Did you really go paddling an inflatable party island in Algonquin Park? I get asked about this a lot lately. The answer is – You bet your ass we did. We are just getting the story to you now…
This past summer turned out to be a tough year for the ManCamping canoe. It suffered a catastrophic blow when a friend fell on it after a few drinks by the bonfire at the ManCamping compound. We weren’t even camping when it happened! It was pretty funny to see him go ass over tea kettle doing it, but the canoe suffered the consequences. To make a long story short, it was in for repair for two and a half months!!
Backcountry Camping: You Always Remember Your First Time
By Tierney Angus – “Man Camping. It’s not a gender thing, it’s a state of mind and lack of planning thing.” I think it also requires a healthy consumption of malted barley beverages, a taste for everything bacon, and an ability to laugh and persevere, even when things go horribly wrong. One of my most prized possessions is my Canpanion: A cup holder that clips on the gunnel of my canoe and holds a tall-boy perfectly. That said, I’m also a Lady-Camper: I’m obsessive about crafting lists and my toiletry kit contains enough goodies to open a day spa.
This is the only surviving photo from our first backcountry camping trip. The next year, Andrew dropped his waterproofed iPhone out of the side of the canoe and it sunk to the bottom of the lake, and the fish happily racked up his data charges until the battery died.
My first backcountry experience was a memorable one, and for all the wrong reasons. No one would guess today from my carefully curated Instagram feed that I’m actually quite new to the canoeing and camping scene. I didn’t grow up camping. I didn’t even sleep in a tent until I was 24 years old, and only at the urging of my partner, Andrew. He grew up canoeing, kayaking, camping, and cottaging. I spent my summers performing musicals in a dark theatre with other poorly-adjusted nerds.
So I finally broke down and I am going to write the story of the ManCamping May 2-4 long weekend trip. As I tried to tell you before, SOMEONE was supposed to write it, but they didn’t and our manly stubbornness is getting in the way of your enjoyment. So here is a little lunch time short story for you about our trip to Cox Lake. Yup… you read that right. ManCamping went to Cox Lake.
The idea was to get away for the first long weekend of the summer and get paddling. Pretty simple right? Not so much for all of us. Johnny, actually had to send his wife off to Iceland for the weekend, AND THEN find someone to watch the non-campable dog before he was “allowed” to go. Sorry Johnny, it needed to be written. After completing this task, we still needed to get Brad out of work early on the Friday. This did not end so successfully. Johnny and I, took off mid-afternoon to make sure that we arrived in Peterborough before Wild Rock Outfitters closed. Yes the other two lads (Brad and Bender aka Caillou) that were with us, needed to rent a boat and weren’t going to make it on time.
Guess what Johnny and I did to kill three hours till they showed up? We went for a pint and some wings!
We don’t promote drinking and boating, Continue reading
Snowy Drinking – Because I’m not sure if this actually counts as winter camping.
We did camp out for a night, but it was more of a “We need to get out, blow off some steam and try this out” type of trip. My wife Meghan, our buddy Brad and I tagged along on our neighbor Johnny K’s yearly overnight trip to an undisclosed location. It’s undisclosed because I am pretty sure that we were in some grey-area land that is currently under dispute, or maybe we were just plain trespassing. If we were, I’ll call ‘squatter’s rights’ as Johnny K and his boys have been camping there for years. That’ll work right? Stories of locals passive-aggressively writing on car windows with lipstick to show their discontent were shared with me, but women have done much worse to my car than write on it, so I’ll risk it. This trip was a simple Saturday night in the bush for a bonfire, some drinks and a camp out. Continue reading