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December 2019
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Family Canoe Camping

IMG_0291After a bit of persuading, I managed to talk Jo and the girls into a canoe trip back in May. Four days paddling in Algonquin park, the plan was to drive to Rock Lake, portage into Penn Lake, find a campsite for three nights before returning back the same way – it was a simple introduction for the family and our friends Craig, Christine and Pippa.

Algonquin is an awesome place to paddle, with so many lakes linked together by short paths (often created many years ago by moose and other animals walking between the hundreds of lakes). It is so large it is possible to quickly get away from the hustle of everyday life , and with just a loaded canoe, there’s not much that can beat it.


IMG_0151The paddle in was good once we had split Millie and Sophie up. A quick portage and then time to find a campsite. At this point the heavens opened just to coincide with setting up camp. Luckily it did not last and then we had the excitement of seeing a mother moose and baby no more than 100m from our camp site.

The portage takes a bit of planning, get everything unloaded and piled together. Then pick up what you can, and carry it to the next lake. In our case, we made two trips, so we came back and collected the canoes and the last few things. Once you are used to it the easiest way to carry a canoe is for one person to lift it up, upside down and carry it resting on your shoulders.


IMG_0122We ate well, with fresh brownies for breakfast, thanks to the camp oven.  I will say though that Jo and the girls refused to rely on catching our own supper, so it meant packing in all of our food and packing out all of the trash.

The weekend also introduced Jo and Sophie to backcountry toilets – the Thunderbox! A wooden box on top of a hole in the ground. The openness makes it an experience everyone should enjoy at least once, there’s something very calming about sitting out in the middle of the woods.


IMG_0275Saturday and Sunday were spent paddling, collecting wood, and a bit of fishing/ moose watching (the mother moose did not move from her spot on the lake whilst we were there.

Then Monday was time to break camp, and head back. Once again, just as we were packing up the heavens opened so we packed hurriedly before paddling back to civilization.



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