Outdoor Education: A Safer Way to Lash Your Canoe Packs | PE Update.com - Physical Education Lesson Plans, Activities, Games, Tips
One end of rope is attached to a thwart, passed through the pack straps, then tied to the end pack.
One end of rope is attached to a thwart, passed through the pack straps, then tied to the end pack.

Outdoor Education: A Safer Way to Lash Your Canoe Packs

Dick Moss, Editor

When canoeing, some beginners forget to tie their packs to the canoe.  This can be a major problem: if they flip, the packs may sink to the bottom and never be recovered.

On the other hand, tying the strap of every pack to a canoe-thwart can be dangerous. Such packs will act as anchors on a capsized canoe, making it difficult to flip the canoe right-side-up or make a canoe-over-canoe rescue. And in rapids, where saving a capsized canoe may require the packs to be removed quickly, untying each pack can take a great deal of time or even be impossible.

Here's a better method for securing your packs to a canoe.

A Quick-Release Lashing Method
Simply tie a short rope to a thwart and pass it through the strap of each pack. Tie the end of the rope to the strap of the final pack. And that's it.

If the canoe capsizes, your packs won't drop to the bottom. And if you must release the packs, you need only untie the final pack or the knot on the thwart.  Keep the rope fairly short so it doesn't dangle far beneath the canoe if it capsizes.

You'll also find this lashing method more convenient when unpacking for portages.

References:
1. Bill Mason, Path of the Paddle, Key Porter Books, 1984.
2. Ray Goodwin, Canoeing, Pesda Publishers, 2011.



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