Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Outdoor Adventure Expo

This year's NY/NJ Outdoor Adventure Expo featured canoeing, kayaking, rock wall climbing, geocaching and archery

One of the great events we look forward to each year is the Outdoor Adventure Expo hosted by Monmouth County Park System in the New York, New Jersey area.  This year's event at Turkey Swamp Park, Howell NJ was one of the best to date.  It gave us a chance to test out new equipment and meet local representatives from all types of outdoor clubs, sports experts and retailers.

Shipman Magda has Swimming Certification
On the Water
New Jersey is known for its beautiful beaches and of course water sports and boating activities. We took canoeing lessons through a program taught through the county park system. They showed us how to choose oars of the proper height, fit and adjust floatation vests, transport and launch our watercraft and navigate on the waterways.

Magda, in the lead photo and here additionally took swimming lessons with a certified swim coach which I highly recommend. As kayaks and canoes can easily capsize, it's important to know how to swim to avoid panic and survive.

We really enjoyed trying something new and since we have already had canoe lessons, getting going with the kayak was pretty easy.  Mountaineers Books has a new release, Sea Kayaking by Dan Henderson, so check it out in the left hand column. An Outdoor Expo like this allows you to test various types of equipment to see what kind of gear best suits you.  Good to know as you don't want to end up renting or purchasing outdoor goods you absolutely hate to work with.

Bare essentials inside my Ribz Front Pack

Packing Light - Ribzwear
We always like to test out new gear at the expo and this year brought the Ribz Front Pack to carry everything. I was able to fit both my digital and video cameras, SOL Origin Survival Kit, cell, Aurora Fire Starter, Mission Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel, a full sized hoodie and more in the small Ribz.  
We were able to take it in the boat but did not wear it as it would interfere with our flotation vests. The items we packed are the most bare-bones items I would take.  Here they are:

SOL Origin Survival Kit-This kit offers the most bang for its compact size. If were somehow got lost in the outback this kit has a floating compass, whistle and signal mirror to help us be found. It also has fish hooks, wire, a knife with a light, aluminum foil, fire starter and Tinder Quik.  The case itself water proof so if it got wet, everything in it would still work for you...even the fire strike & tinder.

Aurora Magnesium Fire Starter-It is always good to have a secondary or backup fire starter. However the Aurora is my first choice for a fire strike. It quickly lights your tinder, (I carry cotton balls smeared with Vaseline) and will work even if it gets wet.  If you are lost and need to signal for help, start a fire and lay some green vegetation on top.  It will give off white smoke visible for miles.  You can also use it and the aluminum foil to boil / purify water, cook the fish you just caught and stay warm. I started the fire here with some newspaper, alcohol sterno cooking fuel and the Aurora Magnesium Fire Starter.  As you can see it cooked our wienies and chili beans to perfection.

Mission Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel-This towel has so many uses!  With a SPF of 45 it can serve as a sun blocking head or neck cover.  Wet it and give it a snap.  It will cool you off in seconds.  Roll it up, it's a pillow, roll it out it's a sun cover.  It's recommended that you carry a bandanna in your backpack because it has so many uses.  The same concept here only better as this towel has sun blocking and cooling properties built in.
Be sure to check out the VIDEO from the event day at the top of this webpage and get a FREE KAYAKING Lesson!

Enjoying the great outdoors Geocaching!

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