Maximize Your Camping Experience

Enjoy the Great Outdoors with The Right Camping Equipment.
 
Some of our best memories are centered around camping trips when our two boys were young. After spending the entire day outdoors, we would gather around a campfire in the evening to watch bats fly overhead and to listen to the chirping of crickets and the croaking of tree frogs. Camping gave us more opportunities for face-to-face time and a respite from such distractions as television.
 
It should be noted that we never “roughed it.” We firmly believed our camping experience would be more enjoyable for us and our kids if we had the right equipment. That equipment has undergone a significant transformation in the more than 10 years since we stopped camping. It’s significantly better—more durable, more lightweight and specifically designed to further enhance the outdoor experience. If you’re considering camping, keep the following offerings in mind.
 
Chill Out with Yeti Coolers
 
Whether you’re camping, hunting or fishing, you want a cooler that keeps items cold for a long period of time and one that is nearly indestructible. Those are the traits that have made Yeti coolers extremely popular with campers. They have very few working parts and feature locks and handles that are extremely durable. As avid campers know, Yeti coolers were developed out of necessity in 2006 by two brothers who are extreme hunting, fishing and outdoors enthusiasts. They created premium coolers with a focus on quality, not price. For 2017, the big news from Yeti is the introduction of its Hopper Two line of portable soft sided coolers.
 
“We came out with our first soft-sided cooler two years ago. It was completely watertight, including the closure, and durable. The original Hopper worked great, but we knew we could make it even better,” said Yeti’s Casey Sellers.
 
And improve on the original Hopper they did, starting by increasing the amount of ColdCell insulation, ensuring that items stay colder longer. Even a long way from camp, you can rest assured your catch (or kill) stays fresh. Your prize is also easier to load and unload into the Hopper Two, thanks to the new front zipper location, which makes the opening much wider.
 
“We also made the body more tapered, which makes carrying it for longer periods more convenient,” added Sellers.
 
As Sellers explained, the more tapered body is ergonomically efficient, as are the new handles. There are now three different sets of reinforced handles, giving you options in how you want to carry the Hopper Two. Yeti also redesigned the zipper clasp; it’s now easier to open and close.
 
The Hopper Two is available in three sizes: 20, 30 and 40, with sizes corresponding with the pounds of ice that can be carried. All three sizes feature the company’s DryHide™ waterproof shell to prevent leaks.
 
De-stress in a Grand Trunk Hammock
 
One of the primary reasons for going camping is to de-stress, and there are few better ways of doing so than in a hammock. They’re ideal to while away an afternoon while reading a book or catching some shut-eye. If that sounds appealing to you, we recommend hammocks from Grand Trunk.
 
The company was founded in 2001 when owners Jon Neff and Kevin Kaiser met during a backpacking trip in Thailand. They shared a passion for travel and a desire for letting people sleep suspended rather than on the ground. Today, Grand Trunk offers some of the widest and longest hammocks on the market, certainly the case with the Double Hammock.
 
“Our Double Hammock is made of 70D taffeta nylon, and it’s 20 percent larger than normal-sized hammocks. It features nautical-grade carabiners, comes in a variety of colors and offers a 400-pound capacity. It’s a great seating option; two people can comfortably and safely sit in it,” said Grand Trunk’s Brian Fisher.
The Double Hammock is mold- and mildew-resistant, comes with a lifetime warranty and can be conveniently cleaned in a front-load washer; just be sure to remove the carabiners before doing so.
 
To hang your hammock in areas where trees are farther apart, consider Grand Trunk Tree Slings. They feature 10-foot cord on either side for more versatility and a piece of nylon webbing to protect the trees. They also come with a lifetime warranty against defects and manufacturing issues.
 
For those situations and areas where trees are not available, such as tailgate parties, picnics or your own backyard, Fisher recommends the newly introduced Hang-Out Hammock Stand. It will be available in Dunham’s stores next month – in early July.
 
“We like to say that the Hang-Out hammock stand allows you to hang wherever you are,” said Fisher.
 
This portable hammock stand weighs approximately 32 pounds, breaks apart into eight sections and comes with its own carrying bag.
 
Stay Dry and Comfortable in a Columbia Tent
 
When my family and I camped, it was in a pop-up camper. Now that the kids are grown and we no longer own the camper, my wife and I are considering purchasing a tent, and we’ll likely start by looking at the Columbia Pinewood Dome tents, specifically the 4 Person and 6 Person models.
 
Both are equipped with Columbia Omni Shield Advanced Repellency Technology. It creates an exceptional water barrier to help campers stay dry and enables the fabric to dry three to five times faster than untreated fabric. That’s important if you need to pack your tent shortly after a rainfall.
 
To make it easier to get into the tents, both models feature a double-door design with an extra-high awning over the door, and both deliver great air flow inside the tent due to the upper and lower cross-ventilation design. This ensures optimal comfort on warm nights. When evenings turn chilly, especially at the beginning and end of the season, the vents can be closed to retain more warmth.
 
And when it’s raining, you can stay comfortable and dry in your tent, thanks to the easily attachable and detachable rainfly. When attached, it creates an awning over the door for protected entry and exit from the tent. Both the 4 Person and 6 Person tent also feature an electrical access port to facilitate plugging in electrical equipment and gear pockets to keep valuables safely stored and out of the way.
 
As the name implies, the 4 Person model sleeps up to four, measures 9 feet by 7 feet and features a 59-inch center height. For those who need or simply want a larger tent, the 6 Person model measures 11 feet by 9 feet and features a 72-inch center height. Columbia made setup and takedown easy, thanks to durable shock-corded fiberglass poles with a fast clip and a pole sleeve design.
 
Columbia also offers several items to make your camping or backpacking experience more pleasurable, including the Clackamas daypack series, which features a large main compartment with two soft-lined pockets and a zippered mesh pocket. To alleviate shoulder stress, this daypack features contoured shoulder straps with high-density foam and breathable air mesh. There are dual side water bottle pockets to ensure that you stay hydrated on long excursions and quick-access points on the right and left side to attach sunglasses. The Clackamas is available in beet, black, blue moon and collegiate navy.
 
In today’s ever-connected world, it’s a good idea to get away. Check out the camping products mentioned in this article to make your camping experience pleasurable and hassle-free.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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A Century of Celebrating America’s Beauty

Enjoy our nation’s wonder by camping at a National Park.
 
This upcoming August 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service, an organization devoted to maintaining our nation’s natural splendor. The idea of conserving and enjoying natural spaces is actually even older. An Act signed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 established Yellowstone as our nation’s first national park and the first national park in the world. Last year, over 307 million people visited a national park. From battlefields to recreation areas, scenic waterways and trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And there’s no better way to experience all the splendor that a national park has to offer than camping. So consider pitching a tent at any of the following national parks this summer.
 
Michigan/Ohio/Pennsylvania
 
There’s something for everyone at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. Camping, historic sites, wildlife watching and kayaking are available at this national park in Monroe, Michigan. The site was the scene of a major battle in the War of 1812. The loss by the United States’ forces here was a major turning point in our eventual victory. The trail provides visitors with an outstanding opportunity to step back in time and experience the marshes and wetlands that the early French settlers first explored.
 
Head north to Upper Michigan and explore Isle Royale National Park. This island park in Lake Superior offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing and scuba diving adventures. Backpacking and camping are especially popular, with 36 campgrounds located across the island. Campsites are accessible only by foot or watercraft. Typically, campers backpack from one campground to another, traveling six to eight miles per day. Several campgrounds on the Lake Superior shoreline have docks for power and sail boaters. Other campgrounds, located inland, are only accessible by non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks. For those who enjoy tranquility, you must check out this park.
 
Illinois/Indiana/Minnesota/Wisconsin
 
Just as rugged and just as awe-inspiring is Voyageurs National Park in International Falls, Minnesota. It was established in 1975 and named after the fur traders, called voyageurs (voyagers or travelers) who paddled the waterways over 200 years ago. Here you can see and touch rocks half as old as the world, experience the life of a voyageur, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a boreal forest, view the dark skies right from your campsite, or ply the interconnected water routes. With one-third of the parks 215,000-plus acres consisting of water, be sure to take in one of the two boat tours available June through September.
 
Kentucky/Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia
 
Explore the world’s longest known cave system (over 400 miles of caves have been explored so far) at Mammoth Cave National Park in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Cave tours have been offered since 1816, which makes Mammoth Cave one of the oldest tour attractions in North America. Mammoth Cave offers a number of tours of various duration and physical ability; be sure to pick one that suits you and all of your family members. Dress accordingly, since even on the hottest August days a sweatshirt or jacket is recommended within the cave. In addition to cave tours, hiking, camping, horseback riding, fishing and kayaking are available.
 
North Carolina/Tennessee
 
Situated on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited national park. It offers an unparalleled diversity of plant and animal life. Part of the Appalachian mountain chain, the “Smokies” get their name from the fog that tends to hang over the mountains in the morning and after rains. In addition to the natural beauty of these ancient mountains, this park offers views of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. One of the most popular destinations within the park is Cades Cove. It offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the park. Large numbers of white-tailed deer are frequently seen and sightings of black bear, coyote, ground hog, turkey, raccoon, skunk, and other animals are also possible.
In addition to camping, plenty of other activities are available, including biking, hiking, fishing and horse riding. Thanks to its’ ample rainfall and elevation gradient, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal destination for those who want to experience waterfalls. Over 100 prominent ones are featured within the park.
 
Kansas/Nebraska/Oklahoma/South Dakota
 
The rugged beauty of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Take in the 45-minute geology walk, visit the paleontology lab or attend the fossil talk to learn more about the ancient mammals––such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat––that once roamed here. Today, bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets reside within the park’s 244,000 acres. Have your cameras ready to capture their majestic beauty. For those who have never truly experienced the magnificence of the night sky, be sure to take in the Night Sky Program. It offers views of more than 7,500 stars and clear views of our Milky Way.
 
Every state in our nation offers a national treasure, be it a wilderness area, historical monument, trail or recreation area, with many offering onsite camping. The list is much too long to include in any article, so please visit www.nps.gov for more information and discover for yourself why we call it America the Beautiful.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Pitch a Tent, Not a Fit

Today’s Camping Equipment is Light Weight & Easy to Set Up.
 
There is little that compares to the great experience of camping: Fresh air, food cooked on a grill and a break (hopefully) from our always-connected world. My family and I were regular campers for about 10 years, immensely enjoying evenings around a campfire, with the only sounds being the chirping of crickets and tree frogs. After a seven-year hiatus, we are considering camping again and a number of recently introduced products have garnered our attention.
 
Coleman
 
Rather than another pop-up camper, my wife and I are considering tents. As with nearly every consumer product, technology is constantly evolving, making everything easier, lighter and more efficient. One such offering is the Coleman Cold Springs Tent with Porch.
 
“This is a porch like at your home,” explained Coleman’s Sharon Scott. “It’s seven-feet long and both sides zip up, making it a great place to store your gear.”
 
The sides roll up for maximum lighting or you can roll them down to block morning or evening sun. The entire porch area also zips off, leaving you with an optimal four-person tent. Like all Coleman tents, it’s wind- and weather-resistant and features the company’s patented welded floors and inverted seams to help keep water out. Anyone who has ever tripped on guy lines in low-light conditions will appreciate that they are reflective on this tent.
 
“This tent can be set up in as little as 10 minutes and includes the Coleman rainfly feature for extra weather protection,” Scott said.
 
Another interesting Coleman offering is the Moraine Park Tent. Available in either four- or six-person configuration, it’s part of the company’s Fast Pitch TM line of products that are specifically designed to be set up with minimal effort and minimal time.
 
“Moraine Park Tents use pre-attached poles and hub, fast-fit feet and a snag-free Insta-Clip suspension to let you set up your tent 40%-60% faster than a comparable Coleman tent with the conventional setup,” Scott said.
 
The six-person version is large enough to accommodate two queen-sized air mattresses and both models feature a Murphy Shelf that folds down and includes a pocket to organize items. It’s removable and zips up, so you can take your phones, keys and other valuables with you when you leave the tent.
 
Westfield Outdoors
 
Also easy to set up are two offerings from Westfield Outdoors. Ideal is the 11-foot x 9-foot dome tent. It accommodates six and is designed for maximum interior space and easy setup and teardown.
 
“This tent features a center height of 72 inches; that’s more headroom than what you’ll find in most tents. It’s easy to set up: cross two shock-corded fiberglass poles in the middle and the tent is up,” said Michael Bryant, Westfield Outdoors.
 
If you require even more space, check out the company’s 15-foot x 15-foot cabin tent. In addition to all of the features found in the dome tent, the cabin tent includes a room divider, allowing you to comfortably accommodate two families of five or to divide the sleeping area from the living area. Both tents include a gear loft and mash pockets to organize small items.
 
Alps Mountaineering
 
For a cozier camping experience, check out Alps Mountaineering’s 10-foot x 10-foot RimRock 6 tent. It features two shock-corded fiberglass poles for easy setup and a polyethylene tub-style floor for optimal durability.
 
The RimRock 6 tent offers 100 cubic feet of usable space and a six-foot center height. It features a polyester fly that resists UV damage and stays taut. The fly is sealed at the factory for best weather protection.
 
This tent is designed with two zippered windows (one in the door, one in back) and large side mesh panels for optimal ventilation. The zippers on the door are large for greater convenience and durability. As with many tents nowadays, this tent features mesh storage pockets and a gear loft to keep items and valuables organized.
 
What’s Cooking?
 
A day of fresh air and outdoor activities tends to work up an appetite; you’ll want a grill that is effective and convenient to use and transport. We like the Coleman RoadTrip X-cursion model.
 
The collapsible steel scissor legs and low-profile design make it easy to move the grill around the campsite and the off-road wheels mean you don’t have to stay on pavement to enjoy this grill.
 
“With 20,000 BTUs and 285 square inches of porcelain-coated, cast iron grates, the RoadTrip X-cursion can pretty much take anything you can throw at it,” Coleman’s Kit Childers said.
 
Coleman took cleanup into account when designing this grill and incorporated a water pan to catch all the grease. When you’re done cooking, simply wipe the pan down with a paper towel to clean it. The pan is also dishwasher-safe.
 
“Thanks to the racetrack burner, you can do focused cooking, such as boiling a pot of water on one side and slower-cooking meat or vegetables on the other side,” Childers added.
 
Because it folds flat, we’ve seen these grills at picnics, tailgate parties and other outdoor events.
 
With summer finally here, get out and enjoy our great outdoors with camping products designed to make your camping experience pleasurable and hassle-free.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Get The Most Out Of Your Camping Experience

With These Cool Accessories
 
Whether it’s a car or an article of clothing, the right accessories make the experience all the more pleasurable. Same applies to camping. You need items to keep your food cold and safe, to keep bugs away and to enable you to truly let the stress of everyday life melt away. Consider the following next time you hit the great outdoors.
 
Yeti Coolers
 
In the last issue of this magazine, we asked you which outdoor camping item tops your list of “must haves” this summer. The clear winner, with 44 percent of the vote, was the Yeti Tundra cooler. Available in a variety of sizes, these coolers are designed to keep ice for several days.
 
“Yeti coolers were developed out of necessity in 2006 by two brothers who are extreme hunting, fishing and outdoors enthusiasts. They created premium coolers with a focus on quality, not price. Yeti coolers have very few working parts and feature locks and handles that simply won’t break,” said Yeti’s Ken Smyth.
 
All Tundra models feature roto-molded construction – the same process used on whitewater kayaks – for optimal durability and permafrost insulation to keep food and beverages cold longer. Tundra models also feature the company’s Barefoot non-slip feet, a no-sweat design and handles made with a military-grade nylon rope with a heavy-duty textured grip.
 
“Our Tundra coolers are certified bear-proof and come with a five-year limited warranty against defects in material and workmanship. This is the perfect cooler for any camping trip,” Smyth added.
 
For baseball and soccer games or a day kayaking or canoeing, Smyth recommends the Yeti Hopper line of coolers.
 
“These are soft-sided coolers that are constructed with material that is used in white water rafts. They are 100-percent leak-proof, double-stitched and use the same heavy-duty zipper found in hazmat and survival suits,” Smyth explained.
 
To keep beverages cold for days, Hopper coolers feature an inch of closed-cell foam insulation on the sides and 1.5 inches on the bottom. They are backed by a three-year limited warranty.
 
Grand Trunk Hammocks
 
One reason to go camping is to get away from the life’s stressful situation and one way to melt the tension away is in a Grand Trunk hammock.
 
“Grand Trunk was founded in 2001 when the owners, Jon Neff and Kevin Kaiser, met during a backpacking trip in Thailand. They shared a passion for travel and a desire for letting people sleep suspended, rather than on the ground. Today, Grand Trunk offers some of the widest and longest hammocks on the market,” explained Mike Clark, the company’s national sales manager.
 
Check out Grand Trunk’s Ultralight Travel Hammock. It’s lightweight (weighs just 12 oz.), durable – thanks to triple stitching – can hold up to 200 lbs. and stuffs down to the size of an apple.
 
“This is a great option for budget-minded travelers looking for a compact, reliable hammock,” Clark said.
 
For those looking for a longer hammock, we recommend Grand Trunk’s Parachute offerings. They’re 10.5-feet long (versus 9.5 feet for the Ultralight) and can accommodate up to 400 lbs.
 
“We call our Parachute Hammocks the do-it-all, hang-anywhere hammock. It’s lightweight and compresses down to the size of a softball. You can enjoy it hiking, backpacking, camping or in your own backyard,” Clark stated.
 
Thermacell Repellents
 
Camping or any outdoor activity can be much more pleasant if we can repel annoying insects and we’re especially intrigued by offerings from Thermacell. They create a 15-foot by 15-foot insect-free zone without spraying something on our skin.
 
“Our products provide a 15-foot dome of protection, which is the average size of campsite, and work on a number of insects, including mosquitoes, black flies and gnats,” Thermacell’s Mike Bergeron said.
 
Available as a lantern or a portable device that Bergeron describes as “a TV remote on steroids,” these products are virtually odor free, have no open flame and use the Allethrin repellent. This is a copy of a repellent that naturally occurs in chrysanthemums and will not harm humans or pets.
 
“We are the only company that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) allows to make a statement that these units are 98-percent effective,” Bergeron said.
 
Sawyer Repellents and Filtration
 
Another method for controlling insects is to apply repellent to clothing, tents and other gear with Sawyer Permethrin products.
 
“Our products repel and kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects on contact. When applied to clothing, Permethrin binds to the fabric, creating the largest surface areas of protection. A single application lasts six washings,” said Sawyer’s Nick Capisciolto.
 
As he explained, Permethrin is odorless when dry and will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or any outdoor gear.
 
Ensuring our drinking water is safe while camping is always a prime concern, so are glad to hear about the Sawyer MINI water filter. It’s rated to 0.1 micron absolute, weighs only 2 ounces and filters up to 100,000 gallons!
 
“Our MINI filter can be attached to the included collapsible drinking pouch, inline on a hydration pack, on a standard soda bottle, or simply use the included drinking straw to drink directly from the water source,” Capisciolto added.
 
Like all Sawyer filters, a proper backwashing can restore up to 98.5 percent of the filter’s flow rate. That means no expensive cartridges to replace, ever.
 
Pair up these accessories with the tents described in our other camping article for a more pleasant and enjoyable camping experience.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Treasures Await

Find Yours with Metal Detectors
 
Perhaps it’s the allure of finding valuable metals, coins, jewelry and historical artifacts like we see on TV. Maybe it’s related to the rise in gold prices. Whatever the reason, metal detectors are once again quite popular and a favorite family activity, especially between grandparents and grandkids.
 
The most popular brand of metal detectors found at Dunham’s Sports is the Bounty Hunter line, including the Tracker IV model. It can detect coins that are seven inches deep in the ground and features three modes of operation and two-tone audio discrimination. The Tracker IV model can detect all types of metal or you can set it for a desired type. The sensitivity level control lets you determine how sensitive the detection should be and at what ground depth you wish to search.
 
For those who take their metal detecting more seriously, there’s the Bounty Hunter Discovery 1100. It also detects coins up to seven inches deep in the ground and features a three-segment LCD display, three-tone audio discrimination and a seven-inch open-frame, waterproof search coil for searching in shallow waters.
 
Newly available at Dunham’s Sports is the New Master Edition Metal Detector Kit from Barska. It features three operation modes to distinguish between various metals, such as identifying whether the item being picked up by the detector is gold or aluminum.
 
“You can ask the New Master Edition Metal Detector to disregard nails and other non-valuable items and focus on the more valuable stuff,” Ryan Hills of Barska said.
 
The New Master Edition Metal Detector also features an auto tune, which lets you tune your detector quickly for accuracy, a stem that can be adjusted from 13 inches to 19 inches (to accommodate the user’s height and reach) and an adjustable arm rest for greater comfort.
 
“If you’re going camping, metal detecting is something nice to do while you’re out in the woods. Metal detectors fold down pretty small, so they’re easy to transport,” Hills added.
 
All of the metal detectors found at Dunham’s Sports carry limited manufacturers’ warranties and all are equipped to be used with available headphones that are not limited to metal detecting. The Bounty Hunter headphones, for example, deliver true stereo sound, swivel ear cups and padded earphones for optimal comfort. In addition to enabling you to enjoy your metal detecting excursion in private, these headphones can be used to listen to your favorite music, since they feature both ¼-inch and -inch plugs.
 
Care for your metal detector is minimal: Wipe down the head and replace the batteries when needed and you’re all set for hours of treasure hunting. Good luck!
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Comfy, Cozy and A Snap To Set Up

Camping Is More Enjoyable with Today’s Tents
 
We’ve all seen the comedy routine: a couple pulls to a campsite and attempts to unfold and assemble a tent. Hours later, the tent is up, but it resembles nothing like it’s supposed to: poles are askew and the flap is on top of the tent. Sure, it’s an exaggeration; that’s what makes it funny. There is, however, a kernel of truth in the scene. Recognizing this, tent manufacturers have made set up and tear down foolproof and a snap.
 
Set Up Is A Breeze
 
“We offer instant and pop-up tents,” said Coleman’s Sharon Scott. “They feature easy, fast and intuitive setup. In fact, the two- and four-person pop-up tents can typically be set up in only 10 seconds.” As Scott explained, other Coleman two- and four-person tents can typically be assembled in 10 minutes.
 
Another line of tents that can be assembled quickly and easily is the Portal Speed Up series from Westfield Outdoors.
 
“Our Speed Up products provide quick and convenient setup/take down – two minutes or less. They also deliver superior usable space, thanks to straighter walls and larger eaves. This new frame system is applied to dome and cabin tents of all sizes,” said Michael Bryant of Westfield Outdoors.
 
Frame poles are pre-attached to the proper spots on the tents, so setup is a breeze. Simply unfold the tent, extend the leg poles, attach the rainfly and stake it down. As Bryant explained, it typically takes more time to stake down than to pitch the tent.
 
Cozy and Dry in Inclement Weather
 
Yet another great feature of today’s camping tents is their ability to stay dry when the weather is not.
 
“Coleman tents feature our proprietary Weather Tec™ System to protect campers from the elements,” Scott said. Weather Tec incorporates a unique method of welding the floor corners to reduce the risk of leaking from the floor. Coleman also inverts the seams, so the stitching is on the inside of the tent, reducing exposure to external moisture and reducing the risk of snags on loose branches, etc. The tent’s rainflies are seam-taped at the factory to prevent leaks along the stitch lines.
 
“Our tents have to pass a number of tests, including our rain room testing where we dump over 30 gallons of water on a tent in about 10 minutes time. If more than a tablespoon of water makes its way into the tent, it’s back to the drawing board,” Scott added.
 
Keeping occupants warm and dry is just as important in Westfield Outdoor tents. It begins with a separate rainfly, which allows maximum ventilation and protection from rain and the elements. All Westfield Products also go through a rigorous quality control process throughout the entire manufacturing process. Additionally all fabrics are coated with water-resistant coatings, taped rainfly seams and welded tub floor seams.
 
“To ensure our products exceed the campers’ expectations, we test each style of tent with campers in a variety of camping environments,” Bryant added.
 
Choosing The Right Tent
 
Dunham’s Sports offers a wealth of tents from Coleman and Westfield Outdoors. Choosing the one that’s right for you requires a little homework on your part.
 
“Make a checklist of those features you cannot live without and those features that would be nice to have but are not necessities. Consider how frequently and in what type of weather you’ll be camping. To be truly comfortable in a tent, cut the rated occupancy by two people. In other words, two people will be comfortable in a four-person tent. Finally, remember how much room you have in your vehicle: the bigger the tent, the more space it will take up in the car,” Scott advised.
 
“The first thing to consider when choosing a tent is the type of camping a customer anticipates,” Bryant added. “If backpacking, weight is of utmost concern. The lightest tent that will accommodate your camping party will be the best choice. If you’re camping at a site that’s accessible by your vehicle, campers can focus on space, comfort and ease of setup.”
 
Easy Maintenance
 
No matter the size of the tent or type of camping you’ll be doing, you can rest assured that today’s tents require minimal maintenance, maximizing fun time.
 
“Typical maintenance of a tent is really limited to reasonable care and cleaning. If a tent is rinsed to remove any surface dirt, dust or leaves, there should be no further cleaning needed. Of course, be sure to dry the tent before storing it to avoid mildew,” Bryant said.
 
“Pack the tent dry and clean and store it in a cool, dry place. At the campsite, don’t set up under low-hanging branches or near fires. Follow these simple guidelines to get years of worry-free enjoyment,” Scott added.
 
For more camping information, including associated equipment, please visit the companies’ websites or consult with a knowledgeable Dunham’s Sports camping consultant. Enjoy our nation’s great outdoors!
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Portable Heaters

 
With the dog days of winter coming up quickly, staying comfortable—both inside and out—is the key to enjoying the season to its fullest. Thanks to the variety of choices in both propane and infrared heaters, it’s possible to stay warm and cozy from your living room to your tree stand or other temporary outdoor space.
 
Safe, Supplemental Warmth
 
For those of you looking for a little extra electrical heat in a cold bedroom or basement, look no further than the infrared Lifesmart heaters. Because they don’t use a flammable gas like propane, these heaters are great for any room that’s in need of an extra boost of heat during those extra-chilly months.
 
“Infrared quartz portable heaters do not use burning heat,” explained Dustin Awe of Lifesmart Infrared Electric Heaters. “Once the heat exchanger absorbs the infrared heat, it exhales the heat into the living area, and the heat is carried by the existing humidity in the air.”
 
As most homeowners know, it can cost a fortune to heat a house thoroughly during the winter. With Lifesmart heaters, however, the rooms that are most prone to being too cold and expensive to keep warm won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
 
Because the infrared quartz heaters use humidity to carry heat, they don’t dry out the air like a furnace would. That results in a pretty substantial increase in efficiency, according to Awe.
 
“Infrared heaters are a great way to heat specific rooms or areas, which can be more efficient,” Awe said. “Infrared quartz heaters are proven to be up to 50 percent more efficient than forced-air furnaces.”
 
Lifesmart infrared heaters come in several designs to fit just about every room size and style, from the compact yet powerful 1,200-square-foot heater in a black cabinet to the big 2,000-square-foot heater in a wood cabinet. Lifesmart also has a fireplace heater capable of heating 1,800 square feet that mimics a real fireplace flame. All styles come with two remote control units.
 
Comfortably Warm Inside or Out
 
Another option that is usable both inside and out is the propane-fueled Buddy heater, which is the only portable heater on the market certified to be used both indoors and out.
 
Using radiant heat, which is the same heat we feel from the sun, Buddy heaters come in four sizes: Little Buddy 3,800 Btu, Portable Buddy 9,000 Btu, Hunting Buddy 12,000 Btu, and Big Buddy 18,000 Btu. They’re also incredibly portable, which is useful in hunting blinds and ice shanties.
 
“These heaters easily fit in pop-up blinds and ice shanties,” explained Jeff Bush of Enerco. “The Little Buddy heats 100 square feet, Portable Buddy 200 square feet, Hunting Buddy 300 square feet, and Big Buddy 400 square feet.”
 
Whether you’re looking for relief from a cold office, basement, hunting blind or ice shanty, there are heaters available for any situation. So don’t go cold — and don’t go broke — trying to stay warm and comfortable this winter.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Getting the Gang Together

While many activities can appeal to the entire family, some are just naturals. They’re the kind of things you probably wouldn’t want to do alone, activities that have broad appeal and benefit from interaction. From among the many that fit into this category, we’ve decided to take a look at some of today’s family favorites: sledding, snowboarding, table games, and camping. 
 
Down We Go!
 
Hills were probably created with family fun in mind. That’s especially true of hills covered with snow — hills that are perfect for sledding and snowboarding.
 
My granddaughter and I spend a lot of time sledding in the winter. There’s a good-sized hill at our local park, and the city fathers thoughtfully place some hay bales in strategic locations to prevent sledding tykes from going off course and running into immovable objects or the frozen river. Right after a snowfall, the soft snow makes for leisurely trips downhill, but after several hundred kids have taken a turn on the hill, it becomes slick and fast. That’s how my granddaughter prefers it. She speeds downhill on her wooden sled at considerable speed and frequently comes to a stop only when she bumps up against the hay bales a few hundred yards away. Great fun.
 
While our sled is an old-fashioned wooden-runner type, we see all manner of sleds on the hill, ranging from plastic saucers to foam platform types with a channeled underside meant to optimize speed. We see wooden toboggans, inflatable sleds, and steerable sleds and plastic snowboards like Dunham’s hot seller the Big Fraction.
 
You can also see a wide variety of sleds at Dunham’s, and a sales representative will be happy to help you choose a sled that’s just right for you and your children.
 
For those who prefer a bit more adventure with their downhill dash, there’s snowboarding. A first cousin to skiing, snowboarding rivals its older relative in popularity in some parts of the country. Like skiing, it takes a bit of practice.
 
First time snowboarders should be prepared to face a challenge and a fairly steep learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, it’s exhilarating. If you’re already a skier, you’ll find that snowboarding requires a different set of skills because the dynamics of control are not the same.
 
Snowboards come in a variety of types, but the most common is the all-mountain board, which can be used on just about any kind of terrain — be it that hill at the park or a ski resort high in the Rockies. When choosing a snowboard, it’s important to match the size of the board to the size of the rider. In addition to a board, you’ll also need boots designed for snowboarding and bindings.
 
Among the most popular snowboards available at Dunham’s are the M3 Discord and the Avalanche Source. These affordable boards are engineered to shorten that learning curve. Your Dunham’s sales representative can help you choose a correctly sized board, binding, boot and other necessary gear for you and every member of your family. 
 
Together at the Table
 
No, not the dinner table, the game table. While it’s great to play outdoors, we all like to spend time at home as well. And what better way for a family to spend time together than playing some table games.
 
Pool or pocket billiards is the classic table game. Easy to learn and simple enough for children, pool is a perfect family game. Because players aren’t parked in a chair, pool is a great activity for active kids and adults. Table tennis or ping-pong is another great table game that adds an active element to home entertainment. Fortunately, you don’t need a massive game room to accommodate both a pool table and ping-pong table, because one table can do it all. Very popular at Dunham’s is the Medal Sports Legend Billiard Table with a removable table-tennis top. It’s twice as much fun, because it’s two games in one.
 
Also from Medal Sports is the Air Master Hockey Game with table-tennis top. Again, it returns double the dividends in family fun.
 
For those who really want to focus on their table tennis, there’s the Sportcraft ESPN Super Shot Tennis Table. With an electric scorekeeper, this table sets new benchmarks for ping pong.
 
Speaking of benchmarks, check out the Medal Sports Ultimate 4000 4-in-1 game table. With a flip-top table and accessories, it can be configured for pool, air hockey, table tennis or finger-flick football — a menu of games that can keep the family entertained for hours. See it today at Dunham’s. 
 
Smores and More
 
What better way to bring the family together than around the campfire, making smores and telling tall tales? Camping is a classic family activity, one that can be enjoyed almost anywhere at any time.
 
All you need is gear, and Dunham’s has that covered. Among the goodies you’ll find at Dunham’s are the portable buddy heaters that can provide heat inside a tent, at your picnic site, or even in your ice-fishing shelter; zero gravity chairs that offer the ultimate in relaxation; sleeping bags to fit every camper and budget; air beds that promise a good night’s sleep; and much more.
 
Oh, and one more thing: How about a metal detector for mom or dad? It’s not a camping necessity, but it can help the grown ups pass some time at the beach or campsite while the kids are playing. And who knows? They may just find some buried treasure.
 
-Your Friends at Dunham’s
 
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Pitching a Tent without Pitching a Fit

A Guide to Summer Camping

 

After the snow melts and the flowers bloom, it’s time to get the family together and hit the great outdoors. There’s no better way to enjoy Mother Nature than with the people you care about most.

But what happens when the time comes to get serious and upgrade your camping equipment? Or what if you’re new to the game and don’t know where to start? Luckily, with all of the technological advances in tents, RVs, and other camping gear, getting the most out of your great outdoor experience couldn’t be easier or more affordable.

 

The first thing to do is find the correct tent for your needs. With brands like EUREKA!, American Trails, Coleman, and Suisse Sport, there are countless options to keep out of the elements while camping. EUREKA! offers the Tetragon 5, 8, and 9, ranging from capacities of two up to five people.

 

“The Tetragon series of tents are comfortable tents for the occasional camper. Tetragon tents are free-standing two-pole dome tents that are easy to setup, even for the first-time camper,” said Mark Hrubant, Senior Director of Camping for Johnson Outdoors Gear, LLC. “The Tetragon 9 is an excellent first tent for families as it has a six- foot ceiling, allowing most campers to comfortably stand up to change clothes or attend to the kids.”

 

David Avila, Western Region Sales Manager for Exxel Outdoors offers some insight into the American Trails and Suisse Sport brands, including some tips on what features to look for when purchasing a tent. Those features include height, both mesh and solid outdoor lining, removable room divider walls, and most importantly, a variety of sizes.

 

“There are many sizes to choose from. For example, we provide a 9×7 tent that can sleep up to 4 people, a 12×10 tent that can sleep up to 6 people and an 18×10 tent that can sleep up to 8 people,” Avila explained.

According to Hrubant, other tent features available on the Tetragon tents to keep in mind are outdoor awnings outside of the doors for inclement weather protection, elevated bathtub-style floors to keep dry, and mesh windows for proper ventilation in mild weather.

 

For campers who enjoy having indoor amenities, RV camping is the right route. But if you really want to experience everything that nature has to offer, tent camping enables people to go into areas that are left uncharted. Dunham’s has the tools to maximize the outdoor experience for even the most novice camper.

 

Coleman, America’s largest family camping company, has offered campers affordable, reliable camping equipment for decades. Items like their pack-away lanterns range from a personal size up to a full size, complete with a remote control and long-lasting lithium batteries. They also offer the Sundome series of tents which can shelter between two and six people comfortably.

 

For those campers who are chefs at heart, the Coleman RoadTrip grills offer at-home grilling abilities with the convenience of a fold-up, ultra-portable design, which is perfect for packing up for a trip. To get the kids involved in the mealtime preparation, Rome over-the-fire pie irons have been making pizza pies, sandwich pies, and dessert pies quickly and easily for years.

 

Want to avoid the sun on your trip? Try packing along a sun canopy. What about grilling up hot dogs? Pack up a portable grill with travel-sized propane tanks to grill up dinner like a pro. If insects are a problem, pack up insect repellent — both spray and electronic — and a screen house to keep the bugs out. Packing up a folding chair or director’s chair for gathering around the fire is also a must for ghost stories or sing-alongs.

 

According to Hrubant, EUREKA! offers a full range of camping equipment, including sleeping bags, sleeping pads, furniture, backpacks, and LED lighting. Exxel Outdoors also makes the only sleeping bags currently made in the U.S.A.

 

“As one of the premier sleeping bag manufacturers in the world, size, fill weight and material of the inner and outer bag are very important,” Avila said. “Depending on what you have planned, it is important to take the appropriate sleeping bag with you on your trip. For example, if you are backpacking in moderate weather conditions, it is probably suitable to take a light-weight rectangular bag, as opposed to taking a zero degree mummy bag.”

 

No matter how experienced a camper you are, Dunham’s has all the gear you need to make your summer as enjoyable as possible. With top brands like EUREKA!, American Trails, Coleman and Suisse Sport, just to name a few, even the most cost-conscious camper can enjoy the great outdoors.

 

-Happy Camper

 

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