Everyone has a few favorite pieces of gear that they trust to keep them safe or to make the day more enjoyable. When paddling technical creeks that are close to your ability level it is important to use gear that you can trust. Here are the boats, paddle, skirt, helmet and PFD that I trust to keep me safe on the creeks and to help maximize the fun level.
With spring right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about getting back in a boat. Often the first whitewater we paddle each season is some of the hardest. Whether we are out at playspots during high spring runoff or paddling some of the steep creeks that are only runable for a few weeks a year, it will likely be some of the most challenging and the most exciting paddling of the year. It is important to be ready so that we can make the most of these few weeks.
Last weekend I headed to Tariffville Gorge to do some paddling with my friends David Silk and Keith Warner. Tville, as it’s known, is a great place to paddle and play and also the site of the Triple Crown every year. This time however, was likely the coldest day I’ve ever been paddling.
The last few months have been pretty exciting for me. While I haven’t been boating, I’ve been having plenty of adventures. With all the recent snow storms, I’ve been pretty focused on skiing. I’ve had a bunch of fun days skiing at the resorts but this year I have been far more excited by the backcountry potential found in the northeast.
It’s at this time of year the the rivers begin to become relatively unusable due to large amounts of ice. Unless you really like the cold, kayaking becomes an uphill battle against icicles and frozen fingers. That’s why I like to take out the bathing suit and rash guards again and head to the pool.
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Every year, for one day, we get to one of Vermont’s hidden gems - the West River. The West River is a perfect mix of adventure and leisure - it has a little bit more adventure than the Zoar Gap and is a little mellower than the Dryway.