Hiking the Gaspé Peninsula

A mere 12-hour drive from Ottawa you’ll find outstanding coastal and mountain hiking, and backpacking trails for anyone – beginner to super-fit advanced. On top of that there are cozy bistros, inexpensive hotels and gourmet food – this is Quebec after all. 

The Gaspé Peninsula forms the northern tip of the Appalachian mountain chain that runs north-south along the U.S. coast. And it’s a beauty! The trails range from one-hour strolls along salmon streams to multi-day backpacking adventures across mountain peaks, plateaus, valleys and Atlantic shorelines. You can camp in your tent, or choose from lean-to shelters or luxury camping bivouacs far up in the mountains. 

As for cyclists, if high winds sweeping in from the sea, steep, narrow roads and unexpected squalls turn you on, you’ll love it here. But despite abundant less-exposed trails, I left my bike at home. >>>

Rasouli grew up in a village in northern Iran near the Caspian Sea and says her greatest joy as a child was riding her bicycle every day after school with her best friend. They rode past young men playing soccer as they headed through open fields and the nearby forest. >>>

By Sheila Ascroft


New bicycle tour outfit offers an escape for tourists and “staycationers”.

The word “escape" has extra significance for Maria Rasouli. It’s not just the name of her new business, Escape Bicycle Tours, it’s a part of who she is.

What to do when the water runs out

   Without water you can survive only days, but pure drinking water is available in the field if you work at it. Here are some simple techniques to collect enough to survive almost anywhere.


    A solar still is a hole in the ground, so it means digging, which damages the environment. So dig one only if it’s a question of survival. And you can’t do this one in winter. All these water-source ideas apply to three seasons only. In winter, there’s snow. >>>

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