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Author Topic: 2 week Temagami Trip  (Read 564 times)

Offline timdaman

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2 week Temagami Trip
« on: January 29, 2020, 10:17:04 pm »
 Hi,
  I am planning a two week winter solo trek in Temagami this February. I will have a modest hot tent setup that I aim to move most days, maybe 5 days out of 6.

When I look for what others have done in the winter I mostly see weekend trips off of Lake Temagami Access Road. There are very little longer 3-4 days. I considered doing one of the Lure of North routes but

  • The timing is such as I would probably run into them which would ruin the solitude for both of us.
  • Their routes are riskier than I am comfortable with doing solo. At spots their numbers allow them to take bigger risks as there are hands to help if the worse should strike.

I am also looking for mostly solitude, I would like to avoid winter cottages, motorized equipment, etc. I got a kick of going 7 days without seeing another person last year.

  • Do you have any links to descriptions or recommended publications describing previous long winter trips?
  • Any suggestion on areas where there is more solitude and nicer areas of travel?
  • Hints, tips you think might be useful for such a trek in the area?
  • Any suggestions on what mental illnesses I might have to consider this type of trip fun?

For those worrying, I have 2-3 months of previous winter over night experience (hot and cold). The last couple years I have been doing week+ long solo treks in Algonquin so I am comfortable in cold climes, breaking trail, ice travel, and dragging heavy kits.

Offline memaquay

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 05:53:55 am »
I don't know what the weather has been like down there, but up here in Geraldton, we are having a bad slush year, in case you are thinking of doing a lot of lake travel.

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 09:03:42 am »
I was hoping to do just that, hmmm. Thanks for the report. I will be in Algonquin this weekend so I will check the ice on the lakes there.

For my long trip I was thinking of in and out route. It lowers the risk for me since my exit is on a know path. Worse comes to worse if I am not having fun I can base camp and/or turn around early. 

Offline kinguq

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 12:04:25 pm »
Wow, that's ambitious. I just returned from a 2 night solo trip, and I am always amazed at the sheer amount of work it is for one person to set up, process wood, etc. Not to mention that, solo, you are breaking trail all the time, which can be quite intense.

As always around here you are limited by places you can leave your car. As an alternative idea, I suggest taking the train (Budd Car) north from Sudbury, and just getting off somewhere promising to explore. You can make arrangements to be picked up, or just flag down the train. Lots of country there, all crown land, and no worries about leaving your car at the train station.

The one disadvantage is that the train service can be quite unreliable, with frequent delays of hours, so sometimes you can be left waiting by the tracks for a long time. Such is life...

Just an idea for your consideration. Good luck with your trip.

Kinguq.

Offline rbinhood

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 05:34:02 pm »
RISK. A four letter word to think carefully about.
Two is one, and one is none when something fails.
"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."
Henry David  Thoreau

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 10:02:55 am »

memaquay, I am back from Algonquin. I certainly ran into several slush pockets but there was enough snow on top that I never iced up. It made getting water for camp a lot easier though.


kinguq, indeed, it is very tough setting up solo. I am not sure why I do it, perhaps it is the fact I get paid to sit for a living (I work in IT). I seems the effort appeals.

Thank you for the Budd car suggestion. I have no mapping, guides, and have done no research so on that area so I am not sure how far I'll get but next years trek might be the right time. I'll see what I can find out over the next few days.


rbinhood, well made points, I think of this all the time when I out solo. I teach winter classes and emphasis the importance of companions to safe winter trips, I usually suggest minimum groups of 4. It is the classic "do as I say, not as I do" but for me I suspect sitting in town staring at screens is probably a worse long term risk.

Offline kinguq

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 02:51:30 pm »
As a fellow frequent soloist, could you provide some details about your gear? Specifically your tent, stove and sled, and how much it all weighs

As I'm sure you are very well aware, weight is a heavy issue for a solo traveler since everything must be dragged on one sled, and there is no sharing of gear. After several years I have managed to get my weight and bulk down to the point where I use a single pulk and a total weight of about 30 kg. This involves using a tiny stove and a converted 3 season nylon tent. I prefer the pulk because I find it pulls easier than a similarly sized toboggan under most conditions. https://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=3917.msg35277#msg35277

Thanks,
Kinguq.

Online walknabout

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 11:43:43 am »
Looking forward to the trip report already timdaman 8)

As kinguq already mentioned, access and safe parking (especially for that long) gets tricky up there.  A lot of the bush access roads are only plowed if there is active logging taking place, so always have a back up plan to your back up plan when traveling up there.

For this long of a trip, and to be on the safe side, you could always start your trip from one of the lodges up there. Sportman’s Lodge on Lake Kukagami offers safe parking, and you have a lot of travel options from there.  If you run into trouble out on the lakes, you can hop on one of the many bush trails up that way and still get a solid tour of the Wolf Lake forest reserve area and beyond.  Check with Smoothwater outfitters for parking.  There is some great lake/trail travel up that way that can take you right into the heart of Temagami.  Northland Lodge in town is another option, Doug can point you in the right direction as to route planning.  Have a loose plan, possibilities are pretty much endless up there and you're guaranteed to have a blast every single day you're out there 8)

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 09:33:52 pm »
kinguq,
   indeed solo is possibly the worst combination of all.

  • No-one to share kit/weight with
  • No one to help in an emergency
  • No one to help with all the chores

I am still pulling my kit together so I will stick to the big things.

  • I have a Sierra Designs Mountain Guide Tarp (about 6lbs including all the accessories)
  • My stove is a Kni-Co trekker with a shelf and wood processing tools. About 20-30lbs
  • I am bringing a Nemo Canon -40 bag, Zrest, and Neo Air XTherm  for sleeping. Maybe 7 lbs total
  • Snow shoes, I am not sure. I have NorthernLite 30" and 12*60" Algonquins(new this year). Last weekend I found the snow reasonably icy/firm so I might stick with the lighter pair. If I fear powder I will bring them both so I have something to make camp with.
  • I have a 8' UHMW toboggan(new this year)

The stuff not listed tends to be more modern and lightweight rather than traditional. I am primarily a backpacker and my clothing and gear reflects that. Nearly all synthetic and fast drying.

I find your link very interesting, indeed it all makes sense. Last year I ran into 5' of powder on my trip which very nearly caused me to give up even with 36" snowshoes. One of the things I found was once my pulk (I was using a "Paris" sled) came into my tracks the rim of the sled was below the surface of the snow creating a lot of drag. I am hoping the narrower profile of the toboggan would make for easier pulling. The extra 16-18" length also give me space to put the extra weeks food. Also, that is why I have the new snowshoes but their are a great deal heavier so I may save them for the worse conditions.

My guess is I will end up with a 80-90lbs load to start with but I have a lot of packing left to do.

Off to more packing and routing.

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 09:38:10 pm »
walknabout,
  Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is supper helpful. I just spent a hour going over the map and your suggestion doubled the options I am considering. Hopefully the lodges pay yo a kick back because I am likely to give them all a call. ;)

I will be sure to be prepared to be flexible, who know was conditions will do. That is half the fun.

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2020, 08:46:53 pm »
I decided to go with Doug at Northland Paradise Lodge. He is quote a character on the phone, I look forward to meeting him in person.

Packing is done, boy that was a ton of ton of work. Now just a 4 days of worrying and second guessing my packing list before I head out.

Offline trapmusher

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 05:34:30 am »
I hope you have a blast and that all trails are firm.

What are you bringing to read?

Online walknabout

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 03:15:55 pm »
Good choice, you are in for a treat sir!!!  Doug is such an awesome human with so much knowledge to share ;)
Enjoy your trip and hope to read all about it upon your return 8)

Offline timdaman

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 12:03:11 am »
For reading I have a half dozen magazines to catch up on and also a dozen audiobooks.

If you want to follow along this link should light up time on Sunday with my tracking. Hope it is entertaining.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0qPlGeylDcoPqr4emHhymcSr7Jql8RFAs

Thank you everyone for your great suggestions and warm wishes.

Offline koivisto

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Re: 2 week Temagami Trip
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2020, 01:47:07 pm »
Have a great trip timdaman! By all accounts you sound well prepared. I'm going out this weekend for a solo in Northern Michigan but a Temagami route is on my wish list!
Koivisto