The Wetfoot Blog

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gear Review / SISU Ski Fest

Ben Creagh (Outpost Director), Rick Monserud (camper and staff alumni), and I (Wilderness Program Director) skied the SISU Ski Festival marathon this past Saturday. We had 12 Manito-wish staff and family members volunteer on race day to help make the race day a success.


Left to right - Jay Creagh, Ben Creagh, Rick Monserud

According to www.sisuskifest.com, “SISU is a Finnish word for a state of being when the going gets tough. SISU is strength, determination, stamina, stubbornness and courage that is an innate part of everyone but isn’t used all the time.”

SISU sums up a mindset we hope all at Manito-wish have learned through their experience. They can accomplish more than they ever thought they could. SISU aligns with at least three of the character attributes we aim to instill; resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability. During the race, Ben Creagh demonstrated his SISU by skiing 5 km with one pole prior to getting a replacement after breaking a pole.

As a salute to SISU, the state of being when the going gets tough, and the Camp Manito-wish trail experience, this week I will review the Speedy Stitcher.


-Speedy Stitcher at work on the 2009 Expeditionary Backpacking Trip mending gaiters (Far left).

THE ITEM:
The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl manufactured by Stewart Manufacturing. The Speedy Stitcher got its start in 1909. From their website, “The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl is a tool for professionals and do-it yourselfers such as leather crafters, sailors, boaters, horse lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, athletes and coaches, just to mention a few... Customers around the world call it indispensable.” We agree.

WHY I LIKE IT:
It helps us be more self reliant. When a boot blows out, if a tent fly rips, if a squirrel chews a hole in our pack, we don’t get out a phone, we fix it ourselves. The Speedy Stitcher has taught campers and staff alike the art of being resourceful and resilient.

GRIPES:
Despite the simplest directions, it always takes a few swipes before the sewing is effective.
The tan only thread color can be limiting for the fashion conscious repairer.

BEST USES:
Boot, pack and tent repair. Simple repairs for complicated situations.

How has Manito-wish helped to develop your SISU? Email me or comment.

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