Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Christmas in March

Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photo by David Spadavecchia

During my 15 year tenure as an outdoorsman I have come to learn that the success of a trip lives and dies on two basic principles; inspiration and proper planning.
The bedrock of any of my adventures has always been inspiration. When I am inspired I am encouraged to explore new places, research the local culture, weather patterns, and unique terrain. With a new arsenal of inspired knowledge I am then motivated to dive into the logistics of my trip.

Any adventure whether it be big or small requires planning.

How much food do I bring? How much fuel do I need? Do I need a water filter? What’s the terrain like? What is the local and most recent weather? Can I have an open fire? What kind of tent? How many pairs of socks should I pack? And on and on it goes. But as laborious as these questions seem, answering them is incredibly helpful, ney essential, for any trip. They give me direction so that when I walk into MEC I know what I need and am ready to gear-up. 

And like any unabashed ‘gear-head’ such as myself, MEC is far too much of a candy-shop to go in without at least some direction.

So when I plan a trip, for example a week of cross country skiing in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, I make a gear list. Then when I walk out feeling like its Christmas in March, I feel ready and inspired all over again. 

Check out the gear list for our trip to Sleeping Giant Park.

( ) Wool and/or Synthetic Socks
( ) Base Layer Top - Synthetic, wool or silk
( ) Base Layer Bottoms - Synthetic, wool or silk
( ) Mid-Insulation Layer Top - Pile (fleece), light synthetic fill or wool sweater/jacket
( ) Mid-Insulation Layer Bottom - Pile pants or multipurpose pants
( ) Light Wind Shell - Windproof, water resistant layer for high aerobic work 
( ) Weather Layer Top - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable jacket
( ) Weather Layer Pants - Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable pants
( ) Warm Outer Jacket - Down or synthetic 
( ) Toque - Wool or Synthetic
( ) Light Gloves - Wool, synthetic or leather
( ) Insulated Gloves or Mitts - Wool or synthetic, w/ weather proof outershell
( ) Gaiters - if pants do not secure over boots
Travel Equipment
( ) Skis
( ) Boots
( ) Poles
( ) Skins and/or Waxes
( ) Snow Shoes
( ) Ski Crampons - Optional, useful in spring or hard tracks
( ) Sled for hauling
( ) Pack - Light, and comfortable
( ) Sleeping Bag
( ) Sleeping Pad
( ) Extra Clothing - socks, underwear, top and bottoms base layer
( ) Eating Bowl, Cup and Utensils
( ) Toilet Paper
( ) Sunglasses or Goggles
( ) Sun and Lip Cream
( ) Head Lamp
( ) Insulated Water Bottle or Thermos
( ) Blister Kit
( ) Pocket Knife
( ) Personal food items
( ) Tent or Shelter
( ) Light Tarp - For cooking shelter
( ) Ground sheet - optional
( ) Multi-purpose cord
( ) Stove
( ) Stove Repair Kit
( ) Pots
( ) Fuel (Fuel needs are calculated as follows and assume that we will be melting snow for drinking water: 1/2 -3/4 of a liter/day/person.)
( ) Lighter and Matches
( ) Cooking Utensils
( ) Pot Lifter
( ) Water Filter
( ) Cleaning Scrubby and Soap
( ) Spice Kit
( ) Group Food
( ) Food Hanging Setup
( ) General Repair Kit - to repair packs, tent, clothing, thermarest, etc.
( ) Saw or Axe if fires appropriate
( ) Fire Starter
( ) Boot Waterproofing
( ) Map and Compass or GPS
( ) Snow Study Kit - Screen, magnifier, ruler, thermometer etc. 
( ) Snow and/or Bush Saw
( ) First Aid Kit
( ) Emergency Sac - Nylon tarp or envelope sack to cover group or injured member
( ) Two-way Radio or Cell Phone or Sat phone

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