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Old 11-21-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
Justin
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Makeshift Paddles

Anyone have any interesting photos or stories about using whatever you can to use as a suitable paddle?

...Ever find a canoe or row-boat stashed at a small remote pond without oars and you desperately wanted to take it for spin around the pond?

...Or maybe you accidentally lost or broke a paddle on a fast moving river without a back-up leaving you "up the creek without a paddle?"

...What do you do now?

...Well, you do what you can to make a paddle of course...
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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using a shovel? What a doofus.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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fun topic

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Originally Posted by DuctTape View Post
using a shovel? What a doofus.
I love it, doofus...or was it dufus? When we were kids that was a major slam. Now... well you know. When we hiked the NPT this August we ran into some great paddle fabrications. For some reason Wardy got all the "good"paddles, while I got the crotched limbs with aluminum foil wrapped around them. Great photos of all the different set ups.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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I used a dead spruce as a paddle once...in my own boat!! Forgot my paddle in all the excitement of getting out early season on Wolf Pond Outlet.


But wait, what about makeshift PFD's?
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
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using a shovel? What a doofus.
If you declined to use a shovel as an easy means of paddling a boat without oars to explore a hidden curl of a small remote wilderness pond...that would be being a doofus!

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what about makeshift PFD's?
Let's see, I'm listening...
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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But wait, what about makeshift PFD's?
Perhaps wrap and tie a semi-inflated thermarest around ones torso and then a windbreaker or large shirt over it to keep it in place?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:44 PM   #7
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You are right Justin about the doofus, one trip I used a shovel to paddle while my friend bailed the water out of the boat and we caught a mess of trout
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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Of historical note Patrick Moore demoed doing FreeStyle in a Grumman with a shovel (type unknown).

I teach basic Canadian Style using a tree branch trimmed of twitch branches. It's a good tool to exploring how push and pull of a propelling device affects a canoe. It also reinforces the idea that you really can get yourself out of a pickle on flatwater and shows how versatile a "pole" is.

Laugh all you want but there are a myriad of paddle substitutes in a pinch.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:21 AM   #9
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Great pics.

I have often thought, after a solo trip with a spare paddle, do I really need to take a spare? How would I fabricate a paddle if I lost my only paddle? My WW kayak is indestructible, at 40 lbs. for safety, but I do try to save weight in all other respects. Single carries are possible if the trail is easy and the 2 lb leave the spare p home might be worth it. Thoughts or experience in broken paddles?
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Great pics.

I have often thought, after a solo trip with a spare paddle, do I really need to take a spare? How would I fabricate a paddle if I lost my only paddle? My WW kayak is indestructible, at 40 lbs. for safety, but I do try to save weight in all other respects. Single carries are possible if the trail is easy and the 2 lb leave the spare p home might be worth it. Thoughts or experience in broken paddles?
My paddling partner cracked the blade of his single-blade paddle almost completely in half once while paddling upstream in a fast-moving, shallow & rocky section of river...we repaired it with duct tape and it worked out just fine for the rest of the trip which wasn't more than a couple miles upstream on similar and calmer water.

...Three items that are always found in my pack that have helped me in the past with making an 'emergency paddle' among many other backwoods repairs and bushcraft are a small roll of duct tape, some para-cord, and a multi tool with a sharp saw-blade...
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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My paddling partner cracked the blade of his single-blade paddle almost completely in half once while paddling upstream in a fast-moving, shallow & rocky section of river...we repaired it with duct tape and it worked out just fine for the rest of the trip which wasn't more than a couple miles upstream on similar and calmer water.

...Three items that are always found in my pack that have helped me in the past with making an 'emergency paddle' among many other backwoods repairs and bushcraft are a small roll of duct tape, some para-cord, and a multi tool with a sharp saw-blade...

Uhmmm...I think you mean five items!! What about that lucky penny and fab tablecloth?? I know I never head into the wilderness without a fashionably styled tablecloth.

Actually, I've had a commercial paddle crack at the shaft/blade joint (an Al Camp), did a patch with duct tape and reglassed it when I got home. It's pretty ugly now, but still hanging on.
Never broke one of my paddles, yet!!
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:28 AM   #12
Rich Lockwood
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Pole

Once while practicing poling I tried using the pole as a dubble blade paddle. It worked quite well. I belive i could get home using a 2" diameter or so sapling as a dubble.
Turtle
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the ideas. I think the pole idea is about the best, I pole my canoe whenever possible, but it would be heavy for a kayak. On the other hand I've never even come close to breaking or losing a paddle. Solo trips require a conservative approach.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:52 PM   #14
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Once while practicing poling I tried using the pole as a dubble blade paddle. It worked quite well.
Same here...
Actually, the stick you see in the first photo (along with DuctTape's shovel) is about 10-12 feet long. We quickly realized that we were doing just fine moving along with only using the stick (pole) as a double bladed paddle and we didn't even need the shovel...what a doofus!

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Uhmmm...I think you mean five items!! What about that lucky penny and fab tablecloth?? I know I never head into the wilderness without a fashionably styled tablecloth.
Doesn't everyone always bring a lucky penny and a table cloth with them into the wilderness???
I thought that just went without saying...
But really it's not a table cloth, but a place mat and I'll be sure to let my girl know that you like it.
Consider the penny as payment for publicly sharing such an ugly place mat.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #15
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The shovel got heavy very quickly.


That boat now has two paddles with it btw.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #16
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That boat now has two paddles with it btw.


...They were probably stashed nearby someplace.

Still, using the shovel and the stick that day added a lot of fun and laughs to an already fantastic weekend.
I only wish that it was still trout season then, we would've been out on the pond a lot longer!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:42 PM   #17
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...They were probably stashed nearby someplace.

Still, using the shovel and the stick that day added a lot of fun and laughs to an already fantastic weekend.
I only wish that it was still trout season then, we would've been out on the pond a lot longer!
well there is a trout season NEXT year too. and I found another campsite nearby as well.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #18
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...Always keep an ace bandage in your pack...you know, in case of an emergency...
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:05 PM   #19
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I had forgotten a paddle once and was too far, and probably to lazy,from home to return to get it so I cut off a 5' section of a pine branch. Trimmed off the small branches down to about 2' from the end and used it all day while fishing. Worked well but I didn't have gloves so I got a bit of sap on my hands. Tried out an old wives tale that butter removes sap and that worked as well. It was a very resourceful day.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:37 AM   #20
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Reminds of a Story

Gordon Black, former head of NOC Instruction and later ACA Instruction was teaching at LL Bean's Canoe Symposium. Out before breakfast in an Advantage with a Zav paddle he was feeling pretty froggie, when up comes Harry Rock, standing tall with a pole in a MRC Freedom.

A race was proposed, someone said go; all poor Gordo saw was Harry's elbows and backside. Both boats were 16.5, although the Freedom was almost a foot wider. But Harry's stance allowed use of his entire body and the pole, used as a double blade, increased his cadence by 50%. Never a doubt!

So, if forced to improvise, select a 9 ft length of something slender and smooth and double blade with it. You'll get home in fine time.
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