be lived inside four walls.

Categories: Blog, Packing, Travel Tips