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 Post subject: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2011, 9:49 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2007, 10:54 am
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Location: Montreal, QC
So a friend and I are having an argument with respect to the best way to run loaded with gear.

He insists that strapping anything to the hull is the worst possible choice since in the event of a tip the boat will catch more water and make it harder to either unpin or rescue, so he thinks that barrel and packs should be left loose and just recovered once everyone is safe at the bottom.

I on the other hand argue that by strapping your barrels down the weight isn't gonna shift, so there is less chance of a tip, and if you do tip or if you take on lots of water, the barrels (buoyant unless you are taking barrels of sand) will actually serve as extra flotation (albeit VERY inefficient) and there is no risk of losing your gear.

Of course the third option is just to tie it on to the boat but I we agreed that thats just a bad idea from a safety perspective.

So who is right, more right, or are we equally wrong?


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2011, 10:06 pm 
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Joined: June 1st, 2005, 7:15 pm
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Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
Tether is a good option for ease of fixing an upset. Tying in is good if you want to avoid getting tangled in tethers while swimming the rapids.

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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2011, 10:25 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
I think you are both equally wrong, or equally right if you are optimists.

My feeling on this old debate is that barrels and packs, well secured and tied into the canoe are a good way to run long rapids in rivers that have lots of current. Yes it is harder to recover the boat, but the added flotation of the packs is considerable, and it means you can stay in the canoe and work it to an eddy that much longer. Added flotation means the boat is less likely to get pinned. It also means that everything is in one place and a long scavenger hunt isn't necessary.

I would also tie stuff in on big lakes.

In pool/drop rapids without a lot of current in the river, I don't tie in as often because the risk is not as high and it is just easier to recover the canoe. Tying in well takes some effort and time, and is a hassle if there are several portages in your day.

I agree that tethering doesn't seem very useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2011, 2:38 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
This question has been debated many times and there are a few very lengthy threads containing all the classic arguments from the usual suspects (and some lurkers too!). Search the archives!

To your quandary, there is no possibility of any (semi)definitive answer without adding the specifics of the situation.

There is nothing at all wrong with your third option under the proper circumstances. It's probably the most frequent option I use.

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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2011, 10:56 am 
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I agree with recped, though in whitewater river situations I favor tying everything in *and* having plenty of properly distributed floatation.

Also, if you're on a wilderness river for more than a night, you should not be taking any serious risk of upset with all your gear in the boat. It becomes a matter of portaging the gear (so the bears can eat your food while you are running the rapid empty or carrying the boat). :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2011, 1:51 pm 
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Location: along the Ottawa River, Ontario, Canada
No right answer to the question, there are pros and cons to all the possibilities. You have to look at the situation, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages and make an educated guess about what'll work best if you get into trouble based on what you perceive is the most likely circumstance you'll find yourself in. There have been trips where I've alternated between all the options - loose packs, tethered packs and packs strapped down depending on river conditions. Even when you take into account the most likely circumstances that could get you into trouble, there's always a risk that something unexpected happens and your decision works against you.


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2011, 4:02 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Smart paddlers are the best. Get educated and knowledgeable. Make your own decision. Be flexible and stay smart.

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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 11:39 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2011, 11:26 am
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In heavier water - when I am carrying tripping ( camping) gear I favor a pretty bombproof system. This means securely strapping in gear in waterproof bags, and everything covered with a spray skirt. This has the advantage of shedding water in big waves and also holding your gear in at the lowest possible center of gravity. This gives you the biggest chance of the boat riding right side up in the event of an "incident". Losing a critical piece of gear ( stove, sleeping bag, tent) on a multi day trip can turn a enjoyable trip into a grueling experience. Daytrips, playboating, etc. are different scenarios. The decision to run a questionable rapid when tripping should never be taken lightly.


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 12:00 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
I'm generally a not tie-in kind-of-guy. I have a nylon strap web that can be pulled across the entire center of a tandem that we store under the bow seat of my Pakcanoe. It's ready for deployment, but on most of the trips I've done it's involved more ports, and untying and retying after every portage is a PITA. So we don't usually use it. My reasoning for not tying in is that you should only have say 3-4 packs and barrels. They should all float in an upset. So gathering the "yard sale" after an upset should'nt be too big a hassle. Get the boat out of the water, dump it out and go get the packs. Small stuff (water bottles, map cases, fishing poles, extra paddles, should always be tied in or to the packs just because it's more difficult to find along the edges of the river and are much more likely to travel further downriver than a pack or barrel. I don't think that tying gear in will help enough with keeping gear from shifting to make it worth tying in.

I really don't think there is a right answer. Thus I suggest you come to a amicable way of deciding which way to go. Maybe you could decide based on who's canoe you use. Use your canoe you tie in all your gear... use his canoe you don't.

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 12:15 pm 
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Joined: July 3rd, 2003, 11:15 am
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Quote:
So a friend and I are having an argument with respect to the best way to run loaded with gear.


this doesn't bode well for tandem,
you should probably be paddling solo boats

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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 1:06 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
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If we're taking a survey, I'll add my vote to the NOT to tie in group:
Makes a canoe-over-canoe recovery over complicated.

While we're on the topic of complicated recoveries...
The worst one I have ever encountered was trying to do a canoe-over-canoe rescue with a swamped canoe that was equipped with a full length spray cover. We were in a fast-moving river, and we had to undo each individual strap that held the cover down... all the while floating downstream towards the next set of rapids... :thumbup:

Tons of fun...


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 3:27 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
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If a boat has a spray deck, I would generally go for a rodeo rescue rather than canoe-over-canoe for the reason stated.

I tend to tether gear to the boat on big rivers where I might never see it again and not on smaller rivers where it won't go very far it the boat dumps.


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 5:09 pm 
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Joined: July 16th, 2006, 8:59 pm
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Location: Now in Sudbury
I've settled on a compromise. I don't tie my gear into the canoe, but I tie my dry bag and tent to my food barrel, so if it escapes the canoe, I've only got one bundle to fetch. Makes convenient bundle for portaging too.


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 5:10 pm 
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Joined: September 8th, 2006, 7:11 pm
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Location: winnipeg
Peter K. wrote:
If a boat has a spray deck, I would generally go for a rodeo rescue rather than canoe-over-canoe for the reason stated.


What is a rodeo rescue? In kayaking this means just jumping back into the swamped cockpit and pumping out. Same for a canoe?


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 Post subject: Re: Strap in, tie on or nothing?
PostPosted: May 13th, 2011, 6:10 pm 
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This is when a strong boat "lassos" the dumped boat. You put 3 to 4 throw bags linked with carabiners on the spray deck in front of the stern paddler with a biner on the end of the first bag.

If there is a dump, the rescue boat goes to it and ties into one of the grab loops with the biner on the end. The stern paddler then puts the other end of the rope under his/her knee (NEVER ties in to the boat) and paddles like the blazes for the shore deploying rope as required. On shore the stern paddler jumps out and secures the end of the rope to a BFT or BFR (Big F Tree or Rock) and pendulums the dumped boat in to shore. You need a really big anchor to stop a dumped, loaded tandem boat.

I've heard of other ways to try to rescue boats with spray decks, but they require more brute strength than I have and use slings, etc. that I don't like to have on a boat.


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