After choppin' out everything I didn't absolutely need, I started experimenting with the seat.  After dumpin' the dugout in a flood-stage Raccoon River, I realized the dugout is to squirrely to have an elevated seat.  To control this baby, you have to be sittin' on the floor.  So, I changed the seat into a back rest and checked that out.  It WORKS!

After extensive water trials, I've got everything down and can handle the craft.  This has lead me to a dilemma.  The dugout handles so well, I'd rather paddle around in it than work on it!

Now, for the real test, put my scoutin' gear in there and see how it handles with a load.  This could be exciting.  I'll tie everything in!
There had been some very minor leaking through cracks that had developed over the winter.  Before I put any of my precious cargo into a leaky dugout, I wanted to calk the cracks with more oakum.  Here I shove strands of oakum into one of the smaller cracks.
My scoutin' gear includes my go-pack, (my version of a Minute Man's essential survival and combat gear), my powder horn and shootin' bag - with Delaware Axe, .54 cal. full stock Hawken rifle, wool blanked, canvas tarp, cold weather gear, canteens, and, since I'm not carrying it, my buffalo robe.   I decided to use the buffalo robe to cushion the passenger compartment.
Since there isn't anything inside the dugout to tie to, I use the canvas lines running around the outside of the dugout to tie everything in.  Lashed securely from side to side, I'm reasonably sure nuthin' is goin' to the bottom if I dump her today.
The craft is almost perfectly balanced with all my gear at the end of my feet.  It leaves me a little bit of extra cargo space in the bow.  For a twelve foot craft, that's just perfect.  She handles well with the load.  Though, without a keel, with the flat bottom, and the rock from bow to stern, (all of which make it a very maneuverable craft that handles swells well), it takes constant course maintenance.  I can't power stroke because it takes too much oar adjustments to keep her on a straight bearing.  I wouldn't want to take her in a stiff current, though she handles high wind and waves well.

A small group of ducks sun themselves next to a beaver creek.  The creek is named Badger Creek, but I've never seen no badgers on it, just beaver.

I laid back in my buffalo robe and took a break from paddlin' with my feet propped up on my gear.  Rockin' back and forth with the wind on the water, it beat any bed I've ever had.

I don't know if I looked that worn out, or if the pickin's were just mighty slim, but three buzzards floated around long enough I began to worry they might loose their patience and try to kill me.

A green turtle didn't pay me no never mind as we both sunned ourselves on our perspective logs.
Arrowheads are often called Indian Water Potatoes in these parts.  The tubers are tasty and can be rooted out of the muck with a strong forked stick.

If you wrap the tubers in a damp Arrowhead leaf, you can roast 'em in the embers of your fire.  My boys and I think they taste like popcorn popped over a fire...sort of.
Late in the afternoon, I had to get in out of the sun.  I found a little bit of shade and took some shore leave.  I noticed all the mussel shells along the banks were the 'coons had been snackin' on 'em.

Durin' the last Great Depression, fresh water mussels were collected to the point of near extinction just to add protein to the diet.  I'm thinkin' I need to take a few lessons from them 'coons and expand my diet some.
A White Heron was huntin' the shallows along the lake as well.  As the sun got low to the horizon, I thought I could sneak in on the settin' sun and get close enough for a good shot.
Guess not.
Sun starts ta slide and the cool starts to spread out over the surface of the waters.  This must be what it was like in Genesis when the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.
The day ends in a blaze of glory as the Sun's fire sputters out in the surface of the water.
Paddling back to where I left the truck, I run across an industrious beaver on his way to do his night's work.  My dugout is so nimble and light on the water, I was able to paddle to within ten feet of him twice before he slapped his tail and jogged off in another direction.

Business like as a beaver is, he can't let go of the job at hand.  As soon as he finishes with his evasive maneuvers, he heads right back to where he was goin'. 
That was my shake-down cruise with my loaded scout dugout.  She performed admirably.  I do believe I will spend many happy days in this craft.  Later this year I hope to break-away and take a survival trip living off the land and water.  I'll post it when I get around to it.