PACT Fan Mail!

Comments and Questions from Humberside Montessori School in Toronto, Ontario.


“How much food do you have to pack?” – Noah, 6

            We had to pack a lot of food.  It was a very tricky process.  Feeding six people for over 4 months requires a huge amount of planning. We pack all or our food in three blue food barrels.  When full each can weigh up to 100lbs! We are only able to carry enough food for about three weeks at one time, so on our drive out to Alberta, we stopped at several places to drop off boxes of food that we will pick up when we paddle by.   


“I hope you have a nice trip there.” – Astrid, 6

            Thanks Astrid!  We are definitely having a nice trip.  Canada is an amazing country to view by canoe.  We have seen incredible animals (beavers, moose, deer, otters, and bears) and have met wonderful people across this country.


“I wonder what they use for toilet paper?” – Shaneesa, 6

“I used leaves once in High Park.” – Joel, 6

            Good question Shanessa.  Unfortunately, we just use plain old toilet paper- just 1 ply because it packs lighter.  It is a hard to guess how much we will need, but lucky we have not had to use leaves yet, but great suggestion Joel.   


“What colour is your canoe?” – Sophie, 6

            Our canoe is made of fiber-glass and is light brown.  It is designed to resemble a traditional birch bark canoe, so there are some black markings to make it look realistic.        


“You will probably see dolphins.” – Abbey, 7

            Unfortunately, no dolphins yet Abbey.  We have seen the endangered Lake Sturgeon, which looks like a small shark and can grow to 6 feet and over weigh 200lbs!  We were paddling on a lake in Manitoba and we did see a whale...but it was just an inflatable beach toy.  We tied it to our canoe and were fortunate enough to find its owners and return it home. 


“What do you do to pass the time” – Earl, 7

            We spend most of the time paddling, eating and sleeping.  When paddling to help pass the time we tend to discuss a lot of movies, food, and music and share stories with each other.  When we do have an hour or two of down time at the end of the day some members of PACT will enjoy a good book, journal writting or go exploring in the woods. 


Are you going to get real strong and do some wrestling? – William, 6

            Great two-part question William!  We are definitely getting stronger on our journey.  We spend usually 8-10 hours per day paddling, so we are getting a lot of upper body strength.  We didn’t have to portage (which means to carry the boat and all of our gear over places we cannot paddle) at all for the first month and a-half of our trip, so our legs were not getting much exercise.  Recently however, we have started a lot of portaging.  We just portaged over eight huge hydroelectric dams, several rapids and have a lot more in our near future. This is great because we are preparing for our biggest challenge, a 13km portage in Grand Portage, Minnesota.  Portaging is an excellent way to get really strong- both physically and mentally.

            In regards to your second question, we have not yet planned a wrestling event, however if we run out of things to talk about and the mood should strike us, some wrestling matches may be in our near future.  I would put my money on Peter to win because he wrestled back in his high school days, however Marc does have a great deal of co-ordination and youth on his side. 


“I hope you don’t poop your pants!”- Noah, 6

            Thanks for your concern Noah.  There is definitely no space for a toilet on our canoe, so we must plan our poops precisely.  At times there have been a few close calls when paddling across big lakes and nature began to knock, but thankfully no one has resorted to a pants pooping yet…not even a fabled ‘Aqua-dump’.


Thanks so much for the great questions students!  If you have any questions for PACT, please send your colourful banner to:


1 Voyageur Canoe

River or lake, Alberta to Quebec, Canada


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