Essential Gear For Spring Floats

Spring in the Northern Rockies brings dynamic, often challenging, conditions to the river. One can, and should, expect a two-day float in April or May to serve up a buffet of Mother Nature’s finest – not all of it necessarily palatable. A little forethought and planning, though, along with the essential provisions listed below, can help ensure a safe and comfortable outing, no matter what comes your way.

Hydration System

SBB_7892“Drink More Water”. It’s the well-worn, widely traveled motto of guides and outdoor educators everywhere. But what do those folks know? Bupkis, that’s what… and I should know. Leave the water for the trout. What you really need on a multi-day river expedition is a more efficient system; a single liquid that covers your hydration needs, and provides all the nutrients, complex carbohydrates, and osmosis stimulating bubbles that your body needs. A five-gallon keg of india pale ale is just the thing. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to bring along a brewer, if you have one, just incase. You’ll find that, even on ice, such a system fit’s nicely behind the rower’s seat of most modern drift boats. The brewer ride’s well up front.


SBB_7913Man does not live by fermented, runny bread alone. Maintaining your strength in the hard-hearted wilderness, requires protein. Novice boaters  meet this need with jerky, summer sausage or roast-beef sandwiches. But a real pro wouldn’t be caught dead without his smoked turkey leg. Not only is the stringy meat guaranteed to keep your appetite manageably suppressed, but the crumpled aluminum-foil wrapping also hermetically seals your meal from 20% of interested flies, and 6% of all adjacent bilge-water.

Gin TruckMAC_0864

If, somehow, after judicious employment of the above listed survival tools, you still happen to find yourself in a tight spot, nothing is half so effective as this handy bit of heavy machinery. Sure, they’re designed for oil field service – pulling drill rigs over cliffs and whatnot – but I think you’ll find they’re quite versatile. If, for example, hypothetically speaking, you wake in your sodden tent, to a gloomy dawn and the piercing realization that your pick-up will never make it back up the hill now that the “road” (dirt ladder) to camp is wet, then a gin truck is your new best friend. If you spring for the deluxe model (which comes with a Dodge 3500 to pull itself from the mud) you may even get on the water in time to get some more fishing done.MAC_0823

Oh yeah, and Ibuprofen… bring a bunch of that too.

2 Comments on “Essential Gear For Spring Floats

  1. We’ll modify the hydration system, but the addition of the gin truck was brilliant. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought if it before!

    • Sometimes Walt, the obvious solutions are the hardest to see. Though, hopefully, modifying the hydration system will mitigate your need for the gin truck in the first place.

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