Below you will find a few very good questions that we are often asked. By all means, if you don’t see the answer to your questions, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them.
What To Bring?
Here are a few items we recommend. Although not a complete list, it is a great start.
- Quality 2 piece rain gear (Gortex or similar)
- Sweat suit or micro fleece
- 2 or 3 changes of clothes
- Leather boots or hiking shoes
- Sneakers, sandals, water shoes
- Insect repellent
- Sleeping bag for appropriate temperature needed
- Toiletry kit
- Medications / Spare Eye Glasses
- Air mattress or Thermarest
- Waterproof bags
- Camera & film with waterproof container
- 25′ of thin line for clothes drying
- Fleece or clothes for cold weather
- Cloth gloves if you have tender hands
- Optional life preserver (We provide them but you may have one you prefer)
- Maps of river
- Fishing equipment, fly rod or spinning rod
What is provided?
All equipment necessary to enjoy the trip will be provided including tents, canoes, life jackets, paddles, tarps, cooking and eating equipment, food, first aid, saws, and equipment boxes. Canoes are ABS plastics, which are believed to be the most durable available. Tents are Eureka Timberlines, which are a top quality tent and provide ease in assembly and protection from the elements. All clients are asked to use as much care as possible with this expensive equipment.
Can you change the dates or locations?
Variations of these trips can be made upon request. Trips can be scheduled from May through early October. Most trips will begin on a Saturday or Sunday and “Maine” trips will begin at my house with transportation provided, for up to 6 people. It is usually possible for the remaining people to “truck pool” with a discount to those who provide their vehicle.
Should I get travel Insurance?
What are the advantages of a guided trip?
Many people make these trips on their own. Some of them actually end up paying more than the cost of a guided trip.
The advantages of an experienced guide:
- They do the cooking.
- You see all the sights.
- You are shown where and how to fish
- All is provided except personal gear
- Transportation is all taken care of
- All the headaches of planning and coordinating a trip are removed. A guided trip will show you how to: canoe properly, camp safely and efficiently, and teach you more than any books, maps, and other advice can do. In short, a guided trip allows you to enjoy the northern Maine Wilderness.
What if I do not know how to canoe?
You will receive instructions in handling a canoe in all possible conditions. The proper way to load and unload a canoe, the most efficient ways to paddle and portage, and the way to read the water current will all be explained and developed.
What kind of wildlife and fish will we see?
Bear, deer, moose, loons, and ducks are likely to be seen and possibly studied. The “bird watcher” and naturalist will not be disappointed. To see ospreys and eagles fishing in the lakes makes the trip even better. The fishing can be excellent, but the action is not as fast later in the summer.
What are possible Menus?
Cooking is done mostly over an open fire. Extensive use of the Baker Oven is used to produce muffins, baked ham, pies, cakes, baked fish and anything that can be cooked at home in your oven. After a hard day of paddling, meals such as steak, barbecued chicken, fish chowder, meat loaf and stir fry usually hit the spot. Every effort is made to provide healthy, tasty and nutritious meals. It is doubtful that you will be hungry for long.
What about the insects?
Black flies and mosquitoes can be bothersome early in the season. Occasionally “hatches” occur all summer long, so a good supply of repellent is necessary.
Do I need to be in good physical condition?
Many people inquire whether they should be in top physical condition. Sometimes a paddle into a headwind can be strenuous, as well as the several short portages (longest 1/8 mile at Allagash Falls). Being in reasonable shape is a help, but you don’t have to be an “Olympian”. The Allagash and St. John region have much to offer people of all walks of life and abilities. The beauty and enjoyment are available for everyone.
Who Guides these trips?
Most trips in the North Woods are to be guided by myself, Blaine Miller. I try to offer you an experience that allows learning many camping and canoeing skills. I find a complete experience is achieved when you help in gathering wood, portaging, setting up camp and other normal trip duties. In short, I offer a trip with enjoyable experiences plus valuable camping skills. By using this approach, I am able to offer a reduced cost, and you go away with a greater sense of appreciation.
Occasionally trips may be guided by my daughter and son-in-law, Christal and Sören Siren, both are licensed Maine guides. Christal is a physical therapist for the Skowhegan school system and Sören is Physical Education teacher at Skowhegan High School. We all have years of experience on these rivers.