Choose Your Destination: Research and select a backcountry canoeing destination that aligns with your skill level, interests, and timeframe. Consider factors like distance, difficulty, and the type of water bodies you’ll encounter. Killarney Provincial Park is considered a Wilderness Park and offers incredible natural beauty.
Check Regulations and Permits: Investigate the specific regulations and permits required for your chosen destination. Obtain permits well in advance, ensuring compliance with park or wilderness area rules. As of January 2024, all Killarney permits are digital – please keep a digital copy of your permit with you on your trip.
Assess Your Group’s Skill Level: Evaluate the paddling experience and skills of your group members. Plan a route that matches everyone’s abilities, and consider any training or practice sessions beforehand. If you are bringing your own canoe, please ensure you have your proper rescue kit as required by Ontario law.
Plan Your Route: Map out your route, identifying key landmarks, portage locations, and potential campsites. Consider daily distances, estimated paddling times, and factors like wind and currents. We like to use Unlostify’s maps (formerly Jeff’s Maps) which we sell online.
Consider Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast for your trip dates. Be prepared for unexpected changes and pack appropriate clothing for various conditions, including rain gear and layers for temperature variations. Ice and snow are often off the lakes by the end of the April. Blackfly season usually begins around mid or end of May depending on weather and can continue to mid or late June depending on the season.
Create a Detailed Itinerary: Develop a comprehensive itinerary that includes daily plans, emergency contact information, and expected arrival times. Share this information with a responsible person who can assist in case of unforeseen circumstances. Widgawa rents satellite communicators to stay connected when you have no cell service.
Pack Essential Gear: Assemble a well-thought-out gear list, including a first aid kit, navigation tools, extra paddles, and waterproof bags for valuables. Consider necessities like a water filtration system and bear-resistant food containers if applicable.
Food and Water Provisions: Plan and pack sufficient food and water for the entire trip. Consider lightweight, non-perishable options, and calculate quantities based on your group size and trip duration.
Practice “Leave No Trace” Principles: Familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace principles and commit to minimizing your environmental impact. Practice responsible waste disposal and follow guidelines for low-impact camping.
Training and Safety Measures: Ensure everyone in your group is familiar with basic canoeing skills and safety procedures. Conduct any necessary training sessions, including practicing capsizing and recovery techniques. Prioritize safety, and carry emergency essentials such as a first aid kit and communication devices.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us via email and we would be happy to assist where we can!