-- Last Updated: Jun-26-07 9:09 PM EST --

This is for the older solo paddlers out there who thought their wilderness days were gone. I am a grandma who used to go on extensive Quetico canoe trips with my sons, now grown. I started taking them to Seagull back when it was a "fishing camp" from there we progressed into the Q. Anyway, I really started to miss those days, do they really have to be over? Am I really too old for such things on my own? So I bought myself a kayak. A Necky Manitou Sport. OK so it's 44lbs. how do I load this thing? Can I carry it? Well, I bought a little kayak cart, so don't have to lug it too far. Got a rollar thing to put on the back of the Forester, so "whoop" up it goes, no problem. Step stool to tie it all down. Took a beginners class, bought all the safety gear, watched videos, now here I go. Ok now where do I go? I wanted wilderness, or as close as possible, so I rented a cabin on the Gunflint Trail, on a lake bordering the BWCA. Drove it up there and had a ball just paddling all over the lake. Saw a young moose whose mama grunted at me, and lots of quiet magnificence we all seek. I love the spirited kayak community and thank you all for the inspiration!

Sounds good
I have similar plans for Sawbill this summer. Camp at the forest service campground, take day trips into BWCA w/little or no portaging.

Good for you!

– Last Updated: Jun-27-07 8:58 AM EST –

A word of warning though - in the actual wilderness you cannot use the cart. It is portage or nothing.

If you are interested in packing light I can recommend B. Hansel's site Nessmuking. A wealth of great ideas on how to pare the weight you carry.

As for loading your kayak you will need an assortment of dry bags. I would suggest teh tapered variety (available from NRS, Gaia, and other sources). These will fit into the far ends of your boat better than the standard shapes.

You will also need a way to carry the bags on portages. Many shops carry large net bags with shoulder straps which can be used to carry multiple dry sacks at once.


I applaud you !!!1
You are one gutsy lady who puts it where it counts. You do what it takes to do what you want and that says a lot about you. You have a lot to be proud of!!!111