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A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.

- John James Audubon


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Gear

Jan 26, 2017

Misti: A Jacket for All Seasons

Misti, Mishmi Takin's two-layer soft-shell jacket is the perfect companion for autumn and spring, and has your temperature regulated to the T.

WRITTEN BY

Meesha Holley


Designed
to keep your body regulated in fluctuating temperature conditions, and dry and ventilated when caught out in a sudden downpour, the Misti is a two layer soft-shell jacket by Mishmi Takin, named after the 19,000ft active stratovolcano in Southern Peru.

I am well acquainted with the climates this jacket was designed for, after years of tackling the many faces of the British weather, leaving you in a constant battle applying and removing layers upon layers of clothing. 

Sadly, the initial testing of the jacket was done in the comfort of an air conditioned office, tackling the sweltering 40+ Celsius heat of Delhi summers—a far cry from the climate the designers at Mishmi Takin had intended [don’t worry, this isn’t a review done inside of a concrete building! And yes, you are on the correct website].

Soon the much anticipated cool of autumn arrived, and I was able to take the Misti for a spin to visit my partner in Dharamshala, in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh.

The day is clear and crisp as we depart on our afternoon hike that takes us to a lesser known location away from the more frequented trail to Triund and Dal Lake. The steep incline out of the Main Square up the forested Tushita road and over the top of Dharamkot increased our heart rates and made the chill in the air more pleasant. The warmth carried by the bright intervals of sunshine breaking through the trees gradually becomes more dominating as we reach the opening by Gallu Devi Temple.

Normally at this point I’d be inclined to remove layers, which either results in my backpack becoming bulky, hiding my essentials, or the discontent of having to readjust the jumper wrapped around my waist as I walk on. Instead, I open out the ‘pit zips’ and velcro cuffs to optimise airflow, and soon my temperature is regulated and I’m basking in the convenience of this jacket.

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Sat overlooking the basin of Gullu waterfall. Photo © The Outdoor Journal

For over an hour we trace a trail carved out alongside a protruding water pipe that supplies the surrounding residence with fresh glacier water, before the sights and sounds of the Gallu Devi waterfall reveals itself behind the wall of deodar trees. A woven line descends down mountainside into a deep turquoise basin that lies before us, where perched atop a boulder we find a moment of solitude as we watch the evolving clouds above us.

On our return to Mcleod Ganj, the temperature drops considerably as the night sets in, and the chill in the air shows itself in every exhale. I seal all possible outlets of the jacket, including the tightening the hood’s drawstrings, to retain maximum body heat within the jacket. My tolerance for the cold is very low, and usually I’d be bundled up like the Michelin man in the evenings in Dharamshala, but I was surprised to be comfortable in so few layers. Throughout the day my body temperature stayed well regulated, and as a result my energy levels were noticeably higher than usual.

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‘Pit zips’ enable airflow inside the jacket to prevent you from over heating © The Outdoor Journal

For the last couple of months the Misti has been my go-to, and so far I haven’t found a single flaw. My favourite aspect of the Misti is its ability to adapt to fluctuating weather with and temperatures, whilst staying lightweight. It’s the perfect accomplice for hiking or trail running during autumn and spring.

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The 2L soft-shell Misti comes in two colours purple/peach & teal/lime. Photo © The Outdoor Journal

Technical bits and bobs

  • 2 layer 4-way stretch fabric
  • Water resistant face fabric with Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish
  • 165 gsm fleece lining
  • Passes rain test AATCC 35
  • Face Fabric – 86 % Polyester, 14% Spandex ; Fleece – 100 % Polyester
  • Wind resistant, yet highly breathable
  • Air permeability < 10 CFM
  • Twin zippered, hand-warmer pockets
  • Pit zips for improved venting and temperature control
  • Adjustable attached hood
  • YKK dual color vislon zippers, Velcro cuff adjusters, hem cinch cord.
  • Made in Vietnam

Cost : $150

Buy here

Feature Image: The shell of Misti is coated with Durable Water Repellant that passes the AATCC 35 rain test, and the inner lining is made from 165 gsm fleece. © The Outdoor Journal

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Adventure Travel

Jul 31, 2018

Kayaking’s Elite Return to India at the Malabar River Festival

During the week of July 18th to 22nd, the Malabar River Festival returned to Kerala, India with one of the biggest cash prizes in whitewater kayaking in the world.

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WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

A $20,000 purse attracted some of the world’s best kayakers to the region for an epic week battling it out on some of India’s best whitewater.

The kayaking events at Malabar River Festival were held on the Kuttiyadi River, Chalippuzha River, and the Iruvajippuzha River, in South India on the Malabar Coast. The festival was founded and organized by Manik Taneja and Jacopo Nordera of GoodWave Adventures, the first whitewater kayaking school in South India.

Photo: Akash Sharma

“Look out for these guys in the future because there are some future stars there”

One of the goals of the festival is to promote whitewater kayaking in the state of Kerala and encourage locals to get into the sport. One of the event organizers, Vaijayanthi Bhat, feels that the festival plays a large part in promoting the sport within the community.  “The kayak community is building up through the Malabar Festival. Quite a few people are picking up kayaking… It starts with people watching the event and getting curious.  GoodWave Adventures are teaching the locals.”

Photo: Akash Sharma

Vaijayanthi is not lying when she says the kayak community is starting to build up.  In addition to the pro category, this year’s Malabar Festival hosted an intermediate competition specifically designed for local kayakers. The intermediate competition saw a huge turnout of 22 competitors in the men’s category and 9 competitors in the women’s category. Even the professional kayakers who traveled across the world to compete at the festival were impressed with the talent shown by the local kayakers. Mike Dawson of New Zealand, and the winner of the men’s pro competition had nothing but good things to say about the local kayakers. “I have so much respect for the local kayakers. I was stoked to see huge improvements from these guys since I met them in 2015. It was cool to see them ripping up the rivers and also just trying to hang out and ask as many questions about how to improve their paddling. It was awesome to watch them racing and making it through the rounds. Look out for these guys in the future because there are some future stars there.”

Photo: Akash Sharma

 

“It was awesome because you had such a great field of racers so you had to push it and be on your game without making a mistake”

Vaijayanthi says the festival has future goals of being named a world championship.  In order to do this, they have to attract world class kayakers to the event.  With names like Dane Jackson, Nouria Newman, Nicole Mansfield, Mike Dawson, and Gerd Serrasolses coming out for the pro competition, it already seems like they are doing a good job of working toward that goal! The pro competition was composed of four different kayaking events- boatercross, freestyle, slalom, and a superfinal race down a technical rapid. “The Finals of the extreme racing held on the Malabar Express was the favourite event for me. It was an epic rapid to race down. 90 seconds of continuous whitewater with a decent flow. It was awesome because you had such a great field of racers so you had to push it and be on your game without making a mistake.” says Dawson.

Photo: Akash Sharma

The impressive amount of prize money wasn’t the only thing that lured these big name kayakers to Kerala for the festival. Many of the kayakers have stayed in South India after the event ended to explore the rivers in the region. With numerous unexplored jungle rivers, the possibilities for exploratory kayaking are seemingly endless. Dawson knows the exploratory nature of the region well.  “I’ve been to the Malabar River Fest in 2015. I loved it then, and that’s why I’ve been so keen to come back. Kerala is an amazing region for kayaking. In the rainy season there is so much water, and because the state has tons of mountains close to the sea it means that there’s a lot of exploring and sections that are around. It’s a unique kind of paddling, with the rivers taking you through some really jungly inaccessible terrain. Looking forward to coming back to Kerala and also exploring the other regions of India in the future.”

 

For more information on the festival, visit: http://www.malabarfest.com/

Subscribe here: https://www.outdoorjournal.com/in/subscribe/

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