- Published: Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:31
- Written by Dan
Wood Buffalo National Park
Located on Alberta's northern border, Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada's largest national park (44,807-square-kilometres), an important refuge for a variety of endangered species, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most visually spectacular national parks on Earth—not to mention one of the largest!
Why Wood Buffalo National Park?
Wood Buffalo National Park holds a legendary reputation among Canada's remote wilderness parks as it contains one of the last remaining natural nesting areas for the endangered whooping crane, the Peace-Athabasca Delta (one of the largest inland freshwater deltas in the world) and vast undisturbed expanses of boreal wilderness. This combination of natural and geographical features makes Wood Buffalo National Park a must see destination among Canadian and international wilderness travellers.
The terrain inside Wood Buffalo National Park is varied and rugged, making exploration by foot a challenge. With this in mind Team Outpost has decided to explore the park via Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). Outpost will be the first to explore the channels and waterways of Wood Buffalo National Park via SUP and we believe that our chosen route will allow our team to be the first to document some of the fantastic views hidden within the park.
MEC Gear Spotlight
General Paddling PFD
Staring down the barrel of raging class III rapids, as we did on our SUPing journey in Wood Buffalo National Park, was as much a frightening experience as it was exhilarating. The prospect of getting spun, flipped and kicked off a SUP came as no surprise. Being able to face those rapids was more than a matter of courage but also knowing we had the right equipment. For something as serious as Class III rapids that means a personal flotation device (PFD) you can trust. Light, easily adjustable and highly effective the MEC Fulcrum PFD is exactly what we needed to ride the waves of Wood Buffalo National Park.
Pictured: Fulcrum PFD
From the MEC PFD Collection
Pictured: Fulcrum PFD
Proper Paddling Pack
Exploring the park on SUP, as we did, required a great deal of planning, especially when considering what bags to use in order to guarantee that our gear would stay dry even when the river and weather forced us to get wet. Without a doubt the MEC Slogg Delux 70L gave us all the confidence we needed to wade the sometimes turbulent waters of the Park. Built with a proper pack frame, the Slogg Deluxe made portaging easy and comfortable. Rugged tarpolin fabric, thoughtfully placed tie points and radio frequency welded seams made it indispensable.
Pictured: Slogg Deluxe 70L
From the MEC Dry Pack Collection
Keeping Dry While Getting Wet
Being on the water, whether it’s a river, lake or ocean, is as much an intimidating experience as it is a rewarding one. The prospect of getting wet and cold while enjoying the challenge of breaking whitecaps in a storm or surfing rapids along the Slave River or simply drifting with an ambling current is very high, and staying dry, especially on an overnight trip, is a top priority. That’s why we use and recommend Kokatat Dry Suits for any overnight and/or cold-water paddling trip. Made with waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex fabric, reinforced elbow and knee patches and latex gaskets, a Kokatat Dry Suit is ready to handle anything you throw at it—even repeated headfirst nosedives into Class III rapids along the Slave River of Wood Buffalo National Park!
Pictured: Kokotat Dry Suit
From the MEC Dry Suit Collection
Our travels through Wood Buffalo National Park will require us to SUP and camp to fully explore the waterways and channels of the park. As always, since quality, durability and ease of use is a primary consideration for this project we will be using MEC as our supplier of choice.
Wood Buffalo National Park Expedition Map