Canada Practical Information
What to Expect – Day to Day Experiences
What type of experience do I need?
West Magpie Expedition:- To join the West Magpie Expedition you should have tried whitewater rafting before and have some experience with wilderness camping.
Magpie River:- No whitewater experience necessary. This trip is the perfect introduction to river travel. However, experienced paddlers will be satisfied with the quality and challenge of numerous class 3 and 4 rapids.
What type of physical condition should I be in?
West Magpie Expedition:- Expect six to nine hours of activity per day. You should be comfortable walking on rocks and uneven terrain, ready to spend full days on the water, and be able to swim.
Magpie River:- Expect five to seven hours of guided adventure activity per day. You need to be comfortable walking on uneven terrain. Swimming ability recommended.
Who will my guides be?
Your guides are professionals who have years of whitewater experience, and are excellent instructors, talented chefs and knowledgeable about the area. They love their jobs and want to share their passion for the river with you. Visit the about us page for more information about our guides.
I am an experienced kayaker/canoeist. Can I paddle the whole river in my own boat?
Yes. If you are a confident class 3/4 kayaker or canoeist you will love this river. A kayak guide will lead the way down every rapid. See Kayak/Canoe option tab at the top of this page for more information.
Will we eat well?
Meals are plentiful, delicious, wholesome, and freshly prepared. Snacks are always available. Our guides love to cook and it shows. Please see the Trip Description for more on the great meals.
How do we go to the bathroom while on the trip?
We carry a portable toilet, set it up at a beautiful and private location at each camp and voila!…a room with a view.
Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a Pioneer expedition. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident. Participants on Boreal River trips need to have appropriate Medical Evacuation insurance as any emergency evacuation costs will be billed to the injured person. Medical insurance should cover emergency air evacuation from the river to a local hospital, medical treatment within Canada, and repatriation to a medical care facility in your home region.
As with all Pioneer expeditions, we are committed to maximising the benefits of our trips to the local community and minimising the negative impact associated with tourism.
The key tenets of our local agents environmental policy are:
1. ‘Leave No Trace’ camping All Boreal River trips and courses follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ guidelines. We adhere to the expression, “leave only footprints, take only photographs”. We carry out all of our waste and make sure to leave our campsites looking as ‘untouched’ as when we arrived at them. We are very careful to ensure that no foreign substances make their way into the water or forest where they could affect wildlife.
2. Contributing to the local economy through ‘sustainable’ activities Tourism such as river trips can contribute to the economy of a region without destroying the natural environment for future generations. We operate with this in mind and it affects our purchasing and activity decisions. For example, on Magpie River Adventure programs, our guests spend the nights before and after the trips in Riviere-Au-Tonnerre instead of the bigger city of Sept-Iles. Riviere-au-Tonnerre is a small village once considered the crab capital of the world. Now with no fishery it is trying to attract travelers. This makes for a wonderful experience, is great for the town’s economy, and creates local pride and attention for the world class Magpie River located in the village’s backyard. The food for our Magpie trips is bought locally in Havre-Saint-Pierre – where it is sourced as much as possible from organic Quebec producers – and from a small farmers market outside of Sept-Iles. We hire drivers from the area, source our transportation logistics from North Shore businesses, fuel up at small local-owned service stations, and our staff and guests visit as many small shops and restaurants in the region as possible throughout the season.
3. Assisting local people in experiencing their rivers We at Boreal River aren’t scientists, politicians, lawyers, or lobbyists. We are a river trip company. That’s why our biggest contribution towards protecting rivers is helping people to experience these amazing places. The people of the North Shore are very proud of their land and heritage. Many however, have not had the opportunity to paddle the area’s world class rivers. We started offering special trips for local people in 2008 and we have made it an annual tradition. As well, in 2009 and 2010 we donated equipment and helped guide a trip on the Magpie organized by an association of local paddlers (Association Eaux-Vives Minganie), allowing them to bring new people down the river. The groups included regional politicians and journalists, and the trips received coverage in major Quebec publications, raising awareness about the plight of the Magpie. We look forward pitching in with the association’s future efforts as well as those of other groups. We are committed to doing everything we can to help as many people as possible see the Magpie, Moisie, Romaine, Natashquan, and other North Shore rivers for themselves.
4. Contributing to conservation organizations Many non-profit organizations are doing important work towards protecting the areas where we travel from unsustainable development. Boreal River is a member of ‘1% for the Planet’, donating one percent of our gross sales to non-profit organizations working on local and global environmental issues.
Canada Weather – when to travel
We run these trips at the best time of year in Quebec – the summer months. The nights can be cool throughout summer, but the days are usually warm and sunny. Temperatures range from 20° C to 25° C