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JUST ADD PFD. PHOTO: SCOTT TURNBULL


Your canoe is undoubtedly your heaviest piece of gear and offers the biggest opportunity for weight savings. Carbon and aramid models now boast weights in the mid-30s, and new composite technology is allowing for integrated gunwales—reducing the weight of alumi- num and wood trimmed composite canoes even further. Yes, it costs more—but we expect you’ll find these beauties worth the price a mile into your first expletive-free portage. Our Pick: The 16-foot Keeway- din by Swift Canoe is a show-stopper at just 34 pounds and features 100-percent carbon parts—no wood, bolts or screws to be found here. 34 lbs | $3,400 | www.swiftcanoe.com


You’ll want a carbon fiber blade to match your high-tech boat. Carbon paddles are ultra stiff, ultralight and perfect for lakewater trips. Our Pick: Grey Owl’s lovely Raven with a 12-degree bend will be the envy of your trip mates. We’ve paddled for hours (and hours!) with this blade, and actually sort of forgot that a canoeist’s arms can ever even get tired. 12 oz |$230 | www.greyowlpaddles.com


For seriously lightweight tents, take a page out of the handbook of backpackers and sacrifice a bit of interior space for weight savings. Treated right, ultralight tents can last for years. Our Pick: A serious contender for the title of lightest freestanding tent ever, Mountain Hardwear’s new Ghost UL2 has to be hefted to be believed. At 2.2 pounds it offers solid protection for half the weight of an average two- person backpacking tent. Pair this tissue thin material with a footprint for sure. 2.2 lbs | $449 | www.mountainhardwear.com


Sleeping bag selection is a fine balance between warmth, weight and compactability. Down fill offers the best option for weight and space savings for those willing to be extra careful about wet con- ditions. Our Pick: Rated to 20°F, Enlightened Equipment’s Rev- elation Quilt is fantastically light at just 20.3 ounces. This toasty open-backed design easily pairs with most pads and converts into a quilt. Temperature rating, length, width and insulation are all cus- tomizable from this small Minnesota-based manufacturer. 20.3 oz $250 | www.enlightenedequipment.com


No matter what canoe pack you opt for, you’ll want one that has an anatomically designed harness system, as well as a padded hip belt that hugs and puts the weight of your load close to your back. Our Pick: Traditional canvas packs can get heavy when they’re wet. We love Granite Gear’s Quetico Canoe pack, made of a tough, water resistant Cordura. Side lift handles and haul loop make lifting the pack out of the canoe easy and its suspension system is ultra comfy. 3.5 lbs |$219 | www.granitegear.com


Pair your canoe pack with dry sacks to keep your gear waterproofed. Our Pick: Osprey’s Ultralight Dry Sacks have squared off bot- toms for better space-savings and ease of packing. 2 oz | $22 www.ospreypacks.com


Lightweight doesn’t have to mean “barely there.” Both air and foam sleeping pads can be light and comfortable, but inflatable pads are usually far more compact to stow. Our Pick: Sea to Summit’s Ul- tralight sleeping mat is one of the lightest and most compact we’ve ever seen. Packing up to the size of a tallboy beer can, its R-value of 1.7 doesn’t offer much warmth, but for summer its cushy Air- Sprung cell construction is wickedly satisfying. 13.9 oz | $99.95 www.seatosummit.com


A minimalist doesn’t need a fancy cookset. For ultralight adventures, leave the Dutch oven at home and opt for versatile ‘wares that you’ll scarcely know are in your canoe pack. Our Pick: Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset includes two pots and two pans, maximizing capacity while minimizing weight and remaining nearly indestructible. 0.7 lbs | $95.95 | www.snowpeak.com


—KP www.canoerootsmag.com | 57


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