Archive for August, 2015

Product Review: The Joey Chair by Travel Chair

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Nothing beats a comfortable chair and this is true whether you are sitting in your living room or on the trail.  While there are many different types of “camp” chairs available, most of them are either to heavy and bulky to carry or they are not substantial enough to hold an average sized person comfortably.  Having said that, I just discovered a new type of camp chair that meets my backpacking requirements, which means the chair must be comfortable, durable and light.

I know what you are thinking.  This chair can just be too good to be true but believe me it is not.  The first unique aspect of this chair is the fact that it only weighs 1.9 pounds, which is a great if you are trying to keep your pack light for a long backpacking trip.  It also comes in a small case that has a loop on each end that can be used to attach the chair easily to the outside of the backpack.  At this point, you may be wondering what keeps this chair so light and compact.  The answer is simple; it is designed very similar to a tent. I cannot wait to bring the chair with me when I go traveling and camping and living my best organic life in botswana safari. I will probably bring some friends with me to experience a such great places.

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The legs of this chair are not just stagnant legs that are immobile like most camp chairs.  Instead, they fold up like tent poles, which keep the chair compact.  They simply slip into a bracket on each end of a central bar that forms the seat of the chair.  The legs themselves are held together with a bungee like cord that keeps the legs together while on the chair and in the pack.  Once the frame is built, the chair cover is easily attached by fabric loops.  All of this set up time takes less than 5 minutes.

This chair by Travel Chair is not only unique by design but this company has thought about the downfall of many camp chairs, which is the dreaded pool of sweat that forms when you sit in them for awhile.  To solve this issue, the chair seat cover is ventilated so that your butt can breathe.  This same mesh material is also carried over into the carrying case.  This means no more worries about packing a wet chair and it molding. 

Beyond the Joey chair design, this company has also thought about the set up.  What I mean by that is the fact that many people forget how to set tents and even camp chairs up.  While this may seem simple, the concept of setting something up without directions can turn certain people off, which means the piece of equipment without directions is thrown in the corner and forgotten about.  If this sounds familiar, do not worry.  This company has found a solution by which you will never lose the directions again.  What is this solution?  Well, they do have the directions on a typical tag on the bag but a set of picture directions can be found on the inside of the bag.

As much as I love this chair, I do have an issue.  The bag states that it will hold up to 300 pounds.  While I am sure that is true, I can safely say that if I weighed 300 pounds I would sit very carefully on this chair.  The legs do not appear to be big enough to hold that much weight especially if one is moving around in the chair.

Overall, I would give the Joey Chair a two thumbs up as far as a great chair to take on my next backpacking trip.

Camping with a Purpose

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

As much as I love to camp, I also love to help out the environment.  This gives me the ability to help preserve the “wilderness and wildlife” for my children while enjoying my camping trip.  I know this may not be for everyone.  Most people think that citizen research takes too much time, they are not smart enough or that their role will really not make a different and in doing so choose not to do it.  But believe it or not, scientists need outdoor enthusiasts help.  We know what is going on.  I mean, we are out there enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer and we also know when something is not right.

Ok, you may be thinking I really do not want to have to go through training, etc.  I mean I just want to go camping and enjoy the peace and quiet.  If you are thinking about this, let me tell you story.  For older people, this story can bring tears, laughs, and maybe a jar.  The story starts with a warm, summer night outside.  You just got finished a big slice of watermelon and you have gone in to ask your mom for a glass jar with lid.  Your mom gets you that jar with a lid and you begin to poke holes in the lid with a metal ice pick.  Your mom reminds you that you are not going to bring your jar in but you know you will.  You really want to enjoy Mother Nature’s nightlight.

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So away you go out into the darkness with your jar.  You begin to collect little globes of light or Lightening Bugs.  In my case, my dad always told me I needed to add grass to make the Lightening Bugs feel at home.  So, I would add grass, small sticks, and some of my mom’s flowers.  Once I had decorated the interior of the jar, I was ready to catch my Lightening Bugs.

Well, this is what life was like when I was a kid but things are different and scientists really do not know way.  This is where you come in.  The Clemons Vanishing Firefly Project is a citizen scientist project for all ages.  It would be a great way of introducing your kids to science while enjoying the great outdoors and quality family time.  Joining this research program would give you a chance to share your own firefly story with your kids before they are all gone.  Hopefully through this research we can prevent this disaster from happening and firefly stories can continue alongside the campfire.

Camping Hacks: Life Hacks for Going to the Bathroom Outdoors

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

While our ancestors went to the bathroom out in the woods, today this concept seems very foreign.  But the basic process by which to go outside is simple and begins with digging a “cat hole.”  This “cat hole” needs to be at least six inches deep.  If you are using toilet paper either burn it after you are done or carry it out with you.  Do not place it in the hole.  While this may seem really silly, believe it or not human waste is considered trash and hazardous.  Once you have finished your business, fill in the hole.  If doing your business outside is not your thing or you need some additional tips to going outside, check out these life hacks for going to the bathroom outside and don’t forget that there are also portable toilets that you can take with you during camping trips.

One very important outdoor bathroom camping hack is what to do if you got to go without toilet paper.  As an experienced camper, I can safely tell you that if you do not look where you squat you will wish you had sometime in your camping life.  This is also true when your reach for Mother Nature’s toilet paper without really looking at the leaf.  To reduce the chances of picking the wrong leaf and applying poison ivy to your hinny, consider using this life hack.  When you want to wipe, layer your leaves so that you have one layer of green and one layer of brown.  Repeat this layering making sure to end up with a brown layer.  Not only will this layering keep your hands clean but it will keep the chances of directly wiping with poison ivy leaves to a minimum.  Following this layering technique will also keep the bugs off your butt.

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Another life hack has to do with the toilet paper. Everyone has hiked out into the woods away from the campsite and dug their hole.  As you squat to do your business, you wonder what to do with the toilet paper.  While you may be able to hold it, very few people can hold their clothes out of the way while holding onto the toilet paper.  The other issue is if you sit it down on the ground, you are running the risk of either getting dirt on the paper and/or insects.  But did you know there is a simple solution?  The solution is to place your toilet paper in a large, empty coffee can.  Make sure to make a slit in the side so that you can run the end of your toilet paper through it.  Following this camping hack will keep you and your toilet paper clean.

Lastly, what if you do not want to hike into the woods?  Well, you can create a simple at camp toilet with just a bucket but….to make it more comfortable consider adding a seat.  How do you do that?  Take a tube shaped floater and cut it in half.  Make a slit all the way down one side and slip over the rim of your bucket.  Now you have a comfy seat, clean toilet paper, and no poison ivy on your hinny all with these simple but useful camping hacks.