Backcountry Camping at #BonEcho and My Nutty Experience

Last weekend, I visited the amazing Bon Echo Provincial Park. There are lots of incredible vistas and cool things to do at the park; you can hike trails up to 17 kilometers in length, kayak or canoe over to the 100 meter high Mazinaw Rock, check out the over 260 Aboriginal pictographs portrayed on the Rock, play along the beaches, or swim in the clear, cold waters of Kishkebus Lake. While visiting, I also saw the Friends of Bon Echo hosting their art exhibition and BBQ.

This is a park with a lot of appeal, for a wide range of visitors, and is well-known for its backcountry camping experience.

Outside of my exciting discoveries at Bon Echo, I also had an incredibly physical experience of the park. My boyfriend and I carried an inflated raft full of our camping supplies over 1 kilometer from the parking lot to the launch into Joe Perry Lake, where we were canoe-in camping. We had to push these supplies through tall grass and marshy parts of the lake to reach the isolated campsite #516. Not to mention the daily outings on the kayak and hiking up the Mazinaw Rock!

Earlier this year, I read an article about ‘rucking’ (i.e. walking with a heavy backpack) being the #1 fitness trend in 2015. What I didn’t realize was how incredibly intense it can feel when you have bugs whining in your ears and sweat pouring down your back.

Eating became very important during this strenuous exercise. I was glad that we brought a sufficient amount of snacks, main meals, and water, despite the bulk of these items during transit. I ate my go-to post-workout snacks during the trip, including bananas, red peppers, trail mix, and (when settled back at the campsite) yummy oatmeal creations full of walnuts and raisins.

Healthy snacks can help to keep you feeling satisfied and provide a slow release of sugar for longer-lasting energy between meals. These foods are important to eat while you’re working hard to portage out in the backcountry, but are also helpful for improving your family’s long-term health, heightening your performance at work, and giving you nourishing energy while on the run.

I’ve created an infographic (be gentle – it’s my first attempt!), below, which highlights a good balance of nutrients when eating during the day. Superfoods, which are nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants, can be a fun way to shake up your daily eating routine and stay healthy while out hiking or travelling (Nuts.com, 2015). These foods might include walnuts or blueberries, both of which contribute to improved heart health.

Important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to include in your diet include calcium, vitamin C, and – of course – water (Nuts.com, 2015). Calcium contributes to strong bones, while vitamin C boosts the immune system. Water can fuel your muscles as you lose sweat.

Healthy Snacking_July 30 2015 Infographic

I did learn one sad and unfortunate lesson during my trip to Bon Echo’s backcountry campsite. For unknown reasons, I decided to leave my trail mix out and tucked under the raft one night. I awoke to find that a raccoon had gotten into the food and eaten the entire portion!

I couldn’t stop grumbling about my own stupidity for a few hours – we carefully hung up all the other food in a cooler in a tree. What a nutty (or nut-less?!) experience! I went for the remainder of the trip without my favorite trail mix, a collection of peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, and raisins. Since I was upset about the lack of this tasty snack, I took a picture of the crime scene evidence, below.

DSC02706
Exhibit A: My idiocy, resulting in lost deliciousness.

On my next backcountry camping trip, which I hope will be very soon, I am going to gear up with lots more of my favorite healthy trail mixes to fuel the sweat and intense work that goes into seeing these amazing natural places! Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any favorite snacks that you use to fuel your camping trips.

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