6 day canoe trip ...questions?

Floating down the green river from Ruby ranch to the confluence on a mad river explorer. Fairly flat water. I am putting all our gear except some of the food and water in drybags. A few questions.

  1. should I attach the dry bags to the boat …in case we tip over? If so …shouldn’t I have floatation attached too?

  2. Water … we are carrying 12 gallons of water in the canoe. Probably 4 3 gallon jugs. How do I carry them on board?

  3. Advice on taking anything else on the trip (safety gear etc)?



I have done many multiday trips
and our criteria is to have everything lashed into the canoe.

It is much easier to tow the whole nine yards to shore than go swimming all over the place collecting stuff if you did happen to capsize.

Besides your normal camping gear don’t forget a couple of spare paddles and the ever necessary first aid kit.

Have a great trip



Some people have probably
fallen over, but I’ve never heard nor seen it. Even on big-wind days, I don’t recall waves much over a foot high. It’s just about the flattest water around.

Great trip. My recommendation is to investigate and chose some day-hikes that meet your interest. On river, Canyonland looks pretty much the same from Mineral Bottom on down. It’s my experience that your camp and hikes define the trip. There are some good ones along this stretch.

One I’m very fond of is the Surprise Valley hike out of Spanish Bottom. There are a lot of photos of it and other Green River hikes on my web site.

The Surprise Valley is under the April 04 Canyonlands trip.



I forgot to mention, and the
outfitters always warn about with canoe rentals, is most lost boats are due to the wind. Not tied up, etc.

As JackL mentioned, just normal common-sense boat camping will get you through.

I’d tie the water containers in
just so that if you do manage to tip (unlikely as it is) you can gather things in more easily–Bill Mason-style in one long line–not so they stay in the boat, just so they don’t drift away.

I’m feeling envious. We did the trip a few years ago, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

I think I need to go again.

“Bill Mason Style”

– Last Updated: May-17-07 9:38 PM EST –

Bill Mason's older writings suggested the long-line method. He later changed his tune and decided that lashing stuff in tightly makes a swamped boat a lot easier to deal with. This also takes advantage of the fact that gear packs float. Lashed-in gear adds a fair amount of floatation to a swamped boat. As to tying in water containers, that's for convenience only - containers that are completely full won't add or detract from the boat's floatation (though once partly empty, they contribute).

Full bottles & jugs will sink. Try it.

– Last Updated: May-17-07 11:05 PM EST –

Leave enough air space so the jugs will float. If you can't test them at home test them before you put-in.
Good luck & Happy paddling

The Green River
from Green River down to the Confluence is pretty dang close to flat water. It’s unlikely that you’ll tip, and if you do (so long as you’re wearing a PFD) it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll have any trouble except collecting your stuff.

At least 90% of the time you can just stand up, and the other 10%, you can just swim or drift to where you can stand up.

It’s mostly so slow that you could swim faster than your canoe will drift.

Do you have to bring water?
Is it not allowed or is the water not suitable for filtering? That’s 100 pounds and some cubic feet of packing space dedicated to water, which is something you don’t usually run short of on a river trip. I’d suggest two 1-gal bottles, a water filter, and a bottle of iodine bills for backup.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

The water would clog a
filter in probably less than a gallon. It’s liquid mud. What is the phrase…“Too thick to drink and too thin to plow”?

Settle and boil is the commonly used alternative, but my guess is only a couple percent of paddlers do this, mostly sea kayakers and people out longer than a couple of weeks.

Freeze the water …
Ice Floats…and the cold water will be appreciated when it’s hot…as you drink the meltwater the air replaces ice as flotation.

Did the same in April, but went for
ten days which still didn’t give any time to explore. The river in April was moving about 2 1/2 mph. It’s easy to do 5 mph with any paddling. Water level was low so had to watch for sandbars. It should be getting hot by now so you will go through water. I brought 18 plus gallons for ten days. You also need a firepan and a porta-potty. I have a canoe cover so I didn’t tie anything in since in an upset things usually stay in the canoe. Depending on where you dump you could have problems since the current does pickup when the river narrows. You don’t need any floatation though. Mud can be a problem in places where it can suck your shoes off your feet. Wind can also be a problem so give yourself enough time to get to the confluence. People tend to bunch up near the confluence so try to get a campsite early when close. It’s a great trip but six days will be mostly a float for you. Start at Mineral Springs and you’ll have more time to explore. It takes time to figure out how to get into the Bottoms because of the Tamarisks so you can spend a half day at one and not really see much. You have six days to do a hundred miles so that doesn’t give you much time even without factoring in the weather. I figure about ten days is the limit you can stay out because of the amount of water and the potty problem. I met a group that was doing it in 17 days but was getting resupplied at Mineral Springs.

I forgot to mention that I carried two
seven gallon water containers and four one gallon containers plus an assortment of other bottles (I was with my wife). I’d leave the big containers close to shore and carry the one gallon containers to camp. While that section of the Green doesn’t have WW, it does have current and there are strainers. I took a wrong channel and had a close call with one. The current was really moving in that channel where there were some good size standing waves. This happened after a heavy rain the night before when the washes flushed out.

length of trip
Did it at the end of March. 5 days from Mineral Bottom to the Confluence and we thought that was too little time, although you’re probably going to have a higher flow. You can get high winds upstream in the afternoons. It also sounds to me as if you are a little light on the amount of water for this time of year.

Carry Your Water
You can get some of the sediment out by letting it settle overnight, pre-filtering through cheesecloth, then filtering through a purifier, but even with all that there is a lot of alkalinity in the water. Filters won’t take that out. Best to carry a supply with you. One gallon per person per day minimum. If you go in the summer it can be over 100 degrees, so don’t scrimp. Better to carry too much than to risk dehydration.

One place to get water if you do run low is Water Canyon. There is a small spring there and the water is pretty good. It’s near the end of the trip, about a day’s paddle upstream from Spanish Bottom. Be forewarned though…I was there last year and the flow was very low. There’s no guarantee it will be flowing.