Over the past few years I’ve noticed that getting ‘off the grid’ has become more and more popular among my friends and their families who live in the city. There’s a draw to going so far out into the wilderness that there’s no longer LTE reception – and certainly no Wi-Fi hotspots – so we’re forced to pay attention to the task at hand and enjoy each other’s company. Bringing this feeling of being off the grid – while still being close to or in the city – is something I’ve been trying to excel at, and one activity I’ve found that brings me there is flying kites!
When you’re in the Kite Zone (I just made that up), there’s nothing else. You have a mission to unravel a bunch of twine, wait for the wind to pick up, then spend a couple of minutes running, trying to launch the thing then keep it up in the air. Everything fades away, and that’s just when it doesn’t work out and the kite ends up landing prematurely. Catch a good drift and you could find your mind up there in the air for a half an hour, watching the clouds go by. I wouldn’t say it’s a stretch to call it meditative and exciting at the same time.
It’s cheap, too. Mother Nature supplies you with the wind, and you bring supplies: Some chairs, sunscreen, a cooler with veggies and drinks, and, of course, a kite or two. They’re surprisingly inexpensive; the ones available from Canadian Tire range from $2.99 to $17.99.
During an afternoon of flying high, it’s always important to take the time to cool off and relax. Keep the drinks and healthy snacks cold and ready for the taking in the Coleman Sport High Performance Soft Cooler (36-Can). This soft-sided cooler keeps with our theme of keeping your Kite Zone staycation simple, as it keeps drinks cold for 24 hours. While the kids are refuelling, it’s time for the adults sit back and relax in a Coleman Extra-Large Quad Chair. The extra seating allowed my wife to have prime seats to cheer us and our kites on.
Kites tend to be a forgotten source of joy for folks, but I’d like to encourage you to find some wind and rediscover the awesomeness of flying them. Here are some tips to get you started!
- Find the wind! Easier said than done, but some of the best places are near bodies of water where the air is a different temperature than the liquid and gusts come off. The ocean is fantastic, lakes are great, and even rivers and creeks will do.
- If you’re running and running trying to get the kit airborne, find a new spot. You’ll likely have to run a bit to get it up in the air, but if you’re having to sprint around to keep the kite up, there’s not enough wind to support the endeavor. See 1, above!
- Steer clear of areas near power lines. This one should go without saying, but if you get caught up in wires, not only will you lose your wonderful flying machine but you also risk electrocution. Also, never fly during a thunderstorm for the same reason. The lightning will be attracted to your kite!