Algonquin Park Backcountry Camping

I mentioned last week that Evan and I were headed camping this weekend to celebrate the end of summer. It was a bit different than any camping I have done before, because where we were going you had to canoe in and you could not have your car on site with you.

So you have to pack all your stuff in a canoe…


In the rain.

And tie all your food and garbage in a tree!

garbage tree

Also in the rain.

So the bears don’t come and eat it (and then eat you). Because apparently there are bears.


Although we did not see one (thankfully).

But let’s back up. I am going to break the weekend up into two posts because there are just way too many things I want to talk about.

Evan and I both took Friday off work, and we headed up to Algonquin Park in the morning. It is a three and a half hour drive though and we made a pit stop, so we didn’t arrive until the early afternoon. I was really excited for this rustic outdoor experience.


We had a LOT of stuff. I am not sure how we fit everything and ourselves into the canoe, but we managed to shove in all in there.


It was kind of raining as we were loading up, hence Evan’s attractive poncho. But clearly we were very prepared. It’s a miracle we didn’t capsize.

We squeezed in with all our camping stuff and were on our way.


I was a bit apprehensive because of the rain, but still excited for our adventure.

There are 16 campsites in total on the lake, and they are not assigned, so you get them on a first come first-served basis. It was raining lightly, and we had a feeling it might continue for a while…

canoeing kingscote lake

So calm and beautiful

It was very overcast, so our main goal was just to get to a site and set up before we had a crazy storm or something. Setting up/packing in the rain is the WORST. We didn’t want to paddle all the way across the lake and find the sites were taken and then have to paddle back in the rain, so we chose a site that was only about a 20 minute paddle from where we launched.


Evan actually went camping here two years ago and stayed on this exact site and had been telling me how great it was, so I trusted his judgment. I don’t know if we would have found a better site if we kept paddling, because I thought ours was pretty awesome. It had a dock!


It was secluded, and it was beautiful. Exactly what I was picturing. Actually, better than what I was picturing!



We unloaded all our gear and started to set up shop.


I have found that Evan is very handy at all the things. He has really great common sense, so I feel like everything he does will just work out. He’s good to have around. I thought that everything he suggested tarp and tent placement-wise was a good idea, so I was very pleasantly surprised that we had an easy and hassle-free set up.


We put one tarp over our tent, and then another over where we planned to just hang out. We really thought the rain wouldn’t stand a chance and we would be warm and dry under tarp city. We were wrong, but more on that later.

Allow me to introduce you to Cloud 9. It fit in our tent perfectly.


That air mattress was key. I have gone camping in the past without one and I have vowed never again. I was REALLY grateful that we had it. Especially when our campsite flooded.

After we set up we went on a little tour around our area, and Evan showed me the bathroom.


Which is a box over a hole in the ground. When we opened it there was the biggest, dirtiest spider of all time sitting in his web stretched directly under the hole that is cut into the box, waiting to bite someone’s ass. NO THANKS. I will rough it, but I need to draw the line somewhere. I have noticed over the years that my body seems to be able to sense when there are unstable #2 conditions, and this would count as unstable, so luckily I was able to hold out and not have to use it at all the entire time. It did not look fun.

After we set up and were comfortably seated under our tarp and it was just raining lightly I started to get the feeling that I have dubbed the “camping feeling,” because I only seem to get it when I’m camping. I don’t even think I can describe it, but it starts in my stomach and it just spreads all over, and it is this happy contentedness that feels like all is well, and all I have in the world to worry about is when I’m going to eat next. I think I love camping mainly for this feeling. And because I don’t have to worry about what I look like for a few days. That’s a plus also.

We were happy campers.



And I’m pretty sure we could not have found a more perfect view.


I have never camped where you are actually ON the lake like this. Like it is right beside you. It was so nice.

And then it rained. A LOT. But more on my most wet camping experience tomorrow. Hope you had a great Labour Day weekend!


13 responses to “Algonquin Park Backcountry Camping

  1. Wow. Good for you for being a trooper, this looks like my nightmare! The “bathroom” especially. Nope nope nope. Not for me.
    Beautiful pictures though!

  2. Oh wow! I did this exact canoe trip with Sean back in the day EXCEPT we canoed for like 4 hours AND had to portage…so basically take all of your stuff out of said canoe….carry it, plus canoe, for approximately 20 minutes across a piece of land, and then get back in and continue on. It is so beautiful out there, but i was DONE after all of that work! Good to see you guys did not go all crazy like. and yes, the sites out there are so worth it! I’m pretty excited to see post #2 with all ze rain though, not gonna lie.

    • No way. Coincidence! I remember you guys going camping, but no idea it was that hardcore. That’s what I originally thought we were going to have to do, so I really like how this eased me into the portaging thing. Like portaging for beginners. I’m so glad we didn’t have to carry anything for any length of time. That just sounds like a ton of work.
      But oh man was it beautiful!

  3. I am so proud of you Lindsey! Algonquin is beautiful. Rob’s family has a cottage on Canoe Lake in the Park so we never camp, but we use to do a lot of camping there. There are so many beautiful campsites and lakes to enjoy!. In no time I am sure you will be able to overcome the #2 situation.

  4. Looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to read how it all turned out.

  5. Awesome! “unstable #2 conditions” made me howl. My body knows that too. I’ve gone an unbelievable amount of time without going because of unstable conditions.

    I know what you mean about just trusting what Evan does will work out. My friend’s brother Charles is like that. He can take your through the sketchiest situation and you don’t have a fear or doubt because you know with Charles in charge, it’s just going to be fine. And yes, I sing him the theme song every time I see him.


    Nice post Lindsey and excellent pictures, Algonquin Park is the ideal location for getting engaged in adventure activities, camping and watching wild life. Last year we friends went on to stay camping in Algonquin park lodge and it was quite comfortable. We went on hiking watching various wild animals and exotic locations. It was a memorable trip. Hope to be there again.

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