Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gear Trials Along The Missinaibi.

Writing this blog has provided me with plenty of unique opportunities. As you have read over the years, I have been on factory tours, met plenty of new friends and also have had the chance to try out new gear for camping and the outdoor lifestyle. When Andy and I put it out there that we were going to complete the Lower Missinaibi we were provided again with a great forum for trying out some new gear. Below you will find a few of our favorites from this trip.

1. RucPac Hardcase Conversion Strap System ($112).


This one of a kind piece of equipment is a really awesome idea. A fully padded pack system that turns any Pelican Brand case or similar into a backpack. I came across this system when I got my Wanigan (a Pelican 1620). I originally made a backpack system from an old internal frame pack, But the problem was the in order to access the contents you had to unbuckle the whole thing then re-attach and tighten again when finished. The RucPac eliminates this completely and leaves the lid completely accessible any time, Also does not interfere with the laying down of the case as it is just webbing. The shoulder straps are fairly comfortable, mind you my wanigan weighs about 80 pounds fully loaded so is anything comfortable!! The stitching is top notch and well crafted. What little reviews I could find on the web complained about the instructions, I had no issue with the simple pictures and brief words. When I contacted the inventor of the RucPac Laurens Parsons about whether the system can hold such a big case full of gear. His response was "The only limit is ones own strength as the product is rock solid in its construction." And I have to fully agree. The webbing did not let up once the whole trip. The only issues I had was the Velcro tab section that holds the webbing to the case would sometimes flip up into your back when putting on, and the other issue was some time, possibly because of the weight of my case there was a pressure point between the flat back of the case, bottom of the shoulder straps and my shoulders. It caused some discomfort, but a minor issue for the absolute genius of allowing me to carry such a huge case on my back. Any one looking for a amazing camera case or a wanigan, I would stand behind these to make that happen.


2. Kupilka Classic Cup - Kupilka 21 ($22).

 
This super-affordable piece of kit really has to make it way into every one's bag. Made in Finland from 50% pine fiber {wood} and 50% thermoplastic {BPA-free}, they looks and smells like the classic Kuksa cups that are favored by Sami folks, but a lot more durable. Also the 7.10 oz cups will not spoil by using milk in them like solid wood kuksa's, and will not break the bank if you want to get a set for the family. We used these as our primary cup the entire trip, coffee, whisky, food, and just looking cool hung from our belts. I also have the smaller "shot cups" which are made from the same materials, but come with a long reindeer lanyard for around your neck.  On my Kuplika cups I changed the strap from reindeer to paracord so we could hand it on our belts as stated above. It looks top notch, will not dent in you drop them. It only is really unfortunate that we cannot just drink the river water with out treatment, because if that was the case I would have just brought these for water. I guarantee you will love these bad boys. I plan on getting the whole set and letting them serve us for years to come.


Teva "Original Universal" Sandals ($55).



Needing a light pair of footwear for around camp? Want them to be tried and true. Then look no further than the Teva Original Universal. These sandals have been around for more than 30 years, pretty much unchanged. Please mind the socks in the sandals as the bugs would have had at my feet within seconds. My primary footwear for canoe trips are me 16" Maine Hunting Boots. The boots are what I wear in the canoe, along the portages etc, however the second we get to camp these Teva's go on. With the socks they become the perfect foot stretching, breathing and protecting platform to perform all camp tasks. I would have loved to have worn these while canoeing, however the bugs alone put an end to that, that will have to be another trial. The quality of these again is tried an true, the webbing is a thick patterned colour, and the sole is a comfortable grippy m is not to stiff. As you know these are meant to go in the water and still be useful, and while bathing and swimming around camp they performed flawlessly, drying quickly allowing me to put y socks back on to protect the tops of my feet again. The one thing where I was not to keen on these sandals is while scrambling up hills at camp, The softness of the sole allowed the straps to flex at their contact point and I would shift and slide all over the place within the foot bed.  A general feeling of not to secure while on a hills. I am sure that Teva has other sandals that address this issue with thicker stiffer soles, but as long as you are sure-footed and take your time they will hold up. Yeah, coming down some hills I thought the foam was going to rip and I would have to carry a busted sandal home, I almost wanted them to, so I could shake my head and be disappointed. However these sandals took a beating from all the scrambling and really held up, No damage what so ever, just some sore feet from sliding around on the hills. These Tevas's are easy to store in a pack, and again quick to dry. They are a great camp shoe for the warmer months, and I am sure you could even stretch them into the Fall if you were so inclined. There are plenty of colour ways to chose from and even some super slick white soled versions for all you "trendy" folks (I want to get them!?!). So if you want so easy cap shoes scoop up some history. If its good enough for 30 years of whitewater guides, I am sure they are good enough for your boring lake travel canoe trip.

3 comments:

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  2. Hi Yak,
    Missinaibi is a great place for tour. But before you tour you must take care of your safety for your body. Specially for your feet. Take a good shoes and boots for your feet. Thank you for your nice sharing.

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  3. Hello Yak,
    This is a nice post you sharing. Thank you for your good experience shared with us. Most important one is your story was dramatic.

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