Making sure your stuff is properly waterproofed is one of the most important things on a canoe trip, especially a whitewater one. I should know as that’s me you see dumping in this video! Even if you don’t dump out there, at some point you’ll likely take in enough water to soak anything in your canoe that’s not waterproofed. It’s also a crucial step for your own survival. Having dry cloths and a dry sleeping bag will help fend off hypothermia after an icy swim in a northern river.
Follow these steps to make sure your stuff will stay bone dry after an upset:
1. Use a high quality dry bag like the Eureka Canoe Pack. For a long trip, you’ll want one with a capacity of more than 100 liters. Bring a patching kit for repairs should it become punctured. I like to bring along a tube of Gear Aid Aquaseal and a roll of Gear Aid Tenacious Tape.
2. Line your large dry bag with a thick grade carpenters garbage bag and bring a piece of surgical tubing or P-cord to tie the top tightly once packed. You’ll also want extra carpenters bags.
3. If you have to pack a wet tent or other wet gear, pack it on the outside of the carpenter’s bag, but on the inside of your dry bag.
4. Stuff your clothes and sleeping bag into waterproof compression sacks before packing them into your large dry bag. Using a liner bag inside your dry compression sacks will greatly extend their life. I use a clear plastic garbage bag.
5. Keep the maps you’re not using that day in zip-lock bags or a map case, and pack them in your drybag. You’ll want them to be triple-waterproofed too.
6. Always make sure your dry bag is rolled down and buckled tightly.
After the tough task of crossing the height of land between the Du Pas and George Rivers we were now undertaking the task of traveling up the mighty George. The evening before we shot this video we’d been lucky enough to stumble across an excellent fishing hole after paddling a short distance up a tributary where we caught Ouananiche, Lake Trout, Brook Trout and Arctic Char.