Yesterday we finally able to get out onto our local lake (Devil’s Lake State Park). Here it is mid way through April and the ice is just now breaking up and melting off of the lake. Well, I guess I’ve been spoiled, it’s not really unusual to wait until mid-April to see open water here in central Wisconsin, but it has been a few years since winter has hung on so long. Continue reading
OK, so these 3mm (or 5 mm) neoprene gloves are stupid cheap. So cheap in fact, we bought a couple of pairs. At Rutabaga in Madison they are currently going for $16.95 a pair. That’s crazy cheap! What a great find when I’ve been desperate to find a new thin-ish pair of gloves to wear under my pogies in the winter… Continue reading
Just let your love flow like a mountain stream
And let your love grow with the smallest of dreams
And let your love show and you’ll know what I mean
it’s the season
– Bellamy Brothers
The annual Fog Bowl is coming up this January 1st, 2013.. OR maybe it isn’t. It’s hard to tell. If you were to go back about 6 or 7 years you’d see an occasional news report, you’d find details on a variety of websites including at the Mad City Paddler’s website. Mad City, seemed to be the defacto organizers of the event. This year it would take the great Sherlock Holmes himself to divine out whether the event is actually going on or not. Well, I’m going paddling on Lake Columbia to celebrate the new year anyway…. Continue reading
The thing about being known as a “kayaker” is that you never know what sort gifts Santa might bring….. like this kayak Tic Tac Toe board… Of course a real Tic Tac Toe expert would ask for 2 more pieces. (Expert? What am I saying??) Now the bit that had me confused was the rocks on between the middle and corner square. Do you have to go around? Now, if you’re not a kayaker, GSI also makes Canoe & Outhouse boards as well… Well, happy holidays everyone!!! Here’s hoping you get everything you wish for, and maybe find something extra special hidden in that dark corner under the bed!
Here’s the link to GSI OutsideInsidegifts.com
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on – bill withers
Over on Facebook there was a bit of a discussion about back bands recently. I’ve been part of that one many times in the past and have always advocated not using one. Of course there are a couple of provisos. First, your kayak’s seat has to have enough of a lip on the back to keep you from sliding backwards when pushing on the peddles. Second, you have to be an athletic paddler with good posture to truly be comfortable without a band to “lean back on”. (Something you shouldn’t really ever do by the way.) But, let’s be real here, sometimes I like to lean back a bit, and probably so do you. Continue reading
It’s been about a year now since I made a choice between getting a new dry suit or Kokatat Gore-Tex Whirlpool Bibs with a Rogue dry top. Off the top of my head, I saw some advantages to going with mix-n-match over locking into a one-piece dry suit. With Canoecopia coming up this weekend here in Wisconsin and lots of folks taking advantage of the discounts to get the more pricey gear they need, I thought now would be a great time to let you know how that choice worked out. Continue reading
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!