• Happy Birthday, Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809)!

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    Drip covers?

    Like a lot of solo paddlers, I've found that I prefer paddling my solo with a double bladed paddle. The problem I have with it, is all the water that drips into the boat. Yes, a really long, low angle paddle helps, but I prefer paddling with a shorter, high angle paddle. I don't want to get a...
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    Need info on Sawyer Oscoda.

    I saw a fiberglass Sawyer Oscoda on Craig's List and it seemed to be in pretty good condition, so I bought it. I can see that it's 17', about 37" wide, shallow V. Can't tell if it's asymmetrical, so if it is, not aggressively. Doesn't look like it was a very expensive boat. Maybe intended for...
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    Best shoes for Boundary Waters?

    My club has a Boundary Waters trip scheduled and I'm actually thinking about it. Not too seriously, but it's on my mind. I'd pretty much decided my Boundary Waters days were over, but most of my other trip plans fell through and I have a new solo canoe that just screams Boundary Waters. This...
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    Spray cover vs. float bags.

    I've never been a spray cover guy. Seems like overkill for the vast majority of trips I'm likely to go on. I have three things against them: cost, inconvenience, entrapment. For the most part, they seem like more trouble than they're worth. But a lot of experts swear by them and seems like I'm...
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    Two canoe paddles from one kayak paddle?

    Touring kayak paddles are pretty sophisticated designs. Usually curved, dihedral, asymmetrical. They also come in a variety of aspect ratios. That is, long and narrow to short and wide. Low angle to high angle. Seems like it wouldn't be that hard to make two canoe paddles out of one kayak...
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    Blade area?

    I recently purchased a book on paddle making. There is a lot in it on paddle history and design. One thing it talks about is stroke rate and blade size. Supposedly, the voyageurs, when paddling long distances, preferred a smaller blade area and fast stroke rate. Long day, small blade. Short...
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    Binoculars.

    I always take a pair of binoculars on a canoe trip. I use them in the Boundary Waters for spotting the next portage trail. I use them on rivers to scope out the next campsite or upcoming dangers. And, of course, they are handy for wildlife viewing. I'm not a expert, but I own eight binoculars...
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    Paddles: traditional vs. modern.

    Since paddling season is over (warm enough but no water) I've been brushing up on my paddling literature, looking for stuff I want to practice in the spring. One of my books is a small one on solo canoeing by Cliff Jacobson. I was surprised to see that he favors modern paddle design and...
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    Who makes truly custom paddles?

    Is there anyone that makes truly custom paddles? I'm not just talking about special engravings, or fancy woods, or that certain finish. I'm talking about someone that will make a custom blade size and shape, or do something unusual with the shaft or grip. Yes, I could try and make it myself...
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    Choosing a paddle size.

    I've been on a paddle buying binge. I've ordered four canoe paddles in the last few weeks. That brings my total to around a dozen. I wanted to make sure I didn't waste money by buying the "wrong" size, so I researched sizing methods. When you shop for a paddle, the paddle size is the entire...
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    Crazy cheap canoe paddles.

    Last summer, I bought two paddles from Oak Orchard. One was a cherry ottertail at a pretty reasonable price. The other was the $89.95 MAX fiberglass paddle. Hopefully this link takes you to a photo. https://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/images/canoepaddles/oo_carbon_nylon_canoe_paddle.jpg Not the...
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    Crazy expensive paddles.

    I think there is a lot to be said for buying cheap, rugged canoes and paddles, or buying the expensive, light ones second hand. I wish I could do that more often. I often buy something really nice, and then hardly use it for fear of it getting banged up. When I clicked on a link to XY Company...
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