Saturday, July 16, 2011

Into the arctic - Auyuittuq National Park - Gear List

Finally, it is time for my longest ever hiking trip (turns out to be the most expensive one too !!). This time next week, i shall be airbound to the remote wilderness of Auyuittuq National Park in the Canadian arctic. The 10 day trip would involve hiking 75kms through 6 Nights/7 days, 2 nights camping at the outskirts of Auyuittuq and 2 nights at a nice (&pricey) hotel in Iqaluit.

Just reaching Auyuittuq National Park takes 3 flights (Montreal->Ottawa->Iqaluit->Pangnirtung) and a boat ride !! Thats what makes this trip so exciting... There is so much uncertainty throughout the trip.

It has been a long search and i finally seem to be near the finale of 'to-purchase' lists... This has involved months of research and then finally choosing the right stuff that will last in the arctic. This was crucial because if you dont have it in your backpack, you just cant get it.

So here it is:

BackPack, Sleeping bag and tent

Backpack --> Gregory Palisade 80 - Superbly comfortable
Sleeping bag --> North Face Cat's Meow (-7C) - tried and tested on many hikes; extremely satisfied with this purchase (Thanks Pushkar! )
Thermarest prolite plus sleepig pad -- very comfortable
Pillow - light weight, compact, air fill
Summit Bag --> Gregory Miniwok 18L ( Nice little summit bag that is hydration compatible)
Tent --> MSR Hubba Hubba (2 person) - Superlight, easy setup, sturdy


Stove --> Optimus Nova+ expedition multifuel stove + 2 1L fuel bottles - Have read a lot of reviews and this one seems to be one amongst the best multifuel stoves. MSR also has a couple of good ones.
Backup stove --> Solid fuel stove (Open flames are not allowed in the Park - to be used only in case of emergency)
Kitchen Pot --> MSR Alpinist 2 - Lightweight, compact, foldable handle, plastic holder on lid for easy lift off
Fork/Spoon --> 2 in 1 from MEC
Knife --< Opinel #8 foldable knife
Stormproof, waterproof matches

--> Loads of stuff - 4-5 Kgs. MountainHouse, Backpackers pantry, Planters etc. Food is crucial on a trip like this and it is advised to carry atleast 1-2 days of extra food (Considering the fact that emergency response is measured in 'days' rather than hours! ) Everything from Chicken teriyaki to Pasta to Soups to Granola mixes...
--> Lots of Powerbar gels,bars,Nuts & Chocolate.
--> Electrolyte tablets that can be dissolved in water (Nice replacement for Gatorade- lightweight and less bullky)

Clothing & Footwear

Base Layer --> Polartek base layer from MEC (2) - lovely fit (It has been a struggle to find something that fits this well in North America !! )
Mid Layer --> Arcteryx Fleece - Simple, elegant, made of Polartek material
Outer Layer --> Kanuk (-40C rated sturdy jacket), Arcteryx rain shell (Made of Goretex Paclite - ligthweight, waterproof)
2 Half sleeve 100% polyester T shirts (cotton is not advisable for cold conditions as it soaks in moisture)
1 full sleeve Polyester T shirt
2 Hiking shorts - Columbia
1 North Face convertible hiking pant
1 Skiing pant - with a woolen base layer and waterproof outer layer
1 woolen sweater (just in case! Taking no chances...)
Glove liners, Woolen Kanuk Tuque
Waterblocker sealskinz socks (for river crossings)
North Face Vibram/goretex  hiking shoes - (Dont recollect name of the model. Light weight, comfortable and breathable+waterproof)
Merell waterpro sandals (for river crossings)


Emergency survival blanket for 2 - for hypothermia
Adventure medical kit - ultralight 5
Tent repair kit
Thermarest repair kit for sleeping pad
Sewing kit & adhesive
Duct tape - for backpack/sleeping bag etc
Goretex patches - waterproof patches for outer layer repair.
Spare laces
Insect repellant
Mosquito net for head/neck


Iridium Satellite phone - works decently well in the Arctic
Hydration pack 2L Camelbak
Nalgene 1L bottle
Columbia 750ml bottle
Trekking poles - Black Diamond ultralight (250g)
MSR water pump+ filter
Straps+cords etc.
D90 Nikon camera + 18-105 lens (looking around for wide angle lens)

I still have some items in my 'to-purchase' list which includes Polar bear repellants, spare batteries for D90 and a service kit for the stove.

I hope all this helps me get back in a single piece !! Whatever be the result, I am surely going to enjoy this one till the end !!


Anonymous said...

All the best Atma. I wish you have safe and nice trip. -daroga

R Athmanathan said...

Thanks Daroga - Will give an update once back.

Brijesh said...

Sounds amazing! All the best have a time of your life and return safe.

Also if there is anything in you will that you left for me, drop me a mail, so I can follow up after ... Just in case, u see.

Go rock the arctic!!

R Athmanathan said...

Thank You Brijesh.. Have been planning this for more than six months now. Really looking upto it.
Will keep you posted for activities that may be appropriate for you :-)