Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Algonquin Park Camping in Winter

With the popularity of Les Stroud aka Survivor man and others, the wilderness is often portrayed as a foreboding place where one can test oneself.    This is especially true in winter where many people head into Algonquin Park and other wilderness areas to  “survive “ the weekend by building  Quinzees (snow shelters) or  cold camping  in tents. While I applaud the adventure  and  skills to survive in the  winter wild, I  would prefer the focus to be on how “comfortable “   nature and life in the wilderness can be. Come to  Algonquin or other wilderness  to slow down, relax, be at peace,  have fun, enjoy. Stripped down to the essentials, living simply need not be harsh or equated to  “surviving”. Just the opposite.  Many  like me and my adventure friends  refer  to  our time in nature  as “living the good life “.

Many people can understand this “good life” when they  are camping  in Algonquin Park in the summer.  Swimming in clear lakes, fishing, travelling by canoe , sleeping under the stars. All perfect.  But what about winter.  The image changes and people think danger and survival.    I challenge those of you who think  of the wilderness in a survival sense to come visit Voyageur Quest  this winter at Algonquin Park’s north west corner.    

Voyageur Quest operates several Algonquin  winter trips  including  “off the grid” Log Cabin adventures featuring dog sledding, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing.  Accommodation and meals take place at in a heated cozy cabin. Finish off the day with a sauna and a drink in front of the fireplace.   Our guides teach all skills , provide all equipment and ensure you are  having fun.   Life is good remember?!

If you want more adventure – snowshoe  down  Surprise Lake to experience winter camping in a “hot tent”. These canvas tents have a wood stove that can  heat  the inside to the tune of 20 degrees c or 65 Fahrenheit. Sleep on pine boughs that give the air a sweet  hint of the forest that surrounds the tent. Enjoy  hot drinks ,  a bowl of  chile and fresh baked corn bread in front of the wood stove. Walk outside the tent and look up to  a night sky that  is filled with more stars than you have ever seen before.  Spend the next day exploring the highland hills by snowshoe. Follow the  wolf tracks, moose tracks  and  otter slides.  Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Breath in the fresh air.  Peaceful. Quiet  and fun.

This is the winter I know and  an experience I hope to share with you.

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