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VaderStrom
distinguished member (403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2018 10:05AM
Do any of you ever go as far as to plan a trip this way? I just sent this survey to my wife's two couple friends who I hardly know, but am tripping with in June.

Feel free to take it yourself and/or suggest questions that you'd use to plan a trip.

Trip Planning Survey
 
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Jackfish
Moderator
 
03/22/2018 10:44AM
If planning a trip with people you don't know (or barely know) and you have no good idea of their ability, willingness or demeanor for taking a canoe trip into the wilderness, I think most of those questions are very appropriate.

If the group can get together in one room, a lot of these questions can be asked as a part of the discussion without having to do a formal survey.

You mentioned a "texting meeting" or something like that so that indicates to me that you don't live close to each other. The survey might be a great way to get a feel for their attitudes about the trip and will probably open their eyes as to what a canoe trip entails.

"Why is he asking me about THAT? Is that what we do on canoe trips?"

Most people REALLY don't know what a canoe trip is all about.

I'll never forget a question a Dad asked at the end of a 2 1/2 hour informational session for the Boy Scouts prior to going to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base, the canoe base of the BSA based on Moose Lake. These Scouts were preparing to take trips into the BW and Q and the Dad asked (again, after 2 1/2 hours), "Soooo... when the boys get to their next campsite, are the tents already there and set up for them?"

Ummmm, no. :)
salukiguy
distinguished member(521)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2018 11:07AM
On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you about the following camp chores?

gathering fire wood
cooking over a fire grate
Cleaning dishes
hanging the food pack
setting up tents
collecting and filtering water


Would you rather carry the canoe over portages or 50 pound packs?
03/22/2018 11:12AM
How about using Skype or something like that if proximity is an issue?
03/22/2018 11:15AM
Ha Ha! :) Well, it's a start, but . . .

I assume your wife knows these people, she's been on trips with you, she's going and there'll be 6 of you?

Although no one other than my brother has taken me up on it, I've talked with a couple of other people about it. I at least had some general idea of their experience.

I usually am more specific and detailed than that, i.e.

We'll be backpacking with a canoe, not car camping with a boat.

I explain portaging, trail conditions, number, lengths, weight of loads. How far we'll travel daily and about how long that will take.

I provide gear list, weight and necessity for keeping it low as well as compact, clothing, etc.

I give specific examples of what I eat and how much.

I usually walk them through a day step-by-step to give them a better idea.

Good luck!
VaderStrom
distinguished member (403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2018 11:37AM
Jackfish: "If planning a trip with people you don't know (or barely know) and you have no good idea of their ability, willingness or demeanor for taking a canoe trip into the wilderness, I think most of those questions are very appropriate.

If the group can get together in one room, a lot of these questions can be asked as a part of the discussion without having to do a formal survey.

You mentioned a "texting meeting" or something like that so that indicates to me that you don't live close to each other. The survey might be a great way to get a feel for their attitudes about the trip and will probably open their eyes as to what a canoe trip entails.

"Why is he asking me about THAT? Is that what we do on canoe trips?"

Most people REALLY don't know what a canoe trip is all about.

I'll never forget a question a Dad asked at the end of a 2 1/2 hour informational session for the Boy Scouts prior to going to the Northern Tier High Adventure Base, the canoe base of the BSA based on Moose Lake. These Scouts were preparing to take trips into the BW and Q and the Dad asked (again, after 2 1/2 hours), "Soooo... when the boys get to their next campsite, are the tents already there and set up for them?"

Ummmm, no. :)"


Thanks for the reply. We were all together for St. Patties day, which is when this idea came up. Apparently the two couples have been wanting me to take them ever since coming to my apartment and seeing all my maps and camping gear out as I was preparing for a trip.

I'm not planning to take them very far in but obvious concerns are what to expect from them as far a contributing around camp and what their priorities are.

The text messaging part is basically a way to work out last minute logistics in one area so everyone can see what's going on.

I'm REALLY hoping they understand we will be in the wilderness, but my stories should've illustrated that pretty clearly already. :)
VaderStrom
distinguished member (403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2018 11:42AM
boonie: "Ha Ha! :) Well, it's a start, but . . .


I assume your wife knows these people, she's been on trips with you, she's going and there'll be 6 of you?


Although no one other than my brother has taken me up on it, I've talked with a couple of other people about it. I at least had some general idea of their experience.


I usually am more specific and detailed than that, i.e.


We'll be backpacking with a canoe, not car camping with a boat.


I explain portaging, trail conditions, number, lengths, weight of loads. How far we'll travel daily and about how long that will take.


I provide gear list, weight and necessity for keeping it low as well as compact, clothing, etc.


I give specific examples of what I eat and how much.


I usually walk them through a day step-by-step to give them a better idea.


Good luck!"


Great points! I'm not sure if any of these folks have ever slept in a tent. My wife and I were in the BWCA for a few nights last fall, but she's limited also. One couple is engaged and decided to commit to being more outdoorsy by registering at REI. This will be a good chance for them to test that theory.

I have a presentation going over a few details mentioned above, but as we are only going 1 or 2 portages in, I'm hopeful the two 50ish rod portages aren't an issue. My wife and I are going backpacking in a few weeks so hopefully she can share some about her experience with them to reinforce what wilderness is like.

PRESENTATION
03/22/2018 01:42PM
I've been in East Bearskin and it's about as easy to Canoe as you'll find (you may know this already). That first portage out of the south arm of East Bearskin into Alder is really easy. The one from Alder into Canoe is almost as easy, just a tad longer and a little rockier. There are also pretty easy portages into Pierz and Crystal (a nice lake similar to Alder), but the one over to Pine is another thing. You can also paddle/walk through to Paddle Lake. I stayed at the site on Canoe across from the Alder portage.

You've shared a good amount of general information in your presentation; just need to make sure everyone knows what they are to do or provide.

I also make sure people understand the rules and regulations ahead of time.

Have fun.
bobbernumber3
distinguished member(863)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/22/2018 02:01PM
salukiguy: "On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you about the following camp chores?


gathering fire wood
cooking over a fire grate
Cleaning dishes
hanging the food pack
setting up tents
collecting and filtering water



Would you rather carry the canoe over portages or 50 pound packs?"


Great suggestions. This make the point that it is a team effort to keep your camp running smoothly and everyone is expected to do camp chores. Work is part of the fun.
Teenda
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
03/22/2018 04:25PM
Fun survey with good questions, I'd probably add...
How many hours do you want to paddle a day?
How many miles do you want to walk in a day with a canoe on your shoulders or carrying a 60 lb pack?
How many times do you want to move camp?
A list of camp chores and ranking them.
Do you currently work out? What's your regimen?
Allergies?
Medical conditions?
Any trip expectations or preconceived ideals?
Do you fish? What kind of fish do you want to attempt to catch?
MrFeesh
member (24)member
 
03/22/2018 07:42PM
I thought cans of beverages was a rule no no.

yes or no?
dan
MrFeesh
member (24)member
 
03/22/2018 08:42PM
Never mind, found it all by my self, what a great site.

"Glass bottles and cans are not allowed in the BWCA except when they are a non-food item such as insect repellent, medicines, fuel, and other necessary item which are not food or beverage. Food should be repackage in plastic, and garbage should be packed out, not burned or buried in the Boundary Waters."
VaderStrom
distinguished member (403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 07:32AM
MrFeesh: "I thought cans of beverages was a rule no no.


yes or no?
dan"


You're right! The question for canned beer is only for the night before unless I bring up an insulated growler and fill it at Fitgers or another place along the way.
VaderStrom
distinguished member (403)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 07:34AM
Teenda: "Fun survey with good questions, I'd probably add...
How many hours do you want to paddle a day?
How many miles do you want to walk in a day with a canoe on your shoulders or carrying a 60 lb pack?
How many times do you want to move camp?
A list of camp chores and ranking them.
Do you currently work out? What's your regimen?
Allergies?
Medical conditions?
Any trip expectations or preconceived ideals?
Do you fish? What kind of fish do you want to attempt to catch? "


Thanks for the input. We are actually base camping only one portage in so some of those questions will already not apply. I'm hoping people just kinda do their thing and find what they want to do or enjoy most with the multitude of options.

The 3 gals coming are all city gals with no interest in fishing so the overarching goals of the guys has now been made clear...do whatever we can to make sure our partners enjoy the trip so we can do another one in the future. I'm a little less worried about this because I'll be heading up at least 1 or 2 more times this season and I seem to always have a list of people who want me to take them up to the BWCA.
MikeinMpls
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 11:18AM
All I can say is WOW! Not only a survey but a presentation.

I think there gets to be a point where one just has to say: "you gotta do it to understand it." I used to captain a relay running team for the Hood to Coast relay in Oregon (Nine runners, 200 miles). As much as you can tell someone about it and try to prepare them, I found that a runner on the team just had to live through running seven miles uphill in the dark at 3:15 in the morning.

Maybe you're like me... I'd have a bit of anxiety bringing newbies in because I want them to have a wonderful time, but there is a risk that they won't. You have to accept the fact that someone on the trip may just not like it up there. And trying too hard to make sure everyone's experience is their best can be obvious to others, and may make them uncomfortable.

Remember that your experience of the woods may not be one that another person is able to experience. Or, they may just not like it. Too much detail (like in the presentation), however, can hinder your flexibility if something doesn't go as expected.

All the above said, your enthusiasm and pre-trip preparations are impressive. Please do not take the above as criticism... I will be very interested in how things go considering all your preparation.

Best wishes

Mike
4keys
distinguished member(585)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 07:23PM
As I understand it, you don't know much about these other people, they are novice campers, and have never been to the Bwca. I would ask everyone about allergies and medical conditions, and if they are bringing meds others should be aware of (epipen, diabetic or heart issues). Everyone should know where the first aid kit is kept and a vague idea what's in it (you might be the one to get hurt). They should be aware they can't just call for help, it will take hours to get to help, and they can't just leave if they get bored.
And everyone should know where they are on a map and what the route to the car is (ok, a worst case example here, you slip, hit your head, are confused, and are the only one that knows where they are).
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(842)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 08:22PM
I organize trips for my church with two main goals. Give people a break from everyday life and help people to get to know other people in the church and build relationships.

Most people who I take to the BWCA know what they are getting into and I usually do short 3 day trips. I have only had one guy who asked me at the entry point where the camp ground was. I told him 10 miles that way pointing north and he just said "Your going to have to help me out the next couple of days". He did fine.

In order to open up the opportunity to more people, I would like to start organizing different types of trips that range from car camping at Kawishawi to week long loops. This is where the survey would come in so that I could sort people into groups in order to design multiple trips.
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1164)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/23/2018 09:04PM
Did the survey for laughs and giggles. While I think it's a good start, I agree with many of the suggestions that others have made, especially in regard to how much work they're willing to do. What I have discovered in leading groups is that unless someone has already done some wilderness camping nothing can really prepare them for this kind of trip. Some rookies have adapted very quickly and done well while others never figured it out (and their email addresses magically disappeared from all future emails).

I usually spend the most time on helping people understand what they need to pack and what they need to leave behind, and make it clear to them that if they follow these instructions it greatly increases the likelihood they'll have a good time. But if they don't listen, they have no one to blame but themselves and hopefully they'll learn from that experience. I wish the guy who invited me on my first trip would have taken the time to do this with me because after about 100 rods on the first portage I realized I was going to be hosed for most of the trip, but I did survive. Don't want anyone to experience what I did unless they choose to do so. Good luck!
Captn Tony
distinguished member(1314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/24/2018 02:58PM
It's like sales, you under promise and over perform.
I make it sound a lot worse then it will be to see how committed they are. I tell them I make the final decision but will need their input. Also they are expected to pitch in and help at all times.
I'm the trip leader, not a guide.
If I'm on someone else's trip then I expect the same of myself. Unless it's a dangerous situation.
ockycamper
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/24/2018 03:13PM
"Salukiguy"

Fellow Saluki! Class of 1979 and BWCA tripper for the last 12 years.
 
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