1. Test your kit and your mind: Prep and pack your gear and go paddling for a solo weekend or two. Tune your gear to get the right mix and go light.
2. Paddle: Get out a few times a week on local water to tone up the muscles and work on navigation skills.
3. Map Madness: We canoeists tend to spend a lot of time looking at maps! This can lead to long and sometimes difficult trips. Keep that in mind when planning.
4. Get a GPS! It will save time when looking for portages and campsites. Once you are sure on a route we can prepre a GPX file for you. Carry Canadian topos and a compass… learn the UTM system.
5. Communications: Carry a satellite phone with local numbers for emergencies. SPOT is ok as well as a DeLorme device if you have a guardian angel back home.
6. Real Dangers: Folks worry about bears. Yes carry bear spray but trees are far more dangerous!! Hypothermia can happen in Quetico in summer so carry warm clothes. Lightning means get off the water and keep low.
7. Keep food simple and light. Carry lots of snacks and drink a lot of water.
8 Wear your PFD! Yes, wear your PFD / Life Jacket!!
9. Ditch Kit: When on the water or away from camp be sure to wear a small pack with your waterproofed (Pelican Case) communications device, fire tools, fire starters, a small plastic shelter / tarp, cord etc. Know how to use these tools.
10. Tie your boat to something when you are not in it.
11. Hats: Sun hat, rain hat and warm cap.
12. Enjoy the solitude and freedom from any schedule.