Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Celebrating the Arrival of Equipment

Out with the old, and in with the shiny rafts, brilliant yellow z-rests, and stain-free backpacks.

We thought we would involve you in our celebration, seeing as though the process in acquiring new equipment is far from easy, as we are located out in the rainforests of Costa Rica.

What takes so long?

It is a combination of needing good, quality USA items and deciding which items will be best suitable for the land and rivers we explore with students. It’s not as convenient as one would expect this day and age.

To choose a raft, for example, we had to consider:
• Group Size: Obviously, a bigger group requires a bigger raft.
• River Width: Think about manueverability you want from the raft.
• River Needs: Consider rough vs. calm water, windy vs. straight rivers, many vs. few rocks.
• Shape: Oval for turning easier? Square back for stability in rough water? Pointed nose for maintaining a straight direction? An oar boat for heavy gear?

To acquire the rafts, we had to:
1. Research brand quality of rafts to choose a distributor.
2. Find a way to ship 300 pounds of rafts from USA to Costa Rica.
3. Separate two rafts into six large, 50-pound boxes.
4. Ship boxes to Outward Bound USA students.
5. Check all huge boxes with luggage.
6. Pick up the boxes at the airport.
7. Reassemble six parts into two 14-foot elliptical rafts.

The end result? Two USA-made, 14-foot rafts of elliptical shape and with pointed noses.
Jim Rowe, our Executive Director, proudly explained, “These rafts are narrower which makes it easier to maneuver in Costa Rica’s technical waters.”

Celebrate good times... C’mon.

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