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STUFF ITGear Bag First Aid

The first aid supplies you carry depend on the length of expedition and number of paddlers. Wilderness first aid training can teach you to do a lot with only basic supplies— essential when packing ultra- light. Pre-assembled kits like Adventure Medical Kits’ Ultralight and Watertight .9 are compact and stocked to handle a multitude of potentially emergent scenarios including wounds, infections, blisters, sprains and more. $36.00


Whether you pack your own meals or bring pre-made packaged products, you’ll need a stove to prepare your backcountry fare. Even if you plan to cook over a fire, dry- season bans can eliminate the option and in the rain, it’ll take time and skill. Many stoves burn only white gas, which is easy to find in North America, but the OmniFuel from Primus runs on almost anything, boils water in no time and is robust and reliable. | $169.95


Borrowing from the ultra-light world of trekking, tents built for backpacking can be a good go-to. Look for fabrics (nylon is lighter than polyester) and features like vestibules and gear lofts that’ll add convenience, but also weight. MSR’s new Hubba Hubba NX fits two people comfortably, has a vestibule for gear storage on either side, weighs little more than a bivy sack and packs down to the width of my boyfriend’s bicep. $389.95

Sleeping Bag

Finding a bag that doesn’t bulk up your camp kit is key. Down-filled options are far more compact than ones with synthetic insulation but easily damaged by dampness and very difficult to dry out once wet. A down bag in a waterproof compression sack is ideal. Sea to Summit’s Spark packs smaller than any bag we’ve seen—to about the size of a grapefruit— and is good for temperatures as low as 46 degrees. | $299


If we’ve learned anything from seasons of Survivor, it’s that fire brings both comfort and safety. Also that rubbing sticks together is not a reliable strategy. Dollar store lighters can do the trick, but for multi-day trips, bring something more reliable. The Burny from Optimus uses butane or propane, is wind resistant and has an adjustable flame. A backup pack of waterproof matches is a good idea in case your Burny gets lost. $29.95


Boiling water can kill harmful bacteria but when you’re on the water and need a refill it’s an inconvenient option. Filters are great for on the go, but when you’re packing into a creeker, a pump system takes up space and adds extra weight. Chemical purifiers like Aquamira’s Water Treatment Drops offer good bang for your buck, fit in the palm of your hand and make river water drinkable right in your Nalgene. | $14.95


Anyone who’s spent a night at a campsite knows flashlights are in- convenient. Keep both hands free by wearing a headlamp instead. Look for a lamp with some water resistance. There are pricey, sub- mersible models out there, but for budget-minded boaters, head- lamps like Petzl’s Tikka will hold up in a rainstorm. It’s a small, reliable option with two modes, one for close range and one to illuminate further distances. | $29.95

Emergency Communication

It’s important to leave a trip plan with a reliable friend in the front country and have a way out of any worst-case scenario. Satellite phones and messengers can track your location and make or take calls to facilitate evacuations. With DeLorme’s inReach Explorer you can pre-program messages, save contacts and even link to social media accounts, if that’s what you’re into. It has two-way texting with GPS coordinates and an SOS button that connects you to a 24/7 search and rescue center. | www.inreach- | $379.95 / $439 CAD

DIGITAL EXTRA: Click here to find out how to pack a kayak for multi-day trips. 42 | RAPID


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