BWCA 2019 Gear List – Miscellaneous

This is part of a larger series where I am gathering my thoughts on my gear for a Boundary Waters (BWCA) 2019 trip.  See the intro HERE.

Miscellaneous – Anything that doesn’t fit into another category.  Or maybe it COULD fit into another category but I don’t want it to.  I could also create MORE categories but I have more than I really need anyway.

I’ve got a few things on this list and will add to it as I go.

Flat Bungie Cord
Flat Bungie Cord

Flat Bungie – Bungie cords are very useful.  In the multipack I purchased there was an orange one that was the right size to suit all sorts of needs.  I do consider them a luxury item as one can usually work around them, just not as quickly or as “Ah, that was simple!”  If I need to start removing things this would be one to go.  I have also seen the ones that you can adjust.  That looks handy.  If I happen to need to buy some bungies I’ll look into that else I’ll use what I currently have.

Usack S29.3 AllWhite
Usack S29.3 AllWhite

Critter Bag (Need) – This is under this category and not “Food” as I use that one for edible things.  I have not picked out a real critter bag yet.  Right now I use a stuff sack or the like.  I want one that is good for both hanging in a tree or leaving in camp.  With that in mind, the ursack brand bag always comes up when having these discussions.  Some use a canister for this purpose but I’m going to go with a bag solution.  I will take the bag with me on my local hikes (Ohio) and would not take the canister.  I don’t mind buying for a particular trip but I’d rather each thing be more multi-use.

Black Diamong Trail Trekking Poles
Black Diamong Trail Trekking Poles

Hiking Poles (Need) – I have a pair of cheap hiking poles that I bought at a camp store about five years ago.  I expected them to fail pretty quick but so far they have held up very well, even though they are of cheaper construction.  In a few years when I am able to get out and take more substantial trips, such as the BWCA, I am going to get a nicer set.  I like the Black Diamond brand but am open to others.  In the photo to the right is Black Diamond’s basic poles with flicklocks.

Camp Stool
Camp Stool
Helinox Chair Zero
Helinox Chair Zero

Camp Chair – Normally on backpacking trips, I would take a standard folding camp stool.  It’s easy to detach from the pack and rest on the trail and certainly does the job while actually in camp.  For times when I’ll want to be in camp for more than an evening, I’d like something more.  Enter the Helinox Chair Zero.  I researched this brand and model, the REI version, and so on.  I got this one because it’s light enough that I won’t be tempted to leave it behind when backpacking, yet large enough to enjoy.  When I’ve had it for a while I’ll review it.

Ziploc® Brand Slider Storage Bags Quart / Medium
Ziploc® Brand Slider Storage Bags Quart / Medium

Ziplock Baggies – Always useful.  I’ll use them to contain and organize spices, meal bars, snacks, toothbrush and paste, and many other things.  I’ll use multiple sizes.  Additionally, I’ll take some empties in for garbage storage to pack back out.

Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses
Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses

Sunglasses – Look no further than the Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses for me.  YEARS ago I was looking for a pair that would block the sun from the side while on the ball field coaching a base or hitting grounders or whatever else was needed.  Due to the wide bridge of my nose, no other pair would sit low enough to do what I needed.  When I first tried on a pair of these they were everything I wanted….. except for the price.  Back then money was tight and I didn’t want to spend it.  Father’s day was coming up so I figured the reason I needed these was because I’m out there helping the kids, so I justified it and asked for them.  Very happy that I did.  I’ve since had to replace the ear sleeves, nose piece, and a lens, but they have held up great.  I normally wear the lenses shown in the photo above but for a Boundary Waters trip I’ll look to get a lens that works better on the water.  This used to be “polarized” but I don’t know what the “now” is.  I’ll find out.

Earphones – I should probably put these over in “Electronics” since they are useless without some sort of player but that’s not how I think.  I have several pair of earphones and I’ll just pick a pair and take them with me.

One thought on “BWCA 2019 Gear List – Miscellaneous

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  1. Hi, Mike-

    Steve (boonie@bwca.com) here with my thoughts on miscellaneous gear list. Some people would agree with these, some wouldn’t.

    Flat bungies:

    You didn’t mention a specific use for them. I no longer take these (or similar). Always seemed like they’d be useful, but never found much use for them. They were just an item that added weight and bulk, were another thing to keep track of, to pack/unpack, and never saved any more time than they used. I use a few of the much smaller, lighter BDB’s (http://oldscoutoutdoorproducts.com/)
    and Nite Ize twist ties. The BDB’s secure my painters to the stern and bow thwarts. A couple of appropriately sized twist ties secure my spare paddle to the canoe. A BDB is also used to secure the top of my plastic pack liner after it is twisted and folded over.

    Ursack:

    I switched to Ursacks a couple of years ago to reduce weight and bulk, especially on longer solos (10 days+), which would have required 2 bear canisters. I use the OPsack liners, which also provide an additional moisture barrier, and all food items are in plastic baggies inside. So far, so good, although I think it’s not the same level of protection as a canister if a bear finds it. I did lose my seat though 🙂 since I don’t take a chair. I know you’ll do this anyway, but . . . review the instructions and practice tying the knots before you go. It’s also useful to have some gloves to wear when cinching the cord really tight.

    Trekking poles:

    I have trekking poles. I use them on hikes at Dolly Sods. I do not take them on BW trips. I cannot carry a canoe and use trekking poles at the same time. On the second portage trip (I double portage), I carry my PFD and paddle (sometimes used as a crutch) in one hand and my water bottle in the other to drink while I walk. I do not have a shelter that requires trekking poles. I no longer take them. They are just another thing to add weight, take up time and space that aren’t justified by the amount of use I get out of them.

    Camp chair: I do not take one and I am not the only one (see my post in solo forum at bwca.com), but we are definitely a minority. I used to sit on my BearVault, but now I just sit on the log seating at the designated campsites or on the rocks (ground) around camp when not sitting in the canoe. I am however considering taking a butt pad this year :).

    Ziplocs: Yes, useful, as are some of the small cheap waterproof roll-top stuff sacks (like the Outdoor Products set of three). I use Ziplocs for the garbage, too. I don’t make much garbage and a quart one is good for quite a while, but I take 2 on the longer trips and a gallon size might be a good idea for a group. I store the garbage baggie in the Ursack, but I do not have leftovers to speak of. The stuff sacks are good for organizing small things, i.e. repair, personal items, etc.

    Sunglasses: Definitely – a lot of glare on all that water.

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