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Kit Review

Carrying on from Driller's article on what to take on your typical Alps trip I thought it may be useful to look at some items that you could include in your paddling kit.

Your gona need a boat and as Driller discussed the type of trip you plan can decide what sort of boat serves the best purpose.

Driller showing how a creek boat should be used, take a play boat here and expect to walk away with broken ankles!

H demonstrating that play boats rock on big volume and play waves

Good shoes are essential for river running either for scouting or portaging, the Tevas will fit in most play boats whilst the Jobes need a big creek boat, like the Jefe or H3

Bouyancy aids come in all colours and sizes, most of our group are using the  Allan Ellard designed HF model, fitted with a chest harness,  zip  and two velcro pockets with an internal velcro pocket as well.

Items to consider carrying on you, cows tail, river knife, space blanket, spare drain bung, contact lenses and nose clip, money, whistle, screw gate and clip carabiners, sling, chocolate, split paddle key.

Items in your boat

Throw Line, the Yak pictured is a 20 m rope and packs down smaller than the Palm 15m due to the different ropes used.

The rope used in this Yak model  is a thin flat rope, while the Palm is thicker and retains its round shape when under tension, as ever you pays your money and takes your choice the Yak is smaller but the Palm rope is easier on the hands when being used.

Splits, one or two sets per group depending upon group size

These excellent Lendal 4 way splits use the paddle lock system which locks the pieces together when assembled and tightened.

Pin kit, sling, pulley, clip and screw gate beeners, couple of  prussiks and remember its important to know how to use the kit you carry, by the time you have created a kit pile between the group you will probably have enough kit to tackle the west ridge of Everest

First aid kit, containing the basics, plasters or menolin, zinc tape, antiseptic cream and some pain killers and a decent sized bandage / triangle bandage ata minimum

In winter consider a stainless flask with your favourite warm tipple, a bottle of water, summer or winter, dehydration will get you way before starvation does.

Group shelters are great to have in the even of it all going Pete Tong, get the entire group in the shelter whilst solving the problem what ever it may be.  Big ornage plastic bivvy bags are good to have, place an injured person in the bag to keep them warm and get someone to climb in with them if things begin to downhill. 

Not everyone in the group needs to carry all of these items they can be distributed amongst the group but a first aid kit, throw line,a sling and a beener should be a minimum to take on any river