River Trip Pack List
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PreFinalTotal weight of the following equipment = 150lbs not including canoe or large stone
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Canoe16' minimum for one person.
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Paddles (2)1 primary oar and 1 backup oar that is secured to the boat. If your boat swamps everything could go haywire at once. Anything not tied down often gets swept downstream including paddles. Hopefully everything in your boat will be secured to the boat. Drag your swamped boat to a shallow area. Use your bailer to get the water out. Then untie your spare paddle and go fetch your favorite paddle stuck in an eddy 1/4 mile down river.
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Pole (8 ft)For poling.
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Life preserverNot a cheap orange dork vest. A nice comfortable one that you will actually wear.
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Seat cushionMade from closed cell foam. A cheap orange life jacket is my favorite seat cushion. Scooting around the neck hole relieves pressure from sensitive areas. It's also a backup in case your primary life preserver gets lost.
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Jerry Hay's River Guide
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BailerAbsolutely essential. Must stay secured to the boat at all times. I make mine by cutting the top out of a milk jug, leaving the handle. I probably bailed out 100 gallons of water from my canoe during the last trip due to 5 days of non-stop rain.
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Sponge, large celluloseThe value of this device cannot be overstated for keeping your canoe clean and dry and comfortable. Cellulose sponges are 10 times more absorbent than polyurethane sponges.
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Sun hatIf you are fair skinned, this is not optional.
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CarabinersAllows you to quickly secure and unsecure certain items to your boat. I use them to attach my bailer, my spare oar, and my ammo box (dry box).
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5-gallon buckets w/lidsWell sealed 5-gallon buckets provide most of my dry secure storage space for almost everything else on this packing list. I had two clothes buckets, three food buckets, two firewood buckets, and a kitchen bucket. The lids should have a black rubber gasket and flaps for easy removal such as the HomeDepot lids, or even better are the screw-on lids from GammaSeal.
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Locking chestThis is the easy-access main equipment console that lives just forward of the "cockpit". This chest keeps rain out and will contain all contents in case the boat flips. It stays secured to the boat at all times. Ideally it would be a water-tight box. This is for storing items needed while on the river such as rain gear, lunch, maps, camera, gloves, etc.
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Fillet knifeAll around essential item for cooking, ropework, etc
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Sunscreen
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Lip Balm
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Ammo boxThis is my "glove compartment" providing fast easy access to delicate small items such as camera, phone, etc. Can be acquired at your army surplus store for cheap.
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Locking coolerFor water. Mine was the size of large lunch box.
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Bow line 75' x 1/2"Primary line for securing the canoe
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Port line 25' x 1/2"Secondary line for securing the canoe
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Forward cargo line 25'x1/2"Secures all cargo forward of the cockpit area
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Aft cargo line 13'x1/2"Secures all cargo aft of the cockpit area
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StringsParachute cord and other string for securing small items to cargo line and for securing rain tarp
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Large stonePlacing a heavy stone in the very front of the boat brings the nose down and makes the boat much easier to use in head winds. You can find one of these along the river bank.
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CAMP
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Rain TarpA 16' by 13' covered my tent and provided a rain free porch.
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StakesTent stakes are near useless. Either the soil is too hard to penetrate or too soft to hold anything. I tied my tarp to large pieces of driftwood which were always readily available.
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Ground TarpA 8'x6' stayed under my tent.
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TentKeeps out wind, dirt, dew, mosquitoes, ants, and spiders. I used a Kmart special 7'x7' dome tent.
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Sleep pad (2)They are light. Essential for comfortable sleep and warmth.
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Sleeping bag
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Sleeping bag linerI love my CoolMax liner!!!!
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Night capA loose fitting hat to wear at night is essential for me on nights below 60 degrees.
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Pee BottleGetting out of your sleeping bag to take a leak on a cold night could mean losing precious heat that could lead to hypothermia or extreme discomfort/lack of sleep. Not peeing could result in extreme discomfort/ lack of sleep. Keep the warm pee bottle in your sleeping bag on cold nights. This may sound gross or weird, but on a cold night in the wilderness it makes perfect sense.
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Hot waterbottleI fill two water bottles with hot water (about 150 degrees) and toss them into my sleeping bag before bed.
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HeadlampAbsolutely essential. Don't settle for cheap. Not a flashlight. Finding a campsite can be tricky on the river. It is very possible that you may have to set up camp in the dark in the rain. You will want a good quality water proof headlamp.
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Bow saw w/ blade coverFor clearing river obstructions and making camp. Very handy
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Hatchet-hammerI took it but never used it.
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CandlesVotive candles.
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Sewing Kit
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Towel
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MISC
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Money
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Personal ID
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Journal
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Phone
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Extra phone battery
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Camera
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Batteries AA & AAAFor camera and headlamp
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Pens
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BackpackFor shopping and other land excursions
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WatchFor detailed trip notes
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Epi-pen
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First-aid kit
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Toilet paper
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ToiletriesToothbrush, toothpaste, floss, razor, shaving cream, shampoo, etc.
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Bug SprayI use a home made spray of citronella oil and water. Smells good to me, bad to bugs.
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Mosquito net
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RagsFor cleaning cleaning cleaning.
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Fishing gearI took some. Seemed like a waste. The only fish I saw on the entire 100 mile trip was Asian Carp. I don't want to catch or eat Asian carp.
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KITCHEN
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Matches
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Flint&Steel
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Drinking water
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Sauce pan (6 inch)
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Frying pan (6 inch)
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Spatula
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Cook stoveI use a Ianto Evans design wood burning Rocket Stove. I can boil a quart of water in 13 minutes in my 6-inch sauce pan. It takes 10 minutes to boil the same water on my gas range at home.
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Food
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Water filter
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Spoon
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Fork
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MugEnamel coated tin
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Clothes
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River clothes
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Town clothes
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Warm clothes
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Socks
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Underwear
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T-shirt, river
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Button shirt, river
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Jacket
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Shorts, river
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Pants, river
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Shorts, town
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Pants, town
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T-shirt, town
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Button, shirt, town
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Warm hat
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River crocs (shoes)
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Town crocs (shoes)
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Hunting boots
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Gloves
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Thermal underpants
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Thermal undershirt
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Rain jacketA light weight oversized rain jacket. I paid $35 for mine at Ace hardware. It was worth every penny.
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