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.

Whisky

Everyone seems to be posting pictures of their adventure dogs this week, so we figured we’d throw some photos of our guy up.

Whisky is an extremely important member of our team. What does he bring to the table you might ask. Well for starters he keeps all camp sites squirrel free, he has the ability to bring as much sand,dirt and water into the tent each night, he’s a big help in our “leave no trace” camping style as any snacks dropped by the kids are quickly devoured. But all joking aside he’s the best dog I’ve ever had in a canoe. Every once in a while he’ll peek his head over the gunnels and stare out at the water straining to see where the next portage is so he can stretch his legs. Other than that he can be found snoring at the front of the canoe or laying between my feet in the stern. He sleeps for as long as we are on the water. I sometimes forget that he’s even in the canoe with us. When he’s tired of being in the canoe or if he’s to lazy to join us for an evening of fishing, or for a quick day paddle. He’ll sit and watch us intently from the shore, ready to swim out and save us at any sign of trouble. The kids have noticed this and have taken to leaping out of the canoe when we/re headed back in so that Whisky can come and rescue them. Most importantly he never complains about portages, bugs, lack of fish, or how crappy the freeze dried meals are. He plods along with a huge smile on his face enjoying every minute of it.

I’ll be leaving my furry partner at home for my solo trip this week and I feel awful. He’s seen me get all my gear out and he gets very excited each time I head for the door. He knows what’s going on but unfortunately he doesn’t understand that he won’t be coming this time. But don’t worry Whisky we still have lots of trips planned this year. You’ll have plenty of time to kill evil sticks, chase fish, and clean dishes for us.

Cheers
-Paddle In

Camping at Gargantua Bay

Okay a few people asked about Gargantua Bay so here it goes.
Located along Superior’s coast Gargantua Bay is an area that has paddle/hike to back country sites. You can acquire your permits from the Agawa Bay campground gate. The a short drive down the main highway and you’ll reach Gargantua road. The access road is typical, not very wide, muddy and full of car breaking potholes it’ll take you a half hour or so to traverse down to the parking lots.
From the parking lot you have three choices.
One you can load up your gear into your canoe and head out to the surrounding area.
Two, you can hike/portage towards Gargantua Harbour (2 km away) on the way you’ll pass three sites. The second is by far the best site and we spent a few nights here.
Or three you can head of in the opposite direction of Gargantua Harbor and hike/portage along a section of coastline which is dotted with a few other sites.
This area is easily accessed by anyone. The trails to the sites are flat and clear. The sites have thunder boxes, picnic tables and a fire ring. Its the comforts of a car camping site with the solitude and price of a back country site. Camping in Gargantua bay also shelters you fairly well from Superior. Gargantua Harbor is very sheltered and easily paddled. There is the remnants of an old fishing village as well as an old shipwreck which can been seen easily beneath the surface.
So if you’re looking for a place to canoe/kayak/hike or just relax i’d really recommend Gargantua as a great place to start your Superior adventures. As always take care while paddling on a large lake like Superior. If the waves are to big take a hike not a paddle . Be safe and have fun.
Cheers
-Paddle In

Gargantua Bay, Lake Superior

DSC_0271

Quick post today as I’m headed out the door.

Our first stop was Gargantua Bay on Superior. We used the area,which was fairly empty,as a jump off point to visit areas north and south of us. We had the kids with us so we limited the distance traveled to make sure we didn’t get caught up in anything. My wife and I have plans to return and paddle a much larger portion of the coast.

It was amazing! The lake itself is awe inspiring. The ragged shorelines and crystal clear waters left us speechless. We were extremely lucky to have a few days of very calm (almost no wind) days. This made travel very easy and allowed us to really explore every nook and cranny we could. A lot of time was spent just quietly paddling along soaking it all in. I have not been able to stop thinking about Superior since we’ve had to leave. It has been sitting there in the back of my mind the whole time. I often develop attachments to places we paddle. This time is different though, Superior is a special place and I really look forward to exploring more of its shoreline.

That’s it for today I’m headed out the door to pick up my solo canoe. Will be heading to Algonquin for a six day solo trip this saturday. So I have lots to prepare for.

Cheers
-Paddle In