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  1. Modified Ottertail

    How many pairs of footwear: in canoe vs. on portage vs. in camp?

    The Astral Brewer 2.0 looks and sounds like a great option and I was sorely tempted to pickup a pair ahead of our Adirondack paddling trip that we just completed. Yankee frugality, however, won the day and I stuck with my Chacos/NRS sandal socks (neoprene)/Darn Tough hiker socks (for camp). The...
  2. Modified Ottertail


    I don't think so. The trail was in good shape in summer 2021, but it's essentially a hiking trail, not a cart path. It climbs and descends hills and cross some bog bridging. My brother and I had our personal drypacks, a communal bag—a Granite Gear Quetico with kitchen and food and et cetera, and...
  3. Modified Ottertail


    I highly recommend putting in at the lower dam on the Bog River, paddling to Lows Lake and doing the 3 mile portage to the Oz's headwaters. We gave ourselves a full day for the portage with our Penobscot 16RX, which made it quite manageable.
  4. Modified Ottertail


    The problem with cats, unless they are indoor only, is that they are the single worst threat to birds and small mammals, killing tens of billions every year in the U.S. alone. Yes, they do more damage than habitat loss.
  5. Modified Ottertail

    Fears while paddling or on canoe trips

    I'd like to think that my fears are better called "a healthy respect for." Those would include waves/wind on open crossings, getting pinned on a rock or strainer, and bear and/or critter derived food loss. A fourth, more recent concern is a falling tree. In the spring of 2021, my brother and...
  6. Modified Ottertail

    Electrical device you are most likely and least likely to eliminate

    I would argue that after water and extra layers, a headlamp is the single most important item to carry when in the outdoors. You can use the position of the Sun to crudely navigate or follow a stream downhill to a road, but a headlamp can keep you on the trail and extend your day so you don't...
  7. Modified Ottertail

    Essential nonessentials.

    A pee bottle is definitely nice, even if you don't have prostate issues. As are a chair and whiskey. I would argue that a headlamp falls into the strictly essential category, but just in case, I'll mention it. Dry Bag: I use the 65 liter NRS Bill's Bag, which has carried well on long portages...
  8. Modified Ottertail

    Poll: What is Your Current Preferred Method of Water Filtration/Purification?

    Paddling trips: Pur/Katadyn pump filter for drinking water, boiling when meal calls for boiling water, and occasionally untreated. (Hiking: AquaMira (chlorine dioxide) or untreated.)
  9. Modified Ottertail

    Moose River (Me.), August 9-11, 2022

    While we didn't see the theesome in a canoe and kayak after leaving Holeb Stream, a couple camped at site at the start of the portage and on Thursday, August 11, they were just about to put in as we departed. The look back up at the outrun of Holeb Falls. While the water had dropped over a...
  10. Modified Ottertail

    Moose River (Me.), August 9-11, 2022

    Jim, yes, the ice was frozen and kept with other perishables in an Ice Mule Pro XL cooler backpack, which my brother got specifically for canoe tripping. I'm not sure about the first night's meat, but unless it is cured, all meat for after the first night is frozen. My brother likes to cook, so...
  11. Modified Ottertail

    Moose River (Me.), August 9-11, 2022

    We awoke to Wednesday morning to a calm Holeb Pond and to find that the water had risen at least a foot, if not more, and my boat, while not moved, was now in the water. As my brother and I took our time eating and packing up, the father and son team hit the water, and we saw them no more...
  12. Modified Ottertail

    Moose River (Me.), August 9-11, 2022

    As kids, my twin brother and I had done trips on the Saco, the Androscoggin, and the West Branch of the Penobscot twice. While we both do local day trips with our respective families, our haitus from tripping lasted decades. When an injury prevented me from hiking in the summer of 2019, I...
  13. Modified Ottertail

    Knot in Paddle

    It's oiled.
  14. Modified Ottertail

    Knot in Paddle

    A new premium, handmade paddle arrived yesterday and it has a small knot in the blade, about 2 mm across and a cavity about 0.5 mm deep. Should this be considered a defect and be returned or is it an acceptable variation?
  15. Modified Ottertail

    Paddle sizing revisited.

    I have a paddle sizing question. I am ordering a Fishell Ray's Special, and am not sure whether I should order a 61" or a 64". My torso—top-of-seat to bottom-of-chin—is 27". My current quiver of paddles are a 60" Fishell Modified Ottertail, both a Breaking Branches 54" Expedition Plus and 57"...
  16. Modified Ottertail

    Help removing dried pine sap from Royalex?

    Speaking from my experience with my Royalex OT Penobscot, a safety glass scraper, with its somewhat flexible single-edge razor blade, works well for hardened sap. Denatured alcohol has a tough time when it's hardened and will remove paint.