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MHO Skill Levels

All of our trips at MHO Adventures aim to provide you with comfort and education on how to travel through the backcountry. No matter the skill level, each trip offers beautiful landscapes, fun river travel, delicious food, and different camping, portaging, and paddling challenges. While there are aspects of a canoe trip that we can control (quality of our gear, gourmet meals, and our guides), there are many aspects that are out of our control. Things that are constantly changing, such as water levels, weather, and how bad the bugs are, are all realities of canoe tripping that can be quite challenging at times. Based on our collective knowledge of these rivers, we have created a “skill rating” system to help you decide which adventure would best fit you! We have taken into account factors such as whitewater paddling ability, how physically demanding a trip might be, time on the water each day and progression of rapids.

Beginner

If you have never done any camping or canoeing before or are an avid car camper, our beginner trips offer the perfect step into the world of backcountry camping and canoeing! These trips involve flat water and minimal portaging over short and well-maintained trails. We canoe mostly lakes and paddle between three and four hours each day. In camp, our guides are there to help you learn all the basics to be comfortable in the backcountry (which we do on all our trips). The days are shorter, which means more time in camp for activities such as swimming, fishing, reading and overall relaxing! A great trip to start building your skill and love for backcountry travel.

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Moderate

If you have been on camping trips before, have some canoeing experience and are seeking to explore the world of whitewater river travel, our moderate trips are a perfect fit for you. These trips involve backcountry camping and paddling class 1-2 rapids. Our guides will teach you how to paddle your canoe down the river safely and how to read and run whitewater. Depending on skill and progression, you will get to paddle most rapids and portage some. Our Noire and Upper Missinaibi are moderate trips where the rapids are an excellent progression for learning, starting with slow-moving water and getting into more challenging class 2 whitewater later in the trip.

Intermediate

These trips are ideal for our clients who already have some skill or experience paddling whitewater as well as some physical fitness. Previous experience can be from a previous MHO trip, a paddling skills course or just from your own whitewater adventures. Days on these trips are often longer and filled with more time on the water and in rapids up to class 3. There is portaging and/or lining involved that can be long and through challenging terrain. Some of these trips start immediately with rapids, providing little time for introducing skills. You can expect your guides to coach you on your whitewater paddling skills and potentially introduce you to new skills throughout the trip.

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Advanced

Our advanced trips are very similar to our intermediate trips with long days, some physical fitness required, and previous whitewater experience is necessary. The main difference between the two is that our advanced trips are longer and more remote, making it harder to get on and off the river if necessary. Clients on these trips should be comfortable paddling for 6 hours a day and moving along the shore to scout rapids, as well as portaging on challenging trails. An advanced trip can be your first trip with MHO, provided you have the skills needed. For example, you have paddled rivers before in the last three years, you have been on an expedition before or recently taken at least a two-day whitewater canoeing clinic.

Even the most skilled canoer can enjoy a beginner trip, and if you are new to river expedition, there is no reason you can not work your way up to our intermediate or advanced trips. Being on an expedition can be unpredictable, and sometimes a difficult trip is made easy with a supportive group and sunny days. Alternatively, you could have headwinds every day, turning an easy trip into a real test of your mental fortitude. These levels are just guidelines to help you decide what your next whitewater adventure should be! If you have any questions about our ratings or where you fit into this system, please give us a call at 705-789-6479. We love chatting on the phone about how amazing all of our trips are and will be able to find the perfect adventure for you.