Tips Tuesday

It’s #tipstuesday for the first time in forever . We’re all excited to be back tripping . This morning we have Ray McCullough ( @experiencing_outdoors ) chatting about what he feels you should bring on a trip…it may not be what you expect.

“I am regularly asked what I pack when I’m heading out on a trip. And Trust me, I love talking about it. My kit is mine. I am proud of it and I have painstakingly researched, tried, bought or made every piece of my kit. To me, it’s like a finely oiled machine that works perfectly for what I have put it together to do. But here’s the thing, if I didn’t have this kit would it stop me from going? It’s a good question, it’s an important question. One of the reasons I don’t like telling people about my kit is it’s often new people to the sport asking me. Yes, I get excited talking about it. But there is another side to this as well. My kit is almost unattainable to someone who was starting out. It’s not a money thing, some of my pieces just aren’t available anymore. Some of them are hand made by me or made for me. And they are what works for me. Maybe they won’t for you. Does this mean you shouldn’t go? NO, not at all. People have been tripping for what seems like tthe beginning of time. Equipment won’t make the trip. The last time I checked Bill mason, the canoe legend, didn’t trip with carbon fibre canoes or ultralight tents. If I can make it to half the places he did I will be doing well.

We as a society have forgotten the number one thing about canoe tripping. It’s the fact that it takes us back to our roots, a more simple time. Time no longer matters, and it resets our clocks. It allows us to have that slower pace of life we all need and crave. It really wouldn’t matter what you brought along you would still get this recharge. Sure you might have to work a bit harder to get to camp, but you will still get to camp.

So the point is this, don’t let the fact that you don’t have the newest, flashiest or best of things stop you from getting out there. A lot of people’s first canoe trip started in the heavy, eye-blinding aluminum canoes. Yes, I think a canoe pack is the best choice of a pack for a canoe trip, but if you have a hiking-pack and not a canoe pack then perhaps that hiking pack is your best choice. If you put a kevlar canoe beside an aluminum and tell me to pick the one I want to use you can bet it’s going to be a kevlar, but I have put likely just as many km in aluminum as I have my kevlar. Sure an ultralight tent is going to be preferred when portaging, but when I took my kids out when they were little, I dragged out a massive 2 room eureka that we could fit a pack and play in.

The moral of my little rant is that we need to stop looking at the reasons why we can’t get out and focus on the reasons we can. Go grab what you have, beg or borrow from anyone else you can, grab a map and get out there. It really isnt about what is in your pack, or mine. Its about the experience and the journey. Nothing is going to replace a strong skill set of knowledge, and a good attitude with a little bit of problemsolving. Maybe at somepoint, ill give up all the little tresures I have stashed away in my pack. But for now, grab what you can, and I’ll meet you on the trail.”

Paddle In

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