Pre Planning Pt 1

Good Morning!

The sun this morning is deceiving…but nice anyways :).  Going on a canoe trip or camping trip is great and very relaxing.  However there is a lot of work that goes into a trip and usually I start in January.

Planning for a trip consists of a number of things.  Step one is typically done at the end of the season which is to take an inventory of all your gear.  This is so that during the off season you can repair what needs to be repaired and stock up on gear that needs to be replaced or any new gear you wish to purchase.  Step two is planning when you are going to take your trips and start planning your route/base camp.  Step three is to finalize your route/base camp and reserve.  Step four is to organize your gear, food, and anything else you need for your trip.  On a side note: everyone plans their trips differently.  This is how I plan my trips and you yourself needs to find your own method.  I’m planning my first trip of the season which is looking like it will be on Mother’s Day weekend.

So let’s get to planning.  My family is in the process of moving so we’ve already taken an indepth inventory of what we have.  Closer to the beginning of the season it will be leaving the boxes and stored where I have quick access to it.  I suggest maybe making an excel spreadsheet of your gear so that you can quickly pull it up anytime.  This is really important if you have people coming with you that have never camped before so you can make sure you have enough gear for everyone.  This spreadsheet can then be printed if you like or emailed to people in your family so everyone has a copy on their computer.

Step 2…choosing the date and location of your trip.  This is going to be my first trip of the season so I’m looking at May 10-13th.  Because I’m camping on a Friday and Monday…I’m going to have to make sure I book the time off of work.  This is where a planning binder can come in handy.  Typically I’m a very spontaneous person in the fact that my trips are booked and planned within a week or so but I do like to be organized when it comes to trips that I plan well in advance.  You can get some handy printables from A Daily Dose of Davis.  Or search on  I will post some planning templates later today on my pinterest site.

So we have the dates – May 10-13th.  Now we need a site or route in mind.  Because it is early in the season…there are only a few campgrounds open along the HWY 60 corridor in Algonquin Park.  This is a very important part of planning as it can make or break your trip.  You need to take into account that your favorite site may not be available yet.  Let’s go onto to check availability

So for the dates in question this is the availability:

As you can see…the only campgrounds open/available are Tea Lake, Mew Lake, and Rock/Coon Lake along the HWY 60 Corridor.  There are other campgrounds up north and to the east as well.  For all intents and purposes we are going with HWY 60.  Part of your decision in picking a place to camp requires you to find out information about the campground you want to choose.  All three campgrounds here are great..however they do have some con’s as well.  For example, Mew Lake has a great location with the airfield behind it and access to the Track and Tower or Highland Backpacking Trail.  However, a bunch of the sites back onto the hwy and can be quite noisy.  Rock Lake is fairly secluded from the main road however the sites are fairly open to each other.  So you need to decide what is right for you and your family.

This afternoon I’m going to walk you through choosing a site using and making sure you choose the right site for your needs!

~Enjoy your trip!