We still can’t believe that we actually camped in Canada. You could say that we’ve got a pretty righteous case of perma-stoke from it. We’ll never forget the mountains, the summer snow, the views that took us to our knees, but we also learned a lot of unforgettable lessons. We did a lot of research to take this trip, but a lot of what we learned wasn’t on the internet. Now it is:
*These aren’t to be based as fact, but based merely on our experience.
Don’t stress about flying with your pack. We nearly bought duffel bags to stuff our packs into, because we had read and heard horror stories of the loose straps getting stuck on the conveyor belts. We mentioned that to the lady who checked our luggage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and she said that she’s never had any issues with them. Just be smart about it – tie all your loose straps down, make sure there’s nothing flopping around on the outside, and pack the valuables in the center. We had to repack multiple times, anyway. You can save that money and spend it on something more important…to be named later…
Poutine. (Poo-teen, not Putin) Hadn’t heard of it before (sorry, eh) but we have now, and we’re definitely pro-poutine. Stop at a Tim Horton’s (or anywhere, probably) and refuel after a few nights in the wilderness.
Make plans. Or don’t. Things are going to change. Probably drastically. We went with intentions of backpacking the Skoki Loop, but it was snowed over. In June. It was 92 degrees at home when we found ourselves in the middle of a snowstorm at Lake Louise. The point is, be flexible, but if you’re into adventure, you already knew that.
Don’t waste your time sleeping. Canada is undoubtedly the most beautiful place we’ve been (so far), so don’t waste any of your time asleep. Also, the sunrises at 4 a.m. and sets around 11 p.m. Sleep on the plane, you need to remember these mountains.
Layers! Did we mention that it snowed in June – it was 92 degrees at home. We were prepared for that, though, and it paid off. We never got to wear our swimmies, but we wore every other piece that we brought, and would’ve loved to have one we didn’t bring…
GET FREAKIN’ RAIN PANTS! Well, all the wet-weather gear. We had everything else and skimped out on the rain pants. And that’s our biggest regret from the trip, that was our One Thing. A couple hours into the backcountry on our first day, it started hailing and raining. We had covers for our packs, rain jackets, rainflys, but no rain pants. That meant that J.C. ended up hiking in tights with friends we met 24 hours prior.
Take pics! Be the stupid tourist. Take pics for someone else, then ask them to take one for you. Take it in as much as you can, and take pics of everything else. Nobody’s going to believe you when you tell them it was the most breath-taking, life changing, cry-like-a-baby place on Earth. You’ll need pics to prove it.
Here are some pics to prove it. 🙂
Happy birthday, Canada, we’ll be back.