<![CDATA[WILDFound - Outdoor Wisdom]]>Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:49:13 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Best Sites to Score CHEAP´╗┐ outdoor Gear]]>Fri, 27 Nov 2015 18:00:02 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/outdoor-wisdom/the-best-sites-to-score-cheap-outdoor-gearThe inter-web hasn't done much in the way of getting more people out and about climbing mountains, trekking back-country alpine trails or netting trophy rainbows on scenic hidden streams but there is as many outlets to score cheap gear as ever. I'm sure there are countless others that could be added to the list but here are some that I've dealt with personally and give the thumbs up to. Before you read any further lock your cash up in a hard to reach space because some of these sites are going to put you in front of premium gear at an awesome price. 

​Here's my go-to for cheaper than dirt adventure gear:

Sportsman Guide

The Sportsman Guide has a wide variety of items from snowshoes to military surplus items. All prices are pretty reasonable but if you catch the site at the right time for the right item you can grab some absolute steals for premium no-gimmick gear. 

Backcountry.com

Next up is Backcountry it's a "goatworthy" site with a lot of variety to it. Back country is on the upswing in terms of growth. In just the last couple years the products they carry have grown tremendously! Initially backcountry was centered more around skiing, climbing and hiking but has grown to carry products on all sorts of sports. (They're starting to hit the radar for fly fishing deals) Check the price on this Redington Path combo below.
Note the steal is only on the 9 weight combo but still these deals trickle in from all over the place in all areas of the site. The folks here are also supposively very easy to work with which often goes over-looked until you really need customer service....

steepandcheap.com

This site is affiliated with the above listed Backcountry.com, this seems to be there outlet type branch, and the prices are unreal. When I first stumbled across this site I thought this had to some sort of scam. After bouncing from a few forum mentions I finally gave in and everything was great. I bought a fly box for 2 dollars that was originally like 13. 

You ever wonder where all of last year's models and issues of gear go to? Sites like these eat them up.

The deal with steepandcheap.com is they revolve deals on a timed interval (yeah impulse type buying) This means the current sales or collections of sale items only last for a limited amount of time from minutes to just a few days. Yep you have to keep coming back to check... but I still do. Some of the prices are just ridiculous low, you have to.

Here's some Redington wading boots for 1/2 off. Available in 7,10,12 - unbelievable.

Moosejaw.com

Moosejaw is another smaller but growing online distributer of goods. They have pretty competitive prices on most of what they offer which has grown from just mostly outdoor clothing and apparel to a full on gear supplier. SUP boards, climbing harnesses, snowboards, fly gear, and a TON of hike/camp gear.  The real value of Moosejaw is the outlet tab. Just navigate to the top of the page and click on the "outlet" tab. This is where the money-saving gear-snatching action occurs. The sell the closeout over-stocked items for up to 70% off. There's some good snatches to be had there.

Just click the banner below to check out their selection!

Altrec.com

Altrec is similar to Moosejaw, the big difference here is the gear offered. The major categories are their clothing/outdoor apparel, skiing gear, snowboarding gear, and biking gear. The big plus if one of these is your sport is the prices and amount of specialized gear they sell. Anything in those categories can be found with ease, anything,

Aside of hitting garage sales, which I fully support, this is a way to grab some of your favorite outdoor gear at pretty reasonable rates. 

If you know of more sites I'm over-looking and under-rating let me hear about it. I'm always ready to score some cheap equipment if the opportunity arises!

Give a like to my facebook page to keep up with everything going on in the WF world!
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<![CDATA[What if everyone took their kids camping?]]>Sun, 11 Oct 2015 22:51:33 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/outdoor-wisdom/what-if-everyone-took-their-kids-campingPicture
What would the world be like if every kid had the opportunity to camp, hike, hunt, fish, or boat in the outdoors? What would my life be like if I hadn't of gone fishing with dad or sat in that cold stand when I was a kid? Better yet what if we could get kids if only just once to be amazed by the outdoors and see it as the valuable adventure escape it is? Here's what I'm thinking.

Healthier America

Maybe one effect would be outside related interests. We can grab kids from the couch and get them to play outside and explore and find adventures the old fashioned way. 

Smarter America

I believe that an outdoor activity of any kind (Kayaking, rock climbing, fly fishing, hunting, hiking) is much needed time to relax and take things in. Think how active these young minds would be while feeling less stressed and completing tasks for fun around camp. 

Kinder Generation

Camping has been a very positive social interaction for children. Remember meeting new kids cruising around on their bikes? Playing made-up games by the lake? Hide and seek after dinners in the evening? Catching fireflies as a team to make the ultimate nature lantern? It's about nature, it's about people, it's a childhood memory I cherish.

Way cooler Facebook posts

Seriously, it's about time to end the reign of FB posts of today and flush it instead with the positive imagery/experience the outdoors has to offer. I'd rather see the view from the top of the mountain than what you're having for dinner...

Super-Strong Families

No better way to be forced to hang with loved ones and come up with creative fun to be had. We sit down and eat dinner together and go on camping trips as a family.

The Decline of the Selfie

Sorry Snapchat, it's time for nature to take the place of "duck lips". How about a stream filled with views of mountains, kids holding fish, high fiving at the end of that hard hike, and laughing by the fire.

Conservation Minded America

Imagine the positive effects of a nation filled with those who care about nature and the environment. Imagine how much healthier we would be, no trash laying on the ground. Responsible uses of resources alone would improve probably many other facets of society, maybe money wouldn't matter as much. 

Better Resources

If more people invested themselves in the beauty of the outdoors our waters, land, and forests would quickly be put to the top of the priority list. Instead of money being flushed in plastic entertainment it would instead be put into restoring streams, planting trees, creating more public accessible lands and keeping animal populations up to par.

Funner

Kids growing up to love the outdoors would induce a butterfly effect of nature being taken care of or even better left alone. Building project and community expansions would slow down or stop, agriculture could practice safer methods and hopefully farmers could afford to do so. 
If you're wondering where to start or you think the gear is too expensive, don't fool yourself, a cheap tent and an open mind will get your little ones exploring, laughing, and gaining memories they won't forget. Now that I think about it all those funny, great times had at camp are really some of the shining gems I can recall with my family. Don't fall victim of the technology pandemic, have some real non-automated fun!
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<![CDATA[Camping in the U.P. (upper peninsula of Michigan)]]>Tue, 16 Jun 2015 23:28:35 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/outdoor-wisdom/camping-in-the-up-upper-peninsula-of-michiganPicture
When you cross the Mackinaw bridge you know your entering a different place. There are no major billboards or shopping plazas, fast food joints, Wal-Marts, hotels or anything else you would expect from a tourists destination. The land is covered with evergreens, almost too much green to take in. The contrast from the bright sky and the dark forest floor is incredible, it's like someone has shut the lights off in the forest without letting the sun know about it. This land is dense. Expect a mixup of dense swampland and evergreen forests as well as small cold streams carrying trout, salmon and steelhead to and from the major surrounding great lakes. In other words if you really want to camp and experience a kind of unexplored frontier that mimics and an Alaska, Montana, or Washington.... This should be on your list. 

The Battles of the U.P.

There are two major points I want to make when it comes to preparing and camping the Upper Peninsula:
  1. Mosquitos 
  2. Weather
(These items would be nice)
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The Mosquitos work in teams in the U.P. One morning I was preparing to head to the river to take another swing at some trout (see my youtube video with mosquito head net) and as I gazed off down the logging road I could see a fog building... entirely mosquito-made fog. You could see these suckers coming from there swampy beginnings down the road towards you. Once the mob appears it's time to reach for two things: deep woods mosquito spray and mosquito netting headwear. The 10 dollar investment on these two items was absolutely necessary. 

One great thing about the far north is the change in weather, yeah it's get cold at night. 75 during the day and down to around 40 just before dawn. Thats the great thing about the bug wars, the off switch comes around 8'oclock when it gets too cold for the mosquitos to keep up their pace. This gives you a nice break and dinner time with limited amounts of mosquitos. But, it does get really cold at night. I thought I packed heavy on the blankets for the night but I was wrong. 2 blankets, long johns, sweat pants and shirt, socks and beanie were all in place when I laid down at night. This is the middle of June we speak of. 

The absolutely restoring beauty

This place is so remote and un-tainted it really gave me a sense of optimism. I'm not giving up totally on civilization but places this wild command your respect and almost urge a sense of fight for conservation. The conditions with cold nights and mosquitos were pretty brutal for modest tent camping but those negatives were far outweighed by the holy beautiful nature the U.P. offers. You have to really love the outdoors to camp in a place so wild and sparse. If you like to escape to town on your camping trips and really need electricity or modern comforts then go elsewhere, that's what most do. It was primetime camping season in the second week of June (and free fishing weekend) and we were one of 2 campers in the small 40 spot campground. I think that says a lot about how rural and awesome this place is for sportsman and outdoorsman alike. 
Bass Pro Shops - Father's Day Sale
I woke up at the break of dawn on Saturday to start fly fishing. The woods were silent and I could hear the river doing it's normal morning babble. I couldn't hear cars, or people talking, or much of anything. I once read that you had to record for 16 hours in order to get one full hour of uninterrupted nature, I bet this place could do it in a lot less time. 

I watched a few fish rise and splash on the surface for the first two hours of the morning but what I offered never got touched. So I went back for breakfast and to wake my dad and sister.
 
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Steak and Eggs, hash browns

After a quick steak and eggs breakfast, we hit the river again. No bites in two hours... Here comes another lesson in U.P.; obstacles that you might not think of elsewhere. The car wouldn't start due to a dead battery. Luckily the only other guy in the campground was awake and willfully gave us a jump to keep us going. You need to make sure your car has a jumper pack for dead batteries as well as a good spare and random tools to fix minor problems to get you home. Being broken down on an old logging road buried in a dense swamp might strand you for a pretty good while. There may not be any other cars down that road the entire day. 

Finally

Camping Gear at Basspro.com
Finally, after 5 hours of no luck/bad fly patterns and a dead battery situation I was able to catch my first brown trout. Caught it on a little olive woolly bugger I tied myself. Not a big trout at all but I was happy just landing a fish on my fly gear with my own hand tied fly. 
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Though I don't have many pictures to co-align with the many adventures of the trip, I left with a feeling of an "all too short" trip to the wild upper peninsula. I wish I could have stayed longer. I got to hear the call of loons, saw a grouse flutter and run into the brush, got chased off by some sort of heron that was foreign to me, saw a great white owl, ferns galore, tall birch and pine trees, lake huron, mackinaw bridge, a doe and her fawn, it all just went by too fast. I'm itching the mosquito bites on my wrists and hands and grinning thinking about the fun and beauty I had a taste of a week ago. Next year's trip is already in the works. 

Look for my video cut-up of the trip on my Youtube channel and if you haven't yet check out my Facebook page, do so and give a like to keep up with the media I'll be pumping out in the next few weeks. I'm excited to fly fish/hike the smoky mountain with my family in 2 weeks. I'm also getting a few DIY ready to go right now. (I've kind of been all about fishing so far....)

Thanks for reading this far,
Find Wild!
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<![CDATA[The Night Hike]]>Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:00:18 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/outdoor-wisdom/the-night-hike

Into the
Night

I absolutely love nature. I love finding spots where man hasn't messed up the landscape and filled the air with noise and smog. For me hiking into remote regions is like taking a time machine back into an earlier America, at least the closest I'm able to be. If you really like nature and have hiked out most of local trails I offer you another opportunity to see nature like most haven't: at night.
The vibe of the forest completely flips when you quietly pace through the night. Sound becomes an absolute currency among the predators and prey. Diurnal species bed down and hide until dawn breaks and the nocturnal crowd climbs out of the den to forage and survive. Third shifters roll in and the active species of the time completely flips. The inquisitive call of the barred owl, the howl of the coyotes evening kill, the stillness of the pines, you lose yourself into a sort of deafening silence cracked every once in awhile with sounds of communication from the third shifters. Heres how to scope out the night scene farther away from any neon lights as possible.
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Don't use a light

That's right, walking through the forest under complete darkness. 
  • You should choosing the trail here that you have hiked at least a handful of times. 
  • Also check to make sure the trail is open to night hikes, (some will ban hiking at night) but most state parks you can fully hike at any time of day here in Ohio. As you make your way along the trail you want to be able to stay on the trail and not wander off a cliff...
  • Bring a small light in case you really need it. (resist it though)

Believe it or not humans don't have terrible night vision, most just don't ever experience it. Once you allow your eyes to adjust for 20-25 minutes you will be surprised at your visual capabilities, the trail bounces moonlight back to your eyes and you can actually see where you're going. Another idea to fully take advantage of the night hike is plan them nearest the full moon lunar phase; more light as well as animal activity. 

Move... slowly...

All of the animals that thrive in the night have had thousands of years of selection to help them adapt to the low light scenario, some have excellent vision, others excellent hearing, and others a keen sense of smell. Take your time, move slowly. The lack of sound in the night combined with a crowd of excellent listeners can hinder the activity you see. Think ninja-stealth.
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Timing

There are two transitional times in which activity mixes between the third shifters and the early birds; just before dawn and right after dusk. Plan your trip so that you can take advantage of these times. Theres nothing like witnessing the great horned owl flying silently through the moonlight dodging adjacent limbs like a fighter jet. 

     The real treat

Everyone has gone a hike but your seeing only half the picture. Despite what most say traveling into a wild place without our number one sense in command is intimidating, but adventurous. If you want to really know wildlife then don't discriminate; get out and experience the wild at night, it's a treat you won't forget.


If you've got advice or a story to share (or even some cool pictures) share them down below!
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<![CDATA[How to let your woman, let you... Hunt/Fish MORE!]]>Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:11:57 GMThttp://wildfound.weebly.com/outdoor-wisdom/how-to-let-your-woman-let-you-huntfish-moreHow to let your woman let you... go outdoors.Picture
      It seems silly to think that the big bad man of the house is sometimes caught up and the outdoor adventures took the hit, but hey it's happened to all of us. The look; the one where you give your woman the nod from your frosty truck window and her expressionless thousand mile stare says it all. How many times can you play it off with a grin? 

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Seriously


If your tired of getting the mid-season nag and want some support in the women department, maybe some of my up the sleeve tricks can land you a buck with your woman smiling along. Hey at least you tried...


What women want

I am definitely not a pro at relationships, I'm male. BUT I have started to notice a few things about the woman specie. They want to be wanted. What does he mean? This is another one of those philosophical rants? Well, kinda... You see I figured it out one day while leaving for an evening fishing trip. I was on my way with my oldest boy for a little father son trip to the lake for some bluegill action when I noticed the smell of nag in the air, pausing I decided to ask my wife if she wants to go hang out and make a night out of it. She wanted to go but definitely didn't want to show that she wanted to. So I calmly said to her that I think it would be fun and I really want you to come with us. She grabbed her stuff and off we went. She actually landed more fish than me that day. (I'm still hearing about those burly bluegill)

But I realized one thing, women want to be wanted. They want you to not only want you to think they're awesome. They want to captivate you. They want all of your attention and they want to feel like they are desirable. Holy smokes has this tip changed everything. The subtle hip nudge while doing dishes or the goodnight kiss before going to sleep. You really want to score some time in the field? Send an I love you text in the middle of the day for no reason. You might as well get cable in your deer stand after that one. 
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Show her what you do

Try to show your significant other why you love your outdoor addiction. Invite her along for that early rut scouting trip. Teach her to read sign and what to look for when picking the cadillac hunting spot. You see your woman does't want you to cancel your outdoor reservations at all, if she can sense the fulfillment you get from your trips she will want nothing more than for you to experience that as much as you need to. After all if getting your outdoor brings you home a man thats happy and jolly all the more power to it. 

Honey Do-it-up

This one should seem obvious. Do all of your chores and then some. Dig into those dishes, fold the laundry (and actually make it look right), sweep the floor, go fix something, clean everything! These things are like currency in my house. I build up on giving her extra time by doing some of her chores and cash in on those points for a fly fishing trip now and again. 


The tip of all tips: RANDOM MASSAGE (maybe even youtube how to massage right: it's all in the palms)
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Making your kids do it usually doesn't count, I've tried.

Don't Over do it

I can't give you a number; you'll have to feel this one out for yourself. But know that quantity is something you don't want to go over on. The last thing you want is for your wife to feel like your having an affair with the outdoors. Heres one hack to score some major points. Tell your wife that you are "going out fishing/hunting/trapping/scouting; the difference here is you have no actual intent on going out. Start getting things ready to go and then take a look at her. This look should be that "Your just too beautiful not to stare at" look. She'll pick up on it. Then say aloud "You know what I think I can go out another day let's watch a movie/hang out/etc. today. 

That's been my ace in the hole.

You show her that she means more to you than any outdoor hobby. And she should. I know that last tip seems a little desperate and fake but the sentiment here is real. Make sure she knows who the real catch is. Tight lines.
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