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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Yep you gotta pack for everyone and pack everything they need lol. We have two waterproof thermorest looking dog bed deals. Think they where a Costco deal? They just get straped on top of stuff and dogs ride there then go on ground at camps. I did buy a few collapsible dog bowls for food and water and their foods in a big kittie litter style jug thing. Only thing that helps is leaving stuff behind lol and going light on clothes and "stuff". My little one has a giant art box that allways makes me go "huh" but she's a crafter doodler and so it goes lol. I feel ya it's a big job . So you just gotta get a head start and get up in the dark and get er done so your a hero! Canoe barrel has been deemed the "snack barrel" works good but definitely wouldn't stand a chance against bears. Like I said iam new and each time it gets easier. Now all the gear lives in the garage in "units" . I bet I could get ready in two days of after work for a big trip short of food. We even talk about deep freezing meals in spring so we can just load up and go short notice. Seems like the only permits are cancellation ones so better get good at short notice!! Keep on keeping on and she'll be right eventually and someday you'll be taking two boats lol!
Thanks for the reply- I guess I'll skip the barrel. I emailed one of the company's that makes those and they said although not bear-proof, they have never heard of any bear taking out of theirs. I'll play on the safe side and get a bear canister or bag. (I was just reading about bear activity at May Flats on RH.) The desert topography doesn't really have trees to hang the bags from so I was looking for another (larger) option. My search shall continue.

Also kudos to you and bringing your little one's art box!! One day she'll look back fondly and really appreciate the extra effort you made in ensuring her happiness! Maybe not next trip, especially not when she's a teen, but hopefully somewhere down the road! And, maybe you'll find a frame or some tape for those beautiful drawings and keep everyone reminded of the great times spent on the river!

As for the pups, the thermorest sounds like a nice option! Since we hang out in the SW desert most frequently, I got two raised cots online so the breeze can blow up through the bottom for my fur balls.

One newbie to the next- Safe travels on your future adventures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
My 12 year-old rescue Labs were Alaska pups. They lay outside on my deck in the snow when they get bored inside, so I don't really worry all that much about blankets for them.
...they sleep on the sand wherever...but I do notice they tend to cuddle against me on my PVC pad during the night.

Like BenSlaughter said, rations for the days you'll be out plus one day. Plus some joint treats and doggy aspirin since they tend to exert more on the river than at home.
View attachment 70339

View attachment 70340

My little alarm systems alerted me to a bear in camp on Sat night!
Your pups look like they have beautiful blessed souls! Wonderful to hear they are still your adventure partners! My terrier mix continued kayaking on Class II until she was 16 yr olds. We lost her last winter to liver failure. That old girl could outlast anyone in this family, plus she was happy at the launch ramps be it 30 minutes or two hours! Although being small and older, Santa brought her the snowsuit type doggie coat a few years ago- thicker than a human coat. We also carried the bottle of CBD with to take away any aches or pains, plus it was great to use for the humans too. Now we have these two new rambunctious rescues that are still learning the ropes, and how to cope with stressed out humans at the launch ramp.

P.S. Extra treats and belly rubs for alerting you to bears in the camp!
 
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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Your post brings back memories for how we started doing this. Me, wife & kids (4, 5, 7) and without any rafting friends or family so on our own to figure it out. First trip was ruby horse thief & total shit show. 3+ hours to rig, fried tempers at 100+ degrees, skeeters to suck a fat man dry and stressed about making it to 1st night camp. Remember other rafters watching us and smiling. Few things we do to make it better:
  • Preassemble frame attached to trailer - pool noodles make great pads between trailer & frame. Pre-Attach Bimini and needed straps to frame where they go as much as possible
  • Dry bags pre-packed one for each person days before the trip
  • Drop bag for loose stuff
  • Minimize amount of loose stuff
  • Kids & wife assembly line gear from vehicle to beach that they can handle
  • I alone rig & one person hangs around to toss me stuff (can switch off). Kids play or eat lunch/snacks
  • Lower standards for perfectly balanced rigging if there are only class II or mild III for the first day. Throw crap in the boat, secure it with a net and get going. Nothing like being on the water to calm things down. Can fine tune the rigging the next morning with a lot less stress.
  • Find a good division of labor for on the river. Kids & wife lug, set up & take down tent and everything in it while I do the kitchen, cook & clean up. Nobody back seat drives.
  • Don’t bring every damn thing we own for contingency reasons. Bring what’s needed and make do.
I'm glad I'm not alone rigging for 3 hrs- at least for the first couple times. No mosquitos when we went to RH a week ago, but bees and more bees. I got a nice souvenir to take home as I couldn't scrape out or pluck on the stupid stinger. I can checkmark the 1st two of your bullets after that it is a work in progress. Thank you for your tips! It sounds like you and your family have it worked out!
 

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Just found this post, and haven't been able to read all the way through yet, so forgive me if I say something that already came up. One thing that I think would help is for both of you to adjust your expectations. Once you show up, get your mind on river time, where it doesn't matter so much.

Another trick my wife and I figured out is that we don't ever state a desired departure or arrival time. We used to, but we found that put a lot of undue pressure on both of us, which lead to those types of arguments. Once we figured that out, we realized we don't have a lot of control over departure times, but we do have control over the time we start getting ready. So, now we'll state the time we are going to start getting our day ready, then accept that we will leave or be on the water whenever the work is done that gets us there. That simple change in mindset has made the work much easier, more relaxed, and has enabled us to become more efficient.
 

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Any thoughts on too much or too little for the pups' cargo?
We have two rescues:

A 7lb yorkie that kills prairie dogs - or did before she turned 15

A 60 lb Lab/spaniel/pit mix.

we bring dry food and they protest a day before eating since it’s not mixed with their regular wet, and a waterproof bed they share outside. They protest that too since usually they sleep in the house but they get over it.

If it’s freezing they’ll come in the tent. Short of that their job as dogs is to warn us of danger and be the first line of bear defense so we can protect our toddler.

our dogs go everywhere with us, but…they’re dogs.
 

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No mosquitos when we went to RH a week ago, but bees and more bees. I got a nice souvenir to take home as I couldn't scrape out or pluck on the stupid stinger. I can checkmark the 1st two of your bullets after that it is a work in progress.
Stung by actual bees? :(
I always feel bad to hear of a bee sting and knowing the bee died. I hope none of you have anaphylactic reactions.

I love bees. But I abhor yellow jackets. They can all die in fire. Twice.
 

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Beautiful pup! Looks like Reuben is a comfy place :)! That's wonderful that you are able to take him with on your trips...I'm sure he greatly appreciates it; even if he is a bow ornament!

Sorry I should have clarified- I take a 20 gallon bug-proof food container and pack all of my two pups edible stuff in there: food, balls, pumpkin in case one has potty problems, rawhides, emergency kit for them, and a couple of small bags of treats.
Holy schnikes, your dogs are spoiled!!!

Mine have a 1gal baggie of dry food and a couple blankets that they lay on either on the boat or ground. My male Lab chews up balls on the boat and loses them on shore, so they stay home.
Their reward is being right.by.me. and constant ear scratches and tummy rubs for an entire weekend. :)
 

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Thanks for the reply- I guess I'll skip the barrel. I emailed one of the company's that makes those and they said although not bear-proof, they have never heard of any bear taking out of theirs. I'll play on the safe side and get a bear canister or bag. (I was just reading about bear activity at May Flats on RH.) The desert topography doesn't really have trees to hang the bags from so I was looking for another (larger) option. My search shall continue.
Bear activity is up in general right now...bears are entering hyperphagia and looking for mass calories before they den up for the winter.
 

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I have been That Guy. I know where I want everything on my boat, I know what size strap is needed in each spot. I spend hours staring at my boat, imagining how to achieve a tighter rig. Some times, I guess I have been rude...

When I finally look up and say, 'Ok, all aboard!' they are often looking at me like they just watched me strangle a bunny.
 

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Then I have to admit to having been the other That Guy.

I know where I want everything on the boat, but it's a personal race to be all packed, strapped, and lids closed, with a beer in my hand, ready to push off when everyone else is still pulling their hair out.
I may or may not have uttered the words "Gotta tell you: your dad's shit's dialed." followed by my daughter looking at me like I just strangled a bunny.
 

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Class I or II - even III a ways out - and including the Grand up to the "serious" rapids, throw that stuff on and rig while you row. Only downside is losing a few strokes to
others who may be a bit more "ready." Everybody piles up to look at anything "serious." Strap while you float, drink while you strap...
 

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I'm glad I'm not alone rigging for 3 hrs- at least for the first couple times. No mosquitos when we went to RH a week ago, but bees and more bees. I got a nice souvenir to take home as I couldn't scrape out or pluck on the stupid stinger. I can checkmark the 1st two of your bullets after that it is a work in progress. Thank you for your tips! It sounds like you and your family have it worked out!
We’re more efficient now for sure; about an hour to hour and a half depending on the ramp - like you, we have to inflate the raft on site. A change in my attitude and being more calm with the fam as well and making travel plans to arrive earlier (day before if possible) have been just as important as an increase in efficiency on the ramp.

2nd on the everything and cascade river bags. Another option for now is the nrs cargo net over the crap in the back of the boat. Having a single 15’ strap that runs through all the D rings and ties the net down around the rear of the raft and a 9’ strap to connect the ends of the 15’ across the raft near your seat works loads better/faster than separately securing the net to each D ring with different straps for each attachment point.
 

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2nd on the everything and cascade river bags. Another option for now is the nrs cargo net over the crap in the back of the boat. Having a single 15’ strap that runs through all the D rings and ties the net down around the rear of the raft and a 9’ strap to connect the ends of the 15’ across the raft near your seat works loads better/faster than separately securing the net to each D ring with different straps for each attachment point.

I am planning to add a bag to my kit really soon. Until then, my load is pretty secure and fairly easy to load after I figure out how to pack it the first day. Generally gets easier after the initial rig. Load varies depending on how many people and what gear we have to divvy up. I bought my boat as a lightly-used 17-year-old model. It came with some accessories including an NRS cargo platform (kind of a soft beaver board), a heavy duty net bag thingy and an NRS cargo net or equivalent. The big bag thing goes on the floor, and the load gets put in. I cinch up the bag and run a strap through it like a web to keep all the contents in. But it's not attached to the boat. The cargo net goes over the top. I attach a strap to the bar of the dry box I sit on with a girth hitch and another on the stern tube. The free end of one goes around one side and gets weaved through both the cargo net and the net bag as well as the D-rings. It gets secured to the buckle on the other end. Other side of boat gets the other strap. Passenger can help with one side. Then I run one more strap over the top. Belt and suspenders. And another belt. It's pretty secure, and it's not hard to rig, but it's a LOT longer to secure than an everything bag.

One of my GC trips a couple friends brought their 16' SOTAR; the rest of the rafts were 16' or 18' NRS boats rented from Ceiba. The couple who brought their own boat had an everything bag. The rest of us just had a lot of straps. My ex would get upset with them because they would be rigged first every day. We could have been just as fast if we had brought an everything bag.

Still not a fan of Barney Bags. I worry the zipper will fail from silt/sand/grit. They also don't have drain holes, so if they DO take on water.... Heavy.

My ex used to get upset at a couple friends who DID have an everything bag and were done rigging while everyone else was still loading.
 

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One of my GC trips a couple friends brought their 16' SOTAR; the rest of the rafts were 16' or 18' NRS boats rented from Ceiba. The couple who brought their own boat had an everything bag. The rest of us just had a lot of straps. My ex would get upset with them because they would be rigged first every day. We could have been just as fast if we had brought an everything bag.

My ex used to get upset at a couple friends who DID have an everything bag and were done rigging while everyone else was still loading.
Well, good thing she's your ex now!! or was that the cause??! haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Just found this post, and haven't been able to read all the way through yet, so forgive me if I say something that already came up. One thing that I think would help is for both of you to adjust your expectations. Once you show up, get your mind on river time, where it doesn't matter so much.

Another trick my wife and I figured out is that we don't ever state a desired departure or arrival time. We used to, but we found that put a lot of undue pressure on both of us, which lead to those types of arguments. Once we figured that out, we realized we don't have a lot of control over departure times, but we do have control over the time we start getting ready. So, now we'll state the time we are going to start getting our day ready, then accept that we will leave or be on the water whenever the work is done that gets us there. That simple change in mindset has made the work much easier, more relaxed, and has enabled us to become more efficient.
Thank you for you optimism in getting out there! One small problem in my household, I am a morning person- like crack of daylight or before and my spouse is a night person- doesn't like to/ they claim mentally ? unable to before 2am. I will definitely take your tip on mindset and see if we can work around what we do have control over!
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
I am planning to add a bag to my kit really soon. Until then, my load is pretty secure and fairly easy to load after I figure out how to pack it the first day. Generally gets easier after the initial rig. Load varies depending on how many people and what gear we have to divvy up. I bought my boat as a lightly-used 17-year-old model. It came with some accessories including an NRS cargo platform (kind of a soft beaver board), a heavy duty net bag thingy and an NRS cargo net or equivalent. The big bag thing goes on the floor, and the load gets put in. I cinch up the bag and run a strap through it like a web to keep all the contents in. But it's not attached to the boat. The cargo net goes over the top. I attach a strap to the bar of the dry box I sit on with a girth hitch and another on the stern tube. The free end of one goes around one side and gets weaved through both the cargo net and the net bag as well as the D-rings. It gets secured to the buckle on the other end. Other side of boat gets the other strap. Passenger can help with one side. Then I run one more strap over the top. Belt and suspenders. And another belt. It's pretty secure, and it's not hard to rig, but it's a LOT longer to secure than an everything bag.

One of my GC trips a couple friends brought their 16' SOTAR; the rest of the rafts were 16' or 18' NRS boats rented from Ceiba. The couple who brought their own boat had an everything bag. The rest of us just had a lot of straps. My ex would get upset with them because they would be rigged first every day. We could have been just as fast if we had brought an everything bag.

Still not a fan of Barney Bags. I worry the zipper will fail from silt/sand/grit. They also don't have drain holes, so if they DO take on water.... Heavy.

My ex used to get upset at a couple friends who DID have an everything bag and were done rigging while everyone else was still loading.
Thanks for the visual walk through on how you tie it to the raft!

And, I agree with your zipper thoughts- out here in the SW everything is silt and sand.

As for your ex, I tell my spouse if you don't like something, do something about it- I'm willing to try out anything at least once. I love their input and value the slim possibility that they actually want to be on this trip as much as myself. God knows, being on a raft with someone pissed at you is no fun!
 
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Your dogs definitely have it better than mine! 😀
I have a pad for Reuben, and food. I've been contemplating getting him a little tent for inclimate weather, but he's happy to sleep on a pad by my pillow, most nights.
I quit taking tennis balls after he lost a couple, so it's just driftwood sticks for fetching fodder.
20# of food seems excessive. I just portion it out based on days we'll be gone, plus some for contingency. I keep it in a 3 gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid. His bowl gets used to rinse the sand out of my boat in the morning.

He's the best friend I've got. Has been on every overnight trip I've done, save for the high water MF\Main trip I did a few years ago. View attachment 70335
Oh, and his CFD. Although he typically doesn't wear it much.
How many coolers do you carry? Three in this pic....not trying to sidetrack just noticing....
 

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How many coolers do you carry? Three in this pic....not trying to sidetrack just noticing....
He's never been known to run out of beer
; )
Best thing the wife and I did was buy a nice rafting trailer w slick deck and roller, so +10 on that. We're fully loaded and strapped from home to put in and the 2 of us can push the pig off. It all came about when we switched up our setup to kitchen dbox, big dbox, and rtic145. We simply couldn't lift the fully loaded 145. Huge marriage & time saver and we don't mind derigging at take out. Of course this assumes back up access at put in and room to store at home
 
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