NW Ontario Adventure Essentials: A Checklist

What to Bring to Have the Best Northwest Ontario Adventure

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You’ve decided to visit the beautiful Canadian Shield in Northwest Ontario - now what?

It’s time to start packing, and here are some things you won’t want to forget!

Suitable Clothing

The weather everywhere in Canada can change in a minute, and this land of rocks, lakes and trees is no different! Prepare for every possible weather scenario by packing pieces that are easy to layer, lightweight, breathable, and a waterproof or water resistant layer.

Long Socks

This could have gone in the above paragraph, but it warrants special mention. If you are planning on heading out into deep bush or semi-rustic settings, be aware that this is tick country. Bring your least fashionable long songs, and wear them proudly!

Proper Footwear

We’ve all hiked down a mountain in Tom’s… no? Just us? We can say with confidence that can only be earned by doing something silly several times… just don’t do it. Invest in the proper footwear. Nothing ruins a great view like sore feet. Head to your local outfitters and talk to the shoe gurus to get the pair that’s best for you and the type of terrain you’ll be encountering. We don’t recommend asking us… because, you know, we hike in Tom’s… a lot. Don’t be like us.


Sunblock, bug spray, bear spray… you name it! NW Ontario is wild, and we like it that way! But safety comes first. Bear bells and spray go a long way in keeping you safe! Avoid nights of endless scratching with bug protection, and save your skin with sunblock and a hat!

First Aid Kit

Humans get small injuries doing the most mundane tasks (anyone else have a paper cut horror story they’d like to share?) and when out in the woods of the Canadian Shield with limited cell reception, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Pack a small kit in a waterproof container (we’ll do a blog post about this soon) and you’ll be thankful if you ever need it!


Not everyone has an internal compass, and that’s okay! When heading out to explore, do your research and take some materials with you, be it a screenshot on your phone (don’t rely on something that requires an active connection), or a print out. If you have the chance, ask a local for tips and things you should know!

Technology (if you wish)

We’re all for getting back to nature, though we will pass no judgement on those who take along a phone or camera - you do you! If you’re going to bring along some creature comforts and digital tools, pack well and be ready with an extra battery or a power bank to recharge. If you’re the family photog, bring along an extra memory card just in case! Camp tip: when in a no-service zone, switch on that airplane mode to conserve battery!

Friends (or not)

Plan a solo venture or invite the crew! Even if that crew is you and the mutt! Exploring solo or with a friend will provide different experiences and memories! Why not do both? Take a friend (buddy system 🙏) or a date on a new trail to learn the ropes, and try it again on your own!


Enough said.

…Okay, maybe not really. Bring snacks that are good complex carbs for energy, with a sprinkling of protein thrown in. If planning a longer trek, research dehydrated options and pick the one that sounds yummiest (and has the best reviews)! Snacks are an essential part of any trek, no matter how small - no one wants to be exhausted AND hangry! Avoid potential hanger moments with a treat, or several. Our personal philosophy is the more snacks the merrier!


Drink some water you beautiful, adventurous soul! There are tonnes of lightweight, reusable options to bring along, or you can try out handheld purification devices - do you have any favourites you’d like to share?

That’s it! The bare essentials! What is your favourite item in your adventure pack? Let us know! We love hearing from our guests and friends!

Happy Adventuring!

Redden’s Team