Must. Go. To. Woods.

Algonquin Park, 30 August - 3 September 2000

Trip organization memo, v. 1.3.1 - August 9


  1. Schedule
  2. Attendance and division of responsibility
    1. Attendance
    2. Division of responsibility
  3. Equipment
    1. Personal equipment
    2. Group equipment
  4. Emergency planning
    1. Command and control
    2. Categories of casualty

Annex A - Trip menu

Annex B - Clothing

1. Schedule

Tu 29 August

Rent car or van, drive to Patrick's and pre-load. (note - this is working day for PC until late evening) Early night at Patrick's. Set bread machine, pre-make coffee.

Portages: 0
Wed 30 August

Early departure from Patrick's, aiming for 7am.
Arrive park at Canoe Lake about 11am. Lunch.

After lunch, register at park office, rent canoes and equipment
Group task: load canoes.
Aim for 1:30 departure.

To Tom Thomson Lake via Canoe Lake, Joe Lake, Teepee Lake and Littledoe Lake
Portages: 1
~150m Easy (map says 290 but there is a shortcut)
On this portage, clarify portage drills.
c 4pm: Arrive Tom Thomson Lake.
Group reviews canoe recovery drills.

Thu 31 August

To Timberwolf Lake via Ink Lake and McIntosh Lake

Portages: 2
2320m Difficult
400m Moderate

Fri 1 September

To Big Trout Lake via Misty Lake, the Petawawa River and White Trout Lake

Portages: 7
120m can't remember
840m can't remember
180m Difficult
190m Difficult
150m Difficult
80m Difficult
200m Difficult

Sat 2 September

To Burnt Island Lake via Otterslide Creek, Otterslide Lake and Little Otterslide Lake.

Portages: 6
100m difficult (steep hill)
730m moderate
240m difficult at the end
780m easy

Sun 3 September

To Canoe Lake (leave park) via various Joe Lakes (Baby Joe, Lost Joe, Little Joe and Joe.)

Portages: 3
190m very easy
430m optional (easy if portaging chosen, but also a straightforward pull-through)
290m easy, and again likely less than 290 because of the shortcut by the dam

2) Attendance and division of responsibility

a) Attendance


  • MK
  • PC
  • RLK
  • DL


  • TL
  • SM
  • SVCM
  • KBG
  • PWG

Practical maximum is 6-7.

b) Division of responsibility

Concept here is that the people named are in charge of preparation in an area, not that they have to do it all by themselves. This applies particularly to food, below.

Park booking PC (done)
Car rental MK
Food RK/DL
Load organization PC/RLK
First aid kit DL/RLK
Emergency communications DL
Political arguments All

3) Equipment

a) Personal equipment

Personal clothing is dealt with in Annex B.

  • Sun screen - at least SPF 15
  • Plate (Lexan or melamine recommended)
  • Bowl (Lexan or melamine recommended)
  • KFS
  • Mug (unbreakable)
  • Sharp knife, preferably folding (penknife or kitchen knife - PC has one extra folding knife)
  • Leakproof water bottle (1 litre Nalgene recommended)
  • Leakproof bottle containing ~375ml your favourite strong drink
  • Sleeping bag
  • Thermarest or other sleeping pad
  • Map. The best map for this route is the 2000 edition of the 'Algonquin 1 Corridor North' map, available in the book section at MEC. It's not strictly necessary to own a personal copy of the map, although each canoe should certainly have one. Everybody should be familiar with the route. The official Algonquin Park Canoe Routes map put out by the Friends of Algonquin Park is a good second choice.
  • New roll of toilet paper in a ziploc bag. TP is a personal responsibility.
  • Serious waterproofing method for any absorbent (i.e. clothes and sleeping bag) personal kit (Seal Line dry bag or heavy sandbag plastic with zipties recommended)
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Toothbrush
  • Incendiary device(s) - lighter in a colour that will be obvious when dropped in the dirt

Optional/recommended personal kit

  • Pillowcase
  • Book and/or notebook/pen recommended, in a ziploc bag.
  • Camera and film with waterproofing - waterproof disposable cameras seem to work well
  • Razor if one is deeply fussy about facial/pit hair
  • Small, quick-drying towel-like object (bandannas can substitute)
  • Women: consider whether tampons will be timely additions to personal kit - if yes - cotton applicator-less type recommended. Waterproof severely. Pack a few small paper bags and extra ziplocs for carry-out.

Note that personal kit will end up in shared packs -- stuffsacks and other methods of keeping personal kit together and vaguely organized are highly recommended.

b) Group equipment

Cookware, incl cutting boardRLK with help as needed
Dish-washing equipmentRLK with help as needed
Hatchet and hammerPC
Tents Tents are owned as follows
RLK - 2 pers
PC - 2 pers (can squeeze 3)
DL - 2 pers
RopeRLK and PC to both bring all rope and carabiners owned.
CompassPC, DL, RLK at least: goal is one per canoe
PacksPC, DL, RLK, more?
Water filtersRLK, DL
Biodegradable shampoo,
conditioner, toothpaste
Bug stuffRLK/DL (done)
Coffee making systemRLK/DL
Duct tape, blue foamy pads for canoe yokesDL

4) Emergency planning

a) Command and control

DL has a current first aid certification, RLK and PC have out-of-date certifications. Therefore, DL is in charge of a casualty. Alternates are RLK and PC.

b) Categories of casualty

There are four possible situations with a casualty:

  1. Casualty can continue with local treatment (eg. mild hypothermia)
  2. Casualty can continue with limitations (eg. mild sprain)
  3. Casualty needs to leave the park
  4. Casualty needs immediate emergency evacuation

Two possible drills in case #4:

  1. If we have working communications (ie. cell phone contact with the park or the OPP), group stays together, stabilizes the casualty, waits for casualty's evacuation by air.
  2. If we don't have working communications, group splits into two parts: group 1 stabilizes the casualty, group 2 - a lightly equipped canoe - moves with all possible speed to reach the nearest telephone and arrange casualty's evacuation.

Annex A Food

Wednesday breakfast PC's house or Toronto
Wednesday lunch P-store or en route
Wednesday dinner Chicken fajitas with tzatziki
Thursday breakfast Bread & spreads - PB, honey
Thursday lunch Cheese (cheddar) & bagels
Thursday dinner Veggie chili with cheese; rice
Friday breakfast Granola & milk with dried fruit
Friday lunch Cheese (soft, wax-covered type) & bagels
Friday dinner Falafels with tahini sauce & tabouleh
Saturday breakfast Granola & milk with dried fruit
Saturday lunch Bread & spreads - PB, honey
Saturday dinner Pasta (tomato/herb)
Sunday breakfast Granola & milk with dried fruit
Sunday lunch (P-store)

This is the abbreviated version; long version to include the usual extras (beverages, snacks, desserts). No complaints about the menu later if you don't speak up and veto stuff you hate well before we go!

Annex B Personal clothing list

Separate clothes and shoes to wear in the car
Important: a complete set of clean, dry clothes, including shoes, socks and underwear, should stay in the car. That way, you have them to wear on the way home.

Really good raingear that covers your head and goes down below your butt
Optional: rain pants

Shoes/hiking boots with good support that you are willing to get wet and probably muddy
Dry shoes or sandals for wearing at the campsite
Wet socks x 1 or 2, wool strongly recommended
Dry socks x 2

Sweatpants or other comfy pants for wearing at the campsite (not jeans; they'll take forever to dry)
Light pants or leggings to wear during the day if the weather is iffy

2 t-shirts
long-sleeved shirt
fleece or other warm sweater that would still be warm if it got wet
fleece vest or other warm/light/sleeveless device

2-3 pairs fast-drying underwear

Women: one normal but beat-up bra, plus one good supportive sportsbra

Hat that will stay on in a breeze (and that floats!)


Several bandannas