With months of anticipation, the day had finally come! The Outdoor Adventure Show was in Toronto and I was ready to go! By recommendation of my friend at Ontario Trails, this show was a great place to network and meet contacts and with my blog CamperChristina.com still in it’s first year, I wanted to make the best impression possible.
I contacted my friend Stacey to help me design a logo, which would be used to put on apparel that myself and my mom would wear to the show. I wanted to meet as many people as possible and with logged gear on, it would be easy for people to know who I was.
I ordered a white v neck tee with Green print, a green fleece jacket with white embroidery and a white cinch bag for our backs with the logo in green. I also ordered some business cards, so people could easily contact me, find my blog, social media sites, etc. I was ready!!!
At 830am I picked up mom and we headed to the international centre arriving just before the doors were to open at 10am. I was nervous actually, which made me laugh. I have always felt like I am somewhat socially awkward and even with several Dale Carnegie and human relations type certificates in my name, I’m still always worried I’ll say the wrong thing.
The first person we came across upon entering the hall was David Lee, otherwise known as the Passionate Paddler! David has been on a ridiculous amount of adventures and is someone I admire greatly. You can find his blog on all things canoeing here and his Facebook page here. After a good chat, we posed for a photo, taken by mom, and explored the Eureka booth.
Moments later I ran into fellow #ISurvivedMewAtMinus42 campers Paula, Jack and Terry Thomas. We chatted a bit about how warm it was today, compared to our frigid adventures last Saturday and discussed which talks each wanted to see during the day. Then we parted ways to reunite later on.
I headed over to one of my favourite places, Ontario Parks. I had a great chat with the staff in the booth and thanked them for their support of CamperChristina.com. They had some neat exhibits and we walked around and checked them out.
The next place I needed to visit was Algonquin Outfitters. I had to see Randy and give him a big hug and thank him for being so cool with me on social media. I visit Algonquin quite a bit and Randy has been a huge supporter of my blog. It was amazing to meet him in person and talk maps with him. Thank you Randy and Algonquin Outfitters for all you do!
After our visit with Randy we headed over to Parks Canada. They had a cool booth set up with the red chairs I had seen all summer on twitter, and a green screen on the other side where you could pick any Parks Canada Park and get your photo taken with it as the background. After mom and I had a really nice chat with the people in the booth, we of course, had our photos taken doing some paddle boarding.
Next I was on the lookout for Keen Canada . I have spent a lot of time interacting with them and found the lovely lady who I chat with most of the time. She was bright, bubbly and helped mom with some shoe advice. It didn’t hurt that I had my Keen Follow Your Feet patch sewn onto my Camper Christina jacket! Thanks for being super friendly and supporting me and for the cutest little keychain I’ve ever seen! Do you want to build a snowman? LOL
After that mom and I perused some of the booths, looking at boats and gear, hot tents, etc. Below she is taking a look at an Atuk Hot tent and comparing the material to that of my tipi!
Then we went by the Adventures in Paddling Stage to see David Bain speak about The Nahanni: A Flat water paddler experiences the legendary Canadian River. The presentation was very interesting. and I enjoyed it a lot. Afterwards, I met Jan Carol Phillips who I’d been recently interacting with on social media. Jan had created a hat for a contest being held later by David Lee. The person who created the best Canoe hat could win one of three great prizes and I was pretty sure by the look of Jan’s hat, she would win. Check out the video below to see as much detail as I could get electronically. It is simply amazing and I was sooo impressed with it!
While talking to Jan I ran into one of my Mew Lake campers from the -42 crew, Kim. Kim is an incredibly fit outdoors woman and I think she is an incredibly cool chick! Plus, check out the boots she had on! Love them! Big thanks to Kims brother for the hilarious photo bomb and to Kim for proofing a few of my newest posts! You are A-OK sister and I can not wait to adventure with you! xo
After catching up with Kim and Jan, we headed over to the Wild Women Expeditions booth to meet up with a very cool outdoor adventurer I’d met on social media named Kate Ming Sun . Kate’s main mission is to get people outside and when you check out her blog you will definately be inspired to do so! Kate, it was a great pleasure to meet you and I can see some fun adventures in our future! I also had a great visit en route with the Royal Botanical Gardens and got to meet their turtle. Isn’t it cute?
Mom and I were getting pretty hungry so we headed to the food area to get some lunch, meeting up with some more outdoors friends and enjoying our meals chatting away. Then it was time for David Lee, The Passionate Paddler, to speak, so we raced over to the Adventures in Paddling Theatre, listening intently to his presentation on Discovering A New Canoe Route in the Northwest Territories. It was a full house and everyone, including myself really enjoyed the talk. Really great job David!
Once David was finished his presentation, he had anyone who created a canoe hat stand up and they picked a winner. Jan, of course, had the best hat, although she had some tough competition, she won the first place prize, a Eureka shelter. David also gave away a backpack and a sleeping bag, both Eureka products. Anyone who participated also received a prize. I didn’t get the information on the other winners but I do know that Karla won a prize as well and had seen her awesome hat up close.(photo credit David Lee). And I borrowed this group shot from the lovely Jan Carol Phillips. Thank you for letting me share this!
Many people I’d been hoping to meet came out to Davids talk so we had some serious photo sessions afterwards. I finally got to meet Gayle Labuz whose blog Sometimes Eventful is awesome! Gayle was also a survivor from the Mew Lake -42 crew and is the creator of #WeGetOutside , a weekly twitter chat on Tuesdays that I do my best to attend, but sadly don’t always get to, thanks to work. My friend Karen and Cheffrey stopped by to say hello. Karen is a fellow honorary Woods Explorer , runs marathons and climbs mountains. All awesome people and I was sooo happy to see them all.
I got some great group shots, the one above left with Marissa Dolotallas, Marian Godfrey Sonntag and Gayle Labuz . Shortly after I met Rick Merriman, who is a regular presence on the Algonquin Park Facebook page. Rick came up to say hello and I was so glad he did. It is always great to put real faces to social media connections! I also finally got to meet a longtime follower of my blog Dave Johnstone pictured on the far right of the last image above. Both Rick and Dave entered The Passionate Paddler’s canoe hat contest and are wearing their awesome entries. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to take my own photo of Dave, so I have borrowed this photo with Rick’s permission from his Facebook page. The photo is of Rick, Dave and Kevin Callan, another one of the awesome speakers at the show this year. Very good to meet you guys! Thanks for all your support!
My favourite shot of the day was just after Marian from The Camping Family handed out the stickers she had made for us. Some of the people who’d camped at Mew Lake for Winter In The Wild during -42 temperatures had come to the show, so we got a photo of everyone with their stickers. Pictured above from left to right are Kim, Sarah, Marian, myself and Terry in the front row. Such wonderful people. If you ever get a chance to camp with any one of them, do it! You will have the best time ever, no matter the weather conditions!
After we all chatted for a bit, we went over to congratulate David on his talk and tease him a little about not getting one of the -42 stickers for camping at Mew last weekend. I have to admit it felt good to have done something someone so hardcore hasn’t done, and it will possibly be the only time I will ever have something like that on Mr. Lee, so I took full advantage. David was incredibly cool about it all and I found him to be humble about his adventures and constantly encouraging everyone else to speak, instead of focusing on himself. You, Passionate Paddler, are an all around wonderful person and I appreciate you treating me like an equal, although we both know that’s not the case.
Upon departing from the “Meet the Passionate Paddler” table, I got a tweet advising me that Man Camping was in the house! My mom and I headed over to the bar to meet him for a drink as I had been hoping to meet him as well today. Man Camping has an awesome blog. I met him through Gayles’ #WeGetOutside Tuesday night chats and I was looking forward to saying hello in person.
We had a nice talk about bacon and beer and how camping in a tent in -42 is not considered glamping!! LOL I then checked out some kids climbing on the rock wall and headed to hear Kevin Callan speak about his Georgian Bay Adventures Canoe tripping.
It was an extremely packed house, but Kevin being an author and having done many presentations in his past, spoke very well and was incredibly entertaining. Everyone seemed to enjoy his talk as much as I did. As soon as his talk was over, we headed back to the Adventures in Paddling Stage to hear Preston Ciere give a presentation on The Outdoor Playground that Awaits You for Canoe Camping in Algonquin Provincial Park. It was a really entertaining talk, full of great photos and stories about Preston’s dog Nancy, and was also standing room only. I particularly enjoyed this talk as I had been to most of the places Preston spoke about and could really relate to the points he was bringing up.
After hearing Preston speak I finally caught up with a girl I’d been playing hide and seek with most of the day, Jen, also known as Outdoors Jen. Jen has been a huge supporter of my blog and someone I know I will be going on some adventures with in the near future. It was great to meet you lady! Hope to see you again soon!
While talking to Jen I caught a glimpse of some awesome campers I met on New Years Eve, Anne and Rammy. They had welcomed me into their tent to celebrate the new year and shared stories with me, even though I didn’t know them. They were camping with my new friend Sarah and I was happy to see them again, even for just a quick hello and a selfie! 🙂
Mom and I were getting a bit peckish so we decided to check out the food aisle. We noticed it earlier, only after we’d just eaten lunch so we headed back to see what type of goodies we could try. In our travels, we came across this booth, a company called Solo who makes energy bars. They had tonnes of samples and a great show deal going on. I actually liked every single bar I tried… ALOT… and can see myself using these for some trips coming up later in the year. Even mom liked them!
We checked out a few other vendors in the row. This rep from Gorp was a fabulous promoter and their bars containing hemp were also pretty tasty, although we both found they had a slight after taste. Another booth I really liked was selling lotion made with Aloe in it. This lovely lady rubbed both my hands with lotion making my skin smooth and soft. Thanks so much for the mini massage. I enjoyed it greatly!
I had realized as the show was in it’s last hour that I had yet to speak with the people from the Bruce Trail ConservancyThe Bruce Trail Conservancy. We had been by earlier but they were very busy so I’d vowed to return. We headed there and had a nice chat with them and I asked them to pass on my thanks to the people who handles their social media, as the Bruce Trail has supported Camper Christina since day one and I wanted to show my appreciation. We got a few quick photos and then headed for the exit, both mom and myself weary from the days excitement.
On our way to the door, we once again ran into David Lee. Fitting as he was the first person we’d chatted with upon our arrival. The bonus was that David was talking with Tierney who also has a blog which is how I met her. Additionally, her and her boyfriend also camped at Mew Lake Family Day weekend and Tierney provided me with a photo of her new hot tent to add to that post. It was wonderful to finally meet you both and I look forward to reading about your future adventures!
Mom and I had an amazing time at the Outdoor Adventure Show. We met a lot of incredible outdoor enthusiasts, heard some interesting and entertaining presentations, got a bit of free swag and smiled so much our faces were sore! It was a wonderful day and I am grateful to have the opportunity to spend time with so many awesome people!
I hope you enjoyed my post and will come back again soon! Next week I will be climbing an Ice Wall in the Halliburton Highlands so stay tuned for that and lots of other fun outdoor adventures! If you have any questions or just want to say hi, please leave a comment and I will reply as soon as I am able to!
and mom! 🙂