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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 3:20 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2009, 3:30 am
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Hello!

I'm a new member on this forum and writing to you from the Netherlands. (So excuse me for any misspelt words or any grammar mistakes).

My husband, another couple and myself will travelling to BC coming June. We are very excited to go canoeing during our stay.
We were enthusiastic about Murtle Lake or Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray until we heard about the number of mosquitoes one can expect to encounter in June.

So now I am looking for an alternative. But that is not so easy from abroad and thought I might get some advice here.

We are thinking about peddling in a quite remote area during, say, 5 days. Not to far from Kelowna, about 4/5 hours drive. We will need to rent the canoes on the spot or at least close by. We are beginning peddlers (2 years of experience). So flat water with some grade I or maybe an easy II is our maximum.

I thank you in anticipation for any tip for that (for us, coming from so far) once of a lifetime trip!!

Hope to hear from you soon.
Merel


Last edited by Merel on April 25th, 2009, 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 6:51 am 
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Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
Kayaking the coastal waters may be a better alternative to avoid bugs.

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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 8:05 am 
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Location: Toronto
A key question:
How much experience do you have in camping of the North American variety? It is quite different from camping in Europe.

Bugs: People not used to them can get bad reactions. But if you keep covered up (bug shirts are almost essential), including your hands, and have some bug spray on hand (especially for private moments), they should not cause a big problem except for those with allergies.
And you can enjoy what is almost the quintessential experience of Canadian camping, the hunt for bugs after you close up the tent for the night; don't forget your flashflight and be sure to shake out every item in the tent.

I haven't paddled those waters at all, but lots of people here have done so and can tell you how bad the bugs are a that time of year.

I'd be leary of paddling coastal waters without considerable experience with tides and currents; you would have to have a VHF radio.

You will find a lot of information on BC paddling at
viewtopic.php?f=105&t=27602

It is considered acceptable to contact paddlers by private message. In fact, most folks here are eager to help.

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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 9:35 am 
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Good tips above.

Mine would be to not make it "The Trip of a Lifetime" but rather make it "One of your lifetimes Trips."

BC is a beautiful place, but there will be bugs thoughout nearly all of the canoe friendly portions including Wells Grey. So you do the best to protect yourself, repellent, clothing, but hat, camp on exposed points, but there is also just plain realizing that bugs are part of the experience and you live with them.

Have a great time, and spend your time enjoying the experience, not letting little things like bugs, bother you.

PK


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 6:50 pm 
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Location: Now in Sudbury
DEET works


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2009, 10:39 pm 
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Location: seattle, Washington USA
I would endorse what the others have said. There are many trips in BC that are spectacular. You will encounter bugs just about anywhere in June. I would especially endorse a trip to Bowron Lakes. You could easily do a trip on the West Side. Beckers is a good resource in Bowron. They rent canoes, as well as a variety of other items.

Erich


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2009, 7:09 am 
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Thank you all so much for your replies.
You are right saying that there is only one solution and that is accept the mosquitoes.

What do you think about Slocan Lake? Would that be suitable for us? We heard that there might be a lot of wind in the (late) afternoons. That might chase some of these bugs away on the camping spot. Or would the wind rather be our problem then? What are your ideas about it?

Thanks again for your reply!!
Merel


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2009, 10:40 am 
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Slocan Lake is a fine location and there is a very good chance that there will be few bugs in June. However it is not wilderness by any means. There is very good hiking in the adjacent Valhallas which will feel more remote. June is also the wettest month of the summer in Interior BC.
S


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 11:57 am 
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Location: Surrey, BC
Here is a tip that, as lake paddlers, you are guaranteed to find usefull.

When the weather is nice, meaning, blue skies mainly and not stormy/windy/rainy, the mornings, especialy very soon after dawn, will always be the calmest time of the day --- most often, lakes will be glassy calm at dawn.

It's usually only later in the day when the sun rises and the atmosphere begins to "bubble" with thermals, like water in a pot on a stove, that the winds appear.

This pattern is SO reliable that when I paddle, I pre-pack as much as possible the night before so as soon as it's first-light (or even a bit before first light), I can be on the water and do my few hours of paddling and get off the water by 9am or 10am at the latest. This gives me several hours of paddling time, in summer, and I rarely need to paddle more than that.

Early paddling has additional benefits. You have all day to do other things and you'll never be stuck looking for a campsite in the dark (a Very Bad Thing).

Of course, you probably already knew all of this --- but just in case you didn't, I thought I'd chime in with it because it's the most usefull tactic for avoiding winds on lakes in summer that I'm aware of.

Good luck --- and take photos and post the links to them! I for one would be interested to see them. You made a good choice for a place to come for a paddling vacation.

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 5:43 pm 
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I would suggest the Columbia River south of Revelstoke where it forms Arrow Lakes. Pretty remote, fewer bugs than Wells Grey and canoe rentals available. Google Columbia River canoe trips for lots of information.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 1:44 am 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Hey Merel, of course be prepared with some good bug spray. I would also spend the money on a bug shirt. I'm an "Original Bug Shirt" fan. The bugs are horrendous here in the central interior, we live in ours and love them!

Not trying to freak you out about the bugs but I think if you're not used to it, it could put a damper on your trip. Better to be over prepared than under. That being said, the bugs at Clearwater, Azure, or Murtle aren't that bad. :D

Clearwater/Azure has outfitters with boat rentals as well as a water taxi service in case you are short on time. You also have a short river to portage up and paddle down for a little fun. I think these lakes would be exactly what you're looking for.
Murtle would be just as fitting, just harder with the portage in.

We have a trip report from Clearwater/Azure under the BC Trip Reports section.

The further South you go, the less bugs there are. :D
Unfortunately, the further South you go, the more people you get. :(

Hope you have a great time! Paddle safe.


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