Tag Archives: Shore to Shore Trail

Bear Canister, Really?

10 January 2019, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

After taking some time and evaluating the next steps in planning the trip from Au Sable to Empire on the Michigan Shore to Shore Trail, we have come to realize that we need to assess the situation regarding the equipment and gear we currently have compared to all that we will need to backpack the trail. So we need to make a list of all required gear and equipment need for safety on the trail, then those items that we will need to make ourselves comfortable while up North in Michigan’s backwoods, and then the completely luxury items that we want to take but do not necessarily need. And secondly we need to evaluate each piece we do have by the number of uses the item has, the weight of the item, its pack-ability, and finally which list does it fall under; needed based on safety, needed based on comfort, or luxury item.

So of the items we already have; the big three are actually covered. We have one backpack each, we each have a goose down sleeping bag, and we have a dome tent that we are able to split the weight on. We also have our own accordion sleeping pad, individual headlamps, trail runners, water bottles, a heavy duty cook kit with utensils, pocket knives, walking sticks, hats with full brims, toiletry kits, first aid kit, fire starter, backup flashlights, synthetic t-shirts, camp shoes, and pocket Bibles.

And then we are in need of other gear as we have none or just one; such as only one rain poncho, we do not have a water filtration system (we need two), we have yet to get a backpacking stove (though we are considering cold soaking everything to cut down on weight), bug repellent, a way to contact the outside world in an emergency, compasses, the map set of the trail route that we will be following. We have to consider how long it will take and if we will need a change of clothes when we arrive in a trail town to do laundry or attend church. And as you can guess the list can be quite extensive, yet we have not been on the backpacking trail in quite some time even though we do have some experience. And the area we are hiking in actually has a public transportation system that services the counties we will be traveling in.

The weight of all the above gear could be quite high which means we need to look at what we can cut to travel lighter and maybe allow us to cowboy camp or backpack ultra-light. Either one would allow us some possible travel possibilities. The final thing we need to consider is the fact that part of the trail is in bear country. And yes we could bear bag each night, though a bear canister would be better just much heavier.

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Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets