Puerto Vallarta: More than Beaches and Margaritas

View of Puerto Vallarta from Cerro de la Cruz lookout, a short, steep hike from the city

By Carley Fairbrother

Two years ago we moved to the rainy west side of the Rockies. While we revelled in the easy-access to spectacular winter recreation, we found the gloomy weather in the valley difficult to swallow. By March, we needed a getaway.

With only a week to spare, we needed something quick, and while the major tourist destinations of Mexico have never had a big appeal to me, we decided that between time and budget constraints, Puerto Vallarta was the best candidate for helping us get read more

Leave-No-Trace Ethics

Curiosity in Leave-No-Trace Ethics 1

By Carley Fairbrother

Is There Room for Curiosity in Leave-No-Trace Ethics?

I want to start off with a story. Bear with me.

My first introduction to habitat destruction was when I was eight years old. The ditch at the end of our driveway was my favourite place to play in the early summer. It contained the densest population of tadpoles I have ever seen to date. Not just any tadpole either – Pacific tree frog tadpoles – my absolute favourite. I spent hours mucking around the ditch, and on rainy days, I’d stay inside and read about frogs. read more

Predator Safety Precautions

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Photo credit: US National Park Service

By Carley Fairbrother

I’ve written a few pieces on bear safety for Camping for Women, but I’ve never really covered how to avoid them when you are on the trail, or what to do when you come face to face with them.

Now before I get started, I want to attempt to alleviate any bear fears you may have. In 2017 Conservation officers in my home province of British Columbia killed 373 bears because of humans encroaching into its habitat. Hundreds more were killed read more

How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter

How to Build an Emergency Snow Trench Shelter

By Carley Fairbrother

Why Build a Snow Trench Shelter?

Imagine you are out for a snowshoe or a backcountry ski, and you get lost, or a storm makes travel too dangerous, or your friend gets injured. You need a shelter, and fast. Luckily for you, you are surrounded by one of nature’s most convenient building materials.

Contrary to what your instincts might tell you, snow is a excellent insulator. While a snow shelter isn’t likely to get much warmer than 0° c, it probably beats whatever winter weather you are trying read more

A review on High-Altitude Trekking in Ladakh, India

Ladakh 16

Political Location Map of Ladakh (Leh)

Getting there:

The easiest way to get to Ladakh is by flying from Delhi to Leh (the biggest town in Ladakh). It’s a two day drive from either Srinagar or Manali and you will pass over some of the world’s highest motorable passes. Be prepared for road closures, altitude sickness, motion sickness, and at least a few adrenaline filled moments.

Reviewed by:

Carley Fairbrother, British Columbia Canada.

Carley is a self-declared nature nerd from British Columbia, Canada. She spent read more

Avoiding Bear Problems in the Backcountry

Avoiding Bear Problems 1

By Carley Fairbrother

I went on my first backpacking trip when I was 19, and since then, solo backpacking has been an important part of my life. It does shock people sometimes, though. One of the first things people ask is, “what about bears?”

On the other end of the spectrum, I hear people talking about their bad habits and saying, “I’ve been doing it like this for years, and I’ve never had a problem.”

Both these mind frames can really ruin a trip. On one hand, the fear of bears can read more

Bear spray or guns for protection?

bear spray 1

Personal protection against bears – guns or bear spray?

By Carley Fairbrother

I spent seven years as a backcountry ranger in northern British Columbia, and one of the questions I got asked the most was, “do you carry a gun out there?” They seemed genuinely concerned when I told them that I usually just carried bear spray.

To many folks in the north, and I’m sure wherever gun culture is prevalent, bear spray is seen as something a gimmick. I can understand that. I have been approached read more

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