scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Re: [Canoe] Stoves and Tent Stakes
Ronald W. Fox (ronfox@MINDSPRING.COM
Wed Jul 12 2000 - 20:16:53 CDT
At 01:08 PM 7/11/00 -0700, you wrote:
>My troop is leaving Tuesday for Sommers Base. I've looked through all of
>their information and the equipment lists that I have received from people
>on this list and I noticed that there is no mention of Tent Stakes anywhere.
>Do we use them in the BWCAW? Since we are flying to Minnesota we do not
>plan on taking cooking stoves, will they supply them for us to use? Any
>help you have will be appreciated.
Tent stakes are included in the tents that Sommers supplies. Those are, by
the way, Eureka Timberline Outfitters, 4-man. In our crew of 6, two adults
stayed in one, three 6' youth stayed in the other, and the Interpreter
brought his own one-man tent.
They do supply stoves. We drove, and brought our own, on the basis of "I
know they work", and "I know how to fix them if they don't." However, you
can fly with your own stoves if there's no fuel in them. There's ample
opportunity to buy fuel in Ely.
Here's a couple of other things I learned:
Having at least one water purification filter pump is great, as you can get
drinking water on the water, on short notice. You're going to drink a lot
of water, 4 liters a day per person or more in some cases. Boiling and
using Polar Pure (iodine) is fine in camp, but it takes time and can't be
done on the move. However, keep an eye on the water you're pumping, and do
it away from shore. Even out in the middle of the lake, we found a fair
amount of spruce pollen in the water (yellow specks, or even a film). This
stuff gums up filters VERY fast.
They tell you to bring two pairs of cotton underwear. Don't. Don't bring
any. The other adult with us did this and started to get crotch rot. I
used a pair of trekking shorts with mesh support built in. Wore them all
day, took them off to sleep. Worked great. I had him switch to his
bathing suit, which improved things for him greatly.
Make darn sure you follow the recommendations and buy the US-manufactured
jungle boots. Don't think you can do this in gym shoes or open-toed
sandals, even the Teva's. The boots saved my ankles and toes numerous
times, and gripped the rocks very well. I am told by multiple sources that
the foreign-manufactured boots glue their soles on (instead of sewing them
on) and the soles come off in the bogs (they are acidic) half way through
Have a pair of 100% wool socks to wear with those boots. Understand that
you will probably end up putting them on wet, and the boots on wet, most
mornings. Don't worry about it, they'll warm up quick, and since they're
getting flushed out on every portage, you can wear the same pair all week.
Do have a couple of wool-blend or hiking socks for use in your camp shoes
once you get to camp and hang your bear bag. Bring a can of foot powder.
At least two people can share one can of foot powder, probably 3.
Each person packed all their gear in two stuff sacks that had a trash bag
inside for waterproofing. This worked out well, too, as these will in turn
be put into packs that are lined with very heavy duty plastic bag liners.
I was warned not to shower the evening before going out on the water. Fear
of athletes feet fungus was the cause (this was a former interpreter giving
me this warning). Your feet are going to be wet all day on the trail, a
perfect opportunity for the fungus.
Bring your own bear bag ropes. The ropes they have this year are about 3/4
or more inch thick climbing ropes. Very heavy. We picked up some 3/8 inch
nylon braided ropes at Wal-Mart for about $12.00/100 feet. Took a 100 foot
hank, cut it in half (with a literally red-hot butter knife). The
interpreter jumped on it, threw the Base's rope out. Much lighter, worked
Don't bring big flashlights. Each person only brought a single 2-AA-cell
based flashlight. It doesn't get dark enough to see the stars until about
10:30 PM, by which time you'll be sawing logs, anyway. One spare pair of
batteries will also be sufficient.
My rain suit was the most expensive thing I bought for this trip, and it
was a wise choice. You don't want one that's real heavy, and you don't
want one that's real thin but cheap. You don't need the Gore-Tex ones
(nice if you can afford them), get one that's "breathable" with zippered
vents under the armpits and in the front.
Have a small day pack or stomach/fanny pack that you will put essentials
in: rain suit, bug repellent, compass, suntan lotion. Be able to attach a
water bottle to your person. I carried 2 one-liter narrow mouth Nalgene
bottles, and looped the cap strap around the belt of the fanny pack I used.
Fill them at every opportunity. Keep this pack with you at all times.
This way you don't have to dig though the large equipment pack, disrupting
everyone's gear, out in the middle of the lake when you need something like
The most valuable piece of my equipment in my tent was not my sleeping bag
(a 35 degree one from REI that stuffed down to about 8" by 12"). Not my
Therm-A-Rest sleeping pad. No, it was the wide-mouth Nalgene 1 liter
bottle that kept me from having to leave the tent at 3 AM. Remember,
you're drinking a lot of water. When you look out though your tent door's
screen, you're going to see about 40 mosquitoes waiting for you to open
your tent. Not to mention the rain. We never went 24 hours without rain.
Actually, the worst part of this is when you go back into your tent after
you're done. You let the bugs in (your tent mate will NOT appreciate this
when they wake up covered with mosquito bites), and you'll end up bringing
water in as well. The difference in the mouth size, and the fact that my
spare duct tape was wound around the wide-mouth bottle, made sure I didn't
make any unfortunate mistakes when half-asleep.
Scoutmaster, Troop 69, Des Plaines Valley Council (W&SW Chicago Suburbs)
Pachsegink Lodge 246 | <------<<< |
"... and a good old Eagle, too" (C-19-96)