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Winter Camping in Alberta: Tips and Gear Essentials

Winter Camping in Alberta: Tips and Gear Essentials

Photo by Chris Cordes on Unsplash

Outdoor enthusiasts can have a unique and thrilling experience while winter camping in Alberta. For those seeking adventure and seclusion, the unspoiled landscapes, peaceful nature, and brisk, cold air offer a wonderful backdrop. However, going into the winter wilderness calls for meticulous planning, the appropriate equipment, and a solid awareness of the difficulties presented by extremely low temperatures. Alberta winter camping trip is safe and fun, including where to get the best camping supplies in Calgary.

Using top-notch gear is essential for a secure and fun winter camping trip in Alberta. The ability to survive in extreme cold depends on dependable gear like insulated sleeping bags, warm clothes, and well-insulated tents. High-quality equipment minimises the danger of hypothermia and frostbite by providing warmth, protection, and dependability in challenging situations. It's an investment that ensures a more secure and pleasant experience in Alberta's magnificent winter wilderness. To increase your sense of security, make sure to purchase these equipment from reliable Calgary providers.

Choosing the Right Winter Camping Gear Online

Insulated Sleeping Bag: For winter camping, a top-notch insulated sleeping bag is your greatest buddy. Choose bags with temperature ratings that are appropriate for the anticipated cold. Although synthetic sleeping bags are more water-resistant, down-filled sleeping bags offer great warmth-to-weight ratios.

Four-Season Tent: Invest in a tent with four seasons that is made to resist the harsh winter weather. To avoid condensation, these tents include stronger poles, reinforced materials, and better ventilation. Choose a tent that can withstand heavy winds and snowfall.

Sleeping Pad: To protect yourself from the chilly ground, you must use a high-quality sleeping pad with a high R-value. Both closed-cell foam pads and inflatable alternatives are effective. Use two pads if you want more insulation.

Clothing in Layers: Layering is key to controlling body temperature. A moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating layer, and an upper layer that is waterproof and breathable should be worn in that order. Remember to pack additional clothes in case of emergencies.

Winter Boots: Waterproof, insulated winter boots are a need. Make sure they have enough space to fit thick socks and offer sufficient protection from the cold. Your feet will stay warm and dry if you wear the right shoes.

Gloves and mittens: Pack a pair of each for maximum warmth and dexterity. To prevent frostbite on your hands, look at choices that are waterproof and insulated.

Headgear: To stop heat loss from your head and face, you must wear a warm hat that covers your ears and a balaclava. As snow can be blinding, UV-protective sunglasses are also essential.

Cooking utensils: Choose a winter-specific stove that can withstand chilly and windy circumstances. In extreme cold, liquid fuel stoves are more dependable. Bring insulated water bottles and a set of robust cookware.

Gaiters: Gaiters help keep snow out of your boots and provide extra insulation for your lower legs.

Fire Burner Stove: A winter-specific stove that can withstand extreme cold and high elevations would be useful for cooking and comfort. White gas or multi-fuel stoves, which burn liquid fuel, are dependable options. Don't forget to include extra fuel containers.

Cookware: Use pots and pans suitable for cold weather cooking. Insulated mugs and bowls are also handy for keeping food and drinks hot.

Camping Gear Alberta: Where to Find the Best Equipment in Calgary, Alberta

When it comes to seeking the best winter camping gear in Calgary, Alberta, you have several options:

Outdoor retailers: The outdoor retail industry is growing in Calgary, with establishments like MEC (Mountain camping equipment Calgary, Alberta Co-op), Atmosphere, and SAIL stocking a broad selection of camping supplies for all four seasons. They frequently have skilled professionals who can offer qualified counsel.

Outdoor specialty stores in your area: Discover Calgary's small, independent outdoor gear stores. These more intimate shops might provide a more tailored shopping experience and unusual camping gear Alberta choices.

Online merchants: Keep in mind the ease of online shopping. Numerous websites, including REI, Backcountry, and Amazon, offer a wide variety of camping supplies, frequently with customer evaluations to aid in your decision-making.

Second Hand Stores: If you're looking for inexpensive camping supplies, take a look at secondhand shops and online marketplaces or Yatta Life Store. Here you will buy the best traction spikes, gaiters, trekking poles and more. Although safety and quality should always come first, older camping equipment Calgary, Alberta can often be more affordable.

Yatta Life: To get the best camping supplies at best price, make contact with Yatta Life. Yatta Life offers a range of outdoor gear, including stainless steel hiking ice spikes with elastic harnesses for enhanced traction, and spikes for winter shoe traction, waterproof socks and more. Their product lineup may also include gaiters, trekking poles, and other outdoor accessories to help you stay prepared and safe during your outdoor adventures.

Essential Tips for Winter Camping in Alberta

Verify the weather: Alberta's winter weather can be erratic. The weather is forecast, so be aware of it and be ready for unforeseen changes. Camping should be avoided when there is a lot of snow or a blizzard.

Plan Your Route: Decide on a campground or backcountry location that is within your capability and is accessible in the winter. Make sure you have a map and are familiar with your trip. Tell someone about your plans and when you anticipate to return.

Leave No Trace principles: By adhering to the Leave No Trace guidelines, you can respect the environment. By packing up all waste and trash, you can lessen your influence on the delicate winter habitat.

Keep Yourself Well-Fed and Hydrated: Cold weather can cause you to consume more calories and get dehydrated. To stay nourished and hydrated, consume foods that are high in energy and drink lots of water.

Safely Build a Fire: If you intend to have a campfire, consider bringing a small, portable stove as a backup. If there is a fire ring available, use it and handle fires safely.

Emergency necessities: Keep a first aid kit, headlamp, multi-tool, and dependable communication camping equipment Calgary, Alberta such as a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon, on hand.

Group Camping: If you have never gone winter camping before, you might choose to join an organised trip or go with more seasoned campers. Sharing a campsite with others can increase safety and awareness.

Experiencing nature at its most basic level while winter camping in Alberta is a great experience. To guarantee a secure and comfortable trip, it is necessary to be well-prepared with the appropriate winter camping equipment and expertise. These guidelines and necessities will help you embrace the beauty and hardships of camping in Calgary, Alberta, or while you're planning your next winter camping trip.

How to avoid a slip and fall during the Canadian Winter Months

How to avoid a slip and fall during the Canadian Winter Months

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Winter in Calgary, Alberta can be a beautiful and exciting time, but it can also be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken to avoid slips and falls. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and upright during the snowy and icy months.

    1. Dress appropriately: Wear warm and waterproof boots with good traction to help prevent slipping on ice and snow. Layers of clothing will also help to keep you warm and dry.

    2. Use caution on sidewalks and walkways: Be especially careful on sidewalks, walkways, and stairs that may be icy or snow-covered. Take small steps, walk at a slower pace, and keep your arms out for balance.

    3. Use salt or sand on walkways: If you have sidewalks or walkways on your property, be sure to use salt or sand to melt ice and provide traction. This will help to make the area safer for yourself and others.

    4. Be aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings and look out for potential hazards, such as ice patches, slippery steps, and uneven surfaces.

    5. Keep your hands free: It can be tempting to use your hands to help you balance when you're walking on slippery surfaces, but it's better to keep your hands free so you can use them to break your fall if you do slip.

    6. Stay indoors during extreme weather: When the weather is particularly bad, it's best to stay indoors if possible. If you do need to go out, be sure to dress appropriately and take extra care on slippery surfaces.

    7. Use shoe tracking spikes: Another great option to prevent slipping on ice is to use shoe tracking spikes. These are small metal spikes that attach to the bottom of your shoes and provide extra traction on icy and snowy surfaces. They are lightweight and easy to use, and can be a great investment for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors during the winter months in Calgary.  

                   By using shoe tracking spikes, you can have more confidence walking on slippery surfaces, as it will increase your shoe's grip and traction on ice. It's also a good idea to check the spikes before use to make sure they are still sharp and tight.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of slipping and falling during the winter months in Calgary, Alberta. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings, dress appropriately, and use caution when walking on slippery surfaces.

Take the first step towards your 2023 running goals with a new race!

Take the first step towards your 2023 running goals with a new race!

2023 has arrived, many people are looking for ways to kickstart their fitness goals. One great way to get motivated is to participate in a local running event.

If you're thinking about signing up for your first run of 2023, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Choose the right race: There are many different types of running events to choose from, including 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, and marathons. Consider your fitness level and goals when selecting a race distance.

  2. Start training early: Depending on the distance of the race, you may need to start training several weeks or even months in advance. Begin by incorporating regular runs into your weekly routine and gradually increasing your distance.

Top 5 Trail Running Shoes for 2021 - Gift Ideas

Top 5 Trail Running Shoes for 2021 - Gift Ideas

Our next article will dive more in-depth into the topic of the best trail-running shoes. As we said before, shoes are the number one gear consideration for trail running. All the backpacks, water bottles, and first-aid kits won’t matter if you are running barefoot in the snow!


We will cover five different running shoes, a quick overview of them, and some pros and cons we see in them. No two shoes are the same, and no two people have the same needs or comfort levels when it comes to shoes. The best thing you can do is try some of these out for yourself at your local sporting goods store and find your best fit!



  1. Norda 001 RZ

 Norda 001 x Ray Zahab Seamless Trail Running Shoes - Men's

The Norda 001 RZ is first on our list for many reasons. Norda as a brand has built its entire product line around trail running and hiking. The 001 RZ was designed by runners, for runners. It was a collaboration inspired by the Mountain Boomer collared lizard and made to handle just like a lizard on any terrain.



  • One-Piece Upper Construction - This means the upper of the shoe is one piece, meaning less eams to wear out and break, giving you long life out of the shoes
  • Lightweight Vibram Sole - Vibram is an industry leader in soles, the light weight construction means less strain on your legs for longer runs
  • Vibram Sole Plate - The sole plate has deep ridges and rugged construction able to take on any trail you throw it’s way.



  • Price - Some entry-level runners may not be willing to jump in at the price point these shoes start at
  • Lack of Color Options - These shoes are a collaboration and come in one color choice, if customization of colors is important, these may not be for you.  Update:Norda now has over 4 colour options available on site now. The RZ 001 was a limited Edition collaboration for the Foundation)




The S/Lab Pulsar is a great option made by a well-known company. Salomon is a leader in outdoor gear of all kinds. Specializing in all types of outdoor activities, this shoe was designed after extensive research on running trails, and running them fast.



  • Sock-Like Fit - The ankle area of the shoe is a lightweight mesh material made to hug the foot much like a sock. This helps combat discomfort or injury coming from feet shifting within the shoe.
  • Breathable Upper - With the entire upper being made of proprietary mesh material, you are able to have a breathable shoe without sacrificing durability
  • Precise, Curved Sole - The sole of this shoe has a unique curve allowing for better dynamics with each step and forward propulsion to navigate the trails quickly.



  • Minimum Cushion - The minimum cushion of this shoe allows for slightly more reverb up the leg when running, meaning some runners may experience discomfort or soreness early on.
  • Running Terrain - Salomon rates this shoe for “Road and Mixed Terrain” style runs. For some, a run through the woods is all they need, but these shoes are not rated best for icy, snowy, muddy, or rocky conditions.


  1. Hoka Speedgoat 4

 Men's Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Trail Running Shoe

When making the Speedgoat 4, Hoka had one thing in mind, speed on the trails. Designed for a professional athlete, they made sure these shoes provided traction without sacrificing speed.



  • MEGAGRIP - Hoka’s proprietary sole construction promises traction on the uphill and control on the downhill. THey used Vibram soles with deep set lugs to provide an off-road traction pattern ready for any terrain.
  • 3D Printed Overlay - The uppers contain a 3D PRinted overlay that ensures this shoe hugs your foot where it counts, providing increased support and comfort.
  • Width Options - No two feet are the same, there are regular width shoes, and wide shoes. This shoe comes in both options ensuring that everyone can find the most comfortable fit.



  • Comfort - It offers a neutral cushion in order to provide weight reduction and stability. Some runners may feel discomfort from the lack of highly cushioned shoes.
  • Weight - While still lightweight as far as everyday shoes go, this shoe is 10.8oz, which for trail running shoes, may be heavier compared to other options.


  1. Saucony Peregine 11

Saucony Peregrine 11 Trail Running Shoe 

Saucony has a longstanding name amongst any kind of runners. They specialize in specific shoes for runners on any terrain. This shoe offers a great starting point with a well-known brand for trail runners without breaking the bank.



  • Sticky Sole - The traction the sole provides gives runners confidence when they feel the tack of the sole meet the ground while providing longevity to the shoe, meaning it will be a favorite for years of trail running.
  • Rock Plate - Saucony included a rock plate under the sole, this provides the runner with a flexible layer of protection. This nylon layer ensures the bottoms of your feet will be protected from any hazards on the trail.
  • Padded Uppers - The uppers of this shoe provide more layers of protection while trying to maintain weight reduction. The uppers are padded for comfort and protection from snags and punctures.



  • Heel Tightness - A few runners have experienced a lack of tightness or “sock-like fit” around the heel, leading to soreness and possible injuries from foot shifting.
  • Snowy Conditions - While the treads and lugs are built for trails, they do not provide added traction qualities on ice and snow.


  1. Brooks Catamounts

 Men's Brooks Catamount Trail Running Shoes

Brooks is another well-known brand amongst the trail running community. The Catamount lives up to the name and is a great option for trail runners looking to break the sound barrier in speed.



  • TrailTack - Brooks used a unique proprietary rubber compound when developing the soles, giving users a stickiness to the ground and added wet weather traction.
  • DNA FLASH Foam - Brooks promises a responsive run, with materials that adapt to your unique stride, giving you a mutually beneficial relationship with your running shoe.
  • Rock Plate - The Catamount also offers a rockplate between the outer and mid sole, providing flexible protection from protruding rocks or other hazards on the trail.



  • Sizing - Many runners have reported more play in the sizing length wise, allowing for shifting of the foot in the shoe. This can lead to injuries or soreness if you do not take the time to find the right fit for this specific shoe.
  • Stiffness - Another complaint is the stiffness in the shoe. A lack of flexibility can definitely be an issue while traversing switchbacks and obstacles, not to mention soreness in the foot.



There are hundreds of options when it comes to trail running shoes, and in a lot of ways it is a trial and error game. Always ensure that you can test the shoe out, and test the fit, not all sizing is the same and finding a shoe that hugs your foot without constricting is important. Balancing that with flexibility and durability can be intimidating. Remember, hitting the trails is fun, and in many ways is different for every person. These shoe options can give runners in any budget a great starting point. Also, if your shoe does not seem to grip the snowy or icy conditions very well, but is otherwise the perfect choice, consider adding a pair of Yatta Life Spikes to make the all around perfect trail running shoe!

Photo by Jeremy Lapak on Unsplash


Introduction to Trail Running: Time to Gear Up!

Introduction to Trail Running: Time to Gear Up!

The next article in our trail running series will focus on the different types of equipment you may need to hit the trails, and do so safely! We will be covering some basics, but the list is non-exhaustive, so if you find something else that may benefit you never hesitate to add on!



The most important piece of equipment any runner can have is shoes. Good trail running shoes not only protect your feet from the elements, but provide orthopedic support to reduce fatigue and soreness all over your body. Trail running shoes specifically will vary from your everyday track shoes and there are a few key features you want to look for:

  • Grip: Trail shoes should have an all-terrain, thicker, knottier outsole. Think of off-road tires on a car. Good outsoles will be rugged, with deep tread to help navigate the different obstacles the trail may present.
  • Protection: The uppers of the shoes should be breathable, with a water-resistant build. Trail running will present several different environmental elements that could leave your feet soaking wet. The number-one rule when on the trail should be to keep your feet as dry as possible. This prevents not only discomfort, but injury from blisters and sores.
  • Construction: Take your shoe and bend it. The shoe should be flexible, without any visible strain on the material of the sole. The short and variable stride lengths in trail running will cause your foot to rotate and shift within the shoe, and on the ground. A rugged construction of the shoe will provide long-lasting protection to not only your foot, but your investment
  • Spikes: In the snow-filled environment, traction spikes are amazing add-ons to any shoe that will help navigate the otherwise slick terrain. Yatta Life offers a wide array of traction spikes to make you ready for any trail you embark on. (Check them out here!)

Trail running shoes come in many shapes and sizes, and many different price ranges. It is important to remember how important your feet are, not only to your trail-running journey, but to everyday life. Investing in good-quality, well-built, properly fitting shoes will take care of you for years on the trails.


Like shoes, trail-running packs are not one size fits all. There are a variety of different packs that are conducive to running, before entering the realm of hiking packs. Like any equipment, remember you are running with it, so you want something light, yet durable. There are a few different options when it comes to packs:

  • Backpack: Like the name suggests, these are packs that are held on your back. These are a great option for hydration purposes. Many times running backpacks will have a spot for a hydration bladder, leading to a hose which allows you to drink while on the move. You want to look for a light, compact backpack as you will be running with this added weight. In addition, many backpacks offer a cooling, or gel filled section that sits against your back to minimize discomfort. 
  • Waist-Pack: Otherwise known as the fanny pack, these are typically much smaller and worn via a belt around your waist. These are a great minimalist option for a quick run, or for someone who does not need to carry much. These are lightweight and come in many sizes, all still smaller than a backpack. The main benefit is that they can be accessed much easier while on the move, as opposed to a backpack that may need to be taken off to access.

Whether Backpack or Waist pack, it is essential to have somewhere to keep your gear. This allows you to be hands free and travel with a little more than what your hands can carry. Some runners may choose to wear both, the backpack being for a hydration bladder and bigger gear such as a first aid kit, while the waistpack holds snacks and other smaller gear.

Clothing and Accessories

The topic of clothing covers a wide array of options specifically built for trail running. From head to toe it is important to be prepared for whatever mother nature has in store for your run day. We will cover a few important considerations when it comes to clothing.

  • Hats: There is no one size fits all for your trail running hat choice. However, protection from the sun, rain, or cold will be the primary benefit to the hat choice. A baseball cap will protect your face from the sun preventing sunburn. There are hats specifically designed for running that will be light weight and moisture wicking. A full-brim hat, much like a “cowboy hat” provides protection around the head and neck area, and may be more suited for the rainy season as it can deflect the rain from getting to your face, or back. Lastly, a winter “skull cap” is the obvious choice when running in the cold seasons. Cold weather injuries are detrimental to the body, and can be prevented with keeping the head and ears protected. A good portion of heat is lost through the head and keeping your head and ears warm will be one less thing to worry about on your run. Like any gear, there are winter hat options made for running, again incorporating moisture wicking, lightweight technologies.
  • Neck Gaiter: Another option of protecting the neck and also the face from any sun or wind damage is a neck gaiter. Neck gaiters are tubes that go over the head and bunch around the neck almost like a scarf, they can be essential to staying warm and protecting another part of your body from the elements. They can also be pulled over the nose and mouth to keep your face protected from the inclement weather. 
  • Outerwear: Many people choose to run in shorts, after all, cardio can get pretty hot. However, in trail running, pants may come into play many times. Things like cold weather, or the threat of obstacles in the path can put your legs in danger. Tree limbs, or kicked up stones can physically hurt your legs, and finding a pair of lightweight, cooling trail running pants can prove to be essential in keeping your journey safe. In addition, coats or long-sleeve shirts are some other pieces to consider when it comes to clothing. Again, finding these clothes in a light-weight, breathable material will be important to staying comfortable and safe.

Picking out the proper clothing for trail running is just as important as picking the proper attire for a meeting, or party. Keeping your body safe, and in tune with the elements you will be exposed to is something you should consider every time you hit the trail.

Other Essential Gear:

You have the shoes, you are dressed the part, you have your pack on, but what else should you be carrying? Staying safe, hydrated, fueled, and prepared, are all things to take into account, especially as you decide to take longer trail runs. Here is a list of some good things to keep handy when you are trail running:

  • Runner Snacks - Trail Mix, energy gummies, nuts, dried fruit
  • GPS Watch/Tracker - In addition to tracking your distance or calories burned, many fitness trackers have options to get you back to your start point in case you take a wrong turn
  • Sunscreen - Even in the cold, the sun can still be harmful
  • Bug Repellant - Don’t let mosquito bites ruin the fun
  • Hydration Bladder or water bottle
  • Small First Aid Kit - Be prepared for whatever the trail throws your way
  • Cell Phone - Getting lost or hurt is never the plan, but be ready to call for help if possible
  • Socks - If your socks get wet, it is important to change into dry socks to prevent injury
  • Coat/Poncho - Even if the weather is supposed to be clear, be ready for when it isn't
  • Headlamp/Flashlight - Be prepared for when the run goes a little longer than expected
  • Traction Poles - These will help disarm the intimidating slopes by giving you an extra edge. (Check out our poles here!)

The list of gear for trail running is never ending, and non exhaustive. It is important to remember to just be prepared. Research the areas you are going to, the weather, and the climate. Be prepared for injuries, getting lost, or inclement weather. The fun of trail running is it is always different. Each challenge you are presented with is a learning opportunity, so be ready for them!

Introduction to Trail Running: Going Off The Beaten Path

Introduction to Trail Running: Going Off The Beaten Path

Welcome to our introductory trail running series where we will be covering trail running for beginners. Whether you are new to running or a seasoned road runner looking to explore trail running, this series is for you.This series of articles will cover everything you need to know to begin and continue your trail running journey. The next articles will cover everything you need to know to begin and continue your trail running journey. This series will cover the following:

  • Trail Running: Gear and Safety
  • Trail Running: Shoes
  • Trail Running: Nutrition
  • Trail Running Races and How to Find Them
  • Trail Running: Groups
  • Trail Running: Techniques and How to Improve your Experience
  • Trail Running: Running Metrics

What is Trail Running?

Trail running can be defined as any running activity not on paved roads. It takes the term “off the beaten path” literally. Being more than the distance run or the calories burned, it is all about the experience. Your heart will race not only from the cardio, but from the ever-changing views and terrains.

In trail running, you engage one of your biggest bodily assets, your mind. The difference in terrain will include several obstacles, from the uneven path to a tree root zigging and zagging across your way. Your mind will engage as you break out of your straight line running and move to a more open and cross-thinking mindset. The health benefits go beyond the mind though.

Is Trail Running better for me?

Running on an even, straight surface is a good workout. However, you will find that there are all new muscle groups that engage when you run on trails. Hills, nature, and weather will all physically change the surface, and your muscles will be the first to notice. Differences in clothing, for example, having to run in a winter coat will be much different than the same old gym shorts and t-shirt on the treadmill. Your legs will experience a change to the status quo as they are forced to engage muscles required to fall at an angle or lengthen a stride unexpectedly. You start to find that running uphill is a battle but running downhill uses many different parts of the leg to control your speed and keep you from toppling over. Your heart adapts to the changes in elevation and the adrenaline rushes while you run against a steep drop off with a breathtaking view.

Why should I start?

As you lose track of the miles, you will focus more on the beauty of nature. You will see more than the screen on your treadmill, or the same repetition of the house decorations your neighbour's put up. You will notice the wildlife, and the oddities of nature along your trail. No two trails are the same, so while you get a change of view, you force your body, muscles, and mind to adapt to new terrain each time you go out! These changes only add excitement to this sport as you realize that your five-mile run that used to take 40 minutes, now takes an hour and a half, and you don’t even notice the time difference!

Running isn’t everybody’s favorite workout. Things like the same old sound of feet hitting pavement, or the never changing view of the gym can make running boring, or uninteresting. When you introduce these new elements, your mind will thank you as your motivation soars to the top of the cliff you just traversed.

Where do I start?

These changes may seem intimidating, but remember, the speeds, lap times and paces are not the focus with trail running. The focus is getting out into nature and experiencing the trails that cover this beautiful planet. Don't hesitate to go to your local park or nature preserve, find the first trailhead you see and start running! Stay up to date with our articles to make sure you have the proper Trail Running Shoes. Whether you are a first-time runner, or your soles are worn from the same concrete path, trail running can be a great workout for everybody. It offers different views, different workouts, and different mindsets when it comes to running.

 We are sure you have a lot more questions on how to have a fun, but safe trail running journey. This series will give you insight into the basic aspects of running on the trails. We hope you find them helpful and give you the information you need to get out there and take the trails head on!

We are sure you have a lot more questions on how to have a fun, but safe trail running journey. This series will give you insight into the basic aspects of running on the trails. We hope you find them helpful and give you the information you need to get out there and take the trails head on!

Shin Splints Remedy for New Runners

Shin Splints Remedy for New Runners

Shin splints are one of the most common ailments that runners struggle with. They most commonly occur when you’ve just started running for the first time, you’ve just returned to running after some time off, or when you start training more intensely. Unfortunately they can also sometimes occur with no warning, even if your regular running habits haven’t changed. We aren’t doctors and can’t offer medical advice, but if you begin to experience what you suspect are shin splints, we have some tips you can try below.

So, what are shin splints? Essentially, shin splints are stress on your shinbone. This presents as painful inflammation in the connective tissues that attach muscles to your bones.

What is the treatment for shin splints? The good news is that they can heal on their own. The challenging news is that they need to be taken seriously to ensure they heal completely and don’t just come right back. The following are the first steps you can take if you get them:

  • Shin splints take time to heal, and you need to rest your legs completely.
  • You can ice the affected shin to ease your pain and any swelling. Apply ice for 20-30 minutes every, 3 to 4 times a day, for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain is gone.
  • Consider trying out a new pair of shoes. It’s possible that they may have reached their maximum mileage limits. If they’re still fairly new, you might consider insoles or orthotics. Since weak arches can often be the culprit behind shin splints, the extra support from inserts might be a huge help for you.
  • Incorporate a stretching routine that targets shin splints specifically.

What are some shin splint stretches? Here are a few you can try.

  1. Toe-drag stretch. This stretch will extend from the top of your foot up into your shin, the aim is to release tension and stiffness. To stretch the muscle in your shin, begin by standing up straight and slightly bending both knees. Keep one foot flat on the ground and curl the toes on the other foot under, in order to gently “drag” the top of the foot on the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds then alternate feet.
  2. A kneeling stretch. Kneel on a mat with your buttocks directly over your heels. The tops of your feet should be flat on the floor. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds. Discontinue if this causes knee comfort.
  3. Simple shin stretch. Walk around at a normal pace with your weight shifted onto your heels, with your toes off the ground slightly. Alternate the to walking on your toes, with heels lifted.

These few moves should make your calves feel gently stretched and flexible. Shin splint pain can be very discouraging, but know that if they happen to you, there are treatments for shin splints, and they won’t last forever.








Best Stretches for Runners to Help Prevent Injury

Best Stretches for Runners to Help Prevent Injury

Avid runners and those who live active lifestyles know that the occasional physical injury  or discomfort comes with the territory. However, you might be overestimating how normal the frequency or severity of such discomfort actually is.

Soreness for runners is much more normal than actual pain. Studies suggest that on a scale of 10, a range of discomfort from 1-3 is normal. Anything beyond that might mean you’re running too far or you’re not getting adequate rest between workouts. A great way to prevent injury as a runner is by stretching regularly. Ideally, we’d stretch every day, but that may be impractical with a demanding schedule.

For best results, we suggest stretching three to five times a week if possible, but no less than once or twice a week. Some of our favorite runner’s stretches, which will offer the most benefit, are as follows:

1) Stretch: Knee Hug Stretch. While lying on your back, hug both knees to your chest, being sure to relax your back so it remains flat along the floor. Gently rotate your legs in circles.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the lower back, hips, hamstrings, and the inner and outer thighs. Can also help release lower back tension.

2) Stretch: Child's Pose Stretch. Come to your hands and knees on the floor. Spread your knees as wide as is comfortable for you, wider than your hips is ideal. You’ll keep the tops of your feet on the floor, and your big toes should touch.Bring your stomach to rest between your thighs and bring your forehead to the floor. Relax the shoulders, jaw, and eyes. Take deep, slow breaths and remain in the pose for as long as you like.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the thighs, hips and ankles. It can also release shoulder, neck and arm tension. Breathing is important here to maximize thel relaxation benefits.

3) Stretch: Seated Hamstring Stretch. Sitting on the floor, extend one leg straight oud and keep your back straight. Bend the other leg so that the sole of that foot rests against the mid-thigh of the straightened leg. Reach toward your outstretched ankle. You should feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Keep your foot flexed and hold the stretch for 30 seconds to begin.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the hamstrings, lower back and knees. It’s a very useful stretch to target imbalances in the gait from overwork and performing this after a run can help prevent stiffness.

4) Stretch: Downward Facing Dog Stretch. Begin on hands and knees. Wrists should be directly under your shoulders, and knees directly under hips. Curl your toes under to lift the hips and straighten the legs.Spread your fingers and keep your weight evenly distributed in your palms and feet. Let the head hang down and pull your shoulder blades back and away from your ears. Engage your quads so less pressure in on the arms. Keep the hips high, and sink your heels towards the floor. Remain for a minute or two, while breathing deeply.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the calves, lower back and shoulders. It is one of yoga's most widely recognized poses, and can greatly benefit anyone who lives a fairly active lifestyle!

We hope you make the time to incorporate these stretches into your running routine and race training plans. Preventing injury should be a priority for overall well being, but also for longevity. We want to keep running as long as we can, and we want the same for you.







How To Introduce Your Kids To Hiking

How To Introduce Your Kids To Hiking

As an outdoors person and a parent, one of the most rewarding things you can do is introduce your kids to hiking. Many of us grew up with hiking as a normal part of our childhood and understand that our deep love for outdoor activities began when we were quite small ourselves.

If you’re a parent and you’d like to know more about introducing your kids to hiking, or you’re not yet a parent, and you’d like to know if you can continue your outdoor pursuits after kids, we’ve got some ideas for you.


  1. Start early! Many parents continue regular hikes when their babies are still very small and can be carried in a wrap or pack. Keep hiking as the baby grows, and they won’t even think twice about why they’re in the middle of the woods, instead they’ll feel at home.
  2. Over Prepare. You may not be able to go ultralight for a few years. Kids come with a lot of accessories. We’re not above bribing the kids with treats along the trail and we recommend more snacks than usual— snacks are fun!. Also make sure you bring plenty of water. Turn breaks and water stops into a game.
  3. Make sure the kids have properly fitting equipment, too. From boots to waterproof jackets, maybe their own backpack, flashlight or compass, it’s always fun for kids to get new things and they will be eager to test them out. A first-aid kit is an essential thing to bring too, and consider the needs of your child. They may want a particular toy or article of clothing, so prepare for it.
  4. Be Realistic. At different stages in life, children have vastly different attention spans, and they also have limited endurance. Be realistic about how much a child can take on, and keep your expectations in check. You’re not there to break any records or get a super hard workout in. This is about being present and mindful with your child.
  5. Bring your patience. Don’t be discouraged if very small kids don’t want to go very far, whine a lot or complain. Try to keep them entertained with fun outdoor activities, like identifying animal sounds, identifying as many colors as possible, or bringing a checklist of things to see in a sort of natural scavenger hunt. It will take time to build distance, but the more you get out there, the more the kids will rise to the occasion and eventually you’ll find they will beg you to go hike!
  6. Boost their confidence. One way to encourage children in the outdoors is to let them be in charge. Let them follow the route on a map, or allow them to choose the trail. Let them choose when and where to stop. Be enthusiastic about their choices and optimistic about the day, and it will help keep everyone’s mood afloat.

Having children absolutely does not mean the end of your freedom, or your outdoor lifestyle. Raising kids to get outside has many benefits: a respect for nature and a love for being outside. It will instill in them a confidence, and they’ll develop instincts and a trust for their own intuition. There are of course, physical health benefits to establishing an athletic foundation as well. Remember that nature makes a great playground, for both you and your children.



Hiking Alberta with your kids: top 7 family-friendly hikes near Calgary

Hiking Alberta with your kids: top 7 family-friendly hikes near Calgary

Hiking is a great activity you can do with your kids. While you can enjoy one of your favourite hobbies, they can discover an entirely new world. It´s such an excellent opportunity to make unforgettable family memories.


Because we know that it can be overwhelming to find the right hike for your family, we have put together a list of 7 family-friendly hikes in Alberta.


From walking through canyons to thoroughly enjoying the views of one of the beautiful lakes of the country, these are the best family-friendly hikes you can do in Alberta.


Johnston Canyon and Falls hike


We have to say this one is one of the most kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.


Johnston Canyon, close to Calgary, is a scenic and easy hike perfect for all the family. You will walk through the beautiful canyon, breathtaking landscape, and emerald blue falls. The trail´s one of the busiest hikes over the summer, so arrive early to avoid the crowds.


There are a few trails to do. You can choose between going up to one of the falls or adventure yourself and complete both routes reaching the two falls. It shouldn´t take you more than half-day in completing both. They are around 5.5 km long.


It´s a super easy hike to do with your kids, and it´s all paved. This hike can be one of Alberta’s best kid-friendly hikes if you have a stroller with you. There is even an ice-cream truck at the end of the hiking.


Moraine Lake

This trail has to be on top of your list of kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.  

This comfortable and nice hour-long hike around the shore of Moraine lake is a great way to start the day with your family if you are around the area. The natural and unspoiled landscape is superb, and everyone will enjoy it.  There are different activities, such as birdwatching.

We will recommend completing it over the summer months. It´s a dog-friendly hike, too, although the dog has to be on a leash.

The pictured-postcard views of the Fay Glacier are unique in this hike.


Lake Louise 

Lake Louise creek trail is a longer hike, but it´s also really deserving of giving it a go. 

Located at Banff National Park’s heart is one of Alberta’s most beautiful and scenic family-friendly hikes. You will find some inclination during the route; therefore, we will recommend it for older kids. The views are so worthy in this hike. If you are looking for a fun day after completing the walk, some companies organize wild water activities like rafting.

This hike is also a busy one; hence prepare ahead if you want to find parking. As early birds get the worms, we will recommend you to set early, especially during the summer months.


Paddy´s Flat Interpretive

It´s a straightforward hike within the area of Kananaskis. The hike is only 2 kilometres, but you can get a bit of everything. While walking, you will get the calm of the river Elbow and enjoy the endless forest.

It´s a kid-friendly hike near Calgary, which is perfect if you are camping around the area. The campgrounds are unserviced, but they have the necessary camping facilities. Plan in advance if you want to stay there as they are first-come, first-serve. 


Quarry Lake Loop

The Canmore National Park, located in the West of Alberta province, has many good family-friendly hikes options. 

Quarry Lake Loop is one of them. A short and peaceful trail will make your family and kiddos enjoy a great outdoor time. The total distance of the walk is a bit over one kilometre.

This small but scenic trail will take you about an hour to complete, and you will surround the lake Quarry. It´s a straightforward one to do, although some of the paths are just at the edges of the lake. So, be cautious when doing it with young kids.

Through the hike, you are going to have a panoramic view of the mountains. This one is suitable to do in the winter months, but be careful with the ice.

There are restrooms and a parking area close to the start of the trail.


Sulphur Mountain Summit Trail

Banff is one of the most kids-friendly holiday destinations in the country. Each year holidaymakers head to the area to enjoy a well-deserved break.

If you decide to have a summer break here, you have to complete this fantastic walk. The hike is 10 km, which can be a bit long for young kids. If you want to do it shorter, you can take the Gondola service on your way back. There is a tricky elevation, so it can be quite challenging if you aren´t an often hiker.

The landscape and surroundings are beautiful, and we are sure you will get a fantastic day out with your family. The views from the mountains are breathtaking.


Source Spring Trail 

With more than 11,000 square metres of landscape, Jasper’s National Park has many options for kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.

The source spring trail is such a great place to explore with your kids. Most of the people who visited make their base at the Pocahontas campgrounds and explore the region’s different options. This easy hike in Alberta is a light walk where you and your family can enjoy the hot springs. The trail is paved, and it´s stroller friendly.

We will recommend heading to the bridge near Sulphur Creek. You will enjoy the wonderful views, and your kids will discover the origin of the hot springs.

We hope we have inspired you to get outdoors this season. Having kids doesn't have to stop you from hiking the beautiful mountains of Alberta, you will only have to adapt.

Having time in nature is one of the precious gifts you can give to your family. Make sure to check out one of these hikes we've mentioned here. And if you have any suggestions for more kid-friendly hikes near Calgary, Alberta, let us know!
























































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