Just back from a fun three-night paddle down the Gila River in Arizona, here are a few great pieces of kit worth mentioning.
We borrowed some Thermarest Trekker/Field chair fittings from some good friends at the last minute and man did we enjoy them. Sitting around the campfire at night was even more enjoyable than usual (I know, hard to imagine), rocking way back and looking up at the stars. It takes a bit of finagling to insert your Thermarest (the mattress might not be so big a fan of this idea) into the fitting but once it’s in there it’s good to go.
Light and invaluable for any trip where you plan to lounge in the great outdoors (and that should be most trips).
It would appear that the Sevylor Tahiti K79 has seen some updates since the one we used was produced, but it’s worth mentioning here because it surprised us. Before the trip we were somewhat apprehensive about striking out through the wilderness in a cheap inflatable kayak ($121 at the time of this writing), but the Rubber Ducky took it all in stride. It was plenty burly as we scraped against many a half-submerged rock and through quite a bit of brush as well.
As for carrying two people, that would certainly change the equation. The Tahiti was good for one person with a bit of gear (one large drybag and one small daypack behind the seat, and a few other medium/small items e.g. pair of shoes, pump, etc. stashed elsewhere). There’s a bit of storage space both in the bow and the stern. The inflatable seat was comfortable and kept one’s derriere out of the puddle that will form on the floor of the vessel no matter how amazing your paddling technique is.
There are certainly better boats out there, but on the cheap this one can get YOU out there. Just be sure you have an equivalent to our WaterPig if you’re doing a longer or more gear-intensive trip! The other inflatable kayak we used was an Innova Helios I (to the left in the photo above) – a very fine boat but many times the price. I also noticed a skeg available for the Tahiti – can’t really go wrong there, especially if battling wind.
Suze loves taking this shirt outside. Quick-drying, non-chafing, comfortable and more breathable than cotton or even synthetics. Howies is a small Welsh company dedicated to the outdoors and to doing cool stuff (apparently). We have found their products to be quality items. What’s not to like?!
As for The Thing? hat that she’s rocking, well you’ll need to swing waaaay south on I-10 to get yerself one of those.
TTNF, Happy Paddling!