SUP Camping 2014: Wolf Island Provincial Park, Day 3

A noisy flock of crows lets me sleep in until nearly 6am and a beautiful sunrise was there to greet me on the 3rd morning of my SUP camping trip.  IMG_6090

I tried the Mountain House ‘Scrambled eggs with bacon’ for breakfast for the first time.  Once the excess water is removed/consumed it’s not bad, although some of the larger pieces of egg are a bit spongy…  but at just 320cal I should have cooked 2 of them.  How far will 320cal take me on a SUP?  I add a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to up the calorie count and then enjoy my cup of coffee.

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I was camped on an island on Stoney Lake and would be making my way through Burleigh Falls, Lovesick Lake and over to Wolf Island Provincial Park, just 11km if I went straight there, but I add another 5-6km as I explore the area on my way.  Day_3_route

Burleigh Falls was my 1st real stop.  I take a swim at the base of the rapids, and watch some Osprey soar overhead.

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I am thankful for my lock pass as I make my way through Lock 28 at Burleigh Falls.  It’s at least 7m high and the stairs are incredibly steep!  There is no lock 29, so the next one is Lock 30 at the western end of Lovesick Lock.  It raises me just 1.1m into Lower Buckhorn Lake.  As the wind begins to pick up I explore the western shore of Wolf Island Provincial Park, stepping off my SUP occasionally to check out some of the deserted campsites.

The Ontario Parks website doesn’t have a whole lot to say about Wolf Island Provincial Park.  It is a non-operational park and there are a number of sites where people seem to camp.  I visited 4-5 of these sites and they were all very clean with little to no broken glass or garbage.  1 house boat was tied up against a small island for the night, but otherwise I had the area to myself.  I made my way as far as Black Duck Bay before heading back through the lock to Lovesick Lake, where I received a weather update from the lock operators.  “45mm of rain”, they told me in passing.  Huh?  Must have said 4-5mm…?

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Black Duck Bay

The site I’d chosen had an incredible view of Lovesick Lake….

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… and there were still a few berries to be found for dessert…

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Choosing my site based on the view may not have been wise.  During the night the wind picked up and shifted, and, 40 or more mm of rain blew sideways into my site!  I woke up shivering and soaking wet at 2am.  After taking a moment to adjust my tarp against these conditions I climbed back into a wet sleeping bag and zipped it up for the 1st time on this trip.  I warmed-up slowly and then slept through the rest of the torrential downpour until around 6am.

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At least gathering water wouldn’t be a problem.  A few minutes is all it took to fill all of my containers with the water that was pouring off my flysheet.  I drank my fill.  I cooked breakfast over my bushbuddy stove under the tarp with some dry branches that I had stashed inside my barrel overnight.  Downing 2 ‘Mountain House’ packs of scrambled eggs w bacon and 2 cups of coffee I felt warm at last and then slept another 2 hours.  By the time I woke again the rain had finally stopped, but the wind had not.  I’d be facing quite a headwind to get where I was going…

 Check out day 4 of my trip

 

 

2014 SUP Camping Trip: What to pack

I learned a thing or two last year on my 1st SUP camping trip, or at least I hope I did. What to pack, what to wear, where I could camp, how far I could go in a day, how much food I needed etc.

For a SUP camping trip, or canoe/kayak trip for that matter,  you’re going to need quite a bit of stuff.  I’ll break it down into some categories:

Equipment – the obvious stuff 1st:

  • SUP
  • Paddle
  • PFD/lifejacket
  • throw/tow rope
  • Waterproof bag or Barrel
  • Sleep system (I go with a the Mosquito Hammock) and sleeping bag
  • Topo map (in a waterproof case)
  • Compass
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SUP and gear, all ready to go!

Cooking/Eating

  • Pot, as in a pot, not some pot, but I’ll leave that up to you
  • Stove – I use the Bushbuddy wood burning stove (or cook directly over the campfire)  It doesn’t charge your phone or make frozen yogurt, but a few sticks will cook your meal, so you will never run out of fuel, not around here anyways.
  • Steel wool (for scrubbing pots/dishes)
  • Campsuds
  • Utensils (I just bring a spoon, but it will depend on what you’re cooking)
  • Bowl – or eat out of the pot?
  • Coffee mug
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifier/filter/steripen
  • Grill – again, depends what you’re cooking and how you tend to cook
Cooking_pot_mug_bowl_etc

Buy a cook system like the GSI soloist/dualist, or shop wisely, making sure you can nest one item in another to save space and keep organized. This pot was $6 at Honest Ed’s, I drilled a couple of holes and added a pot hanger and made a little bag for it…. Good gear doesn’t have to be expensive

Within my pot I carry a bowl, stainless steel mug, some sugar, campsuds, steel wool, some instant coffee (2/day) and some tea.  In this case I also included 1 Vitamin C drink.

...here's my stove in action.  It ways 6oz and fuel is renewable (and free)!

…here’s my bushbuddy camp stove in action. It weighs 6oz and fuel is renewable (and free)!

Paddling clothes

  • hat
  • Sunglasses
  • long sleeve sun shirt (I went with the Sol Cool Hoody)
  • Board shorts
  • water shoes (you may consider these optional until you slice your foot on a zebra mussel – as I did last summer.  Ouch!)
  • paddling gloves
  • Seal-line waist pack (to keep a few essentials that you want on you at all times)
  • Additional water bag?  Optional
  • Sunscreen

Clothes for Evening / off the board

  • Pants
  • hoodie
  • t-shirt x?
  • rain coat, or rain gear
  • mossy net (optional, but I usually bring this instead of bug spray)
  • socks x?
  • underwear x?

Camping equipment:

  • saw
  • head lamp and flashlight (1 is none as they say, build in some redundancy or risk going without)
  • camera
  • Fire kit (I go with 3 types, all stored separately: matches, lighter, ferrocerium rod)
  • laundry line, rope/cordage
  • towel
  • TP
  • Toothbrush / toothpaste
  • Campsuds
  • sunscreen
  • bug repellent
  • 1st aid kit
  • camp knife and sharpener
  • a bunch of extra zip-lock bags
My toiletry bag takes up a bit of space, but keeps everything organized. I add some extras in there: a garbage bag, emergency blanket, mosquito wipes, firestarter (cotton ball soaked in Vaseline seen next to my razor in a white round container)...

My toiletry bag takes up a bit of space, but keeps everything organized. I add some extras in there: a garbage bag, emergency blanket, mosquito wipes, firestarter (cotton ball soaked in Vaseline – seen below the middle in a white round container)…

…and then there’s food.  OMG that’s a lot of stuff!!  Did I miss anything?  So, this is the gear that I packed for a 6 night SUP camping trip.  I went solo on this trip, so everything had to go my barrel.  If you’re with another paddler, you can obviously split up some common items (pots, tent, fire kits, first aid…).

What not to bring:

  • Anything that you’re not willing to carry back out.  There are a lot of broken lawn chairs littering the woods….
  • Glass bottles or jars.  Do not bring beer, wine or liquor in glass bottles.  You Will break one and you will not clean up after yourself.  You will try to burn them in the fire and they are not combustible.  Seriously, just do NOT bring glass bottles, ever!  There is not a single thing that you might want to bring in a glass jar that couldn’t just as easily go in plastic.  Get a platypus for your wine, or choose from wines available in a tetra pak for camping.  Bring your beer in cans if you must bring beer at all, just don’t bring glass bottles!  Nearly every backwoods site I have visited in recent years is littered with broken glass.  I even see broken glass in the water along the shore in remote areas where one might want to swim.

This is now the average fire pit in a site on crown land:

A beautiful view spoiled.

A beautiful view spoiled.

Okay, with that little rant about glass/garbage out of the way, lets hit the water!