Sunday, 9 September 2012

Camping With Donor Milk, Wild Animals, and Northern Lights

We just came back from a gorgeous camping trip in Nopiming Provincial Park, and yes, we managed to use donor milk the entire time. On previous trips, we simply brought along our portable freezer – don't laugh! We ARE Milk Junkies after all and we did indeed buy this freezer last summer ONLY for transporting breast milk. We justified it with the good ol' "this thing will come in soooooo handy in a few years' time when we are camping in the front country and want to bring burgers along with us..." Yeah.

Anyway, we usually plug in the freezer at our campsite and that is that. Done. This time, I desperately wanted to explore Nopiming, a more northern, more wild park, and... one that doesn't have any electrical sites. I miss terribly the remote canoe trips we used to take prior to having our little one. We carried in all our food and gear and completely left civilization for up to two weeks at a time. Instead, staying in the front country of Nopiming, immediately after Labour Day and the departure of the great crowds, seemed like the next best option.
The moon looks orange as it rises. The greenish Aurora Borealis is reflected in a lake.
Aurora Borealis and moonrise at our campsite.
Following our great success with dry ice in Toronto and Nova Scotia, we decided to repeat the trick for our camping adventure. We unfortunately forgot that the dry ice store would be closed on Labour Day. Yet again, we ended up relying on a stranger's helping hand to make our trip possible. Ian called up the Nopiming Lodge, fortunately located around the corner from our campground, and made a deal to allow us to store our donor milk there.

When we arrived, the lodge owner took the milk from us and was about to put it into one cooler when suddenly he thought better of it and stuck it in the other. Curious, Ian took a peek in cooler #1 the next day when he went to retrieve some milk: it was being used to freeze a freshly caught and still very aromatic bear head and hide. Yep, I'd say better not to store our baby's milk alongside a bloody hunting trophy. That would have been a little too much wilderness for me.

I'm glad it all worked out, but I'm kind of looking forward, in a bitter-sweet sort of way, to next summer when we will most probably no longer be using donor milk. It is extraordinary that we have been doing this for nearly 17 months – 17 months of incredible generosity from donors and many other folks, as well as 17 months of constantly sorting out the weird and wonderful logistics of milk sharing.


  1. Wow! That is quite a mess but I am glad you sorted it out. The northern lights is a great thing too. Its just breathtaking. I will surely see it in my own eye soon. Cool share! Check my page at .

  2. that is awesome that you got it all worked out. Glad it wasn't stored along side the ... ahem.. trophy

  3. What a fantastic picture! And kudos for camping with a little one. I went with a friend this year --first time since kids-- with the expected hilarious results. Only car-camping, though; I miss our previous backcountry camping. Hopefully next year!