Kayaking - Nose Plugs - Yes or No - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-10-2010   #1
GearDog's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Kayaking - Nose Plugs - Yes or No

Believe it or not this is a serious post, so Caspermike need not reply.

I am curious how many Class 4 and above kayakers wear nose plugs. For the ones that do, have you ever had them torn off while attempting to roll thus making the situation worse...ie now your upside down without nose plugs when your typically used to having them on. I've heard it stated that it's better to get used to not having them, then they can never get torn away.

Lastly for those of you that swear by using nose plugs, what is the best one to purchase?

Thanks in advance, Lenny.

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Old 10-10-2010   #2
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Hello I just wanted to let you know about my story. I caught Bacterial Minigitis Kayaking without noseplugs in 2006! Went though my sinus cavity. Was in a coma for 2 1/2 months Now I wear plugs no matter what my bill was 178,000 I paid 14.00 for my nose plugs
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Old 10-10-2010   #3
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Originally Posted by timberman View Post
Hello I just wanted to let you know about my story. I caught Bacterial Minigitis Kayaking without noseplugs in 2006! Went though my sinus cavity. Was in a coma for 2 1/2 months Now I wear plugs no matter what my bill was 178,000 I paid 14.00 for my nose plugs
Damn man that sucks. What river were you in. Don't they have a vaccine for that now.
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Old 10-10-2010   #4
pnw, Colorado
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Nose plugs are essential to me.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 10-10-2010   #5
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the only time i have had mine come off was after a to-steep entry seal launching off the 15 footer on brown's... i didn't even know they were off till after i rolled up.

see i had no smart comments... ain't ya proud o me?
"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 10-10-2010   #6
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I've lost my nose plugs a few times but that was mostly while surfing and getting window shaded. Cheap and effective. I can't imagine there's a single nose plug using paddler out there who has always remembered their plugs before a flip or have never had them come off for one reason or another. If flipping without plugs is distracting to you or you're afraid that using nose plugs isn't reliable then get used to it through practice. Scuba divers practice breathing without masks because a flooded nose effects your breathing response. And just like kayaking, divers practice adversity drills in the event of a problem. No reason to not use them for lack of practice.

I use this kind Squeeze Nose Clips as they last a whole lot longer. That said, I think the flexible metal kind stay on a lot better in stronger current.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 10-10-2010   #7
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I never wear nose plugs, I just think that it makes it harder to breath when you really need to breathing well (getting chundered or just running a long series of rapids. I used to wear them but realized when I really was getting worked they came off anyways, I never really get nose douches anymore, I'm not sure if I just close my nostrils or what but I think in time you will learn to boat without them. Just remember "my nose plugs came off" should never be used as an excuse for swimming.
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Old 10-10-2010   #8
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I always wear them but only because I get bad sinus pain if I don't. If you freak out when they get ripped off (they do get ripped off) you probably shouldn't use them. If the water doesn't bother your sinuses then enjoy the smell of the river.
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Old 10-10-2010   #9
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Off the top of my head I can't think of a single boater that consistently runs V+ that wears a nose plug. I'm not quite sure why that is but I suspect it has more to do with being a hard ass and being called a pussy than some functional gain.

I've been berated for wearing noseplugs creeking, but last I checked there can be big holes in creeks and I have a big target. Anyway, I boat class IV and above regularly and have never had my noseplugs come off. I've had them loosen a little bit, but that's it. I have lost multiple knives off drops and broken little waterproof wristwatches on my PFD from impact, but no noseplug causalities. I also think I'd manage just fine if I didn't have them on even with no "training".

I agree with Tom's point though that you can breath better when you're above water without the plugs on. That's the one major advantage I see to going sans plugs (and the photo ops).

I say if it doesn't bother you to go without them then don't use them. If it does, then use them when you think you might need them. I always use them playboating. Otherwise I leave them on my helmet most of the time and stick 'em on my nose if I think there's a risk of some downtime or major nasal douche.
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Old 10-10-2010   #10
Boulder, Colorado
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no plugs

I don't use noseplugs when I am creeking, because I usually don't roll more than once or twice, usually. But I am kind of a pussy and don't really push myself that hard. However, I always make sure that my ears are covered, either by a skull cap, my helmet, or with earplugs. I think taking a cold slap of water to the ear is worse than getting a nasal douche. I do wear noseplugs when playboating though, because I am usually rolling twenty times in a row, and flailing around (I really suck at playboating). If I roll more than a couple of times without noseplugs I will have sinus problems for at least 24 hours.

My point is, if you think you are only going to roll a couple of times in a day of boating, it is really not worth wearing noseplugs all day. But if you are going to be rolling every couple of minutes (hopefully not while doing class IV and up) then the noseplugs are probably worth it.
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