Black Bear

An interesting study was released today that seems to debunk the popular believe that most bear attacks happen when you get between a mother and her cubs.

Most of the fatal black bears attacks in North America in the last 110 years were the result of male bears targeting humans as food, according in an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Wildlife Management by University of Calgary professor Stephen Herrero.

Researchers looked at all the black bear deaths in North America between 1900 and 2009, excluding those caused by bears kept in captivity.

The study found that 63 people were killed in 59 incidents. Of those, 88 per cent involved a bear "exhibiting predatory behaviour" and 92 per cent of the bears were male.

Here are some bear safety tips to make your next backcountry trip safer.

More info:

Photo credit: Black Bear / Mark Watson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 21:11

The Kayak Chainsaw Massacre

He is clearly the bravest sea kayaker in the world.

Sea Kayak Essentials Capture

There is a new kayak training DVD about to be released called Sea Kayak Essentials and it’s put together by the same gang that brought us Kayak Essentials last year which we were happy to review at the time.

This time round they are looking specifically at sea kayaking with a focus on the following skills:

  • 5 Essentials of Boat Speed, Angle and Trim; Body Position, Stroke Linking
  • Fundamentals of Posture, Connectivity, Feel and Power Transfer
  • Core skills of Forward paddling, Balancing and Turning
  • Use of the Skeg
  • Boat Awareness exercises

There are also sections that go into more detail on how to paddle in advanced conditions including tidal races, surfing and rock hopping.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this DVD. Kayak Essentials was well produced and focused a lot on the technical skill development so there was a lot of material to work with. Sea Kayak Essentials looks to be in a similar vein and very promising.

A trailer was recently posted and it’s embedded below.

You can find more information about Sea Kayak Essentials on their website.

Adventure Guide Zombie Marquee

My firend Mike sent me this photo of the outdoor shop that he works at in Waterloo, Ontario. He convinced his boss at the Adventure Guide to change the sign to read, “Zombies can’t swim. Buy a Paddle board.”

This comes from a recent post we chatted about a while back where something similar was posted at a marina.

Adventure Guide has had some witty stuff on their sign in the past. Back in January it read, “Ski wax on. Ski wax off.”

Photo credit: The Adventure Guide

Bryan Smith on Adventure Vision

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.

Canoe Instruction at Sunnyside

We have all been there. There is only an hour left in your lesson but you have two hours of material left to teach. Where did the time go?

A sign of a good instructor is the ability to keep on top of your lesson plan and finish things off in the allotted amount of time. With one eye on the students and the other on her watch, the instructor can keep the lesson going without getting flustered or stressed that she behind schedule.

Below is a set of random tips and ideas to help you manage your time while out teaching this summer:

Lesson Planning

  • Write your lesson plan out on paper in a chronological order throughout the day so you don’t need to waste time trying to find your place while on the water.
  • When planning your lessons, be realistic in how long something is going to take or learn. Travel and paddle time always takes longer then you think and don’t forget to take into account wind and a beginners paddling pace.


Teaching Time

  • Streamline housekeeping. If your students need to fill out paperwork at the beginning of the course encourage them to get there early to take care of it before the course starts. As students finish up their paperwork use that time to learn names and morning expectations.
  • Set realistic time expectations with your students. Let them know how much time they have for lunch so they are back on time. Tell them your goal is to be on the water in x number of minutes so they know if they have time to find that last minute item in the trunk of their car.
  • Watch your travel time on the water as it eats up a lot of time very quickly. Don’t move your class unless you need to.
  • Getting on and off the water always takes twice as long as you think it does (did I mention that before?).
  • Try to teach your on-land segments at the same time (just before or just after lunch) to minimize water/land transition time.
  • If you need to paddle for a short distance to your planned teaching location, watch and lean how long it takes. It’s important to know how long the paddle home is going to take!
  • Take advantage of class downtime for quick mini lessons. For example, lunchtime is a great time for a fast weather or safety lesson.
  • When your students are off practising their newly learned skill take a moment look ahead in your lesson plan to figure out what’s next. That will help keep the lesson momentum from stalling out.
  • Watch your mouth. If you are running out of time it’s likely because you are talking too much. Start with the goal to cut your talking down by half then go from there.
  • If your class runs over two days, hand out homework for them to read. It’s great for theory topics and other easily digestible material.
  • If you realize you are running out of time and can’t teach everything in your lesson quickly prioritize and teach only what you can. Is there anything that you can get students to read or learn via a follow-up email later?
  • At the end of the day make note of what worked and what took more time then you thought. This will allow you to properly adjust your schedule as necessary next time.

Got other time saving ideas? Post them in the comments area below.

Photo credit: Canoe Instruction at Sunnyside / Bobcatnorth (Away) / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Alt. kayak

I’m not exactly sure where this was taken but looking at some other photos in the Flickr photostream it was taken in the Bohuslän archipelago in Sweden.

And here is a very unrelated bonus photo for you. Darth Vader busking in Victoria, BC.

Victoria BC Canada - Inner Harbour - Darth Vader Busker

Top photo credit: Alt. kayak / Mads Bødker /

Bottom photo credit: Victoria BC Canada - Inner Harbour - Darth Vader Busker / Cindy Andrie /

Heliconia Press Logo

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.

Kayak Fishing Tales LogoOver 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.

World Kayak LogoWorld Kayak, the online hub of the freestyle kayaking community, is launching the first-ever point series designed to create a system of amateur rankings for recreational kayakers.

The point series will be implemented at World Kayak’s Hometown Throwdowns throughout the US and Canada this year. The system earned nods of approval from the freestyle committees of both countries’ kayaking federations. Hometown Throwdowns are kayak competitions aimed at helping recreational boaters meet others and improve their skills in a fun environment on their home rivers. There are some 160 Hometown Throwdowns scheduled this season.

The North Face LogoThe North Face today announced its support as a presenting sponsor of Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors. Launched in 2010 in New York City with its inaugural youth summit, the largest and most diverse gathering of its kind, Outdoor Nation has sparked a movement that is empowering the millennial generation to reconnect, redefine and rediscover America as an Outdoor Nation and to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities.

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