Our first field trip with the crew! We are basically part of a huge Canada wide forest inventory. Our crew is responsible for the North-West Region in Ontario and there is a grid of forest plots all over the country that need to be measured every 5 years. Granted, this is the theory and not the practice.
In reality it doesn’t happen every 5 years. But it is still impressive how systematically everything seems to be mapped and how detailed the inventory is. Everything gets measured, from the top of the tree to deep into the soil. And there are no roads, paths or whatsoever. We had to make our way through trees and bushes, climbing over logs, wading through swamps. Definitely not always easy. Especially the first time you enter, you need GPS and more importantly good compass orienteering skills. From the road where you access to the centre plot you need to make sure you follow a straight line (no matter what is in your way) and make sure you keep the bearing, in order to find the plot. I was glad I could simply follow and didn’t have to hold a compass in front of me. And is it fun doing this work in the bush? Well.. it kind of is. BUT there are millions of bugs! And mosquitoes aren´t the worst at all. It´s the black flies and the sand-flies that give you a hard time. For protection we had to wear a full body bug net, just to be able to work in peace. After a day in the bush, it is nice though to get back to the camp, having a bbq, bonfire and maybe even a swim in one of Ontario´s beautiful lakes.