Backcountry Gear

Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothes, food, rope, crampons, harness, helmet,  chimney brush – there’s a whole list of items commonly carried into the backcountry, but who carries a chimney brush?

All in a day's work! (Photo: Megan Kopp)

I was lucky enough to sign on for a couple of volunteer days to join my trail crew girl for a trip up to a backcountry cabin where – you guessed it – one of her assigned tasks was to scale the cabin roof and sweep the chimney.

Now the funniest part of it all were the looks that people gave us as we hiked along the popular lakeside trail before climbing up to the headwall. Some stared long and hard, others did a quick double-take, but only a few actually looked and then asked either what it was or why she was carrying it!

Apparently you get used to the odd looks after a summer working on trail crew where you give up hiking poles for pulaskis – specialized hand tools that combine an axe and a grub hoe in one head.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever seen someone carrying – either in hand or on their pack – in the backcountry?

© 2011

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