This video is a follow up on the discussion of things that always live in our kayaks. First, I want to say thank you to everybody that commented, sent emails, sent notes, added their perspective, added their stories, added what items they like to have on them at all times and also what made them decide to choose those items and how they care for them as part of the responses. What I really liked about my discussion last week is that there were several things I mentioned that people were able to follow up on.
Kayaking in Different Regions
The first thing that I want to discuss is from my friend, Barry. He paddles out of the Pacific Northwest in the US. And let me tell you, the conditions where he lives are insane by comparison to what I usually paddle. The Pacific is no joke. I've only gotten to paddle it a couple of times, and every time I've been out there, the conditions have been inspiring and scary. When we were out for lumpy waters in Oregon, on one day, they straight up closed the area that we were supposed to be in because conditions were too big. I don't remember but I think it was something like 14 feet at 15 seconds or 15 feet at 14 seconds. In any case, massive versus what we get on the East Coast in particular areas where I usually paddle. Anyway, so that's just the background. In my last video, I pulled the paddle float out of my day hatch. And so Barry's point was that the conditions they usually paddle in the Pacific Northwest, if you need a paddle float, that would be a perfect time to NOT open a hatch at all. So things that are really important during a rescue or safety situation have to be on your person, maybe in your PFD or in your cockpit. Anywhere easy to access or maybe on your deck, so that you're not fiddling around or looking for them inside your kayak. Everything is within easy access. You never have to open a hatch during a tough situation or when conditions are rough. So that conversation was fantastic, and thank you Barry for pointing that out.
The Importance of Having a Paddling Community
One decision here that you don't really think about might have consequences down the line, and it made me think, “When did I make the decision to put my paddle float in my day hatch?” I went back in time and thought of all the different times I've used one and how I think about a paddle float and why unconsciously I put it away in my day hatch. One of the comments I get a lot of times is “I don't know why everyone keeps saying that I should paddle in groups. I like being by myself and I think solo paddling is amazing.” I agree that solo paddling is amazing, but this is for example, an instance of doing something that I didn't think about that could have consequences. And it came from having a conversation with other fellow paddlers. So while solo paddling is fantastic, and that's what I've been doing mostly this last year and a half, essentially with fishing and photography and just exploration. I've been going to local spots on my own, but it's always good to have a community of some sort where you can share these types of ideas because there are times that we might be doing something that whether we've realized or not, could potentially put us in a tough situation.
Storing Your Gear
Now another point that came up was from Sue, who pointed out that a Storm Cag on their own shouldn't be packed away in your day hatch. If you just leave them in there and they're damp or wet, and the hatch is closed all the time, they will grow mildew. Eventually, it will deteriorate, so they need to be packed away in a dry bag somewhere. For us, we used to have to store our kayaks outside all the time, under a porch in our last location. Now we happen to have access to a garage, so I'm able to store my kayak indoors. And because I do that, oftentimes, I'll leave the hatch covers off. If there's anything wet in the hatches, it usually is able to dry. So you have to take into consideration where in your kayak it goes. And as Sue mentioned in her comment, she usually keeps it in a bag in her vehicle. And that's how it used to be for me too. In my old Jeep, I used to just have one of those mesh bags just filled with stuff. And instead of being in the hatches all the time, it was in the bag, and then every time I'd go, I wouldn't forget it at home, it would be in my vehicle ready to get on the water. The storm cag is usually in my day hatch or it might be in my bag, which is filled with certain things so that every time I go out, I don't need to worry about putting it together. It's always ready to go. So thank you, Sue, for chiming in with a lot of those really, really good points. I think just like any other sport or hobby or anything out there, just having a community that's able to discuss all these things is helpful for everyone, as we, as a group, continue to learn moving forward.