left behind - ever retreive gear?

hi all, got home without two bending branches bent paddles, one the Expresso Plus, the other the Cruiser paddle (both 50 length). left behind at Moose River N. BWCA entry point parking lot on June 3 aroun 2 or 3 pm. Any hope of ever getting them back? Any heartwarming stories out there?

Local trip - yes
I left paddles at a local takeout once. Another member of the local club found and picked up and posted about it on the club email list. So I got lucky.

I assume you aren’t near takeout now? Perhaps contact local outfitter and see if by chance someone brought them in?

Try to call someone
It is amazing how many really good paddles people will leave there hoping the owner returns. Climbed under the fence at a lock once to retrieve one of mine. Happily most serious paddlers are pretty good.

Never heard of getting lost gear back

– Last Updated: Jun-04-16 12:56 PM EST –

I know lots of cases where someone left gear behind, and know of no case of getting it back.

This is such a common occurrence that I'll mention the rule I learned from my dad as a kid (he was car-topping boats at landings that are hard to get to as far back as I can remember). "Don't ever set anything on the ground. If you pick it up, take it to where it needs to go" (to the boat or to the car).

Naturally you can bend the rule a little. I often set gear right next to my boat when first setting up, and I might put all my stuff together in a pile to help clear the landing area before loading up. But I don't ever set something down with the intention of coming back for it. That's always how things get lost.

Improve your chances of recovery
the next time by buying a sheet of golf club labels with your contact info on them.

14 clubs to a regulation set so you usually get 20 labels. Waterproof, meant for outside use.

It will help the honest guy who finds your paddle get it back to you. That happened to me when I left a very nice 230 double blade on the beach. First I knew I had lost a paddle was later that night when he called.

Post on BWCA.com

Great idea
Thanks for the tip on golf club labels. I was wondering what I could use.

Many years ago in a WW river after missing two attempts at a roll after a capsize, I did a wet exit.

I made it to shore with the boat, but the paddle was long gone.

It had my ident. info on it.

Two weeks later, the paddle was in my driveway.

Last winter, I was able to pay it back when down in the Florida Keys, I came across a paddle in the mangroves . It had a telephone number on it. I called it up and it turned out to be from an outfitter that had rented a paddleboard to a lady, ten miles from where I found it.

They were quite happy to get it back.

Jack L

I had a good experience with labelyourstuff.com . (I have no relationship with them. )I got their waterproof labels and put them on my gear. That did come in handy when I was at a demo day and the outfitter accidentally took my paddle. It was separated out when they saw the labels on both paddle blades.

Yes, $4000 in camera gear left, found 4 months later and returned.

Here is great story from web…worth the read.


Someone drove mine to me when I forgot
When finishing a kayak-camping trip at Blue Mesa Reservoir in CO, I managed to drive the long, dusty, washboard dirt road down from a fork of the lake before I realized I had left both paddles sitting by the boat ramp. These were not el cheapo paddles.

In a panic, I made some phone calls to ask if a camphost near the ramp could keep them for me to pick up. They did me one better: they had found the paddles and said they needed to make a trip to town anyway, so they would deliver them to me.

That’s what I call service! Make some calls and emails and hope for the best! Good people are out there.

Even airlines
I used to do fieldwork in Peru during the summer. I once flew back to Miami only to find a piece of my gear had been “lost” by the airline. Never showed up at the luggage carousel and they said they had no idea what had happened to it. The following summer I again flew back to Miami from Peru at the end of my field season and, while waiting at the carousel for my luggage, there it was. Weirdest thing ever.

Sometimes it comes back
A friend from Australia on a paddling trip to New Zealand swam on the Arahura River and lost his paddle.

Months later when the paddlers had returned home it was found at the river mouth by a New Zealander who showed it to a workmate who paddled. Recognizing it as a good paddle he posted a message on Boatertalk where it was seen by an American paddler from the trip. He emailed the Australian who then arranged for a friend who was visiting New Zealand to bring it back.

He later lost the same paddle following a swim in Australia and had it returned again.

I lost my gray paddle…
below Kingman. never got it back.

Strange thing is a paddle buddy commented that she had found a gray paddle below Kingman the same day I lost mine. I never got it back.

Robert rolled his kayak on the Colorado and as he does not believe in leashes, still has not recovered said paddle.

So now I put labels with my name and phone number on all my paddles.

But have not lost one since I began to label them.