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69RoadRunner

Take a Tent to Northern Tier and Misc Questions

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We're going to NT next year. The scouts can use the NT tents.  I was thinking of taking my Locus Gear Hapi Grande and inner to save some weight and bulk.

The Grande version (not on their web site, but you can special request) is relatively spacious for a 2 person, lightweight tent.  We have 2 crews going and will likely have 2 adults in one crew and 2 or 3 in the other.

Any suggestions on dry bags for each crew member?

Is the Helinox Chair Zero I took to Philmont a good idea?

They say to bring a book. I think a Kindle Paperwhite might be a good option. It's light, waterproof and the battery will last the entire trip.

How about paddling gloves?  I went kayaking in Norway last summer and got a blister on one hand.  No gloves.

We used Fozzilz Bowls at Philmont as crew gear.  Would these work well at NT?

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14 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

... I was thinking of taking my Locus Gear Hapi Grande and inner to save some weight and bulk....

 

I hate to be critical, but I can't help but laugh at the irony of this statement given the rest of your post.  You claim to want to "save some weight and bulk" and then follow it up with a wash list of practically every unnecessary piece of overpriced outdoor techno-trash that an imaginitive huckster could dream up to sell you.  

To really make a NT trip enjoyable, I'd suggest 2 things:

  • Simplify.  Most of your "extras" are nowhere close to be necessary.  Do you really need a Kindle on a backwoods trip?  Aside from inviting problems caused by lack of charging, WiFi, etc., why on earth would you risk losing an overpriced piece of fragile technology when a used paperback will serve you just as well (plus you won't cry if a paperback goes overboard). Ditto with the fancy-schmancy Helinox chair. When I camp in the backwoods, I sit on a log. 
  • Don't duplicate.  If NT already has tents you could use, why on earth would you bother lugging a personal tent all the way there?  One of the best places to be thrifty is in the weight of your luggage if you're flying to Northern Tier. I already paid too much for my personal tent....why should I add to the financial pain by lugging it with me to a place that already has tents available?  

My advice is to leave home EVERYTHING that you mentioned and use the kit provided by NT staff (though if you really have delicate hands, a simple pair of cotton gloves from the Dollar Tree might not be too wasteful).

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5 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I hate to be critical, but I can't help but laugh at the irony of this statement given the rest of your post.  You claim to want to "save some weight and bulk" and then follow it up with a wash list of practically every unnecessary piece of overpriced outdoor techno-trash that an imaginitive huckster could dream up to sell you.  

 

OK, I'm not duplicating tents.  It's either/or. I don't know what NT uses, but mine is likely much lighter.  Even if you add the chair and Kindle, I'll bet I would be lighter than the NT tent alone.

We need something to eat with, so how would the bowls be overpriced techno-trash when they're dirt cheap and we already have them?  Same for the gloves?

NT specifically suggests a Crazy Creek chair.  What I'm asking about is lighter.

NT also suggests a book and my question is about something much lighter and as I said, it would require no charging as the battery lasts 6 weeks.

 

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15 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

OK, I'm not duplicating tents.  It's either/or. I don't know what NT uses, but mine is likely much lighter.  Even if you add the chair and Kindle, I'll bet I would be lighter than the NT tent alone.

We need something to eat with, so how would the bowls be overpriced techno-trash when they're dirt cheap and we already have them?  Same for the gloves?

NT specifically suggests a Crazy Creek chair.  What I'm asking about is lighter.

NT also suggests a book and my question is about something much lighter and as I said, it would require no charging as the battery lasts 6 weeks.

 

Are you getting to NT by flying?  

If you are, then carrying ANY tent is "duplication" because NT has tents available that you can use. Yours might be lighter, but it's unnecessary added weight when you check in for your flight. I would be most worried about weight in order to avoid charges for excess baggage.

NT might suggest a chair....but is ANY chair really that necessary?  I've canoed BWCA area before and, believe it or not, lived to tell the tail even though I didn't pack a chair.

There is not one single piece of electronic paraphernalia that I consider necessary for a canoe trek. All of it creates headaches.  You can justify it in your own mind as much as you want, but the fact remains that any electronic is subject to problems like dead batteries, getting wet, screen breakage, etc.,, etc., etc. IMHO, "getting away from it all" definitely includes getting away from everything tech.

BTW:  NT is not Philmont.  Weight matters less on canoe treks than backpacking. Obsession over weight isn't really warranted. Yes, it matters a little bit. A heavier canoe might be a bit harder to paddle, and yes, you will likely have a couple portages to deal with, but the weight doesn't have to be all on your back all the time, and it can be distributed across multiple Duluth packs (which often get tossed --- another reason not to pack fragile stuff like a Kindle).  

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1 hour ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We're going to NT next year. The scouts can use the NT tents.  I was thinking of taking my Locus Gear Hapi Grande and inner to save some weight and bulk.

The Grande version (not on their web site, but you can special request) is relatively spacious for a 2 person, lightweight tent.  We have 2 crews going and will likely have 2 adults in one crew and 2 or 3 in the other.

Any suggestions on dry bags for each crew member?

Is the Helinox Chair Zero I took to Philmont a good idea?

They say to bring a book. I think a Kindle Paperwhite might be a good option. It's light, waterproof and the battery will last the entire trip.

How about paddling gloves?  I went kayaking in Norway last summer and got a blister on one hand.  No gloves.

We used Fozzilz Bowls at Philmont as crew gear.  Would these work well at NT?

First off, you don't need to be so defensive, you asked. Accept the opinions a choices.

When you say NT, I'm assuming you are talking about the BSA camp. Not only do we not get these questions from outfitters, they actually laugh at our minimal backpacking style equipment lists. Outfitters are more accustomed to clients who bring everything including the kitchen sink. LOL

As for your other questions, we brought a lot of the stuff on your list. So is the BSA camp strict with their list. Seems a bit silly. 

Oh, bicycle riding gloves work very well for paddling cloves. I used the same gloves for both activities. 

Don't go cheap on dry bags. What I mean is there are a lot of DIY ideas out there that many of our scouts tried and regretted. Get real dry bags.

Finally, being a Backpacking style troop, we are minimalist. But you will find that Duluth packs handle A LOT more weight, and are typically packed much heavier than backpacks. The potatoes our outfitter gave us alone was 40 lbs. While we never brought one, we saw a lot of NT travelers bring them. The canoes will be the biggest challenge for scouts. Because most crews are required to make at least two trips at each portage to move their gear, experience travelers in the Northern Tier aren't as concerned with weight like backpackers. So, while some folks advise minimal packing like backpacking, I would suggest that you need to worry about an extra pound or two. You can afford to be a little more comfortable at camp. Worst extreme case is a 3rd trip at each portage. 

Barry

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While I have not done N. Tier, I did fly up to LaDomaine, Quebec for canoeing. Here are my thoughts.

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We're going to NT next year. The scouts can use the NT tents.  I was thinking of taking my Locus Gear Hapi Grande and inner to save some weight and bulk.

Weight and space are not nearly as important  compared to backpacking. I would use the tents they provide. MAKE SURE YOU SET THEM UP PRIOR TO LEAVING BASE CAMP! (emphasis).  We used a Canadian troop's gear  Saved weight and cost when flying.

 

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Any suggestions on dry bags for each crew member?

Whatever you do, do not rely just on a dry bag. Have layers of protection. I usually have  3 layers of protection, 2 waterproof ( items in individual bags and one for the compartments of my pack) and 1 strong, protective water resistant bag, aka ALICE. ;)  ALICE protects the garbage bags I use, and I carry extra bags. I have not had any problems in 31 years using this method. And that includes 3 water based 50 milers, and numerous weekend trips and training sessions.

I have a dry bag and used it for less than a year before it got holes in it. Yes it was a Coleman, so it was cheap. If you do use a drybag, make sure you got materials to patch the holes if you get any. And I would still uses the layers of protection above.

 

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Is the Helinox Chair Zero I took to Philmont a good idea?

Your call. I didn't have a chair back in the day. But I'm older now and enjoy my creature comforts. 😀

 

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

They say to bring a book. I think a Kindle Paperwhite might be a good option. It's light, waterproof and the battery will last the entire trip.

OH HECK NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (emphasis) I had a friend relying on an iphone sized drybag, and it leaked, destroying his phone. I would keep electronics to a minimum. You can have too many issues. Only reason I would carry a phone is for pictures. Do they still sell the disposable waterproof camera's still?  

 

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

How about paddling gloves?  I went kayaking in Norway last summer and got a blister on one hand.  No gloves.

There are cheaper options. I've seen someone use stretchy work gloves before. I personally use diving gloves, but I've had them for 25 years now.

 

4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We used Fozzilz Bowls at Philmont as crew gear.  Would these work well at NT?

I do not see why not.

3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

 But you will find that Duluth packs handle A LOT more weight, and are typically packed much heavier than backpacks. 

I've heard good things about them, but never used one before. And when i went to Canada, would not have been able to afford it. We were advised to get either a military surplus European rucksack or a USGI medium ALICE. I got the European rucksack because it was canvas and cheaper. MISTAKE!  Fell apart within a few months of use as a school book bag.  My ALICE has been with me a long time, and still going. Plus the quick release straps make it easy to attach to thwarts. 

 

Good luck.

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I'm seeing the reasoning on the Kindle.  Points taken.

As for the gloves, I haven't picked anything specific, but after the kayaking experience, I think I'll be getting something.

We're doing Ely Base at BSA NT.  The packing list includes this for the dry bags:  "25-30 Liter dry bag for clothing and other gear – this will be packed in our gear packs".  So they provide the big gear bags.  At Philmont, I required our crew to put clothes and sleeping bags in dry stuff sacks.  I then got them all trash compactor bags to line their backpacks and roll down for double protection.  I would take a similar approach to NT.  Keep those individual dry bags for clothes and sleeping bags and put that inside the large 25-30 liter dry bag.

None of us have been to NT.  I'm taking the list they provide and trying to fine tune it based on the experience of others.

 

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