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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Group Forum: Solo Tripping :: swamping and/or tense situations while alone
 
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Minnesotian
09/02/2016 07:11AM
 
quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."


Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license?
 
David B
09/02/2016 03:29PM
 
I think the point jwartman makes is valid. One should not go out solo without enough experience and, I would add, without a healthy respect for the fact that things do sometimes go wrong anyway. Thanks to all of you who offered your advice and shared your experiences. When I get back I hope I can share my own (hopefully good) experiences and tell you about the one that did not get away. David B
 
housty9
09/02/2016 01:35PM
 
quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."



Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "
plus one, stuff can happen quick no matter how experienced you are, ask beav about that on his Alaska trip.
 
nctry
03/09/2017 07:05AM
 
Yeah, luckily I'd met up with a member here and he was nearby. I was close to shore... but the current quickly had me far from it. Bud cut a piece of rope off my front painter and pulled me to shore. I was surprised how difficult it was to stand up. Bud and I are good friends to this day. I think one problem was a pack I had in my canoe wrong. I had to make some changes the next day. As far as situations... one time I was forced to change routes due to a forest fire. I was paddling across Snowbank Lake. When I took off it didn't seem too bad. When I got out in it I found myself in the worst situation. Big waves coming from more than one direction. I'd planed to go towards a certain portage, but I knew if I did I'd have swamped. I was always looking where I'd go "when" I swamped. I ended up at the landing and having to get another permit to get back in. I feel if the conditions were so bad that I flipped, I'd never be able to do the open water recovery thing. You'd have to be superman on steroids. Expert? What's that? Experienced... now that is something many of us have. And we usually through experience get to know our limitations. And when we do find ourselves in a predicament we muddle through it. Canoeing has gotten to be looked at as being such a safe thing to do. People bring babies out there nowadays in fact. We take many chances it seems and people do die out there. There are risks sometimes beyond control. Many trees that fall during wind events are ones you'd never imagine while others that seem ready to go stand forever. We take every precaution we can out there and do our best. Whether paddling across a lake or driving down the freeway back home, when it's your time it's your time. I strongly feel you should be very comfortable in a boat your taking out. People have their opinions on best boats... my feeling is a person should try boats out as I don't think there is a boat out there that fits everyone. You can adapt to many... and many times you can move up to what seems less stable as you gain experience. Our fall wing nights usually has people bringing different model boats and we have gone and let people try them out. If going out for your first time and no or very little experiance in a solo boat you need to stay off any water of any size and waves with any size to them also unless you know you can get to shore if you upset. I had a number of miles on most of my boats before taking them on trips so I pretty much knew how they handled. Some were traded for something different as I couldn't find it comfor table to my liking before any trip.
 
missmolly
03/19/2017 09:31AM
 
I have paddled thousands of solo miles and here's why I've never swamped: LUCK


Jon Turk, who's gone places I don't have the backbone to go, said something similar, that he's buried friends who drowned or died on mountaintops and many of them were better skiers and paddlers and climbers, but he was simply luckier.
 
missmolly
03/19/2017 09:27AM
 
quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."



Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "



You get that from me. Before we get started, how much ya got?
 
missmolly
03/19/2017 09:29AM
 
quote housty9: "quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."




Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "
plus one, stuff can happen quick no matter how experienced you are, ask beav about that on his Alaska trip."



I also thought of Mighty Beav.
 
Minnesotian
03/19/2017 10:08AM
 
quote missmolly: "quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."




Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "




You get that from me. Before we get started, how much ya got? "



My cat's hairball and a broken pair of glasses. Does that do?
 
Minnesotian
03/14/2017 10:09AM
 
quote Banksiana: "The tensest situation I faced was on a solo trip in 2012- taking advantage of the record early break-up and heading to the Quetico during the first week of April. ...


Took two long days to make my way to Mudro (Over three hours just to make the portage from Argo to Crooked). The first day was windy, surfing big scary waves on Friday bay. Temps did not rise above 20 on the first day- I was scraping the bottom on food and portaging through the 12-18" of snow was arduous. I spent the last night on Wagosh, my thermometer read 9 degrees in the morning."



Damn. Now that is a tough situation. I also took advantage of the early break-up and headed into Brule Lake, but that wasn't until the end of April. Even then, it slightly snowed on me as well, but nothing like what happened to you.


I'm curious, what type of footwear did you have?


That is a pretty amazing experience.
 
TomT
03/14/2017 11:10AM
 
quote Minnesotian: "quote Banksiana: "The tensest situation I faced was on a solo trip in 2012- taking advantage of the record early break-up and heading to the Quetico during the first week of April. ...



Took two long days to make my way to Mudro (Over three hours just to make the portage from Argo to Crooked). The first day was windy, surfing big scary waves on Friday bay. Temps did not rise above 20 on the first day- I was scraping the bottom on food and portaging through the 12-18" of snow was arduous. I spent the last night on Wagosh, my thermometer read 9 degrees in the morning."




Damn. Now that is a tough situation. I also took advantage of the early break-up and headed into Brule Lake, but that wasn't until the end of April. Even then, it slightly snowed on me as well, but nothing like what happened to you.



I'm curious, what type of footwear did you have?



That is a pretty amazing experience."

Also did you have a SPOT or equivalent? Not sure I would have fared as well as you. The snow is one thing but it got pretty cold for canoeing.
 
TomT
03/14/2017 11:10AM
 
Double post
 
Buster
09/01/2016 07:42PM
 
"Should never happen. Ever".


Stuff happens regardless of your level of expertise. Brave statement. :)
 
LindenTree3
09/01/2016 08:51PM
 
I would agree with you Buster.
I have been a wildland and structural firefighter for 27 years and have been on close to 600 wildfires, with around 20 fatalities. 11 of them Hotshot's and Smoke Jumpers.
I still fight fires and instruct fire classes. My co-workers look to me for expertise.


Given that, there are just too many variables that we can never account or plan for despite our ability and skill level. S--t sometimes happens.
I realize that at any time, despite my fire training and experience, my number may be called tomorrow. And it may happen in a canoe, not on the fire line.

When your adrenaline kicks in, everything changes from reality to SLOW MOTION in an instant. It's only happened to me a couple times. (But 30 seconds seemed like 5 minutes It is the weirdest feeling.) Like you are high on drugs, with everything visually framing in your eyes in slow motion.
But you are in total control of yourself. Kinda like watching your actions as they are happening on a movie screen but in slow motion.

Unfortunately you are the main character.

 
OBX2Kayak
09/01/2016 10:21PM
 
quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."


AND ... they should be experts at wet exit/open water recovery techniques in the event the unimaginable happens.

Too many people think "swimming to shore" is a recovery technique. It's not.
 
Frenchy19
09/01/2016 10:32PM
 
quote Buster: ""Should never happen. Ever".



Stuff happens regardless of your level of expertise. Brave statement. :)"



Arrogant is more accurate. I swamped once when close to shore in some pretty windy conditions. Everything was pushed ashore by the waves, and the only damage was to my pride.

 
TomT
03/14/2017 04:29PM
 
For me it was 1988. I was solo in my brand new Sawyer Autumn Mist. I was finishing up an 8 or 9 night loop and heading back to North Bay of Quetico on my last day.

I had camped on Isabella and fortunately invited a young couple to join me at the high site in the middle of the lake. They were looking and it was getting late. So we were headed out the next morning together. Instead of taking the winding creek out we opted to portage alongside another creek further north.

It had rained almost every day of this trip and the creek was very high. I decided to run the creek with no packs to save from portaging it. At the end there was a chute with an approx. 2 foot drop. In my youthful wisdom I decided the best course of action was to let the canoe go over empty and I would catch up to it in the flat water after.

Long story short - the canoe wrapped around a rock going over the drop. I waded in and pried (ripped) it off. It was totalled. I duct taped the rips and the couple had me hop in their boat and we towed my canoe with a rope the rest of the way out. One of the worst days of my life. I ended up getting $50 for it at the Chicagoland Canoe Base.

Now, if that couple wasn't there with me??? Yeah. Not good. I learned to respect the power of water that day.



 
Banksiana
03/14/2017 02:45PM
 
No Spot (though I got one later that summer). I managed a cell signal on the north shore of Crooked strong enough to send a text that I'd be late. While standing there trying to figure out my next move I felt something against my neck- a small bird had landed on my shoulder and was huddling against the wind looking at me with a WTF? expression. Stayed there for about thirty seconds before taking off for the cover of the trees. I had a good sleeping bag on the trip and more importantly my exped downmat 9. I was cozy at night.

Portage from Argo to Crooked
 
carmike
03/23/2017 10:26PM
 
I' m a bit late to the party, but I've only tipped once. Windy day, blowing into shore, and I was just trying to get off shore to get the bow into the waves. No good footing on shore, nowhere nearby to do any better, so tried a little push/hop into the boat (something I've done a few times before without issues). This time didn't work. Over I went, on shore I stayed for another day, and paddled away the next morning. Only problem is that I lost my eyeglasses (only pair...won't make that mistake again), so finding portages was quite difficult for the rest of the trip.
 
David B
03/24/2017 04:52AM
 
I started this thread before my trip last summer (went fine, by the way) and have enjoyed following it since then. Also have picked up a few tips on what to be cautious about or avoid. For example, I will now make double sure I never go to the bush without a backup pair of glasses stored in a safe place. Several people have also noted the experiences that gave them new respect for the inherent dangers of being out on the water alone.


I can add one more story to this post. Several years ago I was taking advantage of some flat-calm early mornings in November to go sculling in my single scull on the CT River. A quarter of a mile from the start I suddenly discovered that I had not properly latched down the oar on one side. I discovered this by lifting a bit on the oar in mid-stroke and realiizing in a split second that I had that oar free in my hand and off the rigging. I realized it in a split second because that's all the time you have in such a situation before the scull is upside down and you are (hopefully) swimming. I was close enough to shore so that I could gather up my boat and oars and swim to shore, but by the time I got to there I was COLD to the bone. The CT River is pretty chilly in November. At the time I just got back in the boat and rowed back home but the experience stuck with me a long time and never did I get back in the boat again with quite the same casual attitude as before or without double checking the oars and rigging. It gave me just a tiny inkling of what traumatic stress and its lasting impact must be like for those who have suffered a real traumatic shock.
Thanks to everyone for the posts. I will continue to follow this thread in hopes of learning more about how to be safe on my next solo in BWCA and Quetico.
 
David B
08/31/2016 04:59PM
 
As I am just about to set out on a 10 day solo in Quetico it is probably just the wrong time to ask this question, but here goes. While out alone, have any of you swamped, fallen overboard or otherwise had to do some quick thinking and heroic actions to get back to safety while out on a solo trip? I would like to hear about it and what you did.
David
 
bhouse46
08/31/2016 07:25PM
 
Nothing heroic. Approaching a portage I failed to watch the current coming out of the adjacent stream. It caught the nose of the boat and I was over in an instant. I could touch bottom and was able to get everything back together, except I lost my hat.
Lesson to me, if on rivers or around them watch for current that can do tricks I am not interested in learning and always wear the PFD.
 
LindenTree3
08/31/2016 08:18PM
 
Knock on wood, havn't swamped in close to 30 years. But I don't tempt fate. On today's solo the lake was glass. But I still stayed close to shore. The lake is 500 feet deep and glacial fed. I'd be dead in no time if I dumped far from shore.
Here is a pic of today's day trip. I always wear a life jacket. Know your limits and then back off a little from those limits, since you are soloing.

 
mr.barley
08/31/2016 08:35PM
 
I've never swamped, but was on a solo at ice out a few years ago. Tuscarora was mostly froze over when I got to the lake and I was trying to bust through along the shoreline to find a campsite and started riding up on the ice. Thoughts of swamping in the fridged water got the best of me and I backed off slowly. Same trip I was wind bound on Gillis for 2.5 days and was the only person on the lake. I sat around most of that time planning my escape if the wind kept up as I had to get out on a certain day. The wind finally died down enough for me to make a break for it on the last morning. It wasn't a very relaxing trip to say the least.
 
mastertangler
09/01/2016 07:03AM
 
I have "swamped" more times than I care to admit......twice on the same lake. Once when attempting to enter my boat at a landing a rounded rock had caught my boat high up and when it released over I went just as pretty as you please. Make sure your vessel is free and clear before you get in. The second time (on the same lake) I was chatting with one foot in the boat and the other in the water relating to my companion (who was also paddling a solo) about my capsize experience.......the next thing I knew I was going over again as the boat had drifted away and I was past recovery. I know, you can't make it up.


The third time I had a nice fat pike on and when the line broke I was sent backwards and rolled over. That was the only time away from shore.


My advice is to stay near shore if there is any doubt whatsoever. I never attempt to cross open choppy water and will instead paddle around large bays (often adding several extra miles over the course of a day). I can be a very brave and competent paddler in the snotty stuff if I know I can recover. But put me offshore where the result of a swamping may well mean your life and a lump arises and I ask myself "why am I out here"? Not worth it. So I take into account wind direction, look at the map with that in mind I plan ahead to make sure I'm in the lee even if it means lots of extra paddling. I'm out there to be safe......not to get stressed out.


Last trip was windy and nasty for several days. I still made decent time all things considered. Several times I shipped water over my gunnels and that gets your attention in a hurry. But all close to shore. The steep banks can cause quite a bit of "bounce back" but i still paddle it preferring that to the surfing whitecap which can swamp you. The little solos bob like a cork in this chaos of seas and a "sweet spot" between the bounce back and the surfing wave can often be found.


Paddling close to shore requires concentration. Polarized glasses helps as you must make sure you don't paddle up on a rock. But during choppy weather the waves will reveal any underwater obstructions. Bottom line is don't be worried about extra paddling........you won't always be able to take a direct line (point to point). The destination is secondary. The more you paddle near shore the more you begin to like it.......the feeling of the bank sliding past. Seeing what's on the shore and under the water. This is my style if the water is up at all. The further you get out, the bigger the waves will be. Not fun anymore!


Good luck
MT
 
Minnesotian
09/01/2016 07:59AM
 

I have been in some pretty nasty waves, but have held it together. The worst was probably when I was crossing Burt in the Quetico and a thunderstorm whipped up, creating some tall rollers, and right as I was in the middle of the lake, a big old thunder cracked right above my head. Fastest paddeling I have ever done into wind and waves.


Swamping the canoe is always a concern I think on a solo trip, but if you get moving really early in the morning, and put down some good miles by 2 pm, you'll avoid most of the windy weather.


What I think is more concerning when soloing is twisting your ankle, or tripping and busting your knee, or filleting a fish and the knife slips, a whole myriad of things that become really hard to deal with when it is just you. On my first solo trip, I was portaging a canoe somewhere along the Frost River in the BWCA. At the end of the portage was a very steep rock where you had to unload everything. It was a good 45 degree angle. As I was going down it with the canoe on me, my feet slipped right out from under me. I went down, smacked the back of my head on a flat rock, and then had the canoe land on my head. I didn't hit my head that bad, and I just sat for a bit, calming down and realizing what it really means to go solo.


So, have a great time. It is addicting. But just make sure all your steps are secure, point sharp blades away from yourself, and start early in the morning. Have a great time.
 
jwartman59
09/01/2016 10:24AM
 
anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever.
 
David B
09/01/2016 11:19AM
 
Yes, of course, but I think even experts at canoeing can make mistakes or things can happen beyond one's control and so I think it is a good idea to have thought through possibilities beforehand. Also I think the best teacher is experience and one can learn even from the experiences of others. You'd probably agree with this. A friend who does a lot of flyfishing and river wading told me he learned the most from reading the accident reports of the government natural resources and safety department. For example, the most common way that waders drowned was by crossing a small side stream too close to the big river downstream. When they slipped they did not have time to recover before being washed into much bigger water. Something one might not have thought of.
 
awbrown
09/01/2016 10:59AM
 
The worst thing that ever happened to me was being wind bound for 3 days. Kept me from getting back as scheduled. I was tempted to try crossing big water, but resisted the temptation.


"A man's gotta know his limitations".....Dirty Harry Calahan.


I knew mine, so tempted as I may have been, I just waited it out.



 
OBX2Kayak
03/08/2017 08:26PM
 
Canoe open water self recovery
 
jdddl8
03/13/2017 08:16PM
 
I have done over 40 long solo trips. During those trips on the water, I have dumped the canoe, swamped the canoe flying over beaver dams, crashed into the shore by over whelming waves, got the canoe stuck in mud where I had to pull in chest deep mud to loosen it, watched my canoe get picked up by the wind and having to swim for it , jumped into a swamp because I forgot my paddles, flipped my canoe into the water with me going with it, got lost several times, broke my seat twice and many more.


On land I have survive storms - the worst of which raised water levels 18 inches, got lost for over three hours with a pack on my back, having no stove for 20 days, got a close up look at a bear, hearing many weird sounds in the night, having no toilet paper, got eaten alive by bugs, had several none life threatening injuries, broke my fishing equipment, taking animal trails instead of portages, had equipment blow away in storms and a host of others.


I have never dumped far away from shore but I do know how to empty a swamped canoe. The only thing I can say is when you're solo your ingenuity will kick in. You will make good decisions when your life depends on it. But by the same token watch the weather, weigh the risks and make smart decisions. If you are unsure stay close to shore. Despite all the problems I have had I can't wait to get back and I am planning over five weeks of trips this summer.
 
Minnesotian
03/22/2017 07:50PM
 
quote missmolly: "quote Minnesotian: "quote missmolly: "quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."






Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "






You get that from me. Before we get started, how much ya got? "





My cat's hairball and a broken pair of glasses. Does that do?"




A hairball AND broken specs? I'm movin' up in this world! "



A win for both of us!
 
Lailoken
03/11/2017 01:58PM
 
I am definitely more conservative when solo, you have to be. I do try to stay along the shore more when paddeling, which to be honest, is best place to be for a multiude of reasons. When I did have to cross the big part of the lake, I mentally prepare for swamping, as in, if I start to go, don't fight it, make sure stay in/with canoe. I was crossing Basswood early November and it was cold and windy. I knew that going over, I'd need to get in canoe immediately as would have hypothermia if lost canoe and was waiting to float/swing to shore, even with my life jacket.
 
Banksiana
03/11/2017 03:12PM
 
The tensest situation I faced was on a solo trip in 2012- taking advantage of the record early break-up and heading to the Quetico during the first week of April. It rained for most of the day on my second last day, the rain slowly getting steadier and harder. I set up camp on an island on Argo, planning to exit via Mudro. As I was falling asleep I noted that the rain had stopped, but on hearing bit of a whisper I stuck my head out of the tent and it had begun snowing. Late at night I woke with a sense of claustrophobia, my tent sagging in on itself- I did not get out but I pushed against the walls and was stunned at the weight- but I did make some space in the tent. I woke to high winds and this....


Took two long days to make my way to Mudro (Over three hours just to make the portage from Argo to Crooked). The first day was windy, surfing big scary waves on Friday bay. Temps did not rise above 20 on the first day- I was scraping the bottom on food and portaging through the 12-18" of snow was arduous. I spent the last night on Wagosh, my thermometer read 9 degrees in the morning.
 
luft
09/05/2016 10:00PM
 
David B-


I think you have the right attitude about a healthy respect for the water.


I am a frequent solo paddler and I have only swamped twice (along with a close call in a current). Both of the times that I swamped I was getting in to my canoe.


The first was on my very first solo, 4 days after ice out, late in a long paddle day at a portage with my stern on an unseen rock that flipped me right into the water. Thankfully it was a warmish sunny day and I was able to dry out quickly.


The most recent was on my May trip. I had just loaded my boat at my campsite and tried to do some fancy foot work to stand into my very short Hornbeck solo that you are supposed to sit into. I think my thought was that the bank was so high and the drop off was rather steep so I decide to try to step in..and weirdly crossed stepped to get in. My only excuse was that I had not had my coffee and had a rough night due to some unknown beast snorting outside my tent after dark . I remember thinking as I was mid step that maybe it wasn't the best idea but by that time it was too late. I swamped the canoe so it sank with me and my packs in it. The good news...my packs float!


So I have found that I make mistakes when I am tired and try to adjust my safety radar to make up for that deficit.


 
missmolly
03/19/2017 05:04PM
 
quote Minnesotian: "quote missmolly: "quote Minnesotian: "quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."





Who does the testing so I can get my expert level canoe license? "





You get that from me. Before we get started, how much ya got? "




My cat's hairball and a broken pair of glasses. Does that do?"



A hairball AND broken specs? I'm movin' up in this world!
 
Whatsit
03/06/2017 08:15PM
 
quote jwartman59: "anyone attempting a solo trip should be an expert in their canoe. swampings should never happen, ever."
So Bill Mason never swamped his canoe? Cliff Jacobson never, ever? Come on! Never heard such a crazy statement. Last I knew there has only been One perfect person walking on this earth. And I don't think He's come back yet. I sure wouldn't want to be paddling near you in a storm. I'd be scared to death about lightning hitting causing you to swamp your canoe. :-)
Mike
 
Alan Gage
03/06/2017 08:50PM
 
I've only dumped once on a trip. I was paddling upstream and was coming to the portage at the bottom of a strong CIII. Hit a surprisingly strong eddy line that turned me sideways and headed me straight at a vertical rock wall. I did a quick cross draw just as I hit another strong eddy line going the other way and I was over before I knew it. Was fortunate that I was in the eddy, close to shore, and that after a couple kicks I could touch bottom. Everything stayed in the canoe except for the water bottle, which I had to paddle after.


Another time I was pulling the canoe up a small CI rapid when the stern got hung up and put the canoe at an angle to the current with me in an awkward position. I couldn't go forwards or backwards and the upstream gunwale kept trying to dip underwater. I finally gave it one last shove to try and free the canoe, which didn't work, and the gunwale dipped underwater for good. No use trying to hold on to the rope and the canoe went down the river without me. Luckily I still had my lifejacket on so shucked off my pants and boots and went swimming after it. Long tiring swim but no harm done.


My most serious dump was last fall on a small shallow lake near home that I've paddled a hundred times. I was test paddling a new canoe I was working on and didn't have a permanent seat installed yet. I was trying to determine the proper position and height so had temporary seating platforms in the boat. The air temp was just below freezing, the lake was partially skimmed with ice, and the wind was blowing a light breeze. But the sun was shining and when out of the wind it was quite pleasant.


About 150 yards out from the island my temporary seat unexpectedly fell over mid-stroke and I couldn't save it. Suddenly me and my dog were both in some very cold water. I've practiced re-entering a swamped solo canoe, and am pretty good at it, but decided against even trying in these conditions. The canoe would be very difficult to empty and I was wearing a lot of clothes and a jacket, which would make it harder to climb back in. I didn't want to waste time so headed straight for shore. Thankfully I was just able to touch the mucky bottom but the water was still up to my neck.


There was ice between me and the island so I pushed the half swamped canoe (with my dog aboard) ahead of me to break the ice. I'm sure I was in the water less than 5 minutes by the time I made shore but I could already feel my arms and legs starting to go numb. I changed into dry clothes (wish I'd brought more) and jumped back in the canoe to paddle back to the car. The water on the paddle shaft was already frozen.


It was a very cold, but thankfully short, 15 minute paddle back to the car. I was still a little nervous when I climbed back in the canoe but once we got back to the main shoreline, and out of the wind, I didn't feel so cold and knew I'd make it ok. Once back at the car I sat there with the heater on for about 20 minutes while my hands very painfully came back to life.


I got very lucky in two ways. One was that I was able to touch bottom. Trying to swim that boat to shore, with no ropes attached, would have taken much longer. I was also lucky that I'd brought extra clothes in a dry bag. I was heading out the door when the thought occurred to me. I almost kept going out the door but on second thought decided to grab some clothes. Things could have gotten a bit more interesting if either of those had been different.


Everyone should take a swim in frigid water sometime. It's no fun and will make you think twice not only about taking risks but also about how seemingly benign situations can suddenly turn into anything but. I bet if you polled canoers you'd find that most capsizes occur in calm or unexpected conditions rather than paddling in wind and waves.


Alan



 
bwcasolo
03/07/2017 05:43AM
 
nothing comes to mind, but do respect big water. if, or when possible stay close to shore, even if it makes your route longer, and if that happens, change plans.
i have been on 25 + solo trips, and that is something i remember from my early ones, and always wear your pfd. have fun, relax, don't worry.
just be careful out there.