Film: Blancanieves

Since the last post we’ve done a lot of cool things, but one of the most unusual (for us) was winter camping. We actually did it in style by renting a yurt in the Gatineau park. Our yurt was over 5 km away from the closest parking lot so we arrived after lunch and started hiking.


It took us just under 2 hours, with one minor detour, to make it to our destination.


Though I was told by a reliable source that the yurts are really nice, we were a little bit apprehensive. We rented sleeping bags rated for -20C and snowshoes. I was trying to find out if I can get wood delivered because we already had enough equipment in the sled we rented I had no desire to add weight to it, but could find no information other than there is a propane stove connected to the fuel line in the yurt. I did order water to be delivered.


As soon as we got into the yurt the boys got very excited and played around like crazy. The headlamps, bunk beds and sleeping bags were a particular hit.


My worries about freezing turned out to be unfounded. The despite the yurt being large and perched on the top of the hill overlooking a lake, inside, the wood stove with plenty of fire wood on location kept the room so warm we had to open the door a little to have a nice temperature. There was a snowstorm overnight and we woke up to a beautiful fresh layer of snow.


The existing snow was pretty packed, even in the forest, so there was no need for snowshoes though Trevor was very excited to try his on.


Owen had walked most of the way to the yurt by himself without much complaining but he was not is a good mood the next day and had to be carried back. Trevor walked the whole way and had a good time all around.


On the way back we stopped in lovely Wakefield for much appreciated refreshments.


All in all, I was really impressed with the yurt and the trails. This park is really great for x-country skiing! If I am to go again, I would try and find a better map. The map we had was winter trail map and we found it sparse on the details. The objects we run into (parking lots, cottages, snow covered roads, trails, sheds, etc… were not labelled with names on either the actual objects or on the map so it was difficult to determine where we were and the posted maps sometimes had “you are here” arrow in completely wrong places. Not very comforting when you are walking in the woods with two little kids. On the other hand, if you are a frequent visitor to the park, which I am guessing most of the people using these facilities are, you would know where you are going anyway.

I would like to come back to this area to camp in the summer, it looks fantastic for biking as well. Now that I have a better idea of what to expect in the winter, I would probably go lighter on sleeping bags and find a way to arrange our equipment so that the smaller kids can go in and out of the sled at their leisure. It would be fun to make staying at the yurt a part of a larger hike or adventure.

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