Boreal Snowshoe Expedition Gear List

•  1 pair 10-inch high Tingley (or similar) rubber overboots
•  Felt Boot Liners: the best I’ve seen are from Steger Mukluks
•  Insulative Boot Insoles
•  Sleeping Bag rated to at least -20 degrees
•  Sleeping Pad (or 2). Having enough insulation between you and the ground so that you lose no heat through conduction is huge. An extra closed-cell foam pad is less than $10 and will keep you warmer.
•  Tarp: No smaller than 8′ x 10′
•  Long Underwear: 2 pairs (no cotton)
•  Wool Socks: 3-4 pair (no cotton)
•  Wool or fleece Shirt
•  Wool Pants: 1 pair
•  Windproof jacket and pants (can be rain gear)
•  Rain Gear – should be sized to fit over cold weather clothes, can double as windproof gear
•  Parka or warm Jacket
•  Warm winter hat or 2
•  Mittens
•  Leather Work Gloves
•  Sun Glasses
•  Personal Toiletries
•  Flash Light or Head Lamp
•  Snowshoes: 1 pair. Snowshoe Sales & Repairs and Lure Of The North both carry traditional snowshoes. Both the Huron and Bear Paw styles have been used successfully on past expeditions. Get them big. If you have questions about sizing, give us them a call. Keep in mind that we’ll be in wilderness conditions with deep snow. Most modern snowshoes are made for packed trails or mountaineering.
– Another option is the military magnesium snowshoe if you weigh less than 170 pounds. (google “military magnesium snowshoe” and you’ll find a bunch of pairs for sale)
– Don’t purchase bindings, as we’ll be making them.
•  Cup for Hot/Cold drinks (unbreakable)
•  Plate, bowl, fork, spoon

Cook Kit

•  Cook pot with a bail handle Will be used for cooking food and boiling water in the field, so don’t get one that’s too small (because it’s a pain to boil drinking water a thimble at a time). The link below is to a pail that many have used with us over the years, but there are lots of options for an individual 2-quart pail.
•  2 quart stainless pails (the word ‘pail’ usually indicates that it has a bail handle). These are available from feed stores or Amazon, and are usually used for milking or for pets. They are less expensive than outdoor cook pots. A benefit to a pail over an outdoor cook pot is that they nest: small on the bottom, wide on top. This allows you to take several pots but only taking up the footprint of one. The other pots listed do not share this characteristic. This is important because you’ll be using your pot not only for cooking food, but also for purifying drinking water in the field (by boiling). Consider getting 2 or 3 of them. Another option is a 16 cm Zebra pot. Note that the downside to these is that that multiple pots will not nest.
•  2 quart pail.
Lids for these pails were a challenge to find for a number of years. These stainless 6″ pie plates fit them perfectly, and do double duty as a plate for eating food. They come in packages of 2.
•  Stainless 6″ Pie Plate. These fit the pails perfectly and are used as pot lid, extra plate, etc.
•  1-quart stainless bowl for eating out of. This one nests with the pail and the pie lid. More about this bowl is in this blog post.
•  Check out this short video on the Jack Mountain Pot System.
•  Pot grabber. Useful for pouring, grabbing hot pot lids, etc. Fits inside pot for travel. MSR Pot Lifter.
•  Water Bottle with wide mouth (non-insulated metal water bottles can be put directly on the stove, a bonus)
•  Notebook and pen/pencil
•  Duffle bag to carry your gear when snowshoeing. This is to hold all your personal gear when traveling. It is important that the bag have no rigid frame, such as an external or internal frame backpacks, so that it will ride well on the toboggan.
Another consideration is the width of the bag when filled. If it is wider than the toboggan, it will act like a big anchor being dragged through the snow. An economical choice is a canvas parachute cargo bag. These are narrow enough for the toboggans. The toboggans are 16 inches wide, so plan for something a bit more narrow. You may need to get 2 to hold all your gear. They can be lined with a trash bag, and also treated (way before the trip) and turned into waxed canvas or oilskin.

Tool List

•  Sharp Knife, fixed blade (non-folding) – We recommend the Morakniv #106, as well as the Frosts Mora #2 Carbon Steel. There are many options here.
•  Match Case, waterproof – You should always have matches with you. These inexpensive match cases have increased their price 100% in recent years, but they are still only $2. Coghlan’s Match Case. There are lots of others that work just as well, including expensive milled aluminum, etc. Lighters also work, but you should always have something in your pocket to light a fire.
•  Axe with Sturdy Leather Sheath (no hatchets) – handle should not be shorter than 25″. Contact Pole And Paddle Canoe for old, high-quality axes.
•  2 Files (mill bastard, flat), 6 inches long. Something like this. We use these to keep axes sharp. If you get a second one, you can make a crooked knife out of it.
•  Folding Bucksaw. Added for 2023. For why and the recommended saws, see this blog post.

Optional Gear

•  Camera
•  Orienteering compass
•  Ice fishing gear
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