Gear gathers articles about hardware that GLSKA members might use on kayak trips.

Is your kayak in need of some repair?

My kayak spends over 25 days on Georgian Bay every summer and as a result suffers many scrapes. To patch the keel has therefore become the end of summer routine for me. I am not talking a cosmetic fix of scratches to the gelcoat, what I mean is damage to the keel that exposes fiberglass. Over the years I tried many different products as the patchwork on my kayak can testify. None has been satisfactory mainly because all of them were rather runny and therefore could not create a protective (and sacrificial) layer thick enough.
Three years ago I came across a wonderful product and never looked back. It is the Six10Tm Epoxy Adhesive from West System. Here is a description from the West System flyer: A two-part thickened epoxy adhesive in a convenient, self-metering cartridge. For permanent, waterproof, structural gap-filling and gluing. Bonds to wood, fiberglass, metals and masonry. With the included 600 Static Mixer attached you can dispense fully mixed adhesive right where you need it using a standard caulking gun. Working time is 42 minutes at 72oF (22 °C), cures to solid in 5-6 hours and takes high loads in 24 hours. Contains 190 ml of resin and hardener. Extra 600 Static Mixers available.
It is very easy, with no mess, no need for mixing, containers etc. I clean the areas I want to repair with soapy water, let dry, then tape around with masking tape. Then dispense the epoxy (it has a consistency of a tooth paste) on the area, smooth with a putty knife and let polymerize for 24 hours. Next day I sand it with sandpaper of decreasing grit size and polish with wax polish. There is a stopper included that allows you to close the cartridge (and separate the two components). To my surprise, I was able to use it again the next year! I just had to buy a new mixing spout (the 600 Static Mixer).
Now my kayak is ready for next summer!

Paddling with Sticks

by Ralph Gardave

I never set out to paddle with a Greenland stick it just sort of happened. It was the spring of
2010 that circumstances conspired to spark my curiosity and the opportunity to try it out. Sure I
had a few rogue friends out there that were using Greenland paddles but back then it was somewhat
of a novelty among my paddling buddies. Those that were beginning to try it out were much more
skilled than I was so I only took a mild interest in the ‘skinny sticks’. Greenland paddles at that time were not readily available in local kayak shops. A Greenland paddle is usually made of wood and is based on the style traditionally used by the Inuit of Greenland. It is characterized by long narrow tapering blades, with a short loom or shaft. Continue reading

FRAKTA bags

Screenshot of the IKEA website
Screenshot of the IKEA website

One of my favourite gear items is the  blue FRAKTA bag from IKEA. It’s a lightweight, high-volume, rugged bag that is perfect for carrying stuff from your kayak to camp. If you are wearing a drysuit, it offers  a large enough footprint to stand on to keep the sand off your precious goretex socks. It’s just the right size for a pfd or a drysuit, and it doesn’t mind getting wet. It folds up to next to nothing in your hatch. On my way home after a trip, it holds all wet clothes. It’s also the cheapest piece of kayaking gear that I own: $1.

Make sure you get the large bag: The large bags are 55x37x35cm (~71 litres) The small bags are only 45x18x45cm (~36 litres).

Kayak Trailer

by Jennifer Kilbourne

First, I purchased my sea kayak and all the equipment needed to spend some time on the water. My next big purchase was a roof rack for my car, complete with cradles to hold my kayak as I zipped down the highway to my next paddling destination. And it worked well, as long as I had another person to help heft my 16’6”, 56 lb vessel onto the roof of my car. After a couple hours of solo paddling, heaving something that weighs half as much as I do over my head was taking some of the fun out of what was supposed to be a relaxing evening on the water. As I am 5’2”, this was quite the feat (and probably a bit entertaining to watch). Additionally, my car is a very fuel efficient Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and I noticed that I was using more fuel when I had the rack on the car, even with a fairing (“spoiler”) installed. Continue reading

Have Kayak … Will Travel?

North of Superiorby Keith Rodgers

Almost every one of us needs to haul our kayak around from time to time and the usual way we do this is by tying it on the top of a vehicle and hoping it stays on for the ride. Whether you do this a couple of times a year, over a short distance only, or many times and over thousands of kilometres, the consequences of a kayak flying off en route are potentially severe – in fact, possibly disastrous or even fatal. So it makes sense to get the right equipment and learn the best methods of securing your boat so that it stays on through wind and rain, alpine turns, emergency stops and the many other perils of the open road. Continue reading

Rescue Stirrup

by Ralph Gardave

The rescue stirrup is a versatile aid to both solo and assisted rescues that I don’t see in many paddlers’ boats. It may just be that people are unaware of this piece of equipment. On the other hand, many paddlers who have solid rescue and/or rolling skills may simply feel that we don’t need it as they have several methods to get back into their boat should a mishap occur. Regardless of which category you fall into reading this article may have you considering a rescue stirrup. Continue reading