What’s in my back pack on the trail


Here is a list of things the prospectors were required to have to cross into Canada. It was said that this should weigh a ton and that it would take a man 40 or so trips to bring it over the pass.

150 lb. bacon, 400 lb. flour, 25 lb. rolled oats, 125 lb. beans, 10 lb. tea, 10 lb. coffee, 25 lb. sugar, 25 lb. dried potatoes, 2 lb. dried onions, 15 lb. salt, 1 lb. pepper, 75 lb. dried fruits, 8 lb. baking powder, 2 lb. soda, ½ lb. evaporated vinegar , 12 oz. compressed soup, 1 can mustard, 1 tin matches (for four men), Stove for four men, Gold pan for each, Set granite buckets, Large bucket, Knife, fork, spoon, cup, and plate, Frying pan, Coffee and teapot, Scythe stone, Two picks and one shovel, One whipsaw, Pack strap, Two axes for four men and one extra handle, Six 8-inch (200 mm) files and two taper files for the party, Draw knife, brace and bits, jack plane, and hammer for party, 200 feet three-eights-inch rope, 8 lb. of pitch and 5 lb (2.3 kg). of oakum for four men, Nails, five lbs. each of 6,8,10 and 12 penny, for four men, Tent, 10 by 12 feet (3.0 × 3.7 m) for four men, Canvas for wrapping, Two oil blankets to each boat, 5 yards of mosquito netting for each man, 3 suits of heavy underwear, 1 heavy mackinaw coat, 2 pairs heavy machinaw trousers, 1 heavy rubber-lined coat, 1 doz heavy wool socks, ½ doz heavy wool mittens, 2 heavy overshirts, 2 pairs heavy snagproof rubber boots, 2 pairs shoes, 4 pairs blankets (for two men), 4 towels, 2 pairs overalls, 1 suit oil clothing, Several changes of summer clothing, Small assortment of medicines.

Here is a list of things I carried:
Rain coat (not so light) and rain pants (super light), 2 short sleeved shirts, one pair of long pants, light shirt and pants to wear to bed or if I got wet. 7 pairs socks, undies, Sleeping bag, light self inflating mattress. Toothbrush and paste. 3 litres of water, oats for 5 breakfasts, 4 hardboiled eggs for summit day snacks, 4 dehydrated dinners, I dehydrated dessert, trail mix of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, dried apricots, choc covered blueberries (this was heavy but filling). Envelops of hot chocolate and tea. A small flask of spiced rum to pour into the evening drink. Extra small stove and one small and one medium sized fuel bottle. Rope, knife, safety kit. I also carried hiking poles, knee braces that I wore every day and found to be useful for protecting my knees on scrambles over sharp rocks. That was an unexpected bonus and bear spray.

Along with clothes and water Desiree carried our lunches, a bag of flat bread, cheese, humus, sliced carrots and celery, as well as a small amount of peanut butter. She also had pan bannock, pan muffin mix, a daily chocolate ration and the tent. Her pack was slightly over 40 pounds. Mine slightly under. On the train when we talked to many other hikers we found that people carried packs that were much lighter. In the order of 25-30 lbs. We both thought that since we used every single thing that we brought we packed well. I think I would rethink the food next time. It weighed a lot but many of the hikers who do trips like ours often had all of the super expensive, ultra light equipment. We did not have that and it made a lot of difference. Maybe not a lot but several pounds…and every pound makes a difference.

On the other hand, there were a couple of guides up there leading a group of about 5 people. They were preparing gourmet meals every day. On the first night the cook put together a beautiful salmon fry with all the trimmings. Every meal was a delight to watch him assemble. At one point I asked how much his packed weighed at the start of the trail. He grinned, “I make a point to never weigh it,” he told me, “I just carry it.” Good advise. Desiree told me that as we started packing. “You take what you need and carry it. What is the point of knowing how much it weighs.” Probably good words for living life too.

I am still trying to sort out pictures from 3 cameras so I will be back with more. In the mean time, here are two that show my pack and two very different geographical zones.


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