Tom Watson

Articles from Contributor


Kayaks: Is Single Or Double The Way To Go?

One big question potential kayak buyers ask is whether to get a single or double kayak for their recreational paddling. There are myriad websites extolling the virtues of each style, offering comparisons that include the weight of each type of boat, the freedom (or not)…

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The Utility Of Plastic Flying Discs At Camp

Ranking high among my essential camping gear inventory is my “camp” Frisbee — that classic, traditional saucer-shaped toy. More generically known as a “flying disc,” the Frisbee has been a staple of my outdoor inventory since my days as a Boy Scout. It’s one of…

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Smart, Safe Kayaking: Using A Sprayskirt

While the popularity of kayaking has grown to include sit-on-top fishing platforms and recreational boats with huge, open cockpits, the use of sprayskirts on more traditional kayaks should be considered an important safety procedure among paddlers. The primary purpose of a sprayskirt (a skirt-like garment…

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Post-Season Checks: Time to Repair/Restore/Replace Gear

Much of our outdoor gear — whether it’s for hunting, fishing, paddling or simply casual hiking — suffers from the the wear/tear or consumption of use throughout the summer season. Make time during the “off season” to repair or replace gear that became worn, damaged…

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Does Rain Mean Pain or Gain at Your Campsite?

Rain can most certainly — and literally — dampen the warmth and dry coziness of a campsite. It’s a tolerable nuisance grudgingly dealt with using a few techniques and skills. It can also be used to your advantage in more self-reliant situations. There are two…

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Change-over to Cold-Weather Camping

Adapting your summer camping gear to the shorter, colder days of autumn can extend your comfort zone well into the shoulder season and help you make the transition into winter camping. Oftentimes it requires no more than increasing the weight/insulating properties of the clothing and…

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thin ice

Staying Safe and Savvy on Thin Ice

It was late March in Alaska. We had just cut a hole through 20 inches of ice in the center of the channel on a river north of Fairbanks. As I was within arm’s reach of the alders growing beyond the steep banks at river’s…

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