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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

River Gear

The RRR answers the criticism.... "what do you need all that STUFF for?"

You see in the pic, Shermona, the jon boat and displayed on her all the stuff I'd just portaged around the Big Snag which will be addressed later. My first jon boat is named Shermon for General Shermon and his famous March to The Sea. As the "new" boat was smaller and more feminine she became "Shermona".

On the far left is my red REI dry bag which holds two weeks worth of clothes in zip lock feezer bags. Socks, underwear and tee shirts enough to change every two days. One canvas shirt, a jacket, a stocking cap and two pairs of pants. Also in the bag is the French army blanket made into a bag with blanket pins, a ground pad, a soft and very luxurious self-inflating air mattress and the tiny Wenzel Starlite ultra light tent.

Next to that is the white toilet bucket. It is has a clever snap on lid with a toilet seat manufactured in Canada. I just line it with a bio-recyclable plastic bag and I have a bathroom. The rest of the time it is quick access storage for my poncho, rain suit, and maps.

There are four other buckets as you can see. Two have waterproof spin on lids. One is my cooking gear including Coleman backpacking stove and the other holds two weeks of trail food. The other two have snap on padded seat lids. Once holds tools, gear for the boat, stove fuel, my miniature Coleman lantern, extra rope, repair kit, personal items, first aid kit, insect repellent, etc. The other is my tackle box for fishing gear.

The oars lean next to the buckets. They are simple, inexpensive items purchased from Sprawl Mart and have been totally satisfactory and show no wear after 5 trips. Plastic grocery sacks have been wrapped around each as drip rings. Next to them is my 6' Chinese white waxwood walking stick. It serves as a push pole, yoke for carrying, temporary anchor jammed into the mud, tent pole, and more.

Then come two 6 gallon Canadian water containers. I use about 2 gallons of water a day for cooking, drinking and hygiene. In the "possibles" bucket is the equipment to treat and drink river water, but I prefer to carry fresh if I can.

Next is the boat/stadium seat which makes it possible to row facing forward all day with back support and a degree of comfort. On top of it is my Swiss Army entrenching tool. The blade edge is sharpened so it can be used as an axe. It's also my hammer for driving tent pins and boat repair and serves as a temporary anchor jammed into the ground to tie the boat to. I even dig with it to bury trash and the toilet bag each morning.

Then are my canteens. Aluminum French Army on the left along with the canteen cup that served as a baler and a soft American Army 2 quart that doubles as a handy pillow. My rubber boots lay on top of my life vest. I almost never took it off the whole trip whenever on or around the water. It has pockets that hold my ID, cell phone, compasses and fire starters. From past sad experience I know to have in each bag and bucket some way of starting a fire. You never know.


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