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PuffinGin
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07/11/2018 07:00AM
 
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scramble4a5
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07/11/2018 07:05AM
A tragedy. Please wear your pfd no matter what the situation.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
07/11/2018 07:51AM
Always sad when we hear about this happening.

The head scratcher part of the story, however... "The party saw him standing up trying to right the tipped over canoe. Authorities say he then went under the water."

He was standing up, then he drown? Makes me wonder if he had a medical situation after he went in the water. A PFD certainly could have helped.
Canoearoo
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07/11/2018 08:27AM
Maybe he was on one of those 'walk on water' rocks in the middle of the lake and slipped off?
Savage Voyageur
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07/11/2018 09:29AM
Very sad to read this. Please wear your PFD when on the water.
missmolly
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07/11/2018 09:54AM
scramble4a5: "A tragedy. Please wear your pfd no matter what the situation."

I can understand a 17-year old man thinking he's an immortal and shucking the life jacket, but a 75-year old man has me shaking my head.
mastertangler
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07/11/2018 10:12AM
missmolly: "scramble4a5: "A tragedy. Please wear your pfd no matter what the situation."
I can understand a 17-year old man thinking he's an immortal and shucking the life jacket, but a 75-year old man has me shaking my head. "

Well sometimes older folks may be having dementia issues and don't fully comprehend their actions. My mother who is only in her mid seventies is grappling with confusion at times and doing some things which are not her normal self. Tolerance, not judgement, is preferred. We can judge actions, standing in a canoe without a PFD is not wise, but as to what someone is thinking that I cannot ascertain.
Pinetree
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07/11/2018 11:20AM
Jackfish: "Always sad when we hear about this happening.

The head scratcher part of the story, however... "The party saw him standing up trying to right the tipped over canoe. Authorities say he then went under the water."

He was standing up, then he drown? Makes me wonder if he had a medical situation after he went in the water. A PFD certainly could have helped."

I got confused there also.
thlipsis29
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07/11/2018 11:59AM
For what it's worth, the Star Tribune article doesn't say anything about him standing up while trying to right the canoe. Regardless, this is just tragic. He was from the Twin Cities and you'd think he would have heard about the drowning just a few weeks ago of the young man from the Twin Cities on Perent Lake. I just can't comprehend why someone would refuse to wear their pfd while paddling.

Strib article
nofish
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07/11/2018 12:42PM
missmolly: "I can understand a 17-year old man thinking he's an immortal and shucking the life jacket, but a 75-year old man has me shaking my head. "
We've all been around long enough to know that age does not always come with wisdom. 75 years of reinforcing a bad habit can make it awfully hard to break.
SevenofNine
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07/11/2018 12:52PM
Very sad and preventable tragedy. When I was growing up the adults in our family never wore a PFD only the kids so it wouldn't surprise me if that is how he operated.

Prayers and thoughts to the family.
Bumstead
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07/11/2018 01:10PM
Such sad news.

Something medical might have happened and caused the capsizing. His trying to right the canoe was possibly just reactionary despite the medical issue and then he went down for good? Who knows? If someone gets the rest of the story, please post.
Pinetree
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07/11/2018 02:48PM
In addition in Minnesota we had two drownings who jumped overboard from a regular motor boat to retrieve something or maybe cool off. I believe both thought they were strong swimmers and no PFD and consequently drowned. Sad.
missmolly
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07/11/2018 04:30PM
nofish: "missmolly: "I can understand a 17-year old man thinking he's an immortal and shucking the life jacket, but a 75-year old man has me shaking my head. "
We've all been around long enough to know that age does not always come with wisdom. 75 years of reinforcing a bad habit can make it awfully hard to break."


You might be right. Inertia is always in play. Of course, MT might also be right. As Bumstead wrote, who knows?
heypaddler
member (50)member
 
07/11/2018 07:02PM
I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip!
ozarkpaddler
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07/11/2018 07:28PM
heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "

Yeah, our paddling partners are usually the only ones on the river with PFD's on. Every time I have an opportunity to mention it, I remind folks that almost every drowning article mentions how the victim "Was a good swimmer." Even "Good swimmers" die when they get scared.
bwcasolo
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07/12/2018 05:38AM
It's really quite simple, pfd=life, no pfd=death. condolences to the family.

On a side note here, i know it's off topic a bit, but safety equipment is made for a reason. My son in law's mother dropped her bike, she's 60, a harley, and suffered major head and body injury yesterday. no helmet. She will, or should recover.
people will choose to do as they please, against safety logic and take a chance.

It’s been about 13 years now and i wear my pfd full time. i once thought it could never happen to me.

i don't take the chance now.
pswith5
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07/12/2018 05:54AM
You wear your PFD all the time??
it's been about 13 years now and i wear my pfd full time.
i once thought it could never happen to me.
my pfd hug's me just fine.
"
Gadfly
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07/12/2018 08:36AM
Pinetree: "In addition in Minnesota we had two drownings who jumped overboard from a regular motor boat to retrieve something or maybe cool off. I believe both thought they were strong swimmers and no PFD and consequently drowned. Sad."

One of them I knew personally, he knew how to swim and had jumped in the lake many times before. The windy/wavy conditions may have had something to do with it. The family is torn up and will never be the same. Watching his mother sit at the boat access for three days waiting for them to find her son and bring him back to shore will be something I will never forget.
LuvMyBell
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07/12/2018 09:02AM
ozarkpaddler: "heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "


Yeah, our paddling partners are usually the only ones on the river with PFD's on. Every time I have an opportunity to mention it, I remind folks that almost every drowning article mentions how the victim "Was a good swimmer." Even "Good swimmers" die when they get scared."


Ozarkpaddler, the adults in our group never wear PFDs while paddling the Current River. Kids always wear them. We have a coast Guard approved float cushion in the canoes because that's a requirement.

We paddle the Upper Current from Tan Vat to Akers or Pulltite. On guys fishing trips we rarely go past Cedar Grove or the flying W cliffs. The majority of the river isn't very deep, rarely over your head.

On the extremely rare occasion when we plan ahead to float below Pulltite where the river is wider, deeper and with motorized Jon boats , life jackets are worn.

When the river is up and running after a hard rain, even adults wear life jackets on the upper stretches. In the BW, while paddling, life jackets are on. While swimming from camp, never.

It's a rare site to see anyone with a life jacket on.
yellowcanoe
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07/12/2018 10:32AM
that bothers me. You are not doing good modeling behavior.

I have the same issue with my daughter. She makes the kids wear seatbelts yet she never does. However my nagging doesn't change her behavior. I just hope that she does not have an accident causing needless injury

I paddle the Current too while I am there and always wear my PFD. Our group has a reason.. You cannot rescue someone else while you are at risk of having to save your self.
nofish
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07/12/2018 10:40AM
I simply can not understand why anyone would elect to not wear a life jacket. If you are in a canoe it needs to be one 100% of the time.

I see a lot of people that put them on their kids but don't wear them themselves. I guess that way when they dump the canoe the kids can bob safely in the water and watch their parents drown in front of them. Makes no sense.
treehorn
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07/12/2018 10:52AM
Pinetree: "In addition in Minnesota we had two drownings who jumped overboard from a regular motor boat to retrieve something or maybe cool off. I believe both thought they were strong swimmers and no PFD and consequently drowned. Sad."

This is an underratedly dangerous situation. If you're on a boat in the middle of a lake, you can't tell how fast the wind/current may be blowing it. You dive off the back, take a nice little refreshing underwater swim 15 yards away from the boat while it's blowing the opposite direction, by the time you surface it could already be drifting quite a ways from you. You try swimming back, it might be moving just as fast as you can swim. By the time someone realizes what's going on and starts up the boat and tries to get it back into a position where you can grab on, it could be too late.
MikeinMpls
distinguished member (352)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/12/2018 11:09AM
heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "

I was commenting to my wife about this this morning. I think people who are strong swimmers believe that will save them if they go overboard. But a canoe tipping over often happens in a nanosecond. It's not like jumping in the water to cool off. It is an unplanned event and can often be a shock to anyone who was in the canoe, dry, two seconds earlier. In those situations, even strong swimmers can run into trouble. Add to that clothing we never swim in (pants, boots, etc.) AND a desire to save the gear..... you have a tragedy in the making.

In the army, we were blindfolded and walked off a three meter diving board....in full uniform and with our weapon. We had to swim to the side of the pool. Even for good swimmers, like me, it wasn't easy with boots and uniform.

I am a strong swimmer. I consider myself an expert paddler. I can read water, and adapt to conditions well. I've also swamped enough boats to know that wearing a pfd, despite my skill level, is vital, as hot as it might be. Overall, I think I see more people NOT wearing them than do. I'm surprised there aren't more deaths then there are.

Mike
treehorn
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07/12/2018 11:25AM
MikeinMpls: "heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "


I was commenting to my wife about this this morning. I think people who are strong swimmers believe that will save them if they go overboard. But a canoe tipping over often happens in a nanosecond. It's not like jumping in the water to cool off. It is an unplanned event and can often be a shock to anyone who was in the canoe, dry, two seconds earlier. In those situations, even strong swimmers can run into trouble. Add to that clothing we never swim in (pants, boots, etc.) AND a desire to save the gear..... you have a tragedy in the making.


In the army, we were blindfolded and walked off a three meter diving board....in full uniform and with our weapon. We had to swim to the side of the pool. Even for good swimmers, like me, it wasn't easy with boots and uniform.


I am a strong swimmer. I consider myself an expert paddler. I can read water, and adapt to conditions well. I've also swamped enough boats to know that wearing a pfd, despite my skill level, is vital, as hot as it might be. Overall, I think I see more people NOT wearing them than do. I'm surprised there aren't more deaths then there are.


Mike"


I think the word HOT you used right there at the end is a big reason why so many people aren't wearing these things this time of year. There's no doubt it can be a sweaty mess under that pfd if you're trying to get anywhere in any kind of hurry when it's this warm out.

Suck it up and put it on!
LuvMyBell
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07/12/2018 11:48AM
yellowcanoe: "that bothers me. You are not doing good modeling behavior.


I have the same issue with my daughter. She makes the kids wear seatbelts yet she never does. However my nagging doesn't change her behavior. I just hope that she does not have an accident causing needless injury


I paddle the Current too while I am there and always wear my PFD. Our group has a reason.. You cannot rescue someone else while you are at risk of having to save your self. "


Do you paddle the Upper Current where the river is generally only a couple feet deep at most and much of which is measured in inches rather than feet.

Are you seriously suggesting that a PFD should be worn in these conditions? Perhaps you didn't read where I stated that even adults wear PFDs when the water levels are high or when we paddle the lower sections where it's wider and deeper.
nofish
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07/12/2018 12:36PM
LuvMyBell: "yellowcanoe: "that bothers me. You are not doing good modeling behavior.

I have the same issue with my daughter. She makes the kids wear seatbelts yet she never does. However my nagging doesn't change her behavior. I just hope that she does not have an accident causing needless injury

I paddle the Current too while I am there and always wear my PFD. Our group has a reason.. You cannot rescue someone else while you are at risk of having to save your self. "

Do you paddle the Upper Current where the river is generally only a couple feet deep at most and much of which is measured in inches rather than feet.

Are you seriously suggesting that a PFD should be worn in these conditions? Perhaps you didn't read where I stated that even adults wear PFDs when the water levels are high or when we paddle the lower sections where it's wider and deeper. "

Regardless of how deep the water is I would advocate for wearing a pfd any time you are in a canoe. The fact of the matter is you are not clairvoyant nor are you immortal, a pfd is cheap insurance for both instances. You simply can not predict how a situation can go sideways on you even in a place you are very familiar with.

Also having a rule of wearing it EVERY time you are in a canoe helps prevent poor judgement. If you decide to wear one on a case by case or day by day basis sooner or you are going to misjudge the need. Hopefully it won't be on a day when things go sideways on you.
missmolly
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07/12/2018 02:28PM
If all the drowned paddlers could post on this thread, they'd list all the reasons that they didn't need to wear life jackets.
campcrafter
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/12/2018 03:00PM
MikeinMpls: "Add to that clothing we never swim in (pants, boots, etc.) AND a desire to save the gear..... you have a tragedy in the making. "

I really don't think most people consider that fact, lot different, dressed with shoes on and who knows what in your pockets, than just a swim suit.

Thanks for reiterating that point Mike.

Blue Skies!
cc
Pinetree
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07/12/2018 03:31PM
I had Coast Guard training session years ago. They had us swim with waders on in a pool and other scenario's and the importance of PFD and quality of PFD and also the rating of certain PFD. At least for kids you should consider a PFD that will float you face up if unconscious. Many won't.
bwcasolo
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07/12/2018 04:08PM
pswith5: " You wear your PFD all the time??
it's been about 13 years now and i wear my pfd full time.
i once thought it could never happen to me.
my pfd hug's me just fine.
"
"
i am not sure where you are going with this? yes i do wear it all the time, and i was not trying to be a wise guy. i like the way my pfd fit's.
sorry if you have a problem with what i wrote.
07/12/2018 04:14PM
I choose to wear a PFD at all times in a canoe. That choice has three major reasons
1.Respect for my kids (and wife while she was alive).
2. My mistake should not endanger others and if need be make it easier for recovery personal.
3.The third is modeling. Choosing to wear a PFD may make it easier for others to accept it as a good personal practice.

I am a strong swimmer and paddler and I often paddled in cold water conditions and knew the PDF was more of a body locating device in the event of an open water upset. The PFD makes it easier to find a body. (it takes up to 7 years to get a death certificate/ life insurance with no body).
heypaddler
member (50)member
 
07/12/2018 06:20PM
LuvMyBell: "ozarkpaddler: "heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "



Yeah, our paddling partners are usually the only ones on the river with PFD's on. Every time I have an opportunity to mention it, I remind folks that almost every drowning article mentions how the victim "Was a good swimmer." Even "Good swimmers" die when they get scared."



Ozarkpaddler, the adults in our group never wear PFDs while paddling the Current River. Kids always wear them. We have a coast Guard approved float cushion in the canoes because that's a requirement.


We paddle the Upper Current from Tan Vat to Akers or Pulltite. On guys fishing trips we rarely go past Cedar Grove or the flying W cliffs. The majority of the river isn't very deep, rarely over your head.


On the extremely rare occasion when we plan ahead to float below Pulltite where the river is wider, deeper and with motorized Jon boats , life jackets are worn.


When the river is up and running after a hard rain, even adults wear life jackets on the upper stretches. In the BW, while paddling, life jackets are on. While swimming from camp, never.


It's a rare site to see anyone with a life jacket on."


Sorry man, but you're irresponsible and arrogant to think you don't need a life-jacket on in water that doesn't go over your head. You can't always know the depth of the water. Also, not a great example to teach your kids, even if you make them wear them. Monkey see, monkey do. In time, they may become so relaxed with it that they put themselves or others at unnecessary risk. Just silly.
07/12/2018 07:20PM
I'm quite a strong swimmer.

Was set to go SARS in the NAVY, but changed routes to Hospital Corpsman instead.

Strong swimmer I am.

I still wear a life jacket though...

So sad.

Condolences.
ozarkpaddler
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07/12/2018 10:03PM
Coincidentally, on our Ozark streams we are frequently the only folks with PFD's on. This happened on the Current River today; I was wearing my PFD, so was my friend, Dan, and his Border Collie, Lady. As we went past one group I heard a man telling his kid "Look at that man, he can't swim either and HE'S wearing HIS life jacket." I looked, bit my tongue, and paddled on. About 20' later, a female with the group says to Dan "Your DOG doesn't swim EITHER?" I looked at her and snarled, yeah, I SNARLED "ALL THREE OF US CAN SWIM BUT YOU WEAR A LIFE JACKET BECAUSE BAD THINGS SOMETIMES HAPPEN!" I wanted to add a 5-letter adjective, but I bit my tongue after my outburst.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/13/2018 03:17AM
Yeah, sure.

And how many of you preachers have tripped solo? Don’ make me go back and dig up the thread.

My world-class swimmer cousin just drowned while swimming alone in a lake, right at the dock. Heart attack. He leaves behind a wife and kids. He was not yet 50.

While fine to exhort others to be sensible, remember that your advice can reek of the stench of hypocrisy.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/13/2018 03:23AM
Plus, let’s face facts: power boating is a thinly-veiled excuse to drink, often to excess. And “wilderness” adventures are often, for the young, an opportunity to shed the shackles of authority and drink or do some bud without Big Brother being right there.

Causes as well as symptoms need to be considered.
mjmkjun
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07/13/2018 03:49AM
ozarkpaddler: "Coincidentally, on our Ozark streams we are frequently the only folks with PFD's on. This happened on the Current River today; I was wearing my PFD, so was my friend, Dan, and his Border Collie, Lady. As we went past one group I heard a man telling his kid "Look at that man, he can't swim either and HE'S wearing HIS life jacket." I looked, bit my tongue, and paddled on. About 20' later, a female with the group says to Dan "Your DOG doesn't swim EITHER?" I looked at her and snarled, yeah, I SNARLED "ALL THREE OF US CAN SWIM BUT YOU WEAR A LIFE JACKET BECAUSE BAD THINGS SOMETIMES HAPPEN!" I wanted to add a 5-letter adjective, but I bit my tongue after my outburst."
"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
Mad_Angler
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07/13/2018 08:55AM
LuvMyBell: "...
Do you paddle the Upper Current where the river is generally only a couple feet deep at most and much of which is measured in inches rather than feet.

Are you seriously suggesting that a PFD should be worn in these conditions? ...
"


Yes. I think folks should always wear PFDs. Bad things can happen. In shallow water it is even much more likely that you could hit your head or get swept away in fast current. Why do you think all responsible whitewater paddlers wear PFDs and helmets?

And I imagine that the water has deep pools too. Rather than constantly decide if or when to wear a PFD, it is much easier to just always wear one.
campcrafter
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07/13/2018 09:09AM
Moss Tent: "Yeah, sure.


And how many of you preachers have tripped solo? Don’ make me go back and dig up the thread.


My world-class swimmer cousin just drowned while swimming alone in a lake, right at the dock. Heart attack. He leaves behind a wife and kids. He was not yet 50.


While fine to exhort others to be sensible, remember that your advice can reek of the stench of hypocrisy."


Moss - Not sure of your point.
You are equating solo tripping with not wearing life jacket? How many solo trippers die each year due to any cause, compared to people drowning because not wearing life jacket and they aren't alone?

My condolences on losing your cousin. However heart attack (underlying medical condition) has little to do with swimming alone.

In the end however, adults can make their own decisions as long as they are willing to accept the consequences. Many people paddled many years without using life jackets ( the 1964 brochure from Gun Flint Lodge only provided them with premium outfittng !) and most lived to paddle another day. Did so myself many times . Luckily I lived to learn.

Sorry, I don't smell it.

Blue Skies!
cc




MikeinMpls
distinguished member (352)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/13/2018 10:09AM
Moss Tent: "Yeah, sure.


And how many of you preachers have tripped solo? Don’ make me go back and dig up the thread."


I have. Many times. Not sure what your point is, but I wear my pfd while solo paddling, too. Are you trying to apply the "you can die anywhere, anytime" logic?

Mike
Dances with Sheep
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07/13/2018 01:07PM
missmolly: "If all the drowned paddlers could post on this thread, they'd list all the reasons that they didn't need to wear life jackets. "

Well said.
Northwoodsman
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07/13/2018 05:14PM
Somewhere around 6-8 years ago I was paddling with my son on a river on the edge of the BWCA. We were not wearing life jackets; we capsized. Although the water was only about 4.5 feet deep, the bottom was mud/muck and we quickly sank up to our necks and our feet were glued to the bottom. We were with a group of 3 other canoes so they also quickly came to our rescue. We struggled but were able to get free only because they were able to retrieve our life jackets that were floating away and we were able to get them on and secured very quickly. It was June and the water was pretty cold. If they had not been there I'm not sure I would be typing this response today. It was scary. I have never been on the water since without wearing a PFD.
missmolly
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07/13/2018 06:56PM
Northwoodsman: "Somewhere around 6-8 years ago I was paddling with my son on a river on the edge of the BWCA. We were not wearing life jackets; we capsized. Although the water was only about 4.5 feet deep, the bottom was mud/muck and we quickly sank up to our necks and our feet were glued to the bottom. We were with a group of 3 other canoes so they also quickly came to our rescue. We struggled but were able to get free only because they were able to retrieve our life jackets that were floating away and we were able to get them on and secured very quickly. It was June and the water was pretty cold. If they had not been there I'm not sure I would be typing this response today. It was scary. I have never been on the water since without wearing a PFD."

That's a very scary story.
07/13/2018 07:10PM
Go with God my friend.
ozarkpaddler
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07/13/2018 07:21PM
LuvMyBell: "ozarkpaddler: "heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "

Yeah, our paddling partners are usually the only ones on the river with PFD's on. Every time I have an opportunity to mention it, I remind folks that almost every drowning article mentions how the victim "Was a good swimmer." Even "Good swimmers" die when they get scared."


Ozarkpaddler, the adults in our group never wear PFDs while paddling the Current River. Kids always wear them. We have a coast Guard approved float cushion in the canoes because that's a requirement.

We paddle the Upper Current from Tan Vat to Akers or Pulltite. On guys fishing trips we rarely go past Cedar Grove or the flying W cliffs. The majority of the river isn't very deep, rarely over your head.

On the extremely rare occasion when we plan ahead to float below Pulltite where the river is wider, deeper and with motorized Jon boats , life jackets are worn.

When the river is up and running after a hard rain, even adults wear life jackets on the upper stretches. In the BW, while paddling, life jackets are on. While swimming from camp, never.

It's a rare site to see anyone with a life jacket on."


Hmmm, let's see, maybe 30-40 days a year are spent from Round Spring and above. Maybe less this year as I spent 7 weeks recuperating from a heart attack? Been paddling the upper Current since the late '70's. I agree with you on two points.
1-most people do NOT wear PFD's in that stretch.
2-the water is shallow in MOST places.

Have YOU ever rescued someone whom was drowning? Have you ever had someone damn near drown YOU while you were trying to help them? I have, three to be exact. SCARY and DANGEROUS especially in the swift places where the incidents usually happen. Have you ever had a canoe with teenagers capsize and watched as one silently bobbed up and down (more down than up) while the brother kept screaming "Don't let us drown, DON'T LET US DROWN!" If you had, you would NEVER go without a PFD. Two incidents were between Akers and Pulltite and the third was on the St. Francis, in my area on a primarily shallow section. AGAIN, THE WATER WAS PRIMARILY WAIST DEEP AND LESS EVERY TIME, JUST NOT WHERE THE INCIDENTS OCCURRED!

BTW, that same section of the St., we had a drowning a couple weeks ago.....IN AN AREA THAT IS PRIMARILY 6"-3' DEEP when it happened! I said SIX INCHES to THREE FEET. The man was a "Local," very familiar with this familiar wading/swimming area.

Man Drowns in St. Francis
jhb8426
distinguished member(680)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/13/2018 09:01PM
thlipsis29: "For what it's worth, the Star Tribune article doesn't say anything about him standing up while trying to right the canoe..."

This article does say that: Minneapolis man dies after canoe capsizes on Sawbill Lake

I was on Sawbill that day, was just returning to the landing from a day trip when the Forest Service Beaver first landed. Saw the motor boat at the landing so figured something was wrong. Word is he was alone in the canoe (Northstar Seliga), sitting in the rear seat making it pretty tippy. Needless to say it put a damper on the rest of the day. Very sad.
OneMatch
distinguished member(2897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/14/2018 09:02PM
After reading this - and so many other threads - I have come to the conclusion that there are folks out there who will choose to not wear PFDs over wearing them, some who will choose jobs for 20 years over environmental pollution, some who would rather shoot a bear than spray a bear, some who put a liner outside of the tent instead of inside and some who will argue for the sake of arguing regardless of the fact that no one's opinion will be changed.
bwcasolo
distinguished member(1602)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/15/2018 05:57AM
go outside and get off your cell phones. find a hobby that does not require electronics. i know, how about a canoe trip. paddle on!
MFE
 
07/15/2018 11:28PM
I was shocked at how many people I saw not wearing PFD's on the number lakes last week. I heard one guy comment "I'm not wearing one of those stupid things". I thought to myself, "the people who recover your body will be wearing one"
LuvMyBell
distinguished member(5326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/16/2018 08:33AM
ozarkpaddler: "LuvMyBell: "ozarkpaddler: "heypaddler: "I was recently up on Sag, west to Ottertrack. Can't tell you how many people I saw NOT wearing life-jackets. Staggering amount of people. And a majority of people. Sorry to say but this is the norm up there. Take a tally on your next trip! "


Yeah, our paddling partners are usually the only ones on the river with PFD's on. Every time I have an opportunity to mention it, I remind folks that almost every drowning article mentions how the victim "Was a good swimmer." Even "Good swimmers" die when they get scared."



Ozarkpaddler, the adults in our group never wear PFDs while paddling the Current River. Kids always wear them. We have a coast Guard approved float cushion in the canoes because that's a requirement.


We paddle the Upper Current from Tan Vat to Akers or Pulltite. On guys fishing trips we rarely go past Cedar Grove or the flying W cliffs. The majority of the river isn't very deep, rarely over your head.


On the extremely rare occasion when we plan ahead to float below Pulltite where the river is wider, deeper and with motorized Jon boats , life jackets are worn.


When the river is up and running after a hard rain, even adults wear life jackets on the upper stretches. In the BW, while paddling, life jackets are on. While swimming from camp, never.


It's a rare site to see anyone with a life jacket on."



Hmmm, let's see, maybe 30-40 days a year are spent from Round Spring and above. Maybe less this year as I spent 7 weeks recuperating from a heart attack? Been paddling the upper Current since the late '70's. I agree with you on two points.
1-most people do NOT wear PFD's in that stretch.
2-the water is shallow in MOST places.


Have YOU ever rescued someone whom was drowning? Have you ever had someone damn near drown YOU while you were trying to help them? I have, three to be exact. SCARY and DANGEROUS especially in the swift places where the incidents usually happen. Have you ever had a canoe with teenagers capsize and watched as one silently bobbed up and down (more down than up) while the brother kept screaming "Don't let us drown, DON'T LET US DROWN!" If you had, you would NEVER go without a PFD. Two incidents were between Akers and Pulltite and the third was on the St. Francis, in my area on a primarily shallow section. AGAIN, THE WATER WAS PRIMARILY WAIST DEEP AND LESS EVERY TIME, JUST NOT WHERE THE INCIDENTS OCCURRED!

BTW, that same section of the St., we had a drowning a couple weeks ago.....IN AN AREA THAT IS PRIMARILY 6"-3' DEEP when it happened! I said SIX INCHES to THREE FEET. The man was a "Local," very familiar with this familiar wading/swimming area.


Man Drowns in St. Francis "


Just for the record, I am a proponent of wearing PFDs, generally.

1. Children, always while in any watercraft.
2. Children, usually while swimming depending on age and ability.
3. Adults, always while in any watercraft on lakes.
4. Adults, always while in any watercraft on rivers, when water levels are up , fast moving current or deep water.
5. Adults, optional and up to each adult while swimming

I hear the argument for wearing PFDs even on rivers such as the Upper Current River where the normal river level is measured in inches rather than feet, and a few deep pools (6'-8') here and there. I just don't agree that one must be worn all the time, under every condition no matter where you are or what type of watercraft you are on. If you are.more comfy wearing one all the time, no matter where, when or under what conditions, by all means, go for it.

The stretch of river I float and am referring to is a crystal clear, spring-fed river so visibility isn't an issue. The Upper Current River is actually better classified as a stream or creek IMO, rarely more than 5-10 yards wide.

Our float trips are really trout fishing trips. The canoe gets us and our gear from one fishing spot to another. We are out of the canoe far more than in it, rarely paddling more than 100 yards before the next stop. Our group size is 4 - 8 guys, each in their own canoe (solo), and all good swimmers. We are never out of site of the other canoes so help is never more than seconds away (don't forget the crystal clear, shallow water level). When we do a traditional foat trip with little to no fishing, PFDs are worn.

Under these conditions, we choose not to wear a PFD. Missouri regulations only require an approved flotation device be available, not worn, for adults.
MFE
 
07/16/2018 03:30PM
I was shocked how many people weren't wearing PFD's on the numbered lakes, even with bad weather approaching.

You may choose not to wear a PFD, but the people who recover your body will be wearing theirs.
jhb8426
distinguished member(680)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/16/2018 11:13PM
I forgot to point out that the Sawbill staff went well beyond expectations to assist the campers/family involved as well as the local authorities. Also hats off to the group of 8 or 9 guys staying at campsites #2 and the others who assisted in getting the sherrif's boats in and out of the water at the launch (Sawbill has no ramp for motor boats). They made some light work of a serious situation, pitching in and making a few jokes at the same time.

The Forest Service pilot knows his stuff too. Saw him land three times and effortlessly (at least it appeared that way) nailed the landing at the dock each time. Cut the engine 40-50 ft out and coasted to the dock.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/17/2018 05:08PM
A PFD is a safety or recovery device designed to make a dangerous situation more survivable. The best such device with the broadest range of application is another person.

How many people die while tripping/hiking/birdwatching/whatever outdoors solo? I don’t know. Do you? I am willing to bet far more than die as a result of not wearing a PFD.

In all situations we use our judgment. I have pointed out on this board before my cousin died that solo tripping is a giant risk.

Just want to make sure the stench of hypocrisy doesn’t obscure the useful message that PFD’s can mitigate damage if used properly.

Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/17/2018 05:37PM
Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum.
landoftheskytintedwater
distinguished member(860)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/17/2018 06:44PM
I wear my PFD 100% and I sometimes travel solo. If it were the same mindset, both wouldn't be true.

mjmkjun: "Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum. "
Zwater
senior member (66)senior membersenior member
 
07/17/2018 08:23PM
mjmkjun: "Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum. "


+1
So do I need someone to sit in my deerstand with me?
billconner
distinguished member(6733)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/18/2018 08:34AM
I admire and respect the passion here for everyone's safety and well being but I was curious to see where drowning ranks. And while I'm a firm believer in "figures lie and liars figure" or maybe "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" this may be of interest.

leading causes of deaths by injury

We are all exposed to risks. PFDs are certainly a proven preventive for a specific risk.

My "safety passion" is falls and stairs especially, knowing that the cost of all injuries from falls - not just deaths - is many times that of motor vehicle. I'm pretty confident I could find known fall hazards in most of your homes, but not so much interest in that. Falls don't kill as many people as motor vehicle accidents but adding deaths and permanent disabilities I think falls are way out in front.



campcrafter
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 09:40AM
Thanks Bill - interesting info. Surprising about poisoning.

I have made it to the age now that my chances of drowning are not on the chart.
If I manage to make it to my EP next month without crashing the car, being poisoned (Careful where you eat!) or falling down - I am paddling sans PFD!

You probably won't die if you don't wear your PFD ( unless of course you are wearing cotton!) ;^)

Actually I will wear mine - ( I can swim, but not a "strong" swimmer. ) as does my paddling partner.

I would think based on anecdotal evidence - falls would be the number one cause of non-death injuries for us >50 folks.

Blue Skies!
cc

Duckman
distinguished member (279)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 11:07AM
Based on the facts we know, this does not appear to be just a PFD issue. Seems like some other medical issues involved.

We'd probably all be wise not to fight the PFD thing to death until we know the details, if we'll ever know.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/18/2018 01:04PM
landoftheskytintedwater: "I wear my PFD 100% and I sometimes travel solo. If it were the same mindset, both wouldn't be true.


mjmkjun: "Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum. "
"



If this is true, then your solo tripping is a product of not perceiving the risks thereof--which if you are a thinking person, is a product of wilfull blindness, which is regrettable.

Either that, or you don't see the merit/utility of a tripping partner.

Which is it? We can drill down if you wish.
billconner
distinguished member(6733)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/18/2018 02:43PM
campcrafter: "Thanks Bill - interesting info. Surprising about poisoning.

I have made it to the age now that my chances of drowning are not on the chart.
If I manage to make it to my EP next month without crashing the car, being poisoned (Careful where you eat!) or falling down - I am paddling sans PFD!

"


Same boat.

Unintentional poisoning. That's frightening how it is #1 for 25-64,and #2 for 15-24. Think it drops so much for our age group because them that are likely to fall to it are all already dead? And I wonder if any of the drownings are actually a result of unintentional poisoning?

In line with current discussion, percentage of those who use PFDs by age would be interesting. I don't think that older are more likely to use a PFD but possible.

landoftheskytintedwater
distinguished member(860)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 03:10PM
LOL, no thanks bro.

Moss Tent: "landoftheskytintedwater: "I wear my PFD 100% and I sometimes travel solo. If it were the same mindset, both wouldn't be true.



mjmkjun: "Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum. "
"




If this is true, then your solo tripping is a product of not perceiving the risks thereof--which if you are a thinking person, is a product of wilfull blindness, which is regrettable.


Either that, or you don't see the merit/utility of a tripping partner.


Which is it? We can drill down if you wish."
campcrafter
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 03:20PM
Moss Tent: " The best such device with the broadest range of application is another person."

It could also be the worst - homicide and undetermined poisoning show up a lot on Bill's CDC chart.

Just Sayin. :^)

Blue Skies!
cc
nofish
distinguished member(2736)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 03:28PM
Moss Tent: "landoftheskytintedwater: "I wear my PFD 100% and I sometimes travel solo. If it were the same mindset, both wouldn't be true.



mjmkjun: "Moss Tent: "...
Not wearing a PFD and tripping alone are products of exactly the same mentality."

the most ridiculous statement I"ve read in all the years of belonging to this forum. "
"




If this is true, then your solo tripping is a product of not perceiving the risks thereof--which if you are a thinking person, is a product of wilfull blindness, which is regrettable.


Either that, or you don't see the merit/utility of a tripping partner.


Which is it? We can drill down if you wish."


Moss Tent, seems like you've got a specific agenda against solo tripping. If so that is entirely your prerogative but how is it beneficial or even relevant to post such musings on a thread about someone drowning? This person was not tripping solo, he died while traveling within the safety of a group. Seems to me this thread would serve to undermine your statement regarding the merit of having a tripping partner. Having traveling companions certainly offers some beneficial risk mitigation however it could also give you a false sense of security and lead to complacency. Similar to how being a strong swimmer does not always save you from drowning traveling with a partner does not always save you from such things as medical emergencies, falls, being killed by a falling tree, being struck by lightening, choking on your partners bad cooking, or in this particular case drowning.
jhb8426
distinguished member(680)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/18/2018 06:41PM
billconner: "My "safety passion" is falls and stairs especially, knowing that the cost of all injuries from falls - not just deaths - is many times that of motor vehicle. I'm pretty confident I could find known fall hazards in most of your homes, but not so much interest in that. Falls don't kill as many people as motor vehicle accidents but adding deaths and permanent disabilities I think falls are way out in front."

As this topic is rapidly becoming derailed...
Actually, a good friend of mine just died as the result of a fall down a flight of stairs in an office building. Went to urgent care, they sent him home with the diagnosis of severe bruising. Three weeks later he went to the emergency room and they admitted him with 9 fractured ribs, 2 fractured vertebrae, and a brain bleed. He developed a sever infection causing kidney failure and a number of other problems. He died 3 weeks after that last Thursday.

Don't fall...
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/19/2018 09:05AM
Same as a pfd won’t necessarily keep you alive in cat 5, or even cat 2...or flat water at 35-40 degrees.

No safety device is perfect or universal, tripping companions included. However, a tripping companion is the best overall, unless they are an irresponsible, incompetent drunkard.

I’m certain that there are those here advocating for constant pfd use, but who trip solo. If you could choose 1 of the 2 safety devices—a pfd or a decent companion—which would you choose? A reasonable answer would be that it would depend on specific conditions.

The best, of course, is to have both. One cannot reasonably advocate for making safety paramount, and tripping solo. Any such suggestion is weak and has little credibility.

Take stock of yourself. Wear a pfd when it makes sense to do so, and take a companion when it makes sense to do so. Speaking of falls do you know how many people die in the home from incidents where they can’t help themselves? Hence all the devices.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/19/2018 09:18AM
In short, why should anybody listen to a suggestion to wear a pfd, when such a suggestion comes from one who doesn’t seem to be thinking clearly.

BTW i am the guy with the wife who is hard to keep IN the canoe! Phenomenal competitive swimmer, and she floats on her back. She has actually fallen asleep in the water more than once, her nose and mouth just above the waterline. I am also the guy who has thought and posted about swimming the BWCA, and we will likely try it next year.

She is a real beach lifeguard and is whitewater certified. And I still wear a PFD when it makes sense...and so does she.

And we never go alone. Myself and a friend saved a tripping partner’s life once.

Don’t be a hypocrite. You are no hero compared to people I know, and people I know who have died. You go alone, you take a chance...just the same as if you choose not to wear a pfd.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/19/2018 09:28AM
Makes me wonder how many posters here would profit from selling or renting a pfd.

I know it’s not possible to get an accurate answer by self-report.
A1t2o
distinguished member(574)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 09:43AM
Moss Tent: "In short, why should anybody listen to a suggestion to wear a pfd, when such a suggestion comes from one who doesn’t seem to be thinking clearly.


BTW i am the guy with the wife who is hard to keep IN the canoe! Phenomenal competitive swimmer, and she floats on her back. She has actually fallen asleep in the water more than once, her nose and mouth just above the waterline. I am also the guy who has thought and posted about swimming the BWCA, and we will likely try it next year.


She is a real beach lifeguard and is whitewater certified. And I still wear a PFD when it makes sense...and so does she.


And we never go alone. Myself and a friend saved a tripping partner’s life once.


Don’t be a hypocrite. You are no hero compared to people I know, and people I know who have died. You go alone, you take a chance...just the same as if you choose not to wear a pfd."


Just stop. You sound like an idiot and are being disrespectful in the thread about a man dying. Pushing the issue too much is counterproductive and you passed that point a long time ago.

This was not an incident about a man drowning on a solo trip, this wasn't even about only him not wearing a PDF. It sounds like there were other factors at play here. Lets not turn this into a soapbox for everyone to bicker. Some will use their judgment to decide when to wear a vest and some will wear it any time they are within 50ft of the water, some don't wear it at all. Most agree that wearing a PDF on open or moving water is a good idea. Let's leave it at that.
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1645)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 09:47AM
Moss Tent: "You go alone, you take a chance...just the same as if you choose not to wear a pfd."

Can't that be said for just about everything, Pete?

You wake up in the morning, you take a chance...
You drive on the interstate, you take a chance...
You eat the worm at the bottom of the bottle, you take a chance...

I get what you are saying, solo tripping is dangerous because there is no one to bail you out in the worst case situations. Best you can do is hit a button on a device (if you are conscious) for help. I am aware of this and plan for those cases as much as possible. I stay within my risk boundarys as much as possible. But as you have said before, there are many uncontrollable unknowns, and I deal with those problems by relying on my years of experience. That is called living, and that is why I enjoy solo tripping so that I can be conscious of my fragile thread of life. Others do it more extreme then I do, and I may do it more extreme then others, that is choice.

I do not hold this man up as a personal hero or anything, but I bet he would have some insights into solo tripping: Wil Steger Solo Expedition 2018

Bottom line, I bought a comfortable PFD years ago that I notice when I am NOT wearing it. Thus, I wear my PFD all the time in order to decrease my chances of drowning.
Banksiana
distinguished member(1632)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 09:57AM
Does Moss Tent have any research to support his notion that solo tripping is actually more dangerous than paddling with companion? Or are the claims made on the "it just makes sense" basis but not statistically verifiable. Is the incidence of death or injury higher among solo trippers? If not your argument is emotive rather than empirical.
07/19/2018 11:29AM
Wow, all this thread was about was a drowning, and they weren't wearing a PFD, even if there was a medical problem it would of helped at least with recovery. I am a good swimmer I wear my PFD all the time even when I go for a swim. I have lost a friend in the BWCA to drowning and guess what he was a good swimmer but didn't have a PFD on. It's laughable that people argue against PFDs there is no argument. The hijacking of this thread to talk about other subjects is BS. Start a new thread for that. Finally my thoughts a prayers go out to the gentleman's family, I'm sure he was somebody's Dad, grampa, brother, husband and friend. Condolences to his family RIP
billconner
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07/19/2018 11:58AM
My apologies to mcsweem who doesn't like the conversation straying, but the solo safety question is interesting. I think being solo in the wilderness or anywhere probably has some greater hazard than being with someone or a group. The buddy system and all of the two deep practices of the BSA is not evidence but suggests many share the concept.

I like the "about safety" disclaimer in every issue of Fine Home Building by the editor Kevin Ireton.

"Homebuilding is inherently dangerous. From accidents with power tools to falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, builders risk serious injury and even death. We try to promote safe work habits through our articles. But what is safe for one builder under certain circumstances may no be safe for you under different circumstances. So don't try anything you learn about here (or elsewhere) unless you're certain that it is safe for you. Please be careful."

Paraphrasing this for wilderness travel would be pretty well express how I feel about it. There is risk. You should decide based on your experience if its acceptable.
tumblehome
distinguished member(1431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 12:23PM
Consider this. I have had far more problems with injuries when traveling in groups. I myself have not been injured, but others have. The more people in a group, statistically, the greater chance of an accident.

I solo trip all the time, and never have suffered more than a bruised knee. I would think solo tripping is far safer than traveling with others because the solo traveler is keenly aware of his every move, does not have distractions of others, and knows he is his only caregiver.

I would encourage everyone to solo trip in order to prevent a possible drowning!
Tom
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1639)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 12:40PM
The solo forum now has a thread on solo vs group safety, fyi.
07/19/2018 01:19PM
GraniteCliffs: "The solo forum now has a thread on solo vs group safety, fyi."

Great
MikeinMpls
distinguished member (352)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2018 06:35PM
tumblehome: "Consider this. I have had far more problems with injuries when traveling in groups. I myself have not been injured, but others have. The more people in a group, statistically, the greater chance of an accident.


I solo trip all the time, and never have suffered more than a bruised knee. I would think solo tripping is far safer than traveling with others because the solo traveler is keenly aware of his every move, does not have distractions of others, and knows he is his only caregiver.


I would encourage everyone to solo trip in order to prevent a possible drowning!
Tom"


I see your point, though many injuries are just accidents that would have happened with a group or not. I soloed in June and slipped getting out of the canoe. Banged up my knee very well, and cut my shin. I would have slipped in the same spot with a tandem. I don't know where I am extra cautious on a solo trip in a case like that...like where I put my feet. My point is that stuff happens.

I fell hard once at Spaulding Lake looking for the mine and cabin. Walking the shore and I was down, slipping on a rock or something. I hit hard, cut my hand. Shook up I was. Spaulding is a "dead end" lake.... no through portage. There's also no campsite. So one has to WANT to go to Spaulding Lake. (Some maps indicate a portage to Branch Lake, but Branch Lake is also "dead end.") Though the fall hurt me, I was scared because I knew I would have been in trouble had I been seriously injured. But again, I would have fallen there with or without a group.

That said, and to your point, I agree that I have a different mindset when soloing. I have a bigger perspective, looking a bit more "big picture" in what I do. In particular, I try to identify where I would go and how I would go there, in case of an accident. How would I contact someone? I don't bring a Spot or cell phone or satellite phone or anything like that. I have a mirror on my compass and a whistle on my pfd.

Soloing is not without risks that are mediated if one is with a group. I get that and accept it. I don't do solos because they are riskier or for some rush. I solo because that's the experience I want, and I trade a bit of risk for a satisfying reward.

Mike
LuvMyBell
distinguished member(5326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/19/2018 09:26PM
tumblehome: "Consider this. I have had far more problems with injuries when traveling in groups. I myself have not been injured, but others have. The more people in a group, statistically, the greater chance of an accident.


I solo trip all the time, and never have suffered more than a bruised knee. I would think solo tripping is far safer than traveling with others because the solo traveler is keenly aware of his every move, does not have distractions of others, and knows he is his only caregiver.


I would encourage everyone to solo trip in order to prevent a possible drowning!
Tom"


Do you feel you are safer vwhen you solo because you are more conscious bif being alone and more careful or, because you have just been fortunate?

For those that do solo trips in the wilderness, if something did happen, broken leg, arm or just extremely sick with a high fever, what do you do or what is your plan to get out safely? Lots of unexpected things are possible.

I always paddle in my solo canoe. I've even done solo trips on my local riversbwhen I had a last minute urge to get out. I would never do a solo BW or any other wilderness trip. I much prefer paddling with friends and family.

Aside from the safety aspect, if something unexpected did happen, hundreds of miles from home, miles into the wilderness, potentially you are causing numerous people allot of trouble, grief and cost.

I'm not afraid bto be in the woods alone. I do it hunting, paddling locally, and while in the military passed solo survival training bwith no issues. I'm talking about wilderness solo trips where help is nowhere near.
LuvMyBell
distinguished member(5326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/19/2018 09:26PM
tumblehome: "Consider this. I have had far more problems with injuries when traveling in groups. I myself have not been injured, but others have. The more people in a group, statistically, the greater chance of an accident.


I solo trip all the time, and never have suffered more than a bruised knee. I would think solo tripping is far safer than traveling with others because the solo traveler is keenly aware of his every move, does not have distractions of others, and knows he is his only caregiver.


I would encourage everyone to solo trip in order to prevent a possible drowning!
Tom"


Do you feel you are safer vwhen you solo because you are more conscious bif being alone and more careful or, because you have just been fortunate?

For those that do solo trips in the wilderness, if something did happen, broken leg, arm or just extremely sick with a high fever, what do you do or what is your plan to get out safely? Lots of unexpected things are possible.

I always paddle in my solo canoe. I've even done solo trips on my local riversbwhen I had a last minute urge to get out. I would never do a solo BW or any other wilderness trip. I much prefer paddling with friends and family.

Aside from the safety aspect, if something unexpected did happen, hundreds of miles from home, miles into the wilderness, potentially you are causing numerous people allot of trouble, grief and cost.

I'm not afraid bto be in the woods alone. I do it hunting, paddling locally, and while in the military passed solo survival training bwith no issues. I'm talking about wilderness solo trips where help is nowhere near.
tumblehome
distinguished member(1431)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/20/2018 07:24AM
I do not let fear of the unknown stop me. I read a lot about people not wanting to solo trip because of fear. What if I get sick? Hurt? Lost? Capsize?

For just a moment.... think of all the things that can happen to you every day....
I play the odds. I don't gamble or smoke to keep the odds in my favor. The odds are I will be OK when I solo trip.

@luvmybell." Do you feel you are safer when you solo because you are more conscious of being alone and more careful or, because you have just been fortunate?"

Mostly, I feel safer because I have complete control of everything I do. I am very tuned to everything around me when I solo trip. I feel fortunate to be on this earth but I feel my skills and awareness keep me alive in the bush.
Tom

07/20/2018 07:48AM
LuvMyBell: "tumblehome: "Consider this. I have had far more problems with injuries when traveling in groups. I myself have not been injured, but others have. The more people in a group, statistically, the greater chance of an accident.



I solo trip all the time, and never have suffered more than a bruised knee. I would think solo tripping is far safer than traveling with others because the solo traveler is keenly aware of his every move, does not have distractions of others, and knows he is his only caregiver.



I would encourage everyone to solo trip in order to prevent a possible drowning!
Tom"



Do you feel you are safer vwhen you solo because you are more conscious bif being alone and more careful or, because you have just been fortunate?


For those that do solo trips in the wilderness, if something did happen, broken leg, arm or just extremely sick with a high fever, what do you do or what is your plan to get out safely? Lots of unexpected things are possible.


I always paddle in my solo canoe. I've even done solo trips on my local riversbwhen I had a last minute urge to get out. I would never do a solo BW or any other wilderness trip. I much prefer paddling with friends and family.


Aside from the safety aspect, if something unexpected did happen, hundreds of miles from home, miles into the wilderness, potentially you are causing numerous people allot of trouble, grief and cost.


I'm not afraid bto be in the woods alone. I do it hunting, paddling locally, and while in the military passed solo survival training bwith no issues. I'm talking about wilderness solo trips where help is nowhere near."





Wilderness travel whether solo or in groups is not probably the safest thing you can do in life. Neither is playing many sports or whatever. I get moss tents point... We preach safety on one side of the coin and do something a bit chancy on the other side... And worse judge people for their choices. I admit, his comment got me defensive at first. But I dare say there is a point made. Sad to hear a fellow paddler drown... Whether because of pfd or health issue it's sad. To not wear one was that person's choice. While a pfd can save a life, it's not guaranteed. People die... We all will... Adventure without risk is no adventure. I wear a pfd because I see the benefit. Seat belts are the same thing. Twice in my younger days I was in accidents that had I'd been in a seat belt I'd not be here. Call it fate or whatever. We all have to make choices... Except kids, kids must wear pfds and seatbelts. Haha.
nofish
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07/20/2018 08:53AM
I really don't understand the negativity surrounding solo trips. If you don't want to do them or aren't comfortable doing them then don't do them. Most of it comes down to perceived risk, we all perceive it differently and in a lot of cases we may not be perceiving it accurately.

I'll pick on LuvMyBell for a second only because he offered up a couple comparable activities in his last post.

Image you've got 3 options. 1. Hunting alone 2. Paddling a local river alone 3. A solo BWCA trip. LuvMyBell does 2 out of the 3 based on his perceived risk. He perceives options 1 and 2 as safe to do alone while option 3 is too risky (may not be exactly true but lets roll with it for discussion purposes).

Are there really any significant differences between the 3 activities? In each one you can easily get hurt, sick, or into trouble requiring aid. In all three you are alone and if you are not capable of self rescue you are in a bad spot and at the mercy of fate to help save you. It doesn't matter if you are 1 mile from home, if you are alone, hurt, and can't self rescue or call for help then you might as well be 100 miles from home. Either way help isn't coming for you.

My point is we all assign risk to certain activities in different ways based on our perceived risk. However, the risk we assign to it is not always based on the true risk. Being familiar with something is likely going to have you assign a lower risk just because you've done it safely before. It doesn't mean the risk is actually lower.

There is no reason to avoid doing any of these activities alone. You just need to be aware of the actual risk and ignore your own perceived risk as its full of bias. When I go hunting alone which I do often in the fall I treat it very similarly to how I would treat a solo bwca trip. I wear all the appropriate safety equipment (harness if I'm in a tree, glasses to protect my eyes in the field, etc), I leave details with someone as to where I am hunting, when I'll be back, and possibly a check in time if I'll be out for an unusually long period of time. I also don't take extra risks. If something needs to be done and there is added risk I wait until I have a partner with me. I take all of these precautions and I'm only hunting a 20 acre property so I'm not more than a 5-10 minute walk back to the house.


proepro
member (40)member
 
07/20/2018 10:17AM
Back on subject.

Wear the PFD carefully and it must fit. If you can't be lifted up on shore without the PFD going over your head it will not help in the water. I saw a man nearly drown in the PFD because it was floating over his head which was under water. He had fallen out of a white water raft and his arms went up in the air.

yellowcanoe
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07/20/2018 10:27AM
I used to solo all the time. I never expected to find people to save me. Woodland Caribou and Wabakimi and Superior were my wilderness haunts as well as the more isolated parts of Temagami. I always carried a PLB and there were float plans left with family at home. I was very careful of misstepping on portages because with the dense woods I was worried about the signal getting out and I knew that the possibility was there I would have to survive a winter alone. On the water I was cautious and never ran things I would have in a group.
The first thing I did was discuss this all with family.. I wanted to canoe way more than my husband did.. As he is deaf he really doesn't care for canoeing because he cant wear his hearing aids ( he did once.. that was a two grand mistake.. its in 85 feet of water). He does not get the sounds of Nature.

Now he is prone to have memory issues and I really dare not leave him home for a week.

To you that have concerns with safety.. Do you drive alone? There is risk and reward in everything that must be balanced.

Some love the social aspect of canoeing.. We don't. More loners.. He brings about ten books for a week long trip.
LuvMyBell
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07/20/2018 12:21PM
nofish: "I really don't understand the negativity surrounding solo trips. If you don't want to do them or aren't comfortable doing them then don't do them. Most of it comes down to perceived risk, we all perceive it differently and in a lot of cases we may not be perceiving it accurately.


I'll pick on LuvMyBell for a second only because he offered up a couple comparable activities in his last post.


Image you've got 3 options. 1. Hunting alone 2. Paddling a local river alone 3. A solo BWCA trip. LuvMyBell does 2 out of the 3 based on his perceived risk. He perceives options 1 and 2 as safe to do alone while option 3 is too risky (may not be exactly true but lets roll with it for discussion purposes).


Are there really any significant differences between the 3 activities? In each one you can easily get hurt, sick, or into trouble requiring aid. In all three you are alone and if you are not capable of self rescue you are in a bad spot and at the mercy of fate to help save you. It doesn't matter if you are 1 mile from home, if you are alone, hurt, and can't self rescue or call for help then you might as well be 100 miles from home. Either way help isn't coming for you.


My point is we all assign risk to certain activities in different ways based on our perceived risk. However, the risk we assign to it is not always based on the true risk. Being familiar with something is likely going to have you assign a lower risk just because you've done it safely before. It doesn't mean the risk is actually lower.


There is no reason to avoid doing any of these activities alone. You just need to be aware of the actual risk and ignore your own perceived risk as its full of bias. When I go hunting alone which I do often in the fall I treat it very similarly to how I would treat a solo bwca trip. I wear all the appropriate safety equipment (harness if I'm in a tree, glasses to protect my eyes in the field, etc), I leave details with someone as to where I am hunting, when I'll be back, and possibly a check in time if I'll be out for an unusually long period of time. I also don't take extra risks. If something needs to be done and there is added risk I wait until I have a partner with me. I take all of these precautions and I'm only hunting a 20 acre property so I'm not more than a 5-10 minute walk back to the house.



"


In some situations you make a good point that all 3 situations can be risky if you get hurt and self rescue. But not all.

While solo tripping on my home river, even if I did get hurt and couldn't get my self out alone, it's not the same as the BW. A river has a point A and and point B, period. Someone always comes by on a river. In the BW, depending on where you are, it could be days or weeks before you are discovered.

While hunting, I am alone as far as I have my section of the property. If I didn't show up back at camp by dinner, my hunting partner(s) would find me rather quickly.

I do not condemn anyone who decides on a solo wilderness trip. I was merely curious was the exit strategy plan is from those that do solo. The cost of a rescue in a wilderness area is hundreds if times more than on my river or where I hunt. Whoever finds you and has to go for help is also inconvenienced beyond measure.

I suppose if I lived near the BW I may have had the opportunity to do a solo trip and take advantage. Usually, when I announce a trip there is no shortage of family and friends who want to go. Some years, not everyone who wants to go can, because of the 4 boat 9 people rule.

Banksiana
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07/21/2018 09:51AM
In looking for some sort of statistical basis to the claim of solo tripping being inherently more dangerous I found a study based on the search and rescue statistics from the Park Service and the state of Utah which suggest this isn't the case. 76% of backcountry travelers were part of a group of two or more and they accounted for close to 80% of the search and rescue incidents. The conclusion on solo wilderness travel was: "Based on frequency of rescues, it would seem that solo backcountry travel is safer, if safe is defined by not needing to be rescued by SAR professionals. "

The small statistical advantage of solo travel is probably due to the trend of greater skill and experience of those engaging in solo travel, however it does suggest that our notion of traveling alone as being inherently more risky is a belief borne of perception rather than empirical knowledge.
Moss Tent
Guest Paddler
 
07/23/2018 12:34PM
I'm sorry Banks, that's not at all what that "suggests".

Oh, boy.

I'm dismayed by the level of discourse here, and I'm not hear to preach, so I'm out. I wish you all safe and rewarding travels.
inspector13
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07/23/2018 12:55PM
Moss Tent: "I'm dismayed by the level of discourse here..."
Why would anyone be dismayed by discourse in a forum? Isn’t that its purpose?

WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/23/2018 02:56PM
Minnesotian: "Moss Tent: "You go alone, you take a chance...just the same as if you choose not to wear a pfd."


Can't that be said for just about everything, Pete?


You wake up in the morning, you take a chance...
You drive on the interstate, you take a chance...
You eat the worm at the bottom of the bottle, you take a chance...


I get what you are saying, solo tripping is dangerous because there is no one to bail you out in the worst case situations. Best you can do is hit a button on a device (if you are conscious) for help. I am aware of this and plan for those cases as much as possible. I stay within my risk boundarys as much as possible. But as you have said before, there are many uncontrollable unknowns, and I deal with those problems by relying on my years of experience. That is called living, and that is why I enjoy solo tripping so that I can be conscious of my fragile thread of life. Others do it more extreme then I do, and I may do it more extreme then others, that is choice.


I do not hold this man up as a personal hero or anything, but I bet he would have some insights into solo tripping: Wil Steger Solo Expedition 2018



Bottom line, I bought a comfortable PFD years ago that I notice when I am NOT wearing it. Thus, I wear my PFD all the time in order to decrease my chances of drowning. "
BeaV's trip in 2013 is Epic. I would make the argument that the less people - the better. No way he did that with another person.



WhiteWolf
distinguished member(5070)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/23/2018 02:56PM
Minnesotian: "Moss Tent: "You go alone, you take a chance...just the same as if you choose not to wear a pfd."


Can't that be said for just about everything, Pete?


You wake up in the morning, you take a chance...
You drive on the interstate, you take a chance...
You eat the worm at the bottom of the bottle, you take a chance...


I get what you are saying, solo tripping is dangerous because there is no one to bail you out in the worst case situations. Best you can do is hit a button on a device (if you are conscious) for help. I am aware of this and plan for those cases as much as possible. I stay within my risk boundarys as much as possible. But as you have said before, there are many uncontrollable unknowns, and I deal with those problems by relying on my years of experience. That is called living, and that is why I enjoy solo tripping so that I can be conscious of my fragile thread of life. Others do it more extreme then I do, and I may do it more extreme then others, that is choice.


I do not hold this man up as a personal hero or anything, but I bet he would have some insights into solo tripping: Wil Steger Solo Expedition 2018



Bottom line, I bought a comfortable PFD years ago that I notice when I am NOT wearing it. Thus, I wear my PFD all the time in order to decrease my chances of drowning. "
BeaV's trip in 2013 is Epic. I would make the argument that the less people - the better. No way he did that with another person. At least any person I know- and I know Beav and a lot of people would bog him down. Sometimes solo tripping is the only way to a personal goal. And he wears his PFD ritually, even in practice. And practices his chances in the "if" event. As we all should.



Pinetree
distinguished member(12666)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/23/2018 03:08PM
Banksiana: "In looking for some sort of statistical basis to the claim of solo tripping being inherently more dangerous I found a study based on the search and rescue statistics from the Park Service and the state of Utah which suggest this isn't the case. 76% of backcountry travelers were part of a group of two or more and they accounted for close to 80% of the search and rescue incidents. The conclusion on solo wilderness travel was: "Based on frequency of rescues, it would seem that solo backcountry travel is safer, if safe is defined by not needing to be rescued by SAR professionals. "


The small statistical advantage of solo travel is probably due to the trend of greater skill and experience of those engaging in solo travel, however it does suggest that our notion of traveling alone as being inherently more risky is a belief borne of perception rather than empirical knowledge."


Agree,I think the majority of solo people have had more experience leading up to Soloing-be it hiking or canoeing. Soloing adds so much to the outdoors,I am much more observant of what is around me a nature events. Yes I am much more careful also.

I see that boat went down in Missouri and tragic death of 17 people,the captain of the boat said you don't need to put your life jackets on. There was some young people-babies even.
Thank God in Minnesota after a tragic instant in Minnesota a young person now-it is law up to a certain age young people will have a life jacket on.
 
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