A five-part series on remote canoe expeditions by G.W. MartinPart 3 - Personal Gear
This week I am going to give you a list of Personal Equipment and Clothes, First Aid Equipment and considerations will be discussed in
a later article all by itself.
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT: wallet, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, Leatherman, headlamp "waterproof" (spare bulb, extra batteries), Q-tips, 3-4 lighters, compass with mirror, whistle, fishing pole, fishing reel, fishing tackle, face cloth, soap, sleeping bag, plastic ground cloth, closed cell foam pad, fanny pack, compression sack, notepad "small", pen pencil, deodorant, harmonica, boots 18" rubber.
CLOTHES: Filson pants, 2-3 pairs nylon boxers, 4 pair nylon- wool socks, t-shirt, long sleeve wool shirt, long sleeve button up wool shirt "warm", gortex zip up or pullover "hooded", 2 pair army navy wool gloves, wide brim hat, pair of 18" rubber boots, very light weight sneakers, light weight rain pants, belt, sunglasses, ear warmer hat, bug net vest.
The closed cell foam pad has saved me in a lot of ways other than a warm place to sleep. Some other uses that makes this item very useful are: knee pad in the canoe, shoulder pad lashed to yolk of the canoe, extra padding under bucket in pack, flat surface for laying out small items such as silverware and contents of tightly packed containers. A Leatherman or multi-purpose tool made of steel always seems to be an incredible asset on a very regular basis. I would not go on any Canadian expedition without a pair of Filson pants. The Tin cloth for the front, seat and lower leg and Shelter cloth on the back of the legs, front and upper thighs make pants that are extremely wear and water resistant, "ARMOR". Bring at least a pair of Teva's if not light pair of sneakers. You must have a pair of extra treads. A wide brim hat becomes a necessity after the first paddle in a rogue rain storm. Next week I will give you my lists of Group Equipment, and some of my thoughts on it.
The surrounding landscape was what I had been waiting for every minute since the last trip. The alder coated shores wound endlessly and the steep banks of sand were covered by layers of bright, light green Caribou moss. I felt so in control and safe; yet I was still cautious of my exact position on my Glad-lock sealed, folded 50,000:1 topographical map. Contemplating how this was my third time down this section of river and still looking very unfamiliar. We paddled steadily knowing that our first portage was going to be on us soon. The first portage is always the heaviest. I am thinking about how I am going to do, but not as much as I am thinking about Shaw and his first portage ever. The portage was on river left, just up an old steam bed. There were moose tracks all over, which is rare up there. Moose only average 1-2 per square mile. I found my degrees of bearing from my map. Patrick had gotten the same. The portage seemed to be about 400 yards with about a 40 ft incline. And we were off a steep 8 ft incline into very thick young fir growth followed by 50 ft or so of thick alders and uneven ground. "Great", I am thinking as my tumpline from my Duluth pack welds its way through my hat and imbeds into my upper forehead. The 25 miles of planned portage got very long just in the first 2 minutes. Then the way cleared into a meadow with grass and occasional fir trees. Hoping that my line of travel would lead me through some good walking was the first thought that came to my head, the second being amazement at all the grass. I had never seen so much up in the woods of Quebec before. But it didn't last as long as I had hoped and I kind of wished it had never been there to tempt me to begin with. Right back into the thick of it for the next 35 minutes. My 90 lb. pack and my 60 lb. boat sitting on top of that had about beaten me, when I finally spotted water. I got to our first pond and set down my gear. I listened for the boys but could not hear them. I broke out my fishing pole and began to move myself to some deeper water. Then suddenly, I noticed this huge massive bank of sand that kept growing and growing as I rounded the corner. What could this be? A desert in Canada?
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