Posts Tagged With: Adventurer

Choosing A Kayak For Fishing

Kayak angling has been among the fastest growing recreational sports over the past decade. You hear a lot about the increasing (and to me, mystifying) popularity of stand-up paddle-boarding, but in reality kayaks designed for fishing have outsold SUPs 10-to-1 over the past 5 years. The reasons for the kayak angling trend are threefold: 1) The best fishing is found in places that cannot be easily accessed from shore; 2) Traditional fishing boats are expensive to own and maintain, and difficult to store, transport and launch; 3) Relatively inexpensive kayaks designed especially for angling are readily available in nearly every sporting goods store.

If you are thinking about taking the plunge into kayak angling, there are a few things you need to know and consider. The first and most critical decision you’ll need to make is sit-on-top (SOT) or sit-inside. SOTs are the more popular choice for fishing because they offer a lot of on-deck storage for ready access to equipment and allow the angler to move around a bit more and cast from a wider variety of positions. Many would contend that SOTs are more stable and more difficult to swamp or flip. On the other hand, sit-insides tend to be drier, and quite honestly I think “swampability” is hugely exaggerated. I have fished for years on large lakes and rivers from a sit-inside and have never had more than an inch or two of water in the cockpit from a rogue wave. Conversely, I’ve paddled SOTs and been soaking wet the whole time. To put it bluntly, if you paddle a SOT, you are going to be wet… very wet, so if you tend to fish in areas where the water is colder or if you simply don’t like being wet all the time, then the sit-inside is probably a better bet.  Continue reading

Categories: On the Water | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Psychological Guide to the Appalachian Trail

For the vast majority of outdoor enthusiasts, the idea of through-hiking the Appalachian Trail is just that, an idea; something to think about abstractly on long winter nights or talk about after a beer or two with friends. Ultimately, most of us find the idea of 2,200 miles and six months of our lives (not to mention 100+ miles of elevation change) too strong a deterrent to consider actually doing anything about it.  Last night, however, I sat in a room at REI-Charlotte with 30 other people, among whom — I strongly suspect — I was the only one who either hadn’t already hiked some significant portion of the Appalachian Trail or who wasn’t seriously considering doing so.

Truth be told, I have hiked a very small section of the AT near the Nantahala Outdoor Center in western North Carolina; by my calculations about .13% of the total distance. And last spring, I hiked more than 300 miles in various locations over a 3 month period preparing for the 28-miles-in-one-day CureSearch Ultimate Hike. That brief glimpse into endurance trekking brought me to an understanding about just how difficult it really is… and how poorly suited I am for it. While I found the physical rigors challenging, it was the mental aspect of hiking mile after mile after mile that wore on me the most, and that is why I attended the REI event. Continue reading

Categories: In the Woods | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Accidental Pirate Builds a Boat

Walking along the boardwalk, I happened upon a band of pirates led by none other than Captain Jack Sparrow. This was the second Jack Sparrow I’d seen in the past 20 minutes, but this one was a good bit more convincing than the first. He had the half-staggered walk down pat and greeted me with a spot-on, lilting, “Hello, Mate.” I was in the town of Beaufort (that’s Bo’ Fort) for a weekend class on wooden boat-building at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Coincidentally, it also happened to be the weekend of the Beaufort Pirate Invasion. I was completely unaware of this fact when I registered for the class and only figured it out when I started calling around to book a room and found the first four or five places I tried were full — some 30 days in advance.

Beaufort sits at the southern end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks near the deep-water port of Morehead City. Settled in the 1700’s, largely by New Englanders, the town has a distinctly northern coastal vibe similar to the small fishing villages I have visited in Maine and Massachusetts. Furthering this connection is the local whaling history. While not as productive or well-known as places like New Bedford or Nantucket, the Southern Outer Banks region was a modest contributor to the whaling industry of the 19th century, a legacy documented in great detail by a display at the wonderful North Carolina Maritime Museum on Front Street.  Continue reading

Categories: On the Water | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

The Online Home of John B. Marek — North Carolina-Based Outdoor Enthusiast, Adventurer and Author

Growing up in rural north-central Ohio, my family’s house was located at the corner of Lake and Forest Streets, and it would only be a slight exaggeration to say that I spent my formative years within a stone’s throw of both the water and the woods. My father, Bennie, was an avid fisherman and gardener, and while some of his his homespun wisdom in those pursuits seems a little curious to me now, he clearly had a major influence on the way I see the natural world and my place in it. I have created this blog to share some of my own experiences in the outdoors of my adopted home state of North Carolina. Although I research my information carefully and willingly offer homespun wisdom of my own, I do not claim to be an expert on all things outdoors; if you see something that is obviously incorrect or with which you disagree, do not hesitate to comment or send me a note. I enjoy hearing from my readers, whether through email or social media, and will respond personally whenever possible.

John B. Marek

mobile          704 237 0719
email             johnbmarek@gmail.com
twitter          @johnbmarek
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