Ontario Now Has an Invasive Species App

Ontario Now Has an Invasive Species App

Coleman Warehouse Sale

Coleman Warehouse Sale

Ontario Parks Locations Opening for the 2014 Camping Season

Ontario Parks Locations Opening for the 2014 Camping Season

2014 Learn to Camp with Ontario Parks

Ontario Parks are helping families ease in to camping this summer though overnight and community sessions throughout May, June, and July (and filling up fast!). Learn how to set-up camp, how to build a campfire, hear advice from the experts and more. There are overnight sessions as well as community sessions which are free and held across Ontario.

  1. Transportation available: Access Learn to Camp programs on the Parkbus running from Toronto to Grundy Lake Provincial Park
  2. Learn to Fish Program: Now available at six provincial parks
  3. Learn to Camp Graduates Programs: Additional training and camping experiences for past participants

Friday Chuckle: Camping Tips with Camp Cariboo

This week's Friday Chuckle sure takes me back to my childhood. We could only get a few channels on the family TV (depending on which direction the wind was blowing), and one of the early morning Saturday shows on CTV that I used to watch was Camp Cariboo. Here's your typical over the top, Canadian TV show for kids that tried to sneak in some life lessons through humour. Thanks to Tom and Mark for this great show. One of the segments, "The Keeners" always delighted...

Veteran Camp Cariboo campers, "The Keeners," select from the four, or possibly five food groups while packing up for a hiking trip.
Camp Cariboo campers, "The Keeners," have some communication problems while parking their canoe at the dock.

Conservation Ontario's Healthy Hikes 2014 Kicks off in Two Weeks

Conservation Ontario will kick off the second year of the Healthy Hikes challenge in two weeks. 

Healthy Hikes encourages people to explore the 270 conservations around Ontario. Touting the benefits of exploring nature, the challenge has you to log the time spent at Ontario Conservations for a chance to win a prize package. Register now for an account to log your hikes and watch the Events Calendar for upcoming special events.  There is also a good collection of articles that you can read about how beneficial Nature and taking part in the outdoors can be.

Download a .pdf guide to the Conservations in Ontario

Find a conservation near you using their interactive map and stay connected with the latest news by following Conservation Ontario on Facebook and Twitter.

Gear Review: Smartwool Men's PhD SmartLoft Full Zip Hoody

Within the past few days we have had such strong winds that I had to take down the hanging sign with my house number for fear that my home would soon be numberless. The other day, it went from +20 in the morning, to an inch of snow at night. Welcome to the crazy Canadian Spring fluctuations that require you to be prepared. We gave the Smartwool Men's PhD Smartloft Full Zip Hoody a try to see how it stood up to this Spring.

This jacket is made with a 100% Nylon exterior, and lined with Merino Wool for a very soft feel. The elastic cuffs fit well, and the drawstring allowed you to cinch-up the bottom of the jacket snugly to keep out any drafts. The jacket moved very fluidly with me and due to its light weight, was my first choice from my closet when heading out for a hike. The Smartloft (a mix of wool insulated with quilted nylon) wasn't bulky, kept me pleasantly warm, and the DWR coating shed any rain or snow.

The zipper sometimes catches on the draft flap inside if you zip up quickly, but didn't allow any wind to whistle through and give you a chill. Leaning into wind kept me perfectly warm and dry, and the two hand pockets offered the same shelter. There are also two inner pockets (about the same size as an iPad mini) to stash gloves, or a granola bar for later.

The attached hood has room for a helmet, although it can be a little hard to manage in direct headwinds when you aren't wearing one because there are no cords to tighten the area. Its larger size helped baffle crosswind, and since the SmartLoft isn't that puffy, it lays flat when leaning against something like a tree or your car seat, so you don't have an uncomfortable bulge in the back of your neck.

Although the Smartwool Men's PhD SmartLoft Full Zip Hoody isn't highly packable, it stood up to everything that Spring has thrown at it, and therefore has become my go-to jacket for all of my outdoor adventures. The bright colours of the jacket this year are also are quite sharp and attractive, and this jacket also comes in a version for Women. The Merino Max Double Jersey knit that runs through the back of the jacket and along the inside collar and hood gives you the warm embrace you want during the chill of Spring.

The inReach Explorer, the World’s First Satellite Communicator with Built-In Navigation

DeLorme announced the inReach Explorer today, the World’s First Satellite Communicator with Built-In Navigation. Available in May, the inReach Explorer offers messaging, tracking and SOS capabilities (such as remote tracking and allowing users to communicate via text back and forth with responders at the international 24/7 search-and-rescue monitoring centre), as well as a built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer.

"inReach Explorer is the first personal satellite communicator to bring together the power of navigation with truly global SOS alerting, GPS tracking and two-way text messaging in one rugged, waterproof device," said Michael Heffron, CEO of DeLorme. "For people whose recreational activities or work takes them to remote locations without reliable cellular coverage, inReach Explorer is a single, lightweight device that can help them navigate, communicate and seek help in the event of an emergency."

Once you download the Earthmate App,  to your iOS and Android device, you can then wireless pair your mobile deceive to the inReach Explorer to access map data, send text messages and unlimited access to DeLorme’s topographic maps and U.S. NOAA charts (which can be downloaded via an Internet connection prior to departure and remain available in the Earthmate app, even when beyond cellular coverage).

Suggested retail price for inReach Explorer is $379 U.S. DeLorme also recently announced the launch of Freedom subscription plans for all inReach products, allowing users to pay for satellite service only when they need it, on a monthly basis (Plans start at $14.95 per month for the safety service and go up to $99.95 per month for the highest service level).

Stay connected with the latest news from DeLorme on Facebook and Twitter and head over to inReach Canada for more information.