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September 16, 2010 6:52 AM   Subscribe

iBackpack Canada. Do you like backpacking? Do you like Canada? How about backpacking across Canada? iBackpack Canada is an independent travel guide for backpackers interested in traveling Canada on a budget. All kinds of helpful info: Top 7 Must-Have Foods for Camping Trips, 10 Ways to Die in Canada, The Ultimate Packing list for Backpacking Across Canada Via: Packwhiz.com, Top 5 Rivers for White Water Rafting in Canada, Backpack Toronto: Things to See and Do, and so much more.
posted by Fizz (31 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Help -- I am trapped in a windowless box! Somebody get me out of here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:00 AM on September 16, 2010


If you die in Canada, do you die in real life, too?
posted by Aizkolari at 7:00 AM on September 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


If you die in Canada, do you die in real life, too?

Yes, but up here every death somehow involves a moose, a hockey puck, and/or a mountie.
posted by Fizz at 7:04 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I thought it was only Australians who take perverse joy in terrifying backpackers by listing the things that will kill them. Good to know it happens in Canadia too!
posted by Ahab at 7:05 AM on September 16, 2010


Ahab: "And I thought it was only Australians who take perverse joy in terrifying backpackers by listing the things that will kill them. Good to know it happens in Canadia too!"

But #8 is "Skiing into a tree"; not exactly scary in a "it could happen without warning" kind of way.
posted by Mitheral at 7:10 AM on September 16, 2010


Years ago I heard this story about a young person who was hitch hiking across canada and got stuck in Wawa, Ontario. After being stuck there for four days, they needed money so they got a job in the woods, fell in love, got married, had a kid, and never left Wawa.

Here's confirmation from hitch-wiki: Wawa is generally considered by Canadian hitchers to be the absolute worst spot in Canada to wait for a ride. If hitching through northern Ontario, it might be a good idea to pass up a ride to Wawa for one going to Thunder Bay if heading west, or Sault Ste. Marie if heading east. Should you find yourself in Wawa anyway, you'll most likely get out faster by asking around for rides at the gas stations with parking lots big enough for tractor-trailers to park in. Not only will you avoid getting stuck in town for so long you move there, but your driver will certainly recognize your hitching wisdom for not standing around on the road and possibly spare you conversational gambit of "Wawa is the worst spot to hitch in Canada!" during your five hour drive together."
posted by Xurando at 7:11 AM on September 16, 2010


One of the 10 ways to die up here should be "Socialized medicine death squads".
posted by rocket88 at 7:16 AM on September 16, 2010


Just about every one of the "Top 7 foods for camping trips" is useless for a backpacker. They are all either too bulky, too heavy, or require bulky or heavy equipment. Anyone got a link to a better list?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:28 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


> 10 Ways to Die in Canada

#'s 1-5 and 7 are things you have to worry about the way you have to worry about getting hit by lightning, even if you live in rural areas. #6 can be a concern, but most people killed by moose die because they hit one with a car. #'s 8 and 9 happen all the time, but are easily avoided if you don't ski, snowboard or climb mountains. And #10...well, sure, but a lot of the people who die from the cold do so because they're walking home drunk (or because the cops dump them somewhere).

That said, a while back I told a girl I was dating that here in Canada...
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:30 AM on September 16, 2010


And #10...well, sure, but a lot of the people who die from the cold do so because they're walking home drunk (or because the cops dump them somewhere).

In the old days, locking one's spouse outside of the house with no warm clothes was apparently a rather common form of domestic abuse on the prairies as well.
posted by Kurichina at 7:41 AM on September 16, 2010


wtf backpacking toronto? Do they have a list of the top-10 heating grates to sleep on?
posted by mannequito at 7:42 AM on September 16, 2010


One of the 10 ways to die up here should be "Socialized medicine death squads".

It's a really effective way of pruning the population -- we bring in efficient young taxpaying brains from other countries, and put everyone over the age of 70 out on the ice flows and let nature take its course. Why do you think Canada was the only G8 nation to not go through severe economic retrenchment the last few years? Learn from us, people!

Now that said, the system is not perfect -- I also suspect that we are not being quite as efficient as we could be. Rather than the current ice flow 'solution', I advocate grinding seniors up into a high protein slurry that can be used to increase the efficiency of our agricultural system.
posted by modernnomad at 7:43 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like Canada, but am indifferent to backpacking. Would it be ok if I call it a 'rucksack'?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on September 16, 2010


Our biggest national problem is that global warming is melting the ice flows. It's hard to convince great-grand uncle Horace to "go see the walruses on last time" if the ice floes are all melting.
posted by bonehead at 7:50 AM on September 16, 2010


And #10...well, sure, but a lot of the people who die from the cold do so because they're walking home drunk (or because the cops dump them somewhere).

Yeah, I have known more Canadians who have died by lightning strikes than by cold. Hell, I would have to think carefully to recall if anyone I know has ever even gotten frostbite.

Playwright John Gray published a book in 1994 called "Lost in North America" in which he suggested the roots of the legendary Canandian mildness and politeness are in the weather. He said that every year you can find newspaper stories from American cities near the border describing somebody who went out for a quart of milk or a package of cigarettes in shirtsleeves in January and died, but this is very rare indeed in Canada, because when you know you live in a place where the weather can kill you, it tends to make you a little more thoughtful and cautious. Americans have a national myth about conquering the wilderness and subjugating nature; Canadians do not.

On a tangentially related note, Billy Connolly once remarked, "There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only the wrong clothing."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:56 AM on September 16, 2010


Yeh, canned beans, canned beer, and a cast iron sandwich maker are just the kind of equipment to pick up if you want to make a backpacking trip .... shorter.

It's a joke site.
posted by hank at 7:59 AM on September 16, 2010


From "10 Ways to Die":

The Brown Recluse Spider – Normally only 6 – 20 mm large, it’s brown and occasionally deep yellow. It usually has distinctive markings on its back, look for a Violin like marking pointing to it’s back. It’s primarily found in south-east Ontario and southern Quebec.

...uh, no. Just flat-out untrue. My wife is from Atlanta, and I spent years checking my shoes in abject paranoia every time I went to visit when we were in a long-distance relationship. My go-to argument for her to move up here instead of me down there was the total lack of poisonous animals in Canada. It may get cold up here, but it's not like southern climes where everything is trying to kill you.

Years ago I heard this story about a young person who was hitch hiking across canada and got stuck in Wawa, Ontario. After being stuck there for four days, they needed money so they got a job in the woods, fell in love, got married, had a kid, and never left Wawa.

I was born in Wawa!
posted by Shepherd at 8:37 AM on September 16, 2010


My wife and I were supposed to get gas in Wawa after leaving Sault Ste. Marie, but we missed the turn-off and ended up going to Dubreuiville where I was harassed by a haunted fox and briefly feared we were going to be killed 2000 Maniacs-style.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 AM on September 16, 2010


I worked for a few summers at a big provincial park just south of Wawa and can confirm that it is a lousy place to hitchhike. I remember one guy getting stuck for a couple of days trying to get a ride through the park. But he was pretty scary looking to begin with - I think he was just sleeping rough in the bush - and by the second day he was really losing it - actually standing out in the Trans Canada trying to force people to stop. Then he was gone, either he finally got a lift, or the OPP or the wolves got him.

Also: I`ve tried that technique of actually asking truck drivers at a Husky for a lift and never had any luck. The only time a rig ever pulled over for me when I`ve been hitching is when I happen to have been travelling with a tall blonde girl.
posted by Flashman at 9:24 AM on September 16, 2010


Any site that claims that Chippy's is the place to go for fish and chips in the west end of Toronto when Harbord Fish & Chips is RIGHT THERE can't be trusted on anything.
posted by maudlin at 9:30 AM on September 16, 2010


It is kind of hard to tell when this site is trying to be funny and failing versus just being confused about Canada.
posted by ssg at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2010


How have I missed out on bush pies? They look like good times!
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:45 AM on September 16, 2010


the total lack of poisonous animals in Canada.

I live in the Okanagan. We have rattlesnakes, scorpions, and black widow spiders. It wouldn't surprise me if we have other poisonous species as well.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:54 AM on September 16, 2010


I have some additions for the 10 ways to die:

#11 - Heart attack after eating too many Tim Horton's donuts.
#12 - Accidentally insulting local hockey and/or curling team.
#13 - Drinking a beer from the Elsinore Brewery that has a mouse in it.
#14 - Making fun of flappy jaws and beady eyes.
#15 - Beaver chomping at a tree, tree falls and lands on your head.

Well crap. I'm out of blatant, ridiculous stereotypes ways to die to add to the list.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I live in the Okanagan.

West of the Rockies doesn't count! You get better weather, and therefore deserve to be plagued by various venomous chimaeras. It is the grand balance of nature: the nicer it is to live there, the more likely it is that something that oozes agonizing death through its very pores is lurking within five feet of your current location.

(there are timber rattlers in Ontario, but by and large, the number of things that can kill you while hiding in your shoes is dramatically reduced in Quebec).
posted by Shepherd at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2010


That's because Quebecers are smart enough not to even try to hide in their own shoes.
posted by maudlin at 10:13 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was born in Wawa!

Did it take you more than four days to get out?
posted by Rumple at 10:41 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeh, canned beans, canned beer, and a cast iron sandwich maker are just the kind of equipment to pick up if you want to make a backpacking trip .... shorter.

It's a joke site.


Yep. Everyone knows that you don't lug beer in your pack, so in typical hoser fashion, we used to bring at least one beer as a gag to pull out in front of other backpackers on the trail. Oh the looks we got from the Gor-Tex folks!
posted by acheekymonkey at 11:54 AM on September 16, 2010


The packing list is pretty funny too. Lint roller? Snorkeling gear? Hair styling tools? Motion sickness pills? Business cards?
posted by acheekymonkey at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2010


"On a tangentially related note, Billy Connolly once remarked, 'There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only the wrong clothing.'"

I wonder what kind of clothing he recommends for an F5 Tornado or a -105F Windchill.
posted by Mitheral at 5:04 PM on September 16, 2010


Americans have a national myth about conquering the wilderness and subjugating nature; Canadians do not.

Yeah, there is that. Not a lot of Canadians look at the hinterlands through rose-coloured glasses (its through a haze of bug spray). What I find interesting when reading stories about lost hikers from other countries is many just didn't realize how big things are here. I gather a number of them went for a hiking/camping trip thinking they'll surely run into some sort of settlement eventually.

Also, that list of ways to die is totally wrong. The way to ensure you don't get eaten by big animals is simple: always hike with someone who is slower than you. (Alternative method in bear country: hide a fish in their backpack.)
posted by Salmonberry at 8:49 PM on September 16, 2010


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