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Winner! ‘Knives and a Kayak’ contest

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Last week, continuing in the sprit of the season, we announced a Christmastime grand finale of sorts for our SPOT the Holiday’ promotion. Indeed, an Old Town Kayak and six Gerber knives were offered up for grabs for anyone willing to follow the simple contest instructions here. A few hundred readers did just that, and seven of them this week will now walk away with a prize.

The main objective for contest aspirants was the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Camden 120, 12-foot craft made to cut lakes and rivers with a smooth-planing hull for speed and a “dashboard” area with a fishing rod mount, a hatch, and a rubberized storage system with a cup holder for comfort. We got hundreds of pleads and requests for the $899.99 boat, but one reader’s note stood out.

Craig Strawser and his prize, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks’ Camden 120

Craig Strawser of Williamsburg, Va., is a Navy officer and a veteran of military initiatives in Afghanistan and Iraq. His answer to our contest question — Why do you NEED the Old Town Camden 120 kayak this winter? — was simple and definitely worthy. “Since returning from Afghanistan in May, I’ve focused on fishing as a way to help keep my mind where it needed to be,” he wrote. “I’d also like to share my kayak with guys participating in the ‘Heroes on the Water’ program, [which was] developed to help soldiers returning with PTSD, amputations, and other war-related problems.”

Images from ‘Heroes on the Water’ program

The organization’s tagline is “Paddle. Fish. Heal.” Strawser had plans to get heavily involved with “Heroes on the Water”, but he needed a kayak. He says the Old Town Camden 120 kayak will give him a way to immediately get onboard. Congrats Craig!

For the Runners Ups in this week’s contest, we took it a bit lighter. Six readers who sent in humorous or interesting (or poetic) reasons for wanting our second-place prizes, Gerber’s Mini-Remix, will be awarded this sweet minimalist blade. Congrats to readers Joe Hawk, Darryn Kozak, Alexandra Hanson, Scott Rosales, Donald Dehm, and Roy Viikeri. Each of these readers had a witty or interesting worthy reason for wanting the Gerber Mini-Remix.

Gerber Mini-Remix

Be sure to follow GearJunkie’s Facebook page and Twitter for more SPOT the Holiday’ promotions this week. Contests continue through New Year’s Day 2011. For now, we’ll leave you with a poem. This one comes from Roy Viikeri, a reader who really wanted the kayak, but seems by this short poem that he’ll be happy enough with the Gerber blade instead.

There will be skulking ahead
If I don’t have an Old Town
Under my bed
I might have to whittle
With a Gerber instead

Thanks to all who participated. Monitor the Gear Junkie Daily Dose blog for details on a new contest this week!

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