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Safely tying in gear, and storing lines

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This is broad, but... I've never been the one who had to tie in gear before. I will have either a large backpack, or a couple of smaller waterproof bags that will have all my gear. How do I tie them in so that if I go over, they either stay with the boat or in the boat. I recognize that if they're tied IN the boat, it may be hard to flip an upside down boat back upright. Also, I have read about ropes causing entanglement... how do you store ropes (Painters?) so that you don't have entanglement issues when you paddle, but you have the ropes available when it would be good to have a leash on your vessel? Are there good solutions? Thanks. Pringles
 
I used to actually lash all my gear so it barely moved. Now I just attach gear to a thwart using the straps or large carabiner and smaller pieces to larger pieces. When I go over I have a train of gear trailing the canoe. Lashing is more time consuming both loading and unloading so I find uprighting the canoe is easier when all I have to is unhook the gear attached to the thwart (once I get over to the shore line). Make sense?

Whatever works well for you is a good solution. The secret is just don't swim!!!
 
This is broad, but... I've never been the one who had to tie in gear before. I will have either a large backpack, or a couple of smaller waterproof bags that will have all my gear. How do I tie them in so that if I go over, they either stay with the boat or in the boat. I recognize that if they're tied IN the boat, it may be hard to flip an upside down boat back upright.

Dang Pringles, two topics at once that are right up there in opinion with ground cloth underneath or inside.

I am probably lazier than I should be about tying in gear, and do so only when I judge that I might flip. And when I judge the gear recovery to be more awkward if not tied in.

When tying in gear I prefer to use a webbing strap around a D ring on the floor, so that when upside down nothing is dangling past gunwale level, and the gear is easy to strap into and retrieve from the canoe. The blue barrel is semi trapped between thwarts and can be restrained with a webbing strap, as is the big 115L bag when judged wise.

While it is amazing how well loose gear stays lodged in the canoe after a capsize, I would not count on that with critical gear. I do use spray covers on most trips, which could only help that trapped in the hull aspect. And make the hull harder to flip or swim tow. Decisions and compromises. . . . .

Also, I have read about ropes causing entanglement... how do you store ropes (Painters?) so that you don't have entanglement issues when you paddle, but you have the ropes available when it would be good to have a leash on your vessel? Are there good solutions?

There are good solutions, but there are no universal solutions, it is all situational compromise. Entanglement with loose rope weighs in my outfitting, and equipment.

Outfitting wise I want at least some deck plate, float tank or carry handle bungee security for both bow and stern painters. On decked canoes or spray covered canoes I prefer open cleats to hold at least the bow painter close at hand.

How and where I have painter line secured depends on the boat and the conditions, but it will always be secured in some fashion.

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums...5937-painter-bungee-and-winky-sized-deck-caps
 
I can't begin to count how often this topic question comes up. Here's my stock answer....
I co-teach an adult trek leader guide's course. We have students practice capsized canoe recovery to demonstrate the ease or difficulty in doing so. Some, when guiding kids find that kids are concerned about their packs "sinking" or blowing away in any wind. No pack is ever going to sink, unless it is filled with rocks, even if it feels that heavy. Put anything loose that might sink, such as stoves and pots,separately together in a dry bag. After the deep water capsize demo, we ask, now think about emptying that canoe of water if it has packs securely tied in, especially if you use rope with tight knots. If you must, at most, clip the pack hip belt around a thwart and forget using any knotted rope. If your pack blows away during the rescue, it will be easy to see floating high - just get it later. This advice is for flat water or lake paddling.

On the other hand, if you are expedition paddling in remote areas in moving or fast moving water, and your life may depend on having your gear, then you want to be sure it stays with the boat. When my team paddles the Yukon River (current is mostly 5-10mph), the advice is to tie everything in the boat. if you lose the boat, you need to keep everything together inside and hope you can retrieve it all a short distance down river. In rougher sections we have a full canoe spray cover installed.

Always be careful of unstowed loose ropes that are tied to something. Coil and stow them safely. A good friend lost his wife a few years ago when their sailing canoe capsized and she got caught in the rigging underwater, unable to free herself. So sad.
 
I like the idea that the bags won't sink. As to blowing away, I'm not worried because in this instance, it's a lake. I just paddle to the end and pick up my stuff.

I'm sorry for your friend. That's a fear, which is why I asked the question. I'll keep working on an answer that works for me.

Thanks for the answers... and sorry to rehash the same old thing. I have that hope that the final, correct answer, will magically appear and I can just do it. I guess if it weren't an issue no one would ask it.
 
We used to have our scouts swim their fully stocked packs across the pond on training weekends. It not only proved to them that they float, but tested their water proof packing method. On scout trips we tied packs in tight and demonstrated that the packs will float a capsized canoe so you can paddle it to shore. Since then I didn't always tie my stuff in when alone, but after chasing an empty canoe across a windy lake for another couple that tipped, I always loosely tie now. I figure the packs secured by a single line will act as sea anchors and I can get ahold of one--never had to though. This is flat water paddling.
 
My philosophy is that capsizing is going to occur when you least expect it and probably under adverse conditions. Kudos to all of you who teach others to self-rescue. My habits were established on remote wilderness trips and it is very difficult for me to leave anything in the boat unsecured, even for short paddles. Just goes against the grain. Packs are secured with the hip strap, and then lashed in to D rings. I think I remember that the water proof packs, secured, act as flotation. All ropes are coiled and secured. There is a knife on my life jacket. As for wind, I have seen unsecured packs wind driven rapidly away from the canoe and its former occupants. If the wind had not been directed at a nearby shoreline, they would have gone out to sea.

Erica
 
Stowing painters.
I am a flat water paddler and almost always line rapids. I use paracord as painters. I know it is hard on my hands but it is small and stows easy. I tie a 3 inch piece of yellow cloth ribbon to the loos end of the line. I figure eight wind the line and lay it on the end thwart. There is a Bungee Dealee Bob that has been taken apart and reassembled around the thwart which is wrapped around the thwart and paracord.
https://www.bdbcanoe.com/bungee-dealee-bobs-shock-cord-tie-downs/
When you want to use the painter just grab the yellow piece of cloth and pull.
 
As pointed out by Erica and others, every situation is and can be quite different. What you actually do will depend on experience, training, and the exact conditions you find yourself in. With the exception of my Yukon River races, I paddle mainly on inland (Adirondack) lakes, medium-small ponds and quiet rivers. So never would my gear be in danger of being blown out to sea, but if that were ever to be the case then I guess I would have to alter my thinking and practice to fit the conditions. When I train guides with deep water self-rescue techniques in a canoe, a main point is to imagine how that situation would happen in the first place (what was done wrong to get to that point) and to take precautions to prevent it, especially if guiding novice paddlers in high winds far from shore on a large lake. A water and gear filled canoe with impossible to untie waterlogged rope knots will move extremely slowly toward shore whether by swimmers pushing or by a rescue boat towing. The distressed canoe must be emptied first before it can be moved with any efficiency.
 
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I teach the same procedure as yknpdlr. Our rivers up here are all pool and drop, and after a dump in rapids, packs usually eddy out faster than most canoeists. On big lakes, we stay close to shore. When I started with the club 30 years ago, everything was lashed into 17 foot grummans. Canoe over canoe rescue was never practiced. However, it is standard practice now.

As an aside, I have found that many canoes that tip on open water refuse to divulge their contents, whether they are tied in or not. I was teaching C turns on a small rapid with fully loaded canoes. One canoe leaned into the current and of course turned turtle immediately, When we retrieved the canoe, the only thing not still inside it was one croc type shoe.
 
I'm probably not up to self rescue and getting back in my boat alone. I stay close to shore and figure on going there if I tip. I fasten my painters in a bunch by a small bungee cord bow and stern. I have the stern one partially pulled out and reachable from the seat to hold while getting in and out in difficult places so i don't have to think about my boat getting away.
 
I agree with Yknpdlr (who ironically was one of my instructors in the early 90's). I paddle mainly in the Adks, and have never tied anything in. I have my packing down to a science (large Frost River pack for trips 3 nights or shorter, I add a Frost river day pack for trips longer. I rarely have the opportunity to go longer than a week). This is based solely on where I paddle. With all the carries in the Adks it would be impractical to tie everything in most days. As stated above, Im sure my thinking would change if I paddled WW or large open water.
 
I teach the same procedure as yknpdlr. Our rivers up here are all pool and drop, and after a dump in rapids, packs usually eddy out faster than most canoeists. On big lakes, we stay close to shore. When I started with the club 30 years ago, everything was lashed into 17 foot grummans. Canoe over canoe rescue was never practiced. However, it is standard practice now.

So much depends on the where and how and the with whom we. On group trips boat rescue, and chasing down the floating yard sale, is easier, and gear lashed into the hull makes a boat over boat rescue harder.

If not impossible. I have been stymied getting a nice light kevlar solo over my gunwales to flip upright by a single bleach bottle bailer tied onto a thwart with a short piece of cord.

Even on solo trips I am reluctant to tie everything in every time. Sometimes the difficulties of tying in at the launch or untying at the landing make it inconvenient if not impossible.

As an aside, I have found that many canoes that tip on open water refuse to divulge their contents, whether they are tied in or not. I was teaching C turns on a small rapid with fully loaded canoes. One canoe leaned into the current and of course turned turtle immediately, When we retrieved the canoe, the only thing not still inside it was one croc type shoe.

It is always impressive how much gear, especially dry bagged gear, stays trapped in the boat. The usual escapees seem to be small really buoyant stuff that floats away quickly like Crocs or flip flops, and of course, stuff that sinks.

Cameras and eye glasses especially. I learned the hard way that a filled to the tippy top SS Kleen Kanteen will sink like a stone, and now always take a big gulp of headspace before launching.
 
I value and respect different option's, but I don't understand saying it takes too much time yo tie and untie. a couple of clips to loops around the thwarts--30seconds? I'm not saying tying in is the only right way, but time to fasten and unfasten seems a non factor--maybe I'm missing something?
 
I value and respect different option's, but I don't understand saying it takes too much time yo tie and untie. a couple of clips to loops around the thwarts--30seconds? I'm not saying tying in is the only right way, but time to fasten and unfasten seems a non factor--maybe I'm missing something?

Turtle, it is not the time so much as the occasional awkwardness. On a windswept rocky landing I will just load the canoe and push off with gear unsecured, instead of beating the canoe against the rocks any longer than necessary. I may stop a half mile way at some more gentle place and tie in, or may not. I will usually at least stop to rearrange the gear load more trim satisfactorily.

On a steep ledge site, where it is everything I can do to haul my own self out, perched hap hazardously on the slippery rocks or mud, I really do not want to spend time futzing with tie downs, either when loading or extracting gear.

The conundrum is that, on trips with easy lake shallows landings, where it would be easy to tie in gear and extract it, I probably will no need not, and when I really should tie in, on swift moving rivers with awkward landings, or at wind beaten landing, I probably will not either. Get my gear outa of here Mr. Wizard.

I use a webbing strap with Fastex buckle, around a D ring on the floor, for the To Me critical stuff, wrapped around the barrel with stove and food, and around the 115L dry bag with tent, sleeping bag and clothes. I can unclip that buckle with one hand and, in extremis, throw the bag or barrel ashore to lighten the canoe.

And, at some really steep landings, pray Oh Crap No, as that tossed ashore barrel or dry bag begins to roll down back down the hill towards the river.
 
In my experience there are but 2 conditions to really worry about that will cause the canoe to fill with water. #1: big water,with large waves caused either by high wind or by crazy motor boats. Waves wash over the canoe, from either end, or wash along the gunwale especially when quartering from the side, thus filling the canoe with water. I was once in a slowly sinking voyageur canoe ("we're going down!") after wind and wash from a large but relatively distant motor boat traveled the length of the gunwale, filling the canoe so that the crew had to abandon ship and swim to the thankfully nearby shore.

#2: most times in normal circumstances the canoe does not tip far enough for water to flow in over the gunwale, rather a paddler does not follow the rule to keep head inside the gunwale. Head outside the gunwale and the paddler simply loses balance and falls out, leaving the canoe high and dry until the paddler grabs the gunwale on the way out and causes tipping so that water floods over the gunwale. I've directly experienced that phenom too. Caution, try not to do that with an audience.:eek: Either way you end up with a boat load of water.
 
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We have 115 litre dry bag packs and they are excellent flotation units and will stay wedged in the boat if you turn over. I know this for a fact. Snapping a waist belt or carabiner onto a thwart to keep the camera case of fishing rod case from sinking is a great idea. The less loose stuff you have the better.
I cannot imagine a situation where the boat capsizes due to waves or wind wherein I will be able to self rescue other than getting to shore and sorting it all out.

As for bow and stern lines...I like mine available to my grasping desperate hands once I surface...again personal experience here. As I am WEARING my PFD, I dont get too worried about entanglement. You will be able to sort it out as long as you dont panic.

Any gear that is vitally important to my well being is tied in. Expensive stuff is tied in. Not with mile long loose ropes.Short ones, preferably carabinered. Solo trips require more diligence in keeping your gear secure. You dont have any help to round it all up.

Christy
 
If your canoe goes down in weather and the packs aren't connected somehow to the boat, they are going to start to drift ... and quickly. I had this experience and once you are in the water and the waves and wind want to bob you all over, the perspective changes a lot.

You see gear bags heading merrily down the lake with the wind and waves .... you cough and sputter as the PFD tries to throw you on your back and a wave picks that moment to hit ... the last thing you need is more things to worry about, other than getting to shore. In my case the gear wasn't tied in and could have drifted miles ... we had to grab what we could by straps and work our way to shore.

Fortunately, only my chair and boots floated (then sank) away ... the gear was intact and dry when we reached shore (although the backpack had gained a lot of water weight). Since that time i keep a piece of Zing-It with a carabiner to run a cord through all gear and attached to the thwarts. This will at least keep the gear together and allow concentrating on just getting to shore and recovering.

Letting your gear float away , figuring you can easily go find it later, is a very situational thought ..... a few islands and several miles of lake would suggest it would likely be gone ....


Brian
 
Yes, in most of the cases I have been involved in the people were in the water and the canoe had very little water in it. That was why the one I chased down blew away so fast. It was hard to catch. I see your point mike I have done the same thing. I usually tie to the back of my seat of the thwart ahead of me, so it's easy to tie in once on the water. Also, I was thinking of solo paddling. One thing I learned about reentrys when in a group, is an adjustable strap-like toy fasten your boat to your car, fastened around a center thwart and someone holding the opposite side down makes reentrys much easier. You put one foot in the strap and use leg power to get in.
 
In my experience there are but 2 conditions to really worry about that will cause the canoe to fill with water. #1: big water,with large waves caused either by high wind or by crazy motor boats. Waves wash over the canoe, from either end, or wash along the gunwale especially when quartering from the side, thus filling the canoe with water. I was once in a slowly sinking voyageur canoe ("we're going down!") after wind and wash from a large but relatively distant motor boat traveled the length of the gunwale, filling the canoe so that the crew had to abandon ship and swim to the thankfully nearby shore.

I have been sphincter puckered a few times by wind driven waves coming awfully close to gunwale height, but only once thought we were going down.

I had paddled into a site on Grand Lake Matagamon in a small tandem and set up camp. A couple days later I paddled back to the put in, picked up a friend and his gear and we paddled back to camp. The plan was for him to stay a few days and I would paddle him back to the launch and then return to camp for a few more days solo.

He stayed an extra day. I did not feel like paddling out, in and back out in 24 hours time, so we loaded all of the gear in the canoe for a single trip out. Everything was fine until we rounded a point and got into the wind. A tail wind, manageable at first, but as the fetch increased the waves started inching up towards the gunwales of the overload canoe.

And then pouring over top the gunwales, a couple gallons at a gulp, which was not helping our lack of freeboard. We had one chance at a tiny rock spit of an island and just barely made it, beyond that was a lot of open lake stretching ahead.

Nothing was tied in, and I am not sure it would have mattered. We could not have managed a reentry in those conditions, and if we sank with the inevitable waterlogged canoe slow roll over we were probably not swimming anything except ourselves to shore.

There were two lessons learned there. Lesson 1, as soon as I saw the conditions on the lake I should have turned us around, either back to camp or into the waves away from the put in, towards the protection of the far shore. Once out in it there was no turning around. Route planning matters.

Lesson 2, we were in a none too deep 15 foot tandem, which was inadequate for two guys with a hefty gear load. Too much freeboard is a pain in the wind, but too little is worse.


#2: most times in normal circumstances the canoe does not tip far enough for water to flow in over the gunwale, rather a paddler does not follow the rule to keep head inside the gunwale. Head outside the gunwale and the paddler simply loses balance and falls out, leaving the canoe high and dry until the paddler grabs the gunwale on the way out and causes tipping so that water floods over the gunwale. I've directly experienced that phenom too. Caution, try not to do that with an audience.:eek: Either way you end up with a boat load of water.

More times than I care to admit, and always with an audience. Sometimes taking the canoe over with me, but as often hull sipping just a few gallons of water as I went overboard.

That has never occurred in any challenge that required attention, rounding a tight strainer, making a move in rapids or catching an eddy. The canoe ejections have always been in relatively benign conditions, which led me to become overly inattentive.

There is a lesson there too, about paying attention. And a conundrum, I am more like to tie in for challenging conditions and less likely for the benign. Which, it seems, is when I swim.
 
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