|Canmore, AB, Canada|
It's all relative. Tiny trailer camper Jennifer Tipping recently mentioned on Facebook that her significant other, Scott Jevons, was taking a day off to snowshoe before the cold snap hit. "When the thermometer reads -10 but -37 is only 48 hours away . . . you head off to Lake Louise in Banff National Park AB, for a snowshoe!!! Beautiful campground . . . I love the non-serviced section--no hydro, yet the entire area is protected by an electric fence! (Such a high grizzly bear habitat and corridor.)"
|Jasper National Park, AB; Icefields Parkway, AB; Zion National Park, Utah|
Jennifer and Scott live in Alberta, Canada, near Banff National Park, and their backyard is an incredible landscape of camping and trekking opportunity. Lucky folks, although a some campers may wonder about the low temperatures . . . Their tiny trailer of choice is the Little Guy 5 Wide, a 2016 model purchased in 2017 in pristine condition. Their tow vehicle is a 2017 Kia Soul, 2.0L, which they say "tows our 900-pound teardrop beautifully."
"We camp very simply. We have purchased a great storage unit for our galley area from Ikea and for me - that was a game changer. Everything is contained and organized. It's all kept clean, tidy and travels beautifully yet still leaves me ample prep space. We do have the 5x7 PahaQue side tent for those drizzly days, buggy nights and of course a comfortable change room that also offers porta-potty space for those midnight runs."
Their quest for the perfect rig was really a coming-together of two different camping styles, one minimal and the other closer to glamping. They found a tiny trailer the perfect sweet spot between large and small, the backpack and the RV.
"Between the two of us, we've done it all. Both growing up camping with the very traditional 6-foot box Starcraft tent trailer - ice box - heavy sleeping bags with cold metal zippers and a Coleman lantern. (Insert your best cat with a fur ball sound to mimic that old familiar lantern.) Scott grew up to crave back country camping adventures here in the Rockies. Meaning, if it didn't fit in his pack it didn't go along! Me - I loved my 23' travel trailer. Meaning, if it didn't fit in the travel trailer, I found room for it in the truck! When our lives merged, our first summer together was spent tent camping in some very beautiful (but popular) campgrounds. For us, this was a compromise. I found true enjoyment and peace back out in nature . . . a very different nature compared to what my Ontario landscape had offered me. I was in awe - yet recognized my need to once again be up off the ground and have a proper bed (recognizing that I may need to redefine 'proper bed'). Living in bear country, the idea of walls also offered me comfort. A teardrop seemed like the best compromise and the quest began . . ."
|Wedge Pond, Kananaskis Country, AB|
"Living near Banff National Park allows us to escape often - very often. (So often in fact that I really couldn't count.) We are so blessed to have a multitude of camping options and the flexibility to jump at someone else's cancelation mid week. We do tend to stick to campgrounds and take advantage of both serviced sites in the spring and fall and unserviced sites in peak season."
|Johnston Canyon campground, Banff National Park, AB|
"The mountains are always in 'site' and (without sounding too greedy) if we can camp near any type of water that would be ideal! It's a go to for me . . . Favourite time of year to camp? Any time I'm hitching up the teardrop to the Kia is my favourite time of year to camp!"
|Westwind Pass, Kananaskis Country, AB|
|Waterfowl Lakes, Banff National Park, AB|
Camping is fun; otherwise, why do it? Jennifer has a fun story about one time she and Scott went camping. It kind of reminds me of the time the chipmunk stole the cookie . . .
"I'm giggling as I reflect . . . We were camping up the Icefields Parkway heading towards Jasper. We were keen to arrive early to get a site along the river (this is a non-reservable campground) - get set up - fix Scott a lunch as he was heading off for a 30km hike up one of his favourite mountains. I was staying back, nesting and enjoying a fire and my book. We were unable to get a riverfront site but found a beautiful one to get set up and allow Scott to get on his way.
"As always . . . moments after he drove away, a couple stopped by to say hello and see the teardrop. I was happy to offer a show'n tell and get to know this lovely Idaho couple (who were camping in a riverfront site). They shared their love of Canada and their sadness that their vacation had come to a close and that they were heading home within the hour. We chatted some more until the light went off - hmmmm - they have a site I'd love and they're leaving! I expressed my disappointment that my hitch had just pulled away and I would have loved to park my teardrop where their tent was!
"They immediately suggested I pack up my site and move over to theirs - and they would help me. I joked and said, "We could easily push it!" I'm watching his truck back up, and as I hitched my beloved trailer up to someone else's truck, I must admit - thoughts of 'this is crazy' came to mind. (I could be left here without a trailer - Scott had the car and I'd be standing alone in bear country - oh, what could go wrong?!?!)
"I think his wife could see my swirling thoughts, and she offered reassurance. Her husband was a pastor, and they had a hitch for their boat. As quickly as my thoughts came - they left. His wife carried our chairs, our camp stove and an arm full of 'this'n that's' and within minutes I was in my glory - I was river side. I had wished I had an extra bottle of wine to offer them for their kindness, but instead I offered some beautiful 'must see' stops along their way.
"I enjoyed my day immensely and couldn't wait to watch Scott arrive back to our site. One that I was no longer occupying - yet someone else was. He would have had to drive past our new site first, so I had made sure I angled my chair just perfectly. A roaring fire and a glass of wine awaited him. As he drove up he recalls saying to himself, "Oh, there's a teardrop just like ours . . . I bet Jennifer's already met them.' Then he saw me . . . did a double take, and burst out laughing. As I shared my story with him, he said, "Only you Jennifer - only you," laughing his famous phrase."
|Bow Lake, Banff National Park, AB|
Jennifer and Scott are the first international tiny trailer owners to be profiled at Green Goddess Glamping. Even though they are next door neighbors, their experiences and the vistas before them every day add a wonderful richness to this blog. This profile seemed to almost write itself, Jennifer's description were so lively! Their future plans are as follows: "We have a trip planned back to Ontario this spring, and I'm not sure when but Alaska is calling . . . stay tuned!"
|All photos by Jennifer Tipping|
Yes, our Canadian friends Jennifer and Scott will travel one day to the exotic lands of the U.S. of A. And we from the Lower 48? We'll be sure to stay tuned and to enjoy the photos posted online. Concerned about camping in the North? Easy-peasy--just remember one thing: don't worry about the alligators, but watch out for the grizzlies!
(To read all the Green Goddess Glamping owner profiles, check out the Owner Profiles page. Click the link or the Owner Profiles button beneath the header photo.)