Sea Kayak and Hiking Safety Tips and Gear to Try

If you are a manufacturer or distributor of quality sea kayak gear and would like to have it reviewed/tested then contact me at knicol@swgc.mun.ca  

AquaPac - new4.gif (987 bytes)

Here is a great idea for your camera and other items that you don't want to get wet. AquaPac's come in a variety of sizes to fit everything from camcorders to SLR cameras to keys and cell phones. If you have something that simply can't get wet then these items are worth checking out. We recently got one for a small point and shoot camera that we have and what makes this invention really worthwhile is that you can still take pictures through the casing without the huge expense of a sealed plastic unit. The images that I have taken with it are very good and it really does keep the camera dry. For more info see www.aquapac.net 

Polar AXN 500

This amazing watch monitors altitude, barometric pressure, acts as a compass and is also a heart rate monitor. I have been testing it over the past few months and find it an very useful devise for predicting weather changes and checking elevation on hiking trips. It is quick an easy to maintain a general compass course by just looking watch. For those people who want to monitor heart rate for training purposes then this also works well for this. This watch is one in a series of Polar AXN and is ideal for ski touring, hiking , trekking, sea kayaking and all around outdoor activities. The 700 is the high end version and does just about everything but get you up the mountain. The AXN 300 is great for snow sports and includes a slope counter.  For more information contact Polar at: www.polar.fi 



Princeton Head Lamps new4.gif (987 bytes)

I have used headlamps for some time now for all sorts of activities from night x-c skiing to reading in camp at night. I used to use a regular 'old school' headlamp that worked ok but regularly needed new batteries and cast a weak light. But the new LED technology is something else and the beam of light and battery efficiency is great. I have recently been testing the Princeton Yukon HL and am amazed at the power of the light. I haven't tested the number of hours that it is suppose to last but the specs say up to 120 hours at low output on 3 AA cells. You can quickly change from high beam to low beam and it is nice light weight package. See Princeton for more information.

Kestrel 3500 Weather Tracker

We have been using this handy devise in our Outdoor Pursuits Classes at Memorial University for the last few years and it not only measures a large variety of weather variables but is waterproof and floats, making ideal for sea kayakers.  We use the barometric pressure function to watch as storms pass overhead and find the wind chill function especially useful in our windy Newfoundland environment. I find it very useful for the sea kayaking trips especially for determining wind speed and water temperature. For more information contact Kestrel 3500.   

 

 

 

 

 

Pentax Optio WP- new4.gif (987 bytes)

As an avid sea kayaker I always took pictures on the water in only the calmest conditions. Then I would gingerly take my camera out of the Pelican case and quickly snap some shots. Of course I missed the best shots since those often happen when wind and weather are not the best and my camera stayed snug and dry in its case. I have been testing the Pentax Option WP for just a few days and find it is very user friendly and it also has a under water movie option. It should be great for improving rolls in the pool since you can see exactly what what is happening below the water. Click here to see some samples of the photos taken at the recent Newfoundland Sea Kayak Symposium. For more information on this camera see www.pentaxcanada.ca 

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Lowrance  H20 GPS-new4.gif (987 bytes)

Lowrance has produced a great new GPS for sea kayakers. The H20 is waterproof and can be ordered with a set of "Freedom Maps" of your area. These 'topo' maps cover large areas-for instance, mine covers all of Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick--all on a chip the size of a dime. The zoom function is very impressive and allows you to see the entire region you plan to paddle as well as the corner of the bay you are presently camped at. It is WAAS enabled which means it is accurate to up to 3 meters. I took it on a recent sea kayak trip to Labrador and found it very easy to use.  It uses 2 AA cells and these last for up to 12 hours. For more information contact: www.lowrancecanada.co.  

For a more detailed write up of this unit click ACKayaker

I have also been testing the new COLOUR Lowrance Expedition GPS--it has all the great features of the H20 and then some. And the maps are in colour.

   

 

 

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