SUP Camping 2014: Lakefield to Stoney Lake Day 2

I was up at 6 and on the verge of leg cramps.  Could have sworn that I’d hydrated well yesterday, but my legs were telling me otherwise.  I downed some water, washed up and walked over to Foodland to pick up a few things for my trip.  Grabbed a coffee from McD’s on my way back and sat by the water to enjoy it.  It was nearly 7am.

a clear and quiet morning at Lock 26 in Lakefield.

a clear and quiet morning at Lock 26 in Lakefield (looking south)

I had a washroom key to return but the lock operators wouldn’t arrive until 9 so there was no hurry.  I packed up slowly and finally handed in my key around 915 before setting off.

As you put Lakefield behind you, the Otonabee River opens up into Lake Katchewanooka.

Lake Katchewanooka

Lake Katchewanooka

Only an hour in and I was ready for a break in the shade.  I stopped in this exact spot last year….  I downed a full litre of water before I was on my way again, through this weedy section, and back over to the main channel.


I arrived in Youngs Point, it was just 1130.


I brought my gear ashore and began the short walk over the foot bridge to Granny’s Restaurant for breakfast.  The place was packed, but I was seated quickly and a hot cup of coffee arrived soon thereafter.


It was nearing noon of the 2nd day of my camping trip and I hadn’t even struck a match yet, this was feeling a little strange…  Grandpa’s #2 (uh, that doesn’t sound quite right) breakfast special filled me right up; 3 eggs, 3 sausage, 3 bacon, some home fries and 2pc of gluten-free toast!

If you’re not in a huge hurry, and up for the scenic route back, hang a right as you come out of the restaurant, walk 100m, and enter the trail on the left hand side of the road.  This will take you to the dam.  Cross the dam and you’re back at the lock.  While you’re there you might as well take a stroll through Lockside Trading – no visit to Young’s Point is complete without it.


The trail through Young’s Point Conservation Area

It was 1pm before I set off from Young’s Point and headed into Clear Lake.  There is a continuous flow of high-speed boat traffic on Clear Lake on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I look up to see 4 boats abreast coming straight towards me and decide it’s time to cross to the east side of the lake in search of calmer waters.

By 2pm I’m at the north-east end of the lake and passing amongst the many islands. I tour the area briefly and arrive at my island camp site by 330.  The garbage in the fire pit is still warm.  I spend the next 20min clearing the site of broken glass and garbage 😦  The next thing I do is tend to the fire pit.  Most fire pits are around 3″ deep and 4 feet across.  Not much good for anything but wasting firewood.  I cut the firepit into a 1/4 of its original size and build up the sides.  This will protect the fire from the wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

Cut the fire pit into a quarter of its size and build up the walls.  This will protect against wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

Cut the fire pit into a quarter of its size and build up the walls. This will protect against wind and reflect the heat where you want it.

…and here’s today’s route if you want to check it out, just click to enlarge:


530 and my hammock is up and enough firewood gathered to get me by.  Not much left to do now and lots of time to do it.  I enjoy my dinner, clean up and take a sunset tour on my SUP before settling in by the fire to reflect on a wonderful day.  The full moon shines upon me and it’s time for bed, uh, time for hammock?

 Check out Day 3 of my trip.

Happy paddling!

Stand-up Paddle Board Camping

Stand-up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport around.  While a few have taken it to competitive levels, most are looking for another fitness tool and treat their SUP as a beach toy, never venturing out of sight of their cottage.  I rent a board occasionally along the Toronto Harbourfront and paddle out to the Toronto Islands but even then I have rarely exceeded 10km, which usually leaves me exhausted.  I knew these boards must have more potential.  So, last week, I roughly planned out a route, packed some gear and set off on a 5 night, 100km SUP camping trip!

The first thing you’ll notice about a SUP is their complete lack of storage compartments.  Any gear you’d like to bring will have to sit on the board behind you (or in front) and had better be in a water-proof bag in case it goes overboard.  I crammed all of my gear, and most of the food I would need, into a 30L barrel bag and a 10L water bag.  40L is not a lot of space when you consider that you’ll have to include a sleeping bag, shelter, cooking supplies, a stove, dry clothes for the evenings, rain gear (just in case), towel, food, toiletries etc.  And of course you’re going to need a LOT of water!  Despite some otherwise careful planning I have never tried paddling with gear on board, so once I got my SUP I was really just hoping for the best.  I also used a 4L Seal line waist pack to keep a few essentials dry like my phone, map, wallet and to store a few things that I would want easy access to such as an energy bar or two.

Here’s the basic setup as I launched:

A huge SUP and a week's worth of gear!

A huge SUP and a week’s worth of gear!

Normally when I go camping in the Kawarthas I rent a car in Toronto, drive to the area where I camp and the car sits around all week several kms from my site, a real waste of money.  This time around I got to Peterborough on GO Transit, rented a Starboard SUP from Wildrock Outfitters and carried it the 300m or so down to Millenium Park, where I launched into the Otonabee River.  No car meant a huge savings!

My gear and I will definitely weigh in over 230lbs, so I wanted a SUP with plenty of volume, even if that meant a bigger, slower, heavier board.  I think the model I had was called the Atlas.  This 12′ Starboard SUP is huge!  This board also has rubber (EVA) all the way around the rails for a bit of impact resistance, meaning I shouldn’t have to worry about inflicting any damage as I bring it into shore.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post when I get my trip under way, paddling north up the Trent-Severn Waterway from Peterborough to Lock 24, the first 14km of my 100+km SUP camping trip.

Happy paddling!