The Paddle In The Park Contest is back for 2015!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

SAVE WOLF LAKE - Silent Email Paddle Auction

UPDATE: Note: Auction is now closed: Winning bid to Bert P. of Peterborough Ontario, Canada - $300 was RAISED and forwarded to the Wolf Lake Coaliton!!! Thanks to everyone who signed the petition(s), shared the information, and to those who bid. The fight continues to Save Wolf Lake...

As you may (or may not) be aware, Wolf Lake, (Temagami area - Ontario, Canada) is not only a world renowned canoeing and wilderness area but it is also home to the world's largest old growth Red Pine forest. Right now, Wolf Lake is in great need of protection from the mining industry. And the government is going to decide the future of this precious forest this week! (Take action NOW to persuade the Minister to make the right choice and help save Wolf Lake here:

Trees or rusty pipes? You can help decide the fate of Wolf Lake!

Read the Wolf Lake Coalition Report that exposes two decades of errors and omissions behind the failure to protect Temagami’s Wolf Lake here: Wolf Lake Report: 10 Reasons To Protect Wolf Lake Forever

As part of the Wolf Lake Coalition, we would like to help raise a bit of money, to help pay for some of the costs incurred and associated with fighting for the preservation of this important eco-system. To do so we are going to auction off one lot (see lot description below) with 100% of the funds going to the Wolf Lake Coalition.

LOT 1 of 1
1 Badger® Paddle - 57" Ash Tripper - Oiled Finish
Badger® Paddle Sock
1 250 mL Tin - Badger® Wood Oil
Badger® Toque
Badger® Pendant Necklace
Shipping - up to $50 included.*

(Approximate Retail Value: $200.00 Canadian Funds)

Minimum/Reserve Bid = $100.00 Canadian Funds

*The cost of shipping the paddle, etc., is included - but only up to $50 CAD. Auction winner will be responsible for any and all shipping and/or duty costs over and above $50.00 CAD.

Lot 1 of 1 - Silent Email Auction for the Save Wolf Lake Coalition.
Note: Auction is now closed: Winning bid to Bert P. of Peterborough
Ontario, Canada - $300 RAISED!!! Thanks to everyone who signed
the petition(s), shared the information, and to those who bid!

How to Bid:
This auction is a "silent email auction" that will end Wednesday May 30th (Wolf Lake Wednesday) at midnight (our local time) with the greatest bid as the winner. As a silent auction, all bids will be kept confidential with only the winning bid being announced after the close of the auction.

Send your "silent email bid" to Fiona at or use our email form here: Contact Badger Paddles Remember - this is NOT a contest - this is a charitable auction and payment will be required.

NOTE: Lot to be shipped upon receipt of payment (details to be discussed with auction winner). Only serious bids will be considered. All bids must be in Canadian funds. Remember: Minimum/Reserve Bid = $100.00 Canadian Funds.

Whether you bid or not, PLEASE take the time to sign the petition or take action here: Save Wolf Lake.

And please share this auction far and wide - it is a for a great cause. Remember, the entire lot has been donated by Badger Paddles and therefore 100% of the money raised by this auction will be going to help save Wolf Lake. Thanks for your help and thanks for digging the earth!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Owning a Paddle Company (Probably) Saved My Life

On mother's day I posted a picture of my Mom and I canoeing in the Haliburton region. This picture was taken sometime in the nineties, and I noticed - while I was looking for a suitable photo to post for this mother's day - that the picture of my Mom and I was eerily similar to most of our photos of past canoe and camping trips. And I thought about how different those pictures would be - if taken now - after owning Badger® Paddles.

Even though I love this picture - there is something missing.
When I started Badger® Paddles a few years ago with my husband, Mike, the business brought many challenges to our lives as well as some wonderful connections with some really amazing people. Badger also allowed me an excuse to research and read paddling stories and blogs from around the world. (One of my most favourite past times). In doing so, I was researching and looking for great content to share with our friends, customers, and followers. But what I didn't anticipate was that, because of Badger® Paddles and because of that research, that one day I would gain a knowledge that could quite possibly save my life in the future.

Mike in his younger days. Again, something is missing.

Thus day after day, I would watch for stories about paddling, canoeing, and kayaking. When I would come upon something I felt would be interesting or entertaining to our audience, I would share it via our social media network on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or even this very blog.

It didn't take long for me to realize that a great number of canoeing stories that hit the main stream media are not feel-good stories. No. They are about drowning. Cold water deaths and other fatal drowning accidents were a definite reoccurring theme in the news. So was the fact the majority of these drowning victims were NOT wearing a PFD or life jacket. It didn't matter how much experience one had in a canoe or how well one could swim. Even the those with an abundance of knowledge and experience were victims of drowning. And time and time again, there was even another recurring theme: If the victims had been wearing their PFD, their lives very well could have been saved.

Nothing missing from this picture!
Interestingly enough, I found you can only become aware of so many of these stories before you start to see yourself in them. Or your dad or your husband. Or even your child. The words "If they had been wearing their life-jackets, they would have survived." became common place in the stories I was researching. After a while, it started echoing in my head when I would get near a canoe.

Fiona paddling on a sunny September day wearing her PFD.
Picture taken by Sean Smith of
Now I make sure to wear a life jacket when ever I paddle. A practice that could quite possible save my life one day in the future. I will wear one even on a nice day without any rough weather. I know too much not to after everything I have read and seen and paid attention to. And while it is not always the most comfortable, I now realize that wearing my PFD is a choice that could mean the difference between life and death in an any sort of water incident. Before I had Badger® Paddles in my life, I was one of the many who bring a PFD along but would rarely actually wear one. Having a paddle company has definitely opened my eyes to the dangers of that habit. It is NOT enough to bring it with you. You have to put it on. It could save your life. If you don't believe me - just keep your eye on the news.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“Mom’s Canoe” by Rebecca Foust - For Mother's Day

Not long ago I came across this wonderful piece by Rebecca Foust titled "Mom's Canoe". It brought back many memories from my childhood as I spent many hours with my mom's back in view as we paddled a number of canoe routes throughout Algonquin Park.

My mom and I in our old canoe - made of aircraft aluminum
and with wood ribs and wood trim. This canoe is still in our family.
All-Girls-Canoe-Trip Circa 199?

I am sharing this poem here for Mother's Day, in celebration of all paddling moms (as well as those who have yet to canoe) and in thanks to it's author, Rebecca Foust - who captured, perfectly, the magic that moms have in, on, and out of the water. To read more works by Rebecca Foust, (who also happens to be an autism advocate as well), please visit her website

Mom’s Canoe

Do you remember your old canoe?
Wooden wide-bellied, tapered ends
made to slip through tight river bends
swiftly, like shadow.
Hull ribbed delicately, wing of bird
Sometimes seen, never heard when it flew
through the water more glider than boat,
ponderous in portage, weightless afloat.
Frail origami, vessel of air,
wide shallow saucer suspended where
shallows met shadows near the old dam.
Remember how it glowed like honey in summer
rubbed with beeswax and turpentine
against leaks, cracks, weather and time.
All your housekeeping went into that canoe,
then you rode high, bow lifted,
arced up like flight, all magic, power,
evening light. You j-stroking,
side-slipping, eddying out, frugal
with movement, all without effort,
just like you walked and ran.
I still see you rising from water to sky,
paddle held high,
river drops limning its edge.
Brown diamonds catch the light as you lift, then dip.
Parting the current, you slip
silently through the evening shadows.
You, birdsong, watersong, slanting light,
following river bend, swallowed from sight.

“Mom’s Canoe” by Rebecca Foust
For more written works by Rebecca Foust, visit her website:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Canoes: The NEW Accessory For Your Paddle!

This past Spring, we attended our first Canoecopia with Rutabaga in Madison, Wisconsin. Thousands and thousands of people attended, and many were there to buy boats. Which usually prompted these purchasers to also buy paddling accessories like paddles, PFD's or maybe even some North Water equipment.

But as it turns out not everyone buys the canoe first! We definitely would have to say our favourite customer quote [ever!] came from Donna, who purchased a couple of "Reverse Splash WaterColours" from Badger®/Rutabaga at the recent expo.

Interestingly, Donna informed us by email that she had seen one of our unique WaterColours™ paddles at Canoecopia and just had to order a couple for her and her cousin, Joan. In fact, Donna was so excited, her new paddles prompted the purchase of a canoe! (See Donna's quote below.)

Donna and Mike at Canoecopia 2012

"We are so excited about our new paddles. It’s even better to know the folks who are making them. I wasn’t even in the market for a paddle but had to have one once we saw the Badger Paddle display. I even bought a new canoe to go with my new paddle !" ~ Donna G.

Donna and Joan's special ordered "Reverse Splash WaterColours".
Donna went even further to request to have Fiona's signature on the "Reverse Splash" paddles created. These paddles are truly one of a kind! We really dig making special paddles for special people. People like Donna and Joan. Thanks, Donna, for letting us post your awesome quote, and for letting us have some fun creating your paddles!

For more information about our WaterColours™, or personalized paddles, visit our website or contact us: info(at)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

How To Varnish A Wood Canoe Paddle At Home

As you can imagine, one of the subjects we get the most inquiries for is anything and everything about canoe paddle maintenance. Questions ranging from; "How do I varnish my paddle?"; to "How often should I varnish my paddle"; to "Do I have to sand my paddle before I start?"; prompted us to produce a short and simple video to help those of you who wish to maintain and varnish their canoe paddles at home. We plan to do a "How To Oil A Wood Canoe Paddle" soon as well. Stay tuned!

For more information about how to maintain your wood canoe paddle, visit our website(s): here and here.

How an old paddle might look after refinishing*:
This old paddle has many scars and scratches. Spot sanded with
a coarse paper (150 grit in problem areas) and then a 220 grit all
over (to prepare the old varnish for finishing), then varnished with
3 coats of Spar Varnish (wet sanded with a 320 grit between coats).
We really dig the natural patina of this refinished paddle! Don't you?

Questions? Don't worry, you aren't badgering us!
Just send them to and happy varnishing! :o)

A special Badger® thanks to Preston, Marcus, and Ray for their help.

*You can make your paddle look even more like new if you sand away all of the old varnish finish and start from bare wood. However, be careful if you decide to go this route in that you do not sand away the shape of your paddle!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Badger Your Friends Contest Winners

When we checked the number of "Likes" on our Facebook page just before midnight last night, we couldn't help but dig what we saw. We made it to 1000 "Likes" just in time for the close of the contest!

Thanks to all the Badgers who spread the word about Badger® Paddles - and helped to bring even more paddling Badgers to our sett on Facebook. 1000 Badgers! Now that has got to be the largest "Badger Clan" ever!!!

However, while you all deserve to get your paws on some prizes, we could only pick 5 randomly chosen winners. And they are:

First Prize Winner: Melanie Buckle
Second Prize Winner: Ray McCullough
Third Prize Winner:  Gayle Bellemare 
Fourth Prize Winner: Jason Funk 
Fifth Prize Winner: Nathan Miller

All winners have now been contacted by email. Once again, thanks to everyone for their amazing participation in our contest. And for letting us badger you about it!!!

For those Badgers who did not win this time around, thanks for your efforts and remember....who knows what the next Badger® Contest will bring!?!

Thanks to our contest sponsors: Algonquin Outfitters,
Hap Wilson, and Jerry Vandiver
Full prize descriptions for each winner can be found below.

First Prize Winner will receive:
One Badger Canoe Paddle and Badger Paddle Sock (value $135 or less). Plus one Opeongo Day Fishing/Paddling Trip complete with Water Taxi (value $85 CAD or less). (prize pack value: $225 CAD or less) Plus one Algonquin Outfitters sticker and one Badger Paddles sticker. 

Second Prize Winner will receive:
Hap Wilson’s newly re-published Temagami - A Wilderness Paradise book - signed by the author. Plus one Badger Paddle Sock (prize pack value: $50 CAD or less). Plus one Algonquin Outfitters sticker and one Badger Paddles sticker.

Third Prize Winner will receive:
A signed by the artist copy of Jerry Vandiver’s paddle songs CD titled: True and Deep - Songs for the Heart of the Paddler, and one Badger “Profits of Paddling” T-shirt (prize pack value: $40 CAD or less) Plus one Algonquin Outfitters sticker and one Badger Paddles sticker.

Fourth Prize Winner will receive:
One Badger “Profits of Paddling” T-shirt. Plus one Algonquin Outfitters sticker and one Badger Paddles sticker. (prize pack value: $35 CAD or less).

Fifth Prize Winner will receive:
One Badger Paddle Sock. Plus one Algonquin Outfitters sticker and one Badger Paddles sticker (prize pack value: $25 CAD or less).

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

And a special Badger thank you to all of our contest sponsors including, Algonquin Outfitters, amazing artist, author and trail blazer - Hap Wilson, and the ever talented Jerry Vandiver. We are sure that our contest would not have been near as much fun with out you. We dig you all very VERY much!