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The Solo Stove really throws out the heat

2021 Outdoor Lovers Holiday Gift Guide

My annual outdoor lovers holiday gift guide is here. My biggest find in 2021 is the Solo Stove - a highly portable fire pit that delivers heat and a clean burn. A couple of new backpacking products I really like are featured along with my perennial brand fave - YETI. I've included lots of books - from guidebooks to adventure reads. I've also included chocolate from a company I very much admire for what they've…

The author admires an ancient Thule tent ring Ukkusiksalik National Park. The Thules were ancestors of Canada’s Inuit. Photo credit: Marlis Butcher

Park Bagger – Adventures in Canada’s National Parks

British mountaineer Sir Hugh Munro used the term “peak bagger” in the 1890s to describe climbers who set out to summit all of the highest peaks in Scotland. “Munro bagging,” which morphed into the term “Peak bagging,” later migrated to North America, where today it’s used by nature-lovers like author and conservationist Marlis Butcher, who proudly calls herself a “park bagger.”  Butcher has led the way for outdoorsy folks who aim to visit all 48…

Books to read to take your mind off the virus

17 Books to See You Through the Covid-19 Crisis

How do you get through the COVID-19 crisis with your physical and mental health intact? I for one have loads of work to do (updating old posts, writing new ones, fixing photos...) so staying busy isn't a problem. It's how to make the most of my down time. I'm less and less keen to even watch the nightly news and spend time on social media. There is too much hype and misinformation for my liking.…

Hikers walking a dusty road on the Camino

How to Plan the Camino de Santiago Walk

This post on the Camino de Santiago Walk is sponsored by Moon Travel Guides. Planning the Camino de Santiago walk across northern Spain just got a whole lot easier. In April 2019 Moon Travel Guides released a new book - Moon Camino de Santiago: Sacred Sites, Historic Villages, Local Food & Wine in a format every walker will appreciate. Back in 2007 when my daughter hiked the 780 kilometre Camino de Santiago for the first…

110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba & Saskatchewan

The book 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan will forever change your perception of the provinces. I don't know how many times I have heard the comment - there is nothing to see or do on the prairies. Guess again. Both provinces are home to rich eco-systems. You just might have to look a little harder than in the Rockies. To that end Jenn Smith Nelson and Doug O'Neill, two talented Canadian travel…

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta, Canada

It took 15 months to give birth to my second book - 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta - The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places, co-authored with my friend Debbie Olsen, who in fairness wrote a whole lot more of the book than I did. I swore after my first book I'd never write a second. It's just like babies; you forget about the sleepless nights, the lack of free time, the bleary…

Book Review: After the Wind, Tragedy on Everest

Remember the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer about the Everest tragedy in 1996? Well here's another equally riveting account by Lou Kasischke, a member of Krakauer's climbing team. Called After the Wind: Tragedy on Everest, One Survivor's Story, it's a book I couldn't put down. Although Kasischke wrote an account of the disaster 17 years ago, it's just recently he was ready to share his version of the events in book form. His…

Book Review: United Breaks Guitars by Dave Carroll

Dave Carroll, the talented writer and performer behind one of the most watched You Tube videos of all time - United Breaks Guitars - recently added the title of author to his bio. United Breaks Guitars - The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media is an engaging and highly readable account of his frustrating experience with United Airlines customer service after they broke his guitar en route to a concert he was…

Mackenzie River Guide – A Book Review

Have you ever considered paddling, either by kayak or canoe, Canada's longest river - The Mackenzie River? If you haven't, you will after reading Michelle Swallow's The Mackenzie River Guide: A Paddler's Guide to Canada's Longest River. Michelle takes you on an 1,850 kilometre journey that with good weather and moderate mileage, will take you a minimum of 48 days to complete - assuming you start in Hay River on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories…


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