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Survival Article Contest !! Maxpedition Monsoon GearSlinger

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  • #16
    Awesome writeups Echo2!! Can't wait to see the completed rocket stove. I've wanted to build on of those for a while now.
    The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.


    • #17
      Originally posted by slowz1k View Post
      Awesome writeups Echo2!! Can't wait to see the completed rocket stove. I've wanted to build on of those for a while now.
      soon...very soon....:)
      Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


      • #18
        Echo, I second the garage sale idea! Another good place is Church thrift stores. I recently aquired a Wenzell -15 mummy bag, An Opinel #8 knife, 10" and 12" Cast iron skillet, two pairs of Goretex Boots, a Eureka Sunrise 8man Tent, and two coleman coolers, all for under $60.00! The tent alone can't be had for under $200.oo new, sleeping bag is probably $50.00, Boots $100.00 per pair, OPinel around $15.00, Coolers $50.00 each(conservative)and the Skillets (Lodge) $80-$100 each. So I paid around 10% of retail today! Pretty awesome.


        • #19
          cool....everyone else just keep it to them selves until after Aug 1.....
          Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


          • #20
            THIS IS A DRAFT....and the pics are crummy due to the fact I forgot my camera today.....this is cell phone pics....I didn't want to work on the rocket stove without it.

            I'll finish it tomorrow...or the rocket stove project....:)

            How to Revamp a Chinese hatchet/hammer/prybar

            Everybody has seen one of these at some time or another. I have found them anywhere from $4 to $14 each. I found this one for $0.50 at a yardsale. I've had four or five of them over the years....and always give them away to a Scout, a Troop, or a Pack as needed...they are cheap.

            These things were basically just dipped in paint. Then some wood handles were very crudely rivieted on....and after that....the whole thing was dipped into shelac.

            So step 1 for me would be to cut the handles off. I took a slicer wheel attached to a 4.5 inch grinder and cut the rivits. It helps to have it clamped into a vice to hold secure.

            I'll warn you....this wood smells horrible when you use a friction blade on it. The rivits are just you may want to just drill it. It's really up to you....I just happened to have a grinder sitting there.

            The next phase of the revamp is to remove the paint and shelac. I tried to scrape it off and it proved to fairly tough. What ended up working is a grinder with a wire cup on it. This isn't exactly I guess you could burn it off.

            I then cleaned with acetone and hung up on a wire. The paint I used was old....but I guess it will work. I put 2 coats on it and let it dry for 24 hours. This is OD green...That way if I drop it in the woods...I'll never find it LOL...I'll have to put a blaze color laynard on it.

            Upon looking at my selection of paracord....I chose a camo pattern.

            That's all I got so far...
            Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


            • #21
              Just for the record Echo is killing u guys :p

              The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)


              • #22
                How to Revamp a Chinese hatchet/hammer/pry-bar

                Everybody has seen one of these at some time or another. I have found them anywhere from $4 to $14 each. I found this one for $0.50 at a yard sale. I've had four or five of them over the years....and always give them away to a Scout, a Troop, or a Pack as needed...they are cheap.

                These things were basically just dipped in paint. Then some wood handles were very crudely riveted on....and after that....the whole thing was dipped into shelac.

                So step 1 for me would be to cut the handles off. I took a slicer wheel attached to a 4.5 inch grinder and cut the rivets. It helps to have it clamped into a vice to hold secure.

                I'll warn you....this wood smells horrible when you use a friction blade on it. The rivets are just you may want to just drill it. It's really up to you....I just happened to have a grinder sitting there.

                The next phase of the revamp is to remove the paint and shellac. I tried to scrape it off and it proved to fairly tough. What ended up working is a grinder with a wire cup on it. This isn't exactly I guess you could burn it off.

                After a trip to my belt sander to sharpen....I cleaned with acetone and hung up on a wire. The paint I used was old....but I guess it will work. I put 2 coats on it and let it dry for 24 hours. This is OD green...That way if I drop it in the woods...I'll never find it LOL...I'll have to put a blaze color lanyard on it.

                In this view....I chose to drill a few extra holes for various wrapping techniques. There are two for the factory rivets...but they are too close in to work.

                When Trying to decide what type of wrap to put on came to mind that is a simple tool.....and I would have absolutely no issues pulling the para-cord off if I needed it for something else. There are many tutorials on handle wrapping on youtube.....and just as many styles. I stuck with a basic wrap...and sealed with a lighter.

                This is now a tool that will end up in my camp box....and it just looks a bit cooler than the norm. I still may put a bright lanyard on it before I loose it in the woods...or in the field....then finding it with a brush hog. All and all....I have about $1.00 in to it and 1/2 an hours time....and I won't hesitate to give it to a Scout Troop in need. I always carry my Est Wing roofers hatchet with me camping anyway...:)

                Thanks for reading.

                Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


                • #23
                  Guess what....the little "Edit Post" option goes away when the page flips to the next.

                  If you want to send that one into the nether world D.....feel free.

                  I went in there to show the wife the hatchet....she hefted it....swung it a few times...then said "thanks".....I haven't seen it since....:(......:)....

         least a Den Leader got it....:)
                  Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


                  • #24
                    Canoes in SHFT, the basics.

                    I was asked to finish up my canoe thread and post it as an article so here it is, hopefully complete. enjoy

                    There might come a time where you will need to take to the water, to escape flooding, to fish, to scavenge, even up to bugging out in the event of a major event. There are as many ways to travel on the water as there are types of automobiles, but in my opinion Canoes offers the most advantages. So for this article Ill stick with canoes, and share some of the basics with you.

                    A canoe can be used to bug out if the roads are flooded, destroyed or jammed, it can , depending on the type, carry an impressive amount of gear and supplies. Its quiet, it requires no fuel. It can be used to forage for food, scout or trade or for just pure pleasure.

                    the Mississippi watershed, the largest water highway in the United states.

                    Here in North America rivers were once the highway of the continent, its possible to put in at Chattanooga and paddle to St. Louis, or into Utah, or up into Minnasota, or as far south as New Orleans.. Most major river ways in the US join into the Mississippi river at some point. It is possible to reach almost half of the country by water interconnected water routes. Native Americans of many tribes used the canoe for transportation, allowing them to travel great distances in less time than they could on foot and avoiding many dangers they would have other wised faced. This type of travel also greatly increased their travel ranges, since they used the myriad of waterways that covered the land, and the abundance of food available along the creeks and rivers kept them fed.

                    It didn’t take long for the Europeans to adopt the same form of transportation, when they saw the advantages of being able to move quickly , carry heavy loads, and were able to easily traverse waters to shallow for any craft Europeans were used to.

                    In 1883 American canoe association Sec. Chealres Neide and a friend took a 3,000 mile trip from Lake George, New York to Pensacola Florida.

                    In 1930 Eric Sevareid and a from paddled from Minnesota to the Hudson bay.

                    George Sears,64, in 1883 took a 266 mile paddle trip through the Central Adirondacks in a nine foot solo canoe. George was a sportswriter for Forest and stream magazine. And wrote a book over his trip called “Wood Craft” in 1884.

                    Over the years many have retraced the routes of the old fur trappers and explorer’s. One such was Verlen Kruger, who founded Kruger canoes, how paddled 28000 miles on one of his adventures. Mr. Kruger passed away a few years ago, but was one of the Last great and true Adventurers.

                    The Canoe.

                    A canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, some can have a deck, making it much like a kayak but with a lot of space for gear. The fact that most canoes only pull six to eight inches of water allows them to cross areas other water craft can not go.

                    The canoe is propelled by the use of paddles, usually by two people. Paddlers face in the direction of travel, either seated on supports in the hull, or kneeling directly upon the hull. Paddles may be single-bladed or double-bladed.

                    The oldest recovered canoe in the world is the canoe of Pesse in the Netherlands. Constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC.

                    Parts of a canoe
                    The parts of a canoe provided for your viewing pleasure supplied by the wiki.

                    1. Bow
                    2. Stern
                    3. Hull
                    4. Seat (whitewater canoes may have a foam 'saddle' in place of a seat)
                    5. Thwart – a horizontal crossbeam near the top of the hull used to increase hull strength. Often serves the secondary purpose of providing a lashing point to secure dry bags and other gear.
                    6. Gunwale (pronounced gunnel) – the reinforcing strip running along the top edge of the hull to which the thwart(s) are attached, usually made of wood, aluminum, or polyester
                    7. Deck (under which a flotation compartment or foam block may be located that prevents the canoe from sinking if capsized or swamped)

                    Optional features in modern canoes (not shown in diagram):
                    Yoke – a thwart at or near the center of the boat intended to allow one person to carry the canoe, often molded to the shape of the shoulders. The yoke is often positioned slightly ahead of the boat's centre of gravity so the bow tips slightly up when being portaged, allowing the carrier to see where they are going.
                    Keel – a structural element that runs along the bottom of the canoe's hull, from the bow to the stern, serving as the foundation or spine of its structure and, depending on its depth, providing some directional control and stability.
                    Flotation bags - Large inflatable air bags, usually sized to completely fill the space between 2 thwarts or a thwart and seat, and held in place by nylon netting secured to the gunwale, used to increase buoyancy and prevent swamping (by reducing the boat's internal volume) in whitewater
                    Spraydeck or spray cover – a cover to prevent water from entering the canoe
                    Painter ring – ring used to attach "painters" (ropes) to the canoe for "lining" (walking) the canoe or tying up
                    Skid plate – piece of Kevlar glued to the bottom of the canoe for protection against abrasion from rocks and the like
                    The portion of the hull between the waterline and the top of the gunwale is called the freeboard.” [1]

                    Types of canoes and their uses.

                    Expedition Canoes

                    Intended for long trips and heavy loads, these massive canoes are often powered by more than two paddlers and are occasionally fitted with a spray skirt. Design characteristics, such as moderate rocker and increased bow depth, make them a very dry ride, even in open water with rougher conditions. Typically 18'-20' in length, they are capable of hauling more weight than canoes in other categories. Unlike smaller canoes, these paddle best when weighted to compensate for the high amount of displacement and depth.

                    Wilderness Tripping Canoes

                    These canoes generally have increased carrying capacity for the big loads required by two to three paddlers on trail for weeks at a time. Solo or tandem, these canoes typically range from 15'-18' in length and are designed to be stable and efficient to paddle. A canoe's specific design features will be your ultimate guide to selecting the appropriate canoe—for the most efficient paddling, the highest capacity, for portaging and paddling lake to lake or for running big rivers.

                    River Tripping

                    Specifically designed to handle fast-moving rivers and streams, these solo and tandem canoes range in length from 15'-17'. Typically, hulls are designed without keels and are symmetrical from end to end, with rounded, shallow-vee, or flat bottoms, and feature flared sides, and generous depth. But the most distinguishing characteristic should be the generous rocker found on each end. In perfect combination, these design features will provide the maximum maneuverability for making quick turns, moving laterally to avoid rocks and ledges, and will soften the effect of crossing sharp eddy lines.


                    Designed to be steady, maneuverable and easy to control. These canoes are typically designed with proportions shorter in length (13'-16') and greater in width (over 36"). These canoes are popular for fishing, and although capable of overnight trips, they are best suited for two to three paddlers and for day trips on calm waters. Often referred to as a ‘cabin’ or ‘city lake’ canoes.

                    a "touring canoe" is a straight tracking boat good for wind blown lakes etc. A "tripping canoe" has a large gear capacity for wilderness river trips and is designed for better maneuverability on whitewater rivers. They are often made of light materials and built for comfort and cargo space.

                    Prospector canoe or Chestnut model, a popular type of tripping canoe that is recognized by its symmetrical hull and a large amount of rocker; giving it good balance for wilderness tripping, and the ability to carry large amounts of gear while being maneuverable enough for whitewater.

                    If your interested in building your own canoe, there are lots of sources and books. But here is one.

                    A documentary on how to build a bark canoe
                    Cesars how to build a bark canoe (video)


                    Gear to Carry

                    Throw ropes, coiled, bagged and secured, a bailer, a knife on your person ( a must), . A life vest, First aid Kit and essential gear bag strapped down.

                    Extra paddles Duct tape, Air bags or inner tubes, air bag repair kit, Dry bag repair kit, a multi tool,
                    a adjustable wrench, Dry gear bags, throw rope, Bailer and sponge, fifty to a hundred feet of rope and pulley(s). Sheath knife, Spare bolts for Thwart .
                    Compass and maps !!!! a must.

                    Spare clothes packed in dry bags. A sewing kit and extra thread, Waterproof matches in sealed container.

                    Tent or bivy gear, Carabineers, Binoculars (comes in real handy for checking out routes and rapids before you get to them.)

                    Basic to advanced survival kit, Fire starters,
                    And of course food

                    a cut-in-half Clorox bottle tied to your seat or the thwart makes a good cheap bailer

                    “ why should I have a knife on me” the simple answer is, in case you or a friend get tangled up in ropes, weeds or vines in the water, after rolling your watercraft.

                    Amount of gear that needs to be carried will vary with distance and time away from home or base camp, and by availability.

                    But never fall pray to the lighter is better attitude, not where rivers are concerned. Take advantage of the carry space and use it, if necessary take a second canoe to haul gear and supplies in.

                    One of the things Ive found that makes canoe trips better, is using the plastic storage trunks, not the tubs, you can run a bead of silcone around the lip and plug any hole to make them water resistant, then load your gear inside. The trunks can be lashed to the thwart . typically on a long trip, three or more days I carry two trunks, a cooler and my pack.

                    You can and should break your gear down into groups and pack each grouping into dry bags.

                    Another thing you can do, is to buy a set of non leather , water proof saddle bags and attach them to the rear of your seat to hold gear you want to keep close.

                    You can also use Styrofoam or water noodles attached to or placed inside or attached to your dry bags so they float or at least can mark the location if they end up in the water. Gear selection is critical to any long distance trip on a river. And always carry a Get home bag so if things go Tango Uniform you can hike out for help.

                    With enough supplies its possible in a SHTF situation to make a several week trip in a canoe.

                    A couple of links of interest

                    How to outfit for a wilderness canoe trip an online 1971 popular mechanics article.

                    how to plan a canoe trip


                    When launching your canoe, there are a couple of ways to do it, bow first, and broadside. Between the two broad side is best especially for the in experienced. Since the whole length of your canoe is grounded. Bow first can allow fast exits and easy beaching, and terrain may keep you from landing broadside. Or waves are hitting you parallel to the shore.

                    If you have to launch in the water hold the canoe from the upstream end, this keeps the canoe from swinging around as it would if you were holding it from the downstream end.

                    When you load gear balance it out, you don’t want your bow riding higher than the stern or vice versa, this makes it hard to really control the Canoe and if you get caught in rapids it can really mess up your day. (Note if your paddling solo, a lighter bow sometimes helps with control)

                    If you’re traveling with another person, one should sit in the bow, and one in the Stern. If your canoeing solo, paddle from the center position of the canoe. it gives you a greater degree of control and makes balancing out the load easier.

                    The bow paddler provides most of the power, while the stern paddler does most of the steering.

                    In canoeing, is sitting or kneeling the best way to paddle. Most every one agrees kneeling is the best way to paddle, it keeps your center of gravity lower, allows a wider range of motion and you keep more weight in direct contact with the canoe.

                    Now then your loaded and in the water and ready to go. One hand should be on the T-grip at the end of the paddle and the other one should be closer to the paddle. When paddling stroke it in close to the side.


                    So your sitting in your canoe with the paddle in your hands, and have no clue how to actually make the thing move other than a vague idea of sticking the paddle into the water and stirring. Well heres a short list of strokes, how to do them, and their uses. Don’t worry its honestly not as hard as you might think.

                    The Fore ward sweep, Is done with the paddle angled at 45 degrees from the hip and swept towards the stern. Your upper hand will be almost at your pec when the sweep is complete.

                    This stroke also creates a slight turn to the paddle side if done from the stern. And a pull to the non paddle side if done from the bow.

                    The most common steering stroke is the J stroke, and used by the stern paddler for steering as well as for forward movement. Place the paddle into the water and pull close to the hull of the canoe as you pull the paddle past your torso begin to turn the paddle out at the end of forward stroke out away from the canoe.

                    Just imagine drawing a J or reversed J in the water with the paddle. Your initial pull is the top of the J.

                    The Draw stroke is used to move the end of the boat to the paddle side. Basically the t handle of the paddle is held above the head with the torso turned sideways at the waist. The flat side of the paddle in the water will be facing the hull. Then push out the upper hand on the T handle using the lower hand as the pivot, and drawing the flat side of the paddle towards the canoe. this pulls the canoe towards the paddle. There you have it simple leverage. before the canoe hits the paddle, with the lower hand near the gunwale sweep the paddle towards the bow and out of the water. Really simple.

                    Do not just lift the paddle up and out of the water, this could lead to tip over.

                    Another way to recover when you have to make a series of rapid draw strokes is to turn the paddle about 90 degrees with the upper hand and cut the blade thru the water to the draw start position.

                    [B]The pry stroke[/B best used for rapid turns in fast water like rapids. It’s the reverse of the draw stroke. But doesn’t work as well in shallow and slow water. Place the blade of the paddle slightly under the hull of the canoe and use your lower hand as a pivot on the gunwales while pulling towards the canoe with the upper hand. Recover the paddle the same as you would for a draw stroke, turn the paddle about 90 and slice it back around to the start position.

                    Just don’t get to carried away with this stroke it can be a fast and powerful stroke and you can bend or break the shaft of your paddle on the gunwale if you use to much force.

                    And Ill resort to a source for the last couple I want to include.

                    “ The cross-bow draw is done only from the bow. Without changing the position of the hands on the shaft, swing the blade of the paddle all the way across the bow to the opposite side of the canoe by rotating the torso at the hips as far as possible. Do not cross arms. The upper hand is kept close to the hip with the elbow at the side. With the lower arm fully extended, insert the blade in the water narrow edge up and at about a 45 degree angle from the bow. By pushing out with the upper hand and using the lower hand as a pivot, you will pull the bow toward the paddle. note, however, that the shaft is not held vertically as with the draw stroke. To recover, push down with the upper hand and lift the paddle up when it reaches the bow.

                    The reverse sweep is a stern-only stroke. This stroke is started by reaching as far back as possible and inserting the paddle in the water near the stern. With the blade tilted so the top edge is slightly forward, sweep the paddle out and forward in a wide arc. The upper hand is held low and near the gunwale on the paddle side. The forward tilt permits the canoeist to place his weight on the paddle as the stern is pushed away. The stroke ends with the shaft at 45 degrees to the keel line and with the canoeist crouched down near the gunwale in order to maintain his balance. Do not continue this stroke beyond a point where the paddle is at more than a 45 degree angle to the stern. To do so is essentially backpaddling and therefore contributes little to turning. With open canoes, repeated short strokes are more effective than a single long one. To recover, move the torso over the center of the canoe and kneel erect. The paddle is now in position for a forward paddle stroke.

                    Basic C-1 Stroke (Inverted C-Stroke): Solo boating differs from the two-man situation. You no longer need to wonder what your partner is doing; you choose the route; there is no need to coordinate strokes with another; and of course there is no one to blame if something goes wrong. The solo boater positions himself in the middle of the boat, near or slightly fore of the pivot point. The strategy is to move the middle (rather than the bow) in the right direction. This approach is desirable for two reasons. The first is that there is no partner to help you move the boat great distances. The second reason is that a solo boat turns more easily than one occupied by two men because the mass (ie, the boater) is positioned in the center.

                    The Inverted C-Stroke combines a draw stroke with the prystroke. At the start, the paddle is positioned in the water near the bow and about 12-18 inches out from the gunwale (bilge). The paddle is first moved toward the gunwale, then back, and then away from it. The net effect is to move the paddle in an arc that circumscribes the letter "C."
                    Heres a few links for you to check out if your interested.

           This one has pictures that should help.

           a good primer with diagrams

                    A video

                    Picture from Galaxyantigues website

                    Now your finally under way at first go slow and stick close to the banks if you don’t know the river or stream well. You don’t want to get out in the middle of a river riding the current, come around a bend and find yourself shooting thru a set of class three or four rapids and unable to break the Current to get to safety.

                    Scout it out slow, and consider portaging for safety around rapids and falls. Portaging is the process of landing, and carrying your canoe and gear around whatever obstacles your wanting to avoid. It can be tiring to, but it beats, getting caught in a cross cut current and slammed into a few rocks then rolling and losing your gear, canoe and your life.

                    Portaging can also be a good time to stretch, eat lunch and take a few pictures or what have you.

                    If you find rapids or other hazards you want to avoid but the banks are too steep to portage, tie off a line to the bow and then get out on the bank and pull the canoe down river till you pass the obstacles. A second line tied to the stern can keep the back end from swinging out with the current as you pull down stream.

                    As your paddling into rapids, watch the water. It can tell you a lot about what lies ahead. How the current switches, where rocks might be hidden under the water, cross cuts, undertows etc.

                    “ But I wont ever be in white water” you say. Maybe not intentionally, white water can also be formed after floods, by debris and submerged objects in the water. Or you go further down the river than you would normally and find rapids blocking your way.

                    “Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white. The term is also used loosely to refer to less-turbulent but still agitated flows.” In short the water is moving down hill and being constricted as it passes thru narrow channels increasing its speed and strength.

                    “But how and why does it form” you ask. Well the answer is simple, sort of.

                    “Four factors, separately or in combination, can create rapids: gradient, constriction, obstruction and flow rate. Gradient, constriction and obstruction are streambed topography factors and are relatively consistent. Flow rate is dependent upon both seasonal variation in precipitation and snowmelt and upon release rates of upstream dams.

                    Streambed topography is the primary factor in creating rapids, and is generally consistent over time. Increased flow, as during a flood or high rainfall season can make permanent changes to the streambed by displacing rocks and boulders, by deposition of alluvium or by creating new channels for flowing water.

                    The gradient of a river is the rate at which it loses elevation along its course. This loss determines the river's slope, and to a large extent its rate of flow. Shallow gradients produce gentle, slow rivers while steep gradients are associated with raging torrents.

                    Constrictions can form a rapid when a river's flow is forced into a narrower channel. This pressure causes the water to flow more rapidly (hence the name) and to react differently to riverbed events (rocks, drops, etc)

                    A boulder or ledge in the middle of a river or near the side can obstruct the flow of the river, and can also create a "cushion"; a "drop" (over the boulder); and "hydraulics" or "holes" where the river flows back on itself—perhaps back under the drop—often with fearful results for those caught in its grasp. (Holes, or hydraulics, are so-called because their foamy, aerated water provides less buoyancy and can feel like an actual hole in the river surface.) If the flow passes next to the obstruction, an eddy may form behind the obstruction; although eddies are typically sheltered areas where boaters can stop to rest, scout or leave the main current, they may be swirling and whirlpool-like. As with hydraulics (which pull downward rather than to the side and are essentially eddies turned at a 90-degree angle), the power of eddies increases with the flow rate.

                    In large rivers with high flow rates next to an obstruction, "eddy walls" can occur. An eddy wall is formed when the height of the river is substantially higher than the level of the water in the eddy behind the obstruction. This can make it difficult for a boater, who has stopped in that particular eddy, to reenter the river due to a wall of water that can be several feet high at the point at which the eddy meets the river flow.

                    A marked increase or decrease in flow can create a rapid (where previously wasn't one), "wash out" a rapid (decreasing the hazard) or make safe passage through previously navigable rapids more difficult or impossible. Flow rate is typically measured in cubic meters per second (cumecs), or in cubic feet per second (cfs), depending on the country.”

                    Most people when they hear the term rapids or white water, think of the shows where Rafts and kayaks are streaking thru channels with huge rocks and waves taller than some men. But those are just extremes. Most rapids are minor, more like a fast moving creek than a torrent of water moving at eighty miles an hour.

                    Here is how Rapids are classified in the US.

                    Class I Rapids
                    List of Class I thru III Rated Rapids
                    Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
                    Class II Rapids: Novice

                    List of Class I thru III Rated Rapids
                    Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”

                    Picture from

                    Class III: Intermediate
                    List of Class III Rated Rapids
                    Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively.

                    Class IV: Advanced
                    List of Class IV Rated Rapids
                    Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require “must” moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting may be necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class IV-” or “Class IV+” respectively

                    Class 5: Expert
                    List of Class 5 Rated Rapids
                    Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain** large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential. Because of the large range of difficulty that exists beyond Class IV, Class 5 is an open-ended, multiple-level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc… each of these levels is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last. Example: increasing difficulty from Class 5.0 to Class 5.1 is a similar order of magnitude as increasing from Class IV to Class 5.0.

                    Class VI: Extreme and Exploratory Rapids
                    These runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible.
                    For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. After a Class VI rapids has been run many times, its rating may be changed to an apppropriate Class 5.x rating. [5]

                    Things to look out for while on the water are as follows.

                    Strainers. Natural or manmade objects create strainers. Logs, limbs, trash, even abandoned vehicles. They normally occur on the outside curve of rivers. When paddling near strainers stay towards the middle to the inside curve.

                    Sweepers are trees fallen in or heavily leaning over the river, still rooted on the shore and not fully submerged. Its trunk and branches are the main hazard in the river like strainers. It may create turbulence. In fast water sweepers can be a serious hazard to any one paddling.

                    Holes, are caused when water pours over the top of a submerged object, causing the surface water to flow back upstream toward the object. Holes can be particularly dangerous, and a paddler can become stuck in them due to the water recirculation.

                    I think I will use some one else’s explanations for the moment.

                    “In high-volume water, holes dramatically aerate the water, possibly to the point where it may even lose the capacity to carry any water craft.”

                    “Some of the most dangerous types of holes. Are formed by lowhead dams, underwater ledges, and similar types of obstruction. In lowhead dams, the hole has a very symmetrical character - there's no weak point - and where the sides of the hydraulic are often blocked by a man-made wall, making it impossible to slip off the side of the hydraulic. Lowhead dams are insidiously dangerous because people who have not studied whitewater cannot easily recognize their danger.

                    Waves are formed in a similar nature to hydraulics and are sometimes also considered hydraulics as well. Waves are noted by the large smooth face on the water rushing down. Sometimes a particularly large wave will also be followed by a "wave train", a long series of waves. These standing waves can be smooth or, particularly the larger ones can be breaking waves (also called "whitecaps" or "haystacks").

                    Because of the rough and random pattern of a riverbed, waves are often not perpendicular to the river's current. This makes them challenging for boaters since a strong sideways or diagonal (also called " a lateral") wave can throw the craft off.

                    In fluid mechanics, waves are classified as laminar, but the whitewater world has also included waves with turbulence ("breaking waves") under the general heading of waves.


                    Pillows are formed when a large flow of water runs into a large obstruction, causing water to "pile up" or "boil" against the face of the obstruction. Pillows can be dangerous because sometimes the object that forms the pillow is undercut and so paddlers can be swept underwater - possibly to be entrapped. Pillows are also known as "pressure waves".


                    Eddies are formed, like hydraulics, on the downstream face of an obstruction. Unlike hydraulics, eddies swirl on the horizontal surface of the water. Typically, they are calm spots where the downward movement of water is partially or fully arrested - a nice place to rest or to make one's way upstream. However, in very powerful water, eddies can have powerful, swirling currents which can flip boats and from which escape can be very difficult.

                    Undercut rocks

                    Undercut rocks are rocks that have been worn down underneath the surface by the river, or loose boulders, which cantilever out beyond their resting spots on the riverbed. They can be extremely dangerous features of a rapid because a person can get trapped underneath them underwater. This is especially true of rocks that are undercut on the upstream side. Here, a boater may become pinned against the rock underwater. Many whitewater deaths have occurred in this fashion. Undercuts sometimes have pillows, but other times the water just flows smoothly under them, which can indicate that the rock is undercut. Undercuts are most common in rivers where the riverbed cuts through sedimentary rocks like limestone rather than igneous rock like granite. In a steep canyon, the side walls of the canyon can also be undercut.”

                    Websites of interest on this…

                    National river database

                    River hazards

                    understand the dangers of high water levels while kayaking (video) can be helpful for canoeist as well.

                    Canoe tips and safety

                    River trips and camping aren’t all hazards and work. Rapids aren’t on every river. Most times the currents are strong enough that unless you just want to haul butt you can ride the currents with only minor course corrections.

                    With the right canoe you can haul even the kitchen sink or as little as possible sleeping in your beached and tied off canoe with a tarp over the top.

                    Theres a section of River here I love to paddle during the spring, you come around a bend, and maneuver around the rocky islands in between two ridges. The sun is behind the ridge tops and your gliding along in the deep shadows watching as thousands of fire flys flicker thru the trees on both banks. A cool wind blows across the slow moving water and the smell of earth and trees fills the air. Just a short stretch up are a set of class two rapids and then around another bend where a shelf of rock and earth overlooks the river making a perfect campsite.

                    But always try to camp on higher ground. With out trespassing.
                    Ive encountered many land owners who have allowed me to camp on their property with the understanding that I don’t burn the place down or leave anything behind. Pack out what you pack in, and always ask if you want to camp above the normal high water mark. And that brings us to the next bit, exactly what’s legal when river tripping.

                    The Federal Navigable river laws.

                    If you are tripping down a river in any state one of the big problems is finding a place to camp. So what’s legal you ask.? Glad you asked.

                    Landowners will of course whip out deeds and point with emphasis, but the truth is… its legal to camp on any navigable river in any state below the normal high water mark. This property is considered public by federal law.

                    Under the Public Trust Doctrine no waterway can be sold to private ownership. as it is held in trust by the gov for the public and public use. Which means no one can claim ownership of any navigable waterway. And trust me on this, there are deeds that do make such claims but they are in error. The laws and court rulings are clear on this.

                    The U.S. Supreme Court has said, “rivers that are navigable in fact are navigable in law.”
                    So if a river can be physically navigated, for any purpose, it is legal for the public to use it even if there is no official designation.

                    But where a state has not taken the time to label a river navigable, The supreme court has state that the rivers that are “navigable in fact” are still “navigable in law,” and therefore still public. In fact even if they aren’t labeled public, the law has held, I.E. (They are not private until the state government gets around to designating them as public.)

                    The Courts have upheld that the public can engage in boating and fishing and other responsible recreation within the specified areas on a river. (below the high water mark, sand bars and beaches) such as picnics, camping, walking, resting, reading, photography, and painting. When walking along the river, the public can walk above the high water line where necessary to get around obstacles, in the manner least intrusive to private land. The public can use the banks of these rivers year round, even if the water has dried up. (On rivers that are not navigable for title purposes, the public can only use the banks as necessary to make use of the water, and the right to use the banks comes and goes with the water. "

                    According to the supreme court . " Landowner fences and “No Trespassing” signs should be located above the ordinary high water line. Small dams, used to divert water from the river to irrigation ditches, should be located so as to not block navigation"

                    “The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the beds and banks of rivers and streams that are navigable for title purposes are owned by the states. . The beds and banks of these rivers and streams are a strip of public land, to be conserved for public benefit, even where the river or stream passes through private land. This strip of land is often called the “submerged and submersible land,” as opposed to the “upland.” Pollard v. Hagan, 44 U.S. (3 How.) 212, 11 L.ed 565 (1845). Economy Light & Power Co. v. United States, 256 U.S. 113, 65 L.ed 847 (1921). Sawczyk v. U.S. Coast Guard, 499 F.Supp. 1034 (W.D.N.Y. 1980). Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544, 452 U.S. 911 (1981). State of Oregon v. Riverfront Protective Association, 672 F.2d 792 (9th Cir. 1982). Alaska v. Ahtna, Inc., 891 F.2d 1401, (9th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 919 (1990).

                    Also state courts and legislatures cannot establish their own more restrictive standards of navigability; they have to abide by the national standards. If they say a particular river is not navigable for title purposes, but the river is physically navigable in fact, their opinion is not determinative. Brewer-Elliott Oil and Gas Company v. United States, 260 U.S. 77, 43 S.Ct. 60, L.Ed 140 (1922). United States v. Utah, 283 U.S. 64, 75 L.Ed. 844 (1931). Utah v. United States, 403 U.S. 9, 29 L.Ed.2d 279 (1971). State v. Corvallis Sand and Gravel Co., 429 U.S. 363, 50 L.ed 2d 550 (1977).”

                    There are rare occurrences (in my experience) were some landowners did not know the law. And where rather insistent, to the point of calling the law, on the bank or sand bar being their property. Always carry a laminated copy of the law with you to show an officer on the off chance this occurs. In a SHTF situation this wont really matter till the situation returns to normal.

                    Trust me when I say that River camping is one of the greatest trips you can take. Good Luck

                    Recommended reading if your interested, there are many more books detailing many peoples canoe trips and adventures, these are just a few.

                    “Canoeing Wild Rivers “by Cliff Jacobson
                    , "Canoeing a Continent: On the Trail of Alexander MacKenzie" by Max Finkelstein

                    “All things are possible” by Reinhardt Zollitsch. Verlen Kruger’s long distance canoe trips. “ a record-breaking trip from Montreal to the Bering Sea in one season, following the old Fur Trade Route with partner Clint Waddell ("Cross Continent Canoe Safari" of 1971, or "CCCS" for short). Then there is the 28,000-mile-plus "Ultimate Canoe Challenge" of 1980-83, (or "UCC" for short) along both the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, as well as going up and down most every major river in between, including the Mississippi and the Colorado”

                    “Source to Sea expedition “ 2005. the 2,150 mile trip made by two NCSU students down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers

                    "Where Rivers Run" by Joanie and Gary McGuffin

                    “Wilderness Visionaries” by Dale Vickery

                    Voyageurs at Dawn by F.A. Hopkins ( 1871)


                    3. western waters canoe club http://www.westernwaterscanoeclub.or...o/paddle1.html
                    4. wiki Whitewater
                    5. International scale of river difficulty


                    • #25
                      Nice job Tenn......very in depth.....the game is afoot.....:)
                      Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


                      • #26
                        outstanding job thanks for contributing

                        The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)


                        • #27
                          You guys just going to let Echo run away with it, no competition?

                          The best thing you can do to support the site is pass it on to your friends and fav sites like other forums, facebook, twitter etc. Let people know about us! :)


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Diesel View Post
                            You guys just going to let Echo run away with it, no competition?
                            Shhhhh.....I'm almost done with Part 2.....working on a idea for a sheath mod too......maybe a camp cook kit....:)
                            Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


                            • #29
                              Maybe now Maric's back....she'll do a couple...:)
                              Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.


                              • #30
                                thanks glad you liked it.

                                i think I get a bit carried away when writing stuff like that. LOL.