Thinking about planning a backcountry hiking trip to one of our amazing Canadian national parks? Do we have some tips for you! Not only are we here to set you up with the latest apps to better navigate Canadian national parks we also have the best gear and tips from adventure photographer Katie Goldie. Take a look below before you go on your next adventure:
Using the Explora App in the Kootenays Photo: CBC.ca
Using Alltrails to find his way Photo: Hikinggpszone.com
Rouge River Valley Photo: PeterLamPhotography
Learn how to read the sun Photo: Unsplash
Top Backcountry Apps for iPhone & Android:
Parks Canada Explora App – It’s like having a personal national parks staff with you at all times. For a list of the national parks and national historic sites that have an Explora App click here. For Android click here.
AllTrails – Don’t like getting lost? Pick up this hiking, running and biking trail app. With access to 50,000+ trails, this app is a great way to learn about a new trails at home or while travelling. For Android click here.
MapMyHike – Want to share your hikes with friends and family? Look no further than the MapMyHike app. This app hooks up with your phone’s GPS to log and share your backcountry adventures in real time. For Android click here.
SAS Survival Guide – For the extreme adventurers in the group why not pick up the SAS survival guide. Get this app for a complete survival checklist, extreme climate tips, sun compass guides and a comprehensive first aid section. For Android click here.
Mpowered Luci Outdoor Solar Powered Lantern Photo: MPowered
Camelbak All Clear purifying water bottle Photo: Australian Geographic
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp Photo: Transworld Magazine
Altra 65 Backpacking Backpack Photo:
Top Tech Backcountry Hiking Gear:
Luci Outdoor 2.0 – At only $19.99 these solar powered lanterns are the best thing you could spend your money on. Not only do they pack small, you can also hang them off your pack so they charge all day to give you light all night.
Camelback All Clear – Coming Soon, this UV purification water bottle could be a life saver. Safely fill up from any fresh water source and this bottle will kill any harmful bacteria so you can stay hydrated on the trails.
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp – This is the best headlamp we have ever owned. At $49.95, it is a bit pricier, but for good reason! Not only is it waterproof, it also has a hold function so you can make sure you aren’t wasting your battery while it is smashed in the bottom of your pack.
Arc’teryx Altra 65 – If you are looking for the ultimate pack to bring on those longer backpacking expeditions, this one’s for you. Made by Canadians to work in the Canadian elements, this is the type of pack you can buy once and use for the rest of your life.
Photo: Katie Goldie
Photo: Katie Goldie
Banff National Park Photo: Katie Goldie
Photo: Katie Goldie
Photo: Katie Goldie
- Go-to Backcountry Supplies: My go to supplies when I go out Backcountry camping are first and foremost my camera gear. It’s not often that I will be without it especially in the backcountry which brings me to my next item, my pack cover. I have killed a few cameras from the rain in the past so it is an essential piece of gear, especially in the mountains. Then I like to bring light flip flops, it is nice to get out of your boots after a long hike and way easier around camp. Obviously, I bring a few layers of clothes but I never go without my down 800 fill puffy even in the summer. It gets to below zero some mornings in the mountains in summer so I never want to be cold. I also bring a pillow, it’s a camp one that compresses but I never forget it even if it takes up a bit of room. Then sleeping bag, pad, and a tent of course.
- Parks Canada: My favourite is probably Jasper National Park, it is really quiet there is so much to do. I also love Waterton Lakes National Park as it is very easy to get out and climb mountains in that park. Banff National Park is also a favourite because… how could you not.
- Camera Gear: I use a Canon 6D with three lenses. 16-35mm 2.8F and 24-70mm 2.8F and the 70-200mm 2.8F. They weigh a lot. I also have a carbon fibre tripod to help lighten the load. Camera gear is an added weight, it is, what it is though and just makes me stronger : )
- Food: I shop at MEC to purchase dehydrated vegetarian meals. I always bring some fresh food as well to add. Usually crackers and pesto with avocados. We also bring some fresh veggies to add to the dehydrated meals to bulk it up. It makes your pack heavier and you have to be careful not to squash avocados but it’s worth it. We bring homemade muesli with coconut milk for breakfast. When you spend more of your time camping than in the city you have to eat well.
The backcountry is great and really friendly to hikers. I recommend everyone try it once – Katie Goldie, Award Winning Adventure Photographer
Photo: Explore Canada
Fundy National Park Photo: Explore Canada
Hiking in Fundy National Park near Alma, New Brunswick, Canada.
Gros Morne National Park Photo: Explore Canada
Top Hikes In Canada’s National Parks:
- Long Range Traverse – Gros Morne National Park is like no other park in Canada. On this 3-5 day hike, you can enjoy some of the most amazing sights in Canada.
- Twin Falls – Yoho National Park is a magical place. On this hike explore the forest and amazing waterfalls as you follow the Yoho River towards the beautiful Twin Falls. Don’t forget to stop by the Twin Falls Tea House National Historic Site.
- Helmet Creek & Falls – Explore Kootenay National Park on this 2-3 day hike through the lush forest. towards the 300 m Helmet Falls. If you plan on camping don’t forget to make a reservation, purchase a permit and charge your camera!
- Fishing Cove – While in Cape Breton Highlands National Park take a 5-6 hour hike to Fishing Cove. Here you venture down the mountain towards a secluded beach where you can swim, fish and backcountry camp.
- Coastal (West) Trail – Want some of the best views in Fundy National Park? Start walking. This trail hugs the coastline and gives you a first-hand perspective of the highest tides in the world. Take it all in on this 2.5 – 3 hr hike. Want to make it longer? Continue on to do the Coastal Trail (East), which takes about 2hrs making your hike 5-6 hrs total.
Like this post? Check out Don’t Leave Home Without These Essential Packing Hacks and Top 10 Adventure Instagrammers In Canada, too!