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Experimental Canoe

COOL YOUR CUCUMBERS After we shared our advice for keeping perishables

fresh on long canoe trips

(, Canoeroots’ Facebook readers wrote in with suggestions of their own. Tips included wrapping cheese in vinegar-soaked cheesecloth, covering trip barrels with wet, light-colored shirts on sunny hot days and wrapping veggies in paper towels in Ziploc bags for storage. Tierney Angus wrote in with the suggestion to, “Freeze beer cans (5% ABV or less) and use as ice-packs in cooler bags inside the food barrel for first two to three days, until defrosted and drinkable.” However, not everyone approved of this

advice. “What desperation drives a man to 1) purchase beer that is less than five percent with the intent of drinking it? 2) Proceed to freeze said beer and 3) drink previously frozen beer?” asked Patrick Andersen. “My heart goes out to a person forced into such circumstances.” Pete Starr shared Instagram user

@wingmanoutfitter’s photo to put an end to the debate. “This guy has a plan,” he wrote. Wingman Outfitter (www.wingmanoutfitter. com) specializes in making outrigger cargo carriers for canoes. There must be something really delicious in those coolers. We’re imagining steak, chilly brews and a red velvet ice cream cake.

Carrier Number 3) is described by Bill Mason in Song of the Paddle as a “state-of-the-art all-purpose roof rack.” Canoeroots’ Facebook fans went wild for the photo. “Reminds me of my college days— steel bumpers attached to steel frames definitely allowed us to be more creative and aggressive while loading our boats,” reported Arnold Wilson. However, not everyone was sold on the rig: “Not sure I would want to drive behind him,” wrote naysayer Marie S Blank. Find more paddling gems from the past by following us at www.facebook. com/canoeroots.

BEHIND THE SCENES When we sent freelance writer Tom Bateman to track down cross-Canada canoeist Mike Ranta, we had little inkling of the logistical nightmare we were about to unleash. First Ranta’s location tracker went down. Then, with a plan in place to meet in the small town of Brandon, Manitoba, Bateman waited patiently (then less patiently) while Ranta battled headwinds across Saskatchewan. They met just in time for the story to make it to press (see page 24). At the time of press, Ranta was 89 days into his journey and approaching Quetico Provincial Park. Follow his journey at

“WHERE ARE THEIR PFDS?!” Following printing a photo exemplifying the mayhem that is the Texas Water Safari canoe marathon in the last Campfire section of Canoeroots magazine (“World’s Toughest Canoe Race?”), many readers wrote in with the same concern—why aren’t the racers wearing life jackets? It’s a good question. “In the world of sprint and marathon flatwater paddling, it is almost never required to

wear PFDs,” says Peter Heed, president of the United States Canoe Association and a decorated marathon paddler. Coldwater and whitewater races are the exception. “It’s just a different world. At the competitive level certain things are excluded. Just look at the Olympics—you don’t see paddlers wearing PFDs there,” says Heed. “It’s up to the race organizers whether they require PFD usage or not. Marathon events tend to be a more controlled environment with lots of people nearby, unlike a wilderness trip.”

IN THE DIGITAL EDITION THIS ISSUE: Read Canoeroots on your device or desktop at and catch this bonus content: Watch as a 6,000-pound elephant charges a canoe (page 19). Find out what it’s like to live for 365 days in the Boundary Waters (page 22). See video of our favorite expedition rides (page 48). j WATCH FORthis icon throughout this issue of Canoeroots for more bonus digital content.

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