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      Do you fasten everything to the canoe?     
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Wick
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01/01/2018 05:19PM
I was wondering if you tie or fasten your packs/cargo to the canoe or just leave them loose to float around if you manage to tip the canoe?
 
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billconner
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01/01/2018 05:29PM
Always loose - just set in canoe. One time I dumped in high waves and wind and had no problems corralling gear and eventually made it to shore.
SevenofNine
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01/01/2018 06:10PM
Always loose to since I don’t want to deal with a canoe tipped over and loaded with packs. If think about it you’ll agree.
Mocha
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01/01/2018 06:23PM
I'd lash in the things that would sink: fishing rods, tackle boxes, camera bag, snack bag....
Fizics
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01/01/2018 06:38PM
Mocha: "i'd lash in the things that would sink: fishing rods, tackle boxes, camera bag, snack bag...."

This is what I do, I use an army of Dealybobs to secure what I can. Portage packs just get thrown in
ozarkpaddler
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01/01/2018 07:16PM
Depends on where I'm paddling. On the river, I tie things down, in the BWCAW I set them in. Also, when it's windy and/or big waves I set the packs down as low as possible to increase stability.
Wick
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01/01/2018 07:40PM
SevenofNine: "Always loose to since I don’t want to deal with a canoe tipped over and loaded with packs. If think about it you’ll agree."

I was thinking of short ropes so they could float separately from the canoe, but not have to stay in it, so i could still lift the canoe to turn it over.
cyclones30
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01/01/2018 08:51PM
Small things that sink are in my pocket or tied in. Large packs are loose. I'd hate to mess with tying and untying at each landing.
01/01/2018 08:59PM
There is no universal agreement on this topic.

I just put the packs in the canoe, there's not a bunch of loose stuff. The spare paddle is attached to canoe with BDB's, the map case is clipped to a pack. Everything else except the Sawyer Water Filter Bottle is in a pack or pocket.

Not having a lot of loose stuff to deal with makes portages easier.

"Ditch kit" survival items are in pockets/PFD, so always have that if separated from packs.

The concern people have mentioned with having the packs tethered to the canoe, even with short ropes, is a risk of entanglement.

My main plan is to not tip, mainly by not paddling in conditions I shouldn't be.
OldFingers57
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01/01/2018 09:15PM
The only items fastened to my canoe are the Crazy Creek canoe seats, spare paddle, bailing jug, and a sponge. Also the painters. All packs and barrels are just thrown in.
andym
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01/01/2018 09:21PM
For lake trips like the BW, packs are loose. Packs will float and I want things to go in and out quickly at portages.
rdricker
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01/01/2018 11:16PM
I always buckle the packs to the canoe...they should float, but it's not worth the risk to me. I'd rather have to corral a capsized canoe to shore than risk losing a pack, especially if it's food or equipment. It only takes an extra second to snap and unsnap the waste buckles....I've known of several people/groups that lost packs to the bottom. One group lost their equipment pack and spent the rest of their week cooking meals over a campfire with a metal drinking cup. Not worth the risk for me to save a couple of seconds.
carmike
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01/01/2018 11:57PM
rdricker: "I always buckle the packs to the canoe...they should float, but it's not worth the risk to me. I'd rather have to corral a capsized canoe to shore than risk losing a pack, especially if it's food or equipment. It only takes an extra second to snap and unsnap the waste buckles....I've known of several people/groups that lost packs to the bottom. One group lost their equipment pack and spent the rest of their week cooking meals over a campfire with a metal drinking cup. Not worth the risk for me to save a couple of seconds."

Interesting....I've experimented with the heaviest packs I carry, to test flotation and waterprooficity (sp? :), and they didn't sink after two hours -- though there wasn't any significant wave action that might change the results, and I'm sure packing method would have an effect, too.

I've also not heard of anyone losing a pack to the bottom of a lake. Have others also experienced this? I might be willing to consider fastening in the packs if losing them is more common than I've assumed.
jwartman59
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01/02/2018 12:11AM
In the bwca it mostly doesn’t matter. On big lakes in iffy conditions I may tie them in. On river trips running whitewater gear is always lashed in.
andym
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01/02/2018 02:13AM
For a pack to sink it needs to weigh more than water. A pretty big pack is around 5000 cubic inches or 80 liters. To sink it would have to weigh over 175 lbs! Basically, to sink a pack would have to completely fill with water except for metal items. Have a mix of stuff in a waterproof liner and there should be no problems. My gear pack includes freeze dried food, my tarp and tent, plus enough other varied stuff stores to stay dry that I’m sure it would make an extra float to rest on during a capsize.
bobbernumber3
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01/02/2018 05:25AM
Loose packs. They are the first thing to grab when you dump in cold water. The extra flotation can be a life saver. Said the voice of experience.
bwcasolo
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01/02/2018 05:26AM
my 2 packs are loose, fishing pole, spare paddle, bungee'd in. no free items lying around on bottom of canoe.
01/02/2018 06:27AM
Remember to fasten your water bottle. It was the one thing I didn't have an extra of when I dumped. Now I have extras, but also clip it in.
mjmkjun
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01/02/2018 06:55AM
boonie: "There is no universal agreement on this topic.


I just put the packs in the canoe, there's not a bunch of loose stuff. The spare paddle is attached to canoe with BDB's, the map case is clipped to a pack. Everything else except the Sawyer Water Filter Bottle is in a pack or pocket.


Not having a lot of loose stuff to deal with makes portages easier.


"Ditch kit" survival items are in pockets/PFD, so always have that if separated from packs.


The concern people have mentioned with having the packs tethered to the canoe, even with short ropes, is a risk of entanglement.


My main plan is to not tip, mainly by not paddling in conditions I shouldn't be. "

Likewise. I just don't paddle in 'iffy' conditions. umm...anymore. I did flip once in choppy conditions when I was out fishing in an empty Prism....on Smoke Lake. (ha!) Good thing my fishing equipment was secured & fastened. (BDB's are Bungee Dealee Bobs. BDB's )
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/02/2018 08:04AM
Packs are in our canoe loose (unattached). The only things attached are fishing poles, spare paddle and one Crazy Creek chair (and bailing sponge). I use the Old Scout Bungee Dealee Bobs for those. I haven't dumped in 30+ years (knock on wood), but if it were to happen, I won't be fighting my packs to get them unhooked from the canoe.

We line our packs with heavy contractor garbage bags. Properly secured at the top, I think our packs would float for a week or more.
01/02/2018 08:30AM
I guess I am in the minority.

I secure everything all the time. I have never overturned in 38 years of paddling but I feel it’s best to have everything secured to the canoe just in case I ever do overturn. I tether packs to center thwart with one rope and it only takes a minute to secure and a minute to undo at a portage.
01/02/2018 08:39AM
Nothing attached save thwart bag with map case clipped to it.
01/02/2018 08:45AM
We keep a run of paracord tied from the thwart right behind the bow paddler to the thwart right in front of the stern paddler looped around the center thwart along both sides of the canoe. We keep carabiners on all packs and they do not come off. when we put the packs in we just clip off the packs to the cord and unclip at portages. This ensures if we tump the packs with stay with the canoe and we can just unclip carabiners when we get to shore, etc.... I don't want to chase 3-4 packs and a canoe across the lake. The packs will float anyway and since they're just clipped in they won't actually stay inside an over turned canoe. That's just the method we use to speed up portaging and still not loose packs if we tump.
This is a pic of our canoe that shows the paracord arrangement we use. Nothing sophisticated but works beautifully. We use a taught line hitch on one end to adjust the tightness of the cord for portaging. Your thinking what could they use the cord for on portages. Well, we adjust the cord so it hangs slightly and my son and I both find it wayyyy more comfortable to hang onto and steer the canoe with the paracord instead of the sides of the canoe because we don't have to hold our arms nearly as high since we let the cord sag down some. It sounds waayyy more complicated than it is. It is simple and serves at least two functions well. Try it.
yellowcanoe
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01/02/2018 09:01AM
No universal agreement here. Sure I have flipped. Mostly on getting in and out and when not paying attention. Rough weather has never flipped me.

I tie nothing in that floats unless and this is a big unless..its a river. Extracting the boat is far easier with floating but outside the boat watertight packs.
Savage Voyageur
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01/02/2018 09:25AM
I used to tie every pack into the canoe. I have no idea when I changed, but now I just set them in the canoe.
zski
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01/02/2018 09:26AM
Wally13: "I guess I am in the minority.
I secure everything all the time. I have never overturned in 38 years of paddling but I feel it’s best to have everything secured to the canoe just in case I ever do overturn. I tether packs to center thwart with one rope and it only takes a minute to secure and a minute to undo at a portage. "
+1
Wick
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01/02/2018 09:28AM
BnD: "We keep a run of paracord tied from the thwart right behind the bow paddler to the thwart right in front of the stern paddler looped around the center thwart along both sides of the canoe. We keep carabiners on all packs and they do not come off. "

That is very similar to what I had in mind. I don't want to chase stuff. I thought maybe a short rope connected to the canoe with the rest folded into a pocket or loop on the pack, that would be pulled out by the weight of the pack when capsizing, so that it would be long enough to separate from the canoe and I would not have to wrestle it out of an upside down canoe,, but it not go far, depending on the rope length.

My solo weighs 20lb. If/when I flip it, I thought i could set one end up on a floating pack, go to other end, lift and flip the canoe back over. So I want the pack to be available and stay close to the canoe when I go swimming. I also wonder if, (and will try this summer),,,after righting the canoe, if i tie the pack tight to the (outside)center of the canoe in the water, then go to the other side, if the 45lb pack would help balance the canoe while i try to get back in from the opposite side.

I will only have one pack, everything will be in it. Maybe after I do a couple trips, I will be more confidant about it, but for now i want that sucker to be within reach.
scramble4a5
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01/02/2018 10:09AM
Mocha: "I'd lash in the things that would sink: fishing rods, tackle boxes, camera bag, snack bag...."

+1. That's what we do.
ozarkpaddler
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01/02/2018 10:09AM
BnD: "We keep a run of paracord tied from the thwart right behind the bow paddler to the thwart right in front of the stern paddler looped around the center thwart along both sides of the canoe. We keep carabiners on all packs and they do not come off. when we put the packs in we just clip off the packs to the cord and unclip at portages. This ensures if we tump the packs with stay with the canoe and we can just unclip carabiners when we get to shore, etc.... I don't want to chase 3-4 packs and a canoe across the lake. The packs will float anyway and since they're just clipped in they won't actually stay inside an over turned canoe. That's just the method we use to speed up portaging and still not loose packs if we tump.





This is a pic of our canoe that shows the paracord arrangement we use. Nothing sophisticated but works beautifully. We use a taught line hitch on one end to adjust the tightness of the cord for portaging. Your thinking what could they use the cord for on portages. Well, we adjust the cord so it hangs slightly and my son and I both find it wayyyy more comfortable to hang onto and steer the canoe with the paracord instead of the sides of the canoe because we don't have to hold our arms nearly as high since we let the cord sag down some. It sounds waayyy more complicated than it is. It is simple and serves at least two functions well. Try it."


That's a great idea! I always thought my tie downs I put on my canoe were pretty handy, but I really like your idea too.



gymcoachdon
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01/02/2018 10:22AM
I'm not saying tethered packs are wrong, but you will be in the minority if you tether in the BWCA or Quetico. Last year on Pickerel Lake, I was fighting some good wind and waves. I had to quarter into the waves for a while, then do a quick 90 degree turn to quarter with the waves. This often took me away from the shore, and I was constantly aware that if I dumped, I was swimming to the nearest shore, and my gear was probably heading a mile or more before it hit shore. My point is, the water was cold enough, that I wasn't chasing my gear, tethered or not, until I got on land. Nothing bad happened, I got to an island campsite and called it a day. Just be aware of your abilities, and your situation.
I got really frustrated with how long it was taking to put on and take off my portable yoke on my solo canoe. I timed it, and it was 1 minute to install, and about 30 seconds to put away. On a day with 5 or more portages, I would quickly grow tired of tying and untying at each landing.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, tie them in. Have a knife accessible to cut yourself loose if you get entangled. The likelihood of that is probably about the same as dumping your canoe, if you stay within your abilities.
I use a BDB on the thwart and a carabiner on my water bottle to secure it, and anything that sinks is secured while underway.
Bronco
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01/02/2018 12:55PM
I know my pack floats but years ago I tied a good quality bungee cord with carabineer ends on to the carry handle of my pack it serves two purposes. first on portages I clip it around the paddles on one end and clip my water bottle on the other end of the bungee, the bungee takes the shock weight off the water bottle as I walk the portage and I'm left hands free to carry my tackle box are whatever. At the end of the portage I free the paddles lay the pack in the canoe wrap the bungee around the yoke and clip in my tackle box. Not sure if its right or wrong but it works for me.


unshavenman
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01/02/2018 06:09PM
Everything goes in loose for me as well. I have a 5-6' piece of cordage tied and bdb'd to my front thwart that I use to steady the canoe when I portage, and I have a small cordage loop on my rear thwart that this can clip onto if I need to secure my gear in rough water. Haven't had to use it yet though.
RetiredDave
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01/02/2018 07:03PM
Old habits die hard. Back in the early 60's in Boy Scouts I was taught to unbuckle one of the pack straps and wrap it around the thwart and buckle it again. I did that for years. Now I have a short piece of rope with two looped ends. I attach a carbiner on one end and loop it through the pack strap and over the the thwart. It only takes seconds to attach and detach.

I don't know if it would help or hinder as I have never flipped over (except intentionally: Boy Scouts). It was drilled into me to keep them tethered, so that's what I do.

Dave
01/02/2018 07:16PM
If I'm crossing big water with considerable depths (over 20ft or so), I lash everything in. Otherwise, I leave packs and day pack loose. The extra paddle and nav equipment is always attached to a thwart anyway. It all depends on conditions.
01/04/2018 07:22AM
This is one of those things where the best answer is “depends”. If you’re all one way or the other way Murphy is going to show up and ruin your day. Let’s look at a couple of different types of canoe trips and how you would load the gear for the trip and conditions.
For most of the folks here a canoe trip is multi day trip that involves crossing a number of lakes with portages between them. For the most part gear is used as ballast to help balance the canoe and combat wind and waves. That means the gear is placed in the canoe and isn’t tied down or attached to the canoe. If the canoe turtles in the middle of a lake it’s easier to self-rescue and then gather up floating gear bags. Of course this depends on if you have mastered creating a nice water resistant pack that will float for a couple of hours.

For others here a canoe trip means river running and that can have its own issues with rapids, rocks and debris. For these types of trips that securing your gear into your canoe is highly recommended with the same water resistant packs just secured into your canoe. In fact with folks new to this I have them load their canoe in the backyard and then roll it a few times to see how well the load stays and what comes out. Better to lose gear in the backyard then in the middle of a class III rapid. I also want to add that using “gear lines” a single rope threaded thru your gear can create issues with getting tangled in strainers where your gear hides until the next ice age.
Of course if you’re tying in gear you still have to load it to balance everything out so no putting the cast iron sink on top.

Finally regardless of the type of trip you take we always seem to have gear at hand like fishing rods, cameras and GPS that should be attached with dummy cords.

Just my 2 cents your mileage may vary





LindenTree3
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01/04/2018 09:22AM
yellowcanoe:
I tie nothing in that floats unless and this is a big unless..its a river. Extracting the boat is far easier with floating but outside the boat watertight packs."


I do the same, I only secure things when I am on a river, not on lakes.

When soloing on Alaska rivers I would tie my packs unto my canoe with my bow line. . I would play out the entire 20+ feet of it and tie my packs to the end of the line, with all my packs being stored in the Bow, my solo seat was moved toward the Stern .
My thinking was that if I swamped my canoe, the entire package would have a much more likely chance to get caught or tangled up on something like a sweeper and I may be able to retreive them somewhere down stream.
I had to weigh that scanerio with the chance of getting myself tangled up in the same line. Neither was a good choice, thankfully I have not swamped in over 25 years.

I am open to suggestions on whether this is a bad idea, I will not take it personally if people think this is stupid.
CrookedPaddler1
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01/04/2018 12:32PM
I used to tie all of my packs into the canoe; well, not so much tie them in but had a 3 foot piece of paracord with clip on one end and a loop at the other end. I haven't done that for at least a couple of decades. I have put a video link in here of a video that was done of a couple of fully loaded packs after a capsize. Amazing how long it takes for them to even partially sink!

Pack Sinking Experiment
01/10/2018 09:16AM
yes
01/10/2018 10:07AM
As usual I look at this with a wholly other perspective.
Most tie or leave free based on tangling/loosing packs and ease of loading/unloading . I do not always tie but often do and tightly, or use a cover that holds the packs in. The times I have dumped ( each time with CCS covers on ends only center wide open), the secured packs served very well as flotation and I think helped right the canoe because of water displacement and the lowered, tied in, center of weight. Soon as I was dumped out both times the loaded canoe rolled back upright and stable. Ever watch open canoe whitewater competition, they do tie their flotation bags tight.

butthead
mc2mens
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01/10/2018 01:20PM
The only things lashed to the canoe are - fishing rods, map case, and canoe seats (Crazy Creeks). Everything else (packs, blue barrel) are placed loosely in the canoe. This makes the portages easier/quicker.
 
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