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705-857-2038 or email hartleybay@xplornet.com  -  2870 Hartley Bay Rd., French River, Ontario P0M1A0 View on map  -  Open 7AM-9PM 7days a week - Season May 1 - Oct 31

How to Pack an Emergency / Bailout Dry Bag for Your French River Kayaking Trip 

Few things rejuvenate body, mind, and soul quite like French River kayaking... It provides the perfect opportunity to  the open waters of this kayaker's paradise, which leads to Georgian Bay with its easily navigable waters. With very little vegetation and soil along the coastline, paddlers get to enjoy the spectacular views or pristine blue waters, gnarled trees, windswept islands and the thousands of small granite islands. More experienced paddlers steer out towards the less sheltered channels and open crossings leading to open bays and distant islands.


Beautiful and safe as it is to paddle out here, nature can be unpredictable and that's why it's always crucial to come prepared. You never know when the weather might turn, and even the most direction-oriented paddlers can become lost among the maze which is the Thirty Thousand Islands. If you lose track of time, you want to be prepared to spend time outdoors until you're able to get back to your starting point.

Introducing the Paddler's Emergency / Bailout Dry Bag for French River Kayaking

This list of items can save your life in just about any situation (you probably have more, but this is to get you started):

  • Duct Tape - As you know, duct tape fixes anything. From small repairs to other gear to taping over loose screws on your kayak, it is the ultimate must.
  • Super Glue - In the event of a gash that you can't close, super glue will do the trick.
  • Multi-tool - When you need to cut something, bend something or tighten screws, a multi-tool is your best friend.
  • Lighter or Matches - In the event that you are stranded somewhere, you will be glad that you took along something to start a fire.
  • Car Keys - Put your extra set of car keys in your dry bag, instead of hiding it on your car - or locking it inside while unloading gear.
  • Whistle - Pack a whistle in your dry bag. That way, you will be able to call for help in places where people are unable to see you.
  • Mirror - A small hand mirror can help you draw attention from boats on the water or helicopters in the sky in the event that you become stranded somewhere.
  • First Aid Kit - You should always pack a small first aid kit when you're outdoors. Some of the newer first aid kits come in small zipper pouches and contain everything you might need while kayaking the French River.
  • Emergency Blanket - An aluminum emergency blanket can help retain most of your radiant heat in the event that you have to hunker down in cold water or air temperatures.
  • Bottled Water - Proper hydration is key when you're physically active, particularly in the great outdoors.
  • Energy Bars - If you forget to bring a snack, you'll be glad that you brought an energy bar (or two, or three).
  • Hand Towel - You'll find many uses for a hand towel on a kayaking trip. From drying your hands to handle your camera or drying off a wound so that you can apply a band aid, you'll find much use for a washcloth or hand towel.
  • Money - You never know where you might end up, so having cash can certainly help out in an emergency situation.

In addition to keeping you safe during your French River kayaking trip, your dry bag will make it much more enjoyable.

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