Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit is a nifty solar charger that I put to the test throughout the Summer. The kit proved itself capable on a couple of river trips to the Arctic and Gulf of Alaska surf trips for charging camera phones and extra camera batteries. It was particularly useful on a Kokolik River Solstice trip, where I could leave it attached to the outside of my tent while I went for hikes under the midnight sun, returning to fully charged batteries. It’s remarkably quick to charge in bright sunlight.
Landing big fish on a fly rod often comes down to luck, but a reel with great drag surely helps. Lamson is known for making aesthetically beautiful, highly functional reels, and they didn’t let me down this season. Their Guru series is particularly interesting as it is their least expensive, fully-machined reel while sharing many of the same components as their top of the line reels. I loved the ability to one-hand hard charging Sockeye on the Chilkoot knowing the drag was there when I needed it (especially while 3/4 submerged, floating down river, trying to regain my footing).
Shooting the money gun for a fly fishing junkie on your shopping list? The Scott S4S is like a Lamborghini LM002, fast as hell and tough as nails. I used my S4S 908/4 on Situk Silver Salmon, Kobuk Sheefish & Kugururok monster Dollies this season and found I enjoyed casting it as much as landing the fish with it. Clients were blown away by the combination of fast action & sensitivity. More of them will surely be added to my fleet for next season.
So you have a hog Winter Steelhead on the end of your new Scott S4S, how do you land her? Check out Brodin’s gorgeous teak-handled landing nets. I used the Ghost Series Excalibur this past season and the large-mesh ghost bag made releasing fish a snap. Pretty enough to hang on the wall in the living room, but sturdy enough to land 15 pound Chilkat Silvers.
Who doesn’t have a box full of punctured bike inner tubes laying around? Mail them to Seattle and have them transformed into cool shoulder bags, wallets and purses by Alchemy Goods. My personal favorite is the Night Out Wallet as it’s perfect for skiing to hold a little cash & IDs while everything stays dry. If your ladyfriend doesn’t swoon over a clutch made from recycled inner tubes, it might be time for a new ladyfriend.
I recall being taught to ski without poles as a kid. These new Carbon flick-lock Armada poles must be filled with helium, they are crazy light. With these in hand, I will be as close as I can get to skiing poleless again.
Lastly, all good adventures should be well documented. Canon’s PowerShot S120 has nearly all the functionality of a DSLR in a tight little package. Shoots raw images and has a dizzying array of manual settings. This is the camera the pro’s use when they want to go light/small.
What’s on your wish list?
Greg Schlachter is owner of Expedition Broker, Alaska’s premier adventure travel agency based in Haines, Alaska.