Setup and Update


I have been living in the tent for a week now. The weather has been great so far. No storms but some chilli temperatures. -41*C with the wind has been the lowest. Where I placed my tent has negated the windchill a fair bit though. I have forest blocking the prevailing North-west winds. But when they switch to South-east I am a bit exposed. Hasn’t been too much of a factor though.
Gathering wood has been my main concern. I have taken down three dead standing poplars which seem to be burning well. I also was able to wrangle up some dry tamarack from the wood science department of the Lakehead faculty of forestry which they were using for a study. Definitely burns nice and hot!
I have yet to post about the set up. So here we go…


While out for a snowshoe on the property we stumbled upon a couple potential spots but this is where I settled. The site has a natural wind break on two sides blocking the predominate wind. The other two sides mind you are strictly for scenery.

found a spot with North-west wind cover. snowshoe tracks are a rough idea of where the dig-out happened.

found a spot with North-west wind cover. snowshoe tracks are a rough idea of where the dig-out happened.

I have picked the spot and the work begins. I had to dig out so the floor could be laid. The skids were then carried out with help from my good friends Graeme and Jake. The plywood sheets were next. Thanks to Mike and Jane this was a manageable task for an afternoon.




Jake working hard!


Graeme showing us how it’s done.




Foundation laid!!


Now the sheets come out…


Mike and Jane just screwing around.


Floor finished.


All set!

The adventure so far has been riddled with learning opportunities. The stove alone has taken some trial and error and seems, at this point will leave constant room for improvement. Juggling school, life in the tent and somewhat of a social life has been complicated to say the least. Spending time in the tent, stoking the fire, gathering wood and so on really seems to simplify life. It’s a peaceful experience out here and it really puts a smile on my face! I am thankful for this opportunity!


The Start!

The Start

Hello there!
I am Spencer and I have embarked on an adventure of sorts. I have decided to head back to Thunder Bay Ontario, to finish the final few credits needed to graduate. During the semester I will be living in a canvas wall tent outside of town along the foothills of the great Nor-Westers. I feel as though I should start off with some background leading up to this decision before you write me off as “crazy”.

I was at Lakehead doing my undergrad about two years ago and got to a point where I no longer had the drive to be a student and wanted to get started with life in the “real world”. So I packed up and headed west in search for my fortune. Now if you are certain individuals in my life, you might say that “I haven’t committed to this so called real world yet and that I am trying to escape it once more by going back to school. They may be right, but I am still trying to force my dreams and ideals into a form of the “real world” that I can live in with a smile on my face. Something I have noticed disappears when one fully commits to the socially acceptable definition of what is real. I am in search of this alternative. At this point I am sure I have not combated the “this guy is crazy” argument but I hope I am not dismissed as of yet. Part of the ideals that I am trying to incorporate in my life is adventure. I feel that without it there is a sense of stagnancy, an almost loss of purpose. ¬†With that said for me the adventure of post secondary education has developed a slight patina. In order to polish this drive to attain a of piece of paper I needed to add some excitement. A dream of mine for the past five or six years has been to live in a canvas tent in the middle of the bush, to not only test my skills but to satisfy this need for excitement and adventure.

As of this moment it has been working. I am a couple days away from moving into my tent permanently. The prep and considerations in these last few months and the two weeks I have been back to the Thunder Bay Area  picking and prepping the site has, in so many ways been an adventure. I have had a lot of help from my friends and family to get to this point and appreciate the strengthening of bonds with them through this experience. I could not have done this without them! The post to follow will tell the stories of my adventures in my tent, my life and my future. I am excited to share them with all of you!

Happy reading, future adventures and the many necessary smiles that accompany them!

– Spence