Algonquin Park Essay Research Paper CHAPTER ONETRIP

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Algonquin Park Essay, Research Paper CHAPTER ONE: TRIP OVERVIEW AND NAVIGATION INTRODUCTION Algonquin Park is the oldest and most famous provincial park in Ontario and one of the largest in Canada. It stretches across 7,725 kilometers of wild and beautiful lakes and forests, bogs and rivers, cliffs and beaches. This is why Algonquin is also known as a canoeist’s and camper’s paradise as far as the eye can see. From August 27th to September 5th a group of university students mainly ranging between the ages of 22 to 25 will be experiencing the park first-hand. As far as the weather, this is an ideal time to experience Algonquin Park because “there are only a few lingering misquotes, the days are warm and the nights are cool” (Friends?, 1998). Within the group of

approximately 60 people, the diversity of the individual’s outdoor recreation experience is varied. Some have camped, canoed and portaged a great deal while some will be experiencing “the great outdoors” for the first time. Although there will be both rookies and veterans the physical fitness level of all is fairly descent. Therefore, it was only up to the individual to do some informal physical training before the trip if they feel training was needed. However, formal training took place at Northern Edge Algonquin before the group headed into Algonquins interior. Activities such as paddling, orienteering, and first aid were addressed for the first two days of the trip. ORIENTEERING One of the first aspects of canoeing that must be addressed when finding one’s way through

the wild is called orienteering. Orienteering is definitely essential when exploring Algonquin Park. The most important aids used in orienteering are a compass and map. “Compasses are useful for taking bearings and for orienting the map so that it is aligned with the terrain” (Williams, 1998). It is possible to complete a course quite easily and efficiently without a compass. However, this would be difficult to navigate flat areas poor in prominent features without a compass. The use of a compass is also effective for “selecting more direct routes and for following a route faster while maintaining contact with the map” (McNeill, Cory-Wright, and Renfrew, 1998). Finding a good compass is important. “Good compasses have a fluid-filled housing” (Williams, 1998). This is

essential because this fluid dampens the motion of the needle so that you can use the compass without holding it perfectly still. Therefore, it is a wise decision to avoid inexpensive compasses that do not have fluid-filled housings. The compass needle is painted in two colours. Assuming that the compass is held flat, the red end points to north, and the white end to south. An interesting detail is that there are northern and southern hemisphere compasses. “This has to do with the fact that the magnetic field lines to which a compass needle aligns, points into the earth at the north and south magnetic poles” (Williams, 1998). Therefore, if you use a northern hemisphere compass in the southern hemisphere, the south end of the magnet is pulled downwards by the magnetic field.

This results in a needle that catches and drags on the bottom of the compass housing when the compass is held horizontal (Williams, 1998). A good compass will last a long time. However, some things can go wrong: the plastic components can break, or the housing can develop a leak. Also over time, “the fluid within the housing may turn an opaque blue-green, however, very rarely does the magnetization of the compass needle reverse” (Williams, 1998). The two most popular types of compasses are the protractor compass and thumb compass. The protractor compass is beneficial because of its many additional features. These features include: a lanyard for attaching the compass to the wrist, scale bars for measuring map distances along one or more edges of the baseplate, a magnifying