While you may have much of the personal gear needed already, you might need to buy at least some new gear, including one or more of the “Four Expensive Essentials.” While good gear can be expensive, by shopping around you can outfit yourself with quality equipment at a reasonable cost.

Backpacking Boots – a good pair of lightweight backpacking boots that fit well while wearing heavy outer wool socks and light inner polypropylene socks. Although not absolutely necessary, waterproof boots are nice to have if you can afford them. Boots, three pairs of outer socks, and three pairs of inner socks come to about $150.

Sleeping Bag and Mat – a good synthetic sleeping bag rated for at least 20 degrees and weighing 3 pounds or less, with a mat. The bag should stuff into a small stuff sack. Don’t forget to line the stuff sack with a plastic trash bag for extra protection against getting wet. Sleeping bag with stuff sack comes to about $100. Excellent ground mats or pads can be purchased for about $25. This combination will provide for a comfortable sleep plus plenty of insulation from the ground.

Rain Suit with Jacket and Pants – a sturdy, lightweight rain suit, both jacket and pants, with plenty of ventilation. Good rain suits can be purchased for about $50. A poncho will not do as the weather changes degrees in only a few minutes is not uncommon. The rain suit not only keeps you dry, it provides an insulation barrier to help keep you warm and prevent hypothermia. A poncho does not provide that protection.

Backpack – a rugged backpack with plenty of capacity for carrying your personal gear as well as water and your share of crew gear and food. External frame backpacks should have a capacity of about 4000 cubic inches. 4800 cubic inches for an internal frame backpack should do it. When selecting a backpack, the weight of the backpack itself is very important and should not be overlooked. Good backpacks weighing 5 pounds or less are available for approximately $100. However, if you already own or simply prefer an internal frame pack, it will serve you equally well.

We recommend that you rinse the inside of your water container with baking soda and water a few times between each use. The suggested ratio is 1/2 cup of baking soda per gallon of water.

You can also use Vinegar OR Bleach as well:

Vinegar and water can also be used to clean your container. The suggested ratio is 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water.

IMPORTANT: Do not use vinegar and baking soda at the same time.

Bleach and water can also be used to clean your container. The suggested ratio is 1 Liter (1 quart) of water to 2 tablespoons of bleach.

Make sure to rinse the container out with just water after cleaning with any mixture stated above.

It is important that the inside of the container be completely dried before storing it empty to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

1 can cherry pie filling
1 jar sliced peaches drained
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oatmeal

Line a 12″ Dutch oven with heavy duty foil. Pour cherry pie filling and drained sliced peaches into oven and spread evenly. In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, oatmeal; stir to mix. Add vanilla. Cut butter into 1 Tbs. size pieces then using your fingers work butter into the crumb mixture until coarse pea sized crumbs form. Spread topping evenly over cherries and peaches.

Cover Dutch oven and bake using 8-10 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45-60 minutes until crisp is golden brown and fruit is bubbly.

Serve topped with vanilla ice cream.

Serves: 12-14

5-6 lbs. boneless pork spare ribs
3 sweet yellow onions; thickly sliced
(1) 2 liter bottle Coca-Cola
(1) 2 cups Smokey Barbecue Sauce

Trim most of the fat from ribs. Place ribs in a large bowl and pour coke over them until they are covered. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and allow to marinade 12-24 hours. Pour liquid off ribs. Place one layer of ribs in a 12″ deep Dutch oven. Place a layer of onions over ribs. Repeat process until all meat and onions have been used. Pour barbecue sauce over the top of ribs and onions. Cover and cook 90 minutes using 12-14 briquettes bottom and 12-14 briquettes top heat.

Serves: 10-12

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves; diced
2 (10.5 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
3 Tbs. bacon grease or olive oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cloves garlic; minced
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 yellow onion; diced
1 Tbs. Worcestershire
4 medium potatoes; diced
salt and black pepper to taste
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen mixed vegetables; thawed
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls

Heat a 12″ Dutch oven using 20-22 briquettes bottom until hot. To hot oven add bacon grease, chicken and garlic; season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook chicken stirring frequently until chicken is no longer pink. Add onions and potatoes and continue cooking until onions are translucent but still firm. Stir in mixed vegetables, soup, evaporated milk, poultry seasoning and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Let mixture come to a low boil. Unroll the crescent rolls and create a top crust by layering flat rolls across the top of ingredients.
Reduce the heat on bottom to 8-10 briquettes and add 14-16 briquettes to the lid. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the rolls are golden brown and flaky. Check to make sure potatoes are cooked through. If not, then remove all briquettes from the lid and continue to cook maintaining bottom heat to keep pie bubbling an additional 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through.

Serves: 6