Update

Just thought I would give an interim update, since it is summer and a time that I’m usually more active. Don’t want folks to think that I’ve fallen off the edge of the known world.

Right now, as most people in Ontario probably know, the weather is hot and humid, not my favourite kind of weather. To be honest, I’d rather see freezing temperatures rather than what we have at this moment. I’m not a big fan of hot and humid.

So, I’m holed up for the time being, and I will remain so for the duration of this hot spell. Like I always say, if it’s not enjoyable, I don’t do it.

However, that doesn’t mean that everything stops dead. I have been doing some work on my truck, involving updating the back interior to provide me with camping options I never had before. Of course, like always, my foremost intention in everything I do up here is to increase my ability to explore the wilderness in this area. Having said that, I will be doing a post on those updates, that I have almost finished, very soon.

When I don’t go out, I sometimes research other possibilities for exploring, and I have been looking at bush roads as a possible link to remote areas that I can camp in, or on. I’ve started to compile a collection of maps, that I created in Google Maps, detailing some long bush/logging roads that could be used for a truck camping adventure. In other words, I would go into these roads and stop at different locations, usually smaller lakes, to camp for a night or so, and then move on to the next opportunity.

This presents a whole new way of exploring the wilderness, and I’m always open to that. I’m going to include some of the locations that I’ve mapped, and give a bit of detail about why I chose that area, and what interests the area might hold.

First up is Kindiogami Road. This is a long logging road, that connects highways 108/639/546 north of Elliot Lake, to highway 129 to the west.

All those blue balloons on the map are locations that I may stop at to camp for the night, but they are not the only locations available. There are others, that I have not shown, which may be suitable also, I just don’t know what the access is like. You can click on any of the balloons to see what I feel might be available at that location but, since I’ve never actually been there yet, those comments are strictly supposition.

I have done some research on Kindiogami Road and, from what I have read, it is a good road. However, one persons idea of what constitutes ‘good’ might be different than mine, or yours. But, my guess is that, since it’s a logging road, and these huge logging trucks must use it, it’s probably fairly passable by most vehicles.

The unknown part comes with the side roads that lead into the lakes along the way. Here, you will almost certainly need a high clearance vehicle, such as a four-wheel drive.

I considered giving up my current vehicle, which is a Ford Expedition, with AWD, 4 high, and 4 Low. But, sanity prevailed, and I decided to put some work into the Expedition in order to increase it’s longevity, and usefulness as a mode of transport to explore the wilderness. This is why I put some effort into building out the back section as a camper for one.

For the most part, the Expedition is in great shape. It runs good, and the body is holding out very well, except for right underneath the sides, just above the running boards. I plan to address that situation in a very creative way in the near future. I’ve also been doing some research on undercoating vehicles, and what types of products are used.

I was ready to bring my truck in, to get it undercoated at Krown which, by the way, is the most well-known, and best reviewed undercoating in the industry. However, financial burdens at the time would not allow for the hundred bucks that they were asking, so I turned to the DIY route, as I often do.

After some research, I found that there was a very simple solution to undercoating DIY 101. It seems that the Canadian Military did some research themselves, on which undercoating would be the best for all of their vehicles in service and, not to my surprise, they chose Krown T40. But, very much to my surprise, a close second was WD 40. WD 40 was originally created as a rust inhibitor, although most people today recognize it as a penetrating lubricant.

Well, I was all about settling for second best in this case, so I decided I would undercoat the Expedition with WD 40. Another advantage of doing this would be that most of the nuts and bolts under there would probably be much easier to remove, should that become necessary. I haven’t actually done it yet, but it is on the agenda soon.

Anyway, back to the exploring by truck scenario. Kindiogami Road, named after, both the lake, and the river, runs for over 50kms through a very remote area, between highway 546 and highway 129. There are many small lakes along this road, and many of them have side roads that run into them. I really won’t know, until I get in there, how difficult those side roads are, but the possibilities are interesting, to say the least.

Needless to say, this is not a road you would want to break down on but, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I will carry enough food and water to last me for a month, if the need should arise. If it happens to be longer than that, then I can’t think of a better place to cash in my chips.

I might interject here, that I’m also considering converting my bicycle to electric for this winter’s project, so that I can carry it with me when I go into these bush roads, as a sort of lifeboat. But,I won’t get into that right now, there will be time for that this coming winter.

Anyway, from my research on Kindiogami Road, I found that most people go in there for fishing. It seems that the smaller lakes along the road hold a treasure of Speckled(Brook) Trout for the taking. I’m not such a big fisherman, but I’m totally not against having some nice, fresh trout for dinner, although I have been a bit resistant to bow to government regulation regarding said.

I’m really not one that likes being regulated, in any way, shape, or form. Hell, if I wanted to be regulated, I just give it all up and get married. However, there is a one week ‘free fishing’ period, presented by our friends, the government of Ontario, nonetheless, coming up on July 6th, to July 14th, and I intend to take full advantage of that week. If I find that I can catch enough fish during that time, I will, reluctantly(bows head in shame) consider getting my fishing license for next year.

A Conservation fishing license costs less than fifty bucks for three years, and it will allow me to keep two wholesome Brook Trout per day. Given the fact that a whole trout in the grocery store fetches a tidy sum of around twenty bucks, I’d say that this is a bargoon! The practical side of the matter is, it will add a most desirable, and tasty, protein to my diet. If nothing else, I am practical.

Also, if I did opt for the three year Conservation Fishing License, that would take me to 65 years old, at which time I would no longer require a license to fish. That is, of course, unless Harper links the no fishing license requirement to the already decided upon OAS decision, which might mean that I would only get 1 1/2 trout at 65 years old, increasing to 1 3/4 trout when I was 66, and so on.

Oh well, I have no control over that, so I can only decide on things that I do have control over.

So, Kindiogami Road is on the agenda for truck camping this year, at some point. Another long bush road, that starts not too far from Kindiogami, is the Boland Road.

You’ll notice that there aren’t as many blue balloons on this route, but there may be more possibilities, like I said, I won’t know what the access is like until I go there. I also believe that the Boland Road is a well used bush road, and it should be in fair to good condition for most vehicles. Again, going off that road, into side roads will probably require high clearance/four-wheel drive.

I’ve known about this road for quite some time, but I really haven’t heard much about it, or who uses it for what purposes. I also didn’t find any mention of it online, so there is very little information to go by. However, that will add to the adventure when I do get the opportunity to explore it. The Boland Road lies along the northern boundary of Mississagi Provincial Park, and gets it’s name from the Boland River, which it also roughly follows.

The next bush road on my list is what I’m calling the Aubrey Falls Road. I don’t have any balloons marked on this road but, from appearances, it does look like it might have a number of large and small lakes along the way to camp at.

Also, the road ends right at Rocky Island Lake, which is an extensive waterway for paddling. This could be a combined truck camping/paddle camping trip.

The next one is Hinkler Lake Road. This road is a bit farther north of Aubrey Falls, and it goes quite a ways into the wilderness.

I’ve marked a bunch of possible stopping/camping spots along this route, and it does look like a very interesting area to explore. Again, there is not much information available for this area, that’s why I’m exploring these places. There will be information when I do so, and I will post it all right here on my blog for anyone else who might be interested in going there.

Portelance/Bark Lake Road is another possible truck camping location.

This road goes north from near the end of highway 546, with Bark Lake Road veering off to the east. Bark Lake Road is gated by the MNR at Shoepack Lake, so no motorized vehicles are allowed beyond that point, but you can continue on foot. They just want to make sure that our American friends have a nice piece of wilderness that is undisturbed by us rowdy citizens who actually live here. Note; Should you decide to walk to Bark Lake, from the gate, it is about 10km one way.

Portelance Road continues north and ends at Mississagi River, with a number of possible stopping/camping spots along the way.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m going to put the Deer Trail on this list of truck camping roads to explore. The Deer Trail is a well-know route, mainly all highway, which can be started in Elliot Lake, and makes a large loop around, to the west, ending up back in Elliot Lake.

I didn’t mark any stopping points on this route because there are endless places one could stop to camp, to paddle, or just for a picnic. This route is fairly straight forward, and is accessible by all vehicles. It’s more well travelled in the fall season, due to the changing colours. It may not be bush road, but there is lots of wilderness to be enjoyed all along this route. There are many lakes, rivers, ponds and swamps, along with smaller bush roads leading into who knows where. So many places to see. I’ll get to them all one by one.

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