Gear

Any inventor with an awesome idea will tell you how difficult it is to take it from prototype to store shelves. In many cases an awesome idea never gets off the ground because they just can’t find the cash. Finding that cash has always been difficult but getting easier. In the past year or so, Kickstarter has become the largest funding website for creative projects or inventions. Here is how it works. You are looking for funding for your project, invention, art piece or documentary. On Kickstarter you create a page to sell your idea and people pledge. If the idea meets the fundraising goal then credit cards gets charged and everybody is happy. You get the funding and project backers get a piece of the action depending on their pledge level. Browsing through the site, here are a couple of cool outdoor related projects currently looking for funding or were recently successful:
Werner Paddles just announced their new SUP racing paddle line called the Grand Prix which will come with three blade shapes in both straight and bent shaft (12 degree bend) designs. The straight shaft weighs in at an unbelievable 15.5 ounces and of course that light weight comes at a price. The MSRP is $389 for the straight shaft while the bent is going to be approximately $465. Look for it at your local paddling shop mid-March. More info: wernerpaddles.com
Trolling through the US patent office for kayaking related inventions is a bit like wandering around the Island of Misfit Toys. While some patents have been issued for products that have been introduced to the market, a huge number of patents have been issued for inventions that...well...most likely will name make it to your local paddling shop. Here are a couple highlights that I found: In 2004 a patent was issued for this Emergency Air System for Kayaks. In theory it seems like a good idea for whitewater paddlers but according to the filing, it was going to be intended for paddlers who fail their roll the first time and need another breath before trying again. Here is somebody who invented what could be called the worlds most complicated hydration system for kayaking. It involves a bladder that held water behind your seat followed by a series of tubes through the deck of your kayak and up to your mouth. This was unique because of a squeezable bulb (mounted between your legs) which would be used to pressurize the bladder. No sucking for you! I don’t know a single person who hasn’t said that they wished their kayak deck came with a set of luggage racks so I have no idea why manufactures didn’t jump all over this invention. Just think of the junk luggage I could have taken on trips if this patent from 1993 had come to market. Speaking of people who like to bring lots of stuff, here is the perfect accessory for your next camping trip. This Buoyant Storage Vessel comes with its own cooler, gas powered stove and yes, a kitchen sink. Looking at the filing, I couldn’t figure out how it would work in real life. Picture this, you get to your campsite at the end of a long day and then you are expected to drag it up on the beach to use it as a portable kitchen. Let’s hope that you have the 13-14 feet treeless, flat ground available at your campsite or else the whole thing is pointless. Even if you…
  If you are the type of camper who hates scrapping burnt dinner off your dented pots (me) because of somebody’s poor cooking skills (mine) then you might be interested in the Hexa Pot. The Hexa Pot is a collapsible pot made from a special non-toxic waterproofing multi-ply paper material to prevent liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper. Of course you’re asking how a paper pot won’t burn (like last night’s dinner) when it’s over the high heat of a camp stove. The secret is that as long as you have liquid in the bottom of the pot, it will keep the paper from getting hot enough to ignite. Isn’t science awesome? According to the manufacture; it’s primarily designed as a single-use pot in the aftermath of a disaster to disinfect water by boiling but the material is strong enough to be used several times while out camping over the weekend. The pot is perfect for heating drinks and durable enough to cook a pasta dinner. Right now you can’t buy it as it’s still in the prototype stage but they have posted the project on Kickstarter to try to raise the capital to bring it market so here is your chance to get in on the ground floor! Photo credits: Hexa Pot
I believe there are many in the outdoor world that would disagree with the Fail Blog and herald the Ugg Croc Toe Shoe as the greatest shoe of all time. For me? I have to agree with the Fail Blog but hey, whatever floats your boat...

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