Lake Insula Base Camp

Entry Point:  Lake One

Trip Length: 5 Days

Apex: Insula Lake

Exit:  Lake One

Level:  Moderate to more difficult

Pace:  8-12 miles per day (land & sea combined) depending on your canoeing skill

Scenery:  Beautiful – rocks, stick, water, rapids, portages

Busy Times: Last week of July – First week of August

Features:  Excellent fishing, still a lot of campsites on Insula despite USFS attempt to burn it completely away

Problems:  Serious Rapids with portages around them.  Leaving a floating canoe unattended while loading up gear could result in said canoe going down rapids by itself.  This results in paying for extensive canoe repairs and maybe extraction costs (literally $$$$).  Bottom third of Insula is burned away.   Seeing the rapids makes a small percentage of paddlers turn to complete fools and they think they can run the “un-runnable” rapids from Insula.   We’ve had some of our clients do this over the years.  It was quite expensive for them and unnecessarily so.  Insula can be windy and rough.

Solutions:  Do not leave canoe unattended at any rapids, ever.  By that I mean, someone either stands there with a rope tied to it or the canoe is pulled up completely on shore.  Do not run ANY rapids ever and particularly with our canoes.  If you do, we are going to test the financial limits of your credit cards and maybe take your first-born as well and that will be regardless of whether or not you are alive, injured mightily or even dead.   For camping, plan on paddling further north on Insula.  Lots of nice sites available.  When it is windy and rough, you need to be in a Souris River Quetico 17.  If you are in some other Brand X canoes with a load aboard, plan on hiding for hours behind the multiple islands afforded you by Mother Nature on Insula.


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