I recently saw photos of the new colours and design changes available for Kokatat’s new dry suits which will be available in Spring 2012. You will want to save your pennies over the winter as you will be able to order dry suits in lichen, azul, cedar, graphite, mango, radish and black. Of course they have been offering mango and radish for several years so this will be a nice change to help break up the sea of yellow suits that often show up at paddling symposiums.
Keen eye Joes out there will notice that several of the suits now come with contrasting dark pants which I have got to say is a nice improvement. You will also be able to custom order color combinations to get the exact suit of your dreams.
Sadly I will need to keep dreaming as I’m waiting for the day that the suits are available in any of these colours and patterns above so I can look dapper like these guys. Common Kokatat, get on it pronto as I think that would be dynomite!
For those who want to look awesome at the boat launch can order the limited edition Gore-Tex Meridian dry suit which is based on the Rogue dry top colour pattern. It is only available in cedar/black and it has reinforced cordura patches and extra reflective piping in the arms.
Finally, those poor souls who don’t get the pleasure of paddling in ice cold water but need just a bit of insulation, Kokatat is rolling out their new WoolCore line. It is a lightweight Polartec® Power Dry® polyester/wool blend fabric so you get the warmth of wool with the moisture wicking and dry time of polyester.
The WoolCore pants and tops are also designed to be as green as possible. The wool is chlorine-free and grown in the Rocky Mountains while the 100% recycled polyester is from New England and the whole thing is assembled in
Look for all this stuff at your local paddling shop in Spring 2012.
Reading through the latest issue of Ocean Paddler magazine I stumbled upon this ad from Valley. Not sure how long they have been doing it but it’s the first I have heard of anybody manufacture offering this service.
For a flat fee of
For an extra ₤50 they will throw in a keel strip which is a super deal considering you would pay that in material alone.
You are responsible to get the boat to and from their factory so this isn’t super practical to paddlers outside the
Of course there is some small print (that can’t be read in this capture) which outlines how much hole repair they will do. Generally speaking it covers small holes around leaky bulkheads and skeg boxes. It will cost extra for that large crack down the length of hull.
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.
Photo Credits: Kathleen Craig
DeLorme has just announced what has the potential to be a real game changer for backcountry communication with their upcoming two-way satellite text communicator called inReach.
The inReach is a small unit that on its own acts similar to the SPOT Messenger. It can track your location, send out “I’m OK” messages as well as SOS signal if you are in trouble and need to call in air support.
InReach is nothing really new on it’s own but the real innovation under the hood becomes evident when it’s paired up (via Bluetooth) to your Android phone. When connected you are able to compose and receive custom text messages via the satellite network.
This really opens up a huge pile of possibilities. Everything from sending trip updates to social media websites to two-way communication with search and rescue crews as to the type of emergency you have and your current condition.
As seen in the supplied screen captures of the Android app, you can see a conversation between an injured hiker and SAR. What isn’t evident is if the response will come from the local SAR office or if this is a master emergency coordination centre that Delorme has set up to handle incoming SOS signals worldwide. My guess is the latter.
All outgoing messages will include valuable data including your location, speed, heading, and elevation.
Another very interesting feature is that inReach units will also be able to send and receive messages to each other. This has a couple of very interesting uses including hiking partners who might be exploring different parts of the trail or a guiding company owner who wants to check-in and see how her staff on trips are doing.
The inReach system is currently under going full testing and certification but the plans are that it is going to be rated IPX7 waterproofing and it will float. IPX7 designation means the unit can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Pricing is still being worked out but look for it to be available in the fall for around $250. There will be three tracking and messaging plans starting with the Safety Plan for $9.95 per month. Additional Recreation and Pro plans increase in price and deliver larger volumes of tracking and messaging units.
The market of two-way satellite messaging is in its very early stages so watch for it to explode over the next couple years. What’s interesting with this announcement is that DeLorme has partnered with Iridium for its satellite backbone which is a breakaway from January’s announcement where they introduced their PN-60 GPS unit that could interact with the SPOT communicator network (which is owned by Iridium’s major satellite competitor, Globalstar).
Where will things go from here? Look for SPOT to refine their communicator and combine them into one unit. ACR electronics has also partnered with Iridium as well so watch what they put out over the next while. My guess is that ACR will continue go after the offshore sailing/commercial market and provide a similar product that is more robust and most likely SOLAS approved.
Garmin has just announced an update to their very popular eTrex handheld GPS units. Updates include enhanced ergonomics, better user interface, expanded mapping capabilities as well as increased battery life (up to 25 hours now).
Part of the software redesign is to make the transfer of maps and syncing of way points considerably easier then older models.
Similar to before, the eTrex line-up includes three models that have been renamed. At the bottom-end of the lime, the eTrex 10 ($120) for is a basic GPS unit aimed at the budget conscious. It has a monochrome display designed primarily to tell you were you are and where the next waypoint is. The eTrex 20 ($200) adds a colour display and the ability to view topographic maps or marine charts. If you want an electronic compass and barometric altimeter then get the eTrex for $300.
Look for the new models to be available this Fall.
You might be interested in a couple free downloads we have in our Instructor Resource area (they are free!).
Photo Credit: Garmin