Posts Tagged ‘Mountain Hardwear’

Hello, and Welcome!

This post is to inform everyone of what gear we feel will be needed to make our journey successful and fun, as well as keep us safe and happy at the same time. A quick review of the Mandatory Survival Needs, followed by our gear and why we chose what we are taking. Also a demo explanation of how it will be packed in the kayaks. So that being said lets see what we need to survive as human paddlers!!

First and foremost paddlers must have WATER to drink, not just H2O from any little mud hole! NO, honest to goodness Fresh, Clean, Parasite FREE drinkable water. Second, humans must have a shelter to hide in so when the outside elements get to harsh we can get outta the cold, heat, rain, wind, sun, snow, ice, or BUGS! Third, we must have food to fuel our bodies or the HUMAN ENGINE as I like to call it; and to sustain energy or Life itself. Last but not least important, is clothing to keep us comfortable, warm, and our spirits not to mention our overall well being- Riding HIGH! Now that we know what we must have it will be obvious to spot these items. Everything else in our gear will either be connected with survival or will be a luxury item. All will have a purpose and some will have 2 -3 different uses.                LETS GET TO THE GEAR>>>>  (J)= Jeff         (S)=Sean


Hydration or H20:

  • (J) 1 liter Hydration bladder
  • (J) 1 MSR Sweetwater water microfilter
  • (S) 1 UN-Bottle 2 liter hydration bladder
  • (S) 1 MSR 4 liter hydration bladder

Food:   In our previous post, # 4 Expedition Planning : The Menu; we covered all the food we will be bringing and dividing between the 2 kayaks. We will be stuffing this into dry bags and into the hull cargo areas.

Jeffs’ Clothing:

  • long Smartwool underwear(long johns)
  • 1 pr. Smartwool socks
  • Kokatat Tempest pants w/ socks attached & relief zipper.
  • Mountain Hardwear short sleeve shirt- fast drying/quick wicking.
  • Immersion Research short sleeve thick skin(insulated rashguard)
  • Mountain Hardwear Zip-t fleece long sleeve shirt
  • Mountain Hardwear windstopper vest
  • paddling gloves
  • Kokatat storm cag jacket
  • 1 Mountain Hardwear wide brim hat
  • 1 Mountain Hardwear windstopper cold weather skullcap
  • 1 High U-V Buff (neck/face wrap)
  • 1 pr. Columbia water shoes

Seans’ clothing:

  • long Smartwool underwear
  • 1 pr. Smartwool socks
  • Columbia Titanium splash pants
  • 2 lycra rashguards
  • 1 Columbia long sleeve shirt
  • 1 Necky fleece torso vest
  • 1 pr. Pogies(paddling)- Courtesy of KayakKev  & 1 pr. gloves(camp)
  • 1 Extrasport Paddling jacket
  • 1 Columbia Rainstopper Titanium jacket
  • 1 Columbia wide brim hat
  • 1 “Sailors” polypropelene cold weather skullcap
  • 2-3 Bandanas(to use as U-V buff)
  • 1 pr.  Columbia water shoes
  • More items may be added depending on temps. IE:  Sweatshirts, shorts, wetsuits, SNOW Gear(HA HA HA)

Mess Kits:

  • 1 (J) MSR Dragonfly stove
  • 1 (J) MSR fuel canister
  • 1 (J) GSI Hae tea kettle
  • 1 (J) Snow Peak Trek 900 titanium cookset
  • 1 (J) Snow Peak chopsticks
  • 1 (J) MSR spork
  • 1 (S) MSR Whisperlite stove
  • 1 (S) MSR Fuel canister
  • 1 (S) aluminum cook set(cup-pan-pot)
  • 1 (S) Ultra Light plastic fork/knife/spoon set
  • 1 (S) bandana-pot holder

As for the rest of the list it will involve either safety items or luxury items and may include 1 or more of the following items:

  • Kayaks
  • Paddles – and spares from these companies- Lendal, Tuktu (Jeff’s Greenland), Swift, & Bending Branches
  • Skirts- (J) prefers neoprene (S) prefers vinyl
  • Paddle floats
  • Bilge pumps
  • Duct tape
  • whistles
  • waterproof matches/lighters
  • Weather Radio
  • Cameras
  • Princeton Tec headlamps & hand held flashlights
  • H2Outfitters Rescue towline/Lotus Design towline
  • Pac Towels
  • chemical light sticks
  • space blankets
  • (J) Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD plus stuff
  • (S) Extrasport Riptide coldweather Tour PFD plus stuff
  • Sunglasses
  • Strobelights
  • knifes
  • rescue mirrors
  • First Aid kits
  • Personal hygiene products-IE: toothbrush/toothpaste, camp soap, medicines.
  • lip balm
  • Blue Lizard sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • spare batteries
  • compasses
  • trowel & axe
  • book/notebook
  • Biodegradeable TOILET PAPER- A MUST!
  • deck of playing cards

All of these items will either be stored inside the kayaks in small drybags that will be color coded so we know what each small bag holds; then put into larger bags to contain smaller bags. Or will be stored on or in our PFDs. Also we have some deck space as well under the bungie chords(although we try to keep everything stored under the decks when possible). All items on this list are subject to either addition or subtraction of items at a further time depending on redundancy or weight/safety concerns. When packing the items into the boats once bagged we will try to pack the front and back hatches of the kayaks with equalized weighting, although sometimes you might want the back or front a little heavier depending on water/wind/weather conditions to make the kayak move more efficiently!

Well Jeff and I sure hope you have learned, enjoyed, agreed, and hopefully not laughed at our choice in gear! If anyone has any suggestions of items that they would take instead or feel we have missed anything please feel free to send us a comment or e-mail. We can’t guarantee we’ ll listen but hey its worth a shot. Afterall it is our site and we KNOW IT ALL!! Just KIDDING!! Thats a joke.

-Packing the GEAR, if only in my Dreams! Sea Turtle Sean

Next Post in the Expedition Planning Series #6 Last Minute Updates! due out the first week in December!

Hello Paddlers,

It is with a renewed spirit and heavy heart that I am writing this blog. Very conflicting statement I know, but you MUST read on to understand what chain of events has led to the previous statement! On Friday night, Sept. 4th at 11:00 p.m.- Jeff and I set out on a late night paddle and possible camp out on one of our local intra-coastal islands in Boca Ciega Bay. We paddled from the causeway at Madeira Beach out to Johns’ Pass(3 miles), through the pass to the gulf. We stopped on the beach to stretch and relax- listening to Reggae music playing in the distance at Gators on the Pass(local watering hole).

We were approached by a Police truck on the beach, the officer asked “what are we doing tonight?” To me this was kinda a silly question as Jeff and I were standing there next to 2 Kayaks and were in full paddling gear. I was half tempted to say we were out for a game of late night Beach Golf–“Here’s your SIGN”!

But decided to be polite and explained we were out enjoying the moonlight to paddle in. He informed us that the beach closes from 1 a.m. till 5 a.m.- couldn’t help but wonder what the local Indians would have said to that statement back 100 years ago…

Jeff and I left the beach (1:15 a.m.) and quickly paddled over to Archie’s Island(1-1/4 miles), back in the Intra-coastal waterway. We pitched the tent and drifted swiftly to sleep (2:45 a.m.) with the sounds of the water lapping at the shore and wind moving through the islands trees and sea grasses.


My Mountain Hardwear “Skylight” tent is more than a decade old. And it still looks new after heavy use!

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise and nice gentle sea breeze(7:15 a.m). We got up and packed up our gear and I made Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal for Jeff and I for breakfast.


We were eating breakfast and reflecting on a wonderful nights paddle and how refreshed we were even though we only had about 4 hrs. sleep.

That’s when we heard the engine of a small seaplane buzzing around!

seaplan island hopping

We finished breakfast and got into our yaks and started to head back to the causeway, as we paddled along we were watching the seaplane skim across the water, then fly through the air. At one point the plane flew directly over us! I rolled with a paddle float and Jeff thought that they waved at us.  Jeff and I both remarked how cool it was.


< you can hear the plane pass over us in this video >

Then it happened; as the plane flew out towards Johns’ Pass, Jeff and I heard a loud “POP” sound and the plane looked like it just ran into a wall with an abrupt stop, followed by a rapid nose dive. It fell straight down from estimated height of about 225 feet, into about 7 feet of water. Jeff and I quickly paddled over to the site of impact and discovered a crowd of civilian rescuers all trying to free 2 people that were still strapped in and trapped under water.

seaplane crash pic 09-05-09

helping with rescue

Sean giving an account

Unfortunately in the end neither man survived the crash as they both sustained serious trauma from the impact. A retired fire fighter and I managed to recover one of them (within 20 min.) with the help of others and we turned him over to rescue officials that soon showed up on scene. The other person was eventually recovered by rescue officials within less than 1 hour from the time of impact.

What a tragic event and emotional roller coaster, we went from being on top of the world and fully refreshed to being totally somber and mentally/physically drained. I can’t speak for Jeff, but believe me as tragic as this event was. In my opinion it was a paddle I soon won’t forget and has taught me once again the preciousness of life and how fast it can end. We were some of the last people to see those 2 men alive, they sure looked like they were having fun. To their families God Bless You and Keep You through these tough times! Know God has a plan for all things that happen, even if we don’t understand the BIG picture!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved with this event, especially the 2 men in the plane, and all those that took the time to call 911 or were in some way involved in the initial Rescue attempts and susequent recovery of the 2 men’s bodies.

Make sure You take the TIME to say I Love You, and HUG your wife,husband,partner,children,friends,family as often as you can!!!!!!!!! WE ARE NOT PROMISED TOMORROW!! LIVE AND LOVE LIFE!!

Thankful but still Reflecting,

Bay News 9: “Families try to cope after two die in aircraft crash” Sept 9, 2009

Bay News 9: “Two killed in aircraft crash near John’s Pass” Sept 8, 2009

Mountain Hardwear Gives Back

Posted: April 7, 2009 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Gear Reviews, Giving Back
Tags: ,


I have been using Mountain Hardwear gear since the mid 1990’s.  My oldest product is a tent that still looks new after more than a decade of heavy use.  The cool thing about this company is that during an economic depression they are giving money to help kids to go to camp.

“Mountain Hardwear’s Gives Back program supports non-profit organizations that protect the wild spaces on earth and help more individuals to recreate and play in those wild spaces. Grants have been awarded for 2009.”  Follow the link I have provided to help Mountain Hardwear make a difference.  —Jeff


My Mountain Hardwear “Skylight” tent is more than a decade old. And after heavy use it still looks new!