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Week in Review: October 17, 2014

How not to launch your boat, blind kayakers finish Grand Canyon, scary kayak spelunking and more

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Paddle for St. Patrick’s Day

03.13.2013

To celebrate the luck o’ the Irish March 17, we’ve compiled a list of classic paddling spots to unleash your inner leprechaun (cool fact: there are 14 Green Rivers in the U.S., and two more in Canada). Even if you can’t hit them on all on March 17 in honor of Ireland’s most recognized patron saint, put them on your list for the rest of the year to make your paddling peers green with envy.

Best In Show: Canoecopia 2013

03.12.2013

Every March, more than 20,000 Midwestern paddlers make an annual pilgrimage to attend the Canoecopia consumer expo in Madison, Wis. Over the three-day event this weekend, paddling enthusiasts visited more than 200 exhibitors to check out the latest canoes, kayaks, paddles, apparel, gear and accessories. Here’s a handful of products highlighted for attracting the most attention at Canoecopia 2013.

LifeProof LifeJacket and Case

03.12.2013

Sometimes, having a cell phone while on the water is a nice thing to have. Some cases such as the Watershot offer both full-on water protection and the capability to take underwater photos/videos. For those who need something a little less sophisticated but still protective, the LifeProof LifeJacket and Case may be the perfect option. Photo editor Aaron Schmidt tested it out, and here’s what he had to say:

The Relentless Pursuit of Wood-and-Canvas Perfection

03.12.2013

Gull Lake Boat Works’ Marc Russell talks about the crafting canoes the old-fashioned way: milling ribs, planks, gunwales and stems from cedar and ash, then steam-bending it around an age-old building form, wrapping the hull in canvas and producing carefully varnished and vibrantly painted works of fully functional art. Watch the video of Russell breaking down wood-and-canvas canoe construction.

Paddling in Costa Rica Tips

03.11.2013

To many people, Costa Rica is the definition of exotic: trees ripe with bananas and mango, howler monkeys swinging through jungle canopies and active volcanoes punctuating a pristine landscape. To boaters, it is simply paradise.

From blue waters and classic rapids on the Pacuare River to the exploding waves of the Reventazon, Costa Rica offers something for every paddler. Canoe & Kayak online editor Charli Kerns is just back from a week-long whitewater safari with Turrialba-based adventure outfitter Esprit. Here are her tips for your next trip to paddling paradise.

Across the “Otherworldly” North

03.10.2013

After securing a prestigious Royal Canadian Geographical Society grant, a core group of Camp Wabun staffers and alums launched Coppermine 2012, a 1,500-mile expedition across the barrens of Canada’s Northwest and Nunavut Territories to the Arctic Ocean, setting off from Yellowknife on July 1, tackling the big waters of Great Slave Lake in three canoes, then across the Barrenlands, hoping to inspire the Inuit communities along the way.

Chattahoochee Journal: Waking Morpheus

03.08.2013

Morpheus hadn’t moved since I put him to rest there in November 2009. I know boats are supposed to be female, but I named the canoe I borrowed from Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for my ‘Hooch float in 2009, Morpheus, God of Dreams. My grandfather, who had passed away earlier that year, said, as he left the living room to take his daily nap, “I’m off to the arms of Morpheus.” Seemed like a good name for a dirty old canoe that would float me down a dirty old river.

Two Girls and a Tree Named Makeba

03.08.2013

Countless adventurous journeys have proven the open canoe to be world’s the humblest yet accomplished vessel. Last summer, Michigan City, Indiana-based friends Mary Catterlin and Amy Lukas, both 24, chalked up another amazing feat by completing a three-month, 1,200-mile circumnavigation of Lake Michigan in an 11-foot, outrigger-equipped dugout canoe that Catterlin crafted herself from a cottonwood log. This weekend, the pair’s story is sure to wow audiences at Madison, Wisconsin’s Canoecopia, North America’s largest paddlesports tradeshow.

Under Human Power

03.08.2013

Darrell Gardner’s eight-and-a-half year epic self-propelled mission from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Arctic Ocean was inspired by a dream, not a last-ditch effort to set his life on a new course. Read more about the Santa Fe, N.M.-based registered nurse’s unprecedented human-powered journey that he began at age 50 and finished in August.

Lessons Learned from the Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition

03.07.2013

Checking in with Pete Marshall, whose video teaser from the Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition just earned an IMAX Award and a $25,000 prize, presented by IMAX, Newsweek & The Daily Beast, for exhibiting the keen “ability to take audiences on an adventure through explorations in filmmaking.” Learn more about the 130-day, 2,600-mile expedition from the Pacific Ocean to Hudson Bay documented in a four-part CanoeKayak.com series.

MSR: Carbon Reflex 3

03.07.2013

Same vertebral shape as the smaller Topaz 2, but much bigger. I ran a CR3 on the Owyhee recently and dropped my jaw when it set up. It is amazing how spacious a tent of this weight and packed size becomes. Design targets maximum livable space with few bells and whistles. Sets up easily, enters […]

When the Currents Stop

03.06.2013

Airing his last episode airing in April, TV producer Mike McKay is ending Currents, the web TV documentary series that both illuminates the risks threatening the world’s rivers and highlights the intrinsic value of preserving rivers in their natural state. Currents episodes have won several awards, including its latest episode The Ottawa River, which won Best Accomplished Documentary at the National Paddling Film Festival last month.

Paddling to the Public

03.05.2013

Two remote ponds and part of a brook in New York’s Adirondack wilderness might have been off limits to paddlers and the general public had a state Supreme Court judge not recently ruled in Phil Brown’s favor. But on Feb. 25, Judge Richard T. Aulisi ruled that the waterways Brown traversed are navigable and open to the public. Read more about the access implications of the ruling.

The North Face: Topaz 2

03.05.2013

The North Face: Topaz 2 MSRP: $249 thenorthface.com Admittedly, a TNF fanboy here, the Topaz is another 2P/3S tent option and one I might actually consider for two. A half moon shape with a pole at front and back and two connecting strut poles sets up tight, suggestive of a vertebra as seen from the […]

Sierra Designs: Mojo 2

03.05.2013

Sierra Designs: Mojo 2 MSRP: $399.95 sierradesigns .com The Mojo is a hybrid, single/double wall structure that reminds me of a shirt tail sticking out below a sweater or two dogs humping, I’m not sure which, but the way the rear of the tent protrudes out from under the fly jars my aesthetic. Rant end. […]

Hyperlite Mountain Gear: Echo II

03.05.2013

Hyperlite Mountain Gear: Echo II MSRP: $595 Hyperlitemountaingear.com The Echo II is made with high performance Cuben fiber fabric with an unmatched strength to weight ratio. They call the Echo series the most technically advanced professional tarps available and I believe it. A three piece modular: tarp, mesh tent and detachable vestibule, handy concept for […]

Kelty: Vista 3P

03.05.2013

Kelty: Vista 3P MSRP: $349.95 Kelty.com Another good 3S, 3P choice with highly livable interior space. Excellent vestibule footage as well, front and rear, always a premium for storing dry bags and cooking a quick meal. It has average weight, with slightly more interior space and vestibulage than the much lighter Carbon Reflex 3. Fabric […]

Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide