Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Old School Backpacking – My 1994 load-out for the North Boundary Trail

you’ll see in this picture that I’m
showing you right now it’s me sitting on a bridge somewhere after Willow Creek I
think it’s um I think it’s the bridge over mud Creek and I’m reading a book
and this is the book that I’m reading on that picture and it’s inscribed and if
you look at it on the inside I’ll show you the detail on the inside but read on
the north boundary trail Jasper between August 10th 18 1994 so and my own
adventured Marty so you know who knew back then how far I would take hiking
but yeah Tolkien The Hobbit was with me on my first adventure you hey ray I’m glad you’re here you can
help me do something I’m recreating the backpack that I used to carry back in
1995 last time I did the south boundary and I loaded it to show people what
it’ll actually the north boundary and I loaded it I want to show people it look
like but that thing is so heavy right now I’m gonna weigh it
so come help me wait oh I know hi if I remember correctly back in I
reloaded it so I still have all that gear from the good old days I reloaded
it and I think it weighs about 50 pounds I’m just trying to pick it up pretty
insane isn’t it yeah would you want to walk 150 kilometers with that on your
back the first few days are very hard use the old scale that we use for
suitcases when the airlines don’t allow you more than 50 pounds put it the other
way okay this one and then hook it up pray oh that’s good enough that’s good
enough 55 pounds fifty-five pounds so I just want to I’m
gonna take this apart inside the house and just show you some of the old gear
that I had so this is this is my 1995 setup I’ll show you pictures I still
have the pictures from those days and you can see most of the gear that I’m
going to show you from the pictures in 1995 and then as a serie as part of this
I’m just gonna do like a three or four part series quick video I’m gonna show
you the evolution of some of the gear since 1995 so I’m gonna show you the
evolution of sleeping systems mattresses and sleeping bags the evolution of
cooking gear the evolution of gps’s and things like that so I hope you enjoyed
this video yes again if that was all a little bit of silliness on my part I
didn’t have to go to the shop to to weigh my pack but I you know YouTube is
all about trying to be creative and keep finding new ways to do things so yeah
what I wanted you know I wanna I said this I’ve been wanting to do this for a
while I mean coming up in June will be the 35th anniversary so June 6 to 11
1985 is when I did my first hike and I was looking through old pictures and you
know these will be posted on the I’ll put proper pictures of these while
they’re on the video you can see them on the video but you know when I was
looking at these old pictures I realized I still have all this gear and and I’m
not your head a lot of people a lot of guys out there and gals like to review
gear I’m not a gear head I buy gear when I need new gear because something breaks
you know I had the same tent for 15 years I’ve had my MSR cook set for a
long time I am buying newer stuff I am trying to go lightweight because I’m
getting into packrafting in the pack raft adds another 10 pounds to my gear
so I have to try and shave 10 pounds somewhere but fundamentally I’m not a
gear head I’m not a guy who goes out and buys new gear every six months just for
the sake of it but but I do have quite a bit of gear and I thought it’d be
interesting to show you folks what gear look like in 1995 when when these
pictures were taken and and what it looks like today so
before I get into the whole series let’s just unpack my pack from 1995 and show
you some of that gear all right look at this beast look at this beast this is
this pack isn’t camp trails and I’ll focus on it but it’s a single
compartment it doesn’t even zip in at the bottom and I remember I mean that
the belt is not that comfortable this pack has done a lot of miles with me I
remember walking in and I remember the day I did the week or so that I did the
north boundary with this you know 55 to 60 pound beast and putting a branch over
my shoulder and lifting because those first few days were so incredibly heavy
so um let’s let’s empty the pack and show you what what I was carrying in oh
I have a video I’ll show actually in part of the video I’ll show you
something from years ago when I actually took this out and assembled it in in the
living room this is a this is a Eureka tent I don’t even know what model it is
but just to show you just to talk about it briefly I mean it weighs a ton this
was the first tent that I bought my first very first tent was a cheap cheap
cheap nylon red with a blue tarp what I call a Canadian Tire special which is a
Canadian hardware store and that tent was about $10 ten so this was the first
sort of brand-name tent that I bought and I’m just want to put it on the scale
here and you’ll have to trust me or all that I’ll show you guys in a second 2.8 kilograms
Wow 2 point 8 kilograms I’ll do the math and you know roughly it’s it’s 3
kilograms it’s it’s almost 6 pounds 6 pounds for 2 men you actually I just turned the ground for
for its weight it’s actually a a humongously spacious tent you know it’s
very spacious there’s one bowl I bet you’d still
waterproof and that’s another quite another comment I get I don’t use a
ground tarp the other tent the tadpole I have at least 300 days of sleeping in
the tadpole in every kind of weather and I’ve never used a ground sheet for it so
so you know this tent it’s it’s flimsy it is what it is it’s elf but it was a
great idea or you know this was probably the original one of the original to pull
designs this tent actually served me well over
the years and it is an extremely spacious it’s a very simple
straightforward nylon tent with a you know two pulls and then you can see it
in the video when I’m Assembly me but I just want to show something balls alone
for this thing our fiberglass and you know easton aluminum poles did not exist
just just a single pull just one pole weighs 338 grams so almost a pound for
just one pole and there’s three of them to assemble the tank so you’ll see in
the video this was I carried this proudly now the next part of the setup that I
want to show you is is the therm-a-rest and you know like many people into very
early beginnings I use a foam cheap foam mattress but eventually I got a therm
rest actually I should wait this therm rest just just before so the therm rest
this therma rest weighs 685 grams but check this out in order to save weight this is a barely half length as they
call it a 3/4 length but it’s it’s a half length nice it’s about half length
so to save weight I would just inflate this underneath my back and my feet
would still be on the ground so and this is supposedly a self inflating one they
will not self inflate these days but if you inflate this trust me the thickness
is not much more than the half an inch to maybe three-quarters of an inch so
that was I was part of the Sleep System in those days was in the video these aren’t the boots that
I’m wearing in the video but in the video and/or in the picture I’m wearing
these you’ll see I’m wearing work boots and I remember I was wearing work boots
because my employer I had to buy work boots for work and so they I was cheap I
was a barely out of university I graduate in 1991 so by 2000 or by 1994 I
was still paying off a lot of debt and not very rich so I hiked in a pair of
steel-toed work boots and that concept is crazy and I remember the blisters I
had and how painful it was you know not an experience pretty shortly after that
I replaced my boots and finally got a pair of boots but just just a pair of
steel-toed boots it’s an insane proposition today you now I have pictures where I have an old
round canteen on the back of my backpack but in in these videos in these again on
the side of on this picture and I’ll put the picture up on the screen you can see
that I had this reliance brand Cantina it’s like a 1 litre canteen and I mean
this thing was on my hip for many many many years and today you know
everybody’s using smart bottles and Nalgene bottles in no particular order but I’m just
pulling out things and again in some of the pictures I have not on these
pictures but in another picture it’ll show the rope so this is the rope
this is rope that I carried with me it’s it’s very dusty and it’s it’s uh it’s
not that cheap yellow rope it’s a good rope
I actually braid at the end here so again the idea of we have cheap plastic
rope you know that yellow stuff but we didn’t I wouldn’t have known to go
looking for paracord or things like that I mean this weighs a weight real quick 336 grams now this is perhaps one of my favorite
old pieces of gears just to reminisce on this so one of the areas over the years
have really improved a lot is on clothing you know even now I’m wearing a
Columbia titanium synthetic shirt but you know this you’ll see in one of the
pictures this towel is hanging I mean look at this thing this is I would have
brought this out with me I still have it as sort of a keepsake a towel wool will
cut off gloves I don’t know why I used to like these so much but wool and then
of course I featured so the one piece of synthetic clothing I had in those days
was my beautiful North Face shirt that I still own this shirt has been with me
for 30 years and I still wear it and it’s in this indestructible but more
commonly in those days I would have just worn a plain old cotton t-shirt and
there’s an everybody knows that there’s nothing worse than a cotton t-shirt
trying to hang a cotton t-shirt at the end of the day cotton just doesn’t
doesn’t dry like synthetic I had synthetic pants but you’ll see in the
picture I’m also wearing army surplus pants which way the time and then of
course I had a blue sweater in those days this is a this is actually as a
sentimental sweater this is a sweater that my neighbor in Fox Creek nice old
lady older lady sorry knitted this for me she
died and and so I took a sweater like this on many trips but you know the idea
of and there’s nothing else in there I would have had cotton socks and with
cotton and wool socks but we we didn’t we didn’t have access to the Mountain
Equipment co-op or or stores that we take for granted today selection was
limited a few ordered stuff you ordered it online
and you got what you got I tell people that I sell them carried
flashlights in the good old days here’s a here’s a mag light and reason reason
mag light I didn’t bring flashlights very often I would have on a longer trip
is because they take two double-a batteries so the weight of this thing
with two double-a batteries is significant and the other thing is all
you have is one incandescent light bulb on the end and a spare there used to be
a spare in the bottom here still is this thing throws barely enough light for the
for the weight that you carry so the event the weight to it to to benefit
ratio of this thing is minimal so I very seldom would have brought a flashlight now this is perhaps the coolest piece of
gear that I still have and it’s it works but it’s crooked than this damage but
check this out you know in this is my first canister
stove and I and I remember it’s the blue a camping gas stove and check this out
once you puncture this you cannot reseal it so what we would do is you would you
would put the canister in the bottom and then screw the stove on top and then it
would puncher the canister this is still full I’m taking a chance opening it but
it punctured the hole and then you had to keep the caster going and then it
even came with a base and I’m just gonna weigh this whole assembly as is just
first crazy and I’ll do close-ups but 610 grams 610 grams weight tell ya I’d
do the follow-up series where I show the evolution of stoves I mean this is
insane by today’s standards and I still got an empty canister but hand in hand
with the fact that I have my stove is the fact that I also still own and used
quite frequently my MSR Alpine set now 10% propane now in the pictures you can
see I have two of these little aluminum pots I don’t have the rest of the pots
but these were this came from a Cub Scout kit here’s a picture of one of
those kids and what it was it was a bottom frying
pan a top plate this went inside and then you also had a cup and I still have
one of those cups you’ve seen you’ve seen these cups so I this this little
cup scout cooks a team so I still have one of these pots subsequently I replace
it with a stainless steel pot but you’ll see the evolution this is aluminum which
fell out of favor a long long time ago and of course a lexan spoon and I would
bring a bowl in those days and in the picture it’s a you’ll see a yellow bowl
but I had a way than a yellow plastic bowl and of course my trusted cup I have
several of these this one I got for free from oil week magazine again I didn’t go
out of my way to buy here I would get free gear or find something around the
house it was suitable and use it so in that something I still encourage people
you can go out hiking you don’t have to on day one to go start and buy five
thousand you know five hundred dollars worth of gear you’d be surprised at what
you can find around the house that is suitable and then here’s a sleeping bag
that I took on that trip and you can barely see it but it’s the stretch that
Trek TR e kkae and it’s the cycle model promoted as as the one you took cycling
and again if I do a quick weight of this thing fourteen hundred and ninety grams
so 1.5 kilogram which is almost 3 pounds three pounds for a sleeping bag that
honestly had a rating of about 5 degrees Celsius and I remember on that trip
freezing every night and staying up by the fire as late as possible because
because it was so cold and this is this is just a square sleeping bag with with
a thin lining of insulation basically and nothing fancy to this today but
today’s standards this is almost a liner is what it is but it’s very heavy and
did not provide a lot of insulation so between being on the ground and having a
small three-quarter length therm arrest or was half inch thick and this it
wasn’t very comfortable sleeping but I you know that’s the other thing that
lots of people need to understand about hiking is you’re not matching the
comforts of home you have to you know you you can’t go I’ve said it many many
times you can’t go you have to lower your expectations you’re gonna be cold
you’re gonna eat less calories it might not be as tasty as home you’re gonna be
wet you’re gonna be uncomfortable you’re gonna have bugs and things like that but
you can’t completely replicate the the experience of being at home and nor
would you want to or maybe you do but I would not want it so there you have it
just a quick review of what my pack look like in nineteen and ninety four when I
did the north boundary didn’t break out the food the food wasn’t fundamentally
much different than it is today prepackaged dehydrated foods existed on
a trip like that I would have brought a cup of soups and rice and I would have
eaten well and Smokies the the same things that I currently bring noticeably
missing are things like you know no headlamp that would have been too heavy
no GPS that did not exist no water filter existed but unreliable what else
was missing no folding chair no espresso machine no coffee filters no inReach
Oh bear spray there’s a bear spray that you saw hanging on there
I would have I don’t think I would have brought a bear spray actually maybe they
didn’t even exist I don’t think I would have brought a bear spray anyways there
you go hope you enjoy that so now part two three four five of this
series is I will I will do a little more in-depth review of the evolution of
different pieces so the evolution of sleeping gear cooking gear tents and a
few things like that so if you enjoyed this give me a big like hit that
subscribe button and by all means provide me lots of comments you

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