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10/03/2017 04:20PM
New Trip Report posted by BeaV

Trip Name: BeaV’s 2017 Kruger Challenge, Border Route Solo Speed Record.

Entry Point: International Falls (Rainy Lake) to EP 12 exit on Lake Superior

Didn't want the Trip Name to sound boastful- the intent is to make this trip findable via search engines not my egotism.

Click Here to View Trip Report
 
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10/03/2017 06:10PM
thanks for putting fingers to the keyboard and typing up your trip story. wow... it would be difficult enough to do this tandem, but to solo... happy for you that you met your challenge. hallucinations and fatigue seemed to be a big part of this trip. you seemed to be able to pump yourself up when necessary.
thanks for sharing the spot notifications during your trip (as well as the other challengers). it was energizing just watching the progress. the day you paddled all knife, sag, granite river and gunflint... i couldn't do much of anything due to tracking your progress, barely able to sleep wondering if you were just going to keep going.

hope to catch up with you at a wing event to hear more of this story as well as your other trips.
10/03/2017 07:34PM
Congratulations! And thanks, awesome to get the first-hand report.
Northwoodsman
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10/03/2017 10:06PM
Great read. I am worn out after just reading your report, I can't imagine living it. You set a tough goal, and far exceeded it. Well done!
Grandma L
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10/03/2017 11:02PM
I have read this report several times, I watched the SPOT record form as I tracked your progress. I saw you "drop" at the Fort, but I still am amazed by your stamina and determination. Congrats!
WhiteWolf
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10/04/2017 06:56AM
some thoughts from Beav's trip report from someone who has done Crane to Superior with him on previous challenges-

"I do not like this helpless condition but it’s much better than a hopeless one."
well said. staying positive.

"The one-mile long Fowl Portage sucks (just end the sentence here) more of my precious energy from me."

"I yell at myself to “toughen up”, “keep going”, and “concentrate”

I think you are the only one that can yell at "you"rself to "toughen" up.
I however have yelled at you in my mind "many times" (maybe a few got past my mind?) on past challenges. :O)

Granite River at night? Horrifying. And in the rain with wet rocks? Horrifying to the ^.

IMO- no one solo will break your record with = or less amount of daylight of early Sept.

Epic.
muddyfeet
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10/04/2017 08:46AM
Thanks, BeaV. That's fun to read.
Congrats!
TomT
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10/04/2017 09:42PM
Amazing courage and determination BeaV. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The question I have is how did you remember the details? I don't imagine you kept a journal. Interestingly I was in Quetico on Sturgeon and Camel Lake during this. That was a bright moon anyway.

Also, what powdered carbs were you using? I'd be interested in your complete food menu. And, did you ever change clothes? Did you bother to brush your teeth?

I can only imagine your frustration to the crowded portages around Carp and Knife lakes. The night paddling sounds like an incredible experience. Congrats on this accomplishment. This trip report is magazine worthy.

SaganagaJoe
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10/04/2017 11:03PM
Epic. Simply epic. Well done.
NotLight
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10/05/2017 11:53AM
Beav reports - always so impressive, always a bit humble. Love reading them.

I find that I require 4 hrs of sleep to function, 5 hrs I can go on indefinately, but 3hrs is a big problem. I notice your first two nights are 4 and 5.5 hrs. After that less sleep and problems. I wonder if that extra sleep on the first days really was a penalty.

I have a pyramid tarp for winter. It is hard to set up after dark. "Fast fly" tent with poles is much faster and not much heavier. When you slept under tarp, did you just roll up in it or actually string it up? Wonder if better dryness under a nicer fast fly tent would have saved you water weight at the end, or not, by keeping stuff dryer.

I have a thermarest solite closed cell foam pad. It's brutal to sleep on, but requires no inflation, is super light, and I've thought it could be used as a paddle float to re-enter the skinny canoe in deep water like the kayakers do. Never tried it though. Can be strapped to a thwart in the morning and portaged all day attached to boat.

My biggest challenge is getting up at 4:15, so I have time in the morning to get a latte after the gym. Beav is in a league if immortals. It's just fun to read along and imagine you are there.
10/05/2017 12:35PM
No small Feat- congratulations!!!!!!
10/05/2017 01:57PM
quote Mocha: "thanks for putting fingers to the keyboard and typing up your trip story. wow... it would be difficult enough to do this tandem, but to solo... happy for you that you met your challenge. hallucinations and fatigue seemed to be a big part of this trip. "
Yes, this is not like me to write up the story. Glad you liked.

Hallucinations and fatigue: Fatigue was the enemy, if you will. Extended fatigue eventually dulled my senses but it also sharpened a different sense that we normally aren't aware of, I think. I touched on it in the story a couple of times. I know it's not hallucinations...but then again I'm always alone when this is experienced:)

Referring to the last night of the Challenge when my Spot tracking and OK functions didn't seem to want to work...it was not operator error. It was on and I was using properly but...

"Apparently electronics don't function at the place I found myself entering that night- I just don't know if the spirits we're entering my world or I entering their's."

That's what I jokingly told WaterTribe folks as to why the Spot wasn't working.

Or maybe it was just a weak signal...my reason is more fun to consider. And just for the folks who will read this and don't know me- I don't believe in spooky ghosts and camera-shy bigfoots.
10/05/2017 03:01PM
quote WhiteWolf: "some thoughts from Beav's trip report from someone who has done Crane to Superior with him on previous challenges-

I think you are the only one that can yell at "you"rself to "toughen" up.
I however have yelled at you in my mind "many times" (maybe a few got past my mind?) on past challenges. :O)"

I try to be hardest on me on those trips;) I never heard those "yells" getting out..were we moving too slow or perhaps taking too many rests? :)
10/05/2017 03:13PM
quote TomT: " The question I have is how did you remember the details? I don't imagine you kept a journal.

Also, what powdered carbs were you using? I'd be interested in your complete food menu. And, did you ever change clothes? Did you bother to brush your teeth?

I can only imagine your frustration to the crowded portages around Carp and Knife lakes. "

Details- Don't we always remember the hard times:) No journal- no time for that.

Time management: To put in the needed mileage, I had to be efficient. That means when I say I paddled 16 hours the first day, I really paddled or portaged 16 hours. No breaks on the water, no resting or stretching of legs onshore, and when on a portage no sitting around. Always moving and moving as fast as I can without burning out. The only time not spent moving I would call body maintenance time. That would include drinking, eating, sleeping, 1st aid type stuff. I tried to eat while on the move. To just sit, relax, and munch on something was just not in the cards. When I would stop for a "sleep" break it would take about 15-30 minutes of camp prep and getting maps and food repacked for the next day before I was attempting sleep. Then it was 15 minutes to get up and be back on the water. No changing of clothes. Sleep with clothes on and usually boots too. Ready to get up and go. Tooth brush handy in day pack for quick use while in the canoe.

The biggest time waster was pumping water for dissolving my powdered food. I usually try to stay a little dehydrated because it saves times on both ends:) But since I was drinking my food on this trip, I had to drink water. Eventually I minimized this too by super concentrating the powder into my water. The stuff I used was Hammer Nutrition. This was my first use of this product, so I didn't totally rely on it. I did bring some of my normal stuff like low fat jerky, trail mix, and peanut M&M's. Carbs are what are needed mostly. Fat burns in a carb furnace. I supplied the carbs via my diet and the fat comes from within. I burned 15 pounds of fat during the 2 weeks preceeding up through the end of the trip.

Crowded portages- no it didn't bother me, but I didn't wait my turn. There was always room for me to get in or get out. I like seeing a few folks here and there. Even borrowed a multi tool from one guy so I could make an adjustment on my portage yoke. I never saw anyone on the water after dark though.
10/05/2017 04:01PM
quote NotLight: "Beav reports - always so impressive, always a bit humble. Love reading them.
I find that I require 4 hrs of sleep to function, 5 hrs I can go on indefinately, but 3hrs is a big problem. I notice your first two nights are 4 and 5.5 hrs. After that less sleep and problems. I wonder if that extra sleep on the first days really was a penalty.

I have a pyramid tarp for winter. It is hard to set up after dark. "Fast fly" tent with poles is much faster and not much heavier. When you slept under tarp, did you just roll up in it or actually string it up? Wonder if better dryness under a nicer fast fly tent would have saved you water weight at the end, or not, by keeping stuff dryer. "

Thanks NotLight.
I like 8 hours of sleep per night. I think I can function on the same as you describe and less is a problem.
I pondered the same thing about maybe the extra sleep the first two nights was a help. Sure it was good for me but it was not good for making the goal. I would have preferred to have saved a little of those sleeping hours for later in the Challenge- not saying that I would have used them but...maybe. The 3rd night was 2 hours trying to sleep so probably got 1 hour from that. No sleep the 4th night.

I really don't consider Day 3 and 4 as separate days- it was just one long 47-hour day where I traveled 134 miles from Crooked Lake to Lake Superior. "The Big Push"

Wet conditions and gear: The first night was dry but I slept under the stars with heavy dew on gear. The next 2 days and nights were rainy. So that forced me to set up my new CCS Tundra Tarp. I thought about your idea of just rolling up in it like a hot dog but did raise it up that second night. The 3rd night it was attached to the canoe in low-profile form to try to keep the wind off me. I don't see any way I could keep my gear dryer. Living in the rain, sleeping in the rain, packing up camp at night after heavy dew and/or rain. Even the other Challengers who brought better shelter and paddled more normal routines complained of their gear accumulating moisture.

It's just hard to dry stuff when the drying time of day is spent on the move. In past years, I always had the chance to dry stuff while camping with time to spare at Fort Charlotte. Thanks for the comment on this as it gives me reason to think on it. I will say that sleeping in my sleeping bag with wet clothes didn't help with keeping the sleeping bag light. When you do this, body heat starts drying the clothes and pushes it into the bag.
10/05/2017 08:12PM
You have the mentality of a champion distance runner. I couldn't put the report down. Congratulations!
andym
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10/06/2017 02:17AM
Well done. It's a great read and an impressive accomplishment. Thanks for writing it up.

Sleep deprivation is a big issue. It may be the limit on some records. One of my friends did a solo sailing race from San Francisco to Hawaii. He definitely hallucinated at one point when he was convinced that all he needed to do was steer the boat between the two lawns of grass bordering the water. On the sailboat, he could engage the autopilot and get some sleep but at the expense of maintaining optimum speed and course. It's always a tradeoff, as long as you stay sane.

Did the people with more substantial shelters sleep in their wet clothes? That does seem like an issue for weight. I would think you should be able to keep everything dry but the shelter and the clothes you are wearing at the expense of having a ground sheet and extra clothes to sleep in. So, its a weight tradeoff, plus a few minutes to change, but one that might keep you warm in really bad weather. If I was going solo with a fast fly, I think I would go with the Tarptent Moment DW. 1 hoop pole, two stakes, 34 oz but if you drop the inner, I'm guessing you get down to about 20 oz, which is CCS Tundra Tarp 10x10 territory.

I'm a bit curious about the decision to do it in September versus earlier in the summer with longer days. Is it a tradeoff of sunlight versus bugs and heat?

TomT
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10/06/2017 01:26PM
I had some big waves behind me paddling west to east leaving Pickerel. It's unnerving as the wave goes under the boat from behind coming an inch from the gunnel. I was using a 260cm YAK paddle and seem to be able to generate more power than with a single blade. Have you tried a double with your new canoe? I remember thinking to myself how glad I was for bringing the double.
TomT
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10/06/2017 01:26PM
TomT
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10/06/2017 02:16PM
Grandma L
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10/06/2017 05:19PM
Check out the Timberjay's coverage of BeaV's record setting trip. Timberjay Challenge coverage
WhiteWolf
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10/06/2017 07:34PM
quote andym:


I'm a bit curious about the decision to do it in September versus earlier in the summer with longer days. Is it a tradeoff of sunlight versus bugs and heat?


"

The first of these challenges took place in 15' in early September through Watertribe. Last year was 2 weeks later. So its just kinda of stuck.

andym
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10/07/2017 12:00AM


Ok, I suppose tradition is a reason.

And good article. Not surprisingly, they needed someone other than BeaV to talk about what he did.

And I was glad to learn that he is a good bit younger than me. Makes me feel just a bit better.
CityFisher74
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10/09/2017 12:53PM
Unbelievable, great trip BeaV. My group was ecstatic that we made it from ep16 up to Coleman Island on LLC in one day and that was only about 8 hours of travel. Cheers to you.
10/10/2017 07:41AM
quote TomT: "I was using a 260cm YAK paddle and seem to be able to generate more power than with a single blade. Have you tried a double with your new canoe? "
I have not tried my double blade with my Wenonah Advantage. I have little doubt there are benefits to using one at times but I just prefer a single blade most times and I did not pack an extra paddle for this trip.
JimmyJustice
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10/10/2017 11:10AM
Impressive, my friend. Thanks for all you do! Looking forward to 2018.
Mzee
 
10/25/2017 06:12PM
BeaV: I read your report, reread it, then read it again. Great stuff! I was reminded of the journals of some of the early explorers - that same single-minded determination to push on. You’ve earned a more relaxed trip next year. See you on the beach in March.
BuckFlicks
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10/26/2017 02:34PM
I am impressed with your physical stamina, but moreso with your mental fortitude. That's a gargantuan feat, sir. Well done!

Personally, I wouldn't find something like that enjoyable at all, and I'm afraid it would ruin the BWCA for me. But then again, I'm not motivated by challenges of that nature. For me, the BWCA is about relaxation, enjoying the process of paddling, camping, absorbing the pristine environment and atmosphere, and being at peace in the wilderness. Putting myself through a hellish experience like that would likely change my perception of the BWCA forever.

That's just me. We're all motivated by different things. Again, very well done, BeaV.
 
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