Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Choosing a Log Splitter: Gas Powered or Electric?


The most trustworthy tool for splitting your logs into firewood size chunks is of course an axe. It’s simple and easy to use. It has no moving parts so there’s not a lot to break. And, if you do break a handle, on most models it’s replaceable.

Axes have two major drawbacks however.

The first is that they are slow. You are very limited with how much wood you can split when using an axe. Even if you work quickly, you will eventually run out of steam.

The second is that as you age, you might not be as strong as you once were. Swinging an axe might even become too much of a physical burden. 

And, if you injure yourself, forget about it. You just won’t be able to effectively split wood using an axe.

Luckily, we live in the time of engineering. We don’t need to rely on simple tools and can instead use a much more efficient approach: log splitters.

The Case for Going Gas-Powered


There are two major types of powered log splitters -- gas-powered and electric. And, they both have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks.

Gas-powered splitters are for serious business. They are designed to churn through more logs in a day than you could probably handle with an axe in a week.

Most gas-powered splitters have a much higher ceiling for the amount of work you can get done than their electric splitter counterparts.  So, if your only consideration is doing as much work as possible in a certain period time, going with a gas-powered option is a no brainer.

They do have some negatives though depending on your situation.

The major setback on gas-powered splitters is that emit lots of fumes. If you are working inside a garage or barn, or somewhere without a lot of decent ventilation, you are not going to want to use one.

Also, they tend to be very heavy and expensive. So, they are not for casual work.

You should only really considering use this type of splitter if you know you are going to get your money’s worth and you have a way to lug it around.


The Case for Going Electric


If a gas-powered splitter is a little too much for your needs, then you should consider all that electric splitters have to offer.

They are much more efficient than trying to work with an axe. You’ll work faster and you don’t need to be in prime physical shape to get your work done.

They tend to be lighter than their gas-powered counterparts, and you can use them indoors since they don’t have any kind of exhaust.

In most cases they are not quite as powerful as gas-powered models, but they will be able to handle most of the work that anyone could throw at one for personal use.

Conclusion


When it’s time to put down the axe and look for a more efficient wood splitting solution, you have a couple of choices to make. Do you want to go gas-powered or electric?


For most people an electric splitter will be enough. But, if you have more serious jobs, you might want to splurge and go with a more powerful gas-powered option.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hiking Boots vs Work Boots

Editors Note: Continuing with a long series of guest posts, here is one on boots!

For individuals who appreciate hiking, a standout amongst the most critical bits of hardware is their hiking boots. They are intended for the express reason that is hiking. Work boots are developed for a specific user and it is used mainly for different kinds of occupation such as construction, chemical plant, engineering, etc.

Although both work boots and hiking boots look similar but It’s very ideal to know the features that set a hiking boot apart from the shoes that you wear while working. Below are the key differences in hiking and work boots.

Safety


Work boots are usually accompanied with a steel toe or composite toe for an ultimate protection from falling objects. It is one of the most popular and trusted forms of safety foot wears. Also, some work boots are designed to be slip resistant because working with oil surfaces or wet and slippery outdoors can be dangerous.

There are a variety of steel toe work boots and choosing the best one that suits you requires some research and experience. An ideal work boot can keep you safe and make you feel more comfortable on your job.

Whereas in hiking you are dealing more with a rocky environment than a construction or chemical site where something heavy can fall on your feet. That’s why safety is not one of the key features of hiking boots.

Weight


Weight is the most important distinction in work boots vs hiking boots. There are increased hazards in working in a construction site that is why adding a significant weight in the work boots is sometimes a requirement.

However, hiking on a trail has a lot of dangers such as trips and abrasion that is why a lighter material for hiking boots is usually used. A lightweight hiking boot can in any case offer a lot of help and be a ton less demanding on the feet over less rough trails

Flexibility


Hiking boots have some degree of flexibility because these boots are developed to endure long distances. It is also engineered in that way to adapt to uneven ground. Also, lug soles are usually associated with hiking boots in order to increase stability and traction. On the other hand, work boots have a rubber outsole that can provide slip-resistance, but not as much as hiking boots can offer.


Comfort and safety are the most important features that you need to look for when choosing shoes. Whether it is for hiking or for your work, choosing a foot wear should ensure comfort when using while reducing foot fatigue. Besides fashion, you should also consider the function that these shoes can bring to you. Keeping your feet in good shape should be a top priority when finding the right shoes for you. Investing in good safety shoes can be really worth an investment because these shoes can bring a great impact on how you work in your workplace.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Choosing the Correct Flashlight Beam

Editors Note: Here is a great guest post on flash light beams, a much overlooked aspect of flashlights.

What's the Better Hiking and Camping Flashlight Beam: Spot or Flood? Picture this, you're preparing to go on a hiking trip with your kids and packing your gear. You've got your tent, sleeping bag, cooking utensils and have space for just one flashlight. What do you choose, a flood beam flashlight which is ideal for shorter distances, or a spot beam which is good for longer distances? Tom Williams with Flashlightlab.com recently found out. In my experience, choosing the right type of flashlight beam pattern can be the difference between a great hiking experience and a nightmare. But one is not always better than the other. The better choice actually depends on a few factors which I have detailed below.

Geography and Topography

If you live in the Northeast you are likely to spend time camping in the woods, but if you live in the Southwest you are more likely to spend a day or night in the desert. Each of these topographies has different elements which make the need for the proper flashlight beam critical. Areas that are heavily wooded like the Appalachian Mountains, Canada, and Maine are best navigated with a flood beam flashlight. Due to the number of obstacles (like trees and hills) in front of the flashlight user, a spot beam flashlight would be prevented from effectively viewing items in the distance. In wooded areas you really only need about 20-30 yards of light output to cover the visible foreground between trees. Areas with less elevation changes or obstacles like the desert are best navigated with a spot beam light. The lack of obstacles around the camper means you need more time to see potential hazards in the distance. A spot beam flashlight will give you about 75-125 yards of distance which is enough for most terrains.

Size

There is normally a connection between the size and weight of a flashlight, and the light pattern output. Generally, flood beam flashlights are larger in size but not always in weight. To create a wide flood beam pattern, you need a large reflector and lens to scatter the light over the most ground as possible which means larger flashlight designs. Conversely, a spot beam pattern needs a smaller reflector with steep angles to keep the light output tight. This means spot flashlights are usually smaller in overall size, both lenght and diameter.

Weight

Weight also has a similar connection to the beam pattern. Generally, spot beam flashlights require more battery power to cover longer distances. More batteries means more weight. Flood flashlights while larger, tend to require fewer or smaller batteries which means lower weight.

Flood vs Spot Decision Guide

If you are still unsure which flashlight beam is better for your trip, use this simple guide.

Hills/Mountains/Trees
- Use a Flood Beam to get more ground coverage. If size and weight are of concern, use a combination beam which lowers size and weight but lowers ground coverage.

Flat/Plateaus/Clear
- Use a Spot Beam to get greater distance. As you can see, choosing the right flashlight style for your hiking or camping trip is not as simple as just filling a spot in your pack. You need to be aware of the topography, terrain, and geography of the path you are following as well as the space you have to spare and weight you want to carry.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to Choose the best Ghillie Suit

Editors Note: Here is a guest post on ghillie suits! Enjoy!

Before even thinking about buying a simple piece of ghillie suit or camo clothing, you need to know precisely the characteristics of the area where you are planning to hunt, thus besides scouting looking for the best places to set your blinds and decoys as well recognize the best areas to find a good catch, you also need a deep recon of bushes features.

To do that you need to visit the area on the same season and same hours you are planning to go out hunting; once on the bushes, try to figure which is the dominant color, how much green and brown there is and which are the predominant tones; be careful to evaluate shadows with different light intensities since the landscape colors change depending of the hour, then you'll probably need a different camo at dawn and dusk.

Recon is the best way to find out which color and pattern is the best for your camo outfit, afterwards you will be able to choose the best ghillie suit or outfit well on your closet or the store. But remember to think like your prey, that means: don't focus your camouflage only on eyesight sense but on all senses.

Almost all your potential preys have keener senses than yours and they will be able not only to see you but smell, hear and feel your presence much before you are aware of them, thus if your camo is focused on defeat eyesight, you have done less Be smart when choosing your hunting camouflage than half the job!

First thing to do is to wash all your clothes before each hunting trip using neutral odor soaps otherwise you will be announcing your presence since your first step on the bushes. Remember to neutralize as much as possible all man made odors using baking soda and try to be as quiet as possible, so your boots, clothes and coat must be "noise free". Remember not to wash your ghillie suit unless very much needed. The more leaves and grass that sticks to your ghillie suit, the better.

With the above in mind, remember also to be prepared for weather changes. On this regard clothes layering is the best solution since you may add or remove clothes layer depending of local climate conditions, however remember to add camo to every single clothing layer, otherwise you will be showing your position when there's need to add/remove layers which are not properly camouflaged.

In addition you must be prepared for snow conditions, specially on the mountains where a day may change from non-snowy to snowy in just minutes and then you will be spotted against the white landscape miles away, unless you are prepared with winter/snow conditions camo, not only for you but also for your rifle, backpack, tent and so on.

Once again, if snowy you'll probably will need several clothing layers, so be sure to have at least a couple of white coats to blend your shape with the surrounding white.

Finally a few words about face painting. The key here is asymmetry! Don't try to paint your face just like make up, instead use asymmetric, random patterns to break your shape and render you undetectable; remember, regarding face painting, the most asymmetric and aleatory, the best and once again, be prepared for snow, that means to have how to clean or cover your face quickly when snow starts, otherwise your face will be a very visible dark spot on the white landscape and every single animal on the area will be aware of your presence and will run away!

As it may be seen, it's not just a matter of buying nice ghillie suits or camouflage clothes, but an art mastered with time, patience and practice.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Best Truck Campers and Travel Trailers for Hunting

Editors Note: Here is an extremely informative guest post on RV's!

Oregon is about to see the start of elk and deer season so hunters are preparing to go out on their hunting trips this fall. Rifle season will be here before you know it and this is the ideal time to prepare for the perfect hunting trip in an RV. More than likely, you will use campers or travel trailers for dry camping and as a result, you will want your RV equipped properly. For those of you who are not yet an owner of an RV for hunting, this article will provide recommendations so you can make the most out of any travel trailer or camper you use for hunting. This article will also help you with some camping tips but even if you aren't prepared to buy an RV, our rental page will help you to enjoy one to the full.



Dry Camping (Boon docking) RV Tips

A number of things should be considered if you are going to buy a hunting RV. For those who live in Oregon or in a similar Northern climate, an RV that is already ready for the cold weather is preferable. Some of those factors could include enclosed tanks and under bellies that are heated. As you know, the game is not always found near a campsite so you are going to need to go where the game is found. In order to do so, you may need to go off-road and will need a travel trailer or truck camper that is well suited, you may also need specific insurance for your camper RV. You might also want to check on your generator at this time as well. The generator tanks should be full and you should look at the run time.

A Look at the Top RVs for Hunting or Dry Camping

A truck camper is perhaps one of the best options for hunting from an RV. Your truck will be able to do all of the work when you go off-road and you will get further in the woods in comparison to pulling a trailer behind the truck. One issue to consider about a truck camper is their size. They tend to be rather small so if you tend to go out with friends and families, something bigger may need to be considered. The same is also true if you take your ATV or other toys with you. Here is a look at our favorite RVs to take hunting:

1. Northwood Artic Fox Truck Campers is an ideal choice because they have their home base in La Grande, Oregon. In other words, they know what is needed to make an RV for the weather up north. For those of you who live in the cold north and want an off-road RV, you can't go wrong with Northwood. They are the ideal hunting solution. The camper is made from aluminum, so it is durable and lightweight. They are a 4-season camper that is heated with enclosed valves and tanks. When you take a look at their floor plans, you will see that they can accommodate a family of four.

2. Since 1965, Lance Truck Campers has been producing some of the best truck campers for hunting. They even come with an optional 4-season package. You will love the floor plans they have available and they focus on quality and compatibility. Picking out a Lance RV is a pleasure because they help you to choose the one that is right for your needs. They are also known for their environmental stand, so you are limiting your carbon footprint when you choose one of their campers.

3. Being ready for the weather is possible with a Northwood Snow River Travel Trailer. In fact, the name says it all. They include a tough design and build so you can go off-road but they are also ready for the cold weather with enclosed tanks in heated areas. The certified chassis for the Absolute Northwood is made from high-grade steel and is well known for giving you a smooth ride. When you take it off-road, you won't need to worry about the terrain because it can handle the bumps well. In addition, these models include "backroad armor," so you will be further protected from exterior problems, such as branches and rocks.

4. If you want something that can double as an option for a family vacation or if you want to haul some toys, the Eclipse Attitude Toy Hauler is a great choice. Not only does it include plenty of sleeping, there is a garage where you can hang your game when hunting. The Toy Hauler is perfect for those larger hunting parties and you can choose from many floor plans. There are even some plans that include enclosed tanks and furnaces.

5. Are you looking for a lightweight option to haul with a car? The Forest River Rockwood Folding Campers are ideal. They are well known for their pop-up camper floor plans that include everything needed to keep you warm when you are in after a long day out in the field. They are also easy to tow and maintain, so you can use them for that family camping trip in the summer as well.




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mountain climbing in Nepal

Editors note: This guest post is about one of the most exciting, and dangerous, things you can do in the outdoors. Enjoy!

With more than 1600 identified peaks and hundreds of trekking trails, Nepal is probably world's first and foremost trekking destinations. A Large number of people across the globe visit this Himalayan nation just to experience hiking. Normally, people prefer to trek in Annapurna Region, Everest Region, Manaslu Region, Kangchenjunga Circuit and Upper Dolpo. Every trekking destination has its own uniqueness with typical cultural exposure.



Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

If you have a week in your hands and you enjoy the alpines, Annapurna base camp trek is a spectacular option that will win you bragging rights. You don’t need to have any prior experience to go on this excursion, but we do ask for caution as it is notorious for keeping some trekkers with it forever.

This trek will give the majestic views of Gangapurna, Annapurna I, Himchuli, and Annapurna South among other peaks.

The season to go on this trek starts from October, when the rain will have subsided. By November, the skies would have cleared and you will enjoy the sights of the aforementioned mountains, along with the mighty Machhapuchhre, the Fishtail, on this remarkable trek. November to April is the best time to plan this tour.

Expect golden sunrises and beautiful snowy tips to meet you in the mornings – a perfect omen to start the trekking of the day.

1.    Everest Base Camp Trek:

Mount Everest put Nepal on the map and has thousands of people trekking here every year. You can be one of them.

This is a sure adventure, one for which you need to prepare. You don’t need to be in shape, but prior preparation will help you. Of course, trekking to the camp would be an experience of its own, one that’s unimaginable. But you can be on the safe side by exercising and doing your bit of research on how to make the best of this trek without having any health problems.

It is a potpourri of phenomenal sceneries, local culture, and people there. You won’t literally be in the top of the world, but being over 5,300 m altitude will make you feel things that you can only feel when you’re here.

So even if you haven’t scaled the highest mountain in the world and that’s not in your plan, you can still say that you walked on its foundations.

2.    Manaslu Base Camp Trek:

If you manage to get here, then you will be few of those who have been lucky enough to see this place which is almost paradise. Currently, it is a place for ‘intrepid trekking’ as long as you have a crowd to walk with.

Manaslu base camp trek has much to offer – rich culture, vegetation, sceneries, and local life. There are many monasteries which are considered holy. It is blessed with rich flora and fauna. You will see pine forests that cover the area, bamboos, and of course, the classic rhododendron bunches that are very typical of such a beautiful setting. It is home to animals like Himalayan goral, black-lipped pika, lynx, and many other endangered animals.

The name ‘Manaslu’ is translated from the local language which means ‘mountain of the spirit’. It is also known by the name ‘Kutang’. Like its name, the trek will inspire the trekkers to feel the call of the mountain.

3.    Kanchanjunga Circuit Trek:

Kanchenjunga trek is not keen to welcome any trekkers into its alpine terrain, or so the trekkers will feel. It is well known for its rigorous and slippery slopes. While trekkers starting from Mitlung (921 m) might not feel that bad, they go over 5,000 m at Pangpema (5143 m) at about halfway through the journey.

But wait, your guide will help you with the acclimatization. And of course, the rhododendrons are beautiful. So are the azaleas. Every day, you will see things that you won’t be able to forget even if you want to. Though the path will challenge you, you will rewarded even more.

Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is another treat waiting for the brave hearts who venture on this trek. Once you get the permit, you will step into the home of the beautiful animals saved from going extinct.

On your way, you will come across many villages and glimpse the life in Himalayas. You will definitely enjoy walking through the ‘five treasures of the snow’, which is what Kanchenjunga means in Tibetan.

4.    Upper Dolpo Trek

Upper Dolpo has a sort of mysterious aura around it. Even for trekking, it is a difficult one. You need to be in a good health condition and mentally prepare yourself to face the steeps and edges and the tricky paths. With low oxygen level due to high altitude, you also need to carry antidotes with you.

As the area is closed off, you will have to manage the tents and food on your own. You will be on your own with your group for many days. So it’ll be wise to consider all these things. If you have trekked previously, then it might be a good thing if Upper Dolpo trek is on your list next.

Despite all this, it is a fulfilling trek, worth all that time and effort. The best time to visit it is around September to October or from March onwards to May.




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to set up your hammock bug net while camping

Editors Note: Here is an very informative guest post about how to hang a bug net over a hammock!

Everyone loves camping and sleeping outdoors but the one thing that can ruin your experience are mosquito and bug bites while you sleep! For those that enjoy using hammocks while you camp like I do, having a hammock bug net is essential for keeping you safe from bug bites. I have tried many different versions of hammock bug nets on my adventures but we are going to tell you how to set up the Astray Co. 11’ Hammock Bug Net.



STEP 1:
Set up the 23’ ridgeline in-between two anchor points (about 6-7 ft. above the ground) where you want to hang your hammock and bug net.



STEP 2:
Pull out the hammock bug net from the attached stuff sack and open up completely so that you can find both openings at either end. Once you have both openings, choose one of the opening ends to place your arm inside and pull the bug net material (with the hooks on top) through your arm until you hand is sticking out the other end.



STEP 3:
Unhook or untie one end of your hammock straps so that you can then feed one end of your hammock into the opening of the bug net where your hand is sticking out. Proceed to pull the hammock bug net over the entire hammock. Once the bug net is on the hammock you can tie the hammock strap back to your anchor point.



STEP 4:
Pull the cord locks tight on each end of the bug net to secure them in place around the hammock ends.



STEP 5:
Hang the seven clips on the top of the bug net to the ridgeline and space them out equally. This will allow the material to not bunch up while you lay inside.



STEP 6:
Unzip the bug net, climb in your hammock and enjoy a bug free experience! Now you have 360 degree protections from those pesky mosquitos and can still enjoy the view with the fine no-see-um mesh netting!



I hope this helps you on your next adventure so you can easily set up your hammock bug net! I also wanted to share a few features of the Astray Co. bug net that I really liked.



I have taken the Astray Co. hammock bug net with me on a few backpacking trips and I loved how light it was and the attached stuff sack made it super easy to pack back up when I was ready to move to my next campsite. I like to use different size hammocks depending on the trip I am going on so I found it very convenient that the Astray co. bug net fit all my hammocks including my double wide.

This is just one example of many bug nets available for hammocks but this one worked the best for me and was the easiest to explain how to set it up. I hope you enjoy your next bug free adventure!






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