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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

From a Game to a Sport

The Evolution of Pickleball
Bainbridge Island is a small city in the Pacific Northwest. A short ferry ride from the rolling forests and mountains of Washington, it’s known for its beautiful geography dotted with beaches, bluffs, lagoons and dunes. What is less commonly known about the island is that it’s the birthplace of pickleball; an outdoor game that is easy to learn, fast-paced, and highly competitive. Fun for players of any age, pickleball has been growing in popularity since its inception in 1965.
Originally played using a lowered badminton net, table tennis paddles, and a perforated ball, pickleball is a game of volleys where points are earned by forcing one’s opponent to fault. A fault is committed when the ball goes out of bounds, smacks into the net, or is volleyed from the no-volley zone (a 7-foot zone on either side of the net). The server has to serve diagonally to their opponent, and each player must let the ball bounce on their side of the net once before beginning to volley. Only the server can score on a fault, otherwise the opposing player becomes the server. Pickleball courts are 20’x44’, and the game can be played singles or doubles. The more, the merrier, right?
Although pickleball continues to grow in popularity, some basic problems exist with widely-used equipment. Many companies still use repurposed balls with inconsistent holes that quickly lose their shape. Often times, paddles are made and decorated with stickers and vinyl which create an uneven, unreliable surface. Fortunately, the ‘Pickleball Now’ equipment line from Escalade Sports is addressing these issues and setting a new standard of quality. “The core of our mission is to actively grow the sport through innovation,” says Eric Marvin of Escalade Sports. “We’ve engineered a whole line of equipment to bring a new level of consistency and reliability to the game.”
TNT Pickleballs have increased weight and smaller holes to decrease wind interference, optimal for playing outdoors. Indoor Pickleballs are designed for better balance, flight, and bounce. In addition, a variety of different paddles offer players more options when it comes to hitting-surface size, weight, and handling. For example The Edge carbon-fiber paddle is ultra-lightweight and sturdy for more powerful, controlled hits, while The Classic Lite has an edge guard for durability and a larger surface area for a more consistent hit. Additionally, each paddle is designed using a digital printing process for a clearer image and smooth surface that won’t peel or warp. Every product in the Pickleball Now line is manufactured to perform better and last longer than generic equipment.
It’s clear that pickleball has come a long way since ’65, having attracted hundreds of thousands of players (and counting). Whether you’re at the park, the beach, or the YMCA, it’s the perfect game for fast-paced fun, old or young. Be the first to bring the game to your backyard or school’s playground and see why pickleball is standing the test of time.
Looking for a place to play?
Check out, where you can find indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities in your area, as well as apparel and helpful videos. Learn more about the game, or if you’re experienced, look up tournaments near you. Join one of the fastest growing sports in America!
-Fun For All Ages
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What’s Up with the SUP?

Enjoying the lake or ocean, until recent years, had been limited to the usual suspects: boats, kayaks, canoes… you know, your typical vessels. However, there’s now a new way to get out on the lake and get you standing up at the same time.
The stand-up paddleboard, or SUP for short, it’s like a combination of a kayak and surf board. Paddlers stand up on the board and use a regular paddle to direct around the water. But not every board is the same for every paddler. They range in weight, weight capacity, material and flexibility, just to name a few. But just like purchasing a canoe or kayak, customers first need to decide what they want to use the SUP for.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
“There are different types of boards on the market, but most paddlers are either using an ‘all-around’ board or a “touring or cruising” board,” explains Nöel Basque of Pelican International. All-around boards are more stable, perform well, but tend to be slower than a touring board. Paddlers should consider, weight, and capacity on the boards, and depending on where they will be using the board, flexible fin or rigid fin.”
The width of the board is crucial when selecting an SUP. The wider the board, the more stability is offered, which is important for a new paddler. If you’re new to stand-up paddle boarding, it might be wise to select a wider board until you get the hang of it.
“Stability and width go hand and hand,” says Ken Harris of KL Outdoor. “A minimum of 30 inches in width is recommended for anyone up to 200 pounds. The bigger the person, the wider the board. The Seaquest 10 offers 33 inches in width. Generally 10-to-12-foot boards are truly a multi-purpose board from yoga, fun with the kids and exercise.”
So once you nail down what you’ll be using the board for, the next step is to make the right selection. But where do you begin? With so many new technological advances and added features, it can be complicated to make the best choice. But thanks to Pelican’s Vibe, Flow and Rush along with KL Outdoor’s Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10, it’s tough to go wrong.
With the Pelican line of SUPs, they’re made from HDPE (high density polyethylene extract), which makes them extremely durable. Also, all Vibe models come with a stomp pad, tie-downs for stowing gear and are built for all-around use. With the Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10, you’ll get a non-slip pad, carrying handles, storage compartment with shock cord and even a recessed cooler!
If it seems like these boards are getting more and more advanced in terms of both features and construction, it’s because they are. Brands like KL Outdoor and Pelican are constantly innovating their products, making them more fun, safer and more durable.
“The technology of stand-up paddle boards has evolved to be more of an all-around board offering maximum stability and width,” explains Harris, “giving all skill levels the confidence they need to experience the trending activity.”
Basque of Pelican International adds in that their Twin Sheet Technology adds to Pelican’s product construction.
“Technology has enabled manufacturers like Pelican to bring boards to the consumer that perform well, are as tough as nails, and affordable,” says Basque. “Pelican manufactures in TST (twin sheet technology) using the best materials to ensure this.”
Safety is Key to Having Fun
Safety comes first with stand-up paddleboarding, as it would with any new aquatic activity. Paddlers should also ensure they’re getting the right safety equipment along with the board as well as make note of a few tips to make sure the experience is as fun as it is safe.
“New paddlers should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD), start using the board from the kneeling position, and when comfortable, get up on their feet, keep legs bent and back straight,” says Basque. “When paddling, use the whole of the paddle blade in the water and enjoy the ride!”
“All you need is a paddle and a life jacket for safety,” explains Harris. “Where you stand affects mobility. Place feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of the board. Keep the paddle straight while paddling.”
While paddlers should always be sure to wear a PFD, another accessory that’s a must when getting out on the water is an ankle leash. This will make sure if you’re to fall off the board and into the water, the board stays near you at all times. You can even make your SUP perform as a kayak!
“An ankle leash to ensure the board stays with the paddler can be useful in faster moving water, and some boards can also be equipped with a seatback and used as a sit-on-top kayak,” says Basque.
Summers are meant to spend outside getting in the water as much as you can. And while the old reliable kayaks and canoes are still great ways to navigate your favorite waterway, the SUP is a fun, innovative way to not only get exercise, but to get the best of what summer has to offer. And thanks to Pelican and KL Outdoor, it’s never been easier.
-Paddle Bum
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Take to the Water in a New Kayak

Looking for something new to do out on the water this Spring? Why not try kayaking! There are just a few things to know before picking one out for yourself.
With so many features and models on the market, you can find a kayak for almost every kind of water and condition. You should first determine where you’ll be doing most of your kayaking. Will you be out on a calm lake or traveling down a river? You also have the option of either a sit-in model or a sit-on one.
“Beginners would typically start with something wider, more stable,” said Luke LaBree of Old Town Canoe and Kayaks. “More experienced paddlers, with maybe the exception of anglers, tend to veer toward narrower kayaks as they can cut through the water faster.”
Dunham’s Sports is currently offering the Old Town Vapor series, which features padded adjustable seats, adjustable foot braces and a cockpit tray.
Greg Larson of Perception Kayaks said that the size of the person kayaking should also be considered. A larger person would need a boat with more surface area to hold the boat above water. This can mean getting a longer or wider boat. A small paddler, on the other hand, should opt for a smaller boat. That will ensure that the boat doesn’t sit too high on the water. Both being too low in the water or too high up can make it difficult to operate the kayak.
One model offered by Perception is the Swiftwater. The 10.5-foot kayak is made for navigation on both lakes and rivers. It is versatile enough to over rapids but also stay straight on a calm lake.
Noël Basque, of Pelican Sport said beginners should look for a kayak that is stable, light and easy to paddle. Experienced kayakers can look for models that will move more swiftly through the water.
And you don’t have to kayak alone! Pelican is offering a new sit-in, tandem model this year, the Alliance 136T. All Pelican models at Dunham’s this season will have better ergonomics and new seating systems.
When you’re shopping for a kayak, be sure to first sit in it at the store and be sure it feels comfortable.
So what’s the best thing you can do to prepare for a day of kayaking? Never forget to wear a personal flotation device, and always stay within your experience level. If you stay safe, you’ll be sure to have a great time!
-Paddle Bum
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The Prespawn Bass Breakfast Bash

When the bass head for the shallows, it’s time for you to get up off the couch.
Like many of us, big bass get awful lazy during the winter. Unlike most of us, they have enough sense to stop eating a lot when they’re pretty much immobile and not getting very much exercise. But when it’s time to get up and move about again in early spring, those bass sure are hungry. For most of the bass I’ve run across, that early spring wake up comes just before the spawn, and as the bass start moving toward shallower water, they suddenly realize it’s been a really long time since they’ve had a good meal. It’s the perfect opportunity for some great fishing, and most anglers call it the prespawn. As a bass fisherman, it’s your job to help those bass find something that appears to be a good meal and then get them in the boat before they have a chance to digest it.
Finding the Fish
But first you have to figure out when the fish are going to leave the deep water where they’ve been waiting out the winter and where you might be able to intercept them as they travel back and forth to the shallows to feed. In most lakes the prespawn begins when the water temperature rises above 50°F or so. In terms of where you might find them, the key lies in locating the path the bass follow when moving from the deep to the shallows. There will be stopping off points along the way, frequently at the edge of a drop off and often where there are structures or debris on the bottom. Tree stumps, rock piles and even old fence posts seem to spell dinner for prespawn bass.
Gather up Your Gear
You’re going to want a good durable rod and reel, and Dunham’s offers a large selection. The Ugly Stik GX2 combo is always a good choice as are the Abu Garcia Max series bait cast combos and reels. I like to wind some tough-as-nails Spider wire line.
What kind of dinner entrée should you offer to the hungry bass? Dunham’s has a lot of choices on the menu. A slow-moving worm or jig is just fine for just about any half awake and slow-moving bass. If you’re using artificial worms, treat them with some scent. A slow retrieve on a good spinner like the Strike King Mini-King or Mepps Aglia Spinner works really well for many bass fishermen. But I wouldn’t hesitate to tie on a crank bait either, although I’d fish it slower than I would in warm weather. Many fishermen report excellent success with Rapala Husky Jerk and Shad Rap crank baits. Shad Rap closely resembles baitfish found nearly everywhere. The KVD Square Bill crank baits from Strike King are another good choice. Crank baits can run deep in those drop offs you’ll find right before the shallows. Slowly bounce them off some underwater structures, and the bass will move in for a meal.
If you don’t get any strikes in 20 minutes or so, move on to another good-looking spot. The fish are going to be schooled somewhere between the deep and the shallows but likely more toward the shallows. Your job is to find them. They most definitely aren’t out looking for you.
Try to Stay Warm
Fishermen in the Midwest and North Central states will probably be fishing for prespawn bass long before it’s pleasant outside. In fact, it might be pretty darn cold, even after the water temperature has reached 50°F. And once you’re out on the lake, it’s going to be too late to put on another layer of clothes. You can always take something off.
A snowmobile suit is a good hedge against old man winter’s last gasp. Ski outfits are pretty darn warm as well. If you don’t want to spend that much of your gear money on clothes, do like some of us did back in the day: wear two pairs of pants and two shirts, plus that winter jacket or parka. Don’t forget some good flexible gloves and a warm hat as well.
While some anglers are going to wait for warm weather to get out on the lake, those folks are going to miss some of the best fishing of the season. Get up out of that winter easy chair, head out on the lake and treat a lunker bass to breakfast.
-Hook, Line & Sinker
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Two Wheelers On a Roll

With a selection of great bikes from which to choose and a wealth of bike trails nation wide, bicycling is more popular than ever.
Many of us grew up on a bicycle. From age five or six until our late teen years, we enjoyed the freedom of two-wheel transportation. With the sun in the sky, wind in our faces and pavement flying by—from home to school to the store or just cruising the old neighborhood—we spent the better part of our lives on bikes.
Who would have thought it could get any better than that? But when we finally got a driver’s license, that bike was parked, and it was only many years later that we gave thought to getting back up on two wheels.
Today, bikes are more than transportation for kids. For many adults, a bike serves as the daily workout, weekend entertainment or even a means of commuting. More importantly, bicycling is a great family activity. And while we rode the streets as children, today there are numerous bike paths and trails in every part of the country that offer a safe and scenic way to enjoy bicycling.
A Bike for Everyone
If you’re thinking of getting the family on bikes, Dunham’s is a great place to start. Whether you want to get off the road with trail bikes or take on the pavement with road bikes, Dunham’s has rides for you and yours.
For example, among the many affordable bikes you’ll find at Dunham’s is the Shogun T1000, a hybrid bicycle that’s great for the street or a bike path. Available in men’s and women’s models, it features an aluminum frame, front suspension, Shimano 21-speed shifting, alloy wheels and more.
Itching to get off road and ride some wilderness trails? The Thruster Excalibur Mountain Bike sports a hand crafted aluminum frame, an Alloy Crown front shock, 29-inch alloy wheels and Shimano 21-speed shifting with rear derailleur.
The 20-inch Razor RZ-20 is a great all-purpose bike for youngsters. It’s great on the street, on dirt trails or at the skatepark. The 20-inch Razor Neonz Pink will make any young lady happy and is suitable for both freestyle tricks and street riding.
The highly rated K2 ZED is a mountain bike with oversize 27.5-inch tires that can cope with trail obstacles while helping the rider maintain momentum. The lightweight aluminum frame is fitted with mechanical disc brakes and a Shimano®/SRAM® 21-speed drivetrain with twist shifters. K2’s Astral road bike is a lightweight hybrid with an 8-speed Shimano shifter. A great ride for the bike path or the daily commute.
Get Ready to Ride
Goodyear has expanded into the world of bicycles! As you read this, Dunham’s will be stocking their shelves with new Goodyear branded tires and tubes. The Goodyear line includes tires and tubes ranging from 12” to 29”, for road, mountain and everything in between. All the quality of Goodyear is now available for your bike.
-Two Wheeler
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Wandering Around This Winter

For thousands of years, man has struggled with getting around in snowy, icy conditions. Snowshoes made from pine tree branches and trekking poles made from tree limbs were about as advanced as this technology got. Lucky for us, we have the advantage of modern technologies and constant innovation to give us affordable, effective methods of getting around in the winter’s worst.
Staying On Top
What’s the real benefit to wearing a tennis racquet-looking contraption on your feet? How does that help you walk on deep snow? According to Dan Roy of Yukon Charlie’s/Synergy Sports, it’s the design that keeps a snowshoer from sinking down into the snow.
“In deeper snow conditions, snowshoes will keep the user from sinking right in up to their waist, which would make it almost impossible to walk or travel through,” Roy explains. “By using snowshoes, the user’s weight is distributed under the area of the snowshoe which allows the user to walk through snow with a much more reasonable level of exertion and stability.”
But it’s not just the deep, fluffy snow that is best for snowshoes. Because of their wider design and crampon treads on the bottom, walkers wearing snowshoes on harder, icier terrain will also benefit from the use of snowshoes.
One of the most important features to keep in mind when shopping for snowshoes are the bindings. Roy explains that with Yukon Charlie’s, they designed a 1-pull binding system that enables the user to take them off easily as well as EVA padding, which eliminates hot spots and pressure points for longer treks. No matter the terrain, be it deep and fluffy or hard and slick, snowshoes will keep you on your feet this winter.
A Well-Balanced Trek
What about keeping your balance in these wintry conditions? No matter the season or weather, trekking poles will keep hikers balanced and hiking as far as they can. In order to keep a trekking pole from sinking right into the snow, as a traditional walking stick would, snow baskets act as a snowshoe for your trekking pole. They displace the weight and pressure, keeping the trekking pole from sinking into the snow.
“Typically, the snow baskets are larger in diameter, which helps to prevent the trekking pole from just pushing right through a pile of snow and sinking to the bottom. The trekking baskets are smaller, as the ground conditions during non-snow seasons are firmer and do not need the larger basket to be able to gain some firm ground underneath.”
Through Snow and Ice
But if you’re not necessarily looking to be hiking or walking in terrain that would require the use of snowshoes or a trekking pole, there’s another variety for the minimalists out there. And the best part is that they’ll allow you to wear them with any type of footwear. Although, we wouldn’t recommend wearing these in high heels.
YakTrax are made from elastic outer bands with steel coils along the bottom — similar in design to the crampons on snowshoes — fit easily over existing footwear, offering a safe grip in icier conditions, even for runners.
“Anyone and everyone who has to stand or move across ice and snow can use them,” explains Eric Lund of Implus. “Mailmen, construction workers, utility workers, or anyone that spends a lot of time outside on their feet will appreciate the Yaktrax Pro. Runners and athletes will appreciate the Yaktrax Run, which has a hybrid coil and spike design and anatomic right/left design that makes it ideal for natural running and jogging on ice and snow.”
Dry and Repeat
As anyone who’s hiked, or even made a snowman, can relate, winter conditions often result in cold, wet gear. However, it’s not only moisture coming from the snow. As activity increases, so does the amount of sweat that winter gear can absorb. And when your gear gets wet, it means you get cold. Luckily, through warm air-circulation, DryGuy dryers can quickly get all of your attire warm and dry so you can get back out in the snow.
“Heating elements in the dryers warm the surrounding air which circulates in and out of the footwear, evaporating the moisture as it leaves,” said Lund. “This can be convection based, where warm air currents rise naturally which is usually a slower, overnight dry system. Overnight or it can be forced air based, which a fan physically pushes the warmed air for accelerated drying.”
As Lund explains, DryGuy has been on the forefront of innovating these older, convection-based dryers that kept snow enthusiasts at bay. The advances that they’ve made aren’t limited to speed of drying — they’re also focused on safety.
“There are also now a variety of portable units available,” said Lund. “Today, dryers also have timers to automatically shut off, and thermal switches to shut the unit down in the event of overheating, reducing risk of fire.”
When winter arrives, bringing in those beautiful snowy landscapes, they’ll also bring dangerous icy conditions. However, that shouldn’t sway anyone from getting out there and experiencing all that winter has to offer outdoor enthusiasts. While earlier man resorted to items found in nature to assist them in getting around, products from Yukon Charlie’s, YakTrax and DryGuys offer efficient, affordable and most important, effective methods to wander around this winter.
-Ski Bum
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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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Where the Summer Bass Play

Those Lunker Bass Aren’t Taking Summer Off. They’re just vacationing in a different part of the lake.
It’s summer, and the world is taking it easy. The cicadas sing, dawn comes early, and the warm sun feels good on your skin. However, the bass that you hope to catch might not be as fond of summer as the rest of us.
Your big bass may be lollygagging in the deep water, lazily avoiding the warm shallows. The bass probably move into somewhat shallower water, say 10- to 20-feet deep to feed, but they’ll be scarce near shore. Unless of course, they’re hiding in the shade of some underwater weeds.
If you’re fishing a man-made lake with underwater structures, count on the bass to huddle near submerged trees or areas that have an uneven lake bottom, such as an underwater gully or creek bed. Fishing in the right place at the right time is key to success when it comes to angling for bass.
Fishing the Deep with Crankbaits
While knowing where to find the fish is important, having the correct equipment is also essential. If the bass are congregating in the deep, you’ll have to use bait intended for deep-water fishing. Today, that most often means deep-diving crankbaits. Matt Jensen of Rapala says the Rapala DT crankbait helped win the BassMaster Classic. “It dives to the specified depth and stays there,” he said. “The DT06 dives to six feet and stays there for the entire retrieve. It’s easy to target fish and be more consistent with a crank bait.”
Of course Rapala makes crankbaits that run much deeper. The DT Metal 20, for example, will run at 20 feet of depth and can be easily cast 150 feet, enabling a long retrieve in the target zone. As with any lure, you may have to try several different colors before you find a crankbait the fish hunger for.
Scott Ingram of Bomber Lure Co. tells us that their line of crankbaits includes a lot of choices for the bass fisherman. Bomber’s Fat Free Shad® crankbait has won millions of dollars in prize money and comes in both rattling and silent models. It even includes a new version that can dive to 19 feet and work those deep holes in the middle of the lake. Dunham’s stocks a wide variety of Bomber baits.
It Looks Like Dinner
When bass do migrate to shallow water, they usually head for the weed beds. Find a hole in the weed bed and drop your bait there. A bass could be lurking under those weeds, and it might fall head over heels for a nice, fat plastic worm – a long-time favorite for summer bass fishing. The Matzuo plastic worms you’ll find at Dunham’s come with a free pack of worm hooks.
Jim Burrows of purefishing wrote to remind us that Dunham’s carries a number of baits from the Berkley Gulp!® line of live-looking dinner entrees, including night crawlers, minnows, shrimp and more – all with a long history of success on Bass fishing waters. When choosing a worm to tempt a big bass, remember that it doesn’t have to be of the same hue as a real worm. A bright red plastic nightcrawler can look like the perfect meal to our fishy friends.
Rods and Reels
While bait is what attracts fish, a good rod and reel can help ensure you won’t lose the lunker after hooking it. Dunham’s offers some great rods and reels from all the top manufacturers. For big bass, a rod of 6- to 7-feet in length is ideal. The South Bend Shredder is a top choice of pro fishermen. With multi-layer construction, Shredder rods will bend but not break. Abu Garcia rods are also highly favored by bass fisherman. Dunham’s carries the Vengeance, Vendetta and Villain models from that maker, as well as Abu Garcia bait casting reels. And check out the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Rods as well. How can you go wrong with a rod called “Ugly Stik?”
If you’re new to bass fishing and just want to dip your bait in the water to see how it feels, you might want to look at the South Bend R2F Bass combo. It has everything you need to get started immediately, including rod, reel, and even a tackle box with some lures inside that are sure to tempt Mr. (or Mrs.) bass. Speaking of combos, you’ll also find some nice bait-casting combo outfits from Abu Garcia at Dunham’s. In other words, Dunham’s has a lot of gear from which to choose, and there are a lot of bass out there just waiting for you.
-Hook, Line & Sinker
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