Last updated on May 2nd, 2017 at 11:12 pm
Basics in Exploring Ontario Parks, Forests, and Mountains
In a previous post, I suggested tips and how to face the harsh winter in Canada. One of the most crucial points was the importance to have something to look forward to. With spring being just around the corner one can feel Canadians being excited in the air.
I know I am!
There’s nothing like traveling during spring, as you’ll see nature around you come to life. Birds sing, elks graze, squirrels run about, and the beautiful landscape seemingly gets painted green slowly as trees grow back their foliage.
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What is a better way there to experience all of this than to visit natural parks, forests, and mountains?
Today, the highlight will be Ontario as there’s an unlimited amount of trails, campsites, parks and mountains to visit in the province.
All Ontario specified that the combined area of provincial parks and protected areas in the region reaches roughly 8 million hectares, with more than 19,000 developed campsites.
When you are coming from a foreign country, however, this sort of terrain/environment may be completely different to what you have experienced before.
So with that in mind, this post will look at the basic needs from gear to travel arrangements.
What to Bring and Other useful Tips
The focus of this piece will be on the topography of Ontario, which is comprised of forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. This means you have to prepare for camping/hiking.
Bring the essentials such as proper clothing, complete with multiple layers up to jackets and the right footwear. This is crucial especially if you’re coming from desert regions like sub-Saharan Africa or the Australian outback.
Your body is used to a warm, dry climate, so the cold, misty mountain weather may affect you significantly if you don’t have enough protection.
Cooking, eating utensils, matches, and Swiss knives are also important pieces of gear. As for your food, Parks Blogger Ontario listed many simple camping recipes to choose from, and it’s more fun to cook your own meals when camping.
Please note that cans and bottles are not allowed in Ontario’s provincial parks so pack your ingredients beforehand.
Bring your tent. Or you can rent one when you get to Ontario if you want. If you like it bare, then a sleeping bag is a must. Just remember to exercise proper caution especially at night!
Ontario is also known for black bears. So keep food safely away from sleeping areas. Put it in airtight containers so that you don’t have an uninvited visitor on your camp.
Additionally, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry shared guidelines on how to prevent bear encounters and what to do during worst case scenarios. As always, remember that safety should always be the top priority.
Last, but not the least, of course, are extras like your camera for saving those beautiful sceneries and taking part of Canada back home; or your fishing rod if you plan to catch your own meal.
Don’t forget your insect repellent!
Important Travel Arrangements
It’s recommended to reserve a spot early, as the province limits the number of visitors within a given time period to balance tourism and maintaining the pristine condition of natural areas. Ontario Parks, the branch of Ministry of Natural Resources assigned in handling these locations, has online and phone systems for bookings.
Spend some time beforehand researching the areas you wish to travel to. That way, you’ll have a backup in case the registration for your first choice is not available.
If you plan to rent an RV or trailer, check first if these are allowed within the site. Some only allow tents, so be sure to keep this in mind. Each camp may have a different set of rules to another so be sure to read them to stay informed.
But of course, don’t forget the arrangements on your side of the world as well.
Consult with your embassy if you need a visa for a trip to Canada. When coming from countries like Great Britain for instance, UK passport allows free travel to almost every country in the world. Just get in touch with the proper agency in your country for confirmation.
When going to the airport, you’re more than likely going to have to take a car to transport all your gear. If you’re leaving the vehicle at the airport, make sure to book a parking slot early. This will allow you to choose the spot you prefer.
Again let’s use the UK as an example.
It is also popular for its plethora of parks, campsites as well as its wonderful countryside. There are a lot of campers and many of them look to explore similar terrains outside the country each year.
Luckily for them, the country’s biggest aviation hubs cater to this type of vacationer through extensive on-airport options. Gatwick Airport, for instance, has long stay parking which describes as great if you’re going to be away for more than 2 days.
This is perfect if you plan to embark on a camping trip in the mountains and forests of Ontario. Additionally, with provisions like this, it will mean that you are more likely to get a cheaper deal as opposed to leaving your car in an independent car park away from the airport.
Just be sure to do the right preparation to avoid hassles on your trip.
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