Gear Up for Cold Weather Paddling

buff thermal pro multifunctional headware
Buff Thermal Pro Multifunctional Headware

Just because winter is approaching does not mean you have to hang up your yak and paddle until spring. Of course it’s your choice if you want to hunker down this winter with a cup of hot chocolate and a Charles Dickens classic (and if that is your decision then might I suggest our recent post on storing your kayak?), but I know there is a large group of you out there who won’t let a little cold stop you from your favorite outdoor activities. It is for that reason that I wanted to help you out with a little advice from our expert staff at ACK on how to extend that paddling season straight through Mother Nature’s coldest mood, and it starts and ends in your closet.

 

The most important piece of advice we have to offer is to dress for the conditions. Gone are the days where throwing on your tank and board shorts qualified yourself for an afternoon paddle. Continue reading Gear Up for Cold Weather Paddling

Wanderlust: Takachiho Gorge

As the second installment in our Wanderlust series,we thought it would be fitting to write Takachiho Gorge
a post on one of our most popular Facebook destinations, Takachiho Gorge. The photo of paddlers beneath the canopy of foliage amongst a waterfall has garnered quite a bit of attention so without further ado we would like to take you on a trip to Takachiho Gorge.

Takachiho is nestled at the center of the Kyushu Mountains in the northwestern area of Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The town borders Oita and Kumamoto prefectures allowing the Gokase-gawa River to flow freely through it causing the gorge to take the form of a ‘V’. The Takachiho Gorge is a picture to behold with its towering sheer grey cliffs made of slow forming volcanic basalt and canopy made of vibrant green foliage. High above the gorge is a paved walkway allowing visitors to leisurely stroll the quarter of a mile long perimeter decorated with mountain cherry blossoms while enjoying the view of rowers below. At one point the pathway above offers a view that is practically straight down to the river below.

Although the pathway surrounding the gorge is beautiful, the view from the bottom is unbeatable. Visitors can rent row boats to row the expansive Takachio Gorge or go paddling on the Gokase-gawa River  exposing them to the most Takachiho Gorgebeautiful scenery Takachiho has to offer. One of the most popular views is that of the 54 foot Minainotaki waterfall which cascades down the cliff creating clouds of mist that rise from the falling water. The gorge and river are an easy and pleasant paddle that would be enjoyable for all levels of experience. During the summer, the gorge is illuminated creating a beautiful glow highlighting the surrounding foliage and emerald green water.

While in Takachiho, don’t forget to check out the nearby Takachiho-jinjo Shrine in the evening where you can experience the traditional Yokagura Dance while admiring the 800 year old Chichibu cedars surrounding the temple. A hike to the top of the Kunimi-ga-oka Hill is another great stop where hikers can marvel at the city below and take in the expansive mountains encompassing it. If an outdoor international adventure is something you are looking for Takachiho Gorge would be an excellent option to consider. With its beauty, traditions, and resort attractions it is sure to please even the most discerning of travelers.

-Dayvee @ ACK

 

10 Pieces of Advice For 1st Time Paddlers

Giving some advice to a 1st time paddler.
Advice for 1st time paddler.

We asked our Facebook fans, “What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a 1st time paddler?” Some of the responses were serious and some were just downright funny. Here’s 10 of our favorites:

1. Don’t go without wearing your PFD. — Advice from Don P., JT L., Gary L., Lisa W., Billy M., Jonathan B., Travis A., Michael P., Laura B., David F., Alan D., Heath G., Erica H., Eric B., Robert R., Chuck B., Lee H., Bobby C., Robin L. and Randy V.

When 20 paddlers give the same advice, you gotta think it’s important, huh?

2. Relax, breath deeply, and enjoy the view. — Advice from Loretta H.

3. You are going to get wet. Plan on it. — Advice from Don I.

4. Just enjoy yourself! You will never forget it! — Advice from Cathie G.

5. Remember, however far you go, you have to go the same distance to get back. — Advice from JW E.

6. Buy from Austin Kayak. — Advice from John M. Have to agree with this one! :)

7. Bring a fishing pole and enough beer for you and your kayak buddies you’ll meet along the river! — Taylor S.

8. Paddle faster if you hear banjos! — Advice from Norman T.

9. Your paddle is just as important as your kayak. — Advice from David T.

10. Tie your gear down! — Advice from Carla M.

 Share your advice for 1st time paddlers by commenting below! The entire collection of responses can be found here.

Life Jacket Facts From The Safe Boating Campaign

Keep these Life Jacket Facts in Mind

Enjoy the water and wear your life jacket!
Enjoy the water and wear your life jacket!

Whatever kind of paddling you like to do, it’s important to always wear your life jacket (or PFD) while you’re out on the water. Think of it like wearing a seat belt in your car – you probably won’t find yourself in a situation where you need it, but it’s a precaution that can be live saving should the worst happen. I came across some great life jacket facts from the Safe Boating Campaign about why you should actually put it on one while you’re out paddling and wanted to share them here:

  • U.S. Coast Guard’s 2010 statistics stated that approximately 88 percent of boaters who drowned were reported as not wearing life jackets.
  • This means that over 400 boaters died unexpectedly because they were uninformed or simply not in the habit of taking this significant safety precaution.
  • It is human nature to think it can’t happen to me–but it can.
    • The majority of people who drown in boating accidents know how to swim, but become incapacitated in the water.
    • Sometimes they are injured or unconscious.
    • Others develop hypothermia or become exhausted.
    • Some are weighed down by clothing.
  • An accident usually happens without warning.Other reasons why people don’t wear a life jacket are that it is too hot, or it will mess up their tan line, or they are simply not comfortable.
    • Usually after the accident, the life jackets are not within reach–in cabinets, trapped under the vessel, floating far away in the water.
  • Many people don’t realize the variety of new life jackets that are on the market–belt packs and other inflatable styles that are low profile and light weight.
  • It is important to wear a life jacket at all times while boating.

 

It’s Getting Hot Out There! – Check Out H20 Options for Any Sized Adventure

The temperature are creeping up and it’s crucial you stay hydrated matter what you’re doing, whether it be a light run or a multi-day back country excursion.

There are a wide variety of ways for you to get the H2O you need. Check out these ACK videos as we give a break down of essential products for Hydration on Longer AdventuresHydration when Hiking & Running and Hydration at Basecamp then comment below and tell us how YOU stay hydrated outside!