Thursday, April 9, 2009

Charlie's 2008 Odyssey XXIII

Continuing with Charlie's Final Report:
For camping gear I am no expert.....or an expert on any of the matters above that I have talked about and these are simply my opinions.
No matter what type of carrying pack you use remember what you put inside the pack that needs to stay dry should be in a dry bag (waterproof bag). If my pack is waterproof I still put the things I want to keep dry in another dry bag.....example sleeping bag, camp pillow, stocking cap and gloves for sleeping would go in one dry bag together and extra clothes in another dry bag. These bags would then go into the carry pack. Other things like tent, rain fly, rope, cord etc. I don't worry about getting wet.....just be sure you dry them out when you get a chance.
I think most sleeping bags are over rated on temperature....always go colder than you need. I have frozen on some wilderness trips when the manufacturer said the bag was good to 20 deg. and I was cold at 35 deg. I am not a cold sleeper either!
I have a food barrel  that I have been using the last few years and like it so far....I don't hang a food pack anymore....I have been in bear country and have not had a problem. Dan and Jim both had York packs and I like the looks of those.
There are lots of camp stoves out there and most of them will get the job done....I have a Svea 123 that's 30+ years old and still does the job. (My Note: See Wikipedia for the Svea 123 story. Very interesting)..
2. How I fed myself
To be honest while I was paddling upstream I only cooked a few meals. I ate power energy bars, granola bars, peanut butter, beef jerky and canned fruit. It was usually dark when I got off the water and I was just too tired to cook. When I did cook it was usually oatmeal or Lipton rice dinners, something quick and easy. I can tell you this....I lost almost 20 pounds on the trip. I never felt real hungry because I ate all day long just not a lot at any one time....
When I was with Doug McDougall we ate regular meals. When I paddled with Dan and Jim I ate good....real good....
3. What would I would or should have done differently and advice to anyone who wants to try to duplicate the Ultimate Hugh Heward Challenge or parts thereof.
I probably could have taken less food and gear...But at the same time I was re-enacting a trip so I carried all the food I needed for the whole trip....basically three weeks worth of food and fuel.  As it worked out I could have only carried a weeks worth and had plenty. It would have lightened up the canoe and may have made it possible for me to have climbed thru a few more of the faster current places.  It would have made the canoe cart easier to pull too.
Camera equipment.....less is more....paddling upstream makes picture taking and movie making more difficult.
To  anyone who wants to duplicate or paddle parts thereof I would say be careful....High and fast water can kill you...I had some close calls and would recommend that a person practice paddling upstream on something a little slower if you are not experienced at upstream paddling.  I have done a bit of upstream paddling but some of the fast water I was in on this trip was intimidating to say the least.  For anyone who wants to do the whole challenge I would say travel as light as possible and good luck and be safe.

No comments: