What’s In The Pack??

“What the eff is in this?”

Anyone who has accidentally picked up my daypack will ask me this.

It’s only a 33L @osprey pack, so in no way should it weigh 25+ pounds.

I hike every day and I always carry my ridiculously heavy daypack. Even if I am just strolling around the neighbourhood, I take my pack.

What’s inside is not gear, hiking essentials or snacks. None of those. I have Nalgenes filled of water and as many hardcover books as I can stuff inside.


Because I don’t go to the gym.

Instead of the gym I carry a backpack full of books everywhere I go. I also wear my pack to do squats, lunges and any other exercise that allows me to wear it.

What is better training for backpacking season than wearing as much as possible a full backpack? Yeah, I lift free weights as well but I always carry my pack.

At some point life will return to ‘normal’ and when it does, I plan to shoulder my pack and head into the Yukon backcountry. And I’ll be grateful for all the hard slogs I’ve been doing with an overkill heavy pack.


Books! Books! And More Books!

For our next road trip – winter 2019-2020 – we have been debating whether we should travel with our 4-Runner or to change things and get a motorcycle (or two). I prefer the 4-Runner though I do have my motorcycle license. For me, it is more than the comfort and warmth of a 4-runner. It is the space, mainly the space available for all the books I inevitably hoard. A motorcycle does not accommodate book hoarding.

Sure I could just get an e-Reader but I am quite the Luddite and do not enjoy staring at screens. I enjoy feel and scent of a book. Stories and words feel more tangible and alive in paper form.

Though we have been back home for two weeks from our four-month road trip I am just getting around to emptying the last of the stuff from our 4-Runner. It’s been -30C and colder since we got home and the books stashed in the nooks and hollows of the 4-Runner are not at risk of freezing (can’t say the same for an e-Reader) so they’ve sat there until this afternoon.

It is amazing how many books I can tuck away in the 4-Runner. It helps that my partner, also an avid book reader, was willing to rip out the heater that is for the back seats. The heater, which sits under the passenger seat, is bulky and heavy and completely unnecessary since there are no back seats and therefore no passengers. Instead of driving an unused heater around, more than a dozen books are now stashed here.

The photo above is one of three piles that I hauled out of the 4-Runner today, books that we didn’t get around to reading, books we would like to re-read or books we couldn’t bear to give away just yet.

In Praise Of The Thrift Store Fleece

Two summers ago I paddled across the Barrens of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut for two months. My favourite piece of gear ended up being a tattered old ugly green fleece I bought in a thrift store years before. It kept me warm and endured so many abuses.

I wrote a piece, I want to say ode, for She Explores about that fleece. My fleece recently died as Tenacious Tape and Jiffy Sew patches could no longer keep up with the material wearing away to nothing anymore. But she had a long, adventurous life. I’ve missed her warmth this winter.

Check out the story here.

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