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earlier burfling | later burfling

Tippy canoes, and kayaks too!

Just got back a little while ago from my church's annual canoe and camping trip. Every year, a bunch of us drive up to Cambridge, NY and spend a couple of nights camped on the Battenkill River. Saturday, the campground outfitter rents us a bunch of canoes and kayaks and drives us upstream to Arlington, VT; then we spend the day floating down the Battenkill (with random stops for swimming, snacking, retrieving tipped-over boats, checking out covered bridges, skipping rocks, watching local wildlife, and otherwise having fun). Saturday evening is our communal cookout, campfire singalong and all-around good time; Sunday, folks pack up at varying paces and head back to the workaday world.

This was my third time with the church and my first time with a rented kayak. I think I'll try sticking with the canoes; they're easier to get in and out of when you misread the river and get stuck in the shallows. On the other hand, it was particularly nice to have the boat to myself; I could actually sit still and hear the river change as it got shallower or deeper.

Some helpful hints if you've never done something like this before:
  • Tie everything to the boat. If something isn't physically tied to the boat, you will tip and it will float merrily downstream.
  • Dry bags are good things to have.
  • Sunscreen is important too, especially when you're breaking camp and you don't think you need it..
  • Even if you think you look dorky wearing a Type III PFD, wear it. If nothing else, you can float over shallow rocks without whacking yourself on the sitzplatz.

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