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CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/19/2022 12:00PM  
My standard operating procedure is to plan out a trip with all sorts of details (desired campsites, specific lakes to visit, usually some sort of loop, etc.). I've been on a dozen or so trips and for my solo trip this year, I'm thinking about trying something different. I've got about a week to go in late June.

What I'd like to do is go in, have no specific plan, but a lot of options, and just sort of play it by ear. Go as far as I want each day. Adjust as I feel like it.

So which EPs would be ideal for this sort of trip. Something like Isabella Lake certainly wouldn't fit the bill.

Thoughts?
 
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01/19/2022 12:14PM  
Tons of options but I'd say something like Sawbill. Could head out via at least 3 distinct routes and head back via a different one very easily. Where you go mid-trip is almost unlimited. Anything from Malberg Alice direction to Little Sag to Brule and beyond. Louse River if you want lesser traveled. Lady Chain, Long Island, etc
Speckled
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01/19/2022 12:34PM  
Brule comes to mind.
01/19/2022 03:33PM  
Snowbank comes to mind for me.

You've got Ensign, then Knife and all the border lakes and smaller lakes to the south of Knife as options.

Or, you've got an interior path towards Ima/Thomas/Fraser, etc.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/19/2022 03:42PM  
treehorn: "Snowbank comes to mind for me.


You've got Ensign, then Knife and all the border lakes and smaller lakes to the south of Knife as options.


Or, you've got an interior path towards Ima/Thomas/Fraser, etc."


Been looking at that one. Never entered through there, but there's a ton of options.
salukiguy
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01/19/2022 05:25PM  
I will second Sawbill. I entered there with no itinerary and we ended up doing the Lady Chain then up thru Malberg. Decided against Louse River and instead headed up to Little Sag then headed back down thru the small lakes and finally the Lujenida portage and spent the last night on Alton for an easy out the next day. Pretty strenuous route so we ate a lot and ran out of food by the last morning.
Hammertime
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01/19/2022 05:36PM  
Sag/seagull would fit the bill. Can go all the way down the border to knife and beyond, south of ottertrack, south of seagull area. Can come out pretty much anywhere.
billconner
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01/19/2022 05:47PM  
Snowbank or Moose - maybe start at one and end at the other.
Wallyhunter7
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01/19/2022 07:52PM  
Sea Gull, Sag, and Brule have soooooo many options imo.
01/19/2022 09:18PM  
A lot could come down to the maximum distance you'd want to travel. Are you limited to a loop or is a point-to-point in play?

You could do a lot out of Round Lake (Brant, Missing Link) or Cross Bay.
papalambeau
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01/20/2022 07:26AM  
The three that came to mind with a lot of options: Snowbank, Sawbill and Kawishiwi. Multiple options from each.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/20/2022 07:37AM  
boonie: "A lot could come down to the maximum distance you'd want to travel. Are you limited to a loop or is a point-to-point in play?


You could do a lot out of Round Lake (Brant, Missing Link) or Cross Bay. "


I have no maximum or minimum distance per day.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/20/2022 07:38AM  
papalambeau: " The three that came to mind with a lot of options: Snowbank, Sawbill and Kawishiwi. Multiple options from each."

Having entered (and loved) Sqwbill and Kawishiwi numerous times each, I’m leaning toward Snowbank for some new territory to explore. Never been to Knife, Thomas, Fraser, Numbered, or Alice area. This would put all of those on the table. And I absolutely love the Boulder-Adams-Beaver area so if I did want to retrace a precious trips steps and strokes, this would be a good option.

I also like that right out of the gate on Snowbank, there are multiple options.
Michwall2
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01/20/2022 08:16AM  
One of the cardinal safety tenets of wilderness travel is that you leave at least a rough outline of your route and the date to expect your return with someone back home.

Think about the conversation your loved one might have to have with SAR:

Where did they enter? Snowbank.
How long are they overdue? Unknown
What was their route? Unknown
Did they plan to go east or west? Unknown.

Even if you were to narrow it down a bit by saying generally east or generally west, that leaves a huge amount of territory to check.

Your goal of having the widest possible set of options for travel also means that SAR also becomes exponentially more complicated. Even your short "thinking out loud" session about visiting Knife, Alice, Frazier, Boulder/Adams involves a huge number of possible campsites/portages to check. E.g. Are you going to go all the way to Ogish and down through Gabi, Little Sag, Makwa and back through Vee/Fee to Boulder. Or just to Kek and then down to Thomas, Frazier, Alice? Or maybe from Frazier you will go back east to Sagus and Cap to Boulder/Adams and then south to Fishdance and to Alice on the Kawishiwi River? Etc.

While I understand the want to have some more flexibility than the ultra-planned trips of your past, maybe there can be something in between? One or two possible routes? With an extension/day-trip? If time allows?

Hope you have a great trip.
01/20/2022 08:48AM  
I think you should also try to figure out when you are going to want the options. Multiple options on an entry point lake that all set you on routes doesn't seem like very many options to me. More like you are just kicking the can down the road. I think you would want something that lets you wander a bit more.

With this in mind Sawbill doesn't seem that great because once you pick a route, you are pretty much locked in unless you backtrack. I'd recommend looking for either a basecamp type trip where you can day trip in multiple directions, or find little loops that you can do that start a day in or so. Insula seems like a good choice here or Malberg. Poplar seems like another good choice because you can just wander around Horseshoe, Gaskin, Winchell, Henson and so on.

Just find an area where multiple lakes are interconnected and you aren't locked into a route from day one. That will give you the most options because then you can choose a different option at pretty much any point of the trip. Then if your brain is telling you that you need to plan, you just plan a few branching routes that you can pick during the trip.
01/20/2022 10:47AM  
CoffeeInTheWoods: "boonie: "A lot could come down to the maximum distance you'd want to travel. Are you limited to a loop or is a point-to-point in play?



You could do a lot out of Round Lake (Brant, Missing Link) or Cross Bay. "



I have no maximum or minimum distance per day. "


I was thinking more in terms of 100-mile loops . . . ?
straighthairedcurly
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01/20/2022 12:18PM  
I like the Brant, Missing Link, or Cross Bay Lake EPs for this type of experience. Otherwise Sawbill. Depending on what size lakes or portages you are willing to do, I have also found the area between Seagull/Sag and Moose Lake (and south) have lots of variety in where you can wander...following the border or dropping down south.

A solo loop I did once involved Bower Trout to Ram (loop because it is an easy walk on the road from one parking lot to the other). This loop had a number of options to stretch out or shorten the size.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/20/2022 12:42PM  
straighthairedcurly: "I like the Brant, Missing Link, or Cross Bay Lake EPs for this type of experience. Otherwise Sawbill. Depending on what size lakes or portages you are willing to do, I have also found the area between Seagull/Sag and Moose Lake (and south) have lots of variety in where you can wander...following the border or dropping down south.


A solo loop I did once involved Bower Trout to Ram (loop because it is an easy walk on the road from one parking lot to the other). This loop had a number of options to stretch out or shorten the size. "


Doing the Bower Trout to Ram loop in late July with some buddies.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/20/2022 12:43PM  
Michwall2: "One of the cardinal safety tenets of wilderness travel is that you leave at least a rough outline of your route and the date to expect your return with someone back home.


Think about the conversation your loved one might have to have with SAR:


Where did they enter? Snowbank.
How long are they overdue? Unknown
What was their route? Unknown
Did they plan to go east or west? Unknown.


Even if you were to narrow it down a bit by saying generally east or generally west, that leaves a huge amount of territory to check.


Your goal of having the widest possible set of options for travel also means that SAR also becomes exponentially more complicated. Even your short "thinking out loud" session about visiting Knife, Alice, Frazier, Boulder/Adams involves a huge number of possible campsites/portages to check. E.g. Are you going to go all the way to Ogish and down through Gabi, Little Sag, Makwa and back through Vee/Fee to Boulder. Or just to Kek and then down to Thomas, Frazier, Alice? Or maybe from Frazier you will go back east to Sagus and Cap to Boulder/Adams and then south to Fishdance and to Alice on the Kawishiwi River? Etc.


While I understand the want to have some more flexibility than the ultra-planned trips of your past, maybe there can be something in between? One or two possible routes? With an extension/day-trip? If time allows?


Hope you have a great trip.
"


Thanks for putting this out there. I would have communication with my family to notify them of adjusting locations and whereabouts.
JayMc
Guest Paddler
 
01/20/2022 01:44PM  
Snowbank is on my shortlist too. This year will be my first trip to the BW. My canoe buddy has decades of experience but - surprisingly - always through Moose River. I'd like him to have a new experience (along with me.)
scottiebaldwin
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01/20/2022 10:47PM  
It might not have the most options but I would follow the Tumblehome podcast guys “Heart of the Park” episode and leave out of Round Lake (Missing Link). You can get way out there pretty much away from everyone and do a nice double helix loop the way they did with some interesting area and great lake trout fishing. Good luck and I hope you have a great time! Don’t forget your Garmin running the Gaia app!
01/21/2022 05:52AM  
I’ll add Lizz to the list. Tons of options to go different directions. In addition to exiting at Lizz to get to get back Poplar you could also exit through Meeds or even Skipper which adds to the large number of options that you would have.

I really like this area solo because of the small lakes. On an early May solo before fishing opener in this area I saw moose and wolves
01/21/2022 06:19AM  
The thread title strikes me as odd. Your options on any trip are limited only by your imagination. There are endless options.
CoffeeInTheWoods
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01/21/2022 08:18AM  
bobbernumber3: "The thread title strikes me as odd. Your options on any trip are limited only by your imagination. There are endless options."

Yeah. I didn't put a ton of thought into the title and I agree that most EPs give you plenty of options.

Some, however, don't. If you go in at Isabella, you either go west or east. If you go in at Parent, you go to Parent. If you go in at LIS South or Slim Lake, options are somewhat limited.

And a lot depends on how long a trip I have. If i only had 3-4 days, options would be much more limited than having a week or two (or more ... someday).
 
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