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Author Topic: Canoe camping advice  (Read 2561 times)
Dsmith3232
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« on: June 29, 2010, 08:00:00 AM »

I’m going on my first over night canoe camp out in a couple of weeks. It sounds like it is mostly an easy going drinking event with many folks who I will be meeting for the first time. Not much exorcizing from the sounds of it. Mostly easy flowing down the Saco River.
I have only been in a canoe one other time so this will be new for me. We are bringing two coolers and standard backpacking gear.

I’m told I will want to buy a canoe seat for the long easy going days floating down the river. The canoes are rentals and I have no clue what type of seat to but. Maybe a thurmarest strap type of seat with a grown pad? Or is there a better option. I would like to get something that will have future use also beyond just for a canoe.

Also, has anyone tried to use dry ice in a cooler? I have never had luck with standard ice lasting more than 2 days before becoming completely water. Mostly I just want to keep the beer cold for 3 days. I know the dri ice will freeze solid anything it comes in contact with so I will likely build a wood box for the ice.
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cosmic
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 08:24:19 AM »

About making the ice last longer than 2 days....you just need more insulation and maybe limit the number of times you go in the cooler,i.e., each time you go in, grab two beers instead of two separate times for 1 beer.

Maybe you can buy a huge cooler and then line it with additional rigid insulation to increase the R-value? Also, make it more weather tight by adding rubber seals.  It would be a fun experiment to see how long you can make it last.
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danishstock
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 08:39:36 PM »

If you bring along some frozen meals (precooked chicken, beef stew, etc.) they will slowly thaw while keeping the beer cold.  Layer the cooler with frozen stuff on the bottom.

To keep your stuff dry, those jumbo zip-lock bags to line your pack are a cheap alternative to dry-bags.

Have fun and paddle lazily,
Eric
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Tommy T
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 11:41:07 PM »

Seat wise, well, it all depends . . .

Without knowing what kind of canoe you'll in in, how it will be outfitted and what kind of seats, thwarts or nothing at all it may have, there just isn't any single answer.

For any day-long paddling, something more comfortable than whatever wicker, rope, plastic or aluminum platform you may have for a seat is really needed.  For maximum versitility from canoe to cane and ability to move it around to pad a sharp front edge, or to smooth out a sagging wicker or to compfort your butt on a flat piece of plastic, I recommend a closed-cell foam pad with a minimum thickness of 3/8th inch and a non-skid surface to keep it from slipping around.  A lot of places that sell or rent canoes have pads that meet that description.

A foam camp-chair type seat made for canoeing gives you a back to relax against but will require somekind of fastening in and built in canoe seat differ in what they will accept.  Most of the canoe, chair type options will also work flat on the ground as a camp chair. 

For my Yukon boat, I had a tractor style seat that was moveable fore and aft for trim (with an adjustable foot bar in front of me) and I used a gel pad to protect my butt.  The gel pad is super but would less versitile as you move from rental to rental for awhile.  For example, the gel wouldn't work as something that could be drapped over the front edge of a poorly designed wood seat to keep it from biting into the backs of your thighs. 

The Saco offers several different levels of challenge.  There's a gorge just below Crawford Notch that most good boaters consider difficult and dangerous.  From the bottom of the gorge down to Conway there are some problem spots, but they are spread out and can be scouted, portaged or run, as you choose.  From Conway down into Maine, its much tamer and makes a popular overnight.

Have fun.

Tommy T.

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Dsmith3232
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 07:52:03 AM »

I’m sorry but I don’t know what type of canoe we will be renting. I’m going into this trip half blind as far as planning and what to expect. My girl friend has gone on this trip a couple of times with this group and I have met the guy who is organizing the trip this year. I have been told to expect to do very little paddling and that they just float down the river jumping in and out of the canoes.
My first thought was to use a Thurmarest type of seat strap system since I planed on using one as a ground pad any way. I am starting to think that that may not be my best option because I’m sure I will get the pad wet from swimming and I don’t want a wet ground pad to sleep on at night.
So this is what I found last night that I thought might work.
http://www.rei.com/product/767167
Not ready a multiple use deal as I would have hoped but it has straps on the bottom and looks sturdy enough for lazy river days. I can only hope it would also fit in my lake kayak so that this is not a one time use purchase.

I’m still on the fence with about it though. A thurmarest pad strap deal would get a lot more use out of me on backpacking trips. Oh the choices…….


Oh and I think I'm going to give the dry ice a shot on this trip depending on how easy it is to buy and the price.
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Tommy T
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 11:31:21 AM »

My wife uses the Crazy Creek, which is much like that CGI model.  I see two differences that might be considered:  First, the open space between the back and the seat means that if the straps are too short to go around a particular canoe seat (maybe one with flotation under the seat, for example), long accessory straps could be used to make it work.  Second,  it looks thick along the front edge -- that may mean good paddling or it could be a place where you'll get undesirable pressure.  That should be easy to evaluate if you can see that model in a store.

Tommy T.
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Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
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