Where: Frontenac Provincial Park
When: December 7/8, 2019
Who: My husband, myself and our dogs
Type of Trip: Short Overnight, Type 1 Fun, Gear Testing, Winter Camping
By the Numbers:
- Nights: 1
- Kilometres Walked One Way: 8km according to the map
- One Way Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
- Approximate inches of snow on the trail: 6″
- Number of people seen on the trail: 3
- Number of wolf survey parties encountered: 1 (accounting for all people seen above)
- Number of other people at site 6: 0
- Number of sleeping bags carried: 4
- Ratings of those sleeping bags: -31C (mine), -18C (Yak’s), -7C (underquilt), undetermined (dogs’)
- Moon Phase: waxing gibbous
- Pounds of Camera Gear Carried: ~8lbs
In More Words:
My husband and I headed out for a quick one nighter in Frontenac. Yak isn’t much of a camper, but does like to come with me from time to time when the weather is nice. I was very excited that he wanted to join in this winter trip! He wanted to test the hammock set up he made this summer to see if he enjoyed it as much in the winter, so I grabbed my summer quilt to rig up as an underquilt to test for him. It was riding the line as far a temperature rating (-10C rating, temps forecast between -9C and -12C), but we figured with a sleeping pad, a -18C bag as an ‘overquilt’, the fact Yak runs hot, and the equipment to drop the whole set up to the ground while still being warm enough, it was worth a shot to test it. I wanted to test the Starry Night tent in the wild for the first time, and see if I could get some astro shots with it.
The plan was to hike in the Corridor Trail, then up to site 6 on Little Salmon Lake. Due to other trail users having their dogs off leash on the Corridor Trail, we chose to take the road up with our leashed dogs to avoid any possible conflict. This definitely made for easier hiking, and we made very good time up the road to the Buffelhead/Little Salmon Lake Loop trail. The trail had ~6″ of snow on it, which made walking a bit harder, but not worthy of snowshoes. We found gaiters to be sufficient.
All in, it took us ~2.5 hours from car to campsite. Once there, we got our respective test gear set up!
Cooked some dinner
Then took some fun moonscape photos. For more about these, they have their own post here.
After a mostly uneventful night, other than a hysterical pee break where Yak panicked upon the dogs leaving my tent and thinking there were coyotes running around camp, we packed up in the morning and hiked out. All in all, a wonderful way to have spent a weekend!
Yak liked his hammock set up so much we will be getting him set up with a proper winter set kit in the near future, and the Starry Night tent worked surprisingly well for a single wall, non-freestanding tent in the winter. There was definitely some frost on the inside from a combined 300lbs of sleeping mammal breath, but it wasn’t excessive or unexpected. It was also easier to pitch in the snow than I expected it to be. I can’t wait to continue my quest for the ultimate starry night tent photos!