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Author Topic: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules  (Read 233 times)

Offline GearFreak

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Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:51:07 pm »
So - it has been quite a while since I spoke to anyone at the parks regarding winter camping.  back in 2013/2014 they thought we were all nuts and really had not considered that we would do this.  Well, that has changed. 

Note the following I found online - I will confirm my info with the park I am heading to before I leave but thought this may be interesting to other Manitoba based campers.

https://www.manitoba.ca/sd/parks/pdf/winter_camping.pdf

text reads:
Winter Camping in Provincial Parks
 
While developed campgrounds close for the winter season, there are several options for winter camping.  Whether you are hunting, ice fishing or looking for a thrilling winter adventure, you should first contact the respective Sustainable Development District Office for the park you wish to camp.  Staff will let you know what locations may be available and help you plan your visit.  Find contact info here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wildlife/about/who.html 
 
In provincial parks, any overnight camping permitted only in designated sites.  Any backcountry sites available in summer remain available for camping in the winter.  There are no fees for backcountry winter camping.  Winter camping is by tent only.
 
There are some options on maintained trails as well: • Spruce Woods Provincial Park –the Epinette, Seton and Yellow Quill trail systems offer several hike or ski in campsites, including the Jackfish Lake cabin.  Distances to sites range from 2 km to 20 km treks. • Turtle Mountain Provincial Park – you can ski on the Adam Lake trail system to the James Lake cabin for overnight use. There is no charge for camping or use of the Jackfish or James Lake cabins, but registration is required for any overnight use in these two parks.  For Spruce Woods, call our Carberry District Office at 204-834-8800; for Turtle Mountain, call our Boissevain District Office at 204-534-2028.
 
Organized groups may be able to use group use areas for winter camping.  Organizers need to submit a Special Event Application to do so, found here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/specialevents/index.html 
 
Most parks do not have regular staff in the winter; routes are not maintained and there are no services.  You are camping and travelling at your own risk.  You must practice Leave No Trace and pack out everything you packed in, including trash and gear.   
 
For more information on winter camping in provincial parks, contact your local District Office, call us toll-free 1-800-2146497 or email [email protected].
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Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 04:05:20 pm »
Piffle!

The majority of summer sites are useless for winter; too open, no wood, up on a hill.

I don't think many of them really have a clue what goes on.

It is best to keep them in the dark or they will try to enforce the rules!
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Offline Harlan

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 04:55:57 pm »
Parks officials usually have their heads in their asses. We have the same struggle in Woodland Caribou.....I am not aware of any park official ever winter camping in the park, but they always feel the need to lecture us each fall and early winter. 

Just do your thing, get out and enjoy the back country

Offline GearFreak

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 09:53:13 pm »
I placed a call to the Rennie Office, initial contact had no information.  I left a message with the CO.  Will have to see what the say left my number or told him to find me on a lake!  Curious.

I expect someone created a policy to address an uptick in Winter Camping and leave some discretion to the actual park officers. I know Riding Mountain's rangers have discretion on whether to grant a backcountry random camping permit.

Saw on twitter the parks dept. was replacing some of the picnic tables in Two of the three lakes I have on my radar for this weekend.  https://twitter.com/MBGovParks  (one of the pictures doesn't look recent - way more snow on the lakes!)  Either way I am downloading the sites to my GPS and if one is acceptable I may play nice.  At least at a designated site alcohol can be "legally" consumed!

But I agree with both your points.
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Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 08:02:43 am »
Just to clarify my response somewhat. I have no problem with the park taking efforts to protect the environment from the impacts of human use. They desperately need to do something but tackling winter camping seems way down the list of activities in need of more effective regulation.

Fairly high up the list should come the free for all use of motorized vehicles in the parks, there are few places you can escape from the intrusive noise and impact of folk accessing the back country and leaving garbage in makeshift fire pits. I have also noticed that traditional narrow portage trails become much wider once they start to be used by vehicles.

It would have been good if MB parks had taken the opportunity, while installing the new picnic tables to remove some of the piles of rotting boats left at the portages, damaging the shoreline and polluting the water with fragments of polyurethane foam breaking down.

I have ways found it puzzling long that it is technically illegal for me to have a tiny fire in my twig stove but instead I must use a large rusting fire pit, filled with way more wood than necessary to boil just two cups of water.

I’m not sure what the park intends campers to do about human waste while at summer sites. While there are green thrones at many sites these are fairly impractical to use in winter; even if you can find them they become blocked with snow or a peak builds up in the middle as each successive turd freezes one on top of another.

Most folk working at the parks are great to work with. I have had several meetings with them on behalf of Paddle Manitoba. Practical attempts to improve things are hampered by lack of resources and whenever they try to make real improvements there is often political interference for fear of upsetting the cottage/motorboat/at/skidoo owning majority so they resort to issuing missives like this. Just as they told me I have to tie myself to my dog while portaging my canoe.

Oh well. Keep calm and carry on!
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Offline memaquay

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2019, 08:55:00 am »
Just wondering......is there no Crown Land in Manitoba?  All of our tripping, both winter and summer is on Crown Land, no worries about park rules.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2019, 10:02:06 am »
Yes, but much of it is further away, has few places to park (and there is the worry that your vehicle is more likely to be vandalized) and a lot of the closest stuff seems to require long hauls along old logging roads that tend to go up and down steep hills. OK for the mechanised folk but my legs just can't take it.

You can check out the area between HWY 304 and 314 to see the closest crown land. Make sure to zoom in and you can see the network of forestry and mining roads that thread across that area.

Undersky is likely to be the expert on alternative locations if the parks do get fussy, maybe he'll have some suggestions. It's actually closer for us to head into NW Ontario to find Crown Land with lake systems.
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Offline GearFreak

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Re: Manitoba Parks Winter Camping Rules
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2019, 11:52:13 am »
I have also noticed that traditional narrow portage trails become much wider once they start to be used by vehicles.
I hear you, from what I can find the accepted route into many backcountry lakes is the summer portage trails. 
One reason I liked Quetico so much was the non motorized access and the feeling of isolation you get.

Although walking those trails out of  Mary Jane was much easier!



"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Dr. Seuss - "The Lorax"