Okay, if you haven’t been camping this summer – or at all for that matter – you NEED to go. Why? Two words: Garibaldi Lake. You may be thinking “Well, I don’t have car, it would be impossible to get there.” WRONG. Come on, where is your sense of adventure? What the heck are you doing in Canada if you’re not willing to go an extra mile, lose yourself in the wilderness and take a few risks? You’re here to have the time of your life so with a little effort, you may just have the experience of a lifetime like we did this past weekend, at Garibaldi Lake.
Our adventure went a little like this…
After work on Thursday, we made our way over to the local grocery store to get some food for our trip. Want a quick and easy lunch? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So easy, and so good. We were staying for two nights, which was three lunches, two breakfasts and two dinners. In total, our grocery bill was around $75.00 CAN. That’s $35.00 each for 3 days worth of food! We ate some pretty great food but be forewarned, cans of soup are very heavy…enough said.
Thursday night was spent packing our backpacks for the adventure to the campground. Believe it or not, camping doesn’t have to be expensive. Mette and I had no camping gear before this weekend. We borrowed two sleeping bags from a coworker (and bear spray) and bought a tent from Army and Navy for only $30.00 CAN. Because campfires are banned in many provincial parks, we had to plan accordingly. We were able to buy a package of small cubes that when lit, would provide flame for 15 minutes. These could be used to cook food and were very inexpensive. These would prove to be very handy in the wilderness. A few other things we bought were flashlights (from the dollar store – worked great) a tarp (if it rained), a fishing rod (optional – $30.00 Army and Navy as well) and some cards. For the ENTIRE weekend, we only packed ONE pan. That’s right. When you carry everything on your back, you need to pack light. If you’re going to camp, also bring only one set of cutlery per person and one plate, you don’t need anymore than that.
As for clothes, we each brought very little. Again, when you carry everything on your back, think light. Bring a couple pairs of pants, a couple shirts and sweater and that’s it. You won’t need more than that. Some other things to bring are a first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags. After we were done packing for the night it was time to get some shut-eye before we embarked on an awesome adventure!
It was early Friday morning when my alarm clock went off and the sunlight was streaming through my bedroom window. I was still a bit tired from last night’s packing but knew the day ahead would be so much fun. Rolling out of bed, we both put on the most outdoorsy camping outfit we had – a plaid shirt. I also added a bandana for an added outdoorsy effect. The shirts were bought at value village – we wanted to look and play the part so we had fun rummaging through second-hand clothes. 🙂 Try it yourself!
At 7 a.m. we were on the bus downtown, and at 7:15 a.m., on the skytrain to catch the Greyhound. I told you you didn’t need a car to go camping! We bought round trip greyhound tickets for $35.00 CAN that would take us close to the Garibaldi Provinicial Park Parking lot. Some of you may be living in a home stay. You can always ask if they would be willing to drive you to your camping destination as well. Or, if there are enough of you wanting to go, you could rent a car for the weekend! We however chose greyhound. At 7:50 a.m. we were boarding the bus, grinning from ear to ear.
Note: If traveling to Garbialdi Provincial park, the bus stops in Pinecrest, about 4 kilometres from the park. But, we politely asked the bus driver to drop us off at the entrance, which he did, and you can do the same. Most of the time they are very nice and happy to help out. As we got off the bus, we were ready to begin our adventure!
The Garibaldi parking lot was 2.5 kilometres from the highway. Once we arrived there, we were ready to begin the REAL hike – a 9 km journey to our campsite. Before we left, we registered ourselves in, and camping for the entire weekend was only $20.o0 CAN. Pretty cheap when you think of the costs of a renting hotel room or an apartment.
As we began the trek up the mountain, the scenery was breathtaking. Green trees, natural waterfalls and terrain stretched as far as our eyes could see.
Of course, with 50 lb bags on our backs, we worked up a sweat. The natural waterfalls kept us hydrated though.. Once we reached the top, after a 4 1/2 hour hike, the views were spectacular. After seeing these pictures you can imagine how fantastic our weekend was!
This picture was taken after we crossed a river and hiked up a few rocks. The trail was so beautiful! Mette can be seen in this picture! What a trooper! While on the way up, hikers were both ascending and descending, but each one that passed gave us a chipper “Hello!”. Of course they were in a good mood, it’s impossible not to be with such a great environment around you. We met hikers and campers from all over the world at this campground. Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and of course, Canadians!
View from the bridge. Spectacular isn’t it? On the right, a glacier can be seen that has been frozen for over 10,000 years! While we were camping we saw a deer, birds, a lot of fish (trout are spawning right now), and even some insects like black and yellow millipedes!
There is no other place I wanted to be at the moment this picture was taken. I felt relaxed, humble, and lucky to be standing in front of this magnificent view. I forgot all about the city, cars, traffic, work, home – everything, when I was away at Garibaldi Lake. Camping is an amazing way to strengthen relationships and create memories that last a lifetime. It is also a good time to take a few moments for self reflection. I learned a lot about myself this weekend – my capabilities, my goals and aspirations. I am so glad that myself and the “insane dane” took the time to plan for a trip like this, as it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Thanks Mette for making this trip possible, I couldn’t have done it without you! And also, thanks to the INTERNeX Staff for lending us some gear, and for giving us a day off!
If you have a real sense of adventure, and want to hop up and go, a camping trip is the perfect thing for you. If you’re not in Canada, but are eager to travel and experience new things, why not do it through one of INTERNeX’s many programs? Work in the city, on a resort in rockies, or, complete an internship in your field of study. INTERNeX even has volunteer opportunities! Then, while you’re here, plan your camping trip ;). For more information on INTERNeX programs, visit our website!
INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149