Camping with Kids

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It was the second night of the meteor shower and a perfect night for camping. We packed the kids and the canoe up nad headed out to our own private sand bar on the river. After three trips in the canoe trying to find the perfect spot, we finally unloaded all our gear, 5 kids, 3 adults and Pepper our pup. A quick glance around though showed us our “perfect” campsite was anything but. Mama and cub bear prints were spread out across then entire beach. (Below you can see the mama’s prints to my left and the faint baby prints above). We were tired and it was now getting dark but we had to pack everything back up and find a new island.  

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Finally we settled in with a cozy fire, sleeping kids, shooting stars and Pepper alerting us that the bears were now out sniffing around our footprints on the first island! In the morning we woke up to the sunrise and views in every direction. We were all tired and sandy, but our hearts were happy and we were one adventure richer. DSC_3507.jpg

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Summer is almost over!

Summer is quickly coming to a end, so we are reviewing our summer bucket list and today we made sure to squeeze in our annual trip to Cultus Lake Waterpark. On this hot day, it was the perfect place to cool off. The kids couldn’t get enough of the slides and I was so thankful for my GoPro to capture the best moments. Here are a few of our favourite outakes from the day… #livevividly #gopro #cultuslakewaterpark

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I think my favourite part of the day was the fact that my kids decided to wear a snorkel mask and goggles on most rides. I love it that these kids are still not too old to be their own form of cool. I hope they never loose their ability to just let loose and be themselves.G0028215-2.jpg

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REVIEW: Oru Beach Kayak

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3 months ago when our Oru Kayak’s arrived in the mail, the whole family gathered around to examin the large boxes. It was a bit of magic pulling out the back pack and imagining that inside, folded perfectly, was a boat that would actually hold a person! 

 The setup was fairly straight forward. Our first time it took 20 minutes to figure out all the buckles and pieces, definitely watch the instructional video online. I was happy to find though that by the second time we tried to unfold the kayak it only took 4 minutes and with 2 people it takes even less time.

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Setting up the kayak was only the first step. We had to try the kayak out on the water. Our first trip was to the beautiful Jones Lake near Hope, BC. The air was breezy and it was a little nerve wracking trying the ultra light boat with a bit of waves. Oru pulled through and the Beach is amazing. It is stable, lightweight, tracks well (you can easily kayak several kilometers across a lake at a leisurely pace) and very durable! The open cockpit is really nice for those warm summer days. You can paddle out in the middle of the lake and it is so comfortable that you can lay back and lounge. You can fit a dog or an extra child in the kayak too! 

Next I had to try out hiking with my Oru’s, I wanted to really test out the backpack so I took it on a steep, narrow trail. The backpack was comfortable, considering the 30lbs it is carrying. We took a few more breaks than usual and brought an extra person to trade off with if necessary. The paddles easily fit into the backpack and the life jacket conviniently straps on as well. We got to the lake in good time and could not believe how good it felt to kayak a lake that most people only get to view from the shore. 

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Side note: If you are looking for a kayak for longer excursions or ocean use check out Bay Series and Coast Series. The Beach model stays true to it’s name and is perfect for a leisurely paddle at the beach and smaller lakes. 

Bonus: Be sure to order a set of solar lanterns with your Oru kayak! They are lightweight for packing and make for really fun night kayaking. They are also great for tent camping and dark nights at the cabin!

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REVIEW: InReach Two Way Communication Device

One year ago we started using our InReach Explorer two way communication device with GPS tracking. From back country hiking trips, kayaking, travelling the Kalalau Trail and camping, we have put the Explorer to the test. 

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PROS: Absolutely love the two way communication aspect. Just to simply say “Don’t worry” we are running a few hours late or have a flat tire. It is so helpful in case of an injury that needs SAR attention to be able to relay back
 and forth exact coordinate information, medical information etc. One way beacons can possibly ping your location wrong and SAR will go in circles looking for you. It has also been so helpful to be able to hear from home when there is an emergency and I need to turn back. We have used ours on camping trips, mountain trips, as well as travelling (it works around the world). As long as you have some sky exposure (best with south views), the reception is great. I love the GPS aspect of the Explorer but the simpler SE would still provide the essential two way communication. The Explorer also has an app that connects with your smart phone to make sending messages as easy as sending a text. As well your family can be sent a link to track your progress. It tracks your speed as well as location so your emergency contact can see if you have spent a long time in one spot or are moving as expected. It is an all around great purchase, and considering that it could save even just one unnecessary SAR call (maybe you were simply running late), or save your life in an emergency, it is worth the expense.

CONS: While hiking in deep valley’s reception can be spotty. If an emergency happened in a deep, east/west facing canyon, you would have to hike out of the canyon to find reception. We have talked to people with other emergency beacons though and have found that the InReach will find reception before other devices. Always use best safety practices to avoid the need for emergency resuce!

OVERALL: We give the InReach Explorer a 9 out of 10 for it’s easy to use app, tacking abilities and two way communitcation! 


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A blog detailing trip reports, gear reviews and personal adventures with young children.

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