Sunday, October 16, 2011

Food and Kayaking -- for Blog Action Day

John figured it would be a challenge to link the theme of Blog Action Day (Food!) with kayaking. Pshaw, I say. Of course food and kayaking are linked!
Don't believe me yet? Think about it for a minute. Why did people use kayaks in the North? Traditionally, the Inuit used them for hunting, and some still do. That's a food-related issue. In fact, I'd call it a food security issue. If we were going out in our kayaks to catch most of our food, food security would feel like a big issue to us, too.
Hunting kayaks were usually long and slim in Western Greenland, Bernie read somewhere. That is, they were long and slim until rifles became available to Inuit hunters. Then the usual kayak shape changed to something more like the Pamlico that Bernie and I lend to beginners -- wide and short, better suited to bringing a hunted animal back to shore than the long and slim kayaks that were good for quickly getting close to an animal for spear hunting.
Like I know how to hunt in a kayak... The only time one of us got close enough to a seal to be able to touch it, Bernie startled the seal and it sank away. Not food!
Instead, the food our paddle group associates most with kayaking is bars. Energy-to-go Bars. Power Bars. Cliff Bars. Luna Bars. Nonuts Bars. Nature Valley Granola bars and any other kind of packaged food snugged up in a water-resistant little parcel that fits in the pockets on our paddle jacket. Nice snacks that give me a boost of energy aren't essential, but they do make me feel more comfortable! Louise noticed the ginger in one bar made her feel warmer.
Oh, and there is another way that food and kayaking intersect. That's the fact that kayaking is better than backpacking because you can bring More Food. And better food, too -- heavy things like fresh fruit or fresh meat or eggs instead of dried or powdered commercial products. Nice to have light, packable food products when backpacking, of course. But on Bernie's kayaking trip to Portland, he was able to bring not only a proper gas stove but a griddle. He made pancakes.
Food... kayaking... yep, they're connected. Just think about how many times we eat after we go paddling!

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