• 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


Salal

Salal

Though not a popular trail-side snack in modern times, salal berries are not only edible, they are quite tasty. Perhaps the "hairiness" of the berries or the grainy texture imparted by their many, tiny seeds is a turnoff to jaded modern palettes. Being plentiful throughout the coast, salal berries were an important component of pre-European diets hereabouts. Aboriginal groups generally consumed salal berries directly from the bush or processed them into a kind of fruit leather for storage. These cakes were then reconstituted with water and served mixed with the omnipresent oolichan grease. An acquired taste, no doubt. The deep purple colouring of the berries found use in dying baskets. Salal berries are presently used primarily in jams and pies. The bright, leathery foliage is commercially harvested for use in floral displays world-wide.

Illustration by Manami Kimura