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Thread: First Time Flat Water - Stillwater Canyon

  1. #1

    First Time Flat Water - Stillwater Canyon

    So we're off on our first overnight canoe + sea kayak trip next week, 6 days from Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom. Shuttle and rentals, including a "Tex-Catamaran" are being provided by Tex. I've done a bit of day-packrafting and one overnight whitewater rafting trip (a long time ago down the Middle Fork of the Salmon), but never floated like this before. So a few questions for those in the know:


    1. How should we pack gear? One large backpack? Lots of smaller? Does everything go in drybags or just the sleeping bags and a change of clothes? Garbage bags? I'm pretty limited on dry bags (usually just use them for canyoneering) but can buy/rent if needed.
    2. Suggestions for day and overnight side hikes and trips? Ideally our trip includes at least one overnight through hike into the Maze (some of our group would shuttle canoes), but we're open to overnight loop hikes as well
    3. We are especially interested in any technical or non-technical canyoneering along the way. We have a few very experienced people open to anything out there if it's higher on the quality side, and are open to vague suggestions or PMs.
    4. How bad are the bugs? I was thinking of sleeping under the stars (maybe jumping in someone's tent in case of rain). Will I need bug spray? A tent? Or will the stars be fine?
    5. Comfort in the canoe...Can I use my full size camp chair in the canoe? Should I take something else? Do I need some type of pad for my knees?


    As a thank you for any suggestions I'll post my first TR in a long time.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Matt

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  3. #2
    Dry bags are best. You won't be shedding white water but you will be shedding mud and sand. Backpacks are the least desirable and I'm ok with a good trash bag in a synthetic duffle but hard shells (canoes etc) could wear holes with bony contents. We pack at the put in using a really good mix of crisis management and random selection. The loads always look like Dr Seuss packed them. On the next to the last day we operate like an Indy 500 pit crew with everything ship shape. Have fun.

    Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk

  4. #3
    To answer some of my own questions post-trip:

    Quote Originally Posted by burley View Post
    1. How should we pack gear? One large backpack? Lots of smaller? Does everything go in drybags or just the sleeping bags and a change of clothes? Garbage bags? I'm pretty limited on dry bags (usually just use them for canyoneering) but can buy/rent if needed.
    Some brought one large pack, I ended up with several smaller that seemed to be easier to pack/access what I needed when I needed it. But not a critical decision. I had a few smaller dry bags with critical things and then used a doubled garbage bags inside duffle bags for other stuff that should keep dry, that seemed to work great. In the end nothing would have gotten wet even without protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by burley View Post
    2. Suggestions for day and overnight side hikes and trips? Ideally our trip includes at least one overnight through hike into the Maze (some of our group would shuttle canoes), but we're open to overnight loop hikes as well
    We ended up hiking up Water Canyon and ditched packs for a quick trip to the Dollhouse. Then on the way down into the Maze near Chimney Rock we grabbed our packs and set up camp. Day hike to the Harvest Panel was followed by a hike back up to Chimney Rock and then down Shot Canyon. This was probably the best part of the trip, very pretty and very cool 2 day trip (about 1200 ft and 12 miles each day). We would have liked to have hike the rim of Jasper Canyon as well, but timing didn't work out.

    Quote Originally Posted by burley View Post
    3. We are especially interested in any technical or non-technical canyoneering along the way. We have a few very experienced people open to anything out there if it's higher on the quality side, and are open to vague suggestions or PMs.
    Didn't do canyon stuff except the non-technical hike up the slot in Anderson Bottom and back. A few good up-climbs but nothing too difficult. Pretty canyon. In the end glad we didn't take gear to try and explore.

    Quote Originally Posted by burley View Post
    4. How bad are the bugs? I was thinking of sleeping under the stars (maybe jumping in someone's tent in case of rain). Will I need bug spray? A tent? Or will the stars be fine?
    I slept under the stars every night. Bugs were not a problem (still early in the year), but I did take bug spray. It rained a bit on us one night but not enough to bail into someone elses tent or get into the bivy sack I brought. With a forecast similar to ours (no rain) I wouldn't take a tent in the future, especially if others in my group had tents.

    Quote Originally Posted by burley View Post
    5. Comfort in the canoe...Can I use my full size camp chair in the canoe? Should I take something else? Do I need some type of pad for my knees?
    Tex didn't like the idea of using a camp chair in the canoe, so I didn't, but I'm not quite sure why as I don't think it would have damaged the canoe at all. We saw other people on the river using camp chairs in their Tex canoes. I just rented a chair from Tex and it was fine. Knee pads definitely not needed, what was I thinking?

  5. #4
    Cool adventure. How far down river did the boats get shuttled?

    Sent from my LG-M210 using Tapatalk

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