9 MONTHS-ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK
This was our first experience at winter camping! Well, maybe we cheated a little. Pulling our truck up to a heated octagonal, heated tent on a wooden platform with bunk beds is probably not exactly winter camping. We did have to consider the fact that our daughter was only 9 months old!
We drove up to the park on Christmas day, leaving behind St. Catharines with no snow and arriving to a fresh blanket of snow in the Mew Lake Campground. There were more people camping than I had imagined – both for being Christmas and being winter. Included with all the “Yurt Campers”, were some trailers, a site illuminated by many strands of Christmas lights on their tents and one solo camper in a tent that had a mini wood stove in it.
The yurt was very spacious for the three of us. I guess it seemed more like a mansion to our Eureka El Capitan 3 tent that we usually sleep in. During our first night in the yurt we listened to the hum of the heater fan blowing warm air all night long. We were later told that the temperature went as low as -20c. I guess that’s why the heater did not stop during the night. Regardless, my wife and I and our 9 month old daughter kept each other warm, stuffed in our double sized sleeping bag. Sleeping with a toque on helped as well.
All cooking had to be done outside, under the cooking shelter or on the fire. If you like sitting around a campfire in the less snowier months of the year, you will love the campfire in the winter. Listening to the winter silence, watching the snow gently fall and feeling the warmth of the fire is a memorable experience. Our daughter didn’t appreciate the fire as much as we did. She was not walking yet and could not do her usual crawling around to get where she wanted to go because of her snowsuit. So she was a bit restless. I am already making plans for another trip this coming Christmas; steaks grilled over the fire, board games with the family, snowshoeing on the lake and more Christmas memories from Algonquin. Also, no more films named after how old my daughter is anymore.