We’re delighted you’re interested in our trips. If there’s any other information you need, give us a call at 705-342-5324. We love to talk trip.
Prior to Your Trip
- Need a lesson? We offer a 10% discount for Trippers, use promo code ten_percent_off
- Trip balance due 15-days prior, applied to your credit card (please let us know if not ok)
- Review cancellation policy and arrange insurance if you wish. (Please know we do all we can to avoid charging for cancellations, so the more notice provided the better)
- Make sure you have clothing & gear you need, and call if you need help (see below)
- Do some stretching & strengthening exercises for arm, shoulder, back & abs
A Week Before Your Trip
- Has a Guide been in touch? If not, please call.
- Let us know if you need help with accommodation and travel.
When You Arrive
Unless otherwise noted, we’ll gather at White Squall Paddling Centre at 8:15 am on the first morning, ready for intros at 8:30 sharp. Then were off to the launch site, we may ask you to drive your car or pool with others. It’s no problem if you want leave your car here at the Squall ~ we’ve not had problems with parking, but it is at your own risk.
You’re paying us to ensure you have a safe trip. This means honouring decisions made on behalf of the whole group. We need to be each other’s keeper – and we ask you to fully participate in all aspects of the trip – including the fun stuff like helping with dishes?
What Will It Be Like?
The Paddling Part…
We want you to relax, have fun and learn new things. Squall staff are qualified outdoor leaders and will encourage you to learn current paddling, safety and tripping skills. Weather & group needs determine where we go and what we do. Kayaking is a wet sport, so check the clothing list. Plan to be on the water for 3-4 hours per day ~with lots of breaks!
We provide tasty meals & snacks beginning with lunch on Day 1 and finishing with lunch on the last day. Our meals are quite varied and ample, using fresh and whole foods. We’re happy to accommodate most dietary restrictions, as long as you tell us well in advance. White Squall staff (along with your help) will prepare the meals.
Alcohol has no place on the water, but in moderation at the end of the day, it’s a pleasant addition to the trip, occasionally we offer wine with the evening meals (except youth trips of course!). We ask you not to bring your own drinks. Thanks.
Camp Gear & Boats
We provide fully equipped kayaks and group camping gear, including good quality tents. Bringing your own boat? Tell us so we can make sure it’s a good fit. We do bring a tandem and ask all participants to take a turn, so someone else will paddle your boat for a short period. If this doesn’t thrill you, then please let us provide you with a boat.
If it’s cold or wet, then you need materials that retain heat when wet, and wick moisture from the skin like wool, fleece or polypropylene. Paddling jackets are ideal, but a windproof shell will work fine. For hot midday paddling, a long-sleeved shirt is great to keep the sun off. Have a warm sweater and pants for the evening. Specialized paddling clothes/gear add to your comfort, but aren’t necessary unless you intend to get serious. Our shops are full of top gear and clothing that we use ourselves. If you order in advance, we can ship to you at your cost, or you can pick it up when you arrive. All trippers get 10% off (reg. priced) gear & clothing for trips.
OK, What do I Bring?
- lip balm, sunscreen (waterproof)
- sun hat, sunglasses with tether x2
- buff/bandana, bathing suit, towel
- full rainsuit
- windbreaker or paddling jacket
- warm hat, mitts/gloves
- water shoes (we insist on footwear at all times)
- extra shoes or boots
- sleeping bag & pad
- camp chair
- water bottle
- headlamp/flashlight, spare batteries & bulb
- insect repellant (DEET free preferably)
- t-shirt, shorts
- light, long-sleeved cotton shirt for sun
- full extra set of clothes
- long underwear (synthetic or wool)
- paddling gloves (optional)
- sweater or fleece top, long pants
- toiletries and personal meds
- critical meds (2 waterproof sets –one to staff)
- camp mug
- small roll duct tape
- 5 metres of light cord
- 2 extra garbage bags
- candle & matches
Fun Stuff (optional)
- books, journal, pen/pencil
- kite, fishing gear
- mask, snorkel
- binoculars, camera
- small musical instrument
Okay, now how do I pack everything?
Use several smaller bags rather than one big one. Your biggest parcel should be your sleeping bag. Pack your stuff in 5 & 10L (15L max) dry sacks. Another way to waterproof is to use two strong garbage bags inside a nylon stuff sack. Bring a big mesh bag to carry gear back and forth from the boat. Tag or tape gear to identify it as yours.
Georgian Bay Weather…
Georgian Bay weather is ideal for kayaking. Summer days can be hot (30°C) with evenings often cooling off for a comfortable sleep. Early summer and fall the nights can drop to 0°C. Summer weather is usually moderate, but rainy/cold days do occur, even in July. The water is swimmable from June to early Sept.
Giving the Bay a Break
Georgian Bay is one of the great freshwater systems of the world, and it’s under increasing stress. Island vegetation is fragile, so we tread softly. We ask that you avoid washing in the Bay and we’ll provide wash buckets and solar showers to use well up on shore. Soapy water is disposed of inland. Garbage is separated and carried out. Cooking is done on gas stoves. Tents are usually erected on flat rock and with good sleeping pads, your night’s sleep will be fine. Latrines are carefully sited and we have a strict protocol in their use.
Memories of Your Adventure
We stock topographic maps & marine charts in both of our shops. These tell wonderful stories and will hold great memories after your trip. Give us a call if you’d like us to send you one by mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will we have campfires?
We love campfires, but the islands are very fragile with little soil cover and sparse wood supply Fires can have a big impact so generally, we don’t have fires. Our fire motto is “Don’t have fires, save the trees and watch the stars!”
What kind of footwear is best – and do I have to wear them all the time?
We ask everyone to wear something on their feet all the time for the simple reason that a foot injury can really mess up a trip. This type of injury is easily preventable. This is especially important while swimming as zebra mussels can cut a foot very easily. Sandals or water shoes are great. For evenings, in camp, warm socks and running shoes/hiking boots work well.
Can I drink the water?
We filter all water to be safe. Guides carry water filters to fill your water bottle frequently while paddling.
How do I go to the bathroom?
For peeing just go into the bushes. For the big stuff, we‘ll have a kit with trowel handy and ask you to dig a small cathole well away from the water. In camp, we’ll establish a latrine and give you a tour! Yup, we supply toilet paper. TP and feces are the only things to be composted. Sanitary napkins are to be double-bagged and carried out. Hand washing afterwards is mandatory. White Squall leads an Outer Island Stewardship project to install wooden latrine boxes on camp sites. We welcome any donations to keep this going.
Why duct tape, cord, matches/lighter, candles, etc. on the equipment list?
It’s to get you thinking of the things you should have on any wilderness trip – and you just might find they come in handy!
What’s your cancellation policy?
We insist on small groups, that’s what makes our programs special. As a result, please understand, even if you have a sudden medical problem or family emergency, we are unable to refund without a replacement. We recommend securing trip insurance if this is a concern. If you have questions about this, please call. If, unfortunately, after booking you are not able to make the trip, we will miss you! If you cancel less than 15 days prior to the trip start date, there is no refund unless a replacement is found. If you cancel more than 15 days prior to the trip start date, we refund all but a $50 admin fee. We reserve the right to cancel or alter any trip due to weather or insufficient registrations. In these cases, full or partial refunds will be issued, depending on the circumstances.
The late Stan Rogers wrote a powerful song called “White Squall” some years ago. It is a beautiful, sweet water ballad with a lingering reminder:
“. . . and I tell these kids a hundred times don’t take the Lakes for granted . . .”
We hope we never will. Thanks for listening.