Race report: Don’t Get Lost Icebreaker Adventure Run

Was I the only one thinking of the Norwegian story The Three Billy Goats Gruff during the Don’t Get Lost Icebreaker Adventure Run? While crossing the many bridges in the “Trolling for Trolls” section of the course, I was relieved to know that the troll had long ago “disappeared under the rushing water, never to be seen again”. 

Before the 2 hour race began, I marked out my planned route with an orange highlighter, which might not have been the best choice of colour (keep reading). All controls were optional – you could go for as few or as many as you liked. They ranged from easy green ones (20 points) to intermediate blue ones (40 points), to advanced black diamonds (75 points) and expert double black diamonds (150 points).

I decided that I wouldn’t go for the dog bone controls this time (a dog bone is 2 controls that have to be done in sequence), despite them being worth quite a lot when you factor in the bonus for getting the dog bone (in addition to the points for the individual controls). Instead, I decided that after the “Killer K”, an approximately 1 km run to an optional control that you had to do first if you did it at all, I would tackle all of the controls in the golf course.


Anne, Ailish and I pre-race. [Photo courtesy of Barb C]

My first 3 controls would be the same ones as my daughter Ailish was going for, but after that we would split up. And we would do just the first control with our friend Anne.

If I had time after the golf course section, I would tackle the “Deck the Corridor” part of the map, which was essentially an unmarked path that you had to follow to find 3 unmarked controls (see map below).

Scan 43

There were a few other interesting ideas for controls in this race: “Nav4Rav4” could only be found between 10:30 and 11 AM, “Whiteout” had features on the map near it removed to make it more challenging, and “Trolling for Trolls” entailed 4 bridges and 8 controls under them, but you had to find the 2 that were “real” controls and not “dummies” (i.e. you needed the ones with the computer units within them, meaning that you had to visit each one until you found the 2 right ones).

At 10:15 AM the race began!


We’re off and running! [Photo courtesy of Don’t Get Lost]

No navigation was required for my 1st or 2nd controls, because I wasn’t at the front of the pack! But after that, my map (and eventually compass) was needed. When Ailish and I split up, I headed for the “Whiteout” control, following a creek (or where there would be water had it been spring) right to the control.

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Ailish on one of the bridges of the “Trolling for Trolls” section of the course. [Photo courtesy of Don’t Get Lost]

Next I headed for the bridges of the “Trolling for Trolls” section. I approached it from the east, checking underneath one end of bridge D (no troll there!), running up and across the bridge, checking under the other end, and then heading for bridge C. After checking one end, I heard some kids say that the control at the other end was a dummy, but I felt that it would be cheating  if I didn’t check it out for myself, so I did, and they were right. At bridge B I debated stepping on the rocks in the creek to cross over to the other side, but I suspected that the gap between the rocks was too large and I would fall into the cold water, so I scrapped that idea and headed back for the bridge. I found one of the real controls at bridge B, and the last one at bridge A. I tried 7 of 8 locations to find the 2 controls!


Running while looking at the map works less well in the middle of a forest. [Photo courtesy of Don’t Get Lost]

I found 6 more controls easily before heading for the first one that was in the woods away from the golf course. Looking at my map a few days after the race, I noticed that I hadn’t followed my own plan because the orange highlighter wasn’t obvious – I missed 2 easy controls that I had planned to get.

When I was in the woods heading to #31, I ran into my daughter, who had given up finding it. We searched for it for a while, certain that we knew where we were, and unsure why we couldn’t find it. I was determined to find it, given that it was a black diamond and worth 75 points. But the longer it took, the less sense it made to keep trying. After 30 minutes, we gave up. After the race, I chatted with two 2nd place finishers who did find the control (Heidi and Barb), and learned from them how I could approach a similar control in the future. Lessons learned: you might not be where you think you are, go for the easiest approach, use the road or buildings.

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 9.08.16 AM

What confusion looking for control #31 looked like.

I found 2 more controls easily, then debated trying to find the Deck the Corridor controls, but I was doubtful that I had the time to follow an unmarked path while rushed, and even more so when a fellow competitor (Oliver) pointed out how far he thought the loop was. So instead I headed for one end of a dog bone and found that, running into my friends John and Kristin in the process.

I thought that I might have time to do one more control, but didn’t want to go over the 2 hour limit, so I scrapped that idea and headed for the last control and then the finish line. Running up the hill to the finish I asked Barb if she had found #31, and she told me to run for the finish (never give up, you never know when someone in your age group might be just behind you) and then we could talk about #31! Since she finished 2nd in her category, I should clearly listen to Barb’s advice!


Nearing the finish line. [Photo courtesy of Don’t Get Lost]

In the end I covered 10.3 km and finished in 1:53:05, with a total of 790 points, which put me 15th out of 22 women in the open age group. My race went really well except for that darn #31! The weather was fantastic for an early December race.

After the race, I ran into Oliver, who jokingly said that he would have done the Deck the Corridor with me had I gone for it. Next time Oliver!


Still smiling after the race.

It was great to see so many kids out racing with or without their parents, as the Adventure Running Kids ARKFest marking the end of the 12-week fall session was happening at the same time.

Even after the race was done it was hard leaving without having found #31. I really should have just gone back to look for it!

Can’t wait for the next race! My strategy: use a different coloured highlighter, go for the dog bones, and if I can’t find the control, approach it from a different angle!

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Race report: Don’t Get Lost Raid the Hammer Adventure Race

Blame it on the fallen leaves!

This year was to be my second time participating in the Don’t Get Lost Raid the Hammer Adventure Run, again with my teammates Rebecca and Alasdair. We arrived at Ancaster High School for the “Half Raid” just before the “Full Raid” participants headed to the buses to be taken to the starting point. We registered, got our maps, t-shirts, and an SI stick, and grabbed a table in the cafeteria to read the course description and plan our route.

This would be a point to point race, in which we were bussed to the start at Christie Lake Conservation Area, and had to make our way back to Ancaster High School, while finding a number of checkpoints along the way. The fastest team would win, since all checkpoints were of equal value, and there were no optional additional checkpoints to find. At one point in the race we would have to find 3 of 6 checkpoints in an area, and in another, 1 of 3. There was some strategizing involved here, but unlike some other orienteering races where checkpoints are worth different point values, and you might choose to go for the higher value checkpoints even if you will exceed the allotted race time and incur penalties (because you’ll gain more points than you’ll lose), that approach wasn’t an option for this race.


On the bus to the start line.

After the pre-race briefing, we took a short bus ride to Christie Lake Conservation Area.


Ready to start!

And then, on Meghan’s shout of “GOOOOOOOOOOO!” we were off. In this first part of the race, the “Scramble”, we had to find 3 of the 6 checkpoints in any order we wanted. We headed for #3, along with the majority of the 50+ teams. Ditto for #4. We then went for #6, when the majority seemed to go for #5. That was our first mistake. We missed the trail for #6, turned around, and while running back looking for the trail, lots of people who had just found #5 passed us running the other way. We found the tiny trail, not very visible due to fallen leaves, and found #6.


#6 – on Christie Lake

Checkpoint #7 was the first one that all teams had to find. Then it was the “Gnarly Run I” trail run (2k?) to #8. I decided early on that this course would favour strong runners (as opposed to strong navigators), as the navigation was minimal. In the “Run DMC” section, after finding checkpoint #8 (at a trail junction), we had to go to either #9 or #10 or #11. Before the race, we planned to go to #9, the closest one to #8, but it would involve a bit of off trail navigation. However, when the time came to actually look for the checkpoint, we couldn’t decide where to leave the trail and start bushwhacking. A spectator said to us that in the time we spent discussing our approach to #9, we could have been to #10 and back! So we scrapped the plan for #9 and headed for #10, which involved no navigation and instead was a simple 800m trail run. Mistake #2 was the time lost in this section. We punched #8 again (as required), then started the “Gnarly Run II” section, a 1.5k run to Governor’s Road.


Route choices matter.//Team members may not agree.//So where do we go?// [Photo credit: Don’t Get Lost]

We passed a pond on the right side that I used to visit as a kid with my family – we called it the “Frog Pond”.

After checkpoint #12, we headed for #13, which was the aid station. We punched the control, but opted not to stop at the aid station, since we had all the water and snacks we needed. We did discuss quickly whether we should stop in, in case it was mandatory and there was a gear check, but we decided not to.

To reach #14, we could either run along a trail which would take us away from the checkpoint and then back to it, or bushwhack a much shorter distance across a creek and up a steep hill. During our pre-race planning, we opted for the trail run. When we reached the point at which we would bushwhack if we wanted to, we looked at the creek, agreed that we didn’t want wet feet and that the climb looked steep, and kept running! However, one of the junior teams did the bushwhack and beat us there.


[Photo credit: Don’t Get Lost]

We easily found checkpoint #15 at the top of a very steep hill, at which point we were passed by one of the “Full Raid” teams. Sigh. It was after leaving #15 that we somehow took the wrong trail, and before long, the terrain in front of us didn’t match what we were expecting on the map. Turns out we went the wrong way and had to backtrack. Mistake #3.

It was quite a distance to #16, the last checkpoint before the finish. And yet again, we ran past a small trail, likely invisible due to fallen leaves!


[Photo credit: Don’t Get Lost]

It meant that we climbed up the last steep hill – further along than we should have – up to the grass, ran along the grass to where we thought the checkpoint would be (at which point the photographer said to us, “Try to get along team!”), had to climb down the hill to the checkpoint, and then back up the same hill! Mistake #4.

From there it was an easy run along the grass to the high school, where we could see the finish line from far away. In the end we crossed the finish line at 2:23:02,  and ended up 34/52 half raid teams (excluding the junior teams, who were in a separate category). We had covered 15km.

We enjoyed the post race snacks (smarties!) and free lunch from the food trucks (Johnny Blonde and 50 Pesos).

Such a great race! Next year, I’m hoping to do the Full Raid!

Remember that aid station that we didn’t stop at? Well, at Adventure Running Kids a couple of days later (where I volunteer as a group leader) I found out from Meghan that at some point during the race, the aid station volunteers were in contact with her to say that 2 teams had yet to check in at the aid station – including Kyra. Meghan said not to worry, that she was looking at me at that moment eating my lunch! Oops!!!

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Race report: Don’t Get Lost Peak2Peak Adventure Run

After competing in the Ontario Orienteering Championships sprint and middle distance races on Saturday, October 28, I was up for one more race on the Sunday – the Don’t Get Lost Peak2Peak Adventure Run! This would be great preparation for the upcoming Don’t Get Lost Raid the Hammer race.

While I signed up for the Peak2Peak as an individual racer (not a team), I had planned to run through the woods with my friend Rebecca. Then my friend Kristin, new to orienteering, asked if she could tag along. And on race morning, we gained one more racer – John, who I met at the STAR Tracks Mountain Bike Adventure in October, and who would be racing with Kristin at Raid the Hammer.


Rebecca, Kristin and I pre-race. [Photo by Ailish]

By the time Kristin and John joined us pre-race at St. Thomas school in Waterdown, we had already planned our proposed route. With 2 hours to get as many controls as possible (and only 1 mandatory one, the first one, which was 1 km from the race start line), we knew we couldn’t find them all and would have to strategize. We decided that because we have never found all of the dog bone controls in a race before, that would be our goal. Dog bones are 2 controls that you must do sequentially (e.g. #2A and 2B). You can normally do them in any order, but you can’t punch another control in between (even if it’s nearby!) or you don’t get the bonus points for the dog bone. We also decided to run the optional “prologue” section of the course, which was the Ontario Orienteering Championships long course for kids under 12. Beyond that, we weren’t sure how many controls we would have time for.


The race started and off we went! The first bottleneck was a metal gate that we had to squeeze through or climb over. The next bottleneck was the first control, which everyone had to punch. It was at this point that we were able to collect the map for the “prologue” section. We weren’t the only ones starting with this course! The 7 controls were all on trails or very slightly off them, and were easy to find.

From there we headed for the dog bones, picking up one control on our way. With the exception of one control that we overshot (our first of the dog bones), we didn’t have much trouble finding them. We did, however, have to run up and down many hills to get between them! And, we found all 6 controls making up the 3 dog bones. Success!

There was a neat section that we planned to do if we had time, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. It was called “Walk the Line” – if you walked the marked line on the map (not marked in real life) you would find 3 controls. It was a neat idea that I hope I get the chance to try at another race.


[Photo by Don’t Get Lost]

Another opportunity at the end of the race was to pick up a small map on your way back when you passed the first control, which would show you wheree to find 3 bonus controls. You weren’t allowed to take the map with you, but you could mark your map, or take a picture of the new map, or just memorize where to find the controls. We didn’t have time for this section either.

In the last km, John and Kristin were running quicker than Rebecca and I, so they finished first and Kristin was able to snap a picture of Rebecca and I finishing.


[Photo by Kristin]


All smiles at the finish!

In the end, I finished in 1:57:39 with 770 points, good for 22nd place out of 35 women in the open age group.


[Photo by a random racer!]

This race was super fun. I really enjoy being able to choose which controls I go for. I’m looking forward to Raid the Hammer this weekend, which I will do with Rebecca and my husband Alasdair as team “Three Triathletes Watching for Falling Trees”.

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Race report: Ontario Orienteering Championships 2017

On October 28 and 29, Don’t Get Lost hosted the Ontario Orienteering Championships – it would be my first time participating in them, and my daughter Ailish’s first real orienteering races! Also participating in the sprint, middle and long distance races would be Ailish’s friend Anne.

At Firemens Park in St. Catharines, we picked up our race bibs and got ourselves organized. The sprint race was first, with athletes starting 1 minute apart, 1 or 2 at a time. Ailish and Anne had never done a start like this before (my first time was at the Canadian Orienteering Championships in Perth this summer), in which you not only started alone (or almost alone), but you didn’t get to look at your map until your race began. We headed to the start line early so they could see how it all worked. Turns out Ailish would be starting with someone I knew – Evan from Ottawa.


Anne, Ailish and I would be racing in our age groups, so W16 for Anne, W14 for Ailish, and W35+ for me.


Ailish checks in at the start with Kim, one of the volunteers (and an Adventure Running Kids navigation coach).

Ailish and Anne were both nervous about their races, but they did great!

I had 16 controls to find within the 1 hour allotted. After I found my first control, I struggled to find the second. I was close, but just not seeing it. I ended up backtracking a bit, and eventually found it, but it took me nearly 15 minutes! I would find out later that the winner of my race finished in 24 minutes. I missed the path I wanted for the third control and overshot it, but when I came to the fourth, I knew exactly where I was. I ran back to 3, returned to 4, and from there, it was relatively easy to find all the controls!


In my course, controls 7, 10, and 14 were the same, but do you think I could find 10 after having already been there once?! It took me much longer than it should have, because I was approaching it from a different angle and the tree it was near clearly looked different! While the first part of the race involved some trails and woods, this part was an urban park, where there was a playground, a dog park, and people wandering around. I reached the finish line in 46:21, much slower than I would have liked! However, given that there were only 3 people in my age category, and one person mispunched (punched controls in the wrong order), I ended up on the podium with a second place finish.

Ailish was 1st, and Anne 2nd in their respective age groups.



We enjoyed our yummy prizes – orienteering themed cookies!

After lunch, it was time for the middle distance race. The start location was a 1 km walk away, so we headed there in time for Anne to start. I was starting a full hour after her, and Ailish in between us.

We cleared and checked our SI sticks, and eventually, our races began!

I didn’t know it at the time, but Ailish finished her race before mine even began!


Ailish heads for a control. [Photo by Don’t Get Lost]

When I read the course setter’s notes for the race , I had the impression that I would be able to mostly use trails for this race, with only a bit of off-trail navigation.  But that’s not how it felt during the race. After the first control, I decided to head for the second by bushwhacking there, a straight line distance of 500m+. In the past, I’ve gotten myself into trouble doing this when my compass bearing wasn’t quite accurate. The further away the control is, the further left or right of the control you can end up if your direction of travel is wrong. I was super pleased that my compass bearing took me directly to the control – a small but important victory!


[Photo by Don’t Get Lost]

For some of the controls, I ended up working with another woman running the same course as me – Laura. When we split up at control 12, that was the beginning of the end for me! For some reason, I headed completely the wrong way for 13, but realized it and returned to 12. Near there I started bushwhacking in the direction of 13, but found a fence and another athlete, so together we turned around and ran along the fence until we could get around it. We found the control together at the top of a hill, but when we reached the bottom, we disagreed as to where we were on the map. We split up, when I should have stayed with her. She was right. I was wrong. It took me way too long to figure out where I was, which didn’t really happen until I found her again and she had already found the control. From there I found it quickly, and headed back to the urban part of the park and the last control before the finish.

Once again, I learned that trails can sometimes be very confusing!

Anne and Ailish both finished 1st in their respective categories (Ailish was only competing against herself!), and I ended up 5th out of 5. In fact, my SI stick didn’t upload properly, so I didn’t get official results.


New to racing with control descriptions in an arm sleeve, I kept forgetting to look at my arm and instead continually unfolded my map to look at them there!

On Sunday, the long distance race was held at St. Thomas School in Waterdown. Anne and Ailish raced together in an open (non-competitive) age group, running the W16 course. I left them at the start line and headed back to the school to meet my teammates for the Peak2Peak Adventure Race (separate race report here).


At the start of the long course.


Heading out on the long course.

It turns out they finished before my race even began. They did great, and more importantly, had fun all weekend!!

My daughter even thanked me for getting her into orienteering.

Thanks Don’t Get Lost for a great weekend of racing!

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Race report: STAR Tracks Mountain Bike Adventure (orienteering race)

When I first discovered that mountain bike orienteering existed, I knew that I wanted to try a race – the problem was that I didn’t own a mountain bike! But this summer, I won one at the Subaru Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race. Problem solved! I signed up for the “novice” course of the STAR Tracks Mountain Bike Adventure, organized by the STARS Orienteering Club and held at Albion Hills Conservation Area in Caledon.

As a fairly new mountain biker, I thought that the 30-60 minute race option, intended for those who have basic trail riding and trail map navigation skills, would be best for me. But Barb, the event director, suggested that I check out the Albion Hills trails, and if I wanted to, I could switch into the “open” course, intended for intermediate to strong bikers and navigators. I headed to Albion Hills with a friend, had a blast on the single and double track trails, and decided to switch to the open course.

On race morning, I arrived so early that only Barb was there. I helped carry some things to the chalet, and helped set up the tent for protection from what we all knew may arrive during the race – wild winds and heavy rain. Once everything was organized, I checked in, signed a waiver, cleared and checked my SI (timing) stick and got my race map.


Preparing my route pre-race. [Photo by Ilona Dobos]

There were 15 checkpoints that had to be found in order within the 2 hour limit, with all of them found on the trails (no bushwhacking required), some of them single track, one way trails. When planning my route, I had to be careful to note which trails ran in which direction, or risk adding extra distance when I reached the trail and was faced with a “no entry” sign.

Albion Hills

There was a short pre-race briefing, during which we were warned that with the rains overnight, the clay and roots may be very slippery. We were instructed to start the race when we were ready, and to verify control #s before inserting our SI sticks, because there would be controls from both the novice and open courses out there, and if you punch the wrong control, you get a “mispunch” (and no official finish). The map above shows what numbers we were actually looking for in the forest (e.g. control 1 would read 150). I spent 5-10 minutes planning my route, then lined up to start.


Lined up and ready to go. [Photo by Ilona Dobos]

Racers were started in 30 second intervals. When instructed to go, I inserted my SI stick into the start control, then headed out. I had tucked my map (in a plastic sleeve) into the left leg of my shorts, knowing that I would have to continually take it out to look at it. I tried to memorize what I would have to do at the next couple of junctions (e.g. left, left, right) to reduce the number of times I had to stop and look at the map.

Because I started just 30 seconds after the two people ahead of me (who were working together), I caught them quickly, and several of us arrived at the first checkpoint together.

The trails were a mixture of double track and single track, flat and very hilly, straight and very curvy with tight turns.

At some point, I started working with a racer name Kevin, and later, we picked up another racer named John. Each time I join forces with others I remember how much more fun it is to orienteer in a team. I love the challenge of doing it by myself, but facing trials and tribulations and celebrating successes is fun with others!

I felt good on the trails, and only fell once – from a standstill, at a control, right in front of the race photographer Ilona Dobos! I had inadvertently put my foot down in a ditch.


Looks like we’re chuckling over my tumble. [Photo by Ilona Dobos]

Keeping my map in my shorts worked out okay, but at times I also held the map between my teeth when I knew I would need to look at it frequently. It wasn’t so easy to see when it opened up in my face. “How’s that working for you?” I heard at one point! I resorted to holding it in my left hand at times while I rode. Some people used handlebar mounted map holders, while several others used dollar store chip bag clips – I think I’ll try that next time! The advantage of the bike mounted map holder is that it rotates, so that you can easily turn the map so that it is facing the correct way as you turn corners.

Most of the controls were easy to find, but a few took a little longer than they should have because of poor route choices or missed trails. At one point, Kevin and I did a loop only to find ourselves where we started – we had missed a turn. I think it was around this point that he loaned allen keys to another racer whose handlebars kept dropping.

We had been told in the pre-race briefing that if we weren’t at control #7 within 1 hour of starting, then we should skip 8, 9, 10, and 11, and go straight to 12. We were heading to #7 at around 51 minutes for me (a little longer for Kevin, who started before me). I was hopeful that I could finish within the time allotted, and Kevin just wanted to find all the controls (which he hadn’t managed to do on his previous attempts at this race).

At one point during the race it rained, but it was very short lived. The temperature was fantastic, and higher than expected for a day in mid October.

Near the end of the race my legs were getting tired! I had to walk up a couple of steep grassy hills. I figured I’d walk it just as fast as I’d ride it at that point.

As I got closer and closer to control 15, I realized that it was still possible for me to finish within the 2 hours. Coming out of the forest and onto the grass near the chalet, there were lots of cheers for me and the others finishing ahead of me and behind me.

In the end, I found all controls and finished in a time of 1:52:01! I had so much fun. The single track trails are by far my favourite.

There was fruit and cookies outside the chalet, where racers compared route choices with others.


Done! [Photo by Ilona Dobos]

It turns out that I finished 2nd out of 8 women in the open course. You can see all the splits here. There were also masters and junior age groups as well.


You can’t see here how muddy I got! [Photo by John]


With my new racing buddies, John and Kevin. [Photo by Ilona Dobos]

 Thanks to the STARS Orienteering Club for such a great race. Can’t wait for the next one!

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Menu review: Hiking the full length of the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Curious to see how the planned menu for my hike of the full length of the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior Provincial Park compared to our actual menu, whether we were satisfied with the food we brought or had constantly rumbling tummies? Read on!

The planned menu is posted just below, but additional information can be found in my original post on the menu.

Where we planned to use a recipe, you’ll see a (F), (L) or (T) after the recipe name (and the corresponding page number). The books are as follows:

  • A Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March (F)
  • LipSmackin’ Backpackin’ by Christine and Tim Conners (L)
  • The Trailside Cookbook by Don and Pam Philpott (T)


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All changes to the planned menu are indicated in red text in the table below. We made a few changes before the trip:

  • naan bread replaced corn bread and bannock, because it weighs less and required us to bring less fuel (to bake the bread) – however, there is something to be said for warm, freshly baked bread on the trail!!
  • store bought trail mix replaced pizza gorp and honey mustard gorp because Cheryl ran out of time to prepare them
  • homemade energy bars replaced Harvest Oat Squares because Cheryl’s daughter made them and saved her time!


Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 3.58.57 PM

My favourite meal was Thanksgiving on the Trail, which is essentially turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and gravy. I would definitely make it again!

Our most memorable meal may be our egg veggie/bacon/cheese wraps… as soon as I added boiling water to our dehydrated eggs, they turned bright orange… we tasted them, and they weren’t eggs, but Kraft Dinner cheese powder!!! Not sure how that happened. I’ve never intentionally bought Kraft Dinner cheese powder before. Must have been a mix-up in a bulk bin!


Pasta Alfredo with dehydrated veggies and sauce, and topped with Parmesan cheese.

The only meal that needs adjustment in the future was our rice cereal on day 5. It wasn’t filling enough as is, and could have used more fruit or nuts.

Overall, we were happy with our food choices! We did come home with some leftover trail mix, and some of the food from day 8.


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Packing list: Hiking the full length of the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Here is a complete list of all the things we had with us on our hike of the full length of the Coastal Trail at Lake Superior Provincial Park. We brought separate gear for car camping at Agawa Bay our first night (but didn’t end up car camping), and our last night. I didn’t use any of the separate gear, other than bringing blankets into the tent when I thought it was going to be quite cold with the wind (it wasn’t).


Clothing (including what I was wearing):

  • 2 bras
  • 2 pairs underwear
  • 3 pairs socks
  • 1 pair zip-off pants
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 long sleeved shirt
  • 1 lightweight MEC Uplink hoodie
  • 1 rain coat
  • 1 rain pants
  • 1 winter hat
  • 2 pairs fleece gloves
  • 1 pair dish gloves to keep fleece gloves dry
  • 1 long johns top and bottom
  • 1 pair hiking boots
  • 1 pair sandals
  • 1 baseball hat
  • compression bag for clothes
  • sunglasses
  • quick dry towel
  • toiletries
  • 1 watch


  • 2 bowls
  • 2 spoons
  • 1 dishcloth
  • 1 six cup pot and lid lightweight
  • dish soap
  • pancake flipper
  • parchment paper
  • 2 insulated mugs
  • 1 nalgene bottle (400 ml)
  • 2 large ziplocs marked with a line at 2L for treating water
  • water treatment drops
  • 2 water bladders (2 L size)
  • MSR Dragonfly stove
  • MSR Dragonfly stove servicing kit
  • KIHD stick stove
  • 1 flint
  • Outback oven tea cosy
  • Outback oven scorch protector (not used)
  • Matches (several boxes)
  • 700 ml white fuel split between 2 bottles of 325 ml (one filled up, one filled to the maximum fill line)
  • 1 Swiss army knife (not used)
  • 1 pocket knife
  • 1 bear bag with bell on it (waterproof bag)
  • 1 bear bag without bell on it (waterproof bag) (not used)
  • rope for hanging bear bag
  • homemade tarp plus thin lightweight rope x5
  • food!


  • 1 Sierra Designs Zilla 2 tent
  • 1 MEC Perseus -7 sleeping bag
  • 1 North Face -7 sleeping bag
  • 1 pillow
  • 1 thermarest 3/4 length
  • 1 thermarest full length lightweight
  • 2 compression bags for sleeping bags
  • 2 bags for thermarests


  • 2 headlamps with extra batteries
  • 1 bear spray (not used)
  • 1 sunblock
  • 2 cameras with extra batteries
  • 1 GoPro
  • 1 camera tripod
  • 1 park map
  • 1 compass (not used)
  • 1 GPS with extra batteries
  • 2 cell phones
  • 1 Garmin InReach SE+ satellite 2-way communication device
  • 2 driver’s licences, credit cards and money
  • 1 emergency kit (Gorilla tape, buckles, dental floss, notepad and pencil, matches, mini bungees, emergency blanket, fire starting materials, needle and thread)
  • 1 first aid kit (miscellaneous bandaids, gauze, tape, compression wrap)
  • hiking poles
  • pen
  • 5 rolls toilet paper (used 3+)
  • 2 backpack rain covers
  • 2 whistles
  • 1 lightweight saw
  • solar charger
  • 1 vehicle key!



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Posted in Backcountry camping, Packing lists, Trip planning | Tagged , , | 1 Comment