The coolest news for paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts may have come not from Outdoor Retailer’s 2012 Winter Market, but from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show where new nano-technology was introduced that may soon bring us all waterproof smart phones and tablets. It’s hard to imagine another innovation that has such potential to actually change how we do what we do when it comes to exploring our wild outdoors.
Let’s face it, most of us are getting pretty tech savvy these days and our electronic gizmos are becoming an important part of our outdoor experience. Like it or not, we’ve followed the curve from paper maps, charts & compasses to GPS to smart phones and tablets without much of a hitch. We also know that when it comes to navigation, charts, weather and even photography these days, there’s gizmo and an app out there just perfect for our needs. The problem is that it’s pretty risky taking a smart phone or tablet out in inclement weather, let alone on our kayak! Experience has taught us that even electronics designed and advertised as “water proof” rarely are, no matter what they say on the box. Dry bags work, but are not a great solution either. They often just get in the way, either being too bulky or too thick for our sensitive touch screens to work properly. Well, things might be about to change.
At the recently held Consumer Electronics Show a company called HzO demonstrated its new “WaterBlock” system that basically covers every part of your electronic gadget in a thin, waterproof nano-coating. At the show they demonstrated how treated iPhones and Android devices will still function when under water. (See the video above) How cool is that? This may be the first step toward a world where we can bring our smart phones and tablets out into our watery world with out a second thought…. Well, that is until we realize we can’t get a signal… Keep your compass handy!
Hello. Welcome to the first “official” day of winter, and to everybody’s favorite game show, GLOVES THAT SUCK! (Cheers! Clapping!) Yes, Yes.. Alright, Thank you!! Yes, this is GLOVES THAT SUCK and today we’ll be introducing you to these grey beauties.. yes they’re thick, they’re restrictive, and what’s more, they will let your finger tips get nice and wet. Now we all know what happens when you restrict movement, restrict blood flow, and keep your fingers wet on a cold winter day don’t we!? That’s right.. Cold burning fingers!! Maybe even a bit of the ole’ frostbite!! You know what we say, when we get gloves that don’t keep our hands warm don’t we? Everybody now.. THESE GLOVES SUCK! Tune in next time when we talk to a nice pair of cotton mittens who make their home in Brixton, London, UK… They really, really SUC… Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
We were talking about how tough (or not tough) newer kayaks are these days, which brought up a reference to the popular “The Story of Stuff” video. If you’ve not seen it before, take a moment. Better yet, share it. This all fits right in with the point I’m always trying to make about gear; The number one selling point should always be, that it will not need to be replaced in a very long time!
So, I’ve got to share this story with you. The other day I was just packing up after my regular paddle around the local lake. I was going through my habitual process of putting away my gear, changing clothes and what-have-you when a woman came walking around my Jeep and started asking me questions. She had traveled around the US and had just arrived for 10 days here in the Baraboo Hills. She had all sorts of questions about trails, paddling, biking, where to find vegan food and about a hundred more questions. In the distraction, I got out of my routine. I left my Lumix DMC-Ts3 sitting on the back of my jeep. Continue reading
I love to run. Well, I didn’t at first. Well, I didn’t for the first 2 years.. It’s only recently that I really started to LOVE to run. Maybe it’s that I didn’t run through the most hot and humid days of July as I had in the past. Maybe it’s that at 46 and just over 200lbs I’m happy that I can still run at all! One thing is sure, I’m really loving this new iMapMyRUN App I bought for my iPhone.. Amazing what you can get these days for just a couple bucks! Continue reading
I’m sorry Bear. I was hard up for a knife and I was nowhere near a paddleshop. In a moment of weakness I bought one of your Gerber Bear Grylls signature knives. I had to. I didn’t have time to order a real man.. Um, I mean, “real SEA KAYKER’S” knife. I should have known I was in for trouble when your knife cut my finger the first time I opened it. Luckily when I got to the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium they had a real HE-Man Seakayaker’s knife. Continue reading