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The deadline for submitting your solution to the MakeShift challenge from MAKE Volume 19 is fast approaching. Napping in an ocean kayak is generally never a good idea, but what would you do if you stuck in this predicament? Work your brain, get creative, and win stuff! Here’s the MakeShift in its entirety:

The Scenario: You’re an experienced and avid open-ocean kayaker, setting off early from your favorite coastal launch point for a restorative and invigorating day on the water. You’ve checked with the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service, and both have predicted sunny weather, slight clouds, and virtually no wind. So, after donning some sunblock and checking your gear and supplies, you’re off.

The launching goes OK, but you take on a little water fighting the breakers. When you finally clear them, you paddle steadily until you’re about 1 mile offshore, which you confirm with your GPS. Venturing out a little farther, you paddle parallel to the shore for a few hours. Then, adjusting your life vest and seat cushion to make yourself more comfortable, you stop to relax and enjoy the scenery, but between the warm sunshine, the gentle roll of the ocean, and the hypnotically reflective water, you nod off.

The Challenge: When you wake several hours later, the ocean is choppy and a strong, southerly wind has picked up, which has pushed you at least 3 miles from shore and continues to grow in strength. You dig for your cellphone just in case you need to call for help, only to discover that the saltwater you took on earlier has rendered it useless. You paddle hard for shore, but even after a relentless hour, the winds and currents seem to erase all your progress and the tall beachfront hotels are becoming mere dots on the horizon. You realize more paddling might be fruitless and only exhaust you completely. So what do you do now?

What You’ve Got: Two gallons of fresh drinking water and a basic survival kit with a compass, a lightweight 6×7-foot survival blanket (silvered on one side and dark on the other, in a pouch), heavy-duty nylon tape, and a coil of thin but strong nylon rope. You’ve also got a Swiss Army knife (or similar tool), some marine binoculars, a GPS unit, your waterlogged cellphone, some basic medical supplies in their own self-contained marine emergency medical kit, and an extra paddle. You also have a lightweight, waterproof windbreaker and some foul-weather gear stashed in the small but useful front storage compartment.

To Enter: Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to makeshift@makezine.com by Nov. 20, 2009. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible and most creative solutions will each win a MAKE T-shirt and a MAKE Pocket Ref. Think positive and include your shirt size and contact information with your solution. Good luck! For readers’ solutions to previous MakeShift challenges, visit makezine.com/makeshift.

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.


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Comments

  1. Shadyman says:

    But why didn’t you stash your cellphone in the small-but-useful front storage compartment?

  2. x says:

    Just use the nylon rope and survival blanket to make a parasail, then take advantage of the curved hull of the kayak to tack your way back in to shore.