Credit: Kevin Callan

I’m a relatively organized camper when it comes to packing up gear.

My clothes, tent and sleeping bag come in colour coordinated stuff-sacks and my food is separated into breakfast, lunch and dinner bags. However, when it comes to packing away all those odds-n-sods — random items that are needed on trip but have no apparent designated spot in your pack — I’m more then a little disorderly. I simply place them in a waterproof container that’s properly titled my “Chaos Bag.”

I’m not sure if I’m the only camper out there that has a collection of jumbled gear. I’m guessing I’m not. Here’s a list (and video, below) of what’s inside my collection of misfit items packed. I made it during my latest outing — a 10-day family canoe trip in Algonquin Park.

Do you have a pack of James Bond playing cards stored away? Let me know what’s in your chaos bag.

1. Outdoor Research Bug Hat.

2. Goal Zero solar-powered flashlight.

3. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson — classic book to read on a rainy day.

4. A deck of 007 James Bond playing cards — featuring all the villains, girlfriends and Bonds for the first 10 films.

5. Mini checker-board or cribbage board.

6. Alcohol wipes — for cleaning armpits and private area when its too cold to swim.

7. InstaFlam firestarters — these firestarters are amazing, and cheap to buy as well.

8. Hand lotion — your hands will thank you after a few days of being wet and cold.

9. Bear banger — pen-type launcher that fires off a cartridge, which sounds like a shot gun (you can also get flare cartridges).

10. Small pulley for helping to hang my food bag over a tree limb.

11. Extra pot gripper — you always need to bring an extra pot gripper.

12. Plastic ties and Duct Tape — that and a multi-tool becomes the best repair kit out there.

13. Extra sunscreen.

14. Extra bug repellent — I really like Ben’s Wipes.

15. Second pair of glasses - I’m blind without the glasses - so an extra pair is mandatory.

17. Aquatabs — for a backup water filtration system.

18. SPOT — satellite communication device, so my mother always knows where I am.

19. Extra batteries.

20. Tent-pole repair kit.

21. Ear Plugs - for the tent partner that snores too much.


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