I might be undertaking possibly the craziest thing I have done so far – but “by gum” I’m going into it well prepared and not as some hippie with just a book on edible roots and berries (That was an “In to the Wild” reference). Anyway, what I am going to attempt (in about a month) is a 10 day Solo Snowshoeing trek through the Tonquin Valley just out side of Jasper.
There are two fair unique parts of this trip: first I will be alone in the winter – miles away from anyone or any cell signal; and second I will be for all but two days (where I will be staying at the Wade-Gibson ACC Hut) sleeping in what I have carried with me! All said and done I will have food for 14 days, fuel to melt water and cook for 14 days, clothing and a tent that can withstand temperatures of minus 30C and under minus 50C with a suitable snow base to dig into. I will have gear for traveling in deep snow (reports have it at over 10 feet deep), and for surviving freezing rain, and temperatures (while hiking) of minus 30C. I am prepared for the worst mother nature can throw at me.
Anyone that has done a long trip knows that food and fuel add up quick, and that winter gear is not synonymous with the word “light”…so after everything was weighed I have a 95L pack that weighs almost 75lbs. Add on another 7lbs of snowshoes, winter boots, and clothing not weighed with the pack and the total goes up to over 90lbs! I do pride myself in being a strong guy – but this I am sure will test my limits.
I once heard somewhere that “anything worth doing…is worth doing well” and I find no exception with camping – I have therefore prepped extensively and tested all of my gear on a two day “test run” at Upper Kananaskis Lake. The good news is that I can carry the pack and the the snowshoes work and support the 300+lbs of pack and “pack mule”: (i.e. myself). Also, as a very important precautionary measure I have invested in a SPOT – which is basically a private version of an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacons) that can signal (in good weather) a persons location via a combination of satellite transponder and GPS receiver – which was also tested on the trial run.
I will post some pictures of my adventure when I get back 🙂