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      Trip Report - Late May 2010 10-day Solo     

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11/22/2010 04:16PM
New Trip Report posted by Exo

Trip Name: Late May 2010 10-day Solo.

Entry Point: 25

Click Here to View Trip Report
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11/22/2010 04:21PM
Here is a breakdown of my equipment and weights

Gear Weights
65 – Pack (includes tent, mattress, sleeping bag)
(within pack was 13 pounds of clothing)
16 - Camera case and gear
40 – Food
5 – Fishing
8 - Ditch Kit
230 – Self/Me

When I got back I checked and weighed all that was not used or considered "necessary."

9 – Uneaten Food
3 – Unused Clothing
hat, longies, chota gloves and booties

I think I will be slimming the above down to bare minimums in the hopes that lighter travel means longer travel. And longer travel means less need for those unnecessary comforts of camp.
11/22/2010 05:04PM
Exo, you've written a truly thoughtful and insightful report.
I'm particularly taken with the gift your friend gave you. My understanding is that only Indians may possess eagle feathers, and that giving it to you brought you into the tribe.

Koda Ska
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11/22/2010 05:10PM
nice job in the magic!
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11/22/2010 07:24PM
very nice report and pictures
Itchy Menace
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11/22/2010 08:18PM
Your vertigo like experience on the first day brought back memories of the same situation many years ago for me. Perhaps my favorite BWCA memory from any trip.

A very pleasurable read, thank you.
11/22/2010 08:35PM
Great trip report. Enjoyed it very much. Thanks.
11/22/2010 08:35PM

11/22/2010 11:10PM
Yes, the vertigo was incredible. Gave me goosebumps at the time and is memorable for sure. After the memories have settled, contact with the wolf is highest on the list. I didn't put it in the report, but we were perhaps 40 yards apart. I suspected it was a female with her pups on that island. I paddled quietly past despite the urge to check and see.


I'll send you a PM.
11/23/2010 11:02AM
I scanned the report earlier. Now that I've read it completely I'm ... I don't know, maybe amazed. You did some pretty tough days. A few comments:

I got a big kick out of your having "freeze-dried and forgettable" meals. If you want freeze-dried, memorable and plenty of it, try Hawk Vittles. I'm on a low-fat, fairly low-sodium diet and recommend these meals (I've given them letter grades):
Moroccan Stew - A
Linguini with Mushroom Sauce - A-
Shrimp Jambalaya - A
Spicy Chicken - B
Sweet Italian Sausage & Pasta - A-

I used to take my DSLR in a Pelican case. With 28-135 and 70-300 lenses it weighed about 9 lbs. I leave the long zoom at home now and use a Witz Utility Locker. With my Canon 40D, an 18-200 lens, my Olympus SW720, and spare batteries for both, the whole thing weighs just under 6 lbs.

Your comment at the end rang true: "dig yourself in several days from your exit point so that it will take a few days to get out." That's how I cured the "bail out after 3 days" blues. I'm impatient for my next long solo.

Thanks again.
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11/23/2010 11:10AM
Thanks for a nice trip report. I know the time and effort it takes to put one down.

Looking at your gear I think you could pare it down a bit. I know it is hard to leave some stuff at home but be lighter makes a distance over the miles.

Loved your attitude on things. The saw breaks and you simply move on from there.

Thanks again.
11/23/2010 06:57PM
Haha, stupid saw! Replaced it with a Gerber collapsible saw.

I had duct tape and could have fashioned something and sandwiched the metal blade between a stick, but it was spring with lots of wood lying about.
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11/23/2010 08:44PM
Congratulations on your trip.
Nice Report, and understand your feelings exactly when people ask
"Why go solo"
perdy boat also.
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11/23/2010 09:38PM
Great trip report Exo. You are very good at details. You make soloing seem so easy, but I know there is a lot of work and nobody to share the load. I admire your attitude!
11/24/2010 08:43PM
Awesome trip report! Makes me want to plan a long one!

and.. I'm glad to see someone else enjoys using a blue barrel!
11/24/2010 09:47PM
Enjoyed the report and pics. Thanks for posting.

About the broken pen - I had that happen on a backpacking trip years ago and now I bring no less than 3.
11/25/2010 08:08PM
Nice report - as I get older, I definately pack less. What gear would you eliminate on the next solo?

Nice pictures and I like your GG Pack choice!

11/26/2010 06:23PM
I would like to eliminate my tent and go with a hammock. I'm a side/stomach sleeper though and a little wary of ponying up the money. A tent would be a lot nicer to be in if storm-bound for a day or a few days.

I won't go without the Exped mattress.

I will leave the deck of cards home, but have to bring 2 or 3 books.

I could leave the tarp home, but it sure is nice to have with so many uses.

I will leave more clothes home.

I will do my best to ease up food weights and leave more bannock pre-mix home and ration the GORP better. More spam singles and tuna salad mix for sure though.

I could leave necessities like my candle lantern home and some other little stuff. Also going to leave the GPS home.
11/27/2010 03:23PM
Some of us who solo a bit, have relentlessly reduced our pack weights trip after trip. Compared to my first solo I've probably reduced my gear weight by 20# or more.

The 35MM Nikon with lenses has been replaced by a digital point and shoot Olympus - probably a 7 or more pound savings.

Jet boil replacing a Primus white gas stove w a pot and pan - probably a 3 pound savings.

I definately pack far less clothing - and have replaced cotton with synthetics - big savings here - 8# or more.

I also pack far less food - bacon and eggs replaced by a powerbar and cup of coffee.

You get the idea - reduce and refine and the trips become a little lighter and a little easier every time.

Travel safe.
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11/27/2010 06:42PM
Very nice report. Inspiring. Your writing is really engaging and you pick out interesting things to comment on.

Curious about bringing the kayak paddle...were you hopping it would be more efficient than the single paddle?

Nice adding the "closing thoughts + lessons learned" piece.

Fry-bread recipe please! :)
11/28/2010 01:07PM
Well, the kayak paddle was very light. I was intent on having a spare regardless. I gave it a try a few times. I just wouldn't get used to it. It was fast, but I couldn't get the magic to track well.
I will say...the magic tracks phenomenally. But once it starts veering, it takes a little time to straighten...but not straighten to much or its the same battle on the other side.

Fry bread...I give credit to maddy the goose for that recipe. Search maddy the goose on Google for his website. I like cinnamon raisin or also craisins. Substituting some cornmeal is good to. I'm sure i left it out, but sometimes I made it in the morning, sometimes for lunch. Sometimes not at all.
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12/02/2010 05:04PM
I really enjoyed reading your report. Well written and detailed with good photographs to accompany your words.

To me, it seemed like you could've done far less work on this trip if you had lightened your load some, but I understand how tough that can be sometimes. As an avid photographer and fisherman myself, I find it tough to go without those items. I don't think I could part with my digital slr for a trip even though it is a burden; it is just too important to me. Gear can be wonderful, but its often unecessary.

I enjoyed your thoughts about vacations and why you choose to go solo for yours. A 'vacation' to another city with a similar fast-paced attitude does not appeal to me much either. Getting away from routine is important in life. Is your family supportive of your yearly adventures away from it all and away from them?

Storms really bring photographs to life, don't they?

Thanks for sharing your story.
12/02/2010 06:33PM
Thanks for the kind words. I wrote an essay that will be getting finalized and hopefully published.

Next solo I am leaving the 35mm home. Point/shoot or nothing.

My wife deals with it. Some of her family cringe about being in the woods, let alone alone.

Last night she said she wanted to go to the BW this year. Thats good news. She was sad to hear I wouldn't be taking her early May. But early we come.

I will always go on a yearly solo trip barring something major like childbirth or something else major.

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12/03/2010 12:37AM
your a great story teller and the photos really gave a feeling of "place"..i look forward to your next one.
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01/02/2011 11:52AM
Exo, thanks for taking the time and effort to create and post this great report. I enjoyed it so much. And congrats on your well deserved report of the month Win.
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