gear

Kokatat SunCore Long Sleeve

11.08.2014

The favorite thing in my paddling kit has to be my Kokatat SunCore Long Sleeve shirt. I wore this paddling shirt on my Missouri-Mississippi descent in 2012 for 117 days and on the Volga for 71 days straight. It works so bloody well that I never take it off when paddling.

Words on Paper

11.08.2014

I can feel the judgment when they spot my stack of books. Ultra-light and sanctimonious, they pass me off as a Tilley-hat type, lost to the past. Screw ‘em. I look forward all day to stretching out in the tent, warm and dry, and falling in to a bit of narrative.

Plastic spoon is good enough

11.08.2014

I’m glad you love your $10 titanium spork, but I’m all set over here with my cheap plastic spoon. It does exactly what I need it to do, which is move delicious camping food into my mouth like a tiny shovel.

Pelican 1500 Case

11.08.2014

My favorite piece of gear is a yellow Pelican 1500 case I carried everywhere during my 45-day through-paddle on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail trip. Sure, I love the peace of mind that comes with coddling my cameras in an ultra waterproof hard case.

Old School Paddling Gear

11.08.2014

The spicy aroma of spar varnish on a cedar canvas canoe pervades my days. On the river it wafts from the hull. The tang grows more pungent when I flip the canoe overhead to portage, and even when the canoe is put away for the night the scent lingers in the campsite.

PFDS that Fit

11.08.2014

When you go to buy a life jacket, you’ll hear a lot about pounds of flotation and Coast Guard safety ratings. But here’s what you really need to know: If it doesn’t fit, it won’t work. That’s reason enough to love the latest generation of comfortable, form-fitting PFDs.

Sunga on the Water

11.08.2014

They may not look sexy on his hairy bod, but sea kayak guide Paul LaPerriere doesn’t care. So when it comes to what to wear under his wetsuit, as a bathing suit, underwear on a minimalist trip and, yes, even, horseback riding attire, the choice is obvious:

Portage Carts

11.08.2014

Listen, I’ve paid my dues. For years, I shouldered 70 pounds of Royalex and trotted down the trail, only to turn right around and fetch my packs. Now I leave the hard work to somebody with more to prove. Because hoisting a canoe overhead isn’t the lark it once was, and now I don’t have to.

The Do-Everything Jacket

11.07.2014

The last thing I did before I left Maine was cash in a half-used gift card at the L.L.Bean outlet store. I was headed to the Yukon later that week and I needed a jacket. For $19, I walked away with a sharp crimson scrap of ripstop—hood, front-zip, pockets. Seven years later, it’s faded to a rusty peach and sports a mess of sutures on the shoulder seam and sleeves.

Ultra-Light Dry Throw Bag

11.07.2014

People are always amazed when they see my Ultra-Light Dry Throw Bag by Wildwasser. It makes perfect sense: The bag that holds the rope is a drybag, so you don’t have to carry the extra weight of a saturated rope.

Bug Out Tent

11.07.2014

“Ahhhhhh, go away you stupid bug!” Paige shrieks and flails her arms, lurching the canoe to one side. Then come the words I’ve dreaded since the insects began swarming at the put-in: “I want to go home!” Two hours into a five-day trip around B.C.’s Bowron Lakes and my 9-year-old daughter is already losing her mind.

Dutch Ovens

11.07.2014

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, let us celebrate the wonders of the cast aluminum Dutch oven for camp cooking: It boils! It bakes! It fries!

goTenna

11.07.2014

I love that feeling. So why is everyone making it so hard to leave my phone behind? First it was waterproof cases, then in-phone cameras good enough to replace the real thing. Next came waterproof VHF handsets like Cobra’s Marine HH500 that link via Bluetooth to your smartphone, so you can make voice-activated calls even when your phone is stowed.

Jackson Karma Unlimited

11.07.2014

The Destination Torngat expedition wasn’t your garden-variety whitewater mission. Here was a crew of paddlers exploring one of our planet’s last great wildernesses using canoe routes pioneered decades ago. Instead of portaging around the many cataracts and waterfalls, however, they were charging straight over them.

Wenonah Canoe Designer Mike Cichanowski

11.03.2014

  What was the first boat you built? It was a 17-foot Cedar-strip tripping canoe. I built it in my dad’s garage in high school. My friends and I mapped out a trip on some old Indian trade routes. We bought an old car, put two boats on the roof and drove up there. We […]

TRAK Kayaks Designer Nolin Veillard

11.03.2014

When did you start paddling? I grew up in Saskatchewan so I did some canoeing as a kid, but I really got the bug when I lived in San Francisco. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the rest of the city from the water was such a unique vantage point. Now I paddle […]

Pakboats Designer Alv Elvestad

11.03.2014

How did you get started paddling? In 1977 a few friends and I bought canoes and went on a trip in the Lappland area of Norway and Finland. None of us had been on a canoe trip before, and we didn’t know anything about the route, except that there was a blue line on the […]

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide