View topic - Algonquin Video on YouTube - Solo to Big Trout Lake

Canadian Canoe Routes

Algonquin Video on YouTube - Solo to Big Trout Lake
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Author:  birkezaoud [ June 14th, 2007, 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Algonquin Video on YouTube - Solo to Big Trout Lake

A friend of mine underwent his first solo trip to Algonquin, and recorded his findings.

12 mins in two parts.


Author:  SWIFT [ June 14th, 2007, 12:07 pm ]
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I watched it. Would have liked to see more scenery, not only for the beauty, but as a gauge for any future trip I would consider to do or not. So video of gear, boat, tent etc would have all been helpful. But I understand the rain issue. I remember that week, lots of rain, even snow up here in North Bay!!

Anyway good going Rob! Thanks for sharing!

Author:  mark the splasher [ June 14th, 2007, 9:25 pm ]
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fun to see and quite a trip with that yellow 11lb anchor along for the ride. I admire the enterprise and for his confidence in doing a 5 day 1st solo. eating in the tent...we'd never do that but an awesome bear hang in the one shot! he survived a pretty trying weather period well too. Congrats!

Author:  robgirard [ June 15th, 2007, 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Thanks

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback on the video. I would have loved to capture a lot more then I did, but the weather was rough and I had a tough time bringing my cameras out during the trip. I did take some pics with my dSLR, and have them posted here:

Ah yes, thanks for the reminder how bad it is to eat in a tent! I had that firmly implanted in my head, but after so much rain the first 3 nights, it just became a habit (a bad one!) to eat in the tent, which kept the bugs (And they were heavy!) away.

I had the packaging out and away from my tent, hoping I might hear something go for it first, but that is probably more wishful thinking then "logic".

On subsequent trips, I'll try to catch a lot more video OUTSIDE the tent... something for others who have made the trek to recollect, and something for those who haven't yet made it to look forward to.

When it comes down to it, I didn't even plan to make any video. My digital cam supports it so I figured why not. Later on, it because a way to get stuff off my chest and feel sane :)

Author:  mark the splasher [ June 15th, 2007, 10:49 am ]
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mark the splasher wrote:
eating in the tent...we'd never do that

Rob - I realized later we did eat sandwiches once in a tent when we managed to just get set up before a "storm of all storms" hit, and we hadn't eaten with all the travel etc so were starved. Ate over plastic, put the crumbs out, ..but we did do that once and I forgot about it. the bugs would send me indoors for sure.

great photos too - love the merganzer shots.
any trepidation over the 5 day plan as a first one? rain makes nights easier for me, but that is a long way out for a 1st. you know you are actually doing a real trip that way.
was this a personal challenge you wanted to accomplish? had you done this loop before? did it get rid of the itch for it or just make you want more of it?

Author:  Nemo [ June 15th, 2007, 12:02 pm ]
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Nice pics. The bird in the tree is a cormorant...

Author:  Red Lake Rob [ June 15th, 2007, 2:13 pm ]
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Loved the video diary. I could really tell after day 2 how tired you were getting and by day 4 you seemed to be hitting your stride.

Amen to the boredom issue. It was like there was never any free time on my solo trip. When it really gets you is when you become windbound.!

Thanks for sharing that.

Author:  Kermode [ June 15th, 2007, 9:51 pm ]
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Hey Rob,

What camcorder were you using?

Author:  robgirard [ June 16th, 2007, 12:06 am ]
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Mark: This was the first time I've been in through Canoe lake. I've been all over the drive in camping lakes (pog - whitefish - rock - pen), plus opeongo. I've also been Temagami.... however this was not only my longest trip ever (groups include), it was my first solo.

I recently resigned from my IT job of 10 years and needed to forget work real quick. This seemed to be the natural way to do it and it did wonders! I read about the route in Kevin Calan's Algonquin Canoe Routes, and then a long-lost buddy from highschool recommended it as well and gave me some tips (Thanks Birkezauod!)

So, there will be lots more paddling this summer, including a monster trip on Monday. More about it AFTER we get back in one piece (or not.... regardless... you'd rather here about accomplished trips rather then the "we're gonna.... trips".

Rob: After not sleeping too well for a few reasons, I was really bagged as time went on! I got my best sleep the last night. Once my focus shifted from "keep my bag and all the contents dry" to "keep my next pair of socks & underwear dry", things got much better! I left my pack outside my tent the last couple nights and that gave me the room to lie diagonally in my tent. When I was lying straight, either my head hit, or feet hit... and with all the rain, that created a spot for moisture to work its way in.

Kermode: It wasn't a "camcorder" per say. It was my small digital camera that has video functionality as well (Fuji F610... a great little cam!). I used it for video and my bigger camera (Sony Alpha 100 - dSLR for the other photographs). I carried it all in a pelican 1400.... a bitch on the portages, but worth the peace of mind in the weather!!!!

Stay tuned for the next video: Missinaibi River.... leaving on Monday! :doh:

Author:  robgirard [ June 16th, 2007, 12:08 am ]
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Oops.... missed one.....:

Nemo: Thanks! :)

Author:  robgirard [ June 16th, 2007, 12:24 am ]
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One more....

SWIFT, you mentioned gear way up near the top of the thread. Although I didn't get much in my video, I did get some in my pics I think. Here were the essentials:

Canoe: SWIFT Shearwater (a great solo canoe.... the adjustable yoke was awesome once I found the sweet spot!)

Tent: NorthFace Slick Rock - I got this guy late 2003 and have camping in Australia, as well as all over Ontario in it. I love the design of it.... and it's 4 lbs makes it a sweet one for tripping!!! It held up great in the storms. It was also easy to setup & take down in storms.

Sleeping Bag: Marmot Double Wide 15. There are 2 expansion zippers down the length of the bag that made it nice & roomy. On the really cold night, I zipped them up for more of a mummy feel. Although the bag felt wet on the outside, it was toasty warm inside every night. Not sure if this is the norm for a goose down bag, but it sure beats my 15 yr old bag I replaced last summer!!! Love the bag! Packs nice & small too.

Pack: Arc T'eryx Bora 80. I picked it up new for the trip since my other bag is a Marmot Glissade (pretty small... around 50 litres... too small for a solo trip of this length). This bag held up great and didn't mind the rain one bit! The weather-proof zippers were great! And the top comes off, which was my food pack that I hung every night (as seen in atleast one photo - speaking of which... that was a fun hang... way over the water. To get it back, I had to lower it a bit, then push it with the paddle to get a swing on it, then rock it back into shore and give it slack at the same time. Could have gotten messy, but it stay dry!)

Stove: MSR Whisperlite. Did a good job at bringing water to boil quick and would light fine, even in heavy rains. I found it a bit scary when it was low on fuel though.... it really flared up. Since this is a replacement for an old single-burner coleman, I'm still a little stove-shy. My other was about 15 years old and needed replacing badly! I failed to heed a couple warnings and a near-disaster with it (leaked fuel, on fire, all over the outside!) has me very cautious of stoves. The whisperlite treated me really well. The guy at MEC suggested a small fuel bottle (325 ml) for use, and a larger one (650 ml) for carrying extra fuel. That combo worked great.

Food: All boil-in-a-bag type stuff. Cooked outside, but brought it in the tent to scarf it down (no longer then 5 minutes).... but a habit I need to break before it becomes one. Thanks for pointing that out guys!

Gloves: I can't stress how amazing they were! They were a pair of "windproof" gloves from MEC. The intention was to keep my hands bug-free on the portages. They served me REALLY well!!! Not only did they help with bugs, but helped against blisters, as well as kept my hands warm. Easy to wear... I could could in them, and fish in them.... and of course paddle with them. I would say that I had them on for 90% of my awake (outside the tent) hours.

Author:  Skeeter [ June 16th, 2007, 6:34 am ]
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Awesome documentation of your trip. I wondered if you worked in IT or were well versed in computers because of the content of the video and the little animation. I too did the same thing as yourself once. I started a new job in IT full-time with flex hours in order to allow me to go to college full-time and we also had our first child. My wife recognized that I needed some down time, bless her heart, so I went to Lake Superior for a week and did some exploring there. No boredom at all. Great posting. Look forward to your next report.

Author:  Tonycc [ June 16th, 2007, 8:20 am ]
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I really enjoyed the video, thanks for sharing. That was the same route I took for my first canoe trip with my scouts, although you did it backwards. ;) It is an excellent route with a large variety of water and terrain. How was the portage between McIntosh and Grassy Bay? When we did it in the rain the trail had more water running in it than the creek.

The personal discussion on which you focussed was a great change of pace from all of that repetitive scenery that you normally see in these videos.

Good job.


Author:  Red Lake Rob [ June 16th, 2007, 8:44 am ]
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Rob, How tall are you? If the tent leaked when your head touched it seems that the fly wasn't low enough.

I took a very similarly motivated trip the first week of May. 6 days solo through Temagami. Longest trip of any kind for me as well.

Author:  robgirard [ June 16th, 2007, 7:24 pm ]
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Skeeter: The animation was a pain! Glad you enjoyed it! It was a scan of the topo map I used for the trip. I used photoshop for the animation... a first for me. But I was still able to get he video together and online within 4 or 5 days of returning, so I was proud of that.

Rob: I'm 6'1", and the tent is about 6'2" or 4". On the later nights, I slept diagonally which was better. The slickrock tent has an interesting 3/4 fly design. Half is not covered by a fly and the rain was every inch of the tent....

Temagami is awesome! Soloing it is quite an undertaking! Great job! :)

Tony: Thanks! The McIntosh portage I believe is one of the few out of the tent shots of me.... very buggy as you can see! (I think that was McIntosh). After the Tom Thompson to Ink Lake, I remember every other portage seeming easier. All of them were really mudding... and a lot of time there wasn't even room on the sides of the trail to slip by. I accepted the mud & wet and just tried to keep my mind off everything and just make it there (and back and there again).

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