(Photo by jerryw387 Canoe on Pinetree Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Taken on August 12, 2008 Some rights reserved)

It has been a couple years since I had the opportunity for a multiday canoe camping trip in the backcountry. I am looking forward to a 4 day trip with a group of friends into the heart of Algonquin Provincial Park in search of some old growth white pines, not to mention some new memories around the camp fire.

We are traveling as a group of 4 with two canoes. So my thoughts have turned to preparations. We are all experienced canoeists and backcountry campers with all our own gear.

When planning a trip it is good to consider traveling light, but also having some elements of redundancy in your kit.Mountain Equipment Co-op has a packing list available on their website for Algonquin newbies.

Here is my personal packing list as well as our communal packing list

Personal Packing List

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Trip Plan left with friends of family
  • First Aid Kit(s)
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook
  • Pencils
  • Shoes
  • Hiking Boots
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bathing Suit
  • Clothes (short and long sleeve)
  • Warm sweater
  • Rain Coat
  • Shorts/Pants
  • Lifejacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Headlamp
  • Flashlight
  • Matches/Lighter/Firestarter
  • Backpack
  • Dry Bags
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad

Communal Packing List

  • Camping Permit
  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • Stove/Fuel
  • Utensils
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water filter
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Canoe
  • Paddle /Extra Paddle
  • Duct Tape
  • Bailer
  • Rope
  • Carabiners
  • Hatchet/Axe/Saw

*Change of clothes at take-out point.

What would you suggest adding or subtracting to this packing list? (Be sure to leave a comment below) Planning and packing is always an interesting exercise in economy of both space and weight. You don’t want to under pack or over pack, you just want to be prepared. Over the years I have packing for my trips quite refined and rarely come out of the backcountry with clean clothing (which means I used it all as planned).

Below is a video I found of some adventurers who visited a stand of virgin old growth White Pines (Pinus strobus) which can reach over 35 m (or about 10 storeys) in height and about 3 meters in circumference (12 feet).

The majestic white pine (Pinus strobus) is the provincial tree of Ontario. They were historically used for masts on British Royal Navy ships and were specially reserved for the British Crown by being marked by the Broad Arrow. This protected or reserved status eventually led to the Pine Tree Riots in New Hampshire in 1772.