Algonquin Solo Canoe Trip: Planning

In two days I leave for my second solo canoe trip. The first one I completed in 2016 and is fully documented here. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and I’m eager to test out another solo trip. I will be returning to Joe Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario. This time I’ll be heading to the east arm of the lake. I’m going about a month earlier, so the bug situation should be… interesting. I am bringing a bug jacket and am hoping for the best.

My gear kit has changed a bit since my last solo trip. I figure I don’t really need to be quite so ultralight on canoe trips, especially with short portages. So, I’ve included some improvements and comfort gear. Here are the new additions.

  • 115L MEC Slogg Dry Pack – This is a great Canoe Pack and will keep everything dry.
  • Coleman Woodsman II Chair – I actually use this as a kind of frame in my canoe pack. And let me tell you, it is wonderful to have a comfy lounge chair on the campsite.
  • MEC Reactor 6.5 Sleeping Pad – because my Canoe pack is so large (115L) I figured i could upsize my sleeping pad for warmth (it has been going down to 5C some nights) and comfort.
  • Lounge Hammock made of lightweight parachute nylon
  • KA-BAR BK2 Full Tang Knife – This is primarily for batoning firewood.
  • Baofeng UVF – for Environment Canada weather updates
  • Updated Bear Hang Kit – I now use a new method with a climbing pulley, 2 Paracord 550 cords and a carabiner. This method has been the easiest and most effective to set up for me since the last trip.
  • Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter – this is a fantastic water filter, super fast and convenient.
  • Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium Pot – For a solo tripper who just needs to boil water for meals, I don’t need such a large cookset, so i’ve downsized.
  • Stainless Nalgene Standard Widemouth – This nests perfectly in the Snow Peak pot and creates a great solo complete cookset. The Stainless Nalgene doubles as my water bottle and I can also boil water/cook in it if i need to.
  • Bear Spray – I’ve started carrying this on all of my trips. Hope to never use it, but I feel better carrying it.

My full gear list can be found on my Trip Planning Sheet on the Lists tab. This time, I’m also renting a 16′ H20 Solo Canoe. I’ve very excited about this. I’m hoping with the positioning of the seat and the design specifically for solo paddlers, it will really improve the paddling experience. I can’t wait to try it out!



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