Invite: 2017 Yukon Bushcraft Camp/Course & Canoe Trip (June 2017)


Jan 24, 2016
Morning! Guys,

It would be nice to see everyone’s list. It will give us all ideas on what to bring. Fabian will be suppling most of the heavy items. Also if you want to pick up cheap clothing, there is a Salvation Army Thrift store in Whitehorse. You can pick up pants, shirts, sweaters and jackets economically then leave them behind at the end of the trip. I’m thinking about bringing a second bag myself. My cost is $ 47.50 Cdn, might be worth the price then I can bring what I want. But then again, I’d like to see if I can do the trip with 22 Kg or less.

I'll post my kit Monday with the weight.

Keep Your Tinder Dry

Bushcraft Yukon

Nov 8, 2015
Great ideas everyone! The thrift store you mentioned closed it's was economically not feasible, they is running a soup kitchen economically feasible?...I thought the idea was to help the community and provide some unfortunate souls with something to eat and to keep warm...that is at least what people are donating for...not to run a business...I guess I had it all wrong. Instead they are building themselves a brand new and pretty fancy office. would have been fun to do a thrift store river trip...I am sure we would have come up with some interesting ways to dress up. So, don't show up in Whitehorse in your underwear counting on some second hand clothes. You may end up getting frost nip on your private parts...

I just went through my detailed list. Here is what I usually take...there is a few more items, but they are guiding/group related, so it is not complete complete, but should give you an idea...

Rain Gear (jacket and pants!!!)
Hat (with broad brim, not just a base cap)
Bug net for head (I always bring it, but only wore it once or twice in the last 10 years…if you want one you can buy a cheap one locally)
Leather gloves
Bike gloves (some folks like them to avoid blisters while paddling…I don’t)
Buff (or bandana)
Wool hat (for cold evenings…not much hair left…)
Underwear (3)
Socks (3-4)
T-Shirts (2)
Long sleeved shirt (1)
Fleece shirt (thin) (1)
Fleece Jacket (thick) (1)
Light nut warm jacket (polar loft or fleece…for cold evenings or spare when wet)
Pants (2) (one heavier one, one lightweight for spare)
Shorts (1 lightweight for swimming…but I am never man enough to get in the f###ing cold water)
Wind Jacket
Running shoes or light hikers (for in camp)
Shoes for paddling (crocs, neoprene shoes, or rubber boots)

Pocketknife or multitool
Axe (I will bring a big one for firewood…bring your own if you need something for little carving projects)
Saw (I will have a buck saw for firewood…have your own folding saw if needed for little crafting projects)
Fishing gear (you can borrow here)
Sun glasses (!!!)
Sun lotion (you can buy here…the group can share one)
Mosquito spray (you can buy here…with lots of DEET)
Toothbrush, tooth paste, soap (you could get some here and even share with the group…not the brush of course)
Towel (I don’t bring one during the canoe trip…no way I get in the water…but you should have a small one for showers during the camp and after the trip)
Toilet paper (use the group supply…)
Binoculars (if one or two folks can bring a pair…and then we share?)
Note pad and two pencils
Light source (I bring a small led headlamp for reading at night in the tent or for first aid purposes…remember: we have day light for pretty much 24 h at that time of the year)
Book (I like to read sometimes…and I hate reading some one else’s trip reports when I am on a trip myself)
Ear plugs (in case your tent partner snores)
Eye mask (if you can’t sleep with the midnight sun...or just paddle harder next day to get a little more tired)

Sleeping bag (I mostly use down now in the summer…if you look after it and hang for drying whenever possible, it should be good…be prepared for mild frost at night)
Mattress (foamy or Therm a rest…doesn’t matter)
Pillow (I got soft over the years…)
Tent (I have 3 tents for folks to use, if you don’t want to bring your own. But you will likely have to share with a second person)
Tarps (I will bring some for the group to hang out in rainy weather…if you need your own for sleeping under: Don’t! Bugs will eat you…just use the tent….
I will NOT bring chairs etc. so have your own if you don’t want to sit on the ground, log, food barrels, etc
I will have all cooking and eating equipment.
2 liter water bottle (you can just get a juice bottle locally)
Fire kit
First Aid kit (I will have a big one for group emergencies. Bring your own small kit for little issues and have your own medications!!! Headache, fever, diarrhea, allergy stuff, whatever you think you may need…there is no access to a doctor or pharmacy for days!!!)
Bear spray (I will have for you…)
Sat phone/InReach (I will have for emergencies…if you need to make phone calls to mama or update your facebook…bring your own…no exception! Leave cell phones at home…there is no reception anywhere other than Whitehorse town and Carmacks…:)
Field guides (I will bring a few books on plants, birds…for everyone to share)
River charts, maps, GPS, compass (compass mostly to use the mirror…to make sure hair is proper in the morning…oh wait…no hair…refer to top under “wool hat”)
Dry bags (If you don’t have any, I will give you some…one big one and one small/medium is usually good)
Day Pack (good idea during the camp, not needed during canoe trip)

Dog (very important! I will bring one for the group and you can all cuddle her and give belly rubs, if you don't want to bring your own)
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My daysack is the right size for a carry-on bag so saves weight and volume in checked baggage. Also for the same reasons I always wear my hiking boots on flights, and take them off when I'm seated. (But don't know whether you'll need to take your boots with you!)

The bugs can be bad in parts of YT in mid-summer so something like this Bug Shirt may be useful. Your guide will be able to better advise.


Oct 6, 2003
Hi guys.

That list looks almost exactly like the lists whittled down to on the trips I have made to Scotland, Norway and Sweden. :D

Its fun reading about your expedition preparations, so similar to the ones I have been on, just with added bears, and lower population density!

Something our guide said was that it was silly to leave out critical gear, but it was crazy to duplicate and end up carrying excess weight. That was particularly valid for stuff like axes, saws, cooking rigs and group shelter tarps. We usually went as a group of 8, and one axe was enough to provide firewood for cooking all meals (Sweden). A second axe was nice and did help, but wasn't vital. My folding saw never gets much use. I take a 32" green-wood bow saw blade and make a frame from spruce or what ever is available. That gets lots of use, but again, only one for the group.

If you are really happy with Bamboo in camping, carry on, but I wouldn't take them anywhere that it could be damp, much less wet. That stuff takes longer to dry than wool, or even cotton. Not just me, but the young lad who wore it on our last Swedish canoe trip. Don't think it dried till he was back in the UK!

Over the years I have weighed most of my gear and made a master list in Excel which gets copied and pruned for each trip. Post trip I go and annotate what gear got a lot of use, only a little use, and no use at all. While I have been getting better, there have been some noticeable patterns. I always end up with more "what if" tools and repair gear than ever gets used, and the weight of that little stuff adds up fast; the spare trousers are always a luxury and only ever get used, maybe, to fly home in, wet trousers are worn till dry; taking "options" is always bad, for example, taking a Bushbuddy stove & a trangia for back up (I am a passed master at this). I was warned to think carefully about sandals for paddling where bugs are thick, know some guys who had their feet eaten...:p Despite sometimes packing more, I have never needed more than two pairs of footwear, one pair dry, one pair wet, and have found that paddling in flexible low ankle shoes is easier than boots.

Have fun guys. Sounds an awesome trip!

Bushcraft Yukon

Nov 8, 2015
Now that the bugs have been brought up a few times, I think I should weigh in. June is one of the months were bugs are usually the heaviest (aside from black flies and no-see-ums in late summer/fall). But I don't find it that bad really. Sometimes there is spot that has thick bugs and usually evenings are worse than the rest of the day. And often they get thicker after a rain or if it is damp and warm for a while. But for most part - and especially during the days on the river- it is quite ok!

I understand that some folks get bitten more than others and there is people who react stronger to bites than others. But I think a lot of it has to do with attitude as well. I sometimes have guests on river trips who freak out when they even just see one single bug. Then everybody pulls out the DEET spray and hammers away.

If you are relaxed about it, it is only half that bad. The bites also don't sting for very long in my experience. Very different than the European bugs I am used to. If you don't scratch the bites, the itch usually goes away after about 20 minutes. If you scratch, you can have fun for days...;-)

Over the course of an average summer I use maybe half a small bottle of bug spray. I wear long sleeved and tight woven clothes (Fallraven G1000 or similar stuff is awesome) and I put socks and shoes on in the evening. More protection is rarely needed around a fire. I do carry a lightweight bug net for my head in case it gets really bad (but has rarely seen any use). I found bug shirts a little overkill on these trips (but they do have their place elsewhere!!! I went mushroom picking in an old forest burn one summer and we would have been eaten without those shirts!). They are available locally for those who need one.

The worst is really when you have to go into the woods to do drop your pants and here they come! But hey, it's all part of the fun!

Chris brings up some good points about footwear. My favorite shoe in the boat is a pair of crocs. They dry very fast and keep my feet pretty warm. Much better than any of those sandals with nylon webbing and rubber sole. I get ice cold feet in them. Never again! I also get super cold feet in neoprene shoes in case they got wet (and they never dry on such a trip). Problem with crocs is when we get cold and wet days. Then I want to put on some socks, but need something to keep them dry. My favorite for that is a paddle shoe called Nomad made by Kokatat. They are a neoprene shoe with a gore-tex upper all the way to the knee. They stay dry and warm. So I usually have a wet shoe for nice weather (crocs...also good in camp) and a wet shoe for cold weather (Kokatat). But the latter are pricey and if you are not going on canoe trips on a regular basis, they may not be worth buying. And then rubber boots are a good alternative.



Jan 24, 2016
Evening! Everyone,

I'm old school. Most of my clothing is lightweight wool. It's breathes well when the weather gets warm, and warm even if it gets wet. Also it dries fairly quick.

Thanks for the info on the bugs. I was gonna bring my bug tamer jacket. But if you say the bugs aren't that bad. I'll leave it at home.

Keep Your Tinder Dry

Bushcraft Yukon

Nov 8, 2015
Hey Chekmate,

if you leave the bug jacket at home...does that mean you can squeeze your Hudson Bay knife in the pack? I'd love to see that knife....;-)



Jan 24, 2016
Hey! Fabian,

I'm switching my synthetic sleeping bag for down. Leave the bug suit. I think I can squeeze the HB in the pack. I won't need a hatchet. :cool:



Jan 11, 2012
Hi folks,

As promised, here is the list of what I brought for this trip last year. I've tried as best I can to remember what I brought and included details of some items that folks my find useful. Any questions, just ask :)

fleece beanie
wide brim leather hat by rogue leather
good quality shemagh (the thin ones are useless)
mosquito head net
2 x cotton bandanas

Swazi Tahr jacket -a perfect choice for a wind and waterproof layer canoeing
fleece zippy
2 x shirts - one crag hoppers nosilife light that was light and quick drying for wearing in the canoe, one bison bushcraft wool guide shirt for in camp in the evenings
3 x light merino wool long sleeve t-shirts
1 pair north face fleece gloves
1 pair padded fingerless gloves for paddling

trousers x 2 - one crag hoppers nosilife, one polycotton combats
2 leather belts - one to keep my trousers up, one to put kit on
1 pair swimming shorts, although I never went beyond waist height in the water, it was pretty cold.
3 pairs edz light weight merino wool boxers
1 pair of lightweight waterproof trousers
3 pairs medium/light weight wool power socks
1 pair summer weight waterproof sealskin socks for colder days in the canoe
1 pair cheap river shoes (I prefer crocs now as per Fabian’s suggestion)
1 pair lightweight hiking boots
* A cheap pair of wellington boots were bought locally as backup footwear for miserable days.

Shelter and sleeping

1 x snug pack tactical 4 sleeping bag. A down bag would save weight but I don’t have one and have ethical issues with many of the companies that make them.
1 x thermarest neo air xtherm sleeping mat. This was so important. Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the different when you are paddling all day - so don’t skimp here.
I use a dry bag with some clothes in it as a pillow and it works well
1 x snug pack bivvy bag

1 x dd tarp
1 x bug net
1 x hank of paracord

Fabian lent me a tent to keep the weight down in my bag so the tarp and net were extras that I didn’t use in the end.

First Aid Kit

I brought the same first aid kit I would bring on any other long camping trip but added more suncream, stronger bug spray (not that it made a difference in the end), some lip balm with spf protection and hand cream.

Wash kit

Collapsable bowl
1 small cotton towel
2 cotton face cloths
1 bottle of wilderness wash
dry shampoo (since I have long hair and it keeps it fresher in between washing)
Toilet paper

Cutting Tools
I tend to go tool heavy, because tools are fun

My primary knife was a J. Neilson came bowie,with a 7 inch blade (12 inches overall). I made a deep carry sheath for it and kept it on me at all times.
I used it for everything including limbing trees, prepping food, making tent pegs, cleaning fish, etc.
It was a perfect choice for me.

Leather man sidekick multi tool. I clipped this to my flotation device as an emergency cutter and it came in handy for setting snares too.

Bacho laplander saw

Gransfors Bruks small forest axe. You’ll probably get away without an axe, but I had room and it came in very handy for peeping firewood and pounding stakes into the ground once or twice.

Mora clipper. This was really unnecessary but I brought it along since Fabian was going to be making a sheath for it based on a kit I prepared for him and it is useful to see the finished thing.

Selection of small diamond files for touch ups in the field. These came in useful and I think most of us used them at some stage.

A full sized long strider strop. This really was overkill, but it was pretty light and I love keeping a razor edge on my knives, so I brought it. We all used this too, pretty regularly actually, so it wasn’t a waste :)

Water and cooking

1 pack of katadyn purification tabs as a backup method, since we filtered water as a group with a gravity filter
2 x 1 litre stainless steel water bottles
1 x water to go filter bottle. This was just a novelty as I had picked it up recently and was curious. It worked well though.

1 x stainless steel mug
1 x titanium spork
1 x plastic bowl

*Personal cutlery was unnecessary in the end as Fabian provided all this, but I didn’t know this at the time. It might be a place where you can cut down on weight.

A word of warning here. If you are flying through Vancouver, make sure you collect your bag yourself and re-check it for your next flight. I was told this would be done automatically, but I noticed it on a baggage carousel and luckily grabbed it. I could have easily been left with no gear due to this fall information.

I used a Maxpedition Condor 2 as carry on and for items I needed to access quickly in the canoe.

Everything was packed in small dry bags (exped I think) that went into a custom canvas and leather canoe pack I made myself. It was quick to load and unload from the canoe, quick to dry if wet, and sat well and secure in the canoe. I was also impressed that it held up so well to six flights as checked luggage too.

Fire kit

1 fire steel
Some inner tube and jute cord
Bic light
Storm matches

*Airlines will allow you one pack of matches and one lighter in carry on (*not allowed in checked luggage*)

Compass - Silva
Cheap folding binoculars - now at the bottom of the Yukon River.. haha
A small camera
Headlamp for reading
Journal and pencil

*Fishing kit was borrowed from Fabian. The fishing is excellent here and grayling taste great. Pike do not!

Several bags of wine gums, a dozen snickers bars and some other assorted treats :)

Books. Something to read on the plane and on the trip. We swapped books between us too, so they were worth the weight.

*Teslin and Yukon River field guide. Bought in a local bookstore in Whitehorse. This made the trip even more interesting and was a good skill to develop for the likes of me who was a canoeing novice.

Workshop supplies

I also had various kit for the workshops I'd be doing:
4 cutout kits for making canvas ditty bags
1 leather sheath kit for more companion
netting needle and cordage for netmaking
needles, snips, thread, etc.

Everything came in under the 22kgs the airline allows for checked luggage. I wore the heavy wool shirt, craghoppers trousers and shirt and hiking boots on the plane to save weight and brought a spare shirt and underwear to freshen up between flights.

I’m almost certainly forgetting something. It was a year ago. So if there is anything conspicuously absent let me know.

I hope you all have fun. I'm disappointed I can't join you this year.

Bushcraft Yukon

Nov 8, 2015
Hey Hibrion,

thanks for the great and detailed list! It's a bummer you can't make it this year! I am sure there will be another chance...!!!



Jan 24, 2016
Hey! Hibrion,

Good List! I was planning on re-packing my stuff this weekend and putting up the list, with weight. To many thing on the "HoneyDo List", I've been putting off. Hopefully next Monday.

Thanks Again!

Keep Your Tinder Dry

Bushcraft Yukon

Nov 8, 2015
Are you planning a similar trip next year? I wish I could've made this trip, this sounds exactly like what I've wanted to do for years!

Hey Pistol_Pete, I am not sure yet. But there is a good chance I will. I will start looking into another trip/course for 2018 this coming autumn. But keep your eyes peeled here on the forum. If I do one it will be announced here.