Category Archives: Guest Post

Get Started with Fly Tying: The Basic Kit

Once a fly fishing angler has decided to undertake making his own flies, it is important that he acquire some basic tools and equipment in order to be successful at the craft.

Tools fall into two general categories: essential and optional.

Essential tools include:

• A vise to hold the hook: A good fly-tying vise is mandatory for anyone undertaking the hobby. Either pedestal based or clamp attachment; the vise should adjust easily and smoothly.

• Bobbins: A good quality ceramic bobbin is recommended; cheaper types of bobbins break the thread and lead to needless frustration. The bobbin should have a tube to guide the thread to the hook.

• Magnifying glass: as many of the components of flies are tiny or hair thin, a good quality magnifying glass (a free- standing glass on its own pedestal for hands free use is recommended)

• Hackle pliers: specialized pliers that hold feathers and other fly-tying materials together while being bound to the hook, usually spring loaded with a rubber disk to hold the feathers).

• Hackle gauges: specialized ruler used to insure that the size of the hackle feather fibers is appropriate for the hook.

• Hair stackers: cylindrical shaped device used to get the feathers and fibers aligned properly for tails and wings and other components of a fly.

• Lights: a well-lit workspace is essential to avoid eye-strain, fly tying is a delicate and precise process..

• Scissors: used for cutting threads, fibers and other materials. Small scissors are best for cutting fine threads and fibers, a heavier duty pair is also needed to cut wire.

Optional tools include:

• Bodkins: in terms of fly tying, this a needle affixed to a wooden dowel 9which functions as a handle0 used for depositing cement or lacquer on flies.

• Bobbin threaders: for spooling tying thread onto the ceramic bobbin

• Whip finishers: knot tying can be accomplished with fingers, but this specialized tool makes securely tying the knots on the flies a snap.

• Wing burners: cutters used to shape wings and wing cases and cut them to proper size.

• Dubbing twisters: implements used to wrap fibrous materials around thread to approximate the body of the insect being mimicked by the fly.

• Tweezers: useful for picking up beads, glass weights and other tiny components used in fly tying.

The old saying says that you need the proper tools to do a job properly, and this is particularly true in fly tying. The toolkit described above is recommended by the experts as the best for the beginning fly tier. Click the link for fly tying and fly fishing videos.

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Why You Should Get Yourself Checked Up First Before Scuba Diving

Going scuba diving for the first time is definitely something to look forward to. You’ve seen all those gorgeous underwater pictures in travel blogs, and you can’t wait to transport into that other-worldly place yourself.

Of course,it’s not just about putting on the wet suit and turning on that oxygen tank. You will have to undergo training and certification before you can even be allowed anywhere near those depths. That is to ensure your safety and security underwater. Obviously, your physical capacities will be limited by the environment, and so you should know the basic ABC’s first.

Visit Your Doctor First Before Visiting The Deep Sea

Before you even get into training, you should visit your doctor first for a rudimentary check-up. You might as well do it before you leave before your trip, too, because either way, the diving training will still require you to get that check-up from their own doctor, especially if you do have a pre-existing medical condition.

In particular, wannabe-divers with a history of heart or lung conditions require their physician’s thumbs up. The conditions underwater are not exactly the best for those with this physical condition, especially because the heart and the lungs are the first to be directly affected, in the event of an underwater emergency.

Medication Issues

If you are under medication for whatever reason, it would be better too if you ask your own doctor during your check-up about the possible effects of taking these drugs, and going diving.

Basically, your purpose of going to your doctor before making that diving trip is to be responsible about your own health. As soon as you’re in the clear, then you can go ahead and enjoy getting that diving certification.

The official website of Arbeitsmedizin should help you better understand the importance of visiting your doctor for a check-up before getting into any extreme outdoor activities, like deep-sea diving.

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Why Get a GPS Dog Collar?

Dogs are fast and can easily get lost before you or even they realize it. The GPS dog collar was first made for hunting dogs, since they were expensive. People that were serious about hunting bought these collars and used them to keep track of their animals. Over time prices started to drop and casual hunters as well as normal dog owners starting to get these collars. There are many advantages to these collars. If you dog runs away or is stolen, then you can track him or her much easier if they are wearing one of these special collars.

How Does the Collar Work?

The collar has a transmitter and also a receiver. The transmitter is located in the collar and uses a satellite signal to send location information all the way back to the receiver. Some devices use a radio signal to get the job done. The receiver can be used on your computer or as a hand held piece of equipment. A good feature for some of these systems is that you can give your dog a safety roam area. If your dog leaves that area, then the device will instantly alert you. Some dog tracking devices will also let you mark locations, for example where your vehicle is located.

What To Look For in a GPS Collar.

Look for a buckle connector if possible rather than an easy to fall off velcro strap. Some older models do not work their best in woods. Make sure that no matter what model you choose, there is always fresh batteries in it before you go hunting.

Where Do You Buy a GPS Dog Collar?

You can not find this type of collar at your normal department stores. You can find them usually at major hunting or outdoor stores such as Bass Pro Shops. You can also find them online at places like Amazon.com or eBay. Be wary of the older models with velcro. Enjoy what a GPS dog collar can offer.

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Garmin Montana 650T Review – A Handheld GPS for Adventurers

Last year Garmin introduced three new handheld GPS devices for the Montana range.  There was the new 650T, 650, and 600 all of which come with an extra large 4-inch display and as well as offering voice guidance if you wish to also use it in your car as a standard GPS.  However, its main use is for those adventuring in the great outdoors.  Read on for a review of the Montana 650T detailing the functions that make it a cutting edge outdoor GPS handheld that is perfect for adventurers.

Montana Comes with a Large Touch Screen Display

From the outside the Montana 650T does look a bit like the existing Garmin Oregon product. The Montana’s appearance is dominated by the touch screen display which is large enough to be operated when wearing gloves which is perfect for outdoor use in rugged environments.  There is a button on the right edge of the case which lets you regulate the backlight and volume and the casing is very robust as well as being water resistant with all ports are hidden behind solid rubber caps.

Loads of Memory Storage for New Garmin Maps

There is plenty of storage space for maps with an internal memory of 7.35 GB, of which about 3.2 GB is freed up for user data that you generate whilst using the handheld.  There is also a micro SD memory card slot so you can upload additional GPX files such as way points, tracks, and geo caches.

Use the Virtual Keyboard and Clear Display

The 4-inch resistive touch screen display shows a large virtual keyboard that lets you enter text and shows clearly defined maps.  Comparing the Montana to the Garmin Oregon, this screen is almost double the size and has clearly been designed to be used by people who are going to be battling the elements where visibility could be poor.  The backlight is only used when sun light hits the display at an awkward angle but in most scenarios no additional lighting is necessary. The display is far brighter than in any other outdoor GPS device by Garmin. However, this can lead to a short battery life if you turn the display up to full brightness for extended periods of time.

Interestingly, the antenna appears on the back – next to the camera lens – so in order to record your progress via GPS it is usually best to strap the Montana vertically to your backpack straps so that the antenna has a clear view of the sky. If you carry the Montana horizontally in front of your body then you might not get a great reception which could be an issue whilst in dense forest.

Improved Software Enhancements and Easy to Use Menu

The software shows many improvements compared to the old Garmin Oregon and there are many different configuration options that are accessed using a three-page menu structure.  Each page has easy to understand icons which you can slide between using your finger.

The Garmin Montana offers the same features as the other GPS handhelds from Garmin included paperless geo caching, track and GPS navigation, Topo maps, and more.  To load new maps you can use the following types of cards: City Navigator, BlueChart marine, outdoor topographic maps, satellite images, raster, and OpenStreetMap compatibility – if you wish to buy additional maps for your Montana then you should use a Garmin Discount 2012 coupon to save yourself some money.

Comes with a Digital Camera for Geo Cachers

There is also a digital camera included with the Garmin Montana, letting you take photos as you hike.  It uses a 5 megapixel digital camera – this could be good for geo cachers as they can scan a clever hiding place, or perhaps a geologist who wishes to make an image of a new find.

Conclusion: The Garmin Montana is very similar to existing Garmin GPS handhelds, with the addition of a camera and a larger display.  Whilst this might not be enough for existing users of older models to be persuaded to upgrade, it is a superb handheld for people who do not yet own a device like this.  Prices start around $200 US Dollars although you might want to wait until the new Garmin Fenix watch hits the shelves later in the year before purchasing.

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Becoming A Backpacking Samurai

Backpacking is an outdoor activity that allows you to experience the great outdoors at its finest. Whether you enjoy hiking in the mountains, through forests, or along lakes or rivers, backpacking is the method for bringing along everything you need to survive in the backcountry. That means packing all the necessary food, water, sleeping gear, cooking gear, and other camping supplies to keep you comfortable while on the trail. Unless you want to carry several hundred pounds, you will want to limit the weight of your gear as much as possible. That is what becoming a backpacking samurai is all about.

Minimalist backpacking, which is what the title is alluding to (becoming a backpacking samurai), involves limiting the weight of your gear to the extreme. That means doing without a lot of comfort items, such as sleeping pads and extra clothes. Every piece of gear needs to serve multiple functions, and needs to be as light as possible. To become a backpacking samurai, follow the below tips when packing and planning your trip.

  • Down sleeping bags are generally lighter than synthetic sleeping bags. Substitute a down sleeping bag to save a few ounces in this category.
  • There is no such thing as lightweight water. Water is heavy. To save weight on how much water you carry, plan your hike along a river, stream, or lake, and only carry what you need, and then filter and refill your bottle when you need more.
  • It is always a good idea to pack enough food for your entire trip, even if you think you can catch your dinner at that high mountain lake you are hiking to. Rather than packing cans, go with mylar pouches. Dehydrated foods weigh less than MREs or other food items with water since they do not have any water weight.
  • Lay out your gear, and ask yourself if you really need an item. If the item serves more than one function (cook stove for cooking food, boiling water, melting snow, etc.), it is more worthy of coming along.

These are some tips to help you lighten your load when planning and packing for a backpacking trip. Follow these tips to become a backpacking samurai, and go to backpackingsamurai.com for more information on gear choices.

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