Do trips require a prior level of experience of the participant?
We assume no previous experience with the exception of our most northern trips, such as the George River, Mistissini, and Soper River. In general, trips are run at a pace that allows for exploration of the natural world. For adult and family trips, the age range that is set provides a general guide to the level of experience we expect of participants, but don’t hesitate to call with questions regarding this subject!
What will the food be like? Can special diets be accommodated?
Chewonki strives to provide trippers with great tasting, balanced meals while on the trip. With enough lead-time we can generally accommodate those with special dietary needs. A sample menu might be scrambled eggs, sausage and English muffins for breakfast; veggie, hummus and cold cut wraps with fruit for lunch; and black bean or chicken burritos and apple crisp for dinner, capped with a nice cup of hot cocoa or tea. Participants can expect to be involved with all aspects of the cooking process, both in preparation and in clean up. When possible, we pack vegetables fresh from our organic farm!
What equipment will I need to bring?
Chewonki will provide each participant with the necessary technical gear, such as paddles, life jackets, and boats. Beyond that, each participant will receive a detailed list of the personal gear and clothing they are expected to bring, specific to the trip they are taking and the season. If necessary, certain items are available for rental such as sleeping pads, river (dry) bags, and backpacks.
What experience is required of Chewonki trip leaders?
Extended trip leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders and maintain current CPR training. On most water based trips, at least one leader will be a certified Life Guard, and all leaders have a Maine State Camp Trip Leader permit or are registered Maine Guides. In addition, our trip leaders go through extensive training specific to Chewonki’s own risk management protocols and wilderness travel methods periodically throughout the year.
Is there any way of contacting a participant in the field?
We carry cell phones on most trips and satellite phones on all trips to Canada although their use is for emergency communication only. In the event that Chewonki needs to contact a trip in the field, each trip leaves a detailed itinerary with emergency contact numbers with the Wilderness Trip Office in Wiscasset. On the extended trips that are three weeks or longer, excluding the Canadian trips, mail can be brought in and sent out on re-supplies. Beyond mail, we try to limit contact with family and friends to emergency situations in order to emphasize the importance of being fully present in the natural setting of each trip and to facilitate cohesiveness within the group.
Are electrical and battery devices allowed on trips?
We ask that participants leave behind cellular phones, i-pods, computers, radios, portable disc players, etc. If these items are brought for travel or other logistical purposes, they can be kept in our safe with other valuables while the participant is on the trip. Cameras and flashlights are allowed.
Do I need a fishing license? How do I get one?
In Maine, fishing licenses are required for Maine residents 16 and older and for non-residents 12 and older. Licenses can be ordered on line through the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife here.
In Canada a non-resident license is required and there will be time to purchase a license en route to our departure point.
What wildlife can a participant expect to see?
It depends on where we will be traveling, but it is not uncommon to encounter moose, beaver, deer, snowshoe hare, and black bear in the Maine Woods, bald eagles, osprey, seals, and harbor porpoise along the coast, and caribou, wolves, and golden eagles in Northern Quebec and on Baffin Island.
What is a typical day like?
This depends on the trip, but as a general rule it is early to rise and early to bed. The days will vary depending on the itinerary and the weather, and the terrain, but there are always rest days planned into our three-week or longer trips! We encourage getting into camp early to mid afternoon to ensure a good site, and to leave plenty of time to set up camp and for a swim and to relax before getting dinner prepared.
How soon do I need to register?
Some trips fill up to a half-year in advance and some trips still have space available at the last minute. Please call us with enrollment questions. Please download a registration form and send it by mail. We do not yet have online registration.