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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      First Solo- what else do I need to plan?     

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joshmontague
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07/15/2016 11:58AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I've been on numerous canoe trips to the BW and Canada. I've been on numerous solo backpacking trips in Minnesota and Michigan. I've never been on a solo canoe trip.

That changes this August when I head in for a 4-day trip and a 6-day trip with a week in between.

I'm pretty confident in my abilities and have planned canoe trips well, but what things do I need to be thinking about or planning to bring that I wouldn't usually think about or bring on group trips? I'm being very conservative with mileage and the first trip will be a test to feel how fast portages and paddling go so that I can be more aggressive with the second trip.

I love to fish, but that's not the point of the trip for me. Solitude, quiet, and exploration are what I love.

Appreciate the forthcoming words of wisdom...
 
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07/15/2016 12:42PM  
Watch the wind....make wise decisions. Sounds like you have the rest under control. Leave your itinerary with someone and some contact numbers (outfitter, FS etc)
 
hobbydog
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07/15/2016 01:02PM  
There are lots of good threads on this topic.

You won't eat as much. Keep meals simple. You have to do ALL the work. Keep moving, stay busy. Don't overthink it. Have fun.
 
joshmontague
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07/15/2016 01:19PM  
quote hobbydog: "You won't eat as much. "

We've never met personally, have we? :)
 
07/15/2016 01:38PM  
Remember that camp setup will take a lot of time and it usually comes at a point in the day where you're already tired and just want to sit down. I solo car camp a lot and enjoy having a big 10x12 tent along. It's pretty comical getting that thing set up without any help.

JD
 
Alan Gage
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07/15/2016 03:12PM  
My best advice is don't worry too much about planning it. You've tripped before so you know what to expect. Don't get worked up about buying special gear unless it's something you really need. Just go out there and do it. Make mistakes and adjust for next time.

Alan
 
07/15/2016 04:16PM  
Well, you've been on a lot of canoe trips and done some solo backpacking trips, so there shouldn't be any surprises about doing all the camp chores, food, being alone, etc.

You don't say what your solo paddling experience is though, so heed cowdoc's advice to watch the wind. Don't let your canoe blow away at portage landings (no one to hold it). Take a spare paddle. Take paper and pen.

You will have to carry everything, including the canoe. I usually think in terms of leaving things I might otherwise bring on a group trip. I don't bring a saw, hatchet, chair. Food is very simple.

Maybe you want a PLB, Spot, sat phone . . . ?

 
mjmkjun
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07/16/2016 07:59AM  
No risky stuff--that you might do when with security of a group or a trip partner.
Likely, you read this aleady but if not it's worth the time.
 
sueb2b
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07/19/2016 11:12AM  
Make sure you keep your canoe secured. You only have one of those; it's important.

I took an extra paddle. I figured I wouldn't need it, unless I didn't have it.

I agree on the eating less.

I tried to get started early, stop early afternoon so I had plenty of time for setup-related activities.

I had brought a weather radio. I couldn't get any weather bands, but I could get Ely NPR. I tried reading but was generally tired, and found I'd rather listen to the radio if I wanted something to listen to. It also gave me weather reports.

I also rented a SPOT for the trip. Just in case.
 
mastertangler
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07/22/2016 06:01PM  
Well I'm going to go against the flow on this one.

When I first started soloing I would sort of not have any set plans or ambitions and sort of let things happen. That sounded good in theory but what happened was I got aimless.....and then listless.......and then lonely.......and then started thinking about home (poor baby).

Now I set ambitious plans.....often getting rolling before it's even daylight and stay busy ALL day long. I don't have time to get lonely......just go! Did I mention sleep like a baby at night because your exhausted?

Now I regularly do trips of at least 2 weeks solo and not think twice about it. I ilke group solos best of all but I know that most of my usual suspects can only go for about 10 days and for me that's when I just start to settle in. So I'm happy with a group but by staying busy and having aggressive ambitious plans I am just as happy alone.
 
07/22/2016 06:13PM  
MT, you seem to be an extrovert who also is fine being with himself. That's uncommon I believe. Most soloists are introverts and serial killers I think. :) No, no, that's just the perception of the masses who just don't know how cool it is to solo. :)



 
mastertangler
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07/22/2016 07:41PM  
Yup Tom has it right........ it is very uncomplicated going solo......do what you want when you want to.

I still dig the whole group solo thing best however. Want some company then fine......but plenty of alone time as well. Best of both worlds iMO.
 
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