Jen, a former city girl, paddling a canoe

How a Big City Girl Became a Camper

If someone told 20-year old me that I would become an avid camper, let alone a trusted source for camping information. I would have laughed. How could I, a city girl, become a camper? That would involve…well...getting nature on me!

A selfie from one of our portage trips

One word: love.

I fell in love with a guy who was in love with the outdoors. He never pressured me to share his passion. He had his ‘thing;’ I had mine.

Except, he’d go away for weekends with friends. Portaging in places like Algonquin. Or Haliburton. And he’d come back smiling. Relaxed. Full of stories.

One day, I asked him, “can we go on a canoe trip sometime?”

So it began.  Former city girl using the single burner camp stove.

At first, my friends and family were in awe. “Who are you, and what have you done with Jen?” “It’s a phase, I’m sure it will wear off.” “Ah, the things we do for love. She’ll get over it.”

But I didn’t. Instead, I fell in love again. This time with camping. And as time passed, people seemed to forget I was a city girl who knew nothing about the outdoors.

Soon, I started to get questions like, “Can you recommend a good portage route for beginners?” or “What type of gear should I invest in to start?” or “How do you plan for a camp?”

Wait a minute. I was a ‘go-to’ person! One of those people who had answers others were looking for!

Of course, my now husband, Colin, is a veteran Scouter and has much more knowledge and experience than I do. But still, people were asking me for opinions and advice. And I felt confident about giving it.

Over the years, we’ve done all kinds of camping:

  • Week-long portage trips in the wilderness
  • Quick weekend getaways
  • Group camping, including meal prep for 20 or more
  • Camping with babies
  • Camping with older kids
  • Camping with friends
  • Car camping
  • Destination camping
  • Small RV camping
  • Large RV camping
  • Travel trailer camping
  • “Glamping”

Jenni standing in front of our first RV rental--a van conversion.

These days, however, most of our adventures--or our family camping, at least--are in our 32-foot Evergreen travel trailer, a.k.a. our Tin Can Cottage.

That’s where this blog comes in. It’s a place where I can share our camping tales, our tips and tricks for all types of camping, our lessons learned over the years, what works for us, and what doesn’t.

I’ll cover topics like:

  • Choosing the right RV for your needs
  • Renting versus buying an RV
  • What to look for in an RV campsite
  • How to optimize space and organize your RV
  • Simple maintenance scheduled to keep your RV running
  • How to prep for camp
  • What to do when things go wrong
  • Camp cooking
  • Seasonal versus transient camping
  • And much more!

Based on my experience, campers are a friendly bunch, so I hope you’ll share yours, too!

Jen ponders the undergarments of a kilted wooden statue.

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