Dear John

Q&A with the gear guru.  

Now that Johnny Bozeman is back in town for good, he’ll be chiming in every issue with insightful responses to your outdoor gear- and apparel-related questions. Here’s a sample.

Q. Dear John, I’m new to whitewater kayaking and have plans to run House Rock this spring. What boat do I need?
A. A rescue boat, my friend—‘cause you ain’t gonna make it. In the spring, House Rock goes huge, and with the season’s snowfall over 100% of normal, runoff will be stout. Do yourself a favor and head to Nu2u. Buy whatever they’ve got and practice in the pool till you can roll over like Fido showing off for a treat. Then, join a friend who knows what she’s doing sometime in July. That way when you swim, at least you’ll dry out fast. 

Q. Johnny Boy, what’s happening? I’m trying to decide between Moab and Fruita for my spring mountain-bike road-trip, but my Sprinter’s in the shop and might not be out in time. What are some camping alternatives if I’m unwilling to miss out on some fun in the sun?
A. Heard of a tent? That way you’ll actually be camping. I know sleeping in a tent is the least cool way to camp these days, but it’s technology that’s worked a long time, my friend, in the sun and in the rain. 

Q. Jonathan, I need help. I’ll be running the Rut come September and haven’t the slightest idea which trail-running hat to buy. Patagonia makes a nice vintage-looking one, but maybe I should stick with a running-specific brand like Brooks. Help!
A. Fancy friend, there’s no such thing as a trail-running hat. The machine has you and it’s never letting go. I’d say there’s hope, but I’d be wrong. Get the Patagonia. At least it looks cool…