Equipment we like

Our Hilleberg Staika tent maybe heavy (4.2kg) but it is bombproof. In the windiest and stormy nights it kept us 100% dry and we always felt secure. We experienced stronger winds and sheet rain than ever before on a camping trip.

Our packs a Sealline Boundary 115 bought in Canada, a blue barrel with carry straps from Kondos Outdoors and two day waterproof rucksacks from Overboard all performed well.

For the lake and deepwater rivers, Geoff (bow) used a Grey Owl Bentshaft paddle and I (stern) used my trusty Bending Branches Beavertail. For white water and shallow rivers we also had our Kober Moll Top Flex White water paddels which are a little too heavy but we have badly treated them for years and they are still going strong.

All the above equipment had already been used for several seasons and was therefore fully tested!

We also had an aluminium split pole which we had adapted by tapping  screw threads into both ends to get more grip.

We bought a new ultrasil super light tarp beforehand to replace an old, leaking Mountain Equipment Coop tarp, which had years or service. That also worked well until we reached the Allagash. We did not drape it over the poles on the Allagash campsites except for one site where the pole was relatively smooth. The poles on Allagash campsites above the picnic tables have broken knots, nails and generally rough surfaces, not the ideal surface for pitching an expensive ultralight tarp. For these sites a cheap blue poly tarp would be more suitable for pitching above the picnic tables.

We purchased an Old Town Penobscot 17 for the trip and really liked it. It is such a shame that we could not bring it home with us.

Equipment problems


Because it was not clear to us what fuel would be available for purchase along the trail we bought an expensive multifuel Primus Omnilite T1 which cost about 200 Euro. This stove was temperamental, required continuous cleaning of the jets and we regret we did not go with our Coleman Featherlite 444. We have used Coleman Featherlite stoves for years and they have always been good and reliable and they cost half the price of the Primus Omnilite.

Canoe trolley

This has been referred to earlier in the blog.

Before departure we purchased a Zolzer Goldy 2 with airless tires. The frame itself has a steel bar and is well constructed and relatively light to carry when you cannot wheel a portage. The bearings of the airless tires melted in the first week. We bought a second cart in Saranac Lake and used only the tires with hubs to replace our airless tires. The outside walls of these air tires parted company with the tread after a week. We then bought new tires and inner tubes from a hardware store in Enosburgh falls. These tires together with the Zolzer Goldy 2 frame then lasted the journey.