Here’s a detailed list of the supplies I took with me 700 kilometers across Newfoundland this past spring. Not every item recorded below was with me at all times. For example, I did not pick up my raft and PFD until the Burgeo Highway at Peter Strides Pond. And it was then I also dropped some of my winter gear, but not all.
Changing seasons required different tools at different checkpoints, but most of the core kit such as tent, tarps, packs, cooking utensils, navigational, and tech equipment stayed with me from start to finish, through thick and thin.
The caches were essentially a replenishment of nutrition, first aid and fuel. Maybe a pen, few batteries, roll of TP and after 40 days, a few cold beer when I was in St.Alban’s and Conne River. The best tasting beers I have ever put my lips on.
This was the lineup:
- Suunto Naviagtor MC-2 / 360 COMPASS (not the one pictured above)
- Garmin inReach Explorer Plus Two-communicator/GPS/Weather Updates/insured SOS/Post to Facebook and Twitter but cannot see actual sites.
- Iridium Extreme Sat Phone (not above)
- 22 Topographical Maps (1 : 50,000 scale)
- Medium sized Seal Line Waterproof Map Case
Technology System(some of these items weighed me down a little, but it was my choice to document and I dealt with it)
- Canon T5i Rebel DSLR (18-135mm f 3.5-5.6 and 50mm f 1.8 lenses, 6 SD memory cards, 4 batteries)
- SLIK lightweight tripod
- GoPro HERO5 Black (6 Micro SD memory cards, 4 batteries)
- Go Pro Hero 3+ Silver (3 batteries)
- GoPro Fetch (Dog Harness), Chesty, Clamp, head attachments
- GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter (HERO5 Black)
- Rode VideoMic Pro + Rode Deadcat Furry Wind Cover (Three 9V batteries)
- Boya By-M1 Lavalier Microphone (backup sound)
- Lens Cleaning pen
- Anker PowerPort Solar (21W Dual-Port USB Solar Charger) (above)- this thing worked wonders, even in overcast conditions + Anker 20000mAh – Ultra High Capacity Power Bank for loading up the power for night charging. Once the sun went down the panel itself held no charging value.
- iPod (tunes)
- Black Diamond Storm Head Lamp w/usb charging cable (Best I have ever used. It’s ability to recharge is great because it limits amount of batteries you need. But I had some on hand just in case the sun hid away for too long)
- Eddie Bauer headlamp (spare) w/aaa batteries
- Small wallet sized hard shelled case for memory cards (marked so I know which ones are used and their order)
- Appropriate charging cables for all electronics
- 4 pairs of socks at a time ( 1 long thin pair of Baffins-inner layer, 2 long medium thickness wool Baffins- outer layer, 1 thick pair of wool Baffin for sleeping)
- 2 pairs of Under Armour synthetic underwear at a time
- Daily moving base layer (Baffin polar wool/synthetic mix)
- Nightly base layer (240 Icebreaker Merino Wool)
- 1 synthetic Bauer T-shirt
- 1 touque – important for sleeping in as well
- 1 ball cap
- 1 Helly Hansen Baclava primarily for sleeping
- 2 pairs of gloves (1 warm Thinsulate pair for winter and one old cotton pair for around the fire)
- 1 pair of $30 polarized sun glasses from Coastal Outdoors. Best use was for seeing rocks underwater while paddling raft. But was also important for snow blindness on my longer winter days in the highlands. Don’t need to spend much money here, they will get abused. Better off buying two cheap pairs.
- 1 Baffin waterproof soft shell hooded jacket (this was my outer layer) – Baffin was a supporter of mine and provided me with some elite quality polar equipment. Thanks to a good friend of mine for helping out.
- (WINTER) 1 Baffin waterproofed soft shell pant
- (WINTER) 1 Baffin Polar Camp Hoodie
- (Peter Strides to Conne River) Military gortex pants
- (Conne River to Cape Broyle) 1 pair of quick dry $20 cargo pants from Costco. These are very good quality for their price and all I really wear in the summers
- Lowa Mountain GTX Military Boots (Still going strong and heavily worn in the photo above with paracord for laces. They were crucial to have and far surpassed my expectations)
- Suspenders (tried these out because I find my pack always pushes my pants down after a good stint of walking) Ended up breaking them after day 4 so either I need better ones or none at all.
- Camp Sneakers to get feet out of boots
- (Took after Conne River) Trespass Qikpac Rain Gear (pants and coat)
- Helly Hansen Fleece
- (WINTER) Under Armour Joggers and Hoody for around camp during winter stage one
- Timex Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Watch with compass, thermometer, tide
- My pillow is a pillow case itself that I fill with extra dry clothing. Or my life-jacket.
Camping Gear System
- MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent (Bomb shelter. These tents have yet to let me down and I have been using them for 4 years. Could have gone with a one-man if Saku was not there but with him we needed the extra space)
- Rab Sil 2 Tarp 8 x 10 ( A $5 Canadian Tire tarp would work just fine, and that is all I have used before. But I splurged and you get what you pay for. The attachment points are very strong. Unlike a low end tarp where I have had grommets rip off in the past from continual strong winds and was forced to use a rock as a tie point.
- Kelty Red Cloud 110 Backpack (Perfect size for this job, numerous compartments and strong tie down points. External frame has warped a little.)
- Ruffwear Palisades Pack (Would never buy from anywhere else but Ruff Wear ever again. Saku was in full comfort. Padded straps are a solid addition. See more details here )
- Osprey UltraLight Raincovers for both packs
- Rab Neutrino 400 Sleeping Bag (a light-weight, minimalist down-filled sleeping bag, designed for trips where warmth-to-weight is a prime concern. It’s comfort level is 2.5 degrees celsius, limit -3, and extreme limit is -20. I find it important to always sleep in a good wool base layer to increase overall warmth. Especially in the situations I faced with such a broad range of temperatures. I went with the extra long length so I could store my morning clothes down by my feet to keep them toasty overnight. It compresses down extremely small. In the picture above it is in the waterproof Sea to Summit bag)
- Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Mattress (1.5 feet removed for weight. Feet hang off, most heat is lost at core and head. Feet also don’t need padded comfort)
- 100 ft bundle of paracord + some whipped around my axe + 8 ft on a bracelet (has whistle as well-great to have for survival purposes. Always on your body and fine threads has numerous uses. Fishing line and sewing thread to name a couple)
- Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe paired with Gransfors Small Ceramic Pocket Stone ( stone relatively light and portable – very important to have on a long trip)
- Sven Saw 15″ Collapsible Buck Saw
- Morakniv Bushcraft Fixed Blade Knife – Bright orange makes it almost impossible to lose (comes with hip sheath and fire steel)
- Victorinox Swiss Army Camper Pocket Knife (backup knife)
- Mini Leatherman (main purpose was for the small pliers)
- Water Proof Match Case (Yellow Canister in picture above)
- Waterproof Match case, mini-Leatherman, Swiss Army and Mora is on me at all times.
- 4 pack of matches and 3 lighters on me at a time (extras at restock)
- Everyday carry survival kit on your body via large coat or pants pocket or fanny pack- Extremely important in case of a ditch!! – Contents (Lighter wrapped in duct tape, flint, tinder, whistle, survival blanket, small compass, fishing line and hooks, snare wire, small bandage, paracord bracelet on my wrist and granola bar)
- Two clinching pull straps (blue in photo – worked wonders for securing items on the raft and to the back of my pack. More efficient than tying knots all the time)
- 5 various sized dry compression sacks (Sea to Summit eVent) For clothing, electronics, food, sleeping bag and everyday carry items.
- Chinook 850ml Stainless Steel kettle(had this beast for almost 5 years and it is still holding strong) This kettle fits perfectly in the MSR pot listed below. Personally I believe you can get by with one pot alone. It saves weight but sometimes makes your hot drinks taste like the food you had before it if not cleaned thoroughly.
- 1 MSR Alpine 1.5 L pot + lid which can be doubled as a plate or frying pan (comes with pot gripper but you could leave that at home and just use multi-tool pliers)
- Kurgo Collapsible and Portable Travel Dog Bowl I mean he could eat off the ground but he deserves a little luxury over a couple month span. He carried the bowl himself.
- Folding Fork and Spoon.
- LifeStraw Go Water Bottle (great product)
- 1 Gentlemen’s Hardware Enamel Coffee Mug (strong but I may go with stronger titanium model next time. Upon second thought if it broke I would have been mug-less)
- Rough dish pad (moss and fine sand or gravel mixed with water can also be used and is just as good or better)
- Two cans of Iso-Butane fuel paired with a $20 super lightweight stove . Weight reduction of course was everything. I rolled the dice trusting this little device but was always confident I could get a fire going if it failed, which it did not. Based on my experience each fuel canister is good to boil about 10 L’s of fluid. They perform well in cold weather too. Their use was basically for quick morning starts when I was worn-down and during the heaviest of rains. Although a nice luxury to have, I honestly swear by the comfort of the open fire and its heat for drying. I sparked one every chance I got.
- Journals x 2, Pen, Pencil, Printed pamphlet of reading material. Lighter than a book.
- Toilet paper ( 1 roll per stage. Moss was used more than once. I know you want the details)
- Tea light candles to save on headlamp batteries while doing evening work in the tent. Extreme caution must be taken.
- Hunting ID/ FAC’/Hunter’s Ed Card
- Permits for Bay Du Nord and Avalon Wilderness Areas
Vet Certified First Aid (Saku) — In a medium freezer zip-lock bag
- Metacam (Pain/Anti-inflammatory) 20kg
- Dry/Cracked Skin Oinment
- Sentinal x 3
- Benadryl x 8
- Vet Compression Wrap
- Telfa non stick-gauze wrap
- Plastic wrap for waterproofing wrap
- Amoxillin (for infection)
- Drontal Plus Pills (worms)
- Wound cleaning Soap
- 2 syringes
- Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting ( 1 tsp per 10lbs of body weight–Repeat every 15 minutes up to three times)
- Small scissors for cutting bandages and hair away from wounds
- Nail Clippers
- corn starch for if I cut the quick (stop bleeding)
- suture kit
- Vet phone numbers in case I had to make an emergency call on Sat Phone
First Aid (Me) — In a large freezer zip-lock bag
- Bandages small and large
- non-stick gauze
- closure/butterfly strips
- one tube of polysporin
- Ibuprofen and Alieve
- Aloe Burn Gel
- suture kit
- toothbrish, mini toothpaste tubes and floss
- sewing kit
- 2 Chito Sam 100 Hemostatic Dressings (Instant Blood Clotting Agent)- could be used for both of us.
- biodegradable soap leafs
- small canister of vasaline
- Amoxicillin for infection
- matches/ Bic lighters
- two black pull ties
- spare butterfly nut for my buck saw
- pair of plastic gloves
- moleskin for blisters
- immodium pills
- medical tape
- compression warp
- 12-gauge pump action ( with slugs, coyote and bird shot for Bear/Coyote/CoyWolf protection) I feel the safest and fully at peace with this versus any form of bear horn, spray or banger. I never want to kill any animal unnecessarily. I love wildlife and coexisting with them. But when you cross paths with a freshly awoken Black Bear, hungry or with cubs, in tight woods, you want to be able to save your ass if they feel threatened and decided to charge. The shotgun was not the lightest but I did not mind slugging the extra weight. Most times it was in my hand anyways.
- Two telescopic Eagle Claw fishing rods and two reels. These are usually not the most durable so the back-up is essential when you rely on fish as a portion of your diet.
- Tackle (all in one compact 4 x 4 inch fly case – half a dozen lures, weights, and hooks. I had a few artificial worms but mostly went with no bait. In the remote water of the interior the fish are pretty hungry and will hit almost anything)
- few plastic games bags to carry trout
- some snare wire for survival situations
- 2 flares in case a rescue was needed
- Celestron 10 x 25 Nature DX Binoculars (Small and Compact. A luxury item for viewing wildlife and the moon/stars as a mini telescope but because of their weight they will probably be cut next time)
- Pelican Mega Utility Glider Sled (5.5ft x 2ft, 5 pounds and only $30- Thin and light this thing gave me nearly 180 kilometres of pull time)
- MSR Denali Snow Shoes (narrow with great steel claws for walking long distances over the hard packed snow of the Long Range Mountains.)
- Alpack Mule Raft (weights 6lbs 3oz) – I added extra loop attachments to tubing with a industrial glue so I could tie down more gear.
- 210 cm AquaBound Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Style Paddle.
- Cruiser Spray Deck to keep dry although Saku prevented me from using this most times
- 2 Alpacka inflation bags
- A well researched Patch Kit ( Tuck tape, aquaseal, alcohol wipes, spare valves, black floor material patch, Kirch’s Kwik patch n’ go and tenacious tape)
- I am not going to get too much into the nutrition game but will say I packed an average of about 2800-3000 calories a day plus whatever fish I caught starting May 14. My aim was to get as much fat (highest calories density- 9 cals per gram) in there as possible but also keep a good balance of carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- Saku had his normal 4 cups of kibble a day
- Average food items (I will elaborate more at another time):
- Oatmeal, granola, homemade dried fruit, nuts, trail-mix, jerky (moose and store purchased), homemade dehydrated meals (spaghetti, chili, goulash), store bought freeze dried meals (Alpineaire Brand), packets of Uncle Ben’s rice, Sidekicks pasta, instant mash potatoes, 61 trout, an abundance of Cliff Bars/ Snickers Bars (two per day), dehydrated fruit leather, sunflower seeds, candies (especially important during day to drip feed sugar for quick energy) tea, coffee, bannock, butter(extra fat is important could have used more), cup of soups, barley to make a trout soup, spices (flavours are important, believe it or not they actually keep moral up when you are eating the same items repetitively)
- On a backpacking trip of this length, there was limits on how much food I could possibly carry. That is all part of the game. Don’t expect to be filled to the brim every evening. You appreciate every bite out there. Can I re-evaluate the food situation for my next expedition? Most definitely. I live and learn just like the next person.
- Don’t forget a drop of liquor or a good smoke if you are into it. Helps relax the mind and body after a long day around a serenading camp fire.
Advice for you
Much of the gear above was purchased solely for this expedition and will be used again. Some of it was high quality equipment while other items, not so much. Things such as my tent, sleeping bag, pack, boots, GPS and raft had to be of good nature in order to complete this safely.
I was beyond thankful to have sponsors who helped me reduce the costs. Baffin, Ruff Wear, The Outfitters, SEA Contracting, Bursey’s Excavating, Nav Canada, Wildhood Clothing, Das-a-Spinner and Dominion were all supporters. You too can get this support, in any field, if you create quality content, don’t be afraid to reach out, and if you do get lucky, be sure to return the favour by promoting them and maybe even providing a token of appreciation. Many people love to see others do good things and if they happen to be in the right mood, you might benefit.
Certainly you don’t need all the bells and whistles to plan your own long distance tour. It really depends on how much you want to rough it. I am confident I could have saved $500, dropped the tent all together and just stayed under the tarp. I love that. Weathering nature with the bare minimum. But to increase comfort levels and have an almost guaranteed dry space, I threw it in. Especially with all the valuable electronics I had with me. If you’re starting small and going on a short multi-day trip it really doesn’t warrant the best of the best. Educate yourself and use your own judgment and skills to make these decisions. A little safe trial and error never hurts either.
By no means am I indicating that this was the best possible gear load out. I could have went with a million different variations. It’s extremely difficult to calculate an outfit for a trip of this magnitude. A science in it’s own. As mentioned there will probably be slight tweaks the next time around. We can always be better. Ultimately, I am just putting this out for all to observe and help shape their own adventures and expeditions. Hopefully you can learn from my experience.
I appreciate everyones continued interest, love and support.