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August 20, 2022: Day # 3: Congdon Creek Campground: Whatnot

I have become a car camper. I possess bins and totes and whatnot. Becky is a backpacker. She posses two (a big and small) backpacks and no whatnot. This morning she was up at 7:30 a.m. She had, when I staggered out of my tent, already packed up her tent and had her breakfast food out. She’d also begun heating water with her small Jetboil stove. Her stove fits into a container the size of a dental floss holder. Me, I have an older MSR Whisperlite, one that fits into a medium sized nylon bag. I didn’t have to start it because by the time I began eyeballing it, the water that we ended up sharing was already hot.

View on hike


The moment of truth made itself apparent shortly after as I finished putting my kitchen items back in the square wooden box that Pete had when I met him 30 plus years ago. Becky was packed and ready to go on safari. Me, I had not yet gotten my packing act together.

I pulled forth my backpack, previously used for airplane travel and search and rescue work, and set it next to my bear bin. I then filled the bear bin, which when I was done, was very heavy. “Huh. Should have packed more dehydrated food,” I said. As I eyeballed both pack and cannister, I realized that it was not going to fit into the backpack horizontally. So I put it in place vertically. This worked. The problem was that there was no room for my clothes, stove, ditty bag, sleeping bag, journal and book, and whatnot. I momentarily stood, pondering the situation. I was not going anywhere without my whatnot.

I tried to ignore the fact that I had become an object of curiosity. Other campers, who were coming and going, in and out of the shelter, stared at the sight. All my gear, it looked like I was getting ready for a yard sale. “Come and get it,” I muttered, “all the gear that’s fit for car camping.”

Becky, seemingly oblivious, studied maps while I jammed said items around the upright bear container then removed them. It was when I began whimpering that Becky came over and assessed the situation.
“Your pack is too small for your gear,” she said.
“I know,” I replied.
With that, she pulled forth the black bear container, turned it sideways, and jammed it down into the pack. Watching this, I noted that she has the strong hands and arms of a gardener.

I had pulled my clothing items out of my compression sack and stuffed them in the pack’s innumerable pockets. Becky removed socks and underwear and put them in the pack. Everything else, including my first aid kit, followed suit.

I was ready to go, sort of. I remained mum in asking how I’d get the cannister out of the pack for lunch.

Once again, I wished that I’d taken the time at home and better prepared for this adventure. How, I wondered, would I fare, carrying this load on an overnight trek? As it turned out, fate dealt me a good hand. We were told at the Kluane Lake Sheep Creek visitor center that we’d be better off doing a one day rather than a two-day hike because the proposed two day hike was marshy. Becky doesn’t do marsh. And so we instead did the one day Bullion trail. I was fairly prepared for this. I didn’t have a Camel Back dehydration pack; rather, I had a Nalgene water bottle, which I repeatedly had to remove from my pack in order to hydrate myself. And so, I did become dehydrated.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. I of course would prefer to do another day hike simply because I don’t have the gear for a longer trek. I’m going to remain mum about this and hope for the best.

Next: 228. 8/21:22: Gravel Pit Camping at its Best

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