Travelling to Vancouver Island can be confusing as there are lots of different options, and we often get asked questions about the best way to get here. Here's a quick guide to the major routes and methods of travel to Vancouver Island.
Friday 2 June 2023
Tuesday 16 May 2023
Hopefully you've already checked out our posts on choosing a tent and sleeping systems. We thought we'd continue the gear recommendations with our ultimate kitchen set up for car (or boat) camping. These are our favourite bits of kit which make our camping experience so much easier - some may seem slightly dull, but when you need them they don't feel dull - they give us less worry, better ease of set-up and an organised camp (Ridley loves an organised camp!) and more time to enjoy what we are there for - the adventuring!
We use one of our 70 litre RUXs as our Camp Kitchen organiser. It's the perfect size to take all of our camp kitchen equipment, and usually still have room for some dry food items as well. With multiple carrying options, the RUX is easy to move around from car or boat to the campsite, is waterproof, and keeps everything neat and tidy.
Cutlery and Dishes
Friday 21 April 2023
Well the ski season is over, at least on Vancouver Island, and it feels like Spring might actually be here. Hopefully it isn't another false Spring this time!
For us it's time to pack away the ski gear and make the transition into camping and boating. It's our last Spring/Summer in Canada before we head back to the UK and we've got lots of exciting adventures planned, so having our gear ready to go is important.
First up is pulling out the gear, and checking that everything still works. Our big tent needs to go into the shop to repair a tear (naughty dogs!), the boat outboard has just gone in for a spring service, and we're thinking about updating our old camping stove (stay tuned to hear what we end up with).
Next up is packing away the ski gear. We like to give our ski jackets and pants a wash and re-proof, and then make sure they are nice and dry before storing them until next season. The Techwash from Nikwax works great. Our skis will also go in for a tune up and a coat of summer wax to protect them until next season.
Spring is a transitional period for our activities, so keeping our gear organised and ready to grab is essential. Our RUX 70l are perfect for this, we have one in storage with our ski gear, one packed with the boys skating gear, one packed with our camp kitchen, and one on standby for whatever gear we might need that day.
The RUX App even allows you to build custom packing lists, and track the contents of each RUX with a QR code or NFC from your phone. Check them out at the link below!
Friday 14 April 2023
Last weekend was Sarah's birthday so we decided to take a trip over to Denman Island.
About Denman and Hornby Islands
Getting to Denman and Hornby
Where to Stay
Top Things to Do
1. Tribune Bay Beach (Hornby)
2. Boyle Point and Chrome Island Lookout (Denman)
3. Ringside Market (Hornby)
4. Isla de Lerena Vineyard (Hornby)
5. Ima's Kitchen (Denman)
6. Abraxas Café (Denman)
Wednesday 29 March 2023
In 2021 we packed up our home in Ottawa, Ontario, and headed west to Victoria, British Columbia with our RV trailer. We had previously driven from Ottawa to Sydney, Nova Scotia (and back) for a holiday, so this was our opportunity to complete the rest of the Trans Canada Highway (excluding the section in Newfoundland and Labrador).
The Official Trans-Canada Highway Route
The Trans Canada Highway is a system of roads starting in St John's in Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada's eastern Atlantic coast, and ending in Victoria in British Columbia on the western Pacific coast. The whole route is just under 7,500km (4,650miles) and is one of the longest routes of it's kind in the world.
As a system of Provincial highways there are a number of parallel routes and off shoots (including routes to Prince Edward Island which we did in 2018 and up to Haida Gwaii some of which we did in 2022). The main route is generally considered to consist of Highway 1 in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; Highways 17 and 417 in Ontario; Autoroutes 40, 20 and 85 in Quebec; Highway 2 in New Brunswick; Highways 104 and 105 in Nova Scotia; and Highway 1 in Newfoundland.
Our Trans-Canada Route
Our Trans-Canada Equipment
We imported the Land Rover Defender from the UK and bought the RV during the COVID lockdown. COVID had made travel between the provinces extremely variable, and booking accommodation was almost impossible, however as we were moving as a military family we had a special exemption for inter-provincial travel. We decided that taking the RV would give us the most flexibility and allow us to pretty much self-isolate along the way, so it seemed like the perfect solution. As it turned out, our timing was great as we seemed to hit a low point of COVID infections in most of the country and in general travel restrictions continued to ease as we travelled west.
As we didn't want to sell in Ottawa and buy another vehicle in Victoria we also decided to take the Dodge with us. This meant driving in convoy the whole way, with Sarah driving the Dodge and Ridley driving the Landy. The advantage of this was that we could take a boy each and they couldn't fight!
Our Rocky Talkie radios proved invaluable along the way for keeping in touch, arranging fuel and rest breaks, pointing out interesting scenery or wildlife, and for directions when backing up the trailer.
We also took our Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) on the roof of the Land Rover, and used them on a number of lakes and rivers on the way. (Use the code ERRINGTONADVENTURES at Canadian Board Co for a discount!)
How Long Does the Trans Canada Highway Take?
If you ask Google how long it takes to drive from Ottawa to Victoria, it will tell you somewhere around 49 hours of driving. Depending on how many hours you want to drive in a day, and how many drivers you have per vehicle, you could in theory do it in 2-3 days. For our trip we took 17 days, we felt this gave us a good balance of short and long driving days, allowed us to stay 2 nights in a few places, and gave us 3 nights in Banff.
The Ottawa to Sydney section is another 17 hours or so. When we did this section in 2018, we did there and back in 14 days, but this included 3 days of work in Halifax. (We'll cover this section in a different post.)
Day 1 - Ottawa to Petawawa
Day 2 - Petawawa to Sault Sainte Marie
Our second day was around 7 hours of driving and took us along the northern shore of Lake Huron, with some lovely views. We stopped for lunch in Sudbury at the MIC Canadian Eatery and Whisky Pub. Short for Made in Canada, they pride themselves on Canadian ingredients, only sell Canadian beer, and play Canadian music, as well as stocking over 80 Canadian whiskies!
We don't often stay at KOA campsites, but Sault Sainte Marie (known as 'the Soo'), was about the right distance for our second day, and we couldn't source a provincial park in the area. The campsite was better than we expected, with reasonable separation between pitches and lots of trees. The boys loved the outdoor pool, crazy golf, and the go-karts!