They get out word

Gear Box

Destination Outdoors

October 20, 2005|By CANDUS THOMSON

The pen is only mightier than the sword if it doesn't rain. Or snow. Or get wicked cold.

In those cases, regular, civilian-issued ink pens run as smoothly as Rosie Ruiz in the Boston Marathon. But two pen makers - one new, the other an old standby - give you writing instruments that will go the distance.

The new kid is Inka, a tiny pen in a stainless-steel housing that you put together to make a grown-up size pen. It works well in extreme conditions and attaches to your key chain, fishing vest or zipper pull. If you have trouble folding a map, the Inka might cause you a few tense moments until you master the drill of converting it from 3 inches to 5 inches. But the little made-in-the-USA pen is a champ. Price: $25 at inkastore.com.

Fisher, maker of the Space Pen, has pens for astronauts, police officers and the military that run from $20 to $40. But if you don't need the heavy hardware, try "The Stowaway," an $8 no-frills pen that scribbles as well as the others. The Stowaway is being sold at all REI stores.

To complete the waterproof picture, use the plastic-covered notebooks of waterproof paper made by "Rite in the Rain," that come in all sizes and prices, lined, unlined and grid pattern. Go to riteintherain.com or call 253-922-5000.

Biking

Wednesday -- Learn basic bike maintenance and troubleshooting skills, 7 p.m., REI College Park, 9801 Rhode Island Ave. Free. Details: 301-982-9681.

Birding

Saturday -- Learn how to attract bluebirds and build nest boxes at a workshop at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, Deer Park Road, 2 p.m. Cost: $2. Call 410-922-3044 to register.

Sunday -- Explore 200-acre West Friendship Park with the Howard County Bird Club, 7:45 a.m. Free. Details: 410-461-3361 or howardbirds.org.

Boating

Monday, Oct. 31, Nov. 7 -- BoatSmart, the four-week US Power Squadron boating course, will be taught by the Patapsco River Power Squadron at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Hanover. Details: Brian Becker, 410-442-1230 or jbbecker@comcast.net.

Fishing

Monday -- Meeting of Perry Hall chapter of Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, 7:30 p.m., American Legion Hall, Silver Lake Drive. Details: 410-256-5641.

Wednesday -- Meeting of Atlantic Coast chapter of Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, 7:30 p.m., Ocean City Marlin Club, Golf Course Road. Details: 410-647-8218.

Wednesday -- Meeting of Northern Bay chapter of Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, 7 p.m., Nauti-Goose Saloon, 200 Cherry St., North East. Details: 410-885-2253.

Hunting

Sunday -- Youth firearms safety and marksmanship program, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., sponsored by Twelfth Precinct. Information: 443-223-5153 or twelfthprecinct.com.

Seminars, shows

Tonight -- John Finnessy of Broken Eagle Adventures will teach a map and compass clinic at REI Timonium, 63 West Aylesbury Rd., 7 p.m. Free. Bring a map and compass. Details: 410-252-5920.

Wednesday -- Learn about kayak touring in the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, bays and marshes, 7 p.m., REI College Park, 9801 Rhode Island Ave. Details: 301-982-9681.

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