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Author Topic: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.  (Read 10104 times)

Offline PineMartyn

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VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« on: April 27, 2012, 08:27:31 am »
My wife and I hike and camp almost exclusively on crown land and over the years we've had friends and fellow camping enthusiasts ask us what crown land is and how one goes about finding crown land on which to hike or camp.
To this end, I've uploaded two instructional videos about crown land and how to find it.

Part 1 is a general discussion of crown land and it's merits.
http://youtu.be/SHOVMz_FmFA

Part 2 demonstrates a procedure for locating crown land in Ontario.
http://youtu.be/snbMdL0ZK1M

It's not the definitive word on crown land, but I hope this helps demystify it a bit for those who live in southern cities but would like to give it a try someday.  Remember that you don't need thousands of continuous acres of crown land to enjoy winter camping, just a parcel big enough to get out of earshot of the highway sounds.

Hope this helps,

-Martin
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 08:30:03 am by PineMartyn »
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Offline brianw

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 04:08:16 pm »
Those are great videos, Martin.

I suppose the one issue that I have with crown land camping is the one of finding plowed access and good places to park where your vehicle will be safe and secure when you get back to it. 

From what I understand, most of the easily accessible non operational parks (Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands, Kawartha Highlands and others) are all covered with snowmobile and ATV trails.  So these aren't ideal if you are looking for peace and quiet on your winter camping adventures.  It's not like back country/interior camping inside Algonquin Provincial Park is expensive ($11.75 per night last season) and has lots of rules and regulations to follow (30m away from any trail, summer camp site or shore line, don't cut live vegetation, no can/bottles etc).  Basically follow the leave no trace style of camping.   Winter is especially good in Algonquin as you can go anywhere in the park where there isn't a summer camp site.  I also feel that having plowed access and parking areas and closer help well worth the nominal fee for camping.

Cheers

Brian

Offline PineMartyn

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 04:44:49 pm »
Thanks for that, Brian. 

And I agree, finding a place to park's a real issue. One must drive out there beforehand to see where one can park or where one will be able to carve out a spot. 

Regarding Alqonquin Park, it's certainly not prohibitively expensive, and far from overrun in winter, so for those of us who don't have the good fortune to live close to crown land, maintained parks which operate in winter, are the most practical way to go. 

I'm fortunate that I don't have to drive for half a day to find areas where I can camp completely free of charge and where I know there won't be ATVers and/or snowmobilers roaring past.  But I'm hoping that those who don't live so far from it will give it a try once they know where it is.  I live in Huntsville and when I mention crown land with fellow camping enthusiasts around here they shrug and say "Yeah, I've always wanted to try that, but I don't know where to find any."  One of the paradoxes of living where I do (close to general use crown land AND Algonquin Park, is that people think only of Alqonquin in connection with camping, having no idea that they are surrounded by great locations.   And when it comes to summer camping on crown land, it's so nice to be able to go camping at the last minute, at the height of the summer vacation period or during a long weekend, and know that you won't be shut out because you didn't book far enough ahead of time, and where you don't have to pay fees or keep to a paddling/camping schedule and route.   And then of course, there's the satisfaction of discovering your own 'secret' spot.

Regarding Kawartha Highlands Park, I've been there a few times and loved it (though it's been some years past now), but I thought it had recently become an operational park.  Am I mistaken about this?  There are several places there I'd love to revisit.

Thanks,
-Martin
No one has ever been heard to say on a deathbed, "I wish I'd put in more time at the office."

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 06:47:44 pm »
Maybe you should re-title your video "Crown Land Camping in Ontario..."

The ATV/dirtbikes/snowmobile issue is a big problem her in Manitoba. To give them credit most of the snowmobilers stick to the Snoman trails but there are enough who don't and along with the ATVs they do a good job of making many trails unusable or unsafe in our nearest crown land. Fallen trees or even gates are no obstacle to these guys. I was very surprised to see how good condition the trails were in your area.

There are areas designated as wildlife management areas which are less traveled in summer outside hunting season but in winter many are home to official snowmobile trails. This does have the advantage of plowed parking lots though so not all bad!

The other issue is that general crown land will be unlikely to have any protection. You could come back to your favorite location to find it has been logged or a new mining access road pushed through!

Sorry to sound negative. I did think it was a useful video, but perhaps gave a rosy of many crown lands.

BV

www.canoepaddler.me.uk for canoe tripping and winter trekking photos and fireboxes

Offline PineMartyn

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 08:17:45 pm »
Sounds like realism, not negativity to me, Bothwell Voyageur.

I guess I should count myself fortunate that here in Ontario ATVs, while popular,  haven't yet done as extensive damage to our trails as they seem to have done in Manitoba.  Still, I have seen trails, including multi-use trails, completely ruined by ATVers.  Trails get widened beyond all sense, get badly rutted to the point of turning them into long shallow ponds, and for some reason a significant number of ATVers seem unable to pick up their garbage, even though they have a vehicle doing the carrying for them.  I wince every time I see one out there.  They really can ruin a perfect piece of bush and I wish ATVs were not permitted to be used that way on crown land.

-Martin
No one has ever been heard to say on a deathbed, "I wish I'd put in more time at the office."

Offline crazyhorsejohnny

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 08:45:59 pm »
Great videos !!!! Very informative. I can't wait to start exploring the crown land near me (Ottawa).

Offline michel

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 02:13:51 pm »
Great video tanks for sharing.like the parts on how to mark boundary on Google earth.

Offline Grizzly Adam

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 09:51:46 am »
Hey there guys I have been camping on crown land for many years and I have a bush craft camp set up in a near by area in mars sand hills there are lots of trails in the area and there is a dirt bike track near a hydro line about a kilometer away from my camp. and the amount of quad and dirt bike traffic that I see and here is minimal usually just passing through. the forests are all there for us to share as long as we use them responsibly pick up your crap, make reasonable camp sites, and use fire wisely and always make sure that it is out when you depart. The problem with motorized transport is that as you say they widen trails and many can not refrain from tearing up the trails and creating huge ruts. they don't seem to realize that spinning the tires does nothing but shoot dirt in your partners face LOL. And the garbage issue is huge Ill try to post some pics of the camp but last time I tried to use Photo Bucket it had a virus warning prompted OH and they are trying to restrict access to Mars to foot and horse only let's just hope they are smart and don't ban it all together, you all know where I stand on that crap LOL.cheers Grizz.

Offline Grizzly Adam

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 10:31:59 am »
some pics sorry can't re size



Offline Grizzly Adam

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 10:41:40 am »










Sorry for the big pics but photo bucket changed there re sizing software again so I need to figure out how to use again LOL Cheers Grizz.

Offline low-1

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 12:50:00 pm »
I feel a need to say something here.  I'm sure it wasn't intended this way (or at least I hope it wasn't), but you do realize that it's certain idiots on ATVs (and snowmobiles and dirtbikes and whatever else) that are causing damage, not all ATVers.

You really have to be careful when painting with such a broad brush.  An idiot will be an idiot regardless of how they travel.  I've seen hikers, cross country skiers and canoeists who leave trash behind them as well.

Yes, I am an avid ATV and snowmobile rider, and the VAST majority of my friends tread extremely lightly.  Where we travel, you have to treat the trails with a lot of respect as it's the only way in and out, and "grabbing a handful of throttle" is the fastest way to limit our own access.  We travel over a lot of muskeg and floating bog, and if your wheels even START to slip, you stop, get off and push.  Tire spin is the enemy.

And back on topic, we are literally surrounded by crown land as far as you can travel in any direction, hundreds of miles.  To me, it's not camping if there are designated spots.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 01:21:47 pm by low-1 »

Offline Grizzly Adam

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 05:09:17 pm »
I did use the term "most", and in a area where you live the respect that folks have for the trail systems is great I think that the problem is as you say "idiots" the world has no shortage of them and most local areas around larger cities like Winnipeg see more weekend warriors than people that "NEED" the trails to travel and are used as a "fun" trail area and yes there are back country users that are just as guilty of the same offenses.  this is why Mars may be closed to ATV traffic  I have not scouted every inch of it but I assume there are sections that are a real concern for the Gov to take a look at this option.

The camp I have set up is using blow down and dead standing trees and local resources and was created as a sustainable camp that I can return to and enjoy, and the shelters created are of different types so I can bring folks there and teach Bushcraft to friends and family ect and when done it will all go to ground again. cheers Grizz.

Offline PineMartyn

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 07:45:40 pm »
Very nice camp Grizzly Adam. Just lovely.
-Martin
No one has ever been heard to say on a deathbed, "I wish I'd put in more time at the office."

Offline kinguq

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 09:46:23 pm »
Thanks for the informative video. We do much of our camping on crown land too. There is lots of it around North Bay. There are also quite a few non-operating provincial parks, which for all intents and purposes are just like crown land.

I was wondering if you know of a good website where one can view and print topo maps. I used to use Acme Mapper but it is no longer valid for Canada. Toporama as well but the quality is not very good. Maps can be quite expensive, and my areas are always on the edge of the map!

Thanks,

Kinguq.

Offline low-1

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Re: VIDEO: Crown land camping and how to find it.
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 11:36:20 pm »
These are the official Canadian topographical maps available Natural Resources Canada.  http://geogratis.cgdi.gc.ca/geogratis/en/product/search.do?id=CB864DC7-25A1-5136-57F4-C095CE1C6A6D  If you print those out, you should have the same ones you'd get from a place like Canada Map Sales, the paper copies.