Even shallow lakes, with ice thicknesses measuring in double digits, can have patches of dangerously thin ice. Add to that the constant threat of weak ice along rivers and streams where the under current can keep the water from freezing and forming adequate weight-bearing layers and you have the potential for falling through the ice.

Steps you can take to rescue yourself:

Exercise breathing control! You are better off letting the gasping sequence pass – usually 1-3 minutes. You need to get control of your breathing – and keep from swallowing water should you slip below the surface while you are struggling.
Escape from the side where you broke through – you know that back ice is strong – but not if the ice beyond is even thick enough.
Keep body horizontal – kick and pull. Try to keep arms out beyond edge of break; kick as you would when swimming; trying to pull with hands and fingers. (You may have to break edge of thinner ice back to find a stronger, supportive thickness).
Always keep arms extended out onto ice. If you succumb to the cold and pass out, your sleeves may freeze to the ice keeping you from slipping down below the surface. This also keeps a portion of your upper body out of the water (heat loss by water is 25X faster than by cold air).
Roll away from the hole. Once out onto the ice, don’t try to stand! First roll, then crawl to solid ice or ground.
As a rescuer – your safety comes first. Stop/Think/Send for help. Reassure victim; offer instructions (all those points above).
From a safe distance, push something toward the victim to grab onto (branch, ladder, etc.) Offer a rope or even an extension cord with a looped end that can slip around shoulder and hook under arm, and pull victim out to safety.
Consider carrying along “ice grabbers” (commercial or home-made) whenever traversing ice.


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ILLUST-SNOWSHOE SIDE STEPPINGMost snowshoers, at least when first starting out, stay pretty much on the flat. And while a gentle slope is easy to walk up, steeper terrain can be more demanding, sometimes to the point of nary impossible.

Short of climbing up the face of a cliff, most slopes can be approached and “conquered” utilizing both a well-designed snowshoe and proper foot/showshoe placement and advancement.

Today’s high-tech snowshoes are equipped with both a pivoting foot/toe plate and ice-gripping claws (crampons). A properly-fitted snow show enables the wearer to bend his foot forward moving his toe downward below the bottom of the snowshoe. That makes for better ankle/leg posturing as well as driving the biting teeth of the crampon down into the crust for better traction when climbing greater inclines.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT: http://guide.sportsmansguide.com/tips/snowshoeing-slopes/

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My first sea kayak - a big, slightly off-center Haxby original - on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Alaska (circa 1986),

My first sea kayak – a big, slightly off-center Haxby original – on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Alaska (circa 1986),

Welcome to Wavetamer Adventures. Just after moving to Alaska in 1985, a buddy and I started a kayak business selling Feathercraft folding kayaks. We called ourselves Wavetamer Kayaking. Over the years that interest in sea kayaks has expanded to include the history of the craft and the love of the destinations, skills, equipment, and adventures that go along with their use and enjoyment. Some of that fondness is expressed within these pages. Enjoy!

And remember…

Be safe; have fun out there!


NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS:  wavetamer@icloud.com


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