Outfitting Boats

Outfitting Boats

On the chilly but sunny Saturday afternoon of March 11, 2023, I pulled my canoe out of the storage shed and upgraded some outfitting. It already had yellow floatation bags permanently installed in the bow and stern.  And it already had a purple bag and green river dry bags.  The dry bags served two purposes.  When paddling they are filled with empty soda pop bottles to provide light and cheap flotation in case of a turnover.  When canoe camping then the bottles are removed and replaced with camp gear for the overnight stay.

But all those bags are covered with dozens of straps with loose ends that flap in the wind while riding on my Jeep canoe racks so as to whip the Jeep roof and make an awful racket. The loose ends are also dangerous I case of a turnover and could wrap around an arm or leg and cause an entrapment. It took me a couple of hours to trim and tape off the ends of all those straps. 

Then I moved on to adding carabiners to my kayak deck cords to hold a paddle handle and make a self-rescue device with a paddle float.  Many kayaks are manufactured with a groove in the deck under bungee cords to hold the paddle handle. My Romany Excel does not have the groove, so I had to invent my own system.

Bob Laney

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Bob is the site curator and writer of Blue Ridge Outing. Since starting the Blue Ridge Outing travel blog in 2002, Bob has written, recorded and documented countless expeditions in the US and around the world.

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