Steeves/Trail Mix: lots of holiday activities to enjoy

Now that summer holidays are here, there are all kinds of summer activities outdoors for the family to get involved in.

Brown-eyed Susans or gaillardia are just one of the many wildflowers you'll enjoy on Okanagan hikes at this time of year.

Brown-eyed Susans or gaillardia are just one of the many wildflowers you'll enjoy on Okanagan hikes at this time of year.

I hope you didn’t find yourself complaining about the heat over the weekend—especially after all the complaining you’ve been doing about the rain the previous couple of weeks.

There’s simply not much we can do about the weather, other than complain or dress for it.

Better to prepare for it than just sit there and grumble about it.

Dressing in layers is essential at every time of year in this part of the world. You may start out feeling cold, but you can heat up pretty quickly if you’re burning a few calories in an outside activity, so you need to be able to shed some layers and still be decent, in order to be comfortable.

Light rain jackets now can be rolled up into your daypack when the sun comes out, and there are some wonderful fabrics out there that wick moisture away from your skin so they’re much more comfortable in a range of temperature and weather conditions.

Above all, don’t forget the feet, because when you’re relying on them, they have to be comfortable, or it doesn’t matter how the rest of you is doing.

A group of friends went hiking along the greenway the other day, and apparently the mosquitoes are out in hordes, so make sure you protect yourself with a repellant that contains DEET and cover your skin in light, loose clothing.

Nowadays, a hat is essential, because even when it’s overcast there are still UV rays getting through that cloud and your skin can burn pretty quickly in summer.

Hydration is also a vital consideration, so make sure you and your youngsters not only carry enough water for the trip you’re on, but that the kids are actually drinking it.

This is the first week of the summer holidays, and there are lots of activities for youngsters, including those organized by recreation departments in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country. Go to their websites for details of what’s happening.

The YMCA also has programs for youngsters through the summer and there are outdoor camps such as that at Silver Lake, which is coordinated by the Y, as well as aquatic activities. All are geared toward educating youngsters in safe ways to enjoy the outdoors.

That’s a focus of regional district programs too, including the Summer Nature Camps at Mission Creek or Bertram Creek Regional Parks. There are Summer Story Time in the park programs Tuesday mornings at Mission Creek too, for little ones.

Families in Parks will feature a special program July 13 at Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park and there’ll be a Parks Day celebration at Bertram Creek July 20.

For info on all these events and more, go to the website at

A little further afield, the Silver Star Bike Park is now open, with 18 mountain bike trails, a vertical drop of 760 metres and cross country trails.

On foot, Roseanne Van Ee does guided hikes at Silver Star where you can enjoy the wildflowers and scenic views, with a little history thrown in for good measure. Or, learn about berries and bears on another of her outings. For details, go to

Have fun and be prepared.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.


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