Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

Gadgets are Not the Problem

Yesterday I posted up an intriguing letter to the editor entitled "Gadget Fire". Comments varied across the different social media platforms and people across the country weighed in on this potential problem.

After mulling it over, I don't believe that the root cause of our potential community divide between the "haves and have nots" is gear. The problem is people.

When large groups of people are intertwined at a public venue, ours being a lake, ocean or other body of water, you find not everyone had the same upbringing as you. Some people were not raised in the friendly, wave to everyone, mind your manners, don't embarrass your parents way that I was. Some people were raised by a parent or parents who chose to offer little guidance when their child acted outside the accepted societal norm. So much of the American culture now is "Get Yours", "More is Better", "Bigger is Better". We have become obsessed with stuff. But does having stuff make you bad? Reading many comments you would think so.

Here is my confession: I am a gear head. I like to try new things.

It doesn't come out of greed, it comes out of curiosity. I am always looking for innovations that catch more fish, give a better experience, solve a problem etc. I'll often buy things knowing if they don't work out I'll resell them. I like to try new things. Does having lots of gear and gadgets on my kayak make me a bad person? Does it make me a snob? No. My kayak and its additions are inanimate. They can't speak or act.

I control how I act. I decide to talk to people. You do the same. You are in control of you. A common declaration I hear is "You made me angry with what you said!" Wait, what?! I made a statement. You chose to get angry about it. Your emotions are the ones overflowing. How did me stating how I feel make you angry? It's an opinion. Everyone has one and guess what? They don't all have to be the same. It's easier if they are all the same but it's not reality.

As humans we expect assimilation subconsciously. We want and expect everyone to act a certain way (the same way we do). When something goes against that, we feel that it is different. That is where we choose how to act. Do we yell and scream? Do we shake our heads and mumble? Or do we just shrug it off and keep moving? Each reaction is different as are the actions. We are humans.

Here is where we need to make an unofficial law. The only jerk on the water should be a bait. If you think you are superior to everyone because you have the best stuff, be polite and wave at least. Or even a head nod. This works both ways though. Don't judge me bro! I have a lot of stuff but if you want to chat, I'll chat! I'm going to leave you alone in your space when you are fishing but might wave or ask how you are doing. I can take a hint. If the answer is short, I get it. You don't really want to chat and that's cool. If you start talking and asking other questions, I'm going to take some time and talk. Just please don't assume I'm a jerk because I have a certain fish finder or camera or rods.

The point of all this is to be kind to one another. Don't judge others until they've proven they are a jerk. Gear and gadgets don't make a person good or bad. Their attitude is everything. So is yours.

Be kind to one another. Share the water and remember, this is supposed to be fun!

Gadget Fire: A Letter to the Editor

I get emails each week asking questions, chatting about gear or fishing and general correspondence. Last week I received some thoughts that have been expressed more and more each day on various forums. It seems as more gear and gadgets come out, some choose to indulge and others prefer simplicity. The question is, will it form a wedge in kayak fishing like it has in power boat fishing? I'd be very interested in everyone's thoughts on this. A great thanks to Art for sending in his thoughts. He has graciously agreed to allow me to share. I hope you find this as thought provoking as I did.

Regardless of how you feel, I think it is worth a read. This discussion has caused me to reflect on the past as well as the future and what I hope things will be. We are indeed on an upward climb in the popularity of kayak fishing. Hopefully when it all settles out, the cozy village feel of our community remains as it is today despite who has what toys, boats and even vehicles.


Ok, so I’m reading about all this stuff that guys are putting on their kayaks. And I’m wondering where it ends. 

Things like crates and sonar I get. Personally, I like to create a lot of the stuff I use on my yak, and I’m pretty good at it. But we all have different talents. For many, purchasing these items is their best option. Obviously, creative writing isn’t my strength. But I was attracted to this activity by the pureness of it, and especially the closeness to nature. I’ve been an avid fisherman for over 4 decades, and I’ve owned a boat for almost every day of the last 35 years. I still own a bass boat, and I love the visceral feeling of skating across the lake at eye watering speeds, but these days my kayak fishing trips outnumber my bass boat fishing trips at least 7 to 1.  I can still catch many more fish from my boat than I can from a kayak, and bigger fish, too.

But at 60 mph, or even 40, there is so much that you miss. The things I see when I’m in my kayak I haven’t seen since I owned a jonboat with a 25 hp Johnson. I had forgotten those things, and they are what helped hook me on fishing so solidly when I was young. It’s the biggest draw for me in this “addiction” that I have come to embrace.

And the only camaraderie you experience in a bass boat is with your fishing partner. Most bass boaters that I meet I don’t want to associate with. Not so with kayakers. They are a great lot. A man that I had known for 10 minutes helped me carry my heavy-as-heck Commander 200’ down the boat ramp at the recent GTG at Grapevine. Another that I had met twice helped me carry it back up. And another that I had never met handed me a NIB camera pole and base because someone else said I was looking for one. That almost never happens at a bass tourney. I know, because I’ve been there.

But now I’m seeing the ‘gadget fire’ beginning to burn in the kayak fishing community. I saw this happen about 18 years ago with bass boats, and it has gotten completely ridiculous in that arena. Will it attract the same self-centered, me first group to kayaking? I sincerely hope not. I may have 15 good years left on the water, and I want to spend it with good people that love life outdoors. I believe that many of those people will be in kayaks.

Here’s to seeing you on the water.

Outdoor Retailer: 3 Gadgets Under $25 You Should Know About

Outdoor Retailer is underway in Salt Lake City this week and new gear abounds. While I’d love to have the new solar powered tent from Eddie Bauer or the Vibram LED shoes, the price point is going to place that out of the realm of possibility for, well…most of us.

Three useful new items are rolling out this week however, (though some have had 30-60 days of market presence), that I felt were definitely worth mentioning. The best part is, you can get all three for less than $25! Skip the movie with the significant other, cuddle on the couch with a Redbox or Netflix and BOOM!, $25 for a new gadget.

This emergency “knife” is safe to carry on your hip, lightweight and has a blunt end with protected blades. Great for cutting fishing line, rope, trot lines, and other tangled messes, this could be the new safety knife that becomes a kayaking favorite. Right at $25, it is significantly cheaper than other safety knives on the market and may be safer and more user friendly. If I had the Trilobite a few years ago my hands would have a lot fewer scars.

Zippo Firestarter

Kayak camping demands planning but the weather can often make it difficult. When everything is soaked, it’s good to have a back up plan. The Firestarter is that plan. At $10, it has a small lightweight package but includes all the things you will need in a damp (or dry) environment to get a fire going and your gear to drying. Small and easy to pack, this should be a consideration for all your overnight trips.

YakAttack GTSL Gear Tracs

This newest addition to the Gear Trac family from YakAttack has changed rigging options once again for kayaks. This high performance polymer trac comes in a variety of colors, can curve easier than its anodized aluminum brothers, and has a lower price tag than any previous trac offering. From as low as $8 and available very soon, you can get trac and show off your personality at the same time. Rigging just got easier, more affordable and has a new personalized look.  
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