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February 6-22, 2009

Michigan Bush Rats'
12-day Arctic Ocean Expedition
Moose River: Moose River Crossing to James Bay

Cochran District
Moosonee :: Ontario :: Canada

When: Friday evening, February 6, to Sunday, February 22, 2009

Level: Expert-level, off-trail, map-and-compass, winter expeditioning.

Difficulty: Extremely strenuous; deep, arctic cold (minus 40 to minus 50 Fahrenheit standing temps, dangerous windchills); treacherous river-ice travel; frostbite and hypothermia hazards; polar bear range.

Prerequisites: Participants must have prior, long-range, extreme-cold-weather, winter-expeditioning experience.

Costs: This is a free trip. Transportation, lodging, meals, transit, permits, etc., are the responsibility of each participant.

Organizer: Michael Neiger (LandNavMan on the boards), Marquette, Michigan (Web site; e-mail; bio).

Sign-up process: After reviewing the material presented below, e-mail your first name, last name, trail name, city, state (or province), and e-mail address to Michael Neiger (LandNavMan).

Chimo (Inuit for welcome) to fellow alumni
of southeastern Michigan's SOLAR Club,
the School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure, and Recreation,
and fellow members of the North Country Trail Association.


The man [woman] with the knapsack is never lost.
No matter whither he may stray,
his food and shelter are right with him,
and home is wherever he may choose to stop.
—Horace Kephart, the Dean of the Wilderness, Camping & Woodcraft, 1917


Trip beta index

2—Pre-trip assembly info
3—Wilderness itinerary
4—Destination info
5—Permits and fees
6—Rations required
7—Advisories and notices
8—Hazards and perils
9—Insurance and SAR-comm gear
10—Equipment recommendations
11—Land-nav team info
12—Trip Internet discussion thread
13—Journals and photos from prior trips
14—Emergency contacts
15—Travel info
16—Wilderness skills info
17—Sign-up info


There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
—Lord Byron (George Noel Gordon) 1788-1824
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, canto IV [1818], stanza 178


The Michigan Bush Rats' February 6-22, 2009, Canadian Snowshoing and Sledging Expedition—their 20th annual—will see them exploring an old, Arctic Watershed, fur-trade route.

In its 550 km from Missinaibi Lake to the salty estuary of James Bay, the Missinaibi River [and Moose River] presents a silver strand of unspoiled wilderness....spanned by man in only four places.
—Ron Reid and Janet Grand on the Missinaibi River [and Moose River] corridor in Canoeing Ontario's Rivers: Great Canoe Trips in Canada's Northern Wilderness.

The Michigan Bush Rats will be snowshoeing through Cree country, pulling cargo sledges along the Moose River in northern Ontario. Their 77-kilometer route will run from Moose River Crossing to Moosonee (Moose Factory), an arctic tidewater settlement.

This estuary village is located in the southwestern corner of James Bay, a southern arm of the Arctic Ocean's Hudson Bay.

Established in 1672, Moose Factory--the site of the 2nd oldest Hudson Bay Company Post in Canada--represents the oldest non-native settlement in the province of Ontario as well as the province's only saltwater port. Today, it is predominantly populated by Cree.

Traveled by Ojibway and Cree since at least 1000 BC, the Missinaibi River & Moose River corridor is a world-renowned wilderness canoe route. The portages along this fur trade route were first blazed by hearty voyageurs more than 200 years ago. For over a century, this storied, fur-trade corridor served as the Hudson Bay Company's primary supply line and communications link between Lake Superior and James Bay.

English sailing vessels dropped trading supplies such as liquor, traps, axes, guns, knives, blankets, etc., at the fortified trading post at Moose Factory, which is located on an arctic tidewater island at the mouth of the Moose River.

From Moose Factory, voyageurs paddled and portaged these trade goods up the Moose and Missinaibi Rivers, over the height of land, and down the Michipicoten River to the trading posts located on the shore of Lake Superior and beyond. They returned to James Bay loaded down with bundles of rich, beaver pelts.

The Missinaibi. Wild, beautiful, unspoiled. One of the last great rivers. Flowing unchecked from the height of land to James Bay. Meandering between banks laden with overhanging cedars, churning over and around Precambrian granite rock, rushing relentlessly through passages as little as eight feet in width, cascading over falls. Quite water. White water. Exciting canoeing through inaccessible wilderness for experienced canoe trippers. Your life may depend on your ability if you accept the Missinaibi's challenge.
—The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources on the Missinaibi and Moose rivers corridor in Missinaibi River Canoe Route: Missinaibi Lake to Mattice .

Much of the upper corridor is underlain with Precambrian-era rock. From its Boreal Forest headwaters on the Canadian Shield, the Missinaibi River--one of longest, unimpeded, free-flowing Canadian waterways--flows through the Great Clay Belt before reaching the [Moose River and] Hudson Bay lowlands. As the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources notes, this route truly affords skilled wilderness trippers "near perfect solitude."

This long-range expedition--which will be unsupported and without resupply--will involve extended travel through road-less tracts of rugged, unforgiving bush and wilderness waterways.

An excerpt from last February's Canadian Snowhoeing Expedition journal:

Up by 7:00 a.m. to start breakfast and heat water for our water bottles for the day. Dave lit his auxiliary MSR Dragonfly stove to expedite the process and we all worked on getting our gear organized and making sure everything we needed was stowed on our sledges. Anything we forgot we’d have to live without for the week ahead (hopefully it wouldn’t be an essential like food or a sleeping bag)!

Snow-Man fuels-up at the Mad Moose Lodge before the start of the Trans-Lake Superior Provincial Park Canadian Expedition. (Photo courtesy of WoodsRunner)

Up by 7:00 a.m. to start breakfast and heat water for our water bottles for the day. Dave lit his auxiliary MSR Dragonfly stove to expedite the process and we all worked on getting our gear organized and making sure everything we needed was stowed on our sledges. Anything we forgot we’d have to live without for the week ahead (hopefully it wouldn’t be an essential like food or a sleeping bag)!

Snow-Man fuels-up at the Mad Moose Lodge before the start of the Trans-Lake Superior Provincial Park Canadian Expedition. (Photo courtesy of WoodsRunner's photo album)

Snow-Man, LandNavMan, and WoodsRunner pause before crossing Mijin Lake. (Photo courtesy of IsleRoyaleGirl)

As usual, it took some time to spot cars at a couple of locations, drop the sledges off and dig out space in the snow for Dennis’ car at our starting point: Highway 17 at Mijinemungshing Lake Road (hereafter referred to as Mijin Lake for obvious reasons). At around 11:30 a.m. we started our trip by heading east on Mijin Lake Rd (closed and unplowed for the season) up and over a series of long gradual climbs in the Baldhead River watershed.

IsleRoyaleGirl snug inside her trench shelter at minus 31 Fahrenheit, deep in the heart of Lake Superior Provincial Park. (Photo courtesy of IsleRoyaleGirl)

Michael set a pretty good pace in order to get to Mijin Lake tonight which would set us up for what seemed very reasonable distances to travel across Lake Superior Provincial Park in the days to come. Our goal was to cross the park from Highway 17 on the west to the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) train tracks on the east side of the park.

Sunrise on Mijin Lake. (Photo courtesy of WoodsRunner)

Last year we encountered extremely difficult travel conditions (lake slush under the snow which froze solid on our snowshoes and sledges, tough terrain, deep snow, and brutal cold) that prevented a similar crossing of the park. In fact, all previous attempts to cross the park were unsuccessful for various reasons and this year’s was the Bush Rats’ 5th attempt (my 3rd) to make it across the park. The plan this year was to reach the train tracks, flag down the southbound train, take it to Old Frater and trek the last 5km back out to Hwy 17 and our cars.

The boreal forest after the big blizzard. (Photo courtesy of IsleRoyaleGirl)

At our lunch stop on Mijin Lake Road, Dennis told us that he was not feeling well and thought he may be on the verge of getting sick. Much to our disappointment, he made the decision to turn back at that point and not risk getting a full-blown illness in the middle of the wilderness. Definitely a tough decision, given all the preparation for and anticipation of a trip like this. (Turned out to be the right one though because he told us after the trip that he did indeed get sick after heading out.) We missed him badly--he is a regular on these Canadian winter trips and he brings a lot of experience, companionship and good stories. Not to mention those blueberry muffins last year!!

WoodsRunner, in her explorer-tarp bivouac, melting snow for a hot drink and dinner. (Photo courtesy of WoodsRunner)

It’s always disconcerting when someone leaves a trip like that. You worry about whether they’ll get out OK, even though in this case it was a straight shot back out Mijin Lake Rd. You also have to adjust your expectations of the trip when someone who has been an integral part of previous trips is no longer part of the mix.

The crew--roped-up for safety--headed for a tricky section of ice along a narrow section of the upper Sand River. (Photo courtesy of WoodsRunner)

After lunch and saying our good-byes, we proceeded along Mijin Lake Rd until we got to the lake itself, then headed up the lake to its north arm and chose a bivouac site just southwest of a projecting point of land. We were now in the Anjigami River more of WoodsRunner's photo-journal.

LandNavMan, Snow-Man, WoodsRunner, and IsleRoyaleGirl aboard the baggage car of the southbound Algoma Central Railway after completing their Trans-Lake Superior Provincial Park trek. (Photo courtesy of IsleRoyaleGirl)

View journals from prior Michigan Bush Rats' February Canadian Snowshoeing Expeditions

2008 :: 2007 :: 2006 :: 2005a :: 2005b :: 2004 :: 2003 :: 2002

View photo albums from prior Michigan Bush Rats' February Canadian Snowshoeing Expeditions

2008a :: 2008b :: 2007a :: 2007b :: 2006 :: 2005 :: 2004 :: 2003


This free, extremely-strenuous, map-and-compass, off-trail winter-expedition is suitable for the adventurous, expert-level, independent, fully-equipped, minus-50-degree-Fahrenheit, foul-weather, substance-free (tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs), swimming-proficient, adult, winter expeditioner with a very strong mind and body who enjoys exploring off-the-beaten-path wilderness and bivouacking in remote, non-campground settings.

This remote, wilderness waterway corridor--well known for its dangerous lakes, treacherous whitewater, and deadly waterfalls--is unforgiving for 3-season paddlers, much less winter trekkers.

The total isolation, significant rapids, strenuous portages, hard-to-locate camps, wretched weather, voracious bugs, and numbingly cold water make this river unforgiving to those working their way up the backcountry-skills learning curve. It's a terrific real-wilderness trip, but it may be best left to seasoned outdoorfolk.
—Dave Getchell cautioning those contemplating taking on the Missinaibi River Valley in "The Land that Tamed the Voyageurs: Explore Canada's Missinaibi River and you'll find the same big spaces that challenged the fur trappers 200 years ago," in the June 1994 issue of Backpacker Magazine

Expedition hazards include, in particular:

• Deadly hypothermia from minus 50-degree-Fahranheit standing temps
• Drowning from falling through treacherous, unpredictable river ice
• Severe, boby-altering frostbite from extreme windchills
• Injury or death from a wolf, black bear, or polar bear encounter

A serious illness or injury along this route will be life-altering at best, very likely deadly. Unless a tripper carries a means of contacting the authorities, he or she will have to wait several days while other uninjured volunteers attempt to get help. Evac--in the form of a helo extraction--will likely run about $1,200 an hour, just for the helo and the pilot. Well in excess of 40 people have died trying to negotiate this wilderness corridor during the snowfree periods. Few, if any, work it in the dead of winter.



I shall be telling this with a sigh—
somewhere ages and ages hence;
two roads diverged in a wood,
and I—I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
—Robert Frost (1874-1963), The Road Not Taken, 1916, stanza 4

2—Pre-trip assembly info

See detailed itinerary in next section


General Great Lakes-area tourism and travel information:

Upper Peninsula of Michigan travel information

Michigan travel information

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario-area travel information

Province of Ontario travel information

Ontario travel information

For brick and mortar breed filth and crime,
With a pulse of evil that throbs and beats;
And men [women] are withered before their prime
By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets.

And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed,
In the smothering reek of mill and mine;
And death stalks in on the struggling crowd—
But he [she] shuns the shadow of oak and pine.
—Nessmuk (George W. Sears), Woodcraft, 1920

3—Wilderness itinerary

Day 1: Friday, February 6

Drive day

Meet up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Lodging and meals

To be determined.


Day 2: Saturday, February 7

Drive day (318 miles)

Drive 318 miles from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Cochrane, Ontario via Highway 17 East, 129, 101, 655, and 11.

Lodging and meals

North Adventure Inn
1 Con Glackmeyer
577 Hwy 11 West
P.O. Box 2640
Cochrane, Ontario P0L1C0

Room rate: $95.00 for room with two double beds and one cot.

Dinning room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.

Vehicle storage with plug-in for engine heaters.

Shuttle service to train station available.


Day 3: Sunday, February 8

Drive day

Backup drive day in case of blizzard.


Day 4: Monday, February 9

Train travel (142.0 miles)

Board Ontario Northland Railway's Polar Bear Express at mile 0.0 in Cochrane, Ontario at 9:00 a.m. and detrain at mile 142.0 at Moose River Crossing, on the Moose River, at 12:35 p.m.

Cost: $43.05 (unknown rate increase as of October 1, '08)

Polar Bear Express
Ontario Northland Railway
200 Railway Street
Cochrane, Ontario P0L 1C0

Bush/river travel (3.7 klicks)


• Murray Island, 1,500 meters long
• Old gypsum caves
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long

An abandoned Cree teepee pole frame along the south bank of the Moose River at Moose River Crossing. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)


Day 5: Tuesday, February 10

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Louise Island, 1,100 meter long
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long
• Unnamed island, 300 meters long


A branch of the mighty Moose River, as viewed from the north side of Murray Island at Moose River Crossing. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)


Day 6: Wednesday, February 11

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Unnamed island, 700 meters long
• Wabosh Rapids
• 2 old trapper cabins, river left
• Unnamed island, 500 meters long
• Unnamed island, 500 meters long


Day 7: Thursday, February 12

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Unnamed island, 400 meters long
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long
• Big Asp Island, 2,700 meters long

The expansive Moose River, as viewed from its north bank, downstream of Moose River Crossing. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)

Day 8: Friday, February 13

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• o Otakwahegan River, river left, 2 open tent-cabins 4,000 meters upstream
• Unnamed island, 300 meters long
• Unnamed island, 500 meters long
• Unnamed island, 800 meters long


An abandoned wall-tent frame for a Cree moose-and-fish camp along the Abitibi River, upstream of its confluence with the Moose River. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)


Day 9: Saturday, February 14

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Unnamed island, 600 meters long
• Unnamed island, 1,300 meters long
• Wikikanishi Island, 900 meters long
• Wikikanishi Cutway (channel)
• Baby Island, 2,400 meters long
• Cheepash River, river left,
• Unnamed island, 200 meters long
• Unnamed island, 1,500 meters long
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long
• Unnamed island, 800 meters long
• Nipiminanak Island, 2,200 meters long


An abandoned trapper's log cabin along the north bank of the lower Moose River. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)




Day 10: Sunday, February 15

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Unnamed Island, 1,300 meters long
• Nipiminanak Bay, river left, 1 cabin
• Unnamed island, 2,100 meters long
• Abitibi River, river right, 1-dozen islands at Allen Rapids in river mouth
• Makishigayau Bay, river left
• Waterlily Bay, river left
• Neskochiyashi Bay, river left

Opening the tracks for the Polar Bear Express, a flag-stop train that services the Hudson Bay lowlands. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)


Day 11: Monday, February 16

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Negobau Islands, 400 meters long each
• Chimahagan River, river left
• Unnamed Island, 400 meters long
• Kwetabohigan Rapids, 3,000-meter-long roller coaster with tidal issues
• Kwetabohigan River, river left, 3 islands at river mouth, log cabin 600 meters up stream
• Arrow Island, 1,500 meters long


Day 12: Tuesday, February 17

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Kwetabohigan Island, 1,200 meters long, plus 3 small islands
• Hancock Island, 900 meters long
• Hancock Island Rapids
• Unnamed island, 900 meters long, plus 3 small islands
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long
• Unnamed island, 1,000 meters long
• Makeshiw Hill, river right
• Mikochigash Cove, river right
• North French River, with river-mouth island
• Moose Factory Indian Reserve 68
• 8 cabins, river right
• Unnamed island, 1,000 meters long, plus 3 small islands
• Unnamed island, 400 meters long, plus 2 small islands
• Unnamed island, 600 meters long, plus 1 small island
• Unnamed island, 400 meters long, plus 1 small island
• South Bluff, river right
• South Bluff Creek, cabin at river mouth


Sunset over the Moose River in Moosonee, Ontario. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)



Day 13: Wednesday, February 18

Bush/river travel (7.4 klicks)


• Bushy Island, 10,500 meters long, plus 5 islands
• Moose River forms into North and South Channels
• Minabik Point, river left
• South Bluff Island, 1,700 meters long
• Barkers Island, 6,700 meters long


Situated on James Bay, Moosonee, Ontario is a gateway to the Arctic. Click on photo for high-resolution imagery. (January 1998 photo by Michael Neiger)

Day 14: Thursday, February 19

Bush/river travel (3.7 klicks)


• Pakitahogan Island
• Pakitahogan Bay, river right
• Hydro line crossing
• Little Pitawanigau Bay, river right
• Pitawanigau Bay, river right
• Hayes Island, 2,900 meters long
• Maidmans Island, 3,000 meters long
• Maidmans Creek, river left
• Poplar Island, 1,700 meters long
• Sawpit Island, 3,400 meters long
• South Charles Island, 900 meters long, 7 cabins
• Charles Island, 1,600 meters long, 1 cabin
• Moose Factory Island; Moose Factory Indian Reserve I
• Settlement of Moosonee, river left
• Halfway Creek, river left
• 12 other large islands in view

Lodging and meals

Polar Bear Lodge
65 Enterprise Road
Moosonee, Ontario








This 27-room lodge and dining facility overlooks the mighty Moose River from its north bank. With it wide range of cuisine, the fully-licensed dining room will be a welcome change to our diet. When I completed an expedition at this lodge in the dead of winter in late January 1998, it was literally abandoned: I was the only guest. However, the food was great--I ate two complete dinners--as was the cook's company.

Room rate: $103 for two beds and xtra mattress on floor

Dining room serves continental breakfast 7 days a week, lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner 7 days a week.

No shuttle to train station; taxi or sledging only.


Day 15: Friday, February 20

Train travel (186.0 miles)

Board Ontario Northland Railway's Polar Bear Express at mile 186.0 in Moosonee, Ontario at 5:00 p.m. and detrain at mile 0.0 in Cochrane, Ontario at 9:42 p.m.

Cost: $46.25 (unknown rate increase as of October 1, '08)

Polar Bear Express
Ontario Northland Railway
200 Railway Street
Cochrane, Ontario P0L 1C0

Lodging and meals

North Adventure Inn
1 Con Glackmeyer
577 Hwy 11 West
P.O. Box 2640
Cochrane, Ontario P0L1C0

Room rate: $95.00 for room with two double beds and one cot.

Dinning room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.

Vehicle storage with plug-in for engine heaters.

Shuttle service to train station available


Day 16: Saturday, February 21

Drive home

Lodging and meals: as needed


Day 17: Sunday, February 22

Drive home



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
—Robert Frost (1874-1963), The Road Not Taken, 1916


4—Destination info



Additional Resources

  • Missinaibi: Journey to the Northern Sky, From Lake Superior to James Bay by Canoe, by Hap Wilson
  • "The Missinaibi: Valley of the Pictured Waters," in Canoeing Ontario's Rivers--Great Canoe Trips in Canada's Northern Wilderness, by Ron Reid and Janet Grand, 1986
  • "The Magic of the Upper Missinaibi," in Up the Creek: A Paddler's Guide to Ontario, by Kevin Callan, 1996
  • "Trading Posts of the Moose-Michipicoten Trade Route," by Michael J. Shchepanak, publication unknown, pp. 66-68
  • "The Missinaibi River," Ontario Naturalist, by Margaret MacMillan
  • "Missinaibi--Our Common Wilderness," by George Lust, The Wilderness Canoeist, Vol. 1.3, No. 2
  • "Michipicoten--Missinaibi--Moose--Following an Old Trade Route from Lake Superior to James Bay," by Hugh Valliant, Nastawgan, Spring, 1992
  • "The Missinaibi--A Ten-Day Challenge," by Teddi Brown, Outdoor Canada, February 1983
  • "Missinaibi: After the Voyageurs," by Sara Harrison, Wild Waters, 1981
  • "Messing Around with the Missinaibi," by Marion Taylor, Nastawgan, Spring 1992.
  • "Paddling Through Cree Country: Lake Superior to the Arctic Ocean by Solo Canoe," by Michael Neiger, Marquette Monthly, June 1999
  • "The Land that Tamed the Voyageurs: Explore Canada's Missinaibi River and you'll find the same big spaces that challenged the fur trappers 200 years ago," by Dave Getchell, Backpacker Magazine, June 1994
  • "Lessons From the River," by Gerry Volgenau, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, May 10, 1998
  • Missinaibi River Canoe Route--Missinaibi Lake to Mattice, by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (canoe route brochure)
  • Missinaibi River Canoe Route--Mattice to Moosonee, by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (canoe route brochure)
  • "Northern Waters--Ontario's Missinaibi Lake, A Nature Lover's Paradise," by Howard Meryerson, The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids Michigan, August 15, 1998
  • "Upper Missinaibi Update," by Debbey Del Valle, Nastawgan, winter 1994
  • "Tragedy on the Missinaibi," by Jim Morris, Paddler, December, 1995
  • "Missinaibi Tragedy, by Jim Morris, Nastawgan, Autumn 1994
  • Missinaibi Provincial Park, by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (park brochure)
  • "Missiinaibi!," Che-mun Outfit, spring, 1990
  • Canoe Canada, by Nick Nickels, 1976
  • Canoe Routes of Ontario, by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 1991
  • Lake Superior Canoe Routes, by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 2000 (Anjigami River and Michipicoten River canoe route brochure)
  • Northern Ontario Canoe Routes, by Ontario Department of Lands and Forests
  • "Missinaibi and Moose Rivers," in "The Missinaibi: Valley of the Pictured Waters," in Canoeing Ontario's Rivers--Great Canoe Trips in Canada's Northern Wilderness, by Ron Reid and Janet Grand, 1986
  • "The Magic of the Upper Missinaibi," in Up the Creek: A Paddler's Guide to Ontario, by Kevin Callan, 1996
  • Wild Rivers: James Bay and Hudson Bay, by Parks Canada, 1977

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Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows,
in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
—John Muir (1838-1914), Our National Parks, 1901

5—Permits and fees

  • Since we will be bivouacking on provincially-owned land during our trip, Crown Land Camping Permits will be necessary.
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging, meals, transportation, and campsite fees are optional and the responsibility of the participant.
  • There are no other fees or costs to participate in this trip.

General Great Lakes-are bivouacking regulations

Bivouacking on State of Michigan-owned land:

Anyone bivouacking on land owned by the State of Michigan outside the boundaries of state parks, state forest campgrounds, etc., is required by state law (Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Sec. 74201 et seq., P.A. 451 of 1994) to post a Camp Registration Card (Form no. PR 4134; view sample copy) at their bivouac site. Notice: Backpackers have been ticketed and fined for not posting Camp Registration Cards in the past.

This permit—which is free—must be filled out in pencil (to make it legible when wet). Since this two-part permit is perforated (for partial removal by Department of Natural Resources officers) and made of heavy cardstock (to withstand weathering), it can not be reproduced.

These 8.5- by 11-inch permits can be picked up free at any Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office. They can also be ordered by the DNR by e-mail.


Bivouacking on United States Government-owned land:

No permits are generally required to bivouac on federal land outside the boundaries of national parks, national lakeshores, national forest campgrounds, national recreation areas, etc.


Bivouacking on Canadian Province of Ontario-owned land:

Anyone bivouacking on Crown land—property owned by the Province of Ontario—outside the boundaries of a provincial park, national park, etc. is required by provincial law to purchase Land Camping Permits.

These permits cost $10.00 Canadian per night, per person and are generally available from any Ontario sports shop that sells hunting and fishing licenses, such as the one below, which is conveniently located along the east side of Highway 17 on the northern outskirts of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Chippewa Trading Post
1332 Great Northern Road
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 5K7
Fax: 1-705-759-0887

The trail has taught me much.
I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the wizard of the mesa.
I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon.
I remember a hundred lovely lakes,
and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.
The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk,
opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.
It has given me blessed release from care and worry
and the troubled thinking of our modern day.
It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.
Whenever the pressure of our complex city life
thins my blood and benumbs my brain,
I seek relief in the trail;
and when I hear a coyote wailing to the yellow dawn,
my cares fall from me—I am happy.
—Hamlin Garland, "Hitting the Trail," McClure's, February 1899

6—Rations required

The following rations will be required for this adventure:

  • Breakfasts—11
  • Snacks—12
  • Lunches—12
  • Dinners—11
  • Backup rations—2 full day(s) (breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner)


How to pack your rations:

Measure, weigh, and triple check your rations. You should be carrying about 1.75-2.75 pounds of dry weight food, or about 2700-4500 calories of food per day, depending on your body weight and exertion level. It is recommended that you avoid "bulk" packaging and instead consider packing each complete meal serving in its own, separate, plastic bag, which is sealed with a simple overhand knot. This system has the following advantages over putting all of your snacks, say nuts for the whole trip, in one bag:

  • You'll know for sure at home (visually) that you've packed enough rations;
  • In the bush, you'll now exactly how much to eat without eating into another days rations; and
  • You'll further reduce the chances of your food getting ruined if moisture penetrates the food bag itself as the moisture will still have to work its way into each and every individual ration unit.

Meticulous ration planning, measuring, and packaging is tedious, but its essential for safe and successful long-range recon of remote wilderness.

A nature lover is someone who,
when treed by a bear,
enjoys the view.
—Author unknown

7—Advisories and notices

Wildfire hazards on snow-free terrain:

We must be extremely careful with our cooking stoves and when burning bug coils to make sure we don't start a ground fire, which has happened more than once on past trips of ours. Please bring a fire-proof stove base (aluminum pot lid, etc.) for your stove and bug coils.

During snow-free periods, we will NOT be having any campfires—or burning any hobo stoves—unless we find a very, very safe area, such as an open mud-gravel-or-sand-covered area immediately adjacent to water. If a fire ban is in effect, which is sometimes the case during the summer, we will not have any fires.


Fire-proof stove base:

To prevent accidental ground fires during snow-free periods, everyone must have a heat-resistant, fire-proof stove base. This has been a problem in the past with both solid fuel (Esbit) stoves as well as liquid fuel stoves, especially MSR-type stoves.


Biting insects in warm weather:

If the weather is very hot, come prepared to do battle with swarms of mosquitoes, black flies, no-see-ums, ticks, and biting beach flies while hiking, swimming, eating, and bivouacking.

Loose-fitting, tightly-woven, full-coverage, light-colored clothing treated (saturated) with permethrin (e.g.: Repel's Permanone Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent) before the trip combined with liberal doses of 100% DEET (e.g.:Muskol's Maximum Strength 10-hour 100% DEET Insect Repellent; Repel's 100% DEET Insect Repellent), a head net, and a love of the outdoors should do the trick.

Since they are so critical to one's sanity, bring an extra bottle of DEET and an extra headnet. If you are going to experiment with alternatives to DEET, pack some 100% DEET anyway as most experienced deep-bush travelers swear by it when all is said and done, especially most Bush Rats, who bivouac sans tent.

A supply of smudge-creating bug coils (e.g.: Pic Mosquito Coils) are also a staple of most deep-bush travelers (note: a flat, fireproof base must be used under these to prevent accidental fires).

Out of 8 billion applications of DEET from 1966 to 1999,
less than 40 instances of toxicity appeared in the medical literature.
—Dr. Mark Fradin, in the May 2000 issue of Backpacker Magazine, on his study of DEET

Safety glasses:

It is highly recommended that some form of eye protection—safety glasses—be worn while bushwhacking as several trippers have suffered near-incapacitating eye injuries on past trips.



This is a tour, not a basecamp-type trip. We will move everyday, bivouacking in a different location each night.

We do not go to the green woods
and crystal waters to rough it,
we go to smooth it.
We get it rough enough at home,
in towns and cities.
—Nessmuk, (George W. Sears), Woodcraft, 1963

Long-term parking advisory:

Reduce the threat of thefts or vandalism to your car by keeping it locked, relatively empty, and uninviting looking. To help stymie gasoline theft or vandalism, consider using a locking gas cap. The expense of a locking gas cap—$10 or $20—will look pretty cheap compared to the alternatives: having to get someone to haul gas to your remote location, much less have your car towed and repaired after vandals contaminate your gas tank.


Liability waiver form:

All persons participating in a Bush Rats trip or expedition organized by Michael Neiger must read, acknowledge understanding, and sign a liability waiver at the trailhead.


Prohibition on cotton clothing:

No high-cotton-content clothing—save a bandana or two—is allowed to be worn or carried for safety reasons. When wet, cotton is VERY hard to dry and often leads to hypothermia. Wool or synthetic clothing fashioned from nylon, supplex, polypro, fleece, or microfibers are much safer and easier to manage during prolonged bouts of foul weather.

There's no such thing as bad weather—
only wrong clothes.
—Author unknown

Survival kit:

An on-your-person, in-pocket, survival kit (knife, waterproof matches, firestarters, compass, and whistle) secured with a loss-prevention lanyard is highly recommended.

The beginning of wisdom is a salutary shock.
—Arnold Toynbee

Water supply:

Bring an adequate amount of water to the trailhead as there is generally no water available.


Water-hauling capacity:

Everyone should have the containers (Nalgenes and bladder) to hump 4 quarts of water when needed. While we often trek with just a quart or so of water in our rucks, when we range far from water—like when we bivouac long distances from surface water—we will fill up all our containers so we can remain independent for an afternoon of bushwhacking, dinner at night, breakfast, and a morning of bushwhacking.


Equipment waterproofing:

To keep your gear dry during foul weather, consider lining the main compartment in your rucksack with a huge, heavy-duty "contractor-grade" plastic bag. Critical items within the "contractor" bag, such as clothing, sleeping bag, and rations, should be further protected from moisture by lining their respective stuff sacks with heavy-duty "garbage-compactor" bags. Avoid using regular garbage bags as they tear much too easily on long, rugged trips.


Hydration and snack consumption while underway in the bush:

It is recommended that you carry a water bottle and snacks on your waistbelt in separate pouches so you can snack and sip water while underway, without stopping to take your pack off. Regular snacking and hydration are essential for avoiding dehydration, hypothermia, and exhaustion, especially when things get challenging, like late in the day or during foul weather.


Allergies to bee stings:

If you are allergic to bee stings, consult your physician about carrying an injectable epinephrine unit—such as an EpiPen or Ana-Kit—in your rucksack.


Canadian trips:

Canadian money: You may want to consider getting Canadian money from your local bank before the trip, or using one of the money exchange services located in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, if they are open when you cross the boarder. Currency exchange calculators on the Net include or X-Rates.

Gasoline: You may want to consider topping off your gas tank, before you cross the border, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Identification: Bring appropriate identification with you to reduce problems getting into Canada as well as back into the United States. If you don't have a visa, you must have a copy of your birth certificate to establish your identity.

Prescription medications: If you are carrying prescription medications in your first-aid kit or elsewhere that are not in a properly-labeled container, it may be a good idea to stow the original, labeled containers, with at least one example pill in each, in your vehicle to reduce problems with Canadian and U.S. customs officials.

The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people
are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home;
that wildness is a necessity;
and that mountain parks and reservations
are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers,
but as fountains of life.
—John Muir (1838-1914), Our National Parks, 1901

8—Hazards and perils

Wilderness tripping and expeditioning—especially remote, foul-weather travel, bushwhacking cross-country, cliff and steep slope travel, climbing, canyoneering, cave exploration, river fording, swimming, canoeing, portaging, skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping, ice travel, ice crossing, deep cold, high winds, etc.—involve unknown and unpredictable hazards and perils.


Forewarned is forearmed:

A wilderness tripper's or expeditioner's failure to physically and mentally prepare for a harsh trip or expedition; acquire the necessary skills and equipment for a harsh trip or expedition; and recognize, take responsibility for, and avoid the unknown and unpredictable hazards and perils that often present themselves on a harsh wilderness trip or expedition will likely result in the serious injury, paralysis, or slow, painful death of the tripper or expeditioner.

Nature never overlooks a mistake,
or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.
—Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895), A Liberal Education, 1868

First-aid kits:

On Bush Rats trips and expeditions organized by Michael Neiger, the only first-aid equipment available is that which is carried by each participant. Each participant should carry their own first-aid kit, which should be stocked with the items and medications recommended by their personal physician.

We need the tonic of wilderness. . .
We can never have enough of nature.
—Henry D. Thoreau (1817-1862), Walden: Spring, 1854

Emergency medical care:

On Bush Rats trips and expeditions organized by Michael Neiger, there are no doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, or other trained emergency medical personnel. At best, other participants may only be able to render the most basic of first-aid care.


Search & rescue services:

On Bush Rats trips and expeditions organized by Michael Neiger, no one is trained in rope handling, rappelling, climbing, caving, ice travel, high-angle slope travel, swift-water travel, etc. No one is trained in rescue from any of these activities either. There are no search-and-rescue personnel, and no one is trained in high-angle rescue, ice rescue, swift-water rescue, etc.

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—
there are consequences.
—Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
American lawyer, orator, and civil war cavalry commander
Some Reasons Why, 1896

9—Insurance and SAR-comm gear



On Bush Rats trips and expeditions organized by Michael Neiger, no insurance coverage is provided for participants. It is recommended that participants consider purchasing their own insurance coverage such as:

  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Prescription insurance
  • Evacuation insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance

Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.
—Edmund Burke (1729-1797), Speech, 1792

SAR-comm gear:

On Bush Rats trips and expeditions organized by Michael Neiger, emergency communications gear such as cell phones, satellite phones, and satellite beacons (ELTs, PLBs, & EPIRBs) are not provided. Even if a participant carries SAR-comm gear, it can't always be relied upon, especially in rugged terrain, remote bush, or extremely harsh weather.

The only way to summon search and rescue personal or emergency medical personnel on Bush Rats trips or expeditions organized by Michael Neiger is for another uninjured participant to walk, snowshoe, or paddle to a point where help can be summoned.

The wait for assistance may be very long—sometimes measured in days—and could possibly be very painful, maybe even fatal. Since the evacuation process will be very difficult and costly to arrange, participants should consider purchasing evacuation insurance and carrying their own communications gear.

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal.
My strength lies solely in my tenacity.
—Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), French biologist & bacteriologist.

10—Equipment recommendations

Safety equipment

[ ] Ice-rescue picks (check ice-fishing section of sports shops or order Pic-Of-Life #POL-1 from Rock-N-Rescue at 1-800-346-7673)
[ ] 50-foot piece of 1/2-inch floating rescue rope in loose-fitting stuff sack with drawcord (hollow-core, braided yellow polypro rope sold at some hardware or construction supply shops is one inexpensive option)
[ ] One rescue/climbing-grade locking carabiner
[ ] One Swami Belt for roping-up on dangerous river-ice crossings, belaying on steep pitches, and anchor use (A 10-foot chunk of 1-inch or 9/16-inch tubular webbing should be adequate)


On-person survival gear

[ ] Waterproof matches with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Waterproof firestarters with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Magnesium firestarter with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Sturdy pocket knife with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Compass with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Whistle with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Signal mirror with loss-prevention lanyard
[ ] Map of area in plastic bag


First-aid kit

[ ] Elastic ankle wrap
[ ] Moleskin
[ ] Vaseline
[ ] Band-Aids
[ ] Waterproof first-aid tape
[ ] Pain relief medication
[ ] Anti-inflammatory medication
[ ] Cold & flu medications
[ ] Small tweezers
[ ] Small scissors
[ ] Powerful, prescription-grade pain killers for long trips (see your Doc)
[ ] Broad-spectrum antibiotic for long trips (see your Doc)


Repair kit

[ ] 50 feet of 1/8-inch braided nylon cordage (lashing, repair, difficult [2-rope] bear hangs)
[ ] Small roll of duct tape
[ ] Sewing kit
[ ] Repair kit for sledge
[ ] Repair kit for snowshoes
[ ] Repair kit for stove
[ ] Repair kit for inflatable sleeping pad (if needed)


Head gear

[ ] 1 very thin balaclava
[ ] 2 thick hats that can be worn together
[ ] One thickly-insulated hood on overparka (see below)
[ ] 1 pair of sun glasses
[ ] Protective eyewear for bushwhacking (very important)
[ ] Prescription glasses (spare pair if important)
[ ] Bandana
[ ] Wide-brimmed sun/rain hat
[ ] Neoprene facemask
[ ] Goggles (optional)


Upper-body gear

[ ] 3 or 4 thin polypro tops
[ ] 2 1/4-inch thick micro-fiber-insulated jackets
[ ] 1 heavily-insulated over-parka with insulated hood
[ ] 1 nylon rain parka with hood (no vinyl; no ponchos)
[ ] 1 highly-breathable, uninsulated, high-wind overparka with hood (deep, tunnel hood with fur ruff is optimal in arctic-like conditions)


Hand gear

[ ] 1 pair of oversize mitten shells
[ ] 3 pair of mitten liners
[ ] 2 pair of glove liners


Lower-body gear

[ ] 1 pair of polypro undershorts
[ ] 1 pair of hiking shorts with survival gear in pockets
[ ] 2 pair of polypro long underwear
[ ] 1 pair of 1/4-inch thick micro-fiber-insulated pants (sidezips are very handy)
[ ] 1 pair of heavily-insulated over-pants (sidezips are very handy)
[ ] 1 pair of nylon rain pants (no vinyl)
[ ] 1 pair of highly-breathable, uninsulated, high-wind, overpants (or use rain pants)



[ ] 1 pair of heavily-insulated boots or mukluks
[ ] 1 pair of spare liners and insoles for boots or mukluks
[ ] 4 pair of thickly synthetic socks
[ ] 2 pair of liner socks
[ ] Vapor barrier socks
[ ] 1 pair of gaiters (if needed to seal boot-pantleg opening)


Sledging gear

[ ] 1 large sledge with fixed traces and waistbelt (no rope traces)
[ ] Assorted large stuff sacks lined with contractor-grade plastic bags
[ ] PVC tarp to secure gear on sledge against loss and foul weather
[ ] Sledge de-icing kit in very small stuff sack: synthetic pot scrubber pad and plastic ski scraper (this kit is very important)
[ ] Insulated waist-belt water bottle parka
[ ] Waist-belt snack pouch
[ ] Waist-belt map pouch


Bivouac gear

[ ] Tarp and bivy (or small tent)
[ ] Ropes to rig tent or tarp
[ ] Winter sleeping bag system with minus-30 rating (January & March) and minus-40 to-50 rating (February)
[ ] 1 very thick sleeping pad or 2 thinner ones (& repair kit for inflatables)
[ ] Sleeping booties
[ ] Flashlight (LED with headstrap is recommended)
[ ] Spare battery (lithium recommended for deep cold)
[ ] Candles
[ ] Large-blade snow shovel for building emergency snow shelter
[ ] Small wood saw


Hydration gear

[ ] 3 one-quart ,high-quality (Nalgene) water bottles (you must have enough capacity to carry water for entire day, excepting breakfast and dinner)
[ ] 1 thermos for hot drink/soup at lunch


Ration-heating gear

[ ] Lightweight, cold-weather backpacking stove
[ ] Fuel for stove (unless your cold-weather experience proves otherwise, figure about 12-13 ounces of white gas per day)
[ ] Priming paste for stove if needed
[ ] Lighter on neck lanyard (must be kept warm to work in cold temps)
[ ] Waterproof matches
[ ] Windscreen for stove
[ ] Small steel cookie baking sheet for stove base and emergency fire pan use (we will avoid burning fires directly on the ground due to long-term scarring)
[ ] Pot holder
[ ] Pot
[ ] Lid for pot
[ ] Spoon
[ ] Mug


Hot-weather bug-management gear

[ ] 1 bottle of 100% DEET per week
[ ] 1 spare bottle of 100% DEET
[ ] 1 headnet
[ ] 1 spare headnet
[ ] Several anti-bug smudge coils


Personal items

[ ] Personal medications
[ ] Driver's license
[ ] Birth certificate and/or passport (recommended for Canadian trips)
[ ] Emergency contact names and phone numbers
[ ] Credit cards
[ ] Cash and travelers checks
[ ] Medical, prescription, and dental insurance cards
[ ] Sunscreen
[ ] Lipbalm with sunblock
[ ] Wrist chronograph
[ ] Paperback book


Personal hygiene gear

[ ] Toilet paper
[ ] Synthetic pack towel
[ ] Toothbrush
[ ] Toothpowder (or toothpaste)
[ ] Toothpicks & dental floss
[ ] Handcleaner


Vehicle gear

[ ] Extra car key on lanyard
[ ] Vehicle registration papers
[ ] Vehicle insurance papers
[ ] Locking gas cap
[ ] Heavy-duty battery in good condition
[ ] Road map (Michigan 1-800-292-2520; Canada 1-800-268-3736)
[ ] County map book for Michigan trips
[ ] Spare tire (check pressure!!)
[ ] Tire jack and lug nut wrench
[ ] Shovel
[ ] Windshield scraper and snow brush (winter)
[ ] Safety Check—Tire pressure (including spare)
[ ] Safety Check—Tire tread wear
[ ] Safety Check—Wiper blade condition
[ ] Safety Check—Wiper fluid (front and rear)
[ ] Safety Check—Oil level (level; thinner in winter)
[ ] Safety Check—Radiator fluid level (level and rating)
[ ] Safety Check—Transmission fluid level
[ ] Safety Check—Headlights, taillights, brakelights, & turn signals
[ ] Jumper cables
[ ] Nylon tow strap
[ ] Single-bit axe (optional)
[ ] Bow saw (optional)
[ ] Hi-lift bumper jack (optional)
[ ] Hand-operated winch (optional)
[ ] Pick axe (optional)
[ ] Tire inflation system (optional)
[ ] Battery jump-pack power unit (optional)

It is one of the blessings of wilderness life
that it shows us how few things we need
in order to be perfectly happy.
—Horace Kephart, the Dean of the Wilderness, Camping & Woodcraft, 1917

11—Land-nav team info

Topographic maps:

  • 1:50,000 Moose River, Cochrand District, Ontario (42 I/14)
  • 1:50,000 Cheepash River, Cochrand District, Ontario (42 P/3)
  • 1:50,000 Bushy Island, Cochrand District, Ontario (42 P/2)
  • 1:50,000 Moosonee, Cochrand District, Ontario (42 P/7)

Note: UTM easting and northing grid lines may or may not need to be drawn on these quads

Topo map ordering info and waterproofing info


County maps:

  • None

County map ordering info


Additional cartographic resources

  • None

Gps setup:

Grid coordinate system:

1000-meter Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid

UTM grid horizontal map datum:

Michigan Trips:

1927 North American Datum CONtinental U.S. (NAD 27 CONUS)

Canadian Trips:

1927 North American Datum Canada (NAD 27 CA[nada]) for older edition maps; 1983 North American Datum (NAD 83) for newer edition maps

UTM grid zone:

Zone 17

UTM grid hemisphere:

Northern hemisphere

Unit of measure:


Battery type:

Use lithium for deep cold and long-range use

Battery setting:

Select type of battery being used for accurate battery-life readings

Owner info:

In the setup menu, key-punch in your name, address, and phone number so if your GPS is lost and found by a willing party, it can be returned to you.


Magnetic declination:

February 2009 Magnetic declination for Lat. 51° 00' 00"N, Lon. 81° 00' 00"W:

12° 06' west

Deviation of UTM easting grid lines from meridian of longitude lines:

00° 12' west to 0° 12' east

Magnetic declination of UTM easting grid lines:

11° 54' to 12° 18 'west (we'll use these magnetic declination figures to correct our field and map azimuth calculations in the bush)


Roamer utm plotter scales:

Michigan destinations:

1:24,000 and 1:25,000

Canadian destinations

1:20,000 and 1:50,000


Ranger pacing beads:

Metric: Nine 100-meter beads and four 1-kilometer beads


I can’t rightly say I’ve ever been lost,
but I’ve been mighty perplexed for two or three days runnin'.
—Davy Crockett (1786-1836)

12—Trip Internet discussion thread

To keep up to date on the latest developments on this trip as well as learn who else is going, point your Internet browser to the trip's discussion thread (message board) on Backpacker Magazine's Midwest Forum Web site.

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature,
which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), "Walking," Atlantic Monthly, June 1862


13—Journals and photos from prior trips

To review journals and photo albums from Michigan Bush Rats' trips and expeditions, visit the RuckSack's Journals and Photos Page.


To review photos of sheds discovered on Michigan Bush Rats' trips and expeditions, visit the RuckSack's Sheds and Skulls Page.

Years from now
you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do
rather than the ones you did do.
So throw off your bow lines,
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
—Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens, 1835-1910)

14—Emergency contacts

  • Ontario Provincial Police, Moosonee, Ontario: 1-705-336-2320
  • James Bay General Hosptial, Moosonee, Ontario: 1-705-336-2947
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Moosonee, Ontario: 1-705-336-2987

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal
and give strength to body and soul alike.
—John Muir (1838-1914), The Yosemite, 1912

15—Travel info

In every walk with nature,
one receives far more than he seeks.

16—Wilderness skills info

All-season skills:

As you sit on the hillside,
or lie prone under the trees of the forest,
or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream,
the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.
—Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping, 1926

3-season skills:

It is impossible to overestimate
the value of wild mountains and mountain temples
as places for people to grow in,
recreation grounds for soul and body.
—John Muir (1838-1914)

4-season skills:

In the school of the woods there is no graduation day.
— Horace Kephart, the Dean of the Wilderness, Camping & Woodcraft, 1917

17—Sign-up info

If this sounds like your kind of wilderness adventure, kindly e-mail your first name, last name, trail name, e-mail address, city, and state (or province), and expeditioning resume to LandNavMan (Michael Neiger) of Marquette, Michigan. Thank you.

See you in the bush.

In God's wilderness lies the hope of the world,
the great, fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.

 —John Muir (1838-1914), Alaska Wilderness, 1890


If you've been able to read this Web page...
thank a Teacher;
If you've been able to read this Web page in English...
thank a Veteran.
—Author unknown


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