Looking at Gear

Category: Gear


We took a little trip to the canoe / kayak shop today. Because, of course we are the kind of girls who sign up to paddle 340 miles and have no boat, no paddle, no nothing. So, we’ve jumped in to this crazy adventure without a firm idea of how hard our wallets will get hit between here and the finish line.

Our shop is only open on Friday and Saturday, so we set out on Saturday afternoon. When we arrive the owner is there and is soooo helpful. His first question was about our price range.

Price range? We have no idea…that’s why we’re here. After hearing the options, we went on the “inexpensive” side which didn’t actually seem inexpensive to us! Lynn (shop owner) was nice enough to pull a kayak off the rack and let us sit in it. Right, we’ve never even sat in a kayak before and we think we’ll paddle this race in one. He gave us the basic information we need to know to choose a boat and then showed us examples in our price range.

Then we looked at paddles, and life jackets that won’t rub us absolutely raw in 3 days, and don’t forget the lighting. All told, our “inexpensive” boat will run in the $1800 to $2000 range. Good thing there are 2 of us paddling!

Did we order our boat? No way. We need a couple nights to sleep on this one and to break this news to our sleeping partners. (Oh? Is that what this post is all about??)

And did we tell you that the other very important part of the discussion was “what color should we get?” The negotiating points of concern ranged from, “whats the most visible to the gigantic boats on the river so we don’t get run over…?” to “Uh… what’s our favorite color?”

Nah, I don’t look very good in THAT color…

So really, we didn’t order yet so we can keep on thinking about a color or combination of colors that will be just perfect!

We also met a cool guy who did the race last year. He was in the store looking at paddles, wanted to reduce his paddle weight as it made a big difference last year to have the heavier paddle.

We listened carefully to him, he did it solo and that’s a big deal for sure. He also told us about how the hair on his chest ended up chafing his side so much he had his wife shave it off a big simi-circle for him during one of his breaks. Guess we won’t take a razor with us, but the chafing is something to keep in mind!

True to everything we’ve read and heard, both the shop owner Lynn and the other guy were more than ready to talk about paddling, gear, dos and don’ts, and we learned tons.

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