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Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 09:22:08 MDT Print View

I ended up having a couple of days off last minute so I grabbed my gear and went to Bruce Peninsula National Park for a quick overnighter...I had a blast.

It's pretty early for hiking season so I was the only one in the park except for a nice couple I met on a day hike. I'm pretty sure they thought I looked like a freak...the lady definitely took a double take when she saw my cuben backpack.

A couple of photos for you. I had never been here before and it was quite beautiful.

5 lbs of gear...
BPNP Gear Pic

Me at the trailhead...I don't look like a freak, do I?
Trailhead

There was quite a bit of walking on the rock beaches...didn't leave much time to look up at the scenery, but still a good time.
Rockbeach

I think it was about 40*F during the day. The weather is just warming up over the next month so there is plenty of snow and ice lingering around. Makes for a refreshing hike.
Ice on rocks

Coming out of the treed ridge tops I snapped this picture of a great little cove. Definitely coming back here in the summer for some swimming!
Cove

Looking back at the trail along the coast.
Coast

The trail became difficult to follow at times, and I'm not sure if I was off track but there were some interesting maneuvers required to stay dry, like scaling the side of these rocks :)
Scaling

Came across yet another rock beach of sorts and decided to set up camp. The water is great here aswell.
Beach by campsite

Found a nice area for my tarp and set up camp. Tough to find a place where there was any type of soil/dirt...ground was pretty frozen
Camp

My home made wood stove which ended up being a pain the behind to use...
Ti stove

Frozen trails
Frozen trails

Interesting trail section on my way back
On the way back

I came across this cave on the way back. It looked great to climb down into but without someone with me I thought it better to save it for when someone can go for help if things don't go so good. Next time!
Big Cave

The melting snow and ice caused some major trail washouts. To the point where some serious bushwhacking was needed to get around these things.
Trail Washout

And here is a panoramic picture of the first rock beach I came across.
Pan Beach

Gearwise:
I feel I have things dialed in fairly well at this point so I'm comfortable bringing a pretty minimal setup.
My Ti wood stove took about 17 minutes to bring 2 cups of water to a boil and required constant tending. I won't be using it again, but it's always fun to play around.
I didn't bring a windshirt and relied on my thorofares to keep me warm. They did a great job used overtop of my light baselayer. Probably perfect down to about 35*F, but then I think I would be pushing it.
My Cuben/Momentum bivy worked fine. I didn't expect any problems with it. The cuben hood sits well open for ventilation so there is not any condensation build up in there.
The sleep system was a bit different. I used my Arc AT and Skaha Plus. Temps dropped to about -1*C (30*F) that night. At first, I went to bed wearing all my clothes but not my cocoon pants or my arcteryx L/S. I was fine but I woke up a couple hours later and was a bit cool, but not cold. I figured it was only going to get colder so I put on my cocoon pants. But, then I woke up in the middle of the night sweating like a maniac - I was roasting! I got out of my bivy and I pulled off my cocoons and unzipped my Skaha to let some cool air in. Got back in the bivy and went to sleep...only to wake up freezing at about 5am! Sooo, I put everything back on but really couldn't warm up. The sun was up in a few more hours and I just got out of bed...so it really isn't clear to me if I was warm or cold. I believe the term is "inconclusive"?

Other then that, a great time. I hope you enjoyed the report!

Edited by Steve_Evans on 04/13/2009 14:00:20 MDT.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 09:25:50 MDT Print View

Great photos; the walk on the shore with ice on the rocks looks a lot like the Lake Superior shore here in MN.

I take it that is a MLD Cuben Poncho? (Yup; just checked gear list)

Edited by citystuckhiker on 04/13/2009 09:26:51 MDT.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 09:34:25 MDT Print View

Looks gorgeous out there, Steven. Great pics... makes me want to get out hiking in Canada again (haven't been in years).

Too bad you didn't get a pic of the day hikers gawking at your cuben pack. Reactions to UL packs can be pretty funny.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 09:58:59 MDT Print View

Hi Matt, I haven't been out your way, but it is definitely on my list. I'd love to hike the SHT, or even head up to Sleeping Giant. I was bugging Sam Haraldson for info last year when I thought I was going to do it but then had a back injury while snowboarding so put the plans on hold. The body of water in the photos is Lake Huron so I'm just a bit south of the big guy.

The MLD Cuben poncho is nice piece of gear. No complaints.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 10:02:45 MDT Print View

Hey Ryan,
It really was great out there...and only about a 3 hour drive from my house. Like I said, I'll be going back.
If your coming up here, let me know, I'm always looking to get out and there is lot's of room up here!

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 11:00:01 MDT Print View

The last time I was backpacking in Ontario was in Killarney Provincial Park about six or seven years ago. I guess it's not far from Bruce Peninsula, although there's a lot of water in between. Gorgeous place, but the blackflies were worse than anything I've ever seen (it was in mid June, of course). We'll see how many years it is before I make it out there again. Some day...

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 11:02:11 MDT Print View

Awesome trip report, thanks for sharing!!!!

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Sub 5 - Bruce Peninsula National Park on 04/13/2009 14:11:26 MDT Print View

Ryan,
I love Killarney! You definitely picked one of the best places to visit - I hope you did the La Cloche Silhouette Trail? I actually visit that park more then anywhere else, both summer and winter. It is my favorite, but a long way from my house at 5 hours. Taking a one nighter there is a tiring couple of days.

Oh yeah, the bugs can be brutal there, especially in full summer. It's quite normal to see backpackers running full speed out of the woods beating themselves with there hiking poles. :) Years of hiking there has turned my skin to leather and the flies can no longer penetrate my thick hide. ;)

Jonathon, glad you liked it! I enjoy the trip reports alot so I try my best to post my trips when I can.

Edited by Steve_Evans on 04/13/2009 14:13:06 MDT.