If you were screening people for a canoe trip what would be a deal breaker.

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I want to start by saying I think all of you people are great people as far as that goes. I don't want to put down anyone here. It's just that not all personalities are compatible and I wouldn't want to get stuck in the woods with some one that drove me nut's. I have given this allot of thought. For me I think I would check and see if they carried a spork in their cook kit. That would be the deal breaker right there. I could not trust a spork user to have my back. Not saying a spork user is a bad person, just that we aren't compatible. End of story. What's your deal breaker?
 
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I don't normally trip with strangers.. I'd at least like to have met them at some neutral place before the trip.. Whats the deal with the spork? I have had several silverplated from my grandmother for over fifty years. The best way to eat grapefruit, though I have never taken grapefruit on a trip.

Anyway I use the spork at home . Not on a canoe trip.. Guess I am out. I do use a long handled spoon.. very handy for eating out of a bag.
 
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During my incarceration in a Mexican prison, I dug my way to freedom using a spork...it saved my life!! Today, that spork is in a frame on my living room wall.

We have friends of friends join in on trips sometimes, they're not strangers, but not paddling buddies either.
One of them brought a cell phone along, and tried to use it!! No service of course. He was not invited back.
Preferably no heavy drinkers, but our carries usually eliminate those type anyway. Ok, no main liners either. Or coke heads. And no crack heads.
I guess the only deal breaker would be a whiner...we don't stand for any whining. I suppose I could expand the definition to say no wimps, even if they don't audibly whine!!
Oh, wait a minute. No blatant disregard for the ADK's either.

So that's the list:
No cell phone addicts
No addicts
No whiners
No wimps
No land rapists
Spork aficionados are OK though...
 
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Anyway I use the spork at home . Not on a canoe trip.. Guess I am out. I do use a long handled spoon.. very handy for eating out of a bag.

A spork may just be the best grapefruit eating tool there is, I don't know. If that's the case you could be forgiven. In all other applications I see it as a compromise.

I probably wouldn't trip with someone who eats grapefruit either. Remember, I'm taking about personality compatibility only. Not judging you.
 
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Now wait a minute; you folk's are being too hard on Spork, Captain Kirk liked him and remember how he'd grab the bad guys by the neck and they'd just fold up? Well, if he were along I could leave my shotgun home and not have to carry it. Ha! Take that bears!

Well, as far as deal breakers; the list is legion and then some. In the interest of saving Robin's electrons I'll tell you who'd I bring; wet nose, four paws, waggly tail, happy disposition and covered in dog hair.

A few memorable (never in a thousand years) offered companions were:

A nice neighbor who had a sulky, hulking, teen-age son, who wanted to go with me to see if some bonding could be achieved with the pouting pimple.

A basically nice yuppie couple who'd raised two junior high boys up, high on sugar, high on super positive self image, low on self control and very resistant to any kind of correction. I think, in some kind of liberal mental fog, the parents saw me as a surrogate grandpa. (HA!) I told the father that although I don't like shock collars for training, this might be one time where it might be indicated.

There was one nice guy, who wanted to check out canoe camping and we started some very tentative planning and he started inviting his "buds" along. The trip rapidly devolved into "let's drive to a campground and drink ourselves into a stupor". I wished them all the luck in the world and bowed out. Then for about a week after the phone would ring to see if the group couldn't borrow some item of camping gear of another.


I guess by default I'm a solo canoer; I get along with me and I've pretty much given up on the rest of humanity. Now, there sure are some of you that I'd really like to visit with, maybe have a cup of coffee, but before it gets too late I'm going to get back in my canoe and find my campsite for the night.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I guess by default I'm a solo canoer; I get along with me and I've pretty much given up on the rest of humanity. Now, there sure are some of you that I'd really like to visit with, maybe have a cup of coffee, but before it gets too late I'm going to get back in my canoe and find my campsite for the night.

Best Wishes, Rob

Pretty much my sentiments summed up in a neat package.
 
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I'd never heard of a spork until a couple years ago. I thought people were sharing an inside joke, till I saw one in a store. It seems a handily evolved utensil though, maybe designed by a clever Scandinavian. (Careful Brad. Step away from the Scandinavian spork jokes)
I'm not sure I'd want First Officer Spork on board; going where no man has gone before. Yes, he can do the debilitating neck pinch tickle, but he can also touch your temples and do the mind meld. I don't want someone sharing a fire with me, who can know everything I'm thinking. Do you?
Rob's description of a perfect companion came oh so close to describing my grandkids...wet nose, four paws, happy disposition, covered in dog hair...but no wagging tail. I'd still love to take them along. Maybe someday soon.
It might be easier to find likeable people, than unlikeable ones. If we consider ourselves as fair judge of characters, how wrong can friends, and friends of friends be? But, close and confining quarters can raise hackles, even amongst family and friends. Difficult situations can also bring opposites together; people dropping barriers in order to "all work together." I'd hate to have to face adversity, just to get along. I've spent time with near total strangers, and came away unscathed. Not sure about them though.
I'm not even sure how a screening process would work. Questionnaire? A final essay on the pros and cons of the spork? How do you break the news to someone, that they've failed the test? I do understand the gist of the thing, screening out totally incompatible companions. The right person can make a trip, while the wrong one can nearly ruin a trip.
I suppose my 2 must haves for suitability are : a measure of humility, and some sense of humour. If my travelling companions have a smidgen of those two attributes, then they'll be less likely to abandon me in the backwoods, with nothing but my wits...and a spork.
 
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So that's the list:
No cell phone addicts
No addicts
No whiners
No wimps
No land rapists

Good list. I would add No Chatterboxes.

I enjoy quiet conversation around the fire at night, or even raucous jibes and laughter if there is a bottle bring passed. But I like my quiet time too.

People who talktalktalktalktalk all the damn time just wear me out. No one has that much to say that I need to hear, and if you use 1000 words where 10 would suffice I guarantee I’ll have tuned you out before you get to the point.

If I’m in the boat I like to go to my happy place and just listen to the wind, water and the rhythmic sound of my paddle strokes. At least in the boat I can paddle faster to get away.

If I’m in camp, setting up or taking down, I like to have uninterrupted time to concentrate on what I am doing. Even more so if I am just in sitting, looking and listening mode taking it all in.

Peace out and STFU.
 
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Screening? We either like each other or we don't. Ergo its settled before any questionnaire needs to be given out. And people who like each other generally know when not to step on toes.

I have a friend with whom we have jointly decided that its best not to paddle with each other. And that's fine. We go on the same trip in separate boats.
 
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Ha ha, the roots of the old solotripping site are showing! I take all different kinds of people tripping. Most have had absolutely no experience. However, I know those trips are social trips, designed to do some fishing, sit around the fire, have beer, shoot the breeze. Better than doing it in town.

My standards are pretty low for tripping partners for real trips. I'm so used to looking after people all the time, that if someone can look after themselves, I'm happy to have them, spork or no spork. I like to travel solo in a group, with my own tent, that way I can separate every night and have my own space. During the day I hang with the group when we travel, but not always at night.

If they bring extra booze and give it to me when I run out, well, let's just say that will make up for a lot of character defects.
 
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The compatibility common denominator seems to be personal space. I know I need it, and it sounds like others do too. Most people intuitively know when someone wants to be left alone, to their peace and quiet. At times, I have had to come out and say, "I'm going for a wander, alone..." Amiable folks are usually, well, amiable; and so feathers needn't get too ruffled. An occasional escape is invaluable to helping groups get along.
The list of deal breaking behaviour is a good one. As I mentioned earlier, if someone can exhibit some humility and humour, I could find it easier to put up with some foibles. On one trip, a guy pulled out a cell phone to place a call. I felt irritated, but kept my mouth shut. It turns out he was going through some personal problems no-one should have to endure. He went through hell, but came out the other side. I'm glad I cut him some slack at the time. It's exactly what he needed. Any issues verging on antisocial behaviour...well, I think I'd probably just make my "wander, alone" last quite a bit longer.
 
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Screening? We either like each other or we don't. Ergo its settled before any questionnaire needs to be given out. And people who like each other generally know when not to step on toes.

I have a friend with whom we have jointly decided that its best not to paddle with each other. And that's fine. We go on the same trip in separate boats.

Kim, liking someone and canoe tripping with them are two different things.
 
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Kim, liking someone and canoe tripping with them are two different things.


Nah. If they want to go canoetripping that's good enough. Of course if they have never been the trip will be shorter and easier. I would not ask my neighbor to come with me on a two week expedition. She is my friend and I know she wouldn't like it. But we have done two days together. She is honest enough to share that that is her limit.
 
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Of course if they have never been the trip will be shorter and easier.

Yeah, that’s part of it.

In any case, no matter the length of trip, I would want to have spent some time in their company - off the water at least, or, even better, on day trips - before doing a weekender with someone. Or have someone I trust vouch for them.

And I’d absolutely want to have done a short trip with someone before agreeing to be constant companions for weeks on end.
 
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I think sporks are pretty benign. Worse than a spork are those silly "boy scout" knives that come with a spoon, fork, and knife. I mean - what's the point of the knife, if you can't use it with the fork to cut a steak? A guy needs to have a separate knife for that anyway, so why the superfluous blade? So that's my deal-killer - carriers of superfluous blades.

April fools...just kidding. But I always have wondered about that blade....

I guess I haven't given this much thought, because I don't expect to do much non-solo canoe tripping. Outside of my family members, I haven't even considered it enough to seriously follow through (although I'm hoping to join in a trip or two this year, since my schedule has suddenly become more "normal"). I have done quite a few group day-trips, but there isn't much one can learn about others from that - beyond their ability to stay upright in a canoe. The vast majority of my day-tripping is solo anyway.

Other than the things already mentioned, I can't really think of any deal-killers off-hand for me as the instigator. What makes me want someone along - or more accurately, to want to go along - is experience on an unfamiliar river. It's nice to have an experienced companion on unfamiliar moving water (to put it lightly). Fortunately, it isn't too hard to find someone who will risk putting up with me - spork or not. The question that does seem to come up when discussing this is "where have you paddled so far"? I think there's usually a "deal-killer agenda" in that question - but in my case, I tend to back out myself if I think I might be less than prepared for the route. So - I guess what I'm getting at is that I would want some indication of the invitee's abilities. Without already knowing someone well or just taking them at their word, I don't know how I'd go about that. References, maybe?
 
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In any case, no matter the length of trip, I would want to have spent some time in their company - off the water at least, or, even better, on day trips - before doing a weekender with someone. Or have someone I trust vouch for them.

And I’d absolutely want to have done a short trip with someone before agreeing to be constant companions for weeks on end.

Yeah - that's what I was getting at.
 
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Worse than a spork are those silly "boy scout" knives that come with a spoon, fork, and knife. I mean - what's the point of the knife, if you can't use it with the fork to cut a steak? A guy needs to have a separate knife for that anyway, so why the superfluous blade? So that's my deal-killer - carriers of superfluous blades.

Steve, I am guilty of carrying superfluous, or at least multiple, blades. I have a rescue knife on my PFD, a sheath knife in my essentials bag/belt when afoot, plus a Leatherman and a Mechanic’s Swiss Army knife in the repairs kit

The Mechanic's Swiss Army knife has slotted and Philips screwdriver blades and a small pair of pliers, but it would be damned hard to use the screwdriver and pliers concurrently to tighten up canoe parts or make repairs. Hence the Leatherman pliers/screwdrivers; one tool to hold the machine screw, one to tighten the nut.
 
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Even day paddling is no assurance you'll know what awaits you on an extended overnighter. I recently organized a 10 day tripping voyage and invited a fellow I had day paddled with many, many times. It had been 8 years or so since we last paddled, but I thought I knew him pretty well.

There were 12 paddlers on this trip and about half way through, with no discussion with anyone, this fella decides not to camp with everyone else and floats downstream of everyone and camps on his own. Now opting to forgo companionship is fine, but how about letting someone know? He still expects to be part of the group shuttle and that was a pita work out while separated - luckily working cell phones eased the hassle, still......so unnecessary.

That fella is not going to get another invite from me.
 
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Steve, maybe they could lighten the boy scout knife by replacing the spoon and fork with a spork. And yes the spork it's self is benign. I am not seeking legislation against the spork. I may some day even run into a burning building to save a spork user. Just don't expect me to invite him on a canoe trip afterwards.
 
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