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Experience a New World of Bird Watching with Birding Binoculars

When it comes to birding, binoculars are a must have item. With binoculars you can identify birds easily that would be nothing but a speck on the horizon to the unaided eye. There are quite a few different makes and models of birding binoculars on the market, ranging in price from as little as a few dollars to sophisticated models costing thousands.

Binoculars with Magnification and Front Lens Diameter

For beginners, a pair of binoculars such as sold in any hardware store or sporting goods shop should fit the bill nicely. They can be purchased for very little and are generally quite durable, as well as doing an adequate job of magnification. These binoculars will bear two numbers by way of ratings. One will be the magnification power of the binoculars, the second number will be the diameter of the front lens, in millimeters.

These numbers will be written as in this example: 4x22. Thus, these binoculars would have a magnification power of four and front lens diameter of 22 millimeters. Magnification power needed is dependent on from what distance you want to observe birds. For merely watching birds in the trees near your home, a smaller magnification power is likely to be just fine. However, if you plan to head out into a more natural setting, then a stronger magnification will be needed for your birding binoculars.

Changing the Level of Magnification

The basic styles of binoculars have just one level of magnification and allow for a small amount of focusing. Then there are the ones which let you alter the level of magnification and the focus of the lens as well. These kinds of binoculars are particularly useful when switching from a close object to one further away and means you will not need a separate set of binoculars.

Make Sure Your Binoculars Are Not Too Heavy

When you are buying your new binoculars, make sure they are not too heavy. Some pairs are difficult to handle and holding them up for a long time can become tiresome, so this is something you should take into consideration. There are many lightweight models and in choosing one of these the full range of features does not have to be compromised. After all, if you intend to carry them around with you whilst out on your adventures bird watching you do not want to be struggling with a heavy pair of binoculars.

There's nothing to spoil that dream bird watching trip like being unable to spend all the time you need admiring the birds you came to see like inconvenient, heavy equipment. You should also seek out birding binoculars which have a scratch resistant lens coating and some way of carrying them around other than around your neck or in your hand. After all, you want your binoculars to give you a clear view, yet be out of your way except when you are marveling at avian wildlife.


Fun Camp Games For Kids

Camping is such a fun activity for kids and for the parents too. However, it will be more fun and enjoyable when you have camping games on your list. You should remember to take into consideration the preferences of the kids to make this camping moment a truly memorable one. So to help you on your camping preparations, here are five fun and easy camp games that you might want to include on your list:

1. Ah! So! Gi! - All participants will sit in circle around bonfire perhaps. The group will learn three commands for this game.

Ah! - they will shout "Ah!" aloud and put their left or right hand across their forehead in a salute motion. They will then point to the person sitting next to them.

So! - they will shout "So!" aloud while putting their left or right hand across their chin in a salute motion. They will then point to the person next to them.

Gi! - they will shout "Gi!" while placing both their hands across their chest in a clapping motion. They will then point towards any person in circle.

The commands and corresponding actions shall be done in order. When someone is "Gi"ed by another person, he/she shall start the sequence from the top. The person who will fail to follow the correct order and action of each command will be booted out from the circle until only two participants left. Of course, the last one with no mistake will be the winner of the game.

2. Hot Seat - One person will be on the "hot seat" and will have a piece of paper on his forehead with a word written on it. He/she will ask various questions and the rest of the group will answer "yes", "no" or "maybe" until he/she gets the correct answer. A timer is used in getting the correct answer. If the person did not get the right answer within the time allowed, then he/she has to perform a consequence.

3. Follow the Leader - There will be one leader and the rest of the kids will follow whatever this leader do or say. Participants who will fail to follow the exact words or actions of the leader will be out of the game. The last one standing shall be announced as the winner.

4. Bean bag toss game - Prepare some all-weather cornhole bags for exciting beanbag toss game for your camper kids. This game is fun and easy for the kids. They will just need to aim and toss the beanbag filled with feed corns at a raised platform with a hole at the end to be able to play the game.

5. Scavenger's hunt - You can also organize a scavenger's hunt activity for your kids. However, if you are going to camp on mountains or forest, you might want to make the game easier for them to avoid going in farther areas. Make sure that adults are also surrounding the place to look after the kids.

These are some examples of perfect games that will make your camping activity more fun and memorable. The kids and adults will surely have a great time playing these games.


Green Camping: Tips For An Environmentally Friendly Vacation

For some people, camping is a way to get back to nature while for others it means bringing out the big toys and having some fun. For the people who bring out the big motor home equipped with satellite television, cook tops, refrigerators and other neat gadgets, camping can leave a negative impact on the environment. For the people who wish to camp and do so while leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible, there are some clever tricks to keeping your camping "green" and safe.

LED Flashlights and Lanterns

LED lights are the most energy efficient light source currently available for flashlights and lanterns. They produce a brighter sustained light while still using less battery power than a traditional flashlight. In fact quality LED flashlight can provide over 600 hours of light from one set of regular AA or AAA batteries. The combination of battery savings and bulb efficiency results in up to 90% less energy consumption than any other flashlight. LED lanterns use the same bulb technology making them a good idea for having around the campsite as well.

Wind-up LED flashlights are an even more environmentally-conscious light source. These are fairly easy to use. All you have to do is wind them up to create power creating friction and turn it on. These lights don't put out as strong of a light as a regular LED but they are an excellent option for short hiking excursions.


Don't use styrofoam cups while camping, no matter how convenient they may seem. The same goes for paper plates and disposable plastic forks. Instead, camp with reusable dishes and utensils and wash them after each use. This will drastically decrease the amount of trash you burn (bad for the enviro-gases pollute the air) or throw away (plastics don't biodegrade quickly, overfilling our landfills).


Think about what you do at home to be ecologically friendly and institute it on your camping trip. Keep paper bags or bins around for recycling. You can then easily take this stuff back with you and recycle it appropriately when you get home. Also, consider composting your trash in a bucket if you can.

Go Low -Tech

A tent and sleeping bag is far more environmentally friendly than a motor home or camper trailer. Motor homes require large amounts of fuel and energy to keep in operation every day. With the cost of energy and fuel where it is right now, your camping trip could cost you a lot less if you consider more green camping alternatives.

You can enjoy a true outdoor camping excursion more if you do it electricity free. Leave the games, portable TVs, and computers at home. Pack a cell phone or PDA in case of emergencies but turn it off or just plain leave it alone. Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing how much energy we consumer every year.


Unless you're allergic to smoke or have strong asthma symptoms, the campfire is still the most ecologically friendly way to cook food. Fueled grills require propane or electricity to operate. Campfire requires wood that can be easily picked-up off the forest floor and a light source. It may not be practical to cook everything you want on a fire but you can use it for some things to help reduce the amount of time you cook on a fueled cook stove.

Going on a green camping trip can actually be one of the more fun vacations you take this summer. Look into ways you can help make less of an impact on the environment the next time you venture out into your home state's mountain country or forested parks.

~Ben Anton, 2008


Propane Camp Stove

Whether you are a camping enthusiast or simply someone wishing to be prepared for power outages during the winter, a portable stove may be the answer to simplifying and enhancing your cooking experience. A propane camp stove provides an excellent means by which to quickly heat food, especially when electricity and other heat sources are unavailable. The ease of propane fuel purchase along with the economical choice of a propane stove has given reason for many people to purchase individual units for themselves or larger units to heat food for the entire family.

So, what is propane and why is it so useful as a cooking fuel? The convenience of the fuel is greater than that of other fuels. Unlike pressurized liquid fuel stoves, propane stoves need no priming due to the fact propane is naturally in a gaseous state at room temperature. The gas is easily compressed into the form of a liquid and injected into a small metal container for use with a stove. Once the gas is released, it returns to its natural gaseous form, which happens to be the most efficient form in which any fuel burns. A propane stove can be easily lit after less than one minute of assembly due to the convenience of the pressurized fuel container. There is no pouring of liquid fuel and no risk of soaking down camping or hiking equipment with errant spills.

Also important to keep in mind is the fact that propane canisters are easily found at retail outlets around the country. Whether your need is a small container or a larger refillable container, you will be able to easily find propane suppliers. As a matter of fact, many people have turned to using propane for outdoor grilling at home due to its ease of use and purchase. Once purchased, smaller containers can also be stored for extended periods of time in dry conditions and can be used years later in any propane camp stove in the future. If for example you bought a canister five years ago only to store the item in your basement, you will find that once the power goes out during the next winter storm it's still ready for use; there is no expiration for propane gas as a fuel. This cannot always be said for liquid fuels used in some camping stoves.

Propane stoves also provide an even source of heating, with most stoves equipped with burners that have small openings that evenly disperse the fuel, allowing fast heating. As many campers can attest to, wood-burning fires and some liquid-fueled stoves fail to provide even heating, causing cooking to become more of a chore than necessary. The reason for a better heating experience with propane has more to do with the air-to-fuel ratio that is allowed in a propane camp stove. Because propane is naturally a gas, it mixes well with other gases including oxygen. This blending of the fuel with oxygen allows for a more even, complete burning than is seen with some other forms of fuel. When a propane stove is working properly, a clean-burning blue flame is produced, indicating the release of only carbon dioxide and water. The cleaner a fuel burns, the more efficient the fuel. The more efficient the fuel, the better experience had by all when warming a meal at their campsite on a cool autumn night. Without a doubt, propane stoves provide a convenience admired by campers and hikers around the world.


Hiking And Camping: A Growing Trend Again

Are you interested in getting closer to nature? Do you like walking and sleeping under the stars - or under canvas at least? If you do, then a walking or hiking and camping holiday may be just the thing for you. A hiking and camping holiday will get you out in the fresh air, permit you to observe nature first hand and cost you very little to boot. In short, hiking and camping are the ideal blend, if you are looking for a healthy, low-cost break outdoors.

Not only that but you can either go alone with a couple of good books, take a lover, take a friend or take the family with you. All in all, you have many alternatives available to you if you want to trek off into the wild blue yonder on foot.

There are a few of ways of tackling a vacation of this sort. You can either book into a hiking and camping site or you can literally simply head off. If you have children with you then the camping site is a necessity, but otherwise the decision is yours, although it has to be kept in mind, that camping off site is or can be illegal. Trespass is absolutely illegal as is causing a nuisance of yourself, putting wild animals under stress for no good reason, damaging trees or property and littering.

So, if you are new to hiking and camping, you will probably be better off going to a hiking and camping site or park. Do not be put off by this thought, some of them are truly immense. Check out the Poconos and other national parks for instance.

There is no doubt that price is a factor in the choice of a camping holiday for many young people, but it is hardly ever the sole reason why people like to get away and sleep under the stars. Going back to nature and bird- and animal-watching are other common reasons.

If you fancy this sort of holiday, it is worth remembering that hiking and camping have become extremely popular pastimes of late. They always were well-liked, it is true, but they waned in the Eighties and Nineties, and are seeing a resurgence now. Therefore, do your homework, see where you would like to go, get some brochures or look on line and book up early. Yes, nowadays you have to book up early to get into the best hiking and camping sites again.

A final note of warning, if you decide to go off into the wilderness outside a park, let people know where you are. Take your mobile phone and a couple of fully-charged extra batteries and say when you are going to phone in that you are safe and make certain that you abide by it. It is very expensive if Air-Sea Rescue are called out on unnecessarily.


The Benefits of Walking Sticks For Hiking

There are an abundance of benefits in having walking sticks for hiking. Hiking sticks are different than the canes you normally see. For one, they can be much longer than a cane. They don't have a curved handle, but are straight. They have a much sturdier tip, often times much larger in diameter than a regular cane, so that when you place them on the ground the have a better surface to ground area. Some of them even have a thick rubber end that can grip uneven or slippery terrain. The upper part of the stick, where you hold it, often has some kind of rubber or thick leather, so you can grip it better.

One of the main reasons for buying walking sticks for hiking is that they can reduce fatigue. When going downhill, these hiking sticks can reduce stress on the joints in your legs, uphill, they can transfer some of the weight to you upper body, not only reducing leg fatigue, but also giving you an extra oomph to your ascent. With the use of a walking stick, you will have better balance, especially when carrying a heavy pack. On uneven terrain, patches of snow and ice, they can help make you safe. You can use a walking stick to check out loose rocks, so that you don't slip when you walk, and a can add stability when crossing streams.

In addition, walking sticks for hiking can have a number of accessories. One can buy hiking sticks that have straps to keep your hand in, so the walking stick doesn't get away from you in certain circumstances. They can have emergency whistles, or even a compass attached to them. While most walking sticks are made from solid materials such as wood or lightweight aluminum, others are telescopic, which is convenient for some. This means that you can have a full sized walking stick, and when it is not being used it can shrink down and be packed away.

The nice part about walking sticks for hiking is that they can be as simple, or as decorated as you want. Hiking sticks have been used for centuries, and many have decorations, which can go with your style. Whether is it an 'Old Man of the Woods,' head carved into it, or some kind of Celtic design, the possibilities are almost limitless. If you are someone who like working with wood, you can buy a plain one and create your own designs.

One of the nicest things about these walking sticks for hiking is that they are not that expensive. Some of the simplest products are under twenty dollars. It is important to know that the fancier it is, the more extras is includes, the more expensive it will be. Wood is sometimes cheaper than aluminum, but for those that don't care about being fancy, and just want a walking stick that is functional, a cheaper one can be a good idea. The main importance is that they have a comfortable, easy to grip handle, are made from a sturdy material, and have a flat surface area where the stick meets the ground.


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