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Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

By Chris Evans


These helpful top tips look at what to carry in your repair kit should the worst happen, destruction of your favorite toy.


Avoiding damage in the first place

I've put this in first because if you have taken time to pad out and check over your boat before hand then is very unlikely that a repair kit will be kneaded. Firstly air bags, air bags not only fill a space where water could get but without them full boats become very heavy and the weight of a full boat combined with the force of the river can easily right off a boat. Both bow and stern (front and back) air bags in your kayak and canoe lessen the space for water meaning the weight is lessened too. Have a quick check of all the bolts on your boat, better to find out bits need replacing in the comfort of your home than on the water.


Gaffa tape

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

If it can.t be fixed with God.s own tape then throw it away. Seriously, gaffa tape has 101 different uses, it can be used to repair clothing e.g. holes in dry suits or cags, holed boats, dented paddles if your using the foam core variety and as a very basic first aid dressing.


Plastic

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

A sheet of plastic (cut the top and base off of a 2 litre fizzy drinks bottle, roll it up and rap your gaffa tape around it) can be put over weakness hole or crack in your kayak or canoe, once taped in place it gives a little more support to the already weakened boat.


Cable ties

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

Cable ties are unbelievably useful for piecing back together knackered kit, just like gafa tape, cable ties have 101 uses for example broken backrests, helmet chin straps, lost footrest bolts from kayaks iv even seen someone stitch back together a split kayak with cable ties!


A turbo flame type lighter

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

A lighter like the turbo flames can be used to do basic welds to kayaks, just be careful, too much exposure to heat can leave you with a very colorful puddle of goo instead of your boat.


Glue sticks

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

I carry these because of the reason above. Instead of welding your pride and joy boat you melt the glue stick into the crack, hole or where the bung should be if forgotten and gaffa tape over the top. Once at the end of the trip you can remove the temporary repair without having done any more damage to your expensive toy and get a professional boat welder to fix your kayak or canoe if needed.


Multi tools

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

I carry 2 different multi tools, one is a leatherman type tool with pliers and a knife and the other is an adjustable screwdriver with different size screwdriver heads and Allen keys. The reason I carry both of these is because different manufacturers use different size bolts on their boats.


A spare air bag

Maybe not for inland kayaking but for canoeing and sea kayaking a spare air bag is very useful. If someone looses a hatch cover off of their sea kayak then an air bag can be inflated into the hatch meaning it wont fill up in a choppy sea. A spare air bag for canoeing simply would be a replacement if one got punctured.


Spares

Top Ten Things to Carry in Your Repair Kit

If every one carried a few spares like seat bolts, footrest bolts and a bung for their own boats it means that if parts get lost, forgotten or broken then there isn.t the faff of trying to improvise a bodge to a boat.


Rec Repair Bags

The final tip is how to keep all of this in your boat, I put my rescue kit into its own bag marked up and separate to things like first aid kit and shelters to avoid getting them wet. These tips should hopefully keep your boats in working order and if not will at least get you to the end of your trip without having any more epics.


The final tip is how to keep all of this in your boat, I put my rescue kit into its own bag marked up and separate to things like first aid kit and shelters to avoid getting them wet. These tips should hopefully keep your boats in working order and if not will at least get you to the end of your trip without having any more epics.



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