5 Dads Go Wild, Brand Love, sponsored

5 Dads Go Wild: The Whole Story and Gear Review

I’m writing this from my tent. It’s super cold outside and I’m staying cozy and warm inside my sleeping bag. I really hope I don’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

We had an almost three-hour drive in our Ford vehicles from Vancouver to Manning Park, BC. As soon as we arrived, we set up our tents (mine smaller than expected) and started to make the fire.

As soon as the sun went down, the temperature plummeted. I am not sure how I’ll fare through the night, but I’ll update as we go.

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There are five of us ‘Daddy Bloggers’ camping next to each other this weekend and we’re all geared up and trying our hands at survival. Well, perhaps ‘survival’ is a bit of an overstatement, but we’re certainly trying to stay warm and dry, while trading stories, advice, and questions for the group.

The dads are me, James SmithStacey RobinsmithStephen Fung, Michael Kwan, Dale Allen Berg.

The summer season has gone and this time of year needs a little more thought into packing what we needed to stay comfy through the nights, and dry during the day.

I packed:

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Bag number one – I’m gonna need a bigger tent!

Shown:

Marmot Transcend Convertible PantsMen’s Phoenix JacketMen’s Trestles Sleeping BagMcSweeney’s JerkySumac Ridge wines, Herschel Little America Backpack, Higher Country Goorin Bros Hat.

On the cold nights, we huddled around the wood stove in the sheltered area. The sounds of the crackling wood burning were almost hypnotic and there were moments where we were all lost in thought as the fire roared. I knew I was going to miss this after the trip was over, so I recorded a 4-hour loop. Watch it right here:

The Camping Gear and Weekend photos

CasusGrill 

These bamboo-based single use grills are awesome. They get up to 400.c for an hour, which is enough to cook most meals, and then can be thrown on the fire pit to turn into nothing. No waste, no mess.

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We found that while the undersides would cook pretty well, the tops would get a little cool because we were cooking in -1.c up on the mountain. We easily fixed this by putting a sheet of aluminum foil over the food while it cooked. As you can see, these burgers that Dale made from scratch turned out beautifully.

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Even the grill’s new packaging is eco-friendly!

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Men’s Transcend Convertible Pants

As the weekend goes on, the weather is completely unpredictable. One minute there’s blue sky, the next is a downpour. These Marmot Transcend pants kept me dry as the water just beads off. They also have a zip around the thighs which would turn them into shorts. I didn’t even attempt that as I’ve been wearing my thermal underwear since we arrived. (Scroll down for a better photo).

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We had some amazing cooks and foodies on the trip. Dale from Parenting101 made burgers, Stephen and Michael made the Pho Hot Pot, and Stacey made the best breakfast biscuits I’ve ever had!

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Men’s Phoenix Jacket

In a very similar way to the pants, this lightweight but super water-proof jacket has saved me from a proper soaking. The colour is great, the fit is perfect, and I know that if the sun came out and it got warm (it didn’t), I could just roll it up small and put it in my bag.

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No, you’re not seeing double, these two little deer visited us at the campsite. Our breakfast must have smelled inviting.

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Men’s Trestles Sleeping Bag

So cozy! My $45 tent was a bit of a bust. It was more a waterproof mosquito net than anything and gave me no protection from the cold at all. Luckily my sleeping bag was super warm. It was hard to pick from Altitude Sport’s range as they have so many, but this mummy-bag style kept me pretty toasty, at least until it hit -2.c. Then I had to put my sweater on as well.

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McSweeney’s Jerky

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Yes! I eat McSweeney’s Jerky constantly, so it was great that they provided some snacks for the trip. On the way up, Stephen Fung and I were chomping away on the teriyaki beef flavour. During the weekend, I’ve developed a fondness for the steak strips as I can hold them and bite into them as I wander around the trees.

Sumac Ridge wines

We’ve had a hard day of driving along bumpy roads, putting up our tents, and getting dinner sorted. My personal favourite is the Sumac Ridge Merlot as I love a full-bodied red, while a couple of the other Dads have been enjoying the sweeter, lighter Gewürztraminer.

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I love that Sumac Ridge is a BC winery, so I know it hasn’t had to travel very far to get to me. I honestly think British Columbia has some of the best wine in the world.

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Ben Sherman Canada pants + plaid shirt 

Sharp and comfy describe these the best. I’ve actually been wearing the skinny jeans for a week at work because they look and feel so good. I was saving the shirt for the drive because I knew that it was light and wearable, but it also looked smart enough for work. I wore the Long Sleeved Windowpane shirt. I actually wore it through the night as I was too cold to get changed! I bundled myself up like a burrito and hunkered down for the night. It still looked good in the morning, but I made sure I found my thermal shirt for the second night. Brrr!

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I picked up a few of these to bring home. It was great that the floor was covered with them. While they were super sticky with sap, they smell amazing. I just wish I could bring more of the clear forest air with me.

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House of Knives: 

There was so much here that we didn’t get to go through it all. The ones that I did see, examine, and see in use were the FUSION knives and the sharpest vegetable peeler in the world. They look seriously well constructed. I watched Stacey Robinsmith, ADadIntheBurbs.com break down a chicken for the hot pot that Stephen Fung was creating. The headlights were awesome too. We strapped those on and were able to see what we were doing the whole time without tripping on the roots that stuck out like little tripwires.

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A Blue Moose Cafe mug and Ethical Bean coffee

A landmark in Hope, BC, the Blue Moose Cafe was kind enough to give us some mugs and plenty of coffee to keep us warm over the chilly weekend. A few of the dads stopped there on the way up and will grab some lunch on the way back too, it’s that good!

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Filson shirts and baseball caps

I followed Filson on Instagram for over a year before I found out that they had a store right here in Vancouver. I love the country styling as well as their attention to the highest quality. These are clothes that will last you for every adventure, every harsh winter, and will look like you meant to be there. They’ll last so long that you’ll be able to pass on your beloved jacket or hat to the next generation.

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It was also at the Vancouver store that I met Stacey Robinsmith for the first time and came up with the idea for this trip. Imagine my happiness when they said that they wanted to be a part of the 5 Dads Go Wild trip!

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My cap had a waxed finish which gave it a water-proof, or at least very resistant feature. Every time it rained, I’d put that hat on and I’d be good to stay outside.

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? The skies were so clear and the stars shone down on us. This also meant that the temperature fell fast and we had to get that fire burning as soon as we could.

Anker Powerbank and Solar Charger

Our phones, cameras, and even laptops are running out of power pretty quickly as we’re using them to take and edit a ton of photos while we’re out here. We’re super thankful to Anker for the power packs. I’ve already charged my phone from 1% to full since being here and the solar charger is on top of my tent during the day, giving the power back another full charge.

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The solar pack is a fantastic reserve power source and when draped over my backpack or tent will slowly recharge the Powercore 26800 which has, in theory about 10x my phone batteries in it. The weekend is almost over but the power pack still has juice in it.

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The podcast – we’re recording while being outside in the cold and dark. That’s worth a listen!

I can’t believe that this weekend has gone so fast. I’m genuinely sad that I won’t be able to see these guys again for a while. Although I’m happy and grateful that I had this experience and made 4 new friends in the process.

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On the last morning, I woke up with a super-stiff back and hobbled down to Lightning Lake to get a few quiet moments with the mist rolling over the water, the clouds tumbling through the trees and a solitary canoeist taking in some early air.

I think the event was a success and we’re hoping to do another one next year, though may have to come in a warmer month. We’d love to open it up for more Dads, run workshops, and perhaps bring the kids.

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It’s going to be hard to leave this view behind.

Disclaimer: This post and the 5 Dads Go Wild trip was supported by the incredible companies mentioned above. We couldn’t have made this a reality without them, so truly appreciate their help. In choosing which brands to work with, we only went with companies who we love and who align with our values of super-high quality. If you spot any of the logos here, you’re in good hands.

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