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Rest with RVR 2 RVR

May 17th, 2017 No comments

As a company who tries desperately to surround themselves with water as often as possible, we have the opportunity to rub paddles with some cool people who are doing things that we like so much that we feel like we need to tell EVERYONE!

Some of those cool people are Brittany Parker and Natali Zollinger who have become stewards of the river as co-founders of  RVR 2 RVR. This is a program where the pair, along with their team members, travel around the world teaching clinics that help to equip paddlers of all levels with knowledge about about local waterways and how they can enjoy them to the max! They offer a wide variety of clinics with a choice of three different levels.

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Both founders bring loaded resumes to the program. Along with being a top-ranked professional stand up paddle athlete with impressive rankings in the competitive whitewater circuit, Brittany is also considered the top female river surfer in the country. Natali is also an accomplished stand up paddle instructor, 12-year river guide, personal trainer, and yoga instructor.

In starting this program, their main objective was to teach people about river safety and help them to achieve their paddling goals. Regardless if you want to learn to paddle some of the world’s most challenging rapids, or if you’re just looking to expand your skillset on the water, they want to help you get there!

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Some of the services the RVR2RVR crew offers are flatwater SUP skills, general river safety (river dynamics, and reading water), whitewater skills (eddy turns, peel outs, ferrys, etc.), stand up paddle river surfing, shortboard river surfing and downriver guided trips. Stoked.

If you’re looking to participate in a clinic, but have a specific situation that would require instruction beyond what is available in the current classes, they also offer private clinics tailored to the need of the client.

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They are continuing their tour with upcoming clinics in Colorado, with the next stop being in Grand Junction on May 19-21. Prices and clinic levels are listed on their website, but if you think this Grand Junction clinic is for you, sign up today

Watershed is pumped to sponsor the ladies of RVR2RVR for the second year! They are passionate about getting more people in and around water the safe way, so how could we not be excited about that?! For more information, check them out at rvr2rvr.com!

 

River Language Explained

May 11th, 2017 No comments

Often you will hear kayakers or boaters talking among themselves in a strange language. It’s English, but not quite. There are strange words usually accompanied by excited or nervous expressions. This is river language, and it’s a spoken by a special breed of folks. We are going to give you the inside on what a few of those words and sayings really mean.

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@dylankmckinney

Boof, There it Is.

Nice boof, is one of these sayings often uttered by one kayaker to another. A boof is the act of lifting the bow of a whitewater kayak while going over rocks, waves, or waterfalls, in order to launch over hydraulics, holes or rocks. This helps to keep the boat on the surface of the water when landing a drop which keeps the boater out of places that are no bueno to be in. This word was originally coined because of the “boof” sound the boat made once it hit the water again. There is also a boof-stroke, which raises the boat for a short period of time.

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@aleixsalvat

Shred the Gnar

Gnar is a term that shouldn’t need much explanation. This term has been lovingly used to describe many aspects involved in the kayaking lifestyle. Generally speaking, the “gnar” really just means the gnarly section of whitewater that’s hopefully at flood stage you’re about to “shred” your way through. Gnarly lost it’s cool a few years back, but gnar seems it’s here to stay, at least for now. Urban dictionary also helps to shine some light on their definition of gnar.

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River Cute

This term is often used to raft guides to describe guys and gals that happen to be in the boat with them all damn day. In the beginning of the day, that guy or gal might not be so attractive. However, after 8 hours of only getting to see really that one person within your age range suddenly they become quite attractive, even cute? Beware, this is river cute! They are only attractive because you’re tired and hungry and need a beer. River cuteness can cause blindness, confusion, as well as short lived relationships.

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@southernraftsupply

Heady Brah

Another fantastic bro-brah word, “heady” can be used to describe many things that are just plain great. It can be a perfect line you took, a new boat you just bought, or even a sweet new hoodie that was purchased at an electronic music festival. Anyway you slice it, heady is something that’s a cut above the rest or top of it’s class. This can also be used to describe an individual person as 1) a derogatory term to denote one who is overly occupied in the pursuit of ‘headiness.’

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@aniolserrasolses

Stout

This word can refer to the delicious stout beer that will be enjoyed after paddling, but most often means a stout drop or hole. One can use this term as in, ” damn, that looks stout” as they are sizing up a rapid or section of creek or river. Any stout section or rapid is just like it’s alcoholic counterpart – dark, strong, and may put you on your ass.

These and other fine words are all collectively including in the genre we consider river language. These words can be mingled and intertwined in unique ways to come up with even more confusing speech that we all seem to just understand.

 

 

Top 5 Favorite Camping Life Hacks

April 30th, 2017 No comments

Life hacks are great little tips and tools to put in place that help us humans to work smarter not harder. Put “camping” in front of those two little words, and you have some of our favorite tips and how to’s to camp like a boss. From starting fires in a pinch to warding off mosquitoes, these are our top 5 must know camping life hacks for any savvy adventurer!

Nachos fire starter

From buzzfeed.

Nacho Fire

Taking delicious tortilla chips with you camping is a good idea all in itself: Crispy, crunchy, and hopefully covered in salt or cheese or something else magical. You can even cook nachos in a cast iron skillet right on your campfire. But did you know, that you can use some of the extra chips to actually get the fire going? Chips are basically pure hydrocarbons which burn, soaked in delicious fat which also burns. You can use a small pile of flaming chips as kindling to build your fire with. Don’t plan to make a bonfire of Doritos though as this could lead to a delicious overdose of aroma you may not be able to recover from.

Sage for the campfire

From Soul Flower Farm

What Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes can be a pain in the ass when you’re out camping, especially if you like to camp near the river or creek. A tent will help you some at night, but these pesky little creatures will do anything to get your tasty blood! Sure, you can soak yourself in DEET  which is a chemical used to repel mosquitoes, but your skin is often left oily and you smell like either a bottle of pine sol or like the pest control guy just came through your campsite. Sage is a common herb often used in cooking or even holistic and ceremonial rituals to cleanse away energy. Grab a few bundles of dried sage – which comes in many varieties – and throw them in your campfire on your next trip. The sage will give off an aroma that you’ll enjoy but those little bloodsuckers can’t stand!

Mason Jar match holder

From Gentlemint

Bomb Proof Matches

This is a favorite of ours here at Watershed as we like things that are waterproof! Matches are great to take camping, but not so great if they’re soaked once you get to your campsite. You can buy waterproof matches, or you can make your own for much cheaper! First, start with strike anywhere wooden matches and dip the striking end in nail polish or wax from a wax candle if you’d prefer. Next, lay the matches out and let them dry before putting them into a waterproof bag or container for your trip. For the wax dipped matches, you’ll need to peel off some of the wax before striking but the nail polish ones will be good to go. Just ensure you do a light coating and shake off excess polish. It’s also a great idea to affix some sandpaper to the inside of a container or surface to have a great place to strike it up!

Use a rock as a grommet

From REI

Grommet Rescue

Camping is always fun when one of your grommets from a tarp or rain fly rips out. Don’t despair! You’re super crafty and can fix this no problem! Grab a small rock or object  and create a new anchor point by wrapping the tarp or fly material around the rock, then tying the guideline around it. Just be careful with the fabric as the rock or object may rub from the inside. This is much better however than having half your shelter flying around in the huge surprise storm that just rolled in. It’s a good idea to keep a couple of golf balls handy while camping as they work beautifully for this without the sharp edges of a rock.

Zippers

Zippy Zippers

We have all experienced desperately trying to get out of your tent when the call of nature happens and either not being able to find the pull on the zipper door, or worse the zipper getting stuck and not unzipping smoothly. Grab some wide key rings thats most of us have laying around at home and attach them to your zipper pulls on your tent and other equipment. This makes them much easier to locate in the dark or when it’s cold and your little paws are frozen. Also, use a bit of candle wax along your zipper to keep them nice and zippy!

Camping is awesome, but with these life hacks it can be even more so. Don’t forget to waterproof your matches and bring five times the amount of tortilla chips you think you may need!

 

 

 

 

Why Do Humans Love Water So Much?

April 13th, 2017 No comments

It’s pretty obvious here at Watershed we love being on/around/near/under/or in the water. It’s literally part of our name. Although, we’ve created the best way to shed the water from your personal items, humans have thrived near water for thousands of years. But have you ever wondered what causes humans to be so drawn to it? Let’s find out!

Fishing in the ocean

@fishhippie

Our Brains Love It

Supposedly when humans separated from apes and began to carve our own path, we began to cultivate around rivers and oceans for the life giving water. We also started grubbing out on tasty aquatic creatures that were filled with Omega 3 fatty acids that promote brain growth. In fact, our brain growth increased dramatically when we came out of the forests and started hanging on the beaches and by the rivers. It’s even been shown that people with a diet including more marine life are less likely to suffer from depression. It makes sense that eating a pile a crab legs or cracking into a giant lobster tail does indeed make one quite happy! Our brains have been intrinsically connected to the seas and water ever since.

Canoeing on the lake

@holerider

Water Calms Us

Anyone who spends time on the water can tell you it makes them feel calm. Life for humans can often feel stagnant if we are not near the water for long periods of time. This can cause us to lose desk jobs and relationships because we’re always leaving early to paddle, or calling in “sick” when the river is up and it’s 70 degrees outside. People who live near water report they feel less stress and depression as compared to those who live in busy cities. When humans are around water we get a break from the constant ‘going’ of our day-to-day. Water even slows our brainwaves down to a more calm and meditative state, and supposedly we can tune our waves more closely to the rhythm of water. Essentially, water lets us relax and realize the big picture of life rather than the little small stuff we sweat over.

Looking out with a kayak

@gradientandwater

It Calls to Us

You can make up all kinds of excuses for why you need to go paddling today to get you out of something you don’t really want to do. “I stubbed my toe, and now I’m stressed…gotta go kayaking!”. We’ll come up with just about any excuse to answer the call of the river that we feel deep down inside us. From a scientific standpoint, this isn’t completely untrue. Our bodies are composed of up to 60% water, and perhaps these huge bodies of water are pulling on us. They say that people go nuts during the full moon because the moon affects the water on earth, including the tides and in our bodies. Like ET being called home to the mothership, when the river answers I must heed her call!

Relaxing on a SUP

@garethtate

Psychological Effects

After a killer day of paddling, we feel tired yes…but also alive. It’s as if the wolf or grizzly bear inside us can sleep for a while until we get the urge again. Humans experience profound psychological effects from water that elevate our moods, reduces stress, and improves our concentration, thinking and memory. Author Wallace Nichols has even written a book on the topic called Blue Mind that explores the science of why we are happier near water and how it affects us. Studies have shown that people’s stress levels drop when they are exposed to water sounds like the ocean, rivers or creeks. This is often why many people enjoy sleeping with sound machines at night. Soothing sounds of Class IV whitewater are enough to put any of us around here right to sleep.

Rafting fun on whitewater

@basicsinthebeyond

Water Is Just Plain Fun

Unless you had a bad childhood run in with the water, or perhaps a bad swim one day, most of us associate the water with happy memories. The smell of chlorine or hose water in the summer time is a huge connection to memory and will bring them flooding back. Even the stink of our river clothes drying on the line is enough to send us packing up the truck again to head back out to the watery mothership. While all the scientific things are happening to your brain and your body when you’re around the water, it’s easy for us to just chalk it up to hey…this is fun! We crave moments where we can really be ourselves and be in the moment and forget about everything else for a few. Our time spent on the water, paddling through the water or swimming under the water gives us those tranquil moments we need to live as happy human beings.

So we have learned that eating seafood makes us smarter, it’s ok for us to say the river is calling us home because it’s true, and that the calm we feel when we’re on the river is a combination of science and river magic. Feed your brain and body and head back out for adventure ASAP!

 

 

 

Alternative Uses for Your Drybag

April 6th, 2017 No comments

After years of research, development, and getting wet, we can proudly claim the creation of the ultimate weapon against wet sandwiches and ruined electronics that need to head down the river with you. Our Drybags! After realizing the roll down bags were inferior, we came up with our patented Zipdry closure system that’s second to none. Though our bags are great at keeping your personals nice and dry throughout your watery adventures, did you know there are a multitude of other clever uses for them? Here are some of our favorites.Drybags can be used as pillows

Better Nights Sleep

Overnight paddling trips are great. You get to cover a ton of ground, and get a jump start each morning as you’re already ready to rumble having everything you need right there. Of all the items you really need to pack in with you in your raft, kayak, or other floating vessel…a comfy pillow doesn’t usually top the list. Here’s where the nifty Drybag comes in! Fill your Drybag with air as much as you’d like to create a nice personal pillow to sleep on. You can basically customize the comfort level with how much you inflate the bag. Put a soft tee shirt or towel over top, and wa-la! No more laying your head on a rock at night.

Drybags can be used as washing machines

@peterholcombe

So Fresh, So Clean

If you’ve been out on the river for days, weeks, months or years, you need some clean threads every now and again. Your amazing Drybag can be used as a hand held washing machine. Be sure to use eco friendly and mild soap then load all your dirty unmentionables into the bag. Add some water, and shake it like a polaroid picture. Or really more like a giant bag of shake and bake chicken. Give a couple of good rinses, and empty out the bag to be left with sparkling clean clothes ready for a nice line to dry on in the sunshine. You can customize the cycle for delicates or bulky depending on how much elbow grease and shaking action you want to put forth for this little experiment.

 

Use your drybag as a bucket

@smallworldadv

There’s a Hole in my Bucket

This may seem a little obvious to some, but maybe not to everyone! Your Drybag can be used as a bucket or carrying vessel. If you need to carry water up to your camp for cooking or cleaning, putting out the fire, etc; this is a great way to get the job done. With the carrying handles on our Drybags, this process is made even easier. Work smarter, not harder. This can also be used as a bailing device in case your old school raft you borrowed from that weird raft guide is a non-bailer. No holes in this polyurethane coated radio frequency welded drybag bucket…not today.

 

Burying your drybag to keep it safe

Buried Treasure

These bags are tough, and can really stand withstand the elements. If you have valuables like electronics or gold pirate coins or rubies you want to keep hidden perhaps while you’re swimming or hiking for the day, consider burying your loot in your drybag. You’d be surprised what people will snatch right out of your tent or off your campsite when they think you aren’t looking. Find a spot with loose sand or dirt to bury your bag that will stay nice and dry and safe until your ready to unearth your worldly possessions. This is a great idea for a day at the beach when you’re out frolicking in the ocean. X marks the spot, or so they say, so make sure you know exactly where you buried your booty. You wouldn’t want to add insult to injury by losing not only your treasure, but your sweet drybag you put everything in too.

puppy in a drybag

@hanktheadventureturd

Keeping Puppies In

We don’t really need to go in to detail too much here – pictures speak louder than words – but it can be done!

 

And there we have it! From keeping your pirate loot safe, to carrying around your dog, the Drybag is a lot more than meets the eye!