Ordinarily, most of us returning from a day of snowshoeing simply put the rackets in the garage or mud room to dry. However, for those of us living in a condo or an apartment, we have to be more creative with tending to all of our gear. In addition, we must grin and bear the consequences. For instance, our significant others may give us a look of “What’s this?” when they come across a tent set-up randomly in the living room. What are we supposed to do? It has to air out somewhere!
In humid Peaklessburg, we do not usually run into issues with ice and snow. But this past winter we did. It was the snowiest season for the region on record. It snowed more here than in Buffalo! That meant snowshoeing routes were accessible right outside my door for several weeks.
Which brings us to a unique conundrum: Where do we lay out gear to dry and clean filthy equipment? Back to my original example, where do you set the ice-and-snow-flecked Tubbs? We do not have a garage. We do not have a mud room. Some of us in condos and apartments may have a porch that we could use but during this snowy season (others call a snow storm) we could not even open the door (because of the snow). In the end, the bath tub worked. The snow pants were hung like a towel over the shower curtain rod.
For paddlers, the problem may have been the greatest of all, until recently. Where do we store your canoes and kayaks? Unless we were willing to have our boats serve double duty by laying Plexiglas over them and serving chips, there were next-to-no solutions for storage within the unit. However, one company solved the problem by finding a way of putting a quality, recreational kayak in a corner of our closets; Advanced Elements has developed a hybrid foldable kayak that is also inflatable that has received tremendous reviews. After paddling, simply dry with a towel, deflate and fold it back into its bag about the size of medium piece of luggage.
Living in a condo or apartment full-time, unlike those of us that have condos at the ski resorts for a week here and there, highlights limitations of the living space juxtaposed on our preferred lifestyle. Our boats, ice axes, frame packs and tents deserve a garage or shed and occasionally a plot of grass that is ours to spread out and allow the open air and sun to do its work. But since we are making the compromise of living in the city or suburbia to advance our careers, our hobby of the outdoors sports has to be flexible… like the kayak.