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My Winter Camping Experience: Algonquin Mew Lake by Jesus Gallardo

My Winter Camping Experience: Algonquin Mew Lake by Jesus Gallardo

Parks Blogger got in touch with Jesus Gallardo to talk about his recent winter camping trip, and here is what he has to say..

Where did you winter camp recently? and When?

My latest camping trip happened during the remembrance day weekend (nov 10-13)  and it was at Algonquin park Mew Lake camping ground. 

Was it on a developed campground? or back country?

This time i camped at a developed campground.  in the summer i have done backcountry , but in the winter i had limited myself to do only carcamping however this year i plan to go on a couple of back country winter camping trips. 

A few words about this recent winter camping experience? (3-5 lines)

My latest camping experience was amazing, the conditions were very unexpected for that time of the year, in november i did not expect to see such a great amount of snow and also it was quite cold during the night, but that is exactly the kind of conditions that i look for when i go camping in the winter.  the whole winter setup and environment gives a totally different feel of enjoyment to a camping trip.

How did you choose this location? What factors did you consider while choosing this location?

So far i have chosen Mew Lake because I thought it was one of the very few camping sites that were open during the winter. I went there for the first time last year. and this time i just went again because i like the location quite a lot. However, like i mentioned before, this year i plan to go to Killarney as well where i have read that it is also possible to camp in the winter and back country, rather than a developed camp site. i cant wait for it. The factors i take in consideration is that they offer basic non electric supply.

Have you winter camped before?

Yes, this will be my second winter season of winter camping. 

What are some tips that you would like to offer to your fellow winter campers (based on your experience)?

The most important tip i can give to some one about winter camping is: winter camping is a lot of fun and people often miss out on how great it is to be in the outdoors during the cold season because they immediately think they will be too cold.  That can totally be prevented and winter camping is fun as long as you are properly prepared for the elements. My most important tip is (sorry got a bit sidetracked) , dress properly. If you are properly dressed, you will not be cold, thus, you will have a great time! 

In the same area the rest of my tips are:

1.get the right gear: get an insulated air sleeping pad  and combine it with one or two cheap closed foam sleeping pads. get a good cold rated sleeping pad, for the coldest conditions you think you will want to go through. Mine for example is a down quilt good for -20 Deg Celsius. While at it, get a down sleeping bag rather than synthetic, it is warmer and takes less space for packing. just dont get it wet! If you cant get a proper 4 season tent, get a three season one that does not have a lot of mesh and you will get by. 

2.get a good pair of winter boots, that are water proof, and bring with you 2 extra pairs of socks. 

3.dress in layers, if you dress in layers, it will beat the warmest coat you can think of, and if you dress in layers when you get too hot, you start shedding layers until you feel comfortable.  Bring wool clothing. as much as you can get. wool socks, wool base layers, wool insulating clothes. Wool is great for keeping you warm even when wet and it is better managing odors!

What are the top 5 essential gears that you take for your winter camping trip?

Here are my top 5 pieces of gear for winter camping:My camping tent: Hilleberg staika. My down quilt: enlightened equipment revelation. My hobo stove: buschraft essentials bushbox titanium XL  hobo stovemy insulated sleeping pad: nemo cosmo insulated. my new under armour fat tire boots.

About Jesus G

I’m Jesus Gallardo, I was born in mexico but have been a Canadian citizen and lived in Canada for almost 15 years. I am an engineer in electronics and I love the winter season. I live in Southern Ontario. 

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