Personal Gear List

Participant Personal Gear List – Valid for 2018 Trips

This page is designed to provide specific recommendations and links for personal packing for our guided trips.  For a cleaner checklist-style list, use the following .pdf document:

Note: These recommendations are intended to be used as a guideline only.  We do not expect you to have the ‘best’ of everything to participate on our trips. If considering making a few purchases, we recommend the following priorities:

Priority Items

  • Proper Footwear: Soft, breathable deerskin moccasins are by far the best footwear for our style of winter camping.  In fact I doubt we would love the winter as much as we do if we hadn’t discovered moccasins.  These should be accompanied by a pair of lightweight rubber ‘over-boots’ in case of warm conditions.  For economy and convenience a pair of large winter Sorel-style boots which can accommodate 2 – 3 pairs of socks, and have removable felt liners are 2nd best.
    NOTE: Hiking boots are not appropriate.
  • Traditional Snowshoes: Modern snowshoes were designed for use in icy/ wind-packed alpine environments (or more recently, for hard-packed, high-use trails in more urban environments). Simply put, they don’t have enough surface area to provide adequate floatation in deep, unpacked snow.  We know of no better snowshoe weaving material than 400lb fishing line, found here: Lure’s Traditional Snowshoes.
  • Good Base Layers: A good layering system starts with a good base layer.  These are the clothes you will be wearing next to your skin all day, every-day.  We never skimp on a base layer, and try to find nice merino wool long underwear whenever possible.
  • Nice Wool Pants: If you don’t have them already, you won’t regret purchasing a nice pair of heavy wool pants.  They will find use all winter around the home(stead) and in the bush.
  • Specialty Cotton Wind Layers: These are not essential if you have nylon wind layers already, but if you plan to do a lot of winter trekking in exposed locations (ie. lakes and rivers), they are an exceptional bit of clothing.  We have made, and love, our own, which is now available in our store.  We have also found cotton/nylon wind pants at army surplus stores.

The Complete List

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Clothing – Bottoms

  • Windpants
    This should be a windproof cotton or nylon pant which pulls on easily over your moccasins or boots and fits over your pants.
    Best: Empire Wool and Canvas – Tundra Trousers – Currently Unavailable;
    Economy: Canadian Forces Wind Pant – $62 (Search military surplus stores if available);

Clothing – Tops

** It is important to note that the items on this list should layer together very comfortably.  Ie. Ensure that you can wear your base layer, mid-layer and jacket all together, and your wind layer or parka should fit over all of the first 3 items.

Costco Fall 2017: We’ve recently found that Costco has a great selection of men’s and women’s 100% merino wool tops in various weights. They’re super soft and well made, but not online:  Cloudveil (very light), Calvin Klein (mid-light) and Kirkland Signature (mid).

  • 2x Light Base Layer (half-zip or pullover)
    This layer should be close-fitting, and long sleeved.  No drafts!
    Best: Costco Cloudveil 100% Merino top (~ $20);
    Best Online: MEC Merino T3 Zip-T – $109;
    Value: MEC T3, Long Sleeved, Zip-T – $65;
  • Mid-way Layer (half-zip or pullover)
    Best: EWC Scout Shirt – ~ $300 USD;
    Good alternative: Stacking the three Costco products listed above would be serve as a great light and mid-weight;
  • Heavy wool or fleece jacket (full-zip preferred)
    Best: Empire Wool and Canvas Camp Coat – Currently Unavailable;
    Local: Mark’s Work Wearhouse or similar ~$80 – $120;
    Economy: Thrift stores ~$Varies;
  • Outer Wind Layer
    This should be a loose-fitting windproof item made of nylon or cotton which easily fits over all other layers.  If the hood has a fur ruff you will be very well protected in windy conditions.
    Best: Lure’s own cotton canvas anorak – ~$320;
    Economy: Large nylon wind jacket- Thrift stores & Army Surplus stores;

Clothing – Extremities

(Many of the following items are easily identified and readily available, thus no links have been provided).

  • Warm Wool Toque;
  • OPT: Wool face mask, neck tube or balaclava;
  • Thick wool scarf;
  • Insulated leather work gloves;
  • Heavy wool socks (4 – 5 pairs)
    ** We recommend a base layer wool sock that is comfortable next to your foot, plus a thick knit sock which fits comfortably over your base sock;
    Best base sock: Thermohair Wool Socks – $30;
    Best thick knit sock: These can be found at thrift stores or knitting stores.
  • Ski googles;
  • Underwear (briefs are best under long underwear);

Sleeping Kit

  • Pajamas – comfortable, light, breathable material;
    Example: MEC T-1 Long John – $29;
  • Sleeping Pad
    **We do not recommend inflatable sleeping pads as they are too likely to be damaged if using tree boughs in the tent.
    Durable closed cell foam: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest  – $27;
    Luxury to be used carefully: Exped Downmat 9 – ~ $350;
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush/ toothpaste/ floss/ chapstick/ vitamins/ meds, etc;
  • OPT: Reading/ sketch/ log book;

Travelling Gear

  • 2 litre water capacity;
    We use a 1l insulated vacuum bottle (eg. “Thermos”) and a 1l insulated water bottle.  The latter will cool quickly for morning drinking water, while the vacuum bottle stays warm for the afternoon;
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen;
  • Simple belt knife
    Recommended: Bahco Belt Knife – $15;
  • OPT: Ski/ trekking Pole(s);
  • OPT: Small binoculars;
  • OPT: Camera;

Other

  • Small wash towel;
  • Lightweight rain gear (tops and bottoms);
  • Spare headlamp batteries;
  • Duffel Bags x 2 (35l or 60l) – (MEC)

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