We set out to answer that question this week. With the help of the guides at the Girl Scout Canoe Base near Ely, we loaded two canoe packs, dumped them in the lake, and waited to see if they would sink.

For the first pack, we used a typical Duluth-style #3 canoe pack with personal gear for a week: 2 sleeping bags, 2 therm-a-rests, 2 bags of clothes, 2 sets of rain gear, some misc. fishing equipment, camp shoes, and bug spray. For the second pack, we used a typical narrow Duluth-style equipment pack loaded down with pots and pans, saw, stove, fuel bottle, tarp, 2 four person tents with poles, toilet paper, flashlight, rope, wash kit, and grill.

After twelve hours in the water, both packs remained afloat. This photo shows the red equipment pack still floating after twelve hours in the lake.


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