Archive for the ‘Education / skills’ Category

This class has been in such high demand we added an extra pool class before the season gets underway.
Join in the world’s fastest growing sport. Are you nervous or just plain scared about tipping over?

Take A Paddle - Western NY at footprintpress.com

Take A Paddle – Western NY at footprintpress.com

Let us put your fears to rest in the warmth and safety of a pool with many instructors all around you. Learn that kayaks are much more stable than canoes. All equipment is provided. All you need to bring is a swimsuit, towel, a lock for your locker and a positive mental attitude. All instructors are New York State Licensed Guides. This is a one night/evening class running from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Williamsville South High School Pool 5950 Main Street Williamsville, NY 14221 (located on the North side of Main St between Youngs & Evans Roads)

Cost is $73.00. Please call Paths Peaks & Paddles at 716-213-0350 if you have any questions.

Paths Peaks and Paddles is teaming up with the Williamsville Community Education to present this session. You do not have to be a resident of the Williamsville to sign up. You can sign up on line at: Williamsville Community Education (direct link) or by phone at 716-626-8080.

Once you learn the basics, go explore the wonders of Western NY, using the guidebook “Take A Paddle – Western New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks,” available here as a pdf file e-book.

Paths Peaks & Paddles, Inc.
1000 Ellicott Creek Road
Tonawanda, New York 14150
Phone: 716-213-0350
Website: www.pathspeakspaddles.com
E-Mail: pppinfo@pathspeakspaddles.com

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A good read from Backpacker Magazine: Common Hiking Boot Lacing Techniques

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By Leo Maloney, Oneida Daily Dispatch, link to original post

“There is nothing, absolutely nothing as much fun as messing around in boats.”
— The Magnificent Mr. Toad, “The Wind In the Willows.”

We have a fascination with boats and that extends to kayaks, one of the fastest growing segments of the watercraft industry. The ease of using them, their versatility and the freedom that they give you adds up to a whole lot of fun.

While kayaking various locations, especially local waters, people frequently ask us lots of questions. Many of the questions involve stability, ease of paddling, sea-worthiness and their suitability for fishing. Many people who know us sometimes ask for suggestions since they know that we spend countless hours each summer in our kayaks.

There is no standard answer what type of kayak one should buy. Scott Locorini, owner of Adirondack Exposure, explains that it depends on what a person wants to do and what type of water they plan to paddle. This will determine the type, length and material best suited for that person.

There are three basic categories of kayaks: whitewater, touring and recreational. For most people, a recreational kayak is the normal choice. These are the type that most of us would use for quiet rivers, small lakes and ponds, and the protected shoreline of larger lakes. Within that category there are many designs, variations and models to choose from.

Most recreational kayaks range from 10 to 14 feet in length. According to Scott Locorini, longer length means better tracking and efficiency, while shorter ones are more maneuverable. However, shorter ones also tend to be wider so they require more effort in paddling and tend to wander from a straight line in paddling. Within the longer kayaks there can be a difference in width. Narrower kayaks have more speed and ease of paddling but lack the initial stability of slightly wider ones.

Kayaks are made of several materials. Most common is polyethylene, which is rugged, resilient and moderate in price and weight. Composites of Kevlar or fiberglass are lighter but less durable and cost more. You can get superlight kayaks, but the prices are often incredibly high. Thermoplastics represent a midpoint between the polyethylene and composites in price, weight and durability. I recently purchased one for my wife and she is very pleased with it.

Cockpit sizes vary and larger cockpits make it easier for people, especially larger paddlers, to enter and exit. They also make it easier to carry gear such as photo equipment or fishing tackle in front of you. Of course the more cockpit space you have, the more likely you are to get splashed by waves.

As mentioned earlier, the touring kayaks are longer and narrower for traveling long distances. They have many other features designed for the person who wants to cover long distances such as on a camping trip or long voyage.

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes  available at www.footprintpress.com

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

I am often asked the question about how convenient it is to fish out of a kayak. Keep in mind that the initial users of kayaks, the Eskimos, depended on them for getting their food. Because of the increased popularity of kayaks and fishing, now there are several specialized models designed just for fishing. Fishing kayaks are the fasting growing niche within this popular sport.

However, most recreational kayaks will do just fine with a little adjustment on your part and limiting your tackle. Scott Locorini reminds us that you can trick out any recreational kayak to be a fishing kayak or you can go for some pre-designed models with larger cockpits, rod holders, etc.

The open or “sit-upon” kayaks offer ease of movement, stability and many features, including the ability to add electronics like fish finders or live wells. Another factor is weight. Since they generally are heavy, most people trailer them or leave them at camp where they fish a single body of water.

For general paddling and exploring, consider the factors of weight and width that were discussed earlier. Remember that initial stability, a comfortable seat and a good back rest are important considerations for anyone who plans to spend considerable time in their kayak.

Take A Paddle - Western NY at footprintpress.com

Take A Paddle – Western NY at footprintpress.com

Your best bet is to test paddle several types and models to see how they handle, how comfortable each is and other factors such as weight. Take the opportunity to test paddle several and you will probably join the growing ranks of people who spend much of the summer in their kayak.

If you are new to kayaking or want to develop your skills further, consider taking various paddling classes from Scott Locorini of Adirondack Exposure. Scott is a licensed Adirondack guide and a member of the Kayak Hall of Fame. He is located four miles south of Old Forge on Route. 28 near Okara Lakes. Check out the website www.adirondackexposure.com or call Scott at 315-335-1681.

Kayaks are actually very stable since you have a low center of gravity sitting right at water level. They are easy to paddle, go where other boats cannot go, and are easy to transport. Choose wisely and join the growing ranks of people who have discovered just how much fun kayaking is.

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Kesselheim shares wilderness paddling insight: “The Wilderness Paddler’s Handbook”

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21 of the Best Blogs Highlighting Methods for the Prevention and Treatment of Bug Bites this Summer

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Java Joe wrote on the FLTC e-list:

This morning I found a small nymph deer tick on me after yesterday’s FLTC Wally Wood hike in SW Cortland County (map M19).  It evidently had not yet attached as it was picked off easily, but left a tiny red mark.

These critters are recently exploding in numbers along the Finger Lakes Trail.  I started my first of 10 end-to-end hikes 35 years ago and I’d never seen any deer ticks until last year, when I did my 10-th E2E and observed 4 deer ticks along the way — 1 walking on me and 3 walking on my Goldens — none attached.

And within the last 3 weeks I’ve encountered 3 more!  None attached, thank goodness (they need to be attached ~48 hours before they infect you with the Lyme spirochete bacterium).

Important info about the three stages of these critters:
-Larval (first) stage: hatched from eggs from the adult female tick; these never carry any diseases. Larval ticks after hatching die within a month or so, if not finding a host.
-Nymph (intermediate) stage: these, if have feasted on a warm blooded host (usually white footed mice in the north) are the most common causative agent of Lyme disease (95%).
-Adult, the largest.  Usually found because of their size, before they attach.

The below will help you identify the stages:tick sizes

And here are the months the stages are most prevalent in the Northeast:tick seasons

We are now in May beginning the dreaded “nymph” season, so beware.  For more info go to the American Lyme Disease Foundation website: http://aldf.com/deerTickEcology.shtml

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by Trisha Leonard / Tahoe Daily Tribune, link to original post

For  physical therapist Chris Kozlowski, it’s not “just like riding a bike.”

The phrase used to describe returning to an activity with ease diminishes the techniques necessary for the most effective pedaling, Kozlowski told about a two dozen attendees to a presentation on maximizing bicycle performance at Kahle Community Center Wednesday evening. “There are so many different skills you have to have to ride a bike properly,” Kozlowski said during the talk, part of Barton Health’s 2013 Wellness Lecture Series.

Climbing, descending, pedaling, braking, cornering and steering are all among the skills bicyclists can develop to more efficiently bicycle, whether it be in the mountains or on the road, Kozlowski said.

The physical therapist, who has been fitting bikes for two years, said a properly adjusted bike can be the difference between a painless ride and numb extremities. “Believe it or not, your butt shouldn’t hurt,” Kozlowski said.

Having the knee bent at approximately 35 degrees at the bottom of a pedal stroke will provide the most power, while a 90-degree angle between a person’s arms and back is ideal, Kozlowski said. “These are the basic angles that put the least stress on the body,” Kozlowski said, leaving room for personal preference. “It also depends on what you’re comfortable with.”

Focusing on using a circular spinning motion with your feet rather than a mashing “piston” motion can also ease torque on a bicyclist’s lower back, Kozlowski said. She used the example of scraping snow off your shoe to get the spinning motion.

Which gear people should use in certain situations is a common question among bicyclists, Kozlowski said. There is no “right” gear, but she recommended bicyclists cadence of 75-90 revolutions per minute for the least impact to their bodies.

In addition to proper technique, things like nutrition can often get overlooked when it comes time to pedal, said Rob Panzera, a cycling coach with Cycling Camp San Diego who will host this year’s Near Death Experience Bike Camp at Kirkwood Mountain Resort June 6-9 in preparation for this year’s Death Ride. “The big thing I really see is people invest a lot of equipment,” Panzera said, noting they often overlook the fuel they’re putting into their body.

With the popularity of cycling on the rise, Panzera said there are plenty of resources, and plenty of noise, about technique. Still, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way, Panzera said.

“If they learn a little bit it will make their ride so much more enjoyable,” Panzera said. For those bringing their bicycles out of hibernation, he recommended regular rides, even if they’re short. “It makes a big difference,” Panzera said.

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6 Common Mistakes New Hikers Make

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Who can blame you for wanting to break out your kayak or canoe after a long hard winter – just. please read this first & take appropriate precautions:Early Season Paddling: What to Know

Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes

Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes

Take A Paddle - Western NY

Take A Paddle – Western NY

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skiMany variables affect snow conditions at resorts. Among these are temperature, the sun’s rays, gusting winds, humidity, a thaw-freeze cycle, snowpack depth, slope exposure, rain and snowfall.

Upon arriving at a ski area, go to the information desk and find out what kind of conditions you’ll face on the slopes that day.

Here’s a glossary of 22 snow conditions that can be found at ski areas:

BASE: Heavy, wet snow laid down before a resort opens to create a foundation to last the entire season.

BOILERPLATE: A slippery, glazed covering of ice on a run that can occur after it rains or when wet snow freezes.

BREAKABLE CRUST: A hard snow surface atop a softer layer. Such a crust could break under the weight of a turning ski.

BROKEN POWDER: Fresh powder that has been chopped up by skiers and snowboarders into soft mounds or chunks. Intermediates may find them tricky to navigate.

CHAMPAGNE POWDER: Coveted snow that’s exceptionally light and fluffy, like feathers in a pillow. It occurs under ideal weather conditions in higher elevations of Rocky Mountain states such as Colorado and Utah.

CORDUROY: Best of the best for intermediates. It’s an early morning snowpack that has just been machine-groomed to perfection on wide, easy-to-navigate runs.

CORN: A springtime delight is the pellet snow that resembles corn. It’s ideal for grooming.

CORNICE: An overhanging accumulation of wind-blown snow on the edge of a ridge or cliff.

FIRST TRACKS: A prearranged opportunity to ski on ungroomed or freshly groomed snow – depending on your skill – a half-hour or hour before the entire mountain opens to the public.

FLURRIES: Snow falling for short durations with changes in intensity. They usually result in little accumulation.

GROOMED: Slope terrain that is machine-groomed by snowcats to a smooth surface, with no moguls or hardpack.

HARDPACK or BULLETPROOF: Snow that seems as firm, solid and unforgiving as a city sidewalk because of weather conditions or because there hasn’t been recent snowfall. Turning and edging is more difficult, skis have a tendency to slide and taking a spill on hardpack can be painful. Many beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders mistakenly call hardpack ice.

MAN-MADE: Snow artificially produced by high-tech snowmaking systems.

MOGULS: Bumps of varied sizes on snow created by many skiers and snowboarders turning in the same places.

PACKED POWDER: Soft snow turned over and compacted by grooming machines to make slopes easier to ski.

POWDER: A thin, dry surface of snow consisting of loose, fresh ice crystals.

RAILROAD TRACKS: Hard, corrugated snow with ridges. Skis make a clickety-clack sound as they drop down a slope. Lesser-skilled riders should avoid such slopes. The ridges are rock-hard and can throw riders off balance. Falling on this snow type can be especially painful.

SLAB: Compacted or frozen snow lying beneath freshly fallen snow. It has the potential of sliding and starting an avalanche.

SLUSH: The sluggish, sticky morass caused by a hot, cloudless spring day that melts snow at the base of a ski mountain.

SNOWFALL: The depth of newly fallen snow.

SNOWPACK: Total snow on the ground, including new and old snow.

TABLETOP: A mound of snow with the top sheared off to provide a flat, level surface for snowboarders to jump over.

(By WALT ROESSING / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News)

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