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General Trip Gear

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Will all due respect to Bill Mason, standard practice for paddling white water is to make sure your gear is secured so well that it stays in place in a capsize. On some western rivers it's required by the agency in charge. Even ones without white water. They don't want gear floating down their river. On loaded trips, dry bags replace float bags. They displace water. That only works if the bags stay in place.
Obviously, on a canoe trip with frequent portages, spending a lot of time tying your gear in would be impractical, but I'd, at the very least, run one of the packs straps over a thwart or yoke and make sure there aren't loose items, like sponges and maps.

Around my neck of the woods, spraydecks are the standard practice nowadays for loaded whitewater.
 
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Kathleen and I, since we began wilderness tripping in 1990, have always used a spray deck. We tied our gear in only on our very first day in the Rock Gardens on the Nahanni River. Never again since then. Once when we were tracking up a Class III rapid on the way go the Coppermine River in 1995, our canoe overturned. I belayed the canoe to shore. Nothing fell out. Even our tea mugs were still floating in the bottom of the canoe. I have posted this before, on another thread, with pictures, but thought I would again as a follow up to rubbabbo’s post.

I don’t know how difficult it would be to get back into a canoe with a spray deck after a capsize. Kathleen and I have never capsized on a wilderness trip. At our age, we likely have only one wilderness trip left, planned for this coming summer. Hope we don’t find out how hard or easy it might be to get back into a capsized canoe with a spray deck. I would be very surprised to capsize, but our skills have certainly declined since our peak.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Around my neck of the woods, spraydecks are the standard practice nowadays for loaded whitewater.

Kathleen and I, since we began wilderness tripping in 1990, have always used a spray deck. We tied our gear in only on our very first day in the Rock Gardens on the Nahanni River. Never again since then.

I used to trip out West with a very strong and heavy spray cover on my Mad River Explorer, which had just a cockpit hole for my centralized seat. I kept 95% of my gear in one giant Bill's Bag, which was under the spray cover and clipped with one carabiner to a D-ring on the floor. I liked and recommend this system.

The one time I didn't clip in my bag, I dumped in a class 3 rapid on the Eel River, was rescued, and my canoe pinned at the head of class 5 Coal Mine Falls. The heavy spray cover prevented the canoe from wrapping. Here, on the first rock dead center of the photo:

Coal Mine Falls.jpg

I managed to snag the painter that was wriggling in the current closest to shore. We stood on the giant boulder just upstream from the people standing in the picture, tied about three rope bags together, and lifted the canoe off the rock at about a 45° angle to vertical. As we did, my unclipped Bill's Bag fell out of the spray cover cockpit and disappeared down Coal Mine Falls. Gone. Everything I had . . . gone.

Fortunately, it was the last day of the trip. Hours later, after the portage around Coal Mine Falls and about 500 yards above our takeout, I found my Bill's Bag floating in an eddy. About $800 of camera equipment was destroyed, but I retrieved everything else.

The moral of my story is: Tie packs when running rapids even if they are stashed under a spray cover. It doesn't have to be elaborate. A daisy chain of packs clipped to one secure D-ring would do. This seems especially unproblematic and unburdensome if the trip is all on one river without frequent gear portages.
 
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Good thread Clint.
On a group trip last month I decided to leave my axe and hatchet at home but did bring along two saws, a folding pruner type and a folding Sven type. I wasn't in any particular mood to provide the stacks of firewood seeing as how there'd be 3 younger guys to do all the work. Me and the other grey hair conspired to be the management safely in our chairs. But that didn't last long as I sat admiring how excited everyone got when somebody produced one of these.
pocket chain saw.jpg

You'd think it was Christmas morning the way they got excited. Everybody wanted a try. I must admit it worked better than I would have expected. One of the young guys couldn't wait to forage for more dry timber. I passed on my turn with the chain saw. We wound up with 4 tired but happy woodcutters and one complacent observer. We stashed a good supply for the next campers.
 
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Good thread Clint.
On a group trip last month I decided to leave my axe and hatchet at home but did bring along two saws, a folding pruner type and a folding Sven type. I wasn't in any particular mood to provide the stacks of firewood seeing as how there'd be 3 younger guys to do all the work. Me and the other grey hair conspired to be the management safely in our chairs. But that didn't last long as I sat admiring how excited everyone got when somebody produced one of these.
View attachment 131121

You'd think it was Christmas morning the way they got excited. Everybody wanted a try. I must admit it worked better than I would have expected. One of the young guys couldn't wait to forage for more dry timber. I passed on my turn with the chain saw. We wound up with 4 tired but happy woodcutters and one complacent observer. We stashed a good supply for the next campers.
Interesting. Will have to add it to the list to look into. Thank you for posting.
 
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So the "Blue Barrel" and the Preferred Tripping Style" threads seem to show that everyone has different ways they like to travel. In that it is slowly showing that everyone has their own way of storing their gear and in general just different types of gear for different regions. And also different skill levels. For instance I am still pretty new at tripping and still learning what to take on multiday trips.

Like I never knew people actually used a hot tent until seeing them here on CT.

Anyways, I was packing for my daughter and I annual canoe trip down the Brazos river and though I would take some pictures of my stuff and how I pack it. Plus I know some here just love my Texas 5 gallon buckets. ;) For us I use 3- 5 gallon buckets with the screw on gamma lids. 1 for the kitchen items, 1 for all the bedding and 1 for all our clothes. This is my "Packing List":

Keys

Battery for phone

WHISTLE

CANOE

  • 3-CANOE
  • 6-PADDLES
  • 5-PFD's
  • BOW LIGHT
  • REPAIR KIT
SLEEPING

  • TENT
  • GROUND CLOTH
  • 2-SLEEPING BAGS
  • 2-SLEEPING PADS
  • 2-DOWN BLANKETS
  • PILLOWS
CAMP

  • SHOVEL
  • FIRE WOOD
  • 2- HEADLIGHT
  • FIRST AID
  • WATER FILTER
  • 2-CHAIRS
  • TP/PAPER TOWELS
  • LIGHTER
Kitchen

  • DUTCH OVEN
  • SOAP/SCRUB PAD
  • 20 PAPER PLATES/20 FORKS
  • 5 BOWL/SPOONS
  • WOOD SPOON
  • WATER POT
FISHING

  • 4 POLES
  • TACKLE BOX
  • CRATE
CLOTHES - WEATHER - HIGH 64-74, LOW 42-48 / PARTLY CLOUDY-CLOUDY
TAILWIND
2-YETI CUP



So what does everyone else use? I know that everyone's list can run from the minimalist to taking the kitchen sink. From using Blue Barrels to Hefty Trash Sacks. But it all depends on where we live, what we have, experience and many other factors. There is no right or wrong way to pack or trip.

View attachment 128228
Here is my latest video on how to pack for a canoe trip. This is how I do it down here in Texas anyway. Enjoy!
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Here is my latest video on how to pack for a canoe trip. This is how I do it down here in Texas anyway. Enjoy!

Nice gear review for non-portage canoe camping, TXRR. As an astronomy buff since childhood, I kept waiting for you to say that you would fold up that telescope somehow and take it in the canoe.
 
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Nice gear review for non-portage canoe camping, TXRR. As an astronomy buff since childhood, I kept waiting for you to say that you would fold up that telescope somehow and take it in the canoe.
Ha ha! We have talked about how we might take it, but it is does not travel well. We do get some beautiful nights that would be perfect. Might have to build a traveling case. You are right, we typically don't portage. In east Texas we have some nice long stretches that you can spend several nights on without having to portage.
 
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Here is my latest video on how to pack for a canoe trip. This is how I do it down here in Texas anyway.
Hey TXRR. I am from Texas also. And was packing for the Brazos river mention in the 4th sentence in the above quoted messaged. I haven't watched your video yet and not sure how everyone else feels about it. But it would be awesome if you could write down what you are doing. ;)
 
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Hey TXRR. I am from Texas also. And was packing for the Brazos river mention in the 4th sentence in the above quoted messaged. I haven't watched your video yet and not sure how everyone else feels about it. But it would be awesome if you could write down what you are doing. ;)
Are you talking about the stretch below Possum Kingdom? I've done that section of almost 40 miles. It's beautiful. I have campsite locations if that is where you are going. I've also done the lower Brazos near Houston because I live near it, but I did not camp. I was just scoping it out. Its a very different river down here. What I talk about in the video is pretty much exactly what I took on that stretch of the upper Brazos. Here is my video on the lower. I hope to do a video on the upper soon.
 
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@Clint I talk about two different grills and a reflector oven. When I did the upper Brazos I only took the charcoal grill I mention in the video. We did that trip for my son's 18th birthday and he wanted steak for dinner. So I grilled some stakes on it and made a potato dish that is fantastic. I'm in the planning stages of a video on meal planning and preparation. Going to have some fun with it. It will make Justin Wilson proud and Hank Williams may make an appearance when I break out the Jambalaya. LOL
 
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Hey TXRR. I am from Texas also. And was packing for the Brazos river mention in the 4th sentence in the above quoted messaged. I haven't watched your video yet and not sure how everyone else feels about it. But it would be awesome if you could write down what you are doing. ;)
Canoe Trip Supplies – 3 nights, 2 people – Upper Brazos

In Camping box

Hammocks/Rainfly
Sleeping pads
Camp table
Portable grill/charcoal
Lighter
Lighter fluid
Camp stove
Frying pan
Spatula
Dishes
Hot dog sticks
Camping Coffee pot
Head lights
Extra batteries for lights
Battery for phone charging
Dish soap
Scrub sponge
Hot-pad
Trash bags
Flushable wipes
Paper towels
Camp saw
Small Shovel
Rope
First aid kit
Mosquito repellant
Ponchos
Duct Tape

In Dry Sacks - 4
Sleeping bags, camp pillow, blanket
Extra set of clothes
Warm Fleece or Pullover
Swim shorts
Towels

In Small Box
Vitamins / Aspirin
Toiletries
Gloves
Chap-stick
Sunscreen

Loose Items
Camp table
Sponge
Leatherman
Camp chairs
Thermos
Water container
Life vests
Hat
Sunglasses

Menu
Thursday

Breakfast – Cereal, Milk, Fruit
Lunch – Sandwiches
Bread
Meat
Lettuce
Tomato
Pickles
Mayo
Pringles

Dinner – Hamburgers
Buns
Meat
Lettuce
Tomato
Pickles
Cheese
Mustard
Pringles

Friday
Breakfast – Burritos
Eggs
Bacon
Cheese
Tortillas
Salsa
Orange Juice

Lunch – Tuna Fish Sandwich
Tuna
Boiled Eggs
Mayo
Relish
Bread

Dinner – Jambalaya
Rice Mix
Sausage

Saturday
Breakfast – Oatmeal
Oatmeal
Maple Syrup

Lunch
Ritz Crackers
Cheese
Salami

Dinner
Steak
Potatoes
Tony Chacheres

Sunday
Breakfast
Oatmeal
Maple Syrup

Other food
Fruit
4-Bananas
4-Apples or pears
Cherries/Berries
Root-beer
Iced Tea
Granola Bars
Water
Instant coffee
 
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@Clint When I did the upper Brazos
We do it every year and I try and take a different group out that has never canoed or never stayed over night out on the river before. We have a good time and enjoy it.

Thank you for the list. It is interesting to see what people bring.
 
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