View topic - Added safety precautions when going solo?

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2013, 11:55 am 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I drink a lot of wine at home, but in the bush i carry plastic mickeys of gin. Gin makes me grin. Mix in some pink lemonade nutra sweet nightmare and the evening is complete. Except Kim has me scared now, that it's my imbibing that makes me a no-see-um target.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2013, 6:05 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Just make a suitable offering in a spare cup.

NO NOT the offering you make in the Drs. office.


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2013, 12:28 pm 
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Winnipeg
Smaller tent, extra warm clothes, backup food supply, sometimes drop a cache on the way in to lessen my carry if the trip is longer. spare fishing rod ( now ), smaller stove although I do so love my two burner coleman.

I don't use a spot but I tend to be more careful with running things and walking about in the bush. I tend to take lots of breaks and the occasional nap and just pretty much do as I please.

Christy


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PostPosted: April 7th, 2013, 12:52 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2010, 9:54 am
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Location: St.Thomas,Ontario
I carry the same gear,I make sure I'm carrying my bear spray on my belt..it's usually my partner who does this. Just a little more thinking while on portages,a little more carefull..for sure carry out trip as per planned and leave route information with a fellow wilderness rescuer I know and Veronica ! Plan where the Tim Horton's is when I get out of the woods !


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 Post subject: Water Management
PostPosted: April 11th, 2013, 7:33 am 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1674
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Just back from an 8 day tidal trip where paddle-out day was dictated by my remaining water supply. On tidal trips water management is a safety issue, especially when solo.

I most often carry water in 10L dromedary bags unless a hard container is necessary for animal H2O predation. I also bring a 40oz and a 27oz canteen. I try to keep both canteens topped off* from the dromedary bags as often as possible. I trust the stainless steel canteen more than the dromedary bags, and figure that if all I have left is 60oz of water it is pushing time to get gone.

*40 + 27 does not = 60, but I found that a completely filled SS canteen will sink like a rock, and so leave some floatation headspace in each.

I’ll catch rainwater off the tarp, and the low vee sides of a parawing are ideal for that. I can cook with it, or drink it if need be, but most often use it for personal hygiene and de-salting gear that has been wetted and dried repeatedly with a white sodium chlorine glaze.

I maximize my water use. If I boiled a little too much water it goes back in the canteen. If there is water left in the noodle pot it goes to instant soup mix or etc. If I made a second cup of coffee and it got cold I drink it anyway. Any potable water I packed in is getting run through me.

I brought more than ample water this last trip, and ended up paddling out a day early when I hit the 60oz limit. I had company one day; two college students who had packed in with minimal supplies or gear. They were out of water (and food) and were looking at a 5 mile hike on the beach to the nearest supply of drinking water.

I filled them and their canteen with water before they hiked out, and filled them with food too. That cut my margin too close for comfort. The last couple of days out I was experiencing the phenomenon of looking at my scant water supply and feeling thirsty all the time, even though I was well hydrated.


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PostPosted: May 7th, 2013, 1:30 pm 
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Joined: August 26th, 2010, 10:51 am
Posts: 68
I personally leave the hatchet at home, as it's one of the most common ways to injure yourself on a camping trip. I also go easy on the booze, I may bring a bit of wine but I don't drink much on my own partially for safety and partially because sitting by a fire all night with just your lonesome self can get boring.

Beyond that I tailor my route to being solo. I try to avoid the really big and windy lakes and preferably I don't go to areas that are rarely frequented. It's nice to know that if you do get hurt even if you're on your own there are other people on that lake or will be crossing that lake.

Other than that, a spot type device goes a long way when it comes to keeping my GF and parent's minds at ease.


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PostPosted: May 9th, 2013, 2:27 pm 
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Joined: September 21st, 2009, 6:44 pm
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
Gear wise, the only changes are that I bring an 8' frying pan instead of the 12', single 2.5L pot and a smaller tarp.

Depending on the length and remoteness I bring between 1-3 days of extra food rations.

I recently bought a combat belt and equipped it with the essentials. It weights about 5.5 lbs, and is comfortable to wear all day. While at camp I disconnect the thigh rig, and re-attach it whenever I step off the site.

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PostPosted: May 10th, 2013, 10:43 pm 
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Joined: December 21st, 2007, 2:45 am
Posts: 202
Location: Connecticut, USA
I'm almost always solo, but I don't think I'd take any different safety gear if I were with a group.

I now carry a PLB, which I possibly would never have bought if I had exclusively been a groupie.

There are precautions I now take in my old age. There are certain trips I would not go on alone any more, but I probably would if I had willing companions. I also would paddle rather than portage harder rapids with a group competent in river rescue than when I am solo.


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PostPosted: May 11th, 2013, 12:21 pm 
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Joined: July 16th, 2006, 8:59 pm
Posts: 804
Location: Now in Sudbury
Charlie Wilson wrote:
I always carry an extra bottle/box of Zinfandel [or sub an extra of Islay's products] when solo tripping. Could get wind bound/whatever and it would be embarrassing to be caught without.

MMMM Isley.

I take the same precautions when tandem as when solo: same gear. same route info left with someone, no phone, no SPOT, don't wear pfd unless it's cold water season or waves are threatening to flood or capsize canoe and I can't see the downwind shoreline, same extra food, same amount of scotch.

The only difference is when solo, I always think twice. And in that second thinking, I most often (pobody's nerfect) decide I will not push it, because I am solo. I will not make that portage in the dark. I will portage that boney class III or class II+ that is so tempting to run. I will take the easy way down on the steep wet rocky portage, even if it takes longer. I will stay at this campsite here instead of pushing on to that campsite 10 km farther along the route, even if it means a possible extra day. I will make sure to not push my self to the point of exhaustion and near collapse, so that I always something in the tank, just in case.


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PostPosted: May 12th, 2013, 8:04 am 
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Joined: June 25th, 2004, 9:42 pm
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Location: Calgary, AB or wherever life takes me
Ghost wrote:
The only difference is when solo, I always think twice. And in that second thinking, I most often (pobody's nerfect) decide I will not push it, because I am solo. I will not make that portage in the dark. I will portage that boney class III or class II+ that is so tempting to run. I will take the easy way down on the steep wet rocky portage, even if it takes longer. I will stay at this campsite here instead of pushing on to that campsite 10 km farther along the route, even if it means a possible extra day. I will make sure to not push my self to the point of exhaustion and near collapse, so that I always something in the tank, just in case.

I find myself doing this kind of stuff more as I age, not just when tripping solo. ;)

And that wee isle of Islay does produce some mighty fine nectar, many of my favourites come from there. :)

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PostPosted: July 4th, 2013, 3:01 pm 
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Joined: June 13th, 2011, 8:38 pm
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Location: Rutland, Massachusetts
I rig my canoe with a pair of dry bags tied to the end of the center-thwart, and a short rope tied to the thwart's other end. If I dump, I can leverage the canoe up over the floating bags by pulling on the rope and rolling the canoe back to upright, emptying the water in the process. (Can't do the shakeout or the capistrano flip alone on my heavy Dagger Venture 17)

Climbing back in is easier, too, if you have a setting pole with a paddle-float tied on the end.

On lake crossings I'll don a wetsuit.

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"A dead thing can go with the stream. But only a living thing can go against it." G.K. Chesterton



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PostPosted: March 21st, 2014, 5:13 pm 
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Joined: September 3rd, 2009, 6:05 pm
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Location: Toronto
A Spot is essential equipment for me on solo trips. My wife would worry like mad if it weren't for that piece of technology. I once didn't bother sending an "OK" message at my usual time because I knew I'd have a cell signal a few hours later. Let's just say I won't do that again. The Spot, a blastmatch, and a few other basic survival necessities stay in the pockets of my PFD always.

Aside from that it's just about being a little extra cautious, a little more premeditated in my actions, and never, ever being in a hurry.

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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 10:21 am 
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Joined: March 10th, 2014, 5:10 pm
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I am more careful in decisions. I carry an inReach. We use it on tandem trips too but I actually use it daily on solo trips.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 3:18 pm 
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Joined: February 17th, 2014, 11:51 am
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What a great thread topic! I'm learning a great deal just reading the responses.

I'll admit to being the wimp here. I'm far more inclined to revisit past routes when I'm solo rather than taking on a new route. There is just something about the familiarity of a place and known obstacles that I prefer. I generally keep my planned distances shorter, although sometimes I have violated this rule. I usually don't drink alone (unless I'm at home) and switch vices for a pipe or cigar in its place. I don't have a SPOT, but I'm renting one for an upcoming fly-in trip this summer so I will see how much I like it.

Generally I find my solo trips have different purpose and perspective than trips with spouse or friends. Solo trips are for introspection. I find I spend a lot more of my time listening and seeing rather than getting from point A to B. I focus more effort on activities like photography, playing with different set-ups and spending more time on thinking about camera settings and composition. I try doing things like astrophotography, time lapse or spending time on macro subjects and more frequent use of a tripod. I turnover rocks to find whats under them. Basically a totally different mindset. When solo, being alone is the important thing while being at a specific location is secondary.


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: September 3rd, 2009, 6:05 pm
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Location: Toronto
The SPOT is definitely more for the people waiting at home than it is for you, while the inReach Christine mentioned looks like an actual two-way communicator, so it just depends on what you're looking for. For me, anything beyond sending a preset "I'm okay" message would take me out of the experience. If someone handed me a sat phone and told me it was free to use for life, I'd promptly throw it in the nearest lake.

I actually plan longer distances solo than I do with a group. I quite enjoy the traveling part - with the right mindset (enjoy the journey!) it's great spending long hours between campsites. I know my own abilities and can tailor the trip accordingly, while in a group setting I'll err on the side of caution.

Day 1 of a solo trip I keep reasonably easy, however. On that day the goal is to get over one decent length portage to thin out the people, then find a nice campsite and enjoy just being out there.

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