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Trip Planning » new reservation system » 2/20/2020 9:28 am

ShawnD
Replies: 21

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IanTendy wrote:

I just wanted to be able to print out my permits at home...

A much more succinct version of what I was trying to say....lol.. When large sums of OUR money are spent on improvement programs, the goal should be for something to actually be improved.

Lofty goals we should be setting for ourselves..

Trip Planning » new reservation system » 2/20/2020 7:58 am

ShawnD
Replies: 21

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Ok I’ll bite. My thoughts..
 
Are there much bigger problems going on in the world than this new reservation system.. yes.  Can everyone still just show up at an access point book old school. getting what you get and not getting upset.. yes. I would agree that was most assuredly a better time. 

But let’s take a tour of the facts of what has transpired here because its the mismanagement happening here that quite frankly upsets me and the negative impacts that aren't easy to see if you don't scratch the surface.

I would assume this new reservation system project was approved to move forward under the following mandate. Almost all of which I would suggest is centered around increasing revenue and reducing costs.

- Make the Ontario Parks customer’s experience better. Making them more likely to use its services in the future and on a more frequent basis. Increasing revenue.

- Shorten the time people take checking in once they arrive at the Park . Again, improving their experience and reducing Park costs.

- Improve the online reservation system so less people call to make reservations. Again, significantly reducing costs. See a trend here?

- Make the reservation process seamless so that first time users and users from out of country (Many of which will be spending significant vacation dollars inside our country and not someone else’s.) have a pleasant experience that they rave to their friends about. Again raising revenue…

I would further suggest that the likely millions of dollars in IT costs were signed off on based on the positive business case created from these assumptions. Tax dollars from hard working Ontarians.
 
Instead what has in fact occurred.

- Based on the overwhelming negative response the Park now has to find more IT dollars to fix the system. Dollars that were likely ear marked for other places in the Park. Paying salaries, Maintenance and improvements Etc..

- More people not less are calling in their reservations. Increasing Park c

Trip Planning » Best Five Day Route » 2/19/2020 2:50 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 14

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AlgonquinLakes wrote:

Thanks for the ideas everyone. I'd been focusing in on the northwest corner as well, so I'm glad to see so many people have good loops up there. In fact the route I've been thinking about the most is the exact one Uppa suggests, only I was looking at it in reverse (mostly because I didn't want to start the trip with six portages).

Thanks again, and if there are any other memorable five or six day trips out there that you've done let me know!

  

I'll be in the Manitou/Fassett area mid July Drew. If that lines up with your dates and you see 3 guys ( 2 in a canoe and 1 in kayak) come on over and say hi..   
 

Catch-all Discussions » Flat rate per site coming soon? » 2/19/2020 1:31 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 34

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Peek wrote:

Ah yes - punishing the soloist/tandem group to streamline the process.

Think about it logically - at $43/night (for example) versus the $125 Illegally occupy campsite fine.. guess which route a lot of soloists/tandems might end up taking. This will decrease revenues instead of increase, given that you can't catch and fine everyone. It would be wise for them to just keep collecting $12.43 per person per night, or simply $12.43 per campsite per night.  I suppose it all depends on what the set amount per campsite per night is. lol could you imagine paying $43/night for a backcountry site? Even with the current per person per night fee structure, the value doesn't begin until 4 or more people are in your group.

It would become a nightmare. Off permit people everywhere. Check the reservation system thinking there's no one else booked on given lakes only to show up and see several others there. Low number of campsite lakes fully occupied so no where to camp...
More conflicts and arguments over occupancy. Exactly the kind of experience I'm looking for when I head into the backcountry.  All for the low low price of 3- 4 times what a soloist pays right now. 

Sheer Genius !
 

Trip Planning » new reservation system » 2/19/2020 12:04 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 21

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I think the new mission statement tag line they're shooting for is :

Ontario Parks Reservations - More Painful Than A Portage

Ryan I have noticed that things will get stuck in your Cart. Give it a few hours to clear and then try to make the second booking  with the other 3 people under a different account. or just call them and set up that extra booking.. that would be the least stressful at this point I think .. good luck and I apologize on behalf of the entire country ;-) shouldn't  be this hard for you to come North and spend your vacation dollars..

Catch-all Discussions » Flat rate per site coming soon? » 2/19/2020 10:12 am

ShawnD
Replies: 34

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This topic is up over at myccr.com as well and one of the responses from Ontario Parks posted there has the below line. Tells me its only a matter of time till AP adopts it. 

"Ontario Parks is moving from the current per-person-per-night fee to a flat-per-campsite fee model for backcountry camping. By doing so we are streamlining the backcountry fee structure across the province and making it consistent with our car camping fee model."

Trip Planning » new reservation system » 2/19/2020 7:34 am

ShawnD
Replies: 21

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The Online Reservation System Support Group meets every Tues. We will set out an extra chair.

I hesitate to use the words gross incompetence but people would get fired at my company for launching something this ill thought out.

Confident they are working to correct but they have known about the issues for months now and I don’t really see any progress.

I have 2 reservations for this year so far. I just called them both in. Will continue to call until they improve the new and improved system.

Trip Planning » Best Five Day Route » 2/18/2020 4:44 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 14

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Well I have a 4 night 5 day solo set for the summer Drew.

I landed on.

Out of Brent.

Night 1 - Calumet
Night 2 - Burntroot
Night 3 - Philip
Night 4 - Big George

Haven’t paddled 3 of those 4 lakes so that was one of the reasons I went with that route.

Equipment » No More MEC Tarps? » 2/18/2020 2:37 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 4

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I re- tooled my tarps over the winter and sold all my current tarps, one of which was a MEC Guide tarp. Noticed then (maybe 3 months ago) that is was discontinued. Seemed odd to me too. Solid tarp, well built not too heavy..good price point and a popular seller. Maybe they're waiting till spring to launch new tarps but it's been a while now since they've offered their own brand.

Catch-all Discussions » Forum format on mobile devices? » 2/13/2020 10:12 am

ShawnD
Replies: 13

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Me too however I had to delete my old bookmark and reset it first. No idea why but goes straight to desktop now. Thx Barry !

Catch-all Discussions » Forum format on mobile devices? » 2/12/2020 9:16 am

ShawnD
Replies: 13

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1 vote for turning off the non graphic format Barry. THX

Trip Planning » newbie questions » 2/11/2020 1:15 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 30

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Ryan from Whiskey Jack you could branch off and head up to Nadine (you have extra time with the 8 nights)  

Long Marsh could fit you guys on the Nip too. Nice site.

Equipment » Rubber Boots for tripping - any recommendations? » 2/11/2020 10:41 am

ShawnD
Replies: 26

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The topic of spring footwear comes up every year about this time as people begin to plan their trips.

I have been using and have recommended the NRS Boundary boot which has worked well for me. My only issue with it was I felt the sole and support could be better for portaging. I have never had an issue with a twisted ankle to date though.

I noticed NRS has updated the boot and discontinued the previous version. They have added a gripper sole and a quick lacing system. Seems to offer better support. Will arrive at Canadian dealers next week.

Old Design

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSl9y-pPk9-n_RLscpLPp2dK4eF6MvbuOE7XQlOe0C5p88ZyPKHQMBe5WDOU6nG8rxsvzJ0c3w&usqp=CAc


New Design

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRgzZ_7Ex69IjmNyYDCq7hZf-jdghooc1hogpS2J3Jyc41qbUUtxAIBzTXpNT9haHdrVB81S9k&usqp=CAc


Boot Description

Purpose-built for mucky put-ins and soggy portages, the NRS Boundary Neoprene Water Boots deliver knee-high waterproofness with a super grippy, rugged sole to handle the harsh terrain favored by adventure canoeists.
 

Trip Planning » newbie questions » 2/04/2020 10:50 am

ShawnD
Replies: 30

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I would say it is difficult to suggest a route based on a quick description of another group you have never met. I hesitate to make suggestions sometimes...so many variables and you don't want anyone to get into trouble and that's why I went back and mentioned potential wind and wave issues on Cedar.  Issues I have never had myself but I have heard enough about them. I've actually had 2 of my worst paddling issues in AP on Kiosk but that is just the luck of the draw. All things being equal I understand Cedar can be far more dangerous.

For context Ryan the last time I paddle out of Cedar I first drove 5 hours to get there. had an issue that delayed me an additional 45 mins. then paddled from Cedar to Lynx lake which is about an 1 hour further than some good  sites on Catfish. I arrived before 6 pm. That said I have portaged a canoe more than a few times, i was solo and my complete set up was pretty light. I single carried all but a small part of Unicorn Hill.

You will be slower yes but if you are already on Cedar avoiding a long morning drive and travelling a little less distance you should be more than fine..

If you are looking at big waves though at any part of the trip not just if you go out of Cedar.. "when in doubt, don't do it"  is always a good motto..

Trip Planning » newbie questions » 2/03/2020 7:28 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 30

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Maybe my perception is way off but I don’t think if they start from Cedar camping there the first night, a days travel to Catfish is that bad.

The OPs group has experience travelling in the backcountry.

Get up early on Cedar and take your time.  If everyone is in good shape it isn’t a days travel that should be a huge problem.

Ryan I would recommend if you camp on Cedar night one and the lake is calm when you start out camp on the south shore. If not camp on the north shore and cross early in the morning.  Cedar can be a problem sometimes with waves.

Kiosk to Mouse and around out through Manitou is a great route too though.

Catch-all Discussions » Flat rate per site coming soon? » 2/03/2020 3:12 pm

ShawnD
Replies: 34

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solos wrote:

Makes you wonder if they are trying to somehow crack down on a single group of traveling companions obtaining multiple permits specifically to exclude other groups from a lake. I don't know if that is a problem but it certainly has the potential to be one.

Again a minimum site fee fixes that problem too.. I often solo and while no one will ever be crazy about paying more I like to think I'm a reasonable fellow. I understand that $11 a night plus tax  for use of an entire campsite likely isn't a spectacular business case for the Park. 

If the Ministry ever feels its necessary to change the fee structure for AP a little common sense and innovative thinking could keep things fair while balancing  business needs.
 

Board footera

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