View Full Version : Tow Behind Provisions

October 5th, 2004, 01:29 PM
Hi, I have been looking for a tow behind floating board that would have straps, velcro, for food, water, whatever. Is there such a thing made out there?

October 5th, 2004, 03:34 PM
Depending on where you swim, and the expected conditions, I still maintain the rule "Never Swim Alone".
For shorter training swims in safer waters you can tuck a Gel packet under your cap. (You do wear a bright coloured cap when out in the open water?). I also have a small waterproof wallet that holds a key and a piece of ID that I tuck under my cap.
Are there any docks along your route? Leaving a water bottle there or a couple of Gels could work. You can try tying a medium sized mesh bag to the bottom part of the top of the dock (Like the cross pieces or side struts, the ladder rungs however are a bit obvious and attract attention!) so it is not so obvious to curious eyes.
I tried leaving my stuff buried under a small rock, in the shallower parts of the not so well travelled shore, but where I swim the crayfish had a glorious time sampling and devouring my food.
Wearing stuff on your back, well I did try that ! I tried a small mesh bag tied to my suit straps, and I also tried a running style/ waist model camel back. Even tried tying my waterproof floating small box on my back straps, but didn't work either. All threw off my balance.
I haven't seen any swimmer use a platform type device out there although there are some floats avaliable for those who like to tube(ie float in an inner tube on a hot day down stream) and require refreshments along the way. I am not sure how they would work, and what would happen if there were waves etc.
For longer swims, a support boat and crew works for me.

Rob Copeland
October 5th, 2004, 05:28 PM
What I have used successfully, for years of open water training, is to attach a kickboard to a training tether (a Velcro belt attached to a length of surgical tubing, I suggest 6 to 8 feet), then secure water bottles and food in ziplock baggies under bungee cords wrapped around the kickboard.

I have used this for both lake and ocean swims. I have also used this when I have taken people out for open water lessons, it is much easier to let the swimmers stop, rest and hold on to the kickboard while I’m explaining the next drill or doing stroke corrections; rather then expecting them to tread water.

If assembled properly, the water bottles stay on top and the board just skips along behind you with very little drag. I can usually bring along 3 24+ ounce water bottles before I need to add more boards.

October 7th, 2004, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the replies! I do swim with an escort in the ocean, but in the lake I must confess I go solo in my wetsuit.
I have tried all the methods suggested for carrying supplies. I like idea of the kick board.
The winter is long here, so I think I might play with a kick board and some fiberglass in the garage. I'll let you know if anything comes of it.
Thanks Chris

October 8th, 2004, 06:11 PM

That's a great idea. I've wondered about doing something like that for lake swimming in my area, but never sat down and figured out how it would work. Thanks for passing on the info, now I can use my limited brain power on something else.

October 13th, 2004, 12:13 AM
That sounds like a great idea I'v ebeen puzzling over it myself. In warmer weather I've been leaving water & gels along the beach but with fall upon us the cooler temps make it less appealing to get in and out and the surf is tending to be larger. I've been wondering about using a lifeguard "can" type arrangemetn as i do have to get through a few lines of breakers and wasn't sure the kickboard approach would survive. Let us all know what you fiugre out!

Rob Copeland
October 13th, 2004, 08:53 AM
Typically, when going through the breakers, I’ll just use the kickboard as a kick board and walk/kick through the breakers. This assumes you are mainly going through the breakers from the beach to get to the smoother rollers beyond the break.

And if the kickboard does flip, it’s no big deal, as long as you have properly lashed your provisions. Also, you’ll probably notice the extra resistance if it does flip. Just flip it back when you get beyond the break.

As for using a lifeguard “can”, I did look at these, but I couldn’t think of a way to keep the can from rolling bottle side down. Now if someone invented a can with a water proof compartment for provisions… Also, being a cheapskate it was inexpensive to MacGyver this tow behind out of materials found around many swimmers homes.

October 13th, 2004, 11:00 AM
Thanks Rob, breakers in the winter are typically 2-5 lines deep in the 4-6ft range. Is that what you are swimming through? I'm afraid they would rip the bottles right off the board and I'm not sure how I'd manage to swim through towing it but it sounds like a good place to start. I'll see if can find a board to try. I'm thinking of going to the marine supply shop to see if anything there seems useful too! I'll report back on the expeirments. Right now the surf is only 3-4 ft so its a good time to experiment.

October 14th, 2004, 11:01 AM
I , too, am out there for longish periods of time, so spend the winters thinking about this stuff- I swim with a big red ball (@ target, <$2) in some netting (from the trunk of a car, I think- I found it in my basement) and attached to some exercise tubing (surgical tubing) and looped around my leg. I'm not sure how that sounds, but it actually makes sense if you see it. I am visible to boats (occasional visitors to my usual swim area) and have a non-coast guard approved floating device if need be. Also, I can put packets of gu or bottles of whatever in it if I need to. I obviously swim in a lake, though, so people dealing with breakers, etc might not find this useful. My swim friends tease me about my "ball and chain" but somehow it's not so silly if I carry the provisions!