I had an amazing time this past weekend at the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto . I applied to get a bloggers pass and blog about the event and I was picked!
I spent two days at the show this year and it was awesome!!! Last year I was only at the event for one day and felt far too rushed. This year I was able to see all the booths I wanted to, talk to people for more than 3 seconds and catch quite a few of the presentations, five actually, and they were all pretty great!
There were many great booths of interest for a camping kayaking canoeing hiking outdoor enthusiast like me!
Parks Canada had a great setup as they did last year. The red chairs were out complete with a faux fire. There was a station where you could sign up to get your 2017 free Parks Canada passes and a green screen setup to make fun pictures with family and friends.
Here’s one I did with my friend Karla, The Curvy Portager. Instantly, we were in Pukaskwa National Park!
Continuing down the aisle, we came across this gentleman who was having people sign cards to be used for a petition to stop the hunting and killing of baby moose. I didn’t even know this was happening and happily signed my name. If you want to do so as well, here is the link. Please check it out, every name counts and next time you go on a trip and don’t see a moose, it could be because you didn’t take the time to sign a simple petition like this.
We came across a few women who were bringing attention and awareness to Lyme disease, something that has become a very big issue in Ontario, especially the last few years. They also had a petition to sign which asks the Canadian government to reject the current draft action plan for Lyme disease and fix it, as Canada currently has no plan. Good work ladies!!! Get the word out!
I came up to Camp Muskoka shortly after. I couldn’t resist a photo of all these bright smiling faces. Camp Muskoka is a kids camp for children ages 6-16 who spend time in the outdoors learning about nature. And well, I live in Muskoka now…. so props to Muskoka!!! I also had some time to chat with Hardwood Ski & Bike, a great place I just visited last month to do some skiing and snowshoeing at. I had a great time there, thank you Hardwood !
Ontario Parks is always one of my favorite booths to visit. They have tonnes of maps out, knowledgeable people in the booth to talk to about the parks, and always something cool on display! Sunday they had a turtle and a fox snake out for viewing. Caitlin did a little presentation with Pants, telling the people stopping by all about it.
What a cute mailbox and clever way to give out brochures! Nicely done Newfoundland Labrador!
Eureka Canada had a huge presence as usual at this years show. There were all types of tents, chairs, sleeping pads and gear strewn out across the booth floor for people to test out before purchasing. It was a great place for me to take a little nap…. err…. I mean… test out this cool sleeping pad with pillow! I’ve been waiting forever for one of these! So comfy….zzzzzzzz…..
I had a brief chat with Tony and Petula from Let’s Discover Ontario. They are such lovely people and make some pretty awesome videos on all types of adventures and activities in and around the area. Check out their site if you are looking for fun activities in Ontario as they have a lot of really good videos there.
I stopped to visit Camping in Ontario, Sandra was giving away bags full of Ontario Camping information and lots of helpful advice. Whether you are seeking solitude in the wilderness or enjoying a family reunion or simply getting away for a romantic adventure, Camping In Ontario is the resource for Ontario campgrounds which offer all types of camping experiences and amenities.
We stopped by the Friends of Temagami booth and said hello to Johanna who was a delight to speak with. Rapid media was in the booth doing an interview which looked pretty cool and I thought it was a neat photo. The gentleman in the booth had a classic Temagami shirt that Johanna is working at bringing back. Let them know if you agree so she can get the approval to order some in. I think they’re pretty darn cool!
Rapid Media also was there in their own booth showing off all their exciting magazines and offering great deals on subscriptions!
I came up to a booth that I knew I would really enjoy visiting, Ontario’s highlands who feature the tag #comewander. I have just recently discovered Ontario’s Highlands last year and have enjoyed everything I’ve done in the area so far! The people who run the various sites are all incredibly energetic, fun and friendly, and it was a pleasure to finally put some faces to the names of people I’ve met during the last year online!
I was pleased as punch when I saw my coaches standing over at Ontario Sea Kayak Centre’s booth. Kyle and Craig (left to right) taught me my Level One and Dympna and James taught me my Level Two. I’m not revealing anything yet, but a discussion was had about me taking my Level 1 instructor…..
Below is my coach James showing off… because he can…. LOL
Everywhere I looked today, there were cool people doing cool things and I wanted to talk to all of them, hear their stories and share experiences with them.
Here’s a picture of me and the boys from Northern Scavengers, Alex and Noah. They are doing really cool trips and I can’t wait to see what they will be up to this year!
David Lee, The passionate Paddler gave a great talk on passion and the risk of falling in love with adventure. He’s seen here giving out a bunch of keynoes from Kingdom Outdoor Products to the large crowd that was there to hear him speak. He gave an interesting talk about overcoming obstacles and an ambitious trip with Joyce from Go Outside.
Next up was Mike Ranta who gave an extremely heartfelt talk about his time paddling across Canada and I honestly felt every word. I was blown away by this guy!!! Just incredible! If you want to see more about Mike and what he is doing, please check out his site.
I ended up watching three presentations on Saturday and they were all awesome. The final one I saw was by Explore the Backcountry, a father and son team, Brad and Wayne Jennings. You could clearly see the incredible connection shared by this dynamic pair and their talk was very inspiring. What a wonderful way to spend time with your son/dad and learn about each other.
It was time for a little drooling next at Swift, checking out their gorgeous boats. For 2017 Swift has made 150 limited edition canoes and kayaks for Canada’s 150th. Should I get one before its too late? I certainly want one!!! I also want a Badger Paddle. Looks like Karla does too! I don’t blame her, they are absolutely beautiful!
I continued to do some more drooling at Langford Canoe where we had a great talk with Andrew. After a little coercing, we got him to donate this beautiful Canada 150th paddle for the 150 for 150 event on June 25th. Thanks Andrew! You rock!
I went to check out more booths, as there was still so much to see and do!
I had a great visit and got tonnes of advice on Algonquin Park from Randy at Algonquin Outfitters! They are always such a great source for information and gear and I am always happy to see them! It’s somewhat like coming home… but not… LOL.
If I hadn’t had enough drooling earlier at Swift, I decided to check out the Paddle Shack‘s booth and pine over all their gorgeous kayaks and canoes. It’s really not fair that I can’t have them all to myself!
On Sunday afternoon, I spent some time listening to a really funny and information talk given by The Happy Camper, Kevin Callan on great places to camp in Ontario. I finally got to talk with Kevin in person a bit as well. I’m not sure if I’ve really shared this information as I wanted to wait until it was a done deal… but Kevin is putting a blurb that I’ve written about my DIY Tipi in his new book on winter camping! Very cool indeed! Thanks Kevin! It was great to finally chat in person! If you ever get a chance to see Kevin speak live, I strongly suggest you attend. There is no doubt you will laugh out loud while learning a lot!
I also watched a great talk by Preston, The Portaguer about the French River. He also did a demo earlier in the pool, assisted by Gayle From Sometimes Eventful on canoeing with dogs. There definitely is something here for everyone!
I spent some time finally checking out the documentary The Canoe . All I can say, is if you’re a paddler of any type, you should check out that movie. I had goosebumps and teary eyes and it made me want to run out and get in my boat and paddle immediately. (not that I need much help, but, the movie was pretty awesome!
I met so many amazing people at this years Outdoor Adventure Show and took so many photos, that I made a giant selfie. There are people that I’ve known since last year, some that won tickets to the show on my Facebook page, (congrats!) some I’ve never met before this weekend, and many I want to be like when I grow up!
Outdoor enthusiasts are some of the most wonderful and kind people I’ve ever encountered and I am so very grateful, there is a show that brings us all together to share some of our passions, and more importantly, share our stories with each other!
I hope you follow my blog and come back to check out more of my adventures!!! You can also follow me on youtube at CamperChristina.com, or click here to see my video on this years OAS.