THE PRODUCTS I USE ON MY ADVENTURES
I have been backcountry camping since 2002 and some of the gear I used then, I still use today. I have also added lots of new gear to the line up over the years and I have done my best to comprise a list of what I use for my adventures. I have listed gear that I am affiliated with, as the links will track any purchases you make back to me, which I would greatly appreciate and others that have links to the websites of where you can find that item. If you click on any of the photos, you should be directed to the product on a website where you can find more information, if that product is still available for purchase somewhere.
Just a note that I am brutally honest and if I didn’t love any of these products, which some I don’t, I will be sure to share that with you as well. If there is a piece of gear you have seen me use on social media and don’t see it here, please send me a message and I can give you more info on it or add it. This list will be constantly changing so please check back for updates often.
SHELTER & SEATING:
Eureka Midori 2 – I received this tent in April 2022. So far I love it! It’s a bit heavier than the Suma 2, but it’s not noticeable to me. There is a front and back door, both with vestibules, which I love. It has a gear hammock, just like the Suma 2 but is a bit bigger. Plus, the extra vestibule provides more room outsider, as well. My Suma 2 is still working great, but I’ve taken it on a lot of trips and it’s starting to get a bit worn out. I have always loved the Midori and wanted to give it a try, so far, so good.
Eureka Suma 2: This is the tent I use most often. it keeps me dry. It keeps the bugs out. It’s easy to set up and it’s the perfect size for me. It dries fast, vents well, and is overall a great solo tent for me. I’ve been using this tent since February 2018 and it’s been a great, reliable backcountry tent.
Marmot Tungsten 2: Before I started using the Suma 2, I spent a lot of nights in the forest in the Marmot Tungsten 2. There wasn’t any reason I stopped using it and will use it again in the future. Especially now that I am reminded I have it. LOL. I actually own a few more tents but these are the only ones I currently use. Just like the Suma 2, awesome tent, light, sets up really fast, keeps me dry and have never had an issue with it. I’ve had it since 2016.
VCS16 Eurekea Bug Shelter: This is a must have when doing backcountry trips during bug season which goes on for months, it seems, the further north you go. This is an earlier model of the very popular no bug zone and the main difference is the VCS 16 has a detachable tarp so you can use just the tarp or the tarp and the bug screen combined. It’s a great product and like the Aquaquest tarp above, during bug season, it’s worth it’s weight in gold to be sheltered for just a few hours from the bugs buzzing in your face to have a bit of peace. Best product ever invented. My model is actually the VCS13 but has been replaced by the VCS16 which is still a popular model.
Homemade Hot Tents – Solo & Bigger: I have to date created 3 of my very own homemade hot tents. Pictured here are the 2nd and 3rd ones I’ve made for the backcountry and the ones I use the most. The picture on the left is my solo backcountry tent and is approximately 8.5′ x 8.5′ with an approximate height of 6′ in the centre and weighs approximately 13lbs. The picture on the right is my bigger homemade hot tent that I use for friends and comfortable car camping and is 14.5′ x 10′ with a ridge height of approximately 8 feet and weighs approximately 38lbs. I have video tutorials on making both tents on youtube. You can find the solo one by clicking here and the bigger hot tent by clicking here.
KNI-CO ALASKAN JR TRAIL STOVE: To heat my hot tents and keep me comfy cozy warm, I use the Kni-Co Alaskan Jr Trail Stove which I purchased from the lovely Dave & Kielyn Marone from Lure of the North. This stove is the perfect size to heat my hot tents and all of the piping is telescopic and fits right inside the stove. It weighs approximately 14lbs. In addition to the stove, I purchased a side table which gives me extra space to cook those yummy meals I love to make when I’m out in the hot tent. I’ve had this stove since 2017 and it’s still good to go!
Travelchair Joey Chair: I have used a few different types of chairs but after the last one broke, I went back this one which was the original chair I had from day one. The first one I had lasted over 2 years and was the best so I went back to it after trying others. I love this chair for many reasons. The feet have discs on them. This helps you keep from literally sitting your butt on the ground when you are in sand, snow or extremely soft boggy mushy ground. It is super easy to set up and sets up fast. The cording inside is fairly strong and holds up well to a lot of set up and tear down. And even though I did have to replace this one once before, the reason it broke was that I was using it in the winter in an extremely cold environment. (-30C). Anyone who’s ever winter camped knows that cold and plastic are not friend and the plastic that keeps the legs in place, broke. Otherwise, I might still have it. But now, I have it again and hope it stays around for a very long time!
Eagle Nest Outfitters Singlenest Hammock: When I am tripping and can’t bring my chair due to weigh and space, I squish my little hammock into the pack. It is so nice to have a place to relax at the end of a long hard day of portaging. It is also great on any backcountry trip, glamping trip or even to use on a day trip. It sets up super fast, it dries quickly if it does get wet and packs up in not time.
UST All Weather/Refelective Tarp: This tarp is the one I use when i go on canoe tripping trips and need to keep my backpack light but still need something to keep me dry at night when the weather isn’t bad. it’s the perfect size for just me 8′ x 6′ and packs up small.
Aquaquest Guide Lightweight Tarp 10’x13′ : This tarp is the absolute best. I love having it with me when I’m heading out on a backcountry trip or car camping trip and the forecast is crappy. You can set this thing up over the fire and sit outside and enjoy being out in nature even if it’s pouring rain and still have a great time. It packs up small as well, to about the size of a nalgene bottle and for the weight, it’s totally worth the carry in. Can’t say enough good things about this tarp.
SLEEP SET UP:
Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow: For years I used pillows that were super uncomfortable and bulky. On weekend, while on a trip with someone else, I was told about this Sea to Summit pillow. It looked awesome and comfy so I bought one. I’ve had it for almost 3 years now and it is the best camping pillow I’ve ever had. It deflates and packs up to about the size of my closed fist (bag pictured in photo above pen to show size) and blows up in about 5 breaths. It had a slow deflate button so you can make it as hard or soft as you like and deflates and packs up quickly and easily. I will never go back to other pillows after using this one.
NeoAir Trekker by Therm-a-rest: This is a great sleeping pad. I’ve had it for about 4 years now and am extremely happy with it. It rolls up to fit into a bag the size of a nalgene bottle and keeps me comfy at night while sleeping. I am very rough with my gear and am surprised this sleeping mat hasn’t ended up with a hole in it. It’s got to be pretty tough to go through all that I do with it and still be in perfect condition. I use this sleeping pad year round, but in winter I use the Therm-a-rest Ridge Rest on top of it for extra insulation when sleeping on the snow. Great product! I also have a blog post on this item when from when I first got it. Click here to check it out. I belive this model has been replaced by the Topo which I have added the link for .
Therm-a-rest Ridge Solite: I use this underneath me when i winter camp, mostly on the snow or cold camping, but it also adds a nice insulation layer when I’m in the hot tent. This sleeping pad is made of foam and it’s very light, but it’s bulky. I generally just attach it on top of my toboggan and have also put it in the loops at the bottom of my backpack. It insulates so good, it is worth the extra bulk when winter camping to bring it along. Great product and reasonably priced.
Marmot Womens Teton: Unfortunately this sleeping bag has been discontinued. it is my favorite bag and the one I use almost year round. The reason is because it has an extreme temperature rating of -35..6ºC and I am a cold sleeper. I hope this bag lasts me a very very long time, because I don’t know how I will ever replace it. When you buy a sleeping bag, ensure that it is good for how you sleep, not just the temperature rating outside.
Marmot Women’s Trestles: This bag goes on a few trips with me when it’s very hot in the summer. it is actually a bit heavier than the -40 extreme bag and therefore I bring that one on all my trips as I am a cold sleeper and I would rather be hot and stick my arms or my legs out of the bag, then be freezing and have no options except to shiver. I have a blog post on this bag if you want to see more about it and how I ended up with it.
COOKING AND FOOD STORAGE:
Bear Vault BV500: For most trips in the backcountry, I use the BV500 Bear Vault. I love this thing and can’t say enough good things about it. The only issue I have with it sometimes is getting it open in the winter, as the lid/tabs etc are a type of plastic and I find it very resistant to push the tabs in the open the lid when it’s really cold out. Otherwise, it’s amazing. I have written a blog post on this item if you’d like to see more information on it, click here.
Ursack Major With the Loksak Opsak Odour Proof Barrier Bags (sold separately): When I go on canoe tripping trips with lots of portages, this is the food bag I use. I have been using this Ursack since 2017, hence why it appears so beat up. (It used to be white, haha). In addition to the bag, I also use the odour proof barrier bags inside of it. I have only had to buy a double pack of replacement bags in the time I’ve had the Ursack, so I am currently on my 3rd Odour bag. Considering how rough I am on my gear, I think that’s pretty good. I hang this on most occasions but I like using it over the bear vault below because it actually fits inside my backpack with 5 or 6 days worth of food and gets smaller as the trip goes on and I eat more of my stash. If you are going to remote areas, with bears, I highly recommend this bag. To date, I have never had an animal or critter of any kind break into my food stash.
Jetboil Mighty Mo: This stove is still new to me. I’ve had it since February 2019 and so far am loving it. It boils water faster than the stove I had previously, it’s very compact and is durable. To date, I have not had any issues with it. I always use the jet boil Jetboil Jetpower fuel with it which can be found here.
KIHD Products 1100 ml Titanium Camp Pot– This strong and lightweight pot is a new addition to my camp cookware set as of Spring 2022. It comes with a lid and a mesh storage bag. It has a removable bail handle, in addition to folding side handles and has volume markers. My favorite part is about this new pot, is that it holds a regular sized fuel canister perfectly, as well as, my collapsible cup, so it’s like it isn’t taking up any space, at all. I haven’t used this pot much yet, but so far, I am loving it.
Woods Pot Set: Yup, I got these at Canadian Tire and have had them since 2015. They used to be green on the outside but lost their coloring ages ago. There is actually one more pot that belongs with the set, but it’s a very large on with a lid that has holes in it for draining pasta. I do use that one occasionally, but only for car camping. (You can see it in the weblink by clicking the photos). Depending on the trip and what I am cooking on that trip, I generally take 2 of the 4 of these. They are durable and have lasted me many many meals so I give them an A+. I have a blog post on this post set and you can check it out by clicking here.
UST Solo Cook Kit: When I head out on solo adventures where I’m canoe tripping and doing a lot of portage, this is the pot set I bring on those trips. I’ve had this kit since 2017 and love it. I have used it too cook on a campfire, stick stove and my backcountry stove. It has measurements on the inside of the cup and the handles for the top and the bottom both fold in to make it even more compact. The only thing I dislike is that it doesn’t nest, however, I have found that my fuel cannister stove and a small towel all fit inside, making the space usable.
KIHD Deluxe Stick Stove: I wanted to include my stick stove into this category. I do not use it often because when I’m doing canoe trips I need to bring my backcountry stove and can’t afford to bring two. It is a great little stove, however, and I love how you can take it apart and it fits into a very small flat bag. It is extremely easy to use and gives off great heat to cook on. It is awesome to take on day trips where I want to have a hot lunch or hot drink or backcountry trips where I set up a base camp. I have a video on this stick stove and you can check it out by clicking here.
Purinize Water Purification Drops: I love water. I am a Pisces and it’s really the only thing I drink. I mean, I drink the occasional cup of herbal tea to help with ailments and hot chocolate sometimes, the odd glass of wine or an alcoholic beverage, but 95% of my liquid consumption is water. As it is my favorite drink, I am a bit particular about it and am sensitive to the taste. In my history of backcountry camping, these drops are the only ones I’ve tried that actually keep the water tasting like water. You just add the appropriate amount of drops to the amount of water you have, wait an hour and bingo, you have safe water to drink. I use this product on most of my backcountry trips, but find it most useful on canoe trips. I partner this with the Sagan Xstream Straw below and use it when I am too tired to filter water through another method. I am an ambassador for Purinize because I love it so much.
LARQ Bottle Movement Pure Vis: I started using this magical water bottle in fall of 2020 and absolutely love it! I bring it on all of my trips and especially love having it on my challenging tripping trips. All I have to do is charge it before I go, dunk it in the lake, press the bottle twice and in 3 minutes, I have clean drinking water. The bottle also self cleans itself and the initial charges lasts quite a while.
Katadyn 10 Liter Gravity Filter: When i go on leisurely trips in the backcountry, or go with other people, I opt to bring this water filter. The Katadyn 10 liter gravity filter is amazing. There is nothing to do but scoop up some water and hang it up. It’s just that easy. The filter inside cleans the water and by gravity, it goes down the hose and into your bottle, cup or pot and the water is instantly clean and ready to drink. Occasionally you have to clean the filter, and I have replaced mine only once. It also rolls up pretty compact and doesn’t weigh much. If you love water and don’t want to work for it, this is a great product to use. They also come in a smaller size.
Sagan Xstream Staw with Hand Pump: When I go on canoe tripping trips that have a lot of portages and traveling involved, this is the way I get my drinking water. I bring the hand pump and use it occasionally, but the straw is tied around my canoe seat and remains there the entire trip. I remove it while paddling and just drop the filter into the water source and suck. I have water anytime I need it and quickly and it helps me to continue on my way without spending time worrying about my drinking water. I highly recommend this product. I have never changed the filter or the straw and have had it since 2016. It gets a lot of use.
Katadyn My Bottle: I have had this water bottle for a few years now but never used it until last season. I’m not sure why, but now that I have used it, I can’t stop. It’s a great product and had a filter built right inside of it. You just fill the bottle with water, flip up the straw at the top and drink. It’s so easy and you always have clean drinking water.
Sven Saw 15: I love my Sven Saw. It is a truly great tool and I can’t say enough good things about it. It comes apart so it can be packed up small and without cutting yourself or anything in your pack, but sets up quickly by only using one wing nut. I’ve been using this saw since 2016, maybe even earlier and it is very durable. I have never changed the saw blade, but a few years ago I lost the wing nut on a trip and emailed the company. They sent me a few replacements and also a replacement bolt just in case anything happened to that one as well. Excellent customer service, in my opinion, adds even more to a wonderful product!
Morakniv Companion Knife: This is the Morakniv Companion Black Fixed Tactical Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Stealth Blade and Plastic Sheath, 4.1-Inch. I got it from Amazon and it has a 3/4 tang. It is the main knife I use and bring it with me mostly to baton wood which is my favorite way of processing wood after using my Sven Saw above. I also carry it for protection, although, I’m not sure from who or what? LOL. I’ve had this knife since 2017 and haven’t had any issues with it.
Fiskars Hatchet: This hatchet is something I take on most of my winter trips. I use it to split and process wood in the backcountry for my wood stove and to make kindling. I don’t use it a huge amount but wanted to include it because it is an item I do use in certain situation.
Zebco Adventure Telescopic Fishing Kit: I picked up my fishing rod years and years ago at Canadian Tire. I picked it because it’s a telescopic rod that explans to 5’6″ and it fit on the side of my backpack without much issue. I have caught fish with it, mind you, not a tonne, but that’s mostly based on the fact that I don’t do a lot of fishing. For that reason, and that I’m really hard on my gear, I don’t have an expensive rod and I’m perfectly fine with this one. I got a small kit with the rod but have since switched out a lot of it for my own choice of lures. I use a lot of Mepps Spinners because they seem to work for me, but have a variety of other types of lures as well as worms. The rest of my kit is a pair of surgical pliers that a good friend gave to me, a piece of rope to use as a stringer, a printout of common fish with photos to use for identification (in case I don’t have a signal as I can only tell a few basic fish species, they all look the same to me! ha!) and a mesh bag I keep it all in. In addition, I bring my dads (now mine) super sharp fishing knife along and that’s pretty much all I bring on my trips when I plan to fish during them. I generally don’t fish on my 4-6 day portaging trips as the best times to fish are when I’m traveling or just too tired to fish, plus, I like to eat the fish and then I’d have to carry out my food. I do love fresh fish though.
Beacon ResQ Link: This device is my safety net. I bought it used from a friend who was getting a different type of device and it only has the one time purchase price. It is not hooked up to data in any way and you can’t send or receive messages on it. It basically has a test button and the danger danger button you press if you are in an extremely dire situation. Before every trip I file a report with the government that is linked to this device. If anything happens to me, I press the button and they have an idea where to look for me and what I might be paddling, camped in, etc. It gives me piece of mind when I go out on some of my harder solo trips, but doesn’t keep me attached to the world in the ways that other devices do.
Salus Eddy-Flex PFD: My red pfd has been with me a very long time and it’s time to replace it. I am hoping that very soon, you will see a gorgeous Eddy-flex pfd here in green, possibly with my logo on it. A girl can dream. 🙂 Love this pfd so much that when I got my new Kokatat rescue pfd, I wore it for a season, and then went back to wearing this. It’s comfortable and easy to move in and best of all (this will sound lame to anyone that doesn’t vlog or blog or take photos) it has a zippered pocket that holds my phone! LOL. Yup, that’s what it takes to be a star on my page. Seriously though, I need it closeby for filming all those videos!!
Armytek Tiara Headlamp: I purchased this from Mancamping.ca. He has quite a few awesome products on his page so head over and check out his site. I also have a video review there on this headlamp which you can click here to see. I am afraid of the dark as some of you know and this headlamp has helped me get over that by providing extremely bright light for me without much effort. You can charge it with a usb (so one of those portable charges you see in filing and photos and it lasts a really long time if you don’t consistently use the highest setting. Really amazing product! (Please note I can no longer locate this specific headlamp on the army tech website. I believe they replaced it with a different model).
MPOWERD Luci Lights: Someone gave me one of these years and years ago for a gift. Before then, I’d never head of a Luci Light and had no idea what they were. What are they? They are amazing!!! They are solar powered blow up lights that give off a really nice bright light and most have a few different settings on them. Some of them have different colored light options and some have emergency light options. Deflated, they are flat and lightweight. They attach to the outside of my backpack while I’m canoe tripping, so they can charge, and the light actually lasts a long time on that charge. Some Luci Lights even have USB charging ports to charge electronics through the solar plate. Ingenious! Lightweight, durable and bright. What more do you need?
UCO Candle Lantern: I have owned this candle lantern since 2018 but have rarely used it. I originally bought it to use in my hot tent but it was so hot in the hot tent that the candle melted. One day, I was on a trip out in the middle of nowhere, and my tent had been wet for 3 days straight. It was nighttime and I was cold and wet also and I hung the candle lantern in the tent. It helped remove the moisture from the air and the tent, while providing a relaxing soft glow. I also felt heat off if, believe it or not. I have been bringing it on trips ever since and now see the great value in this product.
My backpack was purchased in 2002 and is made by Europebound. The pack is no longer available, however, lasting this many years, I would hope their current packs would exude the same quality. I have been told this pack is approximately the size of a 70 liter pack. I have 2 of the exact same one and have been alternating them on every trip I’ve ever taken into the backcountry since 2001. I love all the pockets and compartments and that they are somewhat color coded. All of my gear has a specific place in the pack and I am fairly certain if I was blindfolded, I could quickly find any item in my pack in seconds as this pack helps keep me extremely organized while tripping.
FILMING AND PHOTOS:
Iphone 7S : I use an iphone for all my videos and photographs. I know, it’s kind of old school but I do mostly solo trips and my phone does all the things for me quite easily. I use so many of the other features on it as well, so it is great not to have to carry extra camera equipment etc on my trips. I constantly get comments on my videos and photos so it must do an okay job. I have the one with 128gb of storage and it has plenty of room for all my videos until I get home and upload them. UPDATE: As of Fall 2021, I have upgraded to the Iphone 13 Pro. I LOVE IT. It takes great photos and videos and am very happy with my newest addition to my video creation gear!
NEW Selfie Tripod Stick – Amutek 1.3m: When I began having very bad issues with my SI, Piriformis, groin, quad, (basically lower back and hip area issues), I decided to invest in a better tripod selfie stick. I still have the one below this and love it, but the new one can extend to over 4 feet, it’s stronger, easier to switch from landscape to portrait, and is still fairly compact, in my opinion. It’s quite a bit heavier than the one below,(330 grams), but if it will keep my body in better health in the long run, it’s worth it. Most people don’t realize how much work and how taxing on the body some of the things I do are, even taking pictures and videos. There are video clips and shots that you see only once, sometimes even never, and I may take 15 clips or pictures of it. These solo location shots, after a long day of padding, can really effect my body. I’m constantly squatting, running back and forth from the camera to the shot location, bending over the phone that’s only a few feet off the ground, and then i repeat it over and over and over again, the entire trip. I really enjoy filming and taking photos, but my body is not feeling the same, so I hope this helps and the extra carry weight is worth it. (Picture 2: from left to right, old selfie stick below, new selfie stick, regular sized Nalgene bottle.
Selfie Tripod Stick: This is one of my most used pieces of equipment. This tripod selfie stick is amazing. I stand it up and record all kinds of videos while I’m portaging, cooking, paddling etc. You can use it for portrait or landscape shots and the phone holder can be set on an angle as well. When I am out by myself, sometimes it is very difficult to film certain shots. This device helps me do it all. (approx 150 grams)
Portable Charge with Solar Panel: After going on an amazing trip in Temagami, where I saw a lynx, I bought this charger. I almost missed filming or photographing the lynx because the 2 portable chargers I did bring, both malfunctioned and I almost ran out of battery on the 2nd day. I purchased 2 of these in hope that when I’m just sitting around camp, they’ll charge a bit, but they honestly take FOREVER to charge from the sun. It’s good I think, the at least have the option, in case of an emergency. I’ve had these a year now and they are starting to loose some of their awesomeness, but still working well enough. I generally bring of these on a 2-7 day trip. One of the things I do not like about these charges is that they only show a dot for the battery life remaining and each one represents 25%. I prefer the one below that has an exact percentage, but at the time of purchase, couldn’t locate any with solar and battery percentage display.
Portable Charger: This portable charger is by Kedron. I have a few different brands and they all seem to work well. This is how I keep my phone and headlamp and any other electronics I bring on trip charged. They vary in price but the bigger ones I have are between $25-$40 and are usually about 2500 mah. I bring 2 on a 5-6 day canoe trip and usually come back with a full one, but I always like to have an extra just in case. The main things I look for in a portable charger is how many mah it has, which basically tells you how many times you can fully charge your phone with it, and if it has a display. I like the percentage displays so I know exactly how much battery remains.
8X Zoom Lens. This little zoom lens gives an 8x zoom and is very small. I bring it on all my trips to get close up shots of any wildlife I see. I also use it as a monocular as the top part that clips to the phone, unscrews and you can use it that way. It comes in handy when I am looking for a hidden portage across the water and I generally keep it clipped to my canoe so it’s always there when I need it.
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