- This intro to winter camping program is focused on developing the skills required to head out into the winter wilderness on your own or with a group. The program starts with a 8km snowshoe (or ski) into our remote base camp property on Golden Pond, where you will settle into one of our fixed or portable accommodations for the first 4 nights, and then put all your new skills to the test on our 4-day Vast Horizons Expedition.
Training Camp will be spent almost entirely outside, with practical lessons including:
- Selecting, felling and processing firewood;
- Use and harvesting of “green” wood for bough floors, pickets and more;
- Using traditional snowshoes with lampwick bindings;
- Packing toboggans;
- Chiseling ice holes;
- Winter cooking & baking;
- Winter navigation;
- Ice safety;
- … And much more!
The route into Mt. Ararat will begin right from the Pond and follow lakes and portage trails to into the beautiful high lakes of the Lacloche Mountains. Two day’s of travel, making and breaking camp, will bring us to the base of Mt. Ararat. Day 3 will see us leaving our toboggans and the lakes behind as we set off into the forest up the flank of Mt. Ararat. If we are successful in our summit, we hope to be rewarded with expansive views to the south over Lake Huron’s “Bay of Islands”. Our journey out takes us through a beautiful chain of creeks and wetlands which would be nearly impassable any other time of the year! We also pass through a massive deer yard in which you are almost sure to see many tracks, deer, and potentially even a kill. So don’t forget your camera!
- Snowmobile shuttle of gear into remote property;
- 7 nights of tent living;
- Wine served with supper;
- All meals including snacks for the duration of the program;
- Group gear such as tent, toboggans, safety equipment, kitchen, and communication devises;
- Instruction and guidance from the Lure team!
If you’re unfamiliar with our approach to winter camping, check out our Philosophy page and our Expedition Overview page. Also see our Policies and Conditions.
Andrew thank you so much for your review! We really hope to see you back here in the near future! All the best, -kie
Andrew Bentley –
What an incredible experience. Kudos to the full Lure of the North team including Evan and Victoria for making our time on the pond and in the bush an absolutely memorable trip. It was sufficiently challenging, incredibly beautiful, and so well outfitted (food, equipment, …) it’s a must try adventure for anyone looking to be challenged and to learn.
Dave Marrone –
Mike! Thank you so much for such a great review! We really hope that you come back and join us for another trip again soon! With gratitude, -kie
Dave Marrone –
Geoffrey! Thank you so much for your generous review! We really hope that you come back and trip with us again soon! With grattitude, -kie
Dave Marrone –
Aw Jenny! Thank you so much for a glowing review! We really do hope to get you back over here again soon! This time maybe even with your hubby! See you soon!? -XO kie
Dave Marrone –
Oh Lee, thank you so much for such a lovely review. I really hope you can make it over here for a longer trip with again next year! It was a pleasure meeting you and the rest of the Vivo Team! Until next time, XO -kie
Jane K (verified owner) –
I participated in the Winter Camping Training Camp + Vast Horizons Expedition in January 2023. I followed Dave & Kielyn’s advice and made some of my own gear to wear/use from their DIY kits – mittens, mukluks, anorak, and bear paw snowshoes. I’m glad I made my own gear, as I think it gave me an extra level of appreciation for the experience; I had pride in my work and was excited to use everything again after the trip!
During the week I learned so much! I am not a novice to camping, but this was my first *winter* camping trip, my first time snowshoeing, my first time felling trees, my first time to Ontario (where winters are a lot colder/snowier than where I live in the US), and many other firsts. Dave, Kie, Victoria, and Evan were all so knowledgeable and patient. We had unseasonably warm weather for part of the trip and when itinerary adjustments had to be made, Dave was always ready with a “Plan B.”
This is a very hands-on experience. We worked together with the LotN guides to complete the different camp tasks each day, from gathering firewood or bows for the tent floors, chipping ice to get water, setting up/breaking down the hot tents & stoves during the expedition, cooking meals and washing dishes, and so much more! For every task we were trained how to do it, and tasks were generally assigned by volunteering. Everyone understood that we all have different strengths/abilities, and everyone rolled up their sleeves to help out where they could. It was definitely challenging, especially during the treks, but we helped each other as much as possible. We made a lot of mistakes, but learned from all of them, and came out of the experience that much richer.
My group bonded during the week, and I left knowing I made over a dozen new friends for life. Interestingly many of us on the trip came as solo travelers, so we didn’t know anyone else going in, but seemed to form fast friendships. I highly recommend this experience for anyone who is interested in dipping their toes into winter camping. Thank you so much Dave, Kie, Evan, and Victoria, and my fellow Hill People for a wonderful week!
Lee spiteri –
LOTN what an absolute incredible place! We took part in the vast horizons experience and the moccasin workshop and I cannot say how wonderful every second of it was. The snow covered environment is incredibly spectacular and made all the more amazing by hot tent camping, ice dipping through a freshly cut hole, hot tub under the clear starry night. Then the expedition that was physically strenuous but infinitely rewarding, dragging tabogans over frozen lakes, over portages and beaver ponds and the vast open north channel.
Dave and Kie are just incredible human beings with a love of life and the outdoors that is truest inspiring. They welcomed us into their lives and their homes with a warmth of close family.
All of the food and preparation of each day is meticulous taken care of by the lovely Victoria and Evan that made the trip completely carefree.
I would recommend LOTN to everyone I know, and I cannot wait to go back!!
Love you guys!
Jenny Fraser –
We flew over from London to join the Vast Horizons training camp and expedition, and it was an incredible experience that I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone considering winter travel. Dave led our trip and he was amazing in every way. He exudes positive energy that makes him a joy to be around, his teaching style is inclusive and a tonne of fun, but he also has a way of pushing each person the right amount for them, ensuring everyone gets an experience tailored to their ability. Every day was so varied, allowing us to see so many aspects of the landscape which was great too! Prepare to work hard and challenge yourself, but if you do then the rewards will exceed all of your expectations.
We then also stayed for an extra few days to do the moccasin workshop with Kie, and this was equally great! Kie demonstrated everything super clearly and allowed everyone to work at their own pace which created a lovely, relaxing environment. She was more than happy to help whenever needed but let everyone have a try first at each stage. We all left with new moccasins that we were delighted with.
Throughout it all we were so well fed and taken care of by Victoria and Evan, who from the moment we arrived made us feel welcome and like no request was too much. After 10 days with these wonderful humans I am leaving feeling recharged, albeit a bit sad, to return home. Thank you all so much and I hope to join you on a longer expedition very soon!
Scott (verified owner) –
Did the winter training camp with my teenage daughter after completing it a few years ago on my own. Dave, Kie, Evan, and Victoria were all awesome. Learned a lot about selecting good firewood. Despite some relatively mild temperatures, still had a great time and learned lots. Unfortunately my daughter became ill, so we had to miss out on the trip portion, but we hope to come back and do to the trip portion someday soon. Golden Pond is a lovely place to learn to winter camp and Kie and Dave have created a very special place.
Chloe Ayers (verified owner) –
Vast Horizons Training Camp with Lure of the North was a bucket-list worthy experience. Dave and Kielyn are such passionate and hardworking people-you can’t help but leave the trip inspired for life. The way that they impart their valuable knowledge and skills is kind and humble, and makes you feel right at home, like you are part of their team. That’s the thing-you ARE part of the team. It is not a passive experience. Each camper/student works together to ensure the safety and comfort of the entire group and leaves with skills that they can immediately apply in their own lives. I had dabbled in winter camping prior to the trip but certainly left more confident and ready to tackle hot-tenting on my own. Thank you!
Astrid & Christian –
Perfect organization, intensive supervision, relevant practical know-how, high quality food, enough chocolate on exhausting days ;-), lots of fun & encouragement. We traveled from Europe – it was absolutely worthwhile. Thank you so much, Dave & Kie!
Mike Pronk (verified owner) –
I love the outdoors and I am an avid backcountry camper. Winter camping was one activity on my list of things to try. Lure of the North was a great place to start One of the reasons I had never winter camped was because I don’t have any friends that wanted to come with me so I went to lure of the North by myself, and I was glad I did because everyone else who showed up was also there on their own. What a fun mix of people, 13 strangers all getting together to experience the fun of winter camping creates a fun and interesting, social dynamic, I don’t remember laughing so much in one week as I did on our vast horizons trip.
I felt like I made about 13 new friends.
Michelle Lacroix (verified owner) –
This was an amazing and unforgettable winter guided group adventure over lakes, through the forest and up a mountain lead by a well experienced team of expeditionists! I learned about tree identification, winter wear, weather patterns and how that affects your activities, ice conditions, how to load your gear, work as a unit, effective camp set up and operations and much more. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, like winter, like a challenge, and outdoor exercise, I recommend checking out Lure of the North and what they have to offer. Dave and Kielyn Marrone are well experienced and knowledgeable in every aspect of what they do on a daily basis, they are experts in their field and I admire that they continue to reach further accomplishments and achievements!
Its worth connecting with nature, it soothes the soul and I met some great people who I will stay in touch with.
Geoffrey Carter (verified owner) –
A fantastic experiential introduction to winter camping. I really appreciated the flexibility of the week’s programming as Kie and the rest of the staff adapted to our needs and the weather conditions. It was a treat to be served all of our meals (and appetizers!). I was amazed by how all of the systems and equipment implemented and refined by the LOTN team integrate seamlessly to provide an experience that makes winter travel seem easy. Anyone looking into the most comfortable and enriching way to travel in the winter should sign up for this course immediately.
Joe Simpson (verified owner) –
I did this trip in 2022. Great experience. The trip started off with 3 days of training that will forever change the way I do winter camping. Dave is a fountain of knowledge and a skilled teacher. The second half was the actual trip and it was a great experience. We learned on depend on and look out for each other. My confidence level in my winter camping skills went way up. It is exciting to no longer be limited by my previous limited skill set. And finally the trip was visually amazing. It was like walking through a Christmas card at times. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country. Thank you Dave and Kie for sharing your adventures.
Dean Dibling (verified owner) –
*2020* Winter Camping Training Camp Plus Vast Horizons was an incredible experience. I was a little nervous, having never done a trip like this before, but Dave and Kie have everything planned so well and all the details thought out! The food was wonderful, the scenery stunning, and the adventure unforgettable! If you’re on the fence about going, get off! You won’t regret going!
Leah Ks –
Incredible experience. Expert guides, delicious food, highly recommended!
Desiree Turcotte –
Looking for a winter adventure away from the crowds and set in the beautiful, Canadian backcountry, wilderness? Then join Lure of the North.
Both owners & guides, Dave and Kielyn, share their knowledge, skills and experience with participants of all skill levels! Whether you are experienced or new to winter camping, you will gain a wealth of knowledge, enjoy good company and all in the peaceful, beautiful back country of Northern Canada!
Vous cherchez une aventure hivernale à l’écart de la foule et dans le magnifique arrière-pays canadien, en pleine nature? Ensuite, rejoignez Lure du Nord.
Les propriétaires et guides, Dave et Kielyn, partagent leurs connaissances, leurs compétences et leur expérience avec des participants de tous niveaux! Que vous soyez expérimenté ou nouveau au camping d’hiver, vous gagnerez une richesse de connaissance, apprécierez la bonne compagnie et tout dans le pays paisible, beau arrière du nord du Canada!
Dave and Kielyn set the standard for winter travel and workshops. I think I can speak on behalf of our group who took part in their 2017 Training Camp and Vast Horizons Expedition that we were constantly wowed by their enthusiasm, generosity, professionalism, warmth, food, instructions, gear, and land. You won’t be disappointed!
Five Stars! (and Better than Cats!)
The La Cloche Mountains – Vast Horizons Trek is the ideal follow up to Lure’s Training Camp as it allows you to take all of the knowledge that you have gained during the training camp and utilize it as part of a group traveling through the La Cloche Mountains between Lure’s Golden Pond base camp and Lake Huron’s north channel. During this trek Dave and Kielyn continue to share their knowledge freely with the participants and share their infectious love for the winter landscape and environment.
Damien Duff –
Want a truly Canadian winter experience led by two wonderful people? Check out whatever Dave and Kie have to offer. It’s guaranteed enjoyment and a truly marvellous learning opportunity.
Patrick Woods –
I also did both the Training Camp and Vast Horizons 2017. Both components were fantastic experiences and I would recommend the combination to anyone.
For those with no experience of traditional winter camping: this is the ideal introduction to rediscovering a lost season. TWC is not by its nature crazy or extreme or even particularly cold, despite the weather.
For those with some experience: the course and its implementation on the trip gave me the confidence to go further on my own (of particular use to me were the firewood selection/processing and portaging components).
Kie and Dave are great people and provided our group with a challenging and educational (and fun) experience whatever our various experience levels.
Also: mad props to Tim & Louise!
did this trip after having completed the training camp. An excellent introduction to Winter Camping. Dave and Kie are great teachers and leaders. The experience was tough which made it all the more rewarding. The summit of Mount Ararat would have looked impossible to me if I had not been with Dave and Kie. Definitely made me want to go on a longer expedition. The experience was all the more richer having made all my own gear from their DIY kits. I never would have thought that I could sew my own moccasins that would keep my feet warm and dry. I highly recommend making at least some of your own gear.
I did this trip after having completed the training camp. An excellent introduction to Winter Camping. Dave and Kie are great teachers and leaders. The experience was tough which made it all the more rewarding. The summit of Mount Ararat would have looked impossible to me if I had not been with Dave and Kie. Definitely made me want to go on a longer expedition. The experience was all the more richer having made all my own gear from their DIY kits. I never would have thought that I could sew my own moccasins that would keep my feet warm and dry. I highly recommend making at least some of your own gear. – Malcolm
Mary Collins –
Enjoyed every minute of my winter trip. Came back feeling renewed.