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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      First solo this May     

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02/15/2017 10:17AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
My first solo is going to happen. I've decided where to go, now I just need to figure out when to go. I was hoping for the weekend between fishing opener and Memorial Day. Do to issues I have no control over, I will be choosing between the 13th of May, (fishing opener) and the 27th of May (Memorial Day weekend). My trip will be driving on Friday, 1 night at a USFS campground, and 4 nights, Saturday to Wednesday in the BW. Fishing isn't really the focus of the trip, though I will be doing some fishing. Smallies mostly. I'm really looking for some solitude.

Which would you choose? Why?
 
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02/15/2017 12:00PM  
Hypothermia would be my primary risk concern second only to the nocturnal visitors that only come to solo camp sites. Early season and first solo I would go on one of the more traveled routes and stick to smaller lakes for safety sake. Perhaps EP 14, Little Indian Sioux, which offers a number of smaller lakes, a nice loop, and other options.
 
02/15/2017 03:12PM  
Second bhouse's advise, and even recommend 13th as start. Great area lots of possibilities. Pack suitable clothes and stay safe.

butthead

 
02/15/2017 03:50PM  
My first trip ever was a solo in that same time frame. I went in the Sunday before Memorial Day and came out at the end of the week. I saw very few people once I got a few portages away from Sawbill and went a couple of days without seeing anyone during the middle of the trip. I think you'll have solitude regardless of which one you choose.
 
02/15/2017 05:18PM  
I've never gone in May, but would choose the later date for warmer water/weather.
 
SevenofNine
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02/15/2017 05:28PM  
Either date would be fine but I suggest the later date because there should be more foliage to see.
 
Whatsit
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02/15/2017 08:14PM  
quote SevenofNine: "Either date would be fine but I suggest the later date because there should be more foliage to see. "
My brother in law Tim and I had a mild case of hyperthermia the first of June last year out in the bwca. I'd recommend the week of Memorial weekend
 
GoSpursGo
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02/16/2017 09:40AM  
Its hit or miss, every one of my trips has been in the exact time frame you're talking about - between opener and Memorial Day.

We've gotten snowed on, a lot of rain, and last year it was 65 and sunny for 4 straight days. Bring plenty of layers, good rain gear, wear your pfd - try your hardest not to swamp, mind your P's & Q's at the landings and youll be fine - I hate getting wet socks when I'm up there.

 
02/16/2017 10:49AM  
Back in my working days I always tripped around the middle of May. One year it was in the 90's and the very next year we got snowed on. You can never tell. Be prepared for extremes.
 
02/16/2017 12:30PM  
I'll be doing a short solo starting May 24th. The key is layers for clothing. Along with my regular clothes I'll bring some Helly Hansen base layer, some fleece, wool socks, my down puffy jacket (weighs very little and packs small) cap and gloves and my warmer sleeping bag, all just in case. I've had good luck in May, but you never know
 
02/17/2017 11:40AM  
Thanks a bunch for all the opinions. I have done the majority of my trips (both 2 and 4 person) in May and early June. I have a good idea what type of weather to expect. And as a precaution I have chosen a well traveled route with small water. Thanks again.

 
BlueSkiesWI
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02/19/2017 10:10PM  
I'm planning a solo coming up in May as well. Looking at the same time frame, doing a full week starting on LIS North (EP14) and doing the big loop back to 14.
 
02/20/2017 10:34AM  
quote BlueSkiesWI: "I'm planning a solo coming up in May as well. Looking at the same time frame, doing a full week starting on LIS North (EP14) and doing the big loop back to 14."

Brice, canoe 212, I did that exact trip in 2014, it's great. (Solo)
Shoot for the southern campsite on the Island of Finger Lake, I spent two nites there and did not see another soul the whole time. (Beginning of June)
My ranger buddies tell me that Fat Lake is secretly known for nice Lakers, do not know anything about the only campsite on the lake.
 
Whatsit
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02/20/2017 09:51PM  
quote LindenTree3: "quote BlueSkiesWI: "I'm planning a solo coming up in May as well. Looking at the same time frame, doing a full week starting on LIS North (EP14) and doing the big loop back to 14."


Brice, canoe 212, I did that exact trip in 2014, it's great. (Solo)
Shoot for the southern campsite on the Island of Finger Lake, I spent two nites there and did not see another soul the whole time. (Beginning of June)
My ranger buddies tell me that Fat Lake is secretly known for nice Lakers, do not know anything about the only campsite on the lake."

That looks like a great spot to go. Think I'll remember that one
Mike
 
02/21/2017 12:35AM  
When are you able to get a permit? I would think getting a permit the Saturday before either the fishing opener or Memorial Day would be tough.
 
Whatsit
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02/21/2017 08:27AM  
quote Bannock: "When are you able to get a permit? I would think getting a permit the Saturday before either the fishing opener or Memorial Day would be tough."
I sure would try and get one now, that's for sure. The longer the time goes by the worst the odds are that there will be a free spot open. EP 14 has 6 permits a day available so that's better odds right there.
Mike
 
02/22/2017 06:39AM  
quote Whatsit: "quote Bannock: "When are you able to get a permit? I would think getting a permit the Saturday before either the fishing opener or Memorial Day would be tough."
I sure would try and get one now, that's for sure. The longer the time goes by the worst the odds are that there will be a free spot open. EP 14 has 6 permits a day available so that's better odds right there.
Mike"


Last night I booked a permit for the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Very few options left on the Ely side for Friday or Saturday. The usual popular ones like Mudro, Moose River, LIS, Lake One etc. are booked. Sawbill and Gunflint areas on the other hand still have lots of available permits.
 
lindylair
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02/25/2017 09:49PM  
Where ya going ducks?
 
02/26/2017 07:26AM  
quote lindylair: "Where ya going ducks?"

little duckling picked Bower Trout to Swan for our daddy/daughter trip. I like her choice because it's a 1 permit per day entry and small lakes.
 
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