— Adventure
Back country camping at Bon Echo

In collaboration with Arc'teryx and Ontario Parks

Photography by Tiffany Chan & Danny Zhong
Calm waters kissed by misty mornings, serene campsites tucked away in nature's embrace — this is my ideal backcountry adventure. Join me on a journey into the heart of Bon Echo Provincial Park, where a voyage on a canoe, unburdened by excess, led me through the aquatic wonders of the park's pristine wilderness.

Six reasons to plan a trip to Bon Echo:

  1. Convenient location: Situated two to three hours from the city, Bon Echo is an excellent option for a day retreat or weekend adventure.
  2. Stunning landscape: The awe-inspiring Mazinaw Rock and the tranquil interior lakes
  3. Plenty of aquatic activities: Canoe, kayak, and fishing
  4. Friendly for beginners: Great for those new to backcountry camping
  5. Tranquil wilderness: Camp in peaceful and very remote sites
  6. Spot wildlife: Encounter Canadian loons, falcons, and fish.

Packing for backcountry paddling

Opt for essentials alone, ensuring they snuggly fit within a single backpack. My trusted companion for this endeavour is the Alpha AR 35L backpack from Arc'teryx. This lightweight and rugged vessel accommodates essentials without unnecessary bulk. Notably, it's weather and abrasion-resistant, ensuring gear security.


What to wear

Prioritize attire that dries swiftly, remains breathable, and facilitates layering. Like the Arc'teryx Zeta SL, a light shell jacket is a game-changer, safeguarding you against the elements. Its featherweight design and water-resistant features render it indispensable. Pair it with a snug sweater for added warmth during crisp evenings.


Camping essentials

  • Sensitive items: Employ dry bags, especially crucial for backcountry paddlers. These waterproof saviours float and secure your belongings, be it your camera gear or essentials, should the canoe encounter water intrusions.
  • Water filter: Even clear lake water warrants filtration. I vouch for the Sawyer water filter and a gravity water system for swift access to clean, purified water.
  • Bug repellent and nets: The vigilant hum of mosquitoes necessitates protective measures. Bug nets shield you from these tiny assailants. For peak mosquito season in June, consult the Bug Activity Forecast on the Weather Network for insights.
  • Versatile ropes: Never underestimate the prowess of ropes. Their utility is manifold, from steadying tents to suspending food bags and securing canoes.


Pitch camp at Joeperry or Pearson Lake for a rendezvous with tranquillity. These sites, concealed from the world, offer privacy amidst spectacular views.



My go-to camping food includes dehydrated foods, nuts, dried fruits, and energy bars. Roasted sausages, chicken skewers, and potatoes are easy to prepare over the crackling campfire. To ensure satiety on demand, oatmeal and instant noodles are excellent choices.



  • Paddle around the lake: Glide upon the still and tranquil water.
  • Relax by the shore: Spend time at the beaches, a popular spot for family picnics and barbeques.
  • Get up close to Mazinaw Rock: The rock radiates a fiery orange at sunset. Canoe along the rock and examine the pictographs adorning its surface.
  • Trails: Hike the Clifftop Trail, an easy 1.5 km (round trip) journey to the peak of Mazinaw Rock. A 10-minute paddle from the Bon Echo Outfitters lagoon leads to the trailhead. Ferry services are also available.
Clifftop Trail
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.5km
Elevation gain: 117m
Tiffany Chan — Designer
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© Tiffany Chan 2023