Guide books and pleasant evening reading book. You should cut off covers and all useless pages of books, and every page as read; no needless weight should be carried hundreds of miles; even a fly settling on the boat must be refused a free passage.
Horrors! If he was backpacking I could (perhaps) understand this, but in a canoe? He would probably be horrified by the heavy load of creature comforts modern canoeists lug about. Though carrying a fly (or flyleaf) was too much for Mr. MacGregor, he didn’t mind transporting a stock of:
Illustrated papers, tracts, and anecdotes in French and German for Sunday reading and daily distribution (far too few had been taken, they were always well received).
I suppose that at that time (1865) and in the rural areas he was visiting, any reading material would be of interest, but these days I don’t think handing out religious pamphlets would be met with much enthusiasm!