*2024* Life on the Trapline

(6 customer reviews)

$500.00$2,100.00 CAD

Warning: Photo gallery contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers.

Dates: Feb 23-Mar 1, 2024

LAST CHANCE! This course will be not offered in its original format next year. It is a fantastic course so if you’re on the fence, the time is now!

Experience life on a crown trap line in Northern Ontario for 8-days!  We will be traveling and camping in the same way that traplines have been worked for centuries: by snowshoe and toboggan.  This is a hands-on adventure exploring an important aspect of Ontario’s cultural heritage, and potentially one component in self-sufficiency and food security.

Note: We understand not everyone is supportive of trapping.  If you wish to have a respectful dialogue with us, please start by reading our “Ethical Considerations” section below.  If you are willing to take the time to hear our point of view, then we will take the time to consider yours. Thank you.

SKU: trapline2024 Category: Tag:


The Merge: 

If you were looking for our 7-Day Survival Experience, you’ve been redirected here! That is because, we decided to merge the two courses. After paying close attention for the last couple of years, we realized that Life on the Trapline and our Survival Experience actually were very similar in scope and nature. The premise for both courses is to heavily focus of procuring food for the week and live off of what we harvest. The biggest difference was that the survival experience people would be in home made shelters while the trappers are in canvas tents. Not to mention that the trapline people had the accoutrement to go with the freshly stewed beaver, fish and snowshoe hare. We strongly believe that joining the life on the trapline course can be as good or better for learning and will be able to practice wilderness living skills as good or better than on the survival course.

If you were really hoping to build your own shelter and sleep in it, there will be opportunity for you to build a simple shelter and spend as many nights in it as you’d like! We will be focused on snaring and trapping beavers primarily but there will be ice fishing, snowshoe hare snaring and time to practice other skills that pertain to living in the woodland.

Continue the Adventure! This course is immediately followed by our “Brain Tanning and Wild Game Butchery” course.  The two courses together create a complete experience, from field to table and clothing.  If you are interested in joining us for both courses (2 weeks) we’ll provide $200 off the price of each course.

Exploratory Nature: Due to the demands of sustainable trapping, and the shifting whims of beavers building lodges, the exact route will change every single year, making this a unique adventure every time!  We have the incredible fortune of spending nearly every day right on our crown trapline, so we will scout the area in the fall, and again in the early winter and adjust or modify our route based on what we find.

This 8-day adventure will likely start with the first day right out in the bush.  We will travel and camp on the line, setting and checking traps, and hoping to harvest much of our food as we go.  We will be primarily focused on what has historically been Ontario’s most important fur-bearing species: the iconic North American Beaver*, though we may also trap other species, including Snowshoe Hare* and North American River Otter*.  We will also be camping likely in an area where ice fishing is a definite possibility to hopefully catch a nice Northern Pike or two!

*North American Beaver, Snowshoe Hare and North American River Otter are all listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as species of “Least Concern”, on their 7-grade ranking system.  (Links lead to Wikipedia articles for each species).

Please note: The primary focus of this experience will be living and working on a crown trapline.  We will be base camping the whole week and will travel on foot to new parts of the line, but if you’re really keen on a hard-travel trip, you should probably look to one of our other offerings.

Topics include: 

  • Sustainable harvesting of beavers and other small game;
  • Safe trap handling;
  • Underwater sets with both Conibear traps and snares;
  • Snowshoe hare snaring;
  • Wild game processing and camp cookery;
  • Survival strategies for winter and cold injury prevention;
  • Potential for polar plunge through the ice if weather and time permit;
  • Ice fishing;
  • Legal and ethical considerations;
  • Also covered: other aspects of traditional winter camping typically covered on Lure trips, including site selection and setup, firewood selection and processing, safe travel and so much more!

What this course does not include:

IMPORTANT: This is not a licensing course. This is an experiential course for those wishing to have an adventure and experience trapping in Northern Ontario first-hand.  If you wish to become a licensed trapper in Ontario, you need to take the “Fur Harvesters, Fur Management and Conservation” course.  A great place to find more information about getting licensed is available on the Ontario Fur Manager’s Federation website.

Legal questions and requirements:

You do not need a trapping licence to take this course.  In fact, this course is designed for non-trappers to experience life on a trapline.  In Ontario you are allowed to join a licensed trapper on their line without holding a licence of your own.  Snowshoe hares are managed in Ontario under the Small Game hunting licence.  To set snowshoe hare snares, you will require a valid hunting licence with Small Game seal.  While great trapping ponds don’t always make great fishing locations, there may be some opportunity to fish.  If you wish to fish on this course you will require a valid Ontario fishing licence.

Ethical Considerations: 

The LOTN team are lovers of nature and wildlife and concerned about the ethical treatment of animals, both in nature and in the food industry.  We have both eaten vegetarian diets for years while exploring what our options were in the ethical sourcing of our food, before moving towards harvesting much of our meat ourselves.  Trapping in Ontario is highly regulated, both so that animals are killed in the most humane way possible, and also so that populations are managed sustainably.  Regulations dictate how animals may be harvested, when and where they may be harvested and in what quantities.

Yes, individual animals are killed by trapping, but the important distinction to us is that ecosystems and populations are left intact.  Done correctly, this is a sustainable system that has been practiced for thousands of years.  We feel that harvesting our meat locally and sustainably allows us to be a part of a system that ensures wilderness areas are valued and protected and reduce our dependence on the food production industry.

We eat all animals that we kill, and strive to eat as much of the animal as possible.  This includes organ meat such as liver and kidneys, and also grinding tougher or less desirable meat to make burger or jerky.  Of course with fur-bearing animals the hide itself is also a valuable resource that we have tanned for use in making traditional, sustainable and warm winter clothing. Beaver has traditionally been a staple food for First Nations people for thousands of years and of early European trappers. The beavers that we harvest each year provide our family with our yearly meat, bones for broth, fat for cooking and making soap. The beaver is an important part of our lives and we are grateful for the life they provide for us.

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.

Additional information


Feb 23-Mar 1, 2024


Crown trapline bordering Lure's basecamp, near Espanola, ON


While not as strenuous as some of our travel-oriented expeditions, this trip will still involve travel by snowshoe and toboggan, through potentially difficult snow conditions and terrain. Good physical conditioning recommended.

6 reviews for *2024* Life on the Trapline

  1. Basia

    An amazing opportunity to achieve new things in a beautiful environment, with a solid safety net and the support needed to succeed.

    I spent most of the week sleeping alone on a snowy northern hillside, in a snow and debris shelter I made with my own hands, collecting my own firewood to boil my own water, all using minimal food rations and limited tools.

    Yet with the regular checkins and group activities, I found that expert guidance, support, and community were never too far away when I needed them.

    I feel like I improved my skills and confidence, but also had an experience I will remember forever.
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

  2. Karin

    I had an amazing time on the winter survival course with LOTN. I’m a novice snow person and was a bit timid about putting myself in an unknown environment but Kie and the team were supportive and full of tips/tricks to aid my journey. I now have a new appreciation for primitive skills and ancestral living; everyone should get out there and test their innate skills. I highly recommend this course or any other at LOTN. They are super professional, kind and have a quality outfit! <3 <3
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

  3. Dug North

    This course was amazing! I got to build my own shelter, procure firewood and water, icefish, snare snowshoe hares, help hunt porcupines, and fashion my own snowshoes out of fir boughs.

    During the course, I used the ten survival items I chose to bring with me. It was incredibly informative to see which items served me well, and which I would trade for something else the next time around. It was also very helpful to learn how my body responds to increased activity and reduced calories. It’s difficult to simulate that in day-to-day life.

    It was nice that the students could choose the level of cooperation/independence that we felt would benefit us the most. This means beginners and more advanced students can all get what they need from this course.

    Kielyn was an ideal guide/teacher/friend throughout. Every one of her lessons has the weight of authority that can only come from actual experience. She has done it and can tell you about it, so listen to every word because that kind of education is pure gold. I look forward to taking more courses with Lure of the North.

    If you are looking for an immersive survival experience to increase your skill and confidence this course provides the perfect blend of adventure, safety, and training. Highly recommended!
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

  4. Rob McLellan

    I went to LOTN’s winter survival course thinking it would be a good opportunity to learn more about survival and to experience being “Alone” in a safe environment. It was so much more than that! Yes, I now feel more confident in my abilities in a survival situation. Yes, I got to experience being on a low calorie diet while in the wilderness. But I also learned the importance of community and having people you can work together with! By myself I set about 20 snares for rabbit. Collectively we set over 200. I caught 0, the group caught 3. Only 1 fish was harvested (not by me!). It would have been a much more difficult week if others had not shared their good fortune, including the unexpected harvest of 3 porcupines.

    Kie and her guest coach/leader Stuart (sp?) were amazing. If you think you have skills, you have to meet people like them. I guarantee you will be humbled. Hoping I have found some new outdoors friends and inspired to get back out there!
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

  5. Joe Simpson

    I did this course in 2020. Kie, fresh off the Alone experience was our leader and she did an amazing job of exposing us to new experiences. I had such a good time and got to experience winter camping and survival, unlike anything in my past. It was a life changing, bucket list trip and I will be forever appreciative of the opportunity.
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

  6. Hannah Anderson

    I had an absolutely incredible and eye opening experience in this course. I was really nervous going in as I’m a total beginner and I didn’t know what to expect, but I loved every part of it, even in moments of struggle. Kielyn was so good at pushing us past our limits but also encouraging us to listen to our bodies and knowing when to rest. I learned so many skills and found a very satisfying sense of purpose in our day to day survival activities. I’m beyond happy that I found Lure of The North and I feel like I’ve come home with a fresh perspective on life. I’ve already signed up for a winter expedition. Truly cannot wait to go back!
    (Note: This was copied over from an earlier version of this course).

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