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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > Oct 2019 > PADDLE OUT OF YOUR PREDICAMENT



With each stroke of the paddle, I moved the kayak smoothly down the Homosassa River, in western Florida. It is early morning, it’s about 40 degrees (F) and the only other activity on the water was a few other kayakers. If it wasn’t for the houses that line this section of the river, I could almost believe that I was in a time long gone by.

Spanish moss draped the branches of the live oaks standing sentinel along the banks, giving it an almost “Jurassic Park” feel. As I continued my journey, I glided silently past a heron sitting on a palmetto, undisturbed by my passing. I was alone with my thoughts when a manatee came up for air and then swam beneath my kayak.

Waterways like this were our highways long before pavement crisscrossed the landscape. Traversing the rivers was how people traveled and transported goods. Rafts, canoes and kayaks were used in the backcountry as a means of transportation and a way to ferry supplies to out-of-the-way homesteads. Light, non-motorized watercraft gave access to new lands, opening up new hunting and fishing areas.

Today these watercraft are used mainly for sport, but they do have their place in a self-reliant lifestyle or a survival situation as well. When you have to move quickly and silently or when you have more gear to transport than you can reasonably carry on your back, traveling by water is a viable option.

I grew up paddling a canoe. I have done whitewater rafting, and about three years ago I started kayaking, using this craft to get into areas even my canoe couldn’t really get into. As a kid I would spend endless hours fishing or exploring hidden coves using the canoe. My first fly fishing lesson was while I was in a canoe. When I grew older, it was the canoe that transported me to remote areas to hunt ducks and geese. The canoe could hold two people, the shotguns and other gear needed for the hunt and get us into position quickly and silently. For me, the canoe was an invaluable piece of gear.

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About American Survival Guide

American Survival Guide October 2019, REAL-WORLD Rehearsal, Bark River Knives + Winter Travel, BattleBox Leads the Way, And More....