Too many lessons are learned the hard way. We prepare by packing the equiptment needed to help in most circumstances. Can you get to your gear when needed? In the case of a class 4 or 5 boat some cannot be righted without assistance in the case of a capsize. Stowing essential survival gear where it can be recovered in an overturned boat will serve you well in a time of need. A fact sometimes not considered among the endless tasks in preparing for an EC. Good luck to all, perhaps I'll see you on the course. Dave
Stowing your gear(9 posts) (7 voices)
Oh yes. Last year I anchored at 3 AM Sunday morning to get some rest. My cargo hold being on average 16 inches wide and ~four feet long was quite stuffed with bad sequencing. The sleeping bag was behind the food and water and hypothermia bag and stuff, which had seemed good the day before, and I in my narrow hull had no where to put unpacked stuff easily. I was so tired I just put on fleece jacket and GorTex parka and hat to sleep on deck with poncho pulled over me. What little sleep I could have gotten was ruined by shivering soon. Then I tore out all the gear and had to sit on it on the tiny deck (a couple of things fell off and got wet) to get the sleeping bag out, then I slept.
Lessons = (1) an outrigger canoe could tolerate having some netting to pile gear on when shifting the storage arrangements, (2) have a day bag to pack the day's eatables, and put the gear for the "I am exhausted and need to get out my sleep gear fast and safely" times in the most accessible place udner your hatch, and (3) stagger the packing more: you can put day 4-5-6 food way in back if you are so lucky as to get that far! (4) And keep a few more things clipped on deck somewhere, such as the hypothermia clothes bag. (5) Sacrosanct camp clothes might be stuffed at the bottom of the sleeping bag to kill two birds. -- Wade
You got it so right Dave!
It is even worse in the smaller boats that have to cram stuff. Just human nature to put stuff I do not use all the time on the bottom and hardest to get to. Kinda like an empty space, I will drive to a store to find something to fill an empty spot.
As far as kayaks and other small volume boats and even the big boats pack your survivual stuff last. Yep it sucks to pull out this stuff every time I want a snickers bar. Ya gonna look at your get out of jail stuff though and know where it is every time.
I do things differant but have an easy boat to pack. Stove and food are 1st but my shelter and dry clothes are just as easliy accesed.
What ya gonna do if knocked over and the boat leaves with out you? Have someway of slowing down getting cold in your PFD. I carry an orange survival bag in one of my pockets. For you northern Boys and Girls you can die from the cold water in Florida, proven fact.
Thether yourself to the boat? We can debate this forever. You decide!
Self rescue is way more differant in waves and wind then flat water. I have yet to be turned over in calm water.
Dave is a been there done that guy. He will tell you it all changes when it happens.
Visualize whirled seas in the cold heart of darkness. Right, Dave?
It sure didn't help that it dropped into the low 40's that night. I now have a 5ga bucket with a screw on watertight lid that floats free and is teathered to the boat in event of another capsize. You can get a lot of good stuff in a 5 ga bucket. With what I know now I think I could right the boat. It's amazing how a seaway changes when you're not trying to sail through it but merely float upon it with an anchor deployed, the only positive point of inversion is the anchor drops automatically. That's a good thing as it turns out. Still better to stay right side up, reef early. Dave
Ah yes, the capsize box. I always had one tethered on a 3 foot line, enough to float free from a skinny hull in a 180. Photos here: "Waterproof, durable boat boxes: the pragmatics, doubts, and worldview" Forgive my rather Victorian tastes in titles :-) http://www.instructables.com/id/Waterproof%2c-durable-boat-boxes%3a-the-pragmatics%2c-do/ --Wade
Very very helpful, Dave and all. Thanks.
I've got my survival gear right close to me, tethered but quickly releasable. It is in philosophy of the capsize bucket or box but in a Seal Line Kodiak Dry Bag. But I now see that my camping pack in the forward hatch is arse backward! Beyond my hypothermia kit right with me, I need to rethink the cold-and-sleepy scenario in some re-arrangement. Duh! Getting into warm clothes and comforter-bag is more critical than brushing my teeth. ;-)
Wade, I loved your writing style on instructables! Manny
Helping DaveOnCudjoe right Maggie in 2010 taught me a lesson, "do not underestimate value of good waterproof bags for your gear."
I recommend testing any of your bags in a pool for a few hours. See if these materials and how we will use them will safely protect your goods. Really swim with your gear and slosh it about. Find out now if it really works. Or weight your waterproof kits in a tub or container for a good 8 hour soak -because you woill be paddling more than 8 hour stints.
Will your first aid kit be waterlogged and useless in your hatch if you take on a cup of water? Will your sleeping bag be waterlogged? Will your computer be soaked?
My ditch kit has small waterproof pouches for each kit in a nice Seattle Sports waterproof backpack that can serve as flotation if I must abandon ship. Then I can carry it on my back once on solid ground or on mangroves.
When I first started Camping before the NCC I found that I would pack all things like I did my spread sheet. Clothes in one bag, cooking items in another , and so on. what I found is I had to remove eveything from my kayak to get a simple cup of coffee. This was quite funny when Sandybottom(Dawn) would pick up a couple of bags and have her camp set up and I was still unloading my Kayak.
I found now to pack things as you use them , sleeping bag, nite clothes,pillow in same bag. Coffee ,cup,sugar ,spoon, morning Meds all together.
I go through it in my mind like it was 2 am and I just wanted to get some sleep and get warm. Then get up and hit the water fast in the morning. I am still working on it but it helps alot when you are tired.
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