With new additions to the team and a new goals for 2021 we’ve decided to update the old website. Stay tuned for lots of great new content in the new year. In the mean time you can find us on Facebook and Instagram.
New video is live! A short one on one of the trips from last year we took with the kids through Temagami. Thanks for watching.
We’re back for another tips Tuesday.
Who makes a trip plan?
Who then leaves the details with someone they know? It’s a good idea to leave a detailed version of your trip plan with friends or family. Marking where you’ll be staying and when. This way if something does happen to you help can be sent out right away and search and rescue can target the areas you were supposed to be traveling through? Now some folks might say “wait I have a spot device for emergencies like that!” True it’s great to have a spot device but electronics break so it’s always good to have a backup plan.
Do you take proper precautions before you head backcountry?
What are some other good safety tips that you take before heading out?
Tips Tuesday continues! This time we’re heading back to the basics.
In this day of electronic gadgetry and SKYNET like computing its easy to forget about the basics. Electronics can and will break, run out of power or turn on you and blow you out the airlock. We’d strongly recommend working on your map and compass skills this year. Many classes are held online and locally (I took a course just last year to hone my skills) A great thing to have on your belt as a Canoe tripper. Use the blood thirsty human hating GPS unit but have the skills and tools to back you up if and when T1000 tries to ruin your trip.
Hope everyone’s enjoying their day, I don’t know why but I have a strange urge to watch Space odyssey or Terminator.
Aha! You knew this was was coming . So here we go with some PFD tips for sizing as well as care! Remember to share your photos with us here on FB as well as Instagram with the hashtag #wearapfd and #leadbyexample
Aren’t PFDs uncomfortable?
Long gone are the days of the hard foam strangling boy oh bouy PFDs . There is an insane range of different styles , colours , weights , ect in PFDs now. Not only are they a life saving device but some models are basically 90’s Dad cargo shorts for your chest! Pockets in pockets allow you to become a Swiss Army knife while paddling. Clif bar…top pocket. Knife..side pocket. Compass…oh room for that to. Map?…clip to the front. Fruity Pebbles? Eat your cereal at home you feral animal the canoe is no place for cereal.
Make sure to try them on before you purchase. Roll those arms , crouch, sit, do some burpeees. Make sure it’s comfortable and make sure it’s a proper fit. If not you’ve just purchased yourself a $200 seat pad which is basically the same as cutting your car seatbelts off and stuffing them in your back pocket…which if that’s your thing all the power to you just seems a like more work than just wearing it.
How do I care for my PFD?
Water and feed it three times a day….wait I’ve mixed up my notes here.
Store it somewhere dark and dry. UV rays will degrade fabric and the foam innards.
Try not to sit on it. Compressing the PFD is actually bad for it and will shorten its lifespan. If you’re a clean freak you can wash it with warm water and mild soap just make sure you dry it completely before putting it away, because moldy PFDs are gross. PFDs do have a lifespan so if you’re still rocking that 1970’s was once yellow but now is kinda brown and smells likes Nana’s basement PFD…get a new one.
Forgot yours? Ontario Parks actually has a PFD lending program. See here https://www.ontarioparks.com/pfdlending
It’s your choice though folks we’re not here to judge you on what you wear and don’t wear. My only suggestion is that if you’re promoting canoeing , if you’re taking out new individuals to the life, if you’re teaching a new generation about backcountry canoeing and camping #leadbyexample and #wearapfd.
Thanks for participating in another great tips Tuesday. As always if you’d like to see some of your tips featured drop us a line at
Here’s our final tip for the day and it’s an important one. Something huge is coming this summer to the Paddle In page. Wanna get in on it? Really simple just head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. That’s it nothing else fancy log into your account and hit the subscribe button. We’ll be rolling out more hints very soon but I can tell you this you do not want to miss this one.
“I’ll die with the black flies picking my bones. In North Ontario”
-The black fly song –
So if you’re like me your FB feed is full of people who have already got out for their first paddle as they live further south or are lamenting about the remaining ice and dreaming about paddling a northern lake. I’m just here to remind you what follows iceout just a few short weeks later. Those are not birds in the photo , nor is it a fleet of airplanes soaring in the skies of Temagami. They separate the dedicated from the fair weather, the complaints change from to cold to to buggy, they crawl in your eyes, nose and ears. But truth be told I miss them a little. That constant buzz, the tap tapping on the tent fly, the black halo around your bug net on the portage. The super resilient ones who manage to somehow crawl inside the bug jacket, and you’re not sure if they’re inside or out till you feel that familiar pinch. They’re waiting right now, just for you, they’ve missed you and if you think about it and are honest with yourself you missed them a little as well.
The Black Fly.
What’s the one piece of kitchen/cookware you can’t leave at home on a backcountry trip? Let us know in the comments below or better yet show us a photo.
Food Barrel Friday continues….
As some of you may or may not know it’s Canada Water Week . Now I think we can all agree that without water we wouldn’t get very far as Canoeists. We travel on it, we fish from it, most importantly we drink it.
So here’s a question for all of you. With choice of beverages in short supply on a canoe trip. What do you do to your water for a change of pace? Add crystals? Lemon? Wintergreen? Whisky?
Let us know in the comments below.
What’s your go to snack on the portage?
Are you a die hard blue berry addict?
Let us know in he comments below.
Here’s one of our favorites around the Paddle In homestead
Maple Trail Mix
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1 cup mixed nuts
2 cups whole natural almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins, a couple of handfuls
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 sunflower seeds
1 cup M & M’s or Reese’s pieces
Pre heat oven to 375
Warm and combine Maple syrup and vanilla extract
Mix wet and dry ingredients (except the m&m’s they’ll melt!!) . Spread on a baking tray and bake 15 minutes. Remove cool and try not to eat it all right away.
Do you bring your kids backcountry?
Having a bit of a walk down memory lane with my son this morning. Eating away at breakfast he asked when and where we’ll be headed out on our first family canoe trip this year. As some of you may remember Finn’s love for tripping really blossomed last year. Spurred on by learning to solo paddle in Temagami and ending in a week long trip across Algonquin , last fall, where he really shone and impressed the hell outta me. As of this morning he’s settled on five father and son trips he wants to do. Three new routes in Temagami, the French River, and anywhere he can catch his first trout. Looking forward to warmer weather and more stories to share with all of you.
The trip posts can be seen here
Any plans to bring your kids out backcountry this year?
And we’re back this time with Tom’s tips for Solo paddling .
Tip 1: Proper Position
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen someone solo paddling a tandem canoe as they normally would with someone else in the boat; sitting in the stern, with the result being the front 3/4 of the canoe completely out of the water. To remedy this, sit backwards in the bow seat, which will position you further to the centre of the canoe. Jam your pack and all of your gear at the front of your boat and you’ll now be almost perfectly balanced in the water, making your canoe much easier to manoeuvre in the process.
Tip 2: Extra Ballast
Scenario: you’ve reached your campsite for the day and want to go out for some fishing or just an evening paddle. Your gear is all unpacked, and you don’t have anything to weigh down the bow.
Solution: pack a few extra dry sacks on your trip so you can fill them with water and place them at the front of the canoe for ballast. You may want to fasten them to the front handle with a carabiner and/or some paracord as they’ll roll around on you pretty easily.
Tip 3: Limiting Paddle/Gunwale Wear
I rely heavily on the Canadian Stroke when paddling solo, which involves a significant amount of contact with the gunwale and some heavy prying in high winds. I do a lot of solo trips and noticed that this technique was really starting to show some wear on both my paddles and gunwales. This past season, I experimented with a solution that seems to have solved the issue:
I place a double layer of white hockey tape halfway up the paddle shaft (where the paddle makes contact with the gunwale), and apply a heavy coating of hockey stick blade wax. I had a hard time finding a non-scented wax (Sex Wax, Howies, etc all have a super-fruity smell – not something you want at your campsite for bear precautions), but Ice Wax works excellently and is unscented. Depending on the length of my solo trip, I might have to reapply wax once or not at all.
Welcome to the very first “Tips Tuesday” .
A day to share useful tips that’ll make your trip go just that much easier. Throughout the day we’ll be bringing you a few different themes and I’m here to start it all off…
Up first we have “ Four tips for canoeing with kids”
As you all know our little ones are avid paddlers and portagers but there was a point when we were both new to it. So I have four tips that’ll make your life a little easier.
1) Set appropriate expectations. Your kids are new to paddling and it’s a new experience for you having kids along on a trip. Having your first few paddling trips be frustrating can put a bad taste in your mouth as well as your kids. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and plan an insane portaging and paddling trip. Start small, expect them to get bored, want to swim, ask a million questions. We started off with smaller trips when they were 2-3 years old slowly getting longer and longer. Now they don’t want to go home.
2) Snack Dad to the rescue!! (Or snack mom) . This ones a given. Each day before you pack up to leave take some snacks and add them to your day pack. If you don’t your kids will tell you they’re hungry and the food Barrel will be at the bottom of the canoe in the middle surrounded by other gear. A fed kid is a happy kid. My guys pick their own snacks and select a few to put in their own personal packs . This way if they’re hungry at all taken care of and you don’t have to stop.
3) Buy them a paddle. They want to be involved. A Paddle and a small pack can make a world of difference. They’re helping and they don’t feel left out. The idea is to make it an enjoyable experience right? Our kids have their own paddles and small packs which carry their snacks, rain coat, notebook, t.p and bug spray.
4)PFD. It’s a given your child should be wearing their PFD in the canoe. Lead by example and wear yours as well. This way they’re just like you and you shouldn’t have any arguments about them as it will be the routine for getting in a canoe.
These are some basics but there are many more. If you have any questions at all about taking you kids paddling please feel free to reach out to us.
That being said does anyone here have any good tips for folks starting off paddling with kids?
Johnny and Shawn head up a team to bring a little
comfort to you morning constitutional in the back country. My only question is where are the three sea shells?
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