View topic - New here, heading to Bisco for a short trip.

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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 8:20 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2020, 2:33 pm
Posts: 5
Hello all,

I'm a long time back-country paddler/camper. I do mostly solo trips, in the longest duration I can get away with.

I have lots of back-country experience. Lots of paddle experience, but mostly kayak the last 20 years because I have a bad shoulder and can't do canoe back to back days. My circumstances have recently changed quite a bit, and so will my future trips, starting with a new solo pack canoe before next season. Somewhere around 32lbs, not the 78lb yacht that I've been hauling for the last decade.

As is for this year, I am heading to Biscotasing next week for at least 11 nights of no destination wandering. Paddle, make camp, fish for dinner, sleep and repeat.

I'm aiming to get back to S. Ontario Friday of Labour Day weekend, then head out again the following Wednesday or Thursday, undecided where yet. Maybe Manicouagan Reservoir (Ring Lake) Quebec for 20 nights around a meteor crater.


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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 8:24 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3342
Location: Newmarket, Ontario Canada
Do you need permits for putting in at Bisco? and if you do, where do you get them (or is it self reg.)?

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"I've never met a river I didn't like. The experience is what we remember and the challenges make for great memories". Me


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PostPosted: August 15th, 2020, 9:05 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2020, 2:33 pm
Posts: 5
Permits are available at the General Store in town.


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PostPosted: August 17th, 2020, 3:33 pm 
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Joined: May 24th, 2014, 8:13 am
Posts: 18
The Bisco General Store is one of those just really interesting pieces on Northern Ontario... Great patio to have a cold one...


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2020, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: March 19th, 2004, 8:22 pm
Posts: 52
Location: North Central Pennsylvania
Bisco General Store was interesting. For those people lacking a mail box in the store their mail was left on a table for people to sort through and select their mail. Now I am more of a backcountry person and the fishing was fun, campsites a challenge sometimes and some of the plant life amazing. I managed some great shots of Sundews and Pitcher Plants complete with an insect meal. And the classic human remain of the fireplace cataloged by Kevin Callan. We experienced a range of weather while there and I would do it all over again. Enjoy, and let us know your experiences.

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Dam our politicians, not our rivers.



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PostPosted: August 27th, 2020, 3:42 pm 
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Joined: August 12th, 2020, 2:33 pm
Posts: 5
So, it sucked, lol.

Day 1 - Had some home issues and lost 1/2 day before getting out of the driveway. Three hour delay on the highway, no signs of what happened or caused the delay, but arrived at Biscotasing too late to hit the water, so F-150 Motel for me.

Day 2 - 15km paddle, easy 220m portage over a small dam, 10 km paddle to camp. Walleye for lunch, and dinner.

Day 3 - Torrential rain from 3am to 3pm, stuck at camp. Walleye for lunch, Pike for dinner, and wished I brought a bigger tent than Eureka Solitaire AL.

Day 4 - 24km paddle, easy 120m portage over a small waterfall, 1km paddle, 650 terrible portage (bush whacking the first 50 m, 4 tree down locations, one with two large trees stacked which was a 2 stage climb over, 2 nasty flooded bogs, one unavoidable mud soaker each pass of double carry). Made camp at the far end, ready to hit a motor boat free lake for the first time the next morning :)

Day 5 - 1.5 km paddle, get an emergency "come home" satellite message. Turn around, double carry the rough portage again with 4 more mud soakers. Then 19km paddle to sudden down pour and thunder/lightening. Make camp, dehydrated dinner, caught a Pike later for 'second' dinner :) Rained all night, and semi-wet camp as I had to set up the rain originally. 30km paddle and a portage still between me and my truck.

Day 6 - Heavy rain all morning. Even on a priority return home mission, too dangerous to get in the boat. Rained til late afternoon, Pike for dinner, still semi-wet camp.

Day 7 - Overcast and ready to storm when I woke. Packed up my wet camp, and hit the water. Light to moderate rain all day. 15-20km/hr head wind for the fir 15km, then turned and had a 15km/hr tail/cross wind for the last 15km back to Biscotasing. Get back to the truck to find a heat crack in the windshield.

Two hours after getting back on the road, got another message that everything was okay and they'd see me whenever I got back, no rush. D'oh!

So early egress and bad weather, both kinda suck on planned trips, but are part of the gig and normally easy to keep a positive head about (Good tarps are the key to staying sane in the rain, I always have at least one and often 2 of either 10x13, 10x10 or 7x10). This trip with a bivy style tent, I brought a 10x10 as my second, so I had a decent sitting area for my chair and gear.

This trip was worsen due to the amount of garbage at every site. The worst sites I have ever seen anywhere. Tables, chairs, tarps, thunder boxes, plastic and glass bottles, metal and plastic bottle caps, broken glass, zip-tie pieces, grommets from destroyed tarps, mosquito coil bases, cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips everywhere.

Unfortunately I did let the garbage bother me much of the trip. It was so prevalent at camps, it was hard to not think about. Surprisingly I didn't see any signs of wildlife at camp other than squirrels and a mouse. Oh, a 2 gallon pile of Moose raisins at one camp. No Bear piles or tracks.

One island had 5 half hanging tarps, 3 broken fish cleaning tables, 6 decrepit crapper boxes (4 of which with plastic toilet seats), all 6 of which had ground fudge under TP Tulips surrounding them, and at lest 7 other tarps balled up and left in the bush. So much food waste left everywhere there was a rotting smell at camp. I stopped counting at 200 nails and screws in the closet trees. Had my lunch and left.

In hindsight this was somewhat my fault for lack of investigation before hand. Having a portage planned day 1, I assumed that was the end of motor vehicle and boat traffic, but Ramsey lake has many access points, cottages and outfitters as well. It falls between two canoe routes, so I wasn't expecting motor boats in the volume I experienced. Just didn't think it through properly.

All in, I was 6 days in the bush and 100km paddling. I had many wonderful Walleye and Pike meals. I saw 3 Moose, 6 Bald Eagle, dozens of Grouse, and 2 Black Bear cubs. The first rain out day I had a Ground Squirrel at camp that was hilarious, and entertained me much of the time. I also drifted my boat within 15 feet of a Golden Eagle, who had been sitting on a rock in the marsh. In the rain I finally read Treasure Island, re-read 1984, and got some maintenance down on some gear. Even a bad day in a canoe, is better than a good day at work.

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