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Solo Tripping

Discussion in 'Places to Paddle' started by Splinter, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Splinter

    Splinter Wood Girl #1186

    For those who have already paddled Quetico, Sylvania, BWCA, Voyageurs.... I am planning to make a one week solo trip to one of these areas. Which would be the best choice for a first solo trip with a wood and canvas canoe? I hope to go next summer so I want to start planning now.
  2. Jim Okkema

    Jim Okkema LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Splinter,
    I went to Sylvania last year with my brother and our two sons. I fell in love with the place. We were just there for a long weekend so the fact that it's closer than BWCA, etc. was a factor. It's really a pocket size wilderness area in a week you could easily see all of it. They manage bass catch & release only and all artificial flies & lures. Not that that helped me, but everyone I met had that glazed look of fish euphoria. We went in June just about post-spawn. the place was at capacity but we could still be alone.
    On the down side, all the campsites were duplex so we had to share with another party. They were large sites and we were not right on top of the other party.
    I'm told it is real quiet after school starts in September. I'm sort of harboring a fantasy I might sneak up there then when my work slows down a bit. It's not nearly as big as BWCA/Quetico and if you were looking for a week of solid traveling and macho wilderness you might be disappointed, but if you want to exerience a sweet area with new lakes to discover over every portage you could do much worse. I posted pictures from my trip last year on this site- check them out if you want.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  3. OP

    Splinter Wood Girl #1186


    I have been to Sylvania. It was about 8 years ago. Was there with my 1946 OT for bass fishing on a Fly-fishing trip with some friends. Loved it. Caught and released ALL the fish in Clark lake I think. It was the 3rd week in June and the males were protecting the beds. Awesome time. Ironically, the same day you responded to this, my cousin Steffani inited me to join her and her friends on Balsam Lake on the 18th of Aug. Would love to go as I am taking all of August off before I start my new job on Sept 4. But not sure I can pull it off as I wil be having to make a triangular drive from West Bend to Grand Falls MN (for a speaking engagement), to Sylvania and back to West Bend all with my canoe and I will be "vehicle impared" as I wil have to suffer a rental until I get my new company car. I envision being fixed up with a neon or geo...... Would look a little like a sub roll balancing on a meatball. Maybe I will take a trip to Ely and then see what happens from there. It is not my wish to take a solo trip, I just don't have anyone to go with. Splinter
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    Quetico, Sylvania, BWCA, Voyageurs or ????

    It depends on what kind of trip you're looking for and how much portaging you want to do.

    I've never heard of Sylvania but I've been to the other 3, assuming by "Voyageurs" you mean "Voyageurs National Park".

    If this is your 1st time portaging a W/C, can you handle it alone?

    Voyageurs will have few/no portages but very large water AND plenty of motor noise.

    Q portages are generally rougher and less "improved", though with careful planning and sticking to large lakes they can be minimized.

    BW portages are generally easier then Q but there will be more people. Again if you stick to the larger lakes (the border), portages can be reduced.

    We generally go to the BW just because it's a lot easier and cheeper. You'll need a permit, RABC and fishing license to go to Q from MN. If you go through a Northern entry you don't need the RABC.

  5. OP

    Splinter Wood Girl #1186

    BWCA sounds good

    Being alone, it probably makes sense to be somewhere where you occasionally have a chance of running into people in case you're in huge trouble. I can Portage my canoe myself. I don't take too much stuff. Thanks, I will start to figure out how to do it. I live in WI so I will probably enter from MN.
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    During most times and most places in the BW, you'll run into people way more then "occasionally". If you're on a popular route, you won't even need your map, you can just follow the group/s in front of you. :) (though keep your map and compass handy in case they are lost.)

    ??? If you are thinking the BW, this doesn't make sense, it's all MN.
    If you're thinking Q, get your permit early, as they go fast.
    "enter from MN"


    "where you occasionally have a chance of running into people in case"
  7. OP

    Splinter Wood Girl #1186

    Ely advise

    I had a speaking engagement outside of Biwabik, MN and was in Ely this morning. I spent some time at Piragis Northwoods and got a chance to go over alot of maps and decided where to take my trip thanks to helpful staffs advice there. I also got a chance to talk to photographer Jim Brandenburg about his Seliga canoe. The good folks of ELY are having a memorial for him this weekend. If you are going that way, its on Saturday.
  8. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder


    Are you going to be in town this weekend?

    We are coming up for the service, and if you would like to put a face to a name, we could meet someplace.

  9. OP

    Splinter Wood Girl #1186

    Ely memorial

    I will be at the WCHA-WI chapter event south of Madison on Saturday so i wont' be at the Seliga memorial. One of those times I wish I could be in two places at once. Still would like to meet you someday. I will be traveling to MN with my new job come Sept so maybe there's still a chance. Enjoy the occasion.
  10. anasol

    anasol Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Just thought I'd use this thread to post a pointless idle brag...

    I just returned from a week-long solo trip on the upper Churchill. My Kennebec turns 75 this year, so I thought I'd celebrate with a trip.

    It's not an ideal tripping canoe but what the hell eh. It was a great trip, and the old boat came through beautifully. Only damage was a chunk taken out of my portage-yoke shoulder pad by a bear on the portage trail.

    The canoe can look forward to an easy life of pleasure paddling and day-fishing for the next 75 years...


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