Working in Canada – IEC

Everyone in England is talking about how hot it is at the moment. I feel like we should never complain when it’s above 30c because we get months of overcast/rain shortly after, hahaha. It is difficult to be at a computer when it’s like this (especially when there’s no air conditioning) though! One thing I really liked about Calgary was that even when it was a similar temperature, the breeze from the river kept you at a decent temperature :).

After returning home, I’ve really noticed little differences like this, and I’m desperate to go back. Unfortunately, the work situation is not simple once you’re above 30 years old.

For most countries, you can apply to join the IEC programme and get an open work permit between the ages of 18-35. However, the UK is different and it’s actually 18-30. As I’m 32, I’m slightly outside of this range. There’s possibly a way to circumvent this by using a third party, but apparently it’s a bit of a lottery. For anyone that’s read my US visa trouble, you’ll know I’m simply cursed when it comes to things like this. Short of being sponsored by a Canadian employer (or a cute Canadian woman… who wants to marry me?), my options are somewhat limited. For that reason, most of my time/energy is spent on this at the moment.

As stated in a previous post, I’d like to completely revamp this website. I am thinking of starting a second site, that way I can isolate subjects a bit better but it’s down to cost really.

Lastly, now I’ve had the chance to look through a few hundred photographs, I can see which ones I like and those I dislike.

If you look at the photograph in the middle, it’s not composed particularly well but I think the mood is quite nice. Yet the last photograph has absolutely no mood or anything, and it makes it a bit boring. My plan of improvement is to try and take photographs with more of a mood. I can’t really describe it very well, but I have something in mind.

I start my Great Divide Trail 2018 Canada hike in a couple of weeks

I leave in a couple of weeks to hike the Great Divide Trail in Canada. I’m not sure how it will pan out as I’ve never done such a thing like it before. Terrified doesn’t really begin to explain it, haha.

Once I start hiking, I probably won’t be posting on my site much, if at all, for a while. I’ll post on instagram and write a little comment with each photograph or something :). As far as I know, there’s less WiFi/internet spots compared to the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian trail, so I don’t know how often I’ll get to post.

If I don’t reply on instagram within a month, Sasquatch found me (I put up a good fight, I promise).

Great map news

For months now I’ve been trying to figure out how to display a map with tracklogs but do it in a way that’s highly informative.

I created a map page and tried a few different methods but I was never really satisfied… Well I think I have found a way to make it a speedy (ish) process. Rather than worry about displaying information perfectly on the map when you click a track log, I will instead focus on adding links to the track. Simply put, you’ll click a track and the name will be a link to the Garmin Connect website where there’s lots more information.

It’s not done yet but I am pleased I have figured it out in a usable way. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to do this with my smartphone. As such, I’ll have to upload all of my Canadian hikes when I return home.

Knife modification and website category stuff

I’ve started modifying a knife, take a look. I’ve made a few things recently… A backpack modification, a knife modification, and an inflator for my thermarest neoair xlite pad.

This page should probably go in the review section of my site but equally I want camping/travel related stuff to be easy to find. I really need to sort this mess out better at some point, haha.

GDT – Waterton Lakes Update & instagram & website news


I have some good news. The issues with Waterton Lakes isn’t such a big deal after all. I can enter different trails further north and connect with the GDT using the “Font Creek” trail. It looks quite pretty after a quick google and there’s ways to extend it, so it’ll be a similar length hike. Photography, camping and hiking have always been my priorities, and this shouldn’t change that too much!

You can follow my instagram, it’s kinda bare at the moment but it’ll be the easiest thing to post with. I haven’t tried wordpress on mobile though, perhaps it’ll be okay :).

When I’ve improved at photography and have done hikes I’m passionate about, I will probably change my site completely to make it look more professional. At the moment, most of my content consists of gear reviews and I’m not very passionate about writing them. It has made me really, really respect well thought out reviews though. Those must take people ages to make :).

Great Divide Trail – Waterton Lakes Closed

I’m blessed with really good luck. The start of the Great Divide Trail in Canada is burned, so I have to navigate around Waterton.

I emailed various park people in Canada to book my camping reservations. Waterton is the first place you’ll arrive (assuming you’re hiking south to North) but it’s the last place you should book because you can only book it 90 days in advance. If you wait and try to book the other places later, they’ll be full. I emailed the Waterton people and they initially made it seem like the area would be opened up in the summer. I waited a while, then emailed them again and informed them I was ready to book the final two places:

Unfortunately the Waterton portion of the Great Divide Trail will not be accessible at all this year. All of our back country campgrounds are within the closed area as well, so at this time there is no way to reserve camping at Boundary Bay or Lone Lake. At this time it looks like you will need to meet the Waterton Shoreline Cruise boat at Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park and get off at the village of Waterton, or hike out past Belly River Lakes to the Chief Mountain Border crossing. From there you would likely have to travel north by car to the West Castle area west of Pincher Creek to pick up the trail again. I recognise and empathise with this inconvenience.

Naturally this is a it disappointing. I’m banned from entering the US. I can’t take the American routes they’ve suggested but I think I can create a new route. It’s a bit difficult because I’m not familiar with Canada at all. I also have to get my hike time and reservation times to match up. If I’m two days early, the reservations are pointless and I am liable for a fine. I wish they’d let me hike in the burned areas, even if it’s dangerous. Perhaps there’s other reasons, like harming new plant life or something. That I can respect.

For now, swearing at inanimate objects works well.