I'm getting ready for my first day of winter boating on Washington's Wind River. Every November when the rain begins I dust off my cataraft and piece it together after a few months of neglect.
A Few Pre-season Reminders
- Check your frame and oar bolts for tightness. This is also a great time to replace old, rusty ones.
- Replace old, warn cam straps that might break this boating season.
- Do a safety inspection on your trailer. This is a good time to grease your hubs and check your trailer lights.
- 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 to make sure everything is there and nothing is moldy or rusty. This is what I bring for day runs like the Wind River where road access is fairly close.
Lean and Mean Safety and Repair Kit
- Two 30' sections of webbing for anchors
- Two or more prussics
- Six or more locking caribiners
- Two Pulleys
- Throw Bag with 3/8" rope or dedicated safety line
- A couple different climbing nuts. They're lightweight and come in handy sometimes for anchors in tight places.
- Every repair tool I might need. My cataraft requires a nut driver, socket wrench, channel locks, allen wrench, oar blade tightener, and a screwdriver.
- Replacement parts. I use pins and clips so I bring and extra pin, extra oar holder, and extra hose clamps.
- 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.
- Duct Tape
Finally, I also took some time to restock my first aid kit.
Typical First Aid Restock
- Band Aids
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment
- Medical tape
- Check your CPR mask to make sure it's still in good shape
If you have any suggestions please add them in the comment section below.
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