Glampacking through EC Manning

We’ve all heard of glamping, but let me introduce you to glampacking: a world of good times, lots of faff and very, very heavy packs. Juan Pablo, Sebastian, Angie, Kodiak (the pup) and I explored new territory in frivolous and ridiculous outdoor excursions on our four-day backpacking trip along the Skyline Trail in EC Manning Park.

All packed, with nothing but the essentials.


Perfecting the art of ridgetop pancake-making

The plan was to meet on Friday morning, in order to extend our long weekend and neglect our studies even further, but, after picking everyone up and acquiring dog food for Kodiak, it was a lot closer to afternoon by the time we got on the road. We spent many hours stuck in traffic on our way to Abbotsford. But once we finally left the sprawl of the Lower Mainland, we were greeted with gorgeous mountains and fall colours.

We had heard from our research online that Mowich campground, the spot we hoped to hike to that Friday night, had minimal water. So, we hoped to find guidance and solace amongst the knowledgeable guides of the Manning visitor centre, only for it to be closed when we pulled up. What a shame. We contented ourselves with talking to the cashier at the hotel convenience store across the street. Her only advice was “yea you’re probably fine” so we took her encouraging words to heart and decided to go along with our plan.

So, after basically a whole day of travelling, we made it to the trailhead near the Lightning Lake campground. It was about 4 pm by the time we actually got started. With around 25 kg on each of our backs, 16 km ahead, over 1100 m of elevation gain to go and very few hours of daylight ahead of us, we were off!


We got up on the ridge at about 7:00 pm, just in time to watch a spectacular sunset, where we had a late lunch, but we knew that we still had many miles to go before our Friday night was over. Flashlights came on, and we continued along the ridge.

We had brought enough water for two full days of hiking, in case we got to the campground and indeed, there was no water at all. However, we were hopeful that we’d be able to find some water somewhere since there was so much precipitation in the past week.

We saw quite a few signs of wildlife, including some bear tracks in the thin layer of snow on the ground, and then, a while later, massive moose (we think?) tracks, followed by seeing the reflection of two massive orbs looking at us from the forest a few moments later. At this point, we were only a few km from Mowich camp, but we were spooked enough that despite our exhaustion, we sang and tried to make as much noise as we could for the rest of the hike. We weren’t sure what animal those eyes belonged to, but we sure didn’t want to find out.

Finally, at about midnight, we pulled up to the party: a deserted campground! We set up camp and then, dinner was in session. We pulled out the copious amounts of food that we were carrying, which included a full charcuterie board with Boursin cheese (it was on sale at NoFrills, so I couldn’t resist), some salami, and crackers. I have never tasted anything better.

The next morning, after a chilly but lovely sleep, we slowly emerged and began the morning festivities: a five-course breakfast. We began with boiling water for tea, then we went on to making our eggs, porridge and, in Angie’s case, pasta. After enjoying that, JP pulled out his fancy coffee grinder and Aeropress and proceeded to make some of the best coffee we’ve ever tried. After the round of coffee, we were on to the main course: pancakes. As you can tell, we were on a very tight schedule and were extremely constrained by our ultralight camping lifestyle. 

After lounging around in the sun, we split up: Sebastian and I wanted to go on a day trip over to Hozomeen Mountain, but JC, Angie and Kodiak preferred to hang out at camp. Their job was to relax and also find water. They did: a few hundred meters north of the campground, where the stream was very slow, but still had pools deep enough for us to fill up our bottles.IMG_0922

On our end, we had an awesome little day hike, enjoying all the fall colours and the spectacular views on the way to Hozomeen. We made it back around sunset and woke the others up from their afternoon naps. We had dinner and then boiled water to put in our Nalgenes before we all squished into one of our tents to play Monopoly.

The next day, we had a similarly relaxed breakfast. Hiked around, and generally just had a good time. That night, we tried our best to finish as much of our food as possible, so that we wouldn’t need to hike back with it. We got back to the car on Monday after a fantastic long weekend.

Out of all the lessons from this weekend, we’ve learned that the glampacking lifestyle is our kind of lifestyle, and hopefully, we’ll get to bring our ridiculously-sized bags along for another trip sometime.


Here’s a collage I made using some leaves that Angie and I collected during the hike, along with our map and other elements from the weekend!




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