Ultimate Shopping List for Canadian Camping

With the Victoria Day long weekend just around the corner, many Canadians are hearing the call of the great outdoors. Maybe you made your camping or RV reservations months ago. Or perhaps you’re headed to a family cabin or that perfect, last-minute spot. Regardless, you’ll need to bring plenty of supplies with you. That includes camping essentials, food, and probably a few luxuries and toys. [If luxury camping is really your thing, also check out our Ultimate Glamping Guide]

For all your camping stock-up needs, London Drugs is here to help with this Ultimate Canadian Camping Shopping List.

Camping Shopping List: The Essentials

Skin Care

What could be more essential than protecting your skin from outdoor dangers? During the day, that means the sun’s harmful UV rays. Start with limiting exposure and wearing a hat. Of course, you should also apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Just in case that’s not enough to prevent a sunburn, pack some after-sun salve with aloe vera.

In the evening and at night, you’ll want to be on guard to prevent insect bites. Keep them at bay with insect repellant, (we have a wide selection of lotions and sprays with varying active ingredients; find the one that’s right for you and your family). There are also nets and candles that offer additional protection.

Camping Basics

There’s nothing worse than arriving at a campsite without a key piece of gear. Chances are you won’t forget your tent, but it’s worth checking to ensure you have enough sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets. It never hurts to pack one or two extras, just in case. Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than a very cold night in a tent.

Another essential category of gear for your Canadian Camping Shopping List is cookware. This starts with sturdy pots and pans, but also includes plates, utensils, and drinkware. The best cookware for camping is light, durable, and easy to clean. Also, make sure you have enough coolers to keep all your supplies the right temperature in the woods. Finally, don’t get caught in the dark: be sure to bring enough lanterns and flashlights for everyone.

Advanced Equipment

One way to help make the outdoors cozier and more like home is to bring your own generator. Sure, skeptics might say this goes against the main benefit of camping–escaping civilization. But sometimes it’s nice to take a brief break from roughing it to blow dry your hair or watch a movie with the family. Another must-have for many is a small camping stove or grill. Yes, you can cook over an open fire. But it’s not always convenient, particularly for making coffee or toast. Fire bans should also be strictly adhered to, so a camp stove might be your best option. Also be sure to bring enough propane to run your stove during your trip. Pro tip: don’t be afraid to go big. There’s nothing worse than running out of fuel on day 3 of 5.

Camping Shopping List: The Extras

canadian camping shopping list - stand up paddleboarding

Nice-to-Haves

Even when roughing it, it’s okay to bring more than the bare essentials. For example, you’ll need enough camping chairs (since no one wants to stand around a campfire for hours). Another way to elevate your campsite is with a hand pump for a standard water cooler jug. That way, you won’t need to run to a tap or river for water, or worry about what might be in it. Fill-ups for these bottles are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than single-use bottled water. too. Finally, whether for appreciating wildlife and nature views, or keeping an eye on the little ones, a good pair of binoculars is a great camping extra to have around.

Just for Fun

The most important thing to do when camping is staying comfy and well-fed. The second is to have fun. Okay, the order here might be debatable. The point is, having a few extra toys around is nice, especially in the water. One incredibly popular activity on local lakes is stand-up paddle boarding. But if you prefer inflatables designed to be pulled around the lake by a boat (the old fashioned way) we’re with you too! There are also lounge and group floaties for those who prefer to just hang out.  They even come in some pretty entertaining designs. If you have any inflatables, consider also grabbing an automatic inflator. Trust us, your lungs will thank you. For times when you’re not in the water, be sure to stock up on other classic camping games like badminton, bocce, or ladder toss.

Camping Shopping List: The Food

The most important part of your Canadian Camping Shopping List should include lots of great food. Really, it’s one of the best parts about camping. Doing some basic meal prepping in advance, and shopping for fresh local produce, will help make sure you don’t end up eating only hot dogs. Plan accordingly! The real draw of camping food is the snacks, and the main event is always the s’mores. At London Drugs we carry the three basic ingredients of the perfect s’more, including a hearty selection of the keystone ingredient: chocolate.  Raise your snacking game to a pro level with anything from dried fruit, nuts and meat snacks to chipscrackers, cookies, and candy. Honestly, we have so many perfect camping snacks, we couldn’t begin to list them all here. You’ll just have to come look for yourself in-store or online.

No matter what you bring along, the most important part of camping is who you share it with. London Drugs wishes you, your friends, and family the best camping season ever. Keep safe, and have a blast.

Nice Needs No Filter on Pink Shirt Day 2018

In today’s digital world, it can be a challenge to escape online negativity, whether it takes the shape of harassment, spreading rumours, sharing embarrassing information, or posting threats. In fact, nearly one in five young Canadians aged 15 to 29 have reported being cyberbullied or cyberstalked.

For the tenth year, London Drugs is proud to once again be a part of the Pink Shirt Day campaign, which this year focuses on the unfortunate, but common threat of online bullying.

The 2018 official Pink Shirt Day t-shirt says it all: ‘Nice Needs No Filter’. It’s a message of possibility that with education and encouragement, the World Wide Web can be a more kind and positive space.

This year’s theme encourages everyone – no matter what age – to think twice before posting something negative online. Instead, let’s use the internet to spread kindness, and together, we can prevent the harm and devastation that cyberbullying causes in our communities, schools, and neighbourhoods.

Get your official Pink Shirt Day t-shirts at any London Drugs location. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support youth anti-bullying programs in BC and throughout Western Canada. These programs give youth a voice against bullying and help them build up the character, resilience, and bravery to stand up for themselves and others.

Youth and organizations continue to support Pink Shirt Day following the stand of two grade 12 Nova Scotia students in 2007. The students took action after witnessing a grade 9 student being bullied for wearing pink to school and encouraged their schoolmates to wear pink to send a message against bullying. Since then wearing pink shirts has sent a powerful message to help end bullying in schools, workplaces and communities.

As one of the first official Pink Shirt Day sponsors and now after a decade of involvement, London Drugs has helped raise more than 1.2 million dollars for Boys & Girls Clubs in Western Canada through the campaign.

Pink Shirt Day is Wednesday, February 28th. Thousands of Canadians are expected to wear pink to take a stand against bullying.

Get Prepared for Winter With These Survival Essentials

Winter Survival Guide - London Drugs

Despite our habit of complaining about them, we Canadians actually love our winters. In fact, we’re proud of them. They’re wonderful for curling up at home, visiting family and friends, and playing in the snow.

But our winter has a dark side, with the risk of power outages, frostbite, vehicle mishaps, and more. As with any danger, the key to survival is good preparation. Here are some helpful checklists for winter safety indoors, outdoors, and on the road. They’ll help you survive a Canadian winter in style.

In The Home…

Blackout Basics: Home is the coziest place to be during winter. Until there’s a power outage, that is. That’s when you’ll need three days of food and water, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered or crank-powered radio, candles, flashlights, and a few board games to pass the time, too.

Fire Logs: When waiting out cold snaps and nasty colds alike, a roaring fire makes your home into a sanctuary. But maintaining a woodpile can be impractical. Luckily, artificial logs burn for hours. No fireplace? You can fake it with an electric version or a portable space heater instead.  

A Generator: During prolonged blackouts, a generator can power all your survival essentials, like the heaters we mentioned before and so much more. Just keep it full of fuel and stored away. Even if you never need to use it, it’s great to know it’s there. 

On The Road…

Large Flashlight: If your car is stuck or can’t be driven safely, you might need to flag down assistance or head for nearby help on foot. In those cases, you’ll be glad to have a large, very bright flashlight to ensure you’re easily seen. 

Quality Scraper & Shovel: Don’t be forced to push snow around with your boot or use the old credit card window-cleaning trick this winter. Get a full-sized shovel and a quality scraper, instead. You’ll thank yourself later.

A GPS Tracker: Planning a long winter car trip? There’s a good chance you’ll leave cellular reception far behind. So it’s always smart to let someone know where you’re headed. Even better? Give them the ability to track you via satellite

And Out In The Snow.

Warming Pads: Being outdoors is exhilarating in the wintertime. But before long, your fingers and toes will start to smart. Or worse, they’ll become numb. Keep the fun going with heating pads for your hands and feet.

Insulated Drink Container: Canadians know the only thing better than a warm drink at home is one outdoors. If you’re headed out beyond the coffee shops (difficult in Canada, we know), a quality insulated container, like this one from Thermos, will save the day.

Phone Charger: You’ve been out all day taking and sharing pictures of your winter fun when you suddenly realize your battery is getting low. Sound familiar? For safety and convenience, carry a pocket-sized phone charger wherever you go. 

For more advice on winterizing your home, yourself, or your car, speak to an LD Expert today, or visit London Drugs in-store and online.

Stay safe and enjoy the winter, everyone!

10 Places to See Fall Colours in Beautiful Canada

There is something particularly special about the fall season in beautiful Canada. Among our alpine lakes, sky-high mountains, lush forests, and crisp true north air, you can find autumn colours in so many parts of this grand country. So whether you’re heading out on a hike before the snow settles in, or you’d like to admire the red, orange, and yellow hues on Instagram from the comfort of your home, here are ten places you’ll find fall colours in Canada.

1. Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Golden Autumn Day in Canada - London Drugs

Image by @jordanherschel

Head off the grid in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, British Columbia, for alpine lakes that reflect the mountains and the changing colours of surrounding trees.

2. The Icefields Parkway

Drive the Icefields Parkway for an endless road lined with autumnal tones of yellow, orange, and dark green.

3. Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park - London Drugs Blog

Image by @stevint

Take a walk on the wild side with the scenic Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta flanked by the Rocky Mountains.

4. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake - London Drugs Blog

Image by @mblockk

It’s hard to ignore the stunning fall colours glistening on Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta. How many times have you visited this beautiful place?

5. Lake O’Hara

Lake O'Hara - London Drugs Blog

Image by @kayitscait

Dive into autumn at Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. It might be cold, but it’s almost impossible not to take a quick swim while you’re there.

6. Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park - London Drugs Blog

Image by @alexstrohl

Witness fall in the Rockies with the sun lighting up all of the autumn tones. Visit the Kootenay National Park in British Columbia to see the incredible punch of yellow for yourself.

7. Cypress Provincial Park

It’s a beautiful sight from Cypress Provincial Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. Catch the North Shore on a crisp sunny day with the leaves turning all colours of red and orange.

8. The Rockies

Rocky Mountains - London Drugs Blog

Image by @jamieout

Muted fall colours of green and yellow framed by the Rocky Mountains shows just how picturesque the change in seasons can be.

9. Larch Valley

Larch Valley - London Drugs Blog

Image by @jfragasso

Have you had the chance to experience Larch Valley in autumn? Head to Banff National Park in Alberta to find the larch trees turning a brilliant yellow before they shed their needles.

10. Mount Taynton

Mount Taynton - London Drugs Blog

Image by @scottcbakken

The road to autumn is in Mount Taynton, British Columbia, between the trees with the mountains in the distance.

See more pictures of #BeautifulCanada on the @londondrugs Instagram, and happy fall!

Prairie Pride: Photos of Canada’s Beloved Plains

Canada’s mountains, oceans, and glaciers get plenty of attention, but is anything grander than our wide open prairies?

Between being able to see for kilometres, the magnificent colours, the rustic buildings, the epic sunsets, and the undulating landscapes…there’s lots to love. And at London Drugs, we adore any chance to pull out our cameras and capture a moment. Maybe even one that’s fit to print.

With that in mind, we present Prairie Pride – a photographic journey of incredible shots of Canada’s great plains.

That waving line where land meets prairie sky, as seen in this shot taken near Winnipeg – we think it’s pure magic.

“Grain Elevators, Mossleigh Alberta” Image by Bernard Spragg (Flickr)

Remnants of the past, like this grain elevator in Alberta, are scattered throughout the Canadian plains. It’s like an expansive, open-air museum.

A post shared by Cole (@percoleator) on

Historic buildings abound throughout Canada’s prairies. But they never cease to inspire and amaze, like this old foundation and barn in Truax, Saskatchewan.

A post shared by Monica (@oggiemonster) on

Everything can seem larger than life in the prairies. The land, the sky, even this enormous Manitoba rainbow.

“The Canadian at Sunrise” Image by Martin Cathrae (Flickr)

With so much to see on Canada’s prairies, one of the best ways to take it all in is on a train. Reserve the Skyline car from VIA Rail for views like this.

“Manitoba Moves You” Image from Vacay.ca

For many Canadians, some of their best and most lasting prairie memories are made while driving the good, old #1 Highway (Trans Canada Highway).

You’ll get even better views of Manitoba, and the rest of the prairies, if you get out of your car and explore.

The prairie moments you might be lucky enough to experience include twilight encounters with history, like this site in Alberta.

Perhaps you’ll find an overwhelming shock of colour, like at this Alberta canola field.


Or take a walk through the tall grasses of Saskatchewan, like in this Redford field.

Before you head home, revel in the chance to take a moment, lean on an old Manitoba fence, and smell the prairie flowers.

Heading on a trip through the prairies this fall? Share your Prairie Pride pictures with us @LondonDrugs on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag #PrairiePride.

An Ode to Quintessentially Canadian Snacks

As Canadians, we are pretty darn proud of our culinary contributions to the world. We’re the nation that created poutine, Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, and maple syrup, so yeah, we take our food pretty seriously. Snacking is no different. What follows is an ode to these Quintessentially Canadian Snacks. Happy Canada Day!

Old Dutch Ketchup Chips

Is there anything more satisfying than polishing off a mini (or standard) bag of these almost too-red chips? Bonus, the stains on your fingers last for as long as the memory of that undefinably zingy and salty faux-ketchup taste.

Hawkins Cheezies

A texture unlike any other cheez-infused snack food on the market. A bold, in-your-face flavour that says: “I dare you to question my origin”. A crunch that can be heard for miles. Hawkins Cheezies are one of a kind and quintessentially Canadian.

Smarties

The hard candy shell on a Smarties offering is superior to the candy shell on an M&Ms. Phew. Someone finally said it. These truly snackable treats are ideal constituents of a homemade, not very healthy trail mix.

Ruffles All-Dressed Chips

The existence of these chips demonstrates the principle that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. And greater, it is. The tang and zip of these vibrantly orange ridged chips keep Canadians coming back for just one more handful, until the bag holds nothing but fond, salty memories.

Nestle Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bar

Lighter-than-air wafer surrounded by a cloud of coffee-flavoured cream makes the Coffee Crisp a delight to eat. Pro tip, for the best chocolate-to-filling ratio, go for the fun size.

Crispers

A very hard, but somehow also crumbly biscuit base cut into a unique geometric form that can only be described as a wavy square. These Christie brand crackers offer a pleasurable snap when eating, and come in quintessentially Canadian chip flavours like Ketchup, All-Dressed, and Salt & Vinegar.

 
As you prepare to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary, consider adding a quintessentially Canadian snack food to your barbecue spread, and remember that part of what makes Canada great is how strange we all are. Happy Canada Day!

#Welcoming150: From Burundi to Saskatchewan

As part of Canada’s 150th anniversary, London Drugs is partnering with agencies across western Canada to help 150 refugee families get on their feet in their new country. The Welcoming 150 program seeks to help by encouraging London Drugs customers to donate items to the families in need.

Many of the families arrived in Canada in the last year or so, and are in the process of learning a new language and joining our country’s workforce. This is one of their extraordinary stories.

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