Tips from the Paddler

Tip 1. Grimloc instead of accessory carabiner

Tip 1. Grimloc instead of accessory carabiner

I’ve always been adamant about not having non-locking carabiners outside of the kayak cockpit or even inside the boat in a place where an inadvertent hookup could result in an entrapment in the boat. This problem is not just theoretical. I’ve seen it happen first hand and know of several incidents where it has led to problems. 

I frequently see folks with dollar-store keychain carabiners clipping items to their deck or even to themselves (e.g. to clip their grab loop to their pfd to keep it off their lap when they’re out of the boat). I beg people not to do it because of its risk, but also because of the ease of taking a safer route. 

One of the better solutions I’ve found is the plastic “Grimloc” device that’s designed for military “Molle” gear pouches and webbing. These are readily available on the internet, cheap (I just bought another 10 for under $10 total), are really secure when fastened, won’t rust or corrode, are very unlikely to create a snag hazard when fastened and are easily opened with one hand.

I use Grimlocs mostly to secure items like throwbags or waterproof bags behind the seat of my kayaks. Take a look at all of your gear with an eye toward snag hazards and try to think of better ways to either remove those hazards or help ensure that anything remaining has a good breakaway mechanism built into its system. Paddle safely.


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