Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guest blogging in Oz!

Aussie couple Frank and Sue maintain "Our Hiking Blog", where they share their adventures, advice and even recipes! If you've ever thought about doing any backpacking in Australia, definitely check out their trip reports for some great ideas.

But they shone the spotlight elsewhere today, featuring an interview with me about "Sex in a Tent". You can read it here.

In other news Down Under, the book is now available for several online booksellers in both Australia and New Zealand. Check the websites for Dymocks (in Australia only), Angus & Roberston, Collins, and in NZ, Whitcoulls.

Now folks in the Southern Hemisphere can buy the book for those Christmas stockings too!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Zenn and the Art of Satirical Newscasts

This is a bit off-topic for me, but since so many of us campers are also greenies at heart, I thought many of you would enjoy it.

My cousin's husband (does that make him my cousin-in-law?) is CEO of a Canadian company called ZENN (Zero Emissions, No Noise) which makes - brace yourselves - electric cars! It seems reports of the death of the electric car were greatly exaggerated.

Zenn was recently featured on The Mercer Report, a Canadian satirical newscast along the same lines as The Daily Show (except that it's not daily.) Here's the link to the clip.

It's worth watching just for Rick Mercer's wonderful Newfoundland accent.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Will Love Save You - Or Just Make You Stupid?

I've been seeing and hearing a lot of stories lately about wilderness survival. Most experts agree that the most lethal part of the equation in a life or death situation is panic. Most people can survive with very little, if they keep their minds clear and make the right decisions. But panic is all too easy when you're lost in the woods, or drifting out to sea in a kayak.

This all got me wondering whether your odds of survival are better or worse if you're with your life partner at the time. I think there are arguments both ways. On the one hand, as I say in my book, nobody is just going to stand around and watch while the person they love is being swept down a river, or falling off a cliff. On the other hand, love does tend to get in the way of logic. We've all done stupid things because we were in love. But if you're reading this, none of those stupid things has yet cost you your life!

Here are the positives as I see them:
  • You will give each other more support and encouragement than friends or acquaintances, so there's a better chance of keeping a positive attitude.

  • You are likely to know about each other's health problems, and also realize more quickly if your partner is not behaving "normally".

  • You won't have any issues about sharing body heat, or helping each other physically. And if there is any blood involved, you're not going to be concerned about HIV infection (unless you have a positive partner.)

  • You know your partners limitations in terms of fitness and skills, so you can make plans that are achievable.
Here are the negatives as I see them:
  • Partners are likely to over-sacrifice, so that one will give up too much of their dry and warm gear to the other, and end up hypothermic themselves.

  • You are unlikely to be willing to leave a sick or injured partner by themselves, even if going for help alone is the most logical thing to do.

  • Many survivors stay alive through their ordeal so that they can return to loved ones back home. If your loved one is there with you, do you lose that driving force to stay alive?

  • Some couples will spend so much time arguing over whose fault it is that their lives are in danger, they'll forget to try to get rescued!
What do you think? I'm fairly certain nobody has crunched the numbers from Search and Rescue to see whether couples fare better or worse. Would your partner be a saviour in a disaster, or a dead weight?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Starring on Starling

I stumbled across this today - a blurb about Sex in a Tent on the Starling Travel blog which features great places to visit in the US.

The blogosphere is a fascinating place. I love the way that things travel around from blog to blog and pop up in unexpected places. I've certainly learned not to put anything on my blog that I would want to maintain the copyright on!

Tomorrow I'm off to San Francisco, where I'll be chatting with Steve from Wildebeat. Then on Tuesday I'm hooking up with my friends at Wilderness Press in Berkeley. Ah, the jet-setting lifestyle of the first-time author...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gabbing on Gadling and Michelle's Book Launch

Today's "Talking Travel" column on is entirely devoted to an interview with me about Sex in a Tent. (Click the link above to read the whole interview.) Here's a peek at the intro:

Campers around the world have surely tried their hand at this
extracurricular activity before. But even seasoned adventurers may learn
some new tips or techniques in this recent release from Wilderness Press
dedicated to the art of outdoor love. Sex in a Tent: A Wild Couple's
Guide to Getting Naughty in Nature
is the first comprehensive guide to
getting it on outside, and a must have for couples looking to heat things up
during tent-toting travels.

Forget hotels and hostels for romantic getaways -- give Mother Nature a
spin! That's what writer and adventurer Michelle Waitzman set out to do with her

In other news, I had a launch party for the book in Toronto last night. Lots of friends and family came around to help me celebrate. As with most book signings by unknown authors, there wasn't a lot of "general public" there. But it was still great fun, and a nice opportunity to share my excitement. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Boots - and they're made for walking!

It's a good thing that I pack light when I travel, because I can't resist shopping while I'm away from home. Being back in Toronto, there are just so many products available that I can't find down in New Zealand. It was inevitable that I would go home with my bags more full than when I left - even after off-loading a bunch of gifts.

Today's purchase was a new pair of hiking boots from Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC). I already made one trip there last week, and bought sunglasses and underwear. But I ran out of time and boots can't be rushed, so today I went back and tried on a few pairs.

The MEC house brand is probably not the best quality boot (far from it!) but the price was low and they were soooo comfy I couldn't resist. They also have a rubber cap over the toes, which is something I look for because I'm a clumsy hiker and I constantly bash my toes into rocks and such. That wears out the toes of my boots really quickly if they don't have that extra protective layer on the front.

So they may not last long - probably only one season - but as long as they are comfortable on the trail I think they were a good buy.

Tomorrow is my book launch for Sex in a Tent. I had an interview for CBC's Words at Large podcast today, and I'll be sure to post a link once they have it up on their website. It probably won't be on until December though.

And a quick note for those in the UK - Sex in a Tent is now available for purchase on again.