Murphy's Laws of Canoeing

Copyright Jeffery F. Davis All Rights Reserved

Everyone has heard of, and likely experienced, Murphy's Law--"What Can Go Wrong Probably Will, And At The Worst Possible Time."

Murphy's Law affects people in different ways, and a visit to canoe country is no guarantee that you can escape Murphy's jurisdiction. While the Law is universal and covers everyone, everywhere, a number of corollaries to the Law specific to the canoe country have been determined.

These specific inferences to the basic law have been scientifically determined thorough extensive research in the field to be genuine, verifiable and in some cases, constant.

The particular experiments used to uncover these corollaries involved first-hand examination by the researchers on the topics involved, but the exact experimental methods and results involved include some gruesome details not suitable for a family publication. Suffice it to say that no lab animals were used, and all discomfort experienced was by the researches themselves (as it was usually their own darn fault anyway).

In any event, study the following list--you never know when there is going to be a pop quiz!

· Never share a canoe with anyone crazier than yourself.
· If you can't remember, the stove has no fuel.
· If you are positive you do remember, the stove will still have no fuel.
· If your portage is going really well, there will be a hostile otter at the other end.
· All 10-lb test line is visible to fish.
· All 8-lb test line has a 3-lb failure point just above the swivel.
· Anything you do will attract mosquitos, including doing nothing.
· Mosquito repellant won't.
· Weather-predicting poems can't.
· Works-in-one-dose diarrhea medicine doesn't.
· Sunscreen will, except for that one spot you missed. (That spot will be easy to locate, seeing as how it is bright red and blistered.)
· Waterproof maps are not fireproof.
· Portage math is: 105 rods X 8 contour lines = 7 miles.
· Wildlife math is: 2 eagles + 3 otters = a moose tried to climb into the canoe.
· Food math is: burned pancakes + undercooked macaroni ¸ fresh fish = better than McDonald's at any time.
· Blister math is: your 3 blisters + your partner's 2 blisters = I thought you were bringing the first aid kit.
· You are not Superman.
· Don't look conspicuous, it draws biting insects.
· Never draw biting insects, it irritates everyone around you.
· All cook-in-one-pan meals will somehow make all your dishes dirty.
· You will run out of butter one meal before the cornbread turns out perfectly.
· All "cook-in-seven-minutes" meals will require 1.367 hours to cook and eat. (Scientific fact--really!)
· If the fish are hungry, you've just finished dinner.
· The plastic bag the toilet paper is in will develop a leak just before you feel intestinal cramps.
· If you are short of everything except water and dirty underwear, it's time to go home.
· Professionals are predictable. However, the world is full of enthusiastic amateurs.
· You will remember to go to the bathroom just after you take off your socks inside the tent.
· You will remember to brush your teeth just after you have gone to the bathroom and re-entered your tent.
· You will remember that no one pulled the canoe all the way out of the water just after you have achieved perfect temperature inside your sleeping bag.
· Fishhooks work on people, too.
· The rainbow will appear just after you shoot the last picture on the roll of film.
· The rainbow will disappear just after you have frantically dumped the contents of your pack on the muddy ground and located another roll of film.
· A tip for future reference: The film will always be next to the diarrhea medicine you needed but couldn't find two days ago.
· If you buy a $300 rainsuit and make a point to keep it accessible, it will never rain.
· The morning after a mouse chews holes in your $300 rainsuit to make nesting material, it will rain for the rest of the trip. It will also get cold.
· The important things are very simple.
· The simple things are very hard.
· The easy way is always muddy.
· If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
· A bad day in a canoe is better than a good day at work.