25 June, 2013

FRONTENAC PARK CHALLENGE 2012 {getting ready}

Every year our favourite Frontenac park in Ontario hosts The Frontenac Park Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is to hike all 11 trails for the total of over 160 kilometres, during the months of September and October.  The scenery is stunning this time of the year and despite possible showers and cooler temperatures people drive to the park for weekend hikes and occasional over-night camping.

We've completed the Challenge in 2009 and decided to do it again last year.  Since we live far from the park we do the challenge in one shot: hiking all the trails in 8-10 consecutive days.
The project begins s couple of weeks before the departure: we work on the route, ensuring we cover every trail without much backtracking.  We select the campsites for the overnight stays (park policy prohibits staying more than 3 nights on the same campsite cluster), and book our trip.

The next step of the planning is my favourite: food preparation.  As you can guess we need to carry our 10-day provision from day 1.  Surprisingly food is the heaviest part of our load.  We practice Freezer Bag Cooking that allows us to cut the weight of our food drastically, but requires some planning.  I usually spend a couple of days "developing" our menu, dehydrating necessary ingredients, and packaging all the stuff.

All this prep work might seem like too much hassle for some, but we greatly enjoy it and the feeling of leaving with 2 packs under 30 lb each, knowing that we are totally self-sufficient for the next 10 days is priceless!


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