This is a master checklist to help devise your "kit" for a quick getaway, to ensure all materials are at hand, or to ensure you are fully loaded once you contemplate the end of the driveway. My bro Laurie sent it to me, and I've added suggestions sent in by folks on the NB Paddlers Message Board. It is not all-inclusive, so don't blame me if you forget something!
- Canoe(s) --
- Consider if you have the right canoe for the river. Can it float what you need to bring, and high enough? Can it turn as quickly as it needs to for the size of river? Will it handle the particular dangers of the river; ie. Rocks, trees, portages, low water, rapids?
- Canoe paraphernalia --
Life jackets, one extra paddle per boat, push-pole, lashing lines to lash the equipment into the canoe, bailer. Ensure the canoe can be tied down with quality rope, and knotted with confidence.
- Tent --
- In good shape, with fly, no rips in netting, all pegs, and a groundsheet. Ensure groundsheet covers bottom of tent, but will not extend out beyond fly and conduct water under the tent. (You’re allowed to fold it.)
- Sleeping bag and mattress --
- Consider the thinner air mattresses; ensure your bag matches the weather prediction; consider if you can bring or create an acceptable pillow out of your belongings.
- Kitchen kit --
Some use their worst equipment, but we say get the best -- you are going where it is not necessarily easy to clean up:
- Utensils, cups, dishes, bowls for each person;
- Primary frying pan -- a good Teflon pan or a good cast-iron pan if you prefer. An old glove for handling hot stuff;
- Pots -- a large and a medium seem appropriate;
- Grate --
- We bring along an old Hibachi grate to allow cooking over wood or charcoal. We have used an abandoned refrigerator shelf;
- Stove --
- Coleman fuel or propane;
- Matches and lighters - in watertight containers;
- Small bag of charcoal;
- Paper towels -- easy cleanups in the woods;
- A few S.O.S. pads (get the small ones or break the big ones up on site).
- A few ziploc bags are perfect for leftovers.
- A good belt knife.
- Duct tape;
- A small hatchet and saw. Handy for campfires, and particularly dangerous sweepers.
- Headlamp. Nature calls at night can be tricky without one.
- Sunscreen, broad-brimmed hat; You get a lot of sun on the water, even in spring.
- Wash basins --
- We use two stacking light plastic bins, one to hold the dishes that are washed. They should be sized to hold a lot of the kit, and possibly other gear; and can be used for personal hygiene as well.
- Rope and clothespins;
- Toilet paper, hand trowel for burial;
- Packages of both large garbage bags and kitchen catchers.
- Insect Control --
- Strong deet, mosquito coils, mesh hats.
- Folding Chair, and a way to keep it dry.
- Spare tarpaulin and 100’ of thin, strong rope --
for rain, protecting open containers, or other uses. A tarp can keep frost and rain off any gear left outside at night. Rope can be used in a hundred ways on the river and at camp.
- Dry bags and gear bags --
- Large dry bags can hold a tent, sleeping bag, and an air mattress all in one; and is tough enough to be tied directly into the canoe. Smaller ones can be used for other gear. Our gear bag holds the kitchen kit, a folding chair, and other bits. If you’re not sure you wish to invest in these, double-bag all gear inside garbage bags, and pack well inside duffel bags to protect the plastic. Some folks use sealable plastic barrels, but these can be difficult to stow.
- Fishing gear --
Pick gear that can be packed to avoid the alders until needed, and that matches the fish you are after.
- A good first-aid kit, with gauze and dressings. Essential.
- You'll need ice. We freeze plastic jugs, then use the meltwater to cook and drink.
- Gas the car, dig the worms, and pick up your fishing license, food, and beverages the day before the trip! Is your vehicle up to the access roads?
- Food --
- Up to you. I usually bring lots, because several times, someone has left theirs on the counter at home. Honest.
If you, dear visitor, have an addition, or wish to comment, please use the NB Paddlers Message Board. You will have to sign up, but there's no catch.