SUBSCRIBE
TO UPDATES

Cold, painful & hungry! – Circumnavigating Lake Superior by SUP

Cold, painful & hungry! – Circumnavigating Lake Superior by SUP
In the summer of 2015 Jared Munch from Northern Wisconsin set off solo around the largest of the Great Lakes in North America. He knew it was going to be tough but don’t think he was prepared for quite how tough! “Cold, painful, hungry!”… They’re the 3 words Jared uses to sum up his 1300 mile, 50 day self-supported SUP around Lake Superior. 
Read more about Jared’s epic paddle below…
Lake Superior has been paddled around hundreds of times – by kayakers. For some reason, I was the only person willing to give it a try on a SUP! And hopefully my narrative doesn’t dissuade anyone else from trying!
I had planned on doing this journey for a long time. It took me a year and a half to actually prepare for it once I had set my mind to do this.  At the end of my year and a half preparation, I was as confident as I could ever be, yet the sinking feeling in my gut grew stronger and stronger until I had finally made my official departure.
“I knew this journey would not be easy. I knew it would be cold. I knew I would be hungry. I knew I would feel pain.”
What I hadn’t prepared for, however, was the generosity and general enthusiasm of the people I met along the way. Yes, sections of the lake are very remote, and I spent times further away from any civilization as most people will ever be. Alone, yet very content with where I was at the time. I typically paddled 12 hour days in remote areas, making 40-50 miles per day. The goal was to get the most remote and most rugged sections of the lake done with while I had good weather – because I didn’t want to be stranded during a storm.
“Aside from the typical aches and pains, I fell into this routine quite well… Camp. Paddle. Camp. Paddle.”
This routine was, of course, gladly interrupted by groups of fishermen and locals of the lake when I was near civilization. I had lost 15 pounds on the northern side of the lake. The south side of the lake was a different story though, since it’s more densely populated with people eager to feed and house the passing paddle enthusiasts.
I had departed from my home in Duluth, MN and paddled the 150 miles to the Canadian border, only to return to Duluth to teach paddlesports to youth in Duluth for a week.  My journey was also being used as a fundraiser to provide outdoor programming for at-risk youth.
A week later, I returned to the Canadian boarder and paddled the remaining 1,150 miles back home – the long way!  The journey took me 50 days to complete.
“Once I finished, I swore I would never paddle again… that didn’t last!”
Jared Munch
Since then, I’ve become proficient in whitewater SUP, and am planning a trip this spring that mixes both my touring and whitewater skills. I am planning on paddling the Steel River into northern Lake Superior.  There is also consideration of doing a complete open-water crossing of the lake. This, however, would entail back to back 20, 50, 90, and 10 mile open water crossings in fairly unpredictable and extremely sporadic wind and weather conditions. It’s a stretch, however, that can be done given the correct window of opportunity and a good support vessel. Watch this space!
Words – Jared Munch.
To find out more about Jared’s extreme paddling including SUP surfing freezing Lake Superior mid winter click here. 
Facebook Comments

SIMILAR ARTICLES

GeoSUPvideo

0
GeoSUP is a mobile app available on IOS, developed by the passionate team of SUP experts at SUPboardermag.com.  Launched in 2017, GeoSUP tracks and...
video

0
Check out this great video of Russian paddlers having an iceberg SUP party off Vladivostok on Russia’s East Coast. Stunningly filmed by Михаил Т
SUP Langkawi - Daniel Wynn

1
Paddling solo and unsupported 110 miles in 10 days in soaring temperatures and monsoon rains. That's the challenge amateur paddler Dan Wynn from Pembrokeshire...
What to wear on your feet paddleboarding?

0
Knowing what to wear on your feet when flat water paddleboarding is not easy, especially during the chillier months. Unlike in the surf where...
Red Paddle Co - SUP Fitness

0
There's no escaping it, the cold days of winter are in full swing. Sunset paddles are now a distant memory and the dark nights...
Will Schmidt's Documentary Trailervideo

0
SIC ambassador, Will Schmidt, released the trailer of his upcoming documentary, 'Through My Eyes'. In May of 2014, Will successfully attempted what is now historically...
video

0
We've been waiting for Thomas's video (part 2) of his trip since December 2017. Some more inspiring cold water paddling from Fanatic's best solo...
Thomas Oschwald - paddling in the cold

0
Extreme adventure paddler Thomas Oschwald recently spent afew weeks in Finland. A layer of ice covering his kit and the risk of frostbite are...