As you could read in my warning tip it's best to avoid being bitten by mosquitos because of the West Nile Virus. Here are some useful tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos :
Pack light coloured and long-sleeved clothing that includes long sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants, shoes, and tuck pants into socks for extra protection. Hahaha, as you could see in these pictures I hadn't read all these advices myself yet! But I will use them next time!
I found out the hard way that it's best to wear loose-fitting clothes made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from skin. Sigh.... they bit me right through my shirt and pants during one of my hikes :-( I also discovered as long as I kept moving the mosquito problem was bearable. But the moment I stood still to take a picture or have a break, they were zooming all around me ready to attack.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
Besides the right clothing it is necesarry to use insect repellent. Use a federally regulated insect repellent containing DEET when mosquitoes are biting. Adults may use an insect repellent that contains no greater than 30% DEET and no greater than 10% for children. Apply the repellent to exposed skin, and clothing as well, because mosquitoes may bite through fabric. Do not apply repellent under clothing. If you don't like to use a repellent containing DEET there are some alternatives on the market. I have no clue how effective those are though.
Another good tip is to limit the use of colognes, perfumes, and scented body lotions that can attract mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Ontario Parks has a special section about the mosquitos and West Nile Virus on it's website. You can find lots more info and answer to many questions on this website :
I have been concentrating on the mosquitos in this tip, hahaha, but I forgot to mention those irritating black flies! Phew, those know how to bite you as well! But luckely they can't give you West Nile Virus. If you use these tips mentioned above you'll be protected against the black flies as well.
It all may sound very complicated and not inviting to go to the parks, but please don't let this stop you. The bugs are irritating, but with these few simple precautions I am sure you will have a fantastic time and it will be safe to visit :-)
The hike I took in Petroglyphs park was mainly through the woods and sometimes there was a lookout point over the lake. It was weird weather though, not really good for taking photos. The sun was disappearing and it was becoming clouded, resulting in a sharp light through a grey sky. I had a 200 ISO film in my camera that I used, but I think a 400 ISO would have been much better. I wanted to take some close-ups of flowers but that was hardly possible because of the lack of light in the woods. I never take my tripod with me on my hikes, so that couldn't help me either. On a day like this using the polarizing filter was no use either. A polarizing filter takes the reflection out of the sky and makes the sky look more blue and the colours more vibrant. I love to use that filter, but with light like this it has hardly any effect. Hahaha, it was just not 'the' right day for good photos. Hahaha, but I hope I made the best of it anyway :-)
The camera I use is a Minolta Maxxum 7 and I mainly use two lenses. A 28-80mm (for landscape photos) and a 70-300mm, both lenses have macro options for my close up photos. I love making close ups of flowers, hahaha, as you probably noticed, so this is a great lens to have. I love to use the 300 mm lens to zoom in and try to take photos of wildlife. No use of that today, hahaha, I spotted deer, but I was too slow to take a picture of them. They were already gone before I could react.
Besides the SLR camera I have a simple digital camera as well to make some snapshots. The advantage of this camera is that it doesn't need as much light as my normal camera to make photos. And of course I don't have to develop them, but I can upload them right away on VT :-)))) Hahaha, so these are mostly the photos you see first when I start building a page :-)
Luggage and bags:
When you go on a day hike it's good to take a few things along with you.
* First of all the bug repellent (see the next tip for more info).
* Sunscreen! The sun can be suprisingly strong and a sunburn is easily caught.
* Water! Hahaha, when you've done a climb uphill you certainly get thirsty. So bring plenty of water for your hike. Never use the water in the park but use bottled water.
* A park map and a trail guide. Mostly the trails are marked quite well, but it's always great to have a map and/or a trail guide with you so you keep track of where you are and how far you still have to go. The trail guides are mostly available at the start of the hike, but sometimes you have to buy them at the campground store. The trail guides at Killarney were approximately $3 CAD.
* Bring some snacks! During a hike I always get very hungry and it's great to have something to eat or snack during the hike or on a break. I always have some candy, apple or sandwich with me.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
It's wise to bring a first aid kit on your hike...... hmmm.... I have to admit that I am guilty of not bringing this with me myself, but I think it is better if you would. I do have my plasters with me in case I get blisters on my feet. When I feel I get one I always use them to protect it from getting worse.
Okay, this one is obvious... bring your camera and film! And lots of it! When you have a digital don't forget to bring some spare batteries and maybe extra memory cards to store you photos. I've made a separate tip on the photo equipment I use, so take a look there if you are interested in reading more about it.