Saturday, December 10, 2016

FREE Canada National Parks Pass for 2017

For all of 2017 this pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country!

Please note:

  • You only need to order one pass for your group or family if you are all travelling together. A 2017 Discovery Pass is valid for everyone arriving in the same vehicle at a national park, or arriving together at a marine conservation area or historic site.
  • The Discovery Pass is only accepted at national historic sites which are operated by Parks Canada.
  • Activities such as tours or parking that normally carry a separate fee may not be covered by the Discovery Pass.
  • Camping fees are not included with the Discovery Pass
  • Validity Period: January 1st 2017 to December 31st 2017.
  • Display: The 2017 Discovery Pass must be hung from the rear view mirror of the vehicle facing forward or it can be placed on the front driver side dashboard facing up.


If you have questions regarding the above information, please contact our National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888 or information@pc.gc.ca


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Best Gifts for Photographers

Here's a collection of gift ideas for the photographer. It seems like everyone is a photographer these days - from those that shoot with their smart phone cameras to those that shoot with their full frame mirrorless cameras. I won't lie, photography equipment can be expensive, but I've included a few items for under $100. Click on the image or links for a full product description.


Vivian Maier Street Photographer $27 A photography book about enigmatic street photographer Vivian Maier.

DJI Mavic Pro $999 Drones with cameras are now mainstream. The development of the hardware and software have made them easier to purchase and fly. And the imagery that can be produced as stills or video is simply amazing. Not every photographer will admit that they want a drone for photography, but they do.


DJI Osmo Phone Camera Gimble $299 This stabilizer is designed to be used with one's mobile phone  to create smooth dramatic video images. While nobody really needs this tool, they secretly want it. Nobody likes to carry around a tripod much less wear a steadycam.


Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera $1999 This full featured, light, compact, full frame mirrorless camera is the current "it" camera. It can do everything that a professional DSLR camera can do and it can do many of the things that a professional video camera can do.


Crumpler Camera Bag $89 Everyone needs a practical bag to carry their photography equipment. This bag is full featured, but manages to look good too.



Cell Phone Camera Clip $5 This simple little clip enables a mobile phone to be attached to a tripod or other stabilization gear. Combine it with a UltraPod Tripod to capture those epic group selfies.



iPhone Backup Flash Drive $75 Because photographers take loads of images on their iPhones, it is always nice to have those images backed up to a secondary drive.

Ride Video Mic $150 Sooner or later every still image photographer starts experimenting with video. For video, capturing good quality images is half of the equation. The second half of the equation is capturing good quality audio. A microphone is essential.


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom $144 This software makes flat images into fantastic images. It is the industry standard for image editing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Best Gifts for Travelers

Here's a collection of gift ideas for the world traveler. After traveling through 60+ countries, I've come to the realization that none of these items are necessary for a great adventure, however I have found that having the right gear for traveling can make the experience more enjoyable. Most of these items cost under $50. Click on the image or link for a full product description.


A Map of the World $15 Travel is for dreamers. And nothing is better to kickstart those dreams than a decorative map of the world hanging on a wall. A map makes destinations and distances become real. I prefer a map with a little character like this antique style map by National Geographic.


1000 Places To See Before You Die Book $15 Need ideas to add to that bucket list? This book has a thousand. Use it as a reference guide or checklist.


Carry-on Hardside Spinner Luggage $50 If the traveler enjoys traveling mostly to cities, nothing is more necessary than a good piece of luggage. It doesn't have to be fancy nor expensive. It should be a MLC (maximum legal carry-on) size of 45 liters or less so one can speed through airports and carry it onto airplanes. The spinner style of luggage can be pushed, pulled or carried easily.


The Osprey Farpoint 40 $160 If the traveler enjoys getting off the beaten path, nothing is more necessary than a good convertible backpack. Convertible backpacks allow one to move from airport to taxi to bus to train to boat to tuktuk easily. This Osprey Farpoint 40 can be carried like luggage or worn as a backpack. It is made of durable materials and has various compartments. Best of all is that it comes in under the MLC (maximum legal carry-on) size.


Packing Cubes 3 piece set $40 Bright colored packing cubes help one keep clothing, shoes, electronics and other items organized and easy to find.


Eagle Creek Hidden Passport Pocket $15 This passport pocket attaches to a belt and slides inside of one's pants or skirt to help keep your passport, bank cards and money safe. I place a key ring onto one of the straps so that I can attach it to a belt loop when I'm not wearing a belt. I carry my most important personal items in this passport pocket, then I carry a minimal amount of local currency for convenience purchases in a secondary small wallet.


Satechi Smart Travel Router with USB Port $50 This travel adaptor works in over 150 countries and is both an electrical adaptor and wireless router to extend wifi signals.


Electronic Accessories and Cable Organizer $16 Power cords, earbuds, flash memory, SIM cards, SD cards and power chargers are a reality of modern travel. This compact packet keeps all those items organized so that they are easy to find and less likely to be lost.


Fisher Backpacker Space Pen $18 I always travel with a pen on my person. It comes in handy when  passing through customs, writing down directions, doodling and collecting contact info. This compact pen fits inside my passport pocket and can write when held at all angles, even when held upside down. I like the blue color because it is easy to see and locate.


Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter $43 I used to spend time and money searching for and buying bottled water wherever I traveled. Now I bring a Sawyer Squeeze water filter with me and filter drinkable water wherever and whenever I need it. Save time, money and reduce the waste of plastic bottles.


O'Neill Loaded Hybrid Boardshort $50 These hybrid shorts look like walking shorts, but are made of quick dry material and serve as both shorts and swimwear. It enables one to travel lighter and be prepared to jump in when the opportunity arises.


Fringeless Solid Sarong $15 Instead of a towel or travel towel I bring a sarong. I like the fringeless sarong to be specific. I can use it as a towel, wrap, blanket, cover, ground sheet, scarf, etc. The material is quick drying too.


Apple iPhone or smartphone $725 I previously carried a guide book, map, camera, pen and paper, music player, etc. Now most of those items can be replaced with an Apple iPhone.


Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 power charger $45 Power up your smartphone, camera, ereader or other electrical devices anywhere with this powerful quick charger.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Best Gifts for Hikers, Campers and Backpackers

Here's a collection of gift ideas for the outdoors person that seems to have it all. Most of these items cost under $30. Click on the image or links for a full product description.


Darn Tough Socks - Made of soft quick dry merino wool, these socks will keep feet warm in the cold, cool in the heat and dry in the wet. Also, they have a lifetime guarantee. $20


Adventure Medical Kit - Accidents happen, so be prepared. $21


Leukotape P Sports Tape - Better than bandaids, this tape can be used to wrap injuries or prevent and protect blisters. $10



Sawyer Water Filter - Light weight and easy to use water purification for the outdoors or traveling. It is now the standard for most ultralight backpackers. $43


Evernew Water Containers 2 Liter - These water bladders can be used to store water or as a backup squeeze bladder with the Sawyer Water Filter. $23


Light My Fire Titanium Spork - Why choose? Bring a spoon and a fork with this ultralight utensil. $10


G Works Gas Saver Plus - This adaptor can transfer gas between partially used gas canisters, thus saving gas and money. $40


Pedco Ultrapod - This small (4 inch) tripod can be used with point and shoot cameras, GoPros, mobile phones and small DSLRs. It can stand on its own or be strapped to various objects for stabilizing your photography. $15


Dr. Bronners Unscented Liquid Soap - Gentle on the skin and environment, this soap can be used for multiple cleaning purposes. $18


Nuun electrolyte tablets - Compact and light weight, these electrolyte tablets can be added to your bottle of water when needed to keep you hydrated and healthy. $20


Starbucks Via Instant Coffee - Tasty, convenient and lightweight individual packets of coffee for those on the go. $40


Leatherman Squirt Multitool - A compact light weight multitool $40


Victorinox Swiss Army Signature Lite Pocket Knife - A blade, file, screwdriver, scissor, light and pen all in one compact size. $25


Outdoor Research Gaiters - Keep dirt and debris out of low top hiking shoes with these light weight gaiters. $25


Travel Hammock and Hammock Straps - A light weight and compact hammock and straps are always great for chilling or sleeping while hiking or traveling. $25


Z Rest Seat Pad - This foldable piece of foam makes sitting on the hard ground just a little more comfortable. $15


MPowerD Luci Inflatable Solar Light - A light weight solar light to illuminate the campsite. $20


Duece of Spades Trowel - Because everyone poos. $20