Friday, June 28, 2013

What's New In 2013

Solid reputable outdoor gear from Sweden, period.

The paddling season is well under way and there is lots I would love to blog about, but time is elusive for me. It's amazing how little time I have between my job, work at home, and canoe trips. It was amusing one day, when an outdoor retailer I was discussing projects with, was surprised to find I actually had a full time job! Yup, I squeeze it all in - literally. It's great to get out on a lot of trips, but it actually is a lot of work. There is a lot of organizing, planning ahead and staying on top of things so you don't get too far behind. I also can't thank my wife enough for being a big part of all the preparations behind the scenes. It certainly helps to have a hand, as I certainly couldn't do it all without her. 

Teddy is thankful that he wasn't left out. As he now has
the gear, let's see if he has the desire! 

Okay, so I want to mention a few things before I get too far into the paddling season. Every year, I try to see what's new and different in terms of gear and use/test them during the current season. It not only helps with prospective buyers that are looking for information and advice on similar type gear, but it also helps me to discover the next best thing. So let's jump right in and see what's on the plate this year.

Traileader Jet, a Tech4O watch that is telling me that it is
going to rain. Yes, it forecast weather too!

From Eureka, I'll be testing out their new line of lightweight tents that are sporting some nice bright colours. They have 3 in this series, Amari, Midori, and the Taron, which I will be using this summer. Weight savings are always good, but let's see how they saved the weight, and how the tent stands up. I'll also be sporting one of their Tech4O watches, called the Traileader Jet, which is a brand/subsidiary under the Johnson Outdoors conglomerate. It is one of those fancy watches that pretty much tells you everything besides time - altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer. I opted for the one without the GPS, as I prefer a dedicated unit for trail finding.

Eureka has been making quality tents for years. Let's see 
what this new line of tents is all about!

I've also partnered up with the gang from the Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co. They have set me up with a bunch of gear to test and use, so look out for some reviews in the near future. They have some really cool high end gear, so I'm really excited to test them out. Some of their gear is from Europe, which are known to be solid reputable products, which unsurprisingly have been around for years. I will be using their line of Trangia stove/pot set, as well as the crème dela crème of axes - Gransfor Bruks axes. Not only is it a beauty to behold, but it just feels right. I can't wait to put this axe through its paces!

Crocodile Dundee once bragged about his intimidating knife.
Well here's an axe that has bragging rights too!

Hooligan Gear has been a solid partner of mine for many years, and this year, I will get to use their well regarded Rescue Throw Bags on our whitewater trips. The specs say it for themselves - paddled quick release belt, reflective tape, and Spectra rope. You don't fool around when it comes to whitewater, so the best gear, is the least you can do to help you along the way when needed. Also, Hooligan Hound gear couldn't have come at a better time, in supplying and helping us adjust my dog Teddy (and myself) to having him along on our canoe trips. Us human trippers are not the only ones that need good dependable gear. We are hoping to soon have Teddy become a Hooligan Hound!

It's reassuring to know you can count on quality
 safety gear, when you need it the most!

I have a weakness for wood, fire and stoves. Combined together, wood stoves. I have trialled several already, and now want to try another one out - the 180 Stove. Before I even had the chance to use it, I could tell by its design, I would love. Why, because this is how I would envision creating my own. It is one slick set up, but in operations and when compacted down. I'm totally stoked about using it and will obviously let you know how it performs. 180 Tack LLC, is an independent US based company in Colorado. 

A beautiful little wood stove, that I am really looking forward
to using. I just wished it stayed this shiny!

Last but not least, Jeff McMurtrie (of Jeff's Maps) and I have agreed to work together. We got a quick introduction, and then a great trip to start off our friendship and partnership this year. Who can deny the quality of maps that Jeff has put out to the paddling community, especially to all you avid Algonquin trippers. Now, the Killarney ones are soon to follow too! Not only do I hope to help him with info for his maps, (from my extensive tripping in many areas) but we have some projects planned for the near future too!

If you are an Algonquin tripping buff, look no
where else. This is THE map!

Okay phew! I think that's it for now. There is a few little odds and ends, but as you can see, that is more than enough stuff for me to use. I've gotten to a good start with trips this season and they will continue long into the year for me to try out all this gear. Excited as always to try new stuff, let's see how it all goes! Happy tripping everyone, and maybe you'll see me out there, figuring how to use some of this stuff!

A huge thanks to all my partners - and more importantly, new friends!


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