All posts by Mike Mueller

The Best 2-Person Tandem Kayaks for You and a Friend or Your Dog

If you’re thinking about taking up kayaking as a new hobby, you might be wondering where to begin your search for the right kayak for you.  Not surprisingly, there are quite a few different models available at various price levels.  Understanding the difference between the different types of kayaks should be your first step as you embark on this journey.

As a rule, wider kayaks are the most stable, making them an ideal choice for beginners since more stable kayaks are less likely to capsize.  As with so many endeavors, kayaking does have a bit of a learning curve.  A kayak that is more likely to stay upright is more likely to let you build your confidence more quickly.  Wider kayaks are generally not ideal for fast moving water or rapids, but those conditions aren’t the best training grounds for new kayakers, either.  The most stable beginner models are usually the least expensive, which is great for beginners who aren’t even sure they’ll want to stick with kayaking long term.  Also, beginners are more likely to bump into a few things while they’re learning, so opting for a lower-end model can make a few dents and dings seem a little less disastrous.  All of the kayak types described below are available in sit-on or sit-in and one- or two-person models.  Sit-in models typically offer a little more protection from wind and cold and are also usually a little less likely to land new users in the water as they get their sea legs.  If you’re more interested in solo trips, visit kayaking tips for more details about finding the best single-person model to meet your needs.

Recreational kayaks are among the most stable models available.  They’re great for beginners and those who plan on sticking to calmer lakes and slower moving waterways.  They’re rated for calmer waters because they are less maneuverable than more advanced models.

Man and dog


Touring models offer better performance than recreational kayaks, but aren’t quite as stable.  They are ideal for faster moving water and handle long distances better than recreational versions.

Whitewater kayaks, as you might guess from the name, are designed for kayaking rapids.  They’re the sleekest and most maneuverable, highest-performance models, but are also the least stable.  Like fast-moving rapids, these kayaks are not a great choice for beginners.

Fishing models are built to accommodate fishing gear and your day’s catch.  They tend to be very stable to accommodate sitting, standing, casting, and reeling in your fish.  Check out for comparisons and pros and cons of some top-rated models designed for kayakers looking for a different type of fishing boat.

There are inflatable kayaks in all of the varieties listed above.  They can be an ideal choice for those whose storage space at home is limited or those who want to bring their kayak on camping trips, but don’t want to lug a rigid kayak long distances.  In the past, inflatable models were poorly built and often weren’t of much better quality than inflatable pool toys.  Recently, though, better materials have been developed that make quality inflatable models much sturdier and much more reliable than in the past.  There are even inflatable models that are capable of handling the toughest conditions a kayaker will face.  For times when you might prefer a slightly more rigid kayak, you can find models that offer (as a separate purchase) a skeleton of sorts to provide additional, but not essential, framework.

Advanced Elements lagoon 2

Kayaking can be a great way to get some exercise in the great outdoors.  Understanding the different types of models you’ll encounter when you begin shopping can help you narrow the field to choices that will meet your needs and could keep you from spending more than you need to for a model that’s more than you’re prepared to handle.  After all, nobody needs a(nother) new hobby that ends up taking up space and collecting dust!

If you’re looking for the best sea kayak for open water, this site compares a few models, giving you pros and cons of each, in addition to more tips on choosing the right model for you.

Awesome Activities to do with Your Dog

Dogs are great companions and seem to love spending time with us as much as we love spending time with them.  Below, we’ll take a look at a few activities dogs can enjoy as much as their owners do.

If your dog seems to be a quick learner and likes running around and through things, consider agility training.  On agility courses, handlers guide their dogs (off leash) through a series of obstacles that could include tunnels, hurdles, stairs, etc.  Such courses are great exercise for your dog and help him learn how to stay focused and on-task.  Some dog parks feature agility courses for fun, and there also competition agility trials.

For a different take on agility courses, you might want to look into flyball.  This 4-dog relay team sport requires dogs to jump over a series of hurdles, catch a launched tennis ball, and race back over the hurdles.  Of course, frisbee is also a great choice for dogs that love running and jumping and can be great exercise for both of you.

Another physical activity that involves both you and your canine companion is dancing.  Yes, dancing.  Dogs and their handlers work together to entertain folks with choreographed moves set to music.

If you’ve got a dog that’s in great physical condition, consider taking him backpacking.  Dogs love hiking at least as much as people do, but make sure that your dog stays on leash or is obedient enough not to run off and get you both lost.  You also would be wise to understand basic first aid for both of you in case of injury.  And don’t forget to bring a water bowl for your pal and enough water for both of you.  If you plan to backpack or hike through a state or federal park, make sure you research any rules concerning pets in the park.

Is your dog the social sort who seems to bring to joy to all he meets?  If so, you might want to look into an animal-assisted activities (AAA) program or group.  Many hospitals and nursing homes recognize the positive impact pets can have on patients’ moods and welcome canine visitors to their facilities.  You don’t necessarily need to belong to a specific group, just be sure you know what, if any, certifications local facilities might require of dogs and/or their handlers.  Such work can give your dog a chance to meet new people and give you both a chance to aid in the recovery of various types of patients.  This is a great activity for older or lower-energy dogs.

Some dogs are well suited to work on search and rescue teams.  Most cities have programs that can evaluate your dog and provide training.  Imagine how rewarding it could be to know that your best furry friend might be called upon to help search and rescue efforts in response to a missing person case or some disaster.

Dog Running

Being a dog owner can be incredibly rewarding for man and beast alike.  Taking your relationship with your dog beyond daily walks and a head in your lap can make it even better!

If you’re in the market for a new dog, please consider adopting one from a local shelter.  Not only can you save the life of one of these wonderful creatures, but many shelter dogs are already housebroken and reasonably well socialized, making the process of integrating them into the family that much easier.