Prepping for Spring Paddling – On and Off the River
Spring has sprung and along with birds chirping and buds on the trees, there is water running through our rivers! Before you load all your gear and dash off to the river, let’s chat about WOOD for a second.
Thanks to winter snow dumps, spring rains and high winds, WOOD is a reality – both on the river and off. It’s important to be prepared before you head out of your driveway.
WOOD off the river
WOOD on the shuttle drive to the river can really put a cramp on your paddling day, and in some cases can completely shut it down. Some key gear elements to be prepared for this are:
- Chainsaw – never leave home without it if you have one!
- Swede saw – even if you have a chainsaw, bring this so other paddlers can be working on other parts of the trees. If no chainsaw, then this is a critical tool
- Tow strap for your car – some trees can be dragged out of the way with your car, or potentially snapped to make it easier to cut a portion if you only have a swede saw
If you are using a tow strap for your car – PLEASE remember to have everyone stand behind the car in case the strap breaks or bits go flying. SAFETY FIRST at all times.
WOOD on the river
WOOD on the river is a reality at all times of year, but especially in the spring time when there hasn’t been a lot of river traffic. Always paddle in groups and take your time to scout the river, no matter how well you believe you know it. Things change every winter.
To ensure you are prepared to remove any wood on the river, or to rescue someone, here are some key gear elements to have in your boat:
- Hand saw with protective case (also handy to use to clean up the trees at the put in/take out)
- Pulleys & Carabiners
- Prussick’s & Webbing
- Throw bag
These are all items that you can toss in a gear bag and have in your creek boat all season long. If you already have all of this kit pulled together, be sure to haul it out of your bag and do an early season once over before you hit the river. The Level Six X-Traction Pin Kit has everything you’ll need other than the hand saw. They also sell all of the sub-components individually.
The Vincent Family