Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Radiant Rivers Photo Contest and World Rivers Day

Coldspring Paddling Instruction is helping the Saskatchewan Environmental Society to celebrate World Rivers Day by contributing a gift certificate for an Introduction to Sea Kayaking lesson as a first prize for their Radiant Rivers Photography contest.  The following is information from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society about the day and the contest.

World Rivers Day – September 25, 2011
For more information about any of these events, contact, call 306.665.1915 or visit

Radiant River Photography Contest – rivers all over Saskatchewan
In celebration of World Rivers Day September 25th, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society presents the Radiant Rivers Photography Contest to highlight the beauty of Saskatchewan’s rivers.  The photos must fit one of the three categories (action, tranquil, and sustainable).  Participants must name the river featured in their photo and describe why water is valuable to them and what they do to protect water.  All winning entries will be displayed as a travelling photo exhibit at locations around the province and will win fabulous prizes, including three outdoor adventure packages as first place prizes.  Entries can be emailed to on or before September 26th at midnight and winners will be announced the following week.  For rules and regulations, please visit our website by clicking here.  A big thanks to our sponsors: Sturgeon River Ranch, Coldspring Paddling, Phase 2 Foto source, Outter Limits, and Mister Print.

The following are Saskatoon-based events:

Park Clean Up – 9am Rotary Park
SES is joining Trash Dashers Saskatoon and the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-Up to pick up trash at Rotary Park in Saskatoon in celebration of World Rivers Day. Bags and gloves will be provided, so all you have to do is show up to help us keep our river valley clean and healthy.  We will meet at the peace torch in Rotary Park at 9am, September 25th. See you there!

Nature Walk and Photo Walk – 1pm Peturrson’s Ravine
SES is hosting a nature walk with the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan along Peturrson's Ravine in Saskatoon. This river-side location was chosen to celebrate World River Day on September 25th.  If you are a photo-enthusiast, we also encourage you to bring your camera along to capture some of our river valley's natural beauty.
We will meet in the parking lot, just north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue at 1pm, Sept 25th.

Blue Drinks – 6pm Winston’s
Blue Drinks is like Green Drinks, in that it is an opportunity for environmentalists to meet up, make connections, and talk about environmental issues, but on September 25th, the discussion will be all about water in celebration of World Rivers Day.  This pub-based discussion group is an informal, relaxed atmosphere, so come on out and talk about your local water issues!
We will be meeting at Winston’s Pub at 6pm in Saskatoon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Kayak Is Defective, It Won't Go Straight!

This is a funny animated video about two ladies discussing why the one can't paddle her kayak straight.

Defective Kayak
by: Firstfoundation

Having similar problems? Contact Coldspring Paddling Instruction and we can help!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Paddling in Lightning?

Here is a great article that was published today on by Tamia Nelson: Lessons Learned. Thunder? I Wonder… More Thoughts on Seeking Shelter From the Storm

The article discusses the danger of lightning storms in a very practical way.  It considers the actions of some paddlers who reacted to the storm in a way that is familiar to many of us that have been in a similar situation, and provides thoughtful analysis.  It also provides some sound advice which should be heeded by paddlers. Here's a brief excerpt as an example.
If you're paddling on inland waters, however, you should begin casting about for a refuge ASAP. Since buildings and vehicles are likely to be in short supply, you'll have to make the most of whatever the country affords. Give tall, solitary trees a wide berth. Avoid clearings, hilltops, and ridgelines, too. You don't want a room with a view, after all. You'll get the best odds when you hunker down among a uniform stand of not‑too‑tall trees. Are there no such trees to be seen? Then look for a sheltering valley.
In the excerpt above they mention finding shelter amongst trees that are not among the taller trees.  At a SCC talk I once attended, the Environment Canada fellow that was talking to us mentioned that willows might be a good bet for waiting out a storm.  They are low so as not to attract lightning, have many branches to protect you from being blown away, are well rooted, are not large enough to blow down and hurt you in a wind, and have no large branches to fall off.  However, the willows aren't going to do much to improve your comfort level.

I would add a piece of my own advice to the article that was not mentioned.  That would be to prepare for the storm before you ever head out for a paddle and bring with you day tripping gear. Day tripping gear should include a tarp and a number of other amenities that will make pulling to shore away from camp and waiting out a storm much more comfortable.  By having a bit of gear with you (for example a day pack, tarp, rain gear, survival kit, food, small stove, fire kit) it releases you of the pressure to push to get back to camp.  If you have left other people behind at a camp, they should know that you are going to seek refuge under the threat of a storm and they'll know you are OK and that they not need to worry while you are out in it and have not returned right away. With a few supplies with you, you can even spend a safe (but perhaps uncomfortable) night away from camp while you await safe conditions.

Here is a video from NOLS about lighting for those active in the outdoors.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Improve Your Kayaking the Hansel Way

Bryan Hansel posted on his list of 22 Ways to Improve Your Kayaking Skills Forever. It's a great list and I highly recommend checking it out for yourself here at

I was going to repost an edited version of the list here to show which of the points I'm already doing or working on, or which I haven't done, but I'll let you head back to the original posting to cross-reference my checkboxes below. Note that just because I've checked the box it doesn't mean I'm done working on that item. Most of the list (all of the list?) are items that we need to work on throughout our paddling lifetime. Go ahead and see how many of the points below you can check off the list. What points would you add to your own version of the list?


In order to check #3 off of the list and avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect, visit and give me a shout for some lessons!