Expedition tips and tricks

There is a wealth of information on this forum about little tips and tricks people have used to make their camping and expedition trips safer and easier. Some have put duct dape on the keel line even before embarking to protect, dual or even triple function items, foods that travel well, particular pieces of gear that have been stunningly successful. anything from shoes to cooking gear to shelter to safety gear like the spot (Anyone seen those? pretty cool) findmespot.com

What would be the most helpful would be items that you know you would not be able to find locally and you really had to depend on them to last you through.

anyway, yes this is a blatantly obvious attempt to gain knowlege from your real world experiences. :slight_smile:


I’ll be curious to see what the replies
are since we do a lot of trips and expeditions.

We have everything that we believe is necessary, but the one thing that no one else can duplicate and makes our trips so successful is each other (wife and I).

Maybe I should just say her. People that paddle with us know that when she takes out that little 20 year old red cooler from her compartment, they can find enough snacks to feed a army along with first aid essentials, leatherman, emer. mylar blankets, and everything else but the kitchen sink.



morning Jack

– Last Updated: Nov-29-08 7:54 AM EST –

Yep Nancy is a real jewel.


Got a call from Frank yesterday
he had Grayhawk and a bunch of others sitting in his balmy 75 degree back yard under the mango trees waithing for the turkey .

Said he is lookg forward to a group paddle sometime after the first of the year.

I told him you would be heading down if it worked out.



I’ll bet
there were a few adult beverages involved too.

I am going to do everything I can to get down there.


are you suggesting
we take your wife?!

I can guarantee that
if Nancy went along you would be well fed, and any minor emergencies taken care of. However, Nancy does not suffer fools lightly. My money would be on her even if it was Jack!


my new ‘go-to’ item
(a luxury, not a necessity) is the Outback Oven. I swear by it (and sometimes at it): pizza, cinnamon rolls, quiche, mushrooms ‘Julien’ … what a treat! Doubles as a frying pan. Light, light, light. Only wish it were anodized.

looks like work

– Last Updated: Nov-29-08 10:07 AM EST –

checked out the you tube video. 20 minutes to bake while camping?

when do you paddle?


I can carry all the gear in the world
but I can’t do it without my canoe.


Folks carry . . .
. . . too much stuff. I am planning a two month trip and am tryin’ to keep my camping stuff to about 35 pounds.

Tent - Eureka Mountain Pass I (similar to Backcountry I)

Sleeping Bag - Kelty Light Year 45 (Down)

Pad - Thermarest Prolite 4

Cooking/eating - Coleman Peak 1 single burner gas stove in aluminum carrying case that doubles a two pots.

Water - two 3 liter Platypus, household bleach, Katadyn Pocket filter.

Misc - Waterproof LED flashlight, Leatherman tool

I like a hot breakfast in the morning w/coffee. I find it easy to prepack the stuff in Ziplock bags so I don’t have to measure/futz with stuff in the field.

Breakfast - 1/4 c Oatbran, 1/4 c raisins, 2 tbs sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Dump in boiling water simmer 5 minutes. Coffee - 1/4 cup ground coffee, 2 tbs sugar. Dump in 2 c boiling water let sit 5 minutes. Filter through a piece of window screening.

This stuff has an extremenly long shelf life. I have used stuff that has been packed for six months or more.

“Camping” food is expensive. I get my stuff out of grocery stores. Ramen noodles are a staple. Add a can of boned chicken/turkey/ham and a can of mixed vegatables and you have a meal. Tobasco is essential. Bullion cubes add a little something and are handy to have for a hot drink on a cold day. I save salt a pepper packets from restaraunts to take on trips.

During the day I eat cold. Whole wheat bread has a longer life that white bread. Peanut butter is high in calories and protein. Peanut butter and bread are easy to get here in the states. You ain’t gonna find peanut much outside the U.S.

Hey, Paul!
I am a gear whore so I have waaay too much stuff but every trip is different and I try to have as much dual purpose things as possible.

Off the top of my head, the best addition to my list in the last couple of years has been the Steripen. It weighs about 4 oz. with lithium batteries and can purify 16 oz. of water in 48 seconds.

We’ve used it in Central America and Mexico without any issues and trust me, the water was VERY questionable in many cases (like a cattle trough, a rain barrel with maggots on the rim, etc.)

steri pen
That one is certainly on my list along with the spot device. I need to find a decent GPS which is not overblown in features I would never need for South America. Lots of camping trips have pretty much indicated a solo tent that weighs in at 2.3 lbs, a thermarest short pad, 40 degree bag (snugpak) that is smaller than a football, alcohol stove and pot/cup/bowl, etc. All of it fit into the rear hatch of my Outer Island with the entire rest of the boat for water if i wanted it.

Steri pen is a perfect example of what is new and innovative and actually works.



peanut butter
creme de amendoim

I can’t tell you the epic hunt I went on in Sao Paulo, (only the 4th largest city in the world) looking for a lousy jar of peanut butter. finally in a specialty store I paid like 12 bucks for a small jar but by that time it was worth it!


Yep, you can . . .
. . . usually find it but the price is prohibitive. I once found a teeny little bitty jar in Spain for about ten bucks. Retired folks in Spain can’t use the commisary so I was SOL.

Very Handy.
Flares, lots of flares I carry 3 hand flares as well as some aerial stuff.

The hand flares can get help, light up a whole valley, screw up every wild animals eyes for a while but most importantly can turn a pile of wet sticks into a cozy fire in 20 seconds.

You are on a rain soaked beach and NEED a fire, matches are wet or won’t stay lit, the lighter blows out because butane does not like the cold. Some damp or wet twigs, some wet sticks and some more wet wood. Pop the flare and stuff that monster match under it and you have a blaze.

OK Its a $10.00 fore; but it’s a fire.

three flares in the pfd pocket as we speak. Never leave home without them.


Re flares
So, will you be shipping those ahead or will you be able to buy them when you arrive?

My only requirements are that …
… every item I take is as basic and fool proof as it gets .

That means it performs it’s job as good or better than anything else , with the added advantage of having as few parts as possibble .

I require basic indistructable tools that out perform complicated “junk” gadgets .

Bells and whistles are a joke to me , just something else to complicate things and then fail or not perform worth a crap when really needed .

I need things I can abuse and they just smile back at me .

Example : “ice is a pain in the butt” , and not needed at all … it’s a luxery that makes life in wood and water more complicated .

Less is more , more or less , lol .

And I like a big tent and a big fire !!

My advise , go for luxury in the outdoors if that’s your thing , or go for simplicity and enjoy the freedom , or find your comfort zone somewhere in the middle .

If you want to take the kitchen sink , go for it … just don’t ask me to have anything to do with it , I don’t need it .

In this day and age , way too much hype is fueled by the “you got to have it to be happy” crap … I get more happyness from being the rebel who says , that’s a bunch of BS .

In the outdoor world , the basics are staying dry when it’s wet … staying warm when it’s cold … cool when it’s hot … and when your stomach says feed me , put something in it .

Over my dead body !
Heard a good one yesterday:

Two guys were out paddling, and one said to the other “I think I am going to file for a divorce.”

The other guy said "why? "

The first guy said “She hasn’t spoken a word to me for the past three months”

The other guy says: Oh man, you need to put some serious thought into that. A women like that is pretty hard to find in this day and age.