Equipped

After a day of rain-soaked hiking or water-logged paddling, few things are as satisfying as a set of dry clothes and a cozy sleeping bag. And few things are as unpleasant—and potentially dangerous—as soaking wet gear. To avoid the latter, solutions range from the simple and inexpensive to the high-tech and fancy. Here is a…

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Kayak paddles come in a bewildering array of lengths, styles, and prices. Here are some shopping tips: To quickly gauge the right length for you, center and balance the paddle on your head, parallel to your shoulders. With your elbows bent at right angles, grasp the shaft with both hands. Your hands should be approximately…

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Over time, dirt and body oils steadily permeate your sleeping bag and rain jacket, decreasing their warmth and breathability. Practicing some basic outdoor gear maintenance can extend the life of your equipment. Wash them once every season or two, depending on how often you use them. Apply leather conditioner to your hiking boots at least…

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A selection of fun, odd, and useful jargon for canoe parts and paddling: Air Lock: What happens if you try to lift a capsized canoe straight up. Bang Plate/Stem Band: A piece of reinforcement on the bow for extra protection against impacts and abrasion. Broach: Turn broadside to an obstacle, such as waves, wind, or…

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Gliding through open water in a kayak can be a blissful experience, an exhilarating adventure far from the confines of the terrestrial world. But that same waterscape also presents unique risks that paddlers must be prepared to deal with. Understanding common scenarios of potential danger, and carrying the essential gear to deal with it, will…

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Fit is paramount when selecting a PFD. Consider these other features next: Bright colors, especially orange and red, make you more visible in the water. Ventilated mesh panels on the back and sides make hot-weather boating more pleasant. Neoprene linings are more comfortable against skin, especially around the shoulders and neck. Lots of pockets are…

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