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Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

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.
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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