Thursday, December 28, 2017

Essential Kayak hunting tips for beginners.

If you have followed this blog for long, you know I am a big believer in kayaks. I absolutely believe they are the most fun you can have fishing. The excitement of being down there with the action and having a large fish pull you around is absolutely unmatched in the outdoors. Couple that with the ability to go places boats cannot and the ability to go there silently makes them the perfect fishing platform.

I am not the only person who recognizes this and kayaks are getting more and more popular. Innovations are being made and the boundaries are being pushed in what they can do. Gone are the days that kayaks are used solely for touring. You name a water based outdoor adventure and someone has probably done it in a kayak.

One of the last frontiers we are seeing with kayaks is hunting. A few years ago I started seeing my friends go out duck hunting in their kayak. Some have even attempted larger game, gaining access to hard to reach public land for deer, turkey, and varmints.

You can sneak up close to game in a kayak

Like kayak fishing, kayak hunting requires careful planning and gear selection. It takes a lot of effort, but the effort is often well worth it.

The first thing you need to look into is the laws concerning both boating and hunting. It can get complex depending on your area. In my state, it is illegal to shoot deer from a boat. You also must have safety lights, even on a kayak, at night. Your state or country will have different laws, so just go over them carefully before you do anything else.

After you make sure you are doing everything legally, you need to make sure you do everything safely. For this you will need some gear. The most obvious is a PFD. If you are in a kayak you should be wearing one. Period. Other than drowning, the biggest danger is hypothermia. Hunting is mostly done in cold weather. A dunk in a lake with your normal hunting cloths in near freezing weather is deadly. You will get very cold very quickly. You need to be wearing a good pair of insulated waders with a belt (so they do not fill up) and a dry top. A dry top is a pullover type jacket that is designed to keep you dry. They are somewhat expensive, but just as necessary as a PFD. Another option would be a complete dry suit. Although they can be on the spendy side.

Another consideration is your kayak itself. A small kayak might not cut it. It needs to be able to carry you, your gear, and your kill. Check its weight rating and add at least 150 pounds to your weight. Can it handle it?
Some of my closest wildlife encounters have been from a kayak

Ok, so you have squared away the legal and safety stuff, now onto the fun stuff!

The main purpose of a kayak when hunting is to get you to a good spot, a spot no one else has access too. Sometime this means an hour or more paddling. Be sure you have a good seat so you can sit comfortably. A good paddle is also important. I like a long touring paddle, but you will need to try several to find a type that fits your style.

Depending on your quarry, you may need some specific hunting gear.

Duck hunting requires the most gear. They sell some amazing camo for kayaks. You can turn it into a small floating blind if you wish! Some people I know tow a small raft for all their decoys and camo. Waterproof storage of ammo and your gun should also be considered. My kayak has a waterproof opening in the center that fits a shotgun perfectly, however not all do. You need to carefully consider this.

I need to throw a blanket in there to protect my baby
Deer and other larger game come with their own needs. Most importantly, how are you going to bring your kill back? For small game there are specially designed coolers to keep your catch on ice. Larger game will need to be lashed to the deck of your kayak. This can get very tricky. You need to have the straps and a good plan for accomplishing this. Having a deer fall off your kayak or causing you to capsize is a nightmare I don’t even want to think about!

Using a kayak to hunt can give you the edge you need, especially on public land. However, it does come with a lot of extra considerations. Do your homework. Make a plan. Get the right gear. You will not regret it!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gear Spotlight: Big Daddy Car Roof Bag

Wow! I have been going through a lot of changes lately! Two fairly big ones that affect this blog.

First, I got a new truck! I drove my old ’99 Toyota Tacoma for most of my adult life and loved it. However, it had a major rust problem. I could put my fist through some of the holes in its frame. Considering I drove my kids around in it, I just did not feel safe in it any more.

So, I got a Honda Ridgeline!

Big upgrade. It is nicer than the Toyota in almost every way. Safer to be sure, but also much, much more cargo capacity.

Change #2: We are moving out of the city and into the mountains!

Yea, this is the big one.

I’m not going to go into details, but moving is complicated. The company is paying for the move, so we have movers. Naturally, there is a gap between when our stuff leaves and when it arrives. So for this three or four day period my family, complete with three dogs, will be living with just what we can fit in that new truck.

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that the moving company will not move some things. Namely firearms and ammunition……. I have a lot of those. So, they need to find a place in my truck also.

As you can imagine, I am looking for ways to expand the storage in my truck. There are many options, but for me the best bet is going to be the Big Daddy Car Roof Bag.

This thing is amazing! First of all, I don’t need a roof rack to use it. It works with roof racks, but if you don’t have one, no problem.  It uses straps that install through your cabin making it super secure. It is also fairly easy to install. Easier than a traditional rooftop carrier to be sure.

It is also large. 14 cubic feet large! That is the size of the trunk in my wife’s car! We will be able to get most of our “extra” stuff up there. If you are going camping it would fit your tent, four sleeping bags and mats, plus your food with room to spare! 14 cubic feet might not sound like a lot, but it is!

Now, some rooftop bags have a problem with leaking. Not this one. It is rubberized and sealed. The stuff inside will not get wet. Period. This was a big sticking point for me. We will be moving in the dead of winter and it will be our household stuff up there, it cannot get wet.

I don’t plan on using mine often so storage of the actual bag when I’m not using it is a concern. Thankfully it is fully collapsible and stuffs down into a stuff bag. Much smaller than a sleeping bag. Easy peazy! I can just store it with my camping gear.

I should probably mention how inexpensive it is. Very inexpensive. You can buy them from their web site for £69.99 (about $94) or on Amazon. Here is a link to the Amazon listing. They are out of stock on Amazon right now, but I have been told that they will be back in stock mid January. This comes with everything, including all the straps you need plus a roof mat and stuff bag!

If you are looking for roof top storage for your car or truck, I recommend trying the Big Daddy Car Roof Bag. I think it is a good choice!

While you are on their web site, check out their other products. They have a lot of unique, well designed products, including a kids camping cot. I think we will see a lot more out of this company in the future. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

How to Catch Yellow Perch

If you are just starting to take up fishing or an active fisher for years, this articles information will make you a top perch fisherman. You will be able to learn the necessary technique that will allow you get a good catch, and you will not have to return empty-handed when you learn how to catch yellow perch in this article.

Yellow perch is United States and Canadian fish found in freshwater. These fish are referred to more simply as just "perch", a light yellow overall body colour with dark vertical lines down each side. Its size varies from between 4 and 15 inches in length (Commonly a maximum around 40cm) and usually stops at four pounds. The meat flavour is very sweet, easy to fillet from the fish, and tastes excellent deep fried in a flour based batter.

Perch is a regular name for several various types different fish species, it's common relatives are European redfin perch, and Balkhash perch. They are a carnivorous freshwater fish and are usually found in rivers, lakes, ponds, farmers water storages and streams. Their diet consists of shellfish, small fish, and water breeding insects. They are by far the most popular freshwater fish among fishermen, they commonly travel only in schools and become most active during dawn and at dusk, both times are commonly associated with when they are most prone to seek food.
You do not need a thick fishing line and a long fishing rod to catch perch.

You only need a 6 lbs line and the lightweight fishing rod to get started. The yellow perch also love live bait, and you can use baby perch as bait which is very productive. You have the absolute best opportunity to catch perch in live bait. Ensure small hooks are used as yellow perch are not a big fish, so you will need a small hook to ensure your fish always hooks up after taking a bite at your bait or lures. A small hook and a small piece cut from a live worm will do wonders for you.
Fish in and around rock beds, and also weed beds, as these fish often use areas such as this to hide, waiting to feed on other small species, including their own.

The best advice is not to fish for perch swimming in large open waters. It also implies that you won’t find this fish in a large open body of water. Often the most productive fishing can be had in the morning or right after dinner, just before and during sunset.

Perch will frequently school with other small fish such as smaller bass. Generally where you find one, there are many others around the same area. Trolling a lure or casting a weedless lure directly over weed beds can make the fishing better too. Synthetic fishing lures often work extremely well, but you have to pick the right type; otherwise, you're wasting your time. A lightweight jig as well as a set of poppers is what we recommend.

Although methods of fishing for perch have changed over the decades, their love for food has not. Live bait in the form of smaller fish is usually much more effective than using artificial fishing lures. One of the best baits to use is soft shell crayfish. This kind of bait works throughout the year. If the soft shells are not available, then freshwater minnows definitely work perfectly in the cold water, while night crawlers regularly work better with warmer water, you can also use google to find a fishing store online to obtain lures and fishing information.

A crappie rig provides an excellent way to catch perch, they can also be used to test and see whether fish are biting your area. Personally, I like to rig up various live baits in a simple crappie rig and troll to see what is striking. Once I know, I will double up the bait on the rig and start taking on the fish, loading up the boat. Nothing is more exciting than times when you are able to nail two big perch in one go.

If crappie rigs are not your cup of tea, a simple slip based bobber setup used floating and waiting for a strike, will also work very well.

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.


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.


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 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


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 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.


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 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.

- 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.

- 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Day Lease: An Alternative to Annual Hunting Leases

It was only a matter of time before the hunting lease industry got wise to the on-demand economy and threw its hat into the ring. And it is probably good that it did. With annual hunting leases becoming increasingly more attractive with every passing season, it is getting tougher and tougher for individual hunters and hunting clubs to secure one. Now they may not have to. The day lease is emerging as an alternative.

Day leases are to the hunting lease industry what Airbnb is to hotel accommodations. A number of enterprises have recently sprung up to connect landowners with hunters and hunting clubs. They charge fairly reasonable rates for day-long use of a piece of land and, if necessary, leases of several days at a time.

The attractiveness of the day lease is not all that important to hunters with annual leases already in place. But for those who cannot find an annual lease close enough to home, day leases do have some unique things going for them. For example, hunters can hunt a different piece of land every weekend if they want to.

How Day Leases Work

As a concept, the day lease is fairly straightforward. A landowner agrees to allow use of his or her land for a single day among a group of hunters. Like hotel space, groups of hunters can lease land for several consecutive days. Once the group leaves, the land is open for the next group to come in.

Protecting landowners under such arrangements is the responsibility of companies that organize and market the leases.  They act as the go-between for connecting owners and hunters. They may use technology, like smartphone apps for example, or just advertise in local hunting publications and among hunting clubs.

An article published by Outdoor Life on its website suggests that landowners set their own rates for as little as $9 per day up to several hundred dollars. Regardless of the rates, hunters have exclusive access to the land on the dates their leases cover. Hunters will pay more for larger lands and those with extra amenities like hunting cabins and tree stands.

Tips for Hunters and Hunting Clubs

Like everything else in the on-demand economy, day leases are offered on a 'buyer beware' basis. Hunters and hunting clubs have to tread carefully to make sure they don't get themselves into a bad position. It starts by doing a little research on whatever organization is being used to arrange a lease.

If dealing directly with landowners, it is important to do whatever is necessary to vet them. Hunters can bet that landowners are doing the same thing. This is not to say that people should not trust one another, but just that vetting owners and hunters protect the interests of both.

The American Hunting Lease Association also says that hunting lease liability insurance should not be ignored for the day lease. Landowners will have their own insurance in place, but hunters should be purchasing insurance as well. Adequate insurance on both ends of the lease protects everyone involved.

A good policy purchased by a landowner protects that landowner against liability in the event of injury occurring on his or her land. Insurance for hunters protects them should they do something that damages the owner's property. Hunters are also protected to a certain degree should they be injured while hunting.

Can you not find a long-term lease in your area? The day lease might be just what you're after. Day leases are an emerging part of a new on-demand economy for hunters.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How to Heat a Tent: Things You Need to Have - Guest Post

One of the greatest experiences that you can enjoy is camping. This is because camping gives you the opportunity to accomplish an array of fun and exciting activities all-at-once. However, when you are camping, you will be one with nature.

As a result, during one of those chilly fall and spring nights, you may feel uncomfortable in your tent if you don’t keep it warm. But how can you ensure that your tent stays warm and toasty throughout the night? Here are tips on how to heat a tent.

  •        Electric Fan Heaters

These heaters are designed to work as electric fans. Having an electric fan heater is a good way to heat up your tent in no time. This is also a very safe method of heating up your tent since there are no risks of fire. However, electric fan heaters will only be suitable for you if you are camping in an area that has access to electricity but not when dry camping.
Using electric fan heater is the best method to keep your tent warmed up because it is very easy to use. This is because you can use this appliance by just plugging it into your car’s electric car outlet so that it can blow some hot air into your tent.

  •        Oil Filled Radiators

These electrical appliances are great for heating your tent quietly without making your tent to feel stuffy. One advantage of using oil filled radiators to heat your tent is that your tent will still feel warm even after you turn off the radiator.

However, its main drawback is that it is not easily portable. This is because of its size and also takes a bit of time to get your tent heated up. You will also need to carry some oil with you to fuel it up. It will, therefore, cost you more effort and money to bring your oil filed radiator to your campsite.

  •        Electric Tent Heaters

Are you looking for the easiest and the most basic way to heat your tent? Well, the electric tent heater is the most popular choice. However, you must have access to electricity wherever you are camping at. Electric tent heaters are so popular because they are very portable and are also very easy to use. Setting them up is also very easy, as long as you have some electric hookups within your campsite.
Some electric tent heaters also come with extra features like timers and automatic-off switch. This will enable the heaters to switch themselves off once the temperature in your tent is optimum. This will enable you to sleep peacefully with your heater on throughout the night without you having to worry about switching it off.

  •          Halogen Heaters

These heaters will not only heat up your tent but will also double up as a nightlight. They are also very light so that you can hang them on your tent to keep them away from children and other potential hazards that may lead to accidents.

How Can You Heat Your Tent without Electricity?

There are times when you will go for camping in an area without access to electricity. So what can you do when it’s cold, and you want to heat up your tent? You have to find a way of heating your tent without using any electrical gadget. Below are some tips on how you can safely heat up your tent without using electricity.

  • Using Catalytic Heaters

These are small and lightweight heaters that can heat up your tent with ease. They are also very easy to carry around. Catalytic heaters work together with propane cylinders to heat your tent. This heater is very safe since it does not produce any fire. You won’t, therefore, have to worry about risks of fire accidents in your tent.

However, it is advisable that when you are using a catalytic heater, you should switch it off before you sleep. This is to prevent any items within your tent from melting due to excessive heat. Switching it off before you sleep will also prevent your tent from breaking due to the extreme temperature. It does not also produce any poisonous gas hence very safe.

  • Gas Heaters

They are similar to catalytic heaters. The only difference between them is that gas heaters use gas instead. However, I would not advise that you use gas heaters for heating your tent as it can be dangerous when left on. It may also emit carbon monoxide that may poison everyone in your tent. 
  • Using Insulated Pads

You can use them to warm up the floor of your tent. You will, therefore, feel very comfortable and well heated in your tent. The good thing about insulated pads is that you won’t need any batteries or electricity to make your tent warm.

In a Nutshell

If you want to enjoy your camping without being affected by the weather outside your tent, then it is important that you keep your tent warm and toasty throughout the night. Every camper should, therefore, know how to heat a tent.

The next time you want to go for camping, ensure that you choose a good tent warmer and carry it with you. You can choose the best tent warmer that will suit you.

There you have it on how to heat a tent. Let me know if you have any question in the comment section below. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A guide to kayak fishing - Guest Post

Editors Note: Here is another guest post for you! This one is near and dear to my heart, kayak fishing!

Kayak fishing is something which dates from centuries ago, yet not one which is mastered by many. It is an activity which requires concentration and skill, so if you are a laborious and creative person, then you may be interested in it. In our kayak fishing guide we will provide you with basic advice and ideas regarding this type of activity, and how you can overcome challenges and become a successful fishermen.

Features that your Kayak should have:

- A quality rod holder

You won't be able to paddle and fish at the same time, unless you are Superman. Therefore, in order to practice this activity, your kayak will need to have a rod holder feature. Some models have this feature built in, while for others you will need to manually purchase and install it on top of the kayak.

- Anchor system

In order to improve your odds of capturing fish, you will need to be perfectly still. Therefore, consider an anchor system that is heavier and which will prevent your kayak from moving. In this way more fish will bite the bait, and you will get home with something good to fry.

- Paddle leash

When practicing kayak fishing it's actually quite easy to lose your paddle, especially when leaning too much or when capturing bigger fish. In order to avoid this from happening, you will need a quality paddle leash. If your kayak model doesn't have one pre-installed, then you will need to buy one separately from Amazon and install it (installation is simple).

- Plenty of storage space

Unless you want to walk home with just 2 or 3 fish in the bag, you need to ensure that your kayak has enough storage space for this activity. Typically you will need a two-person kayak if you want to go fishing alone.

Tips for Kayak Fishing:

- Watch and be prepared for the weather and unexpected events

You need to be prepared for bad or sunny weather as well as for accidental falls in the water. It's recommended to get a dry suit (half cotton half polyester) to use in your kayak fishing trips, a safety vest, and some floating waterproof bag (costs between 3usd and 15usd on Amazon) in which to store your essential goods; phone, wallet, keys.

- Make sure that you master both sports

In order to be good at this activity, you must be a master of both fishing and kayaking. Therefore, practice them separately in the beginning until you realize that you are good with both, and after that you can go kayak fishing with peace of mind.

- Avoid overburdening the kayak

If it's one of the first times when you go kayak fishing, then you will be tempted to carry plenty of useless stuff with you. However, it's best to empty your pockets and go with just the essentials, plus some little food and water, since you never know when you may take an unexpected fall in the water.

- Ask for information from the local fishermen

Unless you know the river or lake where you fish 100% by heart, it's recommended to get in touch with the local fishermen. They will help you understand the best swimming spots in the area, as well as further obstacles which you may need to overcome (bad areas, currents, etc).

These are the best tips that you learn from our kayak fishing guide. Remember to have fun, be patient and be prepared to take on the fish, and your success levels will rise along.
Best of luck!

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Memory of My First Compound Bow

Do you remember your first real bow? By real I mean one that you could hunt or compete with. I remember my first bow.

For my 15th birthday my dad bought me a used Brown Bear compound bow. For the past year I had been watching a hunting show every Saturday morning. I don't remember the name of the show or the name of the hunter, but he was a bowman. A very good bowman. Each week he would go on an exciting hunt. I still vividly remember the episode where he hunted antelope by staking out a fence corner and shooting one as it ran by. One of my favorites was the time he hunted geese with a bow, successfully shooting one out of the air.

I had dreams of going on bow hunting adventures with my dad. Now that I had a real bow, I could. Oh! The innocence of youth!

My new bow was beautiful. Unlike most modern compound bows, the Brown Bear was made almost entirely of wood.

Compared to modern standards it was archaic. Have you seen the latest bow technologies? Check out the best compound bows available now! Most of them look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Totally cool!

My bow was not like that, but I loved it anyway. I set the pull weight to 45 pounds (just like the guy on TV had his) and practiced, practiced, practiced. I originally could not afford a sight, so I taped hat pins to the bow with masking tape. You know what? Those hat pins served me well for months!

I also could not afford fancy aluminum arrows. I shot wooden arrows. Yes, wooden arrows out of a compound bow. I'm not sure if I was supposed to, but I never had problems with it. Probably because the bow was so weak and slow.

We lived in a very small town. The only place to get archery supplies was in an old guy's garage. He was an old fashioned bow hunter. Re-curve bows were the only way according to him. He convinced me that the only good broad heads were these long single bladed things. They looked like something out of a Robin Hood movie.

His reasoning was that when you shot something it would run away from you with the arrow still in it. As the animal ran the arrow would wiggle around, cutting it up in the inside. A broad head with more than one blade would get stuck and not wiggle around, causing less damage.

It made sense to me at the time.

Those were good days. I practiced and practiced, never getting very good, but improving little by little. I used a paper plate as a target and hay bales as a backstop. I finally got to the point where I could hit the paper plate almost every time from 30 yards. I also got pretty good at stump shooting. Every time we would go into the mountains I would take my bow and practice by walking through the woods and shooting at random stumps. This was great for teaching me to judge distance. Wooden arrows came in handy here as they did not bend when they hit a rock and were cheap to replace when lost.

I never really went on ant big bow hunting adventures. Bow hunting is much harder than it looks on TV. I did, however, go on some great bow fishing adventures! Including one where I received my worst injury while on an outdoor adventure. 

My bow came with a bow fishing kit that was essentially a spool of twine that screwed into the stabilizer hole and a fiberglass arrow. You simply tied the string to the end of the arrow and shot it at fish. It is so much fun!

I had days and days of fun shooing at "suckers" and "squaw fish" (what everyone called them) in the river on our local Indian reservation. Yes, it was allowed, and yes I had the proper permits. The squaw fish actually had a $2 bounty on them for eating salmon eggs.

My dad would drop me off in the morning and I would fish with my dog until the afternoon. My favorite tactic was to sneak up to a ledge and pop over the edge with my bow raised, shooting the fish sitting in the shade. It is seriously one of my favorite childhood memories.

Kinda dangerous when I think back on it. Once the twine got wrapped around the bows sight and slingshot-ed the arrow into my side. The nock of the arrow went in pretty deep. It happened so fast I had no idea what happened at first. I though that someone had shot me. There had been some racial unrest and some white men had been shot at while on the reservation that summer. I though someone saw me fishing on the reservation and decided to kill me. I honestly thought I was dying, so I curled up in a ball and waited for the end to come. After a while, I have no idea how long, I decided I was not actually dying, so I painfully sat up and checked myself out. It was ugly, but had stopped bleeding. Somehow I made it back to where my dad picked me up each time and sat there, slowly feeling better, until he arrived.

It's amazing all the memories one little object can bring back. 

If you are looking into starting bow hunting, or are currently an enthusiast, check out this site for some great articles and reviews, including bow hunting prerequisites

Advantages of Using a Pop-Up Tent While Camping or Hiking

Editors note: Another great guest post today that focuses on camping!

Advantages of Using a Pop-Up Tent While Camping or Hiking

Camping and hiking are great ways to get outdoors. But whether or not you do either of this often, having a good tent to rely on for a rest or to get out of the elements is smart planning. When you buy a tent, it really pays to do some investigating and choose one that suits your needs.

But it goes well beyond how many people the tent can host and whether or not it is waterproof, even on the bottom to keep from getting soggy all around. And while those are important factors, as is the ease of carrying it, one other thing you should consider is how quickly you can set it up.

That’s why pop-up tents are a brilliant solution. Here are the many advantages of using a pop-up tent on your outdoor excursions.

They set up fast

Let’s start with the most obvious advantage of employing a pop-up tent for your camping and hiking trips. It opens up, or pops up if you will, in an instant. That means that you don’t have to waste time setting up. It’s such a huge benefit if the weather has suddenly turned inclement and you need shelter fast. It’s also a blessing when you’ve got kids or dogs (or kids AND dogs) and you’re trying to set up camp while everyone is running amok.

They come in all sizes

Whether it’s just you and your love for a romantic night under the stars or you’re bringing along another family to join yours, there are pop-up tents in every size. You’ll be sure to find one that has enough room for everyone, and the best part is it opens up instantly so you can get started enjoying your camping adventure together.

They can be used for other outdoor adventures too

If you have a smaller pop-up tent which fits into a good backpack, you can get even more use out of it when you go to the beach or the park for a picnic. This is especially helpful on a windy day or if you think the kids could do without being in the sun for a spell. Unlike beach umbrellas, they’re easier to keep in one place and it provides shelter from the sand. If you’re at the park and the bugs are getting to you, you can also duck inside for a bug-free zone. And when everyone is out in the sun and sand, you can stow all the kids’ toys in there so no one will trip over them.

The kids can play in it at home

When you’re not outside on an adventure, you can use a pop-up tent to amuse the kids. If you have a yard, simply pop it open and let the kids play in there on a hot day. And who says you can’t camp out in your yard either? It’s a great distraction to change the pace of the day, plus if you’re having a party, the kids will be busy playing in the pop-up tent, leaving the adults to have a chance to converse like adults for a change.

They make pet-sized pop-up tents

Taking Fido along for the camping trip? Why not get him his own pop-up tent? As a bonus, you can use it at home on hot days so he has a shady place to duck into when the sun is a scorcher.

They’re durable and priced right

Pop-up tents are extremely durable and able to withstand some rough weather. Of course, you’ll need to compare brands for features, sizes, and quality, but they all offer a great value. Pop-up tents are no more expensive than traditional tents, so unless you truly have a thing for doing stuff the old-fashioned way, a pop-up tent really makes sense.

Whether you’re a novice camper or an old seasoned pro, a pop-up tent makes short work of setting up camp. Such short work that it’s open and set up in less than 60 seconds. That gives you more time to gather around the campfire and start grilling, take hikes, go for a dip in the lake or any other activity you wish to embark on.

Ready for a camping trip? Why not pop open a pop-up tent the next time you go so you can focus on the most important aspects of camping, like getting closer to family and nature.

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