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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      First Solo Trip Advice     

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Koz
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12/05/2016 08:17PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Thought I would post this here instead of the trip planning forum.

I'm going to do my first solo, probably 3rd or 4th week of September. Really considered Mudro - Crooked loop but worried about Crooked lake being too big if it's windy. Also considering Baker entry to Temperance lakes, maybe a loop through Cherokee - Sawbill and back.

I am not set on any route, could be a loop or an out and back. Going with my lab. The one thing I really want to avoid is big water in case it gets windy. I am confident in my skills, have led two trips, done all of the navigating, meal planning, etc. I just don't want to get into a windy situation with no one else around, so prefer to avoid really big water.

So my question is how bad would crooked get, I have heard lakes like Brule and Saganaga can get brutal because of the fetch, but have not heard much about Crooked.

I am also not sold to either of these routes, looking for other options as well. The one thing I do want to do is probably only travel every other day. Putting in on a Saturday and pulling out on Friday.

Any suggestions are welcomed.

Koz
 
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hobbydog
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12/05/2016 08:30PM  
How many days are you planning for?

As it gets later into Sept. The chances of having windy days increases. I would plan a layover day or two depending on trip length.
 
12/05/2016 10:24PM  
If you go in on Saturday, travel every other day, and exit on Friday, you'll travel 4 days and have three layover days, which should be ample weather time. The weather may dictate the days you travel. If the forecast is good the first two days and bad the following two, you'll want to travel the first two days to take advantage of the weather.

There are a number of questions that need answered. The first question is how fast will you travel on average and how many hours per day do you want to travel. That will tell you how long a route to plan. Remember days are shorter in late Sept. if that's not when you usually go. You'll be the only one doing camp chores, so they may take longer too. If you'll double portage, don't forget to calculate the extra two trips across the portage.

Will you be paddling a solo canoe and do you have experience doing that? If the answer to either is no, you'll want to be a little more conservative in your calculation.

The weather in late Sept is highly changeable, which translates to windier weather as hobbydog mentioned. Usually a good plan to travel early.

You could always do a shorter loop through Mudro to Moosecamp and back if the weather is against you with the option of going to Crooked if the forecast is favorable. It's good to have a route with options.

Another question is how portage averse are you?

You might also look at Kawishiwi Lake as an entry, one of the entries out of Poplar Lake - Lizz, Meeds, etc., or something out of Cross Bay, or Missing Link out of Round lake.
 
12/06/2016 09:41AM  
I've done that Baker Lake route in Sept. Nice route for that time of year unless water levels get really low. Small water, streams, creeks......great soloing.
 
12/06/2016 11:03AM  
solo canoes can be very agile in heavy wind/wave situations. depends on the boat. wenonahs with no rocker are difficult if not scary in certain conditions. crooked lake is big but has many islands and an irregular shoreline. i have paddled it many times and have never had an issue with it being too dangerous, at times exciting but that's why i like canoeing. if conditions are scary due to winds and waves i always paddle kneeling, it gives you much better control of your canoe.
 
Koz
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12/06/2016 01:42PM  
quote boonie: "If you go in on Saturday, travel every other day, and exit on Friday, you'll travel 4 days and have three layover days, which should be ample weather time. The weather may dictate the days you travel. If the forecast is good the first two days and bad the following two, you'll want to travel the first two days to take advantage of the weather.


There are a number of questions that need answered. The first question is how fast will you travel on average and how many hours per day do you want to travel. That will tell you how long a route to plan. Remember days are shorter in late Sept. if that's not when you usually go. You'll be the only one doing camp chores, so they may take longer too. If you'll double portage, don't forget to calculate the extra two trips across the portage.


Will you be paddling a solo canoe and do you have experience doing that? If the answer to either is no, you'll want to be a little more conservative in your calculation.


The weather in late Sept is highly changeable, which translates to windier weather as hobbydog mentioned. Usually a good plan to travel early.


You could always do a shorter loop through Mudro to Moosecamp and back if the weather is against you with the option of going to Crooked if the forecast is favorable. It's good to have a route with options.


Another question is how portage averse are you?


You might also look at Kawishiwi Lake as an entry, one of the entries out of Poplar Lake - Lizz, Meeds, etc., or something out of Cross Bay, or Missing Link out of Round lake."


Great questions. I have paddled a solo, this September, me and two other guys went in at Kawishiwi Lake up through Malberg to the River down to Fishdance and back out Kawishiwi Lake. I am not averse to long portages. I am in pretty good shape. I am used to double portaging and will probably do that as I'll have my lab along so I have to carry his stuff.

I'll probably travel 6 - 7 hours on travel days. I don't stop a lot, and generally move at a pretty steady pace. Not exactly sure how fast. I think I made it from Kawishiwi lake to Polly in around 5 hours if that gives you any idea. I did spend a good amount of time waiting for the other two guys I traveled with, they were not very efficient at the portages and relatively slow on the water.

Pretty sure I'm going to rent a Northwind Solo to try this year.
 
12/06/2016 05:31PM  
Great answers. I also entered at Kawishiwi Lake, where I have entered a couple of times before, for a 12-day solo in early Sept., 2016. I also went down to Fishdance, but then up through Alice, Thomas, and Fraser, across Sagus, Roe, and Cap, then south through Boulder and Adams to exit at Kawishiwi Lake.

Having gone through Polly several times, I can tell you that it's 9 miles to the north end, including the double portage mileage of 3 miles. It's about 8 miles just to Polly. I also move at a steady pace, don't stop much, double portage, and am efficient at portages. It takes me 4 - 4 1/2 hours to get to the north end of Polly.

I usually use a 2 mph average for rough calculations of travel speed. I think if you use a 2mph average for 5-6 hours a day with 4 travel days and 3 layovers, you'll be fine. No stress. Map yourself out a 40-50 mile (including double portage miles) route and have fun.

You've paddled a solo and you're familiar with Sept weather and the shorter daylight hours. The only unfamiliar thing may be doing all the camp chores yourself - it may take a little more time.

Another coincidence is that I rented a Northwind Solo from Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte at the base of the Sawbill Trail for my trip in Sept. It was nice although it had way more room that I needed without a dog. It handled well for me. I think it will serve you well. There are some pictures in my album at shutterfly (probably a link with my trip report) that will show how much extra room I had. I think they also have it available at Rockwood Outfitters if you go out there. See my 2012 report for a route option for you from Cross Bay.

Have fun!
 
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