The Paddle In The Park Contest is back for 2015!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Badger's Tip of the Week - Tarpaulin: Don't Get Caught Up The Creek Without One

Badger Paddles' Tip of the Week includes information on paddling, camping, portaging, boat transport, and maintenance tips, as well as any other information that we may find to be useful around our sett.

tarpaulin |tärˈpôlən; ˈtärpə-|nounheavy-duty waterproof cloth, originally of tarred canvas.• a sheet or covering of this.historical sailor's tarred or oilskin hat.• archaic a sailor.ORIGIN early 17th cent.probably from tar pall -ing .tarp |tärp|noun informala tarpaulin sheet or cover.ORIGIN early 20th cent.: abbreviation.New Oxford American Dictionary
There is a list of essential gear that many paddlers abide by. And, although that list may differ a bit according to individual need, if you don't already have a tarp as part of that mandatory gear list, then this week's tip just may change that. A tarp (and some rope) is a great emergency tool and can also greatly improve quality of life around a camp site. Once you realize the number of ways in which a tarp (stuffed anywhere into a boat or pack) can be utilized in any number of situations, then you probably won't want to get caught up the creek, river or lake, without one either.

This photo by Mike Ramsay - Missinaibi River Trip, circa 1997.
They (Mike and 3 other guys) used make-shift tarp sails on their
Swift Royalex Dumoines to travel sections of this vast river.
(Mike also slept under a tarp on this trip.)
Some Things You Can Do With A Tarp
  • Use it as a ground sheet. (either under your tent to protect the floor or as a "picnic blanket" while you eat).
  • Can be used as a substitute tent fly (who hasn't gone on a camping trip where someone forgot their fly?).
  • Use it alone as a shelter for sleeping (string some rope between two trees and use rocks and/or logs to keep the sides down)(find 4 trees to substitute as poles and tie the tarp between them, low to the ground and sloping down on one side - to divert water away from you incase it rains).
  • Use it as a wind break - create a wall by stringing the tarp between two trees.
  • Use it as a rain shelter - create a roof by stretching the tarp between trees - slope the tarp (or find a tall tree-wood pole) so as to not collect rain water and weigh it down in the middle.
  • Use it as a sun shelter - tie the tarp off between trees, etc. at an angle away from the sun.
  • Make a canoe sail with it (using long tree wood poles usually found on location rigged to your satisfaction) See above photo.
  • Use it as a make-shift stretcher to carry a sick/injured person over short distances/portages.
  • Use it to collect or catch water for drinking and/or washing.
  • Use it in an emergency to help a person retain much needed warmth (by wrapping them in a tarp after putting them in their sleeping bag).
  • Can be cut strategically and used as an emergency stand-in rain poncho
  • Can be used to make a Bear Burrito* (when hanging your food is not possible).
  • Can be used to collect and transport larger amounts of small bits of firewood or to keep firewood dry during a down pour. 
  • Use it to make an outside area private for the purpose of changing or latrine use (wrap tarp around one or two trees to create a corner stall and secure to other trees on each side).
  • Can be used to fashion a quick backpack (put your stuff in the middle of the tarp and wrap it up in a tight roll, add some rope and your imagination and you have yourself a make-shift pack).
  • If the tarp is a strong colour visually, it could be used as a way to signal if you become lost or stranded.  Find an open area or clearing and spread the tarp out flat on the ground (holding it down with rocks at the corners) so your location can be seen from the air.
  • Add some duct tape or tarp clips to your rope bag and who knows where your tarp could take you! See: BLUE TARP KAYAK
So as you can see, whether you are planning a day paddle or an extended period away in the bush, a tarpaulin can make a huge difference in your trip - especially when it really matters most. We always bring a tarp with us on our paddling adventures and have had to dig it out more then once and were always glad we had it. In fact, having a tarp on hand could possibly help to save our lives one day. And yours too.

*A Bear Burrito is when you take all of the food packs and gear that you would normally hang in a tree (as a precaution against bears) and wrap/roll/fold them into a neat (some what smell-tight) tarp package a few hundred metres away from your camp site.

Do you have any tips to share? Send us your tips and paddling advice - and if your tip is featured here - we will send you a free Badger Paddles sticker!!! All you have to do is email us your suggestions.
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Badger's Tip of the Week - Sticking Ferrules

Badger Paddles' Tip of the Week includes information on paddling, camping, portaging, boat transport, and maintenance tips, as well as any other information that we may find to be useful around our sett.

This week's tip is an old one and it comes from Poppa Badger, who is an avid fisherman. Thanks Poppa!!!

A Quick and Natural Remedy
for 2 pc Fishing Rod Ferrules that Stick

After storing and/or carrying around a 2 piece fishing rod in inclement weather, sometimes (when we go to join the two rod halves), the ferrules can prove to be resistant or even get stuck. If you are finding it  a bit difficult joining your rod together, next time try rubbing a little bit of "grease" from the side of your nose (using your finger) onto the male ferrule of your rod, to help glide it into place more easily.

Rub some of the oil from your skin (side of the nose) onto
the male ferrule portion of your two piece fishing rod
before joining the two halves for easy assembly.
The natural oils in your skin around your nose (usually considered one of the most oily parts of the face) help to lubricate the metal pieces when joining the rod together. And this "grease" does not cause any sort of suction effect like oil based lubricants can. A useful tip for someone who wants to get their "fish on" in a hurry without the hassle of digging thru their condensed fishing kit for another solution.

Apparently, this is also a good tip for KAYAKERS as well. According to Gord Baker of Algonquin Outfitters, "The nose grease trick works on well on kayak paddle ferrules as well.". That's good to know, thanks Gord!!

Do you have any tips to share? Send us your tips and paddling advice - and if your tip is featured here - we will send you a free Badger Paddles sticker!!! All you have to do is email us your suggestions.

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Badger Dealers in our Sett!

This year we welcomed back, and made up some really colourful Badger Paddle WaterColours SPASH Paddles for our retail partner, Algonquin Outfitters, as well as some gorgeous cherry paddles with our special combination finish (oiled shafts/grips with varnished blades). Also new this year to Algonquin Outfitters are a few adult ash WaterColours and even a few oiled cherry paddles as well.

We also delivered some really beautiful ash paddles, some cherry too, and even some more ash adult WaterColours and our Cub WaterColours to our good friends, Swift Canoe & Kayak and CCB- Austria. And, a small order also went out to Breslau, Ontario for HCC as well.

But with the growing demand for Badger, we just had to add a few more Dealers to our ever-growing family of where to buy Badger paddles and our Badger gear. So we extremely excited to welcome the following new Retailers to our "sett" for 2011... with more to come soon!!!

Wild Rock Outfitters
(Peterborough, Ontario and territory)
The Complete Paddler
(Toronto, Ontario and territory)
Frontenac Outfitters
(Kingston, Ontario and territory)
(online purchasing abilities)
The Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co.
(Mississauga, Ontario and territory)
The Canoeist.Com
(Two Harbors, MN [USA] and territory)
Check out our Interactive Dealer Map (via Google Maps) for all retail locations and details or visit our How To Buy page. Stop by their pages on Facebook and be sure to tell them Badger Paddles says "hello"!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Badger's Tip of the Week - How to Make an Algonquin Screwdriver

Badger Paddles' Tip of the Week includes information on paddling, camping, portaging, boat transport, and maintenance tips, as well as any other information that we may find to be useful around our sett.

Most Algonquin Park visitors are aware of the NO CANS or GLASS CONTAINERS rule within the park's interior. This can propose a real challenge for those who like to relax with an after dinner drink by their campfire. Out of respect for the Park rules, some have come up with an easy solution: THE ALGONQUIN SCREWDRIVER. Easy to make, the Algonquin Screwdriver is just a mix of drinking water, Tang and Vodka. While it is true that wine does come in a Tetra Pak, the Algonquin Park Screwdriver mix is truly for the hard-core. (Does anyone feel Mike's influence for this weeks tip yet?!!)

The Algonquin Screwdriver mix is just
Drinking Water, Tang and Vodka to taste.
How to make THE ALGONQUIN SCREWDRIVER: Just mix up some Tang (according to the package directions and the size of your container) - make sure you leave some room in your container for the vodka - and add the Vodka to your taste. For a single serving: Try mixing approximately 6 ounces of drinking water with 2 ounces of Vodka, plus 2 tablespoons of Tang. Cheers!

HINT: For extended journeys, bring a couple of smaller bottles instead of one large one. Buy plastic bottles only OR buy glass and TRANSFER your vodka (or your preferred choice of alcohol) to a reusable container like a Nalgene or a stainless steel container for travel within a wilderness area.

Note: Within Algonquin Park, Alcohol is restricted to a registered campsite only and is prohibited in all public areas including beaches and roadways. Drinking is only permitted for adults who are of the legal drinking age. Cans and Bottles are prohibited in the Park Interior. Please check with Algonquin Park staff for clarification of all Algonquin Park rules and regulations BEFORE you start your Park adventure.

Do you have any tips to share? Send us your tips and paddling advice - and if your tip is featured here - we will send you a free Badger Paddles sticker!!! All you have to do is email us your suggestions.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Childhood Paddling Influences - From Mickey to Snoopy to G.I. Joe

There are many influences in our life that help to shape who we become, but none so fondly remembered as our childhood friends - that is to say - our beloved cartoons. And as it turns out, many of our favourite  imaginary personalities happen to paddle too! Check it out and see if your favourite characters are amongst the paddling cartoon elite... starting with the Smurfs.
Canoeing has been a tradition
amongst the Smurfs for centuries.
Somehow the gang at Sesame Street in New York City is able to get out on the water much more then one would expect for an urban crew.

It's part of our heritage - even Oscar looks happy about that!
"Blue Lake and Rocky Shore" sings a crew of
paddlers from Sesame Street. (Hope they brought
lots of cookies for cookie monster!!)
Looks like Bert from Sesame Street
is waiting for his best friend, Ernie,
to bring him a paddle and his PFD!
The newer cartoon personalities, Dora the Explore and Go Diego Go characters , spend lots of time in the outdoors so getting out in a canoe on the river is practically an everyday activity for them.
Dora and Boots like to explore rivers.
Diego gets out on the water a lot.

Hanna Barbara used to take their popular characters onto the water and into a canoe as well.

Hey, Boo Boo! Yogi likes to paddle too!
Hucklebury Hound enjoys a quiet evening in a canoe.
Even Scooby Doo and Shaggy know how to read a river (we hope!).

The Peanuts got in on some paddling action in their day as well.  Snoopy was not only a dog-house-pilot but was an experienced kayaker too. And Charlie Brown was... well... good grief... he was just Charlie Brown!

Snoopy is a kayaker! I wonder if he calls his kayak "The Red Baron".
Charlie Brown never makes anything look easy.

Sometimes there were even some paddlers in your mainstream Sunday Newspaper comic strip or cartoon section, usually showing the "lighter side" of canoeing or camping.
For Better Or For Worse detailed a canoeing miss-hap for the Dad.

Marmaduke tried to bring a canoe into the kiddie pool.
Who could forget our old friend, Ziggy?
Calvin and Hobbes, a very popular comic, pokes fun
at canoeing and it's entertainment value for active young boys.

You also may have fond memories of short children's stories from your very own bookshelves... or perhaps even a short novella or two (when you got a bit older).

Uncle Wiggly should have brought some life jackets!
The Berenstain Bears love a padding adventure!
(Except for Poppa Bear!)
This old illustration quotes:
Perhaps as you grew older, you read a few novels too. 
Not surprisingly, even some of our favourite video game characters have been known to pick up a paddle now and then.

The Mario Brothers have a long journey ahead on this river.
A kayaking fashionista!
Even Reader Rabbit knows how to
use a canoe to teach reading and math!

Disney has always had a special place in it's heart for paddling. As you can see, many of our favourite Disney characters have been canoeing and kayaking for years. It is also been a long standing Disney Tradition to hold Canoe Races. And, they even have a couple of Stand Up Paddlers (SUP) by way of Lilo and Stitch!

An antique Donald Duck figurine with a canoe.

Even the original Mickey Mouse enjoyed canoeing.
Pocahontas, a child of the forest, paddles
her dug out in this classic Disney film.
Mickey later switches to a double bladed paddle canoeing experience.
This mouse loves canoeing so much he even
gets his friends in on the paddling action!
Lilo and Stitch can SUP
Why it's Winnie the Pooh and Tiger too!
With Piglet and the honey in the stern.

You may even have come across some sort of padding adventure in one of the comic books your parents gave you... 

This is Canada's History Magazine comic
book for kids (from The Beaver).

This one is for the girls... No outdoor girl's Barbie collection was complete without her very own sit-on-top kayak (in lipstick red) with all the accessories to go with it.
Barbie Kayaking Set - it's a sit-on-top!

And this one is for the boys... who were all well aware that G.I. Joe had THE BADDEST boat in town -  appropriately named THE STALKER. Oh yeah!!

G.I. Joe, a real American paddling hero.
G.I. Joe's kayak - "The Stalker"

It would be very naughty to forget our all around childhood favourite guy.  Santa Claus paddles too - everyone knows that, right?!!

And who could forget The Muppets?!! While Kermit, it seems, is more of a rower, he is obviously still a strong supporter of the power of self propulsion. 

"Kermie" and the power of "pig" propulsion.

One of the most famous of watermen ever, Popeye the Sailor Man, always looks comfortable in a boat. A simple man, 'twas old Popeye.

Another rower, Popeye can paddle with the best of 'em.
(Especially when he has eaten his spinach!)

Some prefer the water ---- even if they have the ability to fly,  like Casper the friendly rowing ghost.  Regardless if it's a leaky vessel or not!

Casper is also a fan of the power of self-propulsion.

Finally.... our gallery of the paddling cartoon elite would just NOT be complete without the most famous (or is that infamous) illustrated family of all time... as The Simpsons never back down from an adventure... never... EVER.

Another Simpson's family vacation comes off without a hitch!
So, who knew this many illustrated characters have picked up a paddle? No doubt this proves how much paddling is part of our culture and is a good example of art imitating life... or maybe... it's the other way around?!! Who cares... obviously it's the thing to do, whether you are a real live person or just "drawn this way".

Bookmark and Share

Image sources include the following:,,,,,,, Photobucket Album-Mellotone,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, www,,, (if we missed you as a source, let us know via email please!)