The following guest post is brought to you by Adina Marguerite Pease.
My most recent adventure over the border to the Canadian Rockies did not exactly go as planned. The first day went something like this: arrive at expensive campsite – which actually looked more like a mud pit. Stand under power lines at campsite to look for a new place to stay and notice skin vibrating. Give up, change plans on the fly, get in the car and drive until spotting another campsite – three hours later. Set up camp in the dark while fighting ridiculous winds. Come face to face with giant black widow spider in camp washroom.
That first day set the bar in terms of hurdles to be jumped on the duration of the trip. While nothing ever got quite as rough as that first day – it also wasn’t nearly as smooth of a trip as the other times I’ve been camping in the Canadian Rockies. Luckily, I’m a bit of an over preparer and happened to bring a couple of key items that unexpectedly saved the trip.
1. Wool Blanket
Checking the weather before our trip, I expected highs of 85° F and lows of 50° F at night. So the wool blanket only made it’s way into the car for emergency purposes. On our first night in Jasper National Park, the temperatures dropped to freezing and the only thing that really kept the heat in was the wool blanket. Not even a down mummy bag and heavy cotton sleep bag on top could keep me toasty enough. From now on, whenever I go camping that wool blanket is making it into the car.
2. Jersey Knit Infinity Scarf
By far the most versatile item I brought on the trip was a simple jersey knit infinity scarf. This scarf served me well outside of its normal purpose to cover my eyes during mid-day naps, my ears on cold and windy hikes, and my head from over zealous mosquitoes. Finally, I’ll admit to also putting it around my rather sparsely haired pup’s neck and ears to keep her warm around the campfire.
3. Hanging Toiletries Kit
After that experience with the black widow spider, you could say I got rather paranoid about where I placed my toiletry kit in camp washrooms. Fortunately, my toiletry kit has this great little hook on the top that lets it hang off of just about anything. Including the nice slippery walls of a washroom stall. My anxiety of more black widow encounters was significantly reduced by not having to put my kit on the floor or hang it in some dank spider friendly area.
4. Yoga Pants
Not that I did any yoga on this trip (or for that matter ever), but I packed two comfy pairs of these stretchy black pants – anticipating using them for long drive days. With that unexpected temperature drop, I ended up using them instead as pajamas to wear to bed and around camp. Originally I had assumed it would be warm enough to wear shorts for these purposes – so thank goodness for those multi-purpose yoga pants.
5. Hand Moisturizer
In addition to the cold and despite all the rain, the air was incredibly dry in the Canadian Rockies. Add in cooking camp food, washing dishes, and all the general hand washing that goes on and my hands were just about the driest they’ve ever been. A strong hand moisturizer with shea butter saved me from completely cracking all the skin on my knuckles.
About the Author: Adina Marguerite Pease is a travel and food writer, photographer, and beginning videographer based out of Seattle, Washington. She shares her adventures traveling and eating gluten free on her blog, Gluten Free Travelette. You can also find her on Instagram, sharing photos of her pup, and Twitter, generally working to incite wanderlust.