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bobbernumber3
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12/12/2019 08:35AM
My canoe partner and I have decided to take the Kruger Challenge next September, a 260 mile route from International Falls to Lake Superior. He has been working on a packing list that includes chair, fire grate, coffee pot, burner, cooking kit, small tripod, large tripod, book, clothes pins, playing cards, cribbage board, face soap, extra glasses, etc.

I am thinking we are making a stripped-down, light-weight, sprint along the border.

I'd like to find packing lists from previous WaterTribe participants and get a feel for how streamlined we should be considering. Anyone have insight and advice on packing and traveling long distances in limited time?
 
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MagicPaddler
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12/12/2019 09:56AM
The only thing I would remove from your packing list is everything you listed.
What I took was maps, hammock+tarp, spare shirt pants & underwear, no cook food. I had a raincoat not for rain but for warmth. The Pigeon River is green so you should bring a water filter.
Set a weight limit that you can carry for a mile without setting it down or stopping to rest after you have paddled for 10 hours. That includes your food and the canoe.
 
paddlinjoe
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12/12/2019 11:22AM
I would have to agree, the list looks heavy for the amount of time you have. If you were going for two weeks, I'd say bring it all. But, you're going to be paddling 12-16 hours a day, the extra stuff won't get used, and you'll regret(hate) the extra weight over the last 2-3 days.

My friend and I did the voyageur route a week before the challenge last year. I've attached a summary of what we brought (too much) and what I'd leave behind if there is a next time. We had a good time, but it was too much stuff for the last two days. Up to that point, the portages are short enough and infrequent enough to double portage if you want. If I went solo, i'd strip even more weight as was suggested with no cook meals.

Last thing I'd note, is to physically prepare with training. My friend Chris did not take this seriously, and he suffered much more physically for it. I felt stronger each day until the last portage.

Have a great trip!

BWCA 2018 Joel Peterson and Chris Olson in BWCA . Sat 9/8-9/14 7 Days/6 Nights. The Voyageurs route from Crane Lake to Grand Portage on Lake Superior. Est 205 Miles (19 Miles of it portages). Goal- Finish by Friday evening Sept 14.

Maps (In order they would be used):
Fisher: 15, 22,15, 23, 16, 17, 10, 11, 19, 20, 12, 13, 14, Mackenzie 98
Voyageur: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, Mackenzie 98 DONT BRING
Mckenzie: C1, 14, 32, 31, 13, 29, 10, 17, 9, 8, 26, 6A, 5, 4, 2, 1, 98 DONT BRING

FOOD Plan - Food amount in general was good, had less extra than normal, and ate fine.
Breakfast - Pop Tarts, Breakfast Bars. Steel cut Oatmeal (Brown Sugar/Raisins/dried milk) Never did oatmeal. Breakfast bars and poptarts were fine. Only heated water for coffee and cocoa one morning.
Mid Day Food- Stinger Bars (Excellent, do more), Gorp (Raisins, M&M’s, Soy Nuts, Pretzels) (Very good but packed too much), Rice Krispy Bars (Good, but even better as a dessert idea). Trader Joe’s Beef Jerky (fine but didn’t eat much, reduce amount brought along), Spam Singles w/ mustard and flour tortillas , Wheat Thins - Summer Sausage and Cheese (Worked good, may have been a bit much for amount) (ok for first couple days), Tortillas - Wow Butter and Jelly (squeeze tubes. Good for peanut butter. Did not work well for Jelly) Kind Bars (Really liked them, could bring more)
Supper - Chilli (2) Good, Brats Good, Tacos (2) Good, Spaghetti and Dehydrated Meat Sauce Desert Hershey’s chocolate pudding (dried milk).(good)
Beverages - Drink Packets (50 at least 20 orange, 20 Raspberry Ice), Hot Chocolate, trader Joes coffee

GRANITE GEAR / Equipment Pack (Carabineers (2) and Liner) -
Front Had way too much gear/clothes for the last portage. Guessing packs weighed 50+ lbs for Gear/Equipment, and 65+ for Clothes pack. Going to mark things didn’t use or don’t bring for next time.
Stuff Day pack in Gear Pack for last Portages
Pocket -
- Black Otter case (Camera) if I bring itDONT BRING
- Blue Otter Case (iPhones, Wallet)
- Yellow Otter Case (Anker Charger for InReach).
- Tent stakes
- 1 small saw Didn’t UseDONT BRING
Orange Ditty Bag # 1 -
- Hemp Cord (make sure large eyed needle is in sewing kit Didn’t Use DONT BRING
- Fire Dragon Blow Tube Didn’t Use,Don’t Bring DONT BRING
- Duct Tape (On Pencil) ( cut pencil in half)
- Sewing Kit (1) Didn’t Use DONT BRING
- Matches & Lighter
- Bungee Dealee Bobs
- small sunscreen
- small bug spray
- Steri-Pen? Didn’t Use, Don’t Bring DONT BRING
Equipment:
- Blue 3-person TentDONT BRING Use Two person next time
- CCS 10X12 tarp. (2.3 lb)DONT BRING
Food: Weight?
- Bear Barrel (would all food fit?) if not add another ursack, no need to hang food then. Don’t Bring the barrel, hang the pack, barrel weighs too much
- Likely need Ursack for first couple of days

Cook Kit -
Mesh Cook Set Bag - Guess 6 lb
- Trangia stove and pot set (Stove, two 1 liter bowls, frying pan/lid, 1 pot holder)
- Remove Tea PotDONT BRING
- Add Medium MSR Pot DONT BRING(Nest Trangia in it)
- Small Camp Towel Didn’t Use DONT BRING
- Dish Soap (Dawn) DONT BRINGand Campsuds
- Salt and Pepper shaker DONT BRING
- Trangia Fuel Bottle
Utensil bag Alloy spoons, forks and knives
BWJ Blue Ultimate Pack for Clothes
Joel Stuff
- Top Quilt
- Exped Mat

Toiletry Bag (find small stuff sack to save weight)):
- Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Floss
- Desitin, Gold Bond Cream, “Finger Tape”
- Extra 3 AAA Batteries for headlamp Didn’t Use DONT BRING

Clothes – Green Drybag (IP = In Pack) -
- Socks (3 wool)
- Boxers (3), REI's exofficio boxers (IP 2 pr)
- Black Quick Dry Long Underwear Bottom (1) Didn’t Use DONT BRING
- T Shirts (SS 1 grey patagonia), 1 Blue Kuhl thin wool LS
- Grey LS silk top for sleeping DONT BRING
- Pants - Kuhl zip offs, Maybe BWCA Pants Don’t Bring DONT BRING
- Blue button down shirt
- Black Mountain Hardware Polar Fleece vest Don’t Bring DONT BRING
- Black/Blue Frog Togg rain jacket Don’t Bring Only Bring one Rain jacket DONT BRING
- Black polar fleece pullover
- Blue raincoat and black rain pants
- Blue Handkerchief
- Gloves (2) (Wool Fingerless, wind stoppers Don’t Bring) DONT BRING
- Hats (skull cap,Henschel,BWCA.com hat Don’t Bring) DONT BRING
- Shoes (Danner Boots,Black Adidas Don’t Bring, should have just worn the boots on the portage) DONT BRING
- Black Polar Fleece Jaket Don’t Bring (Get an air pillow) DONT BRING


Day Pack Blue/Red LL Bean Pack or BWJ Guide Pack? DONT BRING : - No need for the day pack with two packs. Only encourages overpacking
- Water bottles (2) + the plastic water bottle bag
- Headlamps (With Red Light for night paddling)
- First Aid Kit (Front Pocket) Strip down for weight, not coverage.
- Blue Ditty Bag
- Lunch/snack food
- Reading glasses and cases
- Sunglasses strap
- Delorme InReach
Blue Ditty Bag #2
- MSR Trailshot (.3 lb) (Only Bring Trailshot, not steri pen)

FIRST AID KIT (All meds in mini-Advil sized pill bottles) -
MISC. Loose Gear -
- Paddles(3) -
- PFD (Emergency Kit: Whistle,Flint/Steel, Space Blanket, Compass) -
- REI 2 Sit Pads. -
- Maps Case: Voyageur Maps DONT BRING , Fisher Maps, Permit -


 
Grandma L
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12/12/2019 09:02PM
Magic Paddler and Joe are "right on". When in doubt - leave it home. Last year the guys traveling solo had packs weighing around 30 pounds - give or take a few pounds. They each had very light weight canoes. Most of them traveled long hours and did a fair amount of night paddling. The formal start is at Sha Sha Resort at Dove Point and the finish is the Fort at Grand Portage. Part of the "Challenge" is figuring it all out for your own style of travel. Read the "Primer" posted on the Water Tribe site and tracking map. You will see how fast they travel and the time frame.
Travel Tracking Map
2019 Challenge

 
voyager
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2019 08:23AM
At first I thought you were kidding. This is not a leisurely undertaking. Last year the 2 other solo canoeists that I traveled with, paddled 51 miles the first day, 14 hours. The next day Gulfman and I did 15 hours. There's no time for sitting in a chair around a cheery campfire or reading a book. If you are not paddling, portaging, sleeping or eating, you're wasting time. Most of us eat at least some of our meals on the move. I would bring some kind of lightweight backrest for the canoe, if you're older, it helps old backs on the long days and nights. Also some tried and true gloves for paddling, though if you train properly you'll have some dandy callouses. First aid for blisters too is a must, and don't forget chapstick. I always have cold cereal for breakfast with 1/2 milk and 1/2 muscle milk, snack all day and have a 2.5 serving hot freeze dried meal in the evening. I brought too much trail mix last year and too much canoe repair stuff. I was using a #24 Blackwater and wasn't sure how it would hold up on the Pigeon R. It did fine, even when it got pinned on a rock and filled with water, after I jumped out. It started to crack and I thought I might have to walk out. I couldn't roll it but manage to move it 1/2 foot downstream at which point the basket sized rock rolled out of the way. Whew! No holes but I'll need to put a patch on it. Your results with a light weight carbon canoe and rocks may vary. There's a lot of good info on the watertribe site on hypothermia kits. A good ditch kit in a waist pack or day pack attached to you is common sense. You will feel a compelling urge to keep traveling in conditions you normally would head to shore in, lightening and wind and waves. You will feel compelled to make crossing in conditions you shouldn't be out in and you will be fatigued and make poor decisions, any of which might lead to your death. I won't be in the gang this year, though I feel the tug. Not enough moonlight this year to suit me.
 
prettypaddle
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12/13/2019 12:34PM
paddlinjoe: "
- Blue Ditty Bag

Blue Ditty Bag #2
- MSR Trailshot (.3 lb) (Only Bring Trailshot, not steri pen)

"


Really random question... Is "ditty bag" a regional phrase? In my family growing up we always called a toiletry bag the ditty bag but I don't think I've ever heard anyone else call it that.

Nothing to add to the discussion except that you should definitely discuss this with your friend, bobbernumber3 . An extra pair of glasses (if you mean prescription glasses) would seem to be the only reasonable thing on his list. Best of luck!
 
inspector13
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12/13/2019 01:31PM
prettypaddle: "Really random question... Is "ditty bag" a regional phrase?"
Probably naval in origin, if not just nautical.

 
bobbernumber3
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12/13/2019 05:10PM
Fantastic responses and information! Thanks everyone. I will be looking over your suggestions closely as we work out our plans. This give me lots to consider. Weight vs. necessity vs. luxury vs. tradition.

Paddlinjoe - I appreciate the packing list... especially the DO NOT BRING based on your experience. I like the mostly non-cook menu plan. Could you go all the way to zero-cook and leave off Stove, two 1 liter bowls, frying pan/lid, 1 pot holder, fuel??

GrandmaL - thanks for reaching out. I have been studying the Primer, tracking maps, and previous Invitation thread. There is a wealth of information and experience to draw from. We are considering the Dawson Portage. Is motor-portaging allowed?? I think that would not be keeping with the spirit of the Challenge.

voyager - I was tracking your map last night. Thanks for the insight you have posted. Good point about the paddling gloves. I have had hypothermia and no longer have to worry due to my immunity... We will not feel compelled to risk wind and waves. Better to arrive late than never. What are your thoughts on taking a spare paddle??

The only thing I would remove from your packing list is everything you listed.... my thoughts exactly MagicPaddler!
 
voyager
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12/13/2019 06:34PM
I always carry a spare paddle, Bobber. I realize a lot of folks didn't last year. Many of the solo boats carried a single and a double blade. You use slightly different muscles with each, and it's a welcome trade. I don't like a double blade in a tandem boat though. I would think 1 spare between the 2 of you would be sufficient. I temporarily lost my single in the Pigeon last year; got busy bailing and whatnot, and my $330 paddle was gone. It hung up 100 yds. down steam. It's an impressive sight loading at Piragis in the wee hours, and seeing all the super light carbon paddles. I'm not saying you need one though.
 
12/13/2019 10:04PM
For this event I would get the lightest paddle possible.
 
MagicPaddler
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12/13/2019 10:47PM
B3
For kitchen gear I took a aluminum pint cup/pot and a spoon. No stove no fuel. No spare paddle. Only spare I had was clothes. Get to camp wet and muddy i have something to sleep in.
 
12/13/2019 11:08PM
inspector13: "prettypaddle: "Really random question... Is "ditty bag" a regional phrase?"
Probably naval in origin, if not just nautical.


"


Dirty bag is a navy term at least in the US Navy. I still have mine from boot camp in 1967.
 
Grandma L
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12/13/2019 11:14PM
Blatz: "For this event I would get the lightest paddle possible."
+1 I would get the lightest EVERYTHING possible!
Magic, Russ and Joe - fun to read your advice. You have great experience to draw from! I hope you will be paddling with us this next year.
Russ is right - The moon light will be limited because we will not be out during the full moon but other years it didn't matter. The clouds covered the moon. If you don't paddle the Challenge - at least come to Grand Portage for the finish weekend and hang out with the crew!
 
Grandma L
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12/13/2019 11:21PM
bobbernumber3: "Fantastic responses and information! Thanks everyone. GrandmaL - thanks for reaching out. I have been studying the Primer, tracking maps, and previous Invitation thread. We are considering the Dawson Portage. Is motor-portaging allowed?? I think that would not be keeping with the spirit of the Challenge.
"

So, start at Sha Sha with the group, do Crane and Loon or instead do the Dawson (requires an RBC Canadian permit and a "From Canada" BWCA permit) - and yes, the Dawson is a "legal" option for the Challenge. Motor or mechanical portages - are a No go.
 
WhiteWolf
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12/14/2019 12:59AM
WAY to much gear from the opening question. As mentioned - you simply will not have time to play cards or sit in a chair enjoying the fire IF you wanna make some time. However- the first year I did this 2015 - the inaugural event - the 3 of us brought fishing rods (yes we caught fish) and I did bring a chair. But that event started at Crane and not the 50 extra miles or so it is from Sha Sha so finishing in the time allotted was little less of a concern. But a few things I have learned after doing this 4 times and previously mentioned-
GET THE LIGHTEST paddle you can afford!!! A $300 paddle sounds like a lot but in doing this it's something you will thank every penny for!! Each paddle stroke cutting off several ounces adds up to a lot less blisters etc. I wouldn't even attempt it with wood.
GET THE LIGHTEST gear (that you absolutely need) This past Challenge I brought a 4lb two man tent that I was supposed to share with a team mate. Only set up 1 night of 3- the other 2 were spent sleeping outside literally. This saves some time in set up and take down. (if it's not raining) - so tent IMO is even optional as - if you serious about making time- there really is no time for it be raining while sleeping , and if so, time to get canoeing again.
BRING an EXTRA PADDLE. Both the Granite River and the Pigeon River can eat and will eat paddles for lunch.
 
bobbernumber3
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12/14/2019 08:26AM
Grandma L: "...Dawson (requires an RBC Canadian permit and a "From Canada" BWCA permit)….
"


So if a team takes the Dawson Portage is that a different EP permit?? or an additional EP permit? We will have our RABC permits from our June Q fishing trip. I am really a rookie regarding BWCA and permitting process.
 
bobbernumber3
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12/14/2019 08:47AM
More info:
We are a two-man crew ages 64 and 60.
As part of different groups over the years we have done 40 and 30 trips to Quetico.
Last summer we made an additional trip to Wabakimi.
We canoed on Isle Royale for a week the summer I retired.
My partner and a third friend paddled the length of the Wisconsin River in segments a few years ago.
Canoe will be a Souris River Quetico 18.5 weighing 45lbs.
Light-weight travel is not our usual modus operandi.
We will struggle with planning for speed, distance, efficiency and minimalist gear...

I have always been an advocate for lightweight paddles as you suggest WhiteWolf.
I am taking a Puddicomb at 20.5 ounces. Spare paddle will be a Sanborn, 16.1 ounces. Partner's paddle is a Bending Branches Mocha(?). The Puddicomb and BB are tradition... "this is the paddle I always take".
 
12/14/2019 09:05AM
I hope your partner was just messing with your head. The only good thing is a book can make good TP if in a pinch... and the playing cards? Well, fire starter comes to mind. I’d listen to magicpaddler... if you’d ever paddle with him you’d know why.
 
voyager
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12/14/2019 09:44AM
Peter Puddicombe made some beautiful paddles. At 20.5 oz. it weighs as much as 2 ZREs. Marcie and I each have a 16 oz. Wenonah carbon and a 9 and 10 oz. ZRE respectively. The ZREs make the Wenonahs feel like a log. I'm sure your paddles will get the job done, BUT if money is no object, an 8-10 oz. paddle is so sweet.
 
MagicPaddler
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12/14/2019 10:22AM
B3 and others looking at this rout.
Another way to participate would be to start 3 to ??? days earlier and plan on ending about the same day. This would allow you to return to Ely on the same shuttle. There is a road to Partridge Falls. You could arrange for someone to pick you up there avoiding the Grand Portage. You would not be in one of the water tribe events but would get a good flavor for what it is about and this would be good experience for future events. There would be a good chance you would be paddling with some of the participants some of the time.
 
MNGreene
member (9)member
 
12/14/2019 05:58PM
Glad to hear it Bobber, and good to post with you again.
Agree with all who said to ditch most of OP's list and cooking gear. Agree with light paddles and training.
Consider: extra glasses, a tarp, a tent, extra headlamp batteries (portaging in the dark is not fun. My buddy's headlamp lost batteries somehow and he was really glad to have a light on his phone). Consider cutting back your food. We left some of ours home/in the car and still had WAY too much. That's all I can think of right away.
Good luck!
 
bobbernumber3
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12/14/2019 08:45PM
MagicPaddler: " B3 and others looking at this rout.
Another way to participate would be to start 3 to ??? days earlier and plan on ending about the same day. This would allow you to return to Ely on the same shuttle. There is a road to Partridge Falls. You could arrange for someone to pick you up there avoiding the Grand Portage. You would not be in one of the water tribe events but would get a good flavor for what it is about and this would be good experience for future events. There would be a good chance you would be paddling with some of the participants some of the time.
"

We discussed going a day early and traveling at a relaxed pace. We also discussed the shorter challenge routes. Not for us. We are type A personalities used to goal setting and we are motivated by award trinkets. And we think the challenge is doable in the 8-day time limit.

This may still be an attractive alternative for others considering the Challenge.
 
Grandma L
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12/15/2019 03:44PM
bobbernumber3: "Grandma L: "...Dawson (requires an RBC Canadian permit and a "From Canada" BWCA permit)….
"

So if a team takes the Dawson Portage is that a different EP permit?? or an additional EP permit? We will have our RABC permits from our June Q fishing trip. I am really a rookie regarding BWCA and permitting process."

You will need a BWCA permit for the day you think you will be entering the BWCA "From Canada". so, you start at Sha Sha, leave the US into Canada for the Dawson on your RBC then use your "From Canada" BWCA permit to reenter the US after the Dawson. You get your BWCA permit on line at the reservation site. BWCA Permit Reservations Reservations open on the last Wednesday of January (Jan. 29) at 9 A.M.
 
12/16/2019 11:18AM
bobbernumber3: "MagicPaddler: "
"

We discussed going a day early and traveling at a relaxed pace. We also discussed the shorter challenge routes. Not for us. We are type A personalities used to goal setting and we are motivated by award trinkets. And we think the challenge is doable in the 8-day time limit."

Good to hear you and buddy are interested. Regarding the choice of portaging the Dawson versus staying on the water and doing the Loon River...the Kruger/Waddell Challenge commemorates what those 2 guys did in 1968. If you want to compare your time to them, then you should choose the Dawson. This paddle event, more significantly, commemorates the Voyageurs and all the history of that era. The Voyageurs would have avoided portaging as much as possible....staying on the Loon River. I have done both depending on my purpose for that specific Challenge event.

Either way you go, trinkets will be same, if you can complete it in time. No matter your final progress, it will be an adventure!
 
Grandma L
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12/16/2019 12:08PM
MNGreene: "Glad to hear it Bobber, and good to post with you again.
That's all I can think of right away.
Good luck! "

Hey MNG-are you guys thinking of doing it again this next fall? You CPAs (Canoe Paddle Adventures) had such a great run in 2019 - might be even better in 2020, now that you are "more experienced"!
 
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (355)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/16/2019 02:38PM
prettypaddle: "paddlinjoe: "
- Blue Ditty Bag


Blue Ditty Bag #2
- MSR Trailshot (.3 lb) (Only Bring Trailshot, not steri pen)


"



Really random question... Is "ditty bag" a regional phrase? In my family growing up we always called a toiletry bag the ditty bag but I don't think I've ever heard anyone else call it that.


Nothing to add to the discussion except that you should definitely discuss this with your friend, bobbernumber3 . An extra pair of glasses (if you mean prescription glasses) would seem to be the only reasonable thing on his list. Best of luck!"


Fair question. No idea where the phrase came from. Just meant to convey "Misc Stuff".

Also an apology to all for the realy long gear list I posted. Just wanted to convey how much we'd have left behind with better wisdom.
 
Grandma L
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12/16/2019 10:16PM
Joe, good to hear from you. Sure wish you could coordinate your border crossings to coincide with the Challenge - would be great to travel with you again.
 
MNGreene
member (9)member
 
12/18/2019 01:21PM
Grandma L: "Hey MNG-are you guys thinking of doing it again this next fall? You CPAs (Canoe Paddle Adventures) had such a great run in 2019 - might be even better in 2020, now that you are "more experienced"!"

I am always thinking about it! Whether we can get 3 guys all on board is another question. Saw your daughter and son-in-law at a party over the weekend, which was nice.
 
Grandma L
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12/18/2019 06:55PM
MNGreene: "Grandma L: "Hey MNG-are you guys thinking of doing it again this next fall? You CPAs (Canoe Paddle Adventures) had such a great run in 2019 - might be even better in 2020, now that you are "more experienced"!"


I am always thinking about it! Whether we can get 3 guys all on board is another question. Saw your daughter and son-in-law at a party over the weekend, which was nice."
Yeah, They have very little idea what I am really up to with the Challenges - - sshhh-- they might think I should stay home more.
 
prettypaddle
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12/18/2019 08:18PM
deerfoot: "inspector13: "prettypaddle: "Really random question... Is "ditty bag" a regional phrase?"
Probably naval in origin, if not just nautical.



"



Dirty bag is a navy term at least in the US Navy. I still have mine from boot camp in 1967."


Ah ha! Both my grandpas were in the Navy so that fits. Thanks!
 
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