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Old 01-22-2010   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Overnighter: How many breakdowns?

I'm planning a middle feather overnighter next may. Wilderness kayak self support, IV-V, 3 days two nights. Wondering how other groups approach number of breakdowns vs. number of people in the group.

I can see going 1 breakdown per person for long / hard trips. I can see going 1 breakdown per group for mellow shorter trips.

My gut feel was 2 breakdowns for a group of 4 on the middle feather. What do others do? More? Less?

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Old 01-22-2010   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
Since there is classV in your description I would go one paddle per person or at least some good hand paddles + 2 paddles so you could paddle the lower grade stuff with those (trade off for bigger rapids?) and cover bad scenario of all having a paddle issue...

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Old 01-22-2010   #3
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Rotorua, NZ
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
I am a fan of one per person really not always convenient but I have had a few situations recently where if everyone had their own it would have avoided some exposed sketchy rope work. But what the hell do I know?
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Old 01-22-2010   #4
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
That run doesn't have much hiking so weight isn't too big of a concern and you could err on the side of too many spare paddles.

That said, I think two is probably fine.
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Old 01-22-2010   #5
arkriverrat's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 113
One per person.

Ever been up shit creek without a paddle? I have been on one day trips with only a 3 hour hike out where we needed more than one breakdown, even that sucks. Better safe than sorry...
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Old 01-23-2010   #6
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

On regulated rivers, there sometimes is a prescribed number you must have.

At Westwater, for instance, it's one spare (breakdown or hand) for every three boats.


Rich Phillips
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Old 01-23-2010   #7
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I broke a paddle on that run.
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Old 01-23-2010   #8
Join Date: Sep 2006
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You should be good with two for a group of four. The most probable reason that you would need to use a breakdown on that run is from loosing paddles after swims so remember that factor.

Glad you're doing it Ian! The Middle Feather is the shit!
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Old 01-23-2010   #9
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
the only problem with everyone having a breakdown is that there will be less room left for the beer.
I think as a rule of thumb 1 to 2 ratio is a good bet for most trips (unless you happen to be goin boatin with joe), but I say if you have one take it, it would suck to plan the trip and have to do a very bad hike-out (a few days on MF with boat).
I'm with chrisitan, they don't get much better than the MF.
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Old 01-23-2010   #10
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Every paddler should sack up and carry their own.....

When we first started going to Cali (mid-80's), we'd carry one breakdown per two paddlers, each carrying a half. The Cali paddlers let us know right away what they thought of that plan: dumb as shit. From then on, it was everyone carries their own full breakdown. It's been the right choice on a lot of rivers over the last 25yrs.

So many rivers, so little time..........
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