deck bag substitute worked well

I just got back from a 4-night, 5-day trip to the Ten Thousand Islands (Tiger Key and Camp Lulu Key). I had been using a beat-up old deckbag, but I wanted something narrower that my kayak paddle wouldn’t scrape as I reach forward to plant the blade. Bought an 8-liter drybag with cordura fabric outside and with a tie-down tab on each side. Ran a short length of rope through the tabs and under my perimeter lines and tied the ends together. Long and narrow bag. It worked great! Everything I needed went inside: headnet, granola bars, binoculars. Cheap, simple, easy and effective.

Just a side note, since I got home and read the waste disposal thread here: Camp Lulu Key was strewn with toilet paper. It’s a lovely island with good birds, but the amount of human waste and toilet paper was disgusting. Because the sand was pretty hard-packed there up on the edge of the woods, instead of digging a cathole, I used wag bags and it was no big deal bringing them out with my trash. I don’t know what the solution is to educating boaters on disposal of waste – but I figure if people can be trained to pick up dog poop they might be able to learn to pick up their own. But who’ll teach them? And require it? Lulu is outside Everglades National Park. It is heavily used – no permits needed.

Good idea
Cheaper and lighter than a dedicated deck bag, too. The ones I’ve seen were gigantic and kind of heavy.

Poop and used TP, ugh. Bagging my own disgusts me as much as anyone else. But I’d much rather bag my own than “discover buried treasure” or step on/around unburied messes.

I’ll bet you all the tea in China that

– Last Updated: Feb-24-11 6:03 PM EST –

it was power boaters and not paddlers.
Every Key that has good beaches and is accessable to the power boaters is that way and every Key that has good beaches and the power boaters can't get to due to shallow water, but the paddlers can is immaculate.

Jack L

I tend to agree
Not 100% but overall.

Ironic how the boats that have the most space, and the ability to travel the most quickly to a waste disposal bin, have the operators who are most likely to leave messes.

Similar to how most trash on the roads is dumped by auto drivers, not bicyclists.

Long ago near a boat ramp I once saw a guy dump a bunch of partly-empty beer bottles, on the ground. A trash barrel (not full) was literally 3 or 4 steps away. He was stupid enough to leave his window open…I was nice about making sure the bottles were upright on his seat, though uncapped.

Good job !
You done good as they say in the south.

Jack L

Wildwasser Multi-Float
dual purpose deck bag/paddle float, fairly narrow, one less piece of gear to carry.

deck bag substitute, cheaper, lighter
Pika, yes. The alternative I’d been looking at was a North Water turtle bag – a friend offered to lend me one. But I just got the tough 8 liter bag to try and it was a homerun. Narrow enough that I could fasten my bilge pump alongside it and still not have a wide load. And plenty of capacity.

Re wag bags: I’m headed to the Roanoke River camping platforms (completely surrounded by water) in April and will be using a canoe to carry all the luxuries, including portable toilet. (The luxury is sitting down. It is a REQUIREMENT in this swamp to bring out your solid waste, however you want to manage that.) Last year I introduced the portable toilet and I took care of it, changing the wag bags. For efficiency I allowed more than one use. I’ve over it! This year there’s going to be a change: every user will have to change the bag him- or herself on every use. I’ve retired as poop-wrangler! That said, I don’t find wag bags to be terribly disgusting – for my own use.

JackL, I agree
I assume it’s mostly powerboaters leaving the toilet paper.

One odd thing: this was my first kayak-camping trip to the Everglades, and the lack of remote feeling surprised me. I could always hear motors, even in the middle of the night. I assume those were commercial fishermen. But it reminded me of home. I live in the woods, but with my bedroom windows open in spring and summer, I can often hear the interstate distant traffic noise, train whistles, and airplanes overhead. And all day long in the Ten Thousand Islands, we’d see sport fishing boats and even kayaks going by. I’m sure it’s completely different out there in the middle of the bays behind the islands – few if any motorboats, few paddlers – because it’s difficult to paddle there and permits cut down users. I’m NOT complaining – am just saying it surprised me that it all felt less remote than I’d imagined. But I can’t wait to go back! The weather was perfect! Tiger Key was paradise.

Another variant
Another way to go that’s waterproof and about the same footprint as the North Water Turtle Back Deck Bag is the North Water Hydration Holster with ye’olde wide mouth nalgene bottle in it for dry storage. Not 8 liters worth of storage but makes a darn fine fanny pack when on land.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


– Last Updated: Feb-25-11 2:12 PM EST –

Ginger, I hear what you're saying. I've been surprised at how much motorized traffic (land or water) I detect from places that are not close to roads or launch areas.

Even on Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone Park, whose access is only by foot trail or paddle boat starting at Lewis Lake, going upstream Lewis River, and then onto Shoshone, there was a campsite from where I could hear the obnoxious sound of Harleys miles away. Granted, those were the ONLY vehicles loud enough to send noise that far.

Noise pollution reaches very far. The only place where I paddled long stretches of feeling remote was in Alaska.

sometimes even the coons
dig up poo , cause it smells like food to them . Crab boats run out way early in the am . There’s a bit o stuff goin o Feb down there . What did ya think of the house ? Did ya go lookin for the “cut” ?

The house on Lulu?
If so, cool! I love tiny dwellings.

Not sure about the cut – must not have found it. We poked around in slow water in the middle of mangrove stands. Saw roseate spoonbills when the tide exposed the mudbanks. One of our group saw what she thought was either an alligator or crocodile, est. 6 feet long, going or coming in a slide in the mangroves. In salt water, odds are it was a crocodile. Wish I’d seen it!

the house belonged to
Mike Ward , one o the last “social hermits” o the glades , I helped put it up .He used to live on the island , also known as Float Key ( on older charts} , the wild part o the story is , this ole fella had everyone , federals, state , local all believing he owned the island . Never did , man he could tell a story , but you never knew he was tellin a tall one . 5PM was cocktail time I think it was 02-03 his ashes were put in the tide line just in front o the house a lil to the right of it .

Least when folk thought mike owned the island ya didn’t see alot o trash out by the spit . Very popular place for big groups an generally they’re a lil less than aware as to what “leave no trace” means.

Hmmnnn a croc out on the coast …could also have been a couple o things , I’ve seen a few small manatee’s out there . Did ya paddle up to Facahatchie an see the Calusa shell mounds that are the island ?

If ya liked the area , read Killing Mr. Watson , a good who done it back when folks lived differently round there .

you helped build it?
That’s a great story about Mike Ward and about your helping put that little house up. It looks as if it’s built stout – the underpinnings. One of the folks we were paddling with talked to the guy back in the day – he wanted her, and everyone, to sign a guestbook, she said.

As for the creature one of our group saw, she thought distinctly it was a big reptile, alligatorlike, that was coming down (or going up) a kind of little ditch or trench that ran from the water into the mangrove. I have no reason not to believe her – she fishes a lot and spends time out of doors.

We also, most of us, saw a small shark in shallow water behind a mangrove island, saw sea turtles and dolphins (many), and saw good birds. It was pretty sweet.

stink pots!
This is why we call jet-skis and speedboats “Stinkpots”!

WE, paddle in the water, THEY pollute the water and beach and leave the mess behind.

I carry a poop-tube because I cannot dig a hole in Arizona dirt and rock with a plastic trowel they sell in REI and I refuse to leave my poop for you to see.

plus I don’t trust the wag-bag any more than I trust any zip-lock baggie.