Back-country Camping in Northwestern Ontario


Sunset far away from anywhere.

Well the first proper camping trip of the season is in the books, saying that it doesn’t really feel like. I guess since I pretty much live in the wilderness right now, doing a 12k canoe paddle and camp from your house doesn’t seem all the impressive. But once you’re out there, that 12k seems like a million miles from home and a lifetime away from comfort. Also paddling large 18-19 footer plastic tubs loaded with gear isn’t the most fun, the two hour plus paddle across open water and between islands wasn’t the most fun, but once we got to where we’re going things got better. We got treated to some amazing views and delicious meals at the end of the day. Each evening concluded with with a steak on the open fire or a fish fry. Life can be really good in the wilderness, you just have to make a hardy meal and reflect on it from time to time.

We camped on a open point near a pair of swift moving rapids, where a good breeze kept most of the black flies at bay, but every time the wind died down they came in with a vengeance. Merciless and soulless are the the black flies, feasting on human flesh and misery, but mostly misery. Since it’s been so cold up here til recently, the flies has been pretty much as bay and even during our time camping they were minimal. But let me tell you even a few black flies can make life very uncomfortable. Regardless of the flies, the location was a good one, in a sheltered bay with fresh running water and plenty of Jack Fish to catch. Living in a remote community can have it’s advantages, for us it was the fact that Victoria Day weekend was also coupled with the local hunting week. So the school was closed and we had plenty of time to choose the best days to head out and camp. To that effect we lucked out, no rain and the warmest days we’ve had so far this year. The sun was great, the views spectacular, the fishing plentiful and the food delicious.

For the most part the trip was a lazy foray into the local wilderness, we stayed close to our site and did not even attempt to tent elsewhere. The sun set’s late up here at this time of the year and the twilight did not ease until well after midnight. In spite of such a late schedule we were treated to a wonderful display of northern light each evening. Abet not a vivid as the winter sky, the hues of greens, pinks and oranges slowly crept and pranced across the northern sky. The loons and wolves filled the nights air with a cacophony of sounds, and the bushes rustled ever so often to incite panic in the tents. Luckily for us we had a dog with it, he’d gnarl and bark something furious at the slightest movement in the distance, while he kept us up at time he also kept us safe. At the end of each night, the poor fella was pooched from all his hard work and would just spend his day sleeping in the shade. His efforts to keep the bears ( or possibly a couple of raunchy squirrels) at a distance did not go unrewarded, he got himself a nice chunk of steak. More photos on my flickr.


2 thoughts on “Back-country Camping in Northwestern Ontario

  1. Simply beautiful – and the fact that I can enjoy this view without a single bug bite is a bonus 🙂

    I know and appreciate that bugs play a critical role in the ecological infrastructure, but you have to admit that the black fly seems more like a practical joke on the part of Mother Nature 😉


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