- Your Crew
Participants; Group Dynamics; Strength and Endurance; Levels of Experience;
Areas of Responsibility; Decision-Making; Tenting / Paddling / Canoe Portaging
- Essential Field Skills
Paddling; Portaging; Navigation; Interior Camping; First Aid; Flexibility and
To Buy or Rent..., Tie it in!)
The Trip Cost, Unforeseen Expenses, Squaring-up Costs)
Number of Participants
- The fewer participants you have, the less complicated it will be to
organize and pack your food and group gear, the quicker you will be able to
travel in the field, the easier it will be to find campsites that can
accommodate enough tents and the lesser your chances of experiencing personality
conflicts between participants. Nine is the maximum number of people that may
stay on one interior campsite. If your group is larger than nine, you must
split the group each night and use more than one campsite.
- There is also something to be said for "safety in numbers"...
if you only have two participants and one canoe, and a dire emergency arises,
(e.g. something untoward happens to one of the participants or the canoe), your
options in terms of getting assistance are limited. If there are four
participants and two canoes, (as a very last resort) you could send two people
out for assistance and leave the other two to wait at a campsite in the interior
for help to arrive.
- My group, a bunch of thirty-something, female, elementary school
teachers with summers off, has canoe-tripped with three, four and six
participants. We have found that four participants with two canoes and two
tents works best for us.
- If some of your crew members have not met each other, it is a good
idea to bring all of the participants together for a lunch/planning session, so
everyone can become acquainted before the trip.
Strength and Endurance
- You need to take into account the various levels of fitness and
capabilities of your participants... children and people with back or knee
problems, etc. will not be able to carry as much gear for as long as some of
the other participants. Make sure that everyone else is willing to pitch-in if
you have people on your crew who cannot tolerate too much physical exertion.
Levels of Experience
- It is helpful if you can take one person with canoe-tripping
experience on your first few canoe trips... if this person is willing to be
involved in all aspects of the planning and field experience, and "apprentice"
the other members of the group, everyone will benefit enormously. If this is
not possible, then do as much campground-camping and canoe day-tripping as you
can, take canoeing lessons and/or read all you can about canoeing and
- Recommended reading:
- Mason, Bill. Song of the Paddle: An Illustrated Guide to
Wilderness Camping. Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, © 1988.
[Considered to many to be "the definitive" canoe-tripping
guidebook. Covers just about every topic imaginable!]
- Tips For Canoeists on the reverse of the Canoe
Routes of Algonquin Park map.
[A three year old version of the map
can be downloaded from
the MNR web site. The tips and other items on the reverse of the map are NOT
available on the web. You must
purchase the current
year's print version of the map to obtain them; available for $4.95 from "The
Friends of Algonquin Park."]
- Stringer, Omer and Dan Gibson. The Canoeist's Manual.
Whitney, ON: The Friends of Algonquin Park, © 1975, 1978, 1989.
small booklet you can take with you on your trip; can be
$1.00 from "The Friends of Algonquin Park."]
- Buckley, Beth and Dave Buckley. At Home in the Wilderness:
Book One...Tactics for Camp and Portage. West Valley, New York:
Ashford Outdoor Media, © 1994.
[A "quick read" packed
with tips and personal experiences... Mr. Buckley's "dingle-string"
canoe portaging technique (p. 82) will make your life a whole lot easier! Good
info. on campfire building too...]
- Schatz, Curt and Dan Seemon. Minimum Impact Camping: A Basic
Guide. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, Inc., © 1994.
[Very helpful "environment friendly" tips on wilderness food,
camping, canoe-tripping and backpacking.]
- Thomas, Dian. Roughing it Easy. Holladay, Utah:
Dian Thomas Company (Distributed by Betterway Books, an imprint of F & W
Publications, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio), © 1994.
ideabook for camping and cooking"...tons of wilderness food and cooking
tips, plus campfire building, camping, backpacking and winter camping info.]
Areas of Responsibility
- It is a good idea if your crew discusses the division of labour re:
route selection, equipment coordination, menu planning, food purchasing, packing,
reservations, transportation to the park, navigation, portaging,
cooking/clean-up, duties, and first aid, etc. early on in the planning process.
By reaching a common understanding about "who will do what" you will
minimize your chances of forgetting an important step or piece of equipment and
minimize the potential for conflict among group members.
- In our group, most of my "official duties" take place before
the trip... I am responsible for choosing and obtaining expert feedback on
possible routes, estimating the trip cost, presenting our options to the group,
coordinating equipment and reserving permits and canoes. Sandee and Lucie are
responsible for menu planning, food purchasing and food packing. Sandee and
Louise, who each own a 4 X 4, are the ones who drive us to and from the park.
In the field: I am the navigation and first aid expert. Sandee and Lucie
usually specialize in food prep. and food pack suspension. Lucie is also our
resident expert on water purification and the naptha stove. Louise is our
pyro-technics wizard... a campfire-builder extraordinaire. She is also one heck
of a cleaner... no one can get baked-on Kraft dinner out of a pot, or
swamp-muck-covered shorts clean in the field, as fast or as well as Louise! We
all assist each other with various field activities, but find that having "an
expert" in each activity makes the whole trip run a lot smoother.
- Your group needs to decide if it will recognize the leadership of a
particular person (usually the most experienced person on the trip) when faced
with important decisions and emergencies, or if the group will make such
decisions based on majority vote or consensus.
- My group strives to reach a consensus when faced with major decisions
(e.g. whether to forge ahead or wait during wind or electrical storms or in the
face of injury, etc.). We have both "risk takers" and those
preferring to "err on the side of caution" in our group, so compromise
on both sides is often essential in order to reach a consensus.
Tenting / Paddling / Canoe Portaging Pairings
- Most groups decide who will share a tent with whom based upon existing
friendships prior to the trip and ownership of equipment (i.e. I own one of the
tents we will be taking, so the friend I have invited will share my tent with
me). It usually makes sense to pair each person with someone with whom he/she
already feels comfortable. However, sometimes other factors need to be taken
In our group we have a deep sleeper (even a passing
freight train wouldn't disturb her sleep!), a light sleeper and a snorer. On
our first canoe trip our three participants didn't know each other very well and
we inadvertently paired the snorer with the light sleeper... after two nights
the light sleeper asked to trade tents with the deep sleeper... the pairing of
the snorer with the deep sleeper was an infinitely better choice!
- Pairings for paddling are best made according to prior experience. If
you only have two people on your four-person crew who can stern a canoe, don't
place them together and leave a couple of novices to fend for themselves in the
other canoe. It is helpful, but not essential, if people who share a canoe are
of similar "arm length." If one person has a reach much longer than
the other, chances are the two will have to make adjustments (e.g. the
shorter-reach person may have to stroke harder and/or the longer-reach person
may have to shorten his/her stroke or paddle less vigorously) to make it
possible to keep the canoe on-course.
- If participants are unable to manage solo-portaging of canoes, you
will need to pair members of your crew for doubles-portaging. The most
important factor, when deciding which two people should carry a canoe together,
is height... pairing people of similar stature will make the task much easier.
- It is not necessary to have the same partner for paddling, canoe
portaging and tenting... experiment with different combinations as you go. This
will help you to find the best pairings for each activity and will build
camaraderie among crew members along the way.
- Everyone in your crew should be comfortable in the water and able to
swim a reasonable distance, in case of emergency.
- In Ontario, you are required to carry a certified personal floatation device (life jacket or cushion) for each person in your canoe. It is a good
idea to wear a life jacket whenever you are on the water.
- You can manage reasonably well canoe-tripping on small to medium sized
lakes and fairly straight flat water rivers, with just a forward (power) stroke
in the bow and a j-stroke (for steering) in the stern. If possible, try to
learn some other strokes, such as feathering, the draw stroke and the pry, as
well. You should also be familiar with techniques for righting a canoe full of
gear, in case you tip one a long distance away from shore.
- If you are new to canoe paddling, it is best if you can take lessons
and/or read books that explain various canoeing skills, and spend as much time
as possible practicing prior to the trip.
- For more information, see the books by Stringer and Mason and the
reverse of the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map, listed
- Despite what you may have heard, portaging does not have to be a
horrendous experience. The average weight of a modern Kevlar canoe is only
about 50 lbs., and most are equipped with a built-in yoke for solo-carrying.
- It is ideal if you can portage all of your packs and canoes across in
one trip. However if, due to lack of strength and endurance or lack of
experience, you feel that your crew must portage the canoes and gear in two
trips, don't despair. It may take several canoe trips to discover the packing
and portaging system that will get you across in one trip.
- In the field, watch how other trippers tackle portages... Does one
person carry the canoe and the other carry a backpack with both person's
belongings? Do they solo- or double-portage the canoe while wearing backpacks?
Do they carry items in their hands or do they have other methods for taking life
jackets and paddles, etc. across? How do they hold the canoes during a portage
(for doubles, where do they position each person; for solos, at what angle does
the portager carry the canoe and does he/she use his/her arms or a rope to
determine the angle)? You can learn a great deal by observing others.
- On long portages, be sure to carry drinking water and to put down the
gear for a break whenever you feel the need. It is better to take frequent
breaks than to incur some sort of medical problem through over-exertion.
- For more information, see the books by Stringer, Mason and Buckley and
the reverse of the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map, listed
- Navigation in the Algonquin Park interior is not too difficult. The
Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map is printed at a scale which depicts
most islands, points and river turns. It is best if you
purchase the current
year's edition of the map to take with you into the field.
- Portages are depicted on the map with bright red or black lines; their
lengths (in metres) are indicated in red type. In the field, portage entrances
are very well marked with bright yellow signs... each sign has the length of the
portage and the destination lake written on it. If you are unsure about where
you are, just pull up to the closest portage entrance... the information on the
sign will enable you to pinpoint your precise location on the canoe route map
and reorient yourself toward your destination.
- My group always carries the current year's edition of the canoe route
map... the locations of active campsites are changed from year to year, in order
to give some sites a "year off." Having a map that depicts currently
active campsites makes it possible to use campsite signs in the field as
- My group also carries a couple of compasses on trips... if you are not
following a shoreline, it is easy to drift off course. During a lake crossing,
it is best if you can head toward some visible landmark on the opposite shore.
If there is no visible landmark, then you should use your compass to check your
orientation every few minutes.
- It is best if you have plenty of experience campground-camping before
you venture into the Algonquin Park interior. Since you will be carrying
everything you need in a canoe and across portages, you will have to be more
selective about which gear and clothes you take on a canoe trip. You will have
to be creative when it comes to menu planning and food packing: food should be
as lightweight and compact as possible, you will not have any refrigeration for
your food, and metal cans and glass bottles are not permitted in the interior.
You will need to pack gear and food in such a way that it can easily be carried
and will not be damaged by water or if it is dropped. If you decide to build
campfire, you will have to do so using twigs and other dead wood found on the
forest floor. You will also have to hang all of your food and non-burnable
garbage from the trees each night, so as not to attract bears and raccoons, etc.
to your campsite.
- For tips about interior camping, see the Algonquin
Park Interior-Camping Tips section of this web page, and the reverse of
the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map plus other resources listed
- At least one person on your crew should have training in first aid and
- You should take along a first aid kit, with extra bandages for
blisters and a couple of Tensor bandages for sprains.
- You may have to be innovative in dealing with injuries...
evening, two full days' paddle from the end of a canoe trip, I stumbled over a
root in the campsite while hanging the food pack. When I fell, I bent my wrist
back, spraining it very badly. Obviously we had no ice, so I Tensor-bandaged
the wrist overnight and took a couple of aspirins to reduce the swelling and
pain. Even with the Tensor bandage, my wrist was too weak and painful to allow
me to paddle the next morning (every time my wrist bent the slightest amount,
forward or back, my fingers went numb and let go of the paddle). I took off the
Tensor bandage, taped two tent pegs to the back of my hand and forearm and one
to the palm of my hand and forearm, in such a way as to immobilize my wrist. I
then and re-wrapped my wrist tightly with the Tensor bandage (pegs inside). The
tent peg/Tensor bandage brace saved the day, enabling me to paddle and portage
until the end of the trip, with virtually no pain or further injury to the
- Please be sure to read the item in the next section, entitled What
if... someone becomes seriously ill or injured?
Flexibility and Creativity
- we run into stormy weather?... your group may
need to make a decision on-the-fly about whether it would be best to delay
travel or to proceed according to schedule...
One day in 1994, high
wind and waves forced my group to abandon our travel plans and set up camp two
lakes ahead of schedule. The next day, under slightly better conditions, we had
to race to make up the previous day's lost travel time. Canoe-trippers are
always at the mercy of the weather!
- equipment gets damaged?... you may have to come
up with an innovative method for repairing a broken piece of equipment in the
One year, the frame on an ancient aluminum frame pack that
one of our participants was using snapped during a portage. We used a couple
tent pegs and some duct tape to repair the broken frame. It wasn't perfect, but
it got us through the rest of the portages without further difficulty.
- someone becomes seriously ill or
injured?... your crew may have to make a decision about whether to
continue, wait, turn back or send for help. During a medical emergency, the
most important principle is DON'T PANIC! Sit down and weigh your group's
Sending out for help should be the option of last
resort. If at all possible, you should stay together and try to
transport the ill or injured party out of the interior yourselves. You may have
to improvise in order to provide him/her with the necessary equipment... you can
use paddles as crutches; tent pegs or wood and tensor bandages or strips of
cloth to splint a sprained joint or broken limb; a couple saplings or tree limbs
and and a tarp or tent fly to fashion a stretcher.
In the case of a
head, neck or back injury, moving the injured person may not be the best course
of action... you may have to set up camp immediately, and send part of your crew
to get help, or send a note out with another group of canoe-trippers, explaining
the nature of the problem, asking for assistance, and identifying the location
where you will be camped until help arrives.
If you have not already
done so, please read the section (above) re: First Aid.
- something we never thought of comes up?... keep
your wits about you, work together, be flexible and creative. Most dilemmas
have some sort of a solution. You may need to brainstorm ideas before you find
the solution to yours.
Total Number of Nights
- It is not necessary, nor advisable, to make your first canoe trip a
month-long expedition across the length of Algonquin Park! Start with a two or
three night trip. Next trip, go for one or two more nights. It is best if you
increase your trip lengths gradually, as your skill and confidence improve.
Hours Per Day Travelling
- You should sit down with your crew to discuss preferences re: how long
you should spend on the water and portaging each day. Some people prefer short
travel days; others prefer to test their mettle with long, hard travel days of
8-10 hours or more. On the back of the
Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map (listed above)
there are recommendations for canoe-trippers... here it states that you should
plan on traveling 4-6 hours, or 15-25 kilometres, per day. On the map, which
is printed at a scale of 1:126,720, or 1 inch to 2 miles, this distance is
represented as 12-20 centimetres (or 5 to 8 inches) per day.
- My group prefers a very leisurely pace, with time to explore the nooks
and crannies of lakes, rivers and marshes en route and to enjoy each campsite...
we travel 4-5 hours, covering about 10 kilometres, each day.
- My group likes to plan for a rest day in the interior toward the end
of the trip. In addition to providing us with a block of time to enjoy the
solitude of the interior, building a rest day into the schedule affords us a bit
of insurance... if we end up storm-stayed for a day during the first two thirds
of our trip, we have the option of skipping the rest day later on so we can
catch up and finish the trip on time. Returning on the day that you are
expected is of utmost important if you have a family back home worrying about
- For the purpose of route selection, you will need to
download a three year old
version of the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map or
purchase a printed
copy of the current year's edition of the map. It is recommended that you take
the current year's edition of the map with you into the field.
Bodies of Water
- Novice paddlers and novice canoe-trippers should avoid choosing routes
that pass through large lakes. Winds can kick up waves a metre high or more on
lakes like Opeongo and Cedar! If you are a new to either paddling or
canoe-tripping, stick to small and medium sized lakes.
- Rivers in the park are classified as either whitewater or paddle
and portage in nature; the locations of each are depicted on the reverse of
the print version of canoe routes map. Unsupervised canoe-tripping on whitewater
rivers should NOT be attempted by novice paddlers or by those who have only
paddled whitewater with an empty canoe (try some guided whitewater
canoe trips before you attempt this on your own!). Most of the paddle and
portage rivers ARE suitable for novice paddlers and novice canoe-trippers,
however, small paddle and portage rivers with tight meanders will be
frustrating to paddle unless your crew has a good repertoire of paddling
- The direction of water flow in rivers is indicated on the map with
curved blue arrows. Most, but not all, of the paddle and portage rivers
can easily be paddled upstream as well as down. You should ask someone familiar
with the area for advice, if you choose a route that entails paddling against
the flow of a river (see the section below, entitled Ask an
- The names of creeks that are sometimes impassable, due to low water,
are mentioned on the canoe routes map in red, boldface, italic print. Low water
is generally more of a problem in late Summer and Fall than it is in Spring or
early Summer. Even so, if you plan to travel a creek that is prone to low water
levels, you should always phone the Park Information Line [(705) 633-5572], just
prior to your trip, to inquire about the creek's status.
- My biggest challenge when choosing a route is in trying to
guess-timate the difficulty of the portages. Even a 500m portage, or shorter,
can be grueling if the terrain is particularly hilly. I usually purchase a
1:50,000 scale topographic map of the area, so I can check each portage shown on
the canoe route map for elevation changes.
Topographic maps of
Algonquin Park can be ordered via the internet from Dog Ears: Canada's Topographical Map
and Book Store
- Most river portages lead around falls, rapids or very shallow
sections. On the canoe routes map, the locations of waterfalls and rapids are
indicated with a thin, blue, perpendicular line through the river and a tiny
black letter "F" or "R." Dams are indicated on the map with
a thin, black, perpendicular line through the river and the word "Dam"
in tiny black letters. Make sure you study your map in minute detail; if there
are dams, rapids or falls on your route, you might want to circle or highlight
them on the map, so you will be sure not to miss any portages that would lead
you around them.
- As a beginner, you probably won't want to tackle more than two or
three portages a day; you might also want to look for a route which does not
include any portages over one kilometre in length.
Ask an Expert
- I always send my proposed route to at least one area outfitter for
his/her feedback. I include:
- a detailed itinerary, including proposed campsite locations;
- the approximate dates during which we plan to do the trip;
- the experience level of our group;
- our preference that we travel no more than 4-5 hours per day;
I have found most
outfitters very helpful at verifying whether I have over- or under-estimated the
travel time between campsites, and at pointing out particularly difficult
portages, potential problems with low water, whether certain rivers on our route
will be difficult to paddle upstream, etc.
- a request for recommendations and rates re: rental equipment for this trip
(we always rent our canoes and life jackets).
- Recommended Reading:
- The reverse of the Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park map, listed
- Kates, Joanne. Exploring Algonquin Park.
Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre, © 1983, 1992.
6 recommended Algonquin Park Canoe Routes]
- Overnight camping fees include all necessary vehicle permits.
To Buy or Rent...
- The advantage to renting is that you can see how well you like
canoe-tripping and "test drive" various models of equipment before you
invest a lot of capital. Many outfitters offer "full outfitting"...
you may rent all the necessary equipment, or individual items, from them at a
- Canoes: between about $15. and $30. / day,
depending upon type (Aluminum, Kevlar, Superlight Kevlar) and size (15' - 18');
- Paddles: may cost you $1. to $2. each / day,
but most outfitters include them free with your canoe rental;
- Life jackets or cushions: $3. or less / day;
- Backpacks: $5. to $7. / day, depending upon the
type (Canoe Pack, Internal Frame Pack);
- Lightweight tents: $5. to $10. / day, depending
upon the size (2-person to 6-person);
- Lightweight sleeping bags: $5. to $8. / day;
- Sleeping pads: $1. to $5. / day, depending upon
the type (Foam, Self-Inflating Air/Foam);
- Single burner backpacking stoves: $5.00 or less
/ day (fuel extra);
- Cook kit and utensils: $3.00 or less / person /
If you decide to rent some or all of your equipment, the
outfitter will be happy to recommend the particular types that would best suit
your needs. A partial list of area outfitters is provided on the official
canoe routes map.
- Be sure to make reservations for any equipment that you need to rent
as soon as you know the dates for your trip. I usually phone the outfitter to
reserve our canoes right after I make my permit reservations.
Tie it in!
- In the field, make sure that all of your gear is stowed as low as
possible in the centre of the canoe and secured, with ropes looped through the
pack straps, lashed tightly across the top of the gear and tied off to the
thwarts, or with some sort of cover. If your canoe tips and the gear is not
tied in, your clothes, food and equipment could end up on the bottom of the
lake, never to be seen again!!
- My group got tired of untying and tying ropes at each portage. We
have been experimenting with a homemade bungee cord and nylon net contraption
that stretches over the gear, and lashes to the thwarts with clips and rubber
straps. The jury is still out, regarding whether our "bungee-net" is
as safe a method as the rope tie-in for securing gear in a canoe, but it
definitely makes for quicker arrivals and departures at portages. After you
have had some experience with the rope tie-in method, you might want to consider
a similar alternative.
Allergies and Preferences
- You should poll your group to find out if anyone has allergies to
certain foods and to establish what types of food the group would prefer to eat
on the trip (e.g. two of the people in our group prefer food that is not too
- When planning a canoe trip menu, you need to choose lightweight,
compact foods that will stay edible without refrigeration. In addition, you
must choose foods that can be transported into the field in something other than
metal cans or glass bottles... these are not permitted in the Algonquin Park
- We always start our menu planning by making a list of how many
breakfasts, lunches and dinners we will need in the interior. At breakfast and
lunch we usually have an assortment of the same items available each day (e.g.
breakfasts: a choice of instant oatmeal, granola, toast; lunches: a selection
of sandwich ingredients, trail mix and granola bars). We plan each supper
individually, eating the most perishable, heavy-to-carry dinners first.
- For your trip, you can purchase pre-packaged, dehydrated meals from a
camping or outfitting store, lightweight foods from your local grocery/bulk food
stores, or a combination of the two. Dehydrated meals are very convenient and
easy to prepare, but they are often more expensive and less nutritious than
grocery/bulk store foods.
- If you would prefer taking just dehydrated foods, you might want to
ask an outfitter to send you a list of his/her available dehydrated meals, etc.,
choose the items you would like to try from the list, and have the outfitter
assemble all the food you will need, for you. A list of
Algonquin Park area outfitters is
provided in The Interior section of the Algonquin Park: Vacation
Planner & Resource Guide web page.
- If your preference is for a menu comprised of a combination of
dehydrated and grocery/bulk store foods, you might want to visit your local
camping store, purchase an assortment of dehydrated meals that appeal to you,
and then fill in the gaps in your menu plan with grocery/bulk store foods.
- My group tried pre-packaged, dehydrated meals for the first time on
last year's trip. These meals were definitely lighter and more compact than
some of our others, but the taste was somewhat lacking and the dehydrated meals
were definitely more expensive... we will probably stick with mostly
grocery/bulk store foods on future trips.
Estimating the Trip Cost
- The members of our group own most of the equipment that we need for
our trips... the exception is the canoes and life jackets, which we always rent.
- I draw up an estimate of what our trip will cost ahead of time. I
usually over-estimate a little bit, so that there will be no unpleasant
surprises at the end of the trip. The following is the cost estimate that I
provided to our group prior to our four-night, four-person canoe trip in 1995:
COST OF THE TRIP|
last year's figures, I expect each person's share of the trip cost (taxes
included) to be as follows:|
Travel to and from Algonquin Park |
- 1/4 of $40. gas money (one vehicle*) = $10.
we will be doing a return trip loop (starting and finishing at the same Access
Point) and we will not need to transport our canoes by car (our outfitter is
located at the Access Point), so we will only need Sandee's 4 X 4 to transport
the entire group
|b) In-Park costs
- reservation fee: 1/4 of $6. = $1.50
- camping permit: $5. per person, per night (X4) = $20.
- canoe rental: $25. per canoe, per day, divided by 2 people per canoe =
$12.50. per person, per day (X5) = $62.50
- life jacket: $2. per person per day (X5) = $10.
- food and camp fuel, etc.: $8. per person, per day (X5) = $40.
|TOTAL COST (ESTIMATED)
|You should also bring $20. -
$25. to cover restaurant meals en route to and from the park.|
- Your crew should have an agreement about "who pays" if
equipment becomes damaged or broken during the trip.
- My group has agreed that if a vehicle being used to transport us to
and from the park sustains a flat tire en route, we will share the cost of
repair equally. If a canoe, tent or other piece of group equipment (like
a stove or water filter) is damaged through someone's obvious carelessness, that
person will pay to repair the damage; if it is broken in an accident, we will
all share the cost of repair. If a piece of personal equipment, like a
backpack, sleeping bag or sleeping pad becomes damaged, the person who is using
it will pay for its repair or replacement.
In the four years that we
have been canoe-tripping together, our group has never had to share the cost of
repairing or replacing damaged equipment... even so, it's still a good idea to
have an agreement in advance about unforeseen expenses.
- I reserve and pay for the permits, canoes, life jackets, fuel for the
stove, and any necessary new parts for the water filter and first aid kit.
Sandee and Lucie purchase all of the food. Whoever is driving us to the park
pays for the gas for her vehicle. At the end of the trip (usually in some
restaurant on the way home), we tally up the total cost of the trip and divide
it by the number of participants. Each person who has not already paid her
share then writes a cheque or hands in cash to cover her balance owing; this
money is distributed among those who have paid more than their share of the
- In the above example, the actual cost of food + stove fuel, etc. was
much lower than our estimate of $8. per person, per day (probably because we
bought only grocery/bulk store foods... no pricey, dehydrated meals). Each
person's total cost ended up being $120. for the four-night, five-day trip... I
paid $373. in advance, and so was owed $253.; Sandee paid $43. in advance, and
so owed $77.; Lucie paid $64. in advance, and so owed $56.; Louise paid nothing
in advance, and so owed $120. The others each remitted their amount owing to me
on the way home, and then everyone was even... works for us, anyway!
- To view the trip log for the canoe trip used as an example in this
section, click here.
The advice provided in Margaret's Algonquin Park Page has
been compiled based upon many summers experience camping in the Yukon
Territory and Ontario, canoe-tripping in Algonquin and Killarney parks and
backpacking in Algonquin Park. Every effort has been made to ensure that the
advice in this web site is correct. Even so, I do not accept any responsibility
for errors or misrepresentations contained herein.
This advice is
intended for use by those with prior camping and canoeing experience. I do not
assume responsibility for the safety of individuals, nor do I accept liability
for any loss or damages that might arise in the course of following the advice
presented in this web site.
Margaret A. Black
Thanks to Ken Munro for providing the inspiration for this
For more canoe-tripping tips, see the web page Ontario Canoe Routes
especially, the "Planning & Paddling" and "Equipment"
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