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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Solo Portage Packs, etc.     

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SilentPaddler
member (25)member
 
03/25/2017 08:37AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Hello everyone,

My wife and I recently purchased 2 solo canoes. I got a Northstar Northwind Solo and she got a Northstar Trillium.

We are fairly novice paddlers and do not own any portage packs, etc. We are focusing on CCS as a supplier.

Here are my questions:

1.) If I alone were to go on a solo trip for a week to the BWCA/Quetico which CCS packs would be a good set?

2.) If my wife were to accompany me in her solo what additional pieces would be recommended?

Thank you for your kind advice!

 
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03/25/2017 11:04AM  
Consider getting two different size packs, when two people canoe together they do not need as much gear as two people would take if they were not paddling together.
IE: Whether solo or with your wife you still need one tent, water filter, jet boil or similar stove, tarp and so on.

Getting two different size packs would allow you the option of going together/wife or you could go solo yourself.
Here is what I mean, if you get two different sizes your wife could carry the smaller one, if you go on a solo yourself you are most likely going to need the larger pack.
What I actually do on my solo's is carry a medium portage (Battle Lake) pack and a day pack. I use the day pack to help trim out the canoe by sliding it forward or aft.
I double portage so I carry my canoe and my day pack on one trip, and the portage pack on the other trip.

I can do a week solo under 40 pounds total gear and food, I could easily get that to under 30 pounds but I take comforts along when canoeing as opposed to backpacking.

Can't help you much on question #2
When I go with my wife, I do the trip planning and she takes care of all the gear/food needs. (She keeps lists from 40 years of BW trips, and that includes her special light weight soft Blankie.)
 
03/25/2017 01:13PM  
It depends on what you take for a week solo and what you take for a week with the wife. Everybody's different as far as food, gear, etc. I'd start by getting the CCS Explorer Pack, assuming your gear/food is relatively light and compact. Test pack it, and determine what else you need. The Pioneer will hold a lot.
 
03/25/2017 02:37PM  
CCS is a great company, but for a narrow solo canoe I highly recommend a Kondos Outfitter Special. It's only 16.5 inches wide but has 5000 cubic inch capacity. You can get it for $186 through March 31st
 
03/25/2017 03:34PM  
I solo in a Bell Magic and use both the Pioneer and a Bushcrafter. The comment about the wider pack and narrow canoe is right on. The Pioneer must go in on its side then shift down to its back. Fits nice and snug but does take some practice to get it in and out in a smooth motion. The Bushcrafter fits nicely in front.
The two packs allow me to adjust weight for trim and provide more than enough space for what I will take. I double portage but can use the bushcrafter for day tripping and single portage if I want.
You are starting with some top notch gear. Enjoy your trips.
 
gymcoachdon
distinguished member(570)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/25/2017 08:00PM  
quote bhouse46: "I solo in a Bell Magic and use both the Pioneer and a Bushcrafter. The comment about the wider pack and narrow canoe is right on. The Pioneer must go in on its side then shift down to its back. Fits nice and snug but does take some practice to get it in and out in a smooth motion. The Bushcrafter fits nicely in front.
The two packs allow me to adjust weight for trim and provide more than enough space for what I will take. I double portage but can use the bushcrafter for day tripping and single portage if I want.
You are starting with some top notch gear. Enjoy your trips."


I responded in the other post, but I wanted to second this post by Bhouse. The fitment in the canoe is another reason I would go with the Explorer over the Pioneer. I also have a Bell Magic, maybe your canoe is a touch wider. If so, it may not be an issue. Also, the Bushcrafter is the Rucksack with side pockets, and a spot for an axe/hatchet. I still wonder if I should have went with that over the Rucksack.
So many choices, and they are all excellent.
 
03/26/2017 06:45AM  
I have rented the Northwind Solo for my last 2 solos and it is wider than the Magic and other solo's and even the biggest CCS pack will fit in there. Because I trip with a 90 lb lab I do not need to break my gear down into 2 packs for trimming the canoe so I use the CCS Guide pack and it fits behind the seat in the Northwind Solo.

Now that being said, If I was going to solo without the dog I would do as others have stated and get 2 packs. Either the CCS Explorer or CCS Pioneer along with one of their daypacks. Either the Rucksack, Bushcrafter, or the new Wanderer.

Even the wide CCS Guide pack fits in a Northwind Solo......
 
SilentPaddler
member (25)member
 
03/26/2017 08:26AM  
Thank you to everyone for the very helpful replies! I will make a decision this week and let you all know what I bought and my thoughts after I recieve the bags. Again, Thank you!
 
03/26/2017 10:54AM  
I forgot the most important thing in my post.......

Congrats on the new rides!!!!! :)

I've rented the Northwind Solo on my last 2 solo trips and love it. Hoping to own my own someday. The Trillium looks like a very cool smaller version of the Northwind Solo.
 
03/26/2017 04:59PM  
I'll be picking up my Northwind Solo from Piraigs Memorial weekend. Can't wait
 
Nineteenpack
member (35)member
 
04/30/2017 07:48AM  
I may be a little late but just wanted share my experience with a CCS Hybrid Pioneer. It's a great pack that I would highly recommend, Its 500 cu in with more room than I need for soloing. It has multiple straps to help with loading in/out of the canoe and carrying ergonomically. It has padded shoulder straps, hip belt and an internal structure that feels good when portaging. Im not a fan of the traditional portage pack so the Pioneer Pack was perfect for me. Welcome to BWCA.com and hope you enjoy
 
04/30/2017 02:22PM  
I use the pioneer with extended top flaps and the new wanderer pack for carrying with the canoe.
 
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