View topic - Trip Report: Winter Camping in the Kawarthas

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2011, 12:45 pm 
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I've just returned from a few excellent days spent winter camping in the Kawarthas.

Our destination this time was the Somerville Tract Forest, just outside of Norland, Ontario. The Somerville forest is a popular destination for XC skiing and snowshoeing, so we decided to make this our destination for our outing.

The participants on this particular expedition consisted of a group of students aged 16 to 18, along with a handful of intrepid teachers, willing to share their knowledge of winter camping, and pass on their passion for the outdoors.

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We spent a few days skiing, snowshoeing, exploring, and generally just enjoying the winter wilderness.
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We found an area to make camp, well off the XC ski trails, in a stand of mature Red Pine, right on the edge of a frozen beaver pond.
There were a variety of winter camping set-ups being used:

Cold Tenters:

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Tarp Campers:

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And of course, Outdoor Living in luxury in my hot tent:

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When winter camping with a large group, all of our cooking is done over an open fire: it provides an opportunity for warmth, and good conversation, and the fire is always the central gathering spot in camp.

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Grills and fire irons are generally unsuitable for winter camping locations, so I've always preferred to use a tripod set up. It makes melting snow, and cooking for a large group a breeze.

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Here's a close-up of the set up that I use:

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It really was an awesome trip and an awesome group of participants. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

At the end of a trip like this, when you have your students telling you that this was the best trip of their entire lives... it makes it all worthwhile.
I have another teacher friend who taught Outdoor Ed for many years. His description of what he was doing was "Passing on the Passion"
I hope I've passed on some of my passion for the outdoors to some of these folks. Sharing these opportunities with my students who would likely never experience these types of adventures otherwise, is what makes me love my job.

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PostPosted: February 6th, 2011, 6:12 pm 
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Joined: November 25th, 2006, 11:15 am
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Location: Grand Bend Ontario
Great trip report, looks like everyone had an awesome time. "Passing on the Passion", very nice, thats what many/most current and former Scout Leaders try/tried to do,

Thanks for posting,

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"we are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend." Robert Louis Stevenson


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2011, 4:15 pm 
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Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
Nice to see you getting the kids into the activity. You are a brave soul taking children on an event like this, but something that will likely stay with them for their lives. :thumbup: :clap:

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Advice is a form of nostalgia; dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal--wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it's worth.



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PostPosted: February 10th, 2011, 9:15 am 
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Red Lake Rob wrote:
Nice to see you getting the kids into the activity. You are a brave soul taking children on an event like this, but something that will likely stay with them for their lives. :thumbup: :clap:


That's why I do it, Rob.
Passing on the Passion for the outdoors.
The way I see it, for every student that I can get interested in Outdoor Activities, there's one more person who will appreciate the value of wild spaces.


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PostPosted: February 10th, 2011, 9:18 am 
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lookinnorth wrote:
Great trip report, looks like everyone had an awesome time. "Passing on the Passion", very nice, thats what many/most current and former Scout Leaders try/tried to do,

Thanks for posting,


Interestingly,
It was my involvement with Scouts when I was a kid, that got me started with my passion for the outdoors.

They're a great organization, and one which I support whole-heartedly. Every "Apple Day", I dig deep into my pockets and stuff a few 20s into their tins.


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