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Into the canadian wildernessLevels 3 and 4

Mountains & Ocean - Survival skills - Chemistry - Environment - Water Further Details Levels 3 and 4

Into the canadian wildernessLevels 3 and 4

Mountains & Ocean - Survival skills - Chemistry - Environment - Water Further Details Levels 3 and 4

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Niveau physique

Niveau technique



Come exploring with us the western Canadian wilderness and learn interesting things related to water!
The itinerant trip will start at the foot of rockie mountain, north of Vancouver, before heading to Vancouver Island. This wild and unique Island is well known for its wilderness, surprising wildlife and variety of landscapes. Fjords, primary Forest and an opening to Pacific Ocean can be seen from there.
We will try to meet up indigenous people living there for many generations and understand their relationship with Nature.
The scientific project aims to study the water quality all along the water cycle, from the glacier to river going to the ocean! We will emphasize on plastic issues and try to find out if we can find traces of plastic pollution even in non-urbanized area.
The evening activities will be related to survival skills, such as managing your own fire, efficiently and safely.

The stay

The project is related to water watch program aiming to study the aquatic ecosystem.
You can see the latest updates on our web site and on our Facebook page osi-water-watch

The trip
The project goes deeper into the subjects explored during the trip “Into the Great Lakes” around Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

  • On the scientific side, we will focus on the water cycle and we will explore it on the field: from the Glacier to the Ocean. Questions will be raised on the increasing issue of plastic pollution:

How much does it impact the ecosystem?
What is the link with the water cycle?
How can we act locally to reduce the problems in our close environment?

All these questions will be explored and discussed with young to find out how to solve the problems!

  • On wilderness side, survival skills are a key of our trip! We will be all two weeks under tents, and we will go for a trekking experience for several days. This include the learning of fire management, useful knots, waste management on the field.

How can we act locally to reduce the problems in our close environment?

International group

The language spoken in the group will be mostly English. The goal is for nonnative speakers to be immersed into the country including language and culture. The interest for all is to meet people from different countries and exchange point of views.
The two scientific educators speak fluently English and French.

The goal of the trip is also to have a cultural discovery through an international group of teenagers on one hand and the meeting of indigenous people on the other hands. We will especially look for discussions with indigenous communities to promote responsible tourism and their experience of connection with Nature, in order to replace humans being into the ecosystem.

The group during the stay

Everyone is responsible of his own belongings and it is expected that people involved in the group will take care of it. We will emphasize on how to behave in a group, especially being respectful and friendly with others that everyone has a good experience.
During the trip, we like to organize the tasks that each of the participant can take part of in the daily life like cooking, cleaning, packing all what is necessary for the group.
We take special care that each participant feels comfortable in group, can increase their skills and abilities to behave well socially.

Good to know
The starting point of the trip is Vancouver International Airport, at the arrivals zone. The educators bring back the participants to the departure gate at the last day (all the way to the safety checks).

The research project

Research project

The main subject of the trip is WATER under different states: from the solid state in the Glacier to the salty water of Ocean. How does the water flow from the Mountain to the Ocean? Why do we care about it, what are the different usages? We will strive to understand the process of water cycle and different aspects: water quality is important for drinking, but also for fun, or for the aquatic life. We will take some samples of raw water to study the quality (pH, O2, pollutant, etc.) in various areas like in a sub-glacier lake or on a riverside. Western Canada is especially interesting for that thanks to the variety of landscapes (from the high Mountains to the Ocean).
Water is essential to life, including human and it activity! To produce energy, to irrigate agriculture, for domestic usage, there any many possibilities. We will look how Humans are affected by water availability and how they impact the water resources.
A special focus will be done on plastic pollution which is an increasing issue around the world.

  • Why to care about plastics?
  • How to filtrate the water to remove the plastic pollution?
  • Is the plastic only present in urbanized area or even in remote places?

All these questions will be tackled, and participants involved in thoughts to fight this problem!


Participants will take sample and analyze the water quality of relevant area. They will design and build simple systems to collect samples and analyze water.
There will be discussions about durability and energy usage for each experiment and tools. Finally, the researches will end by summarizing up the findings into a transmission tool such as a report or a video.

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Concepts Learned during the Camp


Water cycle – Survival skills - Fire management – Water Quality – How to use a knife – Microplastic study– Ecology & Ecosystem – Environment preservation – Indigenous people – Nature discovery – Citizen sciences – Life in group – Zero waste

Equipment Used

The Tools
Water quality test kit – Thermometer – Camera - Computer – Stoves – Knifes – test tube – Magnifying glass – Microscopes – Various tools

The location

The place
The trip will take place from the city of Vancouver and surrounding Rocky Mountains for the first days. First part of the stay will be about getting organized for daily life and activities, and start will a beautiful hike to see a glacier, symbol of the beautiful mountains of British Columbia. The first area discovered will be then north of Vancouver, before getting to island through Nanaimoi.
Then, we will spend around 10 days in Vancouver Island to explore its astonishing nature and meet the inhabitants! The landscapes are very various: primary forest, ocean shoreline, old town of Victoria, etc. It will be most likely possible to swim both in salty and fresh water. We will go first to places which are easy to access and then to more remote places to compare the water quality and do our experiments. Hopefully we can see some wildlife too!
The return to the mainland will be done from Victoria to Vancouver city by ferry. Half-day will be used to go in some places in Vancouver city before heading back to the Airport.

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Day to day proceedings

Daily Life during the trip
The trip will be paced by the daily life tasks (like cooking, cleaning, Logbook writing, etc.) and different activities (sciences or others). There will be around one hour of free time almost every day. There will be time for relaxing, doing sport, studying, cooking, meetings, leading researches and experiments, swimming, making videos, fire camps, writing scientific reports, etc

We will be sleeping under tents for the whole trip, for camping (in campgrounds) or trekking (in the nature). We will mostly stay in campgrounds though, in order to acces toilets, showers and other basic facilities. The trekking experience will be an opportunity to experience life out of the comfort zone, with our own energy, own water and own food. The goal is to get closer to the Nature, explore, understand it and feel comfortable in it.

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The team

Guillaume LORIMIER OSI scientific supervisor for water watch program

Sciences & Mountains background – Hydraulic Engineer from Grenoble INP -ENSE3
Involved in the trips “Into the Great Lakes” and “Into the Canadian Wilderness”

Blandine CAQUET Supervisor of WATER WATCH program

Doctor in forest biology
Scientifique supervisor at “La Vigie de l’eau” in Vittel, France
Supervisor of WATER WATCH program (which includes International Vittel Water Science Camp, International Lausanne Water Science Camp, Into the Great Lakes & Into the Canadian wilderness).

Benoît Sappe OSI coordinator for North America

Wilderness Guide
Supervisor of several research programs at OSI for Canada/ Chili/ London/ USA

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Current discussions with:

  • University of Victoria
  • Vancouver Aquarium
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Day to Day Schedule

We will firstly get to know each other by exploring the closest area of rocky mountains.
Then we will head to Vancouver Island to discover this surprising area, study wild river and ocean side.
Our trip bring us back to Vancouver by ferry where we will spend the last moments of our trip together.

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Please find below the first drawing of the itinerary to download

Take with you

The essentials

Personal Documents:
• Biometric passport
• Photocopy of insurance
• Photocopy of important documents (passport, airline tickets, etc.)
• All electronic tickets for the trip.
• Necessary authorisation documents for minors.

The backpack

Personal camping equipment marked with the name (initials) of the person to put in a backpack:
• 1 good sleeping bag (thickness 0 to 5 ° C)
• Very good hiking shoes (supportive and solid sole - trekking or walking)
• 1 camping mattress for one person (self-inflating mattress)
• 1 cushion (self-inflating/optional)
• Backpack 65 liters (not more than 20 kg otherwise there will be a surcharge at the airport)
• Small backpack (30 to 40 liters) for a daily activities
• Multifunctional knife + fork + spoon
• 1 bottle (1 liter) + bowl and glass plate
• 1 lunch box (to take for picnics)
• 1 headlamp + spare batteries (1 set)
• Earplugs
• 1 something to cover your eyes.

Clothing suitable for the expeditions (fast drying/suitable for sports), marked with the name (initials) of the person (there is the possibility of washing items at the campsite):
• 1 pair of sunglasses
• 1 pair of flip-flops or crocs (for showers)
• 1 or 2 plastic bags (to put dirty or wet stuff in)
• 5 pairs of socks
• 7 briefs (underwear)
• 1 waterproof long poncho
• 1 towel (e.g. fleece)
• 5 T-shirts (including 2 long-sleeved)
• 1 hot turtleneck
• 1 pajama
• 1 fleece
• 1 warm vest
• 1 K-way style windbreaker
• 2 lightweight hiking style cotton pants (no jeans, something that dries quickly)
• 1 shorts
• 1 swimsuit + small lightweight towel
• 1 hat or cap
• 1 silk scarf or light scarf

Toiletry bag:
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Sunscreen Factor 50
• Moisturizer
• Washcloth
• Natural soap
• Shampoo
• Any necessary female sanitary products
• Hydro-alcoholic gel

Small personal pharmacy:
• Dressings
• Tweezers
• Medical treatment currently in use
• Prescriptions if needed
• Paracetamol
• Etc ...

Lists for Science Journalism
Personal Material of a Science Journalist:
• 1 kit filled with: pens and colored pencils, pencil, eraser, scissors, small ruler
• 1 rigid notebook that will be your TRAVEL BOOK

And if you have one (not compulsory):

• 1 digital camera + card + battery with charger
• A small computer
• 1 USB stick (storage)
• 1 magnifying glass + compass
• 1 pocket game or activity to discover (light-small)
• 1 book

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Pictures / Videos

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