What You Need To Know About Winter Camping

When most people think of camping they imagine warm summer nights in a t-shirt and shorts; rarely do you think of piles of snow, freezing temperatures and sleeping with a parka on. For those brave few who are looking for a new adventure, here's some helpful tips on planning a camping trip this winter. If you can believe it there are plenty of activities to do while winter camping: ice fishing, snow hiking, cross country skiing and more.

First of all, if it's your first time, don't camp on an overnight trail far away from a car or shelter. It's easy to make mistakes or to forget to bring critical life saving items that you may need in the event of an emergency. Start by camping in a designated campground within quick walking distance of your car.

"The Weekend Lake", Family Trip to the Lake Cabin

"The Weekend Lake" is a well-shot video by videographer Matt Wiebe featuring he and his wife and their dogs at their family lake cabin. This is the perfect exhibition of what lakeside living has to offer: relaxing on the boat dock, canoeing, boating, swimming, watching wildlife and more.

Sailing the Coast of Maine, Short Documentary

Here is a short documentary by Dreamlike Pictures about a trip sailing the coast of Maine from Portsmouth to Casco Bay in the Spring a few years ago. The video is well shot and gives a honest portrayal of what life is like for boaters and fishermen in coastal Maine.

Build a Floating Home or Boathouse, What You Need

At HarborWare we get hundreds of calls throughout the week with questions about how to build a boat dock, particularly what size and quantity of dock floats are needed. Our more complicated answers are usually about floating homes and boathouses that are extraordinarily heavy.

First of all, we highly recommend consulting with a local licensed engineer familiar with boat docks to obtain a weight estimate of the structure. They have the ability to do this even if the structure isn't built yet. Second, you'll need to get necessary permits in place before breaking ground. Third, you want to pick the right size of dock floats and the right quantity. Floating homes and boathouses are usually a much bigger investment than a small lake house dock, so you'll want to do things right the first time!

Introduction to Dock Floats for Boat Docks

Dock Flotation (dock floats, float drums) can be defined as any device used in the construction of a boat dock that allows it to float on top of a body of water.

A floating dock will move up and down with water levels, contrary to a standing dock that is built on stilts which does not ever move. Most boat docks that are built on a water source connected to a dam are floating docks due to the effect dams have on water levels. When the dam opens up, water levels can drop several feet and if your boat dock is floating, it will lower down along with the water level.

In the mid-1900's, dock floats looked much different then how they look today. There were three primary types: styrofoam blocks, metal pontoons, and barrels. For many reasons, these primitive floating devices are now obsolete and are outlawed in most US states. Over the years styrofoam became hazardous to the environment, polluting lakes with small foam pieces that broke off little by little over time. Metal pontoons and barrels are hollow, so when punctured docks began to sink rapidly. Also, barrels that where once used to house chemicals were being re-purposed as dock flotation and started leaking deadly chemicals into our water source. Eventually the "encapsulated dock float" was developed and replaced all forms of dock flotation.

Introduction to Marine Anchor Shackles

Screw Pin Anchor Shackles come in two types: Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel. Galvanized steel is less expensive but can only be used around freshwater and it's lifespan is lower than stainless. Stainless steel is necessary around salt water because it's better suited to withstand corrosion. Stainless steel can be used around any body of water and has a longer lifespan than galvanized steel. Anchor shackles come in different designs, but HarborWare carries the bow-shaped variety.

5 Best Species to Fish this Fall

Discover Boating has suggested the best fish to go after on your next fall fishing trip. While most people don't consider fall the best time to fish, especially if you live up north where it starts snowing before Halloween, you'll be pleasantly surprised of the benefits. For some species, depending on where you live, the fall is actually better than fishing in the spring and summer. At the very least, you'll have less competition on the water since less people fish in the colder seasons.

4 Unbelievable Ways Fishing Can Help You Get Fit, By TakeMeFishing

For those who think fishing is a passive sport that doesn’t involve much beyond baiting a hook and making a cast, you may want to think again. Fishing is exercise and can help you build strength in a number of different ways. Keep in mind that any time you are on a boat, your muscles are continually working against the waves to stabilize your body.

Camp Packing Tips by Camp Grounded and Tillamook

Photo by thedigitaldetox.org
Camp Grounded is a campground for adults tucked away on 80 acres in the Redwoods of of California. Their program has become widely popular in recent years for providing a way for adults from all walks of life to unplug from the every day grind and to get into the wild! What can you expect? Camping, rock Climbing, Yoga, Capture the Flag, Campfires, Hiking and they also offer classes like Survival Skills, Songwriting, Candle Making, Pickling and more. If you and the misses are needing to unwind, this is a good place to start.

Camp Grounded - With the weeks before camp whittling away, it’s time to start preparing and packing for the fun times ahead! We may be out on a limb here, but we’re going to take a wild guess that the closest thing to summer camp you’ve experienced in the last decade was Moonrise Kingdom. But don’t panic just yet – we’re here to take the guesswork out of packing with 10 essentials for an amazing Camp Grounded experience.

5 Must-Pack Items:
1. A pair of binoculars for bird watching so you can keep an eye out for the elusive curds of prey.

2. A Swiss army knife. Cheddar safe than sorry with this one – you never know when it will come in handy! Read Full Story

Source: http://blog.thedigitaldetox.org/packing-tips-may-curd/

Rafting Pioneer George Wendt Hopes Grand Canyon Can Be Rescued from Proposed Development Plans

Photo by http://www.oars.com/press.html
Championing the rights of rivers is nothing new to George Wendt, founder and owner of what may be the world’s best-known river rafting company, O.A.R.S. Over its 45-year history the company has contributed more than $3 million toward the preservation of the environment and to conservation initiatives worldwide.

Today, Wendt has thrown down the gauntlet against developers who would threaten aquifers that feed the Colorado River in its course through the Grand Canyon. At issue is the proposed Tusayan development that would add 2,200 homes and collateral services and amenities less than two miles from the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park.

And in another section of the Canyon, Wendt hopes that sufficient forces can be brought to bear against the creation of a gondola designed to transport upwards of 4,000 tourists daily from the rim to the river. This is known as the Grand Canyon Escalade project.

The National Park Service has already expressed serious concerns about the environmental impact these projects could have on the Grand Canyon. Read Full Story

Source: http://outdoorindustry.org/news/industry.php?newsId=20528

Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots in America, By TakeMeFishing

TakeMeFishing has become one of America's best sources for fishing information in America. Not too long ago they published this very useful and wonderfully designed infographic that marks the best locations for fishing and boating in America. According to their research, 90% of all Americans live within an hour of navigable water, meaning you can boat, canoe or kayak on. America offers 3.5 million miles of rivers and nearly 8,000 state parks!

Infographic - Recreational Boating Fatality Statistics by USCG

According to the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division, someone is injured or killed in a boating accident every 2-1/2 hours. As expected, your chances of drowning in a boating accident is greatly reduced while wearing a life jacket, you have a 1 in 11 chance with no life jacket and 1 in 66 while wearing a life jacket. Less than 50% of boaters have ever taken a boating safety course and only 63% consider themselves "very experienced."

Pro Fishing Tips - Chevy Pro Bryan Thrift

Photo by Brian Lindberg  flwoutdoors.com
The first bite or two on a topwater will tell you a lot about whether you need to make some changes or keep doing what you’re doing. If you miss the first fish, or maybe just barely hook it, there’s probably something wrong with the size or the type of lure that you’re throwing and how you’re working it. It has more to do with those factors than colors or whether your line size is too big, in my opinion. Usually it’s a matter of changing the lure and changing retrieves more than anything else.

I normally don’t pay a lot of attention to the line size when I’m fishing topwaters except as it affects my casting. If I’m throwing a light lure like a Rebel Pop-R, I’ll go with 12-pound test. If it’s a heavier bait, I might upsize if I think I need to in the circumstances.  Read Full Story

Source: http://www.flwoutdoors.com/fishing-articles/pro-tips-weekly/156446/pro-tips-weekly-chevy-pro-bryan-thrift/#.U_5SFvmwLwk

Red Snapper Fishery - A Legislator's Case For State Management

As an avid Mississippi Gulf Coast recreational angler, I'm dismayed that we've allowed red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico to become so convoluted and polarized. Amendment 40, also known as "sector separation," currently before the Gulf Council seeks to drive a wedge between the charter/for-hire and private recreational angler as a solution to the inept federal management of red snapper. Mississippi is the perfect example of where, as the fish get bigger and the quota is reached more quickly, we have fewer days to fish. With virtually no red snapper reefs within Mississippi state waters, our recreational anglers are slowly being squeezed out of the fishery with ridiculously short federal seasons. However, the best solution the Gulf Council can come up with for recreational anglers is to squeeze even more anglers out of the fishery with sector separation? I think not - we can do better than that.  Read Full Story

Source: http://www.joincca.org/articles/687

Trout Unlimited Applauds EPA for Proposing Mining Limits in Bristol Bay

Photo by tu.org
Sportsmen around the country applaud the EPA’s release of its draft determination to bolster watershed protections near Bristol Bay, Alaska, by proposing safeguards against large-scale mining like the proposed Pebble Mine.

"For 10 years, the proposed Pebble Mine has cast a cloud of uncertainty on Bristol Bay. Today’s announcement provides hope that we are nearing the finish line to protecting the world’s most prolific salmon fishery,” said Chris Wood, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Two of Bristol Bay's rivers would be most affected by the proposed Pebble Mine. One provides nearly half of the world's wild sockeye salmon, and is the best rainbow trout fishery in the world. The other is consistently among the top three producers in king salmon. It would be difficult to conceive a worst place to put an open-pit mine with 700-foot-tall earthen dams holding back its toxic tailings than in the seismically active Bristol Bay region." Read Full Story

Source: http://www.tu.org/press-releases/tu-applauds-epa-for-proposing-mining-limits-in-bristol-bay

6 Most Common Rumors About Alcohol and Boating from the US Coast Guard

1. Drinking alcohol while operating a boat isn’t a big deal; it’s not as dangerous as drinking and driving a car.

The fact is, alcohol is responsible for 16% of boating fatalities. It’s the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths. That’s a huge deal. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is also against the law.

The operator of a boat has more variables to consider than someone driving a car. How deep is the water? Are there submerged dangers like rocks or trees? How big are the waves and what direction are they coming from?

Waterways aren’t marked by lanes, signs and street lights the same way that roads are and most boats don’t have headlights. Operating a boat is challenging enough while sober. Adding alcohol only makes it more difficult and dangerous. Exposure to sun, wind, rain, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some medications. Read Full Story

Source: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2014/08/6-most-common-rumors-about-alcohol-and-boating/#sthash.oQ9IB6qN.dpuf

Cape Cod National Seashore to Host Dune Shack Arts and Sciences Exhibit in September

Photo by National Parks Service
Cape Cod National Seashore will exhibit works from dune shack visits and residencies as its Perspectives: Seeing Cape Cod National Seashore through Art resumes in September. The exhibition is curated by the Peaked Hill Trust, which offers arts and sciences residencies at dune shacks it operates under its permit with Cape Cod National Seashore.

This residency program encourages a broad sweep of creative projects in the arts and sciences, including architecture, the healing arts, environment and science, performing arts, journalism and cultural history. Selectees spend one to two weeks in a dune shack. The experience provides immersion into this special resource within the national seashore while setting the stage for inspiration and learning. The exhibition includes an eclectic array of work and topics, including erosion studies, nocturnal wildlife, writings on the Gulf Stream, short essays by an entomologist, conservation and landscape architecture, and even work from a puppeteer. Read full story

Source: http://www.nps.gov/care/parknews/capitol-reef-receives-2014-impact-grant-from-the-national-park-foundation.htm

Champion Boater Suspected of Faking His Boating Death

A nationwide manhunt is underway for a champion boater who may have faked his own death, according to authorities. Andrew Biddle has been missing since a boating accident last month. Police believe Biddle may have faked his own death to avoid criminal charges. Police say the father of two was with another racer, Justin Belz, riding in a pontoon boat near Longport, New Jersey, on July 20 when they hit a buoy and plowed into a jetty. Belz survived by swimming to shore and a massive search for Biddle was called off just a day later.  Full story can be read here

Wild Salmon Center Announces New Protected Area in Russia

The Wild Salmon Center (WSC), Khabarovsk Wildlife Foundation (KWF), and other partners have succeeded in winning the approval of the Tugursky Nature Reserve, which will protect nearly 80,000 acres of critical habitat within the Tugur Watershed in the Russian Far East’s Khabarovsk Region. A regional decree was signed by the Governor of Khabarovsk to establish the Reserve.

The Tugur River flows through the Tuguro-Chumikanskiy region of Khabarovskyi Krai (territory) and into the Sea of Okhotsk. The Tugursky Nature Reserve will safeguard key habitat for over 20 species of fish including chum and pink salmon and the threatened Siberian taimen as well as brown bears, foxes, Blakiston’s fish owl, osprey, Steller's sea and white-tailed eagles.

“This achievement would not be possible without the understanding and support of the local communities, including the Evenki indigenous people, the scientific community who helped develop justifications for this protected area, and the Wild Salmon Center and their long-standing commitment to salmon conservation,” said Alexander Kulikov of the Khabarovsk Wildlife Foundation.

The Tugur is a global stronghold for Siberian taimen (Hucho taimen), which are a member of the trout and salmon family found in Russia and Asia. Siberian taimen are the biggest of the taimen family with the largest recorded specimen weighing 231 pounds and measuring nearly seven feet.

Tugur taimen can reach lengths of over six feet and weigh up to 170 pounds and are in a special category because they are one of only a few taimen populations that feed on adult Pacific salmon. The creation of the Reserve will also help protect strong salmon runs: the river currently supports a productive commercial fishery including a 170 metric ton chum salmon catch.

In 2012 Siberian taimen were assessed range-wide as Vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. The assessors concluded that the creation of freshwater protected areas was the most urgent conservation action needed to recover the species. Over the years WSC has been serving an important role in supporting taimen conservation and assessment work, partnering closely with IUCN.

“Creation of the Tugursky Reserve is an example of successful cooperation between NGOs, government agencies, and municipalities of the Khabarovsk Region,” said Mariusz Wroblewski, WSC’s Western Pacific Program Director. “This accomplishment would not be possible without the long-term commitment of some of our most dedicated supporters, including the Turner Foundation and the US Forest Service’s International Program.”

The Tugur is also a sport fishing destination. The establishment of this new protected area will provide an opportunity to demonstrate new low-impact angling techniques, including the use of single, barbless hooks.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to create a protected area to safeguard this species,” said ecologist and National Geographic Explorer Zeb Hogan. “There is virtually no human footprint there, offering the rare opportunity to effectively control habitat and fishery impacts that are pervasive throughout this region.”

The Wild Salmon Center has been working with partners to conserve key salmon ecosystems in the Russian Far East since the 1990s. In that time WSC has helped establish four protected areas in addition to the Tugursky Nature Reserve, including the Vostochny Refuge on Sakhalin Island, the Kol River Salmon Refuge on the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Koppi River Nature Preserve and Shantars Island National Park in Khabarovsk. Together they represent over two million acres of protected wild salmon ecosystems in key geographies throughout the Russian Far East.

Source: http://www.wildsalmoncenter.org/press/Tugur_PR.php

HarborWare joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2014 as a corporate partner.

Bonding Through Boating, A Short Film by Discover Boating

Discover Boating is a public awareness group, promoting the boating lifestyle in the USA. They offer free videos, magazines and literature on boat manufacturers, where to buy, boat maintenance and the best places in America to go boating. Nearly 70 million people in America enjoy recreational boating and this organization is a great resource to get started if you're new to the sport or to gain more knowledge if you're a seasoned boater.

Five things all parents should know about water safety

I am Petty Officer Tabitha Butierries, a Coast Guard search and rescue coordinator at the Fifth Coast Guard District, but today I’m writing to you as a mother of a toddler and a grade-schooler. I have been involved with Coast Guard search and rescue for more than 12 years and every time I’m involved in a case that involves the death of a child, it breaks my heart. I wanted to take a moment to remind parents out there how to keep your children safe while at the beach.

1. Watch your children while at the beach!
Even a small wave can topple a child and pull them out to sea in a very short time. Keep an eye on your kids! You wouldn’t let your kid run around unattended in a mall parking lot, and the waters at the beach can be just as dangerous. See more at: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2014/08/five-things-all-parents-should-know-about-water-safety/#sthash.0nh6XIht.dpuf

Difference Between Dock Cleats, Boat Cleats and Bow Chocks

Cleats are used to tie-down the rope attached to your boat while docking to keep your boat from floating away or moving around too much. There are many different types of cleats on the market but there is no "specific" difference between a boat cleat and dock cleat. However, most people use stainless steel or chrome cleats on their boat and galvanized steel on their dock.

The galvanized steel cleats look more raw, they're heavier but are far-less expensive than stainless, therefore people prefer to use them on their docks. Stainless steel and chrome are much more attractive looking, so people use them on their boats. All of them perform the same task and are equally as durable.

Chocks or Bow Chocks are attached to the bow of your boat and are used as a guide for your rope line and to keep your rope from chaffing against the sides of your boat. They can be used while docked at a boat dock or mooring offshore.

Which Boat Dock Bumper is Right for Your Boat

Source: http://hbwr.co/1lJBH5u
Boat dock bumper comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. When it comes to picking the right boat dock bumper for your dock, it's all in the size of your watercraft. Smaller boats don't need oversized dock bumper, inasmuch larger boats can't get by with the smaller, light duty stuff.

There are 4 main types of boat dock bumper: side bumpers or rubrail , corner bumpers, vertical bumpers or post bumpers, and dock rollers. All are equally important and perform an unique purpose in protecting vulnerable parts of your boat.

Small Boats

If you have a low riding bass boat or jet ski, you can get by with the minimum amount of protection, utilizing 2"x10' vinyl rubrail and either 6" or 10" vinyl corner bumpers. This will ensure that you don't scrape your boat against the hard sides or corners of your dock as you're making your way in after a long day at the lake.

Medium and Large Boats

If your boat is a pontoon or runabout, you may consider our XL Corner Bumpers and Gas Dock Bumpers. These side and corner bumpers are 20" tall and will ensure complete protection of your boat while docking.

Docks with Posts

If you have roof posts on the sides of your dock slip and have a tall watercraft, such as a yacht, cabin cruiser or houseboat, you will want to install either vertical post bumpers or dock rollers. Another benefit of our dock rollers is they act as a guide to help roll your boat into the slip as you're docking.

50 Boat Docks that Make Life Happier

Fishing, swimming and canoeing are just some of the many things that come with a boat dock, along with the sweet smell of summer bbqs. And whether it was on a floating boat dock, pier, boathouse or marina, everyone has a fond memory on a dock. I grew up in a Tennessee lake town and spent most of my summer days at our town's marina. When I wasn't fishing or catching turtles, I would be trying to convince locals into paying me a few bucks to scrub their boats down to support my terrible junk food habit, which was pretty much the only food offered at the marina's store. It was a way of life, right down to the feeling of the old wooden boat docks on your bare feet and the pain from pulling the occasional splinters out from your toes.

Over the years HarborWare has compiled a large amount of boat dock pictures throughout our social media pages and these are just some of the ones we like the most.


By: Dave Darr

Sources: follow source links to find photographer's credit.