I love gear. (photos at bottom) I mean who doesn’t really? I used to have a ton, ton of gear. 6 or 7 tents, 4 backpacks. You get the drift. I have scaled back my life A TON. I decided, once I really started getting into bush-craft and primitive skills, less is so much more. I have some gear and , clearly, some gear is needed for a trip like this one. I am actually traveling light. Although the photo looks like it is a ton of stuff, remember, this is for a 6 to 8 month journey. The only addition items I will be taking that are not shown are a change of clothes, a wet suit, GPS and some misc suff. Plus no pictures of the canoe but we are talking gear, not canoes and paddles.
Not all gear is created equal. Some is mega expensive and good quality, some is cheap and junk. The trick is to find the in between items that will last a ton of every day, day after day, use and not be to expensive. I think I have found that happy medium. I have decent gear, some better than others, and some has serviced me well, other gear is new or new to me. (mostly new to me) I use ebay a lot. Part of the fun is trying to get it as cheap as possible. Here is a list of some of the highlights for those interested.
Canoe– Northstar Northwind Solo. (38lbs)
Paddles– I am hoping someone donates a bent shaft paddle otherwise I will get some cheap, but reliable ones from bass pro.
Spray Skirt– Homemade from waxed canvas
Wet-suit– NRS Grizzly shorty (still need)
Tent– This is a tricky one. I recently bought a Seek Outside Silvertip. It is a floor less tipi style tent that would also hold a wood stove. (about 2lbs with stakes) (see bottom photo, not the center pole I will be using on the trip) At a 57″ peak height, and guy-outs that really enhance the interior space, this is an ideal tent for warm or cold weather. The problem is I did not add the bug netting and if what others tell me is true, mosquitoes are going to be an issue. I love the sturdiness of it and it goes up quick. All the reviews say it is solid in bad weather and strong winds and with the number of guy outs, I can see where this would be true, but again, skeeters. I also picked up (on eBay) and Big Agnes bug hut 3. Though not as light as the Seek outside shelter it has a lot of netting and is great for warm weather and protection from bugs and creepy crawly’s. I may just take both.
Sleeping bag– Although I would love a high end synthetic like a western Mountaineering bag, I am going with my tried and true bag. A REI SubKilo 20 degree. Did I mention a shoestring budget is big compared to mine?
Sleeping Bag liner-Silk travel liner. I have used this to take my 20 degree bag rating down another 10 degrees. It works and will be just enough in warmer weather to cover up with.
First Aid kit– home made
Cooking– Snow Peak Aluminum 1000 pot and fry pan
Stove– Snowpeak giga powered.
Back up stove– alcohol stove and one bottle of fuel.
Cooking utensils– Just some durable ones I have been saving for a long time and I made a home made utensil roll.
Backpack– Used Arcteryx Bora 40l. I have used the 30l version in the past for a week outing. It just won’t hold the gear for this trip, so I upgraded. Sold the 30L and bought a 40L on ebay.
Water Filter– Sawyer squeeze filter. (thanks sis)
Small Axe– H&B Forge Camp tomahawk.
Buck saw– really need a fold-able one. Donation anyone?
Bear Spray– Still need this also.
GPS– Garmin 64st with Canada topos- At least this is what I want and really NEED but at 400 bucks. That’s a month and a half of food for the trip. I may have to wing it and use a compass. Even maps, at 10 bucks each, are to much money when you need 100 of them.
SPOT safety GPS– I have this for emergencies. Just have to activate it. BTW, I will have a map attached to this site so if you want to follow this journey, please subscribe.
Rain jacket and pants– Old military style I have had for 20 years. I hope they still work.
Knife– Mora of course and a Swiss army knife which I suspect will get a lot of use.
Journal– Of course
There are additional items I am taking as well. Waterproof matches, soap, REI camp towel, water bag, cowboy hat, beanie cap, gloves, ferro rod x 2…etc. Thus far, it all fits in my 40L bag with room to spare for food. Food is another post unto itself. As indicated, I am trying to keep it light and am at about 30lbs before adding food. not a huge deal in a canoe but the portages can be a bear and I will have to lug all this gear, plus canoe and paddles and life jacket, 100 miles plus, plus through out the length of the trip.
One last note. If your interested in donating gear or know someone who is interested in donating gear, please contact me. As Always, feel free to share this post. The more the merrier. This is your trip too. Please subscribe. I would like to have 500 subscribers before put in. You can help make it happen by sharing this blog.