Kayaking Technique Forum

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Deep trouble

Got the book Deep Trouble for xmas. Boy what an eye opener! While I havent finished it yet, of the half or so Ive read I cant help but notice the commonality of the incidents. It seems the single biggest factor is not being properly dressed for immersion. Those who did have either wet or dry suits fared significantly better all around than those without. Next most common probably mis-judging the weather, or not having accurate weather info before going out.

What other mistakes are common?

And on gear, the examples include missing a towline, dry clothes, VHF (cellphone?), and charts / compass. It is truly shocking to me how little of this stuff I have previously carried along as routine. Even though all my paddling has been in familiar, protected waters, I could easily be a statistic. Add flares, space blanket, towline, cell phone bag to my "must have" list.

And then, there examples of simple ignorance of local hazards. The story from SK about the Columbia River near Cathlamet recently comes to mind, the couple had gone poking around the nooks and crannies on the outgoing tide. Mike Hanks and I had been in that very spot the month before the article was published. While the Columbia is familiar to me, and I wouldnt consider going up a slough on the outgoing tide I can see how that mistake is easily made. Other examples from the book include tide rips and localised fog conditions.

Sorry to ramble, I just think it would be interesting to hear others's comments from the book and experiences.