Week Of ManCamping Women: Lightning Storms, Blisters and Meeting ManCamping

Some of you may remember Nicole from last year’s Week of ManCamping Women (Getting Lost and Making Friends) and she’s back again with a story from the weekend we actually met in the backcountry of Killarney Provincial Park. [Since ManCamping is involved in this story we will be sidelining with some expert analysis and colour commentary lol]

Lightning Storms, Blisters and Meeting ManCamping – by: Nicole Hughes (Follow her on Instagram! )

So I thought it would be appropriate to tell a story of how I met the man camping crew. Which was of course was on a camping trip. 

Back when I was in high school, we had spring and fall camping trips. Which is where I came to be good friends with the camping crew of which I went to Killarney with a couple years back. They decided to get another trip going, so obviously I was in. Didn’t know what I was in for but I was in. 

Canoeing in Killarney Provincial Park
[ManCamping: Meet Kyle… This guy came down a long 800m portage with a pack on his back and one more on his front.. plus a boat on his head. Dropped it all and went jogging back up with portage with gust! He’s a machine and we have asked him to come on a ManCamping trip with the hopes he will barrel harness a keg of beer for us! lol]

The trip started out great, our destination was David lake, Killarney which had 2 portages. Somehow I made a newbie mistake and wore old shoes which gave me terrible blisters on my feet when crossing the portages. By the time we reached our campsite, my feet were raw meat… 

Wilderness First Aid

Next morning we all decided to climb silver peak, which is a 2000ft elevation.  The plan was to cook dinner at the top and camp out for the night. Well of course Mother Nature had other plans in store for us. 20 min into cooking dinner we see some storm clouds in the distance. 

Silver Peak Killarney
Silver Peak Killarney
Silver Peak Killarney
Silver peak Killarney

Now it wasn’t calling for any storms in the area so we didn’t think anything of it. Next thing you know it’s thundering and lightning like crazy so Caitlin and I decided to head back down and paddle back to our campsite…. in the dark which was mistake number 1. The trail isn’t very well marked and we didn’t have a map.  So that’s mistake number 2. 

We thought we could do it and so we headed down. Half way down the trail (which is rocky) it started to down pour to the point where the little trail was now flooded out completely. My blistered feet were now fully submerged in about 6” of water which wasn’t pleasant. It was pitch black out and the only way we could somewhat see where we were going was when the lightning flashed and lit the forest up. 

One wrong move could call for a broken ankle between the rocky landscape. 

We make it down just over half way and thought “ ok we made it, almost there” well would you know I lead us in the wrong direction .. which ended us on top of a rock ledge. Both Caitlin and I looked for a way down but it was way too dark and I was worried we would be struck by lightning on top of this rock ledge. Just then we hear a large crack from a tree falling and thought it was a bear or moose coming for us ! So we started making a bunch of noise to scare it away. 

We thought we would have to wait it out until sunrise to find our way down because we knew no one would hear us yelling for help. 

From it raining so hard, Caitlins phone and my camera had water damage and didn’t work. By some lucky chance my phone went off saying I had a bar of service, so I sent a text to the other guys saying to come find us ! About 30 min later we can hear them calling to us, WERE SAVED ! 

[ManCamping: We were camped out on Boundary Lake and fairly certain we heard the yelling! ]

A Kyle comes up the side of the cliff asking how on earth we got there?! He lead us back down to the proper trail we’re we meet up with the rest of the crew. Turned out we were about a 5 min walk from the canoes… By the time we paddled back to our campsite it was 1am.  

To top it all off, because it wasn’t calling for rain and it was so warm out, before we had left for this hike. Caitlin and I had taken our fly off the tent…. so our stuff was floating around inside. So here we are trying to dry out our sleeping bags over the fire. We ended up bunking down in Dales tent with everyone else. 

(Emptying the water out of our tent )

Next morning we get up and start packing up, as the trip had come to an end for another year. 

Canoeing in Killarney

We start our paddle down the lake to the first portage where we came across some other campers! I was bare foot due to my blisters being so bad I couldn’t even get my shoes on. As we unload the canoes we notice one of the other canoes had a sticker on the side saying man camping. As we reach the end of the portage we start talking to the other campers, sharing our story about silver peak the night before. A good end to another camping trip to go down in the books !

[ManCamping: Nicole was a badass little blistered blonde girl running the portage in barefeet lol. (Oh the alliteration!) Who needs shoes!?!? Shoes are for the weak! Blisters be damned! Oorah! Nicole got to the end of the portage and simply walked into the water to clean her feet with a smile on her face! We tip our hat to you! ]

Meeting the Boys from ManCamping along the portage!

On another note, to this day Caitlin still doesn’t trust me with directions😂

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