I Am considering taking a canoe/camp/fishing trip to the BWCA. Anybody have thoughts on subject?pro or con

Put me down for “por”…

– Last Updated: Jan-18-06 11:55 AM EST –

OOOp's..make that "pro"...

I’ve Done Many Trips Up There…
…but only one solo. Health issues have prevented any further solo trips. When you’re solo, you see more, hear more, feel more, ALL the feelings are heightened, including loneliness. Not a problem for me, but not for everybody. I also want to stress that you need to be extremely carefull not to take chances as there is no one else to “Bail” your butt out! I have a rather vivid memory of a 1.5 mile crossing that I made on big Sag. The wind was light and waves probably 6". The prudent thing for me to do would have been to paddle a bit south into Red Rock Bay and “Island Hop” accross since I was alone. But BECAUSE I was alone I thought it would be easierto go straight across. By the time I finished, the winds had picked up, the waves were close to 3’ and I was having to add mileage to my paddle to keep out of troughs and keep the boat upright. It was a vivid reminder that ESPECIALLY when paddling solo, you must evaluate your consequences if you screw up, and don’t take chances to save a little time and energy. Also, I would suggest you plan no more than 15 miles a day when solo, because you will be more likely to have to sit out heavy wind and waves than if you were tandem. There is so much more freedom in paddling the BWCAW solo, but you have to remember to make your decisions carefully since there’s no one to help you out of a jam when you make the wrong decision. WW

Put me down for "pro"
We (my wife and I) have been there and love it.

I am fortunate to have her to share our adventures, but if I didn’t I would be doing it solo.

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying you should have some prior camping experience and be a decent paddler.



Can be dangerous
If anything goes wrong you are on your own to seek help.

In addition to having proper gear and planning, a few thoughts:

  1. While out don’t do anything stupid or possibly beyond your physical or skill capabilities. I’ve seen people climb trees or steep rocks without any real reason, and of course the results could have been disasterous.

  2. Consider buying/carrying a Personal Locator Beacon and appropriate survival gear, AND make sure it is on your body at all times. These do no good floating down a river while you’re left to survive on your own. If you find yourself in a real dire situation all you have to do is press a button and rescue is on the way. Really! Not cheap, but what is your life worth to you? Of course you’ll have to survive (first aid, water, shelter, signal) until they arrive.

  3. Take some time to browse through . Their goal is to make sure you come home from your adventure.

Queticogal, some serious solos!!
18 days is a pretty serious solo trip, wow. i’ve done a couple 10 days and that seems intense enough…

i paddled in Quetico a couple years back for 8 days with friends, my only time there, and was very impressed. it is an incredible place, worth exploring at length. certainly the best campsites i’ve ever been on were in Quetico.

the only other person i know who did huge solos was a woman i worked with in Toronto who paddled across Canada, much of it solo. impressive.


back to the original poster:

as for the question canoe or kayak… i don’t mean to be rude, and i am a dedicated kayaker, but are you crazy!? canoe only mate. not only is it infintely more reasonable for inland lake tripping (the aboriginals were on to something in those 10000 years) the soul boating in a canoe in Quetico is something that must be experienced, and couldn’t be recreated in a kayak. IMO anyways no offence to others.