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Survival Gear for a Canoe Expedition

by  Jim Baird

So here we are in Cochrane. This is my jumping off point for the Kesagami River. I'm going to be paddling all the way to the ocean at James Bay. And I'm just going through all my stuff, make sure I got all my ducks in row before I get out there. I got a good vehicle, it's a 4x4 Pajero. It's a right hand drive car from Japan and these cars, they'll get you anywhere. Great canoe, great stuff. I'm just going to quickly go through it and show you what I bring with me.

So yesterday before the trip even started, I somehow managed to dump burning hot oil on my hand. I thought I was going to have to cancel my trip to the Kesagami. It hurts like hell but the doctor, he gave me some antibiotics. He said I got some good second degree burns. One of the biggest concerns I'm going to have up here is making sure my cut doesn't get infected because if that starts to become an issue I'm going to literally have to get out of the bush by some sort of float plane evacuation.

Great little head lamp I got here. It's quite bright and it's actually pretty good on batteries.
Always good to have this, it's a canoe repair kit. Basically just like mighty putty and a rain coat. I like to bring two. This here is my Kokatat dry suit. I've had it for seven or eight years now. It's seen some unbelievable action. This has just been a very long lasting and durable product.

I have to bring a large assortment of tackle. One of the best things to bring are Mepps spinners. I bring them on all my trips. Just a variety types of Mepps you can catch a lot of different species. You know really at the end of the day, your fishing tackle is a survival tool.

Because I'm doing this trip by myself one thing that's always important, but especially important on a solo trip is having a good survival pack. I just use a big fanny pack and I have everything in there water proof that I would need. You got your lighters, your matches, some snare wires, some fishing stuff in there, a couple extra batteries for your GPS, a lighter, maybe some bear bangers.

Now this never leaves my body. This is called an inReach SE and it's made by Delorme, distributed in Canada by Road Post. It's a satellite texting device. And stored in the machine I have search and rescue, my boat shuttle number that I might need. So I think this is a pretty key safety thing. Especially with me and the injury I have on my hand.

Okay we got all our gear ready. We're just going to pack up and leave Cochrane and hit the detour blind access road. Which will be a long drive into the bush to access the Kasegami River. So, let's go.

So it appears we found Road 2 and it's actually not too bad. So I might be able to put in further down than little Kesagami Lake. Which means I could probably have a little bit more time to rest up my finger. However we're not so sure yet, because we may have to turn around. So keep your fingers crossed. Unless they're burnt.

Well we found the put in. It's kind of tricky to spot because all it is a tiny little trail going from Road 2 here into the lake. So now I portage from the car into the lake. Nobody likes to start their trip with a portage, eh? Where did I say this trail started?

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