Professor Paddle: Rescue/repair/bailout kit
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 09 Feb 2009 at 7:12pm
First,I like this discussion. Lots of really good ideas. I like to keep it simple, unless on a hard committing run. I normally carry 4 locking biners on the PFD in a little loop of webbing tucked away so it won't catch. I used to even lock them, but not anymore. A 15' bit of tubular webbing with a big paddle biner at the end of it. I also carry a 70' half inch rafting throw bag. I decided to go with the bigger bag after that landslide on the Upper Sultan a few years back. If you're hikin' out half inch rope is nice. And I'm totally guilty of not carrying a first aid kit. The worst I've ever had was a guy partially dislocated his shoulder on the Green. He was able to hike out almost at the site. Maybe I've just been lucky. I've definitely become complacent in this area. On bigger trips I carry more. The swiss seat can also be rigged to bodies needing to get to the other side of the stream.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:01pm
great topic- this is what this site is good for- sharing ideas ect. I enjoy reading everyone's lists of stuff they take with them on those harder, more remote runs.

HOWEVER- and I'm not trying to start one of those famous PP sh*tstorms- I merely feel inclined to balance this discussion out in a few ways...

The most important things every paddler should carry with them into a canyon is among the following:

-A BOMBPROOF roll. nuff said.
-A solid Duffek. Look it up if you don't know what it is. Practice it if you do know what it is.
-A basic repertoire of rodeo skills (because we all get stuck in holes sometimes)
-Solid ferrrying skills.

In other words, err on the side of caution and don't make stupid decisions. Plan your trips. On most class III and IV trips there should be no excuse for getting caught in the dark. Information is abundant now. Plan before you go.

Ok. I know this stuff is assumed for the sake of discussion, but I feel it needs to be mentioned. Most paddlers I see out there have woefully inadequate paddling skill for the class of water they are paddling.

Now on to all of the heaping mounds of survival gear...
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  Quote slickhorn Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:20pm
Originally posted by wetmouse

Most paddlers I see out there have woefully inadequate paddling skill for the class of water they are paddling.


man o man, I have been that guy.  Great observation JP.

I like to think of it in percentages.  I like to run water that's maybe 75% of what I know I can do.  I can build my skills on runs that aren't at 110% of what I can do, and as my boundaries move, I can choose to step up in control. 

But I've done some ill-advised boating in that 110% zone, and getting off the river okay doesn't mean good judgment was exercised, or that a similar outcome is assured on a repeat trip.  "Survival boating" is rarely fun.

Sometimes the pressures to step up or push oneself on harder water isn't based on the right attitudes, experiences, or motives.  As I've examined my own, I've found my interest in aggressively pushing for harder water has waned somewhat. 

To some people, that means I've lost an edge, quit pushing my own boundaries, or somehow stagnated.  And I suppose that's true if you only see progress as running harder and harder water.  But I enjoy boating as much as ever, and I particularly enjoy the aspects of boating within which I'm challenging myself. 

which is class II swimming lol

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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:28pm
I am actually very surprised no one has mentioned the true definition of a safety kit yet.... Being a notorious chief of the teepee myself I feel like my tribe is missing some braves!!!!

I am most disappointed in Horner, considering his in depth inclusion of climbing gear with no mention of the elusive spleef. I retract that sentance.... horner, elusive and spleef can't be used together... SOrry!


Edited by James - 10 Feb 2009 at 9:28pm
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:29pm
I hear ya. I'm gonna post my own prioritized list of survival stuff to bring... hold on...
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:30pm
I heard Slickhorn! Not YOU, Nutty!! But,,, hee heee
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:40pm
Ok-- my list of survival stuff:

EVERYONE should have a throwbag, some biners, a whistle, a knife ect. That's just basic traditional must haves.

But some of these laundry lists are excessively long for all but the most extreme remote near-expedition caliber runs. All that stuff starts to weigh heavy, as Leif's jab illustrates. It takes longer to pack your boat and get on the water, it encumbers you when you need to make twelve heinous portages around log jams you didn't expect to find, thus ensuring that you'll actually need the stuff when you get stuck in there over night. I'm in Devil's Advocate Mode- mostly favoring the Quick and Light approach. In almost 3 decades of paddling respectable whatewater, I've rarely need more than a throwbag and some biners. If you bring all that stuff, DEFINITLEY bring the headlamp too.

I do like this thread, though--it's thought provoking. back to the list...
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 9:58pm
We need to do more than list everything but the kitchen sink (that's in Montana on the Madison, a good class IV, BTW). We gotta try to prioritze the shit.

After your basic rescue kit, (throwbag, biners, maybe a pully, some prussiks ect.), webbing is a good thing to include. It's usefull for all sorts of stuff, as you all have mentioned.

Next up is WATER. I can't believe how seldom I'm on the river with someone who has it. I don't mind sharing, but after a night of drinking, I may need it all, so if you ask for it I may say no. Bring your own.

FOOD. Again I'm surprised people don't pack this lightweight and essential item. When  folks are dicking around as much as they can sometimes do, I get cold waiting around, so I like to have some extra calories on hand.

Safety Kit's optional, but I'm not going into detail here, sorry, Prof.

Probably the next most important item to bring is the breakdown paddle. I'm gonna say one breakdown for every 5 people or so on the trip. Additional hand paddles if that's "how you roll".

A multitool or whatever YOU need to fix YOUR shit when it breaks. Other repair items such as ducktape (QUACK!) and webbing for to rig up a makeshift backband are good to have.

First aide kit--that's a whole thread in and of itself. I'm usually guilty of not bring one, but I've been thinking about it.

Headlamp- esspecially if you paddle with Leif. I love the guy, but he needs to learn to expidite things. oh there I go again. ok, I'll behave.

Firestarter and lighter ain't a bad idea, nor is a compass, but now we are straying from the essentials.
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 10 Feb 2009 at 10:03pm
Now on to the NON essentials...

The space blanket seems excessive to me, but then again, if it takes up little or no extra space or wieght, why should I be against it?

SAWS: I think carrying a saw is almost silly. UNLESS: you are a badass creeking junkie and/or have a specific wood removal mission in mind. Then be sure to bring in a REAL saw to REALLY cut some wood. I mean, if all I need is some swiss army knife to cut through it, I can probably hoof my boat over it and get back in the water quicker than I can get the saw out and use it.


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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 8:18am
Since you feel the need to be so dang ornery then I guess I will too.

There is little to no need for a saw in a Rescue / Repair / Bailout kit. Maybe in a river cleanup or run maintenance kit ... some thing you pack after a wind storm on your favorite run... or to clean "that one drop" which you already know has wood. But I can't imagine a rescue situation where a saw is required. Nice to have sure, but not classified under rescue, repair or bailout in my opinion.
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  Quote slickhorn Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 8:43am
We had a great day on McCoy Creek a couple years back, But, we had to hike out just above the Yellowjacket confluence as we were losing daylight, and having trouble finding a way back down to the water at the big falls portage. This was, I think, the right call that day. 

When we hit a logging spur road, we sent the one headlamp in the group, mine, on the search for the car.  The rest of us parked in the dark cold woods for 2 hours waiting for the return of the crew and shuttle rigs. 

Why carry a saw?  With a saw, I could have trimmed some medium sized down timber into nice lengths, then split them with my river knife, which would have let us have a fire.  It was too wet, even with firestarter, to get a fire going using just what we could find.  That technique will let you get to dry inner core wood, and make kindling.

One of the reasons I carry so much crap is because it stays always packed.  Adds about 2lbs to my boat, and takes all of 10 seconds to clip in.  Packing beer for the lunch stop takes longer.  Also, I do a lot of multiday boating, and the kit comes with me regardless, so I do have an eye on staying overnight.  The kit serves as emergency backup to gear that might fail or be forgotten on a longer trip. 

Someone mentioned using a peli case instead of a Nalgene bottle due to lid failure.  After trying to get Pelican cases to stay dry for my cameras over the course of a couple of years, I have given up on Peli cases.  They are not for anything that must stay dry.  They simply don't work well enough.  If the box is usually closed, the gasket will compress and leak.  If you are in it all the time, a little grit will get in the gasket and leak.  If you pin a boat and have a bomber peli case, a few hours of getting worked will again lead to a leak. 

The only thing I've ever found to be a truly dry storage system are Watershed drybags.  Roll top drybags leak, and zippered bags like the Seattle Sports or Seal Line zip duffel also leak. 

If I could afford one, I'd use Watershed's deck top drybag for my rescue kit.  Maybe someday.  Until then, the nalgene is cheap and reliable.

Oh, I also carry some wetnaps for, well, the obvious.  And I also carry a little cordage. 

I also love the astral vests because they make it so easy to carry water, which I never boat without.

Okay, yes, I've been busted as a gear head. 
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:27am
Gonna call BS on the saw example. Your example uses the thought that it would have helped not actual case example. Bottom line is still that you did not have a saw to test that theory and in all likely hood if your in a forest where it is that wet a saw and a lighter are not going to be all you need to start a fire. This also brings us back to the case of need vs want. I'm sure a fire would have been great but what about hot coffee and smores? Where does it start and end... Life

The whole idea is minimal items that are emergency tools. Now I am ultra salty on the whole posting today since JP worked me into a frenzy but here is the only way I can really contribute to this whole thread, similar to what JP has mentioned were lacking the discussion of skills here.

Do you really want to be prepared?
Go drop yourself off in the woods without all the fancy provisions and make life happen for a week. Just you and the earth. Plenty of people do this in the military because they want to be part of a select group that requires this skill set, plenty of people do this out of the military because they want to have the peace of knowing they can live if required. Nothing and I mean nothing beats experience even in other examples. Get the best gear around and go paddle class V without a roll, perhaps a bad idea. When your in survival mode building tee pees with moss and saplings is not a thought, knowing where to find a dry cave or turned stump is. On day one you might fart around with fancy solutions but after a few days you will be ready to stay alive with minimal effort knowing what is required vs what is desired. Where and What you can eat etc..

I'm not saying you don't need rescue gear etc.. but there is a big difference in packing a rescue kit and a camping kit.
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  Quote slickhorn Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:31am
James, I had scone powder, a little strawberry jam powder, and tea packets. 

all I needed was that fire!!!
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 9:44am
hahaha... stop making me laugh. I'm trying my best to top the salty dog -- How can I out grump the wet mouse when your bakin in the woods.

You do know of course that part of a key survival method is sniffing out those bakers and then using a super horner moochin skill to nibble at the crumbs...
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  Quote 1150lbsofaire Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 10:15am
at first i thought the saw was a bit over kill.Now i think its one the most all around tools to have in the wilderness.
saw=fire,shelter,splints, backbords(for none back related injures), heck in the right hands you could build a spare paddle.
although all these tasks could be done with out a saw it would sure make things a lot faster when time is almost always a issue.
 
 
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  Quote franzhorner Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 10:34am
Safety kit includes lighter grinder papers tobacco cardboard for filter and the magic ingredient.  Also a towel or rolling dish is nice to have for your saftey kit.
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  Quote James Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 11:56am
As for the conversation of skills that JP mentioned... can I get a witness?

The dood can boof!!!!!

 

Way to go Buddy... That's one of the cleanest lines I have seen you carve, plenty to be proud of in that shot!!!!
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  Quote franzhorner Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 1:47pm
I think a saw is a good idea.  I speak from a different angle though since I catboat a lot more than I kayak.  I think our discussion is influenced by a lot of variables including length of trip and size of boat.  I would never do a Middle Fork Salmon trip without and Ax and saw.  Ax throwing contests are a must on that river.  I have never seen or heard of a saw being used in a rescue scenario but if you have room and its not too heavy I say bring it on multi-day trips or on trips where you may be forced to spend the night. 

As for spare paddles when kayaking:  everyone needs one.  Once when running Yellowjacket Creek at a way high water level myself and Aaron both lost our paddles while getting worked in the Godzilla hole.  Hunter made it through the big hole and luckily had a spare breakdown carlisle.  It took about 20 min for our boats to come out of that hole so we had our boats but no paddles.  First we tried using half of the paddle each but this proved to be futile.  Instead 2 people ran a drop and then one person walked back up to the other with a paddle while the other went downstream on foot looking for the other paddles.  Eventually we found one paddle and were able to continue but if Aaron and I had brought our own spare paddles it wouldn't have taken us as long to complete the run which we did just before dark....


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  Quote RemAcct2 Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 1:59pm
You know, Horner - you could just strap pontoons to the Volvo.  That way there'd be plenty of room for folks to snuggle at night  (at least I hear that's what happens...)
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  Quote jihad Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 2:11pm
just a question regarding biners, I have always had issues with the climbing type corroding in my boat after a month or two. has anyone else had this problem. I asume SS biners would solve the issue, however they seem hard to find and heavier.
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  Quote RemAcct2 Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 2:15pm
I haven't had a problem - just make sure they are made out of aluminum.  I just transferred two biners out of a broken creek boat hull that had been there for a year and a half (holding in float bags and gear) - they looked good as new.

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  Quote jihad Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 3:47pm
broken? Are you saying it has been broken for a year and a half and in your garage, or you broke it after a year and a half of narr creeking. If the former is the case, it makes sense that they wouldn't corrode if their not on the river constantly (as mine always are)(:
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  Quote RemAcct2 Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 3:52pm
It broke at the beginning of January '09, so it was well used.

This is what I use most commonly...an Omega "D"
http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp?pfid=1429
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  Quote franzhorner Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 3:57pm
Head to toe sleeping in the back of the Volvo with my good buddy is hardly remarkable.  What Rick Ridgeway and John Roskelly did on K2...now that's remarkable!

Ask anyone who's spent a night in the back of my Volvo, its a delight!
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  Quote RemAcct2 Replybullet Posted: 11 Feb 2009 at 4:04pm
Don't get me wrong - I didn't say it wouldn't be a delight.

I am just saying that strapping pontoons onto the Volvo and welding a seat and oar locks to the roof would be awesome.
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