Monday, July 7, 2008

Breakthrough kayaking gear invented

We had an excellent weekend in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The weather was close to perfect, the insects tolerable (except for GurneyGranny), and the winds fairly cooperative. A more detailed report will have to wait however, because a revolutionary breakthrough in kayaking equipment has burst on the paddling scene.

After a long day of paddling it is always nice to have an adult beverage. If you land near a pub you can stroll up the way and enjoy a cold pint. This is unfortunately not the case on wilderness islands. Until now, cans of beer and/or bag wine with the odd flask of Irish whiskey tossed in has been norm for wilderness trips. The KingOfIronwoodIsland has thrown that all of that out the window however, with his new invention, the Bag-O-Beer. He carefully cleaned out a couple of old wine bags and procured a funnel that fit in the spout, which also holds the wine bag valve open. A growler of South Shore Nut Brown Ale was purchased at the South Shore brewery. He then siphoned the beer into the bag, being careful to start with all the air squeezed out of the bag. The air tight, pressurized bag was then stored on the bottom of the kayak in contact with the hull and the 40F (4C) water of Lake Superior. When we arrived on York Island he pulled out the first bag and it was quickly drained. Being a crafty veteran he didn't reveal the existence of a second bag. The second bag was produced on Rocky Island the next night and, although the carbonation had lessened, it was still head and shoulders above canned beer. The only thing needed was a third 'control group' bag to assess the flavor profile from the first night to the third. We hope that small problem is rectified for the next trip and volunteered to be part of the test group.

Not only is this invention a beer lovers dream, it is also green and sustainable as hell. Sustainablity is in the news as you can see from The Onion's Green Issue, which cannot be found online since its an "All paper salute to the environment". Instead of unsightly cans littering the camp there is a small, portable, reusable bag that can be refilled with beer time and time again. I plan on submitting the King's invention to the ISPO Outdoor Awards, IOPP's Award for Packaging Innovation, the Alliance for Sustainability Award and any other award I deem appropriate. I know he certainly won't submit the applications. As you can see from the picture, he's far too lazy to even get out of his chair to photograph the spectacular sunset over Devil's Island. Maybe he's afraid that the small amount of South Shore Nut Brown in the bag will disappear in his absence. Now if he can only invent an adapter so the bags can be filled directly from the tap we are home free!


Ranger Bob said...

Slightly OT... years ago, I read about a climbing guide in the Tetons who would stash a case of brews in a well-concealed snowbank near the summit at the start of every season.

Then, when clients would rashly make remarks about, "I'd give a hundred bucks for a can of beer right now," he'd step away, dip into the cache, and make himself a nice little extra bonus.

True? No idea, but I've always hoped so.

Tammy said...

One could only hope that the breweries would get on board and sell beer in a recyclable soft-sided keg! Ice cold Leinies sure hits the spot after a hot day of paddling.

DaveO said...

If you noticed, Leinies (or Vitamin L as we Wisconsinites like to call it)is prominent among the cans we non believers brought. My family used to have a cottage on the north end of Prairie Lake in Chetek when Uniroyal was booming and shift workers could afford a small lake joint. Thanks for the comment.

Julia said...

Hi David,
I was trying to find your contact info as I have a blog about kayaks too and follow your posts here.
Thought of exchanging blogroll links
I've linked to you at