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First Post - A Confession/Trip Report
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Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - M

Locale: Ross River
Ulterior Motive on 01/14/2014 12:41:22 MST Print View

Apart from wanting to share my trip with you good folks at BPL, I also hope that a seed is planted for some of you Lower 48er's to put the Yukon on your trip destination list.

If any of you are planning trips up to the Yukon make sure to hit me up with any questions/concerns/logistical issues you may have. My girlfriend and I also have an open-door policy at our cabin so strangers are always welcome...

Cheers, and remember to GO OUTSIDE.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Wow on 01/15/2014 07:40:41 MST Print View


I could read trip reports like this all day.

The gear talk is a double edged sword. It becomes tedious at times but I am truly thankful for what I've learned here. Being able to go from 10 mile days to 20 has really opened up opportunities for me that would have been very difficult (at best) with a 50lb pack.

I've been secretly planning a trip to your neck of the woods but as it will be in the winter and require advanced equipment techniques (and stamina), I continue to read and learn here. Hopefully in three years I'll be ready.

Thanks for sharing this report. I'm adding this park to my bucket list.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Ulterior Motive on 01/16/2014 04:46:52 MST Print View

Travis, was this organized by you or was it thru a guided service company?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Ulterior Motive on 01/16/2014 06:17:23 MST Print View

"The organizer of the trip, a 70 year old lady, has spent 25 years wandering around Kluane National Park... "

Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - M

Locale: Ross River
Non-Guided Trip on 01/16/2014 08:08:49 MST Print View

It was organized by an ambitious and passionate 70 year old lady! Her and her husband are from Northern BC and we met them a few years back through some other friends. She doesn't guide or anything, but as she's getting a little too old for extended backcountry trips I think she wanted to do one more big one before she cut it down to smaller trips. After a few nights spending drinking red wine and sharing travel stories I guess she decided we would be fun to have along so she invited us on the trip. It was just my girlfriend and I and a couple of her friends from BC. There are a few companies that organize trips into Kluane, but I have no first-hand experience with any of the guided tours.

Despite the remoteness, I think it's a trip that can be easily managed as long as you have good navigation skills and are prepared for hard walking (ie: no trails, thick bushwhacking, fluctuating river/creek levels, etc.). There were some days when we were averaging little more than 1km/hr due to the thick bush we had to travel through - those were long days. Travel along the river beds and up the creeks for mountain passes were much easier.

And any travel in Kluane requires that you check in with Parks Canada and provide them with your route and expected return dates. If you don't check in at the end of the trip they'll be out looking for ya.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Non-Guided Trip on 01/16/2014 09:34:46 MST Print View

Cool trip for sure. great pictures

only part i don't like is "We ended up getting saddled with lots of extra gear."

i'm very much in the camp of "you want it, you carry it"

I feel this is one of the only ways people will learn to leave things at home that are not necessary. if someone else is going to carry it they have no negative reinforcement to packing too much. Also if you carry it then you will notice what is getting used and what isn't. If something doesn't get used, it's left behind next time.

what can be left behind is probably my biggest lesson learned on BPL. I have Jamie Shortt's trip report blog bookmarked to look at his 5lb trips over and over to see what is possible. I don't go that light myself but the mentality helps.

Travis Bernard
(DispatchesfromtheNorth) - M

Locale: Ross River
Jake on 01/16/2014 11:31:47 MST Print View

Hey Jake,

I agree with the sentiment of your post. However, on this trip the lady organizing it and myself were the only experienced backpackers in the group. Though during pre-trip planning I tried to advocate packing light, we were spread out throughout the country and were not able to do good shake-downs to reduce weight. I can't blame the other two (my girlfriend's gear was pretty light) for packing heavy. Neither one had been on a backcountry trip before and like most people do, they packed their fears. Throughout the trip I was able to give them a few pointers on how to cut their weight and hopefully they'll use their newfound knowledge on other trips.

More to the point, my entire logic for trying to reduce weight is to simply enjoy my time in the bush more. However, it's only one small aspect of increasing trip enjoyment. Another important aspect of increasing enjoyment, especially on group trips, is having everyone get along and keeping group morale high. In my mind, I'd much rather haul an extra 10 lbs of gear on my back than watch a 50 year old lady struggle up the side of a hill because she didn't have the time, money, resources, or knowledge to reduce her pack weight.

The one stipulation that I enforced on the trip was that I was happy carrying additional gear, but only food and other group stuff. I wasn't going to be hauling someone's heavy, inflatable seat pad so that they didn't have to sit on the hard ground at the end of the day...

That being said, despite my initial frustration with having to carry a bunch of extra gear, it rarely mattered when we were wandering around enjoying the marvelous views.


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re:Travis on 01/16/2014 12:05:27 MST Print View

I can see that. being from different areas makes it difficult to do any changes. And trying to give feedback to folks you don't necessarily know well is a whole other deal.

I do carry more of the shared gear with my GF because it is usually a short trip anyway so the effect on me is less. ie i put our tent in my pack on the 2nd day.. no big deal to me, helpful for her to lose those 2lb.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: First Post - A Confession/Trip Report on 02/15/2014 08:15:26 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing your great views!

Steve Horne
(shhQuiet) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Re: First Post - A Confession/Trip Report on 02/15/2014 11:20:36 MST Print View

Great trip report and great pictures. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and post.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: "First Post - A Confession/Trip Report" on 02/18/2014 14:32:25 MST Print View


Not EVERYONE on BPL is a gram weenie (although, I agree that some days, it sure seems that way!)... I guess like every "public" expression opportunity, you get the good, the bad, and everything in between! Personally, I skip over all the uber-detailed gear reports, but others want those as their main focus...

Canada's parklands are probably undervisited, but maybe we should keep it that way...;^)

BTW, the ol' Robert Service excerpt really brought back memories for me of school (Montreal)'s been a long, long time since I've thought of that poem!

Really gorgeous shots, and wonderful trip report! Thanks and kudos.