Archives for posts with tag: Penobscot

One really nice thing about canoe camping is the amount of space you have in a canoe for carrying food supplies, including a cooler. A 70-quart cooler fits nicely in the center of an Old Town 169 Discovery Canoe which is 35” wide at the beam. Canoe camping makes it easy to plan a menu that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, meats & dairy. When planning for an extended trip (five days or longer), plan your menu for your fresh meats, fish, salad ingredients to be consumed early on, and your frozen foods for later in the trip up to seven days (seven days only if you have perfected using your cooler and know firsthand how long your ice will last). Last summer, our ‘freezer’ cooler lasted 8 days on our NE Mistissibi Canoe Trip in Quebec and that was 2 days with temperatures reaching into the middle 80s!

MEAL IDEAS FOR CANOE TRIPS

Dinners consist of locally raised rib-eye steaks, wild caught salmon, pork loin, spaghetti with homemade sauce, taco soup, chicken, rice, vegetables & dumplings. Served with dinner are fresh salads/slaws, vegetables, rice pilaf, fresh baked biscuits and baked desserts including brownies & strawberry shortcake. Breakfasts include organic coffee, assortment of regular & herbal teas & hot chocolate, rolled oats, fruit, buttermilk pancakes served with real Maine blueberries & syrup, french toast, ploys, and the traditional Maine guide breakfast of local farm fresh eggs, meat and organic potatoes. Lunches are on the fly and may include make your own wraps with assorted breads, variety of meats and cheeses, tuna, lettuce, pickles & tomatoes. Snack foods including trail mix, beef jerky, carrots, peanut butter, bars, cookies, fruit. For trips that require food beyond the life of your ice, plan on meals such as taco soup, lentil chili or spaghetti with meat sauce using dehydrated hamburger. Chicken and rice with dumplings using canned chicken and mac and cheese with canned ham. For lunch, use canned meats which may include ham, chicken, salmon and tuna along with peanut butter and jelly. For breakfast, canned meats can be served along with pancakes, hot cereal and buckwheat ployes.

Old Town canoe trip meal planning salmon cook food paddle

PACKING A COOLER FOR CANOE TRIPS

Depending on your climate and how well you maintain your coolers, it is not uncommon to plan frozen foods for up to a week. We choose inexpensive, well insulated coolers over the pricy, heavier thick-walled, bulky coolers as these don’t fit well and take up valuable space in the canoe. With larger canoe groups, use two coolers and place in separate canoes, one for your fresh foods including cheeses, cold cuts, butter, milk, eggs, cool whip and meats you’ll use up over the first three days and a second cooler as your freezer for extended trip foods including frozen meats such as steaks, fish, pork loins, bacon, sausage & burger, and liquid eggs in a carton. Use frozen gallon sized water jugs over block ice. This keeps your cooler drier as block ice makes for a mess in the bottom of the cooler as it melts. During pre-trip food preparations, be sure to remove food items from their original packaging and place is a doubled-up Ziploc bag, especially with meats to prevent juices pooling up in the bottom of your cooler. Cut out cooking directions from original packaging and include with the packed food items or use a sharpie with portions and basic directions on how to prepare and cook. Assign one person (preferably the one who planned the menu and packed the cooler) for retrieving items from the cooler so as to prevent the cooler from being opened too many times. Be organized, pack you cooler with items you will use near the start of your trip at the top and items you’ll use later in the trip near the bottom. Always be sure lids are securely shut to prevent ice from melting too quickly. You’ll be surprised how quickly ice melts when something is caught in the lid preventing the cooler from being sealed shut.

When arriving at your campsite, be sure to place cooler is a shaded location out of the direct sun. Another way to keep your ice longer, is to drape a wet white towel over your cooler. As the towel dries it creates a convection effect cooling your cooler. Re soak the towel as needed. While on whitewater canoe trips secure your cooler using a strap made of rubber, much like a large rubber band that goes around the girth of the cooler. This keeps the lid firmly shut even if the canoe and cooler end upside down in the river! To make a rubber cooler strap, secure a spent inner tube from a large farm tractor. Here in Maine, an inner tube from a logging skidder tire will work well for this. To make the strap, simply cut a cross section out about 2” wide out of the inner tube. On calmer trips, instead of an inner tube strap, we often use river straps with a cam buckle around the cooler that can be attached to your gunwale or thwart.

For trips with lengthy portages such as Webster Stream, the East Branch of the Penobscot and when taking part in shorter sections of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, you’ll want to skip the bulky cooler and go with a soft pack with shoulder carry or back pack style straps. I just purchased 2 deluxe food packs from Cooke Custom Sewing, these durable soft packs are made for canoe camping, have nice shoulder carrying straps and are lined with closed cell foam. We’ll use these packs as produce packs for fruits and vegetables and on shorter canoe trips with long portages as a cooler. While most produce does not need refrigeration, we often place a 2-quart frozen jug a water wrapped in newspaper so as to prevent direct contact with certain fruits & vegetables which can ruin them. On shorter trips with lengthy portaging, I’ll use a smaller soft pack to include steaks, breakfast meats, meat for sauces, cold cuts & sliced cheese. It sure is nice on a guided canoe trip to use these types of foods verses canned, freeze dried or dehydrated options.

Old Town canoe trip meal planning camp stove picnic paddle portage

STORING NON-COOLER FOODS ON CANOE TRIPS

While there are many options for storing and transporting foods on canoe trips, I like to use 30-liter blue recreation barrels, not only are they water and bear proof, these smaller containers can be distributed amongst the canoes easier (verses large heavy bulky boxes), strapped or tied in with little worry about losing you food in the event a canoe upset.

COOKING FOOD ON CANOE TRIPS

Here in the Northeast, we do almost all of our cooking over an open fire. You’ll want to research your planned river trip to find out what the regulations are when it comes to open fire and cooking. For example, while the Green River Float Trip in Utah’s Ashley National Forest provides campsites that include picnic tables, benches, tent pads and a fire ring for campfires, the Grand Canyon River Trip in the Grand Canyon National Park requires bringing a stove for cooking and has strict guidelines on fires for warming and aesthetics.

BAKING DESSERTS AND BISCUITS

Reflector ovens are quite common but can be bulky to transport unless they are of the collapsible kind. We use food grade aluminum Dutch oven style rectangle baking dishes. This style nestles and stores much easier than the traditional Dutch oven pot which is also quite heavy. First, we preheat the top and bottom over the open fire and remove some coals and place them on a level area. Next, place the bottom section on the coals (no flame to prevent burning), add oil (to prevent sticking) and ingredients. Next place the lid over the top and build a twig fire on the lid. Depending on what you are cooking, biscuits often take about ten minutes while brownies 20 minutes or longer. These baked dishes can be extremely hard to find and we do have a contact in New Brunswick, Canada for these bake style dishes (contact Dave for more info).

While there are certainly many great food options for canoe camping that do not require the use of a cooler and cooking over a campfire, it sure is nice to take advantage when possible by expending your options while on a canoe camping trip.

Testimonial of a Canoe the Wild Guest

“The food was carefully prepared and was delicious! It is amazing what Tammi made for main course and Andrew taught us how to bake on an open fire. Madeline and I baked chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!” -Carrie West, Seattle Washington, 2018 Allagash Canoe Trip

Dave Conley Master Maine Guide and owner of Canoe the Wild, has been paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada since 1985. During the school year, Dave teaches an outdoor education program at East Grand High School in Danforth, ME, host to the annual East Grand Adventure Race. In the fall, guided moose hunts are offered in northern Maine. Contact Dave for More information

 

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Pictures highlighting Canoe the Wild’s 2017 canoeing season on the Allagash, Penobscot, St. Croix, Bonaventure and Mattawamkeag Rivers. Be sure to check out our 2018 canoe trip schedule here.

Maine canoe trips, Maine summer vacations, weekend getaways, discover Maine

Maine is a great destination for adventure recreation seekers of all ability levels and first timers including, weekend getaways, day trips, overnight and longer paddle trips on Maine rivers for your family, friends and custom group outings. The St. Croix River, Allagash River, West branch of the Penobscot, and the East Branch of the Penobscot through the new National Monument known as Katahdin Woods and Waters are all great Maine destinations that can be paddled all summer long. For those looking for a little more adventure, Canoe the Wild offers trips into Canada on the Bonaventure River ,NE Mistissibi River., Liard River in the Yukon and remote fishing for Brook Trout on the de Pas River in Quebec.  Canoe the Wild is an outfitter that provides everything you need to make your trip safe and enjoyable including experienced registered Maine guides whom have great people skills, equipment that is new or like new including Old Town canoes, tents, group tarp, cooking and eating utensils and meals that are top notch! Visit out website and 2017 summer schedule and discover why Maine is a great destination for all ages. vacations.  CanoetheWild.com 

 

Canoe trips are a great way to view moose. Here are some soft adventure options for exploring Maine with comfortable campsites, awesome meals, and leisurely pace.

 The Allagash, 4-10 days with 4-7 being most poplular. Our number one Maine wildlife photography trip for spotting and viewing moose. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway has a large population of moose and we know the hot spots. Moose watching trips are a great to enjoy Maine’s wild places.  more information about Allagash canoe trips

West Branch of the Penobscot River 3-5 days, Choose a canoe trip West Branch Penobscot and Lobster Lake. Lobster Lake offers great campsites, sandy beaches and mountain vistas. We can set up base camp, explore islands and hike up Lobster Mountain. The Penobscot is great for viewing moose and birds. The Lobster Lake trip can be extended by traveling down the West Branch of the Penobscot River to Chesuncook Village and beyond. more information about the West Branch Penobscot River trip

Baskahegan Stream, 1-4 days, The Baskahegan Stream is less traveled with its bogs, marshes and flowages. It’s a great place for moose viewing. With the Baskahegan, you’ll have the option of tenting out in rustic campsites or day trip while staying in local accommodations. more about the Baskahegan Stream trip

Fully outfitted and guided trips means you’ll have more time to focus viewing wildlife and picture taking while we take care of all your trip logistics including all neessary equipment, canoes, camping gear, great meals cooked over an open fire, transportation or vehicle shuttle, instruction when needed and safely guide your family or group down the river. All you’ll need is what’s on your personal gear list and a sleeping bag, we’ll provide the rest!

Maine Vacation packages, 3 & 4 days

Moose Viewing Trips,

Canoe the Wild website

Maine fall canoe trip on the St. Croix River with East Grand High Schools Outdoor Education Program. Fall is a great time for canoe trips with no bugs and you probably will have the river to yourself. Paddle trips and river tours in Maine are fully guided and outfitted by Maine guide Dave Conley of Canoe the Wild. Dave teaches an outdoor education program at East Grand High School in Danforth Maine  and guides canoe trips on numerous Maine rivers including the Allagash, Machias and Penobscot Rivers.

Pictures are of my 2013 summer canoe trips including the Mountain River Trip in the NWT of Canada, teen whitewater outing on the Bonaventure River in Quebec, two family Allagash trips, one couples Allagash trip and a teen day tour on the St. Croix River. Visit my Youtube Channel and view these pictures with added video clips of spectacular scenery and whitewater!

LINK TO YOUTUBE:  http://www.youtube.com/dgconley?feature=mhee

Visit Maine this summer for some of the best  wilderness canoeing in North America. The St. Croix River is one of Maine’s finest canoe & kayak trips known for its moderate whitewater and can be paddled all summer long. Other Maine destinations known for their scenic and recreational value- as well as their wilderness and wildlife- include the Allagash and Penobscot Rivers. Trips can be day tours, weekend getaways or longer. Canoe trips are a great way to rest, relax, explore and spend quality time with friends and family. Swim, fishing, view wildlife, photography, cook over an open fire and learn a new skill. Laugh around the campfire, star gaze and listen to the sounds of loons. Back country canoeing and camping has a way of bringing the best out of everyone. Choose the northeast for your next family vacation or group outing on a canoe camping trip and discover Maine as a top destination for wilderness adventure.

Dave Conley has been paddling the rivers of Maine and Canada since 1985. Fully outfitted and guided canoe trips offered during the summer months include day, overnight, weekend or longer for the beginner to advanced.

Maine Guide and Outfitter: We take care of all pre-trip planning, packing of group gear, menu, shopping for food and packing meals. With years of experience and many outings on Maine and Canadian rivers, we’ve become quite efficient with the whole process including best place to start and end your trip, where to camp, what rapids to scout, river distances and time needed to travel, points of interest, camp setup & takedown, providing quick shelter, proper fire wood selection, hot & hardy meals cooked over an open fire, and the knowledge & experience of your canoe route so you can have a safe and enjoyable time.

Gear We Provide: All necessary camping equipment including river bags to keep your clothing dry, sleeping pads, durable Old Town canoes, type III life jackets, paddles, tents, group tarp, cooking & eating utensils, meals while on the river.

Contact: For more information or to reserve a trip, contact Dave Conley at 207-551-8729, Email dave@canoethewild.com, Web: http://www.canoethewild.com/index.html