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5/12/2017 10:19 am  #1

Backcountry Repair Jobs?

Hi Folks!,

I enjoy reading the lists of people's favourite sites, lakes, worst sites, etc...  One thing I think would be interesting is others' favourite / most interesting backcountry repair jobs they've had to do...  Many of us have had 'hiccups' in the backcountry - Any interesting repairs you've had to make?

Here's a pic of one of mine...  Going down the Petawawa R a few years ago I was kayaking in fast / shallow water, when my paddle's blade got caught between two rocks and snapped off :-(  We didn't pack an extra kayak paddle, but did have an extra canoe paddle, so here was our repair job...  Given it was a metal outfitter canoe paddle - Boy was paddling the rest of the trip a work out given the weight!



5/12/2017 1:21 pm  #2

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

I had to create a similar set up to unhook the bear bag line from high up on a branch. With 2 canoe paddles taped together we just barely had enough length to unhook it. 


5/12/2017 3:08 pm  #3

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

Had to repair the chain attaching the lid to the Thunderbox as it got all twisted and wouldn't open. Time was of the essence...
Luckily I had my Leatherman multi tool on me at the time.


5/12/2017 3:09 pm  #4

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

CanoeClaire - Bear bag permanently stuck in tree is pretty much my #1 repressed fear when camping.  "I"ll be back in a couple of days with a ladder...."

My only example of a repair was duct-taping the heck out of the front end of a tent that had torn open.  I kept using the tent like that for years.


5/12/2017 7:53 pm  #5

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

I too have fixed a tent in the backcountry. Door zipper was busted and it was mosquito season!  I used fishing line and hook to sew it (somewhat) back together.  Still slept with bug masks on those nights.


5/17/2017 8:20 am  #6

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

A few years ago during day 6 of an 11 day trip, we lost a paddle over Blueberry Falls. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but it happened nonetheless. We spent the next hour paddling down the rest of the Crow and some of the Pet, looking for the missing paddle - but no luck, it would not be recovered. We stopped to make camp at Wagtail Raps (awesome campsite, by the way) and decided not to make a paddle until our next lake - which wasn't very far away, as we had the next two nights booked at Eustache. The next day we one-paddled to Eustache Lake and while there we made a replacement paddle. We used a small tree, some cordage and duct tape. It was heavy, but it did the job - and we really needed a 2nd paddle as our exit point was McManus Lake.

We leave Eustache and the paddle works just fine, but heavy. It gets us across Lake Travers and down the Pet to the Crooked Chute Cabin for the night. We decide to convert the cabin's broom (which I later replaced) into a paddle by duct-taping the bristles nice and flat. The following morning we leave the first paddle we made at the cabin, to make up for the loss of the broom. We used the duct-taped broom to paddle to the Natch. While hiking the cliffs of the Natch, a couple was headed down the trail back to their boat. We exchanged greetings and we're on our way. After taking in the awesome view from the top of the Natch, we head down the trail and back to the boat - only to find the couple had left us their spare paddle. I guess they saw our pathetic broom paddle and decided to pay it forward.

Annnnnyway, we leave the Natch and decide to run the next small swift. Mistake. Camera now at the bottom of the river and there are no photos of this trip - or our make shift paddles. While floating down the swift I almost lost our newfound paddle - so I swam hard for it, secured it, then swam back to the boat and my buddy (he managed to get the boat up on some rocks int he middle of the river). The losses were heavy. 1 Canon 60D, 1 Samsung Note III, 1 iPhone 4s, 1 Garmin GPS. The only thing physically lost was the camera, the rest were just water-damaged beyond repair. Anyway, enough about that.


The following month, I returned to the Crooked Chute Cabin (and yes, I really did portage-in a new broom for the cabin to replace the one I took) and lo and behold the paddle we made on Eustache was still there! No one took or burned it! 

So the only evidence I have regard this entire 11 day trip is the paddle. That's it. I took it home and have it still - never getting rid of it. That trip taught me so many lessons and this paddle is a constant reminder.



5/17/2017 8:36 am  #7

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

Peek that is an awesome story. 

I have no exciting repair stories of my own. I've cracked my kayak three separate times now on camping trips (all three happened while portaging, not while paddling - I may have a balance problem), but in each case the fix was 'slap on a piece of tenacious tape', and carry on with my day. 

But yeah, if you don't have tenacious tape in your emerg kit, you should. The stuff is amazing.


5/17/2017 9:12 am  #8

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

Nice Paddle Peek !!. Could  you work in a 12 degree bend with a nice palm grip on that sucker..?? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


5/17/2017 1:19 pm  #9

Re: Backcountry Repair Jobs?

I don't have pictures of it because it was 17 years ago, before the age of digital cameras and camera phones.  But, a camp counsellor of mine once lost both of his sandles on a really muddy portage, he ended up making a half decent pair of shoes/sandles out of birch bark and duct tape.  They weren't extrememely handsome but they did the job!


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