Stay home. Now is a good time to check your gear!

Just a few weeks ago we posted blogs about sanitation methods and social distancing outside. They were written before the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home rules really kicked in. It is incredible how fast the world has changed in a short time. MTI supplies a lot of vests to commercial outfitters. We thought we were providing information to them and the general public about how to help clean jackets between users. Now we know the sad truth that most outfitters won’t be able to open for months to come. And now we as paddlers are being advised to stay at home – REALLY stay at home. And off the water.

Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin writes in her article “Why we didn’t go canoeing today” in the Chicago Sun-Times that she and her partner didn’t go paddling because “we might we be seen by many people as we drove to and from the river with canoes on our car – people who’ve been told to stay at home, people who’ve lost jobs, who can’t see friends and family, who maybe are ill, who maybe are fearing the loss of someone they love, people who would rightly think “Why are you out there at a time like this?” So we put away our paddles and PFDs. Everyone is making sacrifices. Some are huge. Ours, honestly, are small. But we must do our part, we decided, to not only practice physical distancing, but to support the general appearance of physical distancing that normalizes this abnormal behavior and helps keep everyone safe.”

The knock-on effect of this pandemic is heartbreaking for our paddling communities. An activity that paddlers find solstice in is now something to defer in the interests of the greater good The core information of our sanitation post is in line with the recommendations of the US Coast Guard and Life Jacket Association. But at this point, we hope that folks will stay at home to keep safe.

This is a good time to go through your gear! Inspect your life jacket for any wear and tear. Are the zippers and clips all in working order? Give your vest its annual application of 303 Protectant to help protect the fabric for the season. Got an inflatable? Use the red oral tube to blow it up and test to see if it’s still holding air properly. Inspect your C02 cylinder. Is the end intact? Are there any signs of rust? If we shouldn’t venture out on the water right now, think about how to spend this time at home with purpose by getting ready for when we CAN once again get on the water.

Get your life jackets out and inspect them!

Click here for Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin’s article “Why we didn’t go canoeing”:

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