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Trip Planning » Who managed to get a backpacking trip in Algonquin this year? » 9/17/2022 7:23 pm

solosal
Replies: 12

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Hurray, folks!  I have managed to secure a few nights on the Highland trail.  Thankfully I have good supervisor, and the ability to book on a whim.  

Trip Planning » Who managed to get a backpacking trip in Algonquin this year? » 9/02/2022 10:17 pm

solosal
Replies: 12

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I have not seen anyone post a trip so I am terribly curious.  I fear I will not be backpacking in Algonquin in 2022 and that disappoints me.  Each time I wanted to book something, it was full.  I started trip planning early so that's not the issue. September even looks like a wash for me.  Post your trips so I can be green with envy!

Trip Planning » 2022 Reservation of Hike-in Backcountry Campsites » 12/19/2021 6:22 pm

solosal
Replies: 3

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Is anyone else having mixed feelings about this?  Having been to other parks where you pick your site beforehand I don't know how I feel about this.  I've spent some interesting moments in Algonquin debating in my mind is this the right spot for tonight?  I've often factored the weather forecast, KMs put on, and KMs yet to go, water access, usable tent bed etc.  The reservation of the spot you will rest your head that night will be predetermined maybe 5 months in advance.  Where's the fun in that?  I've been to most sites on all the backpacking trails and I know some are more desirable than others.  Sometimes you get what you get and you don't get upset!  How will this impact those more sought after sites?  Will they get closed because of overuse?  On the plus side I will take advantage of the income tax claim of taking a "staycation" in Ontario for the tax season of 2022.  Bring on the camping!!

Equipment » Moleskins and blister prevention » 10/17/2021 4:37 pm

solosal
Replies: 11

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I'm a backpacker and I have found on toes moleskin works.  But my go to in my first aid kit is white hockey stick tape.  I don't know what magic lies within that tape but it will stay on my heels or toes for days covering hot spots or blisters.  Wool socks and white hockey stick tape and I am on the trails for days!

Trip Planning » Print Permits or pick up in Person » 10/02/2021 5:03 pm

solosal
Replies: 9

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I do like to check in, in person, that way I can ask questions if necessary.  I did check in, in person, when I went Eastern Pines this summer.  I did have reservations in Frontenac this summer and they called me a day before arrival to "check in" over the phone. I did this and when I arrived at the Park my vehicle and backcountry permits were in an envelope with my name on it on the cork board outside the office.  Two different parks, two different experiences.

Trip Reports » I am relegated to car camping » 9/17/2021 7:41 pm

solosal
Replies: 4

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Marko_Mrko: because I had positioned this post under backpacking I wasn't expecting a response about portaging.  I hear what you are saying as I have done that.  I made it through my car camping experience while cringing.  My best times were on the hiking trails on Hwy 60 before 10am.  Less people, less noise and more solitude.  I'm excited to report I did the Whiskey Rapids trail again.  Last time I did that was in a thunderstorm that really rushed the enjoyment, and it was closed for so long in recent years.  I really enjoy being able to give feedback in the online Ontario Parks survey once you return from your trip.

Trip Reports » I am relegated to car camping » 9/05/2021 4:59 pm

solosal
Replies: 4

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I guess I am happy to report I did get to spend a few nights in the backcountry of Algonquin in August on the Eastern Pines trail.  I am disappointed to report that even though I started booking in January or February my time in the backcountry was so limited this summer.  Added to that my backcountry experience in the fall is now de-funked too. I am relegated to car camping....don't get me wrong there is plenty to do on the corridor of Hwy 60 but it's not the same. Last trip I car camped coming out of the backcountry I was mortified of what was happening around me.  It literally made me cry.  When I backcountry camped this year is was filled with people ill-prepared and asking me for stuff.  I am a solo camper and therefore I pack for my own emergencies and not others.  May be that is a crappy attitude, I do give when I can but not to put myself in a tough position (matches, really...think ahead).  While I look forward to some time in Algonquin next week, I feel that I will not be fulfilled in the same way as after a backcountry experience.  

Trip Planning » booking camp sites and selling them off at a profit » 4/04/2021 4:35 pm

solosal
Replies: 75

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I am sad. The backcountry should be a place where souls are to be free.  It is not a place to be commercialized.  I understand our need to be connected at this time.  At the expense of the individual a cost to be had upon the soloist who has a yearning and burning for their very soul.

Trip Planning » Highland trail » 3/19/2021 2:58 pm

solosal
Replies: 12

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This has been a competitive year in terms of booking any backcountry sites!  I did manage to get a few nights in Frontenac in early July.  I had my heart set on doing the entire trail in Killarney with no luck to book.  I will patiently wait until next year, or keep checking the site for cancellations.  I did book Eastern Pines in Algonquin.  I haven't done that loop since 2016 so I am interested in how things have changed since the fire.  Last year I encountered so many folks on the trail that weren't prepared; I helped them out the best that I could with the supplies I had.  I am a solo hiker so I plan for myself and not much more.  Happy trails to those of you who have bookings!

Wildlife » Seeing a wolf on the portage trail » 10/04/2020 12:08 pm

solosal
Replies: 9

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Last week I was backpacking on the WUT (Rain Lake access).  On my first night I was on the last site on Islet, and around 10pm I heard wolves howling.  Beautiful start to my trip.  One day I was making my way from Gervais to Brown.  I was at the top of a hill and trying to determine where the trail went down so I looked across the way to see if I could see where the trail started.  Below there was a bit of water and what I think used to be a beaver dam.  On the far bank was a pack of wolves.  My brain could hardly keep up with what my eyes were seeing.  I counted between 5 to 7 wolves.  I could see that one walked down the bank to where I was headed, and the others scooted up the trail on the other side.  I gave them some time to get moving along and I gave a few toots on my whistle.  I continued to do this as I resumed the trail and walked through the bush.  When I got to Brown Creek (lovely foot bridge across) I continued to make noise.  When I got to the other side and up the embankment I paused to catch my breath and the wolves began howling from where I just came from.  I was gobsmacked!!! I assumed that they watched me the entire time while I walked through their area.  A bit unsettling however I was more excited about this experience than scared.  This is the second time I have seen wolves in this area - last time was about two years ago.  I have always thought that they are glorious creatures, and I feel truly blessed that this has happened to me.  I do backpack solo and try to be prepared for whatever Algonquin throws at me: wildlife, weather etc.  I did share this information with the Park staff when I completed my trip, and now with you.

Trip Reports » Another trek on the Highland » 9/07/2019 5:51 pm

solosal
Replies: 2

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no, no the tent was not set up.  it was stashed in the undergrowth near the lake's edge.  had a tent been set up I never would have ventured in.  I do enjoy your story of almost leaving your own tent behind!  yes, it was disappointing to see as it looked like it was in okay condition....I could have put it to good use in the future had I not been solo backpacking and didn't want to lug it out.  park staff were notified when I left.

Trip Reports » Another trek on the Highland » 9/02/2019 4:08 pm

solosal
Replies: 2

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Trip number three completed on the Highlands in August.  Nothing to notable to report except for campers garbage on East Provoking.  A complete 6 person tent.  Sorry, couldn't lug that out on my own. Interesting twist going in from the Airfield.  Nice to shake things up a bit.  I did see a Pine Martin on this trail again, and that was delightful.

Trip Reports » Northern Scavenger Meanest Link 2018 » 11/24/2018 3:09 pm

solosal
Replies: 6

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Great recount of the trip.  haven't been in a canoe for awhile so I loved hearing and seeing the experience! 

Wildlife » Bear Encounters? » 8/27/2018 7:56 pm

solosal
Replies: 19

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I had my first bear encounter/experience earlier this month after spending a number of years in the backcountry and never actually seeing one.  I was backpacking from Rain Lake Access Pt and was at my first site of the trip at Islet Lake.  I had set up my site including hanging my rope for the food bag later.  A bear came crashing through the bush onto the trail just ahead of my site.  I yelled at it, blew my whistle and it took off.  I felt a mixture of excitement that I saw my first bear, and some fear because I am a solo female hiker and that bear was a lot bigger than me.  Later in the trip I was coming up the embankment of Brown Creek to the trail and there were two wolves on the trail about 20 feet in front of me.  They saw me and took off up the trail.  I gave them a few minutes head start and began hiking again.  As I kept walking I could see the tail end of them.  I started singing songs and making noise so they knew I was still around.  When I arrived at the sites at Brown Lake I could hear the wolves howling in the bush.  I rarely see anything in the backcountry beside chipmunks, squirrels etc so this trip was extremely memorable for me.

Trip Reports » Maple Leaf Lake - August 28-30 » 9/20/2017 8:37 pm

solosal
Replies: 8

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in my few years backpacking along the Algonquin trails I have encountered a few that have said they would be going to a lake they have not reserved.  they explained that they wanted to travel further than what they accounted for or they weren't happy with what was left at their destination  or they couldn't travel any further. I don't think that they really get the impact they are having on other folks who have walked the trail that day to a destination.  know your limits and stay within it...especially for those of us who have booked a site.

Catch-all Discussions » Backcountry Pet Peeves » 9/20/2017 8:23 pm

solosal
Replies: 31

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A couple of things are my back country pet peeves:  people not wearing their life jackets is one.  when I went life jacketing shopping with a family member he seriously considered the worth of his life verses the cost of the life jacket and hence the life jacket won and he wears it religiously (and I'd kick his a** if he didn't).  second is garbage - seriously folks read and re-read the backcountry rules when you venture in and follow them.  I am not interested in fending off wildlife because of your negligence. 

Trip Planning » Post-Trip Effect » 9/20/2017 8:11 pm

solosal
Replies: 3

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my post trip effect is going into a bathroom and shutting a door.  beyond that just simply being confined by 4 walls.  oh what the wilderness has to offer....

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