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Canoe Trip Readiness...

Discussion in 'On the Water' started by Northern Dancer, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    For those who planning a first canoe trip or would like to go on one
    I thought I would share a few ideas with you.
    If you have questions or would like me to address issues let me know.

    Let's get started....

    It was our custom to have a one day workshop before the group headed out on our annual canoe trip to Algonquin Provincial Park. One year we didn't do that. We allowed three new people to join us - it was the last trip that the group ever made. The newbies wrecked the trip and trashed a five year history. When you get sloppy - you pay for it. :dead:

    So what is it that I do before planning a trip with others? The first thing that I do before anything is to ask myself, "Who do I want to be with on this trip?."

    A true life experience with the help of the Art of Manliness -

    A friend just went on a canoe trip. My friend ended up hauling out his buddy who had misrepresented his abilities. His friend was unprepared, wore the wrong clothing, went hypodermic and joined the Liar’s Club. It was a soul-sucking experience, not the rejuvenation he expected. Then the guy's truck broke down on the way home.

    How do you avoid soul-sucking experiences?

    Select a trip that is suited to the people in your group with the least amount of experience, or if a lot of people are experienced and one is not, make accommodations (put him in a canoe with a very experienced paddler). Better yet, convince Weakest Link to stay home this time. That isn’t supposed to be humorous. No one will have fun if WL is holding everyone back and neither will the WL.

    Assign a trip leader early on, or a team leader, [we appoint a safety officer] all of which are of one mind on the goals and expectations of the trip. The trip leader doesn’t set the agenda; the group does that. But early on, safety protocols are discussed and agreed upon by the group. When things vary from that protocol, it’s the trip leader who says, “No, we’re not cliff diving." A trip leader can also say,”I don’t feel comfortable with you swimming in the Lagoon of the Shrieking Eels.” Before the trip, all agree that the trip leader’s word is law. It’s a hard place to be, and it has challenged friendships, but ultimately it has to be that way. Rule by consensus does not work in the wilderness.

    Look for the next edition.

    So...what do you think?


    I do not claim to be a professional.
    The information provided is based on experience and learning.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    2sweed likes this.
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I think that suiting the trip towards the weakest link is a good tip but like you said, the problem is often that you do not know the ability of everyone on the trip beforehand.

    What did your pre-trip workshop usually consist of? If the problem was canoeing I have usually found that most people can paddle a canoe without any previous experience as long as there is someone who knows how to steer in the back then the person in the front just needs to keep on paddling (just make sure to pace yourself so you don't run out of steam half way through). Anyways, I guess this ties into what you were saying about matching up the weakest link with the strongest one. (too bad real chains don't work that way haha)

    I'm going to sticky this thread, it is great info and I'm sure a lot of people will be reading it in the next few months as people gear up for the summer season.
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    ...coming up next.
    campforums likes this.
  4. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Canoe Camp Readiness Part 2 of 4
    Coming up

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Prep Day
    [Canoe Readiness - Part 2 of 4]

    In the last topic I talked about "Who do I want to go with on this trip?"

    In this session I want to speak briefly about PREP DAY - an opportunity for the group to get together to plan, practice and work together as a team. It is really important that a date be selected to assure that everyone; I mean everyone is present - no exceptions.

    Now...before we go any further let's establish the rationale or the reason we are doing all this. Let's say it together - out loud - "We are going to have fun!" That's it. Say it again, just a little bit louder - "We are going to have fun." You got it. That's what the planning and practice session is all about. It is to enhance and insure that the trip will be fun...for everyone. :)

    Before we do all this we have to make some decisions.

    What park or place did you want to canoe?

    Provincial and State Parks are a good start - they are online and can tell you what they a have to offer as well as the cost and other needed information. They also offer an element of security too.

    When do you plan to be away and for how many nights and days? The group has to decide the best time according to individual schedules.

    Booking is decided at an earlier date to assure that you get the places you want. Five months ahead is not unreasonable for busy parks. Remember, you are booking your base camp site and interior camp site at the same time.

    Who is going to book the trip for the group and who is laying out he cash - who is the contract holder? Many parks allow you to book on line. I have a personal account with Algonquin Park - it saves me a lot of time and I can do it anytime of the day or night.

    How are you transporting - i.e who's cars/vans are you using?

    How much is this going to cost each individual and when is it to be paid?.
    I strongly recommend the cost of the site be paid up front by all members of the group. There are no refunds here. The rest can be paid later.

    ● Canoe and Safety

    For purposes of planning I am talking about [1] canoeing on flat or ripple water, [2] five nights and six days. One night at base, two or three in the interior and one back at base before leaving for home the next day. [3] Six guys, [4] Three canoes. These suggestions here apply to any size group.

    At the home of someone who has a pool OR rent time at the local pool [though you may have to do this separately from your prep day.] Everyone swims the length of the pool in full clothes and life jacket. [Or half a pool if you are using the rec. centre.]

    Everyone practices the basic J - stroke or Canada stroke from the side of the pool. Everyone practices basic water strokes in the pool which includes reverse, pry, push-away, draw stroke and sweep. So…that means you need a canoe.

    You need to overturn the canoe just once – and practice what to do if that should happen. Everyone needs to understand what the whistle blasts mean, the paddle signals, getting in and out of canoe and how to pack a canoe safely. Practice canoe lifts and caring a canoe ground level for portages.

    Based on the observed skills you agree on who will make up the canoe teams. Be a bit humble – share and change positions from time to time. :(:)

    ● Selecting and packing equipment

    “You bring it, you carry it.” We want to help people pack as lightly as possible and as efficiently as possible. As you carry your own personal stuff you will have to carry the community stuff as swell. So everyone brings what they think they want to. Everyone takes part.

    We then negotiate what we do bring, - add some group stuff, pick up a life jacket and a paddle and then go on a one and a half hour hike. Stop half way to make a simple meal – an opportunity to rehearse hygiene and basic food preparation and to assure that everyone knows how to make a proper cooking and camp fire.

    ● Back at base

    We go for a swim.
    Heat up the barbecue and wolf down the mammoth burgs.
    Talk about food and menus – elect, appoint, volunteers to purchase the food and organize the equipment.
    Elect the Team Leader – the grand potentate.
    Understand the expectations.
    Estimate the cost for each individual then all go home to dream about the trip.

    Budget sheet coming up.

    ● Leadership

    So…if you are all amateurs where does the leadership come from to manage all this?

    Well, I sure hope that there is someone among you that has some experience. If not you might want to check the possibility of having someone come in from your local canoe club. A senior canoe club might be best as they tend to have empathy for you and not wow you with their super skills. Don’t kid yourself about seniors – they’re good.

    ● Resources

    Online resources are plentiful as well as how to sites. Whatever you do you will need people to co-ordinate the efforts. Algonquin Park has a guide right on the route maps they sell.

    In the next session I will be talking about the final preparations, packing the van, renting canoes, base camp, fun things and lists.

    Paddles up….

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Canoe Camp Readiness Part 3 of 4
    Coming up
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    [Canoe Trip Readiness – Part 3 OF 4]

    ● Packing

    I strongly recommend that you pack the cars/vans five days before the actual trip. Have your check list in hand. When people show up at the time of departure everything is already packed and you just go. Should you have forgotten anything by chance you have five days to amend your ways. Plan to stop for lunch along the way.

    At the end of this presentation there is a check list of equipment. Keep in mind that lists vary according to need. Be sensible in what you do and remember – don’t get caught up with buying expensive equipment and every gadget on the shelf, it isn’t needed. Did I say, “You bring it, you carry it?”

    ● What time should we start out?

    I see a lot of canoe trippers stressed out and tired because they got up early in the morning, drove most of the day, paddled like mad to the first camp site [if they were lucky] and argued with their buddies because they were so tired and exhausted. So how can you avoid this situation?

    ● Set a base [home] camp – true you don’t really have to.

    What is a base camp? It will be your home port that you depart from to go on your canoe trip. It is the camp that you come back to at the end of your trip to rest, relax and laugh about the things that happened. Chuck the hurry mad dash stuff – remember? “We are going to have fun!” Start out refreshed and believe me you will enjoy your experience a whole lot more. When you come back – you can take that shower, put on fresh clothing and if there is a food shack near by go for supper.

    ● Renting canoes – unless you have your own.

    I suggested Provincial or State parks. They usually have an outfitters store that will set you up with a canoe. On this side of the boarder a canoe includes paddles, and mandatory LIFE JACKETS and a safety kit as mandated by the Ministry of Transport. A canoe is incomplete without paddles, life jackets, bailing cans and painters [ropes attached to the canoe].

    “Gots” muscles?” – a regular 16 foot canoe will do – usually weighing in about 65 to 85 pounds. OR you can get the ultra light Kevlar weighing in about 38 pounds. Weight doesn't make any difference until you hit that first portage. Then it does. :)

    Remember we had you carried your pack around for a few hours? See…there is a reason for everything.

    Your canoe is designed to take you and your equipment – you cannot load your canoe more than the recommended weight. Remember, the weight limit includes you.

    Check out the web site of the park you plan to canoe in – you will see the prices and get other important information on the types of canoes rented. You should be alright in renting on the day of arrival – they are ready for you.

    ● Fun things

    Go ahead live it up and enjoy yourself in the company of your friends; there is no experience like it. It is my practice to keep a log with pictures. We have a barbequ together after the trip and everyone gets a copy. Be creative – video tape your adventure. If you are new to all this stuff – go on line and check out what others have done. Get together and cook up some of the recipes you planned. Purchase some zany t-shirts made-up for the group.

    ● Now for that list

    Northern Dancer’s Standard Equipment List for Canoe Camping and Short Term Trips

    ● Paper Work – don’t forget it.

    Permits, Confirmation Notices and other data as required.
    A Float Plan [a map of your trip] is required so you know where you are going AND your family or next best thing knows too. If they need to contact you they need to know where you are. The parks people will want to know where you are planning to be in the park. A float plan has the names and addresses of the participants, telephone numbers, vehicle I.D., where you are going, and the time of arrival and when you are expected to be home. You will need a map of your canoe route. You can purchase maps at the park or outdoor stores.

    ● Personal

    Back Pack – canoe style with day pack attached
    Dry Bag – for inside of pack – you can use garbage bags
    Dry Bag – to take out wet clothing – same as above
    Sleeping Bag and Pad – water proofed – garbage bags are fine
    Pillow Case – put dry clothes in to make a pillow
    Night BottleI certainly carry one. I’m afraid of the dark!
    Hat – that protects me from the sun
    Shorts – for swimming and canoeing
    Hand Towel – to cut down on balk; I use a camp towel
    Longs – zipped for long to short conversion
    Tees – no black stuff – light colours keep away bugs
    Hoodie - keeps the ears warm at night
    Jacket –
    the kind that folds down into a bag
    Water Shoes – and old pair of running shoes will do just fine; I usually ceremoniously throw them out at the end of the trip.
    Camp Shoes or Hiking Boots – for around the camp site
    Rain Jacket – the kind that folds down into a bag
    Umbrella – I always have one handy – it should telescope down to six inches
    Socks and Underwear – two pairs– wash one, wear one. Some brothers don’t wear underwear in the wilderness - it's up to you and your comfort level
    Toiletry Kit – including toilet paper in waterproof container. Some brothers wash and clean their teeth and don’t bother to shave; it’s whatever you prefer
    Wash Basin – fold down one – do not wash anything in the lake or stream
    Head Light – with extra batters
    Mess Kit – including t-towel and camp soap in mesh bag to hangup
    Water bottle – I prefer a non metal container
    Water Filtration Kit – don’t drink directly from the lake or stream
    Whistle – my car key is attached – everything else is locked in the trunk
    Camera or Similar Device – with extra batteries
    Wilderness Knife – I use it for everything, carving, splitting wood etc.
    Helinox Chair I need to sit on something other than a log
    Personal Life Jacket – with I.D. and medical information in water proof baggy in pocket
    Personal PaddleI prefer my own

    ● Group Canoe Camping Equipment

    Shelter – usually two to a tent [be aware of the camp site capacity, there my be limits]
    Tarp with Rope – for sun and rain shelter
    Rope & Pulley – for hoisting bear bag
    Compass – know how to use it
    *Bucksaw – fold down - get a good one
    :stop: *Hatchet – I don’t recommend axes or hatchets, I find them dangerous in unskilled hands – suit yourself
    First Aid Kit – make it a good one We can talk about the kit if you want to.
    Bear Spray – if you are camping in bear country – know how to use it :bear:
    Red Help Flag – red flag with “H” in the centre – make your own
    Packs – to carry food and other essentials – divided among three canoes

    ● Base [Home] Camp Extra’s

    You will need a tent or two for your base camp that you will let stand while you are canoeing. You can bring along those comfortable chairs for this site. One vehicle remains at the site. Lock your valuables in the trunk of your car. Carry your car key – minus the auto door opener – attached to your whistle cord or securely fastened to your paints.

    ● Cooking and Wash-Up

    Two Burner Stove - fuel
    OR – chuck the stove and use wood [make sure there isn’t a fire band]
    If you do the aboveI recommend a fire grill
    Single Stove – primus single stove for emergency or as needed
    Lanternsmall primus with fuel for night time light
    Fire Lighters – made up, barbequ lighters AND wooden matches
    Pots and Utensilsenough for the size of the group
    Skillet – great for pancakes, bannock, pizzas and fish
    Grill – great for cooking larger meals
    Coffee Pot – I insist on perked coffee, though you can have tea
    Wash Pads - two are three in a baggy should do
    Clothes Line
    Garbage Bags –
    usually provided by the park

    ● Food - aw yes we have to bring food

    For Short Trips
    :stop: I do not recommend coolers or foods that need to be refrigerated. With good planning you don’t need it.
    Keep In Mind

    In some parks like Algonquin, bottles and cans are not permitted in the interior. THAT MEANS – you will have to plan your menu without glass and cans.

    Food List
    Every food item including condiments is listed.
    Snacks - Have individual snack packs prepared and hand out on the day of the trip.
    Agreed Menu - Print out the menus including food, equipment needed and who will be cooking and washing up.

    In the next session I will be talking about menu plans, tips & suggestions, individual snack packs, breads, budget and…dare I say it, a homework assignment?

    Paddles up… :)

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  8. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Canoe Trip Readiness Part 4 of 4
    Coming up
  9. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    ● Menu Plans [keep in mind this is for 6 guys]

    Keep it simple, keep it healthy, keep it clean. Each meal plan should be on a separate page [I use a clip board with the sheets in a protective cover]. It should look something like this.

    BREAKFAST 1- Tuesday July 07th 2015 - Algonquin Provincial Park

    Todd Martin & Ian Johnston
    *Wash up
    Brian Moore

    *The group does their own mess kit.

    Bacon, Eggs, Hash Browns, Bagel, Coffee/Tea.

    One or two packages of pre-cooked bacon, One dozen eggs in shell, 4 large white potatoes, margarine, salt, pepper, other seasoning, Coffee, Tea, creamer and sugar.

    Two burner stove & one burner stove, cooking pot, ladle, large good quality baggy, grill & spatula, coffee pot, small pot for tea water if necessary.

    ● The scene looks like this –

    Potatoes are cooked first because they take longer.
    Bacon is added and then the bagels.
    Eggs are cooked.
    Coffee is brewing over the open fire.

    Using one burner of a two burner stove Todd starts first by cutting up the potatoes into small chunks and puts them in boiling water. When the potatoes are soft [but not mushy] he puts them onto a “buttered” grill [still using one burner] and keeps turning them, adding margarine to taste, until they are golden brown with a tad of crust.

    When the potatoes are just about done Todd then puts the already cooked bacon beside the potatoes to warm them up. You can roll the potatoes in the bacon gravy for taste. Or, you can place open bagels onto the bacon gravy and toast.

    In the mean time Ian, using the primus stove, has put all 12 eggs [minus the shells] into a solid baggy adding salt, pepper, seasoning, [chives and cheddar if you want], he seals the bag and drops into boiling water. He kneads the bag gently with ladle to make sure all the eggs are cooked.

    Ian has also hung the coffee pot over the open fire for fresh brewed coffee.

    The condiments, butter, salt and pepper, coffee creamer and sugar are put out for people to help themselves.

    My mouth is watering like crazy. :)

    Brian has two wash basins ready. He uses wash water, and rinse water with a tad of bleach. The group do their own dishes. When the dishes are all washed the used water is deposited into the grey water hole. The mess kits are all neatly hung on a rope between those two trees - see them?

    Aw…ya see…another successful breakfast.

    Look at that beautiful sky and take in the warm sun shinning across the open lake.“Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zippy – de day, my or my, what a wonderful day!” :)

    ● Suggested three day menu plan to get you think in – use your own creative ideas. These items do not come in cans or bottles.

    Breakfast 1
    Bacon, eggs, hash browns, bagels, coffee/tea

    Lunch 1
    Grilled cheese, [using naans or bagels] cream of chicken soup, fruit juice [not drink], pudding, and coffee/tea

    Supper 1
    Turkey dinner [in the plastic container], mashed potatoes, fresh cut up carrots, Dad’s cookies, coffee/tea. If you got a fishermen among you – how about a fresh fish dinner? Bring along your favourite coating.

    Camp snack
    *Skillet pizza, coffee/tea/juice

    :thumbsup: I make bannock bread, use pizza sauce, sprinkled with cheese, cut up some pepperoni real thin and walla. Or you can purchase small sealed pizza like bread – see there are all kinds of things that you can do.

    You won’t believe how delicious plan soda crackers and cheese will taste.

    Breakfast 2
    Pancakes with diced apples, syrup, margarine, or you could substitute packaged porridge, [maple syrup is a favourite] coffee/tea.

    Lunch 2
    Naans [small circular bread], peanut butter and jam or bacon strips with hard cheese graded and melted, coffee/water/juice.

    Supper 2
    Spaghetti with meat [sort of] sauce, Parmesan cheese, bread sticks, fruit cups, coffee/water/ juice.

    Camp Snack 2
    Fresh popcorn drizzled with margarine and lightly sprinkled with popcorn dressing, coffee/tea.

    Camp Snack Alternative
    Should the temperature turn cold I recommend a hearty soup to warm folks up.

    Breakfast 3
    Gorilla cereal [1 part fruit loops, 1 part Capt. Crunch, 1 part Cheerios, and 1 part clusters] or do your own thing; you make this up at home. You can use hot cereals too – cream of wheat and those packaged oatmeal cereals.

    • Did you know that there are 387 different cereals with the average family purchasing only 17 different brands? Knock yourself out. :rolleyes:
    Breakfast is usually the last meal before you head back to base camp.

    ● Tips & Suggestions

    From time to time I tour the biggest food store in our area and I look for packaged foods that I can use on a canoe trip. I tend to stay away from the outdoor stores because they simply charge too much. There would be rare occasions that I would check their shelves. Really – do you want to spend $5.00 on a space ice cream bar? You will be surprised what you can purchase at your local store including the Dollar Store.

    ● Individual Snack Packs

    Packaged nuts, raisins, trail packs, granola bars, energy bars, dried fruit always goes well. I also put in chewing gum and beef jerky.

    ● Bread

    :stop: I never bring bread – it’s easily squashed and rots quickly. I use *Naans, bagels, and bread sticks and make bannock bread. *Indian inspired flat breads.

    ● Budget - aw yes, we need to pay for all this.

    Preparing a Budget - I’m going to use Algonquin Park as a Model.

    Five Day Camp Site 43.22 x 5 nights = $277.15
    Includes 6 campers and 2 vehicles
    Interior Camp Site 11.87 x 3 nights = $035.61
    Up to 9 people on site age 18+
    Canoe Rental 46.95 x 3 x 3 nights = $422.55
    Food $150.00
    Gas $200.00
    Total $1085.31
    Taxes $75.00
    Estimate $1160.31
    Cost per person $193.85
    Estimated Cost per person $200.00 :cool:

    Can you do it cheaper? You can do anything you want. Considering what we spend our money on these days the benefits you will receive from this trip will be great.


    If you are looking for inspiration and really want to get a good idea what I am talking about you need to do this. I want you to visualize great trip in Killarney Provincial Park - it can be any place you want [@campforums has a thread on this park]

    Type in Wilderness Camping by Daryl Phillips – if he doesn’t inspire you to canoe camp no one can. One of the top and excellently produced videos I have ever seen.

    I end now with an invitation to ask questions, share experiences and learn together.

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
    2sweed likes this.
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Canoe camping...it just doesn't get any better than this...

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJBROzJJzrQDhX77H6J0BVQHl0yTM4y49ud1f-QQfYFTW5dXYs.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSldJowYfxA_r_RQhnwAtKx25LvQAPLTjzjzRgGNZURcW8nWoajmw.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSx5g8c4vFVBJ9NKAPxL8XWn-bSbsWcAp6eBpZqwWNaLET_xfXQ1g.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSAA_WTG4xhrKbR4CZsquWDyGjaQI7pQyAwEPai7z4e7H8mP4Z.jpg

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQRW5ygmQZwPIVP6we9t3VG0H9sTppSYsBZjDG3KP93Sjv5zvv5Rw.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRe__Y03-wI_qv37vLf7Z-QftRnRYybn1QNLzYPmEAApYpBr390EA.jpg
    Just can't wait....................................
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  11. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Thank you @2sweed, and thank you for your encouragement. Have you ever been on a canoe trip?
  12. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    ...someone was asking about the wooden box I made on Friday evening last.

    First of all the rationale - I have small equipment that is here and there and I wanted to locate it in one place.

    So the box is 55mm [22 inches long], 22 mm [9 inches deep], 22 mm wide [9 inches wide], with two grip handles at the top.

    On the top it is lettered saying -

    at the bottom of the lettering is my logo [bear].
    SO... what fits into this storage box?

    Bug jacket, toilet roll & waterproof dispenser, water sack, dry towels, chair, table, hammock, primus stove, lantern and cook set, water purification unit, water bucket, fold down sink, cooking utensils, mess kit, canoe binoculars, whistle, headlight, first aid kit, trowel, and fire starter.

    Some are going to say, "You expect us to believe that?" Remember it is specialized equipment and it is small.

    Here are some examples.
    upload_2015-3-29_15-30-32.jpeg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQFCwg1SOusCYfS9N21ZHIW2dbNosGy0NYA-W9e6mhiuaCRxbHQ.jpg

    This is my chair - it packs down real small; surprisingly it can take 145 kg or 319 pounds of weight.

    upload_2015-3-29_15-35-21.jpeg The stove [with out the fuel] fits into the palm of your hand

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQV02XvV2_wjWoOwgVIW-NdUzAiTEk01GzSMltlYMoOc_gqZSwj.jpg upload_2015-3-29_15-54-7.jpeg

    Without fuel can


    Pots - about the size of a larger cup
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  13. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I have not been on a canoe camping trip, but my father once had a canoe and we used to paddle down a few rivers and lakes in our area. I have two questions for you. First off the small stove you have, does it sit well and is it hard to balance your pots on it? And the second question is, isn't it hard to walk and carry a backpack, as well as, a canoe over your head? Seems to me on a rough trail it would be hard, as well as, dangerous in seeing where you are going. :confused::eek::)
  14. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I have a hunch that you would really enjoy a canoe trip. It doesn't have to be hard or complicated. I cheat now - I know routes where there are no portages.

    To answer your questions -

    I have a small adjustable table. It is about the size of bed tray. It folds down to just about nothing. The table enables me to have a flat surface. I use it in my tent in the evening to place my books, glasses and whistle.

    Depending upon the circumstance. I usually carry my own canoe but someone else carries my pack. If I'm by myself I make two trips for safety sake. When you are on your own you don't have to pretend that you are Tarzan. But as I suggested I'm pretty good about missing portages altogether. :)

    I try to keep my pack at around 45 pounds. My pack will contain everything for a three to five day trip. My canoe is 40 pounds; actually lighter than the pack.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSb5XNfF80pdpwzrXjKhnZOAxjN941t4NAcE1hVGB9K_mfzrJ6n.jpg This is my GSI Outdoor table.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  15. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    One other question, if you are going out for a three to four day trip and your pack is carrying all that you need, do you carry a change of clothing or wear the same clothes for the entire time? I just know how heavy a pair of extra jeans can be and wondered about how you manage to keep the weight in your pack down. :)
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I never wear jeans on a trip. I do like to change and I'm one of those guys who feels the necessity of shaving every day. I abide by the rule, wash one wear one. :thumbsup: I follow a routine when I can. Mornings are wash times, cleaning up the site. Afternoons are for exploring. Evenings are for fun and relaxation. Night time is for star gazing and sleeping. :)

    Keeping the weight down is a constant challenge - but I'm getting better. My own advice crawls into my thinking, "You brought it, you have to carry it." And frequently I do because there isn't anyone else to do that for me. :(
  17. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    The thing I love about canoe camping is that you can reach a lot of small obscure islands that are no accessible by any other way. And by small I mean I have camped on ones that are less than 10 square meters. It is really relaxing to be able to hear the water all around you as you go to sleep, although it gets boring quickly so we moved on quickly.

    Also @Northern Dancer I think I will make a new discussion soon about some of the woodworking stuff I've done. Nothing too impressive but this way I will avoid confusing people who came here looking to read about canoes! Keep your eyes open for it :p
  18. JessiFox

    JessiFox Novice Camper

    Thanks so much for posting this! Excellent and thorough reading :). I was especially interested in your thoughts on leadership and the necessity of it, it's something I tend to overlook and underplay in situations like that but I can see how it could be quite crucial depending on the group.

    In terms of TWL, what if you don't find out about their skill level until you're already there? Is that where a trial run or workshop really helps?
  19. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    "GREAT STUFF!" - looking forward to it. @MacGyver might like it too as we know that all things can lead to camping in some way.
  20. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    The group understands that we are all responsible for one another. Unless the person is really out to lunch we make adjustments as necessary. Sometimes we have rented canoes and have done our prep time on the river. You can't hide anything about your skill level in that situation. Because our group will do ripple/flat water and we are not competitive the situation allows us to be less critical. Everyone has different skills and all together we make great music.

    Some people have commented that the trip is a lot longer and more enjoyable because we have the get togethers - prep time, barbecues, and fun stuff before the actual trip itself.
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