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23 votes
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What are the consequences of — illegally — using a 446 MHz PMR in the North American wilderness?

In both the U.S. and Canada, amateur radio operators serve an important role in providing emergency radio communications during war, disaster, terrorist attack, or whatever other emergency. So amateur ...
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17 votes
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If a national park trail with its campsites has been decommisioned, can I still hike and camp there?

I have phoned with the trail reservation office for Jasper National Park, and this is what they told me. The route has been decommisioned. This means that it is now considered wildland. Hiking and ...
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14 votes
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Legal permits required for trekking in Canada

National parks tend to be absolutely open to anyone, their goal being to allow public enjoyment without compromising the area for future generations. From the park's own website: A permit is not ...
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14 votes
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Advice on wild swimming in Ontario, Canada

I did a lot of swimming in NW Ontario when I was a kid, and I've spent more time swimming in lakes and rivers than I have in swimming pools. I find the phrasing of this question curious, because I've ...
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11 votes
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Dangers of solo hiking (in Ontario)

Traveling solo doesn't necessarily make a hike any riskier, or lessen your chance of injury. What is does do, is increase the response time of rescue workers. When you're hiking in a group and ...
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  • 53k
10 votes

Do barrel style root cellars get colder the deeper you dig them?

For any reasonable depth (ie. something you'd be willing to dig without specialized machinery), a deeper hole makes for a more stable temperature. The extra mass of soil surrounding your cellar acts ...
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10 votes
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Can I camp in the backcountry outside backcountry campsites in Jasper National Park?

The answer is no, you may only camp in designated areas. Camping is only allowed in designated areas at Jasper park. If you contact the park directly by e-mail the answer is the following: In ...
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  • 8,011
10 votes
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What are lawful wilderness activities in Canada?

In Ontario, the relevant terminology is "Crown Land". This is land that is not owned by any private entity, and is essentially free for use, however there are some rules. Most of the province is ...
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10 votes
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What does it take to become a wilderness skills guide as a business?

In my experience, it comes down to 4 things. Wilderness First Responder Certification: The first course is 80 hours and then you need to recertify after 2 years. There are other certifications such ...
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9 votes

How are backcountry campground reservations enforced?

This is in fact an annoying feature of Provincial and Federal parks in Canada. I do not know of any which do not have those rules. In fact, even if you are hiking the IAT, a 3000km hike, you must ...
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9 votes

How are backcountry campground reservations enforced?

Two parts to your question, and two parts to my answer. First, how can you plan your route lake by lake when you don't know the weather etc? You plan for somewhat shorter days, and deal with delays ...
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9 votes
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Cycling in Ontario — do I need to worry about permission to access logging roads?

The answer is usually no, but there may be some restrictions depending on exactly where you're going. Most logging roads are on crown land. The use of forest roads is managed through road abandonment,...
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9 votes
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Running in bear country

It's when you're moving quickly and quietly along the trail that you're most likely to encounter a bear in the Rockies, and that's because they're easier to sneak up on that way. I run into more ...
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8 votes

Advice on wild swimming in Ontario, Canada

The way to get started is to swim in areas that are marked as generally safe. These will typically be a sandy beach on the shores of a small lake. Provincial Parks generally have one of these with ...
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8 votes
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Snowshoe hare migration patterns through changing seasons

This page makes it seem like they do not migrate. Most other plant eaters, like deer and elk, vacate deep snowy areas and migrate to the lowlands, river bottoms, or south-facing slopes that are ...
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8 votes

What are lawful wilderness activities in Canada?

It really depends on which province you are moving to and how far you are willing to go from urban centers. First off, stay away from any private property. While my activities can sometimes bring me ...
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7 votes
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In Canada, does a frontcountry campground kitchen shelter typically include a freezer?

No, there won't be anything electrical. A front country kitchen will usually contain: a wood burning stove 2-4 picnic tables food storage lockers a bear proof trash container (nearby) Depending on ...
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  • 6,251
7 votes

What is the longest stretch of bike trail that parallels a navigable river in the US?

You might consider .. The C&O canal on the Maryland side of the Potomac starts in harpers ferry ( accessible by rail on Amtrak) and goes to Georgetown DC just past the Key bridge. The end is ...
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7 votes

Dangers of solo hiking (in Ontario)

The biggest danger in hiking alone is that any sort of injury or illness can very quickly put you in a situation where your life is at risk. anything which immobilises you in the wilderness is ...
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  • 6,172
7 votes
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What ever happened to the proposals for no-rescue zones for backpackers?

It looks like it was most commonly proposed in the 1980s to around 1994 and has since been brought up at different times by different people but was never implemented. Here are the results I found ...
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7 votes
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What kind of sea creature leaves this skin/shell?

It looks a lot like dried Turkish Towel seaweed, or Chondracanthus exasperatus. Turkish Towels are often solid red when alive, but then changes to shades of brown, pink, cream, and translucent as it ...
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  • 251
6 votes

What Canadian national/provincial/territorial parks permit random backcountry camping, if any?

You need to distinguish between a backcountry campground - a bunch of sites together - and a backcountry campsite. In Algonquin, while you may only camp on designated sites, you are all alone as ...
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6 votes
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Where to buy ethanol in Canada?

I did find ethanol at Canadian Tire (in downtown Toronto). However, they only had a large bottle (almost 4L), so it's not suitable if one is already on their way; you should still get a smaller ...
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  • 26k
6 votes
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When (if ever) do backcountry campsites in the major Canadian national parks in the Rocky Mountains grow quiet?

I live in Banff National Park and go backcountry camping on a regular basis. Peak season for Banff, Kootenay, Jasper, Glacier, Yoho, and Revelstoke (and really, pretty much any Canadian National Park)...
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  • 6,251
6 votes

Cycling in Ontario — do I need to worry about permission to access logging roads?

I can't answer for Ontario or that route specifically, but only give you a general idea how private property and trespassing works in the US and Canada. You are right in that we don't have ...
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  • 21.3k
6 votes

Why are death percentages of death from trauma in an avalanche so different between USA, Europe, and Canada?

While it does not account for the difference between Canada and the USA, I'm pretty sure that one reason for the low numbers in Europe is that the latter has a lot of seasonal mountain pastures in ...
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6 votes
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Is there a Canadian equivalent to Forestry Rangers

At the federal level your best bet is either Parks Canada or the Canadian Forest Service, which is part of Natural Resources Canada, which also has tons of other relevant areas such as maps and map ...
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  • 6,251
6 votes

How do permits for US/Canada public land work?

There are really no general principles. Some permits are free and self-issued: you pick up a form at the trailhead and fill it out. This is really more of a registration system, so that the ...
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6 votes
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Collecting plant foodstuff in the Canadian wilderness of Alberta during winter?

This is really a comment, or several of them, but too big to use the comments mechanism. Alberta is a big place with quite varied climates. In particular, you can divide the province into the Rocky ...
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