SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – October 2012

Worst Nightmare: Cold

A hair-raising tale of wilderness terror that will haunt your backcountry dreams

by: Bruce Barcott

Kayak Paddle
Kayak Paddle
    Tags:


Derek untied the towline. “Climb onto my kayak,” he said. “Quickly!” The boat sagged with the extra weight. It almost went over. The craft couldn’t handle them both in the wind-churned water.

Numbers. Balance. Numbers. Derek made MK at 230, maybe 240 pounds. Derek rarely topped 170. If he put MK at the center point, maybe... “Switch with me,” he said.

Derek levered himself out. He crouched forward while MK moved into the cockpit with his paddle.
Better. But still too heavy. Derek rode the kayak like a rocking horse, facing MK, his hands gripping the cockpit rim. Water sloshed into the boat as MK paddled, first feebly and then with more force. At least he was coming back from the brink.

But the tide was still pushing them in the wrong direction. “We need to lose weight,” Derek said.
MK nodded. He raised the paddle. A shift of the hips, the soft thunk of the hard shaft on soft flesh. The wind wiped away the shouting, the frantic splashing of broken fingers.

The older man swung the kayak east toward shore and paddled with renewed energy. They felt good, the dry clothes, the steady motion, the problems solved, the natural order restored.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
HikingMike
Dec 10, 2012

I wish it had said somewhere that this was a piece of fiction when I read it in the magazine. What the heck.

Swampsis
Nov 18, 2012

what a short dumb@ss ending

Swampsis
Nov 18, 2012

what a short dumb@ss ending

Puget Sound
Oct 29, 2012

Wait! Was there a happy ending?

turd
Oct 27, 2012

he said hard shaft on soft flesh, lol.

Kay Kay Kayak
Oct 27, 2012

Just came in from kayaking , cool here in Wisconsin today. Makes me more aware of what can happen in the cold water. Always have a plan and a wet bag with dry wool ware, I use boiled wool mittens when paddling in cold water.

Chi3f
Oct 26, 2012

Agree written poorly. Jumps around from scene to scene too much. Confusing.

John
Oct 26, 2012

My guess would be only Mk returned from that trip

Dax
Oct 26, 2012

Seems to me the writer got interested in a different project and left the ending in a hurry.

Yeah, he killed his boss? The boss killed the employee? - is that a tricky ending? Nope, just confusing...

Nos
Oct 26, 2012

MK killed Derek to save his own skin. When I first read this story, I was taken back. I thought this was the survival issue and not the murdered at sea issue. To bad Backpacker didn't include a tip on how to survive your psycho boss at sea.

Nos
Oct 26, 2012

MK killed Derek to save his own skin. When I first read this story, I was taken back. I thought this was the survival issue and not the murdered at sea issue. To bad Backpacker didn't include a tip on how to survive your psycho boss at sea.

Jerry G
Oct 26, 2012

Site broken. no link to page 3

Jean-Claude
Oct 26, 2012

You're not alone, Jacquie...I don't get it either...why was this story so short? it was very interesting...then stopped...I've the same question...what happened...

Gary
Oct 26, 2012

Uh, what! Strange article, even stranger when it went porn at the end. I don't get it.

Sam
Oct 26, 2012

/SPOILER ALERT/





MK hit Derek with the paddle and left him to drown.

gen
Oct 26, 2012

same here...kinda dum ending

ConAir
Oct 26, 2012

MK put Derek in the water. The end.

KW
Oct 26, 2012

MK hit Derek with the paddle, knocked him into the water and paddled to shore alone.

Arid
Oct 26, 2012

For real that ending makes no sense

Anonymous
Oct 26, 2012

I think MK beat the narrator with the paddle and he fell into the water and drowned.

View all comments

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Southern
SEC! SEC! SEC!
Posted On: Aug 31, 2014
Submitted By: CajunHiker
The Political Arena
Ebola breakout
Posted On: Aug 31, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions