Multi-Day Paddle Trip - What are your

Top 3 Non-Essentials to bring along with you? I am curious to know what creature comforts people bring on wilderness trips.

Depends on the type of trip
I do more lake to lake tripping than river tripping so on some lake to lake trips the only non essential is a book.

Some others: add the Helinox chair.

Some others: add happy hour material… But its usually Crystal light and vodka… no beer.

I regard a small camera as essential.

Mastercard, Visa, Cash
One time I ran up a river to find a park-like take out spot and what’s across the street - a Deli. Luckily I always carry $5 singles in my boat and got a sandwich and coffee. Those were the days, it would be $10 now.

Nonessential is such a subjective concept. When I’m traveling “light” I get teased for all my gear. The teasing generally stops when my compadres take that first bite of cobbler or biscuits from my “nonessential” Dutch Oven. However, if someone held a gun to my head and told me I could take sleeping bag, pad, clothes and tent and one “nonessential” item said item would be my REI Flex chair. It’s a Helinox knook off. If I could bring one more “nonessential” it would definitely be a Dutch Oven (aluminum). Or course with a little planning a twelve inch anodized DO oculd handle all the cooking chores, so as I said, nonessential is a subjective concept.

A folding table-rollup

Two burner coleman stove

Outback oven

Three -non essentials
A book

A small pillow

My coffee (although my one cup every morning is close to an essential)

Jack L

Most of my choices have already been mentioned.

These days I would be reluctant to undertake a multi-day trip without a decent chair. The Helinox is the best I have seen thus far.

I too also take a small pillow. I have tried using rolled up parkas or stuff sacks full of spare clothing and not found them comfortable.

Although many coffee drinkers are perfectly content getting by with freeze-dried coffee (which has gotten much better, I will admit) I will still usually bring along my ancient, small, aluminum Mirro percolator, or at least a small coffee press.

I used to always take a book along to the northwoods in the event of a rain day or becoming wind-bound. I also used to always take a second stove as a backup, especially if there was a fire ban in place.

Not yet mentioned is a tarp. I know many people would consider a tarp a necessity but it can potentially be done away with if everyone is equipped with tents. But spending the better part of a rainy day cooped up in a small tent is too depressing for me to contemplate anymore.

Just 3?

– Last Updated: Feb-27-14 12:09 PM EST –

When I paddle camp the canoe is packed with non essentials.

Some that come to mind:

- Beer (Dales Pale Ale is my official canoe camping beer)
- Some Irish whiskey (Powers, Jameson or Bushmills)
- Roll-a-table
- chairs
- If rain is in the forecast, a 12x12 canopy with poles
- iPod and mini speakers. Sometimes I enjoy the sounds of the wilderness and sometimes I enjoy a little music
- fishing gear
- binoculars
- A cooler packed with steaks, salad greens, burgers, sausage, chicken, etc.
- Portable gas grill
- a book or two
- digital camera and video camera
- Battery powered lanterns
- Tent (we hammock camp, but bring a tent if extended rain is forecasted. Kind hard to hang out in a hammock in camp all day).

It depends

– Last Updated: Feb-27-14 4:31 PM EST –

Is the multi-day trip in the depths of the wilderness, or are you remaining within reasonable distance from civilization and passage of other paddlers and such? I might have a different list depending on the situation.

For those isolated true wilderness extended trip travels, I too would include a chair, a wood burning stove (such as a kelly kettle), and certainly also a considerably expanded first aid kit (and the knowledge how to use it), and consider bringing a PLB and/or a SPOT, and satellite phone.

My list of non essentials generally
includes -

Cigar poker (contraption to open the flow in poorly constructed cigars)

Cigars - one per day

Single Malt Scotch - most any brand

The thread is about Non-Essentials

– Last Updated: Feb-27-14 7:20 PM EST –

Those are right up there with TP and the enjoyment of those things are part of the overall enjoyment of the trip.

I would think
A first aid kit falls under “essentials” and would therefore be disqualified from these lists…I am surprised to see that few have mentioned my #1 and no one has mentioned #2

1 - flask with good scotch

2 - cigars

3 - harmonica (once I learn to play, of course)

Cigars do not work on the hiking trips since i really need my lungs for those…paddling trips however…I channel some Eric church on those…drink a little drink, smoke a little smoke…

is a fishing rod a creature comfort?
or a small telescope? It seems counter intuitive, but I relax by doing things.

since I am still in my river dork stage(gotta start somewhere) I take a 600 watt radio cooler, 200 laser projector, cooler packed with beer, chairs, cots, and pajama pants to sleep in.

needless to say we make sure no one is camped anywhere near us as to not disturb our neighbors.

Depends on your sort of trip
There are extended wilderness trips lake to lake upstream and downriver trips and a whole range of other trips.

I’d have trouble with a flask for a two week trip…don’t like cigars and a harmonica is really extra weight.

Some of us take canoe trips that involve a good bit of hiking as in three or four miles on bad footing trails or through bogs.

River Dork Stage
That’s funny, Jeffers. Glad to know it’s only a stage.

An almost oxymoronic topic
But since I’m almost moronic, I’ll almost reply.

A “non-essential” that I bring along? None that I can think of.

I do bring a comfortable full-sized chair with real arms. However, I consider that almost essential.

There are smaller, lower and lighter weight chairs and sitting devices, but all I’ve seen and tried are sissy, flimsy, gimmicky, klutzy, nerdy, torture-y, unbalanced-y, contortionist-y, pain-in-the-assy, or flat out GAS-y.

I do prefer a lightweight three person tent for myself over those flat-out-lie “two person” hoaxes and the dwarfs-only, claustrophobia-inducing “one person” sacks. But, again, I consider living space to be almost essential.

One person’s luxury is another’s essenti

At my age and stage of bodily deterioration the only canoe camping I do is downriver and without portages.

I consider everything I take as essential otherwise I would not take it. Among my “essentials” that others may think of as luxuries are:

• 2 inch thick Thermarest

• Full size chair

• Light aluminum folding table

• MSR Mutha Hubba tent

• Thermarest pillow

• Camera

• Binoculars

• Tulamore Dew Irish Whiskey

• French Press

• CCC tarp and poles

• iPad and a book for layover days

• bird book

a few things i have brought
Well to twist the conversation a bit.

Heres a few item I have brought


X-mas lights and bulbs

15-gal keg of beer


Golf Clubs

No Tiki Torches?