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   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Solo safety for first time soloist     

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06/16/2016 10:10AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
What safety tips might I not think about ahead of time being used to not being solo?

(Yes, my packing is coming along nicely and since I am not thinking about that as much, I'm thinking about anything and everything related to my trip instead...)

Things I've already thought of:

Extra care on portages/watching steps more carefully
Swimming with PFD on
SPOT device
A loud whistle attached to PFD
Bear spray

Anything else?
 
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06/16/2016 10:28AM  
Some people may think this is overkill... but when solo and on my daddy/daughter trips without another adult around I even wear my pfd to fill my water filter bag and to fish from shore.

In addition to a whistle I have one of those small boating air horns that I keep in my pfd pocket (I think it was only $4 at walmart)

Ditch kit in my pfd pocket

At night I keep my saw in the tent vestibule

You are going to have a great trip!!!!!
 
06/16/2016 10:48AM  
Make up a "ditch" kit and attach it to your PFD.
 
06/16/2016 11:03AM  
take yer time and enjoy...there's no need to hurry

Don't worry about all the racket around your fire pit at night...mice are noisy (youre not afraid of mice are ya Nola?)

I echo all the above....and would add to tie your canoe off at camp and portages...you don't want to swim for it.
 
jeepgirl
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06/16/2016 12:10PM  
bring a good knife, ear plugs and Tylenol pm. Ear plugs and Tylenol pm help me avoid the night creapies. I can still hear loud noises.
A good knife is kept in my tent at night.
As a woman I do not tell others that I am alone. I always say I am meeting a group on the next lake over. Also don't post where you are going on facebook either. Just being extra careful.

Know where you are at all times. Its easy to get lost its easy not to get lost.

Know your limits and listen to your body.

Drink more water than you normally drink. In the summer I try for at least 4-5 quarts on travel days and 3 quarts on layover days. Dehydration sickness is no fun especially alone.

Enjoy your trip. Its addicting. Its empowering too.

 
06/16/2016 12:49PM  
quote mooseplums: "take yer time and enjoy...there's no need to hurry


Don't worry about all the racket around your fire pit at night...mice are noisy (youre not afraid of mice are ya Nola?)


I echo all the above....and would add to tie your canoe off at camp and portages...you don't want to swim for it."


I'm taking along my dog. He might just react most to mice and little critters (he's a small varmint hunter).

I think I'll be good with the nighttime stuff...because I have my dog along. :) But we shall see!
 
06/16/2016 02:09PM  
ohh yes, I make a point of drinking extra water when solo and tie up that canoe. Portage landings are trickier while solo trying to get things in/out of the canoe while it's floating without it floating away. In the time you turn around to pick up a pack right behind you, the canoe can be on it's way :o

 
yellowcanoe
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06/16/2016 02:22PM  
Dog first aid kit. I never took my dog on solos as at home she demoed a propensity to bring skunks home and make friends with porkies. I wasn't going to have her on leash. Usually she is good on voice command but will chase both moose and bear and totally ignore me at home.

Small dogs might scare bears. I've seen cats scare bears
Harness for pooch. Our dog once on a tandem trip chased a rabbit and got her collar hung up in a bush.. She was way in the woods and we never found the collar. I am so glad she did not not hang herself

Personally I have always worried about fishers at night. Our dog was big and did not get eaten. Our cat got eaten by a fisher..

For that reason we always had our dog when on tandem trips in the tent..
 
06/16/2016 04:34PM  
My dog is about 55 pounds. He likes squirrels a lot but ignores other animals (though admittedly we haven't come across any bear or moose...). He even ignores other dogs. I can call him off squirrels. He's a good boy. He will definitely be with me in the tent.
 
jcavenagh
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06/16/2016 04:35PM  
Yes, drink that h2o. I got dehydrated last year on my solo. Its easy to do. You just don't think about drinking while paddling alone. In groups you always are reminded when someone else takes a sip.

Ditch kit absolutely attached to your PFD.

Have fun!
 
06/16/2016 04:37PM  
So my ditch kit is in a Nalgene bottle. I was going to clip it to the canoe. Seems to big/heavy for my PFD, but I can see how that would be better...should I make a smaller one?

For water I have a gravity filter but also have one of those ones that goes in a bottle...I have the Sawyer Mini filter. So I have water on the go, plus the ease of the gravity filter in camp.
 
yellowcanoe
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06/16/2016 05:04PM  
quote nojobro: "So my ditch kit is in a Nalgene bottle. I was going to clip it to the canoe. Seems to big/heavy for my PFD, but I can see how that would be better...should I make a smaller one?


For water I have a gravity filter but also have one of those ones that goes in a bottle...I have the Sawyer Mini filter. So I have water on the go, plus the ease of the gravity filter in camp."


got a fanny pack that clips around your waist? It doesnt need to be waterproof.
 
mjmkjun
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06/16/2016 05:28PM  
You've got it covered, nojobro. I hope you love the solo experience. It's not for everyone but it's unique.
Aleve (my preference) or Tylenol for those muscular aches at the end of the day--for when you trek hard.
One-per-night of Melatonin (10mg fast dissolve) -- a very mild but effective sleep aid. Think: gradual relaxation instead of dropping into a sleep void. Zero grogginess next morning.
You and companion have a fun trip!
 
GraniteCliffs
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06/16/2016 07:28PM  
Always be extra cautious paddling in the wind. What might seem OK to you in a tandem will not be what you should paddle in as a new soloist. And, of course, keep even further away from the rapids.
All this advice could make you nervous. Not to worry, I always think I am safer when I am alone since I take fewer risks.
And I sleep like a rock the instant I lie down in my tent. You might too.
 
GraniteCliffs
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06/16/2016 07:28PM  
Most importantly, just relax and have fun with your alone time!
 
06/16/2016 07:53PM  
Plenty of good advice, but one thing that hasn't been mentioned much is being careful with sharp tools and fire. Take enough bandaids and also take some burn ointment and or burn bandages. Just in case. Tie your canoe up, they can get away quickly. Landing and unloading/loading at portages is more awkward. Think things through ahead of time and be "mindful" when doing them.
 
06/16/2016 08:27PM  
Tether the canoe when loading and unloading so it doesn't float away. Usually just clip it the guideline onto my pfd with a snap link.
 
06/16/2016 09:44PM  
quote ILcdr: "Tether the canoe when loading and unloading so it doesn't float away. Usually just clip it the guideline onto my pfd with a snap link."

2nd that,
and watch so you don't lose your paddle while on the water. Did that once,lucky I had a small backup.

Enjoy,I think your senses of what going on around you are sharper when alone. You are not distracted as often. I love solo tripping,but being first solo you will be testing your limits and one of those may be winds and wave action,play it on the safe side. You can always paddle later,just take a break.
 
06/16/2016 09:49PM  
quote GraniteCliffs: "Most importantly, just relax and have fun with your alone time!"

That is one good thing about solo tripping. Go at your own pace,nobody to please but yourself.
 
06/17/2016 08:53AM  
be very very careful because solo tripping is very addicting ;) ;)

Have a great trip.
 
Nordeast
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06/18/2016 01:23AM  
I just got back from my first solo and felt relatively comfortable the whole time, the only time it really dawned on me that I was all alone was when I got caught sideways to some wind. I took a few heavy rollers sideways before I got my bow turned into the waves and it really struck home that I couldn't rely on anyone else if something was to happen. I would suggest knowing your own limits and when you shouldn't tackle something that might get you into a sticky situation. In all likelihood you probably have the experience to extract yourself from those situations but better not be in them in the first place.
 
06/20/2016 09:34AM  
Regarding sticky situations...I am probably over-careful in general.
 
06/20/2016 10:34AM  
leave saws, axes, hatchets at home. you don't need them and they are obviously a danger.
 
06/20/2016 09:50PM  
quote jwartman59: "leave saws, axes, hatchets at home. you don't need them and they are obviously a danger."
there are folks in the park that need them right now due to the high winds along the Gunflint trail. I have heard that a few have had to cut their way across portages.
I always carry a saw just in case ...you never know. DO I use it much ..No.
BUT it always comes along.
 
06/21/2016 06:18AM  
I agree and always carry a saw too. I rarely use it but you just never know, you might get blowdown in your camp that needs a limb removed.

My best safety tip is to use your intuition. And always be aware of where you are stepping. It's so rocky up there and the chance of turning an ankle or worse is my biggest fear. It's easy to get caught up in watching the scenery pass by as we portage but I watch the ground and every step when there's weight on my back.

 
06/21/2016 07:17AM  
I was glad I had my saw with on my May 7 solo. The first portage was 320 rods of this......... I couldn't even count how many trees were down across the portage. It's the only time I've used my saw on my 3 solos and I haven't used it on any my daddy/daughter trips w/ my young girls but I do bring it along for emergencies.
 
06/21/2016 12:08PM  
+3 or 4 on the drinking lots of water. It's also easy to keep pushing without eating enough. Lots of bad decisions/mistakes can be made when dehydrated and tired.
 
TrekScouter
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06/21/2016 10:41PM  
quote nojobro: "Regarding sticky situations...I am probably over-careful in general. " This is all good advice. Being the careful person that you are, I'm sure you'll keep these tips on mind, and be just fine. Don't dwell on your concerns or let them interfere in any way with enjoying your trip to the fullest.
 
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