FOOTWEAR AND CLOTHING
I own many pairs of Keens and have been wearing this brand since 2016. I have never gotten a pair that didn’t fit me just right, or that gave me blisters or caused me issues. I had one pair that had a small defect after owning them for a few months and I was sent a replacement pair within a very short time. They are a great company and have the best customer service. They make footwear to last and it is made with the environment in mind, which makes me really happy. Below are the Keens I currently own and wear on my adventures. If you click on the photo, it will take you to a page where you can get more information and even purchase the item if you so choose. I am an affiliate for Keen so anything that you purchase through a link below, gets me a very small commission, but just a note that these are all items I wear regularly and love dearly, and I wouldn’t suggest them if I didn’t honestly think you would enjoy them as well.
KeenCNXII Water Sandal- New to me Spring of 2022. All i can say so far is they are super light and extremely comfortable. I also love the colour, although not Camper Christina green, they still have a bit of green in them. I can’t wait to put these to the test this season!
Terradora Ethos Water Sandals. These are my favorites. I use these for canoe tripping. They are great for portages, getting in and out of the water and slogging through the muck. They have great tread, are very light, but durable and dry quickly. I have a youtube video about these in the link below for the Hanz water socks if you want to see them up close and get a bit more information about them.
Sealskinz Waterproof Warm Weather Mid Length Sock with Hydrostop: I had a tough time getting information on these socks. Customer service was just way too busy. However, when I finally did get to speak to someone and the saw how many emails I’d sent, they offered to send me an extra free pair of socks. I have never used anything but the Hanz socks below, but they are no longer made, so I’m giving these a try in 2022. I’ll let you know how they are.
Hanz Water Socks: There is sadly no link to these as they are discontinued and I have not purchased a replacement as yet. When watching most of my canoe tripping videos, you will see I’m wearing socks with my Keen sandals most of the time. The reason is explained in this youtube video which is linked at and in the description below the video, you’ll find a link to some socks I may be getting to replace the Hanz brand in the near future. My Hanz socks are now completely done and I have to get a new pair of something in 2022. The Hanz water socks are no longer available, however, a similar style can be found here. If you have any suggestions, please shoot me an email. Cheers!
Newport Sandals. I use these for canoe tripping and they were my favorites before getting the Terrador Ethos. I still love them and they are in tact after a few years of hard tripping in them, but not as light as the Terradora Ethos. They are great for portages, getting in and out of the water and slogging through the muck. They have great tread, are very light, but durable and dry quickly. I would wear these now if I was doing a really hard core trip where I needed to protect my feet well.
Targhee III. Love love love these for tripping trips. These are my dry footwear I bring on my canoe trips along with one of the pairs of sandals. They are very light, but durable and have great treads. They are also comfortable and I love getting to camp at the end of a long day of portaging and slipping these on to wear around camp and do some land exploring with.
Durand II Waterproof Boot: I wear these when I am out hiking in the fall, winter and spring, anywhere above -5. They are super comfortable, have great tread and are durable. I have had these for many many years and they are still in perfect condition.
Durand Polar Winter Boot: These are my amazing winter hiking boots. I love these, truly. In Canada it gets pretty cold in the winter and these boots are the ones I use when it’s -40 and snowing and they always keep my feet warm and dry. They have fur on the inside and are super comfortable as well. I’ve been wearing these about 3 or 4 winter seasons now and they are just like new. I also use them with my snow shoes.
Winter Carnival Sorels: Before I started wearing the Durand polar fleece boots from Keen, I spent quite a bit of time in my Sorels. I always had warm feet when I wore them and they are great boots that I wear these days for normal winter wear. They have removeable liners, which is important in a winter boot, so that if they get wet, they can be dried and replaced. You can also take the liners out at night and put them in your sleeping bag if you are cold camping, and they will dry there, (as long as they are not soaking wet,) and it will also warm them up for when you have to put them on in the morning. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative winter boot for doing winter trips, these will do the job just fine. Just make sure they are comfortable and not too tight so you can wear extra socks and the heat is able to circulate. I have a friend who had tight Sorels and her feet were always freezing, so it’s important to note that.
Elsa III Sneakers: Yup, named after that famous Disney character but I love these sneakers. I don’t wear them adventuring but for casual wear around town and when I present at shows. Super comfortable and cute. They come in lots of colors to match all your outfits. (yes, sometimes I’m a girly girl!)
DIY Moccasin Kit Hide Uppers from Lure of the North: This kit is from the lovely Dave & Kielyn Marone from Lure of the North. You can purchase the kit and make them yourself, go to a workshop with them, or buy the moccasins already made. They have a lot of other types of DIY kits as well. Visit their page and check out what else they have to offer or take your newly made moccasins on a guided winter adventure with them. Nicest people on the planet and a true Canadian Company made from scratch out of love.
Atlas Elektra Snowshoes: This was the only place I could think of to put these, even though they aren’t technically footwear. I have had these snowshoes since 2016 and have never had an issue with them. The link attached goes to the new model of these as i don’t believe the exact same ones are available any longer. They do the job they’re meant to and are durable and long lasting. Something I think is very important in a product.
Ice Trax: What I have used more than my snowshoes the past few years are an accessory you strap on to your boot that has little spikes in it to keep you from slipping. They go by ice cleats, ice trax, winter grippers, winter traction aids, snow grips, crampons, winter shoe covers, etc, etc. They have a whole bunch of names and some aren’t even correct, but the bottom line is that they are awesome. You can get them at Walmart for as low as $9.99 and the price increases based on the quality and brand. The reason I use them more is that the trails I hike on in the winter are very well used. After so many people tamp the trail down by walking on it, sometimes it gets wet, then slippery and icy. Once this happens, they can be tough to navigate without that little extra traction added to your boots. They are light and easy to carry in your pack and when you need them, just strap them on. Plus, they are a much cheaper way of hiking in the snow than snowshoes. But if you have fresh deep snow, snowshoes are still the way to go.
Anti-Skid Thermal Booties: I wanted to add these at the bottom of the footwear list, as I used these lovely booties in the winter, usually inside my hot tent. You can find many varieties of camp booties, varying in price. I just wanted a less expensive pair that would give me something to wear when hanging out inside the hot tent. They are comfortable, easy to pack, really warm, and they have rubber soles, so I can wear them on the snow floor in the tent and also when I need to run outside to do something, like walk to the privy, go get wood, or just go for a stroll. They are obviously not made for deep snow but otherwise, a great creation for winter camping, in my opinion.
I wear a lot of clothing from my Love the Backcountry Clothing line which sadly shut down at the end of 2020, but here are a few other items in my clothing dry bag that come on pretty much every trip with me. If there is something you see me wearing on a trip via social media that you don’t see here, let me know and I will add it or share the info on it with you. Click the pictures for more information or to buy any of the items listed if they are still available for purchase somewhere.
Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket If you can only take one jacket, this is the one to take! This jacket has been on so many trips with me, I can’t even count how many. I use it year round, except on extremely hot trips in August or September. Otherwise, it is with me. In the winter, I wear it with a merino long sleeve and a dry wicking tank and then a windbreaking layer on top of it. I wear it to sleep at night on many of the trips year round as I get very cold at night and it keeps me cozy. It has zippered pockets and I have put it through a lot. It has rough patches where I got to close to the fire but has not burned. It has no rips. tears or defects and always keeps me warm and cozy. I’m not sure what I would do without this garment in my pack. It’s simply the best jacket I’ve ever owned.
Marmot Precip Jacket: This jacket is my go to for rain wear. I partner this jacket a lot with the Patagonia better sweater and it keeps me warm and dry. it has a visor in the hood which is great for rainy weather. There are vents under the armpits for when it’s hot and raining so you can cool down and it has a few zippered pockets. This jacket has kept me dry on many adventures and hopefully will do so for many more.
Icebreaker 200 Oasis Crew Long Sleeve: This is the long sleeve base layer I wear when I’m not wearing my LoveTheBackcountry dry wicking base layers. Those can be found on the tab marked shop. I wear this a lot in the winter over a dry wicking tank (also from LTB line) and then layer over it, usually with the Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket above. Great product. Keeps me warm and feels nice on my skin.
Leggings: Smart Wool NTS Mid 250 Bottom: I love wearing these leggings under everything, especially in the winter. It makes it easy for me to add my fleece tights (Ardene’s) or my snow pants, or both and easily change when it’s cold without taking off all my layers. They are dry wicking and remain comfortable no matter what activity I am doing while wearing them and also are great to wear to sleep in on warmer summer nights.
Icebreaker Socks: Several years ago, I bought my first pair of icebreaker socks. They were $21.99 and I could not believe I was spending that much money on a pair of socks! I had been told by many that especially for hiking and for the winter, they were essential. I was not misled. I love these socks so much I attempt to wear a pair every day of the week and not just for hiking or camping anymore. They wick away moisture from your feet and are made with Merino wool. They’re extremely comfortable they provide support to your feet and I never ever thought I could love a socks so much!
Just Strong Black Seamless Sculpt Bra: In spring of 2020, I became an ambassador for a company called Just Strong. They promote strong women and I was thrilled to be asked to become a member of the Just Strong Team. I have been wearing the Seamless Sculpt Bra for the season and so far absolutely love it. It is extremely comfortable for a sports bra. It dries quickly and is fairly economical. Check out the link above to find out more and use the code CHRSCH10 to receive a special discount.
Ex Officio Bikini Brief Travel Underwear: Yes, underwear. I said it and there’s a photo. People don’t really like talking about undergarments but when you are backcountry camping, especially in cold weather, you need to stay dry. There is little point in wearing dry wicking pants, dry wicking tank tops and long sleeves when you have cotton underwear, under there. I purchased the Ex Officio Travel Underwear in 2017 and have purchased many pairs since. I love them and they keep me feeling dry. They are a bit pricey, but I believe entirely worth the price, especially for cold weather camping. I created a youtube video on these, click here to check it out. Please note these come in bikini or full cut brief based on your preference and in beige or black.
Venustas Heated Jacket: In January 2022, I received this heated jacket to test out from Venustas. I have used it a few times now and it works quite well. I will continue to test it out and update you on its progress, as it’s still fairly new. I introduce this gear item in my Silent Lake Solo Winter Trip series in Part 2. If you ever have any questions, feel free to message me and just ask.
BUG PROTECTION – CLOTHING:
Headnets: If you are out in the backcountry during bug season, you need to have a headnet, or even two. I always try to wear mine with a baseball hat, or a hat with a brim on it. This makes it much more comfortable to wear as the net isn’t pressed right up against your face. I get them from anywhere and am not super fussy about my headnet. As long as it doesn’t have holes in it, I’m happy. Black is the better color over the green, in my opinion, just because it makes it a bit easier to see out of.
Bug Blocker Ultralight Youth Jacket: For a bug shirt I use something very simple. The Bug Blocker Youth Jacket from Canadian Tire. They have revised the name to Bushline Bug Packer Jacket, but it’s basically the same thing. It has adjustable elastic at the wrists and also has a full hood that covers your face. I never wear that when wearing the shirt as it fits tightly and isn’t very comfortable. Instead, I wear the shirt without the hood and face covering on, and use a separate headnet that I can wear with a baseball hat or brimmed hat. You are not able to fit this into the one in the shirt. I get the youth as it fits me and the sizing in the jackets are mens, but they do come in mens sizes as well. I found them much bigger, plus the youth were a bit cheaper.
Bug Blocker Ultralight Pants: Just like the product above, this is made by the same company and is sold at Canadian Tire. I like both of the Bug Blocker items as they are about a half or even a third of the price as some of the others. I also think the other ones are much heavier and are not entirely mesh. In the summer, it is hard to trip when it’s incredibly hot out as the bugs are all over you. Both the pants and the jacket, keep me much cooler and still give me an incredible amount of protection. I have been wearing both the pants and shirt for over 10 years now and have replaced both a few times over the years due to wear and tear. For the price, still well worth it.
Packtowl Personal Body Size in Clover: I wasn’t quite sure where to put this, but I think clothing is the best spot. I purchased this Packtowl in 2017 and have been using it on every swimable (and some non swimable) trips since. I love that it is super absorbent and dries really fast. I also really like that it packs up small and doesn’t weigh as much as normal towels. Before this Packtowl, I had a smaller sized one. It went missing when I moved so I bought another one as I really liked the first one I had. The only thing I changed was getting a bigger size. Great Product!
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