First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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AdamIsAngry
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First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by AdamIsAngry » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:31 pm

We will be making our first foray back country back packing at Isle Royale. First time ever, not just at Isle Royale. Although we do have extensive experience camping, hiking etc. in National Parks across the US. I have gone over the thread and read over some suggestions, but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. What would you bring to Isle Royale? I am planning on going in late August or early September for 3 or 4 days.
Here is a list of supplies I plan on taking:

Solo tent
29 degree sleeping bag
Camelback UVA water purifier
6 MREs per person
Dewalt flashlight
Battery pack

Thank you for your help and suggestions.

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thesneakymonkey
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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:39 pm

MREs are heavy and honestly not that flavor full. There are plenty of better dehydrated foods out there. Check out packit gourmet. They are great. You wont need 6 per person for a 3-4 day trip. Typically hikers will eat them for dinner and have a "no cook" meal for lunch (think tortillas, trail mix, bars, cheese, etc). You'll want a little backpacker stove like the MSR pocket rocket. Along with a mini bic lighter to light it and fuel can to fuel it. Youll also want a spoon to eat it with! Long handled spoons are the best imo, bc then your fingers wont get sticky reaching down into the food bags.

29 deg bag is sufficient but make sure you dont just buy a big Walmart synthetic bag. They are heavy and too bulky to pack up.

I carry a different style filter (sawyer squeeze) but too each their own on that one. That's a personal preference thing.
Edit: See posts below detailing how your UV filter is not adequate for IR

I would leave the flashlight behind and get a headlamp instead. Hands free is optimal when camping/hiking.

There are plenty of gear lists online that you can look up. Be cautious to not over pack. I personally like my pack around 20-25lbs max. Your trip will be far more enjoyable with less weight. Speaking of packs: go get fitted for one before purchasing.

Here is a list from REI (includes 10 essentials): https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice ... klist.html
Last edited by thesneakymonkey on Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Trip #1: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:01 pm

https://lighterpack.com/r/3aj3lu

here is my list if you are curious. If it is marked as 0lbs its because it is in my husbands pack. We always hike together and are able to share gear accordingly. A few of the items are out of date and not accurate anymore. But you can get the jist of the types of items to bring.
Trip #1: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2: Coming soon!
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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:10 pm

thesneakymonkey wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:01 pm
If it is marked as 0lbs its because it is in my husbands pack.
Now I get where your nickname comes from. :D :D :D

Have you ever tried to sneak a box of wine or a couple of beers? :oops: :roll:
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:41 pm

Midwest Ed wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:10 pm
thesneakymonkey wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:01 pm
If it is marked as 0lbs its because it is in my husbands pack.
Now I get where your nickname comes from. :D :D :D

Have you ever tried to sneak a box of wine or a couple of beers? :oops: :roll:
hahaha :D Our packweights are usually pretty similar. I carry the food he carries the shelter. We each carry our own sleep system. Then as we get further down the trail and my bag lightens (due to us eating the food), we take a few things out of his bag to add to mine. haha.

I have snuck a pint of fireball into his pack before though! How did you know ?! :oops: :lol:
Trip #1: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2: Coming soon!
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife

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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by Tom » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:25 pm

Welcome to the forum, AdamisAngry. Thesneakymonkey provides good observations and if you've camped before, backpacking just changes the "should I pack it" with a weight and space consideration. Afterall, you need to carry everything with you.
One note, however - If your water purifier works on UV similar to the Steripen, you will need to bring something else. The NPS notes that the UV Sterilizers are not effective against a tapeworm egg that is found on the Island.
I'm presuming you are packing routine gear, like rain gear...


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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:37 pm

Adam:

Your Camelback UV water purifier is not suitable for Isle Royale. You need a filter that is no larger than 0.4 microns in size or bring all your water to a roiling boil for one minute in order to eliminate the potential danger from Tapeworm eggs.

See page 4 of the Isle Royale 2017 newsletter.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by DonNewcomb » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:09 am

I didn't notice a sleeping pad or rainwear on your list. As others have mentioned, MREs are heavy because the RE part means "ready to eat". When you pack MRSs you're packing a lot of water.

P.S. If you do bring MREs, you should probably break them down first to get rid of a lot of the packaging. The cardboard and heavy outer bag not only weigh a lot, they take up a lot of space. These things are designed to survive being dropped out of an airplane. Way too much packaging for normal backpacking.
Last edited by DonNewcomb on Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by JavaHiker » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:30 am

Just curious: what clothing items are you packing, and what type of pack? In addition to the possibility of rain, temperatures by early September can vary wildly. While I try to keep weight down, at that time of year the least I bring is lightweight fleece gloves and a similar hat, along with a second layer to slip into if needed. In the right conditions I'm good with wearing the same outer layer multiple days, but several pairs of socks (not cotton) for dry feet after a day of hiking helps keep blisters at bay and toes warm.

The pro's and con's about MRE's have been debated in backpacking forums in other areas for years. It really is a personal choice, but the the big question is: how many calories does each provide? If you are planning 4 days, that figures to less than two meals per day per person. If each meal averages 1200 to 1300 calories it may not provide the fuel you need for longer hikes.

If you are planning on backcountry camping (not using the designated campsites), a trowel and TP are imperative. In fact you will be instructed on specific Leave No Trace principles when you obtain and sign for the permit.

A minimal first-aid kit is essential...
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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by jerry » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:23 pm

All the above is good, plus make sure your boots are broken in and the socks as previously stated are important. I believe in wool socks.


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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by zims » Sun May 27, 2018 10:32 pm

Welcome,
Ditch the MRE's and try mountain house pro packs, get a good headlamp, with new batteries in it you should not need spares. I would maybe use a colder sleeping bag, nights on the island can still get very very cold when the night dampness rolls in. We use a platypus water filter and each carry 2 nalgenes., You can find a plastic flask at walmart or any store that will hold a pint of a treat for at night. Best advice is take the advice from those who have learned from mistakes. Pack it right at home so it doesn't cost you later. Remember the higher a r-value on a blow up sleeping pad, the warmer it will be. Happy hiking

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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by Base654 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:24 pm

I just got back from 6 nights, we (2) used this filter for two people at about two gallons per person per day with no problems.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sawyer-Produ ... 61&veh=sem


this is the only head lamp I carry on the island. I read for about two hours a night for 6 nights with no problems (old batteries too). There is a lot of light most of the night most nights.

https://www.rei.com/product/109951/petzl-elite-headlamp

a friend who lives on the island turned me on to these lights and I have fallen in love with them. Just one lights up a shelter all night for a few hours of charging during the day. Even on the cloudy days we had this time around. I had it in my tent and I swear I had a 100 watt light bulb.

https://www.rei.com/product/124869/mpow ... ar-lantern

My friend used his 15 degree bag with out problem. I used my 0 degree and was comfortable. my point is make sure your bag is comfortable for you. I HATE being cold so I carry extra.


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Re: First time back country camper. What to bring to Isle Royale?

Post by pyrowaves » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:54 am

Ii you do ditch the MRE's(which are heavy),

I recently got a big pack of Mountain house from Costco.com for good pricing. $65 for 13 packages. Some of which could be split into multiple meals depending on how much you want to eat.

https://www.costco.com/Mountain-House-P ... 71489.html

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