Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:15 PM
June, the first full month of summer weather, is the perfect time to head outside and start putting that built-up energy to use. Whether it’s a casual hike, an afternoon climb, or a full-on camping excursion, there’s no wrong way to enjoy the outdoors, and being active is a great way to spend time staying in shape with the family. Beyond just the activities, however, we all know what every man loves most about his hobbies—new gear—and we’re here to tell you what’s worth having in the world of outdoor tech.
- REI® Igneo: This sleeping bag won over our hearts first by the two things it didn’t have: extra weight and a high price tag. As a 19-degree rated bag, this sleeping unit will get you through any kind of summer night you can imagine, and with the new waterproof coating designed by Toyota®, you can stay dry in all conditions without having to deal with the annoyances of a crinkling water shell. Sporting a full zipper as well, this is a high performance bag that will do all it can to give you quality without breaking the bank.
- Easton® Kilo 3: You know you’re onto something good when the company making your tent is also manufacturing its own carbon-fiber poles. Keeping its production in-house, Easton can charge the same price for carbon fiber as others charge for aluminum, giving you a great bargain on a tent that can stand strong in 40mph winds. Packing a very livable 43 square feet inside, this tent is feather-like in weight and will barely tip the scales at 3 pounds. It may lack a few of the features of more elaborate tents, like interior pockets, but the performance to price ratio is just too good to have any complaints.
- Baladeo 37 Gram: No wise man would ever be caught venturing into the outdoors without a quality knife on hand, and the new Baladeo 37 Gram gives you all the performance you could want with none of the extra weight that makes carrying it a burden. A four-inch blade weighing in at just 37 grams (1.3 U.S. ounces), you’ll hardly notice you have it until you need it. And when called into action, this well balanced, French Special Forces designed blade will perform admirably.
- Wild Things Apparel Custom Insulight Jacket: Are you someone who likes things custom built? And someone who appreciates high quality craftsmanship made here in the USA? If so, you’re in luck, because the new Wild Things Apparel Custom Insulight Jacket gives you the ability to choose just about every spec you want and put together a jacket that fits your exact needs. From insulation levels to stretch to color, there is almost no part of the jacket you can’t customize, and coming in at a modest price, picking this for your new summer evening outerwear is as easy a decision as it gets.
- Fenix HL-10 Headlamp/Flashlight Torch Combo: When it comes to the headlamps vs. flashlight argument, some of us keep coming to the same conclusion: we want both. And while having both makes life outdoors easier, until now, it’s always seemed a little excessive to pack multiple light sources on a short trip. Enter the Fenix HL-10, however, and you have a perfectly good headlamp, which detaches to become a handheld flashlight. It’s the best of both worlds in one easy package and will only cost you $30 to own. Not to mention you can pair it with a Garmin eTrex 20 GPS unit to help illuminate the prize when engaging in some after-work geocaching with the family.
TIP: Use WD-40® Multi-Use Product to help remove sap and gunk from your knife blade after it sees action in the outdoors while also protecting it from rust and corrosion.
Friday, June 7, 2013, 2:30 PM
Though some of us have been raised on the water, practically born with a fishing rod in hand, not everyone grows up with access to a quality fishing hole. Whether you are just starting out, or helping teach a youngster who is casting his line for the first time, there is a wide range of topics that can help you make your first outing a success, and the more fun you have at the beginning, the more likely you are to come back. That being the case, we’ve decided to honor National Fishing and Boating week by compiling a list of 10 fishing tips to make sure your angling career takes off on the right track from day 1.
- Starting Shallow: While common thought says that the biggest fish are going to be caught in deeper water, you may end up chasing unicorns if you head into the deep end your first time out. Not only are there plenty of good fish in the shallows, but also they are easier to catch, making it a perfect starting point for the beginning fisherman.
- Studying the Water: Sure the body of water may be the same, but the conditions beneath the surface are going to change each time you head out, and things like visibility can have a big impact on how you should forge a strategy. As a rule of thumb, when the water is clear, use smaller lures and lines, and when the water is murky, ramp up the size and color of your tackle.
- Quality Choices: Just because you’re new to the sport, the sport is no excuse for not committing to quality products. With fishing, the quality of the experience is usually reflected by the quality of your gear, and no one likes to hook the first bass just to lose it by snapping cheap line. Without breaking the bank, educate yourself on gear and find a good match of quality and price.
- Object minded: When searching for certain fish like bass, the key is to remember that the fish are object minded. Be it a tree stump, a dock post, or any object at all, casting in that direction is going to greatly increase your chances of successfully catching the fish. Just keep in mind that fishing in no-man’s land is a sure fire way to get skunked.
- Do Your Homework: From magazines to blogs to YouTube videos, educating yourself about the ins and outs of fishing basics has never been easier. The best part about the wealth of information? Most of it won’t cost you a penny and will allow you to skip the hassle of learning things the hard way on the water.
- Switching the Bait: It’s an easy trap to fall into. Growing fond of a lucky lure can be tempting for even the most seasoned fisherman, but it’s a trap you want to avoid if you want the best odds of consistently bagging fish. Your choice of lures should rotate, not just based on the condition of the water. It should be based on whether you’re fishing shallow or deep, quickly or slowly, and even on the fish’s preference of pattern.
- Quick to Arms: Having a variable set of lures is a great start, but what’s even better is having a variable set of lures rigged on different rods, which are ready to go at a moments notice. Being able to switch set-ups on the fly will help you adapt to your surrounding and give the fish what they want, when they want it. As a beginner, you may not have multiple rods to start with so this is something you can build over time.
- Staying Sharp: A detail of tackle that too often gets overlooked, keeping your hooks sharp is key to consistently snagging fish. Whether that means sharpening them or keeping new ones on hand, the only thing that matters is that the dull hooks stay in the bottom of the box.
- Last to Leave: While always making sure you have the right gear to do it safely, staying out as the sun begins to set can be a great time to bag big bass. Though summer night fishing is not a good idea for beginning anglers, fishing at dusk can be a great entryway into the heat escaping hours of summer on the water.
- Consulting the Elders: You can learn a lot by reading. You can learn a lot by watching videos. You can learn a lot through trial and error. But the quickest way to understand what does and doesn’t work is to bring a veteran who can share his accumulated knowledge and show you first-hand just what it takes to hook a real trophy fish.
TIP: WD-40® Multi-Use Product is great for keeping fishing equipment rust free.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 9:02 AM
Just in time for Father’s Day, everyone’s favorite blue and yellow can is also dawning some red, white and blue to recognize where the product has been made for the last 60 years. The special edition “Made in the U.S.A.” WD-40® Smart Straw® cans help celebrate the 60th anniversary of WD-40 Multi-Use Product and pay tribute to all who’ve used it to get the job done over the years.
New 8- and 12-ounce WD-40 Smart Straw cans at select retailers include the special packaging and are available for a limited time, while supplies last!
Friday, May 31, 2013, 2:30 PM
It's the tale of two cooling systems--one that dates back to the days of pyramids and pharaohs and another which has seen its popularity boom since its invention in the early 20th century. The fact that they've both been around for over a century means that they must be doing something right, though the debate about which is a better option for fending off the sweltering heat of summertime has been a longtime topic of dinner-table debate. Though there may be a clear favorite in producing end results, the way we pick the logical winner includes a number of key factors, and we're here to hash out the pros and cons of both in order to give you a well rounded picture of just what weapons you'll be armed with when you go to battle against the rising mercury.
- Dollars and Sense: The crux of the debate for many people comes down to pure economics: which device is going to give you the most bang for your buck? And while air conditioners may seem like a good option for their quick results, there is no doubt that the fan is the clear victor in the dollars and cents column. An air conditioner can cost around 36 cents an hour to operate--a hefty price if added up over the course of the summer. A ceiling fan on the other hand? A penny an hour is the common cost to keep those blades spinning. So if financial impact is a consideration, try keeping the AC use to a minimum in favor of the more budget-friendly fan.
- Real results: When it comes down to it, all of the savings in the world won't matter if you can't keep yourself cool enough to enjoy the indoors during the warmer months. Fans may be cost-effective and a good go-to for those milder days, but when things really begin to steam up, it's hard to keep the finger away from that AC dial. What’s the big difference between the two? Fans simply circulate air, making you feel cooler as moisture evaporates more rapidly from your skin, but they do nothing to lower the actual temperature of the room. Leaving a fan on while you’re out of the house, for example, would leave you with the exact same temperature dwelling when you returned. AC, on the other hand, treats the air, causing the actual temperature of the space to drop, and so if results are the measure of success, AC takes home the gold in a unanimous decision.
- Starting Cost: Besides just running costs when outfitting a new space, it's worth looking at the initial cost of purchase as well. Installation should be free if you're doing the handiwork yourself, but the unit is going to cost you anywhere from $120-$600 for a good window or portable AC unit and $40-$160 for a good ceiling fan. Considering that you usually get what you pay for, the top of the line ceiling fan is going to hurt your wallet a good deal less than a top of the line AC unit. If you already have a central HVAC, purchasing and installing a fan can still save you money by helping you cut down on AC usage. The fact that the AC unit costs so much more to run moves the fan even further ahead as your number one choice for saving cash and having more to spend on other summer projects.
TIP: Using WD-40® Multi-Use Product is an easy way to keep that ceiling fan from squeaking.
Friday, May 24, 2013, 2:30 PM
With Memorial Day and summer vacations just around the bend, a good deal of us are gearing up for that first real road trip of the season. Like ballpark dogs and Fourth of July fireworks, the summer road trip is a staple in every real American man's arsenal, and it's a tradition that’s oftentimes passed down to the kids. If you’re going to get the kids excited about the journey though, there is some key planning that needs to be involved to make sure that the trip consists of more than just hours spent getting bored in the back seat. Though this likely won’t be your first road-trip rodeo, there's never any harm in taking on some new ideas and brushing up on the types of things that make good road trips so memorable.
- Pit Stops: Like the old adage goes, "It's not the destination, but the journey that counts." And needing to get directly from point A to point Z is a mistake that a lot of type-A road trippers make. The best part about any road trip lies in the ability to be flexible and experience some fun along the way, so implementing a few breaks and side trips en-route is key for making sure you get the authentic experience. Plan in advance, and use sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp to find out what highly rated attractions there are in areas you'll be passing through. From restaurants to scenic viewpoints to local museums, the possibilities are endless, and exploring them will give you an exciting way to enjoy so much more than you’d see from the freeway alone.
- The Reliable Ride: When you're out on the open road, almost nothing is more important than the vehicle you're riding in, and if that thing breaks down it can not only put a big dent in your day, but in your entire trip. That being the case, you don’t need to be an expert car technician to take an hour to give the car a solid check-up before you load up the family and venture out. Fluid levels, tire pressure, and drive belts are all small things to check that can have big risks if unattended, and packing an additional roadside emergency kit can end up working wonders if you’re called upon to take on an urgent repair on the fly.
- In-Flight Entertainment: Though many of the most memorable moments will come from outside of the vehicle, the fact of the matter is that any road trip involves a solid amount of time spent between those cozy four doors, and whether that time is embraced or resisted by the kids will have a lot to do with your planning in advance. Hand held gaming systems and phone games are an easy way to get the kids to pass time on their own, but this won't get the family involved and won't add any unique memories to the trip. Instead of just trying to kill time, adopt some road trip specific games that require everyone to pitch in and will keep both the kids and adults entertained. This list of road trip games dives deep into the classics and will ensure your kids grow up reaping the rewards of age-old favorites like "20 Questions" and "I Spy."
TIP: Having a can of WD-40® Multi-Use Product on-hand during a long road trip can help you loosen any stuck parts should you need to make repairs on the go.
Friday, May 17, 2013, 2:30 PM
Of all official months, it's hard to find one that's more enticing than May's claim to fame as National Barbecue Month. Open air cooking and thick slabs of meat are enough to make anyone's mouth water, and add to that a spell of good weather and you have the perfect recipe for a bit of old-fashioned outdoor entertaining. While the summer is long, your ability to make a first impression on your friends and neighbors goes by quickly, so being well-prepared before having your first backyard get-together is essential. Follow this checklist of tips for outdoor entertaining and you will be in high gear to have the best setup on the block in no time at all.
- Gaming the System: Let's not be fooled. Just because we may have a few grey hairs and run the mile in a few minutes more than we used to doesn't mean we don't like to stretch the limbs and get competitive from time to time. If you've put in the hard work to have a quality backyard, there is no better way to utilize that cushy turf than by getting some good sport going during your outdoor parties. From badminton to Wiffle to bocce ball, the possibilities are endless, and the choice might all come down to how fast you'll be able to move after scarfing down a few choice dogs or burgers.
- Cue the Jams: In the days of turntables and 8-tracks, having a BBQ sans music was forgivable. Fast-forward to present day with wireless speakers and iPod docks and the idea of having an outdoor party without music is the equivalent of a race car with no tires. No matter how you set it up, tunes can help keep energy levels high and set the mood for an entire event, so even if it means borrowing speakers from a neighbor, make sure that when the friends start filing in the music is already flowing. Not sure what to play? Pandora and iHeartRadio are awesome resources to create your perfect playlist.
- Premeditated Meat: We've all had burgers. We've all had dogs. And we've probably all had enough of them to know what constitutes a worthy piece of meat and what tastes like a BBQ afterthought. That being the case, you want to make sure you don't fall into that latter group of outdoor entertainment embarrassments. The key to success on the grill is treating the meat preparation just like you would any other DIY project. Buy quality meat just like you would buy quality materials. Plan in advance to perform a dry rub or marinade just like you would plan in advance with a blueprint or measurements. And when the time comes to execute, take the time to treat it with care so that the real craftsmanship shows in the finished product. From aged New York strips to ground bacon sirloin burgers, there are no wrong answers, just a right way to go about preparing the goods that will blow the crowd away.
- Outdoor Entertaining Furniture: Not everyone is into gaming or standing around the grill. For those who prefer to sit and catch up, you’ll want to have the perfect outdoor furniture. Quality outdoor furniture can last a lifetime if well maintained so be sure to insist on good quality instead of heading straight for those plastic lawn chairs. You also want to keep in mind the types of parties you will be hosting as well as your climate, since harsh, cold winters can damage furniture. For tips on selecting the right furniture for outdoor entertaining, check out our last post.
TIP: For those with portable barbeques, give your wheel casters a dash of WD-40® Multi-Use Product to keep them nice and lubricated. Also helps to remove grease and gunk from exterior.
Friday, May 10, 2013, 2:30 PM
In the summer months, it's hard to beat a day spent lounging out in the sun with some good tunes and your beverage of choice. Add to that a group of friends and some fresh meat on the grill, and you have what many would call the perfect afternoon. This kind of comfort doesn't appear from nowhere, however, and one of the most overlooked aspects of patio and yard outfits is the furniture you choose to set up. Beyond just wicker chairs and tiki tables, the world of patio furniture offers a range of options that’s well worth exploring, and we're here to help you sort through the madness to understand what is what, and what is really worth buying.
- The Off-Season: The key bit of information to consider before going out and shopping around is just what the furniture is going to be doing when it isn't out in the yard. If you live in a cold climate, you are going to need to put everything in storage towards the end of fall, and if you don't think in advance, you might be stuck with a garage full of tables and chairs where there really should be cars. Certain patio furniture is built for stacking and storage while other sets are notorious for eating up space. Be realistic with your spatial limits before you head out to shop and you'll be thanking yourself when that first winter storm comes thundering in.
- Winning Composition: Just like its indoor cousin, outdoor furniture comes in all different material make-ups, and given the fact that it’s likely going to be exposed to high heat and direct sunlight, the choice of materials is something you truly need to take into consideration. One area of furniture that is especially vulnerable to deterioration is the cushion on a bench or chair. Choosing a high quality polyester fiber will allow water to run off the face rather than creating mildew, and picking cushions with patterns on both sides allows you to flip them periodically to help them retain shape. For the furniture itself, light weight materials like plastic and aluminum are best if you think you'll be moving them around a lot, but if you plan on keeping them in one place, heavier duty options like wood and metal are always going to be the champs.
- Planning for Parties: When space and material choices have been made, the final step is to think about what your objective is with the space. Are you going to be having a few close friends over for cocktails from time to time or are you planning on hosting weekly barbecues for you son's entire little league team? Understanding just how many people you expect to attend and the type of socializing that’s going to be happening will give you a clear idea of what to look for when out shopping. A few armchairs and an ottoman might be the perfect recipe for some, while four dining tables and an outdoor bar might be spot on for others. Understand yourself, your ideas for socializing in your yard, and with a bit of wise shopping, the rest will simply fall into place.
TIP: Spray down patio furniture (excluding cushions) with WD-40® Multi-Use Product before placing into storage to prevent rust, corrosion and gunk build up.
Friday, May 10, 2013, 10:54 AM
We’d like to say congratulations to our 40 winners in WD-40 Brand’s “Blue & Yellow Can Fan Madness” Sweepstakes on Facebook! Special shout outs to MargaretAnn Rice, who won $1,000, as well as Christina O’Connor and Claire Beaufort, who both won $500. Thank you to everyone who entered in the sweepstakes and for being a fan!
Friday, May 3, 2013, 2:30 PM
With the coming of summer months comes the perfect opportunity to pull the bikes out of the garage and enjoy the outdoors on your favorite pair of wheels. And while biking is definitely a great activity to enjoy with the whole family, as the head of the household, it's also your job to make sure that the family stays safe while having a good time. Biking has its risks, and in honor of Bike Safety Month, we are going to go over a checklist of key tips to make sure that you come home from your summer bike outings in a good mood and in one piece.
- Padding up: The first, and arguably the most crucial, step in bike safety is to cover your noggin with a quality headpiece that fits well and will remain buckled. No matter how many steps you take to prevent accidents from happening, there is still always a chance that the worst will occur, and if it does, you want to be sure that the most important part of your body is well protected. Any sporting goods store should have a solid selection of bike helmets on display. And though there are a wide range of brands to choose from, be sure to talk to an in-store specialist about what is the best fit for your riding style. In general, high performance helmets are prone to sacrificing some safety features in the name of aerodynamics, so make sure you go for function over fashion and get the safest, best fitting skullcap you can find.
- Signaling for safety: If the kids are coming along for the ride and any of them are 12 or under, forget about hitting the open road. Sidewalks and traffic-free areas are the only safe places for the young ones to ride, and putting them on the road too soon could result in a big scare or worse. If you are venturing out solo, though, or with kids already in their teens, the road then becomes the safest place to ride as you won't be putting walkers nearby at risk. Knowing that you're going to be competing with two ton metal vehicles for space, having a way to communicate your intentions is key, and there are standard hand signals that allow you to let drivers know which way you are going. Check this picture of simple signals, and teach them to the kids before heading out. You’ll feel more confident on the road and will boost your odds of remaining collision-free.
- Biking Bright: It could be unplanned. You head out for an afternoon bike ride, venture a bit further than you thought, and find yourself biking home in the dark alongside fast-moving traffic. Of all biking situations to be in, biking in the dark with no proper night gear is one of the most dangerous, and can lead to catastrophic results. Rather than put pressure on yourself about having to make it home before dusk at all costs, it’s much better to be prepared for anything, especially given that unpredicted events can make a bike ride longer than you initially thought. A proper front light, back light, reflective vest, and reflective helmet badge are all easy to add to your outfit, and will arm you with the ability to practice safe cycling even after daylight fades.
TIP: WD-40® Multi-Use Product is perfect for lubricating squeaky shifters, cables, derailleurs, and pivot points. If you’re a serious cyclist, check out the new line of WD-40 BIKE products here.
Thursday, May 2, 2013, 4:10 PM
As April showers bring May flowers, unfortunately, the showers can do some damage to gardening tools left outside. As we enter the gardening month of May, don’t let rust and corrosion on your metal gardening tools empty your wallet or scare you away from the dirt. Just give them a little TLC with a WD-40® Multi-Use Product “Tool Bath”:
What you'll need:
- 1 empty coffee can
- 1 empty metal soup can
- WD-40 Multi-Use Product (a one-gallon jug is suggested)
- 1 dry cloth
- 1 standard drill and drill bits
Please note: Do not place any power tools in the WD-40 Multi-Product Tool Bath.
For larger garden tools:
- Fill a metal coffee can half-way with WD-40 Multi-Use Product (consider using the one-gallon container of WD-40 Multi-Use Product for easier dispensing).
- After you're done using your tools, "dunk" them in the WD-40 Multi-Use Product Tool Bath, wipe them down with a dry cloth and store them until their next use.
- Empty the WD-40 Multi-Use Product from the coffee can, put the top back on, and store it in a safe place for the next time you need to give your tools some TLC.
For smaller garden tools:
- Drill small holes near the bottom of an old soup can.
- Place items in the soup can.
- Fill a metal coffee can half-way with WD-40 Multi-Use Product.
- Dunk the soup can into the coffee can, allowing WD-40 Multi-Use Product to flow in through the holes drilled in the soup can.
- Remove the soup can from the coffee can, and dry tools with a dry cloth.
- After the WD-40 Multi-Use Product Tool Bath use, empty the WD-40 Multi-Use Product from the coffee can, place the soup can inside the coffee can, place the lid on the coffee can and store the unit in a safe place.
As WD-40 Multi-Use Product dissolves grease and grime, as well as penetrates stuck parts and drives away moisture, the WD-40 Multi-Use Product Tool Bath will prevent rust and corrosion, provide excellent lubrication, and keep tools looking shiny and new. Happy gardening!