Monday, March 07, 2011
We were en route to Algonquin Park. Jacqui and I celebrated our year long friendship, by camping at Mew Lake. The weather was excellent. The wind was calm, it was a crisp -23C.
We slept in the Hyundai Santa Fe. I am 6 feet tall, and when the back seat is folded down, there is enough room for us to sleep comfortably.
We put a tarp down, then lay the closed cell foam insulation on the tarp. Then the opened up summer sleeping bag was put down. Then I put down my opened up parka, (it has a hood), then we climbed onto our 'bed'.
Then we covered ourselves with Jacqui's down sleeping bag. We opened two windows just a crack to allow air in, and to let the moisture vent out.
Surprisingly, we both slept soundly. I woke up once to relieve my bladder. When I returned to the car, I started it and let in run for 20 minutes, to get the coolness out of the air and to let the heat dry off the residual moisture.
We were up by 0715 on Feb. 6.
Neither Jacqui or myself had winter camped since our 20's. This experience has whetted our appetite for more winter, and now ... spring camping! When Jacqui get's back from work in 11 days, we're off to Frontenac Provincial Park for another learning experience.
Frontenac is a back country, natural environment park. You cannot drive to your campsite. There is no car camping. You have to hike in or canoe in. The geography and geology is the same Canadian Shield that Algonquin Park enjoys. Frontenac is 98 kms from here by car, but I am speculating that it is about 40 kms by canoe from here. There is one short, uphill portage near Bedford Mills.
So it's getting to be a pretty interesting. We're learning how to live with the possibility of coming face to face with a black bear. They want to be near us as much as we want to be near them. Our bear education is from the knowledgeable staff at the 3 provincial parks we've visited recently, Kevin at the East Gate at Algonquin, Toby at Murphy's Point, and Bert at Frontenac.
The other issue we are learning about is a nasty thing called giardia, or "Beaver Fever". It is contracted from ingesting human or animal feces, usually from water. So we need to have a small burner of some sort, to boil water, and also some type of water purification system.
We checked out stoves at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, while there last week. You can get a good one for about $71.00 to $170.00. We did buy an MEC Camper 2 tent, low profile air matresses and insulating foam, and a couple of small, light stools. The stuff is very compact, quite light.
Less than 100 kms from here are another 3 provincial parks, Silver Lake, Sharbot Lake, and Charleston Lake. Another 2 parks, closer to Ottawa, Rideau River and Fitzroy, north of Ottawa.
All brought about by a sweet anniversary ... what a fun, little project!
Stay tuned, the camping starts when Jacqui gets back!