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4/26/2018 1:28 pm  #18

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Now that's a good idea for the middle of black fly season:

Susie Bug Net: http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/susiebug.htm


4/26/2018 3:14 pm  #19

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Returning from the thunderbox at our campsite on Cauchon Lake in June 2016.  The Susie Bug Net really makes life much more pleasant in the bug season.



4/26/2018 5:46 pm  #20

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Uppa wrote:

And I still don't understand why people lug chairs into the interior - there are always comfortable places to sit.

Well, not all campsites are as comfortable as the ones in APP. After I moved to crown land camping I had to change quite a few habits and  equipment pieces (tent, shoes, ropes etc.).


4/27/2018 12:58 am  #21

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Uppa wrote:

MartinG wrote:

So stubborn!!!! 


kayakcamper.com is paid for until 2020. My YouTube channel is /kayakcamper. I've painted myself into a corner here.

Oh and also I love my kayak and would prefer paddling a hollowed out whale carcass over a canoe (although they're both equally bloated). But really it's all about the branding - you think I can just walk away from my 500 subscriber YouTube empire?  ;)

I'm not a marketing expert but I think if you hollowed out a whale carcass and took it for a rip, your youtube channel would blow up.  



4/27/2018 10:02 pm  #22

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Purge: Heavy food, I can eat fresh at home but a light load on the trail lets me go further and easier in the backcountry so I use a guideline of 3+ calories per gram, it all tastes good and is easy to prepare.

Purge: Excess Clothes: 1 jacket-like item, one pair pants, one shorts, one shirt ... how much do you really need? 

Splurge: Alcohol, but it has to be 40% or more by volume.

Bid Splurge: 28" chopping axe and 36" bow saw with a fresh Bacho blade. The two weigh almost 6 pounds but enjoying the great outdoors with a roaring fire and a few drinks at night is something that I don't get to do at home.

Additional Splurge: My dog. A pain in the butt but I love her company. Bonus is that she carries more than her share of the load, without complaint.


5/01/2018 6:02 am  #23

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Love this thread. So my philosophy changed on backcountry canoeing. Originally, I was all about going extremely light. So I own all of the gear needed for a long backpacking trip. Over time, I started to add back weight, mostly because the harder you work, the greater the reward. In general, our rule of thumb is you have to carry all of your personal stuff on your back. Then we bring one food bag (small backpack) and one gear bag (small duffel bag). Thus, when we portage I carry the canoe and my backpack, my canoe partner carries his backpack and the food/gear bags. We've never done two trips on a portage. So here's my splurge/purge:

Biolite stove and whisper lite stove
Tent (either 2 or person depending on the number in our crew)
Battery Power Christmas lights, buy on Amazon, we have a few strands and they're awesome
Platypus water filter, if you don't have one, check them out, so easy and light
Large tarp for rain
Big Agnes air mattress

Splurge (no I'm not joking):
We bring a good meal for four out of five nights and try to eat fish for one night, never went hungry
2- Heady Toppers (best double IPA in the world) for each night, yes I start with 10
1- bottle of Bulleit Bourbon 
Screen house tent, we carried it for 7 years and never needed it, last year we left it home and they swarmed
Helinox chair- this was one of the great additions to my list, fits in my pack and so comfortable
Hammock- not really a splurge seeing how light it is but worth it
Steak dinner on the first night

More beer? 
My two year old and four year old

This is our one week out each year away from the kids and the world, so I don't know what's better than arriving at a campsite after a day full of work, putting our beer in a cold lake, taking a dive to wash off, changing into some warm fleece clothes, sitting down next to a warm fire and cracking open a delicious beer. Oh and with this strategy, portaging only gets easier, ha ha. 


5/01/2018 7:10 am  #24

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

We also use a Checklist of items to be taken and check off as we pack them.    I remember years ago Barry sharing his checklist with me and he had everything weighed and marked in Grams how much everything weighed.         I think every year we bring to much stuff but we eat healthy and sure we gain about 5 pounds ever year on our trips  and yes like a lot of People we have Steak the first night in.    as someone else mentioned we only drink High Test ( 40% )   around the fire at night.    


5/01/2018 8:03 am  #25

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

perrythomas wrote:

2- Heady Toppers (best double IPA in the world) for each night, yes I start with 10

Are you American? Where do you camp.. want to invite me over for a beer? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Beer is certainly on my splurge list- it's danged heavy but always seems worth it, usually just one per day. 

Other things that I would consider nearly essential but apparently can be considered splurges are:

-Somewhat extensive cooking equipment and food. No cans of food or anything that excessive, but a nice diverse selection and good quantity. Luxury items like avocados and eggs if at all possible. Naturally 1st night steaks. Cooking is one of the tasks/activities that I most enjoy about camping. Although the food is usually luxurious, it's never excessive- we always come back with the one 'emergency meal' that we brought- not more.
-A camping pillow- so much more satisfying than a coat.
-Fishing equipment.
-Thermarest hammock for relaxing (tent for sleeping).
-Small folding saw.
-Some form of compact and light seating (or forego for the hammock).

I guess I could cut back on some of those items on a trip where weight savings was a priority, but for most trips these items are worth the extra weight and space. Probably food would be the main thing to get re-analyzed on a light weight trip- there's a lot a space to be gained by taking dehydrated everything.

Purge- I haven't purged anything significant yet- just picked lighter and better quality versions of items as replacement time has come along. However, when packing, everything is thought out, and on every trip everything gets used enough to justify bringing it.

Gotta use a checklist, it makes packing so easy!


5/01/2018 3:07 pm  #26

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

My old college buddies and I get together for two trips into the park each year.  Over the years we have gone from tripping somewhat far into the park and bringing as few supplies as possible, to only going one or two portages deep and bringing gear and supplies as if we were amateurs!  We dont go far so we can enjoy a few extra comforts.

Cooler - frozen food and cold stuff like chilli, stew, bacon, eggs, burgers, cheese, etc.
Chairs - some of us have the new helio chairs and some have regular camping chairs.
24" saw and a good fiskars hatchet - makes wood organizing a lot easier
Canoe seat - i fish a lot while in the park so my back appreciates this
Home made fire starters - about 12 are the size of a small football so they dont take up much room but man are they nice to have on wet mornings. 
Extra clothes - we have had a couple rainy trips and not having dry clothes to change into is no fun
Booze - some amaretto and red wine are a nice treat while watching algonquin sunsets and stars

Nothing really other than getting smaller and lighter items of gear I already own; sleeping mat, pillow, pots and pans, etc.


5/02/2018 5:56 am  #27

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

I live in Burlington, Vermont, so yes, we have the Heady Topper luxury. I also enjoy cooking the most. Someone was trying to push the freeze dried meals on me, and I was like, what would I do for an hour each night by the fire. I'll start a separate thread on campfire recipes. Also, if you are near Kiosk on May 15th NVM, I'll happily bring an extra Heady!


5/03/2018 6:59 am  #28

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

That's a kind offer, but having recently moved to Ottawa I'll be checking out the east side for the next few trips. Although, what's a couple extra hours for a Heady Topper...
Have a good trip, and enjoy the 'splurge.'


5/03/2018 10:05 am  #29

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

We splurge on beer too. We don't bring a lot but a beer after a long paddle is so amazing. Top tip: if you get relatively low alcohol beer, you can freeze it! If you freeze one or two it will keep the rest cool. Once it thaws, there is probably a different taste but to be honest, when you've just landed at a site after a paddle in the sun, I've never really noticed. 


5/03/2018 12:51 pm  #30

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

I think it's higher alcohol beer that's better in the freezer- the alcohol will prevent it freezing solid and exploding. But warm or cold, it is a great way to commemorate getting to your site!


5/05/2018 5:55 am  #31

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Late-comer to this discussion but can't resist posting as it's such a great topic and very close to home for me right now as I prep for my 9-day solo starting next Friday (THE ICE WILL BE OUT BY THEN!!). Here's what I'm doing for this trip, some of which will change by summer (i.e., tent over tarp).

- Tent (specifically my 1999 "2-person" Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD. Absolutely love this tent but it weighs 3.5 lbs more than my MEC Silicone Scout tarp and I am DETERMINED to single carry this time. To date I have yet to do this successfully in a solo tripping situation, despite many purges. I'm throwing in one of those SOL tarps as a groundsheet. Hmm. does that belong on the splurge list?
- Fuel stove and canisters. Will go with the Solo Stove -- sorry, I feel like a criminal for having one of these instead of a Bush Buddy but when I bought it I couldn't wait 6 months or however it was going to take to get the latter off the site.
- Like Uppa, all pots and pans save one--my Primus Litetech pot with fry pan lid. It's not titanium but it's as light as I really want to pay for right now.
- Pretty much every other piece of kitchen kit: extra spoon, fork, knife, bowl, serving implements -- gone in favour of a titanium spork and possibly a stainless steel mug. Done.
- Large canoe pack. I now make do with a 70L model, specifically the MEC Slogg 70 Dry Pack. Love the compactness, so much easier to hoist around and carry, both on its and with a canoe.
- Hard 1L nalgene water bottle and Platypus large Gravityworks filter. Have purchased the Katadyn BeFree 0.6L and a secondary Platypus 1L softbottle. Not sure total weight difference but it's a decent purge in both weight and bulk.
- Never did take a chair, so likely this doesn't count as a purge.
- Lastly, but probably most important, I finally got my solo packboat with combi seat last summer--Keewaydin 15. Time for a shoutout to ShawnD for all his great info and feedback--probably saved me about $600 or more on the purchase. Hey MartinG, thanks for ripping these and adding to my overall shame at owning one instead of a solo canoe http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
. The good news is with the combi seat I can still paddle it like a solo canoe.. . . . the bad news is it generally becomes stupid to do so since it's way more efficient in kayak mode. I'm considering setting up with the solo canoe seat for this trip and bring along the double blade but really that means I'm carrying an extra paddle -- add that to the splurge list.

- Hultafors Classic hatchet. Haven't taken any kind of axe in a long time, and who knows this may get left at the last minute but I'm really hoping it will make the difference in wet conditions when I'm usually having so much trouble getting (and keeping) a fire going
- 2 cameras (including a DSLR, albeit one of the lightest available), tripod, multiple mounts and batteries. Yes, I have dreams of building my own YouTube empire . . . though at the moment I have no subscribers, no videos and well, no channel. You're safe for now Uppa LOL. 
- Satellite locator/messsaging device with iphone for communicating with loved ones (plus portable charger for the phone)
- Thermarest NeoAir trekker. Since I started using this a couple years ago I don't know how I ever did without it! My back is no longer able to handle minimalist sleeping pads and this thing is just what the doctor ordered!
- Since learning that one isn't supposed to sit on one's PFD, I've now picked up a Thermarest Z-seat which seems to weigh nothing but may be a pain to jam in my pack.

There are likely other things I'm forgetting as the last couple of years have been an exercise in overall gear reduction. In fact, this forum has been a great source of info and inspiration for re-thinking my kit. Thanks to you all for past posts, and if you actually bothered to read this whole post, an even bigger THANK YOU!


5/06/2018 6:35 am  #32

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

I should have mentioned that I got a Biolite stove for a present last year and was skeptical at first. It's definitely heavier than a whisperlite, but definitely lighter than a whisperlite and three fuel canisters. Anyway, we couldn't get our whisperlite working on the trip and realized the fuel was bad (think water had condensed over winter). So we only had the Biolite. I definitely changed my mind on it. It's an awesome stove and we could get water boiling in 2-3 minutes. You need to feed it wood pretty frequently but we started making thicker wood chips with our hatchet and it made it easier. Plus, we could charge our batteries while cooking, which is pretty cool. Funny thing is that it goes on my splurge list this year, as I'm bringing it and my whisperlite but maybe less fuel. https://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/campstove-2?variant=180482965518&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQjwz7rXBRD9ARIsABfBl80hMZxfd0K4mBm-yYci_muFgxeqVczKteDvZeveh4-plneXfFezUe8aAg-5EALw_wcB


5/06/2018 7:57 am  #33

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

Hey MartinG, thanks for ripping these and adding to my overall shame at owning one instead of a solo canoe

I don't think I really ripped these. At least not anymore than I rip Bob and his dam kayak. Congrats on the new boat! You are going to love it!!


5/06/2018 1:00 pm  #34

Re: Pack Weight: Splurge and Purge

MartinG wrote:

I don't think I really ripped these. At least not anymore than I rip Bob and his dam kayak.

I don't take it personally - it comes from severe jealousy, after all. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, but this is sort of what I pictured a "dam kayak" to be. Except, you know, it should be an actual kayak. Beavers wouldn't stand a chance. 



Last edited by Uppa (5/06/2018 1:00 pm)

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