Wilderness Adventurers of Ontario

A not-for-profit club since 1979.

Frequently Asked Questions

Club members are people of all ages that enjoy the wilderness and are looking for other people to share being active in the outdoors with. The focus of the club is on active outdoor activities such as flatwater canoeing, whitewater canoeing, cycling, snowshoeing, winter camping, hiking, seak kayaking, and cross country skiing. Most trips involve one or more overnights in a cottage, lodge, or tent, although there are occasional day trips.

The Wilderness Adventurers of Ontario is volunteer-based. The club itself does not organize trips, or own any equipment. Members organize their own trips, which are then listed in the occasional newsletter that is sent out to all the members by e-mail, and also listed in the member-only and public sections of our web site. So what the club does provide you with is: other people to go camping, canoeing, hiking or any other outdoor activity that you would like to organize or participate in.

Any member can go on a trip listed in the newsletter or the club website as long as space is available and their experience and physical ability are suitable for the specific trip. A member interested in a trip will get in touch with the person organizing that particular trip, and will be informed on where they will meet, what to bring, and what they are responsible for, usually a meal or two on the trip. Generally club members have their own basic camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, backpack, water bottle, personal items, etc.) If somebody does not have a tent, then they may be partnered with somebody that does. Most of the trips are limited to 6-12 people because of campsite limitations. The rest of the gear (stove, pots etc.) will be shared by participants - usually somebody on the trip will have these group items. If you don't have your own canoe and there is no empty seat in a member's canoe, you are responsible for renting a canoe. The trip organizer will assist in making rental arrangements. The cost of the trip food, camping fees, canoe rental is all shared equally among the trip participants.
Wilderness Adventurers is a not-for-profit club. Annual membership fees help cover some of the costs of organizing club-sponsored training events and social events, pays for this website, helps support accredited foundations for preservation of our wilderness, and covers the cost of liability insurance. All other money raised is put back into the club. No one in the club is paid - all the time and effort by executive and non-executive members to run the club is volunteered.
Club outings are planned and led by members on a volunteer basis with a minimum of formality and expense. Trip organizers assist in arranging car pools, and participants share in the cost of food, transportation, and park or camping fees. Members provide their own equipment, but trip organizers can often assist new members in renting or borrowing essential items.
Trips are posted on the club's website in the member-only section and included in periodic "Club Notes" e-mails sent to all members. Also, there is a periodic newsletter that is sent out to all members listing some of the upcoming trips. In the newsletter there is also any other information pertaining to the club, i.e. President's message, latest news, camping tips, etc. All this information is also posted in the members' area of the Wilderness Adventurers web site.
There is no set club meeting. All information is distributed by the newsletter and the web page. There are, however, social events, as in the picnic, slide night, and corn roast, where members meet and talk about their adventures.

Once a year, in November, there is the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This is when the club executive committee recaps the year's events for the club members, set new club events, such as trips, social occasions, and any other functions the club might undertake. The members elect a new executive committee, in which members serve a two year term.
Club memberships are $35/yr for singles or $55/yr for couples/families. Membership provides access to the members' section of this website, includes an occasional newsletter, and allows you to participate in various social events such as a spring picnic, fall corn roast, Christmas party and a slide night.
WA trip costs vary depending on the destination and type of trip. The important thing to understand is that most trip costs are shared equally among participants. WA trips are not guided trips - all participants are equal participants - so there are no fees other than direct costs. Trip costs include camping fees (if any), parking, food, and other incidental expenses such as camp fuel. The cost of vehicle fuel to get to and from the trip put-in is generally split between the people car-pooling in a vehicle. Personal drinks such as wine are usually a personal responsibility as are equipment rental costs that you might incur. The cost of renting a canoe, for example, would be split between the two people using the canoe. Here are some typical costs that you might be required to pay for a typical weekend canoe trip.

  1. Food: $15/day
  2. Camping Fees: $10-12 /person /night (or sometimes no cost if not tripping in a Provincial Park)
  3. Canoe Rental (if you don't have your own canoe): $30-$35 /day /canoe (each paddling partner's share would be half the total rental fee)
Most participants on a WA trip are surprised at how much fun they have for so little cost!
The Club has no specific location -- there is no club house -- but most members live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Club members, who live in the GTA, Hamilton, Guelph, Ottawa, Georgetown, and other communities in Southern Ontario, keep in contact through e-mail, the club newsletter, telephone, and this website.
You can join by filling out the on-line or printable application form. Payment is made with PayPal but does not require that you have a PayPal account. Alternatively, you can print out and fill in the paper form, then mail it along with your cheque to the address at the bottom of the form.
Most of the trips organized by members take place in Provincial parks and crown land in Ontario. Occasionally there are trips in Quebec and New York State.
There are currently 130+ members made up of all ages in the WA. We do not keep statistics on member ages but members range in age from 18 to in their 70s. The average age is somewhere between 40 and 50. Although most of our members are from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) we have members in Ottawa, Guelph, Newmarket, Barrie, St. Catherines, Peterborough and other Ontario cities.
Trips are often 2 or 3 days in length, usually over a weekend, but may occasionally be longer. Throughout the year there are often several day outings such as hiking and paddling as well.
In some years, depending on that year's membership, there may be one or two "family" trips organized by members with young children and children are welcome at most of the various social events. The participation of children in other trips is at the discretion of the trip organizer and will depend on the nature and difficulty of the trip. In general, canoe and hiking trips may be too physically demanding for young children.
No. Although we actively encourage members to offer trips of their own it is not a prerequisite to becoming a member. Your participation in trips offered by others and attendance at social events makes the WA better for everyone. And after experiencing the camaraderie and thrill of "tripping" with others we hope you'll be inspired to plan and lead a trip of your own or maybe even get involved with the club executive.
Whether your dog is welcome on a trip or not is at the discretion of the trip organizer. In many cases a dog is a welcome addition to the group but, in others, a dog may be deemed to be inappropriate (on a white water canoe trip for example) or even a hazzard (in known bear country for example).

 

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