Hello Kind Krafters,
Hope you’re all doing well and feeling happy, and for those of you who are students, enjoying reading week. This week I am writing about a trip I took to start off my reading week, here on Haida Gwaii.
Initially I planned to spend reading week off island, visiting family or adventuring somewhere else out west. But when the time came, due to expenses and the fact that I still had so much of this island to see, I opted to stay here on Haida Gwaii and explore all the beauty and knowledge this place has to offer. Thankfully most students had the same plans, which meant a week full of adventure plans with friends.
We decided to start the week out with a camping trip. At first we wanted to go camp up and off one of the old logging roads, but a chance of snow on backroads meant we decided to play it safe rather than sorry. So instead we chose a walk in spot, close to one of our field day locations.
The spot is located about 30 minutes from Queen Charlotte Village, where myself and most of the other students live. It’s a beautiful area known as Kagan Bay, that I have visited a few times before this trip. The first time my roommate and I walked to the day use site one day after school, and spent some time wandering on the beach looking at all the bones that had washed up on the beach during low tide. The second time we went to the area for one of our field days.
Of the two experiences the field day was the most impactful, and what lead us to decide to visit the site for camping. For the field day we parked in the parking lot, and walked 45 minutes along the beach and through the forest in sections with open trail. Along the way we listened to our professor tell us about the place and how it is a former village site. He described the ways in which the people would use the land, and how the area makes sense and can be understood as a site which would have sustained the people. We were shown midden spots in the forest that represented refuse piles, who in turn helped to build up a healthy forest. Additionally, the natural abundance of the area was shown to us, in terms of the plethora of resources it could offer on the forest floor, on the beach, and in the ocean.
While on the field day our professor shared with us that if we continued down another 45 minutes past our field day resting spot, we would reach an area perfect for camping. With this recommendation in mind we set out.
After an hour and a half hike in with our packs and gear, we reached the site. I went with a group that left later in the day, so when we arrived most of our classmates were set up and had a fire going. We set up our tent, moved our packs into our space, and grabbed our dinner to share by the fire. With the exception of some kindling brought from our homes to get the fire started, our wood was found in the surrounding forest. We took turns gathering kindling and larger bits that we split by jumping on them if the axe was not handy. More friends arrived later in the evening, and with the help of a chainsaw chopped a small log into perfect burning wood to sustain our fire all through the night. These same friends harvested oysters on their way, and taught us to shuck, and cook. It was amazing to think we were eating food that just hours before had been on the beach.
The next day we enjoyed the sunny day by lying on the grass and watching the later move from low to high tide and back again. A group of us harvested more oysters in the morning, that later in the evening with the help of flour, zucchini, buns, and a master outdoors chef, we turned into “Sloppy O’s” and ate oyster burgers.
The trip was a beautiful way to engage with the landscape we have been invited into, and explore the teachings we had received in class in a more concrete and hands on way. It was an amazing way to start our reading week, and an incredible memory of this place we have come to.
I challenge you all to take some time to explore the places around you and understand the beauty and nourishment they have to offer. Whether it be a weekend, a day trip, or a multi-day trip of your holiday, enjoy the space in your own backyard, experience it, and learn to love it for all it has to offer.
As always, Stay Kind,
Hello kind krafters!
I am currently having a lovely time visiting family in England for my February break. Where I used to live in Wiltshire, there are many towns full of small shops which are mainly local businesses. This has made me want to explore the benefits of shopping locally and supporting community stores. First, I wanted to refresh myself on what defines a local business. businessdirectory.com describes a local business as being a “company which provides goods or services to a local population. Though most often used when referring to a locally-owned business, the term maybe also be used to describe a franchise or corporate branch operating within a local area”.
(Halifax Brewery Farmers Market)
Here are some reasons for shopping at smaller stores instead of your huge chain stores:
1. Helps to keep your community unique – When your town centre is full of local businesses, the shops will all be so diverse that your neighbourhood will look completely different from any other city or town!
2. Helps with the local economy – Several studies have shown that if you were to pay $5 to a local shop, more than 50% would stay in the local economy compared to less than 50% when shopping at chain stores. As well as this, with more business near to your home, there are more job opportunities in your area helping out your community!
3. More personalized service – These small businesses are usually run by people who know a lot about the company and are very invested in what they make/sell. Because of this, there is a much friendlier and intimate relationships formed between the consumers and producers.
4. Aiding the community – A lot of smaller businesses donate to and have relationships with non-profit organizations and local charities. Through purchasing items at these stores, donations are more likely to be made to people in your neighbourhood.
5. Reduces the impact on the environment and is more convenient for the consumer – By travelling only a few streets instead of twenty minutes down the road, not only are you creating less of an ecological footprint, but you are also saving yourself oodles of time to buy these items.
I always like to browse through the following websites and Instagram pages to find local businesses near me –
(Halifax Seaport Farmers Market)
Have fun with all of your local shopping, kind krafters – you always find the best stuff there!
Hello kind krafters!
Hope you’re all doing well, feeling happy, and loving life. This week I’m revisiting an old post of mine with a new and improved update. In “Projecting Yourself in the Outdoors” I gave a helpful hint to always have a pocket knife with you, you never know when you might need it, and it can really come in handy in both sticky and everyday situations outdoors. This is still one of my number one tips, but it has recently come to my attention that this one may be a bit harder to navigate.
Key in Lauren! Lauren works at Reviews.com and is herself an outdoorswoman who knows the importance of a good knife. She and her team set out to analyze 136 pocket knives, to find the best performers for all different situations. Lauren and her team know that one essential survival tool is a pocket knife and oftentimes hikers underestimate the need for a handy knife until they find themselves in a tight spot, so it’s always a good idea to carry one (particularly if you’re hiking alone). When looking for the best pocket knife for your use, Reviews.com’s guide will help you navigate your options for this key piece of outdoor equipment.
So what is important? Hikers should look for a knife that has a great feel in their hand and is easy to open. Of equal importance is safety – be sure a locking mechanism is part of the design and that the mechanism is easy to utilize. Because you may potentially be using this as a survival tool, test out your knife on any materials you might be cutting, like branches and plastic. Last but not least, be on the lookout for extra features that may come in handy, like a screwdriver attachment.
To learn more about this incredibly guide Lauren and her team have gifted us outdoors loving people, check out the guide here: https://www.reviews.com/pocket-knife/
What do I use?
I use of a couple of different options, a combination of which are always with me, depending on the situation. On the daily I keep a small pocket knife if a serrated edge in my coat or sweater pocket. It’s a simple knife with no attachments, and is an old one that belonged to my dad that I picked up when I started going solo camping. I also keep a multi-tool in my backpack every day. This multi tool sometimes migrates to my pocket if I’m going on a walk that doesn’t require a backpack but is still in the woods. The tool has a couple of knife options, as well as a screwdriver attachment, bottle opener, file, and folds open to become a small pair of pliers. When I’m heading into the backcountry, and to keep with me for safety when I’m solo camping I have a handheld knife if a serrated edge that is about the size of a machete. It was a gift from my brother and is always on hand if I know I’m going into the woods alone, on a difficult trail, or in a backcountry setting.
I hope you all enjoyed this helpful reminder for outdoor safety, and thanks so much to Lauren for reaching out and to her and the Reviews.com for creating this amazing guide,
Tell me which pocket knife is your go to,
Hello kind krafters!
If you’re at all like me, you might not always be the most successful studier. Personally, I know that I can get distracted incredibly easily and often find myself daydreaming instead of working. I do have some tips and tricks that help me make sure I get everything done in a fun and stress-free way. This time of year can be extremely demanding and tiring and so I thought I would share some of the tools that I use in my studying and day-to-day life!
Before I even begin to talk about studying itself, I believe the most important skill to have is good time management. I like to believe that my organization skills are topnotch and that probably comes from having five types of calendars and daily planners that I use religiously. I’m very much a visual learner and so I like to be able to see all of the things that I need to do and can cross them out when they’re done (that way you also get a feeling of accomplishment after you complete small tasks too!). Some more ways to stay in control of your tasks are:
The Study Aesthetic
As silly as it may sound, I find that being in a certain environment helps me to focus and be happier with my work. From the stationary you use, to the library or café that you are working in, I firmly believe it makes a significant difference for me!
How do you study?
Everyone has a unique studying style, but here are some of my favourite tricks that make doing my work a breeze!
I hope that some of these tips might be new to you and that you might be able to use them in your studying and organization! Good luck with midterms and other exams and assignments, kind krafters!!
Hey kind krafters!
I don’t know about you, but I am missing the sunshine! It is not easy to go weeks without seeing the sun. The grey overcast skies have a tendency to leave us feeling dull and gloomy. No wonder we crave a great escape this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beautiful dusting of snow, but the cold and the dark skies are starting to have an effect on me. This week’s blog was inspired by my desire to shake the winter blues.
I can admit, when it gets to be this time of year, spending so much time cooped up inside makes me restless and irritable! I wish it didn’t, but it does. I love being active and being outside- going places, doing things; you know, keeping busy with things other than schoolwork and readings. Its been weeks and weeks of cold weather- well cold in my opinion anyways. Constantly being chilled is discomforting and leads me to hopping into bed to stay warm more than normal! I know there are tons of outdoor activities to do this time of year, but I haven’t been doing my share.
Shake the blues tip 1: Love the people around you- even if they are driving you a little Bonkers!
Part of surviving the winter blues is staying in numbers. Are you feeling the winter blues? Chances are, your loved ones are too. Sticking together and helping each other do the things that bring you joy is the easiest way to stay level headed during these times.
If you are guilty of getting irritable and restless like me, take a second and breathe. The sun will be out in no time! Try your best to not lash out at those around you. I know it’s hard sometimes especially when you are cooped up with the same people all of the time. I encourage you to take a step back and try to gain some perspective. Take space when you need it or try scheduling time outside of your home to get some peace and quiet. This will work wonders!! My favourite places are cozy cafés-good music, lovely aromas, and a place where I can relax and be productive at the same time. (Plus going makes me feel like my life is still somewhat put together!)
Shake the blues tip 2: Get Outside and unwind!
Although some days are gloomy, make sure you are getting outside on the beautiful ones! Those days when the fresh snow has fallen and the sun is out, put your boots on and get outdoors! If you live in the Maritimes, you know as well as I, that one day it’s a winter wonderland and the next it’s a warm spring-like day- take advantage of these days!
This past week was beautiful. I was sick but refused to stay inside feeling sorry for myself. Instead my great Dal Pals, Andrea and Jill took me out on an adventure to clear my lungs and catch some rays. Keeping it mellow, we drove up to Long Lake Park and hung Jill’s hammock. It was beautiful outside. We spent a few hours in the afternoon catching up, laughing and relaxing in the hammock immersed in nature. On the way home we picked up some tasty hot chocolate. It was a lovely day spent with lovely people. Despite being sick, I felt 100x better from just getting out into the fresh air!
Shake the blues tip 3: Treat yourself!
From my blogs, you have probably learnt that I am always one to advocate for treating myself… WHY THE HECK NOT?! We work hard, and I believe at some point we have to reward ourselves for how hard we work on a daily basis. A treat can vary person to person, but whether it is a pat on the back, or a tasty treat, or even a bath, do something that brings you joy and relaxation. This week I challenge you to treat yourself to something that brings you joy. This little something can give you the energy to keep on going- and that is something you certainly deserve.
Shake the blues tip 4: Reconnect with your kind self!
Let’s make all this time we are spending inside count! How are you new years resolutions holding up? Do you have new goals you haven’t had a chance to work on yet? Before we can be kind to others we have to be kind with ourselves. Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘misery likes company?’ I am so guilty for this. When I am sad, or stressed I seem to want company. I have found that since being stuck inside, I have been overly moody and that has been apparent in the way that I interact with those around me.
This week’s blog has given me the chance to reflect and reconnect with myself. Doing this check-in has made me rethink the way I have been acting around others. Moving forward I am choosing to reconnect with my kind self and treat those around me with more kindness as well. We are not perfect, and it is okay to recognize when we have not been our best selves. We can however, learn from these situations and change moving forward! I cannot wait to be back to my kind, and happy self!
Shake the blues tip 5: Book something to look forward to!
Although this tip is similar to treating yourself, try booking something in advance to keep you motivated through the winter blues- acting like the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak! This thing should be something that will keep you smiling and excited!
For me, my upcoming trip to Mexico is my light at the end of the tunnel. February is a crazy busy month for me with school, work, upcoming goals and events. This trip is what keeps me working hard through all of the obligations and commitments.
This booking doesn’t have to be a trip- it can be a movie, or a race, or visiting a friend, or skyping a family member. It can be anything. I challenge you to put this thing in your calendar and stick to it. When the day arrives, take the time and do whatever it is that brings you happiness. Take that time for you- that is how you will truly shake the winter blues.
The sun is at the end of the tunnel- we got this!
Stay warm and bright,