rehearsals of a tramp | I do not travel to go somewhere, but to go. By the fact of traveling. The point is to move. -Robert Louis Stevenson

"If we did not have winter, spring would not be so nice; and if we did not sometimes prove adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. "- Anne Bradstreet

The month of February was very warm, so much so that there was no snow in Montréal. p> But the first week of March, the winter reminded us that it was not gone yet.

On the day we left the mercury marked -17 ° C in Montréal. We finished quickly packing, the movements beginning to become reflexes after several times of doing it. We left early on a Sunday morning while most people were still in bed. After a few hours' walk we arrived at La Mauricie National Park, a large space of 536km square covered with forest, lakes and rivers.

This time we brought a sledge to load our equipment. The sleigh, in various forms, has been a method of transporting material for centuries, and it really is a method that makes the most of the advantages of winter.

p> However, despite its advantages, the sled works best on flat terrain for obvious reasons. In spite of this, it is also necessary to know how to use it in uneven terrain. Therefore, on the first day we train to use it that way, going up and down, being more problematic the descent.

Be careful in the steep descents

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After the break, we pass an even steeper path with very tired ascents and descents. Also the road in several places was frozen and very slippery so a couple of times I fell, the sled pulling me down until a tree would inevitably stop our fall sharply and I would crash on the sled.

p> The day was cold, at its hottest at -15 ° C, but despite that, and because of the effort, we could not be cold. In addition, I will never tire of talking about the moose leather moccasins made by the Cree Indians, it is the most comfortable and suitable footwear for the cold.

As the sunset approaches, we begin to prepare our camping site. Due to the warm weather last week the snow was quite hard. We found a place where we started digging to make a mini cave in the snow. Fabiola, while preparing the mattress with pine branches and went to get firewood for the fire that was given by the park team.

For those of our readers who come from warmer countries that will be wondering how scrubs it is possible to sleep outside in those climates? I will reply that it is surprisingly possible. It is possible thanks to a combination of using the elements in our favor and having a minimum of suitable equipment.

More news: Scouts of the World Program, Costa Rica

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After a nutritious dinner and a warm tea, well covered with the elements, with fire warming our faces, we prepared to go to sleep.

In the sky the stars began to appear. Beneath the half moon shining like a match, the constellation Orion, the valiant hunter, made his glorious appearance.

While admiring the stars, an airplane crossed the sky leaving a cloud tail behind its path, and as if the sky was telling me the story of Orion, the plane as Artemis arrow pierced Orion by his heart. >

During the night we kept the fire on because we had a good amount of wood. The temperature dropped to -22 ° C during the night, felt especially in the face that is the most exposed, but we did not really get cold all night. The snow keeps the heat of our bodies and despite the cold the shelter is kept around 2 or 3 ° C.

The next day, we head towards the fishing lake (Lac a la Pêche ), a lake several kilometers long. After several months of winter the ice in the lakes is at its thickest point, so much so that even vehicles can ride on the ice. Despite its thickness, ice is still ice and with changes in temperature or water currents you will often hear cracking. There is no danger but when it is the first time you walk on the water it can be impressive.

On the ice we were able to take advantage of the sled to its maximum, loading all the material without effort at all. The day was beautiful and the sun soon warmed the frosty morning.

We spent the morning crossing the lake and exploring the peculiarities of the ice. At noon we warmed a meal and tea and then returned to the lake. Sometimes the ice made noises under our feet, or we saw cracks appear when passing through a place, but there is no danger since the ice is so thick that it can not be opened. We are practically a pen on a white sea of ​​frozen water.

This time we improved our experience based on what we learned in the first and we see that even at a very low temperature, if we work well and do what is necessary we can spend a night under the stars that is memorable, not the cold and the discomfort, but by the comfort and the spectacle that nature gives us. We also improve our food, adding more protein and prepared foods at home that are always more delicious!

Thanks for reading and do not forget share our blog to your friends who love adventure and nature! We are always developing new projects and this year they announce great things!

-Daniel and Fabiola

  • Adam Floyd