A body of water with plastic bags and other debris floating in it.

Lakes – Clean As You Go

Canoeing, SUP and Kayak Portable Garbage Can

Why do so many lakes end up with trash washing up along the shorelines? Because of careless folks who don’t realize how their littering adds up. This trash remains around our waterways’ edges because so many people think they can’t do much about it. That’s simply not true. A couple of years ago, I saw a TV commercial featuring NFL star J.J. Watt with a crew cleaning up garbage on a river. I thought that was a grand idea, but then realized I didn’t have a big boat or a team to help me. But I did have a kayak, gloves, and a 5-gallon bucket. So the next weekend, I set out to a local state park to see how much I could clean up in a few hours.

A letter c is shown in the middle of a circle.

Over the limit trash

I was astonished at the amount of litter on my favorite lake! Over 4 hours, I collected and emptied 25 gallons of trash—everything from fishing line to beer cans to water bottles. Someone even left behind an unopened can of beer! Who does that? Your guess is as good as mine about how some of the strangest items got into the lake. Such as:

  • A car headlight.
  • Bicycle wheel.
  • Warehouse pallet.

To be fair, some of the trash likely landed in the lake by accident. Fishermen with bad aim sometimes can’t get to a line that hangs in a tree. And plastic bags can blow away while you’re grilling burgers and monitoring your hungry Labrador Retriever! There’s an easy solution to this unintentional littering coming up…

Good feeling and a bonus

Look, I’m sure many folks saw my little cleanup and thought I was wasting my time. Or maybe they figured I was crazy for picking up after litterbugs. Truth be told, that first-day garbage grab was one of the most relaxing days I’ve ever had on the water. Coasting around, listening to podcasts while making the lake beautiful again was fulfilling and comfortable.

The good feeling I got from spiffing up the great outdoors was enough to get me hooked on this new activity. But there was a bonus. I’ve gone on several more cleanups at various lakes. I have collected a small tackle box full of fishing lures, bobbers, and even a rod! Sure, I nearly fell out of my kayak, trying to snatch a top-water torpedo from a branch, but it was worth it.
There was one problem with my new eco-hobby. Sometimes I wanted to fish or paddle without a cumbersome bucket tied to the front of my kayak. Plus, when I had a friend along, they weren’t into trash detail on their only day off. So on those trips, I couldn’t pick up any litter along the way.

Until I discovered Caddycan the portable garbage can for kayaking.

A letter c is shown in the middle of a circle.

Do good while having fun.

This little creation goes with me anytime I head to the lake or river now to go canoeing or kayaking. It’s ultra-compact, so it takes up no room in the truck. And it’s 100 percent better than having an old, unsightly paint bucket strapped to my kayak blocking my view of the scenery.

A letter c is shown in the middle of a circle.

The velcro and hook system on the Caddycan portable garbage can allow me to secure it anywhere I want. And I never have to worry about dumping all the trash back into the water like with the clumsy bucket system I was using.

Now, I can’t pick up 25 gallons of trash with the portable garbage can for canoeing, kayaking or SUP, but its purpose is to clean up on every trip. That adds up! If I’m with my nephew fishing, I’m happy to pick up 5-10 plastic bottles and retrieve some bobbers. Hopefully, he’ll take on some cleanups when he gets older.

If I’m checking out waterfalls on a mountain lake with a friend, I don’t have to slow our expedition down. I can simply pick up litter I see along the route. Little things matter.

More problems solved.

I bet you can relate to one other irritation I used to face when on the lake. Having to end my trip early to search for food. No, I wasn’t foraging through the woods or about to grill a catfish at the park entrance. But I would have to go back to the truck to grab a drink and a sandwich. Or leave the park altogether to hit a drive-thru. Like you, I want to enjoy my limited time off work as much as possible. So once I’m on the lake I don’t want to leave early just because I’m hungry. So Caddycan solved that problem for me too. I can pack a lunch with some ice and cold drinks by using the add-on PEVA water-proof sleeve. This little feature usually adds a couple of hours to my lake time since I can eat on the water or on a sunny shoreline.

Plus, I don’t ever become the accidental litterbug. When my belly is full, all my trash goes back into the Caddycan, which is easy to clean. And no one has to pick up after me when I am gone.