Backyard Camping – A long weekend in the wild

I feel like there is nothing more Canadian than taking full advantage of a long weekend in the middle of summer. That’s exactly what I did during the civic holiday last weekend.
Now, I don’t go camping very often so I was kinda clueless to what was going on. I left it up to friends to figure out the logistics of it all… Turns out we were all just figuring it out as we go.

The Plan
This is how the plan was explained to me. We take our boats, kayaks, and canoes floating down the river. Find an island in the middle of the river to set up camp and stay there for the night. The next morning, continue to float down the river until we reach the dam and can’t go any further.
And that’s just what we did.

Lets Float
Now, I’ve been kayaking maybe once in my life and it was definitely over 10 years ago. So when I was placed in front of a kayak and was told hop in, I was a little nervous. Thankfully, I never flipped or ran into anything… I also didn’t do much paddling. The current pulled us along and we just coasted along having a few drink on the way. It was incredibly relaxing. I was able to check out the landscape of the Grand River. I was surprised at how beautiful it was. It looked more like what I’d expect from cottage country, not southern Ontario between Cambridge and Paris. I always thought I would have to travel to other areas of Canada to find the stunning landscapes typical of this country. Trees of every shade of green created walls along the river that made me feel like I was in the bottom of a canyon, only barely seeing the blue sky above. I never would have guess this was in my backyard.

Kayak parked at our island campsite

Kayak parked at our island campsite

Camping Time
After checking out a couple islands that were less than suitable for camping on, we found one that was perfect. This is where I felt really useless. I haven’t ever set up a tent before. I know the general idea of how to go about it, but knowing something and actually doing something are two very different things. Same thing went for chopping firewood – not really useful. So, in very me fashion, I pulled out my camera and starting shooting the area. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing with drinks and just enjoying being outside away from the city. I don’t get out of the city too often these days so it was really nice getting back to the wild. I really missed it.

One of the tents I couldn't set up...

One of the tents I couldn’t set up…

Finishing Up
The next morning we packed up camp and went back to floating down the river. It went the same way as the day before but this time when the fishing poles were taken out, fish were actually caught. I was sad when we reached the end of the river. I had gotten the hang of the kayak and wanted to keep going. It was an excellent way to spend the long weekend. I got out of the city and discovered that there were beautiful places in my backyard I didn’t know about before.

I made a compilation video of the trip so check it out:

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