Jonathan and Kirti Walpole's 950 km canoe journey across Northwest Territories and Nunavut in July and August of 2014

Sweatshop Labor

We've had to put in long hours at the sewing machine for very low wages (none in fact!) in order to make various pieces of equipment needed for the journey. These include the portage harnesses discussed in the last post, making some modifications to our canoe spray deck, making canoe paddle attachment points for various shelters so we don't need to take as many poles, and making a lightweight bathroom bug shelter. All in all, our 1950's Singer 15-91 has more than earned its keep.
The spray deck modifications include making and fitting paddle park attachments for regular and short, bent-shaft, spare paddles, restraining loops for stowing the spray skirt tunnel extensions when not in use in warm weather, and tie down points for map cases and a deck compass.
The small bathroom bug shelter is part of our preparation for calm days when the black flies and mosquitoes are unbearable. We have bug jackets, pants and gloves, but we've read that the bugs can come out in unimaginable numbers, making it difficult to wash or go to the toilet without being eaten alive. The saying goes that "In the Barren Lands you eat fast and shit even faster!". Our small, lightweight, fast-setup bug shelter weighs just over a pound and can be set up in less than a minute. It has valences to completely seal to the ground and can be pitched with stakes, deadman anchors, rocks, or sand. With felded seams, triple stitched, we hope it will be enough to keep the bugs at bay when we need a quick break. We also have a larger kitchen tent that is bug, wind and rain proof and can offer plenty of ventilation when its hot. We expect to use that one most days for meals and relaxing. And we have our sleeping tent for, well, sleeping. So, lots of redundancy in our shelters.