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Catch-all Discussions » drowning on opie sat » 10/13/2020 9:43 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 16

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I can't comment on this as it is still an ongoing investigation. I will say that certain outfitters do vet people but it is a difficult process.

More detail here from the first rescuers. They are heroes:
http://www.kpwoutdoors.com/blog/opeongo-lake-rescue-october-10th-2020

Trip Planning » Opeongo Water Taxi?? » 8/25/2020 9:08 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 5

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Shayne74 wrote:

When perusing the booking page it appears the last departure taxi of the day is 12pm. Does anyone know of they run departures later than 12 or just pick ups in the afternoon??

Departures and pickups are available until an hour before store closing. If the booking page doesn't show availability then they are booked for that day.

Equipment » Repair Tape » 7/12/2020 4:09 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 4

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The peel and stick ripstop tape sold by Coghlan's works well for fabric repair. Round the corners before applying for better long-term adhesion.

Trip Planning » Wow, the backcountry is overrun! » 7/12/2020 4:06 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 14

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Zemantics wrote:

Curiously, how have the clientele been with regards to Park policies -- namely, LNT? I'm sure it's the fear of many that if the general population more often frequented the back country, we might see an influx of site abuse. I suppose the guided trips wouldn't be susceptible to this outcome.

There has definitely been a noticeable increase in new canoe trippers but it is hard to answer your question, since we don't know what our customers do when they are out in the woods. The people who get our complete outfitting packages tend to be aware of environmental responsibility and we do get a chance to talk to them about these things. And yes, the guided trips are well behaved and have a mentor with them

trippythings wrote:

Gord, even though you're only one of the outfitters in the park, I'm curious, are you operating at normal capacity this year? You would expect more park bookings = more demand for outfitters. So if it's less or even equal capacity but the park has more bookings, then I'd guess people are abusing the system and making multiple reservations..

 Since the backcountry opened June 1, we have been hopping. Despite the loss of group, European and American clients, Ontario people are heading to the park in droves. I don't doubt that people are making multiple bookings but the park is also very busy. The phones are constantly ringing and it is hard to keep up with email inquiries. Good problem to have, I suppose. Back in April we were mentally preparing for a quiet summer, how wrong we were!

Trip Planning » Wow, the backcountry is overrun! » 7/11/2020 3:44 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 14

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I book a lot of permits for AO's top packages and guided trips. It is unbelievable how booked up weekends are through the end of July and into August. Every weekend from now on is like the August long weekend. I tried to book sites on the East Arm of Opeongo for a co-worker last week and all of Opeongo was booked for this Saturday (as in today). This never happens, Opeongo usually has availability right up to  the the August holiday.

Trip Planning » Jeff's Map UNLOSTIFY - Algonquin Park » 7/04/2020 6:03 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 31

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MartinG wrote:

I buy a map and take it with me. Map man gotta eat too.  Mostly it stays in my pocket and I look for the bright yellow signs.

And that is the right answer.

Trip Planning » A way to find available number of campsites with the new system! » 7/02/2020 8:52 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 21

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The hack is great, I tried it the other day and after a bit of grumbling, it worked well. Not as convenient as the old way but way better than nothing.

My mole at OP told me that they have been able to see availability all along in the back end. No disrespect to your coder kid but it is likely a matter of someone just flipping a switch so we can see it.

Trip Planning » Jeff's Map UNLOSTIFY - Algonquin Park » 6/09/2020 6:57 am

Gord Baker
Replies: 31

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Why the lack of love for Adventure Maps? They are waterproof, detailed, accurate, easy to read and made to be used with compass and/or GPS. Best of all, they are readily available for all parts of Algonquin and many other parks.
http://www.chrismar.com/

Trip Planning » June 1 opening » 5/28/2020 9:20 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 62

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Thamesman wrote:

The Friends of Algonquin website regarding Closed facilities/activities says:

Camping (developed and backcountry) [closure extended to June 14, 2020]

http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/2020/2020-03-14_covid19.php

Whoah, that is seriously buried in the fine print. Good for you for finding it.
 

Trip Planning » June 1 opening » 5/28/2020 9:01 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 62

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Unless you have personal friends that are Ontario Parks staff, outfitters don't have any more information than anybody else. There is no hotline. We are all prepping for June 1 because that was the last date we were given - what else can you do? The lack of communication from Ontario Parks has been frustrating but bear in mind that these decisions are made much higher up and the trickle down is slow. June 9 or 14 seems most likely at this point.

Catch-all Discussions » Backcountry helo rescue 17May2019 » 6/07/2019 9:31 am

Gord Baker
Replies: 13

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A friend of mine who is friends with a higher-up park manager managed to get confirmation that the party did have a SPOT device (not one of our rentals) and that they were on Burnt Island. The chopper came in the dark but due to weather, couldn't extract them at that time, so returned in the morning. Must have been a cold night. Park staff don't know much more than that, turns out the Trenton SAR folks don't share any reports.

It is too bad that there is no information released about incidents like this. Privacy could be maintained and lessons could be learned with thorough reports and good analysis. As an example, the Mt. Washington Avalanche Center publishes detailed reports on rescues and incidents that the rangers attend. Here is the link.

Equipment » Chainsaw? » 9/22/2018 4:49 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 10

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Steve E wrote:

That's a nice looking saw.  You think it warrant's the price tag Gord?

My short experience with the saw gave me the impression that the thing was very high quality and, to be honest, I was surprised at how easily it cut. So, to answer your question, yes. It is a lifetime tool purchase and if you think you'll use it a lot, why not? Chainsaws have their advantages but the Silky is quiet, will always start and is much more packable (though it is a whopper of a folding saw).

It wasn't in APP, but I've been on a canoe trip with a chainsaw. We were cutting new portages and re-opening old ones that hadn't been used in 35 years. Couldn't have done the route without it. And it did come in handy for firewood a few times. Here's Bob looking for some sign of the original portage:

http://i66.tinypic.com/dpj0oh.jpg

Equipment » Chainsaw? » 9/21/2018 10:26 am

Gord Baker
Replies: 10

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For the same price as a small chainsaw, you can get one these bad boys. Only you will run out gas. I demoed one at the OAS, cut through hardwood like a hot knife through butter:

Silky Katana Boy

Equipment » Chainsaw? » 9/21/2018 7:08 am

Gord Baker
Replies: 10

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solos wrote:

That said, I have often wondered if a battery powered reciprocal saw would be ok. A battery of two would give enough juice to process the majority, if not all of the wood over a long weekend in a couple minutes.

I use a Ryobi cordless recip with the smaller size LI batteries to help with "stand improvement" projects in the woods around my house. One full battery is good for cutting four or five smallish live hardwood trees (eg. thick as my forearm). Then it is dead weight. With dry, dead softwood, you would likely get more cutting time. If you don't have one already, get a tree-cutting blade, makes a big difference.
 

Trip Planning » Solo fall canoe fishing trip » 9/12/2018 10:07 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 25

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If you want to be starting near North Bay, why not do something out out Kiosk? For example, Kiosk, Manitou, Three Mile, Maple, Erables, Osler, Nadine, Nip R, Cedar, Aura Lee, Cauchon, etc./. Or some version of that. Trout lakes early on, bass lakes later.

Equipment » Is there an GPS rescue app? » 8/24/2018 11:06 am

Gord Baker
Replies: 9

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This just popped up on my FB feed. You can't buy it yet but the tech apparently exists to turn your smartphone into a satcom device:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bivystick-simple-satellite-communication#/

Catch-all Discussions » Must Have Books » 8/17/2018 3:45 pm

Gord Baker
Replies: 6

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Here are a few good ones, off the top of my head, and in no particular order:

Path of the Paddle, by Bill Mason (the bible)

Dangerous River, by R.M. Patterson (puts everything in perspective)

Unflinching, by Edgar Christian (rare book, when things go horribly wrong)

Canoeing Wild Rivers, by Cliff Jacobson (bible # 2)

The Starship and the Canoe, by Kenneth Brower (just a great story, and all true)




 

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