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Canadian Canoe Routes

Is Winter Better Than Summer?
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Author:  HOOP_ [ February 8th, 2003, 12:54 am ]
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The winter is so good here in northwestern Ontario this winter, that I don’t want it to end. I find myself thinking that I could give up paddling and be happy in an ice age. We have had bloody cold temperatures for several weeks now, which has made excellent ice. We have had below average snow depth west of lake Nipigon, which makes bush traveling no problem on wide backcountry skis or snowshoes. There are no lake slush problems that I have encountered, or heard about, since the snow is low depth, and has been windblown and packed.

Super conditions. I could live with perpetual winter, (if I could afford to heat my home!). No bugs. Few tourists. Lots of quiet wilderness. Just walk out on a lake, drill a hole, drop a line and catch a fish. Pick a campsite anywhere in the bush, and pack down a flat sleeping area, rig a tarp, and snuggle into ones -40 goose down sleeping bag inside a bivy bag, and you are in heaven (pity to those who go cheap on sleeping bags - see my previous posts on the secret to sleeping warm). The art of fire making rises to new heights.

Man do I feel sorry for people living in topical climes where they don’t get snow and ice for months on end. I actually want it to get colder. I do however get evil looks from people when I say these things. Too bad for them. I suppose they think I am insane or something.

Maybe I will want to paddle again when the days get longer. I suppose when it starts raining in the spring, the paddling urge will kick in, since winter is over when it starts raining. But for now, I want winter to last forever.

Author:  Brian Gill [ February 8th, 2003, 6:42 am ]
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HOOP -- This sounds too good to be true. Maybe I'll round up Georgi and we'll come up for a visit.

Author:  frozentripper [ February 8th, 2003, 10:15 am ]
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Well, Hoop, it's better than the height of black fly season... :roll:

We here in central Ont escaped most of the freezing rain this year, unlike less fortunate folks in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick - but I'd rather have seasons as well - the lack of light & short days in midwinter is probably best when it's over. Late February and March with frozen lakes and sunlight relecting off the snow, suntan and relax in the bright light... no tourists and lots of energy in the lengthening days. Couldn't be better!


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: frozentripper on 2003-02-08 10:16 ]</font>

Author:  Forest [ February 8th, 2003, 4:26 pm ]
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I agree Hoop! I get sick of hearing people complain about 1/2 an inch of snow and -5 C temps. If more people actualy spent some time out during the winter they might actually learn to like it :smile:

Author:  Georgi [ February 8th, 2003, 5:20 pm ]
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Winter, yes winter is a time when you can really enjoy your surroundings.

I know I do, as well as my son.

It's a time when we turn off the TV and turn on our imaginations.

I get this all the time when I mention that the temperatures are looking to go lower and I'm a happy soul. People look twice, neighbours know me, I'm outside with son in tow. They gesture at the weather and I smile to no end. They understand I'd rather be somewhere other than working and enjoying in a slow pace of winter.

I recently went for a snowshoe, just locally at a nearby private golf course ( I asked and they indicated "enjoy, if that's what your into". I stirred up 6 deer and another as I plugged away, in my own little world, amazing! The unfortunate part was the temperature rise and the rain. ( not a good combo for a shoeing experience ) But hey, make the most of the time that is offered.

If life were to offer me a place where I could enjoy my surrounding, extend my winter pleasure, and offer some solitude; I could think of no other place to be.

Bim Frick No Where!

This snowshoe adventure we're about to partake on ( last week of Feb!) is like an adventure I would have only dreamed of!

Every time I explain what it is we're going to do, it is amazing the amount of questions that they ask to try to understand...I think they still look and listen in disbelief.

I can't wait to go !


Alas, the question of Winter over other seasons....I enjoy equally three out of the 4 seasons, summer just get's in the way.


I have done Spring paddling, Summer paddling and yes up to late Fall paddling, but I have yet to Winter paddle! ( But I sure am hoping to!)

....but that 's another adventure.....


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Georgi on 2003-02-08 17:23 ]</font>

Author:  Guest [ February 8th, 2003, 8:25 pm ]
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Author:  Tripper [ February 9th, 2003, 10:41 am ]
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For me, winter is a time to enjoy the outdoors in a different way. It's the only season that allows me to walk on water and visit an island.

Winter is probably the best time to try animal tracking, including the kids.

Once, while walking the creek near my house, I saw a small set of prints left by a running vole. As I followed them they suddenly ended in a patch of snow that looked like a small explosion.

I was amazed to see the imprints left by the feathers of two large wings on either side of the patch, as if the bird had just touched down, grabbed the unfortunate prey and quickly left. Before me was the last remaining record of the life of that vole.

All seasons are good for outdoor adventuring if you learn how to enjoy them.


Author:  RHaslam [ February 9th, 2003, 5:38 pm ]
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Hey Hoop!

My negative attitude toward non-canoeing time has changed slightly, even though Geraldton has been in the deep freeze since October...Our school club has a winter base camp, so yesterday I strapped on the snow shoes and hiked back to's been out of use for a couple of years, but i have to admit, I've been bitten, probably start runnning some orienteering excercises early in March with the kids...broke trail today for ten K....I've always been a cross country skier, put in the miles then go home and have a shower, have to admit that the snowshoeing thing has really got a hold of me now, guess it's the freedom to go anywhere...already planning to get out every day after work this week......don't know if i've finally gone bonkers, but -30 doesn't bother me so much anymore.....gotta get a social life i think.......


Author:  Alan Greve [ February 9th, 2003, 6:55 pm ]
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HOOP, I`m one of those who will embrace winter while its here. Just got in the door from a weekend of winter camping with Liz our girls (6 & 8 ) and Doug Ashton from the WCA and his family. The girls had a great time, and I feel more should get their children out for a weekend winter outting.

But that said, the sooner the rivers open the better !!! Paddle, Paddle, Paddle !!!!



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rapid on 2003-02-09 18:56 ]</font>

Author:  madkanuist [ February 9th, 2003, 7:47 pm ]
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I just got back from winter camping near Gibson Lake, south of Parry Sound Ontario. It was beautiful. The temperature was a bit of a disappointment though. It only dropped to -9C, so I won't get a proper test of my current sleepingbag setup until the winter gathering.

Author:  mrcanoe [ February 9th, 2003, 8:44 pm ]
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IMHO, to hell with winter. I don't mind a nice sunny early March outing in the sugar bush, but I don't need any of this ultra cold stuff. I live for spring, SUMMER and fall.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: mrcanoe on 2003-02-09 20:45 ]</font>

Author:  dthomsen [ February 9th, 2003, 9:21 pm ]
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Early May through Late October. That's about it for me. I've never considered winter camping other than in the southern USA (somewhere reasonably warm).


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: dthomsen on 2003-02-09 21:21 ]</font>

Author:  smokey [ February 9th, 2003, 9:56 pm ]
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Better? nope, just different and another season to do the same things as the other seasons but differently! Get outside, camp, fish, ski, snowshow, whatever. Like the rest of the season's you use the appropriate gear for the conditions and the activity. Carpe diem and the adventure(s)!

Author:  SGrant [ February 10th, 2003, 1:16 am ]
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How I would love to again live in a place with real white snow winters, like the sparking cold ones outside Ottawa where I lived as a child, or near Clinton, as an adolescent. Here in Vancouver, we have hoplessly dreary wet winters, with green and black slime growing on everything that's not moving fast enough.

The local mountains have only inches of snow on them this year, less than I've ever seen, and quite a contrast to the 30' deep snow we had in the same places three years ago.

The lilys are up and some things are blossoming already here this year.

Today we escaped a gloomy, dark, drizzly overcast day by 4x4'ing up some logging roads, hiking to the snowline, and skiing up a mountain to emerge into brilliant, warm sun above the clouds, with only snowy mountaintops poking through and the pure blue sky above. It was like being on another planet, We watched planes appearing up out of the clouds from the Vancouver airport. Then back down into the murk again.

Author:  ghommes [ February 10th, 2003, 10:20 am ]
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I'm with Hoop on this one. It's hard to beat the opportunities provided by a real winter, for those of us who like to camp, ice-fish, ski, and snowshoe. The last few winters have been unusually warm, and a return to normal winter weather is well received. No slush on the lakes this winter due to persistent cold and lack of deep snow cover. It has been a dry winter, though. The scant 20 cm of snow lying on the ground around here has pretty much remained the same since mid-November. Decent skiing on the lakes, but pretty brushy/rocky in the woods...

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