Is Your Paddle Just a Paddle?

Do you ever find yourself using your canoe paddle as a pry bar or walking stick?  How about as a table or a place to filet fish? A canoe paddle can be used for so many more things than just moving water.  Some people wouldn’t dare use their paddle for anything but paddling, how about you?

I don’t have a problem using my canoe paddle for a number of different uses.  I am however very careful when it comes to the blade of my paddle.  I wouldn’t want to be out on a 7 -day Boundary Waters canoe camping trip and find myself without a paddle.  I figure I can always get by if I break the handle off of my paddle but I would have a hard time without the blade.

When I use my paddle in ways other than it was intended to be used I’m pretty careful.  When I use it as a walking stick it’s with the blade up and handle down.  It sounds like it would be awkward but it works out just fine if you hold it beneath the blade. When I’m in the canoe and find the canoe is stuck in the same spot I sometimes use the handle of my paddle to pry my canoe loose.  If we’re in a narrow area or current then my handle of the paddle is used to push away from riverbanks or rocks.

Canoe paddles are used for a variety of purposes.  If my husband has a wooden paddle along then it can be used as a cutting board.  I’ve seen him drink water from his paddle after dipping it in the lake and I’ve seen other people using it to swat at bugs.  My son has used his paddle to attempt to get a lure out of a tree.  I like to wet my map and stick it to the blade of my paddle to pass the map to a paddler on the other end of the canoe.  It can also be used to pass sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen or anything else you need to get to another paddler in the canoe.

While it may not be the smartest thing to use your canoe paddle for something other than paddling when you’re in the BWCA wilderness you only have so many options.  My paddle isn’t just a paddle how about you?  What have you used your canoe paddle for?