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3/02/2018 9:40 am  #1

5 Days in Winter

I just got back from another trip with my dad.  He really amazes me in that at almost 72 years old he's still game for interior winter trips.  We have changed how we do things over the years (i.e. not going very far in, bringing more creature comforts, etc.) but I think it's great he can still get out.

We arrived on Sunday morning to one massive skating rink of a park.  It had been raining all morning and the roads and parking lots were crazy icy.  We didn't need snowshoes at all but without cleats the trip would have almost been impossible.  We went in near Cannisbay Lake and found a little spot in the bush, not too far from where I parked the truck.  I had just got a new underquilt for my hammock so I thought I'd give winter hammock camping a try, as my dad slept in his tent.  I had a few issues with the quilt as my butt got a bit cold but I think it's just going to take a bit of tweaking to get rid of the cold spots.  It rained as we set up which made it a bit of a pain.  After the rain stopped the rest of the week was great weather with highs of 7 and lows at night around -8 at the coldest. 

We spent a ton of time just relaxing around a fire at camp.  I always lug in a tin cookie sheet as a base for the fire as it helps keep the melted water out of the fire.  We had no issues getting great fires going. 

We ate very well as well (as usual).  We did a nice chicken and shrimp pad Thai with hot and sour soup, and for another night we did pizzas on a home made reflector oven my dad made (worked super well!). 

We did a couple hikes around the area and the walking was easy with the cleats.  Certainly no need for snow shoes at all.  One night we hiked down to Cannisbay Lake as I was trying to do a picture I had in mind for some time (it didn't turn out at all as the moon was too bright to get any decent stars).  The ice was booming and cracking as had gone from a warm day to a very cold night.  Such an amazing sound!  We stayed for about an hour listening and waiting for the bigger booms to go off.....

We didn't see any wildlife aside from the typical Ravens and squirrels.  Some sign of moose and wolf scat but we didn't see any animals themselves. 

I didn't take many photos.  I find I've been to the park so many times that my pictures are all starting to look the same and I've photographed all of the main "go to" spots for pics.  So now I find I need something different with perfect conditions (i.e. lighting, stage of moon, etc.).  Anyway here are a few from the trip... Thanks for looking!











3/02/2018 11:24 am  #2

Re: 5 Days in Winter

For the love of God man don't get jaded about your own photography: you're too talented to deprive the rest of us. 

Fantastic that your dad is still at it. It gives me hope that I can keep doing this for a long time to come. 


3/02/2018 12:24 pm  #3

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Lol thanks Uppa!  Half the time I don't even bother bringing my camera on hikes and stuff, if I know the lighting etc isn't great.  For the typical snapshots cellphones take decent enough photos...

When we were there we met this crew of about 5 older guys who come up a couple times a year.  They were off to hike the Mizzy Lake trail and one of the gentlemen was 90 years old!  Now that is inspiring eh???

     Thread Starter

3/02/2018 1:02 pm  #4

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thanks for the report Steve.  
Was there enough snow to drag your gear in, or did you backpack it in?
The tin cookie sheet is a great idea. I can't wait to look like a bushcraft wizard next weekend when i pull out the cookie sheet, if there is still snow, that is.


3/02/2018 1:26 pm  #5

Re: 5 Days in Winter

There was enough snow to use a sled so that made it a bit easier.  Walking was easy as the snow wasn't deep and the cleats REALLY helped. I've actually never had to use them before but they were very much needed...

And ya the cookie sheet thing works so well.  There's a pool of melted water underneath but not a drop gets into the fire

     Thread Starter

3/02/2018 2:12 pm  #6

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thank you so much for sharing ALL of that, Steve.  Frankly, I have never wanted to take a winter trip, but suddenly find myself inspired to.  What a fun trip with your dad - and how about that 90-year old gent! 

I really enjoy your photography.  You have a very happy talent for pulling beauty out of the park that very few see, and even fewer have the ability to draw out.  Looking at your photos is less "looking" and more "absorbing", and I find myself going back to your posts multiple times because I feel like there is still depth remaining in a photo that I still need to see. 

I sure get it that at this point you are much more selective about what you photograph in Algonquin  - the good news for you is you get to see the park from a vantage point other than behind a viewfinder!  For those occasions when you don't have the camera, you can do what a friend of mine used to do.  He'd look at something and say "I'll just have to remember this one.....*click*.  There.  Got it."


3/02/2018 2:48 pm  #7

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thanks so much that is super nice to hear  

It's funny I've actually found it a bit refreshing not to always be looking through the lens.  Sometimes it's just nice to enjoy a moment for what it is and when it is and not be so fixated on trying to capture it in a picture.  In a weird way it's almost a bit liberating!

     Thread Starter

3/05/2018 3:02 pm  #8

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Nice winter trip there Steve ...

You ever see folks sliding down some decent hills in the park?  If I were to take my kids up it would be crucial that they go sliding ... I know there's a skating spot ... I'm sure there's a few hills handy to hwy 60 ...



3/05/2018 3:30 pm  #9

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Actually I haven't been able to find a good spot to toboggan at all along the highway.  I spent a day there a few years back with my wife driving trying to find a spot and really there was nothing.  We ended up trying the road into the visitor centre (it was closed) as it was the only hill we could find...and it wasn't very good...

     Thread Starter

3/06/2018 7:06 am  #10

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Like others, our tolerance of your photography subject matter is nowhere near sated!

Regarding the down underquilt, perhaps reducing the tension from the ends (and sides, if adjustable) might allow for the "sag" of the hammock with you in it to match more exactly with the underquilt dimensions.  I can envision the quilt getting compressed with tension and reducing its insulating properties once you get in if it is "tight" or approaching tight.  Certainly expect it is just some tweaking needed as that amount of down should do the job.


3/06/2018 10:44 am  #11

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thanks PaPaddler!   I have to experiment with different tensions on the primary suspension.  From all that I've read folks suggest having that primary suspension quite tight.  The baffles in the quilt are differential cut which is supposed to minimize down compression, but I'll have to play with it a bit more..very close to getting it perfect

     Thread Starter

3/08/2018 11:25 am  #12

Re: 5 Days in Winter

  Nice trip report Steve. Awesome pictures, as usual

I'm just gone Fishin!

3/09/2018 9:56 am  #13

Re: 5 Days in Winter

I have to agree with UPPA you take great pictures it's just not all talent it's art and you should be selling these pics. and your trip Blogs with your dad are always my favorites please don't stop

Shawn G 


3/09/2018 1:20 pm  #14

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Your Dad is 72 and still winter camping? Your dad is my new camping hero.

Great pics as always!


3/09/2018 1:56 pm  #15

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Looks so beautiful!!
You have me considering something the same; how far did you hike in? Where do you set up camp? I don't mean the exact location but what determines where you camp? What rules are there?


3/09/2018 3:29 pm  #16

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thanks for report and pics and will be curious to solution to cold butt problem as i'm hoping to use my hammock in cold weather as well. 


3/09/2018 3:46 pm  #17

Re: 5 Days in Winter

Thanks for the kind replies guys it means a lot to me! 
Winter rules say you can camp anywhere in the park as long as it's not on a summer site or 30 meters from any lake, river or trail (or road I think)...  Pretty much pick any spot and head back as far as you want into the bush!  We don't go too far as my dad is getting older and we prefer to bring some luxury items and lots of food so we do a few trips back and forth to the truck...

I'm hoping to get some time in my backyard to perfect the underquilt thing.  It has potential to be perfect it's just a bit off with the cold butt thing...but I think it's fixable

     Thread Starter

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