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I think one of the greatest ways to get away from the crowds and explore new areas is camping by canoe. The Adirondaks of NY offer some great possibilities. I took my scout troop down the Raquette River one summer for ten days. The kids had a blast.

You can also carry more gear than a pack holds, chairs and other equipment that you might not take on a backpack trip. I remember one young ladies eyes opened brightly when I cooked lobster the first night out and had 2 different types of wine available! It turned into a great trip! :grin:
 

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8) I used to canoe camp in the MN boundary waters . It was a lot of fun. I just don't seem to have the time lately. I still have my canoe going on thirty years old. It's hard to talk the wife into camping these days.
 

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:D Hi Daveinthebush.

I dont have a canoe anymore,sold it and got a Kayak for up your way.I spend a lot of time in the back waters on the Mississippi it's quiet and a lot more stable in the wind and rough water,and it keeps the gear dry even when you roll it.And when you get hot just lean over and let it roll to cool off. :-D.
Dave I think I might have been close to your Homestead a couple years ago. I spent a couple of nights in the clearwater camp a few miles south of Tok before heading north to Eagle for my Kayak trip on the Yukon.I can see why you setteled up there.I should have taken the bit in my teeth in the 60's and followed my drean.My hat is off to you for you doing it.Kurt
Oh by the way there is good color in the I think it was the mosquito river just south of Chicken a few miles. :grin:
 

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I spent my summers working in the Minnesota Boundary Waters. I think I have more miles portaging than paddling.

Went on a black bear hunt ,by canoe, up there a couple of years ago. No bear, but did find a nice little lake full of smallmouth that just wouldn't stay off the hook.

Several years ago we were on a over night canoe trip in western Minnesota. Got up that morning and found a beaver had dropped a large poplar tree over the canoe during the night. Smashed it flat.

Hud
 

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My wife and I use 13' cedar strip kayaks that we designed and built ourselves. Most of our travels have been in the Temagami and Missinabi ON area. Couldn't find solo canoes/kayaks that were light enough for the portages or durable enough for the rivers for a reasonable price, so we built our own. Everything stays dry, and they are extremely stable. Would love to hear some ideas for new areas to explore.
 

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Brings back some memories. Used to be a couple of guys and myself that would take off on Friday afternoon after school. We'd usually head for the Harpeth River and put in a county or two over. We'd spend the weekend floating and camping out on sand and gravel bars. We would always carry fishing rods and coolers with us along with our .22's. I always enjoyed doing a float trip for squirrels or taking along my bow and some fiberglass arrows and doing some bowfishing. Nothing like catfish and hushpuppies fried in peanut oil over a campfire in a cast iron skillet. I bought a 15' Old Town late last fall to replace the old aluminum canoe I used back then. Can't wait for the weather to break. I might even be able to coerce a friend or two into going on another overnighter.


Frog
 

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One of these days I will get a round tuit. I believe that this summer I will try to do a lot of canoe camping in Maine. I would like to spend a good two weeks or more doing so. It depends on what things will crop up for me.
 

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Once only....May 2002 and had a blast. Very peaceful and secluded even though we were on a popular stretch of the Brazos river in Texas. 2 canoes and 4 friends total. We didn't have lobster like Dave, but we ate good! and lots! Those pancakes you add water to the container and shake up and pour on the griddle are handy, and we had eggs and deer sausage. Mostly burgers and sandwiches for the other meals though. We also packed lots of goodies like summer sausage, cheese and crackers. My friend Mark and I were the strongest paddlers, so we had the larger canoe and most of the heavy gear. The food was in a 3/4 plywood strongbox that probably weighed 50 pounds empty!! :eek: There was very little current for most of the trip and strong headwinds to fight when the river turned into the wind. Once we got camp set up though, it was heaven. We saw quite a few canoes pass by that evening, most of them had trolling motors or small outboards. Now I'm no purist but I think they were cheating! Our campsite was on a high rock shelf overlooking the river and if you climbed on up to the top of the ridge, the view was spectacular. I would definately do it again if the chance came my way.

Curtis
 

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i got hooked on it while in scouts and have been meaning to get back to it but something always stops me(usally it's that colored paper with numbers and pictures of dead people on it). i like the quetico/boundry waters area but i also enjoy the experimental lakes north of kenora, ont. it seems to me not a lot of people are familar with canoe trips. i was telling a guy at school abvout it and he starts to hum "dueling banjos" and making "squeal like a pig" jokes
 

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Dave,

We became unintentional canoe campers when I went into F&G to see where a cheechako can hunt moose, with the limitation that he doesn't have a 4wheeler, airplane, or airboat, but does have a canoe. That was how I learned about the Kenai National Wildlife refuge, and it's many lakes.

We've enjoyed spending a week in the fall each year looking for moose, and settling for rainbow trout and spruce hens. :)

I'm looking forward to spend more time out exploring some of the more remote lakes, and perhaps floating down some of the milder rivers as well. It is amazing how much solitude one gets while being not far off the road at all.
 

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What are a few tips that you would give an inexperianced canoe person for a float trip? navigation? saftey? rollover tips and how not to lose equiptment when it happens?
Cheers,
willis5
 

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Tips

At one time in my old area the Red Cross offered canoe safety coruses. If you are inexperienced I would suggest that you try to find one and take it. Another possibility is a club. I belonged to one for several years back in New York and they did group outtings. The trips were rated, whitewater, flat, whatever..... So you knew what you were getting into.

I took ten Boy Scouts on a trip that had no experience. So I contacted the local high school, reserved the pool and most of the winter did merit badges involving swimming and canoeing. By the time we went on the trip the kids knew how to paddle, (maybe not in a straight line!), what to do in a rollover and basic water safety. The trip actually was a great time once they learned to go straight. I think the first day we did 12 miles and some boys did 21 all in curves.

Packing everything so it is water proff is a must. There are many suppliers of waterproff bags out there and you also have the old standby of the heavy duty trash bag.

I would also start with well know, flat water, short trips. One night out in a fairly well traveled area. NOT, an area with a lot of motor boats tough. Waves form motor boats are not easy for the beginner.

+++++Remember to always leave a float plan with someone. +++++

How long of trip, return time, who is going, from where to where. If I am out and about Prince William Sound in my boat I always leave a float plan and call the Coast Guard if I deviate form the plan so that they can inform the harbor master of my changes.

The internet is also another source of information. Lots of camping groups and canoe clubs on the internet.

Anything else?
 

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That is good advice Dave.
I like the Kayak I find it a lot more stable and a lot less efford paddeling in rough wind and water.It has it's drawbacks on load capacity.My boat is a Quality Composits I had custom build for me,to fit me.At 215 lbs and about another 80 lbs of stuff I packed for the Yukon trip I needed a little more space.It's 17'and weighs 47 lbs.It's made out of kevlar.
I had it in 5'swells on Lake Superior(not wanting it)and never rolled it.
A good dry jacket is a must in the cold water.I use a Kokatat It fastence under the spray skirtand has a flap that goes over the skirt for a tripple seal. You can roll it and only get your face wet if you stay in the boat.
 

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For an inexperienced canoeist (I are one) I would recomend learning how to canoe in rivers first, before doing a float trip in a loaded canoe. I did some canoeing with a co-worker in the Brooks range, in a mild river, and lemme tell ya, there is more to it then you'd imagine, especially when you have different channels converging together. If you can find any local courses to learn how to handle a canoe in a river, by all means, take them.

Pack your gear in dry bags and tie it to the canoe, or you will lose it in a rollover. I don't always do that in lakes, but absolutely would in a river.
 
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