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The 2014 Outdoor Adventure Show - Toronto: Highlights of our visit

It's been a couple of years since we visited the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto, so I was pretty stoked to head to the event today.   It's always fun looking at gear, shopping for deals and finding info on future dream destination and this year had an added element of excitement for us. I was hoping to personally meet a few people I've connected with on social media and through this blog.

So what were the highlights of our day?

Alex *finally* found his perfect Badger Paddle. If you've been following me for awhile, you'll know that I'm a big Badger fan.  These paddles are hand crafted and most of them are made using locally sourced, Ontario wood. More than "just" paddles, they are pieces of art.  Each paddle is unique.  I love my orange paddle, Emma is learning how to be a part of the paddling team with her purple and teal cub paddle.  And now we're a true Badger family with Alex sporting a beautiful walnut paddle that seemed to have his name on it the moment he saw it.

I zip lined across the show on the Treetop Trekking/KEEN Canada zip line.  So let's get this on the record - I was going to do it no matter what. But when I was double-dog AND triple-dog dared to climb the platform and zoom across the show there was no way I was going to miss out.   It was awesome to be able to totally stomp on my fear of falling. (Which is different than a fear of heights. Trust me).  Zipping over a bunch of people, show booths and concrete floor is really different than zip lining in a forest, but just the novelty of doing it at the show was a blast.  The Treetop Trekking staff were super friendly and very matter of fact.  There was no hesitation in their actions and they literally talked me off the ledge.  I didn't have time to think about what I was doing. One minute I was on the platform, and the next minute I was not.  For someone who may be a bit nervous of doing the zip line this is the best way to go. Quick and efficient.

An exceptionally unflattering photo.
But I'm swallowing my vanity and posting it as proof that I zip lined the show.
The shopping and activities were good.  But this year there was something different about being at the show this year.  You see, over the last two years, Alex and I have "discovered" some great people that are leaders in Ontario's outdoor community. Through their books, blogs, videos, maps, posts and articles they've inspired us to truly get out there and plan trips that we wouldn't have done two years ago - like a winter yurt trip and back country camping.   And thanks to this blog I've also had the opportunity to connect with some great "outsiders" on social media.  Those folks have just added to the inspiration and proven time and again that Ontario outsiders are super passionate and really, really nice people.  So when we walked through the show doors, I was really hoping I'd have an opportunity to meet some of the people who have really influenced this blog and inspired us as an outdoor family.

Our best opportunity was at the White Water Demo pool and the Swift Canoe booth right beside it. Sure enough, that was were we met the Portageur dynamic duo, Preston Ciere and his awesome dog, Nancy.  It took a bit of courage for me to introduce myself, but I'm really glad I did.  I'm a big fan of Portageur, so having the chance to talk to Preston and Nancy was a total rock star moment.  Preston was super friendly, and a nose-lick from Nancy was the topping on the cake!

Nancy of Portageur fame helped with a paddling demo.  
After our chat, we watched Preston and Nancy paddle a canoe in the demo pool and talk about canoe tripping with your best canine buddy.  It was nice to hear Preston talk about Nancy's background and give a few tips about paddling with dog. There seems to be a lot of similarities between Nancy and Hope the Wonder Dog - including that they are both rescue dogs and both of them really dislike water.

Preston and Nancy weren't the only "outsiders" we met.  While we were watching the demo, I had the chance to meet Jennifer of Algonquin Blog fame!  It was great to stand a chat with a fellow-blogger and I'm thrilled that she found me (thanks to a bit of a Twitter conversation) and said hello.

If you're an "outsider" the Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto runs until 5 pm, Sunday, February 23.  I recommend you check it out and have the opportunity to get inspired to get outside and be a part of Ontario's amazing outdoor community.  You can find all the details you need here: Outdoor Adventure Show - Toronto.


  1. That zip-lining looked like fun! Congrats for not only sharing a photo, but conquering your fear. Sounds like you had a great time - sorry we missed each other!

    1. Thanks! I'm not sure if I conquered my fear, but I think I knocked it down a peg or two. LOL! I'm sorry we missed each other, too. We actually saw you working at the booth, but you looked very busy and I didn't want to interupt. Maybe next year....


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