This weekend I attended the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show for the first time, and I came away with lots of ideas for things I’d love to do! I also returned home with a new toy…
No, the toy isn’t a boat, but my friend Cheryl and I did check out the canoes on display at the Swift Canoe and Kayak and Souris River stalls, both Canadian companies with some great options for canoe-tripping! We also talked used canoes with Randy from Algonquin Outfitters.
Continuing with the paddling theme, I spent some time at the ORCKA booth (Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association), where I learned about the many certification programs they offer. I’m particularly interested in the MOVING WATER LEVEL 1 – Canoe Skills, and RIVER RUNNING LEVEL 1 – Skills courses. I also chatted with someone about personal locator beacons (to call for help if need be), the different kinds and the pros and cons of each. I own one, but am interested in the kinds that allow 2-way communication.
I grabbed some helpful handouts at the ORCKA booth too!
- Know your knots and how to use them
- Eight ways to pitch a fly-tarp
- Wilderness trip plan (a helpful form to fill out, taking one on your trip with you, and leaving one with family or friends – to be used if you don’t return when expected)
At the Madawaska Kanu Centre booth, I checked out their whitewater canoeing courses, and chatted with Rachel (I think!). It’s been years since I was there, but I had a fantastic experience doing their 5-day whitewater kayaking course. I’d love to go back and get some whitewater canoeing experience, which would allow me to expand my canoe trip options by making me more comfortable in moving water! As you can see, I’m already a natural in a solo canoe – the only thing missing? A PFD!
When I spotted the One Axe Pursuits booth, I was drawn in! No, I didn’t buy an ice axe or crampons, but I did talk to two friendly women about the rock climbing, ziplining, and ice climbing one-day adventures that they run! I’d love to try ice climbing at the Elora Gorge next winter, and maybe the ziplining and rappelling before that with my husband and kids.
In addition to walking around and checking out the things for sale, and the various adventures on offer, I watched a few presentations – all of them at the Adventures in Paddling Stage. I listened to Mike Ranta talk about his 200 days of paddling across Canada from the West Coast to the East Coast, to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (in particular in Canada’s veterans). And I listened to David Lee (The Passionate Paddler), talk about one of his many crazy canoe trips, which involved carrying and dragging a canoe up rivers with very little water in them.
One spot that drew me in more than once was the KIHD Products booth, where I drooled over these Canadian made stick stoves! In the end, I decided to buy the lightweight titanium version – a new toy that I can’t wait to test out.
I spent hours wandering around the exhibits, and was inspired to try some new things!
Thank you to the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show for choosing me as one of their guest bloggers.
Follow me on Facebook: Kyra on the Go: Adventures of a Paddling Triathlete
Follow me on Twitter: @kyrapaterson