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Paddling The Paddling forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness paddling (canoeing, kayaking, rafting). Topics focus on trip planning and gear.

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Old 08-21-2009, 02:45 PM
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AlanBaljeu AlanBaljeu is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
Backpack: Jack Wolfskin
Sleeping Gear: orange down hooded bag
Shelter: North Face 3person 2door tent
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 184
Week in Algonquin

Just came back from a week of paddling in Algonquin Provincial Park, Mon Aug 10-Fri Aug 14.

After a year of record rainfall, and just one day after Toronto got drenched by a veritable monsoon, we were fortunate enough to experience every single day as partly cloudy, with temps ranging from 10C at night to 25C in daytime. i.e. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT CONDITIONS

For the trip we entered the park at Rain Lake (on the west side), and paddled and portaged through a series of lakes and rivers to Misty Lake , and then took a different route back to the start.

Good points:
Loons. Every single lake of any size had at least one. And those loons have such a beautiful sound when they call across the wilderness to each other.


Moose. Watched a cow and a calf munching on grass in the marshy end of a lake. Got within 20m. Took pictures.

Mosquitos. Not too many of them.

Trees. Of course. A good variety of evergreen and deciduous trees.

Blueberries. Wild! Extremely high ORAC value besides being tasty

Food. Steak and potatoes over a camp fire first night. MEC dehydrateds a couple other nights. 100s of granola bars, and of course GORP.

Swimming. Every day, in the slightly frigid waters.

Stars. Millions of them, because of clear skies and no city lights.

Bad parts:
Portages. A 500m portage seems like a 1500m portage because of gear and hills. And we had enough gear that we had to go back and grab some more. Unfortunately, this route had about 10k of portages which meant 30k walking and this seemed like 80k walking.

Backpacks were easy to carry, but we always had extra gear to carry in-hand besides. The canoe yoke was slightly painful, and a 44lb canoe gets tiresome after a while because of this.

Sleeping surface. It wasn't flat always, and I didn't have a good pillow along.

Not enough rocks. The Canadian Shield is awesome for its granite. This rock makes beautiful cliffs, excellent clean sitting surfaces, lunch places, diving rocks, etc. The route we took had only marginal amounts of such rock.

Neck pains. I had trouble before I left, and should have gotten treated in advance. Carrying gear, and poor sleeping brought me to near critical pain levels by Friday 3am. Thank God someone brought Tylenol (something I rarely use otherwise.)

Lesson learned:
pack lighter. I should have realized that 2 flashlights, 2 pairs of pants, shirts, sweaters, 3 kinds of footwear, two cooking pots, two 1L gas canisters, 4 rain coats, were excessive. And that was just some of my gear. Also, we packed food enough for 8 days. We can do better on a 4 day trip.

Choose routes with less portaging. Portaging is a not as much fun as paddling.

Anybody want pictures?
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