The Good Shopper Blog

"Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts."

Steve Miller


Yummy cold desserts and drinks

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Eating and drinking Canadian

I am not sure about the rest of Canada,  but I do know that the sweltering heat of Manitoba has us craving delectable, cold treats. It doesn't take much to break a sweat over here right now. So what Canadian treats can we get our hands on to keep us cool as the mercury soars?

ninettes ice cream 

What happens when Buy Canadian First member Ninette, a Canadian stay-at-home mom of seven children, decides to make ice cream? She makes the most dreamed of flavours ever that are low calorie and low fat: Cinnamon Apple Pie, Gingerbread Crunch, Raspberry Truffle, Mocha Almond Fudge, Thyme Lemon Fusion and Basil Lemon. I can only imagine scoops on waffle cones or homemade granola sprinkled over the Cinnamon Apple Pie! What about a Thyme Lemon milkshake? Oh be still, my taste buds! Sadly, I am unable to get Ninette's scrumptious ice cream here in Manitoba. In fact, outside of Quebec and eastern Ontario, the rest of us Canucks are out of luck. Don't dismay! If you Like the Ninette's facebook page,  you can enter to win a five pack of ice cream, valid anywhere in North America!!! Wouldn't that be a wonderful delivery? In the meantime, if anyone driving from Quebec or eastern Ontario is driving west with a few blocks of ice and a cooler, message me; I want one of each Ninette's flavours!

  crofter's Organic

I may be unable to get Ninette's ice cream right now but I can still find some yummy ice cream locally and drizzle (or drench it) in Buy Canadian First member Crofter's  Organic Jellies, Spreads and Conserves. Wild Blueberries, Apricot and Super Fruit spreads are among the delicious flavours. Crofter's is environmentally conscious, and their fruit is organic and not genetically altered. Their cane sugar is also organic and sourced from ethical and environmentally friendly sources. I am dying to try these spreads on my plain Greek yoghurt, over vanilla ice cream or even a dollop on my oatmeal (though that's not a cold treat). While I know that I can pick up these jars of fruit preserves at local organic food stores and regular grocers, I can also have Crofter's delivered to my son, in British Columbia, or myself in Manitoba, through Buy Canadian First member ! Be sure to join their facebook page  for updates and events.


Buy Canadian First member Soyummi  has healthy and wholesome, naturally sweetened desserts to indulge in on a hot day or anytime. Soyummi not only makes my favourite, tapioca pudding, with real tapioca pearls, they also offer Cherry, Chocolate, Rice and a limited edition Lime pudding. It is wonderful that they also use organic ingredients that have not been genetically modified. In fact, Soyummi has a long list of ingredients that they do not use in their products. I look forward to tasting their tapioca as I am not keen on making it myself from scratch. I guess that the proof is in the pudding! Catch them on Facebook!

While you are surfing Facebook, have a cup of my favourite, cold chamomile tea with crushed mint and honey over a mountain of ice, and make sure to come and visit us on Buy Canadian First's facebook page. Be the first to know about our latest blog posts, contests and great Canadian-made items!!

What are your favourite cold summer desserts and drinks?

 Image credit: Buy Canadian First members Ninettes Ice Cream, Crofter's Organics, Soyummi 


I'm so bored!

By / Par: Stacey Kazmir

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

The final bell has rung, everyone has their sunscreen and sandals on, we're ready for a Canadian made summer. Then, it strikes - someone exclaims "I'm so bored!". I've heard it, you've heard it and I'm sure we said it once in a while while when we were kids; it is almost a Summer time mantra. The kiddos just aren't used to being out of school and without a structured day. One way to keep that structure and have a fantastic experience at the same time is Summer camp. Summer camps are available to children across the country, check out Canadian Camping Association - a portal to finding Summer camps across the nation.

If Summer camp doesn't work for your family' there are many other great activities that can keep the kids engaged for hours. After splashing in a pool or playing in the sandbox, a game with a bit more structure is the Canadian made Bean "Toss The Friendly Farm". It's fun, kids work on teamwork, counting, aiming and throwing skills, plus, what kid doesn't love a bean bag!

                 Bean Toss The Friendly Farm - Gladius

For those rainy days we all dread, it's not necessary to turn to the TV, because lots of fun can still be had indoors. My boys love baking cookies on rainy days and our latest favourite thing to do - make cake balls! Cake balls can be a very hands-on activity with the kids and tons of fun to decorate. Click here for a great description of cake balls from Canadian Family.

Another great indoor activity that can keep everyone busy is this "Hunt and Seek Canada" game from Buy Canadian First member Gladius. Not only will everyone have fun with the challenge of finding hidden pictures but, as mentioned in the description, this game "develops observation, concentration and speed among players of all ages" - perfect!



Indoors and out there are plenty of ways to keep the kids busy this Summer and to avoid the dreaded "I'm so bored" mantra. What are some ways you're keeping the kids busy this summer?

by Stacey Kazmir

Images courtesy of Buy Canadian First member Editions Gladius.

Tags / Balises: camping, children, kids, Made in Canada, Summer

Plan a Cottage Vacation

By / Par: Stacey Kazmir

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Early September of last year, we opted for a vacation made in Canada and rented a cottage in the Muskoka region; it's real "cottage country" there, located in Central Ontario. We've been on our share of different types of vacations; my husband and I both camped when we were younger and I've even been to a bed & breakfast or two, but we had never rented a cottage before. Let me tell you, it's a bit of an adventure!

We were lucky, though, and after a couple of false starts we found a fantastic company to work with: Ontario Cottage Rentals. If you aren't familiar with the cottage scene, I highly recommend using a local company like Ontario Cottage Rentals to help you through the process so that you know that you are renting safely and securely. They provide a service to the cottage owners by handling the rental process and, in turn, you know you are handing over money to a reputable source. They inspect the cottages, which is fantastic for both sides, and if something were to go wrong during your stay, they are there for you.

Once you have your cottage booked, it's time to gather supplies! If you have never been to a cottage before you might be surprised at the amount of things you actually need to take with you. The cottage will likely require you to bring your own linens for the beds, towels & toiletries for the bathroom (don't forget the toilet paper! one ply is likely all that is allowed), your own dishes/cutlery/cooking utensils and please - do not forget plenty of bottled water. Unless you confirm with your cottage on the water source, it is likely that it's filtered lake water that is coming out of the taps. This is something you not only don't want to drink but don't forget everything else you use water for - brushing teeth, washing hands, washing dishes, rinsing food and more - this requires a lot of water! Many cottages on the water have a dock and the cottage often provides a canoe or other water toys - make sure you know if your cottage has life vests available to use in your size. If not, be sure to pick up some Canadian-made ones from Buy Canadian First member, Salus Marine.


Now, I don't want to scare anyone, remember, once you get there you are in for the time of your lives! We created so many memories - the kids were in the canoe and fishing (don't forget to get a fishing licence!), we had fires every night and visited the beautiful town of Huntsville every day, we went to Algonquin Park, saw deer everywhere, flew kites, played cards, sat by the lake and listened to the loons, rode the train at the Heritage Centre and more. Don't forget to pack things for relaxation like a puzzle to do together, a game to play or a book to read while you sit by the water. I recommend Water for Elephants by Canadian author, Sara Gruen.

Honestly, once you find the perfect cottage, get it booked and get the packing list down - you are in for a really wonderful time, I promise.

Have you ever rented a cottage? What was your experience like?

by Stacey Kazmir

::images courtesy of Buy Canadian First members.

Tags / Balises: Buy Canadian, Made in Canada, Summer

The Canoe

By / Par: Wendy T. Gibson

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

                  "August is laughing across the sky
                  Laughing while paddle, canoe and I,
                                Drift, drift,
                           Where the hills uplift
                    On either side of the current swift."

          ~ Songs My Paddle Sings, E. Pauline Johnson

                Photo courtesy of Bear Mountain Boat Shop
There is nothing sweeter than spending a hot August day paddling the water, quietly, in a canoe! We are so fortunate to live a very short distance away from Little Lake, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. So close, that we have been known to pull our canoe down there...on top of a skateboard! It is, indeed, a little lake, and we have explored every inch of it as well as paddled along the Otonabee River, which is connected to Little Lake. 
                     Photo courtesy of Clipper Canoes
It's fitting that we canoe in Peterborough, home of the famous Peterborough Canoe Company , established in 1893. As a matter of fact, by 1930, Peterborough was the canoe building capital of Canada, with a quarter of the workers in the Canadian boat building industry working here! The canoe was NOT a leisure craft in those days!
                 Photo courtesy of Grey Owl Paddles
The Canadian Canoe Museum is also located in Peterborough. You can take a virtual tour  of the Museum's collection and exhibits and learn more about Canada's canoeing heritage, in the comfort of your home. The book, The Canoe, was produced by Firefly Books in collaboration with the Canadian Canoe Museum.  A nice bonus for buying the book is that all the royalties from the book go to the Museum! When you purchase a copy you actually make a contribution to the canoe museum and ...  you will own one of the most beautiful historical books on one of the major Canadian icons - the canoe.
                         Made in Ontario by Salus Marine
You don't need many supplies for an afternoon of canoeing. Water to drink, sunscreen, your camera, a small bucket to bail with, (heaven forbid), hats, a towel or two, some rope and some lunch in a small cooler, will make for a very pleasant interlude. And please don't forget your life jackets or 'personal flotation devices'! Of course, if you like, you can also bring your bird-siting list, your nature journal, or a fishing pole!
                "Everyone must believe in something.
                            I believe I'll go canoeing."
                              ~ Henry David Thoreau
Do you canoe?


To Winnipeg and back again with a suitcase full of made in Canada goodies

By / Par: Guest bloggers

Category / Catégorie: Canadians making waves

I just returned from a second overnight trip to Winnipeg. The amazing people at BT Winnipeg invited me back to talk about more cool made in Canada products (read about our April segments here). I really don't tire from spreading the word about the availability and variety of Canadian-made goods. It's always exciting.

The first segment Pay Chen and I did was on Canadian-made kids stuff - just in time for the Kidsfest that's opening today and running until Sunday, down in the Forks Market area, where the Children's Museum is located. Not only that but CityTV's studio (where BT Winnipeg broadcasts from) and the hotel where I stayed (the Inn at the Forks) are all conveniently located. Timely & convenient, huh? So if you're in the area this weekend, you should check it out. The site looks awesome and Fred Penner will be performing too! Remember his remake of The Cat Came Back? Man! that song brings me back... lol... But alas... I digress... These are the companies we featured:

Canadian Cozy, Ontario (official website)


Outset Media's Professor Noggins, British-Columbia (official website)


Sam Bat, Ontario (official website)


Also displayed but did not have time to talk about is Heiko, Quebec (official website)


I was wearing Le Chateau, my jewellery was by Pushan Designs and my makeup was by Pure Anada and Cover FX.

After a few commercials and the weather we were back with a second segment in which we focused on Canadian-made products meant to enhance our outdoor living experiences.

First up was dermaglow, Ontario (official website)


Then Terrassa, Ontario (official website)


Next was Rallye Footwear, Quebec (official website)


Last but not least Kisko Products, Ontario (official website)


All of these companies graciously donated the products we featured for one lucky BT viewer to win... Lucky indeed! I must've left about $500 worth of goodies for the prize pack!

I kind of expected this to happen, because I also get nostalgic when I talk about Mr Freeze but I have to say that I was a bit surprised when upon taking the boxes out, while I was setting up, that the hosts and crew immediately started sharing their chilhood stories about where they would have some, how many they'd have, what their fav flavour was and most admitted to still having a few every summer, to this day... So how could I not leave behind some extras for them to enjoy this summer? Note: Thanks Debbie at Kisko for sending more than enough to go around!

Thank you to our awesome members who made sure they sent me all of the products I featured on time and for including a few extras! And thank you to my Winnipeg hosts... Always a pleasure.

Author: Melissa Thibodeau


Bug Off!! A guide to fighting mosquitoes naturally

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Tips and tricks

Just think about everything you put on your skin daily: deodorant, soap, cream, sunscreen, bug spray and hand sanitizer are but a few. The average woman will absorb nearly 2.3 Kg (5 lbs.) of cosmetics and other beauty products each year by using nearly 20 different products. The risks associated can be minor skin irritations to a more serious illness like cancer. It is said all these products are safe but it is argued that is only individually are these chemicals safe, when they are combined, their properties change and they could become harmful. The best plan of action is to become an informed consumer.

The most common active ingredient in insect repellent is DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) and is very effective to prevent mosquito and tick bites. DEET comes in various concentrations from 100% to 10% and the concentration tend to govern how long the chemical will work (100% = 12 hours) and must be washed off your skin after use. In studies DEET has shown to be effective and safe when used as directed but there are several cases of people experiencing harmful and deadly outcomes from DEET use. DEET has been proven to cause skin irritations and in severe cases seizures, brain damage and even death. Clearly, one has to weigh the risks of toxicity and the risk of diseases like the West Nile Virus or Lyme disease, right? Well maybe not.

Mosquito bites are a nuisance but also potentially deadly as all around the world they spread illnesses such as Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, and Encephalitis. In Canada, West Nile Fever whose symptoms are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash. Severe symptoms can include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, vision loss and paralysis. These systems can last weeks or a life time. Those who are bitten by an infected mosquito, only 20% will show the symptoms after 14 days. Infants, the elderly and individuals with auto-immune illnesses are especially at risk. Here are some steps to help reduce your risk of mosquito and other bug bites.


  • Remove all standing water from your yard. It is likely that your back yard is breeding these pests, things like flower pots, old tires, pet water dishes, bird baths, patio chairs and any other place where water can pool is a possible nest for mosquito larvae. 
  • Bt israelensis (Bt-i)  (Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis) is a biological pesticide designed to only kill mosquito, black fly and fungus gnat larvae. Can be used nearly anywhere there is standing water. This can be safely placed in birdbaths, rain barrels, rain gutters and anywhere you have accumulated water.
  • Wear loose light coloured clothing.
  • Invite bats to live in your yard as they will eat thousands of mosquitoes every night buy a bat house or create another opportunity to turn off the TV and build a bat house with your family.
  • Keep pots of basil and rosemary growing near your doors to discourage mosquitoes from hanging around.
  • Stay indoors during prime feeding times.
  • Investigate the natural wonders of Neem Oil, a wonderplant that has healing properties and also acts as a natural insecticide read more at Woodland Natural Remedies.

Make your own natural mosquito repellents

Making your own repellent is easy and requires just a few ingredients: Some essential oils and a carrier oil or alcohol.

  • Essential Oils: 10-25 drops total.
Any of these essential oils are effective mosquito repellents. You can choose one or create a mixture of three: Basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, lemon balm (citronella), feverfew, cinnamon, lavender, castor, pine, fir, spruce, cedar and cypress.
  • Carrier oil or alcohol: 29.5 ml (2 TBSP)

Choose one of these are effective carriers: Olive oil, sunflower oil, cooking oil, witch hazel, water, vodka

Apply the solution avoiding your eyes and other sensitive areas, reapply after an hour, swimming or exercise. When not in use, store away from direct light in a dark coloured bottle.

Natural Insect Repellent by Buy Canadian First Member Glengarry Gardens, a natural blend of essential oils in soybean oil, great for the whole family.


Druide's Citronella line are all natural products free of colourants, nuts or nut oils and petroleum by-products. The entire line is available through our member Well's website


All Things Jill's Bug Joose is another effective natural repellent that contains no chemicals, making it safe for the environment. Get some though our member Organically Hatched.


How do you combat the onslaught of these pesky critters? Share your tips and tricks with us and have a itch-free remainder of summer. 


Kisko - A Buy Canadian First Member Profile

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Eating and drinking Canadian

The other day I was visiting with a friend and noticed an empty box of Mr. Freeze on the floor. I smiled then asked her if she knew they were made in Canada; she did not. Kisko has been creating fabulous freeze pops and premium juice products since 1977 and is synonymous with summertime.

Founded by Leslie and Glenor Josephs, Kisko is a family run Canadian business that tirelessly brings us new and fun products along with our classic favourites.



Kisko is very proud to manufacture the best tasting freeze pops on the market. All Kisko products are nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and kosher, in fact all Kisko and Mr.Freeze products are allergen-free. Kisko has full disclosure of their ingredients on each of their products on their Website. Mr. Freeze No Sugar Added Pops are sweetened with Splenda and the Motts Fruitsations 100% Ice Bars have no added sugar or color. They are created from juice concentrate, using only fruit and vegetables juices for color.



This summer Kisko has some brand new products ; Mr. Freeze Transformers freeze pops with a Transformers tattoo in every box, Soda Pop Flavoured Giant Freezies in Dr. Pepper, Crush Grape and Hires Root Beer and Nice 'N Juicy Freezies as well as the Motts Fruitsations 100% Ice Bars which are great for the very young and the young at heart alike.  


It was one of the greatest thrills of my summers as a kid to run all by myself to the corner store and buy a jumbo Mr. Freeze. I would nibble the top off and proceed to eat the pop, rolling up the bottom as the pop became shorter. When it was done I would unroll the wrap and try to squeeze every last drop of the juice out from the wrappers. As a kid any time was a perfect time for a 'Freezie' and frankly it still is to this day!

Kisko is all about fun, fun in the sun and fun online too. They have games to play and K-Tube videos right at their website!

What are your favourite summer memories with Kisko?


Road trip essentials

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Coast to coast tourism

So where are you going this summer? Do you have a destination or are you going to see where your spirit guides you? Regardless if you are going far or near a road trip is an original favourite for the summer vacation, it a thrill to just to head out on the highway! Let's assume that you have already taken your car in for a full check up; fluid top up, tire inspection, filters cleaned, hoses and belts checked as well as a spare tire and the knowledge to change it. This is usually done during your annual car tune up but if you have any questions call your mechanic. Once your transportation is purring like a kitten, it's time to pack the rest of the car.

Here are some road-trip essentials to bring along:

Sunscreen - The windows of your car will not protect you from the sun this includs your lips. Try the Livacious Lip Balms, by Glengarry Gardens the ingredient Sea Buckthorn has shown to be a natural sunscreen. Keep your lips safe and smoochy soft. 

Journal - A picture says 1,000 words but sometimes a few hilarious words are all that's needed. Along with snapping photographs keep a travel log to collect postcards, ticket stubs, pressed flowers and fun stories of your journey. Ecojot manufactures a varied selection of books and other paper products made entirely on 100% post consumer waste and vegetable based inks.

Food and Drinks - Eating truck stop and fast foods can not only get expensive but turn your belly too. To keep your moods, health and bellies happy stock up on water and snacks. Try Jakeman's Maple Almonds, bake some of Melissa's banana, cranberry, chocolate chip muffins or while on your journey, stop at local farmers markets (check-out our buy-local series of posts) to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and snacks.

Boredom busters - Long journeys can be a little dull while stuck in the car, so be sure to stock up on some mags by looking for the Genuine Canadian Magazine logo from member Magazine Canada.

Canadian books and music from Chapters Indigo. We love the audiobooks for driving at night on the highway. Here is my all canadian playlist for you, I want to know what you would add to it! 

  1. The Poppy Family - Which Way you Going Billy
  2. Rufus Wainwright- Across the Universe
  3. 5440 - Ocean Pearl
  4. Feist - Sealion
  5. Simple Plan - When I'm Gone
  6. Spirit of the West - If Venice is Sinking
  7. Crystal Castles - Crimewave
  8. Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine
  9. Tegan and Sara - Walking with a Ghost
  10. Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  11. Big Sugar - Turn the Lights On
  12. Lost Fingers -You Shook me all Night Long
  13. Corb Lund - Time to Switch to Whiskey

Your road trip is all about fun but we cannot dismiss the value of safety and being prepared. Please ensure you have a first aid kit, GPS system or current maps and someone to check-in with whether they are at home or your destination. Be realistic about how long it will take you to reach your destination and allow for times to stretch and sleep and, of course, always buckle up.

Happy road tripping everyone! Be sure to leave us a comment about your road trip destinations and the songs on your playlists!


Camping in Canada's Parks

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Coast to coast tourism

Camping and visiting in Canada's parks is truly a treasure for Canadians. When I was a girl my grandparents would take me camping to Nutimik Lake during the summer months. I associate Canada parks with childhood memories like running barefoot through clover, making sand castle kingdoms for my leopard frog friends and learning about the stars from my grandfather. So precious are these memories to me now as my grandparents have long since passed. Our National Parks are found in every province and territory they are for us to enjoy and protect.

Preparing for a camping trip is generally easy and as long as you remember everything you won't be found spending too much money at the lakeside's overpriced corner store. Another saving money tidbit is all parks have a fee freeze! From now until April 1 2011 the general public will be paying the 2008 fees and for Manitobans, all provincial parks will be free until April 30th 2011.

With this great news let's prepare for our trip. It's always good to know the climate you are camping in and what kind of potential natural hazards could affect your stay and be prepared for them (of course not all camping trips are littered with doom, nearly all are enjoyable family vacations! teehee). Find out what activities and events are going on in your province, book a reservation in selected parks or use the handy travel planner.

There is one key point we should be aware of when we enter our parks; our environmental footprint. It is very easy to change the delicate balance of nature, these changes can happens quickly or slowly, but there is no excuse for not being aware and taking measures to be responsible for our own actions.

Never transport firewood from your home to your campsite; it is prudent always get local firewood as it runs the risk of relocating a new insect or other organism into the existing ecosystem. This could have lasting and devastating effects.

It is always best to bring camping dishes rather than disposable dishes to reduce our trash but the right dish soap is important as well. Pick something that is free of dyes, petroleum based solvents and that is biodegradable in a short time, like this dishwashing liquid from Bio-Vert.

Be sure to read any news bulletins posted at the entrace of the park and keep to designated camping areas to not disturb plant and animal life. You can learn more about the Parks natural heritage here

The greatest camping list ever, well maybe not quite, but this check list is a great start to make sure you cover the basics (let me know what you would add to it in the comments below) and I also provide some great Made in Canada options in case you are refreshing some of your camping supplies and gear!

Shelter and bedding

( ) Tent
( ) Ground cloth/tarp  
( ) Shade tarp/poles/rope/stakes  
( ) Air pump  
( ) Air mattress/sleeping pad/cot/tarp  
( ) Sleeping bag/sheets/blankets
( ) Pillows (you HAVE to try Align-Right's camping pillow!)


( ) Pots and frying pans with lids/dutch oven
( ) Potholders/oven mitts
( ) Utensils and cutlery-spatula/knife/spoon/tongs/forks/skewers
( ) Mixing bowl/measuring cups/cutting board (check out Eraware's incredible aray of products here)
( ) Reusable bottle/coffee pot
( ) Charcoal/firewood
( ) Fire starters/newspaper
( ) Plates/bowls/mugs/cups 
( ) Can opener/bottle opener/potato peeler
( ) Campfire grill/BBQ grill
( ) Stove with fuel/propane
( ) Big refillable water jug
( ) Coolers/ice/ice packs (check out the great selection from our member Cryopak)
( ) Heavy-duty aluminum foil
( ) Zipper sealed bags
( ) Paper towels (100% recycled paper towels from our member Cascades)
( ) Dish pan/dish soap/dish rags/towels/scrub pad
( ) Trash bags (try these biodegradable bags by Munger, available at your local supermarket)
( ) All your favourite camping foods, including cooking oil, condiments herbs and spices

Other essentials

( ) Sunscreen/lip balm 
( ) Flashlight/batteries
( ) Matches/lighter
( ) Pocket knife
( ) Axe/hammer
( ) Bug repellant (try members Gengarry Garden's Natural Bug Balm or All Things Jill's Big Joose)
( ) Rope
( ) Bungi cords/straps
( ) Hand wipes
( ) First aid kit
( ) Camera/battery/film/video
( ) Cards/games/toys/golf/books/magazines/notepad/pen/music instruments/bicycles/etc (Get one of these super cute note books for the kids from members Ecojot )
( ) Maps/directions/reservations info./confirmation/park map/ guidebooks/ trail maps
( ) Folding chairs
( ) Umbrella/Rain gear
( ) Sunglasses/hat
( ) Radio
( ) Fishing gear/license/bait


Handy Supply Box
Things you may need handy

( ) Extra stakes
( ) Repair kit for air mattress/tent
( ) Extra Batteries/bulbs/matches/lighters
( ) Duct tape/electrical tape
( ) Candles
( ) Misc. tools
( ) Small sewing kit
( ) Work gloves



( ) Mat for tent entrance
( ) Dust pan/brush
( ) Lantern with fuel/mantles
( ) Compass/GPS
( ) Binoculars
( ) Whistle (check out Fox40's array of Safety Whistles here)
( ) Water filters/purification/treatment
( ) Lantern pole or hanger
( ) Hammock (Kingcord Hammocks have some great ones)
( ) Travel alarm clock

Have a safe and wonderful camping season! Send us your favourite recipes, camping locations and eco camping tips! We love hearing from you.


Oh, Canada! National event list and our BIGGEST giveaway yet!

By / Par: Andrea Willowcat - St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba

Category / Catégorie: Growing up in Canada

I have some very important and excellent news: Buy Canadian First's founder, Isabelle Remy, will be on TV. You can watch her on 'A' Morning around 6:40 am eastern airing Monday, June 29th and on Canada AM between 6:00 am and 9:00 am eastern airing Thursday, July 2nd. During the segment Isabelle will be showcasing a bunch of Canadian-made products... They are up for grabs in our biggest giveaway yet!
Watch the shows to find out the Made-in-Canada prize-goodies, but if you can't, here's the jist of it: Leave a comment right here on this post answering the question "What does being Canada mean to you?". Remember that you have to register as a consumers in order to leave a comment. Further details will be posted after the television spots have aired!


This is what being Canadian means to me
In November of 2004 Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announced the winner of the greatest Canadian contest. Who was it that received 1.2 million votes? Was a political leader or a hockey legend? Perhaps it was a scientist or an athlete? All of these persons were voted into the top ten but the winner was politician Tommy Douglas, an unwavering socialist and the Father of universal healthcare - he was also Keifer Sutherland's Grandfather.

Maybe this is also a comment about Canada's patriotism. If we break it down to the bare bones, Canada is a multicultural country, with deep roots from three distinct heritages and has two official languages. With all these ‘cooks in the kitchen' it would be hard to put our country into a cookie cutter style of patriotism. That doesn't mean we don't have our own beloved Canadianisms: the industrious beaver, Ogopogo, the Nanaimo bar, 3 downs in the CFL, we sit on a chesterfield, poutine, inukshuks, narwhals, sasquatches, expo 67, toques, beer, hockey, Bob and Doug, Wayne Gretzky, Team Canada, sugar shacks and the RCMP. Icons and symbolisms we gaze at with affection and get goose-bumps and recognize as distinctly Canadian. I think the reason why we don't commit the same acts of patriotism like our southern neighbours is simply because it's not our style. Our quiet adoration for this vast country is no lesser a demonstration than the loud sis boom bah's of other countries. We are just more accepting of people's own definitions of what Canada means to them. Maybe I am being naïve but Canada to me is a safe haven for everyone to be what and who they are and that is why I celebrate being a Canadian, that is why, to me, Canada is worth protecting and that is why I love being Canadian. 

This Canada Day go out and celebrate what makes Canada special for you and embrace what it means for others.

Canada day celebrations: A link-a-thon (check back for additions to the event list)

British Columbia
Langley: McLeod Athletic Park Surrey: CloverdaleMillenium Amphitheatre Victoria: Legislative Grounds  Kelowna: Various locations North Bay: Waterfront A.C.T Grandville Island: Various locations

Banff: Various locations Calgary: Fort Calgary Prince's Island Park, Heritage Park, Calaway Park Edmonton: Various locations

Regina: Various locations Saskatoon: Various locations Moose Jaw: Exhibition Grounds

Winkler: Main and mountain, Winnipeg: The ForksAssiniboine Park 

Canada Day website for Ontario: Locations all across Ontario Toronto: Mel Lastman SquareQueens Park Brantford: Various locations Ottawa:  Various locations

Canada Day website for Montreal: Tourism Montreal

New Brunswick  
Saint John: Various locations Sackville: Various locations 

Nova Scotia 
Halifax/Dartmouth: Various Locations Bridgetown, Middleton, Port Lorne, Laurencetown: Various locations

Prince Edward Island 
Canada Day website for PEI: Various location throughout province

Newfoundland and Labrador
Lewisport: Various locations Eastport: Beaches Heritage center Grand Falls/Windsor: Various locations South Brook: Kona beach St. John's: Various locations

Nunavut: Iqaluit Canada Day website for the Yukon: Various locations Canada Day website for the Northwest Territories: Various locations

Happy 142nd Birthday Canada! We love you♥ 

What does being Canadian mean to you? Tell us below and your are automatically eligible to win a very special prize pack... Our biggest yet. Details to follow. 

Image sources:  Flickr phoosh, andrea willowcat, flickrnikki_tate - Canada's online drugstore
GelaSkins - Protection with Style. Not Bulk.