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Mike Coachys

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What To Look For When Buying a Tent

buying a tent

What to Look for When Buying a Tent

When sleeping outside, having the right tent can make all the difference. If a tent is flimsy, too small or doesn’t provide adequate protection, the camping trip won’t be a success. To ensure that your next camping trip goes as smoothly as possible, consider all of the following characteristics as you select your tent.

1. Purpose

Before choosing a tent, think about how the tent will be used. For example, while three-season tents are designed to withstand the conditions typical of spring, summer and fall, extended season tents can also be used in early winter. For campers that plan to take trips in middle and late winter, four-season tents are recommended.

2. Capacity

Tents come in a variety of sizes and capacities. In most cases, tent packaging will include information about the number of people the tent is designed to hold. Remember to include extra space for any pets or equipment you will be bringing with you, as well as for people who are claustrophobic or tend to move a lot at night.

3. Durability

Chances are you will be using your tent on more than one occasion. For this reason, it’s best to purchase a tent that is able to withstand the elements with breaking or leaking. Some of the features that may indicate that a tent is durable include:

  • Heavy duty zippers
  • No-see-um meshing to keep bugs out
  • Waterproof floor material
  • Double stitching
  • A large rainfly
  • Aluminum tent poles (as opposed to fiberglass)

4. Price

Tents will vary considerably in price based on their design, size, durability, brand and other characteristics. Try to choose the most affordable tent that meets all of your other requirements. However, keep in mind that it is better to purchase a good quality tent for a higher price than it is to purchase a tent that becomes damaged after a single use. Weak tents must be replaced or repaired frequently and often end up costing more in the end.

Regardless of the size or type of tent you need, it’s best to buy from a brand you can trust. Buy yourself a durable & lightweight tent from Litefighter good for camping, hiking hunting & more

150 150 Mike Coachys

How to Identify Poison Ivy

poison ivy

 

More than half of people are allergic to poison ivy, a common plant found throughout North America. Because an allergic reaction to this plant can cause uncomfortable symptoms, knowing how to properly identify this common plant is recommended, especially for people who spend a significant amount of time outdoors. Below is some information people can use to properly identify and avoid poison ivy.

Why is it dangerous?

Poison ivy contains an oil known as urushiol, which causes a rash in people who are allergic to it. The rash typically consists of fluid-filled blisters that may itch and weep. To contract the rash, people must come into direct contact with the oil. The oil may be found on the plant itself, as well as on objects, people or pets that have touched the plant. Reactions may also occur among people who inhale smoke produced by the burning of the poison ivy plant.

Identifying Poison Ivy

Poison ivy plants can be found in a variety of locations, from vacant lots to deep in the woods. Poison ivy may grow as a single plant, a bush or a vine. Typically, poison ivy plants are characterized by various stems that each contain three leaves.

The leaves will be close together, and they may appear shiny. Leaves on poison ivy plants are usually bright or dark green in the spring and red or orange in autumn. If the leaf is turned over or viewed from below, the bottom will appear fuzzy and lighter in color. Poison ivy plants also produce dense clusters of berries, which are white in color and usually appear late in the summer and remain on the plant until winter.

Dealing with Poison Ivy

If you come across poison ivy in your backyard or on your next hike, avoid touching any part of the plant. If you accidently touch part of the plant, wash the oil off your skin immediately with warm water and soap. Keep in mind that not all soaps will effectively remove poison ivy oils. Special soaps are available for purchase, or you can simply use dish detergent. If you develop a rash, you can treat the symptoms with topical steroids and anti-itch creams. In severe cases, oral steroids may be necessary. Regardless of the severity of your reaction, you should not scratch the rash, as this can lead to skin damage and infection.

From special soaps for removing poison ivy oils to the right type of tent, having the proper equipment is essential for the success of any camping trip. For your next trip in the great outdoors, be sure to have a durable shelter from Litefighter.

150 150 Mike Coachys

3 Freshwater Fishing Locations You’ll Want to Visit

Freshwater Fishing

 

Freshwater fishing fans always love to enjoy their sport in new places, and this drives many to look for those places while on vacation. Often, the entire point of the vacation will be to check out new fishing spots and ply their waters. Since many people take these trips, lists of the best fishing spots abound. Because everyone has different opinions – and different amounts of luck and skill at fishing – no two of these lists are exactly the same. Even so, a few areas consistently make it to the top of the charts. Here are three such locations:

  1. Glenwood Spring, CO – This town puts the fisher right in the middle of some of the best fly-fishing streams in the state. From here, enjoy the merger of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, and then take a short trip to fish in the Frying Pan, Gunnison, and Eagle Rivers. A bonus is its affordability, which is made possible by its distance from Aspen.
  1. Traverse City, MI – Here, travelers and residents have access to the huge Lake Michigan, which is home to steelhead and salmon. Grand Traverse Bay also houses some of the best carp flats in the country along with several very productive pockets of smallmouth bass. There are also countless rivers and streams in this part of the Great Lake State.
  1. Apalachicola, FL – In Florida, fishing is extremely common all over the state. Travelers will likely appreciate the prettier landscape of Apalachicola, which sits in the lower part of the Panhandle. Here, light-tackle fish abound in the bays all year round, while in the summer, bay fishers can find ample tarpon. Head inland and hit the rivers and streams to catch panfish and bass. One of the best parts of this part of Florida is the lack of snowbirds and golf resorts.

When seeking an area to fish, it’s important to know what to look for. In lakes, keep an eye out for rocks, which provide cover for fish; and drift lines, which provide food. In rivers, keep an eye out for rocks, fallen trees, and eddies that slow the water and give the fish chances to feed without having to fight the current.

Also, for your next freshwater fishing trip, be sure to pick up a durable Litefighter tent! Going camping will often allow you to avoid competition from other fishers and find more-plentiful stocks.

150 150 Mike Coachys

How To Avoid Common Camping Mistakes

 

camping mistakes

Camping can be a fun and exciting pastime for the whole family. However, if you don’t prepare properly, your first overnight trip could be a disaster. To avoid some of the most common camping mistakes, follow the tips below.

1. Make a reservation.

Some campgrounds fill up quickly. To ensure that you will have a place to stay, be sure to reserve your campsite well in advance. This is especially important if you will be traveling to a popular campground or camping during peak season.

2. Check the weather.

Nothing can ruin a camping trip quite as quickly as bad weather. Before you leave for your trip, check the weather to make sure that no thunderstorms, heavy precipitation or extreme temperatures are predicted for the days you will be camping. Waterproof tents can improve your camping experience if unexpected rain occurs.

3. Plan your meals.

Bringing the proper amount of food is essential to the success of your trip. Plan all of your meals in advance and pack accordingly to ensure that you don’t run out of food. Be sure to bring a little extra food in case you run into a problem.

4. Test camping equipment.

Failing to try out camping equipment in advance is one of the most common mistakes new campers make. If you don’t try out your equipment in advance, you may have trouble using it on the trip. To avoid this problem, practice setting up your tent and using lanterns, cook stoves and other gear at home before your trip.

5. Arrive early.

Attempting to find your way around and/or set up a tent in the dark can be challenging. Give yourself plenty of daylight to establish your camp by arriving to your destination early in the day.

6. Bring a first aid kit.

Even with the best preparation, accidents can still happen. Prepare for unexpected injuries or illnesses by bringing a first aid kit along on your trip. It’s also important to keep track of your location in case you need to call for assistance.

You have the apps, now get the Litefighter tent for your trip!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Tricks & Tips For Ice Fishing

tips for ice fishing

 

Ice fishing sounds easy enough, but getting continued success can be surprisingly difficult. Typically, there will be some early catches, but then, the fish will mysteriously “just stop biting.” Here are some tips for ice fishing to keep your bucket full for the duration of the trip.

  1. Vary jig types. According to Steve Ryan of Lake Link, most anglers start out with a vertical jig. This is initially successful, but eventually, all of the nearby fish willing to react to it will have been caught. That’s when it’s time to switch to a horizontal jig to draw in other species.
  2. Change the bait. Live bait is often seen as king, but some fish just won’t fall for it. Once the live bait stops working, switch to plastic. Panfish like bluegill often prefer it, perhaps because of its novelty. The best plastic bait uses a tiny head with a long finesse tail. It reacts to even the smallest movement of the rod, which gives the impression of plenty of action.
  3. Stop jiggling the line. It’s standard practice to bob the bait up and down while jiggling the line, but fish soon become accustomed to the motion and stop seeing it. Twisting the line while leaving it at the same depth will wake up bored fish and attract their attention.
  4. Chum the water. There’s no need to be fishing for sharks for this trick to work. Grind up some bait worms or minnows and throw them down the hole. This will draw more fish over and get them feeding. Then surprise them by putting some of that bait on a hook.
  5. Stay safe. Every year, some ice fishermen drown because the ice gave way. To be fully safe, the ice must be 4″ thick. Some chance going out when it’s thinner, but this increases the chance of breaking through. Also, be aware that ice on the Great Lakes can break off in big floes – with ice fishermen helplessly along for the ride. Fishing Tips Depot recommends that anyone going out fishing keep a charged cell phone handy. Fishermen should also let people know where they’re going and when to expect them to return.

With these tips, ice fishing can be safer and much more productive. Give them a try and see how many more fish end up in the bucket!

Also be sure to protect yourself from the elements with a Litefighter shelter!

 

150 150 Mike Coachys

Best Apps For Hunting & Fishing

best apps for hunting & fishing

While it may seem strange at first to use your top-of-the-line smartphone for hunting in the great outdoors, this little pocket computer actually provides a significant number of advantages for your sporting activities. Hikers use smartphone apps. Outdoor photographers use them as well. So why not hunters and fisherman?

Best Apps for Hunting & Fishing

Amazing apps are coming out all the time, so it is worthwhile to check for the latest and greatest hunting and fishing apps on a regular basis. However, there are a few that have already proven themselves to sportsmen – apps you gotta try on your next outing.

  1. Act in Nature – Safety is of extreme importance when you are handling a firearm. Any sportsman knows this, which is why hunting safety is trained so persistently. The Act In Nature app allows you to gain full control over the safety of your hunting group. You and your party can track one another on the app, allowing you to coordinate your hunt and to know exactly where other people are before you consider taking a shot.
  2. i-Solunar Hunting & Fishing Times – Whether you are angling or hunting, the time of day dictates what actions you take. Fish and game are active during certain times – especially around sunrise and sunset – and this is something you have to account for. The i-Solunar app gives you the best hunting and fishing times for your location, no matter where you are in the world. Valuable info for any sportsman.
  3. i-Hunt Journal – The i-Hunt Journal app is designed for the hunter who wants to be thorough in his approach. Keeping track of all the different variables of your hunt is the best way to understand what is happening, and how to get the results you want. Your memory is only so useful. This app allows you to take notes, photos, record locations and keep an ongoing log of your adventures.
  4. Primos STL – This app gives you access to over 20 hunting calls. According to the manufacturer, the Primos STL app is the best selling hunting app of all time. Whether you are trying to draw in waterfowl, elk, turkey or predators, this app has the calls you need.
  5. Hunting Light and Blood Tracker – Tracking down wounded game is not fun, but it is necessary. This smartphone app helps you see blood more clearly and locate a wounded animal.

Now that you have the best apps for your hunting or fishing adventure, make sure you have the best gear as well.

Bring along a LiteFighter tent on your next adventure!

150 150 Mike Coachys

How To Properly Dress For The Cold In The Outdoors

dress for the cold

Learning how to dress for the cold in the outdoors is important not only for comfort, but for safety. Winter weather, especially in certain climates, can be unpredictable and dangerous. But even if one is not worried about scaling mountain passes, it still pays to be able to adjust one’s temperature throughout a winter day – with all of the variations in temperature that can occur.

How To Dress for the Cold Weather

The two key things one should remember when choosing winter clothing are materials and layers. Certain materials work better to keep one warm and dry than others, and knowing how to dress in layers is key to remaining comfortable in the cold.

Materials

White cotton socks and cotton t shirts are fine in the summer, but cotton is not a material well-designed for cold weather. When cotton becomes wet it loses its insulation properties. This means if boots fill up with snow, get doused in water or one just sweats from exertion, cotton goes from a comfort to a hazard.

Wool, on the other hand, is an ideal insulator even when wet. This is why it is still considered a prized material for winter weather underlayers – even with the creation of a range of useful synthetics. Merino wool in particular is used as an underlayer because it is both comfortable and warm.

Synthetics are perfect for outer layers. They can shed water and snow so well that one can remain completely dry in most circumstances – unless one falls in water or sits on snow so long it melts and soaks through the material.

Layers

With an understanding of materials, it is easy to start creating layers. A base layer is always recommended, such as long underwear made out of merino wool or a synthetic material. Then comes more layers – the number depending on how severe the weather will be. Warm footwear should also always be a priority, with waterproofing if possible.

For a walk in the woods it may be enough to put on a base layer, then a pair of outdoor pants or snow pants and a long sleeve shirt or sweater, and a jacket. Someone doing a serious hike in the snow might increase the layers and bring a backpack to store layers that he or she is shedding as body temperature rises.

So remember, know your materials and learn to dress in layers. And for your next hike or camping trip, be sure to pack a Litefighter tent to stay warm!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Best Places To Go Deer Hunting In America

deer hunting

 

Many states have a population of deer, so there’s no need to travel for the simple purpose of hunting them. Instead, the point of traveling is to get a chance to get a buck that is superior to the rest. Even though most hunters say they target deer for their meat, they also want a chance to get a trophy buck at least once.

Here are some of the top locations to visit to increase the chances of scoring one:

  1. Wisconsin – This state has produced over 700 trophies over the last 10 years, according to Boone & Crockett. That’s about 130 more than Illinois, which has the next-best record. Wisconsin also has plenty of state land, which makes it easy to find some hunting grounds.
  2. Illinois – As mentioned, this is the #2-ranked state for trophy bucks. Unlike Wisconsin, however, it doesn’t have many state-owned areas where hunting is allowed. Instead, hunters in Illinois usually have to deal with expensive private outfitters. Even so, the chance of scoring a once-in-a-lifetime buck is very good.
  3. Texas – The state known for its giant versions of everything doesn’t disappoint when it comes to deer. It has both big bucks and a huge number of bucks. Its number of hunters is also high, but thanks to the size of the state, that isn’t a problem. Over a million licenses are sold each year, and a season will usually result in about 600,000 kills.

Some hunters have different criteria for what makes a place a good location for hunting. Things like the number of other hunters present, the total deer population, and the requirements for getting to that population all factor in. Therefore, many people may be more satisfied with the “next best” places for deer hunting.

One such place is the suburban areas of Connecticut, where residents are often quite happy to have people lower the numbers of encroaching deer. There, gaining access to private lands will take some doorbell-ringing, but most land owners won’t charge high costs for access. Another good location is Lenape Farms in New Jersey. It used to be a hunting club, but the club has ceased to exist. The deer, however, are still there.

With these ideas, it should be easier to find a destination for a deer hunting trip. Even better, hunters will have a higher chance of scoring a record buck with a visit to one of the top three!

On your next deer hunting excursion, be sure to pick up a durable Litefighter tent!

150 150 Mike Coachys

How To Effectively Camp In The Snow

camp in the snow

 

Learning how to camp in the snow gives one access to experiences that few people ever get. Snowfall and freezing temperatures mean there will not be many other people out there, giving one access to virtually untouched scenery and a quiet solitude that is impossible to find anywhere else. Of course, one has to stay warm and safe to make the experience a good one.

Tips and Tricks to Camp in the Snow

Snow camping can be awesome – or it can be uncomfortable and even dangerous. The outcome is all based on the preparation.

  • Bring the right gear – This is probably the coldest experience most people will ever have, so it pays to bring the right equipment. A tent rated for winter use, backup shelter, winter sleeping bag, gloves, warm hat, plenty of warm clothing, waterproof and insulated boots, several different fire-starting methods, navigation tools, first-aid supplies, plenty of food (even sitting in freezing weather burns a lot of calories), sunscreen and more. One should use a winter camping packing list to make sure nothing is forgotten.
  • No cotton – Cotton is not made for cold weather. Wool or synthetics are much better. Before going on the trip one should learn about different insulating materials and discuss clothing choices with someone who knows what they are doing.
  • Wear layers – A base layer, a middle layer and an outer layer are necessary for comfort and warmth. The base layer is essentially one’s underwear, made to wick moisture away from the body. The middle layer insulates, while the outer layer provides a shell against the elements.
  • Bring friends – Winter camping is best done in groups of two or more people. This ensures that there is enough help to get things done, a range of outdoor skills and abilities to draw on, another person to provide additional safety and perhaps most important – conversation.
  • Know the area – It is easy to get lost in the woods on a good day. But when everything is covered in snow and glare, one is almost guaranteed to get lost if he or she cannot navigate using a map and compass, or GPS. It is best to study the area thoroughly before one ever leaves home.
  • Know the weather – One should always check the weather right before the trip. Camping in the snow is fun, but a blizzard will ensure that the entire trip is spent inside the tent.

You can have a lot of fun winter camping. Just be sure to be prepared, and bring a durable Litefighter tent on your next trip!

150 150 Mike Coachys

Finding The Best Wood For Starting A Fire by Friction

 

fire by friction

There are seemingly endless modern tools to use to start campfires, but no one is properly prepared unless he or she also knows how to start a camp fire with no outside equipment at all. This is because mishaps can cause the original equipment to be lost or broken. When these things occur, it’s important to know how to start a fire by friction.

The friction method is sometimes known as “rubbing two sticks together,” but this is really just one way to do it. Usually, it’s actually done by rubbing a wood stick against a wooden base. No matter which specific method is used, the principle is the same: The rubbing must create enough friction to heat the wood until it’s hot enough to ignite materials that are then placed around it.

Even though it seems simple, many people find that when they attempt to make a fire this way, the wood just gets hard and shiny. The slick, shiny surface produces almost no friction when rubbed, so it won’t heat up. What causes this problem? It turns out that this is the result of using hardwood.

While different campers may prefer different types of wood, all agree that softwood is a necessity. They also prefer the bow drill fire starting method, in which a stick is quickly rubbed into a base. A hardwood stick can work, but the base must always be softwood. Using softwood for both parts works great.

One specific type of wood that has been mentioned as the best wood for a fire is white pine. Other types of pine are also commonly used where available. If there are no pine trees around, other softwoods are also acceptable. To determine if wood is soft enough, try to dent it with a thumbnail. If it dents, it’s softwood.

The other key is to make sure the wood is dry. Dead wood that has been on the ground will have absorbed water, so it won’t work. An easy way to get dry, dead wood is to look for a dead branch that’s still attached to a tree.

This may turn out to be one of the camping tips that turns out to be a lifesaver, but the ability to start a fire is just one of the things that’ll be needed on a trip through the woods. For your next camping trip, be sure to pick up a durable Litefighter tent for shelter and warmth.