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Five Ways to Celebrate Independence All Year Long

July 14th, 2017 No comments

On the heels of one of the great American holidays, the fourth of July, we are still riding the coattails of celebration and trying to squeeze as much ‘merica out of this month as we can. The signing of the Deceleration of Independence proceeds the many events throughout history that have occurred both on our soil and internationally that have taken place to maintain our country’s freedom.  So, it’s only right that we should celebrate with a whole day filled with family cookouts, amazing food and fireworks. But, we don’t think it should stop there. In an effort to maintain patriotism through July and the rest of the year, here are five ways that you and your family can celebrate our country’s independence all year long.


1. Send a Care Package to Troops

Although we have the opportunity to eat great food and spend time with our loved ones all year long, many of our service members don’t get to enjoy the same luxury. You can share a little bit of your family with a service member who might be missing theirs by putting together a care package to send overseas. Bake some homemade goodies, send some nonperishable foods that remind them of home, you can even include those cute flag crafts you and the kids worked so hard on.


2. Go to a Parade

Pack the popsicles and the SPF and head downtown and attend local parades in your area. Celebrate our nation’s freedom with your fellow community members and support the veterans who participate. Wave to the firefighters, dance to the marching band and make a stop at a shop and support a local business owner’s American dream. A fun and free way to celebrate all year long.

3. Take a trip to Washington

We all know of our nations’s rich history- a lot of which can be witnessed and relived in our country’s capitol- Washington, D.C. You can catch a baseball game, visit a museum, or one of D.C.’s many monuments. There are plenty of activities for you and the whole family in D.C., and you might even learn something in the process!


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III delivers his remarks during a wreath laying ceremony honoring Air Force Vietnam Prisoners of War and Missing in Action at the Air Force Memorial, Arlington, Va., March 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

4. Support Local Veterans

Supporting those who serve is a fantastic way to show your appreciation for all they do to maintain our country’s freedom. However, we don’t want to leave out those who have previously served our country and returned home as veterans. Finding ways to support veterans throughout the year is a great reminder that freedom is free!


5. Family Flag Activities

Over years of school, there are many things that your children have learned and will learn about U.S. history. One thing they might not learn about is proper flag etiquette. Guidelines on how the flag should be displayed, how it should be properly folded and stored, all of the ways you can treat the country’s flag with respect. This could also be great opportunity to share the story of the flag’s changing faces during the Revolutionary War, or even a fun craft activity for the kids. They could color pictures or make their own paper flags for the picnic table.


The 4th is a favorite holiday for many all over the country, it brings us all together for a common cause and we want to keep that feeling going throughout the summer and all year long.



5 Tips for Catch and Release

July 13th, 2017 No comments

Now that deer hunting season is officially closed for the summer, we’ve officially moved on to our favorite summer fishing holes. Even though we’re racking up as many Big Mouth Bass as possible, there will always be a few fishing holes where we’ll need to catch and release. Just in case you’re gotten too used to bringing them home, here’s a refresher on catch and release.


1. Bring the Right Tools

When you head out on a lake or a river where catch and release is mandatory, you have to make sure you’ve got the right tools.   In addition to your regular gear and tackle box, at the very least you’ll need a set of needle nose pliers and a knife or some scissors.  But, while we’re on the subject it’s equally important to make sure you have extra line, additional hooks and various lures and bobbers (depending on which type of fishing you’re doing.)


2. Remove the Hook

After you land your catch and take your picture for proof, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the hook. Especially when it’s one of your good lures, you’re going to need your pliers to to get that hook out. If you can’t get the hook out easily, the best thing to do is leave the hook in place and cut the live with your knife so you don’t rip the fishes’ gills. A good reminder is to use a single hook rather than multi-point hooks when you know you’ll be catch and release fishing.


3. Hold the Fish in Water

Once you get you’ve removed the hook, you’ll need to get the fish back in the water as quickly as possible. But, before you can fully release the fish back into the water you’ll need to relief the shock.One additional note, when holding your fish, don’t just hold it by the bottom lip. Be sure to use your other hand to support the fish under it’s belly and behind its pectoral fins.


4. Fish CPR

If you took a little longer trying to rescue your favorite lure, your fish may need a slower reintroduction into the water. Once your fish is in the water move it around in a figure eight pattern to move water across the gills and get your fish breathing properly again.


5. Release the Fish into the Water 

Now that you’ve properly retrieved your lure and reintegrated your fish into the water, you can finally let it go, and hope you don’t catch it again a few minutes later.
Now that you’ve remembered how to actually let a fish go somewhere other that your cooler, you’re ready to hit any fishing hole and fish the summer away.
Where are some of your favorite catch a release spots?

Seven Campfire Setups for Summer

June 23rd, 2017 No comments
Most Campers fall into one of three categories:
1) If you’re an experienced backpacker or camper, you will know that fires come in all shapes and size, but sometimes it can be hard to decide which type of fire you’ll need for a specific situation.
2) If you are a semi-frequent flier in the woods, then you probably have a certain fire that you are really good at building,and it has become your default.
3) If you are the last type of camper, where you go out when dragged bringing your glamping set up with you – you haven’t ever made your own campfire.
Whether you’re looking to hone your decisive skills, add to your camping repetition, or learn how to light your first, we are here for you!
Teepee fire

1. Teepee Fire

This is great fire to start with when you’re ready to climb the ladder of  campfire complexity. The Teepee fire is fast burning,  and puts out a lot of heat and light, fast burning. These teepee fires are made for summer nights of sitting under the stars.


Swedish Torch fire


2. Swedish Torch

More common in the winter months, the Swedish torch is a popular choice for conserving resources. It uses little fuel, but it only produces a little heat and a little light. This doesn’t pose much of a problem in the summer heat, but this is certainly  a viable option for a long-standing flame. The Swedish Torch is also a good idea if you have a cast iron pan or kettle, because the top of the torch serves as a rack.

3. Criss-Cross Fire

While we’re talking good for cooking, we have to mention the criss-cross fire. This fire lasts longer than the teepee fire, and puts out a lot of steady heat. This is what makes the criss-cross such a reliable source for cooking.

keyhole fire

4. Keyhole firepit

The Keyhole firepit combines the ideas of the teepee and criss-cross fires for optimal cooking. The grill grate is placed over charcoal or wood coals at the bottom of the “keyhole” to add a delicious smoky campfirey flavor.

5. Gypsy fire

A gypsy fire is what you think of when you think of cowboys and and railroad drifters in movies. A gypsy fire is when your pot that hangs from over a simple fire. This particular fire is great for boiling water for purification, and putting together soups and stews.
trench fire

6. Trench Fire

You might think that a fire on a windy night is challenging, however, trench fires are easy to build, and are self-perpetuating. They use varying depths of ground to manipulate the wind for your benefit. When building this fire, you should face the shallow end of the hole you’ve dug towards the wind- this will fuel it to burn very hot as the wind is going into the blow into the fire.

7. Finnish Gap fire

This fire is made for all night warmth for those unexpectedly chilly nights after those long, hot summer days. If you get caught without enough gear on a chilly enough night, and a finnish gap fire will be your best friend.
All of these fires are excellent in their own way, and can all be used no matter what your level your campfire-expertise might be. While all great options, you’ll need to ensure dry building materials. Just in case of rain, or damp conditions, it would be wise to pack fire-starters.
Let us know your favorite fire combinations for the summer months!

The Indestructable Watershed Zipper Closure

February 2nd, 2017 No comments

When one looks up the definition of the word “dry” as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, this is what they’ll find: “A) free or relatively free from a liquid and especially water <Mix the dry ingredients first.> <as dry as a bone> B) not being in or under water <happy to be on dry land>. Or A) marked by the absence of alcoholic beverages <a dry party> B)  prohibiting the manufacture or distribution of alcoholic beverages <a dry county>. The latter, however, is not the dry we’re referring to. We’re talking about the kind of dry when you pull a cozy hoodie out of your Drybag at the end of the river and put it on you feel like the Snuggle Bear from those fabric softener commercials. The kind of dry that your river map, cell phone, and matches for the campfire are in perfect shape after 13 miles of shredding the gnar kayaking. The folks here at Watershed got real tired of sub-par products, and wet sandwiches, and created the patented Watershed Zipdry Closure. When you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself they say. Here is why our Zipdry Closure is the bomb…or rather bomb and 18 wheeler proof.

Watershed Drybag staying dry

No Rolling Required

Anyone who has used other drybags featuring the rolling technique can understand the frustration. Simply rolling the bag down multiple times does not ensure a watertight seal. It takes forever, and typically once you’ve rolled and “sealed” the bag you realize your phone is sitting on that rock next to your boat… that you left there… that should be in the bag. Ugh. Also, this feature makes it difficult to get what you need quickly, especially sneaky little items that find their way to the bottom of the bag. It’s a production just to get a granola bar. Our bags work like a freezer bag you’d use at home, with multiple levels that grip and lock shut even when submerged and under pressure. The lengthwise opening feature makes it so you can get in and get out quickly and on with your life.

The Chattooga Duffel in the wild

Quality Construction

Bill Nye the Science Guy, or Mr. Wizard – if he’s more your style – would get stoked about the radio frequency welding process used to create the seams. Electromagnetic energy and pressure are used to molecularly combine materials permanently and form the seal. There are no stitches used in the process. This means there aren’t any weak points for the bag to fail, thereby letting river water inside to reek havoc on all your items and belongings that are much more fun when they’re dry. Combine this unique design and construction process with only quality chemically stable polyurethane coated fabrics, and you’ve got a product second-to-none for performance and durability. Just like the fabrics used to make Watershed Drybags, when you’re out there paddling you can’t crack, fade, or lose your flexibility.

Adventurer Tested, Mom Approved

Our loyal followers do all the product testing we need. Like our Russian friends who put our Watershed Torpedo Shotgun Bag through it’s paces:

PS…though we can’t be sure what the lyrics mean, we can only hope it’s saying something like, “Yes! The Americans have it on this one! This drybag is the most badass in all the lands!”

This drybag's zipper lived through an 18 wheeler accidentAnother adventurer of ours sent in this pic of his Colorado DryBag that in an act of God (or just faulty roof rack assembly) flew out of his kayak on the interstate and went toe-to-toe with an 18 wheeler. Sadly, the body of the bag got destroyed, but you can see the zipper feature remained shut throughout the entire hellacious event. Now that’s a true seal!

We created these bags with us in mind, and you are just like us – wanting a quality product that does what it says it does. We strive to create a top-notch Drybag to keep items dry and ready to go no matter what the circumstances. As always have fun, and stay dry out there!

14 Days Kayaking Antarctica

April 22nd, 2015 No comments




Sophie and Ewan just returned from a self-supported 14 day expedition on the Antarctic Peninsula. These two explorers took their Watershed Drybags on an amazing adventure indeed!

Quite simply, they had a journey of unimaginable proportions – unimaginable scenery, unimaginable wildlife encounters and unimaginable memories. They were tested by Mother Nature and blessed by her. Thankfully their thorough preparations, careful planning, professional support and educated decision making led to an extremely successful and safe expedition for them both!

Ballagh  Blyth (20 of 29)

They covered almost 100 nautical miles along the Antarctic Peninsula from Petermann Island south of the Lemaire Channel through to Wilhelmina Bay off the Gerlache Strait. Out of 14 days, they paddled ten and were forced to the confines of their tent for four.

They departed from the Akademik Sergey Vavilov at Petermann Island under blue skies, a warming send-off from all aboard – One Ocean Expeditions staff, passengers and crew – whales abound and a blast from the ship’s horn. Throughout the ensuing 13 days they had intimate encounters with humpback whales, scaled mountain peaks for stunning vistas, paddled through dramatic, mountain-clad channels, fought their way into 25 knot winds, glided across oil slick-like glassy bays, watched penguins waddle past their tent door as they cooked dinner and so much more.


The best part… they filmed the whole expedition!!! From the very start back in New Zealand undergoing their initial preparations through to the rousing reception they received from all aboard the Vavilov when they rendezvoused with her on Feb 2nd, deep in Wilhelmina Bay – again with whales abound. E&S Expedition (50 of 73)They have amassed gigabytes of footage, which they are now going through with some very good friends and professional film makers. What may come of it?……at this stage we’re not sure. But rest assured we’ll keep you posted.

“We just wanted to say thanks for Watershed´s support of us… Other than the two military largo tote´s you sourced for us and my Oocee bag, we were kindly lent a Watershed kayak deck bag together with another Watershed bag we already owned.  All up, a great collection of bags for stuff that really had to stay dry – no questions asked!  We both had one for our emergency grab bags containing bits and pieces for emergency survival in Antarctica and others were used for important documents, day bags etc etc. We look forward to many more years of service from our bags.” – Sophie and Ewan

If you’d like to see some more images of their expedition, feel free to take a look at their Facebook photos here – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152968135260081&type=1&l=d80f8d8464