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Semi Ultra-light Expedition Canoe Gear List
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Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Semi Ultra-light Expedition Canoe Gear List on 01/22/2006 12:17:42 MST Print View

I do not consider myself to be an ultra-light hiker but a ultra-light white water wilderness canoeist who spends 2 weeks in the bush at a time. The following is my list I have use from the Boundary Waters all the way to Jame's Bay. The further north you go the more self sufficient you need to be and/or be prepare for wet, cold, windy weather. The redundancy exists because we are dealing with water.

Something I have not address in my list are my camp shoes. They really need to be something I can use to hike out in. I came close to losing my boots this past summer when I was drawn into a CIII-CIV rapid while paddling the transition zone between the boreal forrests and tundra.

CANOE: (48 lbs)
PakCanoe-140 with keel strip, knee pads and D-rings for painters
Home made ash yoke w/ Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories portage pads
Werner Recreational canoe paddle for running white water
Zaveral bent-shaft carbon fiber paddle
Discovery Life Vest with SOG Seal Pup knife, Storm Whistle, Plastic Air/Sea Signal Mirror - Model #4 from Rescue Reflectors, Inc., RiteLite Lighter, Vaseline cotton balls fire starter in a film canister, Brunton Eclipse GPS compass, Mylar emergency sleeping bag, HawaiianTropic UV cream 70 SPF (4 oz), Muskol 30% Deet bug spray bottle (1-2/3 oz), and ChapStick Ultra SPF30 Lip Balm
2 x cords to tie packs in while running white water
4 x Bungee Dealee Bob to secure painters, paddles, ropes, etc. in canoe when portaging
Zebco 33 fishing rod & reel
25’ painters - Marsars 5/16" polypropylene kermantle rope
Bailer made from 1 gallon milk jug attached to canoe with fastex buckle
Armaly ProPlus Heavy Duty Sponge in netting w/ carabiner
Marsars 50' Compact Throw Bag rescue rope
SeaLine HP map case – small
Garmen eTrex Summit GPS w/ floating case
Campmor Fisher Space Pen
Rite in the Rain Shirt Pocket Memo pad
Pelican Case 1030 with carabiner containing Sony Digital Camera DSC-P100, NP-FR1 R Series rechargeable battery pack, extra memory card, and UltraPod
Katadyn Exstream XR Purifer

WEAR: (5.6 lbs)
Leatherman Juice S2
SOS Necklace from
WSI Hot Spark Flint
REI Midweight MTS Boxers
Ex Officio All Sport Convertible Pants
LL Bean Cool Max T shirt
SmartWool Expedition Trekking socks
Chota Quetico Trekker boots
Sunday Afternoons Sun Hat
Back support belt for portaging and seat like support when paddling
Floating eye glass strap

Ostrom Wabakimi canoe pack
Ostrom canoe pack liner
plastic bag (2nd liner)
Sunglasses (treated w/ Rain-X & anti-fogger) in LensCrafter's eye case
Buzz Off bug jacket
Bug head net
LL Bean Gortex rain anorak
Galyan's brand rain pant (Red Ledge Wonderlust)
Matches (vacumn packed)
Hennessy Explorer Hammock w/ Snakeskins or BA Seedhouse SL2 tent or NorthFace Kesteral tent
Therma-A-Rest Z-Rest ¾ -length sleeping mat
1.1 oz silnylon Cooke Custom Sewing tarp 8' X 10'
Walkstool Comfort 45 (all other light weight stools or chairs have broken)
Rescue Bag (Equinox nylon bag)containing 100 feet 7/16” static rescue rope, CMI rescue pulley, 6 X 25’ of parachute cord, and 4 X Black Diamond screwgate carabiners
Gerber Back Paxe
Sawvivor saw
Atlas 370BK Nitrile Tough Glove
Repair Kit containing Duct Tape, Stick ink pen with waxed polyester thread wrapped around it and triangle leather needle inside it, sewing thread (use dental floss from First Aid Kit), plastic electrician ties (7), replacement bolt, washer & wing nut for yoke, PakCanoe repair kit, light stick, matches (vacumn packed)
Montbell Super Stretch #7 Super Light 50 degree sleeping bag possibly with or without Montbell Down Hugger Thermal Sheet, Montbell silk liner, Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite mummy bag liner
MEC dry bag to stuff sleeping bag into for additional water protection
Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight .7 nylon bag with Imodium 2 mg #10 (anti-diarrheal), Levaquin 500 mg #5 (broad spectrum antibiotic), Abreva (anti-viral cream for cold sores), Oral B Satin dental floss 5.5 yrd spindle without the case, DenTek Thin Set cap & crown cement, DenTek Quick Stix oral pain relief, AG Russell nail clippers, SliverGripper, CVS 2" self-adhering elasic bandage, Cravats x 2, and Sam Splint
Charmin toilet paper vacumn packed
Clothing black nylon bag:
REI Midweight MTS Boxers (1)
Medalist light-weight polypropylene long johns (1)
SmartWool long johns (1)
Ex Officio All Sport Convertible Pants (1)
LL Bean Cool Max T shirt (1) or heavy polyester T-shirt (1)
Ex Officio Sunblock check long sleeve shirt (1)
Columbia fleece turtleneck (1)
Cherokee fleece shirt when expecting cold weather
SmartWool Expedition Trekking socks (2)
Comfort Clogs to wear as camp shoes
Manzaella Gore Windstopper fleece hat
Watchful Eye Design Alosak 6.75"x6" containing Black Diamond Ion LED headlamp, and 16 dram medication vial with personal medication
8.5" x 13" zip-lock bag containing Reader’s Digest w/ the ads removed, CVS unscented baby wipes travel-pak #12, and Johnson's baby powder

COOK PACK: (31.4 lbs)
Duluth Heavy Duty #3 pack
Ostrom canoe pack liner
plastic bag (2nd liner)
AquaMira water purification drops
Matches in plastic case
Spark-Lite Firestarter Kit
Matches (vacumn packed)
Evernew Titanium 0.9L pot, Clikstand with Trangia burner and MSR Titan 800 Fuel Bottle w/ 27 oz denatured alcohol or
Kelly Kettle with Moutain House Moutain Oven as a backup
Metal binder clip for securing freezed dried meals shut while rehydrating
Aladin insulated cup with the handle cut off
Light My Fire spork
96 oz Nalgene Cantene
Camp Suds in dropper bottle (1 oz.)
Dry surgical scrub brush
8.5" x 13" zip-lock bags (2)
13" x 19" zip-lock bags (2)
Cal Stat hand wash (4 oz)
Watchful Eye Design Alosak 4.5"x7" containing travel toothbrush, Arm&Hammer Dental Care tooth powder in dropper bottle, comb, deodorant travel size, and Lion’s eye glass cleaner clothe
Food from menu for 2 weeks

Edited by worth on 01/22/2006 12:42:35 MST.

JD Schaefer
(JDRower) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Excellent Information on 03/17/2009 10:18:57 MDT Print View

I've researched and added many of your items as I wend through the planning process.

I see your list is going on 3-years. Are there any changes you'd make?

Many thanks
JD Schaefer

martin cooperman
(martyc) - M

Locale: Industrial Midwest
Wait a second... on 03/17/2009 10:39:55 MDT Print View

Hey - wait a second. What are ultralight snowshoes doing on a wilderness canoe trip?

victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
re:semi ultra light canoe gear list on 03/17/2009 10:45:03 MDT Print View

Hey, the snow shoes must be used when he pulls the canoe across the ice......Hee hee

Edited by clt1953 on 03/17/2009 10:49:26 MDT.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Canoe Gear List on 03/17/2009 10:50:29 MDT Print View

I don't really go out on expeditions, but my trips of a few days aren't really packed much heavier than my backpacking. I'd rather have a real stove than an alcohol one though. I take a canoe chair, life jacket, paddles, dry packs, etc...but it's about the same.

I do however take a cooler. My load gets about 12 oz lighter every 15 minutes or so. ;-)

There was/is a website/forum devoted to solo packing a canoe, but I can't find it or remember what it was called. I seem to think it might have folded last year.

Al Vonkeman
(Sparkman) - MLife

Locale: The Great White North, eh! on 03/17/2009 19:37:49 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

Were you thinking of

I do both expedition and weekend type canoe trips. The weekend trips are anything but lightweight and also include a cooler. For expedition trips (10-20 days), my gear does become more lightweight because of the need to carry more food and other consumables. However, it's still nowhere near UL.


Weekend Canoe Trip

Edited by Sparkman on 03/17/2009 19:39:31 MDT.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
Re: Semi Ultra-light Expedition Canoe Gear List on 03/19/2009 06:46:08 MDT Print View

The handle of the Gerber back paxe is too short to be usefull IMO. I would at least get Gerber hatchet with the longer handle. It shouldn't weigh too much more as it has he same size head.

Is the Spark-lite in a waterproof container? The last time I brought a Spark-lite with me on a canoe trip the flint inside it crumbled to pieces. I guess it cannot stay wet for a long time. Also the spark generated by the Spark-lite is almost worthless for anything other than lighting the Tinder-Quik tabs. The Tinder-Quik tabs also don't work when wet. Yesterday I pulled out some Tinder-Quik tabs I had bought a few years ago and tried to start a fire with them, they no longer work. Lose them or you will regret it.

Buy a ferro rod and some WetFire tinder. It works when wet and you can use the ferro rod to ingnite natural tinder with it. (birch bark, cat tails and fatwood)

You need to read Woodcraft and Camping by Nessmuk.
He spent weeks on canoe trips with a little more than 50 pounds total weight includidng the canoe.

Edited by sjdm4211 on 03/19/2009 06:52:11 MDT.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
Check this out! on 03/19/2009 07:27:40 MDT Print View

WetFire tinder cube on fire in a cup of water!!!!!!!!
WetFire tinder Cube on fire in a cup of water!!!!!!!

Edited by sjdm4211 on 03/19/2009 07:28:28 MDT.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
"Semi Ultra-light Expedition Canoe Gear List" on 03/19/2009 07:38:21 MDT Print View

"Hennessy Explorer Hammock w/ Snakeskins or BA Seedhouse SL2 tent or NorthFace Kesteral tent"

"1.1 oz silnylon Cooke Custom Sewing tarp 8' X 10'"

Thats alot of shelter for one person? Why don't you get a solo tent? That will lower your pack weight by a pound or more. Or you could just ditch the tarp instead. Or do both. What is the tarp for anyway?

Oh and check out the Sven saw. In my expierence it is much easier to use and faster than a Sawvivor.

Edited by sjdm4211 on 03/19/2009 08:23:46 MDT.