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  2. Years and years ago when talking to a ranger in the Wind River Range of WY about bear/food issues, he simply said mostly there are only black bears around. If they come into camp and bothered you, then simply bash them on the nose with a skillet. They tend to run away and not come back when you do that. If a grizzly, then they get whatever they want and you need to walk away slowly facing them. Fortunately never needed to take advice. A different time. At trailhead you logged in a ledger where you were going and expected return date. They checked the ledger every week or so just to see who might be missing. You got yourself in and were expected to get yourself out. Ed Lawson
  3. In southwest Alaska, where black bears were the major concern, the method of choice was the iconic Ikea bag with slits cut in the bottom for drainage. Hanging about 15 or so feet in the air each held 10-12 5 Liter drybags of food stuffs and other aromatic items such as toothpaste, etc.
  4. You got it! They could probably gnaw through car tires, but at least in our case, they left the tires to ?young lads with nice sharp knives… In Alaska, bear hangs absolutely necessary. in Greenland, our only concern was that the polar bears would want to eat US, not our food. Thus the need to be on guard in shifts all night, ready to alert our guide, who slept with shotgun close at hand.
  5. Tell the story! It's important that we're working with the proper set of assumptions about what these adorable little varmints can and can't do. (And I hope we get bear bag and "food in the tent" stories as well, in their proper threads, so we can weigh those options as well). Would also be interested in hearing from the Alaska/Canada/Greenland paddlers about food storage and safety in polar/panda/grizzly country. Edit: this (link below) might be the raccoon gnawing incident in question. Perhaps they can also gnaw through car tires. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED - NSPN Annual MITA Cleanup at Bangs and Crow October 11-13, 2013 - Trip Reports - NSPN Message Board
  6. I have seen evidence of raccoons attempting to gnaw through rubber hatches and doing a fairly effective job of it. They have teeth as well as hands.
  7. Ben, be careful with that wooden boat around beavers, woodchucks, carpenter ants, and termites. I haven't seen any reports of animals gnawing through hard or rubber hatch covers (excepting actual bears), just prying off covers. If raccoons and their friends start becoming willing to gnaw through hulls, deck lines, or hatch covers, we'll have to adapt as well. (And it's worth noting that if the "store your food in your boat" method fails in this way, you've now got a hole in your boat in addition to an empty stomach.) I agree that turning boats upside-down to rest on their hatch covers should work, but only if the weight of the boat is firmly on the hatches. If there's any sort of gap, raccoons will just assume their pancake form and tunnel in from below. Joe, on behalf of scavenging rodents everywhere, thank you for your kindness. I'll spread the word to steal your food last.
  8. I recently experimented with turning my boat upside-down only to find that there was plenty of room for Dan (feral as he is) to squiggle in and access the hatches from underneath. (The bow and stern of the Cetus protrude somewhat creating space below the deck when the boat is inverted.) But resting the food-containing hatch on a rock or stump might cut off this avenue and save a lot of trouble with rigging, clamping, etc. By the way... Dan... if you are ever hungry, you know you can just ask me for food and I promise I will give it to you if I have any.
  9. Does anyone else here paddle a wooden boat, or anything else with hard hatch covers? No critter has yet to succeed in breaching my built in defenses of 3 buckle straps and 6mm plywood to reach my floating grocery store. How about turning boats upside down? Dan-what an ingenious use of the Dutch oven lid!
  10. Hi Karen, Nice seeing you at the Rendezvous! The Cadence X has 80cm added to the blade of the original Cadence design. This allows for more surface area and a bit more power in each stroke. I found that the cadence and cadence x were a great combo together. You can use the cadence for long touring days and then pull out the X for some surf or rock play! However both do a great job and if you like the feel you can't go wrong with either!
  11. Or you could buy a Valley boat - their hatch covers are even a struggle for human fingers in my experience
  12. Having recently shared my kayak camping breakfast with a group of hungry raccoons, I've found myself rummaging through trash cans and thinking of ways to steal kayakers' food. Before I go fully feral, I'd like to share some recent ideas about safer ways to store food in kayak hatches. Add this to your arsenal of camp hygiene tricks, along with this recent discussion of hanging food in raccoon territory, which we'll leave dedicated to hanging, rather than squirreling food away in boats. In addition to bear hangs, bear canisters are fast becoming a required method of food storage in bear country, especially in coastal environments where good hanging trees aren't always available. On about half of the Maine islands I visited this summer, it would be difficult or impossible to hang all of the food for a paddling group. So, we could consider bringing bear canisters along to foil the raccoons (hereby referred to as trash bears or trash pandas). We've got the luxury of being able to pack heavier, bulkier items than most backpackers. But we've also got our kayaks with us, and those make pretty good trash-bear-proof canisters, except for the rubber hatch covers, which the trash pandas have learned to pry open. If we can solve the hatch cover problem, we have nearly-unlimited food storage in our kayak hatches. Here are some attempts at keeping the raccoons from prying open my hatch covers, in pictoral form. In the few minutes these armored devices were in use, no raccoons were able to open the covers, and these methods were pretty successful at keeping me out, as well. I focused on protecting my bow hatch, as it has deck line tie downs fore and aft that prevent the straps from sliding forward and loosening the hatch protection. Two versions using dutch oven and pot lids. A 10" pie plate would probably provide even better gnaw-proofing. This version using a small grill wasn't as secure - I was able to partially lift the bottom part of the hatch, and that only made me want to start gnawing my way in... And then it dawned on me that the indented channel around my Wilderness Systems hatch covers is probably there for a reason... (like keeping raccoons out) Aircraft cable with clamp, use 7/16" nut driver or pliers to loosen/tighten in the field. Leave yourself 6" of wire on either end so you can pull it tight before tightening the clamp. This will probably be my preferred solution, once I buy the right sized nut driver. Locking version with paracord and a carabiner. When the carabiner is parallel (first picture, it's loose enough to slip on and off. Turning the carabiner perpendicular locks the cord in place. Took a fair amount of fiddling to get exactly the right length of cord. Need to make sure the cord doesn't stretch when wet! I will also start paying attention to the position of the rubber tab that I use to lift the hatch cover off. In the first few photos, it's in the 6 o-clock position that I use by default because it's easy to lift. The photo with the pliers (above) shows a position that's only slightly harder for me, but likely harder for the raccoons to get a grip on, if that's how they pull hatch covers. I would probably add a second layer of deterrence over all of these closures by slipping a pair of paddle halves through the deck bungees. One final raccoonish thought, not related to hatches. The beach where we recently got raided by raccoons (the sand bar connecting East and West Gosling in Casco Bay) was teeming with shellfish and crabs at low tide, and the rocky shoreline was littered with raccoon poop. Clearly, that beach was a successful foraging location, even when there weren't boats loaded with food perched right above the wrack line. When landing on an island to camp, it's worth considering who the potential food raiders might be, and where they might be hanging out. On the Goslings, the threat was clearly from raccoons, and it might have made sense to take the boats up away from the waterline, or hang food in trees. In this particular location, we also faced the possibility that any non-food items the raccoons took off of the boats might get washed away by the overnight high tide, just a few feet away. I hope this inspires some ideas for protecting your own kayak hatches. If you're interested in the aircraft cable locking technique and have a suitable recessed groove on your hatch covers, I can help build to order at some future paddling event.
  13. Hi Jim, Pricing will be the same from any dealer or the Lendal site, in some circumstances there are sales. The benefit of purchasing from a dealer is that you can try before you buy and receive dealer support. Once I have my demo paddles we can setup a time for you to try them out! Depending on what paddle you currently use there are some similarity in the feel of the paddle. For instance I find the cadence and cadence x to be similar to the werner shuna, very light but stiff feeling with solid purchase on each stroke. I find the storm to be similar if you mixed the cyprus and ikelos together. The storm has a large blade, however it is not a shoulder killer like some of the other paddles with larger blades. It also feels extremely light and buoyant.
  14. Congratulations Jonathan and Kelsey on adding this to your business. I've been thinking of switching from Werner and would like to come demo the Lendals. Will pricing from you be the same as on the Lendal site?
  15. Sea Kayak New England has officially become a Lendal NA dealer! If you haven't been able to try a Lendal paddle we will soon have a demo fleet of paddles in a range of sizes including the Cadence, Cadence X and the Storm. One of the many benefit of a Lendal paddle is there paddelok ferrule system that creates a strong and dependable connection. The system also allows you to extend the paddle to different lengths with a range of feathering. The shaft on Lendal paddles also offers a unique indexing on their shaft that makes that paddle feel extremely comfortable in your hand. Anytime you remove your hand from the shaft its almost as if your hands instinctively grab the ergonomic grips. If you would like to take a look at Lendals offering here is a link to there website: https://lendalna.com/paddles/ I know some folks including Andy and Joe have really enjoyed their Lendal paddles! With the current lead times it appears that it will be about 8-12 weeks before paddles are delivered. If you may be interested in ordering a paddle I will be putting in a order on December 1st, this means that at the longest current lead time it will deliver sometime in the beginning of April, just in time for spring!
  16. In whitewater circle, it has become safety doctrine to use only locking carabiners, as non-locking carabiners present an entrapment hazard. I don't know if this is quite as much of a concern for sea kayaking.
  17. Last week
  18. Thanks for the tips Nancy! I have always aspired to your food hanging abilities and, now, here are some tools to pick up and use…
  19. A recent trip report that included mention of raccoons stealing food prompted me to write this. I always hang my food, toothpaste and trash unless I am in an area with unacceptable or no trees (unlikely, but it happens). Recently, I was sitting by a fire and looked over at my tent and there was a raccoon in my open vestibule, looking completely at home. There was no food or anything smelly in my tent or vestibule. I think he was just curious. Hanging my food gives me peace of mind and it's easy to do. I use an arborists line that glides smoothly over the bark and does not damage the tree. I also use a 12 oz. throw weight, but you can use a small bag of rocks. I use the PCT method. https://theultimatehang.com/2013/03/19/hanging-a-bear-bag-the-pct-method/ . A tent stake works better than a stick because you can slide it off the line (without untying) when taking the bag down. You can find videos to demonstrate the method if that is more helpful to you. It takes a little practice to get your line over the chosen branch. Here are some tips. https://www.bartlettman.com/blogs/news/how-to-use-throw-lines I've come across some odor-proof bags that live up to their name that have a variety of uses, included DIY WAG bags (doggy bag inside the odor-proof bag). So, if no trees are available, the odor proof bags might be good enough. They area available in different sizes. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2WLY4K?ref=nb_sb_ss_w_as-ypp-rep_ypp_rep_k0_1_8&amp&crid=B9V8KS27XNUU&amp&sprefix=odor+pro
  20. I will say that I barely ever use my trailer since it’s generally inconvenient unless carrying boats for a group or setting up a shuttle.
  21. I have a Malone MicroSport that has been great over the years!
  22. Hi Everyone, I am considering buying a kayak trailer that would carry 2 kayaks & a small cargo box. I am curious what folks experience has been with kayak trailers and any recommendations you may have. Thanks, Sue
  23. Thanks again Jim, for organising this paddle along an interesting stretch of the Maine coast. When the trip's theme turned from 'day paddle in sporty conditions' to an 'incident management exercise' it was great to see how we all acted as an efficient, competent, drama-free team. As Dan said, it was good to be able to practice our rescue skills in a real environment. Saturday really showed the value of paddling as a club. Kudos too to the paddler who 'lost his sense of equilibrium' but maintained his sense of humour.
  24. I'm not convinced that storing food in the tent vestibule is the right solution, either. On our final night, the dry bag containing my car keys was dragged out of my open vestibule and into the nearby woods while we were eating dinner down on the beach. Given that raccoons pried hatch covers off two different boats, I'm not convinced they couldn't/wouldn't have an issue crawling under (or tearing through) the vestibule fabric. The mantra for backpacking has always been to hang food high enough and far enough from nearby tree trunks that a bear can't get to it, or to utilize bear-proof canisters. Food is cooked and stored well away from camp. What works for bears also works for mice and "little bears" (raccoons). Food in the tent is less-risky in dispersed camping scenarios where animals aren't accustomed to a constant stream of new dinner arrivals, like at a designated campsite. I've always hung my food or stored it in the kayak while kayak camping, and never had a problem, until I did. I'm planning on a layered approach to food security on future trips, which will likely include some of the following: I'll bring sufficient extra cordage to string up a proper bear bag if a suitable location presents itself. I'll have a thick (PVC?), waterproof dry bag specifically for odor control and allowing food to hang outside in the pouring rain without getting wet. If food is in my kayak hatch at night, there will be split paddles under bungees over the top of that hatch, perhaps tied in with a bit of paracord. I'll keep my cooking gear and other small, draggable items in Ikea bags at night, and try to hang and tie them up off the ground to make it harder to get into. My really stinky stuff (fresh food, 3-day old trash) will go into Gary's vestibule at night.
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