Beginner Rescue Equipment - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-28-2016   #1
 
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Beginner Rescue Equipment

I am new to kayking and mainly stay in the Class 2-3 world. We don't do anything crazy. However, since we are new we have quite a few swimmers in our group. I have found it difficult (because I'm not a great paddler) to rescue a kayak and get it over to the shore and back to the owner.

I'm wondering if there is some gear out there you can recommend to help me possibly "tow" the boat to the shore. Some version of a carabiner system perhaps?

Thanks.

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Old 07-28-2016   #2
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
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Best advice is to take a swift water class to get the base knowledge of how to safely use gear. Most rescue vests have a tow/tether system on them but need to be used correctly. You can also get a straight up tow tether or rope combo:

https://salamanderpaddlegear.com/shop/tow-lines


If you get a rope you need a knife, but half the fun is buying gear. Couple good threads on here of towing a boat going wrong, clipping into a water filled boat is not to be taken lightly.
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Old 07-28-2016   #3
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Yeah, I used a bungee tether a fair amount doing class III club boating. But be very mindful of when to clip into a boat. It's an easy way to make yourself a victim. Since moving to Class IV-V water I've stopped even wearing my tether since it's so rare I find myself in a rapid where I'm comfortable using it.
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Old 07-28-2016   #4
Don
 
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Safety

1) Buy a good whistle and learn whistle commands.
2) Buy a good river knife.
3) Buy a throw rope at least 50' and practice throwing and packing it.
4) Take a SWR Class (Swiftwater)
5) Buy a journal and start recording your runs, water levels, weather patterns and how you felt and what you remembered from your trip. Add to your real time experience.
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Old 07-28-2016   #5
 
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Up North, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakfreakus View Post
Best advice is to take a swift water class to get the base knowledge of how to safely use gear
best advice, gear without knowledge of how to use it is useless
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Old 07-29-2016   #6
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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There are kayak clubs and a raft club in PDX that heavily subsidizes a swift water rescue class with some of the best instructors around. I'm an Oregon Whitewater association member and we have a great weekend class in April. Pushing hard boats to shore is just a bitch. there are some tow tethers out there you could pick up at Andy and Bax or Alder Creek, but I don't think they help much. Sometimes it's safer to let a boat dictate when you are going to get it out of the water, for your own safety. Also, there is safety in numbers, and conning experienced people to go with you helps too.
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Old 07-30-2016   #7
 
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Durango, Colorado
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My advice...

Don't buy any of the rescue equipment you see out there like a tow tether etc. Don't try to set up a bungee system or any of that other stuff. Take a rescue course from a respectable reputable operation and then practice. Become proficient and then practice some more. Clipping in to a kayak with anything is serious.

When you show up somewhere with a rescue buoyancy aid loaded with all the stuff, people will expect that you know how to use it. If you don't, you'll only end up becoming part of the problem.
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Old 08-11-2016   #8
The Cancer Kayaker
 
Denver, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Dwave View Post
My advice...

Don't buy any of the rescue equipment you see out there like a tow tether etc. Don't try to set up a bungee system or any of that other stuff. Take a rescue course from a respectable reputable operation and then practice. Become proficient and then practice some more. Clipping in to a kayak with anything is serious.

When you show up somewhere with a rescue buoyancy aid loaded with all the stuff, people will expect that you know how to use it. If you don't, you'll only end up becoming part of the problem.

What this person said.


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Old 08-11-2016   #9
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
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Idaho Loop

I learned to boat a long time ago, back when equipment and technique were cruder, and rolling was a little less common. Consequently, swimmers were more common. There was a rough piece that preceded modern rescue jackets that may suit your needs, but it comes with cautions. What we wore to tow back then was a loop of accessory cord, held around our waists by a carabiner. This is the caution: if that sucker snags on anything while you are upside down, you're in serious trouble, because the snag is behind you. That said, I wore one for about twenty years before my kids gave me a rescue vest, and never had a problem. Stay away from strainers (always good advice), and wear the thing so it's snug, and you should be fine.
How to use it: unclip the 'biner and clip it to the boat you're rescuing. Slide the loop over your arm. It will rest in your elbow, more or less, while you're paddling. This is not entirely comfortable, and is the reason for the development of rescue vests, but it does give you more control than pushing. Then paddle the boat to an eddy, and return it to its hopefully grateful owner. All normal cautions in rescue situations apply.
How to let go of a boat that is about to drag you someplace you don't want to go: Let go of your paddle with the arm that has the loop on it. The thing will almost always just fall off at this point, but if it doesn't, point your hand down and shake. When the loop falls off, grab your paddle and get out of there. Chase the boat if you can do so safely.
Repeat after me: What is Rule 1 in resucue? Don't add to the body count.
If it looks like a bad idea, leave it. It' s a boat, not a human.
How to make it: Take a piece of 6 or 7mm accessory cord (available at outdoor stores. Parachute cord is attractively priced, but has a low breaking strength and the small diameter will cut you.) about 21/2 times your waist size. Tie it in a loop with a triple Fisherman's knot (if you measured short a double will do.) Attach your carabiner. Loop it around your waist. Adjust the knot as needed, trim and burn the ends. Take it to a flatwater session and practice clipping in to a buddy's boat from your boat. Practice in eddies on the river. Practice dropping boats when you need to. By now you have probably figured out that this is also a Prussic Loop, but that's a whole different issue. Let that one go 'til you've had a SWR course. Take one soon. Tutorial on the Double Fisherman's knot here:
Double Fisherman's Bend | How to tie a Double Fisherman's, or Grapevine, Bend | Climbing Knots
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