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When it comes to two-way communication in the wilderness, a satellite phone is one of the better items to have as it allows you to talk directly to the authorities during an emergency. One of the problems with sat phones is that they are expensive to purchase typically costing between $600-2000 for just the unit itself. SPOT, makers of the very popular satellite GPS messenger, have just introduced the SPOT Satellite Global Phone and with a suggested price of $499, it's one of the first sat phones aimed (and priced) for the recreational outdoor enthusiast.
Buddies and fellow Canadians, James Manke and James Roberts are teaming up to travel and compete in the National Greenland Championships held in Qaqortoq, Greenland in this July and are looking for your support. The project is very cool and you should consider helping them out.
Getting people to wear lifejackets while on the water has always been a tough goal. Over the years we have seen all kinds of campaigns from boring government brochures to funny spoofs of old cop shows. Now things have taken a bit of darker turn with the new drowning simulator called, Sorte En Mer. You need to try it but be prepared, it's pretty intense. The simulator starts off with a video of you and a friend out sailing on a calm day then quickly turns into a disaster when you are knocked overboard and left watching your friend sail off into the horizon unable to control the sailboat. To keep your head above water you need to scroll your mouse wheel for as long as you can. Are you able to stay afloat long enough until your buddy comes back? I couldn't. Shock campaigns like this have been around for a long time and I’m sure you’ve seen posters with splashy photos of traffic accidents telling you to slow down, or reminders that you love your dog so don’t kill it by leaving it in a car on a hot day. For a while now researchers have been looking into shock campaigns to see how effective they are. While there is an emotional reaction to seeing bloody car wreck photos, a study back in 2008 in the Netherlands showed that they had the opposite effect. In the study, some male subjects who saw the commercials judged driving fast to be less dangerous or trivialized the message that driving fast is dangerous. I remember as a teenager our local high school used to arrange for a local wrecker to come and drop off a crashed up car to remind students not to drink and drive. Who knows how many students got the message but all I know is that a large group of us used to stand trying to figure out how to get in the crushed car so we could get photos of ourselves. Another interesting study out of Belgium showed that campaigns based on fear tended have a…
Big news in the outdoor industry today with the announcement that Confluence Watersports has been bought up by private equity firm, J.H. Whitney Capital Partners. Though you likely haven’t heard of J.H. Whitney Capital Partners you have likely heard of some of their other privately owned companies including, Eastern Mountain Sports, Pure Fishing (who make Berkley and Trilene fishing line and Igloo Products (makers of coolers). So what does this mean for Confluence Watersports? Mainly a major cash injection into the company so they can move to the next level of their business plan which includes a planned name change to Confluence Outdoor. "We are very pleased to be brought into the J.H. Whitney family," said Sue Rechner, who will continue in her role as President & CEO of the newly formed Confluence Outdoor. "Confluence has always been an active and invested member of the outdoor industry, and we are fortunate that our new partnership with J.H. Whitney will enable us to build upon our success in paddlesports as a platform for future expansion." Terms of the deal were not announced as both Confluence and J.H Whitney are privately owned.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Who Says Only Boys Can Portage?

Fiona from Badger Paddles recently released a limited run of their Girls Portage Too poster and I absolutely love it. Inspired by the portage signs scattered all over Ontario parks like Algonquin, this reminds us that anybody can portage a canoe (with the correct technique). Fiona sent me this sample which my youngest daughter was happy to take charge of. It's getting framed and going up in the landing at the top of the stairs. The 11" x 17" poster is available for a limited time and are $9.95 and any additional posters are only $5 (max 5). You can order yours here.  

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