Prairie State Canoeists

A canoe and Kayak Club

Instruction News...

Here you will find news on topics related to learning, safety, rescue, etc.  If you have something you would like to contribute or have added here, please contact our Instruction Team.

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  • 2017-04-13 9:13 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/leave-no-trace-skill-dishwashing-frontcountry

    Leave No Trace Skill: Dishwashing for Frontcountry

    Midpines, CA: Dirty dishwater and soaps can pollute our rivers, lakes, and streams, which is why Leave No Trace always recommends doing your dishes away from water sources. In the Skills Series video below, we’ll teach you the 4-Bucket dish system that helps you protect your favorite outdoor places.

    Begin your dishes by ensuring that you are 200 feet (70 big steps) away from all water sources. To start, you'll need four buckets, a scraper, a sponge, minimal biodegradable soap, bleach, a strainer, a trash bag, and a towel/drying rack. 

    Bucket #1: Cold Rinse (Funk Bucket)- This is the bucket where the majority of your food scraps will end up. Scrape your dishes free of food scraps before rinsing them in cold water. 

    Bucket #2: Hot Wash - Pour half hot water and half boiling water in this bucket, where you'll use minimal amounts of soap to scrub clean your dishes.

    Bucket #3: Hot Rinse - Again combine half hot water and half cold water to rinse your dishes free of all soap residue. 

    Bucket #4: Cold Bleach - Bleach is essential in sanitizing your dishes, especially when your dish water comes from a questionable source like rivers, lakes, or streams. Use 6-7 drops of bleach per gallon of water in cold water for sanitation.

    Dry your dishes with a towel or on a drying rack. Dispose of your wastewater by walking 200 feet (70 big steps) away from any water sources and strain the dishwater to remove any food scraps. Dispose of food scraps in your trash bag. 

    The 4-Bucket system is a great way to wash your dishes when you’re in camp. If you’re backpacking, check out our simple system for dishwashing in our upcoming video. Thanks for practicing Leave No Trace!

    Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace. 

    Leave No Trace's Donielle Stevens and Aaron Hussmann are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjallraven, Eno, Deuter, Thule, Smartwool, and Taxa Outdoors. 



  • 2017-03-10 9:09 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/how-far-200-feet

    How Far is 200 Feet?

    Stone Ridge, NY: When was the last time you were hiking and you felt the call of nature? Using the “facili-trees” is a normal part of being in the outdoors. However, do you know how far from water sources, trails, and campsites you should go before answering the call?

    Leave No Trace recommends walking 200 feet to reduce the chances of contaminating water sources and trails. Not sure exactly how far 200 feet is? Luckily we have a simple trick you can use; 200 feet is approximately 70 big steps! Walk in a mostly straight line away from those water sources and trails to reach your defecation destination.

    We hope this simple trick helps on your next adventure.  This golden distance can be applied to anything you do off-trail; whether you’re finding a campsite, washing dishes, bathing, and even using the bathroom. Thank you for always doing your part to Leave No Trace.

     

    Adventure on!

    Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

    Leave No Trace’s Steph Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, and SmartWool.

    Tags: 

    Education

    Leave No Trace in Every Park

    Master Educator

    Outreach

    Seven Principles

    Trainer Course

    Training

    Traveling Trainers



  • 2017-03-10 9:08 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/how-leave-no-trace-frontcountry


  • 2017-03-10 8:41 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/leave-no-trace-skills-using-fire-pan

    Leave No Trace Skills: Using a Fire Pan

    Brevard, NC: The winter winds are still afloat, even with a warm summer’s breeze meandering aloft in the Pisgah high country. The mountains are beautiful here; rivers with tumbling waterfalls, cascading over rock ledges. Pines and rhododendrons are filling in the underbrush. The granite dome of Looking Glass towers above the valley floor. As we camp along a ridgeline we ask ourselves, “should we even have a campfire here”?

    Campfires while on an overnight trip are so important, to so many people. When rules and regulations allow it and the fire danger is low, having a campfire is a great way to experience the outdoor world. In the backcountry, we may not always find designated fire rings at our disposal. In this case, the fire pan is an excellent tool to have a Leave No Trace campfire.

    “So, how does it work?”

    Unfold or build your fire pan. Then, gather some rock cobbles to place underneath the fire pan. These cobbles will act as insulation from the fire. Build your campfire well inside the edge of the pan and enjoy the warm glow. If others are camping near-by consider inviting them over. Having one communal campfire instead of multiple reduces the overall impact created by fires in the area.

    For best results while creating your Leave No Trace campfire, gather wood using the Four D’s.

    • Dead: Wood that has been dead long enough to be dry.
    • Down: Physically separated and down from living trees.
    • Dinky: Smaller in girth, than one’s wrist or forearm. Easy to break and to burn completely through.
    • Distant: Wood should be collected 200 feet from camp to avoid firewood mining and the effects of site creep.

     

    Enjoy your campfire while monitoring it closely. Each fire has potential to do a lot of damage. Please utilize and keep near a collapsing bucket, water container or sand in the event the fire needs to be extinguished quickly.

    Burn wood completely through, until the ashes are physically cool to the touch. Use water to completely extinguish any remaining embers. Then, carry the ashes 200’ into the woods and dispose of, using the dispersal method.

    Campfires have a huge potential to do more harm than good in backcountry environments. We see fire impacts all across the country which include fire scaring, tree damage, and even wildfires. However, using this skill and by taking the proper precautions, we can minimize the impacts we leave behind from campfires. Enjoy the gorgeous places you visit and use this skill to help maintain the beauty of the area. After all, it’s up to every visitor to protect the places we all love.

    Enjoy your world & Leave No Trace,

     

    Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

    Leave No Trace’s Steph Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, and SmartWool.



  • 2017-03-10 8:40 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/go-canoeing-leave-no-trace-0

    Go Canoeing, Leave No Trace

    Durham, NC: Whenever friends get together outside; you’re bound to have a great time.  This last weekend we visited some great friends while going on an adventure to visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Check out this week’s video to see how we left no trace while canoe camping near a gorgeous wildlife refuge.

    The first step to any successful trip is to plan it out. Taking each of the seven principles into account, we were prepared for the entirety of our trip. Check out the outline below to see how Leave No Trace applies to canoe camping.

     

    Plan Ahead and Prepare:

    • Check the website for the area you are visiting to understand rules and regulations.
    • Call ahead to arrange necessary permits.
    • Check the weather reports and tide charts.
    • Gear lists are a great way to make sure you bring everything necessary.

     

    Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces:

    • Water is a durable surface, have fun on that paddle!
    • Set up camp on durable surfaces like sand.
    • Focus your activity to the beach to avoid harming sensitive sand dunes.

     

    Dispose of Waste Properly:

    • The best option for camping on an island for our #2 is to pack it out.
    • Use a WAG bag system to pack out all human and even pet waste.
    • While finding a secluded “facili-tree” avoid stepping on plants and dunes.

     

    Leave What You Find:

    • Sand dollars, shells, and artifacts are amazing to find. Leave them for others to explore.
    • Wash inside and outside your boat to prevent invasive species from being spread.

     

    Respect Wildlife:

    • Keep your distance from wildlife.
    • Use binoculars or a camera for a close up view.
    • When bringing a pet, keep them on a leash to avoid negative interactions with wildlife.

     

    Be Considerate of Other Visitors:

    • Let nature’s sounds prevail.
    • If you are looking for peace and solitude, consider visiting the area during off-peak times.

          Screen Shot 2017-02-14 at 11.53.29 AM_0.png

    Have fun on your trip, that’s what it’s all about!

     

    Adventure on,

    Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

    Leave No Trace’s Steph Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, and SmartWool.

    Tags: 

    Education

    Leave No Trace in Every Park

    Recent Popular Blogs

    Seven Principles

    Trainer Course

    Training

    Traveling Trainers



  • 2017-03-10 8:35 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/skills-series-invasive-species-cleaning-gear


  • 2017-03-10 8:31 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/bright-idea-headlamp-etiquette-101

    A Bright Idea - Headlamp Etiquette 101

    Flagstaff, AZ: We recently participated in the Grand Canyon Hiking Guides Seminar where one of the Leave No Trace issues that came up was proper headlamp etiquette. Rangers and guides both shared stories of being blinded by visitors completely unaware of the power of their headlamps, and asked us to help raise awareness around this issue.

    Don’t get us wrong, a headlamp is an essential part of every adventure kit! Lights provide an awesome alternative to campfires and make cooking, cleaning, playing games and late night bathroom runs easier and safer. However, those lumens can have a big impact on other visitors! Step up your Leave No Trace game and Be Considerate of Other Visitors by following our favorite tips and tricks for headlamp etiquette. 

    1. Turn off your headlamp while hanging out around camp. Instead, use ambient light, like moonlight, candles, or a campfire, to avoid blinding your friends. We love putting our headlamp around an opaque water bottle and stringing it up in a tree for a DIY lantern effect.

     

    2. Take advantage of the red light setting! This setting takes less time for your eyes to adjust to the dark, preserve your night vision and gives you greater peripheral vision and depth perception! Groovy!

     

    3. Instead of keeping your headlamp on your head, keep your headlamp around your neck or in your hand. This will help you avoid accidentally spotlighting other visitors or animals, and will also help keep the bugs out of your eyes.

     

    4. Encourage your friends to remind each other if their light is on too bright or unnecessarily.

     

    5. If you’re driving into your campsite late at night, use your low beams. Your car’s bright lights easily shine through the thin walls of a tent and can wake up sleeping neighbors.  

     

    Have Fun.  Be Safe.  Leave No Trace.

    Leave No Trace’s Alex Roberts and Emy Gelb are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjallraven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.



  • 2016-10-22 9:11 PM | Dave Watts

    https://lnt.org/blog/understanding-why-why-we-leave-no-trace


  • 2016-06-13 7:19 AM | Instruction Coordinator (Administrator)

    Looking for some fun and an opportunity to learn and sharpen your rescue skills?

    Join John Chase and Dave Watts at Whalon Lake on Tuesday, July 12 where we will spend a couple hours on the water messing around in, and out of, our boats. We will practice various self and assisted rescue techniques.

    Pre-registration is required. Reserve your spot now!

  • 2016-04-30 2:15 PM | Instruction Coordinator (Administrator)

    Yep, I'm kind of a geek at heart.  Truth is, you probably are too so I know you're going to love this!

    Have you ever found yourself wondering what the water level was for the rivers in your area but you didn't want to have to wade through the data on the USGS website to find out? There is an easier way.

    1. Visit your state's USGS page. Here's The Illinois page.

    2. Find the gauge for the your favorite river and click on it. Here's the DuPage River near Naperville

    3. Just below the charts for streamflow and gague height, you'll see a link to subscribe to Water Alert.

    4. From here, you can tell the gauge to email or text you at predetermined intervals with the data you want to receive. 

    That's right...the river will text you and tell you what's going on.  Mind blowing cool if you ask me.

    That's it for me today. I just got a text. The water is really calling, and I must go.

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