When I was writing my first novel, I had to pick a location. I was tempted to place it in Ontario. But I realized quickly, looking at a map (which is how Carpenter, the lead character would have done it) that the exit route determines the location. I needed to be able to leapfrog medium size boats from Canada to Baffin Island to Greenland to Iceland to Europe, and then bounce down to the English Channel, to Spain, into the Med, then finally into the Middle East.
So, that ruled out Northern Ontario. That would have added a near-impossible route out through the Hudson Bay. I mean, my characters are making that trip, but when you look at how much farther north they’re going…
So, my people’s end up settling in an area in Northern Quebec. It’s roughly level with Labrador, and it’s called Nunavik. It’s so sparsely populated that Canadians actually confuse it with Nunevut, on the west coast.
This meant pouring over Google Earth, zooming in as best as I could. I actually found a spot (and I marked down the long-lat somewhere, but can’t find where!) they would go. The area’s ideal, from aerial photography. The tree cover is so dense that you could be dancing in all flourescent colors waving flags, and a helicopter circling above wouldn’t see you. There’s streams and small lakes circling it. If you look at Nunevik, you’ll spot a heart shaped lake about 50 miles south of it. Lake Maurice is to the southwest, about another 50-75 miles.
Now, what Carpenter would have done is look at the terrain once he got to the location, and chosen a fairly flat location with a higher ridge to the south, and hills to the North, allowing them something to circle around in case of pursuit. That seems to describe every 30 feet in Nunevik.
If you’re a survivorman fan, be aware that every place Les Stroud was in the Boreal Forest was far to the south. Apparently, where I’m sending my people, there’s no surviving except on the coast.
Feel free to visit. Then again, you can simply go sit in the woods somewhere more accessible, and get the same feeling. Bring hot dogs.