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Trip Planning » Camps hoarding prime campsites on popular lakes all summer » 8/12/2023 2:28 pm

I am pretty sure this isn’t legal, even with a permit. I have always had good experiences with the camps. You might try calling the camp to ask for clarification of if this is an official policy or if some counsellor a have gone rogue on this. I wouldn’t be surprised if the camps are pushing for reservation by site as they could reserve the full summer on all the sites they want and never have to share again 🤷🏻‍♀️

Trip Planning » Lake Opeongo - solo? » 7/31/2023 9:42 am

This has been an interesting read. I never give people advice on which side if a lake to paddle on because skill level is such a big factor. On one side conditions are typically better but consequences if you end up in the water are high. On the other it’s the reverse. That risk analysis is a really personal decision.

As for the question of risk on Opeongo. It’s true shoulder seasons are the most concerning. It has had a number of deaths. I was leaving the park as the dive team came in for one of the incidents a decade or so ago and I read Krista’s husband’s account of supporting the rescue in another. So I think it’s a lake with enough risk to take it seriously 🤷🏻‍♀️

Equipment » Storage Rules » 7/31/2023 8:48 am

Hi Barry,

Thanks for the information. In the past I’ve put the ursack in a dry bag and hung it. I’ll probably just do that for this trip and contact the park.

Based on the regulations I would say a ursack stored according to manufacturers guidelines would meet the Park’s regulation but the fine based on food not being hung has me concerned that wardens may not see it that way.

For the record, if the park wanted to say that the only acceptable device is a bear vault I would be okay with that too. The reason I went with a ursack is it isn’t as cumbersome as a bear vault. I bought two 30 L bags. So I’m hoping Algonquin will provide an answer approving Ursacks tied to a tree.

As for the question of why the fine. My understanding is that it was on Opeongo. Opeongo has been having bear issues. The warden said they food wasn’t hung and they were off their site. So I think it may be as simple as the warden went onto an unoccupied site and saw food wasn’t hung. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I am a ruler follower. Even when rules don’t make sense to me I will follow them. I went to a ursack because I watched a video by an experienced Algonquin camper who had a perfect hang between 2 trees. The bear climbed onto the blue barrel. Got it out of the air. Tore the barrel apart and ate everything. From what I see once a bear associates blue barrels with food they can get to it if they want it in most cases so my hope is I use systems good enough to not attract a bear as I don’t want to be responsible for habituating an animal. No system is perfect but for me that was the tipping point in deciding that a ursack was a better option for me.

For now I’ll just double up by putting the ursack in a dry bag and hanging it.

Thanks for the info everyone

Equipment » Storage Rules » 7/30/2023 1:50 pm

Hi Everyone

Quick question - someone posted on another group I belong to that they were fined by a warden in AP because they were off their site orienting themselves for about 15 minutes and had left their food unhung.

My question is specifically about the regs and hanging food. We used to use a blue barrel that we hung. After seeing several videos including one in AP where a bear easily climbed up onto a textbook hung blue barrel and destroyed the barrel getting all the food I decided to look at other options.

I settled on a ursack designed to both prevent bear and rodents. I’ve read several posts on here and realize that people have different opinions about ursacks. I’m good with our decision to go to ursacks.

Here is the thing. Ursacks are designed not to be hung.

So my question is: Does AP actually require a hang (contrary to manufacturers guidelines)? Or it is just that food has to be stored properly?

I’m doing a few days this week in AP and wanted to check if anyone actually knows what the rule says?

Trip Planning » Fees » 5/13/2023 3:50 pm

I do think it is breaking the rules to book this way. While the chances of a warden actually arriving on your site having 2 bookings in one canoe I do think means you are off your permit 🤷🏻‍♀️. While the rules don’t explicitly state this I would say that you can’t properly fill out a permit for a tandem boat as 2 permits without being somewhere between evasive and dishonest 🤷🏻‍♀️. I’ve been tempted to ask the Park as I am curious if booking 2 permits would be considered in contravention of the rules but I haven’t as I have pretty much decided I just won’t do it anyway.

Trip Planning » extra charge for interior camping » 5/13/2023 3:43 pm

This isn’t an Ontario Parks thing. It’s a highway 60 thing. Most of AP outside of Hwy 60 and every park I’ve visited in Northern Ontario does not charge this booking fee. If I remember correctly from the last thread someone asked an OP employee and they said that OP left the decision up to each park or access point? I imagine eventually it will get charged everywhere as they ‘streamline/ standardize l’ things.

Catch-all Discussions » AO taking over the P-Store contract » 4/22/2023 3:51 pm

Portage store is re-opening outside the park.

Catch-all Discussions » AO taking over the P-Store contract » 2/08/2023 7:42 pm

Prior owners have said to media that they put in a bid, don’t know why they lost and object to AO having a monopoly.

Trip Planning » did ya get the m.n.r. e-mail yet?? » 10/31/2022 6:43 am

I think highway 60 is always a sign of what is to come. If they have started charging the reservation fee I imagine it will end up everywhere eventually. I’ll continue to book in person as often as possible. I pretty much stay away from the Hwy 60 corridor.

I think in this case asking questions will just lead to them charging the fee everywhere rather than nowhere so I really hope people don’t contact the park about this. If we can’t keep the park from charging 40$ for a backcountry site - which seems to be coming- we can at least hopefully avoid paying reservation fees by not drawing attention to this.

Skills » Bear bag » 10/31/2022 6:39 am

keg wrote:

Shayne74 wrote:

Did some research on the ursack now. I still see people hanging them as they are NOT scent proof so this may not fully remedy your problem. There's is an alternative called Opsack? ? , that advertises scent proof also. The last thing I would want is a hungry bear , now a pissed bear batting an Ursack around my campsite frustrated he can't get in to it Lol! I've never had an issue with a campsite bear, yet, so I'll continue as we have for now. Bear vault may be best option IMO.

I've used the OPSak for years.  IIRC, the Ursack used to include one, their product for claws, the OPSak to hopefully not need protection from claws.

I haven't done scientific testing but have left the OPSak on the ground in squirrel/racoon areas where there were no good trees without issue.

Of course user error can make them useless, for example sealing the bag with fish on your hands.

p.s.  I  recall there are different designes of Ursacks, one for critters and one for bears.

So for people unfamiliar, the Opsak is designed to go inside something else (like a ursack). No, a ursack isn’t scent proof. Neither is a blue barrel.

And ursack now has a version that is good for both critters and bears.


Skills » Bear bag » 10/19/2022 12:27 pm

Just an update for anyone considering a ursack. REI has the 30 L Allmighty 40 percent off right now. I emailed REI and asked them to ship via USPS and it just cleared customs. Duty and tax was 35$ so even with the exchange rate it was way cheaper than anywhere else right now.

Trip Planning » Max 7 night stay in Algonquin front country » 10/19/2022 11:12 am

There is already a thread started on this. And I disagree that this will solve the problem. There was a way to fix this problem. This wasn’t it. The problem isn’t seniors who book in for 3 weeks using their full reservation. It’s the online booking system which results in bookings going unusued. All this does is prevent seniors from booking in for 3 weeks. I provided a more complete answer in the other thread. Hopefully Barry can merge them.

I also disagree that we need this on Hwy 60 in the backcountry. But you may have an easier time booking this summer. It sounds like the backcountry email will come early December and after if the predictions are true and they increase fees to 45$ a night there may be less bookings for the spring.

Trip Planning » did ya get the m.n.r. e-mail yet?? » 10/18/2022 10:06 am

Peek wrote:

ChristineCanoes wrote:

And I don’t pre book to avoid those 11-13$ fees but OP has people convinced they have to pay them. We had a thread the other day where people insisted the fee applied if you booked onsite. But it doesn’t. I’ve booked at multiple different parks this year without paying it.

I'll pre-book when necessary, but I also kept hearing about the reservation fee applying even for an on-site check in.. which, if true, would be wack. But I tested that theory last weekend and it's not true. I walked in to the Kearney permit office without a reservation, obtained a permit for two nights and that was that. No reservation fee, nothing else. Just $24.86 for the two nights. As it should be.

But again, A LOT of people out there are under a different impression.

No one should ever have to pay that fee. But by creating this fear that you won’t be able to get a site people pre book. Which I totally get but I swear this is part of the design. Create the sense of scarcity. If everyone who wanted to camp just showed up there are actually enough sites in all but a few exceptions (long weekend in summer for example). The reservation system is literally causing the scarcity problem and allowing people who break the rules to make money off OP at the expense of regular users. It’s so frustrating.

Trip Planning » did ya get the m.n.r. e-mail yet?? » 10/18/2022 9:50 am

Peek wrote:

ChristineCanoes wrote:

Instead the main question seems to be how do we make the most money.

I think this is the fundamental issue here. As if a 100% increase in revenue over the last 10 years wasn't enough (and most of that within the last couple years) they still want more. Throwing around ideas like $43.50/night for a backcountry site. Or forcing pre-booking reservations to nab an extra $11 to $13 per permit holder.

It's almost as if the powers that be are doing everything possible to make the outdoors unaffordable. Could you imagine a world where... it's too expensive to... sleep in the woods? like w.t.f?

We're headed that way.

Honestly I think we are already there in some ways but yes I think those 40+$ nights are coming unfortunately. And I don’t pre book to avoid those 11-13$ fees but OP has people convinced they have to pay them. We had a thread the other day where people insisted the fee applied if you booked onsite. But it doesn’t. I’ve booked at multiple different parks this year without paying it.

And it’s a terrible cycle. Get people so concerned that they won’t get a site that they stay up to midnight to book 5 months in advance. Make money off every booking and cancellation. I know people who have paid more than 100$ in reservation fees on a 7 day trip because in Killarney the only way to piece together a route is to keep changing your reservation as things become available and they charge you every time you make a change. It’s deplorable.

Trip Planning » did ya get the m.n.r. e-mail yet?? » 10/18/2022 9:24 am

I think the backcountry updates are coming. December is my prediction and I’m honestly terrified about what they are going to do to backcountry.

There is a super simple solution to all of this:

Get rid of the contracts and require people to go to a park office to book reservations. Require people to check in when they arrive at campsites with ID. Don’t allow transfers. If people don’t show, release the sites.

Many, many long time campers have pointed out that front country sites show as fully booked but are 1/2 empty.

The main question should be how do we make the parks accessible to the people of Ontario. Instead the main question seems to be how do we make the most money.

Ethics » Disposable Items » 10/18/2022 9:21 am

tentsterforever wrote:

As to the products you mention Christine, why not pack the wrappers /bags/bottles of any of them out if you’re not sure?  It’s easy enough to use a ziplock for those items packed in plastics you’re not sure you can burn. That way you won’t have to worry about the regs.

Of course I will always pack out anything I take in. This was more a question about how others actually read the rules.

Honestly given the issues in the parks I think this is pretty small fish for Wardens. I’m really just interested in understanding what the regs actually say. You would think they would be clear but at this point I’m not clear on what is/ isn’t actually allowed 🤷🏻‍♀️

Equipment » What do you do with YOUR pockets? » 10/16/2022 10:45 am

I keep things I need to be able to find in the middle of the night (like headlamp) and make sure not to overfill them

Board footera

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