Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Post Toronto Sportsman's Show Update

The official Sportsman's Show exhibitor's
badge I was entitled to wear!

It was another marathon weekend, but I was much better prepared this time despite the longer hours! One notable difference was the type of people that attended this event compared to the Outdoor Adventure Show. Due to the huge range of exhibits, which entailed lots boating, fishing, and hunting paraphernalia there were lots of hunters and fishermen around. Even then, there was no lack of the traditional outdoors enthusiast types such as canoeist, kayakers, and backpackers.

Dave Helsdon, myself and Jim Stevens working
the Eureka booth.

I got to work with the great folks from Johnson Outdoors again -Jim Stevens, Ian Holmes, Eric, Justin, as well as Dave Helsdon. Last time, I wasn't able to get a picture of Dave because he was sooo popular, he barely had time for anyone, let alone himself! But this time, we had some time to chat and even get a picture together. (he's also a photographer - we had lots to talk about!) The highlight of the Eureka booth was Dave's invention - a hammock tent. After many years, prototypes, long hours, and headaches he has finally perfected his "baby" and through a partnership with Eureka, they have come out with the Chrysalis.

Taking an opportunity to try the Chrysalis out before the
the start of the show! Very slick set-up
and comfortable too!

Let me tell you, that hammock is quite an amazing set-up. First off, it is extremely comfortable. It is different from other hammocks by its patented 2 pole design that even allows you to sleep on your side! People were eyeing it like candy as they were clambering to get in it and try it. Once they got in, they loved it. One lady at the Outdoor Adventure show was convinced she couldn't use it due to back pain. Let me tell me you, once she tried it she left with 2! It was definitely a hot selling item! The hammock is also fully covered and protected from the elements which allows for 3 season use. I will definitely review and report more on it after I get a hold of one. Great job Dave!

Dave Helsdon was going non-stop. He put the rest
of us to shame! Watch the star
attraction in action!

I've also obtained another unique product by Jim Stevens called the Vital Stove that seems to buck the trend of gas driven stoves, much like the Littlbug that I recently reviewed. It uses any combustible material you can find (twigs, pine cones, bark etc.), but the big difference is that this unit is forced fed air which helps fan the flame and increase heat, much like the bellow used by a blacksmith. I am eager to try this stove out and will report back with a review later in the season as well.

A compact battery operated forced air wood stove.
Its a mouthful, but extremely effective.

I have to say, I had a great time at the show. I met a lot of amazing people - from all walks of outdoor life. It was not only gratifying to help people with gear selection, but to engage them in their stories of adventure and travel. Thank you all for sharing and making my time there much more enjoyable! Hope to see some of you out there!

A small word to Jim Baird and Sid Bredin for coming by to see me - thanks guys! Always a pleasure meeting up with the gang from Paddle Shack, Souris River and the Swifty boys. It was lots of fun and surprisingly a bit sad (I know, I'm getting soft!) when it was all said and done!

Till next year!
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