Canada’s National Parks

Well I’ve thought up a new life long ambition: To visit each and every one of Canada’s 46 National Parks. Not just visit though, I have to go on an adventure in each one. For instance I’ve been through Yoho National Park, Grasslands National Park and Prince Albert National park before but cannot include them on my ‘completed’ list because I didn’t actually do any sort of outdoor activity while there.

I have been to and done many things in Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes so they’re the first three I can check off my list. 3 down, 43 to go. It might not seem like a huge adventure to achieve this until you actually start doing the research and crunching the numbers. I figure if I buckled down I could finish in 25 years at a cost of 1/4 million dollars.

If you’re like most people (including me) who have only been to the big ones it would be easy to think why National Parks are just a place for tourists to visit and get some fresh air, but that’s not the main purpose of a National Park at all. The primary reason for a National Park to be created is preservation of the landscape and wildlife; conservation. Because of this a good portion of Canada’s National Parks are far away from populations and easily accessible areas. Many of them require chartered airplanes, boats, helicopters ect. just to gain access to there remote locations. Located in every single province and territory, I would have to travel Canada East, west, and North many times over to experience the wonders of every single National Park.

Most of my outdoor adventure is done in provincial parks, not National ones. Although I only have a mere three checks on my list as of now, I am more experienced than your average person with being in the wilderness. I have a few multi-day hikes and a 300km kayak trip planned for this summer. Although none of these are in National Parks it’s still a few more credentials and experiences learned to help with my National Park Journey.  This year I think I should be able to cross off Yoho and Elk Island.

The most I can do right now is just keep adventuring and documenting the areas that are closer to me, so in the future I can try getting sponsored to continue on. I am one of the most interesting, intelligent, creative and capable people I know of, so I’m really shooting for eventually trying to convince some network or production company to make a documentary or reality show about me. Might be a long shot, but would definitely speed up my 25 year timeline and help my $250,000 budget problem 😉

Here’s some photos of my first three checks (Banff,Jasper,Waterton)  As a photographer I obviously have to document the travels, and as an adventurer I have to spend at least a few days in each location and accomplish a difficult hike/bike/climb/paddle ect. in order to be able to check it off the list. For all future checks I will have a separate blog post with a new photo and story about the park and the adventure that was had, so keep watch on here and who knows, maybe in 5 years you can just watch me on Cottage Life.

Lance Edwards-Hampton


Bill Milne Bike Trail

Took Dani to the Bill Milne paved bike trail in Kananaskis. Was a beautiful day to spend together on a skill level we could both enjoy. I’ve done the trail before so knew it would be a nice leisurely bike ride in the mountains. This time some was closed due to flood damage repairs, but I wont go into detail about that. There’s already bike pirate or hiking with Barry if you’re interested in a step by step description of trails.

I didn’t get anything as far as fine art photography. The area, although always spectacular is still brown with early-spring conditions. Have been to the area dozens of times and taken many many photos of the surrounding peaks, so figured I’d just save my energy for when the photographic conditions were better.

Here’s a shot of Dani and I on the trail. It’s flat for the most part (except two big hills on either side) so is a great place to take the family for a nice easy day in the mountains. I was surprised at the lack of people on it this day, it was a good 20 degrees out so I thought it would be packed, as I have seen it overly crowded in mid-summer. Bill-Milne-20162web

The lack of other people along the trail made it possible for me to have some fun though. In the middle of summer on a packed trail I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get the speed I had while peddling around. Gave Dani my camera and got her to get some shots of me cruising around. Although I do like having pictures of myself, as a photographer it would be cool to be the one behind the camera photographing other people doing crazy things.

I know other people who enjoy outdoor adventure, but not many who are on the same fitness or experience level as I am. Because of this if I ever want to do something a little more extreme or at a faster pace I’m pretty much forced to do it by myself, which is extremely hard to get action/adventure shots of.  I’d love to go out with someone else who can keep up with me, while at the same time being patient enough to stop and take some sweet action shots of our adventures. If you live in the Calgary area and have a moderate-high fitness level and hiking/scrambling/mountain biking experience then shoot me a message on my webpage e-mail and maybe we can head out into the mountains and take some sweet adventure photos.


Here’s the shot Dani got of me. I went around the corner 3 different times to try getting a sweet picture. I wanted to be going fast enough that I was on a 45 degree angle turning the corner so had to backtrack quite a bit to build up my speed. Although there are some pics of me on a 45+ degree angle around the corner I liked the composition of this one the best. Funny how that works out, three takes to try doing something and the best shot is something completely different. All the more reason I want to be the photographer, photographing someone who can do what I can do (or better!)

Lance Edwards-Hampton





Give Blood

Aside from the simple fact that I really like this mobile photo of my own blood rushing past my business logo, which happens to also be a tattoo on me, I think this is a good chance to write about how easy it is to give blood.

I’m not even going to type about some of the stupid responses I’ve heard while talking with people about donating blood. I honestly don’t even understand why some people are against it, unless it’s some sort of religious thing, in which case I hope those types of people wouldn’t be willing to use other peoples blood if THEY needed it in some sort of emergency. If you’re not fundamentally against modern medicine, if you would expect an ambulance to take you to a hospital and use medical resources on you in a time of need, then what’s stopping you from helping out in one of the simplest and fastest ways possible?

If you’ve never done it, let me tell you it’s extremely easy to do. There’s pop-up clinics all the time. Go to your app store, look up “give blood” or “canadian blood services” and download the free app. After you get the app it’s extremely easy to find the nearest clinic to you and make an appointment the next time they’re around.

The actual process takes less than an hour from the moment you enter the facility to the time you leave. Get in, confirm your appointment at triage. They’ll test your iron levels then you have to fill out a quick form asking you eligibility questions. A short wait after that you’ll be called into a private booth with a nurse who will ask you more questions in person, check your blood pressure and pulse and then next thing you know you’ll be in a chair getting hooked up. 15 minutes of filling up bags and you’re unhooked and eating your free cookie and juice before you’re ready to leave.

The first time I donated was because I had a morbid desire to know what it was like to be bled. After realizing it doesn’t feel like anything, I still kept going back because it made me feel good that taking an hour out of my day once every 3 months had the potential to change someones life forever.

Plus you get a cool card that has your blood type on it, and free blood tests every three months that tell you if you’ve picked up something ‘funny’ along the way 😉

Lance Edwards-Hampton