This week I fit in a short and relaxing mini backpacking adventure at Frontenac Provincial Park. I arrived at my campsite by noon one day and back at my car by noon the next. Not every trip needs to be epic. It is the small things we can fit in that keep us going on our adventurous lifestyle. Mini Adventures allow us to experiment with new equipment and practice our skills. My theme for this adventure was to have a light pack and yet be comfortable. My pack weighed 17 lbs with all my gear and clothes. I then added a book and food and water to end up with 20.5 lbs including everything. The great part was I still had my hammock, and an inflatable and pudgier thermarest pillow. I was in familiar territory on a hike of under 5 km so I didn’t need all the first aid items and navigational extras I would on a big hike. Plus with the food storage boxes on site I didn’t even need anything to hang food and carried very little water on me as I knew I would not need it.
I left my house at 9 am, was on my site by noon and had my firewood collected by 2:00. I brought no saw with me and I managed to get all branches I could break from a good score of firewood from a couple of fallen trees about 1/2 km up the trail from my campsite. It kept a great fire going for a couple of hours and I had leftovers to leave for the next lucky campers. My only challenge was dragging the wood with my dog Cinnamon on a leash. We had to walk by a boggy area and she could resist pulling me towards the many hopping frogs! Not fun with all the wood I was carrying, but with campers in close quarters and being on a well used trail, I am a big believer in respecting leash rules. I had also seen a couple of deer off the trail that went un-noticed by Cinnamon.
Firewood tip of the day: you are not likely to find a lot of good wood within ten feet of your site, don’t cut live trees because you are too lazy to walk. Leave your campsite and walk a bit, look for large branches of fallen trees, or small trees that have fallen that you can drag back and break up on site. You are wasting your time right beside your site usually because everyone does that! I usually do this after setting up camp so I work up a huge sweat then go for a swim to clean up after.
After my firewood gathering was done, I went for a swim, then hung out in my hammock and read a book. I had a couple of sausages wrapped in tortilla wraps that I cooked on my fire for dinner and some Ramen noodles. I relaxed in my hammock for an after dinner tea then sat by my fire. After an uneventful nights sleep, I woke up and made breakfast, packed my stuff and had a coffee in my hammock in the sun. I finished my book and relaxed taking it in. Cinnamon got me up early so even after a lot of relaxing I was back at my car by noon and heading home feeling recharged and happy.