Sunday, 28 July 2013

Canadian Canoeing and Camping

Oh yeah what GREAT fun....

Like a lot of things that I do in life just on a whim or impulse I did again and went and bought a Canadian style canoe. The last impulse, on the spur of the moment purchase was a caravan, to which I have really grown fond of.

 Ok, for a blog that was initially really about wild camping using a nice really comfy caravan does seem a little of a cheat. But during the winter, and through really hot muggy days it is a real bonus.

We tend to use the caravan as a base camp and return to it if the weather turns really bad and cold or even too hot. Besides the shower and cooker are brilliant ;) lol.

Above you can see the fantastic little tent that has really proved it's worth in the wildest and wettest of conditions, and the caravan which has yet to show it's real worth. But already the Van has added that touch of comfort that I am starting to appreciate as I get that little older.

THEN CAME THE CANOE.

Yes you can argue that it is my own stupid fault you shouldn't go and buy such things. But when they are looking at you on eBay and your mind wonders to the pioneers of the wild west canoeing up and down vast expanses of rivers and lakes, wild camping as they went trapping all the furs they needed to make a living. What can you do?

So I bought a Canadian look alike open canoe, and you know what? I love it already.

As you can see it is a two seater (should I need them) but mainly it has loads of room for stowing the camping gear.

So the plan is to firstly learn a lot more about canoeing and all the do's and don'ts that are always not obvious to the beginner.

Well, I do say beginner but I do live on a boat so very used to water life, I also had canoe lesson many many moons ago when in the sea cadets as a child. I have got a lot more stupid since then.

Wild camping and wild canoeing is the long goal task and it really does seem very appealing. However I live in central England, not the wild west of USA. So the big question is, can I just jump on a river and of I go? I do have a license for my big boat, do I need license for the canoe?
I believe that I already know that all the farmers and other land owners own the banks of the rivers, so I suppose I need to get permission before I can just come ashore and pitch camp (what a chore).

There must be some great routes where canoeing and wild camping are possible. I have also notice that there are a couple of campsite that I setup just for canoeing and kayaking type people, I must give them a try they seem a great place to learn the ropes.

Of course then there is Canadian style canoeing! You've seem these people that paddle on the same side of the canoe all the time without going round and around in circles. Wahhhoooo I have just learned how to do it, it is brilliant. Although tipping the canoe so far on to one side with the water lapping at the gunnels is an art form I have yet to master.

The weather is set fair for a couple of weeks so of we go, don't laugh, I'll let you know how we get on.

Happy Camping :)


Friday, 28 June 2013

Ok, so I am caravaning too! But hey I do enjoy it.


Caravan and a touch of the easy life

 

I have had an old caravan for a while now, it got plenty of use when out and about with the family. It had just enough comforts for the less rugged members of the family ;)

Suddenly one fine day half way up Kinder Scout I noticed the first symptoms of Asthma.Then following several visits to the Doctors it was confirmed that I indeed have developed Asthma.Thank goodness it is controllable using two types of inhaler morning and night, but nonetheless it has made me very aware of the dangers that no air to breath can bring to the hiker and wild camper.

Once or twice I have ventured out with a full pack loaded with tent, sleeping gear, Trangia, cooking stuffs, food, maps, dry clothes and toilet paper, only to find myself getting out of breath (quite normally) but worrying is it the dreaded A.


So before a planned weekend hike I took a look at the weather forecast, erm not looking too good, again! Then came the brain wave, why not take the caravan and use it like a base camp when climbing Mount Everest?  Ok maybe not Everest, but you get my meaning.


It worked like a dream. We could set of early in the morning with a much lighter pack than normal, camp out on the hills if we wanted and weather/asthma permitted. Or, return to the relative comforts of a dry and warm caravan.


Now the caravan has become a major part of hiking plans, it has actually opened up places that I thought were to far to travel with just a tent etc. But now further travel and longer stays are now possible.


The caravan is so much a part of our travels that I have now joined The Caravan and Camping club. They offer little sites called CS (certified sites) they tend to be very small sites normally on a farm or similar, are very quiet and for the most part secluded. Perfect for the would be hiker turned caravaner.

So I have learned that it is possible to have you cake and eat it!