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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      FIrst Solo, suggestions     

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AJ2008
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12/15/2014 02:22PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Hey,

I posted this in the trip forum but didn't know about this board.

I am tossing the idea around for a first solo trip early this spring. This would be a short one, three days. I have never been to the eastern side of the BW so that is my point of interest on this trip. I am looking to avoid huge bodies of water for obvious reasons. I was looking for EP with few permits per day. I was looking at maybe EP 39, EP 43, EP 44 or 45.......any thoughts on those, or maybe better suggestions? This is a trip more for scenery but fishing is always a bonus.
 
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MattM
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12/15/2014 05:05PM  
Hi,

I have been through entry points 43, 44 and 45. I don't think that you could go wrong with any of those three. This is one of my favorite areas. I enjoy a bit of seclusion and each of these entry points should give you that in the spring. Each is scenic in it own right, but I am partial to the Ram Lake entry.

The portage out of Little Trout to Misqua does have a reputation for being tough. In my opinion, it is not that terrible if you are in decent shape and pack light; but if it is really wet, then it does suck. Just watch your footing through the boulders--a twisted ankle waiting to happen.

You might also look at entry point 49. I have done two trips through this area and really like it. The first portage may keep some people away due to the length, but it is fairly flat and not too tough. If I was going on a three night trip, I would go through entry point 49 and base camp on Banadad lake and then come out the same way; it is super pretty, not much traffic and the fishing is good as well.

Once you decide on an entry, I can give you some more specific advice.

Enjoy your first solo trip!
 
12/15/2014 09:01PM  
AJ-

I think one of the most beneficial things for you here on the solo tripping forum will be past discussions about various aspects of soloing - different perspectives, different methods, different strategies, different equipment, food. Traveling vs. basecamping, keeping busy vs. keeping it simple, etc. After a few trips you'll develop your own style, but reading through old threads will give you a lot of insight and many things to think about before you go.
 
AJ2008
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12/15/2014 10:59PM  
boonie,

Absolutely! That is what I have been doing. The first decision is the right EP for what I am going for. My biggest concern is my boat. I have a SR Q16 which I love and purchased to double as a solo. While I have paddled it many times solo around lakes and rivers here (southern metro), there have been times when I have been caught in strong winds and it is not fun. Properly trimming will be key, but I also like to travel fairly light. We'll see, I have all winter to think about it. Thanks for the info.
 
12/16/2014 08:13AM  
That canoe will work fine, loaded it will be a different animal, and you can ballast it out. Wind IS more of an issue for sure in a tandem paddled solo. I did my first solo in a Bell NorthStar, but I removed the seats and put a seat in the middle. Then put it back the way it was when I got home. Have Fun.
SunCatcher
 
SourisMan
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12/16/2014 08:48AM  
quote AJ2008: "boonie,


Absolutely! That is what I have been doing. The first decision is the right EP for what I am going for. My biggest concern is my boat. I have a SR Q16 which I love and purchased to double as a solo. While I have paddled it many times solo around lakes and rivers here (southern metro), there have been times when I have been caught in strong winds and it is not fun. Properly trimming will be key, but I also like to travel fairly light. We'll see, I have all winter to think about it. Thanks for the info."


My first solo was with that canoe, entering at Bower Trout. The small lakes there make a solo trip very manageable. Fishing is good on Swan, and it's a pretty "moosey" area. By the way, I take a double bladed paddle when I solo, even on small lakes. The SR Q16 moves along pretty well for me with 2 blades.
 
12/17/2014 07:06AM  
AJ-

I think the EP's you mentioned or most any of the others would be good, especially if paddling in the wind is more of a concern than portaging. You'll also probably find some good solo trip reports to read.

I rented a SR Q16 once for a solo and it was way more canoe than I needed so I know what you are talking. I also travel light, plus I'm a lightweight myself - me and a week's gear and food is about 200 lbs. I even got blown around on small waters that were open to the wind. You'd probably be best off if you can set it up to paddle from the middle; even then proper trim will be key.
 
12/17/2014 10:09AM  
If it's your own boat and you tend to travel light, I would consider taking out the bow seat (when you are soloing; it's the stern seat when paddled tandem). It will make getting your heaviest bags forward and low for better trim easier. As I recall, those seats pop out fairly easily and are not structural. With good trim your SRQ16 will do just fine, especially on a 3 day trip. If you get hooked on solo tripping, then you may want to look at one of the solo boats that are easier to paddle and carry. In the spring there will be opportunities to test them out if you are interested in comparing.


 
12/17/2014 05:05PM  
Good info and choices all the way around here. Loaded like Sunny says you'll be fine. The East side has a lot of good options. I hope this is one of many solo trips. You'll love it.
 
AJ2008
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12/22/2014 09:04AM  
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I have all winter to plan and contemplate. I think right now I am leaning toward EP 43. I have always wanted to get to Winchell, but this route seems more manageable for my first time. I want to wait it out a little before pulling the trigger on a permit to see how this winter is. That might give me a better idea of when ice out will be. It looks like the area between Marshall and Swan could be a little dicey in low water levels?
 
Tony
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01/03/2015 06:24PM  
Entry point 50, Cross Bay, would be a nice entry for a solo trip. Many different route options from this point. The trip I did from there went to Long Island Lake to fish for lakers. From there I did day trips to frost and cherokee lakes. I thought that was a great area and intend on going back one of these years.

tony
 
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