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Thread: Rowing and Camping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Boston MA
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    Default Rowing and Camping

    Hello,

    Long time listener, first time caller.

    Not sure if this question belongs here....

    I am planning a coastal rowing/camping trip, though I know what to bring I'm not sure how to pack the boat.
    I'll be going solo, 15' gunning dory. Camping gear, food, water, etc.

    Option #1: one large dry bag with one smaller bag containing immediate needs.
    Option #2: 3 or more bags with gear evenly divided.

    Option #1 keeps gear together, easier to haul out at once, but will just be forward of center of boat so possible trim issues. Could counter with sand bags.
    Option #2 more bags to unload (and to buy!) but could be moved about for trimming.

    All advice appreciated.

    Squish

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    110

    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    I like having several smaller containers. Since I have a cuddy cabin, I have a large dry bag for clothes (with a smaller dry bag for toiletries and an empty bag to hold dirty clothes)), a small plastic container (like a Sterlite box with a lid -- about 12" x 18" ) for food and a couple of cups, pots, and eating utensils, and another small plastic container for boat "stuff" and other things (spare shackles, flashlight, FM radio, flares, extra line, knife, sail repair tape, etc). I also have a small, floating, waterproof "go" bag where I keep my wallet, car keys, phone, a whistle, flashlight, a flare, and my marine radio and handheld gps (when I am not using them). I also have a cooler with ice; for extended trips I keep another, smaller cooler with things I'll want for that day's sail. I don't want to have to go searching through everything in the boat to find a sweatshirt or a flashlight. I think you will need to divide up your gear in order to get the boat balanced. Also, I'd rather have three lightweight things to move than one large, heavy, and cumbersome thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    northwestern Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Sounds like you'll be camping ashore?

    What works for me in my sail-and-oar cruising is: two large duffel-style dry bags lashed in, easy to carry one in each hand going ashore to camp. I tend to carry high-volume non-crushables (sleeping bag, mats, tent, etc) in the starboard side bag, since I have to kneel here to hoist/lower my sail. Stove, books, food, clothes, etc. goes in the other bag.

    Water I carry in plastic jugs with handles so I can tie them (loosely) in the boat. I often move water jugs to adjust trim for rowing--I also have 50 lb of steel shot ballast in 2 small bags I can move. But water will be the heaviest stuff you have, I'm guessing, so should easily be able to compensate for the weight of your other gear by shifting it around. You'll definitely want to trim bow-down for upwind rowing, and stern-down for downwind rowing. That makes a huge difference--you may know that already, but I had to learn it through sometimes-frustrating experience!on

    I count on NOT opening those large bags during the day, so carry a smaller dry bag for daily needs--snacks, a book, rain gear, a warm shirt, etc. My compass lives on a bench, tied in by its lanyard. Chart I keep in a large Ziploc bag tucked under a couple of straps on the thwart.

    How long will your trip be? Miles? Days? Weeks? Where to?

    Tom

    I wouldn't want to carry many small bags--I wouldn't trust myself to remember what bag I needed, and it would be a pain to carry them all ashore.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    dfw
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    rowing sailing motor cycling back packing...

    IMHO items of like kind/purpose should be kept together in separate vessels/bags/containers

    shelter cooking sleep system food FAK

    different colors shapes materials of vessels

    ideally already having lash points on them

    easily identified at a glance as needed

    will require more lashing points in the boat butt in turn will allow more trim options

    the concept of adding unnecessary weight(sand bags) for trim when rowing or sailing goes against my grain

    if your boat needs more ballast i'd consider water containers/bladders that could be filled as stores are depleted or emptied as souvenirs are gathered

    i got this idea from pictures found on the interweb

    glued 3 strips of 3/8" ply(1-4.5"w & 2-1.5"w using available lengths)

    IMG_3096.jpg

    then chop'd to 1.5" lengths and faired(they need more fairing)

    ready for epoxifying and gluing to surfaces as lashing points

    IMG_3098.jpg

    hope this makes sense and helps

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  5. #5
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    Mar 2021
    Location
    Boston MA
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    The planned trip is from Ogunquit Maine to Eastport Maine, camping along the Maine Island Trail. The mental math comes in at 10 to 12 days with more give than take.
    I see the point of one large bag being more cumbersome especially after a long row, and a smaller bag in each hand providing better balance.
    DavidC: your list reminded me of the essentials I really haven't taken into account. Even if I had one larger bag, I would need smaller bags anyway to keep things organized and on the ready.
    Tom: the idea of trying to remember where things are if bringing multiple bags is a good point. I guess I know myself best; do I mind dighing through one bag looking for something, or would I prefer having dedicated bags based on contents?
    I suppose the trim issue can be solved with shot/sand bags.

    Allvery good points and I appreciate the sharing of your experiences.

    Squish

  6. #6
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    Mar 2021
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Steve...

    Your reply came in as I was in the midst of replying....

    I too am reluctant to carry sand bags around but it seems a simple way to move the weight about as needed. I'll be carrying two 5 gallon water containers from the start but that weight will obviously decrease so I will have to move them eventually. Different colors are good visual reminders. I guess if I go the multiple bag route I will need to sit down and group things together to see what sizes I would need.

    Thank you for taking the time.

    Squish

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    northwestern Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Sounds like a great trip!

    On the shifting ballast issue, you could maybe refill each water jug with seawater as you use it? Especially if you use disposable jugs anyway. You could rinse and refill with fresh as needed, maybe.

    For me, the two medium-large bags really only work because I never have to get into them during the day. Within each drybag, gear is sorted into separate bags so unpacking stays pretty organized once I'm ashore.

    Ortlieb and few others make bombproof duffel-style dry bags with zipper closures--if you had those, you could get into the bags during the day if you needed to. But I much prefer leaving the large bags sealed up until I'm ashore, or at anchor for the night.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    central cal
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    20,195

    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    I like plastic buckets with sealed lids. I can take or leave the metal bails (but if you keep them, replace the handles with 1/2 Sch40 pvc pipe...), but I like the capacity, availability, and that you can sit on them like chairs.

    In our canoe, in the dumb wee sailboats, in my rowboats. The bonus is that they float, generally, if not overstuffed with rocks or lead.
    Or beans.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
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    1,862

    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    One of my dry bags is a fairly small one, bright yellow, clearly labeled SHORE BAG on the outside. In it go car keys, wallet, cellphone, and anything else that I'm sure I won't need until I'm back at the car. It is also labeled with my name and home phone number. I stow it in a compartment where I won't inadvertently pull it out while rooting for something else.

    A second small dry bag carries my food for the day and stuff that I might need and that can tolerate getting soaked in seawater. That one stays within easy reach.

    My handheld GPS is tethered or strapped down where I can see it, and my VHF radio lives in a pocket on my life jacket.

    Spare clothes and bedding go in a couple medium sized dry bags. I prefer to divide stuff up and label the dry bags so I don't have to go searching.

    That's how I approach the problem.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    se pa (Bristol PA)
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    No matter what you do make sure the sleeping gear stays dry! nothing is more miserable than wet sleeping gear.

    you might also consider making a snap or easily tied on cover for the boat with just enough room for you and rowing
    Denise, Bristol PA, retired from HVAC business, & boat restoration and building

  11. #11
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    Feb 2002
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    Uki, NSW, Australia
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    I would suggest watching a few Roger Barnes videos on YouTube. He seems to have it well sorted as well.
    ​In a world full of wonders, man invented boredom.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2021
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    Boston MA
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Tom,
    The Ortleib bags come to mind first because I prefer TiZips to rolltops (Sagebrush even better but limited sizes) and I think the same way; dedicated bags will stay closed until I'm off the boat.
    Refilling empty water containers with seawater is compelling.

    Rob, you bring up another point that I've yet to figure out regarding gps and vhf. Where to put each when on the move. I have a Mustang PFD with no pockets for anything. What are you using for a PFD that doesn't get in the way?

    Amish Rob, at the moment I do keep my anchor and rode in a bucket and thought too that another with lid could be useful.

    Denise, must be a side effect of too much time to think because I have considered a canvas cover of sorts to keep parts of the boat covered when on the move. Probably not necessary but certainly fun to think about!

    I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply. All very helpful with valid points to consider.


    Squish

  13. #13
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    Mar 2021
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    Boston MA
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    I would suggest watching a few Roger Barnes videos on YouTube. He seems to have it well sorted as well.
    I'll have a look. Thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Fairfield, CA
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    I have dry bags in different styles and colors collected over the years, blue duffle is clothing, white compression is sleeping bag, bright yellow stuff bag is the grab bag, etc. My boat has a lot of built in compartments so most things go in dedicated spots. Food gets re-packed in clear freezer weight zips and labeled if contents are ambiguous. The GPS goes on a RAM mount, VHF clips to PFD and I have to admit not always worn in calm conditions but on if rough. I run 2 lengths of shock cord along each side of the cockpit, bags can be clipped to or tucked in the cords. Do you need to consider bodily functions? I have a 3 gal bucket with toilet lid and WAG bags. Water goes in various small containers, I had a big container leak once which soaked things and I ran out of water. I'm in fairly dry CA but the boat has a tent that snaps on and it kept me dry in a few showers (also keeps bugs and raccoons out).

    -Rick

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
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    1,862

    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Squish,
    My PFD is a Kokatat Guide-fit, which has a pocket on the front that fits my VHF perfectly, probably by design. If I somehow get separated from the boat out there, I want the radio to stay with me.
    Where the GPS goes depends on which boat I'm in. In my sea kayak I hitch it to the grab loop on my spray skirt. In my little sailboat I have a cradle with a bungee on the bulkhead ahead of where I sit while I'm sailing, so it's right in front of me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    northwestern Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    If you're on the Maine Island Trail, proper human waste disposal is a must. I've been looking into this:

    https://duckworks.com/small-boat-head-system/

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Uki, NSW, Australia
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    32,969

    Default Re: Rowing and Camping

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    If you're on the Maine Island Trail, proper human waste disposal is a must. I've been looking into this:

    https://duckworks.com/small-boat-head-system/

    Tom
    A non plastic bag that would compost would be ideal.
    ​In a world full of wonders, man invented boredom.

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