Our Backcountry gear list for canoeing and hiking

      Our Backcountry gear list   

“The Get Out List, for the end of the trip”

Always make sure that you leave one complete set of dry clothing in your car for when you return from your canoe/kayak/or hiking trips.  That way, if all the clothing you took on your backcountry trip is wet or filthy, you will have one complete set of clean, dry clothing, including  shoes, awaiting you in your car on the day you get out.

     Our list of things we often take on a 4-5 day back country outing

       Always consider the weight of your gear.


–  3 pairs of socks.  Good quality warm socks are advisable.

–  3 pairs of underwear

–  1 pair of long underwear for cold weather.  Always consider weather, and possible temperatures.   Make sure underwear is made from quick-dry fabric.

–  2 quick-dry t-shirts. Make sure you have quick-dry fabrics for all clothing, if possible.

–  2 old t-shirts for sleeping in

–  1 pair of hiking pants (quick-dry fabric), ideally the type that unzip into shorts

–  2 pairs of hiking shorts (quick-dry fabric)

– 1 long-sleeved shirt, for cool mornings and protection from insects

– 1 pair of water shoes.  These are an absolute must for all canoe/kayak trips.  Never canoe/kayak in boots.

– Hiking boots for portaging

– 1 pair of neoprene paddling gloves

– 1 warm sweater

– 1 warm jacket for chilly evenings

– 1 rain poncho.  Any type will do, but don’t use a regular raincoat as they are far too hot.

– 1 bath towel

– 1 washcloth

– 1 hat for the sun and bug protection

– A bug net for over your hat is also a good idea in the spring bugs

– A swimsuit, if weather permits

– for cold weather, consider adding a hooded sweatshirt to your sleepwear

– toque and gloves should be considered as evenings and mornings in late summer can be chilly, and for the cold weather in spring or fall

– a camera secured in a wet sack

– duct tape is a must as it can be used to repair tears in a tent or repair holes in a canoe.

Possible things to include in your shaving Kit

– soap in a carrying case

– small bottle of shampoo in a Ziploc bag

– comb

– underarm deodorant

– shaving cream, razor, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, any daily medications

-metal type of mirror…no glass mirrors



So make sure to buy a good one!

Checkout Canadian Safety Supplies or the Canadian Red Cross regards First Aid Kits.  They come in many shapes and sizes.

       You also might want to consider adding some of the following to your kit

· Calamine lotion

· Solarcaine spray

· Sunscreen

. Insect repellent

· Antibiotic ointment

· Instant cold compresses

· Oral thermometer

· Scissors

· Tweezers

·Antiseptic wipes

· Bandage tape

· good-sized gauze bandage rolls

· an ACE bandage

· assorted “Band-Aids”

· rubber gloves

· Imodium AD

· Tylenol

· Children’s Tylenol

· Tongue depressor

· Q-Tips

· Aspirins

Other Back country gear we often take with us

– 1 large size flashlight along with new batteries

– 1  headlamp that can be worn on your head when walking in the dark

– 1 sleeping bag per person.  Make sure it suits the expected temperature and always use lightweight sleeping bags when portaging and hiking.  Weight is a factor.

– 1 Therm-a-rest sleeping pad

– 1 compact pillow

– 1 backpack, or ideally a canoe barrel backpack.  And provide one new plastic garbage bag with no holes in it for storing your dry clothing inside the backpack or barrel backpack

–  bring a spare plastic bag should you get a hole in the first one.

– a good quality drinking bottle

– a small one-burner stove. I use a propane type, but most often, we cook over an open, wood fire.  Always obey rules when a fire ban is in force!!

– matches in a dry sack

– 1 small pot for heating dishwater, etcetera

– 1 small lightweight skillet

– consider a small fishing rod to hang off the back end of your canoe, to catch fish while canoeing.  Also make sure to get a fishing license.

– 1  old leather glove to handle hot items around the fire

– 1 spoon/Fork/ Steak knife/or hunting knife

– 1 pair of scissors

– 1 microfiber Dishtowel (quick dry fabric)

– 1 microfiber Dishcloth (quick dry fabric)

– 1 fold up washbasin – the type that fold up into a compact size

– scouring pad

– 1 small squeeze bottle of dish detergent (environmentally friendly)

– trash bags.  Always carry out all your trash.  Don’t leave any behind. …make sure to leave the land the way you found it!!

– plastic spatula for cooking at the stove/over fire

– 1 each of a big wooden spoon, can opener, big fork, tongs, small cutting board

– dry kindling plus fire starter cubes to get a fire going in the rain.  Put this in a plastic bag, and keep it in your camping gear for nights when it’s raining!!   Always make sure you pack at least two days worth of dry kindling at the start of each morning for the following 2 nights fires.  Be prepared for rain!!!

– extra bungee cords for around the campsite, used for things like a drying line

– Small Binoculars for use to scan the shoreline ahead, so you can pinpoint your location in rain or low light levels.  You will need it to read posted danger signs that are put up on a waterway  to warn of upcoming rapids, or waterfalls. Watch and obey all signage.

– One small tarp for shelter, the smallest possible

– Hatchet, small fold up shovel

-rope to hang food over tree limb

-1 Bic lighter as a backup fire starter

Always carry purification tablets like Aquatabs to purify water when it is not possible to boil it for 10 minutes.  Never drink lake water that is not boiled; beaver fever is always a  risk.

Always Make Sure You Take A Good MAP With You

Never head out on a back country camping trip without MAPS!!  Always have a copy of the maps in a waterproof plastic bag in the possession of each member of your group.  Never rely on others when it comes to knowing where you are.  Make sure that each person in your group has copies of the maps of your route prior to departing.  Discuss the dangers like rapids/waterfalls and then make sure you all understand what must be avoided when running a dangerous river.

* In a water-proof bag make sure you all carry maps of the canoe route with your escape plan, plus “emergency phone numbers”.  If possible, carry a cell phone, and when in the high north of Canada, always carry a satellite phone.

* always bring a pen/pencil and paper with you

feedback welcome