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Insight from outside: Stargazing with the Cottage Coach

You don’t need an advanced degree to study the cosmos. As our very own Cottage Coach, Adam Holman, has discovered, all you need is patience, a complete lack of light pollution, and a strong sense of wonderment. To share his view of the night sky above his cottage, we applied our OFF!® FamilyCare® Insect Repellent – Smooth & Dry and joined him after dark to learn about the tools, tips, and tricks he uses to embrace starry nights at the lake.

My dad bought a really nice telescope when I was young, and we used to look up at the stars and the moon’s craters. But we weren’t allowed to touch it. It stayed in the top of his closet, and it only came out on a clear night.

I try not to use my phone at the cottage, but there’s one app I can’t resist. It’s a stargazing app that you can hold up and see the names of the stars and where all the planets are. It’s amazing around the campfire, because if you see a bright star, you can learn everything about it.

I was on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park with some friends, and someone went down to the water to clean a pot in the dark, and he came back with the biggest smile. A minute later, the six of us were lying on the rocks beside the water, completely in awe as we looked up at these stars that were impossibly bright because of how dark it got at night. I’ll never forget that moment.

The Northern Lights are at the top of my bucket list. I’ve still never seen them, and since I have a background in cameras and videography, I’ve always been obsessed with capturing that view. It would take a long night to get it right, but it would be worth it.

The beautiful thing about stargazing as a hobby is that you don’t need any gear to do it. A telescope is great, but it isn’t necessary. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who can call out every constellation, all you need is the dark—and to get away from the city lights.

If you’re in the market for a headlamp, choose one with a red-light setting. It’ll come in handy when you’re in the woods but don’t want to ruin your view of the stars with light pollution.

The one thing I always think about when I look up at the stars is that we’re all looking at the same ones. It’s so easy to drift away and remember how small we are in the grand scheme.

One of my favourite things when I’m stargazing is looking for satellites or comets—and especially being the first one in the group to see a shooting star. They seem mythological until you actually see one for yourself. And if it’s dark enough and you spend enough time out there, it’ll eventually happen.

When you’re in the woods on a summer night, it’s gonna be buggy. Unless you have bug repellent, you won’t be out there for long. OFF!® FamilyCare® Insect Repellent – Smooth & Dry protects you and your family for up to five hours against mosquitoes, without feeling oily or greasy. It also repels ticks, black flies, deer flies, and biting midges.

Ready to embrace the outdoors this summer? Make the most of your time outside with OFF!® FamilyCare® Insect Repellent – Smooth & Dry. Prevention is the best protection from mosquitoes.