Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listened to

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Summer2011
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Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listened to

Post by Summer2011 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:31 pm

After spending a week on Isle Royale, and loving it, there are some pieces of advice I wish I'd listened to, or wish I'd put 2 and 2 together and made 4 out of it.
This was really our first backpacking trip, not a backpacking/canoeing trip or day hiking trip. While we had planned short hikes every day, and we did fine, I have some advice for whatever it's worth:
A. Allow plenty of time and underestimate your abilities. Many on the boat said the same thing, " I put on a backpack and hiked a few blocks, but I wasn't ready for this." Even though I could carry a 30 pound pack 2 miles before the trip, I wasn't ready for Isle Royale! Next time, I will carry a 30 pound pack up and down stairs for an hour. Then, I might be ready. I was expecting the trails to be like the BWCA portages, or the state park trails in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Instead, it reminded me of the Lord of the Rings movie. On the way to Daisy Farm from Moskey Basin, I kept wanting to call out, "Frodo, hang on to the ring! Don't drop the ring!"
B. I am way smarter than to get dehydrated. But, it happened. I thought I had enough water, but in the heat, it catches up quick. We did do something right, though, in that we had planned an extra day to stay in one place if we needed to...and we did. Most groups we saw didn't do that, and some of them were bemoaning the fact that they had to hike X number of miles with blisters and didn't have any options.
C. Have a back-up plan for injuries. One young woman had a dislocated shoulder near Lake Richie, and kept trying to go on to McCargo, while other hikers from another group advised her to head for Moskey Basin, where a boat could pick her up and get her out more quickly. Have a plan for what happens if someone is incapacitated; where do you go, and how do you get out? Rangers are limited by boats unless a litter is neaded, and then you'll be carried out. Not pretty....

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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by Ingo » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:23 pm

Good advice!
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by Tampico » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:28 pm

"Drink when you're not thirsty."

I learned this in the Marines.


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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by johnhens » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:35 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Glad you made the best of it!


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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by eddy_line » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:36 pm

We were at Chippewa Harbor late afternoon on July 30, when a ranger docked. Not sure whether he received the radio call before or after docking, but he was looking for a gal with a dislocated shoulder. We never saw anyone come down the trail, and he eventually disappeared. Does anyone have any info on how the situation was eventually resolved, where their group was from, etc.? At the time, we wondered whether it was any of the groups we had met while portaging down from McCargoe Cove.


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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by Summer2011 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:14 pm

I don't know how it was resolved, but we were at Daisy visiting with a ranger when the call came in. According to the radio report, a woman had suffered a dislocated shoulder about 1/2 mile north of Lake Ritchie when her group was headed for McCargoe Cove. (This was in the early afternoon of July 30th.) According to the reporting party, they tried to convince her to walk out at Chippewa or Moskey, rather than to continue to McCargoe. Also according to the reporting party, there were 4 in her group, and 2 continued on to McCargoe, while 1 remained with her. We questioned the ranger about the procedure, and evidently rangers reported by boat to Chippewa and Moskey, ( I don't know about McCargoe, but I assumed a ranger headed there, as well.)waiting for her to appear there, where they would make her comfortable until she could be shipped out by ferry the following day. We all (ranger included) were hoping that someone knew how to resolve the dislocation within the 2 hour time frame that is recommended, etc. I worried about her, and am also wondering how this situation was resolved. That is why I got to thinking about having some kind of plan wherever you are on the island as to how/where you could go if someone in your party was hurt or incapacitated. Also, if that were my daughter, I'd certainly be willing to pay the extra money to have the sea ferry take her back quickly to Minnesota or Michigan, and not have to wait another day to get that shoulder attended to. Hopefully, she got back quickly, and all was well..... THe ranger reported that about 6 airlifts a summer are performed to get people who are severely injured off the island, and that's not counting people who can walk out to the dock, where the rangers pick them up and get them to the ferry.

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Re: Hiking Isle Royale:things I wish I'd realized or listene

Post by Deb842012 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:09 pm

Thank you for the tips!
Deb

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