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Paddling in isolation

The north can be a tremendous experience with incredible beauty, but it can also be very harsh and life threatening if something goes wrong
A group of canoeist didn't tie up their canoes in the east arm of Great Slave Lake.  A big storm blew that night and 4 out of the 6 boats were washed out in to the lake with all the gear in them.  The paddlers had to use the two remaining canoes to paddle to get help.  They were fortunate that after a day's paddle they ran into myself and my family camping in the area.  We were able to radio relay info to the RCMP so that an aircraft could retrieve them.  Their boats were not found till the next year.
Another client emptied out his kayak to clean it when a shear wind hit him and blew his PFD, kayak, sleeping bag etc into the water.  He called us on the Sat phone to let us know what had happened.  We started to put together a retrieval plan.  A few hours later he called to say he had found the kayak and was going to continue his trip.  If he had not had his phone and not found the boat he would have been pretty stranded.

Communication is so important.  A Satellite phone can be rented for $250 per month or purchased for around $2100.00.  Another option is a SPOT Messenger.
The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger provides a vital line of communication with friends and family when you want it, and emergency assistance when you need it. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where cell phones don’t – all with the push of a button.  the cost for the unit is $169.00 and then networking charges of approximately $150. per year depending on what features you activate.  
We offer a !0% discount to Canoe North Clients if they wish to purchase a SPOT.  To read more on the SPOT click here.  To see a someone's kayak adventure click here.
If you are not into communication then stop at the local RCMP and let them know where you are going the route, the equipment you have and when you plan to arrive at your destination. When you arrive contact the RCMP and let them know that you have arrived and what your next destination will be. There is nothing that frustrates searchers more is performing a "bastard search" . Which means that they start the search, star finding relatives etc to get more information and find out the bastard is at home watching TV and didn't notify the authorities that they had reached their destination or had terminated the trip early.

Canoe North reserves the right to not rent equipment to someone who we feel has not got an adequate backup plan in case something goes wrong.  
Have fun be safe.