Yep it’s windy in the U.P. When camping up here you will find yourself cooking in areas that just might have a stiff breeze blowing off Lake Superior. While most stoves will get the job done…..if the wind is a blowin’ it may take awhile to get dinner prepared. Not with the new MSR WindBoiler! We are so excited to be stocking some of the finest camping gear on the planet- be sure to check out this new stove offering from our friends over at MSR.
The MSR WindBoiler Personal Stove System is a backpacking stove for trips into the backcountry and weekend adventures. The WindBoiler is the perfect companion to the solo hiker, remaining compact and light in your pack and always ready to serve up some boiling water for a meal. Starting with the 1.0L pot, you can pack inside of it the burner, a four ounce IsoPro fuel canister (sold separately), canister stand, and PackTowl, while the extra bowl snaps to the outside. It’s all about speed and efficiency with the enclosed radiant burner, blocking wind from extinguishing the flame. The water boils fast & uses less fuel than competitors, so you can eat before your hiking buddy even gets started. An 8 mile per hour wind? No problem for the Windboiler, it gets the bubbles going in 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Oh what was that? You want to test 12 MPH winds? Too late, MSR already did and this stove heats up and brings to a boil in 2 minutes, 45 seconds. We can already smell the morning coffee brewing!
Sam from our Houghton store was out chasing down steelhead on a beautiful Upper Peninsula spring day! Be sure to stop by our Houghton store and see Sam, Matt or Arni for our latest selection of steelhead rods and reels. New flies are now in stock as well!
When fly fishing in the Upper Peninsula you will find yourself surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful scenery and some world-class fly fishing waters. The U.P. has always had a storied history of fly fishing for native trout on these wild and remote streams. We are so excited to be stocking some of the finest….and certainly the prettiest reels on the market! Down Wind Sports is now an Abel Reel dealer!
Abel Reels operates on a simple mission statement: To design and build the best, most dependable gear in the world and give world class customer service. Proudly made in the USA, these beautiful reels are produced from Aerospace grade aluminum with Certified FAA TSO C149 Aircraft Bearings, and a Cork Drag System made entirely in the Abel factory. Hands down, Abel Reels have developed a reputation for the best-of-the-best in the fly fishing industry.
Choose from a wide selection of vibrant solid color finishes and beautifully hand-painted fish graphic and artistic finishes, including artwork from world-renowned artist Derek DeYoung
Small spring creeks offer tremendous fishing with shorter 3- and 4-weights, and the TR 1 finds a perfect home on the reel seat of one of these rods. Small, but with just enough capacity to hold the right amount of backing behind your fly line. What a killer set up for the trout streams of the U.P.
Most medium-to-large trout rivers demand a 5- or 6-weight rod to make those distance casts to larger fish really count. The TR2 is built for the angler who prefers the bigger water, but likes simple and classic gear.
Opening day is closing in on us- be sure to stop by either and check out our latest gear to get you ready for the season!
We are super excited about the Dome Show this year as we have a fantastic line up of the new 2015 bikes, boats and stand up boards…and the best thing is that we have killer prices on everything! This sale will be our lowest prices of the spring/summer and we guarantee it! Stop by our store now- or at the dome and pick out a new toy to play with this summer!
For the past two weeks we have been inundated with calls on how to safely get to the ice caves of Lake Superior. This “craze” started last year when the Apostle Islands announced that the first time in 5 years the lake ice had formed allowing folks to venture out on Lake Superior to view the ice formations at the park. The CBS Evening news picked up the story and virtually everyone in the Midwest was packing up their cars and heading to the Apostle Islands.
In my humble opinion the ice cave formations at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Island are far “superior” to those over in Wisconsin, and our lake ice forms EVERY year! The great news is there are virtually thousands of caves, pillars, and enormous sheets of ice to explore throughout the Munising area- some within minutes of your vehicle.
It seems the most visited ice formations are those the form along the East Channel of Grand Island, located a short distance across Lake Superior from the Pictured Rocks Sand Point Parking area. Many folks start their journey from this point, across the channel to the caves. We know people prefer this route as it is the closest point to point to get out to the caves. A safer and more reliable route….and the one DWS recommends is to take off from the Grand Island Public access and ski, walk, snowbike, skijour or snowshoe out to the island and skirt the shore to the caves. Yes, this is a much longer route but we feel the one that will keep you and your loved ones from taking a chilly winter dip in Lake Superior. The East Channel is known for its strong currents and unpredictable ice so please check with the Park Service headquarters before venturing out on any Lake Ice.
While exploring during the winter, and to have a more enjoyable ice caves adventure, we recommend bringing appropriate winter boots, ice cleats, trekking poles, a day pack with extra clothing, food, warm drinks, hand warmers, and to leave a note with a responsible person on where you exploring.
Experiencing the beauty of the ice caves can and will take your breath away. 200 foot cliffs sandstone cliffs along Lake Superior seep water to create these beautiful formations that will instantly put you in an arctic landscape. Inside the ice caves awaits a fairyland of needle-like icicles and frost covered walls.
These ice formations have been climbed for decades and more than likely if you go exploring ice formations anywhere at Pictured Rocks or Grand Island there will be a good chance of encountering a climber. I can assure you climbers are a friendly sociable group and will be willing to answer any questions about ice climbing. For your safety please do not walk under or around the ice while climbers are climbing. Ice will fall during the ascent and could easily injure a spectator.
Don’t want to venture out onto Lake superior? Looking for a short walk to see amazing caves or pillars of ice? Consider picking up the Ice Climbers Guide to Munising! This book details where the ice is located (including GPS coordinates) with some of the ice formations minutes from your vehicle.
The books are available at both Down Wind Sports stores, Falling Rock Cafe in Munising, as well as the Pictured Rocks Visitor center. With warmer temperature predicted this week please be careful as the East Channel Ice takes the full brunt of the sun and the ice can deteriorate quickly. If you have any other questions about visiting the ice formations please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 906-226-71122