Once every five years, it is generally a good idea to stop and take a hard look at one’s life and do an assessment. In this case, self-reflecting direct a person what they would like to do in the next five years and whether or not they are evolving.
So let see what was desired in the past and some of the current thought upon seeing these items:
External frame — Substituted. On the list for packrafting, and ULA EPIC was recommended by Hendrik Morkel, used by Andrew Skurka in the Yukon-Alaskan epic, and by the team in Arctic 1000. Stone Glacier KRuX will do in a pinch. Would like to try HMG Porter some day. The reason for the substitution is the use of Paradox Unaweep in packrafting by David Chenault.
1/2- or 3/4-length axes — Not yet purchased. Not necessary for winter camping if one has a batoning knife and folding saw. Popularized by Ray Mears and Paul Kirtley, and quickly became the standard in bushcraft community. Winters are long and the nights are dark. Would be a nice tool for the pulk.
Folding saw — Substituted with Silky Pocketboy which is a higher quality product and more readily available locally. Suspected Bahco Laplander is only more popular in the bushcraft community because of Ray Mears.
Tenkara rod — Not yet purchased. Technically, Daiwa Kiyose SF is not a tenkara rod but rather a keiryu. BackpackingLight Hane is no longer available, and Kiyose SF is a close substitute. More versatile for a backpacking rod. Fixed length lines make it unideal for fishing in the lowlands where walleyes and pikes are more common.
Telescoping rod — Not yet purchased. Shimano Catana is probably the lightest backpacking rod which can handle predators. Still doing research on flyfishing, backpacking, and northern pikes.
Packraft — Not yet purchased. Considering two packrafts: one for hauling meat up to the size of a caribou or moose upon the recommendation of Becca and Luke Moffat; he other for recreational purposes such as fishing and whitewater rafting up to Class III or IV courtesy of articles by Roman Dial and Luc Mehl. Weak currency as the result of Harper administration’s insistence of transforming Canada into a petrostate led to second thoughts.
Canoe — Moved away from the coastline in 2012. Instead of kayaks, a raft or canoe would be a better investment. ALLEY Canoe is the lightest skin-on-frame on the market. There are strong criticisms of inflatable kayaks, and one might as well use a packraft instead based on analysis of kneel speed.
Adventure camera — Not yet purchased. GoPro is the most accessible one on the market. Only want this for filming proof my dog can hunt. The high bar of standard was established by Scandinavian hunters thanks to frauds committed by Russian, American and Canadian show fanciers claiming the dogs can hunt, but were caught for staging pictures. Not a priority as other gears are more conducive to the user experience.
Shovel — Purchased SnowClaw for landscaping during winter camping. Advertised as the lightest snow shovel on the market. Need an avalanche shovel for more serious terrain.
Electric fence — Not yet purchased. Recommended by elk hunters in the northern Rockies to guard against predatory bears after a rifle shot. Bears developed a habit of charging people off of downed game.
Mountain rifle — Not yet purchased. Not high on the priority list since already has a Sako. Would like to get another rifle with stainless steel and synthetic stock to preserve the existing rifles with wooden stocks. Still undecided between Sako, Tikka, Kimber and Forbes. Need a lefthanded model.
Upland gun — Not yet purchased. Bought Baikal MP18 which was very unpleasant to shoot. Benelli Ultralight ended up on the wishlist based on media coverages. Considering a Yildiz instead based on pricing.
Rimfire rifle — Not yet purchased. Need a rifle to practice with. Plinking with .222 and .308 get expensive. Had the opportunity to inherit a CZ and regrets passing it up. Still looking for an affordable .22LR with transferable skills to the same action used by popular mountain rifle manufacturers.
Remote stove — Purchased. Kovea Spider based on reviews from Hikin’ Jim and Woodtrekker. Very good stove for the money. Should have gone with FMS 118 for an off-the-shelf lightweight stove. Roger Caffin offers custom work with BRS 300T or FMS 300T for the cost of parts, shipping and $110 to $130 for labour.
Winter mattress — Not yet purchased. Winter camping with Jervenbag was unpleasant. Snow kept melting and freezing. Need some cushion between the bag and snow.
Winter rucksack — Never purchased. GoLite Jam 70L seem to be highly recommended in lightweight backpacking community for winter hiking, but the company went bankrupt. Don’t see a reason to buy a separate winter backpack after purchasing Stone Glacier KRuX. Should not be difficult to MYOG bags.
Thru-hiking pack — Not yet purchased. Have not planned my first thru-hike yet, so this is on the backburner.
Hunting Backpack — Substituted with Stone Glacier Solo. Mystery Ranch recommended by Brad Anderson. Changed mind to Kifaru Bikini frame the year after due to comfort and lighter frame. Decided upon Stone Glacier or Paradox Evolution after reading an article about the definition of ultralight hunting by David Chenault. Looking at purchasing 6200 cubic inch or 7400 cubic inch bags for those packrafting hunting adventures.
Kicksled — Purchased ELSA kicksled from Quebec for keeping dog active outside of hunting season. Very well made. Has not yet used much due to unpredictable weather and deep snow.
Duck gun — Not yer purchased. Browning BPS recommended for left-handed shooters.
Combination gun — Not yet purchased. IZH-94 recommended by Sergei Bogatov in an issue of Primitive Aboriginal Dogs Society. Considering Haenel JAEGER 8.10 upon a suggestion by Teemu Siikamäki, but too cost-prohibitive. Not a priority at the moment. Most people in Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia get by with a .30-06 and downloading them for small game.
Sled harness — Not yet purchased. Got husky harness from Finland. Wheel harness from Howling Dog Alaska was recommended by Kevin Roberts of Skijor OxfordDogs. Unpredictable corner seasons and sudden snow dumps are the reason for disuse.
Skishoes — Not yet purchased. Started with a discussion about Altai skishoes. Поскряков was recommended by forum user “alpom”. Considering hunting skis from Finland, or using aboriginal wooden snowshoes which are said to be superior to Russian skishoes by Canadian trappers.
Compound bow — Not yet purchased. Need to build up the confidence with a bow and arrow. The recurve at the local archery club were not easy to learn on.
Tracking collar — Purchased. Garmin Astro 320 is recommended by Nordic hunters with dogs. Nordic model is legal in Canada; American model is not.
Bear gun — Never purchased. Bear paranoia is unwarranted and was too easily influenced by peers and family.
Skinning knife — Purchased Piranta EDGE. Recommended by backpack hunting communities such as Rokslide. Razor sharp. Buying the Bolt for a friend in Finland.
Ground blind — Purchased Jervenbag Extreme for moose-hunting in Alberta. Recommended by Brad Anderson. Found still-hunting to be too boring. Only used it a few times for winter camping. Too insulated for use as a blind. Considering replacing with -10°C sleeping quilt and an eVent bivy.
Dog vest — Purchased a Norwegian GPS vest from an unknown company. Recommended by Eirik Krogstad. Very good, would buy again. Considering one with capability for camera to be mounted.
Kayak — Never purchased. Moved inland. Don’t have a use for it anymore. Better off with ALLEY Canoe or a packraft. See 2015 wishlist for alternatives.
Mattress — Purchased. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Woman’s was recommended by West Coast Paddlers community. Not very comfortable. Closed foam SOLite is better.
Water bladder — Purchased. MSR Dromendaty was recommended by FoldingKayaks.org community due to fear of puncture and abrasion from reefs. Heavy. Replaced with Platypus SoftBottles.
Alcohol stove — Purchased. Trangia was recommended by West Coast Paddlers community. Bulky. Replaced with a homemade cat can for free. Willing to experiment with Trail Designs Caldera Cone and Zelph’s StarLyte.
Woodstove — Substituted. Neufeld MK I was suggested by West Coast Paddlers. Bought Vargo Titanium Hexagonal Woodstove and never used it due to fire bans and too much snow. Backcountry Boiler would have been more useful.
Seawater filter — Never purchased. Moved inland. Don’t need this complicated and expensive device.
Drysuit — Never purchased. Moved inland.
Waterproof camera — Never purchased. Nikonos was recommended by wildlife photographers and war photographers. Moved inland.
Crab trap — Never purchased. Moved inland.
Hammock — Purchased. Hennessey Hammock was recommended by West Coast Paddlers and FoldingKayaks.org for rocky coastlines. Sold when moved inland due to lack of good trees and rocks.
Paddling shoes — Never purchased. Moved inland.
As one can see, the list is dominated by unsupported wilderness travels. If there is a bit more interest in trail hiking or thru-hiking, the list will be radically different.