Getting Ready for Paddle Touring - Some Practical Tips
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is warming and the days are growing longer. If you’re a paddler, you may well find yourself dreaming of touring in your canoe or sea kayak or even on your SUP. The Ask Baz team checked in with our colleague Emilie – a passionate paddler with years of experience in the outdoor industry - to get some suggestions for gear preparation. Here’s how to make that next tour the best ever... Checking your gearAssuming your watercraft and paddle(s) are in good repair, Emilie suggests beginning by checking your dry bags, tie-downs and PFDs for signs of wear and tear. The two principle things you are looking for are: UV Damage. Paddling is hard on gear, with near-constant water and sun exposure. Double-check your tie downs for fraying or sun-bleaching – this can be a sign that UV exposure has compromised the strength of the webbing. The failure of a tie down can mean losing a boat from a car roof rack, or portage bags from inside a canoe, both of which can have serious consequences. Physical damage to dry bags. Hopefully, your dry sack/portage bags were put away clean and dry at the end of last season. If you discover signs of mold or mildew when you unpack them, read up on ways to mitigate this problem here. Check to ensure that your dry bags/dry sacks are still waterproof by filling them with water. In the case of larger dry sacks, partially fill them and tilt the sack until all inner surfaces have been exposed to water. Examine the outer surface of the dry sack during this process to see if water leaks out. If it does, you may be able to repair them. When it comes to UV-damaged tie-downs, ask yourself what you have to lose. If the answer is