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7/04/2016 8:52 am  #1

First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

Good morning,
Reading everyone's posts with interest and enjoying the photos etc.

This will be my first trip with my step son (12) so I decided to use an outfitter to provide most of the gear - canoe, tent, packs etc to see if we enjoy it and have a fun trip.

I have bought some basics and things I think will help make the trip more successful. However I want to make sure I don't miss anything that is a must have / or will help make the trip a fun one for myself and my nephew.

I have read some reports and there are mention of bear proof containers, is this really a requirement or will hanging in a tree(s) prevent this requirement?

I wasn't planning on buying a bear proof container but the more I think about it will I have to worry about Raccoons or other wildlife if I hang a bag between trees or something similar? Food is being provided by outfitter and I presume a lot of it is dehydrated.

I am being provided with water purification tablets, do I need a filter too?

How bad are the insects? I have plenty of Deet and a net just in case, will that suffice?

Sorry for the newbie questions.....

Looking forward to sharing my trip report



7/04/2016 9:26 am  #2

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

last time i was along that stretch,,,,,, there should be a spring three campsites back from the entrance to annie bay. the spring bleeds out along the beach into opie  for 20m.?  ask the outfitters to find you a spot along the beach campsites. although dry conditions could make the spring harder to find. listen for the sounds,, good cold water.
 freeze your water bottles before hitting  the road, place in a small cooler for the  car ride (do not forget) at least you will have cold water for awhile.
   western breeze should keep the bugs down,
 hang all food, nothing in the tent, including clothing worn while cooking your meals. don not sleep in a t shirt worn while frying any thing,,food scene on the garments could attract critters.
 good small mouth bass fishing.
 i hope this helps?

Last edited by swedish pimple (7/04/2016 9:34 am)


7/04/2016 9:29 am  #3

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

Welcome Dave!

Renting is smart when you're just getting started. Good camping gear can be quite expensive and it's a lot to spend for something you don't even know if you're going to enjoy yet!

Hanging a bag is just fine - that's what most people do. You're definitely going to want a filter. Purification tablets take time and don't leave water tasting the best.I haven't been to the park lately so I won't comment on the current state of the bugs, but generally speaking by now the black flies are low in numbers, the mosquitoes and deer flies will still have healthy populations. Deet and a head net will be fine. 

Are you travelling from Canoe Lake to Opeongo? Or are you just paddling up Opeongo to the east arm? In case you're not aware, Opeongo is a big, beautiful lake, but it's one that allows motorboats. Not sure you care, just as an FYI. And as it's big - the biggest in the park - it can also have some adventurous paddling conditions at times. 



7/04/2016 9:38 am  #4

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

I'm not too sure how it will be on july 12, but i spent 4 days in the park last week and the bugs were out in full force, with black flies being the worst. We had a little bit of wind which kept them at bay some times, but in the portage they're pretty brutal, on site, they come and go. No amount of deet can prevent them either. We were constant applying it and i sprayed all my clothing and equipment with that Permethrin spray and still got eaten.

I would just suggest to plan for the absolute worst bugs you can imagine, then if it's not that bad you'll be happy you were prepared anyway.


7/04/2016 10:21 am  #5

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

Hey Dave,

I do not use a bear proof container for my food (not that there's an issue with people who do).  I just hang my food bag between two trees and I have never had an issue and I've been on multiple trips over the years. 

As for bugs, Like others have said just plan for the worst.  I haven't been in the park since May so I can't comment on current conditions. 

I have never used purification tabs myself but I do use a water filter.  But if you can take advantage of that spring Swedish was talking about do it.  Nice, fresh and cold water.

Have fun on your trip!  I hope you and your step son have a blast.  I took my oldest son (4 years old) into the backcountry this past May and he still hasn't stopped talking about it.  Algonquin has its hooks into him now


Last edited by ChrisMcD (7/04/2016 10:23 am)


7/04/2016 10:26 am  #6

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

Hi Dave,

I have always hung bags in the backcountry and have never had an issue. I use the 10-4-4 rule (10 feet off the ground, 4 feet from the tree trunk and 4 feet down from the limb) which seems to work well. In addition to food, I hang anything that may have an attracting scent such as hygiene items, first aid kit, cooking/eating gear and of course garbage. Swedish makes a good point about hanging clothes with food scents as well.
You can get away with purification tablets or vigorously boiling water for several minutes. Having said that, a filter is a must have for me. I've used a gravity-fed one for several years now and love it. It costs a little over $100.
DEET and netting should serve you well for bugs, but as hoser said you may still get a wee bit chewed up. Consider bringing some of the PIC mosquito coils and/or having a small fire while at camp to further deter insects.

I hope you both enjoy the experience!



7/04/2016 10:36 am  #7

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

Thanks to all for the response so far and so quickly, love this forum.

So shopping list is growing :-)

Water Filter, head nets, more chemicals LOL

So the coils do work then?

     Thread Starter

7/04/2016 11:09 am  #8

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

If an outfitter is renting you everything else, surely they must rent water filters as well, no? Save your money on buying one for now if you can. As you've said - you're trying camping out. Would be a shame to buy a $100 water filter to use it once. 

For that matter if you're in the Toronto area I've got one you can borrow. 


7/04/2016 11:17 am  #9

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

I find the coils help, but only marginally depending on how the wind is blowing. Having one by your feet later in the day may help for the annoying ankle bites!


7/04/2016 1:09 pm  #10

Re: First timer advice - 3 day trip from Canoe into East Arm 12th July

The Sites on the narrows leading into Annie Bay look nice although I've only seen them from the canoe while trolling bye waiting for the water taxi. I'd avoid the sites at the portage to Bonfield near the big monument. If the wind is up it makes it difficult to cook etc., also the sites are a little crappy, the fishermen usually stop there to have lunch and rest so depending on your preference it may get a little busy. 


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