Spending time in the outdoors is not just a fun pastime, it’s also a great way to see the beautiful nature and tone up in the process. Whether you like camping, hiking, fishing or hunting, all are great ways to get out into the outdoors. It gives you a good chance for connection to the earth. Our outdoor channel blog was created as a guide for people who love to hunt, fish and camp. If you are looking for some tips or reviews of gear for these activities, you will find many useful guides on our pages. Being prepared with essential information, you can enhance your outdoor experience.
One of the best ways to spend time surrounded by nature is camping. While camping, you can also do hiking, fishing, kayaking, backpacking and so much more. If you have never camped before, you might think that it’s too uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be so. There’re many campgrounds and campsites in the national parks, where you can experience the outdoor life the more “civilized way”. This way you can start slow and gradually test your comfort zone. After some time you might be ready for real camping in the backcountry. These campgrounds can offer tents, water and different other amenities. If you are camping with kids, some camps might also have group activities and classes to keep entertained.
For camping in the backcountry, further in the wilderness, there are also a lot of equipment that can make your adventure more comfortable, fun and most importantly safe. Among the camping gear, there are the essential items and optional items that you might or might not need according to your preference and comfort needs. We are constantly reviewing new gear, like tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and much more.
To make sure that your camping trip goes smoothly with only enjoyable moments, you might want to be prepared with some useful information. First of all, it’s very important for your safety. In the wilderness you should follow certain safety rules, especially in places with wild animals, and you should be prepared to handle emergency situations.
Camping is exceptional experience and also a great chance to bond with your family and friends. Sitting around the campfire and watching the starlit sky at night are unforgettable memories, especially if you share them with special people.
One of the favored hobbies of the outdoor enthusiast is fishing. It can be saltwater, freshwater or ice fishing. For those who practice this sport we have prepared plenty of fishing tips and advice on the techniques and more. So even if you are just starting out in this sport, with us you can learn how to fish with tips on how to tie the knots, and do a proper catch and release.
Just like camping, fishing is a great activity for a person of any age. Anyone can learn to fish. All it takes is just some time and practice. However, before fishing you should check your state fishing regulations, as you might need to purchase first a fishing license.
While finishing is not a dangerous sport, it’s still very important to be prepared with safety precautions for your time on the water. For example, the boat should have one life jacket for each of the passengers. Before setting out into the waters, you should know the area and the depth and current strength. It’s best that you have another person with you in case something goes wrong. Come equipped with proper clothing to protect you from the sun or bad weather. The fishing equipment should also be handled responsibly.
There are many fantastic places in the United States where you can find the perfect locations for fishing. Depending on the area, you can also fish for different species.
For your activities in the outdoors you need to be equipped with appropriate gear. Having all the essentials you will be able to get the most out of your nature experience.
For camping you need certain outdoor gear that will make your stay surrounded by nature both safe and comfortable. There’s equipment that is must have for any camping trip, such as a tent, sleeping bag and other.
For fishing you need a fishing rod as well as other gear required for any fishing practice.
In our category of outdoor gear you can find reviews and tips on how to choose and find the right equipment. From tents, backpacks and many other equipment that you might find useful for your outdoor experience.
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The cold winter season is coming up and if you are a devoted camping enthusiast, you probably wouldn’t want to pause your camping trips till the warm months come. Of course, for winter camping you will need a four season tent, a good sleeping pad that would insulate the cold coming from the ground, and a very warm sleeping bag to keep you warm on those chilly nights. But to really improve your camping experience and if you really don’t like to be cold, you can add a space heater to your camping essentials list.
Since you won’t have a power supply line to connect your heater, instead of the home electrical heater you will need a propane space heater or a portable kerosene heater. If your campground will be offering an electrical line then of course you can also consider an electrical heater. Choosing the best camping space heater, one important thing to keep in mind is safety. If you plan to place the heater in the tent, you need to be sure that your tent has enough space for it and that the walls won’t be too close to each other.
Another important feature for camping heaters it portability. That’s why propane and kerosene heaters are the better option here. To have them powered and running you don’t need any cord connected to it, so you can take it anywhere with you. You can keep it in the tent to warm it up before you go to sleep, or give you heat when you wake up, or take it outside to keep your family warm in the chilly weather as you gather around for dinner or lunch. With a good variety of options available, you can find a model that would suit your preference and needs. You can find more compact or more powerful units.
If you are a backpacker, you obviously wouldn’t include a heater to your gear list as it will add too much additional weight and you want your backpack to be as lightweight as possible. But on the other hand, if you are car camping and driving directly to your campsite, then a camping space heater can be an excellent addition, if not a must have item.
My camping heater of choice and one that I have been using for many years is Mr Heater Big Buddy. Mr Heater brand has a series of tent heaters and this model is one of the biggest among them. The highest setting of the unit offers 18,000 BTUs, which is the power enough to heat up about 400 square feet. I’ve got a big family and so accordingly I also have a big family tent. The high power of this propane heater is perfect to keep the large space inside our tent comfortably warm. The lowest setting of the heater is 4,000 BTUs. I decided to purchase it after reading some nice reviews on www.spaceheatercenter.com
Alternatively, if you have a small tent, you can opt for the standard Buddy model. Its highest setting is equivalent to the lowest of the Big Buddy’s.
For even distribution of the heat and for keeping all the corners of the tent equally warm, the Mr Heater heaters feature a fan blower system. To keep your mind at ease, the units are also equipped with essential safety features.
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Many of us have gotten used to having a blender in the kitchen and it has become one of the most essential tools there. The blenders today keep developing and giving us new options. We are given more blending options and evolving functions. From the many options we can also choose either a basic blender or a battery operated blender. If you are an avid traveler and camper, then a portable battery operated blender can be very handy. With such a blender you can enjoy a nice smoothie or a strawberry daiquiri or some other blend right in the outdoors. This blender you can take anywhere with you, be it camping, tailgating or picnicking.
Among the best battery operated blenders, stands out the Coleman rechargeable portable blender. This unit was designed specifically to fit the needs of campers, mariners, tailgaters and of those who use it at home. It’s lightweight and incorporates a durable and powerful motor. It’s convenient for camping, as it offers many functions for preparing a variety of blenders and its lightweight makes for convenient portability.Full charge takes about 24 hours and this will give enough power to make about 20-30 pitchers of blends. The full pitcher is 48 ounces and you can measure your mixture using the measurement markings on the container.
Another popular battery operated blender is Margaritaville DM-900 Frozen Concoction Maker. It also operates without any cord. You just charge the 18-volt Ni-Cd battery pack and then you can use the charge to blend up to 80 drinks. It’s the perfect choice for those who love frozen drinks. It shaves ice and prepares your favorite drink. You can also create your perfect consistency for your taste by switching the shave only or the blend only controls. The 36 ounces container can prepare up to three drinks in one blend. The pre-programmed settings of the blender also include options for you to choose to prepare either one, two or three drinks in one cycle. You can read more about batter powered blenders on Blender Judge.
Battery powered blenders are obviously not something that you could include into your backpacking gear. But if you are car camping, it can be a great addition to your cooking gear. They are great and extremely convenient for making various blended drinks, but also can be a big help in preparing different foods. Their functions allow more versatility in cooking camping dinners and lunches.If you follow a healthy diet, then a battery powered blender can become a useful tool that would help you stick to it even when away from the city utilities. You can fully charge it and operate the unit on batteries your whole camping trip. With the unit at hand, you can always prepare any healthy smoothie or shake in just a matter of seconds and then enjoy it as you sit with your family around the fire.
The models we have mentioned are the most popular models of this kind of blenders and which are perfectly suitable for taking camping or other outdoor activities. With a battery powered blender you get the convenience of preparing your favorite meals and drinks anywhere you go. They are compact, so you easily through it in the car with your other camping gear and essentials. This type of blenders is also quite affordable, but this doesn’t mean that they are less durable and not as powerful. Coleman and Margaritaville, especially, are designed for heavy use and offer good durability. You can check more blender reviews on www.blenderjudge.com
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If you are an RV owner, then you probably do a lot of travelling throughout different states, regions, or maybe even countries while enjoying the main benefits provided by camping and seeing new places. However, one common problem for most of the RV travellers is water. As you change your place of stay so often, you never know what the quality of the water source at the campsite will be. From my own experience, I can say that in most of the campsites I stayed at, the water was hard. We all know that it’s a common problem in many households across the country and many people have a water softener at home as a solution to the problem. But what if you are always on the road? You can also get treatment for hard water with the help of a portable water softener.
What makes the water hard? The presence in it of calcium and magnesium in high amounts. Hard water can be quite destructive for the RV’s plumbing system and water heater, building up scale and rust. It also leaves film in the shower, faucets and sinks, so you will end up doing a lot of scrubbing if you don’t get treatment to soften the water. Hard water can also affect you, making your skin and hair dry.
If you are an avid camper, a great addition to your camping equipment can be a portable water softener. They are usually available in compact sizes, so you can easily fit it in even the tightest place in your RV. Compared to whole house water softeners, they offer less capacity. For most of the softening systems you don’t even need electricity, you just directly connect it to the water supply.
Some of the water softening models also have water filtering capabilities. So you will have the benefits of not only soft, but also clean water for drinking. For their work you will need salt. Some require special water softener salt, but some you can run just on traditional table salt.
The model we are using is Watts . What we like about it is its compact size. It did take up some space, but still in our RV it fit perfectly. Its other benefit is the use of standard salt, so we don’t have huge bags of salt stored specifically for the water softening. But most importantly, what we like most about this water softener, is its effectiveness and the result we get with the water. After installing it, we saw considerable change in the water. After washing dishes, I don’t see anymore any film building up on the dishes or sink. My skin doesn’t feel dry anymore and the soap lathers better and it’s easier to wash it off. You can have more information at water softener center.
Water is very important for our lives, so it’s also important that the water we consume and use is of good quality. Otherwise, it can do us more harm than good. But when you are spending a lot of time on the road, it might seem difficult. However, with portable water softeners it’s made very easy to have soft healthy water anywhere you are. When you are staying at a campsite, and using the water from the campsite source for showering, washing dishes and other, you will always have softened water.
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Tents are available in all shapes and sizes. In all the stores and catalogs you will find a wide variety of options. But the right one for you might not work for someone else. So choosing the perfect tent for your family, you should first check its certain features and consider several factors.
The most important feature of the tent is its size. You can find tents sized as two man, one man, four man and so on. However, it’s always better to choose a tent that is sized for at least one person more, better two, than you plan to fit in. The size rating of the tents means only the number of people you can cram into it without also offering any extra space that could be used for gear for example. So there’ll be four of you, it’s best to have a four man tent. A four man tent might fit comfortably four people only if there are two adults and two very small kids. Each person should have at least 30 square feet of floor space.
If you are camping with your kids and camping by car, you can choose a bigger tent, since you won’t have the issue of carrying the heavy load. There are many space tents that will give not just enough space for comfortable sleep, but also enough extra space to store your gear, for the kids to play and to stand up in full height.
There are various standard tent shapes, such as dome, A-frame and others. The most common shape is probably the dome shape. It’s constructed using two or more poles that are intersected and form a round or square form. They usually offer quite good space inside, offer great strength and are not that heavy. They also offer good overhead room, so in some of them you can comfortably stand up.
The A-frame tents feature a two-legged frame at the outer ends, so the interior has triangular space. It provides good headroom, but the poles are quite heavy, which is required for rigidity. This shape is becoming less popular.
Most of the tents you will find now are made of nylon. It’s a strong material that well withstands the weather. The waterproofing feature is provided by the coated nylon. Check that the tent has good ventilation, for which it should have windows made of nylon mesh. The floor of the tent should be made of stronger and rip-stop fabric.
Different weather conditions will have different demands on the tent. Strong winds will require the tent to have sturdy poles and strong fabric. Rainy weather requires good waterproofing. So get a tent that has a rain fly and it will protect you from both rain and sun. The floor should also be made of coated nylon and keep the tent dry inside.
If you will be camping in cold weathers with snow, then a better option would be a mountaineering tent or a three-season tent. For cool weather you can also consider a smaller tent, as your body heat will keep it warmer inside than with a bigger tent. However, you might consider using a tent heater. In this case a bigger tent would be more suitable, as in a small tent having it will not be as safe due to the closeness of the walls.
For the strength and protection of the tent, it should also be reinforced with nylon tape. The stitched tape into each seam makes it stronger and extra weatherproof. For it to be also waterproof, the seams should also be sealed.
Mostly you will find that all the poles of the tents are made from fiberglass or aluminum. Also, usually the poles are linked with an elastic shock cord, which makes it easy for setting them up together for putting up the tent.
One more thing to consider is your budget. For a higher price you can find a stronger tent that is made of thicker fabric, stronger poles and is more protected for different weathers. It will be able to better withstand heavy rain and strong winds. Generally they will last longer and will be in your use for many years.
However, if you are just starting out, you might want to start with a less expensive tent. Most likely your first trip will be during a warm season and with some “civilization” close by. After you gain some experience of the outdoors, you can upgrade to a more advanced and a more expensive tent.
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Your fishing technique should vary depending on the particular species of fish that you are targeting. So for one group of species there are a few fishing methods preferred, which can also vary by season. However, you might that one particular technique is working best for you. So you can try several and find the one that gives bites. You can also the local fishing reports before you go out into the waters and get some insight on what is working best at that place and time.
Different fishes have their own behavior and your goal is to find the right technique for that behavior. For example, some fish feed on the bottom of the waters, while others only in shallow waters. Also, consider what the fish prefers, can be other fish, insects or just anything on the bottom. The next thing to consider is whether to use natural bite or artificial lure. For certain species one or the other can be better, while for others it doesn’t matter. But if you don’t have particular species to target, your best bet would be to use live bait.
Fishing technique names are usually based on the action of the bait or lire. Below you can get more insight on the techniques that can be used both in salt and freshwater.
Techniques For Live Bait
Live Lining and Trolling
This method is commonly used by new anglers that are just learning to fish. To perform this technique you need to drop the bait into the water and allow it to freely swim at the end of your line. If you are fishing from a boat, you can drop the bait and then pull or troll it behind the boat. To keep the bait down you can hook a weight on the line.
Drifting a Bait
This method is done from a slowly moving boat. You put a weight on your line and drop it into the water, leaving it to drift near the bottom. With the slow motion of the boat, it will also slowly pull the bait. Another option is to drift the bait under a popping cork or bobber.
Some fish are mostly found on the bottom, so to catch it you will need to have the bait down there as well. You will need to use a sinker or a weight on the line. Rig it bellow the hook to hold the bait down at the bottom. Try a 3-way rig, but if the current is strong you might need a heavier one. After dropping the bait, let it float along the boat and wait for it to get a bite. From time to time check that the hook still has the bait.
This method is also sometimes called chunking. It’s an additional method to other fishing techniques. It works by dropping into the water chum made of ground up bait. This creates a scent trail for the fish to follow to your baits. As chum you can either use creamed corn, ground fish, cat food or anything else that creates a fish-like scent.
Techniques for Artificial Lures
Cast and Retrieve
Cast and retrieve involves motions of tossing the lure out and then reeling it back. As for lure, you can choose whatever you like, be it swimbait, spinner or a crankbait. For this method you need to toss out the lure to your target and let it fall to the desired depth. Then reel the fish in, mimicking a swimming fish, for which you can also use varying speeds. After completion, wait for a couple of seconds and then cast the lure again.
Top Water Fishing
For this method you will need to use a floating lure with a variation of cast and retrieve. You cast the lure to get it to your desired location, then you reel it in to mimic a fish’s meal. You can choose different lures, such as poppers with a concave face to make a big splash when jerking the lure on the surface, or it can a lure that has a head shaking back and forth imitating a dying baitfish on the surface.
Jigging technique requires a lot of action. You cast or drop down the lure, wait till the spoon hits the bottom and then quickly pop your rod tip up a little. Drop the lure down again and reel down a bit in order to keep the light tight. Keep repeating. This method creates an imitation of an injured baitfish for the targeted fish to bite.
Trolling with Lures
Trolling with Lures is a good method while boating. You drag the lure a good way behind a slowly moving boat. The boat’s motion imparts the lure’s action. Depending on the lure you are using, the length of the let out line and type of the line, the speed of the trolling will vary.
This technique is also done from a drifting boat. Use a jig or bait to drag it along the bottom. As you drag, the lure bounces along the bottom and creates small clouds of mud and sand.
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If you are new to camping, there are some things that you need to familiarize yourself with. To make your camping trip safe and enjoyable, you should learn more about the gear that you will need. You can go with a seasoned camper and learn everything from him. But if that isn’t your option, then below you can find some useful tips.
What is the most important gear? First of all, you will need shelter and other gear for comfortable sleep, such as sleeping bags and pads. Other essentials include water, food, cooking utensils and safety gear, such as first-aid-kit, mosquito repellent and other. If you are backpacking, you will need a backpack. For car campers, there’s more possibility of taking a bigger load of gear that could provide more comfort during your camping. For example, you can take a bigger tent with an air mattress for more comfortable nights, a cooler for keeping the food, table and chairs, lantern and other equipment that would not be suitable for a backpacker.
Choosing a tent, make sure that you pick an appropriate one for the type of camping you will be doing. If it’s car camping, then you can choose of the size you want. For a backpacker, the weight of the tent would be one of the most important factors when choosing. Think of how many people you need to accommodate in one tent and find one that will have the appropriate size. The other factor to consider is the weather. Tents are designed for different seasons. So you can find a lightweight summer tent or a 4 season more protected tent that you can use in winter and for mountaineering. The tent protects you against bad weather and unfriendly outdoor pests.
To keep you comfortable during the night in the outdoors, you will also need some type of bedding. Again, depending on the type of camping, the bedding can also differ. Going to your campsite by car, you have more options to make the sleep more comfortable. For instance, while camping you will need something to cushion you from the hard ground and going by car you can take an air mattress, but backpacking you can only take a sleeping pad. However, there are many sleeping pads that will also provide sufficient cushioning and insulation. Some of the good options among sleeping pads are the inflatable models. Whenever you are setting up your bedding, you can have it ready in seconds.
It’s also important to include in your camping gear a good sleeping bag. It should be warm enough for the weather you’ll be camping out in. If backpacking, just like with the rest of the gear, look for the sleeping bag the weight of which you would feel comfortable carrying.
Next thing on the list should be a pack to carry all your gear. For a backpacker, the lighter the bag the better. It should also be roomy enough to fit all your essentials. So depending on if it’s just a weekend trip or a week trip, you might need a bigger or smaller pack. Choosing the bag, check its features. Make sure that is has a quality built design that’s made of durable materials to withstand heavy use.
Additionally, to the four items mentioned above, you will need food and water, as well some utensils to cook in. Also, bring appropriate clothing, a GPS to keep you on the track, chairs and table, fire starter, and other gear that you think is necessary.
Preparing your gear for camping trip, make a checklist. This way you will make sure that no items are forgotten. You can make the list once and use it later every time you go camping.
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