Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
BCG Holiday Sale
Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Stay Healthy--Eat Well


Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals


Natural High


Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#189581 - 03/08/15 10:37 PM SAFETY GEAR!!!!
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Someone very near and dear to me eek fell out of a kayak into a cold winter river shocked today, while basically diving for my friends $300 glasses that just fell in. Of course my camera was in my pocket and got soaked - more on that later. Well anyway my kayak girlfriend is moving to Alaska tomorrow so we went for a last hour and a half paddle on the Deschutes River here in Central Oregon, with snow along the bank in places, but not much current as the dam isn't letting any water out now, otherwise it might have been far worse. So Karen had teased me about my unfashionable kayak gear so I wore a pair of cotton sweat pants, a tee shirt, a thin jacket and Sorel boots.
My wet suit top and my kayak jacket and my goretex pants were in the back of the truck along with my helmet and the skirt for my kayak crazy . My life jacket was behind my seat. frown There was no leash on my paddle that floated away, no flotation in my kayak that inverted and nearly sank then filled with mud later when I tried to drag it out of the river. It had so much mud in it that the mud had to be removed so it would float. Meanwhile the mud at the rivers edge that I was standing on was frozen on top but deep and soft if I broke through. Did I mention abandoning my kayak and holding onto the rear of Karens and kicking while she paddled toward the shore. She then caught my kayak but it took all her strength to get it to land 200 yards down stream. I of course had to walk down to it, pull it out and re-float it. Its a good thing I am in excellent shape.
So anyway I had no gloves, life vest, water proof bag, zip lock for wallet or camera, paddle leash, kayak skirt, kayak jacket, wet suit pants, neoprene booties, no leashes on our glasses, no flotation in the ends of the boat, and no emergency or survival gear. Fortunately it ws 65 degrees out, not sure of the river water - maybe 45.

Reminds me that the only time I ever got hit by a rock climbing, my helmet was safely in the back of my truck 500 feet below me.
Jim goodjob
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

#189583 - 03/09/15 12:44 AM Re: SAFETY GEAR!!!! [Re: Jimshaw]
AdventureMyk Offline

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
The good news is that you are alive and here to remind others what can happen. I'm in east Tennessee and live above a river. I was tempted to take my kayaks out since today is the first day it's hit 60's in nearly a month. The lake only thawed out 3 days or so ago amid another snowstorm. As tempted as I was to take out the kayaks I realize that I don't have any good coldwater gear. The air might be in the 60's but that water was barely above 30 and the bulk of where I'd be paddling has no signs of civilization. If I was paddling alone and something caused me to flip... Yeah, not worth it.

Glad you made it out okay and thanks for the reminder about the right gear.

#189588 - 03/09/15 12:33 PM Re: SAFETY GEAR!!!! [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Jim, I'm happy that you came out of this alive and well and able to remind us about these important safety precautions!

With "west side" (i.e. west of the Cascades) temps getting up to the 70s already, people are already getting out on the water which is still, of course. extremely cold!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#189592 - 03/09/15 03:35 PM Re: SAFETY GEAR!!!! [Re: Jimshaw]
aimless Online   content

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2880
Loc: Portland, OR
It seems like every year in Oregon or Washington someone dies from jumping into a river on a warm day in late spring, simply because the snowmelt water was so cold it paralyzed their muscles and they drowned.

#189595 - 03/09/15 11:21 PM Re: SAFETY GEAR!!!! [Re: aimless]
AdventureMyk Offline

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Yep, system-shock into instant cramps, brain freeze, your muscles pretty much lock up and you're done. Takes only a few seconds for it to happen.

#198566 - 06/24/17 09:07 PM Re: SAFETY GEAR!!!! [Re: Jimshaw]
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Well I gave my friends such a lecture on safety one day and tried to make them get out and back into their kayaks near shore of an icey lake but no one wanted to and I think maybe thats why they had their life jackets on when they hit an waterfall and lost the boats out from under them, the boats were sucked under and my friends managed to get out just before the falls.

The camera spent 5 minutes in the river and I opened it up, removed the battery and let it dry out for a week. It works perfectly still. Which is to say that water is used in the manufacturing process of electronics gear, as long as the power is off, fresh water should not hurt electronics equipment.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Cheap Shoes
by 4evrplan
02/02/18 05:51 PM
Rain/wind jackets
by Barefoot Friar
01/24/18 11:44 AM
Is Colombia still making hiking shoes??
by steve-in-kville
01/16/18 03:23 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Sawtooths or Medicine Bow, Wyoming
by toddfw2003
02/06/18 09:35 AM
Backpacking musicians! I need your help!
by Yellowmusic
02/05/18 06:02 PM
Value in lightening loads - a Defense Pespective
by Steadman
01/30/18 09:53 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
I Made Bamboo Trekking Poles
by 4evrplan
01/17/18 12:36 PM
36-gram butane canister with Lindal valve
by 41253
12/23/17 07:04 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 35 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
pikameep, SingingSabre, Softband, mountainman, merbnz
12511 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker &