A brewer like the It’s American Press doesn’t come along every day. For starters, it’s surprisingly beautiful–in the way that complexity is beautiful when rendered, reduced, refined; rethought and redrawn until what remains is the perfect balance of form and function. I know what you’re saying, “Hey, it’s just a coffee maker!” But, as, Read More

On day nineteen of last summer’s passage from Hawaii to San Francisco, Moli suffered a critical systems breakdown. We had been climbing into winds of 25 knots for several days. Seas were steep and breaking. On that morning I rose at the usual hour and made my coffee in the usual way: cone with paper filter, Read More

Forgive me, but I’ve always thought of UGGs as girlie boots. Where I’m from they are a fashion statement preferred by teens at the mall, and consequently nine tenths of the downtown UGG shop is dedicated to such pink and frilly footware that a high latitude adventurer would be embarrassed to enter. Knowing that, I was amazed when, Read More

The previous post lays out a few options for hand protection while on a boat plying northern waters. Now, on to feet. And I must admit up front that I didn’t quite solve the riddle of keeping feet warm and dry. I knew I wasn’t alone. Take, for example, Mike Johnson. Mike is an explorer who has sailed his, Read More

The breadth of selection is mind-boggling. Take, for example, the types of gloves available to cold-weather commercial fishermen. Even in this market subset, the sheer number of options and materials warrants its own junior college introductory course. Add to this the mountaineering brands, the sailing brands, and trying to find the best piece of kit can appear a, Read More

In a sense, I got lucky. A mere nine shopping days separated my landing the berth on Arctic Tern and my expected arrival in Nuuk. Time was short, investigations rushed. I just happened to be passing through Seattle on the way home from a Vancouver delivery and took that opportunity to visit the world’s largest REI and, Read More

Joining Les and Ali on Arctic Tern for the this year’s Northwest Passage ticked several Figure 8 boxes, one being the testing of high latitude gear for my own solo attempt. In the next several articles I’ll review the gear I carried, what worked and didn’t work, and what I learned, starting with mittens, Read More