Unlike some of my trips, this hike had a bit of a purpose. I’m trying out a new camping setup (tarp and bivy) and I wanted to see how things worked on a short overnight. I’ve also spent the winter cooped up while building my strength back up after a pretty large health scare.

Mainly, though, it’s been a long time I just needed to get back out.

I limited this trip to a single overnight on the wilderness section of the Ganaraska Trail. The trail runs across the north end of the Queen Elizabeth 2 Wildlands park. I hiked the section between the Devil’s Lake access and the west end of Sheldon Lake.

Short but fun.

Trip Report

Where: Wilderness Section of the Ganaraska Trail
Dates: 18-19 April 2019
Type: overnight backpacking
Weather: Clear to Rainy
Trail Conditions: Mainly clear with snow/ice in patches
Bugs: bug-free

Trail Conditions

Considering the amount of rail Southern Ontario has received over the last number of weeks, the trail was surprisingly dry. There were no major washouts and the stream and dam crossings were fairly easy. As it was early Spring, there was still snow on parts of the trail making for some slippery treacherous steps. It’s still a fairly rugged trail, even when clear.

The day started out warm and sunny, but the rain started coming in at about 1PM. I was able to set up camp before the rain hit and sat out the storms under the tarp.

The tarp was perfect for the conditions.

Lessons Learned

The tarp and bivy combo was an enourmous success. The wind shed setup held up to the gusts perfectly and still let in breezes through the night. It’s not as comfortable as my hammock setup, but it was close, and I found I loved the open feeling of it all.

My site selection could use a bit more work. I picked high ground for my setup, or so I thought. However, the sheer amount of rain led to more flooding than I expected. I woke up in a few inches of standing water from the rising lake. The bivy performed even through that.

I’m much fitter than I was last time. I knew I would get a boost from the cardio and resistance training I’ve been doing, but it had a much larger effect than I was anticipating. I’m interested in taking on some tougher and longer trails.

Photo Credits

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash