Borealis Paddling Expedition
The Borealis Paddling Expedition is a canoe trip consisting of 5 women who will paddle through the Boreal Forest, Tundra and Arctic wilderness.
The Latest

Dear Friends and Family,

On May 1st the Borealis Paddling Expedition will be moving up to Manito-wish to begin the final stage of preparing for their departure. April has been a month of adjustment from our separate lives and respective schedules to the multitude of communal details that need attention before we drive north. Boxes of dried veggies and fruit from JUST TOMATOES, flour, cereal and rice from BOB'S RED MILL, and our new DriZone sleeping bags from SIERRA DESIGNS have been recently welcomed at our front door. With each day the trip becomes more of a reality and we grow more and more paddle hungry.

What's New:
-A HUGE thank you to all who have contributed to the Borealis Campership Endowment. We are receiving donations on a daily basis and this month we passed an important milestone. We have currently raised over $16,000 - that's a third of our goal of $50,000! We can't tell you how much it means to us to hear the kind words of support and encouragement that accompany many of these donations and how often we think of all the people who have contributed to making this trip possible. We hope to keep the momentum going throughout the summer as people can view our expedition updates from the trail.

-Good News! The other day, we had a chance to speak with Ric Dreidegger who runs Horizons Unlimited, an outfitting service in La Ronge near our commencement point. He said that Saskatchewan is having an early spring and that ice should not be a problem at the beginning of our expedition. This is incredibly encouraging as Wollaston Lake, where we will put in, is sometimes frozen into late May. With any luck we'll be able to start driving north on May 23rd and be on the water a few days later.

-We'd like to send out a big thank you to George Drought and Barbara Burton who hosted Emily and Nina this past weekend at their home in Hamilton, Ontario. George and Barbara have run rivers all over Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories including the Dubawnt, the Meadowbank and parts of the Back River. Emily and Nina arrived just in time for the Waterwalker Film Festival and then spent the rest of the weekend going over old map specfics and learning more about the whitewater detail we'll encounter. In addition they went through pictures and some video footage of the area. To learn more about George and Barbara and to see phenomenal pictures of their recent travels go to

-A COUPLE MORE THANK YOUS: To Christie Setzer and Brad Lystra who have been helping with the continuing effort to generate press about the Borealis Paddling Expedition. To Ellie Orbison who has been dealing with all of the complicated logistics related to the Borealis Campership Fund. Finally, as we prepare to move up to Manito-wish we would like to say a very big thank-you to Rick and Gail Stirr who have so often let us take-over their living room, kitchen, office, hallway, basement and refrigerator. We are grateful for their encouragement and advice and look forward to dropping off our laundry in September.

-We are slowly solidifying the details of the complex system of technology we will be taking north with us. Several people have asked us about the details of safety and communication while we are on trail. There is a lot to say here, so we are in the process of creating a FAQ page for the website where you can find the answers to these questions and many others. A few companies we'd like to highlight in the meantime include ACR ELECTRONICS and BRUNTON. ACR Electronics professionally priced a 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon with a built in GPS system. This beacon is used in all kinds of wilderness, air and military travel for the highest emergency service. We literally trust it with our lives and are grateful for the support of ACR Electronics. Brunton has agreed to donate a Solar Roll and BattJack Rapid Charger which will give us an incredible amount of flexibility in deciding what kind of tech gear we can take. The Solar Roll can be laid out on our boats or on a rock and charge equipment while we paddle-it's an exceedingly efficient and convenient addition to our gear.

-We are excited to announce that CHOSEN VALLEY CANOE ACCESSORIES has donated two sets of their Sling Style Yolk Pads that will make all the difference with our endless portaging. Luna Bar has also agreed to sponsor the Borealis Paddling Expedition. They will be providing a sample sized LUNA BAR per person per day. That's 50 miniature bars and 5 happy women!

-LONG'S DRUGS have generously agreed to donate all of our film and Judy and Neil Yarian have donated all of our photo processing. This is a huge help as we intend to take more than 100 rolls of negative film as well as a couple of digital cameras.

-BEAR PAW RESORT, on the Wolf River in Northern Wisconsin, has agreed to provide two days of whitewater training at a reduced rate for the Borealis Paddling Expedition. These two days will help the crew refresh their rescue and paddling skills and prepare for the challenging whitewater they are expecting on the Fond Du Lac, Dubawnt, Meadowbank and Back Rivers.

-On May 15th there will be a picnic celebrating Borealis Paddling Expedition's imminent departure at Greg Friese's house in Plover, WI. Greg is a long-time Manito-wisher and Wilderness Medical Association professional who has started EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SYSTEMS LLC-a company that will be providing a first aid and risk management refresher for the crew. If you are in the neighborhood please stop by! More information will be up on our website soon, including an email address where you can RSVP if you are planning on attending. In the coming weeks we are planning on sending out shorter but more frequent email updates as our preparations pick up speed.

Again, thanks for again reading and expressing your support. We're always excited to hear from you, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts. Only 25 DAYS until we're driving North !

The Borealis Women:

Meg, Nina, Beth, Karen and Emily


Who: Meg, Nina, Beth, Karen and Emily
Where: Camp Manito-wish YMCA
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