The option of a week in the woods

Bridge support beams

For some reason, it is intensely satisfying to live in a way that satisfies these two conditions:

  1. Being able to walk from your home into a wooded area where you have some hope of going a week without seeing anyone else.
  2. Having the gear and experience required to actually do so.

Vancouver easily matches the first criterion. Crossing the first row of North Shore mountains lets you into an area of proper wilderness. Oxford does relatively poorly on the first criterion, though there is still an appreciable amount of wild space about, especially given the high population density of the UK.

Ottawa, I know less about. My experience with outdoor clubs here have been disappointing so far, and personal expeditions have largely been confined to cycling. Hopefully, this summer will involve some camping and exploration in Gatineau Park, if not father afield.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

6 thoughts on “The option of a week in the woods”

  1. Sure, Ottawa is no Vancouver, but by Eastern standards I think it’s doing great — have you been to Algonquin yet? (Not that it meets your criteria).

  2. Is there any practical way to get there aside from driving? Cycling 281km would be a pretty considerable undertaking.

    Transport is one of my major motivations for joining outdoor clubs.

  3. Hey Milan
    Let me know if you do find any good outdoor club options. I am definitely up for some bonding with mother nature this summer.
    By the way I was finally able to secure fitting employment with an NGO here in Ottawa…so long starving student days!

  4. The only way I know to get to Algonquin car-free would be to take the Greyhound to either Huntsville, Barry’s Bay or Pembroke, and then cycle into the park. I think there is a shuttle from Huntsville as well, if you didn’t want to lug your bike along.

    But yeah, all and all, I agree, very inaccessible except by car. Sigh.

  5. Padraic,

    That doesn’t actually sound too bad at all – especially with the shuttle.

    As of tomorrow, I should have recovered my tent thanks to a visit from my father. Summer camping plans are very much fermenting in my mind.

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