A seven-day river trip in the wild Yukon Territory of Northern Canada is not for the fainthearted. Remote rapids, car-sized grizzlies, and swarms of mosquitos make for a challenging trip. Add four kids ages 4 to 12 into the mix, and you've just elevated the logistical challenges of said trip up several solid notches. Despite the hardships, traveling through the Yukon wilderness is a special experience. True adventure; just pure, unadulterated wilderness for miles.
We connected with the Saunders family after their Yukon experience recently.
What were a few of the items on your packing list for this trip (besides your RUX 70L, of course)?
- Maravia Raft - 16'
- 3 person inflatable canoe
- paddling PFDs
- Bug netting - hood and jacket
- fishing rod
- hacky sack
- book: Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams
- no need for headlamps - we were in the land of the midnight sun!
What’s the most essential piece of gear you brought?
The Sanity tent - a collapsible tent that permitted us to have a cooking/dining area harboured away from mosquitoes and protected us from the rain
Was there anything you left behind/forgot?
Cover for the fishing rod - somewhere on a gravel bar on day 2; our 12 yr old fisherman was too excited to drop his line and catch graylings to remember where he left it.
What’s your favourite gear-organizing pro tip you could share for this trip?
Usually by day 3 you will have your systems in place. We established a pattern of one dry bag backpack for sleeping bag gear, another for clothing, another to alternate lifejackets and shoes. It became easier and easier to pack up each day once we got our pack up routine established.
Any advice for someone wanting to do their first river trip?
Take a lesson on paddling skills and river navigation!
In what ways did RUX make it even easier to keep your gear tight and plans loose?
ALL THE SNACKS - our RUX 70L served as our Five and Dime store for prepping our 5 hr rafting days; we would "go shopping" for snacks and candy every morning and top up our snack bags to graze from during our 5 hr paddle days. Despite white water splash and a day's worth of downpours, our cherished snacks stayed dry, protected and perfectly palatable. The corner stays of the 70L were also great as we were able to collapse them slightly to fit around the contours of our inflatable canoe's gunnels; it stayed in place perfectly.
What makes this trip special for you?
Amazing family time, off the grid; majestic scenery of fossils, layered sedimentary rock and vast mountains/river valleys.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If you're quiet, wildlife might actually stick around for you to observe. And, you can never have enough drybags and ziplocs.