So we’ve covered deciding on a timeline, planning your route, and paddle in sites. Today it’s all about your gear, food, and making sure that you can carry it.
When you’re planning a solo canoe trip its important to remember that everything you do is on your own. I know that sounds like a obvious statement but it’s true. You are the only one carrying all your gear, food, and canoe. You need to make sure that everything is thought out according to weight. The more you pack…the heavier it is…and the better chance you may have to make multiple trips on a portage. Your gear doesn’t have to be the latest in ultra-light gear. It just has to be efficient enough for you.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GEAR
Think about what gear you own…do you have a list or do you have to pull it out? Do you really need to bring that 4-man tent or do you have a single man tent? Is there any gear you may need to rent/buy? These are all questions that you need to take into account when planning for your trip. Here are my answers to these questions:
- I have a list of all my gear
- I have both my marmot twilight 2 tent and my eureka chrysalis tent (the chrysalis will be my tent choice)
- I have all the gear I need however I may need a new tarp
As you’re going through those questions…another question might arise…how much does everything weigh? A 4-man tent will weigh more than a single-man tent. A single-man tent will weigh more than a hammock tent etc. My suggestion as you pack is to try on your pack every once in a while.
Besides a tent, you’re going to need a canoe, a stove, camp cookset, sleeping bag, paddles, life jackets, and my personal favorite – iPod! I have a single burner stove like this one:
It’s fairly lightweight. The only thing that weighs down this stove is the propane tank. I’m thinking of getting a MSR stove just for canoe trips as it’s better for the environment…but that being said I’m also one to cook on the fire when I can. I have a GSI Bugaboo Backpacker Cookset:
What I like about this system is that it all fits together in the pot and is very lightweight. The best part is that you can shove it in your bag and it takes up very little space. If you’re going during the warmer summer months you may get away with no sleeping bag or just a lightweight one. I have an ultralight sleeping bag that rolls up pretty small.
When it comes to canoes, lighter is better for a solo canoer. The main reason for this is because of having to carrying everything in one trip if possible on portages. You can use a traditional 2 seater canoe for a solo trip. It would give you room for your gear. You could also try out a solo canoe. If you don’t have access to one (friends or your own) you can rent one or test paddle one to see if it’s for you!
No matter what gear you choose…it should all fit into one pack…to be slightly easier on your portages.
Tonight I’m going to talk about food choices for your trip.
~Enjoy your trip