Monday, October 23, 2006
by BOB ALEXANDER
Ahhhh!!! There's really nothing like standing around a blazing campfire on a cold morning, with a brisk north wind blowing in your face.
First you warm the front part of your body, and then you turn and scorch your backside. That's roughing it! This is the kind of outdoor living that men enjoyed a hundred years ago, before conditioned air and filtered water.
This is my kind of morning! Whether you are hiking, fishing, hunting or just camping, if you're going to spend the night, you have to have fire wood. While having a camp fire is not the necessity it used to be, it is one of those experiences that make an overnight stay in the woods memorable. Today there are very few places to build a campfire without being arrested for arson unless you go to state or national parks where they have camping facilities.
There are private camping compounds but usually they don't have the money to spend on upkeep that government owned facilities enjoy. Camp grounds can accommodate everything from enormously expensive motor homes, fifth wheelers, pop-ups or even pup tents.You can rough it in any manner you choose.
After you've set up the accommodations of your choice, unpacking all the necessary equipment for your stay, it's time to build a fire. First though, check the rules for camp fires. In dry seasons you may not have the luxury of a fire. Be safe!
First, pick your spot. Find an area away from dry grass, tree limbs or other campers. It's very easy for an errant breeze to float a spark, igniting a field of dry grass. A spark could also melt a hole in the synthetic fiber of some camper coverings. Use a fire ring. If a metal one is not provided, you can build one out of stone. The latter is more aesthetically pleasing, but both hold the ashes and keep the fire from spreading on the ground.
Hopefully, you have brought all the firewood you will need for your stay. If not, in most campgrounds you can locate a place that will sell you all you need, if you can afford it. Forget about trying to find leftover wood from previous campers. If there were campers there before you arrived, they will have scavenged any wood available.
Think small when you're about to build a fire! To start the fire you need tender; small sticks, dry leaves twisted newspaper, pine needles or anything that will easily catch fire. When you have a small flickering fire, then it's time to gradually add larger sticks of wood.
As the fire gets larger and hotter you can add even larger chunks of wood. You can lay the wood on the fire any way you like as long as there is enough air flow from the bottom of the coals to the top of the fire, to keep the logs burning.
Building a fire is just common sense. If you have a small fire, add enough wood, any way you like, to make it into a larger fire. After you have the larger fire, add more wood if you want it bigger.
Raging, blazing fires are not cool. There's too much of a chance that a spark will glide on the wind and set fire to someone's tent or camper, not to mention the fields and forests! Keep the fire at a reasonable level and have a safe, happy stay in the great outdoors!
Bob Alexander is the author and sole owner of this article. Bob is greatly experienced in the art of southern barbequing, the great outdoors and leisure activity. Visit his sites: http://www.bluefishbob.com/http://www.homeandgardenbob.com/
Saturday, October 21, 2006
by MICHELLE O'CONNOR
A recreational vehicle can open up an exciting world of traveling possibilities for you and your family.
An RV represents an efficient, convenient way to have a roadside adventure. Yet, you might be wondering whether your children will travel well in an RV.
A Chance for Bonding
You should look at your RV as offering a chance for family bonding. For instance, while your husband is driving, you may be able to play games in the back with your children. Alternatively, when you take over the wheel, your husband may want to turn on the DVD player and watch a movie with the crew. Once in your campground, hook up your RV Satellite Internet and stream videos or movies with your kids. You can even take your family pet along to join in the fun.
Special Family Meals
An RV permits you to have special family meals together while you're on the road. Since you have your own kitchen on board, you should make the most of it. Plan unique lunches and dinners in your RV kitchen. Your children will enjoy the ritual, and it will provide them with memories to last a lifetime.
A Jam-Packed Toy Chest
With the extra room that an RV provides, you can afford to pack along a toy chest filled with your children's favorite games, dolls, puzzles, Dora The Explorer toys, and other favorite toys. In fact, you'll want a full complement of toys for the road. In addition, consider packing along a shelf worth of books—particularly joke books and puzzle books, which can keep your children occupied for extended periods of time.
Plan for Some Outdoor Time
While it might be tempting to spend a great deal of time huddled up in the RV, be sure to schedule some important outdoor time for your children. At a campground, you can find swimming pools, playgrounds, miniature golf, game rooms, and the opportunity to rent bikes and boats. The campsite might even have organized recreational activities for families. These activities allow your children the chance to interact with other children who may share their love of the road. So, sit back, relax, and remember—an RV vacation can be just as much fun for you as for the children!
Article by:Michelle O'Connor, RV Loan Rates
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Whether you own a Recreational Vehicle, or intend to buy one, you will need a reliable source of power.
RV generators are designed to provide reliable power when you are out in the wilderness and to fit standard recreational vehicle configurations. Whether you are out in the boondocks, or at a campground without hookups, a quiet and stable power source can be a real plus.
RV class generators are specially built. They have approximately three times the horse power (HP) of ordinary models. They run at a comparatively lower speed, which enables the sound to be muffled. They are built for hours of continuous usage, to meet the unique power requirements of RV enthusiasts.
Honda RV Generators
Whichever RV you possess, a fifth wheel trailer, a class A or a class C motor home, or any other mobile vehicle, they all need a source of reliable electric power. Honda RV generators have earned global recognition for dependability, easy usability and ruggedness to meet all the demands of your vehicle.
Compact and fuel-efficient, these Honda generators can provide smooth, clean power to your motor coach. They meet all EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CARB (California Air Resource Board) standards. Another plus, Honda has engineered comparatively quiet generators for RVs.
Before you buy an RV generator from Honda, you need to decide on a few things:
-- Do you need an electric start? Honda generators are known for their ease of starting. --
Though most models of generator are small and compact, do you need a wheel kit for easy movement? -- Calculate how much power you need for your RV. This will enable you to decide which model to select. --
How does the warranty measure up? -- Does the unit have accessible maintenance points?
Onan RV Generators
Onan, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc., has more than 80 years of power generation experience. Onan is known for its MicroLite RV Generators – that have noise level ratings below the standards set by the National Park Service.
The MicroLite 2500 LP model is considered easy to install, compact, quiet and features a completely enclosed muffler. This model is lightweight, making it well suited for campers, trailers and small Type Bs and Type Cs. It has been named the quietest generator for its size. This model offers single side service for maintenance, and is completely enclosed.
Tips For Selecting A Generator For Your RV
When purchasing one of these units, ensure the height of the equipment does not stick past its bed rails. Mounting the unit on the sound-absorbing thick rubber pads reduces noise level. Another way to reduce the noise level would be to supplement the motor's muffler with any large muffler or an automobile muffler.
These powerhouses are more expensive than normal generators. For this reason, some RV'ers use average portable generators. However, you have to place these items some distance away to avoid the loud noise they make.
Unless you have the largest portable generator on the market, you will not be able to use your A/C. Unloading and loading the powerhouse, plus a sizable length of heavy gauge extension cords long enough to reach your RV, are some of the other drawbacks of portable generators.
You have to walk up to the equipment every time you wish to start or stop it. There is a possibility of theft. If you intend to purchase a portable generator, go for one made for recreational vehicles.
Whatever avenue you use to find the right power supply for your RV, be sure to inspect the equipment carefully. Evaluate the warranty.
Those who travel into the wilderness for extended periods may even want to purchase two generators, one for backup, so they are never without power. If you are purchasing a used generator, find out how many hours it has been run, is any time left on the warranty, you might even consider having a mechanic check it out prior to making your purchase.
By Michelle O'Connor Satellite TV Internet for RV's
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
In Hollywood, the cross-country family trip is often used as an easy way to get laughs.
Most people chuckle when they picture Chevy Chase's poor family crammed into the metallic pea Griswold family station wagon from National Lampoon's Vacation, even as we sympathize.
After all, how many of us were forced to sit for hours "on the hump" in the back of the family sedan with two siblings complaining bitterly each time one of your legs crossed into "their space"?
And all of this in the guise of taking a fun family vacation!
Certainly, cars have continued to become more comfortable and luxurious with each passing year, and the number of SUVs available means it is no longer a necessity to take the family's compact car on vacation at all.
Let's be honest though, if you've ever sat in the back of an SUV (or any car) with two other people, it stops feeling comfortable after the first twenty minutes or so. For this reason along with countless others, many families choose to skip the driving experience entirely and schedule a flight instead.
However, with escalated airport security resulting in long delays, cramped seating on the planes, limits to what can be carried on the plane, and maybe even a touch of nostalgia for the car trips of our youth, the siren song of the open road begins to have increasing appeal.
If you are a parent who doesn't want to hear, "Mooooooommmm, he's touching me," for several hours straight or a retiree longing to take that dream cross country vacation at a leisurely pace, there is a clear choice, a RV.
Recreational vehicles, or what my family always referred to as motor homes, are no longer the gaudy rolling trailers with cheap fixtures and cramped spaces that many people picture.
Imagine those rolling luxury hotels that rock stars travel in with features like plush carpeting, ceramic tile, cabinets designated to store wineglasses, LCD televisions, retractable awnings, and even storage for motorcycles.
Many of them have a level of opulence so enthralling that you'll be tempted to live in it, even while it's parked in your driveway! The added bonus is that you never have to deal with the hassles of staying in a hotel, such as checkout times, missing reservations, or noisy people in the adjoining room.
Once you decide to purchase a RV, the next choice is the model. There are multiple manufacturers of motor homes including Gulf Stream, Fleetwood, Winnebego, Holiday Rambler and more.
With such a large array, it's important to do a lot of research into what features you want and the reliability of the various manufactures. Of course, nothing beats hands on experience, and websites like rvSearch.com can help you locate an RV dealership close to you.
Now that you've found your dream vehicle, you are probably ready to jump right in and purchase it. After all, when you are buying something new, there can't be that much of a variation in price from dealership to dealership, right?
Surprisingly, the cost variance when comparing new motor homes with identical features can actually be more than the disparities you'd find when buying used recreational vehicles with vast mileage differences.
As an example, a 2006 Gulf Stream Crescendo Model 8386 found on rvSearch.com was $186,360.00 in Oregon, but it was over $26,000.00 less at the Pennsylvania dealership, Martinsburg RV. You don't even have to drive across the country to find such vast price range.
The difference between the cost of a RV purchased in Ohio and Michigan can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over twenty thousand dollars. Even with the soaring cost of gas, it's well worth the trip to save that much money!
These price changes aren't limited to only the most expensive models either. The same Gulf Stream Independence model 8330LS that costs over $90,000.00 in Indiana can be found for $87,000.00 in North Carolina, $66,000.00 in Minnesota or $63,000.00 in Pennsylvania.
Certainly once you do some more in depth research, you may locate some options on the $90,000.00 model in Indiana that aren't on the $63,000.00 version in Pennsylvania, but there is little doubt that the dealership charging less would be able to get you the vehicle of your dreams without tacking on an additional $27,000.00 for similar options.
Realizing all of that, it makes perfect sense that your first family vacation in the new RV could be a cross country trip bringing it home from the dealership with the best price!
About the Author:
Martinsburg RV is Gulf Stream's largest exclusive dealer in the United States. Located in central Pennsylvania, they will sell and deliver RVs nationwide. Visit www.martinsburgrv.com to find RVs at a no-hassle price well below the MSRP.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Buying Your First LED Flashlight
Light emitting diodes, or commonly known as LEDs, have been around in all sorts of devices.
You have seen them around in traffic lights, watches, remote controls, television sets, etc.
Only recently though, have dropping semiconductor prices allowed LEDs to gain popularity in everyday consumer lighting appliances, i.e. our common flashlight.
Unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, LEDs are illuminated by the movement of electrons, and do not have a filament that will burn out. As a result, they do not heat up easily, but still last just as long, or even longer, than a standard bulb.
This difference contributes to the main advantage of LEDs: efficiency. The traditional process producing light of conventional incandescent bulbs involves heating up the filament until light is given out.
This process is highly inefficient, as it generates a lot of unnecessary heat. This heat does not produce any light, and the energy needed to produce that heat also drains your batteries.
LEDs, on the other hand, generate relatively little heat. More of the power from your batteries goes to producing actual light, which means you get to use smaller batteries, or enjoy longer battery life for your LED Flashlight.
The more compact LED is another advantage in that it allows for LED flashlights with smaller form factors. And unlike traditional flashlights, LED flashlights also do not force your eyes to re-adjust to the darkness every time you use them.
More advanced LED flashlights have also incorporated microchip controllers and multiple LEDs to increase the brightness of the light. Manufacturers like SureFire and Tektite have specialized LED flashlights that have extremely durable and powerful, and supply models to various military organizations worldwide.
LED flashlights are simply amazing. Small, lightweight, and powerful to the point of blinding, they are revolutionizing how we use flashlights.
Find out more about flashlights, and get one for your daily use visit us at http://www.flashlightfocus.com/
Guy Scott is a Photographer and entrepreneur that is currently traveling the country by truck.
Monday, October 02, 2006
your GPS to work while your on Vacation.
Is a GPS useful on vacation?
By Angela Carter
Vacations are times to relax and enjoy, not worry about finding your way around.
Are you flying, or driving? Are you going somewhere that you know well or somewhere totally new? Are you renting a car if you’re flying, or are you going to depend on taxis? If you are traveling by taxi do you know if a ‘shortcut’ the taxi driver suggests is really a shortcut or possibly are you being scammed to increase your rate.
What are your plans once you get to your destination? Are you going backpacking, hunting, or fishing, or do planning a trip to a resort and plan on lying by the pool and just relaxing? Wouldn’t it be nice not the have to worry about finding a location, or a good restaurant. Your visit would be much more enjoyable without this concern.
Is it possible that you will be off in your own airplane, with a GPS you can create your flight plans and get automatic calculations of headings, winds, time, and fuel or recalculate your heading. Are you driving or plan on renting a car once you get to your destination? Do you know the route well or is this a new adventure? Whether this is a trip that you frequently make or not a GPS can be indispensable.
What if you get detoured due to an accident or road construction, what if you run into a large traffic jam do you need to sit and wait, or is there possibly another route you could take? Have you ever wanted to get off the beaten path and explore somewhere new but were afraid of getting lost?
Wouldn’t it be nice just to take off to somewhere new without the fear of getting lost? Do you plan on going fishing? Wouldn’t it be nice to know where the fish are, so you can spend your time catching fish, instead of spending your whole vacation with the possibility of catching nothing?
Have you planned a trip to visit a foreign country but were afraid you have trouble getting around when street signs are in a different language? With a GPS you put in your destination and find the location that you would like to go to. There is also translation software which can be downloaded to your PCA.
Are you going backpacking, hiking or camping, or even plan on taking a bike ride, with a GPS you have the added security of knowing if you get lost you can find your way out. Is there an area you always wanted to explore, but was afraid of not finding your way back.
Vacations are too far apart (2-3 weeks a year?) and are planned, paid for and anxiously awaited for to have to worry about getting lost. Whether you plan on lying by the beach or pool all day, you might want to find a certain restaurant or shop, or hiking through the forest a GPS can take the worry out of traveling and allow you to enjoy your trip.
Copyright 2006 Angela Carter