Mar 07

How to Choose a Camping Tent

Choosing a Camping TentA good camping tent should keep you dry, comfortable, and provide protection. Which camping tent (Dome, family, 4-season, backpacking or cabin) is right for you? They don’t repel rain, cold, snow, or biting bugs equally.

Camping tents are an important outdoor gear investment. This article will give you the information you need to make an informed decision about what kind is best for you.

First determine what type of camping you’ll be doing? Do you only go out in the summer or are you into 4-season camping? Make sure to prepare yourself for the worst possible type of weather you’ll encounter.

Waking up to a foot of snow inside your summer camping tent because of a late fall blizzard isn’t much fun. After determining what seasons you’ll need your tent for, estimate how many people you will usually camp with.

Sizing it up

Camping tents are rated by the number of people they can accommodate. When they say it’s a 4-person tent, they mean 4 people and nothing else, no hiking gear, no room for boots, just 4 people that hopefully know each other pretty well.

Seriously, if you’re looking for backpacking tents or hiking tents and weight is a big concern, then get cozy and use the rating system, but otherwise I’d think bigger. Consider going 1-2 sizes bigger than what you need for a smaller camping tent.

Better yet divide the “person rating” by 2 so you’ll have a decent amount of room if you have to stay inside due to nasty weather. If you thought cabin fever was bad wait until you’re stuck in a downpour with 5 other people in a small tent for a few days.

Consider the length and width of the camping tents you’re looking at. If you’re 6 feet tall you’ll want at least 7 feet to stretch out length-wise and 2-3 feet of width depending on how much you move in your sleep.

Another thing to consider is to make sure you have enough space for an inflatable air mattress. While it’s not mandatory I’ll have to say it makes camping much more comfortable than lying on a cold pad.

Feb 28

Knives Throwing Sport

Knives Throwing SportWhat makes knives throwing so interesting is that it is challenging yet simple. You are working with one of the most fundamental tools human kind has benefited from for thousands of years.

Really, when it comes down to it, a knife is not a complex instrument. It is a piece of metal, or obsidian, or even wood, which is designed to cut. Sure, there are knives that are more advanced than that, but the fundamental concept is the same.

While the instrument is basic, the art of throwing is not. It is extremely difficult to throw a knife over a long distance and have it “stick” its target. Depending on your individual talent, it could even take weeks before you are able to nail this down on your own.

But when you do, you will immediately feel the reward. There is something in us that naturally reacts positively to the success of sticking a blade. Maybe it is because this is the kind of thing we had to do to survive for thousands of years. Maybe it is just a more typical sense of accomplishment.

The best way to get started with this fun and exciting hobby is to purchase some cheap / inexpensive throwing knives. Don’t start out with the best, because you’ll probably break quite a few of them when you are first earning. This is because it’s easy to miss and when you do you could hit cement, rocks, or other hard objects that will dent, crack, or scratch your knife.

As you learn more and you begin to stick your blade to the target on a regular basis, you can start to purchase more expensive throwing knives. What you’ll notice as you make the upgrade is that the blades are more balanced and aerodynamic. They will seem to float off your finger tips and into the target. Sometimes, but not always, the blades will even be more durable.

If you decide to give this hobby a try, please, please be careful. You should always follow the strictest safety precautions. Use protective eye gear, stay away from other people, do not throw at something that could cause the knife to ricochet and hit you, carry a first aid kit, etc. Be safe, and have fun learning this uniquely human hobby.

Feb 21

Parachuting Safety for Beginners

Parachuting SafetyIf you find exciting the new idea you and your friends shared late one afternoon of getting together over the following weekend to try parachuting, the hobby of jumping off a moving training airplane while wearing a parachute, you better read the following tips, as your and your friends’ safety literally depend on pulling the right type of cord at the right time.

Begin by researching the facilities at your area that offer these kind of extreme sports adventures and then speak -in person- with the trainer who has to be an experienced and professional skydiver.

You should be able to tour the facilities, ask for other people’s reviews, request their authorization and certification documents, and generally learn through observation before putting your money, your time and your life at the hands of someone not adequately trained to lead you back to safety once you jump off a moving airplane.

Second, you have to inspect the gear you will be wearing and using. By gear here we mean the garment you should be dressed with, and most importantly, the parachute your life will depend on. In order for a parachute to be of good quality and ready-to-use, it had to be carefully folded, or “packed” to ensure that it will open reliably.

In the U.S. and many developed countries, emergency and reserve parachutes are packed by “riggers” who must be trained and certified according to legal standards. Paratroops and sport skydivers are always trained to pack their own primary “main” parachutes.

Thus, inspect the company’s parachutes and make sure you check their materials for any problems or malfunctions. In fact, parachutes can malfunction in several ways. Malfunctions can range from minor problems that can be corrected in-flight and still land safely, to catastrophic malfunctions that will require the unlucky fellow to cut away the main parachute using a modern 3-ring release system and the reserve parachute to be deployed.

Most skydivers are also equipped with small barometric computers known as an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) that will automatically deploy the reserve parachute in case of emergency. Specifically, if a skydiver does not deploy the main parachute to reduce his rate of descent by a preset altitude, the AAD device “reads” the malfunction and automatically releases the reserve parachute.

If you are concerned whether or not this will happen when you are going to be out there, statistical reports estimate that approximately one in a thousand main parachutes experience some kind of opening malfunction and must be cut away; although some skydivers have on their records many thousands of jumps and never had to cut away their parachute.

But, most accidents and fatalities in skydiving occur under a fully functional main parachute and are due to turbulence or inexperience. Thus, ask, listen, and essentially learn as much as you can from your skydiving trainer before taking off and ultimately jumping off the plane.

Feb 14

Sit Up In a Correct Way to Form Your Ab

Sit UpYour abdominal muscles are really one big muscle called the Rectus Abdominus. You do not have upper, mid and lower abs unless you have some genetic anomaly.

This is really critical to understand because the long muscle fibers in the abdominal muscles start at ribcage and ends at the pubic region.

So, when you contract your muscles during a curl-up or crunch, the two ends of the muscle fibers move toward each other. It is impossible for the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominus (abs) to function without equally “firing off” all the other muscle fibers in the abs.

Once the muscle relaxes and allows its two ends to move apart and reach its original stretched position, you will complete the full range-of-motion of an abdominal exercise,

I am not forgetting the external and internal Obliques because they are directly and indirectly involved while performing any abdominal movement so it’s really not necessary to hammer out your Obliques regularly. In fact, since the only thing a muscle can do is shrink and grow (atrophy or hypertrophy), you probably will not want to overly develop the Obliques because it will create a thicker looking waistline.

That means the key to creating great-developed abs is to use exercises that fully contract the abdominal muscle until it is fatigued and that will take the muscle through it’s full range-of-motion, just like any other muscle you build in your body.

Remember though, you will not see your abs if they are hidden under a layer of fat and you cannot spot reduce the fat from waistline by training your abs for hours on end. Simply doing hours of abdominal exercises may develop your abs but you will still carry that layer of fat around your body if you aren’t burning the appropriate amount of calories.

If you are trying to lose body fat, there are much bigger and better exercises than abdominal exercises for burning calories and body fat.

Now that you know how the abdominal muscle works, it’s time to discover, “The most forgotten productive exercise for your Abs.” The Sit Up.

It’s really, really important for you to know how to properly perform a Sit Up. If you perform the Sit Up like you did in Gym Class, you are reducing the Sit Up’s effectiveness by almost 50% and you could cause some serious low back pain for yourself.

Here again, it is important to understand the rules behind Abdominal-development and the Sit Up exercise really qualifies as a very effective movement.

Remember, when the abdominal muscle is working, “Two ends of the muscle fibers must move toward each other and be able to fully contract”.

Does the Sternum and Pubic area move toward each other when performing Sit Ups?

Does the Abdominal Muscle bend and stretch the spine in its full range of motion in a Sit Up?

Do the abdominal muscles reach full extension to full flexion?
– YES, if you perform the exercise correctly! So, why does the sit up exercise get such a bad rap?

Primarily because the old style Sit Ups you performed incorrectly in gym class put too much stress on the lower back and hip flexors. But, do you know what is really crazy about that logic? If more muscles than one are involved, it is called a compound or multi-joint movement.

You won’t hear me saying compound movements are bad. Are these supposed experts trying to get people to actually believe that compound movements are great for every muscle except the abdominal muscles?

If I remember correctly, didn’t these same exercise physiologists claim squats and Deadlifts put too much strain on your knees and back and that we all needed to stop doing those exercises too? Just a few years later, most of the experts are now eating their words, aren’t they?

The appropriate way to perform an effective Sit Up

Lay flat on your back with a rolled up towel under your lower back. Bend your knees about 45° with heels on the floor and keep your toes pointing up. Do not anchor your feet.

Spread the knees apart approximately 6-8 inches to prevent the hip flexors from contributing too much to the exercise.

Next, extend your arms between your legs and keep your hands between your legs throughout the movement because it will help keep you in the proper position.

Now, exhale and lift your shoulders off the ground, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Concentrate on trying to force the lower portion of your ribcage into your knees by curling the spine upward into the sit up position (DO NOT CURL YOUR NECK).

Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position by uncurling your spine and you are finished with the repetition when you feel the rolled up towel supporting your lower back again.

Notice how both ends of the abdominal muscle fully contract together and are stretched through its full range of motion. When you perform a Sit Up with proper biomechanics, your next crunch exercise will pale by comparison.