I thought that I’d share some of my favorite stuff with you, avoiding firearms, knives, archery equipment, tomahawks, fishing tackle and things with internal combustion engines. Those are my very favorite things but I’m always blogging about those things.
(1) Saddleback Leather Company. Their tag line is that “your children will fight over it after you’re dead”. Their products are not cheap, but neither are they cheaply made. I have a number of items from this company and they do last literally forever – from briefcases, to wallets, to passport cases, to belts to luggage.
People comment on Saddleback Leather products because they are well made and they do look good. I’m not shilling something to you simply because people do comment on them, but they comment for a reason. My sons-in-law will fight over them after I’m dead. I’m sure of that.
(2) Savage River Canoes. If you are in the market for a canoe, you should look here first. They are not the largest canoe company, and most of their canoes are custom built to reflect the customers specific needs and requirements. They use the latest technology in manufacture, implementing a resin transfer vacuum bagging process with Kevlar, Carbon Fiber and Epoxy resins resulting in the lightest weight-to-strength ratio possible. Savage River builds racing canoes and ultra-light tripping canoes that are easy to portage/launch and are very fast in the water (easier to paddle and maneuver).
(3) Synergy 190 Parachute. Precision Aerodynamics – When looking for a main chute, the Synergy 190 is as good as you are going to get. The Synergy (there are several models, I prefer the 190) is a 7-cell lightly elliptical zero porosity canopy that is easy to fly and land. It does not have the performance of a 9 cell elliptical chute, but when you’re a bigger guy, the 190 has more wing loading and it gives more performance than you’d enjoy if you were lighter weight. It packs small, it deploys evenly and pleasantly and – well, it’s my choice of parachutes. I favor the Precision Aerodynamics Super Raven as a reserve chute. Sport skydiving is fun and presents interesting ways to spend a day off work.
(4) SCUBA gear. I’ve been asked by some people who read this blog to recommend SCUBA equipment. Because I tend to be a dinosaur, most of my recommendations tend toward the rugged and reliable rather than the trendy and colorful. There is a VAST difference between technical diving and sport diving. I’ve done both closed circuit, SAT, and sport (compressed air) diving. Sport diving is fun and if you don’t panic and are properly trained, it’s safe. Military and industrial diving is an exercise in keeping your head in the game (usually dive in completely obscured 3rd world polluted harbor water). Even then things do go wrong.
I’ve been diving Suunto dive computers since they first hit the market and I like them, but they are expensive. Since my neck is on the line, I prefer a computer that will perform and so that’s my recommendation (take it or leave it). The Suunto Eon Steel is an excellent computer but I don’t have that model so I can’t make a recommendation. If I was in the market for a new dive computer, that’s what I would buy.
I learned to dive on Navy dive tables but migrated to computers because they’re safer and nobody wants to get bent.
In terms of bottles/tanks for open circuit dives, I favor the steel 105’s because I like to dive very negative, and they have a bit more capacity, giving you better bottom time. I avoid aluminum tanks but that’s because they leave you positive at the end of a dive and I think that’s dangerous particularly for new divers. I can go on endlessly about dive gear wet and dry suits, etc. but will wrap it up with that.