Canoe Camping with Military Surplus
Camping is a great way to unwind from the stresses of day to day life. There are several different ways to camp. There is car camping, RV camping, and my personal favorite, canoe camping. Canoe camping is fun for several reasons. I love the serenity and also the challenge it presents. You have to be very selective of the gear you pack and be ready for any situation. I also love to fish which makes it a perfect fit for me. This article is not going to be a comprehensive canoe camping guide, but instead a personal account of how my friends and I use Military Surplus to make our experience safe and enjoyable.
Enjoying the Float[/caption] I have never canoe camped on any river but the Susquehanna River because that is where I grew up and I am quite familiar with the territory. Before setting your plan to go canoe camping, I suggest you do some research on the internet about your local waterways trails. Most areas with major rivers have state funded information or private trail maps. This information is easily found online. Always make a float plan and let others know where you are going before you set out on your journey! A good idea is to put your float plan map in your vehicle before you leave in case of emergency.
The Author's U.S. G.I. Assault Pack & Accessories[/caption] Now on to the good stuff- the gear! My go to backpack for one or two night trips is the ever popular U.S. G.I. MARPAT Assault Pack. I like this pack for several reasons. It is not too big and bulky, comfortable, extremely durable, and water resistant. With a few expansion packs like the U.S. G.I. General Purpose Utility Pouch and U.S. G.I. Tactical Monocular pouch, you can hold plenty of gear for a few night trip. Of course I always have my trusty Woodman’s Pal attached. These packs are not water proof but mostly water resistant which is nice because even if it doesn’t rain, your gear is bound to get splashed by a paddle or hopefully a fish. Probably the biggest advantage of using Military gear vs. the civilian gear is the durability. I have personally put these items through some abuse and they keep coming back for more punishment. My other favorite piece of equipment is the U.S. G.I. ILBE Main Pack Liner Dry Bag. These are perfect for transporting your gear and keeping it dry. I can fit all of my bedding and tent in one very easily. We have found no better way to transport gear on the water.
Hamburger, potatoes, carrots, and onion foil packet meal[/caption] So after all this packing, paddling, and fishing you will work up an appetite. Because Canoe camping is all about packing light, you seldom have room for anything too fancy to cook. We often pack MRE’s and heat them up in hot water. An Esbit stove along with a U.S. G.I. Stainless Steel Canteen Cup is a great way to accomplish this. A cooler is a luxury on a canoe camping trip but if you do pack one (we usually find a way) you can make yourself a quick hobo packet as well. To make an easy hobo packet all you need to do is lay down two pieces of heavy duty tinfoil. In the center, lay down a fistful of ground hamburger. Throw in a few small baby carrots, sliced onions, and sliced potatoes. Throw a pad of butter over the top of all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper or your favorite meat seasoning. Wrap and seal the foil around your ingredients to form a packet. Cook over a nice fire turning every 10 minutes or so until the meat is done to your likeness and the potatoes are soft. Play around with the ingredients, it works well with just about anything! Now that you have a full belly and a nip from your flask, it’s time for some shut eye. Don’t worry if your accommodations aren’t the most comfortable. You will be tired and ready to sleep just about anywhere after a long canoe journey. My go-to canoe camping bedding set up is our U.S. G.I. Pop-Up Bed Net. This net is great because it is very light to pack, pops up in a jiffy, and is treated with permethrin which will keep you bug free all night! If I know it is not going to rain, I sleep under the stars in the bed net.
U.S. G.I. Pop Up Bed Net with Reversible Tarp as rain fly[/caption] If I am expecting rain or unsure of the forecast, our U.S. G.I. Reversible Wet Weather Tarp makes a fantastic rain fly for this set up. It is very lightweight and easy to pack as well. I hope this was an informative article in helping you equip yourself for one of the most enjoyable adventures you’ve ever been on. With the right gear you can really make Canoe camping a breeze! Take your time and enjoy the scenery around you. Remember to be safe and leave no trace!
Immature Bald Eagle