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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Healthy Liver

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Our liver is our body’s main toxin filter. It also helps fight off infection, manufactures proteins and hormones, controls blood sugar and helps blood clotting. Overeating, consuming processed or fried foods, exposure to environmental pollutants and stress can all impede liver functions but there are foods that can help keep you maintain a healthy high-functioning liver!
 
• Garlic can help activate liver enzymes that assist in flushing out toxins and is an excellent source of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. A study published in the Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness found that fresh garlic extract actually reversed the oxidative stress that causes liver toxicity in mice who were given excessive doses of acetomenaphen.
 
• A large Japanese study that was published in the 2009 issue of Cancer Causes and Control found that men who drank five or more cups per day of green tea had 37 percent less risk of liver cancers than those who drank one or no cups per day, while women reduced their risk by 50 percent. It’s important that this only refers to those drinking tea and that some people have reported liver problems when using green tea supplements.
 
• Leafy green vegetables are a powerful tool for cleansing the liver. They are an excellent source of chlorophylls and flush environmental toxins from the blood stream.
 
• Avocados help the body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione which is needed by the liver to filter out harmful substances and protect liver cells from damage.
 
• Cruciferous vegetables increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, which adds to enzyme production in the liver, strengthening the liver’s ability to flush carcinogens and other toxins out of your system
 
• Walnuts contain high amounts of arginine which can aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia and waste processing. They are also good sources of both glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions.
 
• Turmeric helps boost liver functions by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.
 
As always, add some exercise to your diet for best results!
 
Take care of your liver and it will take care of you!
 
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Sun Safety

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The first day of summer is June 21st and we are already enjoying the warm, bright days that come with the season. Protecting ourselves from damaging ultraviolet rays is even more important now, the sun is brighter, we’re more active in outdoor activities, and summer styles expose more skin to the elements. The sun is the primary source ultraviolet rays, and too much exposure can be dangerous. So how do we enjoy the season while protecting ourselves? It is important to to avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too long, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when UV light is strongest. Remember, if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are at their height… protect yourself. Fortunately, there are some some simple steps that offer protection from ultraviolet rays.
 
Stay in the Shade
 
Wear a broad-brimmed hat. Faces, particularly noses and ears, are especially susceptible to melanoma.
Do you enjoy sitting outside on the patio? Use an umbrella!
Shady trees with dense foliage are our natural protection against the sun’s damaging rays.
 
Protect your skin with clothing
 
Wear clothing to cover as much skin as possible. Shorts and tank tops are favorite summer styles so this is a hard one.
Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors.
Tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven, sheer or gauzy clothing.
Synthetic fibers such as polyester, lycra, nylon, and acrylic are more protective than cottons.
Shiny or satin semi-synthetic fabrics like rayon or tercel reflect more UV than linen.
 
Use Sunscreen
 
Sunscreens list their level of sun protective factor by SPF. An SPF of 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Read the label, follow application directions and reapply a minimum of every two hours.
 
Wear Sunglasses that Block Ultraviolet Rays
 
Sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. The label on the sunglasses should say “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements” — which means they block at least 99% of ultraviolet rays. Glasses labelled “cosmetic” only block approximately 70% of the rays.
Darkness of the sunglasses is not a factor. UV ray glasses are protected with an invisible chemical in or applied to the lenses.
Try large-framed or wraparound sunglasses that will protect eyes from light coming in from different directions.
 
Children Need Extra Attention
 
If your child burns easily, take extra precautions. Cover up, limit exposure, and apply sunscreen.
Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight. Use hats and protective clothing.
 
Our bodies make vitamin D — which is vital to good health — when our skin is exposed to the sun. The sun brings us essential benefits … but cover up before you burn!
 
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Seasonal Allergies

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Pollen is in the air and many of us are preparing for the onslaught of itchy eyes, sneezing and runny noses that come with seasonal allergies. According to the Center for Disease Control, seasonal allergies, also known as hayfever or allergic rhinitis, was diagnosed in 17.6 million people in the United States last year. Seasonal allergies are a short-term inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasal passages which is caused by airborne pollens from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds. Allergy season in the U.S. can start as early as February in southern states and May in the midwest.
 
As mentioned above, seasonal allergies have a host of debilitating symptoms, and demand attention and care so you can enjoy this beautiful time of year. can be worrying, especially for people who are otherwise healthy and unused to experiencing sudden debilitating symptoms. If left unchecked, seasonal allergies can often turn an otherwise enjoyable time of year for many into misery.There are many ‘standard procedures’ for controlling the symptoms and recently natural remedies have proved themselves invaluable for many people.
 
• Avoid triggers. When possible, stay inside when pollen counts are at their highest. Pollen count usually is at its highest the morning hours and remains high during the afternoon.Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes!
 
• Minimize indoor risks. If possible, keep windows closed during high pollen count periods. If you use an air conditioner, be sure to use a high quality filter. Vacuuming and dusting will help eliminate any pollen that has entered the home, when dusting, use a damp cloth that will capture the pollen.
 
• Probiotics. In allergies, the immune system may react too strongly to a stimuli — such as pollen. New research has indicated that the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with may reduce risks for allergies.
 
• Nettle is a folk remedy for the sneezing, itching, and swelling associated with allergies. It contains quercetin, which inhibits the release of histamine. One study found that the herb was at least moderately effective in reducing allergy symptoms for more than half of those who took nettle.
 
• Butterbur. In a study published by the British Medical Journal, a group of Swiss researchers found that just tablet of butterbur — an herbal shrub that grows in wet, marshy ground –taken four times daily is as effective as a popular antihistamine drug to control symptoms of hay fever.
 
Hayfever sufferers all have individual allergic responses, some people will be able to cope handle their allergies with over-the-counter medication, natural remedies, and limiting their exposure to allergens. Others may need the care of a health care professional. If you do have concerns or your methods of dealing with hayfever is not enough, see your a health care provider for assistance.
 
May and June are beautiful months. We all deserve to enjoy them.
 
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The Sunshine Vitamin

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Vitamin D — the “sunshine vitamin” — has long been valued for its ability to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, which are vital nutrients for strong bones and teeth. A fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D is produced in your skin as a response to sunlight. In recent years, ongoing research has discovered vitamin D is important in a number of other health areas:
 
• It reduces your risk of multiple sclerosis – Journal of the American Medical Association, 2006
 
• It reduces your chance of developing heart disease – Circulation, 2008
 
• It helps protect you against the possibility of developing the flu – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010
 
Now new research indicates that vitamin D may be able to add protection against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two of the most common causes of poor health and death in the United States!
 
The research, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was published March 19 in the journal Cell Reports. The study not only suggests that vitamin D plays an important part in preventing the inflammation that leads to type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis, it found that the behavior of cells lacking adequate vitamin D may offer new therapeutic targets for patients with those disorders.
 
Researchers studied mice that were not able to process vitamin D and found that these mice made excessive glucose, became resistant to insulin and accumulated plaque in their blood vessels. Additionally, inadequate vitamin D turned immune cells into transporters of fat, which may offer a better understanding of the link between diabetes and atherosclerosis. The findings also suggested that risks of inflammation and the onset of heart disease and diabetes may be reduced by getting enough vitamin D! So how can you be sure you’re getting your daily dose?
 
• Sunshine is the most natural way to get vitamin D, this another great reason to add a daily walk to your fitness regimen! It doesn’t take long … just a few minutes! You don’t want your skin to turn pink and begin to burn.
 
• Eat your fish. Fish, meat, eggs and dairy products are the only foods that contain natural vitamin D. Oily fish is the best source.
 
• Mushrooms are the only non-animal-source for vitamin D in food, so if you’re veggie or vegan, mushrooms are an important food for you.
 
Be sure you get enough vitamin D … it’s another step toward a sunny future!
 
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