Summer is officially here for the Paddle In crew. Kids finished school yesterday so we get to up our game when it comes to canoeing. This year will be a little different for us and the kids will be with me a lot more this year. What does that mean? It means we’re sitting around the breakfast table with a bunch of maps out and a notebook. The kids each have a few places they’d like to visit and it’s really the first year they’ve been this involved. We have a list of 20 different routes at the moment. The real question is where to go first.
A massive thank you to the good folks at Swift Canoe & Kayak for lending me one of their Canada 150 themed 16 foot prospectors for our 150 for 150 event. Only 150 of these will be produced and we were lucky enough to paddle number 16. You can find out more about them by clicking this link…
Even sitting on shore the canoe drew people to it with the Canadian flag emblazoned on the bottom. It felt very fitting to be paddling such a canoe during an event which celebrated Canada and the importance of the canoe to Canadians. We had many compliments on it as both myself and my father paddled it around canoe lake , eventually into the circle of 150 canoes who were gathered for the event. I think every member of the Paddle In crew would of been happy paddling it around and there were whispers of a possible abduction , so I made sure to keep my eyes on it at all times. So as I said before, thank you for your amazing products and your support of the paddling community.
P.S also big thanks to The Canoe Collector for picking up and dropping off the canoe. You’re the man Dave! 🇨🇦🛶👍
As I mentioned earlier our first family spring trip is a special one. Another reason for that is my Dad (Pete) normally joins us. Having three generations of Olsen’s out on the trip is really amazing. Some of you have met Pete, some are lucky and haven’t yet 😬. He’s the reason I do what I do and why I picked up a paddle in the first place. Father’s Day is just around the corner so we figured it was a good time to say thanks to this great Father,Grandfather, and Paddler. Here’s to more trips, less bugs, and a few fish.
“How were the bugs?”
Well here’s a few shots from our first night on Lake Temagami. Kids in the bug nets, Dad and Grandpa out collecting drift wood for a fire, and no the camera lens wasn’t dirty all those black dots are black flies buzzing around the kids heads. They’re attracted to my kids pretty fiercely . But never a single complaint was uttered by either of them. They were happy to be back in Temagami bugs and all.
We’re back! The Obabika River P.P was a great place to celebrate Ireland’s 7th birthday. We had a little bit of everything thrown at us this trip. Thunderstorms, wind, hordes of black flies and mosquitos but it was worth it. I had been in major Temagami withdrawal and this was just what I needed. We’re busy unpacking and cleaning up our gear (there are black fly corpses in everything). We have lots of photos and stories to share with all of you soon.
Have a great weekend! Hopefully you can all spend some time putting paddle to water.
We recently got our hands on the All-in-one collar + leash combination from the folks over at www.MyRadDog.com. I’ll be referring to it as the collar/leash for the rest of the blog.
Well I think before we say anything we’d like to state that Whisky our wonder test dog loved his new collar/leash. He loved it so much he wrote his own blog about it, but since he’s a dog it didn’t make any sense and he just got mud all over the keyboard. So we stepped up and decided to write one for him.
Okay we love this product! It eliminated the need to bring a leash for our dog Whisky on our canoe trips. If you’re like us you don’t leash your dog in the canoe but then hook them up once you get to a portage. Or as we’re often crownland camping we don’t have him on a leash at all. Eventually though you hit the portage or the need arises to leash him up. So I’m loving just being able to reach down and grab the handle on the collar which then extends the leash. The leash retracts back into the collar when you release it. Making it a very tidy little package.
The durable collar is made with climbers webbing (Cordura) and has a leash (an extra strength material called Spectra) built right into it. Which makes controlling the dog in the canoe and on the portages easier without having their leash dangling all over the place. The Spectra leash is rated for dogs up to 110lbs which would be a pretty big dog to have in the canoe with you, so we’re thinking if you’re reading this the collar would be suitable for your dog. The product comes in a variety of colours and for sizes ranging from small (up to 40lbs) to XLG (41 lbs – 110 lbs).
We had the collar/leash out with us on our last canoe trip. Once we adjusted it Whisky had absolutely no issues wearing it. He was in and out of the canoe/water quite a bit and it held up nicely. Not having to unpack his leash at each portage was fantastic, my kids and my wife commented how convenient and easy the collar/leash was. We’re all about streamlining the canoe packing process, so if can ditch a piece of gear I will.
I’ll say again we absolutely loved the collar/leash and would recommend it for any of our fellow canoeists or hikers. For anyone interested in picking up this cool product from Rad Dog you can head over to their website www.MyRadDog.com. The MSRP is 39.95 which we feel is totally in line with a standard leash and collar purchase. We’re definitely fans and we’ll be picking up a few more for our other pups.
Tis the season to wear bug nets fa la la la la la la la la..okay sorry I got a little carried away there. But it’s true the legions of blood sucking , biting creepy crawlers has risen from the fast moving brooks and stagnant beaver ponds. Yesterday we had a few conversations about bug prevention on canoe trips, now it’s all we’re thinking about. Luckily we make sure to have the following on our trips
1) Bug Jackets. The ones from The Original Bug Shirt Company are fantastic.
2) Bug spray. I’m not a huge fan of bug spray myself but we make sure to have some DEET , some all natural and some designed for kids on each of our trips. If the biting hordes get to much for my trip mates sometimes just the act of spraying a little on them will put their mind at ease.
3) Eureka Canada vcs tarp system and screen shelter. We have the older version they have a no No Bug Zone version which is just as good. It’s nice to have an area set up at camp that’s bug free, especially for the kids.
4) Patience and will power. Biting insects don’t really bother me. People often state on trips that they have no idea how I’m not losing my mind over the bugs. I think once you put it out of your mind it’s a little less of an issue. Also just paddle out into the lake. There is normally a breeze and less or no bugs out there. Lay back , cast a few lines and enjoy your big free area.
Best part of the last trip was watching all the exchange students discover a love of canoeing. Many talks and few laughs centred around that aspect of their experience in Algonquin. With only one small water/canoe related soaking it was definitely a positive experience for them, at least I think so anyway. Having our Swift Canoe & Kayak t-formex prospector was fantastic. It rides extremely well and could take any abuse they threw at it. I’ll have a more in depth write up about that canoe shortly.
Hope everyone’s having a great week. It’s a short one for many with the upcoming long weekend. We normally try to steer clear of any canoeing/camping areas during the long weekend. But, you never know I may be on the water or I may be in the garden.
If anyone was wondering what the water levels we’re like on the east side of Algonquin right now. They’re up! Portages and campsites were all a little smaller when we were there this past weekend. But it was well worth it to get out and enjoy some time paddling and sitting around the fire with friends. Just remember even though the ice is gone the water is still insanely cold. So be safe when you’re out there.
We had good weather , okay weather and on our way out horrible weather combining hail, wind , rain and a temperature of zero degrees. But it was totally worth it as the trip was filled a ton of laughs , nothing a little freezing rain and hail could stop. Here’s a little highlight
-met some new folks who were on their first backcountry canoe trip
-threw out enough 80’s movies references to sink a ship
-discovered peppered pistachios
-got to see a few loons combatting for space on the lakes
-first moose of the season
-discovered someone other than me knows what “Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors” is.
-tried out some new gear that performed extremely well.
-got extremely wind burnt
And with that the first of many overnights is in the bag. While this weekend trip was exactly what I needed, it’s time to look to other places and longer trips. The season for us is just beginning.