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bobbernumber3
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12/05/2017 09:11AM
I finally read the watch discussion today in the Gear Forum. It made me wonder how many canoeists keep track of clock time while in the BWCA/Q??

Our group generally tells time as "breakfast-time, fishing-time, dinner-time, happy hour, bed-time". In between doesn't seem to matter.

When it comes time to leave, it is good to know clock time to help meet the tow boat... but we are always way early.
 
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paddlinjoe
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12/05/2017 09:38AM
I appreciate leaving the watch and other time telling devices at home. Like you described, hunger and sunlight dictate the time of day. The only trip in which I’ve taken a watch was the voyageur challenge this year. I intend to leave it at home next time around.

It is a unique opportunity to disconnect while in canoe country. When I took my 10 year old nephew and his father on a trip, the father commented specifically about the lack of a watch and schedule. It changed his perspective on his relationship with his son. He realized how impatient and wound up he could get just because of a schedule. Take away the watch and schedule and the fathers patience went way up. They really loved the opportunity to just enjoy the experience.
Michwall2
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12/05/2017 09:58AM
We will do it as a game. "What time do you think it is?" "I don't know." "My stomach thinks it's noon. Let's eat!" Invariably we will look it up on the GPSr.

The other thing is that we have a couple meals that have times for cooking (pasta, biscuits, etc.). We use the stop watch on the GPSr for that.
Savage Voyageur
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12/05/2017 10:02AM
I tried the no watch trip and did not like it. I like to know how what time it is for planning purposes. Especially with larger groups so everyone is on the same page. Like B#3 said need to catch a tow, food cook times, alarm for early fishing wake up, back in time from fishing for others that cook dinner, a quick afternoon nap. Lots of things for a telling time or alarms.
12/05/2017 10:18AM
I will use a watch. But time is time... It doesn't really change what I'm doing. Now sun going down, that might motivate me to put the tent up. Haha. When it's hot I procrastinate putting it up so I don't heat it up too bad before nightfall. It's nice to not worry about time, but nice to have an idea how long it took to say, paddle across Brule in a windy rain storm.
ozarkpaddler
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12/05/2017 11:02AM
Nope. On my first trip our trip leader told us to leave them in the car and I've done the same ever since. As a matter of fact, I only wear a watch at work or if we have to be somewhere. You'd be surprised how accurate you can guess the time when you spend a lot of time outdoors. A friend of mine brought his son on a couple trips and he insisted upon wearing his watch. He would "Test" me and I improved from being within an hour to within minutes; it didn't hurt that he "Tested" me at least hourly which improved my accuracy (LOL)!

I guess I'm a "Dinosaur?" No watch, no GPS, no fish finding sonar, no cell phone, no water filtration system. But I DO enjoy kevlar and my digital camera!
4keys
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12/05/2017 11:16AM
I don't use a watch, but I do take my phone. I don't like to leave it in the car. I generally don't use it, but I have sleep issues so when we go with others and I wake up early I check the time to see if it is too early to get up and make noise. Sometimes I think I will use it to see how long it takes from point a to point b, but then I forget to check the start / end time.
12/05/2017 11:26AM
I take a watch; I use it when/if I want or need to. It has potential applications in medical/emergency situations.

I look at it this way: If I have it I can choose to use it or not; if I don't, I can't.
inspector13
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12/05/2017 11:30AM

I only look at clocks on the days I’m at work, and its usually because I’m wishing time would pass faster. When I’m not at work I go with what my brain tells me. My guestimates are usually within a 20 minute error frame, so that is good enough if I won’t be inconveniencing anyone else.

KarlBAndersen1
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12/05/2017 12:09PM
Even travelers of yore carried portable sundials and time-keeping devices with them.
Nothing wrong with knowing what time it is.
Especially if you have something cooking that says to "boil for 15 minutes".
I'm just sayin'.
12/05/2017 12:20PM
I wear a watch all the time. Sometimes I forget how long it has been since the last meal or break or now how soon the sun will set. %pm comes early.
12/05/2017 12:30PM
Estimate time with fingers and hands.

But doesn't work well on a cloudy day or at nite!

butthead
andym
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12/05/2017 01:00PM
We wear watches and we’re a bit frustrated when we had to time every cooking thing because none of our nephews had one. Of course, they just don’t wear watches and rely on their cell phones at home. And those weren’t on the trip.

Just because we wear them doesn’t mean that we live by them. We will occasionally set an alarm to make sure we wake up before dawn for a long traveling day.
LindenTree3
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12/05/2017 01:02PM
I don't ever wear a watch, but when I'm canoeing I have my phone to take pictures. My phone has a clock on it that I reference from "Time to Time" :-)
12/05/2017 01:28PM
Yes, I have some kind of accurate time keeping device along. I used to have an "adventure watch" that I used to wear only on trips, vacations, etc. Lent it to my kid for summer camp and it never came home.

Last few times its been my cell phone. Its also my camera and alarm clock, which I need because without an alarm in the AM I'd probably sleep until 9 or later.
Minnesotian
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12/05/2017 01:45PM

I don't wear a watch at all, but when I am on a trip I do bring my cell phone to check the time every now and then, to help dial in my "tell time by the sun" ability.

I also like having the alarm on the phone so I can get up real early on days when I want to cover some miles or beat the wind before it gets going.
jwartman59
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12/05/2017 02:22PM
I’ll use a watch on those long 300 plus rod portages. It helps me estimate how far I’ve gone. Otherwise the watch is stashed
AmarilloJim
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12/05/2017 02:27PM
I use one for cooking, coordinating rendezvous times and to tell when it is time to start breaking down camp(as I usually do so in the dark).
schweady
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12/05/2017 03:11PM
Every trip, I look forward to (in somewhat ritualistic fashion) taking off my watch and leaving it at home. I'll occasionally ask a mate for the time, but usually just when trying to pinpoint how soon we hit the water, or found our site, or caught that first fish, or when the mosquitoes started, etc but I know that I can go to the gps log after we get back home for most of that, so no worries. Probably, the most often I'll want to check on exact times is when watching for satellite appearances. gps is good for that, too.
12/05/2017 04:18PM
RULE: No watches on canoe trips.
I have lived by this since my first trip in 1978.
We can tell time by the sun closely enough to find a campsite and set camp, start to cook dinner, start a campfire.
I have forgotten what day it is, but that's kinda the reason I go.
I have never completely lost track and pulled out late, so there's that....
LindenTree3
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12/05/2017 04:41PM
quote jwartman59: "I’ll use a watch on those long 300 plus rod portages. It helps me estimate how far I’ve gone. Otherwise the watch is stashed"

I will chain to see how far I've gone.
I convert rods to chains, a chain is 66 feet, I will do 12.5 paces to a chain. More paces if I'm going up or down. 80 chains to a mile.
Simple for me since we used chains for firefighting when I first started.
Chaining is distracting however.
12/05/2017 07:18PM
With all the technology today it’s almost impossible not to know what time it is. The key is to disconnect yourself from your meaning of time in the “real world.”
andym
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12/05/2017 08:13PM
My wife sings the ants go marching song or the orchestra song on portages. She can convert verses to rods. It’s sort of like using a timer but more fun.

Mostly she sings under her breath but occasionally we have a group song session if it is the end of a day and spirits are flagging.
muddyfeet
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12/05/2017 08:27PM
quote butthead: " Estimate time with fingers and hands.


But doesn't work well on a cloudy day or at nite!


butthead"

I learned this a long time ago. It works very well and is quite useful.
12/05/2017 08:36PM
I’ve done both, prefer having a watch. I am just plain too curious and inquisitive by nature to not have one. Certainly don’t live by it, heck I think I could get by without one on a daily basis for the most part, but occasionally I just like to know. Sometimes I like to know this mile long portage took so many minutes for future reference or just plain curiosity.

T
Grandma L
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12/05/2017 10:08PM
How do you know if you are late for Happy Hour in camp if you don't have a watch?
bobbernumber3
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12/06/2017 04:40AM
quote Grandma L: "How do you know if you are late for Happy Hour in camp if you don't have a watch?"

You know you are late if everyone is there ahead of you... Happy Hour waits for no one!
Unas10
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12/06/2017 05:00AM
If I did not have a watch along my mid-morning snack would be eaten by 7:30, lunch would be gone by 10:00, and supper would be done by 2:15.
bwcasolo
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12/06/2017 05:43AM
sun time for me. if it's cloudy, who cares. never have had a watch.
mastertangler
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12/06/2017 07:08AM
quote Unas10: "If I did not have a watch along my mid-morning snack would be eaten by 7:30, lunch would be gone by 10:00, and supper would be done by 2:15."

Very funny because its true ;-)

I have a watch along to know not only what time it is but to know what DAY it is. Go on a long trip and its easy to start to lose track of the days. I can usually tell within 20 minutes of the time but occasionally I am surprised and thats not a bad thing ("Whoa, its lots later than I thought").

And yes.......Do you use an Outback Oven? I haven't lately but a watch is supremely important to get good results.
HowardSprague
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12/06/2017 08:21AM
Guess it would be handy for tow boat planning the last day, but I never wear one. If the sun's in the middle of the sky I know it's noonish. Good enough.

I don't want to leave my cell phone in the car & risk theft, so I do have mine turned off and in a Pelican box in my pack, so provided the battery hasn't drained (seems I need to charge my 4s about 4x a day lately), I could maybe check the time if there were some reason to. But so far there hasn't been.

BearBurrito
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12/06/2017 10:14AM
I don't bring a watch, but I do have my phone with if I need to know the time for some reason. Using my hand to estimate how many hours of sunlight I have left is plenty for me.
Canoearoo
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12/06/2017 10:26AM
I have been wearing a watch since I was 5. I'm a very organized person I would not want to be without it. I have no problem with other people not wanting to wear a watch though. I'm making our youngest child wear a watch to work on telling time and I make him wear it camping as well.
bobbernumber3
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12/06/2017 10:31AM
One of our group members used to have a solunar watch that we all enjoyed. It showed up to four fish icons at peak fishing periods!!
ParkerMag
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12/06/2017 11:14AM
I have a watch on from the time I get up 'till the time I go to bed, 365 days a year. Particularly on vacation, it rules nothing, but I prefer to have it.
Wick
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12/06/2017 11:31AM
i do not own a watch. I guess i'll add that to the list to buy
12/06/2017 05:55PM
Any clock is useful for travel, judging pickup times, and cooking times for meals. Knowing time makes life organized and easier, otherwise clocks would never have been invented. I go with one, yet those who don't are welcome to do so. This post is MOOT.
Grizzlyman
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12/06/2017 11:13PM
Done both. I like having it but it's also really nice to not have it.
12/07/2017 08:01AM
If I'm base camping really don't need a watch, when traveling I like to know how long it takes to travel from point A to point B and to know when I need to set up camp.
HowardSprague
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12/07/2017 08:02AM
Hey - isn't a watch a "mechanized" device?! :)
Jaywalker
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12/07/2017 08:44AM
I rarely feel bound by any schedule, but I like knowing what time it is just like knowing where I am on the map. I've been grateful to have the alarm function when wind bound on solo trips so I could get up at 4am to break camp and paddle a lake or two before the winds get tough.

I also like knowing what time of night it is as I wake up several times a night. This is especially important in fall or winter trips. If it's close to sunrise, I may just get up and start the fire.
pamonster
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12/07/2017 10:04AM
***Disclaimer*** I'm a watch enthusiast.
The watch I wear and on what strap is as an important of a decision for me as what pants I'm wearing. I love them. I have watches, specifically, because I do outdoor trips like the B-dub. It's a tool for a task. I enjoy selecting knives and other gear in the same manor. You won't catch me anywhere without one :) To me, they're a legacy item. As example - I have my dads watch. It's here and he's gone. But seeing pictures of him and where it's been is cool to me. Moments in life it was present. He wore it to my wedding, my graduation, travels, etc. Some day I'll pass mine on and they'll be a link to me and my life. Something I had with me every day.

All that said, it's not like I'm checking the time obsessively. Just whenever the mood strikes. Is it after 4am or a reasonable time to get up? How long has my spaghetti been rehydrating?

Plus I can use it as a compass in a pinch. Sometimes I'll do that just to confirm I can, then check with the real deal......it's pretty darn accurate. Just a glance to the wrist while paddling, you hardly miss a stroke
HowardSprague
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12/07/2017 10:13AM
quote Jaywalker: "I rarely feel bound by any schedule, but I like knowing what time it is just like knowing where I am on the map. I've been grateful to have the alarm function when wind bound on solo trips so I could get up at 4am to break camp and paddle a lake or two before the winds get tough.
.... "


OK, that's a great point!
Tman
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12/07/2017 01:47PM
I keep a clip watch on my pack strap but rarely look at it. Usually just the last day when we have an outfitter picking us up at a specific time.

I figure it is a good idea to have one handy in case of a medical emergency, etc.

Most of my trips have been as a Boy Scout leader with teenage boys. They designate a "bugler" who's responsibility is to get everyone up on time in the morning so he has a watch/clock. They would sleep all day without that!
carmike
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12/07/2017 11:06PM
I like having a watch. I do a lot of day-tripping from a central basecamp, and often times I'm 3-4 hours from camp. Having portaged my way back to camp more than once in the dark, and sometimes without headlamps, I like knowing with certainty the difference between 5:30 and 6:15 because sometimes those minutes are the difference between getting back with any daylight left. And I'm not good enough at guessing the time to know the difference without a watch, and maximizing fishing time (and safety) is important to me.
12/08/2017 02:08AM
I wear a watch on my canoe trips not for the time, but to know what the date is, otherwise I might come back a day earlier than I need to. FRED
pswith5
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12/08/2017 06:51AM
I am in the gps crowd. Like 4keys I don't sleep well, so I like to know if it's too early to get out of my tent. Otherwise i don't care.
QueticoMike
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12/08/2017 07:16AM
The only time I look at a watch is the last evening of the trip so I can set an alarm clock to get up on the time the next morning.
jhb8426
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12/10/2017 08:56PM
AndySG: "... Knowing time makes life organized and easier, otherwise clocks would never have been invented..."
Time was invented so everything doesn't happen at once.
12/11/2017 07:06AM
jhb8426: "AndySG: "... Knowing time makes life organized and easier, otherwise clocks would never have been invented..."
Time was invented so everything doesn't happen at once."


:) I hate to multi-task.
Jeriatric
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12/13/2017 05:36PM
On my last two trips, both solo, I even took a second, back-up watch. While eating at the wrong time of day is no big deal, losing track of the day of the week and how many days I've been away from civilization is very important, especially to my wife who always wants a phone call the minute I've emerged. Getting old brings different challenges.
 
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