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06/12/2022 12:01PM  
Just looking for thoughts on lashing down packs to your canoe. In your opinion is it better to secure your pack(s) to the canoe or not secure them? I'm thinking of the consequences of tipping the canoe.

Options for a DIY bailer too please.

On a similar topic, I leash my yak paddle to my PFD (knocked it overboard several times, mostly while fishing). Good or bad idea?
 
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straighthairedcurly
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06/12/2022 02:47PM  
You will get a lot of different opinions on this topic. If I was paddling really large lakes and not portaging, I would consider lashing in my packs...maybe. But personally I think it would be a royal pain in the BWCA with how many ins and outs I do in a day for portaging.

Add to that the fact that I have never accidentally swamped a canoe. I have been on river trips with others when someone flipped in rapids. We never lashed in our packs and never lost any...they just floated until one of the other canoes in our group retrieved them.

If I am solo and the waves are big enough to swamp me, I won't be out in it because if the waves are that big, I won't be able to self-rescue the canoe. I don't do whitewater solo.

Having a way to lash your paddle to your PFD while fishing is a good idea as long as it has a quick release and you carry a knife on your PFD to cut it if you get tangled.
 
Northwoodsman
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06/12/2022 03:00PM  
We use BDB's. It takes an extra 10 seconds per pack.
 
4keys
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06/12/2022 04:56PM  
I think there have been many threads about this over the years. And many opinions.

My husband insists on threading a line through the packs so if we dump the packs won’t float too far. Or sink. While we have never tipped yet, we do travel with a very active yellow lab who doesn’t know how to relax, so we are always prepared to get wet.

I worry that if we do tip, we wouldn’t be able to right the canoe with it filled/half filled/ or with packs in the water but connected by rope. Especially in deep water.

 
billconner
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06/12/2022 05:42PM  
Never lashed. Dumped once - (Quetico) Sunday Lake, white caps in mid October - and packs not a big deal. I'd hate the extra time at portages.
 
RetiredDave
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06/12/2022 07:29PM  
I use a short rope with loops at both ends and a carbiner. Takes two seconds to put on and take off, and I don't have to think about packs floating away (and I haven't dumped a canoe since Boy Scouts back in the 60's).

Dave
 
06/12/2022 09:38PM  
Hi Merlyn,

I don't lash packs in but I can see the pros and cons either way.

As for a DIY bailer, I use a gallon-sized minute maid orange juice container and cut off the bottom. I tie a short rope to the handle for easy fastening during a portage. When we take youth for the first time we put some water in the bottom of the canoe, 3-4 inches is all it takes, and let the kids bail it out. It works but it also shows how long it can take to get water out.
 
06/12/2022 10:10PM  
I don’t lash mine in. It seems like a PITA to do at both ends of a portage and gives something else to possibly get tangled in. If I dump, I guess I’d rather have my bags out. I doubt I could right my boat by myself (to be tested this summer) , but if someone else comes by it will be easier to right the boat with the bags out. In a lake, it’s not like they are going to float away all that fast.

I don’t carry a bail, but think any large liquid laundry detergent bottle would work well.
 
06/13/2022 08:11AM  
No lashing unless running rapids for us.

Our DIY bailers are milk jugs. Cap on, bottom cut off, shock corded from the handle to a seat & wedged under the seat 99% of the time. 2 ounces.
 
06/13/2022 09:17AM  
I do not lash, and as someone here said, if the wind/waves are enough of a concern, I will not be paddling.

I have swamped once-on one of my first solo trips (totally my fault!). Had two packs that basically washed ashore. There was a slight wind blowing me/canoe/gear towards shore, so it was no big deal (other than my ego). I also try to stay close to shore while paddling, but sometimes that is not an option.

I also have never used a bailer in over 60 trips.
 
Kendis
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06/13/2022 09:36AM  
merlyn: "
Options for a DIY bailer too please.

"


I cut off the bottom of a half gallon milk carton. As long as you keep the cap screwed on, water won't come out while bailing. Using the top for bailing instead of the bottom allows you to use the carton handle to hold onto something that feels natural while bailing.

I use a short piece of paracord tied through the handle to loop it around one of the thwarts.
 
MikeinMpls
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06/13/2022 09:39AM  
Northwoodsman: "We use BDB's. It takes an extra 10 seconds per pack."

I would not think a BDB (or even several) would be strong enough to keep a pack in a boat if the boat swamps. Can you please explain how you do that?

Mike
 
Minnesotian
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06/13/2022 10:30AM  

I do not lash my packs to the canoe. My thinking is that if I lashed in with a rope and I swamp, there is a chance I could get tangled up in any rope and increase the probability of being dragged under water.

This could be solved by lashing the bags in with a shorter rope or bungies, but I think that would increase the difficulty of righting a canoe with the extra weight of the packs already in the canoe.

I do lash in my spare paddle so that if I am separated from my main paddle, I know there will be a paddle with the canoe to use when I recover it.

I haven't had the need for a bailer during any of my trips. If it is raining that hard to collect measurable amounts of water in the canoe, I will more then likely wait out the downpour on shore.
 
EddyTurn
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06/13/2022 11:20AM  
Minnesotian: "
I do not lash my packs to the canoe. My thinking is that if I lashed in with a rope and I swamp, there is a chance I could get tangled up in any rope and increase the probability of being dragged under water.


This could be solved by lashing the bags in with a shorter rope or bungies, but I think that would increase the difficulty of righting a canoe with the extra weight of the packs already in the canoe. "

I'd like to ditto the above opinion. Avoiding loose ropes in a boat is really important. At the very least one should keep handy a sharp knife that could be opened with one hand in case of entanglement. Which is not such a bad idea even in the absence of loose ropes.
Another safety issue: if you swim anywhere but on a small lake then packs tied to the boat could make it very difficult to retrieve both the boat and the packs.
 
Northwoodsman
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06/13/2022 12:46PM  
MikeinMpls: "Northwoodsman: "We use BDB's. It takes an extra 10 seconds per pack."

I would not think a BDB (or even several) would be strong enough to keep a pack in a boat if the boat swamps. Can you please explain how you do that?

Mike"


Sure. In theory the BDB's aren't holding weight, they are just keeping floating items grouped together. When a capsize occurs I imagine a semi-supported rolling action as the packs and canoe roll over into the water. We use CCS Hybrid packs and they are lined with Duluth Pack plastic liners rolled up at the top so they are essentially water proof once the snorkel top of the CCS pack is cinched tight, then the side flaps are folded in and latched and cinched down, then the top flap is pulled over, latched and cinched down. The packs will float for days. The BDB's go through one of the lifting loops on the CCS packs then around a thwart or the yoke. The packs will likely keep the canoe afloat either upside down or full of water. The BDB's are stronger than you think, I have tried and I can't break one by hand and I'm pretty strong. The reason we lash our packs in is two fold - so it keeps everything together AND so we have a floating platform in case we take a spill. This is all in theory of course.
 
aholmgren
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06/13/2022 01:55PM  
If you have ever tried/had to empty & right a swamped either for re-entry mid lake or to swim the canoe to shore you would know/will find it is much more difficult with packs attached/almost not possible to do with packs attached
 
Savage Voyageur
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06/13/2022 09:29PM  
I used to tie my packs down, not anymore. On a big lake I could see it, but when you are portaging often its a pain.
 
Hammertime
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06/13/2022 11:55PM  
I’m strongly against lashing the packs in. If you swamp they will float for a long time before they become waterlogged enough to sink.

Maneuvering an empty swamped canoe in windy conditions is hard enough. With 3 dangling heavy packs attached it would become nearly impossible.

Paddles float, in the unlikely event of a capsize it would be retrievable.

In all the years I’ve been canoe tripping I’ve never once thought about using a bailer.
 
06/14/2022 08:22AM  

Got it covered!

butthead
 
06/14/2022 08:35AM  



I probably never secure my packs in the bwca. On river trips with the chance of swamping our packs are lashed in securely, they and the rope will never be drifting around. The packs displace water and add floatation. Packs must be totally water tight.

I found this bailer on the bloodvein river. Very useful after rapids, totally useless for the bwca. If the waves are large enough that you think you might need a bailer maybe it’s best to wait on shore
 
LaVirginienne
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06/15/2022 11:35AM  
Never lash the packs in your canoe.
 
LaVirginienne
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06/15/2022 11:35AM  
Never lash the packs in your canoe.
 
Canoearoo
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06/15/2022 12:26PM  
more important is to make sure your packs can float. When your canoe dumps you want the easiest way to get the canoe back and a bunch of packs tied to your canoe will make that harder. Once you have your canoe back and you can paddle you can pick up your floating packs
 
MReid
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06/15/2022 12:57PM  
LaVirginienne: "Never lash the packs in your canoe."
And your reasoning, pray tell?
 
Banksiana
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06/15/2022 03:56PM  
MReid: "LaVirginienne: "Never lash the packs in your canoe."
And your reasoning, pray tell?"


Because to right a swamped canoe one needs to detach the packs- easier to chase down floating packs later than it is to try and untie packs in a swamped canoe .
 
Jackfish
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06/15/2022 04:57PM  
^^^ What Banksiana said. ^^^ Not to mention the PITA of tying in /untying at every portage landing.

As for a bailer, just bring a decent-sized sponge and use a Bungee Dealee Bob (or similar) to secure the sponge to a thwart. Mine is with me on every trip. It can be used to soak up the rain water, but it also gets used to clean out mud, etc. that accumulates on the trip.
 
Paddle4Hike
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06/15/2022 07:19PM  
Butthead, nice set up! What do you use for a painter?
 
Paddle4Hike
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06/15/2022 07:25PM  
I love this question; to lash or not to lash. I have pondered which is a good idea for typical lake travel. On don’t lash on small lakes and short paddles. Bigger water I typically lash my small pack ( I solo) in the front on a short loop with a biner. My “ expanded ditch kit” items are in the small pack. The rope makes it easier to shift pack for ballast, and keeps the pack close if I need to swim to shore.

I enjoy hearing everyone’s perspectives and reasons.
 
4keys
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06/15/2022 11:43PM  
We’ve never taken a bailer. We do take a sponge, tho it’s main purpose isn’t for waves coming in, it’s for the water dripping from the wet dog.
 
blackdawg9
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06/16/2022 06:25AM  
i just clip a waste belt or shoulder strap to the thwart. as long as the pack is compressed . it shouldnt suck water quickly and should float. liner sacks are a great thing. the only time i have flipped, everything stayed clipped onto it, but the first thing i did was unclipit and let it float. to get some water out. i messed up and didnt have a bailer. fast moving water, even slow moving. better clip it. its those day packs. that i think you should most be concearned about sinking.
 
06/16/2022 07:57AM  
30 years never lashed. I'm speaking from a solo canoeist point of view. Packs float and it's easier to swim the canoe to shore if you go in the drink with out the packs. Then go retrieve the pack(s) once you're back in the canoe There's pros and cons to both.
 
06/16/2022 09:05AM  
I thread a cord thru the packs and yoke. It has a carabiner on it and literally takes just a few seconds to do. Should we dump, it would be easier to keep all the packs together.
 
Banksiana
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06/16/2022 04:18PM  
Scout64: "I thread a cord thru the packs and yoke. It has a carabiner on it and literally takes just a few seconds to do. Should we dump, it would be easier to keep all the packs together. "
I suggest trying to manipulate a swamped canoe with attached bobbing packs. Not a fun job.
 
Bud03
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06/16/2022 05:21PM  
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER.
Was on a river trip our canoe capsized. Bailing scoop was attached with light twine to a thwart. When the canoe tipped the twine wrapped around my leg and I was dragged down the river by the canoe until I could get it unwrapped. I'd rather loose everything than risk getting wrapped up again, even on a lake cause we rarely tip in calm weather.
 
jhb8426
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06/16/2022 10:14PM  
I've never tied in packs on trips. On day outings I tie my tackle box and day pack to a thwart. My bailer is half of a milk jug. It's tied to the thwart behind the seat (Magic) with a short rope. No danger of entanglement.
 
RunningFox
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06/17/2022 12:19AM  
I use to lash, but now i just over pack so nothing can come out.
 
ockycamper
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06/17/2022 07:55AM  
We have had several capsizes among the group over the 15 years we have been going. One year we were on the numbered lakes and a canoe capsized. The packs were all Sealline style packs. One guy swam the empty canoe to shore, and the other canoes retrieved the packs and the remaining paddler. We would never have been able to pull that off is the packs were lashed in, with the wind and waves we were experiencing.

For us. . . we plan as if we know we will capsize. Everyone has Sealline packs rolled down correctly. Food in bearvaults with tape around the area the lids connect to the body to make them waterproof.

In a capsize one canoe goes for the packs, the other goes for the guys and the canoe that capsized. We are typically in 3-4 canoe groups which makes this easier.
 
tomo
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06/17/2022 04:53PM  
For me: rivers--yes. lakes--no.
 
06/18/2022 09:28AM  
Paddle4Hike: "Butthead, nice set up! What do you use for a painter?
"


Made and installed my own. Drill holes, add PVC, trim, and you have a place to attach. The painters are braided sheath poly core 7 to 8mm.

This is on my Advantage, The Moccasin I used 3/8 inch twisted.


butthead
 
Paddle4Hike
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06/19/2022 07:27AM  
Thanks Butthead.
 
06/19/2022 11:00AM  
Savage Voyageur: " I used to tie my packs down, not anymore. On a big lake I could see it, but when you are portaging often its a pain. "

+1
 
deerfoot
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06/19/2022 04:07PM  
Canoearoo: "more important is to make sure your packs can float. When your canoe dumps you want the easiest way to get the canoe back and a bunch of packs tied to your canoe will make that harder. Once you have your canoe back and you can paddle you can pick up your floating packs"

+1 - totally agree. But make sure your packs are water tight so they float. In 2017 on the Kopka Rv my buddy and I pinned the canoe. Once we freed the canoe I dealt with it and my buddy went swimming after a pack and a food barrel. We have never tied in gear and never will.
 
ockycamper
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06/19/2022 06:14PM  
When our groups used to go in early September we did training on capsize rescue. We would take two tandem canoes out. One would capsize. The capsized paddlers would hold on to the canoe while the other came along. Then the upright canoe would pull the capsized canoe open part facing down up on to their canoe emptying the water, then right it. Finally hold on to the empty canoe by both paddlers while the other two climbed back in.

Canoe/paddler recovery is a good thing to put into a trip.
 
OldGuide2
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06/21/2022 12:55PM  
Agree totally. Everyone going out should do a practice canoe rescue. Back when I trained for an instructor's rating, we had to swamp a canoe, then empty it out while treading water. Since then never swamped and never hope to. If the waves are rolling so high you are worried about swamping you probably should wait for better weather.

To me, on big water, life jackets are far more crucial than whether packs are tied. Long ago, when I took out kids groups, we used to just use the pack straps on a Duluth pack and loop them over a thwart in rough water. We always had our Duluth Pack straps rigged for quick release so they were no problem when we hit a portage.
 
Heyfritty
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06/22/2022 11:16AM  
In 40 years I’ve never attached my packs and fortunately have never capsized.

Sometime in the last few years, I watched a video of Girl Scouts testing the floatation of Duluth-type packs. I can’t find it right now(it may have been a link on here). They flipped a canoe and waited to see what happened. It turned out that nothing really happened that day, so the next day they checked and 2 of them were still essentially bobbing in the water. The other one of them was about halfway down. I think they ended the experiment then.

As for a bailer, I have an old natural sponge-I think it was my Dad’s from the 70’s. It’s about 6”x8”x2”. I know it can’t replace a jug-type, but it’s amazing how much water that sponge can soak up. I think because it’s a true sponge, as soon as I drop it in the water, it is totally saturated without pushing/squeezing it. Just for fun, I just tested it and it holds over 2 cups of water even though you probably lose half a cup by the time it’s over the gunwale. It’s great for light rain and other water sources and I usually end up wiping clean that half of the canoe. It’s great for that, seems indestructible and grabs whatever it touches. Last trip, after hauling a boatload of firewood, I cleared all the debris in a couple minutes. It’s also a nostalgic reminder of my Dad.

Fritty
 
ockycamper
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06/22/2022 12:11PM  
Never could understand using a canvas Duluth pack over something like a Sealline Boundary pack. Sealline packs don't need a liner, and in a capsize they will not only float but could be used to hold on to and paddle back to shore if the canoe gets away from you. From an immersion and flotation viewpoint, the Sealline type packs seem far better. We gave up cansas tents decades ago. But we still hold on to canvas packs.
 
cyclones30
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06/22/2022 12:22PM  
ockycamper: "Never could understand using a canvas Duluth pack over something like a Sealline Boundary pack. Sealline packs don't need a liner, and in a capsize they will not only float but could be used to hold on to and paddle back to shore if the canoe gets away from you. From an immersion and flotation viewpoint, the Sealline type packs seem far better. We gave up cansas tents decades ago. But we still hold on to canvas packs."

I want my pack to be sturdy and resilient on portages and in the canoe. Fish hooks, sharp rocks, sven saw even folded up, etc. I don't use the old style packs w/ leather but I use the lighter CCS-style packs w/ a contractor plastic bag inside as a liner. The pack material protects the contents and liner from holes, dings, branches, rocks, etc. The liner is there for waterproof. I've seen too many sealine bags get a hole and now it's useless w/ out some sort of a patch that may or may not hold. If I somehow get a hole in my liner bag (I haven't yet) I've got a spare in the very bottom of the pack that weighs almost nothing and takes up no space. Back as good as new in 2 min if needed.

As for the OP, I don't ever tie packs into the canoe. They float for a LONG time if you have the liner at least folded over well or rubber banded or whatever your strategy. Takes time in and out of portages and things get tangled and whatever else. No thanks.
 
ockycamper
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06/22/2022 12:40PM  
In 15 years of going to the BWCA, and another 20 years of river tripping, our groups have yet to get a hole in a Sealline pack. We have also never had water get inside one. We have tried all types of packs in our group. Over the years almost all group members have moved to Sealline Boundary packs.
 
06/22/2022 01:11PM  
You can always count on the BWCA forum for good advice!

When I first posted, I was concerned about dumping the canoe, not so much because of wind and waves, but because of unforeseen accidents like riding up on a rock or log. Done just that duck hunting.

My canoe did not come with any floatation, so I added some using rigid foam and spray foam. I use roll top, waterproof packs that will float for a while, at least, and thought that they might help keep the canoe afloat.

The bailer was for possibly emptying the canoe of the water before trying to get back in.

I have decided not to attach the packs to the canoe, but will continue to "beaner" the paddle to my PFD.
 
papalambeau
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06/22/2022 02:03PM  
ockycamper: "In 15 years of going to the BWCA, and another 20 years of river tripping, our groups have yet to get a hole in a Sealline pack. We have also never had water get inside one. We have tried all types of packs in our group. Over the years almost all group members have moved to Sealline Boundary packs."

Sealline Packs all the way. We've been using them for 30 years and have only had one tear and that was by a bear that came into camp and hauled it away. Got it back and took it to a friend who owns a shoe repair shop next to Lambeau Field (Paul) and he sewed it up so we can still use it to haul bigger items for camp that we don't care if they get wet. This one is no longer waterproof but all the rest are and they hold up great.
 
billconner
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06/22/2022 05:56PM  
ockycamper: "Never could understand using a canvas Duluth pack over something like a Sealline Boundary pack. Sealline packs don't need a liner, and in a capsize they will not only float but could be used to hold on to and paddle back to shore if the canoe gets away from you. From an immersion and flotation viewpoint, the Sealline type packs seem far better. We gave up cansas tents decades ago. But we still hold on to canvas packs."

From personal experience the nylon fabric (like used in modern tents) packs with a liner provide great floatation all the way to shore, for over half an hour, and nothing inside wet.
 
MReid
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06/22/2022 06:09PM  
ockycamper: "In 15 years of going to the BWCA, and another 20 years of river tripping, our groups have yet to get a hole in a Sealline pack. We have also never had water get inside one. We have tried all types of packs in our group. Over the years almost all group members have moved to Sealline Boundary packs."
As a counter, my Sealline Pro pack developed a leak on my first long trip with it. They replaced it, though (but after I got back, of course).
 
JohnGalt
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07/01/2022 03:04PM  
I used to lash my packs in, though after being more mindful of how I would right the canoe if I capsized (especially in cold water conditions) I no longer lash in my packs. My spare paddle gets tied to a pack, though thinking about it now lashing it to the canoe may be wise so that I'd have a paddle following righting the capsized canoe. Fortunately, I've not had to learn what happens to my packs if I tip haha.

I keep one of those large automotive type sponges in my thwart bag if I need to sop up some H2O on the wrong side of the hull.
 
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