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Tom’s Tips for Solo Paddling

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.


Lighting a fire(box) without a lighter

Hey guys Shawn here and my contribution to tips tuesday is showing you all how to light a fire(or in this case a Folding Firebox Stove) without a lighter. I place it just on the outside of my tarp on rain days to help stay warm in the cool weather. It is the perfect size for 2 people. When doing this I use the Swedish torch method that stands chunks of wood upwards because I find I get a longer burn time.
Step 1: grab dry tinder and or small twigs to help get the initial fire. If surrounding tinder and twigs are too wet to burn, create shavings from the insides a dry and seasoned soft wood log as shown in the video.
Step 2: cut main burning wood into chunks equal or 1” less of the height of the interior of firebox.
Step 3: baton and split wood with knife into 1.5”-2” in width and stand upright in firebox until filled
Step 4: take a cotton ball and stretch it thinly over top of split wood in firebox, and then add some tinder to surround cotton
Step 5: slowly use back of knife and create fire steel shavings on cotton before striking a spark.
Step 6: strike fire steel to ignite cotton and place tinder and wood shavings over the lit cotton ball.
This should enable the fire to get going allowing hot embers to drop between the upright wood and ignite the wood vertically.


Canoe tips for paddling with your kids

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?



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New YouTube Video Up -Poop in Comfort

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?

Make sure to like, subscribe and share while you’re watching.


Food Barrel Friday #1

What’s your favourite meal to bring on a canoe trip??

Welcome to our new feature “Food Barrel Friday”. A new weekly post we’ll be rolling out to all you folks.

Today we’ll be bringing you three different posts through out the day that focus on….you guessed it FOOD. If anyone out there has some amazing recipes or meals you’d like to see featured on a food Barrel Friday please send us a message.

Here’s our recipe of the day. Let me say this we tried this recipe on a recent winter camping trip and man oh man it was delicious. We got all fancy and added some double smoked cheddar.

Bacon and Cheddar Bannock

Our recipe today is brought to all of you by My Outdoor Adventures. Dave was kind enough to share this with us. So in turn we’re sharing it with all of you. So make sure to pop by his page and check out what else he has going on. Warning! There are pictures of delicious moose burgers on his page and you won’t be able to get them outta your head.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbls baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cubed smoked sharp cheddar

1/2 cup cooked, chopped thick sliced bacon

1 cup water ( may require more or less depending on ingredients )

Mix all ingredients, slowly add water until mixture is consistent

Heat oil in a frying pan and cook over medium heat

carefully flip when the first side is golden brown. Check the middle with a small thin stick (toothpick)

If nothing sticks then its done inside

Throw out the potatoes and grab yourself some crickets? Okay okay maybe don’t go that extreme but since it’s food Barrel Friday our resident beast Johnny is going to share with you his meal plan for his trip to the Adirondak peaks (where he currently is right now) . This is not for everyone but it is interesting to see the planning involved to trip while on a ketogenic diet. Enjoy folks and send Johnny warm thoughts as he hikes the Dacks!

Fueling for the Dack’s

Food preparations have been made for my upcoming trip to the Adirondack Mountains to hike the High peaks in Winter. Something you will notice as you look through the pictures of food below that I will be taking, is the lack of foods like oatmeal, pasta or breads. The reason for this is because this trip will be fueled by a ketogenic diet, low carbohydrates, moderate protein and high fat. The macronutrient ratio is approximately 5%-10% calories from carbs, 15%-30% calories from protein and 60%-75% from fat and in the case of fat, even sometimes more. I have dabbled with this style of eating in the past and have experienced ketosis. This time however I went through a 38hr fast to kick start the process of depleting my glycogen stores and producing ketones in the absence of glucose. I transitioned into a ketogenic diet immediately following the fast and have since fasted each day from approximately 8pm until between 9am and 12pm the next day. I have narrowed my eating window to 2 meals a day with some light snacking on a handful of nuts or seeds. I feel very satiated in times of a lengthy absence from eating as well as my relationship with food and hunger changing. My upcoming trip will be a true test of my ketogenic state and how I respond. My energy levels have increased so I am very optimistic about my performance in the mountains, however only time will tell. Below I will breakdown the foods that will be going with me on this trip.

On the top in the containers, starting on the far left in the GooTube I have avocado oil. Working our way right I next have MCT oil. The next container is almond butter. To the right of that is Frank’s Redhot powder and pepper split. Lastly at the far right is coconut oil.

Going back to the far left column going down is dehydrated lemons for my water which helps boost metabolism first thing in the morning. I then have green tea and instant coffee (much prefer coffee done in a French press) which I drink both black (or green in the tea’s case).

Below that is a baggy with Pink Himalayan salt which provides up to 84 trace minerals.

Next column starts with Hemp seeds and below that a mix of hemp seeds and super seeds which will provide a full protein profile. Organic pumpkin seeds are next on the list and are very high in healthy fats along with the previously mentioned hemp and super seeds.

The next baggy contains organic dark chocolate wrapped super seeds as a nice sweet tasting healthy snack. Below that at the end of column #2 is everybody’s favorite, roasted crickets containing 100% of daily B-12 as well as a good amount of sustainable protein. So far what I have mentioned are mostly snacks, drinks, spices and things to add to meals to help compliment the macronutrient ratio.

The next column we get into the meat and potatoes. Wait… no potatoes, they are not keto friendly, just meat lol. First of we start with a bag of chipotle beef jerky. Next is dehydrated ground chicken and last in that column is a yummy salmon jerky.

Now what would all this food be without veggies (all dehydrated), which brings us to the last column on the far right. The top bag is onions, followed by green and orange bell peppers. Second last is chili pepper topped tomatoes. Finally I put together a baggy of celery and cucumber.

Other food items not shown in this picture include a package of salami, a mozzarella ball, two baggies of spinach and some eggs from our backyard chickens.

As an afterthought and as I write this post I also have sausage jerky and cinnamon avocado slices in the dehydrator to take as well. All of these items that I have listed fit nicely in 2 large freezer baggies that will go into a ditty sac in my backpack.

The oils and seeds will be added to the spinach and meats for the fats and the veggies will provide fibre and low amounts of carbohydrates. Most likely I will be in a fasted state for most of the morning and if I do get somewhat hungry I will have an egg or add MCT oil to my coffee to help satiate. Hopefully I have calculated everything properly but the trip will be my source of feedback.

If you have any questions regarding details around the foods or any other questions regarding keto, fasting or health in general when tripping, please feel free to comment or send us and email or message and we will gladly try to help. I hope this inspires you to take a hard look at what you are using to fuel your outdoor trips. We want to be as healthy as we can for as long as we can so we have many years of tripping ahead.

New video up!

New video up!

We’re very thankful to all of you who’ve subscribed to our channel , commented and liked our videos. We’re slowly but surely finding our legs when it comes to bringing you weekly content and we hope you’ve been enjoying what we’ve been dishing out. There’s lots more slated to be released as team members go through old footage of trips gone by. So make sure to check our channel Wednesday’s and Saturday’s for new video releases.

Many of you read through the trip reports our Paddle In compatriot Tom wrote up for us . They detailed his trip to Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. Well we have a quick video mashup from that trip. It’ll give you a taste of the scenery and portage conditions on Tom’s route.

For more detailed info make sure to check out his trip reports

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:


Ontario Backcountry Canoe Symposium

Quick question folks. Who here is heading to the symposium in April?

We’re very proud to be sponsoring the show this year and as always we’re very excited to be attending. They have a wonderful lineup of speakers this year as well as a great selection of vendors/sponsors. The promoter David Bain not only works his butt off putting this show on , but makes sure its an amazing show each year and we’re lucky to have someone like that to help support the community here in Ontario.

For tickets head on over to

Why should you go? Multiple reasons.

1)Support the community! Get out and shake hands , talk and enjoy a day spent with other canoeists.

2)The line up

*Wally Schaber

*Mercede Rogers

*Hailey Sonntag

*Andrea Wilson

*Mike Ranta

*Stephen Coutts

3)The vendors

* Swift Canoe & Kayak

* Badger Paddles…

* Kingdom Outdoor


* The Outland Supply Co.

* Backcountry Custom Canoes

* Hunter and Harris

* See Sawyer Run

* Paddling Adventures Radio

* Unlostify

* Sail Cambridge


* Friends of Temagami

* oh yeah and of course us

Who have all donated door prizes which will be given out during the show.

4) If that doesn’t sway you I will go above and beyond my normal offering of internet high fives and offer real live high fives at the show to anyone there !

So again I’ll ask. Who’s going to the show?

Monthly Update


Big thanks to all of you who have been following along with us and a big hello to all our new followers . Just wanted to highlight some of what’s been going on the last month or so.

We launched our YouTube site. First video of our Coffee Lake trip is up. I finished editing three more last night so keep your eyes peeled as every Wednesday we’ll be releasing more.

We also launched our monthly meet and greets . First one will be March 25th at 2pm . Details can be found here …

Also we introduced you to our three new team members.




Finally we launched our WoodLand Caribou Series.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:

And word on the street is we’ll have some video footage from Woodland Caribou coming very soon.

Paddle In

Matt Olsen

Shawn Ryder