Leaves changing in the north woods

Gear for the canoe pack as the weather gets cooler

September is here and the sun is setting noticeably earlier now then it did just six weeks ago. The loons are starting to raft up and have begun consultations in preparation for their move to southern waters. And, over the last few nights there has been somewhat of a chill in the air, fall is on its way.

And while another season is drawing to a close, there will still be some great days and nights on the canoe trail. In anticipation of those chilly nights ahead I would like to share with you a few things you might want to think about adding to the canoe pack to stay warm.

Quicklace Mukluks from Chota are going to be a requirement especially if you have a Kevlar boat. Wet-footing the landings and takeoffs in cold water are much more pleasant in a neoprene boot that protects up to the knee.  The boots also provide some much needed support as you climb up and down the Yum Yum portage.

SmartWool PHD socks in the medium weight will be the perfect companions for your Chota Mukluks. These socks are Merino wool, therefore making them extremely soft, very breathable, and odor resistant, even in boots. Additionally, this sock is fully cushioned making long, cold portaging days a little more bearable.

The Duluth Pack Bedroll is an excellent addition to a late season pack headed into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or the Quetico. While many canoe trippers may simply opt to go to a heavier sleeping bag, I would recommend the bedroll to provide some flexibility. In cool weather it can be used outside a bag to provide warmth, and in warm weather you can simply lie on top of the bedroll.

IceBreaker Bodyfit long sleeve tops and matching bottoms in the 260 weight are a must have when tripping late season. During the day the Merino wool breathes and keeps you comfortable no matter what the air temperature. And, at night they keep you warm and toasty, as it gets cool in your tent. IceBreaker is also great for multiple days on trail because Merino is naturally odor resistant.

Cache Lake fry breads are good at anytime of the year, but to have something warm on your stomach can make a cool, fall day much easier. My favorite is the garlic for lunch or dinner, but the cinnamon raisin breakfast bread is a perfect start to the day. Get the pan nice and hot with a little oil, stove works great a fire isn’t necessary, and cook it just like a pancake. Fry breads are easy to make on trail or in camp, add a little syrup if you like.

Great stuff to get in the canoe pack this fall, and enjoy those fall colors while you are out on the water.

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