This week we are going to go over the safety gear to take on a backpacking trip (Cape Chignecto, I’m looking at you)
Safety, safety, safety.
- If you are planning on the shortcut across the beach and/or accessing the beach anywhere along the trail-you will need awareness of the tide times. It’s best to do on the ebb tide-which means the tide has been full and it’s dropping- optimally no earlier than about 2 hours after is started going out.The Bay of Fundy takes no prisoners.. Please do not try to cross the beach to the trail head any later than 3 hours before high tide
Bring a copy of the tide times for the days you will be hiking along the coast in a sealed plastic bag.
- Topographic Cape Chignecto map-and compass Chignecto is pretty well marked.
- GPS (optional) I use a Gaia app on my phone and I really like it. There is a free and a paid version and it lets you create routes to download and save to your phone. It’s saved my butt a couple times from going the wrong way. There are others you can use as well.I suggest you play around with it and use it on some hikes before you get into the great unknown.
- Large sealed plastic bag to store guide, map, compass and GPS
If you’re feeling flush, a satellite handheld communicator is a great idea….The Garmin Inreach Mini is a popular brand -I see it’s on sale at Amazon and Bass Pro for about $350. My son gave me a Spot Gen 4 device. This is a less expensive option..it’s a GPS and it allows me to send one way texts and also had a SOS button in case I need help. Both these devices (and others, I suppose) have flex plan which allow me to subscribe month to month as I am not planning to become an off season backpacker. Yes, you need a subscription. I can tell you more once I try it out.
- Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
- Watch or phone (to use with the tide tables)
- Emergency Fire Starter/emergency blanket
- Personal first aid kit with blister care
- Prescription medication in a sealed, dry container.
- Sunscreen & Sunglasses
- Knife (one with a safety locking blade) Bass Pro has one for about $7.|
- Bear spray in holster … there aren’t many sightings of bears in Chignecto….generally they are shy and avoid people, but here are the suggested precautions for bear sightings. Better safe than sorry.
- Bear Bag and rope for hanging food.(Learn how to hang a bear bag here) If you are staying in the cabins on Chignecto, you can skip this.
- Repair kits for sleeping pads, tents and stoves. I usually bring a small amount of duct tape wrapped around a hiking pole- be sure if you do this you aren’t putting it in the way of collapsing the pole.
- Trip plan left with a friend-I’ve recently discovered the Adventure Smart app, which allows you to leave hiking plans with friends and family.
Next week, clothing and personal items!