• Backpack lined with orange, jumbo-sized plastic garbage bags.
  • Sleeping Bag; Avoid down unless planning to do a lot of winter camping. Feathers get soggy under typical "wet coast" conditions.
  • Ensolite Foam Pad; Lighter and more useful than the popular Therm-A-Rest, foam pads can be used for comfort around the camp without worrying about burns and punctures. In emergencies, foam can be cut up and used for splint pads or backpack repair. Yellow foam pads also can be used to signal with.
  • Tent or bivy sack
  • Stove; Avoid the ones which require disposible butane cannisters.
  • Cooking Gear; Eat directly from the pot and avoid carrying bowl and plate.
  • Water Bottle; Keep it handy and rehydrate often.
  • Flashlight or headlamp and batteries.
  • Duct tape; 1001 uses from repairing packs, kayaks, boots, etc.
  • Nylon Cord; 20 metres or more. Ideal for hanging food, tarps, wet clothes, etc.
  • First Aid Kit and the knowledge to use it.
  • Knife; Swiss Army: good, Rambo: bad.
  • Whistle
  • Topographical Map & Compass
  • Personal clothing; Lightweight, quick-dry, clothing suited to layering. Avoid cotton as it dangerously conducts heat away from the body when wet.
  • Anorak or other weather-resistant shell. Breathable fabrics are ideal.
  • Sun hat; Wide-brimmed or with neck flap.
  • Sunglasses with UV filtration
  • Sunscreen & lip salve
  • Moleskin; lots if prone to blisters
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Matches & firestarter
  • Hiking Boots; Well-broken in before the trip.
  • Socks; Ultra-thin polypropolene undersocks used in combination with thicker wool socks will help keep feet dry and prevent blisters. No cotton.
  • Camp Shoes; Back up footwear with the emphasis on comfort; should be durable enough for hiking in if necessary. Sandles are inadequate for the job.
  • Mobile Phone
  • Personal effects; Keep it light. First timers always bring too much.
  • Toilet paper

The End


Horsetails

Horsetails

Some would say the first plant: ever! A gigantic earlier relative of the common horsetail thrived in the Carboniferous era and eventually became our present day coal deposits. Containing silica, horsetails make a natural "sandpaper." On the west coast horsetails and salmon slime were used to polish masks, canoes, bone tools and soapstone pipes. In spite of the rough texture of the stalk, the young plant heads can be eaten as asparagus.

Illustration by Manami Kimura