More on Northern Tier

In the gram-weenie tradition I thought I’d give our personal gear list.  My total was about 10 lbs and easily fit into the 5-gallon bucket that should bound your gear.  (well at least that part of your gear that fits in the “grey whale”  or Duluth pack).  I also used a small ultralite pack to keep gear organized in the canoe.

Wet Clothes – you wear one set of clothes that will get wet.

zip off, quick dry trowsers (REI Lightweight nylon) 1pair, nylon shirt (1), quickdry underwear (ex officio or similar) 1 pair, polypro liner socks (1pair), Jungle boots.

Whale contents:

  • water proof sealine bag 30L
  • REI lightweight self-inflating pad 3/4 length
  • Contractor grade trashbag. – the pad is folded then the bag goes inside it.
  • 2 pair quickdry underwear
  • pair wooly socks (for cold)
  • pair liner socks
  • polypro long john top and bottom
  • REI 35 degree nooksack lightweight sleeping bag with silk liner to make it really a 35 degree bag
  • crew quickdry t-shirt
  • REI synthetic down jacket analog
  • lightweight warm hat
  • spare bandanna and small microfiber towel
  • 2 pair spare batteries (photo lithium) for GPS, only needed one pair
  • Neoprene heavy duty kayak shoes (to use as mocasins), but for these I could fit everything into a 13L water proof bag.
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, various medications.
  • Gizmo bag – headlamp, pad, pencil, cotton wool/vaseline firestarter in film can, sparking stick, safety pins (4), spare parachute cord, spare spoon, emergency glo-stick.

Contents of Canoe pack  (equinox):

  • mesh bag with fishing pole/reel, small ziploc container with lures, steel leaders, and hooks
  • camera (pentax waterproof)
  • GPS unit – Garmin cs60 – Photo lithium AA cells lasted 6 or more days in it.
  • Frogg toggs “dry duck” raingear – which is inadequate in rough terrain because it doesn’t have the protective outer fiber.  Also Partner’s rain gear.
  • 1 liter water bottle with strap and D-ring
  • Second group first aid kit in water proof bag – consisting of small “normal” first aid kit, a sam-splint, a thermal blanket, water purification pills (aquapura), epi-pen.  The main first aid kit was in a “grey whale”, and having two let us split up when needed.  It also meant that some supplies were readily accessible while a more complete set was available.
  • bandanna “dew rag” tied to loop to dry.
  • 3-4 D-rings to clip everything together and attach pack to canoe.
  • drybag with fishing license, medical information on crew, compass and route permit.

We also had a map in a water proof case for everywhere we went.  The maps were made from arial photographs between 1968 and 1977, and so are not fully accurate.  They were annotated with campsites and portage routes at the base before starting out.

Written by Rob in: backpacking,gear lists,outdoors,scouting |

Northern Tier

Just back from a trip to Northern Tier with my son’s crew.  It was a radically different experience than Philmont and in many ways a much more positive one. 

Everyone pulled together and acted like adults.  It was great.  We picked our route (actually the scouts did), and then executed it.

Like any extensive outdoor experience, it was a resiliance rather than an endurance event.  We canoed and portaged 106 miles, remapping two dissused portages and developed one disused and one emergency camp site.  At our furthest extent we were more than 10 miles from any other people.  (i’ll post some pictures and the google kmz files in a later post)

The fishing isn’t quite as good as advertized – we needed the right lures for Walleye- but we did catch bass and pike.  On the river areas, using a “gulp” brand synthetic leech workd well for the pike – and if you found one of the native 3-5 inch leeches it worked even better.

The bugs are a real problem, but treating our clothes with permetherin first (idea from section hiker), using a head net, and Deet took care of that.  The ultrathon micro encapusulated deet worked very well in giving an active deet concentration without having a high concentration at any time.

Written by Rob in: outdoors,scouting |

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