MY GEAR

My tent is an MSR Hubba one person tent. I bought it in 2006 for my east coast bike trip. It is small and light and I can sit up in it. I love it.

My MSR Hubba snuggled up to a friend's Big Agnes, in the Monashee Mountains of BC.

My MSR Hubba snuggled up to a friend’s Big Agnes, in the Monashee Mountains of BC.

A picturesque view of the MSR Hubba in Nova Scotia.

A picturesque view of the MSR Hubba in Nova Scotia.

My sleeping bag is new – it is an MEC Merlin rated to -10 C. It is also small and light. I didn’t realize until the first night of this trip that since it is a mummy bag and so can’t flip over, and since the door of my tent opens a certain way, that I should have gotten the sleeping bag with the zipper on the other side. Now, the bag opens on the side away from the door of the tent – sort of a hassel in the middle of the night when one goes out to pee. Otherwise this bag is good and warm and packs up very small.

Me, toasty warm in my MEC Merlin sleeping bag.

Me, toasty warm in my MEC Merlin sleeping bag.

My stove is an MSR Whisperlite. There is nothing whispery about it and it cooks fast and hot. Simmering is out of the question. Also small and light! Runs on white gas (naptha). (Or petrol or kerosene if you’re into smelling like gas and having black fingers!) Carry some spare 0-rings. I have seen folks using Trangia alcohol stoves, and if you are looking to lose weight one of these stoves might be a good option – you’ll get so bored waiting for your food to cook you’ll go straight to bed!

MSR Whisperlite in action - What? You can do other things with this than make coffee??

MSR Whisperlite in action – What? You can do other things with this than make coffee??

My mattress: a new Thermarest NeoAir. It is very light and small (the theme of the gear, of course). It takes 20-22 long, slow breathes to fill it, and it is about 5 cm thick when blown up. It makes sleeping very comfortable. It has some internal reflective material to keep body heat reflecting back up towards you, not disappearing into the ground all night. It is narrow! I find it is often a little soft in the morning – maybe due to colder nighttime air temperatures lately?

Fuzzball, Chief Gear Tester, giving the NeoAir a stamp of approval.

Fuzzball, Chief Gear Tester, giving the NeoAir a stamp of approval.

The Thermarest NeoAir - a much better sleep guaranteed!

The Thermarest NeoAir – a much better sleep guaranteed!

Look how small it is! Now you can fit that extra piece of cool clothing into your pannier!

Look how small it is! Now you can fit that extra piece of cool clothing into your pannier!

My panniers are a mismatched set. The rear panniers are from MEC and fully waterproof. They are very functional and hold alot of gear. I carry food, stove, sleeping bag, mattress, emergency kit, extra water, pots, journal, etc in the rear. Everything that has any weight to it. The front panniers were given to me by my friend Lothar and they are also very functional. They have little rain-proof slipcovers over them that I use all the time just to keep grime and sun off them. This is where I carry my clothing. They are much smaller and hold lighter gear than the rear panniers. (Addendum: my front panniers were completely trashed by the end of my cross-Canada trip and have been stripped of their useful bits and thrown out! I will likely get some Ortlieb panniers to replace them).

Showing drawstring inner closure of rear pannier.

Showing drawstring inner closure of rear pannier.

Well used and abused 46L MEC Aqua-Not Rear Panniers. These are great panniers, despite the goofy name.

Well used and abused 46L MEC Aqua-Not Rear Panniers. These are great panniers, despite the goofy name.

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