We meet a lot of friendly people in our travels, and there are a number of questions we are always asked, which we decided to put up on the blog.
What do you guys do for a living?
Sarah is a carpenter who shut down her business to go on this trip and Dan is an engineer in training who got a leave of absence (thanks, Cam!).
How long will the trip take?
Unfortunately, the trip had to be done in two parts. It took 5 months to get from Inuvik, NT to Regina, SK, and we estimate it will take another 6 months to get from Regina, SK to St. John’s, NL.
What will you do after the trip?
We’ll go back to work until we find another adventure!
Are you going to write a book?
We get this question maybe more than any other one. The answer is a resounding… maybe?
How many pairs of shoes have you gone through?
We’ve managed to wear out 9 pairs of shoes collectively over about 11, 000 kilometers.
Do you carry a cellphone?
No- it’s too much weight to carry for such a limited-use item, and we couldn’t charge it often, anyway.
So what do you do if you get in trouble?
We carry a SPOT Satellite Messenger (gen 2 model), which allows us to send our coordinates to the nearest search and rescue team if we really screw up.
What do you even eat?
Breakfast is oatmeal with a good dose of cinnamon and brown sugar. Surprisingly, even 5 months later, we are still excited for its warm, cinnamon-y goodness every day. Lunch is some trail mix with a variety of nuts, raisins, and a bit of candied chocolate.
See this post for how we make meals like lasagna or bacon and eggs ahead of time for the trip, and this post for how we make dinner once we’re on the road.
How much do your packs weigh?
Sarah’s pack is ~50 lbs fully stocked, and Dan’s is ~70. It’s bittersweet both when we’re low on food and water, and when we’ve just stocked up.
Where do you sleep?
In the tent, usually. As we get into the more populated regions of Canada, though, we sometimes meet friendly folks who invite us to stay in their homes.
What do you do if it rains?
If we’re already walking, we just put on our rain gear and keep walking. If it’s the morning and we wake up in the tent to heavy rain, we might wait it out to avoid putting our tent away in the rain and subsequently getting it wet.
What do you do when you get your period?
This questions is usually directed at Sarah, not at Dan. Sarah uses a Diva Cup, and it makes getting her period way less of a pain. For the ladies who do this kind of stuff and haven’t thought about it yet, check it out. Seriously.
Aren’t you scared of the bears?
No, not really. We’ve got an agreement, us and the bears. We actually really like bears, and enjoy appreciating them from a distance. We think bears get a bad rap from foolish campers who leave food out.
So what are you scared of, then?
Our biggest concern is actually people. Everyone we’ve met has been wonderfully nice, but we really are vulnerable in our little tent, and you never know who you might meet. It’s just a matter of being aware and putting yourself in good situations.
Don’t you get sick of each other?
No, we’re both pretty laid back, and so we make a good adventuring pair. Leading such a simple life means we don’t have much that riles us up.
What do you even talk about every day?
Food. What we ate in the last province, what we’ll eat for dinner, what we’ll eat at the next town… the possibilities are endless! We also play a lot of 20 Questions… most of which are about food.
What’s your favourite piece of gear?
This one is very tough because each piece of gear covers a different crucial element of our lives out here. After much deliberation, we have settled on our top 5 favourite pieces: The TGV2 tent, the pot cozy, the MSR International stove, our Therm-a-Rest XTherm sleeping mats, and our great hiking boots (thanks, Merrell!).
What piece of advice would you give to others who want to do something similar?
Go with your gut. If you don’t like a spot that you could camp in, move on. If you meet someone who makes you feel just a bit uneasy, move on. If you think someone might feed you some delicious soup, then go ask! We’ve met so many great people just because our guts told us to go chat or knock on a certain door.