Guest Posts @ Man Camping & MySelfReliance

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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

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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?]

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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.

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after the portage between canoe and joe lakes

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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.

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loaded up and ready to glide at the access point

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Building a Winter Freight Toboggan, Pt 2

Late February/Early March, 2016

For Part One, Click Here

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they really work!

The second half of our toboggan build did not go as smoothly as the first. Andrew and I both encountered problems with our individual portions of the project, and the final assembly took much longer than expected. There are still some kinks we are working out with our rigging system, but I’m pleased to report we are now the proud owners of our very own handmade freight toboggans for winter backcountry travel!
Continue reading

Forty Below Zero

February 13th-15th, 2016
Testing our new winter gear and our mettle against blisteringly cold temperatures in Algonquin Provincial Park

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here it is! our new winter tent! custom 30″ side walls and an 8′ peak!

We had been planning to go camping for the February long weekend ever since we ordered our new Atuk Alaskan winter tent and Kni-Co Packer trail stove. That’s the only part of the plan we actually stuck to. Originally our goal had been to finish our winter freight toboggans and head out to some quiet and remote piece of crown land for a weekend of relaxation and exploration, but despite spending many long and frustrating hours in a vicious battle with a sewing machine (me) and confusion about placement of the pulling bars (Andrew), we still hadn’t quite managed to finish all of the rigging to get our sleds ready in time. Then, we checked the forecast: Highs of -35C for the entire weekend. For safety’s sake, we decided against wandering into the bush with a tent we had yet to even unroll completely, and chose to head to Mew Lake campground in Algonquin Provincial Park, where we knew there would be other people around to save us in case of a catastrophic tent fire or frozen digits. Also, the campground has a “comfort station”, and pooping in the warmth of a heated washroom is always a bonus when mere minutes of skin exposure can cause frostbite.

Continue reading