BWCA 2011 Wilderness Challenge #5 - (Lost Maps and Notes) Boundary Waters Group Forum: Wilderness Challenges
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      2011 Wilderness Challenge #5 - (Lost Maps and Notes)     

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bojibob
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02/20/2011 11:39AM  
Advanced Study information that was provided .

See the Maps below: MAPS have been removed and ANY maps/notes for this challenge may NOT be used.

Plan your route from Pickerel Lake to Hoare Lake where you will layover.

Plan your return from Hoare Lake Via Poobah Lake and returning to Pickerel Lake.

You have unlimited time and resources.

Tip: Study as much detail as possible. This challenge is going to be hard, but the lesson you will learn may save your life.

This Challenge will start in 8 Days, so you have 8 days to plan your route.

Wilderness Challenge #5 “Lost Map and Notes”

Situation: You are traveling in a party of 4 (Combined crew weight of 800 lbs) in two rental Old Town Penobscot 17 foot Royalex Canoes (max load weight of 1100-1150 Lbs). You are carrying 4 large packs, 4 smaller personal packs and misc. fishing gear with a total gear weight of approximately 350 lbs split evenly between the two canoes. You do not have a cell/SAT phone or PLB/SPOT

Additional Situation Information:

• This is Day 2 of a planned 8 Day Trip to the Quetico Provincial Park.
• The Crew:
~ Curly: Average Outdoorsman/Canoeist. Trips: 3.
~ Mo: Average Outdoorsman/Canoeist. Trips 3.
~ Larry: Expert Outdoorsman/Canoeist. Trips 40+ many of which were solo.
~ Harry: Rookie Outdoorsman/Canoeist. Trips: First Timer

Available Equipment:

Tents - 2- REI TAJ 3
Packs – 4 CCS Pioneer Packs.
Paddles – 5 Livery Bent Shaft Wood Paddles
Extensive Repair Kit: Aluminum Ferules, Heavy Needle/Thread, Sewing Kit, Roll of trip wire, Duct Tape, Nylon Patches, Super Glue, extra pack buckles and strapping.
CCS 10 X 10 tarp
Guide Gear 12 X 12 tarp

Current Situation:

You have traveled by whatever route you had chosen into Hoare Lake.

During the Bushwhack into Hoare Lake you have lost your map. After many hours of looking you can't find it anywhere. All notes you have taken for the trip were in the Map case.

The extra map was mistakenly not packed. You do not have any maps or notes.

The Challenge:

You must now get home only from what you can remember. No Maps or notes are available. Describe your return route in detail.

 
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bojibob
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03/02/2011 07:02AM  
The learning point has probably already been achieved and I dont expect many of you to be able to descibe your return route. But please post comments about how you reacted to losing maps and notes and what you would do to try to do to get home.
 
Minnesotian
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03/02/2011 07:47AM  
Never lost a map, but have met a party that lost theirs. Gave them my spare one.

If I was in this situation, I would probably backtrack the best I could remember and the second I spied another party, would talk to them, either getting another map from them or enough info to find my way out.
 
03/02/2011 07:51AM  
Interesting challenge. I would not worry about it too much actually. I would stop the first group (or soloist) that I happen to see and ask if I could copy their maps. I keep a sketchbook and pens in my backpack (seperate from my map stuff because I like to draw the BW landscapes) and would just take a little bit of time to redraw maps for myself and my group.
 
bojibob
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03/02/2011 08:34AM  
One note I should have added.

Hoare Lake is very VERY remote and the area is seldom travelled. Your chances of seeing anyone until maybe poohbah lake is minimal. There is no defined portage from Hoare into the Allan Lake and the the portages from Allan and Berniece are used maybe once or twice a year. So trolling the shore to find them would be difficult at best.
 
solotrek
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03/02/2011 10:46AM  

I would backtrack as best I could and make notes from others that I may bump into. As far bushwhacking out of Hoare, I always carry blaze orange trail for this very purpose. I'm certain I would be able to find my way out by simply following the tape back. As for finding seldom used portage trails, I always look to the horizon, pick out the lowest spot on the tree line and look there first. Using trail tape to always find my way back, I could search any number of areas for the portage trails without fear of getting lost. With trail tape, a compass, and a reasonably good memory, I would bump into other travelers.
 
520eek
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03/02/2011 11:22AM  
Well..... I planned a route in and different route out. So I did not really mark my trail, and I don't have GPS with preset positions or remembered positions. Based on that I think I can still visualize my way to Poobah and hope I run into someone there. I know in the past I have poured over the maps and scanned every detail umpteen times while having morning coffee and numerous conversations with others that are going on the trip. (ones in town) Just sitting here thinking about this makes me realize I don't have alot to go on. Maybe I have a spot, but I doubt I should use it just yet. In the past trips , only once did we have a GPS and it was fun to play with while we went along.... perhaps that should be considered when bushwhacking?
 
schweady
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03/02/2011 11:45AM  
...full armor on...

Well, I wasn't going to be the first to bring up gps, but I guess the door is open. (I realize that the equipment list didn't mention one, but there's other stuff I'd have along too that didn't show up on that list.) This would certainly be one of those times that it was fortunate that I have my ExpeditionC clamped with a RAM mount to the thwart in front of me, wouldn't it?

Since I never saw the original maps, I won't be able to comment on an exit route strategy other than retracing my route. Just hoping my batteries hold out as well as they usually do.

...ducking brickbats...

Thanks for the challenges, bojibob, but I think this one boils down to a lesson in how to safely carry your navigation devices... maps, compasses, gps units, what-have-you. Never fewer than one map per canoe. Securely stow/mount/secure any devices/tools that your life depends upon. Remember where you've been and how you got to where you are.

Hey, maybe we capsize in Hoare Lake or wherever and we lose everything navigation related. Now, there's a stickier challenge for sure.
 
03/02/2011 05:16PM  
I'm cooked. I didn't do the homework, I don't know where those lakes are exactly (or even generally).

If, however, I was there already, I usually have a good head for maps and I would know which direction I needed to go, and probably how many lakes it would take to get there. I'd go out the way I came in. Just be doing a LOT of paddling without remembering exact bays or other landmarks. Be keeping my eye out for other paddlers, might look for some high land to get a bird's eye view...

Note to self - maybe a mini laminated map in ditch kit?
 
Savage Voyageur
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03/02/2011 05:27PM  
I have been told that we were going the wrong way three times. This has been on trips that we went to a lake base camped and went out! We passed the Roy Lake fire on Sag on the way in and no one could remember it on the way out but me. Another time we were on Sag and my brother in law AKA Rambo thought he knew the way even though he had never been there before. He just got out of the Marines and he was going to show the family he knew how to read maps. Well we let him go into Canada and waited for him in the middle of the lake to catch up to us. The main things I learned with this is as you are traveling to look back at the view. It looks different than as you pass it and always trust your compass.
 
520eek
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03/02/2011 07:50PM  
Okay.... now that I made it to Poobah, is there anybody to be found? I might basecamp there a day or two. If nobody shows up, its time to retrace back the way we came and hope we get it right.
 
03/02/2011 08:26PM  
I can't describe the route, but I bet I could backtrack after I have been over that terrain. Usually I am very good at having a mental map of where I have been. What other choice do I have?
 
solotrek
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03/03/2011 07:51AM  
quote solotrek: "
I would backtrack as best I could and make notes from others that I may bump into. As far bushwhacking out of Hoare, I always carry blaze orange trail for this very purpose. I'm certain I would be able to find my way out by simply following the tape back. As for finding seldom used portage trails, I always look to the horizon, pick out the lowest spot on the tree line and look there first. Using trail tape to always find my way back, I could search any number of areas for the portage trails without fear of getting lost. With trail tape, a compass, and a reasonably good memory, I would bump into other travelers."

Another thought. I take a lot of scenery pictures with a small digital camera. For me, those would be helpful as I retrace my steps out.
 
PineKnot
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03/03/2011 09:18AM  
If I could make it to Poohbah, I'd be fine as moving from there to the Maligne via Poohbah Creek is fairly straighforward. But, if I were on Hoare when all this happened, there's no way I'd try to bushwhack to Allan to get to Poohbah (never been that way and have heard it's mighty difficult). I'd head back to Camel and then up to Fred/Sturgeon. Wouldn't base camp on Camel cause could be days before I might be able to get map assistance from another paddler.
 
520eek
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03/03/2011 10:12AM  
I am still gonna try for Poobah. I will blaze my trail so I can get back to Hoare with no problem. For that matter, I will blaze my way every where until I can find someone with map or find my way back.
 
03/03/2011 12:04PM  
quote solotrek: "
quote solotrek: "
I would backtrack as best I could and make notes from others that I may bump into. As far bushwhacking out of Hoare, I always carry blaze orange trail for this very purpose. I'm certain I would be able to find my way out by simply following the tape back. As for finding seldom used portage trails, I always look to the horizon, pick out the lowest spot on the tree line and look there first. Using trail tape to always find my way back, I could search any number of areas for the portage trails without fear of getting lost. With trail tape, a compass, and a reasonably good memory, I would bump into other travelers."

Another thought. I take a lot of scenery pictures with a small digital camera. For me, those would be helpful as I retrace my steps out."


Good idea!
I have been known to take photos of my parked vehicle and surrounding parking area (in large multi level lots), so I can find it latter.

butthead
 
schweady
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03/03/2011 02:19PM  
quote butthead: "I have been known to take photos of my parked vehicle and surrounding parking area (in large multi level lots), so I can find it latter.


butthead"


...and if one of those big trees in Nickelodeon Universe falls across your portage between Nordstrom's and P3 West Hawaii you'll know instantly whether to start cutting or find an alternate route to your vehicle... :)
 
03/04/2011 08:17AM  
Brilliant idea to check camera. Hilarious use of it at MOA or parking lots... totally appropriate if you are over 40.
 
03/05/2011 12:31AM  
I always have a pencil and paper along and would sit down with the group to redraw the rout we took to get to where we were. Also write down any details/landmarks remembered about the rout we just took. After that we would talk about what we recall about the rout ahead and map that out. Then take a vote on which way we should proceed with my vote going for heading back the way we came but smelling more of the roses this time. If/when we ran into someone with a map we would re-vote on the rout at that time.

Great challenge and thanks again Boji for these.
 
03/05/2011 07:54AM  
Lesson learned. I only took a cursory look at the maps. Now we get to bushwack and head back in the general direction from hence we came. Hope we come across another party and ask for a looksy at their map.

Seeing it is only day two, we can basecamp a couple days and enjoy the situation. I will veto any attempt to continue on with the trip based on other members' desire to save the trip.

We perhaps have more maps in a vehicle we could get to make a revised journey.
 
520eek
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03/05/2011 08:40AM  
I would like to get a hold of situation and then see how many days I have left in my trip. I would love to stay out there,..but without a map?? And I am banking I run into someone. If I don't I think I should have been trying everyday to get back to my starting point. Once there then do short trip with base camping in mind and finish off any remaining days.
 
03/05/2011 01:35PM  
Ok, no photos, no maps, no gps.
I planned to leave Poobah in to Sturgeon and head north east on the Sturgeon Lakes chain. That should run out at Pickerel or Nym. North is the nearest major highway and the road to where I entered on Pickerel. Could I make it?

butthead
 
bojibob
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03/05/2011 02:30PM  
quote butthead: "Ok, no photos, no maps, no gps.
I planned to leave Poobah in to Sturgeon and head north east on the Sturgeon Lakes chain. That should run out at Pickerel or Nym. North is the nearest major highway and the road to where I entered on Pickerel. Could I make it?


butthead"


The problem is Hoare to Poobah, been there done it, got lost with a map and compass....if you made it to poohbah clear sailing me thinks... key word IF
 
520eek
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03/06/2011 11:24PM  
All right, its only (2 lakes ) to Poobah ( I think) and I've studied my maps intensely before trip and for the past couple days have put actual geographical features to what I had envisioned up to that point ( Hoare lake) Now I can go to Poobah or turn around.. lets say I have compass and an okay sketch of of a map to get to Poobah... You say no or maybe or very unlikely? And for the record... I am from the desert and really am cautious about being lost in the woods as it looks all the same to me. I would be extra nervous about continuing as well as retreating for I am sure I have not marked my trail at all to get back home....but if it was a complete bushwhack I may have very well marked my trail just in case. I do recall portages being marked on maps provided for this challenge, so I did not take it as a total bushwhack...only a partial side trip of a bushwhack. Thus the possibility of making it to Poobah. If not, back track and hope we can remember the way out! Thoughts.....
 
03/07/2011 02:57AM  
Assuming I have not taken a hi- resolution photograph of my maps with my camera before the trip (something I highly suggest doing)...

I would be sitting with my crew and collaborating with my group about which lakes we had passed through, in which order, general shape of the lakes, where portage locations were, and key geographic features we remember from our journey. We would compare photos from our cameras and try to remember where they were taken. Between several of us, I think we could draw a decent map and try to follow that out the way we came in.

I think we would slowly and carefully make our way back to the entry point and still try to enjoy ourselves. Since we are only on day two of an 8 day trip our food supply is good and we have an endless supply of water. Plus fishing gear to supplement our food supply. Once back in the right direction and close to our entry point, we would basecamp for the rest of our trip.
 
520eek
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03/07/2011 09:30AM  
I was just thinking of the camera pics of map as well this morning! That would be a good idea providing nothing goes wrong with camera....
 
03/07/2011 09:58AM  
I print my own maps at home + I print iron on transfers at home + I have been re-reading the Band of Brothers books(survival maps of Normandy) = route map on t-shirts (or similar item)???

butthead
 
03/08/2011 02:52PM  
I was not able to read the maps that were posted before, so I don't have any specific route...BUT We have at least one compass per man and everyone has a whistle so this is not that big a deal. We might be late getting out, but so what.

I would have Larry take a day pack with the basics and go back the way we came. I would find something to mark the trail, pieces of rope or shoelace or something and ask him to mark his trail as he goes.
Then he would come back after marking the trail and we would portage our stuff over to that lake. The last person on the portage would be tasked with getting the trailblazes and bringing them with. Then we would repeat that process until we were back on a main lake. Then flag down the first folks you see and make a copy of their map in a notebook. The portages on the main lakes are obvious, so I think we are OK. [I always carry a pencil and notebook with me.]
 
inthewoods
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03/09/2011 10:23PM  
i believe if i have been there i could find my way back out, just rely on my skills as a woodsman and enjoy being lost
 
03/13/2011 05:20PM  
quote butthead: "I print my own maps at home + I print iron on transfers at home + I have been re-reading the Band of Brothers books(survival maps of Normandy) = route map on t-shirts (or similar item)???


butthead"


I have been printing T-shirts for our last 3 trips. Last year I discovered the fun of putting a route map on the shirt. We can mark campsites, fishing spots, etc with a sharpee then remember them fondly each time the shirt is worn.

The challenge with the map this time is the amount of ground we are covering...the lakes will be pretty small and without much detail but I'm pretty sure we could combine the T-shirt with a compass and get ourselves out if needed.
 
03/22/2011 02:26PM  
Pics of map, Tshirt of map - hilarious - all brilliant.
 
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