Bushcraft: Wilderness Living in the 21st Century

March 28, 2017

By Tierney Angus

It’s a return to the forest and a primitive way of living; it’s an escape from city life and the technology of our present time. It’s a natural extension of the beard-and-plaid aesthetic so popular today – and it’s having a huge moment online.

Untitled.png

This is bushcraft: The art of practicing wilderness skills while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s not about survival skills or preparing for the apocalypse, although the techniques do share similarities. Survival is staying alive long enough to be rescued and get home, whereas bushcraft is about using wilderness skills and knowledge to stay out in the bush longer.

Continue reading

Saving the Savannah: High Park’s ‘Elite Invasive Squad’

IMG_7336

volunteer work to help restore toronto’s high park doesn’t stop, even under a blanket of snow

By: Tierney Angus

Feb. 17, 2017

The City of Toronto and a dedicated group of volunteers are working together to restore High Park’s rare black oak savannah habitat.

Stately trees, some over two centuries old, dot a rolling, grassy landscape. Native grasses and rare wildflowers bloom, visited by migratory birds. The woodland is a glimpse into what southern Ontario looked like before cities, towns, and subdivisions cut the land into tidy little parcels. It seems an ancient, primeval world, until the next group of tourists steps off the bus and the spell is broken.

Continue reading

Guest Posts @ Man Camping & MySelfReliance

img_7004

our hot-tent in the temagami forest

 

Hey  dudes and dudettes,

I’ve written up a couple guest posts for other cool bloggers. Until I get around to writing up four (!) trip reports from last year for my blog, you may want to check these out.

Scot at Man Camping asked me to write a piece for his week of Man Camping Women features. Ladies are man-campers too! The site’s tagline is “it’s not a gender thing, it’s a state of mind and lack of planning thing.” I also drink a lot of beer and eat far too much bacon, so I think I fit in perfectly. Check out my post about my first backcountry experience here. I hit a beaver with my canoe paddle, Andrew was attacked by numerous tiny leeches, and we both ended up puking out of both vestibules of our tent all night. Truly a lovely introduction to the backcountry.

Andrew and I went camping  for five days in the Temagami area this January, and Shawn of My Self Reliance came to visit and interview us about our winter kit. Shawn put together an awesome video which you can watch here and also posted a little write-up I prepared about how we got into winter camping. I hope it’s helpful if you’re looking to try winter camping but aren’t sure where to start.

Sorry I haven’t had time to update my blog too often lately. School, work, and other commitments are taking priority at the moment. But, hey! You can always follow me on Instagram for the time being.

Cheers,

Tierney

If a Tree Falls in the Temagami Forest…

By: Tierney Angus
November 28, 2016

fullsizeoutput_1667

View of the White Bear Forest from the Caribou Mountain fire tower, Temagami ON

That night there came a storm, crashing down from the mountains; and in the tempest the lonely Tree moaned and wailed, and shook wildly on its foundations, and silhouetted against the white glare of the lightning it seemed to writhe, and be contorted into shapes of agony.

And the mountains looked on in stony calmness; for they knew that trees must die and so must men, but that they live on forever.  

-Archie Belaney, a.k.a. Grey Owl, “Tales of an Empty Cabin”

The Temagami Wilderness area is a vast, 16,000 square kilometre tract of land in Northeastern Ontario. Its boundaries are loosely defined by the town of Sudbury to the southwest, the town of North Bay to the southeast, the Ottawa River to the east, the Montreal River and the hamlet of Matchewan to the north, and the Wanipitei River to the west. Continue reading

Touring Temagami: A 17 Day Expedition PART THREE

August 2nd – 18th, 2016

The Big One. 17 days and 16 nights through the heart of the Temagami wilderness. Our longest, most challenging, most spectacularly scenic route to date. This canoe trip took us on a journey of over 250km through some of the most rugged terrain in the region, with abundant wildlife, magical old-growth forests, sacred spiritual sites and ancient portage trails in use for over 5000 years, through areas of historical significance in relation to industry and environmental activism, and travel upon 5 rivers and 31 different lakes.

PART THREE: What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been
Alternate Title #1: For If We Don’t Find The Next Whiskey Bar, I Tell You We Must Die
Alternate Title #2: Home Is Where The Tent Is

Continue reading

Touring Temagami: A 17 Day Expedition PART TWO

August 2nd – 18th, 2016

The Big One. 17 days and 16 nights through the heart of the Temagami wilderness. Our longest, most challenging, most spectacularly scenic route to date. This canoe trip took us on a journey of over 250km through some of the most rugged terrain in the region, with abundant wildlife, magical old-growth forests, sacred spiritual sites and ancient portage trails in use for over 5000 years, through areas of historical significance in relation to industry and environmental activism, and travel upon 5 rivers and 31 different lakes.

PART TWO: It’s All Downhill From Here
Alternate Title #1: The Lady Evelyn Was No Lady At All
Alternate Title #2: That’s Not A Portage, THIS Is A Portage!

Continue reading

Touring Temagami: A 17 Day Expedition PART ONE

August 2nd – 18th, 2016

The Big One. 17 days and 16 nights through the heart of the Temagami wilderness. Our longest, most challenging, most spectacularly scenic route to date. This canoe trip took us on a journey of over 250km through some of the most rugged terrain in the region, with abundant wildlife, magical old-growth forests, sacred spiritual sites and ancient portage trails in use for over 5000 years, through areas of historical significance in relation to industry and environmental activism, and travel upon 5 rivers and 31 different lakes.

PART ONE: Against The Flow To Flo
Alternate Title #1: Always A Headwind
Alternate Title #2: I Fucking Hate Alder Bushes

Continue reading

My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, & Me

June 11-12, 2016

Moon River Loop via Kapikog and Healey Lakes

It’s that time of year again, folks, when I decide to go camping on a whim and search out a gnarly weekend route with little to no notice or planning. Freaks Andrew out every time. Maybe he was right to worry: The route I chose was roughly 30km long, we both left work at 21:30 the night before, we had to pack everything and pick up our canoe on the Saturday morning, and I had only procured the map from Brad over at Explore the Backcountry a day ahead of time. [It’s a great map, and I would love to share it with you wonderful people, but as it is yet to be published I must refrain from showing you the details of the route we took through Muskoka’s Georgian Bay cottage country region and down the lower third of the Moon River, and trust that my photos and descriptions of the area will be enough for you INSATIABLE trip report readers who have been BADGERING me non-stop to write up this little story for you. Well, this paragraph has taken a strange turn. Where was I?]

IMG_3260

kapikog lake, wild muskoka

Ah, yes. The Moon River. I chose this route for several reasons:

1.Reasonable drive from our home on the shores of polluted Lake Ontario in Toronto

ii) Could turn a river trip into a loop and thus avoid annoyance of organizing shuttle

three: Our friends have a cottage on one of the lakes we would be paddling through

and d) We had a map.

Continue reading

Ice Out!

May 7th-8th, 2016

Backcountry openings for Algonquin Park were delayed twice this spring due to lingering ice. Considering the mild winter this year, we were expecting an early ice-out, but cool temperatures and a late freeze-up meant we were anxiously awaiting the paddling season opener. The original opening date of April 22nd was pushed back to April 29th, and then again to May 4th. Finally, the park’s canoe-in sites were available, and we made plans to meet up with a couple other people to celebrate springtime.

IMG_2408

after the portage between canoe and joe lakes

Continue reading

March: In Like a Lamb

March 12th-13th, 2016

Backcountry Hot-Tenting Near Arrowhead Provincial Park

It’s been a rather lousy excuse for a winter here in southern Ontario this year, which makes perfect sense considering we just spent all of our money on a canvas winter tent, trail stove, and materials for building our own freight toboggans. We did get out on the Family Day long weekend, which was really fucking cold, but that was pretty much the most extreme weather we saw all season. Refusing to let our new equipment gather dust for eight months, we acted on a tip from some fellow adventurers (Canadian Pathfinders) and set off for a nice and easy crown land trek just north of Huntsville and Arrowhead Provincial Park for the weekend.

IMG_4638

loaded up and ready to glide at the access point

Continue reading