Quote Originally Posted by Jodster View Post
Hey Martin .... nice video's.
On a couple of occasions that I've been able to "enjoy" crown land (not all), they have been less that favourable. This is a great way to get to untouched and mostly prestine lands for a great price (FREE!), but there are hazzards with it.
You mention in the video that there is often garbage laying around in the PP sites. This may be true but only on crown land have I seen busted up coolers, lazy boy chairs and massive fire pits to name a few issues. This kind of large garbage is easy to drag in with a sled or ATV .... which is why you won't find it in a PP. To say it has never (or will never) happen in a PP would be very naive of me.
At the end of my last camping trip to crown land, we returned to the truck to find it vandalized and a few items stolen. The OPP said it was common for the locals to search for these spots because the know that nobody will be returning to the vehicle at any time soon. The PP are, at the very least, patrolled on a regular basis. Again, to say it doesn't happen at a PP would be silly of me.
I'm not saying stay away from crown land .... but rather .... don't discount the back-country of a PP where you don't hear the drone of ATV's or sleds that are also using the same land. It is way to much work to haul a lazy boy into the back-country of a PP
A couple last thoughts .....
Don't leave anything of value in your vehicle if you are going to be away for any length of time. Not everyone is a thief, but a vehicle that is unattended for a couple days is an easy target.
Don't leave any food in the vehicle .... no rangers means no idea where the bears are and bears make short work of car windows.
Be safe .... it is legal to hunt on or adjacent to crown land.

Don't take this as a slam to your comments but as an addition (besides if we make it sound too good ..... it will get as busy as the PP's in the summer .... then where will we go????).

No offense taken from your feedback Jodster. In fact I will echo a number of the points you raised.

1) During hunting season, wear hunting colors.

2) Don't leave valuables in your car. Leave your car empty, with doors locked, and the glove box and storage compartments open and visibly empty to signal that there is nothing of value within. Some people leave a note on the dash saying "Gone fishing, back shortly", but I've never done. We have never had a problem and have never met anyone who's had a problem with theft or vandalism.

3) Don't leave food in your car, whether in a park or on Crown lands. Jodster is absolutely correct about bears and car windows. A friend of mine had his car broken into by a nuisance bear at the same trail head in Algonquin park twice in two consecutive years. His driver side window had been pulled out, his front seats torn to shreds, and the center of his steering wheel got gnawed off. Seems the bear had figured out how to get it's claws between the rubber seal at the top of the windows and shatter the glass by pulling hard on the glass with his claws. My friend's vehicle was one of 18 cars broken into by one bear on that long weekend. My friend (a former canoe guide in Algonquin) knew not to leave food in his car, but it would seem this bear had become so used to finding food in cars that he was systematically ripping out the windows and crawling into every car he could. A human-habituated bear is a bad thing. I worry less about bears when on Crown lands than when I'm in provincial parks.

4)I will differ with you on the vandalism issue. Cars are routinely targeted by thieves in our provincial parks, which is why park officials patrol them. Thieves go where they know there will be cars loaded with goodies they can easily re-sell, such as cameras, phones, and camping gear. Trail heads and the canoe put-ins of parks are perfect places for opportunistic thieves looking for loads of cars parked side by side to break into. Every summer dozens and dozens of people have their windows smashed and their vehicles rifled through by petty thieves looking for easy pickings in Algonquin park. It doesn't stop me from parking and camping there, so I'm not worried about parking on the side of a dirt road in the country where scarcely a soul will go by and theft is statistically less likely. Can it happen? Sure. Is it likely...no.

5) Regarding trash: I have seen truly horrific crap left behind on both Crown land and in our provincial parks, including the interior of Algonquin. But you're correct that any Crown land which is ATV accessible is apt to have more crap left on it. The same goes for Crown land waterways that are accessible to motor boats. There's just something about travel by motorized vehicle that brings out the lazy people who are willing to haul in heavy containers (bottles, coolers, etc) when full, but can't be bothered to haul them out when empty. Here's a photo of me of me, my wife, and a friend cleaning up a site we paddled past in a park in the Kawartha area.



Nice, eh?

Thanks for your input on this. All the points you raised are relevant considerations for anyone interested in Crown land camping.

Hope this helps,
- Martin