The Paddle Junkie's Summer Gear Guide 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Living in Minnesota you learn to enjoy the summer quickly, because it is over quickly.  We have had a number of adventures already this summer and I have found a few pieces of gear that flat out rock.  No matter what you are into, there is a little bit for everyone on this list.

Sanuk Anthem Waxed Canvas Sneakers:I know Sanuk says "they're not shoes, they're sandals" but this one may be a stretch.  Taking ques from the now extinct Simple brand, the anthems are a throw-back to my youth.  The waxed canvas upper begs to be abused, just like the rugged packs that made the material famous.  Just slip these on your feet and you are ready for a day at the park or a night in the town.  MSRP:$70.00

Injinji Performance Toe-Socks:  They may take a little getting used to but these gloves for your feet will forever change how you look at socks.  No pinched toes, almost zero friction between toes and moisture management unlike any sock you have ever slid your foot into.  Now with a wide range of lengths and weights, the Injinji toe-socks are available for everything from distance running to yoga.  For you yogis out there, there are versions available with either rubber grippers on the bottom or a toe-less version, both to provide a little extra traction in those extreme poses. MSRP: $10 - $16



Avon Bug Guard Plus:   Memories of summers at my grandparent's house were unavoidable when I got the first whiff of the new generation of Avon's skin-so-soft Bug Guard Plus spray.  This stuff is brilliant for back-country protection.   A true 2-for-1, surprisingly effective bug protection with SPF 30 built in.  It comes in pump and aerosol sprays, as well as pocket friendly wipes for easy application.  They're pretty waterproof, so you don't have to reapply every time you get a little splash of water in your face.  MSRP:  $14 to $16



Black Diamond Equipment Storm Headlamp:  I have never been a headlamp guy, but this one changed that for me.  Completely waterproof so you won't get stuck in a storm flying blind.  100 lumens of light fill camp, but a quick press of a button switches it over to a night vision saving red light, so my camp buddies can stop yelling at me for leaving the light on and blinding everyone.  A handy lock feature keeps me from killing the batteries by lighting the inside of my pack while in transit.  MSRP: $49.95




Granite Gear's Zippditty Bags:  Sometimes, it's the little things that make life easier.  In this case, it's keeping the little things organized.  These little zipper bags offer countless options for keeping your pack tidy.  Built from ultra-light 30D CORDURA fabric and outfitted with Granite Gear's waterproof zippers, these little bags will keep your goodies clean and dry inside.  Being semi-trasparent also helps find what you are looking for without rummaging through every one.  MSRP: $14.95 - $29.95




GSI Outdoors 14" Aluminum Dutch Oven:  Cooking over an open fire makes everything taste good.  But have you ever had calzones or banana nut bread at camp? If not, it is time to invest in a dutch oven.  This aluminum model from GSI shaves serious weight off of the enderour and performs as well as any we have used.  On our last BWCA trip this little wonder was the center of our cooking marathons kicking out some of the camp favorites.  MSRP: $109.00




Rapala's Clackin' Minnow:  For both Walleye and Bass, throwing this lure over the side of the boat is like ringing the dinner bell.  The internal rattle calls fish in from a distance and the swim action triggers ferocious bites.  Incredibly sharp VMC hooks make sure that when the big one hits, it's not getting away.  Available in 3 sizes and 13 colors, you will have no problem finding the right combination for your neck of the woods.  MSRP: $12.999-$14.99

Bending Branches Espresso Paddle:  This beautiful dark paddle is made from Black Willow wood.  Weighing in at a minuscule 18 ounces and very well balanced, this paddle can take you miles with hardly any effort.  The grip is comfortable and the blade has a wrap around rock guard and had been wrapped in fiberglass for added protection.  A 14 degree bend in the shaft and the 8" x 20" blade provide powerful strokes that move even the most loaded down boats through the water.  MSRP: $130.00










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