Author: Jill Clark

Garage-sized RV first of its kind: The Mantis by TAXA Outdoors

Do you want the spacious outdoor lifestyle of an 18-foot RV, without the hassle of having to find adequate storage space when it’s time to head back to the city? TAXA Outdoors Inc. unveiled The Mantis on September 18-22 at the RV Open House in Elkhart, Indiana, and to much fanfare we might add. The Mantis is the first travel trailer of its kind: It sleeps 4 adults, but comfortably fits into a standard sized garage. Most vehicles can tow the compact adventure trailer because it weighs in at a light 2300 pounds when empty. The size and weight is perfect for city-dwellers who love a good adventure. What to expect from The Mantis. The open-concept design features 2 bunks positioned across the front end of the trailer, and a convertible couch to queen-sized bed at the rear. There is even space for a small shower in the bathroom, and a two-burner stove and compact fridge in the kitchen. Did we mention all TAXA trailers are designed by an ex-NASA engineer? For the ample living …

Mid-Year Modern Camper Gear Roundup

If you’re a modern camper, you obviously want to keep up with the times when it comes to must-have gear. Here are our top picks this far into 2017. Invest in eco-cookware Make the most of the modern camping movement by embracing sustainability. We love Kupilka eco-friendly dishware. Their durable cups, bowls, plates, and cutlery are crafted from their Kareline® natural fibre composite. It keeps your hot stuff steaming and your cool drinks cold without harming the environment. Stay toasty warm with a new blanket Any true camper has a few blankets packed away for chilly nights and crisp mornings. One of our favourites is sackcloth + ashes. For each blanket sold, they gift a blanket to your local homeless shelter. Plus, their Instagram is full of drool-worthy #vanlife photos. Take better pictures with smartphone camera accessories Upgrade your Insta-game with a smartphone tripod. Have you ever wondered how people get those shots from cool hands-free angles? You don’t need to empty your wallet on a drone. Instead, purchase a tripod with gripped octopus arms …

campfire cooking inspiration

#CampfireCooking to get the juices flowin’

It’s easy to pack pre-made salads, sandwiches, and a handful of hot dogs when packing for a weekend outdoors, but campsite eats can be oh-so-delicious with a little imagination. We aren’t talking Pinterest-perfect five course meals, but some inspiration couldn’t hurt, right? There’s no better place to find inspiration than on Instagram. Here’s how a few other modern campers refuel over the flames. @camping_is_mylife A post shared by Camping is mylife (@camping_is_mylife) on Aug 31, 2017 at 8:49am PDT Pork roasted over the campfire tastes so much better than any way you try to cook it at home. These people are experts—this community account features photos from campers around the world @lachachavida A post shared by Kristina Rodriguez (@lachachavida) on Aug 31, 2017 at 10:30am PDT A drool-worthy side of sweet potato about to grill over an open fire. Sign me up! (And serve it next to the pork from the first photo) @freshoffthegrid A post shared by Fresh Off the Grid (@freshoffthegrid) on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:11pm PDT Time for dessert! Does anyone …

RECCO jacket for modern camper

RECCO® SAR radar signals a bonus for hikers in the backcountry

Adventure brands around the world are adopting RECCO® radar reflectors in their outdoor gear. These tiny reflectors help locate missing individuals in search and rescue situations, which could be ideal for your next off road camper trip or trek. How does it work? Only weighing in at 4 grams, the passive reflectors do not require a power source or means of activation. The RECCO® SAR detector sends a radar signal which bounces off the reflector that is installed in your clothing. RECCO® originally used handheld detectors with active radar signals, but has recently created a device that sends a stronger signal from a helicopter. The new device scans one square kilometre in 3-6 minutes. RECCO® also works in extreme weather conditions and dense overhead coverage typical of backcountry areas. Why does a camper need it? The original RECCO® technology was created for avalanche rescue. They hope their updated RECCO® SAR detectors expand to year-round search and rescues. Outdoor clothing brands for year-round adventures (like ORTOVOX) have started to include RECCO® reflectors in their gear: hiking …

Quick Guide to Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

Often overlooked given its proximity to Banff National Park, Waterton is just as beautiful, and usually a little less crowded. The surreal natural landscape makes it an obvious choice for an UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Picture rare wildflowers, plentiful wildlife (bears!), and waterfalls pouring into glacier lakes. When to go Plan your visit June through September for the sunniest weather. Where to hike With over 200 miles of trails to choose from, it’s hard to suggest only a few. The classic hike visitors head to as soon as touching down in the park is Bears Hump: about 45 minutes (1.5km uphill) from the Visitor Centre to Summit. For day-long hikes, take the Red Rock Parkway to Red Rock Canyon. Don’t let the 20-minute canyon scenic walking path fool you—a few trail heads lead into the backcountry from here. Twin Lakes (22.8km) and Blakiston Valley (20.2km) are just a couple. For an extra challenge, try the Triple Crown of Waterton Challenge: Crypt Lake (17.2km), Akamina Ridge (20km), and the Alderson-Carthew Summit (18km). The …

What Instagram Doesn’t Tell You About Living the #vanlife

While it’s easy to believe that the #vanlife movement is all sunshine, mountain views, and Insta-worthy pictures as proof, there is a not-so-sunny side to being a full-time nomad. Here are a few things to know before surrendering to the allure of the open road. 1. You will probably wait days (or a week) without bathing When all your belongings fit perfectly into a box on wheels, there usually isn’t room for an indoor shower. Most #vanlifers forgo this comfort of home because a shower and its water tank take up too much precious space. 2. Eating healthy is hard if you don’t plan ahead Sure, van lifers embrace freedom. But what if your fridge only fits one grocery bag of produce and you don’t know where you will sleep tomorrow? And no, Fruit Loops aren’t a food group. 3. Rainy days are a bit cramped Living in a van is all fun and games until it rains for a week and your spine forgets what it feels like to stand straight.  4. Prepare to step …