Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

What NOT To Bring?

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As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to leave behind anything you can't afford to lose if you're doing the race. Actually, I think this applies to boating in general.

Car keys and wallets are a biggie. Might want to leave those with a friend or someone you can trust ahead of the race for pickup later. Replacing the contents of your wallet is a mega-bummer. I've been there. And car keys? Well...how will you get home? Oh, a taxi. Great, but if you've also lost your wallet, you can't pay for one.

Cell phones and cameras are items many boaters like to bring along with them (myself included!) but if you don't need them, don't bring them. I know, you're probably going to bring them along anyway. Let's be practical about this!

If you must bring them you can at least take a few precautions. I use Pelican hard shell cases (see photo above) for cell phones and small digital cameras. They're great! Waterproof down to several feet and you have that hard plastic shell with the sponge foam lining inside for extra padding. Do I sound like an ad here? Sorry. It's just that I really like these things. I've seen them in various sporting goods stores.

Cost is between $12 and $30 depending on how large a case you buy, but it's worth it considering you often have hundreds of dollars invested in your electronics. There are cheaper solutions. Mini dry bags, for example, run about $10 a pop. They don't offer the same protection from bumps and bruises, but they are waterproof - or at least water resistant - and that might be all you need. Then there's the good ol' Ziploc bag. Well, it might work. Good luck with that...

Keep in mind, there's an odd chance you can lose your expensive goods whether they are protected or not! So that takes us back to the general rule of thumb: if you can't afford to lose it, don't bring it along in the first place.

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