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12/03/2018 12:43 pm  #1

Fat bike camping?


Algonquin Outfitter's video looked like to much fun. I was thinking of hiking/snowshoeing the Highland trail in a week or two but the Old Railway Bike Trail looks like a contender too. Initial challenges I see are biking with a pack, even if I can slim it down to my 50L, and I'd have to camp off trail - no summer sites. So I'm either pushing the bike through the snow or locking it to a tree trail side...

My son snow boards and has this term "yard sale" - it is when you wipe out and scatter your stuff all over the slope. I sort of have that vision when thinking about biking with a pack. I see you have trailers but I am guessing they are summer.

Cant hurt to ask though!


Last edited by tenderfoot (12/03/2018 12:44 pm)


12/03/2018 12:57 pm  #2

Re: Fat bike camping?

Oops - just noticed that although the trail is 16km long it looks like the starting point at the trails centerpoint. So Mew to Rock Lake would be about 11km. Hmmm.

     Thread Starter

12/03/2018 2:22 pm  #3

Re: Fat bike camping?

Hi Tenderfoot: the trailers we rent are for summer use only. If you are thinking of renting a fatbike, you would either have to ride with a pack, which is awkward and uncomfortable, or rig up a system to tow a sled (works on a packed trail but not in fresh snow). If you have your own bike, there are many options for attaching gear to the frame, handlebars, carrier rack, seatpost, etc. Just do a search on "bikepacking equipment."


12/03/2018 6:03 pm  #4

Re: Fat bike camping?

They groom the trail out of Mew lake. Not sure how far. I wouldnt rule out towing a pulk if sticking to that trail. Ride out so far toward Rock Lake, set camp and daytrip from there by bike. Depending on conditions I would also pack snowshoes. You may need them for establishing campsite. Once the trail in to your site is packed in you'll likely be able to get your bike to campsite with little trouble. Sounds like a fun trip.

We biked the park on the road last May. We took the road as far as Mew lake then rode the trail from Mew to Pog. We spent that night camping at Kearney Lake. We day tripped from Kearney lake to whitney and back for lunch and a resupply at the lcbo.  I know how much gear we had for a trip in May. Seat pack, frame bags a bar bag and still a small pack. We travelled light with minmal food. We used the restaurants along the way for most of our main meals. I can't imagine packing for a winter trip in to the interior without the additional space of a pulk.This sounds like a trip I'd be in to. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

Last edited by Shayne74 (12/03/2018 8:20 pm)


12/06/2018 3:19 pm  #5

Re: Fat bike camping?


Probably will rework this. May try fat biking as a day trip. Logistics of transporting enough gear on a bike or trying to configure a rental bike with panniers or pulk are daunting. So may not happen. 

     Thread Starter

12/06/2018 4:01 pm  #6

Re: Fat bike camping?

Probabaly not a bad idea. Base camp from campground or book a yurt and trip from there . For what its worth my homemade pulk has a hip belt from a pack. I was thinking you might just be able to just use as is and ride. Might just have to lengthen the tow poles/ropes. Use first trip to sort some ideas out before commiting 100% . Some R&D is inevitable.

Last edited by Shayne74 (12/06/2018 4:58 pm)


12/08/2018 3:52 pm  #7

Re: Fat bike camping?

Here is a link to a trip report of a special fat bike trip in Algonquin Park in 2015, supported by AO. You'll see how the sleds were rigged. Please note that the guide had negotiated special permission from APP staff to ride a section of the Leaf Lake trail system and stay in Dee's Cabin as a pilot project. While the potential was tremendous, park managers decided not to go ahead with any further development of the project (citing liability, cost, yadda yadda). Please don't show up the gate asking for a permit to ride the David Thompson loop and stay in a cabin, 'cause it ain't gonna happen. Having said there, there is a lot more momentum these days, so maybe the idea could be resurrected...


12/08/2018 8:13 pm  #8

Re: Fat bike camping?

We did a fat bike trip this May just north of Mattawa - Algonquin ice-out had not happened, so canoeing was out. It's a good place to ride. Bike packing is the way to go with minimal snow cover, but I wouldn't wanna break trail with more than 6-8" of snow on the ground. 

Last edited by Marko_Mrko (12/08/2018 8:21 pm)


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