Outdoor Adventure Show #OASToronto

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The Outdoor Adventure Show, in my opinion, is the best show to visit in the off-season if you’re a paddler or camper.  Everything that you could possibly want or need, whether it’s tripping advice from Algonquin Outfitters or a new canoe or paddle, you can find right here.  Sure it’s not every outfitter or canoe company but you are able to comparison shop in a way.  The one thing I am finding though is that the show is very repetitive.  Same exhibitors, same layout, same thing.  It’s time for the show to grow and take over more space so that more people can show off the products they have.  Otherwise you’ll start losing visitors.

This year the show added an Adventures in Paddling Stage where they had various people speak including Hap Wilson, Preston Ciere (Portageur.ca) and Kevin Callan.

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The speakers above are from the Bay of Fundy Symposium(L) and Hap Wilson (R)

 

As always they had the demo pool where this year things got a little furry!  Preston Ciere and his paddling dog Nancy were showing how to take our furry companions on canoe trips.

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Something else that they added this year was a zip line above the show floor.  There were a ton of people who took part in that.  I myself didn’t feel like waiting in that line up but I still would have done it :).  Over all it was a great day.  I got to meet up with some old friends from Algonquin Outfitters and Swift, met a new friend from Some Eventful, Gayle, and got a chance to catch up with some of the speakers from TEDxAlgonquin like Preston Ciere, Kevin Callan, and Boris from Parkbus!

For more photos check out the Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/AWalkInAlgonquinPark)

~Enjoy your Trip!

Outdoor Adventure Show 2013

DSC_0020As most of you know I am a HUGE fan of the outdoor shows!  Growing up it was a given that we would be spending one day of the March Break at the Sportsmen Show in Toronto.  It was always just a matter of which day dad would have off.  When we went to the Outdoor Adventure Show (from here on OAS) last year, dad and I knew we had found our new Sportsmen Show!  It had what we wanted out of a show – crazy and weird for him (I’m not kidding…yesterday he bought a colour changing shirt that activates in the sun…last year it was a moose hat complete with antlers) and for me its the chance to talk with those in the outdoor industry and of course visit with my friends from Algonquin Outfitters and Swift.  It’s always a nice little reunion of sorts getting to catch up on stuff and finding out what I can look forward to finding in store come the summer.

This year I went in with high expectations after really enjoying it last year and again I wasn’t disappointed.DSC_0028

The show has everything that an outdoor enthusiast would want: canoes, tents, backpacks, awesome trip possibilities, the weird stuff that only my dad wants to buy, and great speakers!  This year the line up for guest speakers was phenomenal and I really wish I was able to stay even if it was for Les Stroud and Kevin Callan.  Adam Van Koeverden is speaking today which is really cool!  Jeff from algonquinmap.com was there and I had to leave just before he was supposed to be at a booth which disappointed me because I use his maps constantly when planning trips.  Kevin Callan was also signing books at one of the booths later yesterday afternoon.  I’m pretty sure he’s back there today as well.

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As I was walking around I got the chance to talk to a number of outfitters and gear companies.  Expedition Toys from Ottawa (www.expeditiontoys.ca) was just one of the many companies I spoke to.  One of the products that Brenda showed me was called the Inertia X Frame Sleeping Pad.  This is an inflatable sleeping pad that can roll up as small as a pop can.  The great thing about these pads is that it takes the pressure off of your body because it “cradles” the points on your body like the hips, shoulders etc. that would typically get sore from sleeping on the ground.  The only issue I have with the sleeping pad is that I’m a side sleeper and I was told specifically that its made for sleeping on your back.  But for those who do sleep on their back..it may be worth the $100 price tag.  Check out their website because they have a lot of products available.

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Standup Paddleboards (SUP’s) were pretty big at the show as they have been at most of the shows this year.  In the pool they were doing demos of not only how to stand and paddle on a SUP board but also how to do Yoga and workouts.  It was pretty cool!  SUP Love (the two boards on the left) was there and I got chatting to the girl from there again.  The board on the left has a custom made pad.  The pad is made with whatever photo you may want to put on it.  I think that it’s pretty cool!  Paddle Shack  also had some SUP boards with them (pic 3).  I’m beginning to think that maybe a SUP get together in the Toronto area might be a cool idea :).

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They had a diving tank there this year which was pretty cool.  Of course the divers wanted their picture taken so of course I obliged :).  The Complete Paddler (twitter: @completepaddler) was there with their assortment of gear as was Eureka Tents as part of Tent City Outfitters.  But the company I have to mention the most is the Education Outdoors Game Company.  Part of that reason is he gave us free admission (well technically just my dad…I had my media pass) but they also have a ton of different board games for camping.  Ever seen the game Camp at your local outfitter or store?  It’s a pretty cool game and great for kids.  It reminds me of the Algonquin Park game that I used to have years ago.  Hmmm….wonder if I can still get that game ;).  Derek Martin from Living Waters Wholesale is the person that I was talking to and the games they carry are neat.  Games like S’mores, Hit the Trail, Mysterious Creatures, Camp, and Fishing Camp.  My dad bought a game consisting of magnetic stones that you have to keep separate I think?  I am going to invest in a few of these games myself just for the kids at work alone :).

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Of course a day at the show wouldn’t be complete with out a visit to Swift Canoe (twitter: @swift_canoe).  Bill Swift, Skip and Bob were all there and all trying to get me to purchase the Keywadin 15 which is pictured with Bill there.  Once again…it’s a gorgeous canoe…and I will get it haha.  I was told next year by my dad.  The nice thing about that canoe is that rather than the carbon gunwales, this one has wood and really makes the canoe that much more appealing to me.  It will be mine one of these days and it will be my main tripping canoe.   Overall it was a fantastic day and I did end up walking out with a Chrysalis Tent (see my sportsmen show review post for pictures) which I am looking forward to using this summer in Algonquin.
Btw, my birthday trip is booked for June 21-23 and I would love for you to come celebrate with me!  I’ll be camping in Kearney but even if you just wanted to meet up with me for a day of exploring some of the waterways around Mowat and seeing relics of the old train bridge, post office and the town let me know via twitter @algonquin_blog or via email walkinalgonquinpark@gmail.com.
~Enjoy the trip

Outdoor Adventure Show and Fond Farewell

This weekend marks the return of the Outdoor Adventure Show to the International Center in Toronto.  Touted as Canada’s Largest Outdoor Adventure show…it truly is a great experience.  I had the privilege of winning passes from Swift Canoe last year and I really enjoyed the show.

Some of the highlights this year include:

There are also a ton of outfitters and adventure tourism exhibitor’s for you to peruse.  I plan on being there most of Saturday.  If you see me stop and say hello!

With that being said I also want to take this time to wish my friend, former coworker, and fellow Algonquin enthusiast, Randy Mitson a fond farewell from Algonquin Outfitters and the best of luck in his new position over at Explorers Edge.

~Enjoy your trip!

 

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Outdoor Adventure Show

I’m baaack!

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I just spent the day at Toronto’s Outdoor Adventure Show with my dad.  In  ways it was an incredible show…but in other ways there was some stuff missing.

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I’m a canoer and camper.  So any gear Im’ going to run to it!  I was dissapointed in the lack of camping gear that I didn’t have already but you know what…I have a store for that!  (Shameless Algonquin Outfitter’s plug here)

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Only at an outdoor show would you find a portage sign 😉

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Dad shopping at the competition….doesn’t he know that he’s only supposed to buy Swift Canoe’s?

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This is why I came to the show today!  This is the new Flax Fusion Adirondack Kayak!  Flax Fusion is the new carbon kevlar!  Its so light and organic looking!  I fell in love at first sight and that’s just the kayak!

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This (above) is the Flax Fusion Pack 12 (thanks to Skip for modelling beside the canoe)  I love the gunwales!  Below is a side view of the Pack solo canoes.  The unique thing about these canoes is that they are basically the Adirondack kayaks without the top.

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This is the Kippawa!  Beautiful Canoe in the Flax Fusion…you can see how light it is just by looking at it! (above and below)

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I like the adjustable seat in the bow that allows you to balance the weight if needed!

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Swift’s neighbours in Gravenhurst – The Paddle Shack were there of course!

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I like the look of this 7 degree bent shaft.  Our first bent shaft was a 7 degree and I loved it!

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Me with my former colleagues Jerry Schmanda and Jeremy Bessey!

Overall it was a great show!  I’m really looking forward to testing the Flax Fusion Canoe’s this spring! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to trade in my Bob Special for a new Solo Flax Fusion…I’m thinking the Kippawa is the way to go!  It was a lot of fun and I look forward to next year!

~Enjoy your trip!

Jenn

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