Meet Meghan J. Ward from Thecampsiteblog.com – Interview

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, as well as a gear tester, outdoorsy mama, and tourism marketing specialist.

Meghan J. Ward

I have lived in Banff since 2008, and before that lived in Ottawa, where I was raised, and Kingston, where I studied at Queen’s University.

I have a real passion for the outdoors and adventure travel and work to document my own experiences in a variety of publications, including the blog I founded, The Campsite.

2. What’s the story behind thecampsiteblog.com and what was your reason for starting it?

cirqueunclimbablesAt the time, there were not nearly as many outdoor blogs as there are now.

In just a few short years, many new blogs have been created, calling all bloggers to fine tune their focus and differentiate their content. I first started thecampsiteblog.com as a way to move some of that content off my regular freelance site, meghanjoyward.com.

I also wanted a place to tell and feature stories of outdoor journeys and the inner world, since this is what I find so fascinating about our experiences in the wild.

Finally, I wanted to create a community around this theme, and a place where people could find consistent and quality content.

It has been a fabulous outlet for my own thoughts and writing when I don’t feel like seeking out someone else to publish them!

3. How important is adventure for you and what is the most adrenaline-filled activity that you’ve done?

Canadian Rockies cliffAdventure is a very important part of my life.

I thrive when facing the unknown and in also facing a world of possibility.

My best experiences in life have been ones where I took on a challenging journey, even if I walked away from the end goal when danger was too high, or I just wasn’t up for it.

Mountaineering is the most adrenaline-filled activity I’ve done, particularly my ascents of the larger peaks here in the Canadian Rockies.

There is a lot of objective hazard here in the Rockies, and it keeps your senses heightened.

My life is looking a little bit different right now being the mother of a 16-month-old.

But we have brought her along on a few adventures, including a backcountry hike, a few peaks and on a ten-weeks trip island hopping in the South Pacific.

4. thecampsiteblog.com is a great source of inspiration for travellers and adventure seekers. What are the topics that you most often cover and what are the destinations that you usually recommend?

Being based in the Canadian Rockies, naturally we recommend a lot of outdoor adventures right here in our backyard.

You’ll also find some content on there about Nepal, which I posted when I went trekking there in 2011.

Topic-wise, we do a lot of gear and book reviews, and enjoy featuring stories about inner journeys in the outdoor world.

conradkain

5. Please give us 5 tips on how to make the most of a camping trip.

  1.  Try to find some solitude. Some campgrounds are notoriously busier than others. If you can make your camping trip more about ‘getting away’ than ‘partying in the outdoors’ it’s amazing how rejuvenating the experience is.
  2. Always lie down in your tent before you peg it down. This way you’ll notice any sloping or protruding rocks before you’ve set it all up and thrown your stuff inside. The more comfortable you are, the better you’ll sleep, of course.
  3. Don’t skimp out on meal prep and planning. Food tastes that much better (and that much worse) when you’re camping. Put some thought into your meals and it will really enhance the experience. Bring along some ‘luxury’ items for a special treat.
  4. Turn off your devices. Put the phones, the tablets and the music away and spend some time tuning into nature.
  5. Go rain or shine. Learning to camp in poor weather is a good skill to have, and it can still be enjoyable when rain is pitter-pattering on your tent.

around the camp

6. I found so much useful tips on your Adventurousparents.com. What are the common challenges of travelling with children? What should we keep close when we travel with children?

adventurousparentsSome of the greatest challenges of travelling with children surround their personal needs.

It is easy to put our own needs by the wayside, especially with more rugged travel, but that will only make children more unhappy.

A happy child means smoother travel. Always been on the lookout for ways you can create more stability, routine and comfort along the way, even if it means putting your plans to the sideline for a few hours (or altogether).

For additional tips, as well as gear I recommend, you’ll find all the info in my e-guides: Adventure Travel with a Baby: 40+ Helpful Tips and Insights and Essential Gear for Travelling with a Baby.

7. What is your favorite travel and adventure gear?

rollerThis one will probably surprise you, but one of my favourite pieces of ‘gear’ for travel and adventure is a roll on of essential oils, meant to help soothe the effects of jet lag, motion sickness, poor sleep and shaky nerves.

The Travel Roll On from Rocky Mountain Soap Co. combines a superb combination of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, grapefruit and mandarin.

It is very effective and has helped me through many tired and worn-out moments on trips abroad and here in Canada.

8. I love your “In the Pot“ section on your site. What is your favorite outdoor food and what do you recommend for vegetarians?

My personal favourite outdoor food are these exceptional raspberry chocolate burritos I’m known to whip up for my camping companions.

Of course vegetarians can eat those, but for a hearty meal I also recommend this vegetarian chili.

The recipe can easily be modified for camping, and if you bring along some tortillas and cheese you’ve got an easy meal for your next trip.

Be sure to check out our 5 One-Pot Dinner Camping Recipes, too!

stirfry

9. Who is your favorite adventurer and traveller hero?

bruce kirkbyRight now it’s fellow Canadian, Bruce Kirkby.

At the moment he has just travelled by surface from British Columbia, Canada, to India, where he is living in a monastery with his young family for a few months.

You should follow him on Instagram – he does some great storytelling through his photos.

 

10. A message to your fans.

We have kept The Campsite going for 3 1/2 years now thanks to our loyal readers.

They hold us to the highest standards for accuracy and quality in the content we produce.

Thanks for sticking with us – we know there are a lot of outdoor blogs out there, and your support doesn’t go unnoticed!

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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at BestAirMattressGuide.com
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of BestAirMattressGuide.com.

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