Orchid Growing for Beginners

Orchid Growing for BeginnersOrchids produce some of the most unique and beautiful flowers in the world. Phalaenopsis Orchids produce beautiful colorful flowers, while other species produce flowers that look like monkeys and bees. This diversity has quickly boosted Orchids into the spotlight when it comes to household plants.

Each flower has a reason for its shape and color when in the wild: The shape is what determines what kids of insects can get to the nectar and pollinate the flower, while the color is what attracts the insects to come get some nectar.

Some Orchids are shaped like insects in order to trick other insects to come closer and brush up against the flower. The Fly Orchid produces flowers that look like and are scented like female flies. This attracts the male insects to come over and try to mate with the female. The male insect then gets pollen stuck all over its body and moves on to the next flower.

There are over 20,000 types of Orchids on earth, each with very specific habitats. This can make them hard to care for if you pick the wrong species. Orchids that you purchase from the store are typically the right Orchids for beginners. If they can keep them alive long enough to sell them, you should be ok!

Choose the Right Orchid

With so many Orchid species that are extremely hard to care for, you want to find the right one for you. The most common Orchid for growing indoors is the Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis Orchid). This Orchid Grows well indoors and is extremely forgiving of beginner mistakes. With proper care, this flower will stay in bloom for months at a time.

Another popular species of Orchids that is recommended for beginners is the Dendrobium Orchid. These Orchids produce large flowers that are strongly scented twice a year. They are also very easy to care for and are extremely popular in cut flower arrangements.

Caring for Your Orchid

When caring for Orchids, make sure that you keep and follow the directions that come with the plant. Each Orchid species will have completely different care requirements dependent on the species. For the most part, Orchids do not tolerate direct sunlight. Place your Orchids somewhere that receives bright indirect sunlight.

Orchids typically need to be watered every 7-10 days, depending on what you are using for soil. If you are using bark, or something else that does not retain water, you may need to water more frequently. You will even find Orchids that have been developed to live on a weekly application of ice cubes.

Conclusion

Orchids are a great gift for anyone for almost any occasion. For the most part, you would have to go out of your way to purchase an Orchid that is hard to care for. Stores that carry Orchids don’t want to have to try to keep those species alive. Follow the guidance given in this article and you should be able to keep your Orchid alive with no problem!

How to Camp – An Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

How to Camp - An Ultimate Beginner's GuideNow I know what you are telling yourself…..I would really like to camp, it looks fun but I have no idea how to camp, what to bring or what to expect. There are a few things that you really have to determine before you can figure out what you need to do to get ready for your camping trip.  Answering the following basic questions will guide you to finding your footing.

1.  What type of camping have you decided to do?  Did you want to RV camp?  Camper/Trailer camp?  Tent camp?  Backpack/Hike camp?  Canoe/kayak camp? 

Determining the type of camping you want to do can aid you in what sort of equipment and expertise is needed.  For example, you would need a vastly different sort of equipment for RV camping versus hiking camping.

Camping descriptions:

RV Camping (or recreational vehicle camping) is most like living at home because you bring a furnished vehicle that you basically live in with you.  You can make your RV just as comfy as you like.  Everything that you need from home can most likely be brought with you in your RV.  All you really need to think about are what foods and personal items you would like to stock it with.  This type of camping is generally for the people who do not like to “rough it” but also might like to be social since many times RV are parked fairly near each other or in similar sections.  Though there are some normal maintenance items with RVs, you basically park them and live in them.

Camper or Trailer camping is just a step more rugged than RV camping.  Many times campers or trailers do not have showers or toilets, unlike most RVs.  Depending on the camper or trailer, a refrigerator may not be included either.  Generally, camper or trailer camping is more for people who do not like to sleep on the ground or worry about severe weather but still want to get out there.

Tent camping is generally more for people who would like to “rough it.”  Tent camping requires you to think about all of your basic needs ahead of time (food, hygiene, restroom requirements, shelter, seeing at night, warmth).  There are actually varying levels of tent camping as well.  Some people like to bring a tent and shop for all of their needs while others like to camp in more remote areas away from people.  Packing for a tent camping trip can be time consuming because you have to think of everything you might need.

Backpacking or Hiking camping is a bit more for the experienced campers.  Think about it…everything you think you are going to need you have to be able to strap to your back and carry it for quite a distance.  You have to be able to pack well and pack light!

Canoe/kayak camping is much like hiking camping in regards to packing but you have to add another element.  You have to make sure that everything is waterproof.  Canoe/kayak camping would be for the more experienced camper and of course, for people who know how to canoe and/or kayak.

Recommendations for camping situations:

RV Camping – Shop around and do research before you decide on an RV for purchase.  Talk to people who already own them and ask them what they like and don’t like about their particular model.  Go to RV dealerships and walk through a bunch of them.  Maybe, go as far as renting an RV on a small trip to see what you do or don’t like about RV camping.

Camper/Trailer Camping – Because there might not be amenities like a refrigerator, more setup and forethought is required.  You most likely will have to purchase a cooler or two to keep your food and beverages chilled.  Also, you may have to think about generators if you would like to run electrical items.  Though you might have beds in the camper you may have to put bedding in.

Tent Camping – Think about the type of tent camping you’d like to do.  Does my tent have to be lightweight?  Waterproof?  Wind sturdy?  What size tent do I need (family size or just for me)?  What terrain will I be camping on?  A good camping tent can make all the difference on your trip.

Backpacking/Hiking Camping – Look for lightweight supplies, as you have to carry them all.  Equipment research into lighter weight sturdy hiking backpacks is a good idea.  Always check ahead of time if the area you wish to hike and camp allows people to do so.  Pay attention to “no trespassing” signs and heed them.  Check your weather!  You need to know what equipment to pack for the weather.  It is also recommended that you camp with a buddy.  In case something should happen, there should be someone who can go get help.

Canoe/kayak Camping – It might be advisable to take some canoe or kayak lessons (and swimming lessons) before attempting a camping trip in this way.  Perhaps you may wish to rent a canoe or kayak to make sure you like the activity before diving in.

2.  Where have you decided to go camping?  Are you going to be camping in the Desert?  Beach?  Forest/woods? 

This is a very important question to answer in order to figure out your main needs.  You’d prepare very differently for desert camping than you would for camping in the forest.

In Desert camping temperatures can have extreme ranges from the heat of the day to the cold of the night.  The biggest threats (most of the year) in the desert are the sun and dehydration.  It is very important to protect yourself with sunscreen and drink plenty of water.  Due to the dry air you are not aware of how much you are perspiring because it evaporates so quickly off your skin.

Beach camping is very nice but you should prepare for it.  Due to the nature of sand it is difficult to weigh things down with normal tent stakes.  There are tent stakes that are much longer for this specific purpose.  You also must be prepared for the possibility that sand could get into everything.  Depending on how deep in the sand you’d like to go you should think about the vehicle you are using to get there.  Again, with the nature of sand it may be difficult to dig yourself back out.  You may wish to bring a shovel or random piece of wood.

Forest/woods are usually great for shelter from rainstorms and sun.  They are also great for hammocks but you have to be aware of biting insects and certain itchy plants.  Bug spray would be a huge recommendation for camping in the woods.

3.  When or what time of the year are you going camping?

Figuring out what type of weather you are going to have to deal with while camping is key.  Personally, I think this is the most important information required to plan a proper camping trip.  Of course if you have an RV, this information probably doesn’t help you because you aren’t exposed to the elements.

Colder weather camping obviously requires warmer clothes but you may wish to consider a warmer camping sleeping bag regardless of what method of shelter you are using.

Wetter weather camping means that your terrain may be more difficult to deal with.  If you are tent camping, it would be recommended to lay a tarp under your tent, look for slightly higher ground to pitch your tent and always use your rain flys.

In hotter weather always make sure to keep yourself hydrated.  If you bring your water with you, bring lots.  If you are hiking camping, you may wish to consider a water treatment or a camping water filter.

Congratulations on taking your first step toward camping by answering these preliminary questions.  You are now on your way to planning for a camping trip tailored more to your specific needs and desires.

Below is a list of general items to take camping.  Please take from it what works best for you and your situation.  Note: Personal items should be included at your discretion.

Things to take camping:

FIRST AID/SURVIVAL KIT

  • Prescribed medications
  • Snake bite kit
  • Calamine lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Distilled water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Bandages
  • Moleskin (for sore feet)
  • Tweezers
  • Needles
  • Feminine products
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Individually wrapped gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic
  • Clean old towel or part of bed sheet folded up
  • Steristrips (to hold cuts together)
  • Aspirin
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Aromatic ammonia
  • Glucose packs (for diabetics)
  • Water purifying tablets or filtration kit
  • Razor blades
  • Waterproof matches & container
  • Whistle
  • Solid knife
  • Hydrogen peroxide

BASICS

  • Tent (tarp, stakes, rain fly)
  • Sleeping bag (sleeping pad for under or air mattress)
  • Pillow
  • Small hatchet
  • Flash lights (& good extra batteries)
  • Camping lanterns (with fuel or good extra batteries)
  • Disposable butane lighter
  • Compass
  • Maps
  • Hammock
  • Cooler (& ice)
  • Water (and/or water filter or water purification tablets)
  • Clothing (weather appropriate)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Good walking shoes
  • Personal toiletries
  • Pocket knife
  • Canteen (or hydration pack)
  • Firewood (bring or buy at campsite)
  • Backpack (and/or day pack)
  • Camping
  • Games (cards, frisbee, small portable games)
  • Camera (& good batteries)
  • S’mores fixings (large marshmallows, graham crackers & Hershey’s® chocolate)

COOKING?

  • Obviously food (canned & packaged usually do well)
  • Stove (& fuel or charcoal) or a grill or dutch oven
  • Pot & pan (and cooking utensils if planning to cook)
  • Cups & plates & eating utensils
  • Re-sealable plastic bags
  • Plastic containers
  • Paper towel or napkins
  • Note:  If there are bear boxes where you camp…..use them!

THINGS OFTEN FORGOTTEN

  • Can opener
  • Wine bottle opener
  • Utensils
  • Towels
  • Soap (dish soap & bar soap)

IN CASE…

  • Flares
  • Folding shovel
  • Tea bags
  • Broth cubes
  • Poncho
  • Candles
  • Rope or cord (12′ to 24′)
  • Signal mirror
  • MREs (military term for “meals ready to eat”)
  • Suturing kit (for extreme cases)
  • Fish kit (& 15′ of 10 lbs. line & sinkers & 35mm film container & fish hooks)
  • Water filter or water purification tablets
  • Lifejackets (camping near water)
  • Baking soda (for toothpaste, insect bites, antacid, odors, etc.)

Lori Denil

Serious Sporting Goods Camping [http://www.serioussportinggoodscamping.com]

[http://www.serioussportinggoodscamping.com]

Your Camping & Hiking Equipment Source!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2501447

Why Should You Use Hiking Poles?

Why Should You Use Hiking Poles?Why should you use hiking poles is perhaps the first question that may strike in your mind especially when you are a beginner. To get the right answer for this question you need to consider two things i.e. Safety and Comfort. Hiking poles are just balancing sticks which help you maintain good balance that is closely related to your overall safety and comfort. When you use two poles you move as you have four legs which allow you better comfort and safety. Experts say that by using hiking poles you switch to 4×4 mode of driving, using your two legs and two hands.

As far as safety is concerned, a pair of hiking poles helps you prevent frequent fall downs on uncertain tracks, avoiding aches in ankle or knee or even back; and here comfort is pointing towards the convenience in walking such as maintaining right walking posture and pacing using two extra legs.

Although it is personal preference and an individual decision to use hiking poles but they can prove to be very helpful for you during your hiking. You must use hiking poles especially when you are on your first hike. And, I think next time you will yourself carry these sticks with you by seeing their countless benefits.

Thousands of people who have already used (or still using!) hiking poles for years could not be wrong and this is the reason that poles are considered the traditional way to move on uncertain tracks while maintaining good stability. Although, hiking poles have countless benefits but below given are some significant benefits which enforce us to use them every time we go on hiking and trekking:

Safety- Safety is the main reason of using hiking poles. Hiking poles, in reality allow you the extra pair of legs to maintain good stability on the uncertain trails and when crossing fast streams or difficult terrains. Without having hiking poles you may fall down that may end up in injuries and accidents, and if you don’t fall even then ache in knees or ankles is a common mishappening you may face. When you have hiking poles with you, they keep you safe by preventing fall downs, bad steps which may cause of sprained ankle or knee.

Indeed, safety and convenience are the main reasons of using these hiking and trekking poles. Let’s see some other benefits/advantages of using them.

Weight Distribution- Hiking poles or staffs help us to reduce weight on our feet and legs. The modern design of the hiking pole distributes the weight evenly on the whole body instead of legs. According to one estimate poles can reduce 15% of weight from your legs by spreading it on the arms and other parts of body. As they act like your legs so they also bear some of the weight. Especially when you are climbing on a steep hill, the poles bear much weight than in normal walking so the percentage of weight may rise even further.

Pacing- When climbing on a steep hill, you will find your hiking poles more helpful for pacing yourself. I have personally seen their advantages to pace my steps. No doubt, hiking poles can easily speed you up by acquiring your weight and by allowing you to maintain good stability. You can maintain your speed without having so much huff and puff (needless to say more sweat!). And finally you will find that you have won over the trail without so much effort that really hurts. Certainly you will not feel pain in your back because poles allow you to walk in your natural position.

Comfort- Hiking with poles feels comfortable because you can walk in your natural posture while climbing on a hill or coming down. Your hands also remain in comfortable position; another better thing is that your hands remain above the heart which is also comfortable and beneficial as it improves the blood circulation that ensure less stressed body after the hiking. Many research studies and findings have clearly shown their cardiovascular, orthopaedic and other health benefits, as a result they advocate that not only circulation is improved but heart rate is also said to be reduced. A landmark study in this regard was published by Dr. G. Neureuther in 1981. Therefore, almost every seasoned and experienced hiker or trekker actually uses them and advises others to use them.

At last but not least using hiking poles for trail riding is not a wrong decision at all as they have countless benefits and uses, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any disadvantages. Experts believe that using poles may increase your total energy expenditure as your hands are no longer hands but will become two extra legs when you use them. Basically, your arms are not designed to prop up your body, nor to distribute weight, but to do certain other things that are expected to use your hands such as to open up the map, carry your drinks, eat a snack, wipe off your sweat, to grab branches of a tree to pull yourself ahead, to take a photograph, or occasionally to carry the hand of your partner. Undoubtedly, these things are not possible or comfortable when you have hiking poles in your hands and it will become relatively clumsy, time consuming, and sometimes even frustrating to carry them.

Well these were certain limitations of using hiking poles, but only an experienced hiker knows that these limitations in themselves are very limited. Of course these can be easily overcome as you grow and matured with them. However, most of the time it is generally seen that many people don’t actually know how to use them correctly and how to carry them properly. When they buy these hiking poles, they go for most stylish, fashionable and feature filled poles, but failed to recognize how to use them properly to reap their true benefits. For example, they buy adjustable hiking poles with compass fitted and with a camera mount, but don’t even know how to adjust them to a right length. As a result the majority of the people get little or no benefit from them except adding few extra pound of weight in their backpack to put more weight on their back.

But in actual sense, you must educate and familiarize yourself with your hiking poles and right techniques to use them. Then you will find that it only adds few extra pounds of weight to your packing but helps you in many ways. Actually pole less hiking is great for the slack packers who walks very short and come back their home in sunlight. But the hikers those who walk very long on the trails in day light as well in the night must use hiking poles. They are perhaps your best companions while climbing or walking on relatively difficult, snowy or muddy terrains. Specially when walking in after hours you should use poles to discover holes, stones and bushes in the absence of light.

I sincerely believe, by now, you may have understood yourself that why should we use hiking poles.

All the best!!

Mats Lundkvist
Trek Lightly!
http://www.hikinghelp.com/blog/

Fly Fishing Is a Blast

Stanley-Stanton_57775Fly fishing the large and small “drive-in” high lakes of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest is an art in itself and good fly-fishing information about a lake is of prime importance to the success of the high lake fly fisher. You need a good understanding of the lake bottom, the insect life and the feeding habits and characteristics of the resident trout.

Use a depth finder in waters of 12 to 15 feet to look for old river or creek channels, drop offs, and uneven bottom contours that tend to hold fish. It is easy to keep track of those special locations in a logbook with the help of a GPS system or simple triangulations using shoreline landmarks as reference points. Also, look for shallow waters (4 to 8 feet) with patches of weed beads and silt covered muddy bottoms. You can easily fly fish these types of waters in depths of no more than 10 feet, using a slow sinking clear fly line and a count down method. The areas with these types of bottoms can support a wide variety of insect life including: May flies, caddis flies, damselflies, dragonflies, scuds, chironomid (midges), and leeches. Where you have insect life, you should find fish.

When I am fly fishing the high lakes, I carry three rods in my boat strung up ready to fish. One rod is a 9 footer with a WF #5 dry line for fishing emergers and dry flies. The 2nd rod is also a 9 footer but with a WF #6 dry fly line rigged with a 10-foot leader, a small adjustable indicator, a small nymph or chironomid. The 3rd rod, also a 9 footer which is matched with a WF #7 slow sinking clear fly line with an 8 foot leader for fishing a wooly bugger, leech pattern or a dragon fly nymph.

If you are fishing a clear mountain lake from a small anchored boat, keep the sun at your back and stay in the blind spot of the fish and maintain a low profile so you won’t need to make a long fly cast. Don’t cast your fly in the same place more than once. In this case consider casting in a 90-degree arc from you position. Start casting 45 degrees out to the left, After working your fly back to your pick-up point, make the next cast 5 degrees to the right of the first cast etc, until you are casting straight ahead. The next cast is 45 degrees out to the right. Continue decreasing the arc by 5 degrees until you are casting straight ahead. I call this cutting the pie and in this situation you are casting 5 degrees toward center on each cast so the shadow of the fly line does not alarm the fish before they see your fly. Always cut the pie to cover as much water as you can while at the same time, casting so that the shadow of the fly line does not alarm any fish that are in the area. For more information refer to my article on Ezine Articles.com “A nymph fishing tutorial”. After changing your fly pattern, repeat “cutting the pie”. After you have thoroughly covered the water with a new fly, quietly pull your anchor and move to another area and change flies again until you find the right fly pattern and or the right lake bottom and feeding fish.

Many high lakes are also exposed to seasonal hatches of black carpenter ants and termites that are blown onto the lake from lakeside fir trees. Black ants usually come out in the middle of June or when the air temperature around the lake first gets into the mid 70 degree- range for a few days. If you see one black ant on the water start fishing a black ant because when the fish start hitting the ants, the fly fishing can be fast and furious.

Fly fishing a small high lake of 1/2 mile across is not much of a problem for a small boat or even a float tube. However, larger lakes need to be fished with care because of possible afternoon prevailing winds can create rough and choppy water conditions that can pose a danger to a small boat. Float tubers always need to wear a life vest and small boaters should always wear them when underway or during rough water conditions.

I hope these fly-fishing tips will help you to better enjoy the outdoor experience. Remember to check the state fishing regulations for the waters that you are going to fish.

Be careful, and good luck fishing the High Lakes of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Stanley Stanton: Oregon Fly Fishing Guide and McKenzie River fishing guide,
Visit: http://www.oregon-fly-fishing-with-stan.com
For trout fly fishing tips, “how to” fly fishing information, plus guided Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing, Steelhead Fly Fishing, classes for beginners, smallmouth bass and Oregon salmon fishing.

Selling Crossbows This Year

Selling Crossbows This YearIf you are looking to sell crossbows in 2015, then you will need to do some market research.  It is important to know who you are trying to sell crossbows to before you market them those crossbows.  Trying to sell a hunter a toy crossbow is not going to convert very well!
If you can bring the right crossbows to the table, then you are sure to get some sales.  Offer multiple options for everything they might need so that they have options to decide from.  This will also keep them around longer while they read what you have to say.

Hunters

There are two large groups of crossbow purchasers on this earth.  The first group is the hunters that want a crossbow built to be a killing machine.  Their idea of the best crossbow in 2015 is a crossbow that will be fast, light, powerful, and long lasting.  They want it to last year of hunting before it starts to fall apart.
Look for the big named crossbow manufacturers for this group.  The big names will offer a lifetime warranty, which will help you close the deal on these sales.  Stay away from the models that are just meant to look good.  You can pick these out by looking for zombies, flames, and other ridiculous things that are not mean for hunting.

Zombie Hunters

The other large group is those who are looking for a crossbow because it is cool.  These are the people that say a crossbow on hunger games and knew they had to have one!  They are looking for a crossbow that is cheap and looks cool.  They might fire it a few times, but it will probably mostly sit on a shelf somewhere.

Conclusion

It can be very easy to sell crossbows as long as you focus on those two groups.  You may want to make two separate store fronts to cater to each group.  They are both out in force looking for the right crossbow at all times, you just need to hold their hand and bring them to it.
You can find plenty of crossbow drop shippers just about anywhere, making it fairly easy to find product.  Shop around and make sure that you find one that gives you the largest profit margin feasible to your situation.  If you have the right product and the right customers, you can’t possibly go wrong!

How to Find the Best Crossbow in 2015

Hunt with the Best Crossbow of 2015Welcome to ultimatefishingandhuntingblog.com! Our first post is going to be about how to find the best crossbow in 2015. Whether you are going to hunt Turkey, Deer, Elk, Moose, Bear, or Elephant, you are going to want the best crossbow for your money. We hope this guide helps you find that crossbow without too much trouble.

Most people’s immediate instinct when shopping is to pick the cheapest thing they can find and roll with it. This is a horrible mistake when it comes to crossbows because you will end up with what you paid for.

Pop culture has produced movies and television shows, backed by social media, which glorify the crossbow as one of the best killing machines in the world. While this is true, it has flooded the market with cheap models that were created to sell to those people that really only want it for looks, or to be cool. These crossbows are not very reliable or safe, and should be used with caution if at all.

This guide was designed to show you what needs to happen to make sure that you buy the best crossbow you can buy in your price range. Crossbows are very much a “you get what you pay for” product, but you can find inexpensive models that are much better than other options if you know what to look for.

Safety

It is important to remember that buy a crossbow is really buying a weapon that is used to kill. They were not meant to look cool and make you fit in with the zombie hunting crowd at school. Therefore, you want to make sure that you find a safe crossbow if you do buy one.

The first thing to look at is the safety mechanism of your crossbow. While it is the law to have a safety equipped on your crossbow, it is not required that it automatically engages. This feature removes a window of opportunity for the firer to forget and accidently discharge that arrow into something they did not intend to shoot. It essentially turns the safety into a secondary trigger for added safety.

The second most important safety consideration should be the trigger mechanism. If you picture how a crossbow trigger works, you will notice a single hook holding the string back while you are waiting to fire. That single hook is holding upwards of 175 lbs. of pressure until the trigger is squeezed. Unfortunately, the first thing the cheap crossbows to do reduce price is switch this out with a cheaper plastic hook. You want to make sure that your crossbow has an all metal trigger system.

Power

Power is something that everyone knows to look at, but most don’t know what to look for. You can probably guess that the bigger the FPS number is, the better. What you probably know is that this stands for how many Feet Per Second the arrow is traveling when it hits the target at optimal distance. You probably don’t know that you really only need 300 FPS to hunt just anything in North America either.

Most of the cheap knockoff crossbows with have far lower FPS numbers because they were just not built to go real hunting. You will buy them, use them for target practice, then get annoyed to find that they need a new crossbow to actually go hunting with. Or even worse, they take it and shoot a bear from 30 yards away just to make him angry.

Warranty

The knockoff crossbows are not meant to last forever, so they are not going to guaranty that they will. The good crossbow manufacturers on the other hand, will give you a long term warranty. Most of them will give you a lifetime warranty with you product, assuring that it will last your more than a week!

Conclusion

As long as you look for these three main characteristics when looking for a crossbow, you should be able to stay away from the cheap knockoff versions. As we said before, there are even some cheap crossbows under $200 that will do just fine if you know what you are looking for. Follow this guide and you will be out hunting in no time!