Pasayten Wilderness - Planning Information

Panorama from west peak of Amphitheater Mountain - above upper Cathedral Lake

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Packing - how to do it ... The goal is to get all your gear in a small duffle bag weighing in at 35 pounds - any questions call your outfitter and ask.

What you need -

Clothing - Bring one pair of clothes for Riding - Fishing and one pair of clothes for sitting around the campfire and relaxing:

  • 2 Pair of jeans (Boot foot Wrangler jeans have only one inside seam and can be less bothersome to your legs) - the second pair is in case you get soaked in a rainstorm
  • 1 pair of lightweight pants that can you can zip off the legs if it is hot for use around the camp
  • 1 pair of long underwear (optional but makes a nice cushion against the saddle and seams of your jeans)
  • 1 pair of bicycle gel padded shorts (optional but those who wore them will take them again)
  • Fishing shirts work well for fishing and around camp ... consider "Buzz Off" material ... you might also want a lightweight "high tech" wicking undershirt for warmth at night and to put just another layer between you and any biting insects.
  • 2 or 3 pair of hiking / fishing socks
  • Fleece coat for night (windproof and waterproof are nice)
  • Lightweight but dependable rain gear (hat, coat, pants) to keep behind your saddle while riding or in case it rains while in camp. The consensus was that rain paints should be light weight. You can skimp on the gor-tex fabric on the rain pants as they just add to the friction layers and I would think this type of use would not be condusive to their longevity.
  • Hat (cowboy if you want and or fishing hat)
  • Riding gloves (leather work gloves are fine)
  • Bathing Suit
  • Bring a small pack towel if you are planning on a swim in the lake or shower. (consider having someone in the group bring a solar shower)
  • I just brought a pair of lightweight hiking boots ... others also brought cowboy or riding boots.

Fishing -

  • LIGHT WEIGHT float tube ( take a look at the Outcast Trinity Float tube at 8 pounds ) - not necessary but improves access to fish.
  • 1 or 2 pumps for everyone's float tubes (K-Pumps work well)
  • 4 or 5 weight rod (4 piece or more is easier to pack around) and reel
  • Floating line for sure and consider a clear intermediate - I had fun with the new Ambush line from Wulff (nice when not much back cast room)
  • lightweight breathable waders wading belt for safety.
  • Wading shoes / saddles and/or lightweight flippers if you are in a tube (look at the Outcast Backpack Fins)
  • Usual stuff - nippers - forceps - Polarized sunglasses - 4 & 5 X tippet - Leaders - Strike indicators if you want to try Chironomids - remember FLOATANT - and I found a EZ hook remover to be invaluable to easily releasing deeply hooked fish who attacked the dry fly with a wide open mouth.
  • Dry Flies - Black Ants size 10 / Parachute Adams 14 & 16 / Caddis 14 & 16
  • Wet Flies - Black Woolley Buggers (some with flash) size 10 and 12 / PT nymph size 16 / GRHE size 16 / Chironomids / Calibetis size 16 ... I'd take some with beads and some without - go with beads if you are not using an intermediate line.
  • And anything else you can cram in a box. You won't loose many flies if your knots are good. go Barbless ...
  • UV wader patch and someone in the group bring a patch kit for the Float tubes

If you keep it all small you can pack it with you in your wader and shirt pockets. I put my forceps and all on one of those gear necklaces and it worked well. You don't want to be hauling around a bunch of stuff as you may find yourself crawling around a lake on big boulders from a slide area.

Spirits - put your alcohol in a 750ml stainless steel bottle, a plastic bottle, or coated aluminum bottle for compactness. consider a light acrylic drinking glass. Bring any "flavoring" such as crystal light / orange drink for mixing your spirits if needed (not needed for scotch)

If you bring a lighter ... make sure it ignites at 6000+ feet (one I had wouldn't light)

Bug Repellant - at some lakes - riding spots - and camp settings, the mosquitoes can be BAD - so be prepared ..... the consensus was that ULTRATHON by 3M Insect repellant (one 2 oz tube should last the trip if you wear long pants and long sleeve shirts) worked the best. There are times when the bugs are not bad also ... and certainly I've had it worse than on this trip.

Sleeping Bag (20 degree bag) and sleeping pad (thermarest type is good)

Other things to bring - possibly a book to read or a wildflower ID book, . Harmonica, Campfire poetry (Robert Service and Cowboy authors - you can memorize the poem and leave the book at home), jokes, Band aids, toiletries (toothbrush, floss, meds, deodorant etc), flashlight for around camp at night. Biodegradable soap for a mid week cleanup. It is great if someone in the group brings a solar shower!

Put it all in a 30 inch or so duffle .... remember that the stuff you bring will be wrapped with other luggage in a big canvas tarp and roped to a mule so think about sealing lids with tape and protecting breakable items.

Camera - a nice waterproof digital is great. I also brought my Nikon D80 and lens ... keeping my camera in my saddlebag storage area. The scenery is SPECTACULAR so bring extra storage cards and batteries

A GPS is fun to track your travels.

What to probably leave at home ..... Ipods ... Ipod speakers ... lots of extra batteries for stuff you won't use as the focus of the evening festivities is talking around the campfire, getting to know each other better, telling stories and poems and enjoying the incredible space you are in.