Taking a Guitar on the river - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-10-2017   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
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Taking a Guitar on the river

I am by no means a guitarist.... I am guitarish. But playing around camp just has an allure. For both sentimental and practical reasons I don't want to take my trusty Washburn camping/rafting, but I do want to bring a guitar. Perusing online ads, cheap guitars are plentiful. I found a perfect dry bag at a garage sale (I don't plan to strap the guitar caseless to the top of the gear pile like the guy in the classic photo). What I want to know is: under the conditions of rafting (and car camping) 1) Do I need a heavy guitar case or will chipboard do? Also, I have a steel string guitar and my mom's old 60's classical Yamaha guitar (also not coming for sentimental reasons), 2) Will a classical guitar (nylon strings) handle the conditions better than a steel string with much higher string tension? I am guitarish, so I don't have a strong preference between the two styles.

P.S. I found some makers of carbon fiber guitars that don't care about the wet and weather, I will gladly recreate the old photo if someone would like to donate the carbon fiber guitar ~ I mean, what's $1,000 among friends? We are friends, right?

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Old 06-10-2017   #2
 
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Nederland, Co. nearest town., Either grace or kerfuffled
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hey aspiring musician,

I am a professional musician (keyboards) been playing for FT or PT living since 1988; except when on the river...I am also a professional river guide (retired in 2005 after 20+ years from AZ to Idaho & everything in between.
I've had a beautiful sunburst accoustic Ibanez guitar since 1980...I found some old harmony guitar in pawn shop for a river guitar. Everytime I got off the river (I didn't often take it on working trips, customers would expect free entertainment after working 19 hour day)....Anyways, my Ibanez sat in my livingroom on a guitar stand, looking beautiful, not a scratch, super easy to play, great action....And I heard a song by a street singer one day...:The chorus went something like, "...give me a couch, a beautiful couch, thats covered in plastic, and too nice to sit on, its worthless to me."

I started taking my ibanez, in hardshell case (yes you want a hardshell case, because gear loading un loading, people tripping around camp, etc. you will get whatever you bring smashed if not in hardshell case. Don't need a flight case.) Well 20 years later, I have given old pawn shop guitar away, my ibanez has thousands of river miles...sand from every river trip, been in one flip on grand canyon, (only slightly damp inside case inside guitar bag) and sounds prettier than any guitar I've ever played. I can only play 6 cords at end of neck, but I got musician ear, and there's thousands of folk tunes with those same cords. Someday they'll come up with a boat piano.... Not one regret, even if something ever happened to guitar.
One thing living on the river teaches you (1 trip, or 20 years) is all the crap we acquire that I never, ever miss when I'm on the river. I have tousands of vinyl albums (I'm 51) and everytime I'm rowing a trip, I think about those albums, selling on ebay after I transfer to CD, as 9insurance is not gonna pay me what they're worth should house ever burn down.

Last summer, there was huge fire near Nederalnd, where I live, and I was in "pre-evac" status for a week. As soon as I found out, I looked around my house, ctacked up 3 cat carriers, a bin full of irreplacalbe photos and cassettes recorded over years with bands...
you been on river trips...the hardest decision (most of the time) is what shorts or swimsuit to wear...All the 'stuff' we accumulate doesn't matter.

"Why ask why? In the end, only love remains..." JJ aka WT cpyrite 2006)
PS: If your washburn is in a hardshell case, you can always put your river guitar in that case and take on trips...Thats what I did, until I got sick of looking at this gorgeous guitar I never played. Remember, wood instruments of any kind really physically do sound amazingly better the more they are played. Its the sonic vibrations in the wood (and god knows what else that humans, with our limited senses, are aware of.) I only wish people would stop bringing "sirious' satellite radio on river trips. Hears to beautiful acoustic music,, reverberating through the canyon walls.
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Old 06-10-2017   #3
 
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One more thing. You can get a sweet gbuitar, hardshell case and guitar bag for less than $1000.00. As long as its a decent hardshellcase, and you cinch up guitar bag properly and everythings tied down, like I said, my guitar was in a spectacular flip in Hermit Rapids at about 28K in grand canyon, on my first Grand Trip as a licensed guide, and it didn't get wet. Also, do not rig on floor of boat, even standing up. When water washes in boat, takes a while to drain out of SB...if there is a leak (which all dry bags get pinholes eventually, you don't want guitar sitting in bag in standing water. Just remember, there's no such thing as a completely waterproof drybag, but how often has your stuff ever got wet? (If properly sealed?) Play your washburn. It will reward you in ways only music can translate!
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Old 06-10-2017   #4
 
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Nederland, Co. nearest town., Either grace or kerfuffled
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No carbon fiber! Not necessary! Buy hardshell for washburn, use it for river guitar, or go buy hardshell at pawn shop. The biggest pain in the butt is loading, unloading rigging, boatwalking, when someone says, please don't toss this on beach..its breakable.
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Old 06-10-2017   #5
lol, cracks me up
 
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Blueball, Arkansas
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guitar bringing

It didn't work out so well for Drew!
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Who's pick'n the banjo here?
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Old 06-10-2017   #6
 
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Who's Drew?
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Old 06-10-2017   #7
 
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And where's blueball arkansas? Closer to Pineview, the numbers, or the gorge at 4k?
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Old 06-10-2017   #8
 
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And how the f*^k old ARE YOU? 2017-76+=140 years old? You have any issues with reliable groover schedule at that age?
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Old 06-10-2017   #9
 
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Lets try that again. 2017-76+ 1941 years old....Those grooves must be awful deep!
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Old 06-11-2017   #10
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Thanks for the reply, Jungle Jane. So steel string guitars handle the heat and other conditions of a dry bag just fine. I'll have to start looking for a full size hard case. I wouldn't pay 1k for a guitar, carbon fiber or otherwise, but I'd play it if someone gave it to me. My price range is more like $50 (guitarish).

Anyone else with guitar packing experience is welcome to chime in.

And for the record, I don't know who Drew is either, but I want to know what happened to his guitar.
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