Archive for March, 2011

Algonquin Park: Trip Planning for Four Days on the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail

Posted in Camping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18/03/2011 by patrickivan

After over a year since my last camping trip, I am in the midst of planning a long-awaited and anticipated four days in Algonquin Park’s Western Uplands Backpacking Trail.

While the details are still in the works of where my friends and I will be going exactly, I am well on my way to having my kit put together.

I’ve been camping with a 40 litre 25-year-old MEC pack for quite some time now. It was really a matter of finances that prevented my acquisition of a new pack, until now that is.

I picked up my Brio 60 litre (long) in sage, and I am quite happy with it so far. It fits nicely and has a plethora of load adjustment straps. The zippers are heavy-duty and there 3 main nicely accessible compartments (and 2 lesser-more concealed ones).

I’m actually buying almost everything new this year to replace my old and well used gear. And after extensive researching, it seems that Mountain Equipment Coop is my best bet for 90% of it. I’ve factored in quality, cost, and shipping (if required) and MEC wins hands down.

I’ve also picked up a reasonably priced and quality Gerber fixed blade. It has good reviews, a nice sharp edge, full tang, and a nice flat back side for whacking it to split wood. It’s a comfortable knife.

My list of items for this weekend include:

  • A Primus Classic LPG stove and fuel… I was going with a slightly more expensive model, but the reviews and price won me over here.
  • A new compass
  • Bug Head Netting (just in case)
  • MEC Brooks Dry Bags. A 10l for food; 20l for clothes; a 5l for miscellaneous
  • MEC Roll Top Stuff Sack for my sleeping bag
  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Water Bottles and holsters
  • Cutlery
  • Sleeping bag
  • Strike all matches
  • Matches water tight container
  • Bio soap and detergent
  • A fanny pack for my emergency kit (in the unlikely case of getting separated from my back pack AND lost!)
  • And some other assorted odds and ends.

One of the newest tools I’m equipping myself with on this trip is knowledge. I’ve been reading a great deal on outdoor survival and overall camping techniques. I’ve been fairly conscious of what I do when camping in the past, but after a year off, I decided to take it to the next level.

My survival kit is based on information I’ve taken from Les Stroud’s book: Survive, as well as online sources. It’s really just a matter of preparation for a possibility. It’s fun learning about what to do as well as practicing some techniques like fire starting using flint and steel. Preparing the kit is simple and seems well worth more than trouble. It also leads to learning other things like about the environment in which I will be camping.

Hopefully the weather will be decent enough to break out the tent and go over a couple minor repairs that are well over due.

Anyway. As for the trip itself, when my friends and I get the details in place, I will be sure to post it here. I’ll also be posting a more extensive campsite and trail review then in the past. It seemed to be one of my more popular posts in the past, and I really enjoyed doing it.

So more to come. Happy Camping Preparations!

Here’s a picture of my new 60 litre next to my very very old MEC pack… I can’t believe I camped with it!

11 April, 2011

The 38 more days until our camping trip and things are coming along nicely. We have our reservations for the upper loop of the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail that we will access through the Rain Lake Entrance. It looks like a nice drive to that entrance and hopefully we won’t get lost. Right, Jeff?

Above: Most of my food from MEC. It consists mostly of Mountain House single and two portion meals. There’s also a couple of other brands that I haven’t had before. You can see my aluminium water bottles (two 1 litres and one 500 ml). My parachute cord finally came in last week and I fashioned my diamond knot lanyard for my Gerber knife. It’s a nice knot! PS. The can of chilli is NOT for the trip

Above: And there I am mostly packed with no where to go. My clothing and tent still has to get in there, but it’s all good. There’s room in my 60 litre.