Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Itch

About this time every year, I begin to get "the itch". Almost any outdoorsy person knows what I'm talking about, especially those that have desk jobs and have been stuffed indoors for most of the fall/winter. Of course there are those exceptions, the days where you say screw it and go on a hike or take a little ski vacation, but for many of us they are few and far between. My eyes are beginning to glaze over, I need to get outside soon.

So as it goes around this time of year, I'm eyeballing what I want to accomplish this year. I'm beginning to plan the activities I want to do, places I want to go, and of course...the gear I want/need to get. It's a sickness really, and when the receipts hit your hands, it becomes sickening sometimes just how much you are willing to spend on "recreation". On the roster for this year? A "new" boat (as in, possibly new or possibly used, either way it will be new to me), new PFD, new helmet, and a few other miscellaneous goodies.

I have vowed to get back out on the water more. I miss the river. I miss camping and backpacking. The particular boat I'm looking at will allow me to do all of those at the same time. I'm opting for the Liquid Logic Remix XP10, a crossover boat of sorts. Its hull is based off of the popular Jefe and Remix series creekboats and river runners that Liquid Logic has produced, but has a retractable skeg for flatwater paddling and a 4600ci rear drywell for gear storage. When a buddy of mine first began talking about them, the term he used was "hybrid" boat. I sort of cringed when I heard it because I've seen the bad side of many so-called hyrid boats, I've even helped recover a couple over the years that have tried to run class III+ water. I was imagining a Perception rec boat from BassProShops trying to go down the Big South Fork canyon. I was imagining a generic open top kayak with the stability of a wet log. I decided to look at the boats he was talking about anyways, just to see what he was talking about. Color me suprised when I look them over and realize they're pretty legit. Capable of packing a crapload of gear, capable of running up to and including Class IV water, and capable of paddling in a straight line on flatwater. I gotta get me one of these! One problem...

After getting all excited about being able to finally have one boat that allows me to do many of my favorite activities at once, there's one slight issue...we've picked this year to buy a house. Not a huge deal since between the tax money we'll receive back this year along with what we have saved up as well as whatever else we manage to save between now and then, we pretty much have it locked down. However, since the house shenanigans will probably go well into the summer, I'm looking to find other sources of income to fund my hobby and let my main job or source of income take care of the house and whatever else. Hopefully I'll be able to do some weekend work for the outfitters this winter and spring and maybe a few other odd jobs here and there. By April or May I should be packing a new boat around in the back of my truck and stowing it in our shed or garage. Also, with working outside a bit more on the weekends, hopefully I'll be several pounds lighter. Sounds like a winner to me, but who knows what will happen between now and then.

I figure if I want it bad enough, I'll make it happen. Obviously, the purchase of a house will take the main stage. I hate renting and I want a bigger place with more storage. My wife is excited as well, for the same reasons. It's going to happen this year even if we have to build it out of sticks and mud. Hopefully though, my great plan will work out and we can do both the house and new gear. Stay tuned.

In other news, it looks like my YouTube channel is gaining a little more popularity, mostly for the videos on my homemade alcohol stoves. That's another plus...with more popularity comes more income from adsense, so keep clicking, guys! I'm planning on making a few more videos soon, only this time around, they will be some new designs I'm trying with thicker aluminum (like the Venom stove mentioned a few posts below).