North Water Micro Throw Line

North Water has just announced a new throw line specifically aimed for people looking for boat owners looking to meet the Coast Guard requirements. The Mirco Throw Line is 50 feet of 1/4 inch floating polypro line. It comes with a whistle and a tie-down strap so it won’t get lost.

The Micro Throw meets Coast Guard regulations for the required heaving line and at only $24.95 it’s economical enough that rental companies could use it. It sure beats the crappy orange container/yellow plastic rope/whistle kits you get a big box stores and its way better than the old Nalgene stuffed with old rope chunks that a couple rental companies in my neck of the woods use.

It’s available now so look for it soon at your local paddling shop.

Published in Gear

 

Backcountry Intimacy Kit

Thanks to Boing Boing I learned that Adventure Medical Kits has come out with the Backcountry Intimacy Kit.

The waterproof zippered bag comes with 3 lubricated condoms, 2 packets of lubrication, 4 wet wipes, 4 compressed towels, and one disposal bag.

I love the fact that the bag has reflective piping on it so you can quickly find it with a head lamp and that the package says that it’s for, “2 People for Up to 2 Nights.”

Get in on the action for $14.95.

Published in Gear

 

Homemade Lifejacket Fail

I don’t have the facts to back this up but what you are seeing here is evidence of a top secret prototype lifejacket photographed with a long range telephoto lens.

No word on if the twisted strings around the bottles held together in the surf but I have it on good authority that you will be seeing it on the shelves of your local big-box store this Spring.

Photo credit: failblog.org

Published in Funny

 

Fishing Marker Buoys

Buoys, posts or other markers on the water are great for teaching. You can use them for students to circle around doing figure eights, zig zag or another activity/game you can think of.

The problem is that buoys often are placed in locations that are not ideal for teaching paddling. For some reason God always seems to place them near boat channels, shallow rocks or just to close to shore making it impossible to turn around.

Because I’m always on the lookout for new teaching gadgets and aids, I was very excited to discover (courtesy of my friend, Bonnie Perry) the Lindy Marker Buoys.

You got to check them out. They are essentially lightweight plastic dumbbells with 60 feet of thin line wrapped around the waist. Attached to the end of the line is a small lead weight.

Marker Buoys in Action - Photo credit: mantraplake.webs.com

The great thing with the design is that when you throw it in the water and the buoy will spin as the weight unwinds. When the anchor hits bottom it will stop spinning due to a very cool counter weight built inside keeping the buoy in place even in a medium wind.

With a set of three you can pass them out to pairs of students or create a triangle or line for zigging or zagging. When the activity is over get the students to wind them up to store in your day hatch until you need them again.

I’m serious, they are fantastic tools.

You can pick-up them individually or in sets of three. For example, Dicks Sporting Goods has them for $7.99 each while Bass Pro as a set of three for $19.

Image credit: mantraplake.webs.com

Published in Teaching
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 14:30

Ever Wondered Why Carbon Fiber So Expensive?

My paddle

If you have ever wondered why carbon fiber is still such a crazy expensive item even after 50 years since it was invented, Gizmodo has a great article explaining the whole thing.

Turns out that even half a century later, this stuff is still a major pain in the a@# to make.

Before carbon fiber becomes carbon fiber, it starts as a base material—usually an organic polymer with carbon atoms binding together long strings of molecules called a polyacrylonitrile. It's a big word for a material similar to the acrylics in sweaters and carpets. But unlike floor and clothing acrylics, the kind that turns into a material stronger and lighter than steel has a heftier price tag. A three-ish-dollar per pound starting price may not sound exorbitant, but in its manufacturing, the number spikes.

See, to get the carbon part of carbon fiber, half of the starting material's acrylic needs to be kicked away. "The final product will cost double what you started with because half burns off," explains Bob Norris of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's polymer matrix composites group. "Before you even account for energy and equipment, the precursor in the final product is something around $5 a pound."

That price-$5 a pound-is also the magic number for getting carbon fiber into mainstream automotive applications. Seven bones will do, but five will make the biggest splash. So as it stands, the base material alone ($10/pound) has already blown the budget.

Click through for the full article as well as how it’s made.

Image used under Creative Commons on Flickr from *Jan Smith.

Published in Industry Stuff

The pipe Bar roof rack.

Here is some inspiration for those who have always dreamed of building your own roof rack.

Heck, you need to save cash somehow to pay for that top of the line canoe or kayak don’t you?

The back to nature wood rack.

Photo credits: http://thereifixedit.failblog.org

Published in Funny

Jet Boil LogoKnown for revolutionizing outdoor cooking, Jetboil, Incorporated announces that its new Jetboil SUMO® Titanium cooking system has received the OutDoor Industry Award 2011. The award is given by a committee from West East at OutDoor Friedrichshafen in Germany. The OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD is awarded for innovative design and above-average product quality. The award was received at OutDoor Friedrichshafen on July 14, 2011.

“We are honored and gratified to receive the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2011 for Jetboil SUMO® Ti,” said Perry Dowst, co-founder and CEO of Jetboil. ”We’re excited to be able to extend the benefits of our Ti Fluxring technology introduced in the Jetboil Sol Ti in order to meet the requirements for higher capacity backcountry cooking applications. Our thanks to the OutDoor jury for recognizing this product and its innovation.”

Published in Press Releases

A Victorinox Knife Factory Assembly Station. Photo Credit: Kathleen Craig

If you have ever wondered how they assemble those little red knives that every camper owns now is your chance to see how it’s all done.

CNET recently took a tour of their factory and posted an extensive photo gallery of bins and bins of knife parts and cork screws.

Knife Stamping Machine. Photo Credit: Kathleen Craig

Photo Credits: Kathleen Craig

Published in Gear

Floating Ice Cream Truck.

It’s about time that somebody invented an amphibious ice cream truck. I can’t wait until this summer and see this bad boy drive by float by my campsite.

I do remember once hearing a story of somebody who used expanding spray foam to insulate the front hatch of their double kayak to turn it into a mini freezer. They said they could keep ice cream in it for 2 days if they stored it beside some frozen steaks.

Given the option I think I would rather get fresh soft serve from the ding-dong truck...

One comment on the Gizmodo page (where I saw this post) made me chuckle. @Psych0billy said, “and hundreds of kids die from drowning after leaving the banks like lemmings.....”

You can see a pile more photos of this awesome creation of man here.

Published in Funny
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 21:11

The Kayak Chainsaw Massacre

He is clearly the bravest sea kayaker in the world.

Published in Gear
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