How to climb better on a mountain bike

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So you’ve recently taken on mountain biking, after recommendations from friends and family, and after serious consideration brought about by what you’ve probably been watching on TV. Something about riding a bike across terrains unknown and otherwise breathtakingly beautiful gives you a sense of longing, a sense of wanting to be free from the everyday grind.

You’ve consulted with your expert buddies who have had the hobby for years ahead of you, and now you’ve gone to the point where you’ve bought a best mountain bikes under 1000 USD for yourself. You’ve taken it out for a spin, and so far, in the first trails and paths you’ve taken, you’ve been very satisfied.

Unfortunately, when it comes to climbing steeper trails, you’re finding yourself wanting, particularly when you see others going ahead of you. Far ahead of you.

Does this sound familiar? Do not fret. While climbing with your mountain bike is not a skill instantly mastered, it will definitely factor in most, if not all of the trails you will be riding through, no matter what skill level you place yourself in. In other words, it helps to improve your climbing game, and it helps to improve it yesterday.

Somewhere in this and other similar articles, you’re bound to hear the words that practice makes perfect. While there are a lot of factors to climbing with a mountain bike that involve practice, practice, and more practice, here are some tips you ought to try to immediately improve your climbing:

Prioritize Proper Preparations

The chances of the most efficient and effective biking trip increase with taking the right precautions. Check yourself and your bike with the same mindset you would have when you check your car before taking a long trip. Read some helpful tips at Recreation Space to know what’s in a mountain biker’s survival kit.

While you check gas and oil among other things in a car, you would do well to check air and water before you go on a biking excursion. This means you would check the air on your tires, so you have the right pressure to handle the terrain, whether you are on an incline or a flat path.

Checking water? Your bike stays dry; it’s you who needs to hydrate. Don’t make the mistake of drinking only when you feel like it, especially during more physical activities where you know you’ll be sweating buckets in a short period of time. Have a good drink of water around 10-20 minutes before you even set off, and you should be all set. Continue reading

Power-packed camping 2

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Power-packed camping 1

I took a pair of Honda portables to bird hunting camp last fall. We used the EX350 model, which has a two-stroke engine requiring a 50:1 gas/oil mixture, to keep lights running in a pop-up camper where some of my friends slept. The fuel tank on this tiny, 19-pound model held less than a quart of gas, but ran for more than two hours between fill-ups. I was surprised at how quietly the generator purred. We used the EX1000 model, which comes with a low-oil alert light and has a handy built-in tool kit, in our cooking tent. Because it was a bit louder, we placed the unit below our hilltop campsite and then ran a 100-foot extension cord to the tent.

Following are the companies that make portable generators and a brief look at their respective product lines.

Coleman Powermate makes three portable models that are ideal for campers. Each weighs 68 pounds and is powered by a 3 hp engine. The Pulse Plus 1750 features a Kawasaki engine, and the Pulse 1000 and Pulse 1750 models are driven by Briggs & Stratton engines. Prices range from $625 to $850. For more information, contact Coleman Powermate, Inc., 125 Airport Rd., Kearney, NE 68848 (308-237-2181).

Generac Corporation manufacturers three models of G Series portable generators ranging in size from 750 to 2,400 watts. The G1000, which retails for about $700, has a 1.6 hp Kawasaki engine, weighs 49 pounds and will run up to seven hours on 0.8 gallon of gas. The G1600 and G2600 models feature 2.3-gallon fuel tanks and 3 hp and 5 hp engines, respectively. Consequently, these latter two generators weigh more at 84 and 96 pounds, respectively. The top of the line G2600 sells for $1,262; the G1600 goes for $976. For more information, contact Generac Corp., Box 8, Waukesha, WI 53187 (414-544-4811).

Kawasaki makes 10 models of portable generators from 550 to 4,500 watts weighing from about 40 to 164 pounds. Bigger models feature wheeled frames. The Ninja 700 has a one-touch electric-start engine that runs very quietly and weighs about 52 pounds. It sells for $639. Retail prices on the others range from $439 for the GA 550 to $1,899 for the GA 4500. For more information, contact Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (800-661-RIDE).

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Power-packed camping 1

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Campers who pack in portable generators make “roughing it” an electrifying experience.

Last fall in hunting camp, my friends ridiculed me for adding a technological touch to our spartan camp-ground: I toted along a couple of portable generators.

They now refer to me as the “Cabin Editor” of Outdoor Life, and they say my idea of roughing it is a black-and-white TV and a cocktail with no ice.

But I did notice that no one complained when we had bright electric lights in our huge army surplus tent normally made dim by sputtering lanterns. Neither did my critics refuse morning coffee freshly brewed in our electric coffee maker. When the temperature nose-dived and a punishing wind whipped the tent flaps and drove snow across the opening, I overheard one of them say he wished he had remembered to pack an electric heater.

“And an electric blanket,” someone added.

Why not? After all, what’s wrong with being comfortable in the outdoors? Over the years I’ve slept in some coyote camps that have been fairly bare of equipment. As a matter of fact, my son and I once had to share a sleeping bag to stay warm in the mountains of British Columbia. Another time I had to use a clamshell for a soup spoon. My hunting dogs have eaten from truck hubcaps that I’ve popped loose when I’ve forgotten to pack their feed bowls. Too many times I have cried for the right gear, and have learned not to pass up any opportunity to be comfortable outdoors.

Packing a portable generator is certainly one way to bring comforts to camp. The powerful portables are great for adding heat and light and for juicing small appliances and hand tools. Direct current (DC) outlets allow you to charge a battery on your car, boat or electric trolling motor. The availability of instant electricity has given new life to rechargeable batteries and has helped me to meet deadlines by powering my laptop computer.

These quiet-running, fuel-efficient marvels require little maintenance and are great in home emergencies when the commercial power goes out. That’s why if you’re thinking of buying a portable generator, consider getting one with enough power to drive a furnace fan (about 1,200 watts for a 1/3 hp motor), air conditioner (about 2,500 watts for a 10,000-BTU appliance) or refrigerator/freezer (about the same as for an air conditioner).

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Preserve your food with these best food preservation methods

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food preservation

One of the oldest technologies that humans have been using is called as food preservation. Though there are lot many people who strongly disagree about different methods of food preservation and which is the best method but all have one common goal in mind and that is to have fresh and wholesome food. The best part about preserving the food is that you can store your food for a long period of time and re-use it again with all the nutritional value intact. These days the best pressure cooker is used for preserving food but still there are many old techniques which are being put into use.

best pressure cooker for canning

Apart from retaining its nutritional value, preserved food is safe and is free from naturally occurring toxins, harmful chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms. You can easily make food bacteria free by sterilizing it. Take for example; if milk is not sterilized then the naturally occurring bacteria can spoil the milk in three to four hours if it is left in open at room temperature. If put the same milk into a refrigerator then the bacteria growth slows down and the milk can be kept in a good condition for even few weeks.

What does food preservation involves?

  • The process of food preservation involves treating of food with special elements. This treated food is then handled in such a manner that it stays fresh for a long period of time.
  • Take for example, during ancient times, Egyptian people use to treat cheese with salt and then this cheese was stored in lime induced clothes. This helped them to use cheese for a long period of time. This is just one simple technique shared with you, but there are thousands of food preservation techniques that are available and many of them are still being deployed by humans.

Different methods of food preservation

Let us try to find more about different methods of food preservation in detail: Continue reading

Camping Poem

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Out in the wild with nothing surrounding’

me. Next to thegiant bushes, I am a grain

of sand. My mind is at peace…

Until darkness creeps into the eerie glow

of the fading sunlight. Soon, out of no


Rain descends down on our tent and

my courage escapes me. I’m certain I see

a monster coming.

At my tent, after a while, I realized it was

nothing but a big

Green tree blowing in the restless,windy

night. I feel comfortable and tired in the

dark. As I feel these feelings, the soothing

noises that once frightened me

Ease my mind into a deep sleep.

Tent time! Take the latest, greatest and most affordable tents

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Whether you’re backpacking or family campers, in the backcountry or car-camping with your troop, your tent is your home away from home (so called best family tent). But a flimsy, leaky, sauna-hot tent isn’t much of a home. is it? That’s why Gear Guy is here to help you pick just the right tent for the kind of camping you want to do.


REI PASSAGE 2 ($159) At just under 5 pounds with two side doors and vestibules, along with lightweight aluminum poles, the Passage is a great two-man backpacking option. It’s freestanding with lots of ceiling mesh for ventilation, and color-coded poles and clips make it super easy to pitch. 4 lbs. 14 oz./ 33.75 sq. ft.

KELTY SALIBA 2 ($159) This is the most well-rounded backpacking tent here. It’s a simple freestanding, classic dome design with tons of mesh, and a single door and vestibule. Although it has slightly less interior space than the other two-man tents, the Salida weighs in at less than 4 pounds! 3 lbs. 12 oz. / 30.5 sq. ft.

BSA MOUNTAINEER ($139) New from our pals at, the Mountaineer has the most living space of the two-man tents here. It comes with lightweight aluminum poles, organizer pockets and a gear loft inside. It has a single door and a vestibule that’s roomy enough for two packs and two pairs of boots. 5 lbs. 7oz. / 36.25 sq. ft.


SLUMBERJACK TRAIL TENT 2 ($79) This simple two-man free-standing dome is the most affordable option here–we even saw it online for $66! It’s heavier than others, and has just a single door and vestibule, but the price makes it worth a took. 5 lbs. 9 oz. / 33.3 sq. ft.

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Horse sense 2

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Horse Sense 1

Riding Tips

If familiarity doesn’t necessarily breed contempt, it can at least cut the tension. That’s why it’s wise to visit a riding stable a few times before a major horse-camping trip. You might even consider taking a lesson or two. While you’re there, you can break in those new boots and jeans, too – once you hit camp it’s way too late. Learning to ride a horse is no more difficult than mastering a bicycle. Practice these tips for safety and to smooth your first riding experience:

* Wear hard-soled shoes or boots with a pronounced heel for a better “bite” in the stirrups.

* Approach the horse from its side – where it can see you – and speak the horse’s name in a calm, low voice.

* Mount from the animal’s left side in an open area (standing on an incline the first couple of times may help). Position your foot in the stirrup so the weight is across the ball of your foot. Then, grasping the mane in your left hand, mount in one smooth motion.

* Remember that the reins are used for steering. Hold them in your left hand and keep your right hand free and loose. Because the horse’s mouth is sensitive to the bit, jerking the reins can make the animal rear up, and you could be thrown. Don’t allow the reins to droop over the horse’s head either – your mount could step on them and injure itself. Find a position for your hands that is relaxed but allows you to easily apply pressure when you need to.

* Ride with the balls of your feet in the stirrup and lift your weight slightly, allowing your knees to act as shock absorbers.

* Most horses test their riders at some point, and even the most placid animal can be easily spooked in unfamiliar surroundings. Continually check the horse’s ears and eyes for signs of fear or mischief. When the ears prick up or the eyes roll, revealing their whites, something is going on – anticipate the unexpected.

* Remember gun safety: Never carry a chambered load when riding, and always place a scope down (not up) in the scabbard.

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Horse sense 1

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A camping trip in the high country is always a stirring experience, and even more so when you’re on horseback.

Maybe it’s the extremes that provide the allure of the high country. At 10,000 feet the midday sun can quickly burn the skin, yet nights demand a down-filled sleeping bag; winds violently shake the aspens, only to suddenly stop and allow sound to carry for hundreds of yards; fog-mantled peaks blunted in the opaque gray of early morning pierce an untouched sky of infinite blue by afternoon.

A camping trip amid such magnificent landscape is indeed a stirring experience, even more so when you camp by horseback. Granted, horse-pack camping may not be for everyone, but don’t mark yourself a nonparticipant simply because you’re uncomfortable around the animals.

Horse riding

Take me, for instance. I don’t like horses and am respectfully fearful of them. Naturally, they are not afraid of me. I suppose this is intuition. After all, how can an 1,800-pound animal with a brain the size of your fist reason? Common sense tells me to listen carefully to the advice of wranglers, swallow the lump in my throat – and some pride – and ask for the gentlest nag available.

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Backyard camping

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Let’s take a vacation and close up our workshops. We need a change to fit us for school in the fall. Vacation suggests good times outdoors, and camping is one of the best of good times. We generally think of camping as sleeping in a tent in the woods or on the banks of a lake or stream or motor camping with Daddy. But not all of us can go away this summer, so I shall tell how to camp out in the backyard or in a vacant lot nearby, a plan anyone can follow. Make sure to get permission first.

Of course, backyard camping keeps you close to home. But when you awaken in the dead of night, it does not require a great deal of imagination to fancy that you are in deep woods a thousand miles away. Camping at home is packs of fun, and you probably will want to sleep out all summer, once you have become accustomed to it.
The backyard camp is a good training camp in which to learn the knack of pitching and striking a tent, building a cooking fire, and cooking food fit to eat. And it is an advantage to the tenderfoot to have home near at hand in case things go wrong, in case the tent leaks like a sieve or blows away, the eats don’t fill the hungry spot, or the mosquito repellent fails to work properly.

backyard tent

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows the way I would organize my backyard camp. Almost any type of tent will do, but the small pup tent, or shelter tent, is quite the thing for the backyard camp because it requires little space. It is an inexpensive tent, too. When you become a Scout, you will use it frequently on overnight hikes. The illustration shows a tent made of a tarpaulin, or several widths of eight-ounce cotton duck fabric sewed together, with a triangular piece to enclose the rear, and a similar piece to protect the front. If you will support one end of the ridgepole upon the fence rail, as shown, only one upright pole will be necessary. Drive stakes at the sides to fasten the tent to. Keep the tent taut in dry weather, but slacken it before a storm to prevent its ripping when rained upon.

To keep surface water from flooding the tent, dig a narrow trench around it, with an outlet at one side for a drain. Spread an old rug, piece of carpet, or burlap upon the ground, and place a poncho or raincoat upon it before making your bed. Ask Mother to sew up a mattress sack of unbleached muslin, three feet wide and five feet long, with one end left open. Straw is the best filling, but dried grass will do. After filling the sack, fasten the open end with safety pins. Continue reading

Camping out

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TRUTH BY THE LAKE Camping Out centers around a canoe trip taken by two women in the Vermont woods. They’re old friends; that is, they knew each other a long time ago at Radcliffe, but even then their relationship was strained. Marilyn’s prickly nature, her lesbianism, and her success at what Dennie considers “phony poetry” imposed distance between them. They haven’t seen each other for years, except for one chance encounter at a mutual friend’s when Dennie, otherwise sexually conventional (as far as we know anyway), was suddenly intensely attracted to Marilyn. She kept it to herself but is still somewhat disturbed by it. The two haven’t met since.

Dennie has been living with her diplomat husband and her son in Italy. She has come back to the States for her mother’s funeral. Marilyn, having read the obituary, shows up at the funeral and suggests Dennie visit her in Vermont–this leads to the camping trip. From the beginning, the trip seems perilous–Marilyn packs knives, an ax, and an anti-rape weapon made of a tampon with stout needles stuck into it. And we’re given to know, before they set out, that something horrible will happen. There are hints of the violent death of Marilyn’s dog, Corky, and of some other, sexual, violence aimed at Marilyn and Dennie. Eventually the source of this danger shows up, in the form of a charming, well-read, tin-flute playing, but still undeniably sinister escaped convict named Fred.

All these intriguing details come out through a letter Dennie writes Marilyn after the camping trip is long over, so we know from the outset that both women survive. Suspense on its simplest level is not what clark is after; by using the letter she shifts her emphasis from the story itself to what Dennie, looking back, makes of it. The events of the trip, horrifying though they are, are less important than what Dennie reveals about herself in them.

To hear her tell it, there’s truth to the belief that at moments of crisis your life flashes before your eyes. The camping trip as she recalls it was a series of such moments, each of which trigger long-submerged yet minutely detailed memories of her childhood. For the reader, the experience is initially disconcentrating. We lurch from a violent Vermont deluge to tableaux from an Italian fortresss, the Rocca, where Dennie spent several years as a child. The Signorina, the little old lady miser who owned the place, naturally comes to mind, but so do such particulars as “three small amateur paintings on the wall, framed: of trees, cows by a barn, a bowl of fruit,” and a hand-embroidered set of priestly vestments all done in bees and roses.

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