Monthly Archives: March 2015

Credit Card knife perfect to fit into a wallet as the ultimate travel accessory for men

Tool Logic – Credit Card Companion

Remember that credit card company slogan “Don’t leave home without it”? The Tool Logic Credit Card Companion really should have adopted that slogan. This multi-tool, credit card thin, must have is perfect for those of us who can’t always have our trusty Leatherman multi-tool on us at all times. We all have our favorite handy dandy pocket knife we try to grab before we leave the house, but you can leave that at home and just grab your wallet with this gadget tucked inside it!  Some may call it the guardian angel…because you’ll hardly realize you’re carrying it, but when you need it, it pulls more than its weight!

tool logic credit card companion multi-tool pocketknife

This amazing wallet tool box comes with a razor sharp, 2″ stainless steel blade with serrated edge, a can/bottle opener, awl, 8x power lens, a compass, toothpick, tweezers, small/large screwdrivers, and inch and cm rulers thrown on the back. Somehow they packed all of this into one card that only weighs 1.3 oz. For those of us who like to travel light but never be caught unprepared this couldn’t be better!

All tool logic products come with a lifetime warranty too! So don’t be afraid to bust out this tiny yet powerful tool when you need to! The knife can easily cut through rope, rubber hose, and of course cardboard along with almost anything else you can throw at it.  Some of the other accessories will wear out long before this blade will let you down. You will probably use the blade more than anything but you’ll be surprised how many times you pull out the screwdrivers to tighten things or make adjustments.

This make a great gift but also gives you some reassurance that you’ll almost always have something to get the job done right in your pocket! Right now you can save %50 if you get it here:

 

shark valley national park

Shark Valley National Park

When visiting south florida and looking for something active to do we recommend the Shark Valley National Park bike loop! There are no other places like this, dare we say, in the world! This 15 mile loop gives you unobstructed access to all of the wildlife that the Everglades has to offer. You’ll see all kinds of birds, snakes, lizards, fish, and of course alligators! Now we don’t mean maybe you’ll come across one or two if you’re lucky, we mean you may have to swerve around alligators laying across your bike path. Don’t worry just use caution when you encounter them, they’re very docile and don’t seem to react much to people. As you can see by these pictures, all taken during our last visit.

Alligator basking in the sun  in Florida's shark valley national park in the Everglades

Shark Valley is located on the border between Collier and Miami-Dade county in the heart of the everglades right across from the Miccosukee Indian’s restaurant.  It is a national park and current admission is $10 (they encourage use of credit cards). Most of us don’t travel with our bikes so don’t worry they offer rentals for $9/hr, but be warned they are beach cruiser style.  If you’re lucky enough to have your own bike in this area bring it, as a 15 mile beach cruiser ride is no walk in the park (although you can walk in this park instead of bike). The parks name is funny and often gets asked “Why is it called Shark Valley”?  The everglades (and Florida in general) is very very flat and this location happens to be lower lying than its surroundings, plus it happens to be near Shark River, hence Shark Valley. Not because one part of the trail is windy like a sharks fin (seriously we heard this).

A view of the bike trail in Miami's Shark Valley park from the observation tower

At the park you’ll find a large amount of educational signs and tours. There is the common tram tours, but the more unique tour is the everglades walking tour. This tour guides you into and through the muddy waters of the everglades to really get up close and personal with the wildlife. Half way down the the 15 mile path is the 65 foot observation tower offering an amazing 360 degree view and a nice break with restrooms at the bottom.  The initial road and tower were originally built by an oil company, but the oil they extracted was too loaded with impurities to be cleaned with the older technology so they left it to become a park.

An aerial view of Florida's native North American Alligator in the Everglades

Helpful hints for those who go. If you have the luxury of timing your trip in the year, to observe the most wildlife we suggest going in the “dry” season of South Florida.  Meaning if you can go between November and March the water levels will be lower and the temperature cooler.  This means that the birds will be around, Alligators sunning, and mosquitos almost non existent!  Even though it is completely flat don’t mistake how powerful a steady wind can be on the curvy section of the path so bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. The bike ride will take about 2 1/2-3 hours to complete depending on speed and how often you stop to say “oh look a gator!”

Polaroid cube camera fish eyed angle of an Alligator hiding in the water in the Everglades

This photo taken with my Polaroid Cube camera

An alligator basking next to the bike trail in Shark Valley National Park

This photo taken with my polaroid cube camera

 

The park is located at 36000 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33194 and is quite easy to get to with any GPS system so next time you’re looking for a way to explore South Florida, get close to nature, and be active go check it out!

 

winter fishing tips and tactics

Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics

Many of us don’t like to let a little cold weather stop of us from enjoying the great outdoors. Who doesn’t love fishing year round?! Well we present to you some of the best Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics presented by Fix.com.

Fishing through the winter months can be very rewarding for a number of reasons. Cold temperatures keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes for the woods. Winter is also the time of year when most freshwater species group up. The result: more fish for cold-weather anglers. During the coolest months of the year, preparation, research, and the proper tackle can make for memorable fishing trips.

Pick the Perfect Spot

The first step in a successful fishing trip, no matter what species is being targeted, is to know where to go. The internet has a wealth of useful tools to guide anglers to fishing meccas. Department of Natural Resources or Wildlife and Fisheries websites are great resources for information about local lakes, and will detail what types of fish they have to offer, what times of the year provide the best angling for certain species, and any creel limits.

If the impoundment is run by the Corps of Engineers, a visit to their website provides lake levels and current flow predictions. Both conditions can affect safety and success. Very high lakes or ones experiencing overflow conditions will limit your chances, especially during cold-water months. Avoid a lake or river with high current or predictions for high current. Not only will the fishing be difficult, but elevated currents can also be dangerous and generate debris in the waterway. Look for lakes and rivers that are in normal winter condition and have a stable or natural current.

With a quick online search, it’s easy to find catching information as well. Most lake marinas have a website with up-to-date reports on which species are biting the best. Internet fishing forums are another good resource. Check out Ultimatebass.com for national information, or utilize regional websites such as TexasFishingForum.com. They can save you hours of fruitless effort.

Find the Right Time to Go

While many of us have to plan fishing around work schedules, the weather is another consideration. A look at the forecast can narrow down which days will be more productive. Keep in mind that, while the best fishing conditions may not be the most comfortable for anglers, some conditions are sure to improve catching odds. Weather fronts affect the activity level of all freshwater species. In general, fish are more active prior to a front and less active after it. Whenever possible, optimize your chances by planning fishing trips just prior to the passing of a cold front. Since, however, most anglers are limited to fishing on the weekends, regardless of the weather conditions, here are some tips for fishing post-front conditions.

Low barometric pressure always precedes a front. After the front passes through, the barometric pressure will be high, bringing winds from the north or northeast and preventing clouds from forming in the sky. This will create picturesque days but not always the most fruitful fishing conditions. The bright sun, however, can be used to anglers’ advantage. During winter months the sun’s global position is further south in the sky. This allows it to shine very strongly on northern banks. A northern bank also prevents the cold, north wind from hitting the water. Wind protection and bright sun mean the water will warm faster during the day in these areas. For this reason, concentrate efforts on these northern bank lines.

During the winter, the best fish-catching times are typically between 10 am and 4 pm. That’s not to say a couple won’t bite at daybreak and dusk – they will just be few and far between. Take the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a more comfortable fishing experience with the warming day.

Winter Fishing Tips - Choosing the Best Location
Source: Fix.com

Gather Your Equipment

In general, winter fishing puts extra strain on fishing equipment. After determining where to go, make sure all your equipment is up to the task. To start, make sure the reels are in good working order. A reel bearing that was noisy or stiff under warmer conditions will completely fail in the cold. Old grease and oil will thicken, making reels difficult to use. To prevent frustration, clean and lubricate them. That way, when the perfect fish is hooked, you’ll be able to land it. If you’re not comfortable disassembling and cleaning reels, repair shops will perform this service for around $25 a reel – money well spent.

Cold winter conditions will make monofilament and fluorocarbon line difficult to manage. A line conditioner such as KVD Line and Lure, Reel Magic, Bass Pro, or Ardent will keep the line supple and prevent line twist, helping reduce backlashes and tangles. Use this same conditioner on rod guides to prevent water from freezing in them. Water from fishing line collects in the guides of a rod and, if it’s cold enough, will freeze and eventually stop the line from passing through the eyelet. Lastly, since it’s winter, there’s no need to worry about fish getting tangled in vegetation. Smaller diameter lines are just fine and will help prevent the effects of twist and stiffness.

Winter Fishing Tips - Use Gear to Stay Warm
Source: Fix.com

Choose the Best Bait

Lure choice in the winter months can be difficult; however, a few basic tips will greatly improve success. Live bait is the best choice, because it will react to the water naturally. Typically, anglers work artificial baits too quickly for the winter conditions. Both forage and predators are cold-blooded creatures and the cold water slows their metabolisms, making them move slowly. Bait that moves unnaturally quickly will turn fish away. Anglers trying to mimic these forage species should slow down their presentations to a methodically sluggish retrieve. Most anglers simply can’t fish slowly enough with artificial baits to accurately mimic the speed and movements of forage during winter temperatures. Live bait will be more enticing. Minnows or shiners are a great choice; so are live worms. However, they somewhat limit the species of freshwater fish that may bite.

Select artificial baits with hair and/or feathers. These provide more action in cold water than soft plastic baits, which get can stiff and lose the built-in action when water temperatures dip below 50 degrees. Hair and feathers don’t respond like this to cold water and, instead, maintain excellent action with little movement. Hair and feathers also move with water currents. Even when an angler imparts no action to the bait, it can still move very naturally, remain in the strike zone of the fish longer and mimic live prey.

If catching fish on lures is the goal, choose lures that will catch multiple species. Shad, herring, or yearling sunfish/perch will be the primary winter forage for all freshwater species, so match these forage species with lures. Most other forage species, crawfish, and other vertebrates will be hibernating and will emerge only after an extended warming trend. Soft plastic baits, including straight-tail worms, grubs, and tube baits, can be very effective. Choose colors that mimic the winter forage: anything white, silver, or transparent in color will work well, especially if they contain colored flakes. Hard baits such as crankbaits, spinners, and spoons can be very suitable on warmer days. Color choices for these baits should include chrome, silver, or gold.

In winter, it is important to use a reduced lure size. Cold temperatures drastically reduce a fish’s metabolism and the fish don’t need to feed as often. Smaller prey is easier to catch and digest. Presenting something small and slow best mimics the natural feeding habits at this time of year. Baits in the two- to four-inch range are perfect. If the goal is to catch the biggest fish in the area, use three- to four-inch baits, but if the goal is to catch the most fish possible, select baits in the two- to three-inch range.

Winter Fishing Tips - Choosing the Best Bait
Source: Fix.com

Stay Safe Winter Fishing

The most important tip for winter fishing is to be mindful of the weather and respect the conditions. Dress in layers, have a good game plan, and tell someone your timing and itinerary. If you should run into trouble, you’ll need help as soon as possible. Notifying a friend or family member of your location, expected travel route, and expected return time will help speed up the search process should something catastrophic occur.

With some planning and mindfulness of the conditions, you can have some of your most successful fishing adventures during winter months. Research your waterway, make sure your equipment is in good working order, and select multi-species lures or live bait, and you will be on your way to some of the best fishing our great country has to offer.

 

Source: http://www.fix.com/blog/winter-fishing-tips/

The original nomad, portable hot tub

Hot Tub To Go: The Original Nomad

There is nothing better after a long day or hiking, fishing, mountain biking, or most anything outdoors than a nice soak in a hot tub! However most of us don’t always travel with this fine luxury! Unless we are going glamping many of us tend to rough it out and don’t get to enjoy the ultimate relaxation technique of the hot tub soak. Ingenuity and creativity have now blessed us with The Original Nomad and blessed us with the worlds first portable hot tub!!

the original nomad portable hot tub

What you need to know: Now this isn’t necessarily a plug and play type of operation. However, it is relatively simple enough to operate. They do recommend filling with the aid of a water pump if not camping near a water source. The actual system however doesn’t require anything except for a good old fashioned fire (or propane). The system uses something called thermo-syphoning to pump the water heated from the coils into the hot tub. It will take between 2-3 hours to heat up to about 105 degrees Farenheit so keep that in mind when planning on using this.

So now all you have to do is figure out where you’d going to test this amazing hot tub out at! Looks like it’s time to plan that next adventure! It’s made of durable vinyl and sets up relatively easily. Seems like The Original Nomad portable hot tub is a new must have when camping!