ERS325 - Field Camp I

The Summer 2022 offering of ERS325H5: May 2nd to 14th, 2022.                 

The deadline to submit required documents and payment for UTM students is March 21st, 2022.                              


ERS325: Field Camp is a ~12 day field program set in Northern Ontario, focused around Whitefish Falls. You will be part of a group of UTM and St. George students who study the geology of the Canadian Shield, Huronian Group rocks and the Palaeozoic Sediments that dominate the landscape of Manatoulin Island, Killarny Provincial Park and the area around Espanola.

To be eligible for ERS325, you need to:

  • Have finished second or third year of your program.
  • Prerequisites: have completed ERS202 (Dynamic Earth) and ERS203 (Magmatic Systems and Igneous Petrology);
    • Exclusion: ESS330H1 or ESSC16H3 or ESSD07H3.
  • Be enrolled as an Earth Science Specialist, Major or Minor.
  • Be able to attend the entire trip, and be physically able to walk long distances over uneven ground.
  • Complete all forms and submit the required cost ($500) to Sheila Ballantyne ( by the posted deadline above.

You do not need any previous field trip experience. The trip lasts for approximately 12 days. The dates may change, and you should not plan any activities in the 2 days preceding or after the trip in case these dates change.

 The field camp will be based at Whitefish Falls, at the Bay River Lodge and Fishing Camp ( Accommodation will be in cabins, with between 4 and 8 people per cabin (depending on overall numbers on the trip). The cabins are heated, have a full bathroom in each, and power. There is internet at the lodge, but not in each of the cabins; however we cannot guarantee that the internet at the lodge will work when we are there. The cabins will also have all cooking utensils and dishes required for the week.

Required / Recommended Equipment

You will need to bring these things with you. Equipment in bold is required – if you do not have this at the start of the trip, you may not be allowed on the trip. If you do not have them – borrow, rent, or buy them:

  • Boots with ankle protection (i.e. a boot, not a shoe). You will be walking considerable distances over the course of the trip, so you will want lightweight, comfortable walking boots. Ankle protection is required – in the event that you trip or fall, ankle protection will stop you from breaking your ankle. Steel caps are not required. Buy the best boots you can afford.
  • A waterproof jacket (+/- rain pants). In the event of wet weather, we will still go out in the field. A waterproof jacket made of good quality material (such as Gore-tex or similar) will keep you dry, which will keep you warm, which will make you more comfortable.
  • Outdoor clothes for both warm and sunny (think ~20oC) or cold and snowing (<0oC). Remember that wool and synthetics keep you warm even when wet, while cotton will be cold. Avoid denim jeans if possible. Jeans are notoriously bad for soaking up water and losing heat. It is a good strategy to dress in layers – many thinner layers is better than a couple of thick layers. We also recommend woolen socks, as wool prevents the formation of blisters.
  • Water bottles that can hold at least 2 liters – reuse a plastic water/soda/pop bottle if needed.
  • A day pack which can hold your rain jacket (and rain pants), warm layers, water, and lunch. This does not need to be fancy, but it does need to be comfortable as you will be wearing it ALL day. If it doesn’t come with a rain cover, then consider placing a large plastic bag or a garbage bag inside your day pack to ensure your belongings stay dry.
  • A broad-rimmed hat (UV/sun exposure can be high), a woolly hat, gloves and scarf.
  • Waterproof sunscreen and insect repellent. The sun can be very strong, especially if you are out all day. We are usually early enough in the season that mosquitos / black fly are not a problem, but bring some along if you have it, just in case.
  • Casual clothes for around camp. Although laundry facilities are available at the lodge, it is advisable to bring a sufficient supply of clothes for the duration of the camp, as we cannot guarantee that the facilities will be working and able to be used.
  • Toiletries and towel. Towels are not provided by the campsite, and you will need to bring your own toiletries.
  • Stationary equipment:
    • Pencil for making notes in the field. A mechanical pencil is best – it never needs to be sharpened, and produces a thin line which is great for drawing and sketching. Spare leads should also be purchased.
    • Coloured pencils (+ sharpener)
    • Eraser
    • Ruler
    • Protractor
    • A thin black and red ink pen.
    • A calculator may be useful, but you can use your phone if that has one.
    • Anything else that you have used in ERS202 you should also bring along – there will not be an opportunity for you to borrow or buy any extra things. You will need to arrange this yourself.

You may also wish to bring your laptop, as some of the assessment can be completed and uploaded via Quercus. You do not need a laptop however, as the assessment can also be completed on paper.

We will provide you with the necessary geological field gear – notebooks, geological compass, hammer (when required) and hand lens.

Cost for trip

The cost for the trip, on top of tuition, is $500 which must be paid by the deadline (March 21st, 2022) and given to Sheila Ballantyne. Payment is by money order, or cash. No personal cheques will be accepted.This covers the accommodation and transport for the entire trip. However, you will need to arrange your own food for the trip. We will stop at supermarkets throughout the trip for you to purchase the food you will need.

Forms required 

You will need to fill out and submit the following forms and payments to Sheila Ballantyne ( in DV2056.