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From Discover the Forest


What to Prepare

Exploring our great natural resources with your family can be exhilarating. The key to a great experience is preparation.

Here are few simple steps:

Choose the Right Activity in the Right Location

Planning your outdoor adventure is a great way to involve the whole family. When you make a decision together about where to go and the activities to do, you increase everybody’s interest.

  • Find trails, campsites and activities that are manageable by everyone in your group. Or plan ahead for separate activities. For instance, one adult can hike with those children who can endure longer hikes, while another adult stays with the little ones who may need to nap.
  • Research where you want to go and what you’ll need for the activities you plan. (Will there be a grill for your cook-out or bathroom areas available?).
  • Consider what electronic gadgets should stay at home and which activities will entertain everybody in their absence. Great activities for the family include swimming, coloring, taking pictures, horseback riding, etc.

Packing List

Before you set out for a day in the forest, make sure to check the weather. It is important to layer your clothing accordingly. For example, if you leave early in the morning, chances are it will get hotter as the day progresses. You will need to dress warmly at first and peel off a layer or two in the afternoon. No matter what the weather’s like, always wear comfortable, sturdy (and ideally water-resistant) shoes with hiking socks. Don’t buy new shoes right before a hike! Allow some time for break-in. This helps prevent blisters and will make your trip much more enjoyable.

Here are some essentials you and every member of your family or group should have in a backpack:

  • Plenty of water (even for short hikes, you should always be prepared) — three quarts per day is a good guide, depending on the length of the hike, your fitness level, and the weather
  • Snacks such as fruit or trail mix (and bags to collect the garbage)
  • Travel size first aid kit in case of an emergency
  • Sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen
  • Repellent for bugs or other insects
  • Light-weight rain jacket, especially on days where there is a chance of showers
  • Map of the area you will be traveling and emergency numbers

And don’t forget to bring a camera to photograph and capture your relaxing day in nature!

For longer trips, such as weekend camping trips, refer to for a more elaborate list of suggested supplies.


Perseid meteor shower 2015

Perseid Meteor Shower Outburst – perhaps 200 meteors an hour – predicted for 2016 Perseid meteor shower. Peak night August 11-12, but watch on the nights of August 9-10 also.

Portraiture Photographer outside shots

It’s not unusual for domestic portraiture photographers to shoot outside on a pleasant day and take pictures of their model. As a photographer I believe that the photographic studio can make people a tad nervous. The big lights and camera lens can make for a nervous experience. For shy people wanting their photograph taken, a photographic studio may not be the best.

External sources of light such as direct flash is so vital even in outdoor portraiture. You must have your speelite with you to fill up any shadowed areas that become visible. A reflector is a practical tool as well. You can slot the reflector under the persons face to photograph a very abstract shot, or, to simply get rid of shadowed areas beneath the nose and jaw.

Recently I did a series of photos outside in a park. It was of a young lady who sought shots for her collection. She was hoping to break into modelling. After some ideas back and forth we made the mututal decision that going to the recreational area was an ideal way to do the shoot.

Lenses for Portrait Photography

Firstly, one of the most vital aspects of winning outside portrait photography is the photographic lens you employ. Using the correct aperture, focal length and depth of field are essential components to an outdoor portraiture shoot. A rapid photographic lens is the ideal lens by skilled portrait photographers. What is a fast lens? A fast lens is a lens that has a very big maximum aperture. This will be anywhere between 1.8 and 2.8. This will mean that you can let a lot lighting in and use a quick shutter.

Imaginative portrait photography ideas

You can cultivate a large amount of creative portrait photography ideas simply by working at it.. Working at it gives you with something so extremely precious: experience. Once you begin to acquire added experience in outside portraits you will understand how outdoor lighting and flash fill work, in what way shadows work together on peoples facial features and most notably how you can do it better next time.

A lot of my most innovative ideas come to me from not only getting official training in photography, but also, from watching the way light interacts with it’s environment. Light can give you some good ideas about where to position a person, the best way to angle yourself to get the most ideal portrait shots.

Outdoor Portrait Photography Poses

Posing relies upon on the gender of your model. There are various stances that a gentleman will hold to appear more manly. There are very different poses a female will take so she seems to be more feminine. Female models look great when the angles of her body are softened as opposed to accentuated. This requires turning on an angle, leaning the face and using the clear, sharp focus on the eyes. You can employ a foot position modification to emphasize a posture change.

High Key Portrait Photography

What does “high key” actually represent? Well, if you examine the technical meaning it is all about reducing the lighting ratio present in the image. What this means, in English, is that the lighting is overexposed with just the main details in focus. This is wonderful fun and a great way to create appealing portaits. Can you create high key photography outdoors? Most definitely. As long as you have a strong lighting source on one part of the persons head for instance, you can utilise the flash on the other side. Ensure that you lock clear, sharp focus on the eyes to begin with so finer details is kept on the eyes.

Remember that taking photos of outdoor portrait photography is a huge opportunity to have an appealing background. A recreational area, seaside or city street scene can improve the story of your photo considerably.


Source by Amy Renfrey

An Outdoor Kitchen Is The Newest “Must Have” In Home Design


An outdoor kitchen is the newest “must have” in home design and with summer here now is the perfect time to get one at your home. Take full advantage of your outdoor area and install an outdoor kitchen. Summer is the time to spend outdoors enjoying Mother Nature and making the most of these long days and balmy evenings.  An outdoor kitchen will take your alfresco dining experiences to a whole new level

Install an outdoor kitchen to your specifications so that you get exactly what you want. At Lifestyle BBQs they provide an Australian Made lifestyle modular outdoor kitchen range where you design your own outdoor kitchen by making a range of selections.

  1. Select your barbeque module – 3, 4, or 5 burner?
  2. Fuel Connection – LPG Cylinder, LPG bayonet, Natural Gas Bayonet or charcoal?
  3. Pick your stainless plate and grill combination
  4. Lift away cover or roasting hood with/without ceramic glass viewing?
  5. Trolley and Cabinet Kit under barbeque?
  6. Specify cabinets
  7. Specify benchtops
  8. Pick additional extras – side sink, separate sink, draws, fridge?

In eight easy steps you can create your ideal outdoor kitchen.


Not only will an outdoor kitchen enable you and your family and friends to enjoy your very own great outdoors it will also add value to your property. So not only is an outdoor kitchen an investment in your relaxation time but also an investment in your home.


Also, Lifestyle Modular Outdoor Kitchens comes with a 25 year warranty which means 25 years of outdoor entertainment and enjoyment, 25 years of outdoor kitchen eating with your family and friends, 25 years of added value to your home and life.


An outdoor kitchen will also save you money as you will choose to stay home and enjoy your investment instead of going out. In these economic times people are more cautious with their spending and choosing to stay home and make purchase for the purpose of home entertainment. The outdoor kitchen does just that. Enjoy your garden, your pool and the environment and start planning your outdoor kitchen today.


Source by Lauren Hill

The Right Gear Helps You Explore The Outdoors To The Fullest


It is an understatement to say that our lives have become incredibly hectic today. We are stretched thin on the professional front as we have to meet with several responsibilities on a regular basis. Of course there are things you need to take care of in your personal life as well. It means that many of us are looking for breaks and getaways that help us relieve the stress. If that’s something you want to do amidst glorious Outdoors then one thing you know is that you have to be prepared for it.

There is a lot you can do when you get away from the bustle of city life and are in stunning natural surroundings. You could indulge in an adventure activity of your choice or go Camping if you just want to unwind. Your options are endless when you are out in any gorgeous setting. But you also understand that things can go awfully wrong in certain instances and it is up to you to be best prepared for them. That’s why the importance of high quality gear cannot be overemphasized for enthusiasts.

Best gear for your safety

You hear of episodes where people are stuck on the mountains when they go out trekking or there are Biking accidents that can be quite dangerous. That’s where gear like torches, helmets and other protection means come into the picture. When you have these items with you as you step out of your regular comfort zone and into natural surroundings, you will definitely feel more confident. You know that you have the right gear to fall back on if need be and something that will protect you while you explore your surroundings to the fullest.

Keep yourself comfortable at all times

While you might be an adventure enthusiast who is used to the Outdoors and the challenges it brings with it. But at the end of the day you also know that you should be able to indulge in your chosen activities without being uncomfortable at any time. Having the best quality gear and equipment will assure you that. With the help of top quality shoes, helmets, tents, backpacks etc you can make sure you are comfortable. The good news is that today this gear can be bought easily and doesn’t cost you a fortune. And it can save you a lot of trouble and costs in the long run.

By all means enjoy the lovely Outdoors, but do it armed with the best gear.


Source by jamessms1

Outdoor Stores for you?


This article is about owning an outdoor store.

It has become a fashion now a days to set up and to run a store. Almost all kinds of stores and shops have a very great and grand welcoming from the people especially the ones with different kinds of items and articles in them.

Nowadays people have started to focus and buy articles or items from the shop that is very unique and different from the others. The days have become so bvery modernized and fashionable that every thing is available ready made in the stores. For the case of survival one can set up own your own out doors store. It is very good storing that fetches a humpty number of customers to us. Before setting up the store one has to register the store in the governmental sector and should gain the permit from the government to run and to set up such kind of out door store.

It is very well known and very widely used and visited store by the people of many nations. Things that are required for the purpose of out door seating are available in this kind of stores. Out door items like setting up a swing in the lawn of a house or setting up of a small park in the near by area of the house. For all these this out door store paves a way and gives an idea how to set up and what to set up over there. Thus these kinds of stores are very much widely in use


Source by Danny

A Guide to The Best Outdoor Folding Knives and Pocket Knives


Folders are the handiest knives around because they can always just sit in a pocket, waiting to be used.  Sheath knives are handier only if you carry a sheath knife on your person all the time, and most of us can not do that.  For some ludicrous reason, even some wilderness areas do not allow carry of a sheath knife, while folders are permissible almost everywhere.  Everyone should carry a pocket knife in or clipped to their pocket when in the wilderness (or actually, all the time).

Good folders can range from a tiny Case Peanut to a Strider and everything in between.  Any size can be useful, but the smallest probably won’t be quite adequate in the field for most people.  If a larger knife is carried as well, then any pocket knife should do.  Swiss Army knives are some of the most popular models for the outdoors and for good reason.  Victorinox and Wenger are the best known brands, but all the well-known models are made by Victorinox.  The alox-handled models and the larger models are the most popular among outdoorsmen.  The Pioneer Harvester and the Farmer are excellent choices in the smaller alox models.  Both have a good blade and a saw, which are the most important options for the woods.  Among the larger models, the Rucksack, the Trekker, and the Forester are great choices.   All have a larger blade and saw, making them more useful than the smaller models if used as the general use knife.  Pretty much all Victorinox models are great quality, but those named are some of the best for the outdoors.

Traditional folder types such as the stockman, trapper, copperhead, peanut, and congress are also good options.  The stockman and the trapper are the favorites among these for wilderness use, but all are good.  Case, GEC, Boker, and Queen are some companies that make excellent traditional knives.  If cheaper options are needed, check out Rough Rider and Steel Warrior.  Neither of these companies make knives as good as the others mentioned, but they are very cheap and decent quality.

For a more modern “tactical” style,  Benchmade, Spyderco, Cold Steel, and Kershaw make cheap to moderately expensive, but excellent quality, knives.  Benchmade is the top of the line as far as these knives go.  Their Griptilian is an amazing knife at a little under $100.  Mine did everything that I wanted it to do, until I lost it.  The Rukus is a huge folder that was recently discontinued, but a great knife.  Spyderco also makes good knives.  The Delica and Endura are the most popular and best known.  The Spyderco Tenacious is a Chines-made knife that is getting a good reputation for a working knife.  Kershaw and Cold Steel make slightly cheaper knives, and Kershaw in particular has a great reputation.  The Kershaw Tyrade is an excellent knife if you can get it, and the Junkyard Dog II, Needs Work, and Skyline models are also great.

A folder shouldn’t be your only option if possible, but one or more should definitely be part of any outdoor kit!


Source by Timothy Cook

Using Flat Screen Tvs Outside? Methods Of Protection


There was a time where the only place you would find a television was in somebody’s front room or perhaps in a bar or pub. Now TVs are being used almost everywhere for all sorts of reasons; from outdoor entertainment to digital advertising and signage.

Normal TV systems have come a long way since the old cathode ray tubes. Most TVs are now either LCD (liquid crystal display) or plasma and are flatter, lighter and cheaper. However, despite this advance in technology the standard LCD or plasma TV are not designed to be used outside.

The advantages of using TVs outside are becoming increasingly relevant. Many bars, pubs and clubs are finding more people socialising outdoors due to smoking bans and an increase in warmer weather. While outdoor digital signage is an extremely cost effective method of marketing and is being implemented almost everywhere – including schools, colleges, hospitals and the retail sector.

However, making use of modern TV systems in outdoor locations is not as straight forward of placing them outside and then powering up. TVs are sensitive electronics so any outdoor TV system, whether it’s for entertainment or outdoor digital signage, needs to be protected.

Protecting outdoor digital signage or exterior TVs is now a growing industry. There tends to be two solutions for protection of exterior TV systems.

The Outdoor TV

There are many manufacturers, including some of the big names that now produce flat screen TVs for outdoor use. These waterproof and weatherproof TVs have become commonplace due to the burgeoning outdoor digital signage market.

The advantages of an outdoor TV system are that they can be erected without the need for a waterproof enclosure or other weatherproof housing. However, there are disadvantages to this method. First, any outdoor screen that is to be left unattended needs to be protected from accidental and deliberate damage which would require some sort of protective housing. The other major disadvantage is the cost of such screens. The average waterproof TV costs many times more than an equivalent indoor model, a price many would-be users find difficult to justify.

The Outdoor LCD TV Enclosure

A far more comprehensive solution is to use a standard TV in an outdoor TV enclosure. These plasma and LCD enclosures not only cost a fraction of the price of a waterproof TV (even when you include the price of the standard screen enclosed) and they also provide protection against vandalism, accidental damage and theft.


Source by Richard n Williams

Surf Shark Fishing Techniques


Follow these techniques to practice the surf shark fishing methods used by experienced shark fishing anglers. This aspect of surf fishing (for sharks) is really thrilling.

This article is meant to introduce the highlights of sharking and is based on methods used to  surf fish for sharks up to seven foot. Fishing for sharks at the surf line requires a crew of experienced shark handlers to land & release the shark once you get it to the edge of the beach. 

The Shark Fishing Crew

Plan on setting up a crew. Shark fishing from the surf requires at least two experienced shark handlers. If your crew is inexperienced you should have three or four on your team. Going out with the same team each time will develop a synergy among the group so that each member knows exactly what to do at the right time. This is important. Shark fishing is a lot of fun but there are dangers to be aware of.

Shark Fishing Tackle & Gear

Although the sharks can be in just about any depth of water, you will probably be targeting water that is 8′ to 10′ deep. It’s not always possible to cast out to this depth. The shark anglers use a sit-on-top kayak to carry the bait to the targeted depth. Since the bait will usually be kayaked out, the surf rods do not need to be as long. Rods that are 5.5′ to 8′ will suffice.

Reels used for sharking vary. Some surf anglers have landed pretty big sharks on tackle that wasn’t designed for it. That being said, if you want a reel that will stand up to the big sharks on a regular basis, think about reels that get into the 80# class. Otherwise a decent quality reel rated for 50# test line will be adequate.

Spool up your reel with 200 – 300 yards plus the line needed to reach the targeted water depth. If your fishing 200 yards from shore you should have 400 – 500 yards of line spooled on your reel of 50# test minimum. If you can’t get this much line on your reel then think about going to braided line like Power Pro. You can easily get twice as much line on a reel using braided line instead of the lesser expensive monofilament.

Most likely you will want to invest in some type of fighting harness. A fighting harness will help you handle the fatigue during a long fight. Fighting harnesses vary in style and price. A visit to your local bait and tackle shop will give you a better idea what’s available.

Shark Bait

Fresh bait is always better than frozen bait. Be sure to check the local regulations before selecting your bait. Regulations vary from state to state. Whiting, Mullet, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Ladyfish make excellent bait for sharks. Catch your bait in the morning and keep it on ice for freshness. Size your bait to the hook size you are using. Larger fish can be used as cut bait. Hook sizes for sharks range from 10/0 to 20/0. Bigger bait translates into bigger sharks taken.

Shark Rigs

Shark rigs are better homemade. There are different setups that are preferred by shark anglers. I like to use 480# cable for my leaders. To make these you need stainless steel thimbles and crimp sleeves to attach hooks and swivels. A special tool is used to crimp the cable after it wraps around the thimble. The rig I like uses 18″ – 24″‘ of 480# hook leader attached to 6′- 8’ of 480# cable. Slide a snap swivel on the main leader (for the sinker to attach) before attaching a swivel on the end to tie off to the main line.

Use at least a 10/0 hook or you can make up different size hook rigs and keep them on hand depending on the bait you catch. Other wise use you can use cut bait on the 10/0 hooks if you have to.

Use only spider weights for sinkers 6oz to 8oz. Make them yourself if you can’t find them at the bait & tackle shops. Spider weights are important especially if you are using monofilament line. Monofilament line has a lot of stretch to it which makes setting the hook difficult. A spider weight grips the bottom and helps to set the hook when the shark picks up the bait.

If you plan on fishing for sharks your best bet is to get on a shark fishing crew with experienced shark anglers. Another option is to be a spectator at one of the shark tournaments where you can witness how the experienced anglers get it done. Shark fishing from the surf has to be the most exciting fishing experience you’ll ever get, bar none.


Source by Randy Meyers