This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

Dog house blues

  • Jul 16, 2012
  • 290 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image
Advertisement

I noticed the smell immediately. After climbing into my tent the thick odour was awful!

“My tent stinks like a dog house!” I moaned, disgusted. “It absolutely reeks!”

But no dog had crossed my tent’s threshold. No canine pup had curled up on my new sleeping bag for days.

Then it struck me. I was the rotten and rotting mutt. It smelled as if I were practically composting! My last shower had been in Carmack, YT, six days before. Six days of hard river paddling, including one day where I had covered an incredible 124 kilometres. The effect had deposited a thick coat of sweat, layered bug repellant, and more sweat on my back, neck, legs and arms.

The next morning I aired out my tent and sleeping bag, and even changed my shirt. I didn’t strip off and wash because the Yukon’s mosquitoes would have fallen on my exposed flesh like a teenage mob hitting a weekend BBQ. Only bones and gristle would have been left behind to bleach in the 22-hour summer daylight.

“I’ll get my shower in Dawson City in two days,” I consoled myself while sitting comfortably in my tent, which still smelled like a kennel. “I only hope they let me in town without insisting I first burn all my clothes.

(Author’s note: I snuck into Dawson on Sunday night without incident. The second part of my epic canoe trip will continue after resupplying — and several showers!)

Allen Macartney is completing a solo trip on the Yukon River to retrace the route of prospectors in the days of the Klondike gold rush. Read more of his blog posts and learn about his Royal Canadian Geographical Society-funded expedition.

Advertisement

Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

The spiny dogfish made history when it was certified as the world’s first sustainable shark fishery in 2011

Wildlife

The great green shark hunt 

Can British Columbia’s spiny dogfish make the grade as the world’s first “sustainable” shark fishery?

  • 3319 words
  • 14 minutes

People & Culture

The Nunavut Quest dogsled race is revitalizing a once-threatened tradition

Inside the 500-kilometre dogsled race across the High Arctic with the qimuksiqtiit who are sharing their knowledge with the next generation

  • 2681 words
  • 11 minutes

Travel

Exploring music country: Everything to see and do in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee

A music lover’s dream, this region of the U.S. is famous for its noteworthy strains of blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, plus the many music legends that were born here

  • 1722 words
  • 7 minutes

Wildlife

Wildlife Wednesday: revealing the life of the Coast Salish woolly dog through oral histories and ancient genomics

Plus: experience life as a Toronto raccoon, red-throated loons learn an icy lesson, and orca use icebergs to scratch their itches

  • 933 words
  • 4 minutes