Planning the 2011 WCPP Canoe Trip


Trip Details
Trip Report

A Grand Adventure!


The canoe trip for 2011 is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve ever done and I’m trying to ensure it is THE best we’ve ever done.


Because most of us are flying into Winnipeg shortly before the trip we will all need to be pretty organized for this one. Two members of the trip are also coming along for the first time so I want to be clear about what is needed so there are no unpleasant surprises! In the interests of time and smooth-sailing there are a number of things I’m asking people to take care of on their own, ahead of time


Please do take care of these things ahead of time


It’ll suck big time if half of us don’t bother getting fishing supplies or food ahead of time. Basically it means less time on the water and more time trying to cram last-minute shopping into a tight schedule before hitting Red Lake on Thursday...


Canoe Partners


Based on talking with people and previous trips I have us grouped as follows;


  1. Harold | Mike
  2. Vern | Rod
  3. Hentie | Jer




If you have incurred trip expenses (gasoline for the truck, propane for stoves, reservation costs etc) PLEASE keep track of these and bring them along on the trip. The last thing we do on the way home is calculate final costs per person and if you don’t have your costs we can’t include your portion for the group. This keeps things fair for everyone.


Cost Item Comments
$215 Canoe Rental Kevlar w/ paddles & life jackets.
$38 Canoe Shuttle To Leano from Red Lake.
$35 Fishing License Order ahead of time - if possible.
$100 Day permits (camping) Rod will pay in advance (phone 1.807.727.1329 pay with credit card - more details below).
$50-75 (estimate) Travel Expenses Gasoline / Costs
$150 (estimate) Food I think most of the food will be organized individually this year with canoe partners sharing some items (like soup works or whatever). 

I’ll talk specifics later...

TOTAL: $600-$650 'ish    


Before the Trip


Please try to take care of the following items BEFORE Wednesday, June 22. We are all spending considerable amounts of money and time to go on this trip and to wait while a guy spends an hour buying fishing tackle, picking up some booze and/or buying last minute groceries is going to get old really fast... ;-)


Item Comments
Ontario Fishing Licenses


UPDATE - We will have to buy these in Ontario this year as they have changed the way licences are processed and given out. We will do this in Red Lake this time, not along the way.

Snacks / Drinks / Perishables / Cigars Some of us may have to purchase this in Rod’s neighborhood on Wednesday night after flying in...
Propane / Stove Fuel Rod will have to purchase for the group ahead of time since most of us are flying in.
Food This is a big one. See the section on food planning for an idea of what to buy or not to buy. Shared food between canoe partners isUP TO THE CANOE PARTNERS to arrange who will buy / package what. This is especially important for the ‘new guys group’ to take note of! (Don’t worry though - ask questions and check out the food planning section.)
Gear Make sure you go over the gear lists and buy everything you need ahead of time including fishing gear, rain gear and general camping gear.




One of my goals for this trip is to make it feel like we’re on a route we haven’t done before. One way to make this happen is by doing it in reverse. I am also adding some variations - obviously these can be ignored depending on weather and other factors. Consider this itinerary a starting point.


Please note the rest days that are built into the schedule. These will allow for bad weather and give us much more time for exploration / fishing than we’ve ever had on previous trips. I plan on relaxing / fishing and photography / exploratory excursions with an empty canoe for these days - there’s lots of territory we haven’t seen or fished around our camps. 


Date / Time Event Comments
Wed June 22 Fly to Winnipeg, get to Rod’s house by around 6pm at the latest - hopefully. This gives time to pack propane bottles / tarps etc and get last minute items (perishable foods etc). Jer should drive to Rod’s house on Wed evening too. This way all our gear is packed and ready to go for 02:30. We may have to shop for some food (perishables) but that’s about it. We can crash in Rod’s basement.
Thu June 23 
Drive to Red Lake outfitters. Get fishing licences in Red Lake and some lunch (Subway). Includes time for breakfast. Note the time we are leaving... :-) We have Dad's truck and are going to try squeezing all 6 of us in there. Saves on gas.
Thu June 23
Drive from Red Lake to Leano Lake. I think this is plenty of time to drive that road.
Thu June 23
Leano - Kilburn We all want to stay at the 'luxury' site on Kilburn. This is a good idea even though it means moving a bit on 'slow day' the next day.
Fri June 24
SLOW DAY - Kilburn Area

If we’ve camped at the luxury site, we should move camp to Middle Kilburn - while fishing along the way of course!

Weather permitting, I also want to go into Upper Kilburn with empty canoes and explore out of Upper Kilburn to the northwest into Paull Lake.

If it's windy from the south we can take the 1km portage into upper Kilburn instead of paddling 6km against the wind. We can also camp in Upper Kilburn on Friday night if we do this option and will have tons of time to explore if we do this.

I do wonder if we should try to get into Dragon Lake for camp on Friday night - do we really want a rest day so soon into the trip? "Rest" is relative I guess. It really means we're moving camp 6km further down the lake and paddling Upper Kilburn with empty canoes - it doesn't mean we're sitting around all day...

Sat June 25 Kilburn - Talon

This could be a big day of paddling with all our gear (~20km). I recommend we get up nice and early and book it for Talon, especially if we happen to have good (dry!) weather.

We should try to camp on the south end of Talon as this is new territory and good for exploring further south on our next rest day. There's supposed to be more than one options for camps on the south end of Talon and the fishing should be good there too - some streams coming into the Talon River.

Sun June 26 REST DAY Enjoy some worship and some fishing / exploration on the south end of Talon.
Mon June 27 Talon - Welkin Lake

Depends on the weather. This is a long day (~20km) but we should be ready to rock 'n roll after a rest day on Sunday.

After this push we also get 3 very relaxing days in the Welkin / Wrist / Mexican Hat lake area so it's worth pushing it if the weather allows us to.

Welkin is a new lake we didn’t get to last time. It’s also very close to Beamish, which we’ve accessed from the MB side before...

Another option is to stay in Aegean instead of going into Welkin. This will depend more on our moods and the weather than anything else.

Tue June 28


Welkin - Wrist Lake or,
Aegean - Wrist Lake

We could rest in Welkin if we really want, but the distance to Wrist is minimal and gives us more options in case of bad weather.
Wed June 29 REST DAY on Wrist or SLOW DAY to Mexican Hat.

Totally new area. Very deep lake (200') Lake Trout anyone? There's sandy beaches here too -and options to explore out of Wrist to the NW. I think we can easily entertain ourselves in this area for an extra day!

If the weather is crappy and we want to travel a bit further we can go to Nutria or Mexican Hat Lake.

Because of the option to possibly do some travel on Friday evening to make Saturday more managable, I'm now leaning towards NOT resting on Wrist but rather going all the way to MH lake instead and resting there on thursday.

Thu June 30


Wrist - Mexican Hat 
Mexican Hat - East Lunch

There is a kick butt campsite right next to a walleye factory on Mexican Hat Lake. Need I say more? :-)

There is the option to take our REST DAY on Mexican Hat Lake. It's tempting simply because of the excellent camp site but I think should depend on the weather.

I also suggest that weather permitting, we have an early supper on MH (walleye!) before continueing on our route towards Bunny in the evening. If we have nice weather this could be a very pleasant way to shave off some distance before a long day on Friday...

Fri July 1 Mexican Hat - Bunny Lake

We can take a new route from Mexican Hat this time - more portaging but interesting. This will be a longish day but makes Sat much more manageable.

If the weather is nice on Friday afternoon / evening I think we should take advantage and move camp from MH to East Lunch. This shaves 4 hours off our travel time on Friday and gives us one more reasonable day in the wilderness without having to rush too much.

Sat July 2 Bunny - Leano Lake Short paddle, but a long drive home awaits!


Detailed Distances / Route Information

Here’s some more detailed distance and route information for each day of the trip.

NOTE: Kilburn is incorrectly labeled as 'Sydney' on my GPS topo maps for some reason.

Overall Route

Day 1 - Leano to Kilburn

Total Distance: 8km (Kilburn C1,C2 - see Day 2 for other options 19km to C6)
Paddle Distance: 7km (18km to C6)
Portage Count: 5 (6 to C6)
Portage Distance: 1020 | (350, 400, 120, 50, 100)


Fish Species: Walleye, Pike
Points of Interest: There's the bay where we hammered walleye on the first trip. There's also some terrain on the opposite side of the island that may be worthwhile exploring.

We should try to catch some walleye on the way to camp (after the 4th portage there's a nice walleye factory) for supper.


Day 2 - Kilburn to Middle Kilburn (SLOW DAY)

Total Distance: 11km (less if we do the 1000m portage option)
Paddle Distance: 11km (much less if we do the 1000m portage option)
Portage Count: (or 2 if doing 1000 meter option)
Portage Distance: 150 (Or 1080 depending on route...)



Detail of Upper Kilburn + Portage Option if there's a strong south wind or we decide to camp in Upper Kilburn and do more exploring instead of paddling on Kilburn for Friday.

Fish Species: Walleye, Pike
Points of Interest: Talus rock in bay at very end of western arm. Great walleye fishing in middle and upper. Lots of bear and moose to watch for.

Great camp halfway up west shore of west arm.


Day 3 - Kilburn to Talon

Total Distance: ~17km + 6.5km option.
Paddle Distance: 15.575 + 6.5km option
Portage Count: 4
Portage Distance: 1425 meters


Fish Species: Pike, Lake Trout
Points of Interest: Great camp on island at south end or northeast corner, depending on the time we arrive.

Day 4 - Talon REST DAY

Total Distance: ?km (Depends on amount of explor8ion...)
Paddle Distance:
Portage Count:
Portage Distance:

Fish Species: Pike, Lake Trout
Points of Interest: Mostly a day of rest but obviously do some fishing and exploring as well. The south end of Talon looks like a great place to explore and fish as we go.

Day 5 (option 1) - Talon to Welkin

Total Distance: 19km
Paddle Distance: 17.6km
Portage Count: 6km
Portage Distance: 1415m (160 + 375 + 80 + 150 + 550 + 100)


Fish Species: Pike, Walleye?, Lake Trout?
Points of Interest: Welkin is pretty close to Beamish, which is cool because we've been in Beamish before. Depending what time we get to Welkin, we could do some exploring to the east.

Day 5 (option 2) - Talon to Aegean

Total Distance: 18km
Paddle Distance: 17.5km
Portage Count: 3
Portage Distance: 615m ( 160 + 375 + 80)
Map: (Same as Day 5 option 1)

Fish Species: Lake Trout, Pike

Points of Interest: One of the main reasons to take this option instead of Welkin is to look for the pictograph site on South Aegean. Small cavern on west shore of a finger bay on Aegean. Good camp at narrows en route to the bulge part of Aegean. Great Lake trout fishing in the bulge part of the lake.


Another reason to go this route is half the portage distance so a much shorter day. Probably pretty good camp sites too.

Day 6 SLOW DAY (option 1) - Welkin to Wrist

Total Distance: 9km 
Paddle Distance: 8.7km
Portage Count: 1
Portage Distance: 300m


Fish Species: Lake Trout, Pike
Points of Interest: Very short day, so plenty of time to fish and explore on our way to Wrist.

Day 6 - SLOW DAY (option 2) - Aegean to Wrist

Total Distance: 11km
Paddle Distance:
Portage Count: 3
Portage Distance: 140m (20+20+100)
Map: (Same as Day 6 option 1)

Fish Species: Pike, Lake Trout
Points of Interest: If we didn't have time the day before, we can do some Lake Trout fishing or look for the pictographs. Is the sandy beach on the north shore near the 625m portage big enough to camp at?


Day 7 (or 8) - Wrist Lake REST DAY

Make this Day 8 to have a rest day on Mexican Hat instead. Depends on weather / mood.

Total Distance: ?km
Paddle Distance: ?
Portage Count: ?
Portage Distance:?


Fish Species: Lake Trout, Pike
Points of Interest: Explore to the northwest, fish for Lake Trout, look for sandy beach at the north shore near the 625m portage. 


Day 8 - SLOW DAY (or 7) - Wrist to Mexican Hat Lake

Make this Day 7 to have a rest day on Mexican Hat instead. Depends on weather / mood...

Total Distance: 9.4km
Paddle Distance: 9km
Portage Count: 3
Portage Distance: 770m (100 + 70 + 600)



Fish Species: Walleye, Pike
Points of Interest: Lots of Walleye! Make sure to try for walleye in Nutria too. Camp at the walleye factory for obvious reasons... There are also camp sites at the top of the hat with a small beach. If this is our rest day we should explore up the 3 portages north of the lake into the Glenn Lake area.

I'm pretty sure this is all Walleye territory.


NOTE - we will have lots of time to fish and sight see along the way, this is another pretty slack day as far as canoe tripping goes.


Day 9 - Mexican Hat to Bunny Lake

Total Distance (Long): 25km
Total Distance (Short): 19km
Paddle Distance (Long): 23.3km
Paddle Distance (Short): 17.55km
Portage Count (Long option): 10
Portage Count (Short option): 13
Portage Distance (Long): 1715m (800 + 60 + 150 + 40 + 200 + 150 + 70 + 80 + 150 + 15)
Portage Distance (Short): 1450m (325 + 80 + 40 + 140 + 60 + 100  + 40 + 200 + 150 + 70 + 80 + 150 + 15)

Fish Species: Pike
Points of Interest: Wolves have been spotted in Lunch lake. Bunny should have good fishing, lots of camp sites on this route.


I'm not sure why we would do the long option. It's way further and actually the total distance walked is more too... I do know that the 800m portage out of Mexican Hat is like a highway (really nice trail) but probably not worth all the extra distance.


I don't think it would be a terrible idea to eat an early supper on Mexican Hat (walleye, obviously) around 16:00 and pack up camp before traveling in the evening (weather permitting) to around "East Lunch C2" before setting up camp Friday night.

Day 10 - Bunny to Leano Lake

Total Distance:
Paddle Distance:
Portage Count:
Portage Distance:

Fish Species: Pike
Points of Interest: The long road home! :-)

Food List


I have a different idea from past trips for food on this particular trip. I think that for the most part we should organize our own food individually (instead of groups of 2 or 4) to make planning and packing before the trip much easier. Food is pretty simple the way we do it anyway. Snacks and lunch were always each person's own responsibility (Melba toast, granola bars, trail mix pretty much covers it) and suppers are usually soup and something instant (Lipton Sidekicks for example) usually with fish.


For items like soup (Lipton soup works is good) or fish batter you may want to pair up with your canoe partner so you don’t have too much (i.e. get each person to buy 4 Lipton soup works since they serve 2-4 people each). See the food list for an idea of what’s needed.

Because of the length of the trip I would suggest simple meals that don’t require a lot of prep and are light to carry and easy to pack, but of course it’s completely up to you! I would also highly recommend no canned food since it’s very heavy to carry and you have to pack out the junk. The exception to this may be fruit cups. On a 33 degree day that fresh fruit tastes very good!! And of course there's always someone who carries 12 cans of beer in for the first day or two. You're lucky because our second day is pretty much a rest day already! ;-) (To that end, you could carry in a couple of heavy meals for the first couple of days if you wanted to. Steak anyone?)

I recommend buying freeze-dried meals that simply require boiling water for supper (i.e. Lipton Sidekicks but make sure you don’t need milk or butter - or make sure you’re willing to carry the butter and/or dried milk powder!)


MEC meals are expensive but worth every penny for their excellent taste and easy-to-prep manner. Soups (Cup-a-soup or Sidekicks) with crackers or Melba toast with simple spreads (peanut butter and jam) work well for lunches. Make sure you package the spreads carefully (tubes work best) or your pack could get messy. Breakfasts are easiest if they’re granola or fruit bars (only issue is their weight) or packages of oatmeal (lightweight and very filling). Pancakes or bacon and eggs sound great but they are messy and very heavy. I’m NOT bringing syrup on this trip!! :-) If you bring any liquids make sure they’re double bagged against leakage. It sucks to have olive oil or syrup over everything in your pack and I'm speaking from experience on this one. 

I would also suggest bringing some kind of wrap for eating the fish we’ll catch. It makes the meal much more filling and easy to eat. Wraps work better than bread because they’re just as filling but take much less room in the pack. I always seem to pack way too many of these - they’re quite filling when stuffed with Lake Trout filets!! 1 wrap stuffed with fish is very filling. Add a hunk of cheese to your food bag and those fish wraps are to die for! Superstore has good wraps.


Make sure that your food is packaged in waterproof bags in your backpack if possible. I don't like how we store our food on trips and if we're off canoeing on rest days, we can't just leave food in camp. This year we're either going to start storing food in a canoe that's taken away from camp or more likely will try to hang it in trees - hence the need to use dry bags for it.

Here’s a sample meal plan (obviously lunch and supper can be swapped - we usually eat more fish for supper than lunch because it’s work to prepare and makes a bit of a mess);


Date Breakfast Lunch Supper
June 23 Restaurant Subway (Red Lake) Soup + Dried Meal
June 24 Breakfast dried meal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 25 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 26 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 27 Breakfast dried meal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 28 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 29 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
June 30 Breakfast dried meal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
July 1 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
July 2 Oatmeal Melba, fish & wraps Soup + Dried Meal
July 3 Breakfast dried meal Melba, fish & wraps Restaurant

Here’s a sample food list for ONE person;


Item QTY Comments
Melba Toast 20 2 / day
Wraps 10 1 / day
Cup-o-soup 10 1 / day
Sidekicks Soup 5 1 / day (enough for 2-4 guys in each package)
Crackers 1 Large ziploc crushed, for with soup - little more filling.
Packaged Suppers 10 1 / day - MEC freeze dried.
Packaged Breakfast 4 Not every day.
Oatmeal Packages 6 1 / day (I don’t eat much oatmeal...)
Breakfast Bars 20 2 / day
Granola Bars 20 2 / day - Usually I bring more of these but they’re heavy so I’m eating more soup / crackers / fish on this trip.
Fruit Bars 10 1 / day - A lot lighter than carrying apples around...
Trail Mix (nuts) 2 Bags for the whole trip - heavy but worth it!
Beef Jerky 5 1 every 2 days
Cigars 10 1 / day (is this a FOOD?!)
Instant Coffee / Hot Chocolate / Both? 30 Packages of instant - 3/day.Seems like overkill but if it’s raining and we have days spent huddling under a tarp this will not seem like enough!
Flavoring for coffee 1 Container (luxury item!)
Margerine 1 Tube for Melba and frying fish
Olive oil 2 Containers - should be enough? For frying fish?Rod, Jer (Don’t want liquids on the plane)
Fish batter 2 Containers - should be enough. HentieMike
Peanut Butter 1 Tube for Melba toast.
Jam 1 Tube for Melba toast
Chewing gum 2 You’d be surprised how much you need this after a few days in the bush... ;-)
Snacks (other) Various Pretty much anything you want to carry!
Booze Various Your choice!


Camping Gear


An important thing to remember with all gear is that you want to fit most of it in either your big backpack or a smaller day pack. You don’t want to be carrying sleeping bags or tents outside of your pack as a separate item unless you have a pack that is made for strapping things to it. Attaching things to the outside of your pack works, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Lots of portages are fairly tight through the bush and things on the outside will get caught on branches and stuff. 

Pretty much everything needs to fit into two packs - a big one and a smaller one. Another reason for making sure your sleeping bag is inside your pack is that it's easier to keep dry that way. If it starts raining you simply put a tarp over your two packs and you’re stuff doesn’t get soaked either while paddling or in camp. If you have 3 or 4 packs of gear this becomes much harder to manage. That being said, 2 small packs and 1 larger one can also work, as long as you’re willing to carry the big pack normally (on your back) with a smaller pack on your chest on the same carry. This is how Bill Slaa carries his stuff.

The reason you don’t want too much ‘loose stuff’ that doesn’t fit in your packs is because on portages we do two load carries. The first carry is usually your big pack (maybe a small one on the front) along with any ‘loose stuff’ like camp stoves, fishing rods, extra paddles etc. The second carry is the canoe along with your day pack on your back. Since your hands are balancing your canoe there’s no way to carry anymore ‘loose stuff’ on the 2nd carry. Three carries is simply too time consuming, especially on portages over 150 meters not to mention, exhausting!

For items that are to be split among the whole group, I’ve bolded names in the comments column with a first guess - let me know if I’ve made incorrect assumptions here or if you don’t have the gear I’ve put you down for.


Item Comments
Tent / Poles / Stakes 3-person for 2 guys is best - share the load. One guy gets the tent + poles and the other guy gets the fly + pegs. VernHaroldJer? have good 3 person tents.
Tarp / Twine 10’x10’ for each canoe. Don't forget twine / rope (100' at least). This tarp is for over the gear in the canoe if it's raining and possibly over your tent or in addition to the large tarp in camp - windbreak or whatever.
Large Tarp / Rope 10’x14' (approx) - Rod.
Rope Or twine. Don't need a TON but 50' or so is always handy for tying up loose stuff or Rod when he gets whiney...
Sleeping bag / sleeping pad / compression sack (sample) Not too heavy if possible. Vern has extra if someone needs a light one that packs very small... Compression sacks help to keep clothing items / sleeping bags very small in the large backpack.
Large Backpack (sample) I would say at least 75L. Mine is a 90L pack and I just fit everything! Doesn’t have to cost a lot. If possible, get a rain cover for it. Can also use the frame packs (like Dad or Bill's) and strap stuff onto them.
Day pack (sample) I use a pack that’s also a drybag so it can be dunked or rained on. This pack has my day gear (gps, fishing stuff) and food for the day in it as well as some camera gear. Will probably need 2 if you use a frame pack as the large one.
Wood saw / Ax We don’t need 6 of these but if you have a small / light one bring it. We can always leave one at the truck if we have too many. Saws definitely work better than axes and are lighter. (VernHarold)
Camp chair Well worth it! The more comfy the better, but make sure it’s easy to carry in one hand.
Canoe chair (sample) Not strictly necessary. I’m still not 100% sure that I’ll bring mine. It supports the back nicely but you can't lie down in the canoe which happens more often then you might think...
Map / GPS / Batteries / Compass Vern will bring a GPS and topo maps with campsites and portages marked on them. Harold - do you still have your topo maps from last year? If you have a compass - bring it.
SPOT satellite rescue beacon. Vern will bring - we can also update our families where we are throughout the trip on Google Maps.
First aid kit. Should have at least one - Harold? I’ll bring mine too but it’s not huge.
Camp stoves RodVern - if possible with a carrying case as this makes portaging much easier! Vern's is a tiny back country stove that works well for boiling water.
Propane Rod to purchase, we each need to carry 2 of these (10 total). I will carry fuel for my stove (2 more cans - but they're different fuel than the coleman stove).
Food (see food list) Carry in dry bags or sacks. We have a number of dry bags to be shared across the group (2 ea.) so don’t buy too many dry bags yourself. We'll do this packing on Wednesday night at Rod's house.
Clothing (see clothing list) Carry in dry bags or sacks. We have a number of dry bags to be shared across the group (2 ea.) so don’t buy too many of these.
Sunglasses / Sunscreen  
Headlamp / flashlight Headlamp is much easier to use when trying to brush your teeth late at night on a steep sided island... ;-)
Toilet Paper  GET YOUR OWN!
Fire starter / matches  Everyone should carry this!
Insect repellent DON’T FORGET THIS!!
Water bottles Bring two 1 litre bottles. The reason for 2 is that you can treat one with water treatment while you drink from the other one.
Water treatment (sample) One set per canoe should be plenty as you only need it for cool water, anything boiled doesn’t need to be treated. VernMikeRod can supply this for their canoes, or take some if you have it! (Harold?)
Knife  Everyone should carry a knife.
Bear spray / banger Probably not needed but if you have it anyway, bring it. Don't buy for the trip.
Notebook / pen Optional - I use for journalling.
Camera / lens / batteries Store it as waterproof as possible but you want to have it handy so you can actually use it!
IPOD w/ Speakers Vern will bring for Sunday worship and devotion. Could be handy for sleeping as we have some snoring monsters.
Bible Bring your own small one if you have it - else I think Harold has a nice small one?
Book / Playing cards Luxury item but you may actually have time to read it on this trip. :-)
Frying pan w/ flipper Harold? I think 1 is plenty.
Pots VernHarold? We need 1 small and 2 medium pots. I have 1 set so we only need 1 more medium sized pot.
Plate / Bowl / Spoon / Fork / Cup Lighter is better! Plate is optional as a bowl is more versatile.
Thermos cup This can be very handy for carrying hot soup around all day or coffee or whatever. I wished I had one on the last trip!
Camping Permit Rod is taking care of the permits.

Clothing / Personal Gear


This is a suggested list - modify as needed. Remember all this stuff needs to fit into one giant (heavy!) pack! I’m planning on washing my clothes on this trip to be re-used.


Item QTY Comments
Sandals / flip flops 1 Comfortable around camp except for the biting insects... Also good for in the canoe but you have to switch for runners if doing portages, unless you’re Jon Dewit. Then you do portages in flip flops until your toe nails are falling off!
Runners / Hikers 1 As long as they’re comfortable. I like runners because they’re light but hiking boots tend to have more support for long / slippery portages and are warmer if we get 10 days of rain... ;-)
Socks 5pr I figure these can be washed if necessary.
Undies 3 Ditto to the socks. Wash ‘em as needed. NO COMMANDO HENTIE!
T-shirts 3 Wash as necessary.
Fleece / Light Jacket / Long sleeved shirt 1 Even if it's scorching hot - a long sleeved shirt is good for keeping flies and bugs off the skin.
Convertible pants / shorts 1 I was going to bring 2 pair but they get dirty anyway and can be washed...
Swim trunks 1  
Sweat pants 1 Sleep wear
Rain Pants 1 VERY IMPORTANT - could literally save you from having a really bad trip.
Cap 1  
Towel 1 Don’t make it too big - just takes longer to dry!
Take-out clothes. 1 For after the trip.
Toothpaste / Brush 1  
Toilet Paper 2-12 ROLLS - depending on your habits! :-) And yes - this is already mentioned earlier. That should be a clue for the newbs...
Camp soap / shampoo 1 This will act as dish soap, body wash and laundry detergent. Try to get environment friendly stuff.

Fishing Gear


We generally do a lot of fishing on these trips. With 4 extra days it’s important to factor that in. We will be doing more fishing than ever before. This is just a suggested list, tweak to your liking. You do not need two rods / reels. I bring two because I have them and then I have a backup if one breaks.


One rod / reel that’s medium weight with 12lb line is perfect. I wouldn’t go too cheap because you get what you pay for and it sucks to fight with crappy gear when everyone else is hammering walleye or lake trout. This has happened before and like I said, it sucks. People get very protective about gear that's hammering fish so don't expect the guy next to you to hand out his last $9 blue Rapala because you didn't think it was worth buying your own. :-)

(For the guys who haven’t been on one of these trips before, we will have more than one evening where every boat is hauling in fish on almost every cast. We’ve even had times where 3 boats are hauling in 2 walleye per boat at the same time! Oh yeah. Fishing is just as important as the canoeing - maybe even slightly more for some of us right Rod?)

Don’t bother bringing a whole tackle box along - it’s a PITA to carry around and usually ends up busted anyway. I carry all my tackle in a stuff sack and put it in my small day pack. The lures and jig heads go in small containers like Tupperware or whatever. You need to bring enough lures but not too many either. Count on losing those expensive lures. When you're casting for those lunkers in tight cover you do lost some hardware.

I should warn you up front. Rod and I catch the vast majority of Lake Trout. Better prepare yourself for this reality ahead of time so you won’t be disappointed on the water. :-) (Now we probably won’t catch ANY - sorry Rod!)


Item QTY Comments
Fishing Licence 1 We will get these in Red Lake.
Walleye Rod / Reel 1 Light setup for walleye (6-8lb line). Get 12lb line if this is your only setup.
Pike Rod / Reel 1 Medium heavy setup for pike and trout (14lb line)
Pink (or mix up the colors) 1/4oz Jig Heads 12 Pink works best - don’t ask why... Doesn't hurt to have some white, green, orange or yellow too.
White 3 or 4” Berkley GULP jig tails (sample) 12-24 White works best - don’t ask why... GULP is expensive but it’s worth it.
Green or other color 3” Berkley GULP jig tails 12 For backup if white isn’t working. White always works though...
Spoons (variety) 5-10 Assorted for pike and trout. Don’t get too small. I wouldn’t get anything under 3-4” long.
Crankbait (blue and silver recommended) (sample) 3-4 Very expensive but even if you just get 2 of these, it’s worth it! I would get one that goes 15’ deep and another that goes 30’ deep. On every trip to Woodland Caribou these have been the main producers of lake trout and if you’re the only guy without one your life will suck... :-) Make sure you get at least two BLUE ones. Color is very important here!!
Wire leaders 12 Protect the line from getting chomped by lunkers!
Extra spool of line. 1 Could be worth it. Line gets very tangled over 5 days of trolling - 10 days could be interesting!
Fillet Knife w/ sharpening stone. 2 HaroldMike? We only need one or two of these.
Pliers 1 Very handy for taking hooks out and flattening barbs on hooks.
Fishing net. 0 DON’T BOTHER. I brought one once and it’s a PITA to carry around. Huge fish can be gently lifted out of the water since we’re in canoes anyway.



Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the characters shown in the image.