Since hiking is everyone’s favourite activity here in British Columbia, I have also started going on a handful of day trips across the province. Your success as a hiker can definitely be determined by the gear your wear and bring with you so I wanted to share with you today some of my current hiking essentials for the summer and fall!
1) Camelbak Hydration Pack – I loath carrying around several water bottles with me when I hike, so getting the Camelbak pack was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. It comes equipped with 2L hydration bag as well as tons of pockets and storage to put snacks, my phone, wallet, etc. This one also comes equipped with a whistle, which is a must when you live in bear country!
2) Saje Wellness Journey On Kit – This customized Saje kit is perfect for staying energized and refreshed during those long hikes. The kit comes equipped with deodorant, lip balm, lotion and their energy remedy. It also comes in a super lightweight bag that is easy to strap onto your Camelbak or backpack.
3) KEEN Terradora boots – These lightweight boots are a must-have for any short or long hike. KEEN specifically designed these boots having women in mind making sure they fit like a glove and can be used in all sorts of terrain. The boots are also breathable and waterproof.
4) MEC Aquanator Jacket – Because you can never be sure what type of weather you’ll encounter during a hike, this MEC waterproof jacket with fully taped seams is a great layering piece to bring along. It comes equipped with underarm zips for cooling as well as adjustable cuffs and hood.
5) Stance Socks – A good pair of socks is crucial when hiking for a long time. These StancePeak Hike socks are made with merino wool, polyester, cotton and nylon fibers that help keep your feet cool, pull moisture away faster and will last you hike after hike!
Some other must-haves include: a headlamp, trail poles, bear spray/bear bell, hat, etc.
Summer is officially here on the west coast! It has been nothing but blue skies this past week, which is very welcome after a series of rainy months. Since this is my first summer out west there are a lot of things that I want to do while the sun is shinning. So I have decided to create a summer fitness bucket list!
Topping my list is this summer is training for several half marathons. I did my first ever half in May and loved it so much that I decided to register for a few more down the road. I am taking full advantage of the fact that I’m out west to pick races in beautiful destinations that showcases some of the best Pacific Northwest scenery.
Obstacle course races are also high on my bucket list. There are so many great events being held across British Columbia that I want to hit up as many as possible. So I’ve been doing a lot more strength training and training with weights to get in the best shape possible in order to be a strong competitor for these races. I’ve always lacked upper body strength so it’s something that I’m really working on.
Races aren’t the only thing that are on my summer fitness bucket list. I’m also hoping to do more trail running, outdoor cycling, hiking, open water swimming and rock climbing. Basically, I want to be outside as much as possible and be as active as possible for the next couple of months!
Squamish has become one of the country’s most popular locations for outdoor sports and adventures. One of the latest and greatest activity to come to the area is the Sea to Sky Gondola, located just a few minutes from the city centre.
Right off the 99 Highway, the gondola allows guests to get a panoramic view of the area while heading up the mountain. Once at the top, they offer a wide variety of activities to choose from. Whether you’re into snowshoeing, a casual walk, tubbing or ski touring, the Sea to Sky Gondola has got you covered.
We opted for a snowshoeing excursion, which last 1.5 hours, with a super friendly and knowledgeable guide who has been residing in the area for 10+ years. Our guide brought us on some of the most scenic trails that tower the snow capped peaks of the mountain. They have trails for all levels and even have some light up trails and offer special themed activities depending on the time of year. The trails for snowshoeing and walking come at no extra cost once you are up at the top of the mountain.
In addition to the trails, you can also walk over the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge or get some breathtaking views of Squamish at the Summit Lodge Deck.
Following our snowshoeing excursion, we tried out their winter tube park, for some old-fashioned tubing. Situated just a few steps away from the Gondola, you get to slide down one of their four designated lanes as many times as you want for just an extra $5.
Once you’re done your activities, you can either sit fireside or grab a snack while warming up in their cozy in their mountaintop lodge.
Can’t make it this winter? Not to worry. They have just as many activities to do in the summer time. In the summer, you can also hike up the Sea to Summit Trail (and can bring your dog along with you!), go rock climbing, do mountain top yoga, etc.
If you’re headed up to Whistler or looking for a great day excursion, head over to the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish!
For more information on the Sea to Sky Gondola, go here.
This post was a long time coming. I got the amazingGarmin Fēnix 3 watch at the beginning of 2016 and took the last couple of months to test it out before finally reviewing it. Even after a few months, I have yet to use all of its functionalities, which is pretty incredible.
I had heard great things about the Garmin watches from all of the people I train with but had never had the opportunity to test out any of their products before.
I have set myself some pretty big personal fitness goals for 2016 and thought this would be the perfect watch to accompany me on this journey. Up until this year, I had solely been relying on the Nike app to monitor my training but wanted to take it up a notch and I definitely did with this watch.
I’ve had the chance to try out a few different types of watches in the last couple of months but this particular one is a keeper.
The reason I love it so much: it does everything! No matter where I go, or what I use it for, it is incredibly reliable, easy to use and gets me the information that I need.
I first started using the watch for running. When I did my first couple of races last year, I didn’t like having to always look at my phone and wait every .5 kms before getting my pace. Now with the watch, I can always keep track of my pace and how long I have to go on a specific run or during a race. The Vibration Alert tells me when I’ve completed another kilometer and the Auto Pause allows me to pause my run if ever I encounter a traffic light or need to take a break. The other downside of relying solely on your phone is that in extreme weather, the phone either overheats or freezes and shuts off. I brought the watch with me to the desert of California and to the Canadian Rockies and didn’t experience any glitches whatsoever.
The 32 MB of internal memory also allows you to store several of your runs, locations and routes. You can store up to 1000 track points and navigate back to them. I could also use this function to mark a vehicle or a point of interest if I was traveling.
Some of my favorite running features: the Virtual Pacer, the Race Predictor and also the Recovery Advisor, are key in my progression and training for upcoming races. You can also keep personal records and get a comprehensive assessment of your running dynamics.
I also took the watch with me hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The GPS and the ABC sensors (Altimeter, Barometer and Compass) were great tools for my hike. The watch allowed me to keep track of where I was going and how far up the mountain I was.
I also tested the watch out while snowboarding. The Altimeter was a fun little tool that allowed me to measure my elevation on the mountain. Additionally, the Ski/Board mode allowed me to calculate the vertical drop at the resort as well as automatically counted my runs during the day.
I hit the pool for the very first time in a long time with the Fēnix 3, going back to my first love, swimming. I spent my childhood in pools competing and swimming in the local swim team. I love that I was able to calculate my distance, stroke count and also my pace while I was in the pool. The watch can also be adjusted depending on the size of the pool.
I also now take it with me during all of my workouts because I can set the watch up for interval training or multi-sport and can obtain my heart rate and calories burned after an activity.
Other watch features that I particularly like: sun and moon information, sleep monitoring, the step counter, Smart Notifications from my phone to my watch as well as Bluetooth and Wi-fi compatibility.
If you’re looking for an additional challenge and you’re training alone, try the Virtual Partner or Virtual Racer, it will allow you to train or compete against a digital person or another activity.
With the weather slowly but surely warming up, I’m excited to take the watch with me for a bike ride and explore its cycling features. This summer, I also want to take it SUP and rowing. I may even need to take up golfing and work on my shots.
The watch design itself is one of my favorite features. I love the rose gold and white combo, the big round color display also makes it easy to read. Surprisingly the watch isn’t too heavy either.
The battery life has been excellent during the first few months I’ve been using the watch. The battery lasts around 16 hrs when using GPS and up to several months if you only use the watch modes. You can also customize the design of your watch by going to the Connect IQ store.
In summary, the Garmin Fēnix 3 has completely changed my training. It has become my go-to companion on my training journey towards all of this year’s races and fitness events. My first race of the year is only a month away and I cannot wait to have it on me for race day.
For more information on the Garmin Fēnix 3, go here.
As you’re reading this, I’m (hopefully) on my way back from my first “bushwoman” adventure, which will have included a 6h hike and camping at the top of the Rockies. I’ve been on the road a lot these past couple of months traveling for work, covering music festivals across Canada for BRBR but this is my first real vacation in a long time.
I’ve been going to California a lot these past couple of years for work and to surf but I hadn’t been back to BC since 2006, when I was tour managing The Expos and The One Night Band. I’m happy to have taken a few days before heading down to California to explore more of BC.
The last few days have been spent, visiting Vancouver and exploring the beautiful small town of Squamish. It’s my first time in Squamish and it’s absolutely beautiful. Squamish is located in the middle of the rockies, just 40mins north of Vancouver. Everyone here in the town here is really outdoorsy. Squamish is renown for its great rock climbing, mountain biking and also kite surfing. So far, I’ve had the chance to check out “The Spit”, which is a famous place for kite surfing, swim and swing off Tarzan ropes in Brohm Lake, check out Squamish Days Logger Fest (super impressive logging competition) and visit the Brennan Park Aquatic Centre to do a few laps. Check the pics below 🙂
Speaking of kite surfing, the other day I discovered this great kite surfing, surfing and SUP movie called “Antandroy” filmed on RED in Madagascar. You can watch it here:
My next adventure will be my first EVER real hike up Whistler, with a night spent camping at the top of the rockies. I’m not gonna lie, this adventure is very daunting to me. Though I love nature, love being at the beach and surfing, I’ve never really been a “bushwoman”. I don’t like bugs, I’m scared of snakes, bears and whatever else lives in the woods. So this should be interesting to say the least. The thing I’m most looking forward to is the incredible view, flowers and lakes I’m supposed to see from up top. I will definitely be posting some pics in the next couple of days.
Once I’m back, I’ll be staying in Squamish for a day or so to do some SUP and will then head back to Vancouver for a day before flying to California for the second part of my trip, where I’ll get to go SURFING!!!!! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m obsessed with surfing and everything surf-related. Though I’m not a great surfer, it’s the only thing I do that clears my head. For those of you who’ve never tried surfing, I highly recommend it!
That’s it for today. I leave you with Delta Spirit‘s rad track “California”, which they performed at Lollapalooza this past weekend in Chicago. Can’t get enough of this track. It rocks my socks off!