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Things you've lost or misplaced on a canoe trip . . .

I've found far more interesting things than I've lost. My first canoe was recovered from the bottom of the lake, and I think I've found three more since.

I haven't purchased an adult life jacket in several decades. They are readily available on the roadside, normally about a quarter mile from the boat launch.

My favorite find was a 17 ft aluminum canoe that I found wrapped and buried in a creek in West Virginia. I dug it out and towed it home.

I beat it out with a sledge hammer. The flotation was rotten, so I used the aluminum covers to make patches for the crease holes in the hull. I made a portage yoke from a poplar board. The yoke was definitely not up to the task of carrying the canoe.

It was a distinctive canoe. We called it The Battleship and would boast, "she took a torpedo at Pearl."
 
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I omitted it from my trip report, but last month we lost a Luggable Lou toilet lid on our trip to Jocassee. It was behind the stern seat and I leaned back on it. I was trying to push the protruding hinge around to the side, so would stop digging in my back. Instead of must have popped it off. I realized 20 minutes after we lost it, but by then it was too late. Even if it didn't sink it would have been impossible to find in the wind and waves.

20 years ago I lost a helmet on the highway. I forgot to remove it from the kayak after returning to the van.
I don't even count stuff lost from my roof, it's at least a dozen travel mugs, a couple of pairs of prescription sunglasses, and several hats- I set them down to adjust or untangle a strap, adjust a load, or just check the racks mid- trip, then hop in the truck and go...
invariably 20 miles down the road I ask my paddling partner "have you seen my coffee???"
As for found boats, a friend on a group youth trip found a springbok aluminium buried up to the gunnels in sand and gravel, it was as flat as the proverbial pancake.
the kids dug it out, pounded it back into some semblance of it's original shape with rocks, tied up the seats and thwarts with branches, and used most of a roll of duct tape to make it seaworthy, and brought it back with us. Some more mallet work, the services of a local welder, and donations of new outfitting made it into a halfway decent but BF ugly boat, One enterprising kid painted it's new name on it in the appropriate cartoonish script, complete with the necessary runs, sags, and smears, and "Super Beater" was reborn.
 
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Lost a set of house keys a couple of years ago while shuttling. Three of us were doing an exploratory day trip which turned out to have many downed trees to go over and around so we didn't get to the take-out until after dark. The guys I was paddling with are kayakers and I wasn't sure how the shuttling would work so I'd thrown a plastic shopping bag with foam car-topping blocks in the back of my car just in case they would be useful. At the take-out it was late and we were tired. A lot of gear just got tossed in the back of my Subaru, along with my purse. I drove one of the guys, along with his boat and gear, back to the put-in to get his truck. Don't recall if the foam blocks got used for padding his kayak on my rack or not. When we got to his truck we hastily moved his gear out of my car with limited lighting. Then I went back to pick up the other guy who had carpooled with me. Everyone's gear had been tossed in the back of my vehicle at some point that night. It was after midnight by the time I got home and found that my house keys were not in their usual place in my purse. Had to retrieve a spare key from a shed to get in the house. The next day I thoroughly checked my vehicle and asked the others to check if my keys had ended up with their things. No luck, so I assumed that my keys had fallen out and were in the gravel somewhere near the river.

Last month I was doing a similar trip with a few kayakers and again figured it wouldn't hurt to bring the foam car-topping blocks just in case. Grabbing the bag I felt something besides foam blocks at the bottom of the bag. There were the house keys that had been missing for two years! I don't know how they got out of my purse and into that bag but somehow during the late night shuffling of gear two years ago they did.
 
I have never lost anything in my 50 plus years of paddling/camping.
Never!!
However, I have cached some gear in strategic locations.
For instance, I keep a Buck sheath knife in the bottom of Stillwater Reservoir.
I also have a monocular stored just below a beaver dam on Brandreth Lake outlet.
While I haven’t accessed those items in over 30 years, I take great comfort knowing that they’re there when and if I need them.
 
On one trip, my son left a small backpack full of fishing gear. We left an island, got to another spot for lunch and realized it was left behind.
I got in my Zephyr with a double blade and hauled arse back to the small island, just to see a group of six guys setting up. Total time was exactly 42 minutes

Of course.......none of them saw anything.
 
On the second day of a 2 week trip on the Megiscane River, Quebec, I noticed I was missing my spoon. I knew just where I had set it down, a beach where I had lunch. But it was portages and miles back. Luckily I had another, so no problem.

Many years later on the Little Tupper to Lila Lake, Adirondacks trip I lost my spoon. It as the only eating utensil I had. (This trip was designed to shave as much weight as possible a la Light Jay.) So, I carved myself a spoon. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

Oh, and when I returned to the Megiscane, the spoon was right where I left it.
 
Left a wooden fish net on some portage in LSPP, realized it was gone while loading the car to go home.

Wife’s hat blew off and we watched her new sunglasses sink into the black depths of Killarney Lake.

bug spray, black flies are the worst!
 
Luckily I’ve been organized enough that I haven’t lost anything…other than my canoe but managed to get it back.

But since this thread kind of evolved to things found I have stories.

Back in a previous life I was very active in SCUBA diving. Once diving a lake I found something odd on the bottom. When I realized what it was I couldn’t help laugh at the predicament the people that lost it were suddenly in. It was the paddle wheel from a pedal style paddleboat. It was a good distance from the shoreline as well. Must have sucked to be happily peddling along and then “clunk”… stranded in the middle of a lake.
 
I don’t remember losing anything on a canoe trip but if I did it must have been inconsequential. My ex left my Puukko knife behind at a campsite in the Fish Creek area in the ADK’s, she was out by herself. I found out weeks later when I was looking for it.
Jim
 
Like Stripperguy, I carefully left a brand new pair of sunglasses about 20' southwest of the Paul Smith's College public launching dock. Now I just gotta remember to bring a dive mask next time to locate them for the next trip starting there. I deftly removed my cap in order to don the PFD, forgetting that the glasses were stowed on the brim.
 
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