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Old 03-20-2014   #1
6FEETandRISING's Avatar
Lardo, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Self Support IK Gear (Tricks to ELF Boating)

Hi all, I am posting this because I am looking at doing a lot more late season and early season floats on rivers that I would like to run but require low water ELF boating. I have an AIRE outfitter II that I love and will be loading it up with gear. I am and avid ultralight backpacker and would like to blend those skills with self supporting and being able to bring better food and more weight than if I was backpacking but still going lean and mean increasing the overall simplicity and enjoyment of the trip. IK trips also seem appealing to me with the ease of shuttling and overall amount of gear will be much much less than the bring the kitchen sink mentality of rafting that I normally do. So, I am wondering if there are some gear tricks of the trade that some of you buzzards wouldn't mind sharing. Mainly regarding the groover, firepan, ash container, etc. I was thinking that for the groover I could go with the old climber pvc poop tube. That would suffice I suppose and as far as an ash container maybe small screw top bucket. I have heard of using turkey pans for fire pans, has anyone done this? I like the idea of maybe using the nrs boulder box for a small dry box and noticed that AIRE makes a soft cooler that fits perfectly into their IKs. Otherwise I think everything else will be relatively small watershed bags. Any thoughts or suggestions would be awesome, thanx.

When you spend your life in the rain, you learn to walk between the drops.
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Old 03-20-2014   #2
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
watershed or bust if you use down or might wrap. zip duffels are pretty good too but I use light drybags inside them just in case.

Firepan: use a steam table pan Allied Buying Corp CAST-2004 Steam Table Pan - 24 Gauge, Stainless Steel Full-Size, 4"H

permit compliant so long as you raise 'er off the ground. super light, last forever.

PVC poop tube works, but the Eco Safe Boom Box is way more comfy and handles 4 for a week.

the k-60 k-pump is an ideal lightweight river pump.

I love using a sawyer filter bottle, as I can bring a hang bag and rig it a gravity filter, as well as having on-demand drinking water from the river.

I don't like using hard boxes, peli cases, dry boxes etc in the ik as it's too easy to take yourself out. A watershed chatooga with some foam and reflectix makes a superior soft cooler anyway.

the biggest aspect is simplifying the gear list. otherwise, backpack gear and techniques adopt great to ELF IKing. I love ELF multidays because the water is so gorgeous at low flows. Illinois, SFS, Bruneau, selway, there are many great trips that are excellent off-peak in an IK.

Do build a solid repair/rescue kit. Base it around tear aid, your throwbag, and just a couple biners/pulleys.

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Old 03-20-2014   #3
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Good advice from slickhorn,

Not much I can add from a lot of hard shell kayak self support experience.
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Old 03-20-2014   #4
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
Don't know if you have allready came across this site but they have good ideas on firepans and groovers. I have built both and use them. Good Luck

Self Support Kayak Camping
Bound is boatless man
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Old 03-20-2014   #5
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
I know many people who forgo their sleeping pad and just sleep on their IK.
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Old 03-20-2014   #6
Walla Walla, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 144
I sleep in my kayak with a light tarp over the top and it's super comfortable. I actually think its better than my landing pad. Just pull the seat and your ready to go.
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.
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Old 03-20-2014   #7
screamingeagle's Avatar
Missoula, Montana
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 59
All good advise here. I would also say that you may want to bring a spare paddle for every two people or so. I bring a nice kayak paddle and a break apart spare in case you loose your paddle. They are also nice in camp to pitch a tarp or gravity filter. I second the sleeping on the IK as your bed. It is also nice as a couch and lounge. Never used the ECO SAFE boombox but I have to wonder how hard that thing is to rig up to a scat machine. I have always used a small 6" pvc tube and grab a bunch of dog shit bags from the park. Shit in the bag, tie it off, and throw er' in the tube. At the end of the trip the tube is relatively easy to clean with everything contained in bags, just dump er' at your local McDonald's The groover wrench is nice to have as well, which is covered at the self support kayaking website posted above. As far as ash container goes you could always use a small ammo can or bucket.
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Old 03-20-2014   #8
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
If you're going where there are plenty of trees, use a hammock for sleeping. Super comfy & packs small. Thermarest pad in the hammock, a sleeping bag, and a light weight tarp and you're good. You can always pitch the tarp with your paddles & go to ground if need be.
"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love....and then we return home."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
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Old 03-21-2014   #9
Cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 137
My Tomcat goes by another name - my Sleep-Number Bed. Use Canyon Cooler type icechests to store the cold goods with frozen gallon water jugs as your cold source. Keep beer in a laundry net or a mesh gear bag, and let the river keep it cool. Since I'm starting to go the direction of the paddle cat, will have to invest in a Paco Pad, which doubles as additional insulation on the top of the icechest.

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