Coordinating any trip into the woods takes time and patience.  Thankfully over the years both Mark and I have extensive experience with this.  Taking the time to plan and prepare for a trip can be the difference between a great experience and a miserable one.  Some common comments that I have heard while on trips are “I thought you were bringing the can opener” or “Did anyone bring toilet paper?”.  To avoid these types of missteps we put together a single list of all of the items that are required for a specific trip and assign ownership to them.

There are a number of other factors that go into coordinating a successful trip and we will look at how we have prepared for our 2014 Brent Run.

The Route:

When planning any trip it is important to map out the route from start to finish.  How far you will travel in a single day, factoring in the various waterways and topography and where you will be camping.  For this trip the route planning is very simple.  The Brent Run has a well established route (outlined in our “What Is The Brent Run” page) and we won’t be camping.  One thing that we will be doing is printing off individual maps ( for reference.  We will also, as we always do, be bringing a compass along and for this trip a GPS.  The plan will be to have the GPS running the entire way out and we can retrace our route on the way back for easy night navigation.

Base Camp:

As we have discussed we will be setting up base camp on Joe Lake.  While Mark and I torture ourselves on The Brent Run, we will have a couple of friends enjoying a standing camp for a few days.  This base camp will have all of our regular interior camping gear that we would normally bring.  We won’t bore you with these details at this time.  You’re welcome.

Brent Run Gear:

The goal for packing gear for The Brent Run is to find a balance between items that are essential for The Run, but not bringing unnecessary items.  As welcoming as a hot cup of coffee would be after 20 hours of paddling, a French Press will not be found in our packs.  We also have to consider the added hassle of camera gear on this trip which is discussed below.   The basics for this trip will be: Canoe Gear (canoe, 3 paddles, safety kit, PFDs etc.), 2 small packs, water bottles, water filter, first aid kit, map case, compass, GPS (along with batteries), head lamps, rain gear, sunscreen, bug spray, survival kit (matches, rope, knife etc.) and a supply of food.  Most other things will only add weight and will be left behind at base camp.

Camera Gear:

A big motivator for Mark and I for this trip is documenting the experience and sharing it with others.  We have discussed the best way to accomplish a balance between completing The Brent Run but not spending too much time fooling around with camera gear.  For this trip we will be bring 2 GoPro Hero cameras with various mounts and accessories as well as a Nikon AW100 which is their waterproof point and shoot.  The video quality from these devices is high and their lightweight, easy to use and tough designs are exactly what we need for this adventure.


We have planned this trip to coincide as close to the summer solstice as we could.  Our thinking here is that this would maximize the amount of daylight that we have available to us.  The other benefit (or drawback) is that the weather will be warmer and paddling at night will be more comfortable (although paddling at high noon might prove to be uncomfortably hot).  Again in an attempt to maximize the amount of daylight that we have, our plan is to leave our campsite at Joe Lake at 5am on the day that we set out.  This should give us approximately  17 hours of light.  Ideally we will have made it through the Petawawa River into Cedar Lake at the very least by this time.




2 thoughts on “Prep

    1. Nothing will beat paddling as a means of getting in shape for the Brent Run. That said I would also recommend:
      – Basic Cardio: There is 21km of portaging that you will need to be prepared for (that works out to be a half-marathon).
      – Upper Body: Pushups are a great all around exercise for arms, chest, shoulders and core. Start there and get creative.

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