New YouTube video

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.

Tips Tuesday #2

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.

PRIZES???

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

Paddle.in.ontario@gmail.com

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.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/

UC0cuWVUvGCpgorWujMk0ZCg

Ode to the Black Fly

“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.

Food Barrel Friday #3

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?

Candy?

Jerky?

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.

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 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ontario-backcountry-canoe-symposium-tickets-41289077743

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

* ManCamping.ca

* The Outland Supply Co.

* Backcountry Custom Canoes

* Hunter and Harris

* See Sawyer Run

* Paddling Adventures Radio

* Unlostify

* Sail Cambridge

* MEC

* 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?

Thanks to Swift Canoes

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…

 🇨🇦http://www.swiftcanoe.com/canada 🇨🇦 
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! 🇨🇦🛶👍

To canoe


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. 
Cheers
-Paddle In

Tattler #IceOut2017 Algonquin

Big thanks to Scot from ManCamping.ca as well as Tom for a great weekend celebrating Algonquins #iceout2017 on Tattler Lake. 

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.
Cheers
-Paddle In

Day Two : Tim access to Opeongo


Day Two
It was dark when I awoke. Dark and hot, where was I? Slowly the smell of decaying aquatic vegetation made its way to my nose, I was still on the river. It was just after five a.m, the temperature must of dropped in the night as I’d closed the clam shell to my bivy and pulled my sleeping bag on. It was so quiet. I made a bowl of instant porridge and went to sit by the river side. A bull moose was sprinting along the banks , I’m amazed at how quiet an animal that large can be when it wants to. I looked around, the sun was now pouring over the river, two other moose were busy having breakfast around Grassy lake. I had already seen more moose in under twenty four hours than I had in the last two years. I broke camp , which is small and takes just a few minutes, packed my canoe and headed off down the river.
The time spent on the Nipissing on day two has got to be some of the most fun I’ve had paddling in a while. The river was still low, but it had widened and deepened allowing much easier travel than the day before. I quickly made my way past Loon tail creek and down to my first portage. I had camped here three falls prior with a friend. You could barely see the campsite with the long grass and the grown in fire pit. I’m surprised more people don’t travel down here. Seven portages and a big stretch of the Nip is what I’d be traveling today. My destination was a site in Browse Creek Junction just before a two kilometre portage.
The Nipissing’s scenery is constantly changing. One minute you’re surrounded by alders, the next cruising beside giant white pines on the forest edge. My favourite though is the grassy sandy banks with just a few alders mixed in where muskrats and otters scurry along the banks. I’m transported back to my childhood and to one of my favourite books then, The wind in the willows. Each time I turn a corner I fully expect to see Mr.Toad or Mole paddling their small boat. My imagination has run wild this trip and I guess it’s a side effect of being solo and not seeing a single soul. I stopped for lunch on a large dead pine that was blocking the river. Though the river was wider and deeper there were still many dead falls and beaver dams to contend with but they allowed me to stretch my legs so I wasn’t complaining.
Walking the Portage past the Highview Rangers cabin definitely slowed me down. No it wasn’t terrain or bugs that did it. It was the sheer amount of wild blueberries along the side of the portage. Wow there were thousands! I couldn’t walk more than a few steps before my eyes would be drawn to the deep blue colour taunting me from the bushes. If I was a bear I would definitely live near this portage. Large open fields on one side a cool refreshing River on the other and enough blueberries and raspberries to last me all summer. Sure enough there was quite a bit of bear sign along the trail and try as I might to catch a glimpse, no animals were about as I made my way back and forth on the portage.
Back on the river I started to notice remnants of bridges, logs with nails ect and realized I was nearing my destination for the evening. The site is gorgeous nestled along the side of the river on a portage beside one of the biggest white pines I’ve ever seen. I set camp, made dinner, and then tried my luck fishing. An hour later and dozen or so brook trout later I was ready to crawl into my bivy and drift off. Tomorrow would be my last day on the Nip before hitting the lakes and I was excited to see what it had in store for me.
Cheers

-Paddle In