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Photos by Jess Baumung

Winter camping. I never thought I’d ever go winter camping. I’ve gone to cottages and I’ve camped in colder climates — in the summer — but never this. Ok, so maybe it was technically fall camping and we might’ve lucked out with the best weather conditions, but the idea was there and for some that’s enough.

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Thankfully I was invited by MEC (and was still lucky enough to have my Toyota to drive), which meant we were 110% prepared. But I wasn’t expecting the type of preparedness. Yes, we had top of the line tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. Yes, we were decked out head to toe in the warmest gear from base layers to parkas and boots. But there was so much more.

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Wild for Wildlife

We got to interact with birds and badgers. Although not arranged by the MEC team, their choice of Algonquin Park came with some front seat perks to the Mother Nature show.

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Outdoor Fitness

Since fitness never vacations, we hit the trail for a refreshing run and then a more easy-going hike. It was great getting familiar with the area in a healthy way since swimming was out of the question!

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Not Your Typical Dinner

In place of the typical steak and potatoes, burger and hotdogs, MEC decided to get a little exotic with tandoori chicken, roti and salad. It was surprisingly easy to cook as well!

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10 Types of S’mores

Classic S’mores
Dark Chocolate S’mores
Apple and Cinnamon S’Mores
Bacon S’mores
Bacon and Chocolate S’mores
Nutella S’mores
Maple S’mores
Peaches and Cream S’mores
Banana and Coconut S’mores
Banana and Nutella S’mores

Secret Item

We were all asked to bring a secret item and everyone was very creative. They ranged from sparklers (which will forever be my new secret item!) to campfire games.

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It was a flawless camping experience and I had so much fun. It didn’t hurt that I was with two people I can’t get enough of: Anna and Jake :). I honestly can’t wait for more MEC adventures and to see where else Toyota might take me in the future. Perhaps a road trip across Canada is in order…