Thursday, March 12, 2020

NOLS Baja Sailing - Episode 3

Here is the final episode of my NOLS sailing adventure!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

NOLS Baja sailing

Do you want to know what a NOLS baja sailing course is like? Here is video number one! one or two more coming in about a week.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How I packed for NOLS Baja

Got a big long NOLS gear list and you aren't sure how to proceed? Check out this video as I work through the process of pulling gear for my NOLS Baja course and then packing it all up to fly to Mexico.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tip #25 - The Declination Cheat

People struggle with declination, check out this way to cheat, so you never screw up declination again. Okay, really you should get good at accounting for declination first, then you can cheat it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tip #87 - Do Not Do This!

I frequently get people asking me for help with this particular issue. The way a lot of people want to remedy the problem is not safe. See below.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Im not your billboard Part 2

In 2018 I discussed what happens when free gear is given to outdoor educators and the perceived endorsement of said gear that creates. Yesterday I delved a little deeper into that relationship. You can watch it here or on Youtube.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

the 2019 Adventure Otaku Holiday Gear Stocking Stuffer List.

Okay, here we go. A week ago we had the full gear list, now it's time for the Stocking Stuffer List! As always, I am not sponsored by any of these companies, this is just gear I use, trust and enjoy!

The first piece fo gear I grab every time I go to teach or to play in the outdoors. A Buff ($28) that is both UV resistant as well as treated with permethrin so it keeps the bugs away too.

The Simple Guides - Backpacking, Kayaking, and Stand Up Paddle boarding ($3.99 - $5.99) Short little books, that contain everything you need to get started. From gear selection to basic strokes and skills.

The next is one of my all-time favorites. The GSI Kung Foon - A spork and Chopsticks combination that combine to make a long handled spork for eating freeze dried food.

Coffee is key. Both psychologically, and in terms of comfort. There is nothing better than a hot cup of joe on a cold morning to get you out of your tent. I have struggled with coffee makers in the back country but have finally found one I like. The Sea to Summit X-Brew. Folds flat and packs to nothing. Expands to make an awesome pour over. REALLY. GREAT. COFFEE. For an extra jolt do what I do. Use espresso! That'll wake you up.

I love maps, and charts. When I am working on a map and navigating way to adventure and excitement I use Blackwing 602 pencils. "half the pressure - twice the speed" - It seems like a simple thing, a pencil. But until you use this pencil you don't know the whole story. This pencil has a cult following. Need I say more?

The next two things on the list are medical. The first is a problem solver. So much so that I am thinking about replacing the knife on my pfd with a pair of EMS trauma shears. DO NOT FALL for the $60 trauma shears, or even $30 trauma shears. These are $6.99, work forever and will cut anything! You can't go wrong.

We get cuts and lacerations in the backcountry. When it is more than a band aid can handle this is what you need - The NOLS Wound kit (except training, see the previous list for that!) You don't want to do stitches or staples or glue in the backcountry - you want to use this kit.

Finally, with things like tick born illnesses getting more common we need to take precautions to the next level. Instead of bug repellent that goes on your skin, put this product - sawyer permethrin - on your clothing! One treatment is good for 6 weeks or 6 washings. You apply it before you go on your trip so you don't have to carry anything with you in the backcountry.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The 2019 Adventure Otaku Holiday Gear List!

Every year I publish a list of holiday gifts for the adventurer in your life.  This year I wanted to do something a little bit different. T I wanted the list to specifically make peoples outdoor adventures better and safer. In general, my mission in life is to get people active in the outdoors. Here is this years list. Here is the accompanying video.

#1 Hydration is key. Most of the time water will suffice. But in the dog days of summer when the temperature is 102 (and the water is 86) and I still have to teach kayaking or SUP, water won't cut it. I switch to NUUN Hydration products. They taste great, they have electrolytes. They replenish what I have lost and keep me going. It isn't always that extreme, sometimes I just need a break from water. Get this variety pack for around $40 or buy them one at a time just about anywhere for $7

#2 I live my life in a wet environment. Over the years I have used every brand of dry bag made, and then one day I turned around and realized all my dry bags were made by one brand. Sea to Summit. Available in sizes from 1 liter to 60 liters, and Ultra-sil - thin to Big River thick (With Lightweight in the middle) these are my bags of choice. From compression sacks for sleeping bags to taper bags for clothes to lightweights for first aid kits and bear bags and small big rivers for deck bags, You can't go wrong. From $14.95

#3 The best bang for your buck headlamp on the market, the Black Diamond Spot 325 - to be fair, there are a lot of good headlamps out there. But dollars for lumens, this is the best deal, and I love the adjustability and waterproofness. You may get tempted by rechargeable headlamps, but the batteries don't last. Just buy yourself some rechargeable triple A batteries and use those. $39.95

#4 I have bought Map and Compass Navigation for over 20 years, and been practicing nav for 30. Use one compass, the Suunto M3 - it has everything you need and nothing you don't. I use it on land, at sea and in the class room. $44.00

#5 I use them for everything. Class notes, lesson plans, and brilliant ideas. The Field Notes books are inexpensive and waterproof (some versions) $12.95 for a pack of three.

#6 Required reading if you work in the outdoors. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzalez. Who lives, who dies and why. The science of survival. Learn why others died so you can avoid their mistakes. The other books I mentioned in this part of the video are my own, links are in the sidebar, as well as The Spirt of St. Louis, and Endurance. Both great adventure reads. $varied depending on format

#7 Required gear and people don't like spending their money on this, so it makes a great gift. I like these because they are easy to work out of. You can see how I set up first aid kits here. $23.95 and up.

#8 Even more important than a first aid kit is knowing how to use one. Take a WFA course. Reach out to me if you want to take one with me as your instructor. I teach bout 12 of them a year.  $245 to $300.

#9 My new favorite tent. The Passage one. Simple. Easy to set up. Roomy for one. I wish it had two doors but that is true of all one person tents. An amazing kayaking tent and not bad for backpacking.

#10 I don't know why people struggle with this, but I see it all the time. Wear. Base. Layers. It is that simple. Once the temp drops to the mid 40's I am in them full time. It is the foundation for everything else. A lot of people skip this, and it is a simple mistake. Currently I am using the REI lightweight and midweight bottoms and tops, but if you want the best of the best try the smartwool merino's.

Need more inspiration, here is the 2018 List.