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PaddleWise Discussion on Camping - 3 worst mistakes

The following discussion occurred on the PaddleWise mailing list. All original comments are presented in their entirety. Some quoting of previous posts copied into subsequent replies are excluded from those replies to improve readability and reduce redundancy. Full archives may be retrieved by PaddleWise members from the PaddleWise digest by sending a message to with the word "index" included in the body of the message. These posts may not be reproduced or redistributed without the author's permission.

A big thanks to Reinhold Weber for organizing this PaddleWise discussion on tents for this website.

From: "Peter Osman"
Subject: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 08:35:55 GMT


Two years ago I started kayaking but was able to draw on the childhood 
experience of 42 years past when I propelled two planks of wood using an 
iron pole as a paddle.

Now I am about to embark on an equally hazardous initiation - but with no 
prior expewrience of any kind. IE the first time in my life to go camping - 
Could anyone volunteer the three worst mistakes I could make? Its part of a 
sea kayak trip from Sydney (Australia) to Newcastle (Australia).

All the best, PeterO

Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 01:51:38 -0700 From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes Oh, boy, is my hopper full of recent experience on this one! Peter, I can't stop at just three. Please do not ask why I am so acutely tuned to these errors (especially the last one -- arrrgh!). 0. Failing to pitch your tent above the midnight high tide mark. 1. Failing to have enough dry bags to keep your gear dry. 2. Failing to run your food up high enough (and far enough from the tree trunk) that the critters (rats, raccoons, bears, etc.) won't get into it. 3. Failing to bring enough fuel for cooking. 4. Failing to bring enough drinking water (or, forgetting the filter needed to produce safe water from surface sources). 5. Forgetting the TP. 6. Leaving the tent (sleeping bag, tarp, stove, food, paddling partner, etc.) home. 7. And the worst: leaving your sense of humor at home. -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR
From: "Peter Treby" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 19:27:25 +1000 Here's three of mine: 1. Sleeping bag too light, freezing all night. 2. Failing to re-pack food in suitable plastic containers, bags, and having food escape inside pack. 3. Forgetting stove, matches. Raw rice is not palatable. Regards, Peter Treby 37* 42' S 145* 08' E
From: "Whyte, David" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 19:11:33 +1000 Peter I would just make one suggestion. make a list and use it to check of your camping gear before putting it in the car. With 20 bushwalking and 10 years camping from canoes and kayakers I find I still forget things. So I have a list for kayaking, hiking, XC skiing etc. I check everything off before I put it into bags or backpacks. If you want a list for kayaking I will gladly forward one on to you. I grew up near Newcastle on the shores of Lake Macquarie. My parents gave me a canoe when I was 9 and they got so sick of me getting up early on the weekends to go fishing out of it that they knocked out my window and put in a door Cheers David
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:01:16 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes 1. Bringing too much stuff. Too many campers think of a camping trip as an extension of their dining room, bedroom and backyard. The more you bring to achieve the creature comforts of home, the more you have to carry to and from your boat, the heavier your boat will be, etc. Less means more in enjoying the natural world around you. 2. Putting the stuff into big dry bags. Use lots of small to medium sized bags. Write the contents on them or have some color code as to their contents. Bigger dry bags are harder to pack into a boat and harder to find items in. In this imperfect world, dry bags do fail. If you have your contents in 3 dry bags and one fails, one third of your stuff gets wet. If you have them in 8 or 9, then only a little over 10 percent gets wet. 3. Hanging around camp in the morning on a multi-day trip. If you are trying to cover any considerable distances, you are almost always better off getting out near the crack of dawn, without breakfast (have an energy bar and some water), and paddling three hours or so before stopping for your oatmeal. The reason: statistically and athmospherically seas and winds are at their calmest in the early morning (also very late in the day as darkness descends). If you get out early, you will have a better chance at getting in some miles along your course (3 hours times 3.5 knots gives you some 10 miles of distance under your belt). If conditions do become unsettled later, you won't find yourself attempting to press through bad seas because you feel a need to achieve some distance that day. If conditions remain good, you can paddle lots or settle in earlier in the day at a landing and campsite picked with greater leisure. You hardly ever hear of an expedition gone bad in the early morning; most of the s--t hits the fan in the afternoon when people are trying to get somewhere in bad conditions. In general, go as minimalist and St. Francis saintly as you can rather than hedonistic and Yuppie modern day worldly and gadget-laden. ralph diaz --
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 09:24:13 -0500 From: Will Jennings Subject: [Paddlewise] 3 Mistakes when camping I'd echo much of what's already been said. I'd add these FWIW. 1. Failure to adapt. Maps lie, gear breaks, companion's attitudes waver, energy rises and falls, weather happens. Focus on gear and technique often places a thicker distance between us and the environments we encounter. I've known people to nearly wander off cliffs their maps said couldn't exist, seen people at trailheads calling Garmin Customer Service on their cell phone to explain to them why their GPS didn't match up with the posted markers, observed people heading out into very cold water and iffy conditions w/o being dressed for immersion because their double-wide kayaks "never tip". Darwin is right....those who don't have the skills to adapt are most likely the first to exit the gene pool. 2. Learn to recognize pleasure. Start small. The bigger pleasures are usually an aggregate. Enjoy the physical cadence of making your way through a small part of the world, relish the mental and emotional challenge of negotiating time and space. This sounds far too metaphysical....but the truth is that most of what I gather and retain from my ventures is a collection of smaller experiences that lead me to feel better, more often, over longer and longer periods of time. This doesn't require the purchase of any particular gear. 3. Take conscious time to pay attention to the task at hand. Lists help you to remember. Methods help break the larger tasks into smaller, more readily accomplished and repeatable sequences/steps. If you find yourself worried about a crossing, or the weather, and you are trying to pack up camp at the same time, you're not giving either the full measure of your focus. Once I was caught in a high camp as a furious lightening storm approached. Rather than finding refuge in the thicker woods a few hundred feet below, I hurriedly tried to break camp to hike out... my bear-bag line was snagged in the one tall tree near by, and as the gunshot was going off around me, I yanked by 'biner weighted line with all my might. It sproinged loose, whizzing straight for my scalp and opened a lovely, gushing head wound than had to be treated before we could make a safe zone out of the storm. Small casualty resulting from not paying attention to bad decision making that might have caused a much more tragic result than my bruised ego. I could swear I heard the whistle telling me to get out of the gene pool. If weather and conditions concern you, make the time to deal with those concerns in a rational, reasonable manner. Give everyone ample time to work through their own process and voice their concerns or decision. If a beginner is worried about facing rough conditions, and everyone else is hurriedly packing camp to 'get underway', the momentum is on going, and you've just upped the chances that a chain of events might unfold off your group's weakest link. Bad idea. -will
From: "Sailboat Restorations, Inc." Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:50:37 -0400 This is turning into a "what do you carry camping" thread, which interests me, as I have been trying to fine-tune my lists. . . I like Ralph's approach re minimalism. Coming from backpacking, I was thrilled to realize how much gear a kayak can carry. So I bought just about everything I could find that would fit -- folding chairs and tables, screen tent, larger tent, etc etc etc. On a recent three-day (solo) camping trip, I left most of it behind, and didn't miss it. Just my smallest tent, Whisperlite and a little fuel, basic foods, water, Gatorade, Crazy Creek, bag, mini-Thermarest and a book (which I never opened). I was quite happy with this. A couple of things that I will carry on future trips (keep in mind I'm getting old and soft): (1) a hammock, which I got at Kittery Trading Post for $11.95 -- one of the best purchases I ever made (ahhh, now that's luxury); (2) a "camp shower" by Cascade Designs -- I always regarded those things as stupid, but this one is good quality and I found it worthwhile; (3) a full-size Therma-Rest -- I had the little one (in the old days, I didn't carry any such thing at all, being a tough guy...), but it just wasn't quite enough for these old bones (which was made worse on the first night I used it because I forgot that you have to blow the things up (duh); (4) a good pillow of some sort (which I haven't bought yet but will, being, as I said, old and soft now); (5) my little Coleman battery powered "lantern" - I felt silly buying this "car camping" relif, but it was great in the tent at night, no worry about flames etc.; (6) some wine in a Nalgene bottle; (7) at least some of my nature field guides -- to me, that is still one of the greatest pleasures of camping; the books help me identify the world around me (trees, bugs, birds, etc), and help me to focus on that world, rather than the one I left behind; they weigh a lot, but are worth it (also carry pad and pencil to take notes); (8) a variety of footwear (eg, I have some mocassins that are great for in the tent and when I first get out of it; walking shoes for short hikes, Tevas for walking out into the water to bath, wash dishes, etc). . . There are lots of other items that are obviously essential. I listed these because they may not be on everyone's list. . . . Oh, biggest mistakes: forgetting matches (argggghh!), forgetting soap, forgetting TP (I carry paper towels in a zip-lock bag). Mark
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 12:50:04 -0400 From: John Fereira Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes At 01:51 AM 8/14/00 -0700, Dave Kruger wrote: >Oh, boy, is my hopper full of recent experience on this one! Peter, I can't >stop at just three. Please do not ask why I am so acutely tuned to these >errors (especially the last one -- arrrgh!). Since I just got back from three days of kayak camping in the Adirondacks I can add a few items, that though could have spelled disaster actually turned out all right (mostly, due to blind luck and remembering to pack a sense of humor. We all met the night before to plan things out. The guy that sort of organized the trip planned on leaving early in the day so that he could get to Little Tupper Lake and select a campsite. The other four of us left Ithaca around 4:00pm and even with a conservative estimate should have put us at the lake around the time it got dark. With detours, traffic slowed down due to a steady rain all the way there, a stop for dinner that took longer than expected, and a bit of shopping to pick up some extra supplies we arrive at the lake around 11:00pm. (lesson #1: factor in lots of extra time for travel time to your destination) After arriving we found the campsite check-in board and found that Ed had arrived but for some reason neglected to write down the number of the campsite he'd paddled off to. So now we start checking the tags which indicate which camps that full and try to figure out which one didn't have a log entry. Of course, we also assumed that Ed had flipped over the tag for the campsite he'd gone too. That narrowed it down to about four different camps so we decided to just try and head for one of the empty sites and look for Ed (I won't mention some of the things we talked about doing to him when we found him) in the morning. The campsite we picked out was about 2 miles (or was it one and a half?) down the lake. Of course, none of us had ever been to this lake before, and didn't know what the markers looked like for identifying the camp sites, and it was raining so visibility was not good, and we had fully loaded kayaks (much more so than three of us had ever tried paddling before). So given all these factors we did what any rational person would do; we got into our kayaks and paddled off into the dark...and the rain. The kayaks felt very stable with the extra weight and armed with a 8"x11" map printed off using the Delorme software using an inkjet printer on which I had marked *most* of the campsite numbers we attempted to located campsite #20. We were able to avoid paddling into the shallows most of the time and made pretty good progress. After paddling about 15 minutes I got out the map (lesson #2: don't forget to bring the waterproof map case) and we found a couple of landmarks and made a good guess as to where we were. After passing an island (which wasn't on the map) we began looking for a little inlet, where by my calculations preceeded camp #20. After passing that "inlet" we rounded a point and discovered what had to be the *real* inlet we were looking for the the rain. I got out the map again and decided that the camp should be somewhere along the next 1000' or so of shore. After going about 1500' or so and reaching the next island I got out the map again, pieced it together where it was ripping in half and decided that camp #19 (or was that smudge an 18) should be on the island we were next to. We followed along the shore and didn't see any marks for a camp (assuming that we knew what to look for) so we rafted up again to decide what to do. Camp 18 (or was it 19?) *could* be on that next island...oooh, there's a light on the opposite shore. We decided to paddle across the lake (about a 1/4 mile) and find the source of the light so that we could find out which camp it was and figure out where to go next. When we got across we did find a camp, but as we found out the next day it wasn't the source of the light. It was camp #11 and according to my map (which was now almost unrecognizable as a map) camp #20 should be about due east (lesson #3: having a compass is a good thing). Of course, I couldn't read my compass in the dark (lesson #4: check the batteries on your headlamp before leaving) but was able to pick out a landmark before heading across. stopped raining. We paddled across toward the landmark and within two minutes of reaching shore located campsite #20. We managed to get out of our boats without falling in and started to unload. I managed to just get my backpacking lantern (lesson #4: bring several light sources) lit when it started to rain again. We finally got everything unloaded, tents set up, food hung and climbed into our tents around 2:30am in the morning. We also came up with several more ideas on what we were going to do to Ed when we found him. It rained all night but was much lighter when we woke up and started to make coffee. "I think it's going to clear up...", someone said. It didn't. We also found that we were suprisingly awake for 6:00am. After a brief breakfast we climbed back into our kayaks to hunt down, I mean, find Ed's campsite. We found that we were real close to the island we had gone around the night before, so we skirted the opposite shore looking for a site. Just as we got past it I saw a tent on the next island and there was Ed standing on a rock waving to us. We had passed within 200' or so of his site the night before. The trip went mostly uphill from then on...except that it didn't stop raining until that night. Final Lesson: don't ever, ever, forget to bring bug repellant. Fortunately we had plenty.
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 13:49:23 -0400 From: Michael R Noyes Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes "Sailboat Restorations, Inc." wrote: > This is turning into a "what do you carry camping" thread, which interests > me, as I have been trying to fine-tune my lists. . . > > I like Ralph's approach re minimalism. Coming from backpacking, I was > thrilled to realize how much gear a kayak can carry. I am more from a car camping and canoe camping background, so I am also interested in fine tuning. My biggest problem right now is my cook set. My set needed to work for the "Michael feeds the masses" scenario, so it is a bit much for kayaking. I got a few odd looks from my companions in Acadia when I pulled out a gym bag with my "kitchen" in it. One backpacking stove (I left my three Coleman two burners at home), one backpacking lantern, assorted pots out to twelve quarts, two frying pans, cups, plates, bowls, and SEVEN sets of silverware! Not to mention the ladles, spatulas, and cutting board. Oh yes, the measuring cups, salt and pepper shakers, and butane lighter (large type). I think with a smaller cook set, one set of silverware, and ditch the four man tent for a smaller one, I might have a good start. So I am following this thread with interest. Lesson from this one, too much can be almost as bad as not enough. Mike -- Paddling along through fog so thick that only one's thoughts are visible, your reverie is abruptly shattered by the ancient cry of a great blue heron as she lifts uncertainly from the brilliant blue of a mussel-shell beach witnessed only by the brooding, wet spruce....your passage home seems as much back through time as it does through space. Mark H Hunt
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 14:47:20 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes Sandy mentioned the Eureka Zephyr. I have the earliest version without vestibules and it works just fine. An excellent one-person tent at a good weight and price with sit-up room for a six footer. As for stove, fuel etc. again the minimalist just to heat water for coffee, hot chocolate, oatmeal, freezed dry food (the kind that doesn't need to simmer or cook as that wastes fuel). I like the butane ones, any of the small ones will do. Butane would be real inefficient and costly if you did cooking with it rather than heating up water. My camping gear for 6 days including food, stove/fuel/pots/cup/utensils, tent, sleeping bag, sleep pad, extra clothing, lighting (small flashlights and small candle lantern with spare candles), a liter of wine, absolutely everything (except my normal paddling gear and water) weighs 28-29 pounds. This provides a good measure of comfort without weighing me down and that weight includes a small tarp for waiting out bad weather or for providing a warm covered area over a hanging out/cooking area (a tarp over you reduces radiation from your body by an impressive amount; on a cool evening, the air underneath appears to be 15 degrees warmer, just a guess. If I wanted to really rough it I could take 10 pounds off that. It is also easy to add lots of weight. I earlier made the mistake that Mark Lane made in eying all that space in a kayak and filling it. ralph diaz --
From: [Sandy Kramer] Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 11:43:50 EDT Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes In a message dated 08/14/2000 4:40:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, [Peter Osman] writes: << Could anyone volunteer the three worst mistakes I could make? Its part of a sea kayak trip from Sydney (Australia) to Newcastle (Australia). >> 1. Forgetting to bring the wine! We find that Chateau le Cardboard is great. You dump the box and are left with a bladder and "faucet." 2. Forgetting bug repellent, head net, tent with four no-see'um mesh windows. Of course if it's winter, disregard! 3. Forgetting the corkscrew if you ignore the advice in #1! Seriously, Peter, have a great time. PS It's miserable to be cold in your tent so my next 3 pieces of advice are: 1. Microfleece - leggings and vest 2. Polartec 200 fleece jacket 3. Coolmax T-shirts - long and short-sleeved. Oh, take a Therm-a-rest or similar self-inflating mattress. You're tall and skinny so get the full-length one. You might be tolerably comfortable on the Ultra-lite which is the thinnest and less bulky. Of course the regular thickness will be that much more comfy. Check out for a gander at what we have available here. Their prices are pretty good. They sell a small fleece pillow case that you stuff with clothing to make a pillow. Solumbra (don't know if that is their dot com address also) makes clothing that protects from the sun. Firms like also carry shirts made out of this fabric. Can't wait for the trip report. Safe trip. sandy kramer who thinks that polartec fleece is the best thing since sliced bread miami
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 10:23:01 -0700 From: Dave Uebele Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Camping - 3 worst mistakes I keep seeing this. All these efforts to minimize the packing and the weight and then almost as an after thought "oh yeah, a bunch of wine". I have nothing against wine, and a "wine in a box" bladder can be very useful as a storage or flotation device, but I've always leaned toward bringing hard alcohol when weight or space is important. A small flask of scotch packs more buzz than the same weight of beer or wine. And if you go with something over 100 proof (%50 alcohol) you can use it sterilize items if you have a first aid issue. Transfer to a stainless steel hip flask to reduce concerns about carrying glass bottles. Granted there are also even lighter, more compact intoxicants, if that is your preference, though many of them are frowned upon by local law enforcement. I admit to suffering the ongoing struggle of gadget infatuation and minimalism. For me camping is something of a release from the burden of day to trappings, as long as don't go so minimal that basic comfort and health suffer. So I tend to over pack clothing, trying to cover all weather situations. Using a layering approach to keeping warm helps reduce the problems there. Also, at 6'2" I have trouble finding a tent that I fit in, without waking up with either feet or head up against the tent (and dripping wet as a result). I wonder what group of midgets do they use to calculate the "sleeps 3" rating on a tent. And none of these ratings assume you'll want anything other then 3 pygmies in sleeping bags, while I usually want to bring in other gear, to keep it close, or protect from the elements. My favorite tent to actually have room is a North Face Expedition 25. But that is a pretty serious and expensive tent 4 season tent. Plus its heavier. I keep eyeballing some of these bivy sack style tents with just enough space for a sleeping bag and wonder how they could be useful, if how I would fit inside and yet, for a minimal, get away from the world approach, they have a certain appeal. I might have to see if I can borrow or rent one sometime. I'll bring a stove, but I find that mostly I tend to prefer no-cook nibble food, carrots, celery, protein bars, dried meats and fruits, "trail mix", etc. and nibble during any available break. I'm not a coffee drinker, so firing up the stove in the morning for coffee is less of an issue, just plenty of drinking water. There also are times when a hot meal, boiling water, or extra heat source is important, so a stove is handy there. dave
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 23:37:05 -0700 From: Doug Lloyd Subject: [Paddlewise] Gear list request David said: << So many people have asked me for a copy of my gear list that it is probably easier if I cut and paste it into an email and send it to the list. I will fix up any spelling and odd abbreviations and send it in the next day or so. >> David, et al: Just started reading a couple of recent digest versions from most recent to older (was away a week). So, I don't know if anyone else posted their check lists, or if I should add mine to any ongoing lists. My list is more specific, as I keep it for insurance purposes along with a video tape kept at a relatives (only way I get replacement value with my underwriter) and as a final check before leaving on a trip. Hope it might be useful! BTW, this is not a completely current list - some deletions additions have been made. Not all items are always taken, either. It is cut and pasted, so may look odd. CHECK LIST - Doug Lloyd Kayak (heavily modified 1980 Nordkapp) Paddle (Lendal Crank/Archippelago or straight loom/Nordkapp, depending on trip) Paddle Leash (North Water - coiled) Spare paddle (Seamaster) Deck knife (diver's model affixed to deck, in scabbard with coiled tether to handle) Diver's writing slate with pencil (Fastex-buckled to deck) Front deck paddle float (single chamber) Front net bag (North Water, Small) with: -Throw bag/towline (50 feet) -Sponge -Hand Held Flare in Ziplock -Flare gun/cartriges - all in Ziplock, then in waterproof bag -Noise maker Rear deck bag (North Water, Large) with: -Rear deck double-chamber paddle float -Heavy duty orange rescue bag -Large parachute flare in Ziplock -Platypus hydration water bladder/tube Rear deck flag Helmet with sun-visor (optional to trip) with Fastex-buckle to deck Cockpit water bottle (recessed into knee tube) Curved lexan deck water bottle (for Gatorade) Chart(s) and deck chart case (Ortelib) Parallel rules Topographical map(s) (if required) Park brochures, etc. Tide/current tables (Xeroxed and/or laminated) Inside knee tube, top-deck access: -VHF radio and case -Cell phone and case -Monocular -Sun block grease for lips and face -Sunscreen spray (to avoid slippery hands) -GPS (to purchase) -Class B EPIRB (to purchase) In knee tube, in small North Face zippered net container: -Small container antacid pills -Waterproof Band-Aids -Kleenex in Ziplock for glasses (with defog agent) -Tylenol (more in aid kit) -Bug repellent (spray) Cockpit Cover Full Length Thermarest ( in stuff sack, in sealed bag) Sleeping bag (in garbage bag, in compression sack) Pillow (stuff bag, fleeced one side) Tent (North Face Nimbus (in Outdoor Research bag, with overhead loft net) Tent fly (in nylon stuff sack) Tent ground sheet (in stuff sack) Tent poles (in nylon stuff sack) Tent pegs (in nylon stuff sack) Aluminum space sheet (HD) Nylon tarp and tie lines in stuff sack Food hanging rope (100' twisted poly) Bear spray (in Cordura case, fastens to SealPack beach hip bag) Day knife (with sheath, fastens to SP beach hip bag) Small SealPak beach hip bag, and inside are: -Small weather radio -Spare cell phone battery -Spare VHF 6-double A's battery pack -Spare 3-volt camera battery -Small camera tripod -Eyeshades (for early bed times, beach resting) -Wallet/keys -Smoke flare spare (in case of fall/attack away from kayak, etc.) -Emergency cash -List of local VHF frequencies and their use (such as ferry channel, local chat channel, etc.) WR90 camera and case NEC MobilePro HPC in Otter Box (two double A's) Petzl Duo Headlamp (4 Double A's) Survival saw (folding) Spare prescription glasses and clip-on, in case Small Sea Otter box with spare double A's - 8 (all equipment runs off same size), camera batteries Net bags (three sizes hold all gear for transportation up/down beach) Stove, fuel, base stabilizer, wind-break: -Coleman propane stove with spare canister if trip under one week -Multifuel gas with gas bottle if longer expedition trip MSR cooking set (two pots with plate/lid, in drawstring bag) inside small pot are: -MSR round container with round plastic cutting board -Pot holder -Matches in Ziplock (NO BIC LIGHTERS - they can explode in a fire) -Sea Soap -Pot scrubber -Mini pan/pot scraper North Face zippered net bag: -MSR folding pot strainer, ladle and griddle flipper -Lexan eating utensils -Mini cheese grater -Mini can opener x 2 -Two-part Pristine water purification drops (Chlorine Dioxide) -Bear bell -Day snack (net bag is kept in most accessible hatch) -Pre-packaged Alpen cold breakfast cereal (placed previous night) -Salt/Pepper/Seasoning -Prescription pills and vitamins in "daily" pill box reminder -Butane refillable lighter with closing lid (as a back-up) Small Lexan bottle - wide mouth (hold one full can condensed milk and mixed water) Water bladders (including MSR, Cascade Designs, and burnable mineral water bottles) Stainless steel insulated cup (use for morning cold cereal, as well as tea, etc.) Lexan cup (for expeditions, replace SS cup) Ziplock bags (large and small, various uses, garbage, day meals, etc.) PackTowel in PT case Toilet paper (in Ziplocks, cores removed) In 8 x 30 yellow roll-top bag: -Note book, pencil, sharpener -Reading material -Tensor elbow brace -Outdoor Research zippered fold-out pouch for toiletries, with hook In above zipper pouch: -Antifungal/Cortizone Cream (prescription) -Tea Tree oil -Unscented deodorant -Dental floss -Folding toothbrush -Toothpaste -Chapstick -Visine eye drops -Robaxacet muscle relaxers -Ibuprofen -Anti-nausea pills -Tinactin foot fungus cream -Antacid effervescing powder packages -Claritin allergy pills -Fucidine topical antibiotic -Phen-oris medicated lip cream -"Q-Tips" -Imodium diarrhea packages -Herbal sleeping pills -Various Asprin/Tylanol pills -Travel mirror In 8 x 30 red roll top: -OR fold-out pouch First Aid Kit -Repair Kit In First Aid Kit: -Sting Ease, Betadine skin cleanser, Tensor roll bandage, Polysporin, adhesive tape, eye cup, Gauze roll, first aid scissors, Ipecac Syrup, large heavy pressure dressing, gloves, Spenco Adhesive Knit tape, Spenco supersorb padding, Spenco second skin, surgical scalpel with spare blades, laceration closure Band-Aids, 40 mm polyglycolic acid suture sets, alchol wipes, various telfa sterile dressings, sterile combine pads, triangular bandage, aluminum split material, finger splint, male external catheter, fine point tweezers, needles, Operating room scissors, antibiotic pills, bee sting kit (prescription), tube gauze, Butterfly closures, Burn ointment In Repair Kit: -Victorinox multi-tool, West System epoxy repair pack, various grits sandpaper, string, hose clamps, duct tape, sewing set, eyeglass repair kit, spare flashlight bulbs, piece of hacksaw blade, drill bits, assorted plastic ties, cotter pins, nuts and bolts, lubricant (anti-rust), various wire, rudder repair kit CLOTHING Two Pair Patagonia Capilene underwear shorts North Face medium weight tights North Face lightweight shirts (short sleeve and long with neck zipper, for paddling in) Sierra Designs fleece outer pants Sea Kayaker fleece vest Patagonia fleece socks (lightweight and heavy) Fleece shirt SealSkins Goretex socks Quick Dry shorts Cotton tank top for sleeping Ripstop Nylon "First Light" fast-dry pants and shirt Navarro Fleece paddling sweater Navarro Summer Nylon paddling jacket Navarro SympaTex red drytop Navarro nylon rain pants Navarro nylon paddling pants (wetsuit ankle/waist closures - for winter time) Navarro lightweight lined poggies Neoprene poggies (for winter) Sierra Designs fleece watch cap (for winter) Outdoor Research Gortex baseball cap Outdoor Research Gortex wide brimmed rain hat Cotton "flight-deck" cap with neck protection Paddling gloves (full neoprene, fingerless neoprene, and synthetic fingerless lightweight) Skull cap Chota boots (soled high-top wet suit boots) Teva sandals Nike Aqua Socks Farmer John custom-fit wetsuit with front relief zipper Lotus Designs PFD with attachments: -Dual flashlight/strobe on back -Dual Lotus back-bags, custom sew vertically -In first bag above, Sea Seat rescue devise (mini life raft) -In second bag above, wilderness survival kit (fire starter, flares, food, emerg fishing gear, etc.) -In large front pocket, Skyblazer flares, two sizes of flashlights -In small front pocket, two smoke signals, high intensity signal mirror, Lock-It folding knife -Upper chest rescue belt, with North Water tow bungie and 10-foot river-tow pouch/tether -Whistle Phoenix double-tube spray skirt with suspenders, custom inner latex seal Emergency food SeaLine Baja 5 roll-top bags Various other bags BC'in Ya Doug Lloyd (who will try to post the Storm Island summer trip report later)
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000 09:20:16 -0700 From: ralph diaz Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Gear list request Doug Lloyd wrote: > > CHECK LIST - Doug Lloyd A very impressive list. Good thing you are not a gear-head! :-) Seriously though, just a few comments/questions: --Notice that Doug puts his Thermarest in a dry bag. Some paddlers thinking that the pad is covered with waterproof fabric, don't give it that extra measure of protection. They sometimes wind up sleeping on a wet surface. Tents, tent poles, and tarps should also be similarly protected even though the fabrics are largely waterproof and the poles of aluminum. Tent poles can corrode in saltwater as some paddlers have found out. Protect everything. --Doug, what is the weight of everything not including the kayak and paddles? Better stated, do you have the weight for ordinary day paddle gear and the weight for camping gear and food? --When you speak of keeping a careful record for insurance purposes is it just to document lost gear for insurance coverage? Or is it also to cover your own possible demise (something I pray will never happen to such a nice and noble person such as you who I have grown to like even though not having met) to underscore that you were not recklessly unprepared for whatever conditions did you in and therefore your beneficiaries are entitled to file a claim for benefits under your life insurance policy? I don't mean to be morbid or blunt but it is possible that some recalcitrant insurance claims adjuster might see your paddling style as reckless and risky (even suicidal); such obvious preparedness in gear (and vastly tested experience) would prove otherwise. Again, thanks for such a complete list with lots of food for thought. ralph diaz --
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 11:21:47 -0700 From: Doug Lloyd Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Gear list request ralph diaz wrote: > A very impressive list. Good thing you are not a gear-head! :-) Sorry for delay in response -- I'm in and out of town right now, so please don't be offended by any apparent long delays getting back on subjects. Me, a gear head? Naw, I was told the Nordkapp handles better with a full load, so by packing dense, I have the best handling Nordkapp around. Packing dense, now there's a pun :-) Actually, so little of my kayak shows in a rough sea under a full load, that I hardly notice winds (well, some days it seems). Also, I can pack as much as some others with higher volume kayaks, due to my use of four compartments and low-profile deck net bags and a consistent loading pattern varied only slightly for down-wind running. I do have overload buckles on the rear deck, but only use them on the rarest occasion, if ever. By using large "laundry net bags" to transport gear to the waterside, and then having most things in smaller, slender bags, I can load that Nordkapp like no body's business. The addition of an VCP oval hatch immediately abaft of the cockpit has been a godsend for loading. I also use the aluminum space blanket if needed, to place beside the kayak while loading, which keeps the gear clean and grit free. Gear can "get in the way" of the wilderness experience. However, with my experience and organization, I find all the gear helps me "participate" in wilderness adventure travel in a safer, more efficient manner. I _have_ seen the opposite on some trips, where individuals were overwhelmed by all the gear and loading permutations. Going naked with a stick and a log is not something i would enjoy, though I'd love to see Nigel Foster do this at a one of his symposium talks on paddling techniques (well, perhaps some of the females would!). > Seriously though, just a few comments/questions: > > --Notice that Doug puts his Thermarest in a dry bag. Some paddlers > thinking that the pad is covered with waterproof fabric, don't give it > that extra measure of protection. They sometimes wind up sleeping on a > wet surface. Tents, tent poles, and tarps should also be similarly > protected even though the fabrics are largely waterproof and the poles > of aluminum. Tent poles can corrode in saltwater as some paddlers have > found out. Protect everything. Amen. Gear is expensive, so why not protect it and keep it for a long time. Is that not part of good stewardship of earth's resources from whence our gear came? Not only do bags/stuff sacks, etc., keep gear from getting wet, they help keep off grime, grit, dirt, destructive saltwater, etc. Also, loading in the rain isn't a pain when each and every item is in its own protective bag or grouped in same, etc. > > > --Doug, what is the weight of everything not including the kayak and > paddles? Better stated, do you have the weight for ordinary day paddle > gear and the weight for camping gear and food? ITEM.................................................................RUNNING TOTAL Kayak, with permanent accessories.....................87 lbs With deck items in place.....................................102 lbs (add 14 lbs) With knee tube full, camera, deck water..............111 lbs (add 9 lbs) With basic default gear and lunch........................126 lbs (add 15 lbs) With basic multi-day gear added.........................162 lbs (add 36 lbs) Per day weight of food/water is 5 lbs...................187 lbs (add 25 lbs 5-day trip) Weight of booties, PFD,skirt, wetsuite.................202 lbs (add 15 lbs) Current weight of paddler....................................408 lbs (add 206 lbs) This list is based on my last trip (and some prior day-trip weights), which I happened to do an actual weighing of as I was curious, especially given the fact that all modifications likely to be made to my Nordkapp are now complete, and I don't have any more gear I need now, other than EPIRB and GPS someday. So, it looks like a day trip runs at 38 lbs, and an overnight trip (one night only) runs 79 lbs, respectively, minus boat, paddling gear and paddle/paddler. In winter, I add more gear like a Thermos, fleece jacket, more poly underwear, and more dense food stuffs, soups for mid-day warm up; but, I take less water as it is more plentiful along the coast. Note that my food tends to be on the heavy side, as I take condensed liquid milk, Alpen cold cereal, cans of beans and chile, boil-in-bag rice, power bars, gorp, dried apricots/apples/pears, etc., back up Kraft pasta dinners. I only do "gourmet" cooking when I take my wife. I gave up on alchol due to gastric problems intrinsic to sitting in a kayak. Trips over 10 days tend to be more of the freeze-dried food variety. On my own, I tend to push myself in the elements, and have little energy at the end of the day for food preparation. I am often on the water by 6:00 am (even earlier occasionally), and breakfast takes four minutes for a fast go. I often do some major paddling in the late afternoon once winds calm down again when running the length of an exposed coast with summer wind patterns. I think I would have expired long ago if it wasn't for the early starts. Winter tripping, all bets are off. Survival in a moment by moment affair, with constant re-evaluation needed and lots of escape routes, and decisive action taken in compliance with gut feelings to get off the water NOW. Good gear is a must. You can be stuck for days in one place (though I always find narrow windows to keep moving). I've also added a few things to my last gear list from 1999. Dye marker, Glow sticks, Patagonia moisture barrier vest (insulates in winter, keeps wind off torso in summer), a hand held compass, back-up cheap watch to my regular diver's model, light wind shell for summer, and I take my old hooded Wildwasser seam sealed paddling jacket for rain camping in the winter (it is totally waterproof). Alas, rubber boots don't find room in a Nordkapp. > --When you speak of keeping a careful record for insurance purposes is > it just to document lost gear for insurance coverage? Or is it also to > cover your own possible demise (something I pray will never happen to > such a nice and noble person such as you who I have grown to like even > though not having met) to underscore that you were not recklessly > unprepared for whatever conditions did you in and therefore your > beneficiaries are entitled to file a claim for benefits under your life > insurance policy? Both. Insurance adjusters like visual proof via a list and video tape or still pictures in case of theft, loss, or fire, etc. My gear list also goes on the back of my float plan, along with how many days water and food (including back-up food) I'm carrying. I know if I die, i will be labeled irresponsible no matter what, if I'm solo; so at least, a list goes a long way to showing "whomever" that some responsibility was apparent. I know on our last rescue, the Coasties were very impressed with the collective equipment and preparation and prior experience and training. Me nice and noble? Naw, why Matt said he wouldn't sell me one of his kayaks, as he wouldn't want to see the Mariner name appearing in some future accident/incident review/report. Of course, I'm not sure if the possible truth to this is due to the fact of my track record, or perhaps a prophetic utterance he didn't realize at the time matt said this to me, due to the implication that one of his Mariner kayaks might not survive one of my trips :-) > I don't mean to be morbid or blunt but it is possible > that some recalcitrant insurance claims adjuster might see your paddling > style as reckless and risky (even suicidal); such obvious preparedness > in gear (and vastly tested experience) would prove otherwise. Funny you should mention this. As I left Port Hardy last week, a gale was blowing. A lady in a business outfit came up to me and asked me where I was going. I pointed to some offshore island in the distance. She said "You're going out there, today?" She then took my name and number, and said she would call me in a few weeks upon my return to sell me "no-fault" accident insurance. $50,000, no questions asked upon one's demise if it was sports related. My current policies are fairly good, but there is often fine print regarding "white water kayaking and river rafting". Insurance companies still consider seagoing activities relatively safe, it would seem. Suicidal, eh? I just call it fun. Living in New York - now that's suicidal :-) (Mug mug, bang bang, crash crash). > Again, thanks for such a complete list with lots of food for thought. No problem. I'll "cc" the list the above response, as the weight calculations might be useful to some folks. Take care ralph. Keep up the great work with Canoe and Kayak magazine. I get the magazine now, since the new editor took over and you started contributing. Hope the new head honcho there works out. He sounds like a down-to-earth type. Gotta go. "She who must be obeyed" is telling me to get off the computer. BC'in Ya Doug Lloyd (who loves these "heavy" subjects, but is a very down-to-earth, gravity-pulled fellow most of the time)
From: "Whyte, David" Subject: [Paddlewise] gear list Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 18:58:08 +1000 A lot of people asked me for a copy of my gear list so I thought it would be easier if I just posted it to the list. There are many out there who have done more trips or have better lists so I am sure there are holes in mine but it has done me for quite a few years. Coming from a bushwalking background mine is probably a bit sparten David Canberra, Australia I made this current one up when earlier this year I went on a 5 week trip with two other paddlers. I didn't take everything on this list and I posted some stuff home after 4 days. I find it better to have more on my list then I need then decide when I am packing whether to take it or not depending on where I am going or what I am doing. For example we didn't take the water purifier as we knew there would be enough supplies of clean water. Lists are a bit personal so I will add the following: I do a lot of photography so take quite a bit of camera gear. I love looking at the slides when a trip is over. I haven't mentioned pumps as I have a foot pump permanently mounted on my front bulkhead which is custom built for my size. I don't have a paddle float system I am rethinking my first aid kit at the moment. I am looking into vhf radios but haven't decided yet. The way cell(mobile) phones are going I may not need one I would like a GPS but have got by for so long now with a map and compass that I haven't been able to justify the cost. They are still over $300 in Australia Really cold water is not usually an issue where I paddle I paddle solo as well as with groups I don't use a lot of dry bags (they are heavy and expensive) except for camera gear, sleeping bag and some of the warm clothing. The rest I put in ripstop nylon bags that I knocked up on a sewing machine. If the hatch filled with water it would be a nuisance but not life threatening. Expedition Gear List Canoe Gear Spray skirt Life jacket Sail Bailer Sponge Canoe shoes Paddle and spare Paddle leash Tow line EPRIB V sheet Flares Dye Life jacket knife Goggles and snorkel Paddling gloves (light ones for sun protection) Paddling shorts Kayak mounted Compass Camping gear Tent, poles & sand pegs Ground sheet Stove and fuel Fuel bottle Billy Matches Sleeping bag Silk inner thermarest Stool or sitting matt Headlamp & spare batt Torch & spare batts Mess kit Cord Fly & rope Trowel Insect repellant Sun cream 2 lots Lip cream Notebook pens and pencil Maps Bushwalking Compass Water bottles & wine casks Matches Toilet paper Soap & razor Toothbrush, comb First aid kit Bratice bag Clothes pegs Watch Small AM/FM radio Water purifier Reading book (usually for solo trips) Will buy a walkman one day for solo trips as well to listen to music Fishing gear Fishing knife Fishing line and lures heavy trolling line hooks and sinkers trace wire & swivels Hand spear Clothes Hat and spare Sun glasses (2) Underwear two t-shirts thermals (2 tops) Polar fleece pants Track pants to wear to pub 2 pairs shorts long sleeve shirt woollen jumper sleeveless jacket rash shirt sports sandals walking shoes long pants Raincoat overpants Swimmers Spare clothes in car Day pack Water (15 litres) Camera gear Camera (SLR and Underwater) Film tripod check quick release socket Cable release Filters (polariser and RED) Lens Lens cleaners spare batteries Flash & batteries Binoculars Repair Kit Seam Sealer Pliers (leatherman) Screw driver Some stainless screws Epoxy Needle and thread Cable ties Boring tool Tent pole spare tube Wire saw Webbing tape Duc tape 3 metres of cord Fibreglass repair kit Elastic bands Plastic bags
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