I’m getting ready for my first day of winter boating on Washington’s Wind River. Every November when the rain starts I dust off my cataraft and piece it together after 5 months of being rolled up and stored in my garage.
Putting my boat together took a lot longer than I thought! Here are a few pre-season reminders:
1. Check all your frame and oar bolts for tightness. I found a few loose ones! This is also a great time to replace old, rusty ones.
2. Replace old, warn cam straps that might break this boating season.
3. Do a safety inspection on your trailer. This is a good time to grease your hubs and check your trailer lights.
4. Put together a cold weather (or “hypo kit”) with extra fleece, fire starters, and hand warmers.
I also went through my “minimalist” safety and repair kit. This is a list of lean and mean equipment I bring for runs like the Wind River where road access is fairly close.
1. Two 30′ sections of webbing for anchors
2. Two or more prussics
3. Six or more locking caribiners
4. Two Pulleys
5. Bomber throw bag (not shown)
6. A couple different climbing nuts. They’re lightweight and come in handy sometimes for anchors in tight places.
7. Every repair tool I might need. My cataraft requires a nut driver, socket wrench, channel locks, allen wrench, oar blade tightener, and a screwdriver for repairs. Every boat is different and the minimum gear should be channel locks, screwdriver, and blade tightener.
8. Replacement parts. I use pins and clips so I bring and extra pin, extra oar holder, and extra hose clamps.
9. Repair material. I’m really happy with the way Type A Tear-Aid repairs Urethane so I bring that instead of urethane material and glue.
10. Duct Tape (not shown)
Finally, I also took some time to restock my personal first aid kit.
Here are some things that typically need to be restocked each season.
2. Band Aids
3. Triple Antibiotic Ointment
4. Medical tape
5. Check your CPR mask to make sure it’s still in good shape
Have fun out there and be safe!
Please comment below with anything you do as you prepare for winter boating. I’d love to hear your thoughts.