|Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on March 6, 2019 at 1:15 PM|
This Kayak was produced by Mainstream in 2004 and it was their camouflage "Patriot" model. I think its since been discontinued so I'm giving information from memory as I couldn't find reliable information on the net. But that strategy of going waterborne to escape is the point here, not really the Kayak. It boasted a length of 11ft long. It had a cargo capacity of close to 400lbs and i used every bit of it, but always left some to spare for scavenging. It included one watertight bulkhead (that usually leaked at the divider wall with the seat) with a rubber lid, It was a flat bottomed touring kayak that I could take into the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay or hit the coastal marshes and vanish in reed grass with water as shallow as 4 inches with the kayak totally loaded. It was common to get 30 miles a day from this craft. It ran super stable and super quiet with its flat bottom. The stealth factor of this craft cannot be overstated. It was amazing. This flat bottom touring design also allowed for the stability its cargo capacity as well. In the marshes it was common for me to be able to stand up in this craft given its stability and my short stature.
The first mods were just simple items lashed on the front and rear deck with bungee cords. It was soon apparent that for this to be a true escape craft that could go the diatnce that Id need more cargo ability that was more convenient to use where ever I might find myself. Whether hiding out in a marsh or cutting across open water. The cargo generally consisted of food, water stores, a small rucksack, camouflage netting, fishing/trapping kit, and basic repair kit like silicone sealant and mesh screening.
Early on after much trial and error I decided to add a deck mount. This mount was made from an old ALICE rucksack frame. The original deck racked included a bread rack I found in a dumpster. I simply used hose clamps to attach it to the ALICE frame and used bolts and screws with very large washers to attach the frame to the deck.. I also added a rear rack of sorts. This was made from the leg to a fold out Army Hospital medical cot. The cot broke so I simply cut off the curved aluminum leg and shoved in the holes that were already there for fishing rods. It also change camo patterns a few times because I wasn't satisfied with the pattern it came with. I also mounted a compass in the cup holder that was located between the leg on the seat. This eventually shattered in the blazing hot sun out on the water.However this compass was super handy and conveniently placed
Later the final version was a monster of a craft. I removed the bread rack and added a simple camo zipper pouch from a British rucksack. I also added navigation lights and a "headlight" made from a army flashlight. I learned fast that fishing and crabbing boats out on the bay don't really watch where they're going in the darkness of the morning-which was when I would generally cast off to avoid the heat of midday. I also added a milk-create I found in the trash. This fit snug wedge under the lip of the front deck and it sat right where I needed it. This was filling with critical items i may need. Inadvertently this milk-create also added a firmness to the hull and the kayak glided better on the water. Carrying enough water was always a priority to in addition to the 4 canteens on the beck I usually has a few inside the the milk-create as well.
The Milk-creat on an early mod version. The pads on the ore kept the sound down when creeping around. It dulled the thud when the ore struck the hull.
So thats the Escape Kayak in a nut shell. The Escape Kayak did not make it to Alaska with me. I did not fancy going 5000 miles across the frozen Yukon with that strapped to the top of my jeep. Sadly I should have and could have. I do plan to get another one this summer and hit Prince Williams Sound with as much enthusiasm as I did the Chesapeake bay. However I have 5 years of solid experience skimming around the bays and marshes unseen formulating and escape plan just like I do here with my Spider Web Strategy.. Finding food was super easy there just as it will be here. Water is probably the best resource anyone can have if you can secure your place in the post collapse world.
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