• 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


Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf

While modern adventurers smear their skin with toxic chemicals to keep pesky bugs at bay, natives of the Pacific Northwest took a less carcinogous approach. The fresh-squeezed juice of common Vanilla Leaf was applied to fend off mosquitos and black flies. Dried leaves, smelling faintly of vanilla, were hung in bunches about the longhouse for the same purpose. A potion of boiled Vanilla Leaf was used to wash bedding to eliminate bed bugs and mites and as a hair treatment to fend off lice and fleas. Look for Vanilla Leaf at trailside in heavy forest wherever moisture accumulates.

Illustration by Manami Kimura