BWCA outpost map, wabakimi Boundary Waters Group Forum: Wabakimi
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11/30/2012 12:10PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
i am going through my boxes of canoe related maps, tossing out the real old stuff. i ran into this map from the sunset country (ontario) 2010, tourism asso. because of this map i bailed on a planned trip on the pipestone river, i have nothing against outpost camps, just didn't want to see them. the pipestone is about 100 miles north of wabakimi.








this map shows the outpost camps in wabakimi. i canoed this area several times in the late 70's and early 80's (then i had kids, what happened?) most of these outposts weren't there. i did a loop with my brother in 2006, wabakimi lake, ogoki and whitewater loop. i have to admit that many of these outposts we did not notice, probably because it was windy as heck the whole time and keeping my brothers wenonah escape from swamping preoccupied me.



the albany river on the north part of wabakimi is a marvelous river, waterfalls and rapids break the monotony of the boreal forest. the country south and west from cat lake was wonderful canoe country, i was there, again prior to kids. now i see that it is dotted with fly in camps.
 
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yellowcanoe
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11/30/2012 12:57PM  
Think about a couple of things.

Wabakimi is not the BWCA. Portage maintenance is spotty. Without some of these camp owners doing some clearing and maintenance your portages would be a lot more difficult.

Most all are used for six weeks starting in May. So while the sight of the 43 camps may be annoying, they have legally been grandfathered in. Its not true that more lodges are being erected within Park boundaries. Some of your maps refer to the Caribou Forest and others to St Raphael.. which have different management plans.

In a pinch they do well for shelter and possible evac in forest fires. Some are equipped with two way radio phones in case you need rescue and your gear is on the fritz.

And if you DO find an occupied outfitters site, sometimes a warm cuppa or warm meal is welcome.. Those guys do not want to fly out their beer also. I have had a gift of real meat and a couple of cans of beer on a two week trip.

Its funny in real wilderness sometimes buildings are reassuring more to threatening. At least to me. The more I travel where there is no competition for campsites, the more I enjoy man and his buildings.

Of course not everyone thinks the same.

Its worth going to Canoecpia and talking with Phil Cotton re your concerns. I do note that your loop took you on Smoothrock..a lake very heavily used by a large outpost camp. I do have issues with how their clients abuse some shore sites.
 
11/30/2012 01:31PM  
i really don't have a problem with fly in camps, my in laws and friends use these camps regularly. they spend a bunch of money when they do. way more than i do when i canoe. $$'s speak.

and the fisherman are very friendly, and more than willing to share their food and beer.

i just thought that people planning trips up here, expecting an uber quetico, may be able to plan their trips so they can avoid these camps, if the thought of sharing a lake bothers them.
 
yellowcanoe
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11/30/2012 04:10PM  
I noted your route. I don't think if you tried, you could have picked a more traveled route with the highest concentration of outfitter camps!


On McKinley I was totally taken by surprise. The camp looked better than my house.

The map is incomplete; over on Rockcliffe there is a cabin. But its not currently an outfitters camp; its privately owned by Michiganders who were fine with us using it (we found out ahead of time who they were to ask permission)

To be complete if you want not to see an outfitter camp its best to pick some small connecting lakes such as on the Nemo River. Or part of the Flindt or Little Savant.. There are routes; and typically they constitute more work for paddlers.


I think that if you could somehow save that map somewhere it is good information to have.
 
ZaraSp00k
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12/02/2012 09:31AM  
there isn't the animosity between paddlers and boaters like there is in MN & to a lesser extent, Quetico.

Boaters are usuallly surprised to see you and welcoming. They also aren't idiots like MN boaters (or more correctly, the general public that boat there)

And the cabins are only used a small portion of the year.
IMO, I'd rather come across a group of fly-in boaters than fly-in paddlers. The boaters will likely be in a cabin, the paddlers compete for camping sites and often are loud and obnoxious.

I came across some boaters that invited me into their cabin, fed me, and gave me a large unused sausage that was great eatin' for the next couple of days. Also gave me a beer. It was a family, husband wife two teenage daughters who giggled the whole time. It was probably the highlight of the trip. They were fascinated by the fact I was traveling alone and how little I had with me and had managed to come so far.
 
paddlefamily
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12/03/2012 11:05AM  
While we saw numerous outpost camps, most were unoccupied. It was Sept.
We only saw one group of fishermen. I prefer not seeing them (or any other people for that matter), but it wasn't a big deal either. Seeing planes more frequently than I expected was bothersome. Much of it was due to fire management and the location of our route.

We actually had to utilize a camp's radio to contact the MNR about a close wild fire we were trying to get away from. I was thankful for that as we were only carrying a SPOT. And like YC said, this location was at a good evac site, should we have needed it.

Overall, I'd canoe there again...just pick route better fit for my paddling interestes.

Interesting to look at old maps. Thanks for sharing.
 
12/04/2012 05:30PM  
In 2011, we stayed at the outpost's campsite at the northeast end of Smoothrock. Not exactly your BWCA campsight, as it had propane burneres and big fry pans and pots and picnic tables, but it was a nice site nonetheless. We saw 1 or 2 groups of fishermen in motor boats, but, frankly, that is exactly what I expected. They were friendly and courteous, slowing to minimize the wake when we were paddling nearby. Not everyone can canoe and we really can't begrudge anyone who wants to spend time in the north woods.
I wanted to have a trip that was very much like the BW in the 60's or early 70's, and that is exactly what I got. The boundary waters(small letters) have not always been motor free.
Again, I don't live there and I don't have to try and make a living like the locals do. I am happy to visit and spend my recreation dollars in support of the great canoeing experience available there. Spend some time talking with outfitters and guides and you will learn a lot about what they do to help the parks.
 
yellowcanoe
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12/04/2012 10:44PM  
Curiously that island is not officially the outfitters. They just use it. And customers have trashed it. I did not stay there in 2009 for that very reason. There were fish skins everywhere and guts.

Yes it could have been a nice site and its good to hear it was clean. I also found dirty TP back in 2009. Kind of depends on the sort of people who have gone there before.
 
12/05/2012 12:44PM  
Yeah, I think the outpost folks probably cleaned it up. We did find quite a few fish skeletons tossed into the woods, but no TP or anything like that. It's sad that one would travel so far and then disrespect the place so callously.
 
wabakimimaps
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12/05/2012 08:19PM  
quote jwartman59: "this map shows the outpost camps in wabakimi. i canoed this area several times in the late 70's and early 80's (then i had kids, what happened?) most of these outposts weren't there. i did a loop with my brother in 2006, wabakimi lake, ogoki and whitewater loop. i have to admit that many of these outposts we did not notice..."

Sunset Country is a provincial tourism bureau that publishes its map annually Not all existing remote resource-based tourism establishments are shown on the map. Only those that belong to current members of the Sunset Country association are depicted.

Wabakimi Provincial Park was created in 1983 and expanded six-fold in 1987 to its present size. On both occasions, existing resource-based tourism establishments such as lodges and outpost camps were grandfathered. No new outpost camps have been licensed since then. Currently, there are 47 outpost camps and 7 lodges in the Park. None are road accessible.

Wabakimi does not have a management plan nor is there any promise of one being developed in the near future. The park superintendent has suggested that such a plan may include provision for the outpost camps and lodges to be granted exclusive use of shore lunch sites such as described in this thread despite the fact that the clients of these establishments pay not one red cent towards their ability to recreate within a provincial park.
 
ZaraSp00k
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12/06/2012 08:13AM  
quote wabakimimaps: ".. despite the fact that the clients of these establishments pay not one red cent towards their ability to recreate within a provincial park."


the clients don't have to pay a daily fee like paddlers? well, I guess they are not camping, but they are certainly using the resource. I suppose Ontario feels the heat of the camp owners who say they will lose business if forced to pay a daily park fee.

But it is kind of a conflict of interest when one of the major outfitter is also the Thunder Bay MP. That would never fly in the US.
 
wabakimimaps
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12/06/2012 12:29PM  
quote ZaraSp00k: "the clients don't have to pay a daily fee like paddlers? well, I guess they are not camping, but they are certainly using the resource. I suppose Ontario feels the heat of the camp owners who say they will lose business if forced to pay a daily park fee."

Owners of resource-based tourism establishments in Wabakimi pay annual rents for their Land Use Permits but their clients pay nothing to recreate (i.e., hunt, fish, view wildlife, enjoy shore lunches, etc.) in the Park. Granted, they are not camping overnight so they are not required to purchase an Interior (Backcountry) Camping Permit but there are fee structures in place that, if imposed by Ontario Parks, would cause these clients to pay a fair share for their enjoyment of the Park’s natural resources.

Ontario Parks charges a Daily Vehicle Permit fee for admission to any provincial park regardless of the number of persons in the vehicle or the type of vehicle. For example, a sailboat visiting the protected islands in Georgian Bay must have such a permit.

Ontario Parks also offers “unlimited” daily vehicle entry to all Ontario Provincial Parks in the form of Seasonal Passes to “support the protection of our natural legacy”. There are three levels of passes. The 2012 rates posted on the MNR website will undoubtedly be revised soon.

Annual Pass (April 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013) Cost: $150.50
Winter Pass (Dec. 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012) Cost: $70.00
Summer Pass (April 1, 2012 - Nov. 30, 2012) Cost: $107.50

If every boat used by an outpost camp or lodge located in Wabakimi were required to have a Seasonal Summer Pass, the annual revenue earned would put the Park on a paying basis and serve to equalize what park visitors pay.

Outfitters will argue imposition of this extra cost of doing business would be a hardship but they need to do the math. Two persons per boat x 58 days usage would cost $1.00 per user day to completely pay for a Seasonal Summer Pass. And there might be an additional benefit to this concept.

Many outfitters in Northwestern Ontario cache boats on lakes adjacent to those where their facilities are located. Most of these boats have neither a Boat Cache Permit (required on Crown land) or, in the case of a provincial park such as Wabakimi, a Seasonal Summer Pass. If cached boats in Wabakimi were also required to have either a Boat Cache Permit or a Seasonal Summer Pass, the owners might withdraw some of them from service as not being financially viable.
 
JEFF2053
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12/10/2012 12:51PM  
So I hear people saying that they stay in these cabins that the outfitters have. Does anybody ever get mad that you stay in there cabins. Fir instance if I were to stay in one of these cabin and a group would fly in in the morning and find me there (obviously I would vacate the cabin asap)would the outfitter be upset just wondering what the edicate would be in this situation
 
yellowcanoe
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12/10/2012 01:46PM  
Ask permission first.

The cabin is private property. In case of emergency I wouldn't hesitate to camp on the "lawn" but be prepared to move as soon as it is safe.
 
12/11/2012 12:26PM  
I would never stay at a cabin that wasn't mine, unless it was an emergency situation. I have on occasion dropped off garbage at these cabins, which I had picked up at campsites or shore-lunch locations on the same or nearby lakes. Easier for them to fly the stuff out (probably left by their clients in the first place), than for us to carry it out on a long canoe trip.
 
paddlefamily
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12/12/2012 09:35AM  
quote yellowcanoe: "Ask permission first.


The cabin is private property. In case of emergency I wouldn't hesitate to camp on the "lawn" but be prepared to move as soon as it is safe."


Agreed.

When we were overwhelmed by smoke from the fire we were moving away from, we did use an open cabin at a fish camp for a few hours for some rest and fresh air (nobody was around). Until that time we had been semi-camped out on their beach. Left the place cleaner than we found it.
 
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