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unmasked1515
member (13)member
 
01/27/2017 08:20PM
What is your best trick? For: Gear, Food, and anything you can think of. Do you have any gear that you think is exceptionally great or any food that is amazing?
 
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Savage Voyageur
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01/27/2017 08:34PM
I'm not sure about best but I'll start. Titanium single wall cup. I can drink coffee and if I don't finish I just set it on the fire grate or stove for a minute and it's hot again.
 
01/27/2017 08:52PM
Best trick? Wow, where to begin?!

Gear - anything that's lighter or simpler is good. If you don't need it, leave it - no axe, saw, chair, lantern, etc.. Three-pound shelter, 2-lb. down sleeping bag, 1 1/4-lb. pad = great. Waterproof compression stuff sacks. Pack liners. BDB's.

Sawyer water filter bottle so you don't have to carry water while you travel. Sawyer mini water filter gravity system in camp.

Bear canisters/Ursacks so you don't have to hang food. Food - keep it simple and light = boil-and-dump meals. Outdoor Herbivore, Hawk Vittles, ProBar Meal bars. Nuts are great calorie-dense food for snacks. Love my JetBoil stove.

Wet-footing when warm enough simplifies portage landings. Smartwool socks. OTB boots.

Pre-rigged ridge-line tarp system.

I've learned about so many things here. Some it took me a while to be convinced to try. Some I adopted, some I didn't. A lot of small changes have added up to a much lighter load, much easier traveling, and a much simpler and more enjoyable experience.
 
Northwoodsman
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01/27/2017 09:23PM
1. To make a clothes line, twist two ropes together. Don't need clips and things wont blow away.
2. This past fall one of the guys in the group split enough firewood in 30 minutes to get us through several days of base camping. I brought a Fiskars hatchet and he brought an brand new Estwing hatchet. He used the Fiskars as a spitting wedge and the Estwing as the maul. Almost no chance of injury and it worked exceptionally well. The funny part was when he was done the Fiskars didn't look like it have ever been used and the Estwing looked 25 years old. The face was beat to hell.
 
old_salt
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01/27/2017 10:41PM
quote old_salt: ""

It disappeared.
 
gymcoachdon
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01/27/2017 11:21PM
In my limited experience I will say BDB, or Bungee Dealy Bob, as mentioned above. If you haven't used them, you need to! Fishing poles, spare paddle, and water filter are BDB'd to my canoe, and stay put for portages. They also can be used for clothes pins, but not now that I learned about the twisted clothesline!
 
01/27/2017 11:33PM
This is a very interesting thread because so much of BW tripping is about the individual and how he/she perceives things. For example, I used a percolator to make camp coffee for decades. It was about the ambience, the sound, the smell, and it was about what my dad did, the memories, that just meant "camping" to me. That's perhaps the worst way to make camp coffee, I'm 61 years old, it took a lot for me to accept that. Now I use Starbucks instant coffee, cleared out a lot of pack space and it's really good.
 
WhiteWolf
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01/28/2017 12:22AM


Do you have any gear that you think is exceptionally great or any food that is amazing?

No. Too many people have access to the same things.

What is exceptionally great is using awesome gear and being with awesome people at the same time in trying circumstances.

But what is even better is your mindset, no matter what, knowing you can do anything in the Wilderness that it to has offer-- all alone. That is my "best trick". Your mind makes your trip.
 
ozarkpaddler
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01/28/2017 04:31AM
Dish washing soap in contact lens case. Small, flat , will not leak. 2 will cover you for a week to 10 days.

Funnel cakes. Experimented over the years with lots of things in my pancakes and found out that a packet or two (depending on size of batch) of spiced cider makes a pancake that tastes like funnel cakes at the Fair. I mix in a Zip lock and squeeze it out starting in the middle and work my way out. I usually take a bit of powdered sugar just to add the coupe de gras.
 
Eric1614
member (12)member
 
01/28/2017 08:38AM
quote gymcoachdon: "In my limited experience I will say BDB, or Bungee Dealy Bob, as mentioned above. If you haven't used them, you need to! Fishing poles, spare paddle, and water filter are BDB'd to my canoe, and stay put for portages. They also can be used for clothes pins, but not now that I learned about the twisted clothesline!"

any real benefit to the BDB brand name? The big online retailer has brand name for 5/$15 or knockoffs 25/$9. Seems like a no brainer?
 
RMinMN
distinguished member (156)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2017 09:42AM
quote maxxbhp: "This is a very interesting thread because so much of BW tripping is about the individual and how he/she perceives things. For example, I used a percolator to make camp coffee for decades. It was about the ambience, the sound, the smell, and it was about what my dad did, the memories, that just meant "camping" to me. That's perhaps the worst way to make camp coffee, I'm 61 years old, it took a lot for me to accept that. Now I use Starbucks instant coffee, cleared out a lot of pack space and it's really good. "

With 4 or more coffee drinkers on a trip, Maxwell House coffee filters work good as you make the coffee in the pot you use for other cooking, only one pot instead of an extra just for coffee. With only 2 of us going we use Folgers (or a knock off house brand) filter packs. Hot water in the cup, one or more filter packs and coffee is ready quickly. Left over hot water? Hot chocolates, washing dishes, whatever.
 
01/28/2017 09:46AM
quote Eric1614: "any real benefit to the BDB brand name? The big online retailer has brand name for 5/$15 or knockoffs 25/$9. Seems like a no brainer?"

Could be that BDB's are made and sold by a site member.
Old Scout Outdoor Products

butthead
 
01/28/2017 09:55AM
I'm a long time gear geek, too much to discuss, too little time.

Will mention cooking. Powdered Sour Cream, makes any sauce, soup, taste better to me, Beef Stroganoff is something I will always make!

butthead
 
Mickeal
distinguished member(653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2017 10:28AM
When I go to a place like Brule or Seagull I will look at the area on Google maps on my cell. When I loose service I do not turn my phone off and put it on airplane mode, this will keep a connection with the satellites. I keep it on a solar charger so it does not go dead. I can still see my location on the lake any time and any where. This worked well last September when I was night fishing on Brule. I had my depth finder for tracking fish and could see where I was on the lake. This was in total darkness. You don't need a GPS your phone is one.
 
01/28/2017 11:35AM
I cut a small piece of HDPE....rounded the corners, slips into the foam pocket on the back of the gear pack. It's my cutting board, fish cleaning board, an extra "flat pan" for holding a pizza, fire fanner......still finding uses for it.

 
01/28/2017 11:42AM
Many "tricks". Don't know how good they are or if they would fit everybody's style, but they work for me. A couple examples:

I have a packing system I use for my solo trips that consists of various sized stuff sacks and compression sacks to keep my gear organized and tightly packed in a nice form. Nothing loose to get lost. After getting frustrated with trying to pack things the same way upon breaking camp (seems like things never go back into the pack the same way they came out), I made a laminated packing "map" that goes on the inside top flap of my pack. I've done enough trips now that I don't need it so much anymore.

I keep my tarp(s) rigged and ready to deploy with lines attached and stuffed into a bishop bag. Lines are wrapped around the outside to avoid tangling. This way I can get the tarp out and anchored without having everything flapping in the wind as I set up. Tarp goes near the top in pack - first thing out and set up.

When I cook, (mostly pretty simple foods like couscous, quinoa, wild rice or maybe oatmeal for breakfast), meals almost always involve a pot and so I just eat right out of that - no dishes to wash. I do use silverware :) When finished rinse it out with lake water to clean, then fill with fresh lake water, boil it (which further cleans the pan) and then I make my evening tea right in that pot and drink it from there. Pot is clean and ready to go for the next meal.
 
01/28/2017 12:09PM
quote unmasked1515: any food that is amazing? "
There are a few food items that are a MUST on every trip for me:
1) REAL maple syrup & maple sugar (I make my own). I use for all my sweetening needs and it imparts a great flavor to pretty much everything.
2) Fresh ground coffee - I grind fresh the day before I leave and use a pour-over cone & filter. No pot or perculator.
3) Venison jerky - also homemade, teryaki, garlic, maple syrup marinade, no preservatives.
 
wetcanoedog
distinguished member(4444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/28/2017 12:43PM
using a small Primus Gaz lamp to warm up my tent and Baker shelter on cold damp days.
yes I know about venting----
with this trick I can warm up without having to beat the brush looking for firewood.
fires in bad weather are bad in themselves.hard to keep going with damp wood,yes I know about splitting for the dry inside but why do ax and saw work when you can be sitting in a Baker shelter warm and comfy having a cup of tea and a cookie.
and yes there is the weight of the Gaz but how much does your wood work tools weigh.
set at it lowest setting a Gaz lamp with run for many hours unlike a stove that eats Gaz.
my one other trick is my Army poncho liner that I had a hood made for.so light you don't feel the weight in your pack but another way to beat chilly mornings and cool days in camp.

 
fishonfishoff
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01/28/2017 01:36PM
Start planning your trip the year before. This makes for more "meetings" which usually (I mean always) involve adult beverages and many good laughs.
"We could get by with no meetings, but that would be no fun!"

FISHONFISHOFF

And BDB'S
 
01/28/2017 02:28PM


I use hair bands to organize my tarp ropes.



One modification I've made since these photos were taken is a trick I learned from Dan Cooke. I fold the rope into the corner of the fabric, then I slip the whole corner into the hair band. This keeps ropes from tangling with other ropes.
 
01/28/2017 02:44PM
I love using Nite Ize carabiners.

 
jcavenagh
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01/28/2017 03:56PM
quote old_salt: "quote old_salt: ""


It disappeared."

That's quite a trick!! ;)
 
01/28/2017 04:25PM
Re: great food, always pick up some hand harvested, hand parched wild rice before heading out. Nothing like it in the world, simple perfection.

 
wetcanoedog
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01/28/2017 05:41PM
that's a great idea with the hair bands and the tarp corner,I wish I knew about it 25 years ago!!
 
AdamXChicago
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01/28/2017 07:21PM
quote wetcanoedog: "that's a great idea with the hair bands and the tarp corner,I wish I knew about it 25 years ago!!"
+1 - thanks AWB!
 
01/28/2017 10:41PM
I keep a 12" x 24" piece of shammy (chamois?) cloth in front of me in the bottom of the canoe. Like the kind you use for drying your car. It is comfortable to kneel on, and bails out the boat well in windy/rainy conditions.
 
01/28/2017 11:01PM
quote fadersup: "Re: great food, always pick up some hand harvested, hand parched wild rice before heading out. Nothing like it in the world, simple perfection.
"

+1
 
01/28/2017 11:20PM

awbrown,

Thanks for posting the hair band idea for tarp rope. I have always have tangled tarp ropes. Wish I had known this trick many moons ago,

 
01/29/2017 07:17AM
quote jcavenagh: "quote old_salt: "quote old_salt: ""



It disappeared."

That's quite a trick!! ;)"


:)
 
mastertangler
distinguished member(4638)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2017 07:19AM
Tricks? Not so much, not to many. But tripping in style and without "hassle" is no small trick.

I like organization and detest searching for what I need. I use Watershed duffels in various sizes to a great extent and they are peerless IMO when it comes to ordinary canoe country trips (not so sure I would want them on an Alaskan bush trip however).

I also like the twisty clothesline and despise clothes pins. Use a truckers hitch (another "trick" everyone should know how to tie and use) to get your clothesline tight enough to be practical. You don't want your stuff blowing off even in a stiff wind. Get your line tight.

Quick release knots in all lines / ropes and the Navy method for storing said lines / ropes (large and small) is definitely a huge plus (hat tip Cliff Jacobson). I refuse to fight with tangled ropes and lines.

And I love, love, love my Camel back all clear UV light system for drinking water. Pretty much anywhere, anytime I have immediate access to water. All I have to do is scoop, screw the lid on, press the button and gently agitate for 60 seconds and I'm back on the road. No hassle!

And yup I'm totally in agreement with White wolf.......attitude is key. But sometimes easier said than done. We all have only so much mental energy during the course of any given day. The less you have to expend that mental energy on minutia (looking for stuff, fighting with ropes, searching for those darn clothes pins, digging out a water filter etc. etc) the better our reserves will be for later.

Now if I can just get off this soap box without falling ;-)

 
matt13
 
01/29/2017 07:44AM
quote Mickeal: "When I go to a place like Brule or Seagull I will look at the area on Google maps on my cell. When I loose service I do not turn my phone off and put it on airplane mode, this will keep a connection with the satellites. I keep it on a solar charger so it does not go dead. I can still see my location on the lake any time and any where. This worked well last September when I was night fishing on Brule. I had my depth finder for tracking fish and could see where I was on the lake. This was in total darkness. You don't need a GPS your phone is one."

+1 - You can also combine your phone GPS with an app that can track your progress on downloaded maps for the area you are visiting. I use the free app ViewRanger for Android and can get paddling stats for the entire trip. I also use a solar charger combined with a 30000 mAH power brick.

Some great ideas in this thread. I'm pretty sure the hairband idea on the tarps will save me at least 5 minutes setting up my hammock rain-fly each time.
 
nicek
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01/29/2017 08:32AM
Using a paddle scoop out the ashes and debris from inside of the fire pit. Place a flat rock on the bottom before you build your new fire. Saves time and burns well.
 
Blatz
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01/29/2017 01:05PM
Glue a piece of closed cell foam (inch or so thick) to the canoe where the outside of my knee touches the gunwale. Makes for a more comfortable ride for me
 
OldFingers57
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01/29/2017 03:05PM
quote Blatz: "Glue a piece of closed cell foam (inch or so thick) to the canoe where the outside of my knee touches the gunwale. Makes for a more comfortable ride for me"
We use foam pool noodles about 6-8 inches long and with a cut down the middle length wise. They fit nicely over the gunwales.
 
01/29/2017 03:21PM
quote OldFingers57: "quote Blatz: "Glue a piece of closed cell foam (inch or so thick) to the canoe where the outside of my knee touches the gunwale. Makes for a more comfortable ride for me"

We use foam pool noodles about 6-8 inches long and with a cut down the middle length wise. They fit nicely over the gunwhales. "

+1 Similar to OF, purchase water pipe insulation from the hardware store that comes already pre-split and then cut it to length. (some brands even have adhesive tape with peel-off backing that help hold it in place).
I work for Danaher, a corporation that's religious about applying their lean business strategy called "DBS", and it has definitely rubbed off. It comes out most when soloing where organization and efficiency mean I can spend more time fishing or enjoying the moment.
 
01/29/2017 03:31PM
quote OldFingers57: "quote Blatz: "Glue a piece of closed cell foam (inch or so thick) to the canoe where the outside of my knee touches the gunwale. Makes for a more comfortable ride for me"


We use foam pool noodles about 6-8 inches long and with a cut down the middle length wise. They fit nicely over the gunwhales. "


Pipe insulation is another good one.
 
andym
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01/29/2017 03:53PM
Tupperware for the TP and a bottle of Purell. Leave it at the bottom of the path to the pit toilet and everyone knows if someone is up there or not. Very useful on trips with both men and women. Plus, people might use the Purell!
 
bwcadan
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01/29/2017 04:20PM
Bungy cord wrapped around the air mattress at foot of cot will keep air mattress on the cot overnight as you sleep. It usually takes 3 for a tight fit when end to end. Size of cord will determine whether more are needed.
 
01/29/2017 05:21PM
My best trick is making my snow plowing money dissappear when I go to just about any camping store.
 
zski
distinguished member (325)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/29/2017 07:26PM
quote Eric1614: "quote gymcoachdon: "In my limited experience I will say BDB, or Bungee Dealy Bob, as mentioned above. If you haven't used them, you need to! Fishing poles, spare paddle, and water filter are BDB'd to my canoe, and stay put for portages. They also can be used for clothes pins, but not now that I learned about the twisted clothesline!"


any real benefit to the BDB brand name? The big online retailer has brand name for 5/$15 or knockoffs 25/$9. Seems like a no brainer?"
Not as good as bdb but walmart sells a bungee type product. pack of 12 for $4. i use em everywhere
 
BnD
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01/29/2017 08:26PM
Here's just one we use all the time. Very utilitarian and extremely light weight. We use throw away aluminum pie tins for meal warmers, pot lids, etc... buy a size that nests inside or outside cookware kit and you'll use them over and over back country cooking.
 
belgiancurve22
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
01/30/2017 12:08AM
Take a clean one gallon milk jug and crush it flat ,its shape comes back just fine , fits in a pack great, it's always nice having a extra gallon of water around the camp site.
Take all the ingredients for a omelet cracked eggs,cheese,meat,and freeze in a ziplock bag just pull it out of your cooler the night before and fry up in the morning.
We use a product called mule tape, it blows paracord or rope out of the water for most applications
 
billconner
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01/30/2017 07:56AM
Storing the Dragonfly (or Whisperlite) wind screen wrapped around the MSR fuel bottle with one of Old Scout's BDBs . Looks and works like new. Bottom piece sits in GSI frypan.
 
msnature
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
01/30/2017 08:17AM
Oohh! Tell me more about the powdered sour cream! I see it online but, unless it lasts for a very long time, I don't really need the quantity they are selling. Where is the best place to score on this? We do stroganoff every year - this would be a definite plus!
 
BobDobbs
distinguished member (482)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/30/2017 08:39AM
'shooter' line for getting the hanging rope into position.

the shooter is any extremely thin, smooth line, tied to a 4 oz bullet shaped fishing weight. Very easy to toss over just about any limb, and will not get hung up or tangled in the inevitable cluster of twigs or pine boughs 20 ft off the ground. Once you have a good position, the hanging rope is tied to the end of the small line and pulled over the limb. Shooter line then gets dual purposed as a clothes line.

it usually takes me 1-2 tries and under 2 mins to get a perfect hang this way - compared to 20-30 tries and 30 mins using a rock tied to the hanging line.
 
01/30/2017 08:55AM
quote msnature: "Oohh! Tell me more about the powdered sour cream! I see it online but, unless it lasts for a very long time, I don't really need the quantity they are selling. Where is the best place to score on this? We do stroganoff every year - this would be a definite plus!"

I like Hoosier Hill products. best by date is usually 1 year, I tend to keep it till gone normally getting a years use out of a 1 pound container. 3 part water to 5 parts sour cream powder is the mix ratio.

butthead
 
campNgirl
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
01/30/2017 09:50AM
This is one simple and wonderful item where I like to support the BDB brand.

Simple no brainer trick that I'm sure you all know, I put my matches in one of those tall/narrow pill bottles with a strike or two that I cut and put in the bottle. Then I wrap duct tape around the bottle for emergency use.

quote Eric1614: "quote gymcoachdon: "In my limited experience I will say BDB, or Bungee Dealy Bob, as mentioned above. If you haven't used them, you need to! Fishing poles, spare paddle, and water filter are BDB'd to my canoe, and stay put for portages. They also can be used for clothes pins, but not now that I learned about the twisted clothesline!"


any real benefit to the BDB brand name? The big online retailer has brand name for 5/$15 or knockoffs 25/$9. Seems like a no brainer?"
 
BuckFlicks
distinguished member(670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/30/2017 12:37PM
Attitude is a big one.

Also, have tripping companions who compliment each other makes a big difference.

My buddy I go with is big into organization, planning the trip down to the minute and always being on the go.

I'm very much the opposite... I like to take it easy, enjoy the scenery, spend time just contemplating being out in nature, improvise and not have every moment planned.

He motivates me to move when I'm feeling lazy or when dark/weather deadlines are impending. He's a whiz at calculating how long it takes to travel distance on water and double portaging, usually down to about +/- 15 minutes over a day's travel. I remind him that we should take it easy and enjoy the trip, not worry so much about covering as much distance as possible.

We've also been on so many trips together that we have gotten the packing and chores down to a science. We split the weight evenly... each carrying our personal stuff and dividing up the shared items (stove, tent, fuel, video camera, water purifier) by weight.

So... we don't really have a specific gear trick. We've spent years streamlining our gear choices down from cast iron skillets and cans of chili on the first trip, to the light load-outs we have now. Those are lessons learned from experience, and also just being older and having more money to spend on gear. Ours are more along quality of life habits.

I'm sure most people do this, but one thing I did pick up was to wrap duct tape around a pencil or other small cylindrical item. Duct tape really can fix anything and that's the best way to maximize tape and minimize space.


 
01/30/2017 12:46PM
Cut the top half off of a 1L soda bottle and use it to protect the fuel pump on my MSR bottle while transporting. Thanks to Butthead.


 
ozarkpaddler
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01/30/2017 12:59PM
I'm definitely going to use the hair bands on my tarp lines; great idea!
 
01/30/2017 01:29PM
A safer way to put an edge on an ax, tape wet or dry sandpaper to a lat surface (sheet of kydex in photo). Wet, and stroke the ax on the paper. Lots of grits ton chose from.

Fadersup, thank you for the credit! I think I used a 20oz shown on an 11oz fuel bottle.

butthead
 
Whatsit
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01/30/2017 01:50PM
I with the rest about the hair band tip. That's great! These are fun to read. Will use some.
Mike
 
pswith5
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01/30/2017 04:36PM
Speaking of duct tape; a tip i learned here, wrap an old expired credit card with duct tape. Packs smaller than regular roll of duct tape.
 
01/30/2017 08:39PM
quote BobDobbs: "'shooter' line for getting the hanging rope into position.


the shooter is any extremely thin, smooth line, tied to a 4 oz bullet shaped fishing weight. Very easy to toss over just about any limb, and will not get hung up or tangled in the inevitable cluster of twigs or pine boughs 20 ft off the ground. Once you have a good position, the hanging rope is tied to the end of the small line and pulled over the limb. Shooter line then gets dual purposed as a clothes line.


it usually takes me 1-2 tries and under 2 mins to get a perfect hang this way - compared to 20-30 tries and 30 mins using a rock tied to the hanging line."

These are known as throwlines and used routinely by arborists. Available at any website selling arborist supplies. You could easily make your own. The weight is a small and narrow leather pouch filled with lead shot.
 
BobDobbs
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01/31/2017 08:45AM
quote deerfoot: "quote BobDobbs: "'shooter' line for getting the hanging rope into position.



the shooter is any extremely thin, smooth line, tied to a 4 oz bullet shaped fishing weight. Very easy to toss over just about any limb, and will not get hung up or tangled in the inevitable cluster of twigs or pine boughs 20 ft off the ground. Once you have a good position, the hanging rope is tied to the end of the small line and pulled over the limb. Shooter line then gets dual purposed as a clothes line.



it usually takes me 1-2 tries and under 2 mins to get a perfect hang this way - compared to 20-30 tries and 30 mins using a rock tied to the hanging line."

These are known as throwlines and used routinely by arborists. Available at any website selling arborist supplies. You could easily make your own. The weight is a small and narrow leather pouch filled with lead shot."


yes, yes, and yes!

I actually learnt this by watching random youtube vids and came across some cool arborist stuff. However, the cost of a 'real' arborist kit is too much to bear given the likelihood of loosing it and availability of substitute goods.
 
01/31/2017 11:57AM
Some good suggestions here. In particular, I really like the hair bands to keep cordage from unraveling.
 
01/31/2017 12:01PM
quote pswith5: "Speaking of duct tape; a tip i learned here, wrap an old expired credit card with duct tape. Packs smaller than regular roll of duct tape."

I wrap mine around a Nalgene.
 
01/31/2017 12:13PM
quote Frenchy19: "quote pswith5: "Speaking of duct tape; a tip i learned here, wrap an old expired credit card with duct tape. Packs smaller than regular roll of duct tape."


I wrap mine around a Nalgene."


I wrap mine around the pencil I bring.
 
01/31/2017 04:08PM
All the re-wrapping of things with duct tape. I'm lazy and when I get to a 1/4 of a large roll just pull/cut cardboard core out and flatten the roll.
Same as I do with toilet paper.

butthead
 
Unas10
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02/01/2017 05:38AM
quote butthead: "All the re-wrapping of things with duct tape. I'm lazy and when I get to a 1/4 of a large roll just pull/cut cardboard core out and flatten the roll.
Same as I do with toilet paper.


butthead"


Amen.
 
CrookedPaddler1
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02/01/2017 09:28AM
I would add a couple of tricks to the mix....

First, every couple of years I replace my para cord for tripping. I usually buy two different colors, 1 I cut up into 20' sections, the other color I cut up into 10' sections. If I needed a longer piece, I connect the two pieces with a sheetbend knot. This way it is easy to identify what you need when setting up a tarp, or other misc., uses around camp.

The second is that I have two small pieces (18") of pipe insulation that I bring along on my trips. I put them on the gunnel in front of my seat. That way I can quietly set my paddle down while fishing and not worry about the bangs and clangs that can startle fish.
 
wifishncanoe
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02/01/2017 11:23AM
I like the hair tie trick and corner of tarp for lines. Will be using that next time. I'll also be using the twisted clothes line on next trip.

We use a Sea to Summit kitchen sink for gathering water for dishes, putting out the fire and for a sea anchor to slow canoe down while walleye fishing.

We don't take soap for dishes. We have cooking portions down pretty well so that our plates are clean when finished. We rinse them in kitchen sink and then pour boiling water in them to sanitize. We then use the slightly dirty water to put out fire at end of the night. Usually takes two kitchen sink fulls of water to put out fire completely.
 
CoachWalleye74
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02/01/2017 12:04PM
Where were BDB's for 25/$9?
 
TrekScouter
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02/01/2017 12:08PM
Keeping my gear dry and organized in Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil dry sacks and compression sacks. No need for a pack liner this way.

I can identify the contents without opening them. Each dry sack is a different color. For the compression sacks, I attach a handmade two-sided tag identifying the contents. I make the tag from chipboard, cover it on both sides with mailing tape, punch it with a hole punch, and tie it to a strap with a piece of string. It's sturdy enough to last through the week. Some day I may laminate them instead of using tape, but that will take a little more advance planning.
 
02/01/2017 01:25PM
Who needs dish soap. Grab some ash from the fire . Works great.
 
bobbernumber3
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02/01/2017 02:24PM
Surprised at how many people like the hair band tip.

I just use the rope to keep tarp and fly ropes from tangling.

 
dentondoc
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02/01/2017 08:57PM
quote butthead: "I'm lazy and when I get to a 1/4 of a large roll just pull/cut cardboard core out and flatten the roll."
I'm even lazier. I buy a sufficient quantity of personal sized kleenex tissues. They are small enough to fit in your pocket (or fanny pack) from the get go and they are wrapped with cellophane-type material to help keep them dry when exposed. In addition, I'll generally place the individual package inside a small zip-lock bag. In case of accident, you only loose one package and not (perhaps) your whole supply. (The remainder of your supply can remain safely tucked away in your gear pack ... also in a waterproof bag/container.)

I typically find that I can do my business and get by with two tissues. I double the tissues and do a wipe/fold wipe/fold discard on each tissue. I generally find that each packet will last roughly 3 days.

Making individual cups of coffee ... put your coffee in a T-Sac, drop it in a cup and let it set (steep) for a couple of minutes. (Prices here are at least twice what you should be paying.) If you are staying at a campsite for a few days, leave the used ones near the fire place and they will dry out and will weigh practically nothing for packing out. (And the coffee never leaves the bag ... little mess to contend with.)

Run out of pain reliever? Find a willow tree and strip some bark. You can either boil it directly or put pieces into the T-Sac and make like coffee. You'll produce what amount to liquid aspirin. Don't know what a willow tree looks like? Find a moose and see what its eating (willow are a favorite).

Got a toothache and can't find a willow tree? Go to your fire pit and pull out some charcoal (not ash, actual charcoal). Grind it into a powder and put that in your T-Sac. Put the T-Sac in your mouth around the affected area. Your saliva will eventually turn the powder to paste and the poultice will begin to take effect. (Ain't going to taste great, but you are no where near a dentist either.) If you happen to swallow a bit of the liquid, I bet it helps your stomach ache and/or diarrhea are better. (Activated charcoal is a "jacked up" (oxygen infused) version of charcoal, if you are checking out WebMD or something.)

Your butt need a tad of extra padding as you paddle. Place a Z-Rest Seat Pad to your canoe seat. Just don't forget were you left it, because you're not through with it just yet. Need some extra padding on a log, flop down your Z-rest. Log wet? You just solved that problem too. No. Not Yet. You ever kneel next to your tent door to retrieve something from your tent? Was you knee wet and/or dirty when you got up? You got it. There is the next spot that Z-rest will be placed ... right in front. Put your shoes/boots on outside your tent and always doing the toe dance to try to keep the forest duff off your socks. Put that foot down on the Z-rest and relax.

Got a small piece of gear that you have difficulty spotting in among other things, tie a small piece of colorful ribbon to it. This is especially useful, if its a small piece of cooking gear that always seems to get thrown out with the dirty dish water.

Having trouble finding the on/off switch on your Luci Light in the pitch dark. Put a very low profile rubberized button on it ... the kind you would use to keep a drawer from making hard contact with a cabinet. They have adhesive on the back and will stick to the light, yet being rubberized they will still depress, and just that slight change in elevation will make it easy to feel in the dark.

Twisted clothes line (used 20+ years ago). Hair bungee (5+ years ago). And if you tie your line to them, they can act as a tiny shock absorber. IMHO, better to replace the bungee than your tarp tie-out (although actual shock cord is probably a better solution).

Hope you can use some of this.

dd
 
walleyevision
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02/01/2017 10:52PM
I don't use the double clothes line because it takes twice as much cord and it doesn't really hold as tight as I'd like. Instead, I bring a handful of the tiny metal clips that attach name tags to a belt/lanyard. They're cheap (office supply store), hold extremely well and weigh almost nothing.

I use one of my 7-year-old's t-shirts as a pillow case on my sea to summit inflatable pillow. Keeps it from getting funky.

 
unshavenman
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02/02/2017 02:22PM
quote billconner: "Storing the Dragonfly (or Whisperlite) wind screen wrapped around the MSR fuel bottle with one of Old Scout's BDBs . Looks and works like new. Bottom piece sits in GSI frypan."
Brilliant, thanks!
 
unshavenman
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02/02/2017 02:31PM
To store my Vaseline soaked cotton balls and any pills I might be bringing, I insert them into lengths of drinking straws that have been cut to size. Then I pinch each end with a needle nose pliers leaving just a bit of plastic exposed, melt the exposed end with a lighter and slide the pliers over the melting plastic sealing them shut. Watertight, light and they take up no room. Plus, red and white striped pieces of straw are easy to see.
 
bassnet
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02/02/2017 08:49PM
Look at your tackle box. Take out all the lures you didn't use two trips in a row.....now take out the lures that didn't catch any fish. There, tackle box weight is cut in half! Now look at the lures that are left.... look at each lure and ask yourself: besides what was designed to do, what CAN it do?? Lures are tools, with a wide range of capabilities.
 
mvillasuso
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02/02/2017 11:44PM
Any mesh or cloth bag (or old t-shirt?) can easily be made into an anchor if it's filled with small stones and the holes are tied-off.
They don't last forever, but longer than they seem like they should.
 
A1t2o
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02/03/2017 10:46AM
Basket ball net anchor, you tie the bottom shut at home then thread a line in the top to be able to tie it closed. Fill with rocks and attach anchor line. Also works great for sinking drinks. Just tie a mesh bag a couple feet above the anchor to prevent your drink containers from rubbing against the rocks or the bottom too much. To really keep them off the bottom, leave a little air in the container before sealing.

Clothes line to support tarp. Makes it a breeze to put up the tarp since you just throw it over the line then stake it. It is also great for hanging things in a place they will not get wet with morning dew or rain.

Always bring a metal stringer with multiple snaps. A buddy always used a rope one and would put multiple fish on it. That method can work but is harder on the fish and is more risky since it is possible to lose all your fish at once if you were to drop the stringer at the wrong time.

Simple pleasures like boxed wine by the fire or wherever you stop for lunch/snacks can really make the trip. Even when rushing to get somewhere, a 10 min break to get some food in you and to take in the surroundings makes a difference. You don't even have to be the slow and steady type to enjoy this.
 
muddyfeet
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02/04/2017 12:28AM
Tarp Tensioners on all your tarp lines. Nylon will sag/stretch when wet with rain or dew, and these can mitigate that to keep tension in the lines. Hang your tarp initially with the cord as tight as it will go- if the tarp stretches the shock cord will take up the slack in the line. They can be made with just a small piece of shock cord and don't have to be fancy.
 
LilyPond
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02/05/2017 07:00PM
1) Small soft-sided cooler with a plastic box inside: When you get to camp remove the plastic box and use it for carrying water, washing dishes, bathing, making salad---anything you would use a bowl for.

2) For kayakers: Velcro a plastic pencil case (1" x 4" x 10") to the inside of the hull just ahead of the seat. Use it for small items like sun screen.

3) Two bandanna handkerchiefs: dozens of uses.

4) Paddle grip: Tape neoprene to the shaft. I find Yakgrips a bit too thick.

5) Heel pads for kayakers: Crocs (knockoffs) have a comfortable pad around the heel and they dry instantly. I take crocs for paddling and Teva Omniums for in camp so I always have dry feet.

6) Tacky paddle gloves: I use cheap $5 nitrile gloves. The trick is to keep them wet---doubles the grip.

7) If you have to choose just one luxury item that costs some money, I think it would be a Helinox chair, maybe the Sunset. Use both in camp and for day trips on the water away from camp.

8) Small clamp-on umbrella has 3 uses: clamp to chair; clamp to kayak coaming for shade while paddling; use as a sail.

9) Pain relief for people with shoulder arthritis (kayak again): Drill a hole through the coaming at the front of the cockpit. Thread a cord through the hole and attach it to a short length of belt. Attach the belt to your paddle with another length of cord. Adjust the length using the holes in the belt. This will remove at least half of the pressure on the shoulder joints as the attachment point in the center of the paddle serves as a fulcrum that absorbs the effort, rather than having the shoulder be the fulcrum. Same principle as the Angle Oar but more maneuverable and efficient: http://www.angleoar.com/features
 
Moonpath
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02/06/2017 06:54PM
I did not see this one but if I missed it then redundancy is not always bad. I bring a large Nalgene bottle into my tent dedicated for relieving myself at nite. This helps with us older guys who have to urinate during the evening. A Nalgene bottle does not leak and really adds to comfort, especially when the skeeters are out in force. Simple but effective. JG
 
02/07/2017 11:17AM
Only once did this, but when I couldn't get warm I heated some water and put in nalgien and put in my sleeping bag.

Bring a cheap tarp to cover gear outside in the fall because stuff is so damp otherwise with dew. Can also cover firewood if needed.

I bring a big double roll of tp... because that is what I normally have on hand. So I vacuum seal it which smashes it down real good. Hmm Ken, I should try taking the core out first. But it is nice for starting fires later.

My sister got me a camo insulated bag. Kind of like a bank bag with a zipper. It's perfect to bring in some frozen meat you can eat day 2 or 3. Then when I catch fish during the day, I clean my fish... throw fish entrails in someone else's campsite... kidding... and put the slabs of fish in a good zip lock and in the bag it goes. Sometimes I'll put it in the lake on hot days or just keep out of the sun. But I don't save until morning unless cool and caught later. I think the bag was from some thing thirty one... gals may know.

After my trip two years ago where I had way to much food due to my son backing out, I individually pack every serving of food. If someone backs out easier to back out of food. Group solo's are good that way. Everyone brings their own food. Light weight gear makes it possible to bring our own everything.
 
BAKA
member (24)member
 
02/11/2017 08:15AM
Mini solar panel to charge my phone so I can use lake maps app and a 3 pound onion sack that I fill with rocks to use as an anchor when fishing.
 
24kGold
distinguished member (364)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/11/2017 04:10PM
quote Moonpath: "I did not see this one but if I missed it then redundancy is not always bad. I bring a large Nalgene bottle into my tent dedicated for relieving myself at nite. This helps with us older guys who have to urinate during the evening. A Nalgene bottle does not leak and really adds to comfort, especially when the skeeters are out in force. Simple but effective. JG"

My tent-mate did the same thing on a trip. One morning I awoke to find a nalgene bottle on its side with the contents on the tent floor. I was about to lose it when I noticed the overturned bottle was his drink bottle and the pee bottle was in the corner. It was a relief even though my shirt was wet.

Terry

P.S. (Wally13) send me an e-mail. The one I've been using for you doesn't work anymore.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6984)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/11/2017 05:35PM
Seems like the folks who urinate into a Nalgene at night and the folks who desire a warm Nalgene to place in the foot of their sleeping bag should get together.... :-)
 
02/11/2017 07:14PM
quote BuckFlicks: "Attitude is a big one.

Also, have tripping companions who compliment each other makes a big difference.

My buddy I go with is big into organization, planning the trip down to the minute and always being on the go.

I'm very much the opposite... I like to take it easy, enjoy the scenery, spend time just contemplating being out in nature, improvise and not have every moment planned.

He motivates me to move when I'm feeling lazy or when dark/weather deadlines are impending. He's a whiz at calculating how long it takes to travel distance on water and double portaging, usually down to about +/- 15 minutes over a day's travel. I remind him that we should take it easy and enjoy the trip, not worry so much about covering as much distance as possible.

We've also been on so many trips together that we have gotten the packing and chores down to a science. We split the weight evenly... each carrying our personal stuff and dividing up the shared items (stove, tent, fuel, video camera, water purifier) by weight.

So... we don't really have a specific gear trick. We've spent years streamlining our gear choices down from cast iron skillets and cans of chili on the first trip, to the light load-outs we have now. Those are lessons learned from experience, and also just being older and having more money to spend on gear. Ours are more along quality of life habits.

I'm sure most people do this, but one thing I did pick up was to wrap duct tape around a pencil or other small cylindrical item. Duct tape really can fix anything and that's the best way to maximize tape and minimize space."

Holy crap...I had to check out your profile to see if my normal trip partner finally started checking out this site! Describes us perfectly.
 
Bede
member (10)member
 
08/02/2020 12:21PM
It's an old thread, but a timeless subject. I bring a telescoping 24-ft pole. It has a lot of uses around the house, but on a BDub trip there are three things it does really well. It allows you to quickly and precisely pop the carabiner over the branch that you want your bear rope(s) to hang from, then pull it down. If you're standing up when you do this, (did you hit the wine box before setting up ropes?), the first 8 ft is free! Then of course once you put a tennis ball with a whole drilled into it on the tip it makes a good center or peak pole for your tarp, and finally you can reach down waaay underwater and free up a totally snagged lure. On solo trips I bring a couple of those cheap white plastic 4 gallon water jugs to fill for ballast. They also make great piers when placed in the shallow water between the shore rocks and your expensive ultralight We-no-nah Voyager solo canoe.

I always use a bear rope and x2 mechanical advantage pulley system because I use a (usually) heavy Duluth deluxe food pack. I find that the food pack/kitchen is the one area of my gear that is always being tweaked. I was inspired by Mr. Osthoff to create a freezer system. The bottom of that pack holds two Coleman soft sided coolers. Then, I cut to fit, a cheap holiday station ground pad to fit under around and on top of the coolers. The coolers have plastic inserts so they are hard to crush. I carefully freeze two Nalgene bottles of milk and ANYTHING else I can conceivably freeze. Then I split the bottles along with the other frozen stuff between the two coolers and mark them "early" and "late". By the time I first open the late cooler, I still have cold milk, meat, cheese, yogurt, berries - between 5 and 7 days into the trip. In the top of the pack I have a Granite Ware oval roasting pan held shut by a strap. This pan serves several purposes. It's a great place to keep crushable food stuffs when you're on the trail. It can be placed filled with water on a two burner (Osthoff again) propane stove and then functions as your kitchen sink, bathtub or laundry. See? You can bring a kitchen sink. The lid helps the water heat faster and makes a great place to store your clean dishes before you dry them. I really like clean dishes, pots and pans. Heavy duty rubber gloves that double for wood gathering and a dish brush complete the job.

I buy BDB's to give away his gifts, hopefully getting people to buy more of them! But sometimes I use the cheap ball bungees too especially to tie up the loose ends of the roof rack straps. Let's see. If you pull the paper core from the TP, it fits perfectly into a 1 quart Nalgene food storage bottle. The paper comes up from the center of the roll. Finally? (Too many others to list) Foam garden kneelers. So many uses. Fan the fire, pad areas of your packs where you need padding, create flat clean areas to place items when cooking, make lap tables, put them under your packs when you're in the canoe to keep them up out of the bilge water. Cheers!
 
08/02/2020 03:32PM
schweady: "Seems like the folks who urinate into a Nalgene at night and the folks who desire a warm Nalgene to place in the foot of their sleeping bag should get together.... :-)
"


Gross! But... you’re not wrong.
 
flytyer
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08/02/2020 04:55PM
I take a used tennis ball, slice it half way, and put it on top of the center pole of the tarp. I leave the center pole in the woods when finished. I do not cut a tree to find a center pole, usually there is one somewhere close to the campsite that has already been used. I just put the tennis ball in my rope bag for the next campsite.
 
movington
senior member (98)senior membersenior member
 
08/03/2020 07:45AM
Pocket Bellows for starting a fire
Pocket Bellow on Amazon
 
08/03/2020 11:50AM
Two things I tried that worked out well on my last trip.
1. After going back and forth with footware options I thought about the Scuba boots we use for shore diving. These are Neoprene boots with a thick sole designed for walking across uneven rocks, broken coral, etc while maintaining a solid grip on wet slippery surfaces. They zip up and stay on when they get stuck in muck. Cost if very reasonable at under $40.



2. MiO energy drink flavoring with caffeine and B Vitamins For those that need some caffeine and don't like or don't want to make coffee. They also have flavoring without the caffeine for people that don't like the taste of lake water. A 1.8oz bottle will flavor at least 96 oz. of water.

 
4keys
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08/03/2020 08:42PM
Instead of a second tarp I will bring a paper thin plastic tablecloth, just cut a piece from one of those rolls of party tablecloths. It is very lightweight and pacts small. I use it to cover the firewood etc. it is not heavy duty but it does come in handy.
 
AmarilloJim
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08/04/2020 08:13AM
Best trick? I encourage my wife to do trips with her friends. Then she can't gripe too much about me going canoeing.
 
A1t2o
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08/04/2020 11:36AM
Getting firewood should be simple and stupid. Nothing complicated like hiking deep into the woods to find the perfect wood or anything. Just grab the nearby stuff that most people ignore because it needs to be split, cut it with a good saw instead of a little folding thing, and split it. Grabbing branches that don't need to be split sounds easier, but by the time you go find it and drag it back to camp, it would have taken less effort to process the bigger logs.

The other big one is learning how experience matters. All those little details, like packing heavy gear closer to your body, not carrying anything in your hands, putting the tarp at the top of your pack, and getting gear that packs down smaller and lighter all add up to make your life easier. Each little detail means that much less effort and the whole trip that much more enjoyable. Especially the details that help with portages. A little prep goes a long ways.
 
Bjfinnegan
member (5)member
 
08/04/2020 04:02PM
I found that the Osprey Ultralight Organizer makes a nice compact Dopp kit. When you’re ready to head in from an outfitter stay there is a small clear waterproof pouch that snaps off and is enough to carry a folding toothbrush, travel toothpaste, and a few other travel size items while your bulkier Dopp can wait in the car.

Figure 9’s have been a valuable add to keep attached to tarp lines and a few extras on hand.

Use a 3L hydration bladder as a gravity filter dirty water bag with a HydroBlu filter and a line lock on the hose. The hydration bladder used is 3L and has a wider opening than Cnoc with an easier closure system than Cnoc (was part of their versaflow package years ago). The hydroblu filter screws into a smart water bottle (unlike Sawyer) and the line lock clamp makes on/off dead simple. I added a small niteize two sided carabiner to loop the hose and overcome the upward outlet pinching that is found in hydration bladders. Paired with a couple feet of cord and a Figure 9 carabiner that’s quickly adjustable for varied limb heights and quick release for daily filling.

Extra 3/4 webbing with buckles can be paired with a canoe seat to provide better back support that ties directly to the canoe seat and wraps behind, instead of part of the seat that leans as you do.

Add small figure 8 webbing loops to the bow and stern handles that takes the weight off your fingers for short portages or traversing obstructions by wrapping the straps around your wrist.
 
PineKnot
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08/04/2020 04:49PM
AmarilloJim: "Best trick? I encourage my wife to do trips with her friends. Then she can't gripe too much about me going canoeing."

Well. That is easily the best "trick" on this thread. If a guy wants a really long and prosperous marraige, a simple mantra I use is if she's happy, I'm happy. If she's not happy, well....shit. Been married for almost 35 years. How 'bout you AJim?
 
AmarilloJim
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08/05/2020 09:19AM
PineKnot: "AmarilloJim: "Best trick? I encourage my wife to do trips with her friends. Then she can't gripe too much about me going canoeing."


Well. That is easily the best "trick" on this thread. If a guy wants a really long and prosperous marraige, a simple mantra I use is if she's happy, I'm happy. If she's not happy, well....shit. Been married for almost 35 years. How 'bout you AJim?
"

We've been together 30 years. Married 28
 
PineKnot
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08/05/2020 08:23PM
AmarilloJim: "PineKnot: "AmarilloJim: "Best trick? I encourage my wife to do trips with her friends. Then she can't gripe too much about me going canoeing."



Well. That is easily the best "trick" on this thread. If a guy wants a really long and prosperous marraige, a simple mantra I use is if she's happy, I'm happy. If she's not happy, well....shit. Been married for almost 35 years. How 'bout you AJim?
"

We've been together 30 years. Married 28"


Congrats. I'm still amazed she likes me.....
 
tomo
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
08/06/2020 01:54PM
It's not my best trick, per se, but I have found a pair of canoeing manpris that I like: manpris

I wear long socks while on the water, which I can pull up for bug protection on portages. Short length of manpris makes getting in and out of the water less of an issue, but provides sun/bug protection for my legs.

As a plus, these pants embarrass my spouse and children.
 
merlyn
senior member (100)senior membersenior member
 
08/08/2020 11:27AM
I take along a roughly 3 ft long piece of an old Ridge rest sleeping pad to give extra padding for my hips and shoulders. A little bulky but only a few ounces and lets me get away with a inflatable mat on rocks and roots. Doubles as a rock sitting/sleeping pad in the BWCA and a dog mat in the duck blind later in the year.
 
08/08/2020 01:49PM
merlyn: "I take along a roughly 3 ft long piece of an old Ridge rest sleeping pad to give extra padding for my hips and shoulders. A little bulky but only a few ounces and lets me get away with a inflatable mat on rocks and roots. Doubles as a rock sitting/sleeping pad in the BWCA and a dog mat in the duck blind later in the year."

Like Merlyn, we carry a short (~4') section of an old sleeping pad for multiple uses. In the canoe it pads the framed pack. At night it pads & insulates our lower legs, allowing us to use shorter/lighter inflatable pads. On rocky lunch stops it's dry and comfortable sitting. And when we've set up camp after a long paddling day, it's under the dining fly or contractor bag we use as a mini bath tub.

TZ

 
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