Kayak Camping – Focus on what Matters Pt3

In Part 1 and Part 2 we discussed how Size Matters and Safety Matters when kayak camping. Today we are going to discuss how Security Matters, and a few easy steps you can take to secure the campsite. Don’t worry we’re not setting up tin can trip wires, and digging pit falls.

Kayak Camping and how Security Matters

Food – “Bait” the fish, not the animals.”
Most people know that you should hang your food from a tree away from camp to prevent the critters from having a midnight snack, but what many fail to consider are the scraps that you toss in the bushes before heading to bed. Or the plate next to your chair with a half-eaten hotdog on it. Be aware of food, scraps, and gut piles that may draw in unwanted visitors.

Side Note: Never keep food in your tent. The last place you want to be is between the “critter” and a food source.
Force Protection – Let me say up front that many consider me “overly cautious” in this regard. I know that the chances of having an encounter with an animal or individual that would require you to defend yourself are remote at best, but I would rather “have and not need” than the other way around.

Kayak Camping and HogsSome of you here in DFW may know this story, but for the rest of you…On my very first kayak camping trip, I had an encounter with some wild hogs. Or, I almost did. The short version of the story is that I was the last one to arrive at camp because I got distracted fishing. When I finally arrived, there was only one open spot, and it was on a small trail the guys had been using to go from the campsite to the kayaks.

What I thought was a simple walking path turned out to be a hog trail, and my tent was sitting right on top of it. In the middle of the night, after a big storm, some of the guys started yelling (they were up smoking). A herd of hogs so big that they originally thought it was a cow was headed straight for my tent. Thankfully they scattered quickly when the guys started yelling.

So, while encounters with wildlife may be a remote possibility, they do happen. So what are your options?  A fire arm? Yeah, that’s an option, but all you need to do is watch a video of an officer in a shoot out to realize that adrenaline dramatically affects your ability to hit the target. How many times have you seen an officer returning fire and miss 5 out of 6 shots? And they are trained for that scenario. What is going to happen when your buddies are sleeping 8 feet from you?

kayak camping spearMy choice for force protection is a 4 ft spear. It’s very light weight, can be kept in the tent with me at night, and clips into a paddle clip on the kayak for easy transport. I know that means I’ll be up close and personal with “it” but that’s better than me accidentally shooting one of my buddies. Not to mention…its just cool.

One additional benefit to the spear is that it has a mini survival kit and flint for starting fire in the shaft. Click here to read our review on the Phantom Spear.

Fire – Speaking of fire…it is essential to survival in an emergency situation. Hopefully, you’ll never be faced with a scenario where you’re cold, shaking and need to start a fire by hand. But it is an essential skill and one that isn’t as hard as you think…if you have prepared and practiced. Prep your fire kit before leaving, and you’ll have no trouble starting a fire.

Setting up a home-made tinder bundle.

You’ll need several things:

  1. An empty toilet paper tube.
  2. Dryer lint
  3. Hand sanitizer
  4. Flint
  5. Knife or steel

The dryer lint goes in the toilet paper roll. Put it and the other items into a ziplock bag until needed. To light the fire, squeeze a nickel size drop of hand sanitizer on the lint and place it in the fire pit. Strike the flint with a knife, aiming the sparks at the tender bundle. When done properly you’ll have a flame in just a few strikes of the flint. The tender bundle will burn steadily for several minutes giving you plenty of time to slowly build the fire.

Those are the three things that “Matter” when planning your camping trip. Over the coming weeks, we are going to start looking at kayak camping from a wide variety of perspectives, including: How To pick a safe campsite, Building a fire the correct way, Shelter, Food, Hydration, Latrine Kit, and Emergency preparedness.

If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth area, be sure to join us for November 18th River Ratz Camping Trip.

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