As explained in the June 2004 reflections from the cockpit, "Yak-Gyvers" are ways in which we use our kayak equipment in alternate ways. Everyone one of us has used a piece of our kayaking equipment in ways not intented by the designers. You never know when one of those tricks may save a life or get you out of a jam.

I am hoping we get a lot of ideas from all of you closet MacGyvers out there. E-mail your own Yak-Gyners to study@usekayak.org. If you want your name attached to your Yak-Gyver please say so in the e-mail and indicate your permission to post your idea.

Keep in mind, some alternate functions may damage the equipment which then leaves it unseable for its intended purpose. Even though some creative ideas will be posted USK does not endorse all that you will see on this page. This page is for free sharing and you need to use your best judgment because you will be the one to deal with the consequences of your actions.

Yak-Gyvers (listed by equipment):

Pole for carrying dry bags
Support for a tarp
Metal tip Toksook used for breaking lake shore ice for winter launching
Provide you a longer arm
Signal device
Aluminum shafted paddle to open a capped bottle. - Jake S.

Paddle float:
Water carrier (depending on you style of inflatable float)
Fill an open hatch if cover is lost and the hatch is not too big
Pillow (remember this needs to be functional for recoveries)
Splint (air or foam)

Pump handle used to get items stuck up near the bow in the front hatch
Used to cool down on a hot day by pumping water on yourself or a friend
Pump ou the basement when the drains back up in heavy storms - Jim Plaia

Extra support for an injured swimmer
Paddle float (last case alternative)
Seat if you don't care about possible tearing the ouside of you PFD.
Padding if you had to immobilize an injured person

Spray Skirt:
Cover up when you have to change clothes in public places or discreet nature calls.

Plastic Bag:
Sleeveless paddle jacket or rain jacket or wind breaker
Hatch cover (with duct tape)

Clothes line
Carry multiple dry bags
Sling for injure upper limbs
Carrying loaded boats to and from the water
Side surfing practice device (see calm water surf)
Extention to a cow tail on a PFD

Dry Bag:
Water carriers
Day packs when used with stirrup

Pillow when stuffed with clothes and a fleece jacket around the outside
Great place to keep you clothes dry in a leaky tent
I use my dry-bags, inflated, as an avataq-like support while practicing Greenland style rolls - Andy McKenna

HLWTS (Human Liquid Waste Transport System) - Steve Holtzman

You can turn a dayhatch into a "mini-fridge" when kayak camping,by using bubblewrap and Nalgene bottles of ice-particularly good in cold water areas. My wife has this one down to a science! - Dan Lacey

Hatch covers:
How about hatch covers as emergency dinner plates when kayak camping. Been there, done that! - Dan Lacey

Kayak Sails:
A kayak sail can become an emergency sun shelter. I used this one in the Exumas. - Dan Lacey



USK Home Page

© Copyright USK