Today's Paddling Pic: #31.French River Provincial Park, Ontario. 2018.
I think that most of us probably have an old, tired piece of gear that we just can't bring ourselves to leave at home when we go canoe-camping. It might be a cracked, battle-worn paddle. Or a tattered and leaky tarp. Maybe it's a favourite shirt so full of holes it's useless. What ever it might be it is hard to ignore the power of nostalgia that drives us to carry these things with us. For me it would be my Dad's old campfire stove. Reid and I have taken this on every single trip we have ever done - excepting fire bans. It is so twisted, rusted and warped that we now find ourselves setting it up in old fire pits and building supports around it. And it's not like we don't have other fire boxes. It's just that they are bigger, heavier, and not the same. I am sure that this year will be the year we retire it (for the fourth time!). But we will store it away safely. And perhaps we will pull it out once and awhile, if only just to catch of whiff of smoke, and ash, and pine needles; or maybe even to take it out on one last trip.
So what's a sentimental but irrational piece of gear that you still carry?
About "Today's Paddling Pic": These last few days I've find myself looking back on some wonderful memories and images of where canoeing has taken me, and it's made me smile. I feel so fortunate and grateful for these places, people and experiences, and it's kind of nice to reminisce. And in doing so I can't help but to also look forward to a time when we can all paddle safely again! So for the next while Reid and I are posting a picture a day (with a story) that will brighten our day and hopefully yours too. And maybe you'll share your stories too.