Saturday, August 9, 2008

Backpacking the Isle

Other at the ends of the island, at the ranger station and the visitor center and the island stores, there is not running water, no camp store, no shower, no flush toilet, to comfy cabins, so everything one needs for survival and comfort is carried on your back. We pumped and filtered and treated our drinking and cooling water. We filled out water bottles on arrival at camp each day and topped them off in the morning before we headed out. We cooked over stoves using canisters of fuel. We ate cold snack food and prepared dehydrated meals in pouches with boiling water. We slept in tents, in sleeping bags, on sleeping pads. We carried dry cloths, rain jackets, a pair of dry shoes for camp, changes of socks, sun hats, insect repellent, sunblock, required medication, first aid, maps, a compass. Yes, we poop in the woods if on the trail, but all camps had outhouses, but we still had to carry out own paper. Some brought books, journals, cameras, binoculars. Some brought tiny chess sets or playing cards, though i never see the need to pass time in any way other than observing nature and recording the experience. And everything you bring in, you bring back out, so all the meal garbage is bagged and carried out in a backpack. In all, each member of the group averages around 45 pounds including the pack itself.

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