As you might already know, there won’t be much travelling going on this Summer, even if it’s within your own country. That being said, you also know that nothing is ever going to stop a skateboarder from lurking for new stuff to skate. Good thing our province is huge and has as many nice camping spots as it has cities and skate spots. This Summer, invest in some camping gear and hit the road!
Sounds easy, but still, there’s a lot of stuff you’ll need to figure out in order to have a great camping trip. Here’s a little guide to make sure you have the best of times:
FIND YOUR CAMPING SPOT
The easiest way to go about this is to rent your camping spot. Only thing is, with Covid restrictions, you might need to rent one camping space per household, so this might not be your best option if you’re with your squad as renting 10 spaces can become quite expensive. That’s why the good ol’ “find a cool spot and pitch your tent” might be your best bet if you want to go places this Summer.
Nobody will bother you if you’re respectful and camp at a place with no one around, but if you’re still not comfortable with barging a random spot, look for what’s called “crown lands”. These are Government owned spaces that you can definitely use for a night of camping or two.
First, hit Google Maps and look around the region where you’re going skating. Look outside the city and find the nearest rivers. Once you found a few river spots, try checking them out with the satellite view. The next step is to find a river spot that’s not too far from a road. You definitely don’t want to end up walking in the woods for an hour with all your camping gear.
That being said, you don’t want a spot that’s too close from civilization. Check the walking times with google maps to figure out a spot that’s far enough from the road so people don’t hear you and close enough so you can easily walk there. In any case, make sure you get to the spot at least an hour before sundown so you have time to walk there and to setup your stuff before it gets dark.
LURK FOR SKATE SPOTS ON GOOGLE STREET VIEW BEFORE YOU LEAVE
If you know people who can guide you through the city where you’re going, that’s great! That being said, what if you want to explore a deep region of Quebec where you don’t even know if people skate? Google Street view will come in handy again.
Go to maps, hit the city you want to go to and switch to street view mode. Once you see the actual streets of the city, lurk around the area for as long as you like. Look for churches, big buildings, hills, skateparks… You’ll definitely find stuff and will have some kind of plan once you get there instead of just driving around with hope of finding spots.
MAKE A GEAR CHECK LIST
After you have a spot locked, the next step is to make a list of the stuff you will need. Once you get to your off-grid camping spot, you want to have everything you need right there with you. Here’s a little basic list that will help you not to forget any essentials.
LEARN HOW TO START A GOOD FIRE
This one is a must! Setting up a safe fire pit is actually the easiest thing, but you still need some kind of knowledge in order to make it happen. As you don’t want to end up having to look for wood when it’s pitch black around, make sure to gather the stuff as soon as you get to your spot. While one person starts looking around for dry wood (bring the firewood you bought if it's humid around), twigs and birch barks, another person can start to gather medium sized rocks in order to build the fire pit’s frame.
Form a circle with your rocks and put birch barks in the middle along with smaller pieces of wood and twigs. Once your base is built and you have easy burning materials in the middle of it, place bigger pieces of wood in a triangle shape over it. Make sure there’s room for air between the birch barks/twigs and the real pieces of wood so the there's room for your flames to move around freely.
Remember, you’re in the forest. The last thing you want is to cause some kind of fire. The trick here is to keep your fire small at all times so it never burns out of control. Make sure you gathered enough pieces of wood to feed the fire for as long as you want, but keep in mind to never put too much in there at a time to avoid any danger. Once you got that nice flame going, put a grill on the fire and slap a steak on it, wrap some potatoes in aluminum foil and drop them in there or even better, place a clean and flat rock in the flames and cook your stuff straight on it!
CLEAN UP YOUR SPOT
Last but not least, CLEAN UP YOUR SPOT before you leave. That’s the number one rule of wild camping. The nature hooked you up, now it's time for you to show love back, so pick up your litter and bring it back with you!