Man flu thoughts…but still got outside!

What a brave little PlaidCamper. 

Sometimes, we can’t always get to the big outdoors – work commitments, timing or illness – but we can get outside. Living in Western Canada – Calgary, to be precise – almost anywhere outdoors can be delightful. For me, Calgary is a great place to be, located in the foothills of the Rockies, so an outdoor adventure can be had any time of the year. Even in the city there are many wonderful parks, with biking and hiking trails, enough to make being outside in the city a real pleasure in all seasons.

I try and get outside every single day for an extended period of time. Over the past year I’ve aimed to walk a minimum of 10 000 steps daily, and surprised myself by pretty much achieving that. I’d read somewhere that doing this is an excellent way of preventing future health complications. I’m no gym bunny, but walking appeals to me. We are designed to move at walking pace, and I manage to do most of my best thinking – whatever that means – when walking. So, even though I have been suffering – without complaint, just ask Mrs PlaidCamper! – from man flu, I staggered out today to hit my 10 000 steps. And it was a lovely afternoon! Minus 10C with blue skies and no real windchill, and the sun felt great. Days like today are what make this part of Alberta so pleasant to be in during the winter. It is a long season, but usually my favourite – either snow or blue skies, and rarely grey or overcast – you just get out and enjoy it.

I live close to Princes Island park on the Bow River, which means there are amazing views of the downtown, and today you could hear birdsong and there were various tracks in the snow – I like seeing and hearing animal traces, especially so close to the city centre. This afternoon, it got me thinking that even our large cities are quite temporary in the bigger picture, and that the Bow will still be flowing, and animals will still be leaving tracks in the snow long after we’re gone – those sort of thoughts are comforting. Not especially profound thinking here, mostly the product of a man flu fevered brain…

Thank you for reading, keep your guy ropes secure.

A pretty picture from this afternoon:



Why Plaid Camper?

Why Plaid Camper? I’m a new blogger so let’s start with an introductory post – and by doing that I’ll answer the question. There are many answers, but I’ll give it a try: I am (possibly) obsessed with canoes, cabins and camping. Oh, and checked shirts. I have too many plaid shirts in my wardrobe – there, I’ve said it. Unless I’m buying beer and outdoor or camping gear, I’m generally not very fond of shopping. Yet I find it hard to resist the allure of plaid. All my adult life, before grunge, through grunge and post grunge, I’ve worn checked shirts. When it was cool, and when it wasn’t, I’ve worn them. I’ve heard it’s cool again because bearded hipsters and lumbersexuals are wearing them. I do know I’m not cool because I overuse the word cool. PlaidCamper Jr told me that. I’ll write in later posts about where my outdoor enthusiasms began – I wasn’t born to it – but I like to think my (lack of) fashion choices played a part. So if I’m walking past a store and the display features even a hint of outdoorsy plaid, I’m in. I don’t always buy one, but when I do, it’s usually plaid. Although every now and then I like to surprise Mrs PlaidCamper – I go all daring and get a denim work shirt or similar. You know, out on a limb. The “old” in OldPlaidCamper? Why, some of the shirts are quite well worn… 

I wish I could write that I have a cabin and a canoe, and I spend many happy hours paddling about, fishing, and wearing my plaid shirts before heading back to fry up the fish I caught. I wish, but sadly that isn’t true, so this blog is called PlaidCamper. Not PlaidCabin owner or even PlaidPaddler, but maybe one day…However, I do have a tent, so it’s PlaidCamper. Not my real name, you may have guessed, but PlaidCamper is who I’ll be on here. I’m not sure I’ve really done much in the way of an introduction, but this first post is for you (and me) to dip a toe in the water. Preferably a lake or a river. We’ll get better acquainted further along as our stories unfold, and that’ll be fun. 

Keep reading if you have a love for the outdoors, you don’t take everything too seriously, and you don’t want to learn survival tips from a grizzled mountain man. I’m getting grizzled, but not so much in a rugged way, more in the aging way. Mountain man? Again, I wish, but it wouldn’t be true. I’ll write about my (sometimes) outdoor life, all the mistakes, confusion (have you read the bear advice?) and misadventures. It might include camping trips, visits to different cabins, how I can start a fire without matches (matches are quicker), or stories I’ve picked up from other happy hikers. I like to cook, so I’ll share favourite outdoor and cabin recipes, and I love movies with outdoor settings (but not you, Without A Paddle), so we can talk about that as well, and just see where this all leads.

I like to write, but I’m not very disciplined, so trying a blog might help me stick to the writing. I start stories but rarely finish them. Friends say “oh, you should write” – I suspect they really mean “please stop talking” but are too polite to say so. More later – thanks for reading, feel free to comment, and keep your guy ropes secure.  Little Bear Cabin, Near Bozeman, Montana