At WRO we have a saying (Scott takes credit for it but we’re not really sure he could be this creative), “Weather is 90% between the ears.”
While we want everyone to have the PERFECT weather for their trip, it’s simply not possible. For one person perfect is 78.5 degrees, 8 mph breeze at their back, partly cloudy (so you get to enjoy a wee break from the sun) and low humidity for another paddler it’s something different. We’ve experienced customers who have canceled their trip because they heard, 8 days out, that there was a 30% chance of rain on one of their 3 days of paddling.
Simply put, if you think you’re going to have a horrible time because it might be:
- Too hot
- Too cold
- Too cloudy
…you WILL have a horrible time regardless if it comes to fruition or not. We’ve seen it happen many times.
We say it often, our trips ARE a wilderness experience. You might only be an hour or two from home and there may be a landing every 8 miles or so and there’s generally a road within a half mile of the river (accessed through a swamp) – once you hit the water you are reliant on yourself to get to the next landing if for some reason you need to come off the river.
You are at the mercy of the Great Outdoors, wind, rain, sun, river levels…skeeters. We do our best to prepare the novice and intermediate paddler regarding the gear they need but they also, to quote the warden in Cool Hand Luke…need to arrive with your “mind right.”
We get it, there are those that “roughing it” means staying at a Best Western. While I think a canoe-camping trip on the Wisconsin river would do many of those folks some good, if they think they’re going to hate the experience…they’re going to. I’ve guided and put many people out who come off the river feeling refreshed and surprised at how good a time they had – I think those folks will go far in life.
An outdoor trip should be time for bonding, unplugging and and getting some vitamin N (Nature) in your system – you need it more than you think.