Thursday, 22 October 2015

Outdoor Activities You’ll Fall Hard For

Yes, it may have snowed in Toronto last week but don’t fall for it;
autumn is still alive and well! There’s lots of leafy fun to be had in the time between refreshing DQ Blizzards and actual blizzards, so let’s go ahead and debunk the myth that Canada only has 2 seasons!

Right now you’re sipping on your pumpkin spice latté while Instagraming your apple-picking photo with the Jays game on in the background. You think you’ve hit your fall quota and now you’re ready for winter? FALSE! Let’s take advantage of being one of the few countries that gets such eclectic weather:

-The leaves have a very colourful personality this time of year and they’re dying to be in your photoshoot. Whether it’s a short hike in your neighbourhood, a camping/fishing trip in a secluded area, or a treetop trekking excursion in Ontario or Québec (most parks only open ‘til Nov. 1), there are oodles of opportunities all over the country to get a killer view of that breathtaking foliage. (Check here for ideas to get  you started!)

-Many consider fall to be the best season for jogging because of the lack of snow and humidity, and the scenery of the foliage on forest trails. Fall is a great time of year to start running, as we often use this time to turn over a new leaf in our lives (pun intended!).

-While you’re at the farm apple and pumpkin-picking, challenge yourself in a corn maze, or take a trip down fieldtrip-memory lane by going for a hayride! Farms offer more organized fall activities than you’d think. (Volcano? In Waterloo?)

-Appeal to your creative side with some fall-themed crafts. Go on a scavenger hunt for leaves, pine needles, pinecones, acorns, etc., and give Van Gogh a run for his money!

-The Northern Lights can be best viewed in Northern Canada from late fall to spring. Don’t forget your parka!!!

-From the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to the Cavalcade of Lights, there  are many fall and winter themed events in Toronto. Dog shows, marching bands and fireworks, oh my!

Winter may be an eager beaver this year but it is not its time to shine yet!  Enjoy, and happy fall!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Baffin Winter Boots

It's October, and it may be a balmy 16 Celsius out today but we’re excited about Baffin Winter Boots. Why? Because as much as we don’t want to admit it’s true, in about a month-and-a-half we’re going to need ‘em to fight off the cold winds and slushy snow of the Canadian winter. Ugh.
Forget for a minute that Baffin Boots are currently 25% Off. Look at what goes into making them some of the most technically capable boots on the planet: Their shiny removable liner.
The Founder of Baffin, Paul Hubner, grew up learning about traditional Inuit footwear from his father – who worked in the Arctic sourcing sealskin boots and other traditional Canadian Footwear. Paul learned that the Inuit boots ranged from two to five layers of warmth and protection depending on the temperature, and has modernized this approach to create the Baffin layer system in use today.
Just like the Inuit Boots – Baffin uses different layers to achieve different temperature ratings, but all of their removable liners include the following 5 layers:
  • Next to your foot: A cushy Thermaplush lining. It’s soft, smooth, moisture wicking, and won’t pill!
  • Polymech memory foam acts as insulation and provides custom comfort for your foot – that won’t pack down or lose its comfort over time!
  • A Hydromax II layer wicks moisture away from the skin. This material is much like that that used in a baby's diaper – it really controls moisture, making sure dampness can’t steal warmth.
  • The B-Tek 4-Channel hollow-fiber layer acts to move moisture and water vapor away from the Hydromax layer and the polymech foam keeping the liner (and your feet) dry. 
  • The shiny part: A vaporized aluminum membrane that reflects heat back to your foot. Extreme and Advanced Cold Baffin boots have two of these layers to maximize the use of your own body heat.
With all of this tech stuffed into your boot, your feet stay warm and dry, but the boots are not crazy heavy, nor do they all look like they belong on an arctic expedition! Most of them are at home on city streets and daily commutes.
We’re pretty excited about our Baffin line-up – and we hope we can make you just as excited - check them out on-line, or come in and try a pair on!

Friday, 2 October 2015

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What time is it? Summer time!

It feels like just yesterday we were bobbing along to those glorious High School Musical lyrics. This summer flew by, as it always does, but you know what they say: Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened (but you can cry a little when you think about how much ice cream you ate).

There are many options to be taken advantage of when it comes to the much anticipated hiatus from school: travel, do an internship, take courses, work at Starbucks, make prank phone calls with friends, etc. These are all fun choices, and having experienced most of them (sorry Mom – ‘Betsy’ calling from Lotto 649 seven years ago was me), I believe one of the best summer adventures to dive into is camp. This past summer, I was lucky enough to return to sleepover camp for the 16th time.

When people ask why camp means so much to me, I describe it as: An oasis where a concern-free fantasy thrusts itself upon you as a new reality. A community of best friends, ranging from bed-wetters to grey hair. A hotbed for inside jokes shared by so many people, they probably shouldn’t even be classified as inside jokes. A blank canvas on which you can make a kid’s summer using innovation and creativity. A classroom in which the subject is every transferable skill imaginable. A place where you can be yourself, while you’re learning exactly who that is. I always liked to think of it as an opportunity for opportunity.

Once you get to 24 and you’re still going to summer camp (well, you get made fun of a lot), but, besides a blast with friends, you also come to appreciate a building of character that readies you for career and family life. From a young age, the situations we’re exposed to in the camp setting have us: think on our feet, be patient, stay organized, be hygienic, trust our instincts, be a good friend, stay grounded, take risks, perform, be assertive, let the little things go, be open-minded, compromise, be empathetic, and not take a second of any of it for granted.

I’m glad to say this is how I spent my summer vacation, and I’m confident my future employers will too. For campers who are ever uneasy about attending sleepover camp for the first time: It will change your life. You can quote me on that.