Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ticket Stock


      I have been a long time listener of The Ticket sports radio station ever since I moved to the Metroplex  ten years ago. For me The Ticket offers a prefect  mix of sports talk and random other guy crap that makes me laugh. I have been to a few Ticket events over the past few years but this past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to go to TicketStock. 

     TicketStock is the largest event of the year to the radio station and every year proves to be a good time. They always do live shows during the day on stage so fans can watch and listen, they always have big name guests that do meet and greets, and as always at a Ticket event the Ticket Chicks were on hand. 

     I was able to work this event with the outstanding group from Mariner Sails and it was, as expected, a lot of fun. We were able to hang out and talk kayaks with all kinds of folks, and even got to see some future Hall of Fame athletes from around the area. 

     We will be at the Dallas Boat Show from Friday January 31 - February 10 at Market Hall. Come down and see us, I can promise you it will be a great time.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

LifeStraw: It's all in the name.

     Every month I receive an issue of Outdoor magazine, and every month I am impressed with the content and information in it. I especially like to fumble through the ads of gadgets and gizmos in the back few pages. That's where I came across the LifeStraw. Its is a fully portable, instant use water filter. It weighs only 8 oz, can filter at least 1,000 liters of water and removes 99.999 of waterborne bacteria. This device has no moving parts and requires no batteries. It is the ultimate survival tool for the minimalist. Time Magazine named the lifestraw invention of the year in 2005. Here is the best part:

Each Lifestraw purchased is a Lifestraw that is distributed to schools in Africa!!

     Not only are you getting a great product, but you are literally saving lives across the world.

     I have purchased two of these for myself but I haven't tested or used them yet. They have a three year shelf life so I will use them by then, but until then I keep them for emergencies. Here is a video from Lifestraw.com  about the product.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Life Hacks

I very rarely throw anything out without first trying to re purpose it for another use. I am constantly looking at new uses for regular items around my house or kayak that can be helpful in multiple ways. Any item that has multiple uses is twice as valuable to me. I have a lot of fun looking at “life hacks” on the internet. A life hack is a creative and new way to use any item or perform and task completely different than the norm. Some life hacks are genius and some are silly but I sure have a good time looking through them.

Kayak fisherman are the ultimate “life hack” ers. We are constantly looking an any unassuming thing and thinking about how we can make it useful for us on the water. That’s really where the whole DIY mentality comes from. That’s what also draws a lot of people into the sport, freedom of creativity and invention.  There are a million and one kayak fishing “life hacks”, from using an old milk crate for tackle storage and rod holders to sophisticated anchor systems using coke bottles and cinder blocks.  I compiled a list of some of my favorite outdoor/camping “life hacks”. Some of these I have used in the past and some I want to use, just to see if it works.

     1. Strapping a headlamp to a gallon of water to make a lantern.

     2. Mountain Dew + Baking Soda + Peroxide = Homemade Glow Stick

     3. Use a small plastic container with a lid as a match carrier. Glue a piece of sandpaper to the underside of the lid. This keeps cardboard match boxes from getting wet and ruined. Make sure to use strike- anywhere matches.

    4.Take some round cotton pads (usually used for face cleaning).  Dip them in wax and keep them in a plastic zip lock bag. They are an easy way to make instant fire starters.

   5. Make an emergency heat source using an old altoids tin, cardboard, and wax.

     6. Use discarded Silica packets in tackle boxes to reduce moisture.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

WS Ride 115x

I recently purchased a new kayak that I've had my eye on for a while now, the Wilderness Systems Ride 115x. For me this kayak is the total package for paddle kayaks. Previously, I had the last Ride 135 from Wilderness Systems and didn't think that I could be happier with another kayak, but I was wrong.

I was hesitant at first going to a much shorter kayak than my 135, but so far it has proven to be a non-issue. I originally bought the much larger Ride 135 thinking that I would be venturing out on long multiple night camping trips and all day excursions but that was never the case, especially after the baby came along. Time was precious so I limited myself to four to six hour trips and hurried back home. This pattern is where I think that my new Ride will serve me best.

For one the 115x is much easier to handle than the 135 when it comes to loading and unloading. It is also slightly wider than my 135 by two inches, which adds to the overall stability. The other bells and whistles that I love about this kayak probably will pass by unnoticed by most people, but having a previous generation Ride, I greatly appreciate the subtle changes.

The first improvement I noticed is the rigid front and rear carry handles (A). The new handles are so much more convenient for strapping the kayak down in the truck as well as for carrying. They have also added molded storage trays on the side walls of the yak. I find these are really helpful for throwing extra tackle in there for future use. A huge improvement is the now standard 8” Slide Trax on the rear tank well(E). A stand assist strap has been added now for increased help in standing and sitting, when accompanied with the high seat proves really easy and stable(F). New scuppers were added in the standing area for added drainage and support(B).

Now for the main attraction, the removable Lowrance ready fish finder console(D). For me this is a game changer and well worth the upgrade in kayaks. This console has a large pass through hull opening for easy transducer installation as well as a large built in battery storage area. There are molded in inserts for easy installation of the transducer and head units. This system eliminates the need for hull wiring, liberator arms, or space used up on your Slide Trax. It is definitely the next generation in fish finder set up. I love it.

If you’re in the market or thinking of upgrading check out the Wilderness Systems Ride 115x, you won’t be disappointed. Mariner Sails of Dallas now has them in all original colors plus the new Desert Camo or Dusk.