Friday, March 18, 2016

Hey lady, what's in the bag?

So far my travelling philosphy is to get everything into one bag. That way, when we are portaging, my hands are free to use my hiking poles. This has some benefits, but I also have some difficulties. Mostly with picking up my bag and putting it on my back. I need help. I just recently bought a huge caribiner that I'll take on my next trip and I'll see if that helps with at least picking my own bag up and out of the canoe. 

My bag will usually weigh from 40 to over 50 pounds once packed. It is a MEC Aurora 75 litre, ladies version. I love that it has a hip band that swivels as you walk. Here's a link to it: MEC Aurora 75 BackpackI will do a review of it at some point. :-)
Portage pose - where it's usually dumped
Here are some pictures of stuff that goes in the bag.
Just the bags, some of the bags
These bags are for: food, water, camera, sleeping bag, clothes, pillow, chair, sleeping pad, water filtration system, chair, backpack cover, the list goes on.

Sleeping stuff
The green bag is my sleeping pad, or air mattress. The blue bag has my pillow, the black compression bag with the straps is my sleeping bag all squished down, the other purple bag is a new down throw I picked up at Costco for the colder trips. It will probably compress down more in a special bag.
Water filtration kit
As I unpacked the bag I realized I'm missing one of my clear plastic Platypus bags.  Hmmmm.  I have 2 filters, a charcoal filter, a plastic jar with lid to carry the extra filter (they can be sensitive) and the big gray bag is what we scoop water out of the lake with. Take caution with some of your silicone gear, chipmunks (or maybe mice) think it is yummy! Take care not to leave it out overnight.

Kitchen gear
I'm missing my salt shaker out of this picture. :-) The big bag is all my pots and dishes, my kettle is in one bag, my stove the other. The white item is the cosy for the largest pot, there are a couple of dish towels and a great travel mug, double-walled.
Pots unpacked
I have 3 pots (but we almost never carry the largest one), a frypan, a lid for all, a handle, various utensils, a tin plate and a couple of folding silicone measuring cups to add water to my dehydrated food.
Kettle, oven, stove
Kettle, oven, stove - unpacked
In the above picture: notebook, night sky guide, backpack cover, lamp, headlamp, Thermacell refills (bug repellent), multi-use tool, clothes pins, gloves, bear bell, whistle, large carabiner, folding shovel for cat holes, personal towels, the bag holding my bug hat and bug shirt, water treatment tablets, a lighter, and firestarter. 

Not pictured above that I'll be adding this year: my Hennesy hammock, a fly, and hanging straps. Also not pictured is the food, all of it usually in the orange drybag. My clothes are not shown here either, that varies depending on the time of year, length of trip. The backpack is getting pretty heavy by now, so I try to limit my fashion choices. I'll have my hiking poles, a camera (either the small one or my digital SLR in the red drybag).

Here's a list of each individual item that I usually carry:
  • sleeping bag
  • pillow
  • clothes
  • toiletries
  • air mattress
  • stove
  • fuel bottle
  • camping oven (really just a special pot cozy cover)
  • heat diffuser (for evening out the heat from the stove flame)
  • pots, frypan, lid, handle, pot cozies
  • my own dishes (plate, mug, KFS)
  • silicone measuring cup (to add water to dehydrated foods)
  • cooking utensils
  • kettle
  • scrubber/sponge
  • dishtowels
  • camp soap
  • multi-tool (pocket knife)
  • water filtration system
  • large water bag (to take water from the lake)
  • spare filter for water filtration system
  • mosquito coils
  • Hennesy Hammock
  • chair
  • kneeling pad (I mostly use it as a table surface on the ground)
  • bug hat and bug shirt
  • gloves
  • bug spray and sunscreen
  • camera
  • notebook and pen
  • map
  • sunglasses
  • reading glasses (2 pairs)
  • toilet paper
  • baby wipes
  • small shovel (in case there's no thunderbox)
  • headlamp
  • mini tent lamp/flashlight
  • bear bell
  • rainjacket
  • towel (1 small, 1 large)
  • dried food bag with food
One of the features I like about my bag is that I can lay it on its back on the ground and I have access through a zipper that goes around the body of the bag. It allows me to stuff some extra things in at the last minute, using every possible nook and cranny!

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