The Heliconia Press announced that they have sold off their book and DVD publishing arm to Fox Chapel Publishing who is best known for publishing woodworking books and videos.
Over the years, The Heliconia Press released a wide variety of very good paddling books and videos including Sea Kayaking Rough Waters by Alex Mathews, Rolling a Kayak by Ken Whiting and the highly recommended book, Camp Cooking: The Black Feather Guide to Eating Well in the Wild by Mark Scriver.
So what’s next for The Heliconia Press? Their TV and web TV production line has become so successful that they are going to be exclusively focusing on it. No word on what projects are in the pipeline but they have several extremely popular youtube channels including Paddling TV and Kayak Fishing Tales which is on track to get six million views this year alone.
If you have ever thought of getting into the world of adventure film production, paddler and film guy extraordinaire, Bryan Smith is highlighted on the latest National Geographic webTV episode of Fringe Elements.
The latest episode called Adventure Vision gives some background of how Bryan got into film production as well as a sliver of insight into how some of those amazing adventure films are put together. If you don't have time to watch the video below the short version is that it's a really huge pile of work to get the shots looking right.
The gear nerd in me was all excited to see that Bryan is now shooting with RED cameras. Not the ultra high-end ($58,000) handheld RED EPIC cameras that Peter Jackson is using to shoot the Hobbit but it’s still pretty cool none-the-less.
The Learn to Camp program involves a three pronged approach including an online website, community-based evening sessions and overnight classes at several provincial parks.
Throughout the camping season the Ontario Parks staff will be organizing free evening sessions in partnership with local community groups around the Greater Toronto area. The clinics will allow people who are thinking about going camping learn about provincial parks and how to make their first trip a success.
If you are a fan of emersion learning then you could sign-up for one of the overnight programs. It costs $46 and can have a maximum of six participants. It’s much more in-depth then the community sessions as it covers some of the key outdoor skills to make sure your camping experience is successful including settings up a tent, building a campfire, equipment choices, and food prep.
Finally, if you can’t get to an event in person, Ontario Parks has rolled out a fantastic online resource with all clinic materials online. I really appreciate that the site content is very practical and clearly aimed at the beginner camper with the goal of breaking down the intimidation factor. For example, the food section includes a sample meal plan as well as lots of information on things that I would never think about like how to actually cook on a stove safety or how to properly pack a cooler.
I love this initiative and congrats to Parks Ontario for rolling out.
Photo credit: Our camp at Nipigon Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A little bit of outdoor industry business acquisition news to start your morning.
Wenonah will be moving the QCC operation from its current home base of
The good news is that all the QCC employees have been offered jobs over at Wenonah Canoes and QCC founder, Steven Freund will remain with Wenonah Canoe, managing the QCC brand.
This should bring a bit of a shift for Wenonah’s overall business model. QCC was based around the business model of selling directly to customer and shipped out individual boats while Wenonah generally will only sells to customers through its network of outdoor stores. The news article I saw the announcement in specifically said it would continue selling QCC boats factory direct to customers.
I tried to find more information on the purchase on the Wenonah website but they haven’t updated their company news section since August of 2009.
The latest issue of Ocean Paddler magazine is now out on the newsstands. This issue includes several interesting articles including the second part of a very good technical article about kayak construction, an excellent interview with Justine Curgenven as well as a fun article by Nigel Foster on his trip to the Great Lake Sea Kayak Symposium on
Also tucked in there is an article I wrote called, “Safety Gear – Location & Decisions”. The article is really about the gear decision making process and the important skill of being able to critically evaluate your safety gear and where to carry it on your person.
To get the job done, I got on the phone with pro paddlers, Bryan Smith, Ben Lawrey, Greg Stamer, Helen Wilson and Jeff Allen and hit them up with questions. It didn’t take long before they were all gabbing away and I was typing frantically trying to keep up with each of them. All paddlers love to talk about gear.
I only got into Ocean Paddler a couple of months ago as it hasn’t been available here in Toronto but I have since started reading the electronic version of it and have really enjoyed it. Its different then other sea kayaking magazines as it clearly aimed at the intermediate/advanced paddler as the articles are a bit longer and the topics are slightly more technically focused.
The last issue of Ocean Paddler is available elecrontically for free here.