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Maintenance Crucial to Cabin Longevity

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log cabinTo increase and sustain the lifetime of your cabin, it’s vital to perform regular maintenance on the interior and exterior. Just like a home that has to be taken care of, cabins need to be cleaned, inspected and sometimes repaired for long-term use.

Cleaning the inside of your cabin is like preventative maintenance. You will be able to find any cracks, leaks or problems in their infancy. Cleaning behind appliances, and dusting all the surfaces is a great way to gauge any improvements that are needed. It’s especially important to not have clutter in cabins due to the increased amount of surrounding wildlife. During the fall and winter months, small critters look for warm places to build a home, and you don’t want a corner of clutter to end up as a squirrel’s nest.

For the outside of your cabin, you can give it a good washing with a power washer. Lightly go over the entire exterior, too much pressure will damage the wood. Removing leaves, dirt and grime from the outside of your cabin will eliminate the build up of any of these materials. It also decreases the potential for the wood siding of the cabin splitting or weakening.

Having a regular maintenance plan for your cabin will keep it looking good and in great shape. As you clean, keep an eye out for any problems that could cause major issues if they aren’t taken care of immediately. Taking care of problems when they start costs less money and causes less stress than waiting until they are a huge, expensive and worrisome issue.

Rustic Knotty Pine Adds Charm, Style to Any Home

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knotty woodWhen it comes to home décor, knotty wood adds an aesthetic charm you can’t find in all drywall or tile spaces. Like the different colors that swirl throughout a piece of marble, knots are fun and add uniqueness to every piece. Wooden walls or floors with knots aren’t as bland or uniform, giving the room personality and something interesting to look at upon arrival.

 

At the same time, this type of wood is rustic and natural feeling. Not every piece of wood is perfect and using knotted wood shows the simplicity and appreciation of nature. This is the perfect material for large dens with fireplaces, or rustic kitchens in a cabin. Knotty décor can add the element of nature to any room its put in especially when matched with a natural floor or furniture.

 

Bringing the outdoors inside for the more rustic look and feel is a major interior design trend right now. Wood floors are being mixed with natural stone fireplaces and even elements of water in small fountains. Knotty wood looks real, unlike stained and lacquered wood floors that completely take away from the environmental feeling of the room.

Safe Hiking During Hunting Season

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Safe HikingHiking is an invigorating, healthy activity for everyone. It’s a great way to experience and take in nature, especially during the fall months. The beautiful fall colors really bring out all the wonder nature has to offer. However, the fall months also mean hunting season and hunters and hikers alike must exercise a bit more caution while sharing the woods.
Know Your Dates
Throughout hunting season, it’s important to know when you are sharing the woods with armed hunters and what weapons they are using. Keeping track on what seasons are when are extremely helpful to your cognition. Expecting to see armed hunter vs not expecting to see one could mean the difference in split second decision making on which your life may depend.
Orange Hunting Vests
Orange hunting vests allow hunters to clearly identify other people in the woods, such as fellow hunters and hikers. They are a universal indication of a human presence and ensure you remain visible. Also avoiding wearing red is advisable, as hunters often confuse this with the natural color fur color of deer and other game. Remember your four legged friends are especially susceptible to accidental hunter fire, so don’t forget their safety vests as well.
Familiarity with Hunting Behavior
Most hunting occurs at dawn and dusk. So knowing hunters will be in the woods at these times is helpful to knowing how to avoid them. Another way to avoid hunters altogether is sticking to hiking woods you know well and staying off private property. Hunters on private property aren’t expecting to see hikers. So when hikers go off trail and happen upon hunters not expecting to see them , they can more easily be mistaken for a game animal.
Exercising extreme caution while in the woods during the fall months is very important. Taking the right measures, familiarizing yourself with the terrain and being aware of hunter’s behavior is your best bet. It can even save your life.

The Best Hiking in the World is in Your Backyard

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Arches National ParkAmericans are truly blessed with an astounding natural environment to explore, appreciate and love. For every square mile of developed urban civilization, there are hundreds of untouched woodlands from coast to coast. Spanning across our great country, these undeveloped corners of the world will leave you feeling smaller than any city skyline ever could. Of the thousands of places to take your breath away in every state in the union, very select, practical spots round out the top four.

Adirondack Park

With 46 high peaks over 3,820 feet high up to 5,344 feet, the Adirondack Park in northern New York is a hiker’s paradise. With breathtaking views for miles, the Adirondack Park puts the East coast on the map as far as amazing places to see across the United States. Covering over 6 million acres, the Adirondack Park is the largest state level protected park in the lower 48. And with this much land, there is much more to do than just summiting mountains, like boating, fishing and camping.

Yosemite National Park

A fraction the size of the Adirondacks, Yosemite is still about the size of Rhode Island. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in breathtaking immensity. As the trailhead to the spectacular Muir Trail, which terminates on the summit of the tallest peak in the Lower 48 atop Mount Whitney, Yosemite has an extensive trail network covering over 800 miles. This allows visitors to take in close to a million acres of dense, glacial forests, waterfalls, some of the largest trees you will ever see in person and the incredible El Capitan peak.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon can be observed one of two ways; from the rim or from the riverbed. Both options offer a spectacular experience unmatched by any other. Observing the Canyon from the rim offers such a vast perspective that what you are seeing is almost hard to comprehend. The expanse is so immense many can’t perceive its enormity in great part because there is no basis for comparison. The latter, however, requires a bit more legwork.

The brutal downhill descent on any of the 15 trails into the Grand Canyon presents an enormous challenge to even the most experienced hikers. But the hike is well worth the experience. Just keep in mind if you are camping in the Canyon, you are in the desert where there is very little cloud cover or vegetation. This makes for not only hot days, but very cold nights as well, so packing appropriately is imperative.

Arches National Park

The Arches National Park in Utah has a mind blowing expanse of red rocks and thousands of sandstone arches. Of the natural beauties our country has to offer, Arches National Park offers not only some of the best views of the most unique rock formations and colors you could imagine, it is also offers pretty simple hiking. But the Park’s lack of peaks isn’t an exchange for amazing views from great vantage points.

Mountaineering A Great Hobby to Conquer

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peakbagging There’s no greater feeling than hiking for hours up descents of upwards of 5,000 feet to the best views you could imagine. Once you summit a mountain, are exhausted, sweaty and your leg muscles are burning, you look around and it all becomes well worth it. On sunny days, you could see for miles from the peak of the shortest mountains in the Adirondack high peaks.
Conquering a mountain is probably the most exhilarating and therapeutic experience on earth. Occupying your hobbies with such outdoor activity as mountain climbing is not only good for your mind- feeding your psyche with a huge sense of accomplishment- it’s also a reflection of strong character and dedication.
Aside from all the benefit climbing affords you as an individual, it is also extremely good for your body. A true test of endurance and lower-body conditioning, climbers beyond their middle age often find themselves in the greatest shape of their life. And the benefits to physical health- especially later in life- are enumerable. Getting into the habit of collecting summit ascents- or ‘peak bagging-‘ can get quite addictive.
New York State offers the most famous, accessible and achievable mountaineering badge of accomplishment in the country, encouraging peak-baggers from around the country and globe. The 46ers is an organization recognizing climbers who have ascended the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, all of which are above 3,800 feet. There is also a separate badge for those having ascended the same peaks in the winter months, referred to as the ‘Winter 46ers.’
Just the other side of Vermont, there is the New Hampshire 48ers. Higher in elevation than the Adirondack High Peaks, the 48 New Hampshire peaks all summit over 4,000 feet, the highest of which being Mt Washington, reaching 6,288 feet. Meanwhile, in Colorado, there are plenty of options for mountaineering and peak bagging as well. There are 53 peaks across Colorado above 14,000 feet. To ascend every one of these peaks is to join the elite 14ers club.
Enjoying peak bagging is a magnificent hobby for the entire family. Just ensure preparedness with the right equipment and gear. Because if you are caught on top of even the lowest mountain- where the weather can turn on you in a heartbeat- it could cost you your life.

Keeping Your Feet Happy Crucial to Great Hiking

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hiking bootsWhen your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t happy. Keeping your feet dry and comfortable is imperative to an enjoyable hike. Of course the distance and type of hike you are embarking on determines what kind of boot or shoe you will need.
For short distance, flat terrain day hiking, you obviously won’t need as much support as you would for more rugged mountainous terrain. Less mountainous hiking on softer- and even sandier- soil requires more low ankle support, given ankle rolling is much less of a risk in these kinds of scenarios.
Light hiking shoes perform more like bulky running than hiking boots. Insole support isn’t really an issue for light day hikers because they aren’t really built for use over an extended timeframe. For shorter hikes, you may also want to look into mesh-toe options, perfect for water trekking and airing out your labored feet on longer walks.
When embarking on mountain hiking to conquer legitimate peaks of 3,000 vertical feet or more, you will need more support and comfort. More cushy insoles which can slow you down on shorter day hikes are actually beneficial to the long distance climber. They will let you hike longer with happier, more comfortable feet.
Climbing hard, irregular rock surfaces is also very hard on your feet, especially compared to sandy riverbeds. More cushy supportive insoles are something to look for, even if you are on a flat hike across rocky terrain.
A rule of thumb to keep in mind is the lower the cut, the less ankle support shoes offer. This means less resistance to ankle rolling and balance, something you may not need when hiking the South Carolina Lowcountry or exploring the sandy Florida Keys. But ankle support is something to definitely take into account when your excursions take you on rugged high peaks with long distance ascending and descending.
Wearing the right boot for the right type of hiking is imperative to enjoying your experience. Making sure you are comfortable and properly prepared (not over OR under prepared) for any expedition you’re planning is the first step. Keeping your feet happy means happy memories of a day in the woods or mountains without any pains or injury.

Prefab Cabins Perfect for Affordable Getaways

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log cabinIf you are in the market for a cabin to add to your property, you are making a wise decision. Adding a cabin to your piece of property not only makes your sanctuary much more accommodating for weekend getaways, if also significantly drives up the value of your real estate. Moreover, there are very affordable options to erecting a cabin on your land.
Having a cabin in the country is great for any number of reasons. There are enumerable activities to enjoy in the wilderness, like hunting, fishing and hiking. Bringing your family closer to all of these activities and cutting out the hours’ drive makes your day in the country that much more enjoyable. This might sound expensive to you, but there are affordable options to making this happen.
Having a cabin designed and built can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000, depending on design and size, of course. The heftier price tags are not so much thanks to the cost of material, rather due in great part to labor costs. But you can now pay much less than this with prefab and panel options, whereby you effectively eliminate the cost of labor.
With a wide range of floor plans, design and sizes, prefab cabins are shipped to your property and installed on site. Requiring no heavy machinery for assembly, cabins can be assembled in as little as a day using nothing more than a series of ropes, pulleys and light work trucks. And because you and a small crew of your friends can put it together, you cut out the cost of labor.
Affordable cabin construction makes vacation getaways a reality for many more people. They extend the luxury of secondary housing for a fraction of what it costs to build a traditional cabin. They also are finished from the ground up in a fraction of the time.

Relaxation, Adventure Await You in the Woods

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cabin retreat A trip out of town to your own private retreat can bring you and your family more than just relaxation. You really up your quality of life with a family getaway on your own property surrounded by woods, lakes and adventure.

A cabin getaway can right off the bat reduce stress levels. Away from construction, car horns, deadlines and never-ending meetings, stress will disappear. Effects of stress melt away with open air, birds chirping and a babbling brook off in the distance.

With so much to do, spending time in nature will naturally increase your physical activity. Outdoor activity stimulates endorphins, which positively correlate with relaxation and happiness.

Family time is the essence of a cabin getaway. Without a TV, computer or cell phone families can spend uninterrupted time bonding, laughing and experiencing time away together. Small children and older adults alike can enjoy fishing from the end of a dock or on a boat. Hiking is a way for families to explore their surroundings and spend a few hours together. Hunting is real bonding experience for parents and their children.

A week or weekend away with your family at a private property can have long-term positive impacts. This time can create a strong bond between parents and their children. It can also increase happiness and decrease stress. With your own place to visit when you feel the pressures of the day to day grind your quality of life increases exponentially.

The Deadly Truth about Trash

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There is one thing we often forget when spending time out in cabins or even just camping. We often produce trash that can’t always be easily disposed of, and before long we draw in far too many problems with that trash, as well as make problems for others, including animals. Unlike at home, where you might just throw your trash into a dumpster and be done with it, you can’t do that out in the wild without ending up with bears stealing your dumpster. But then how do you handle your waste in the wild?

The first thing to do is to make sure you have an animal proof trashcan. Preferably you want to have as little excess trash of any kind as possible, which means limiting yourself from buying anything that has extra packaging that is useless, but even if you do control what you are getting there’s still bound to be trash, which means getting something that animals can’t get access to. This is as much for your safety as it is for any animals that might come around, the stuff we throw away is not good for them, as much as they think it is.

The second thing is to eliminate the problem trash you might be throwing away. The most common in the past was the plastic that kept a six pack of soda cans or beers together. Those kinds of things should be cut up so they don’t cause any problems, anything that could result in the animals being harmed, even if you don’t think it could happen you are better to err with caution and find some way to dismantle it, this can include aluminum cans, or fish hooks, or yogurt containers.

The third thing is to lock up smells. This can best be achieved by the animal proof trashcans, which will occasionally be air tight to keep smells in, but also just getting something to mask smells of food around your house or cabin can assist with that. Preferably aim for something that will eliminate odors, rather than just mask them. Smell is what draws the majority of animals to your trash cans and dumpsters. If we eliminate that, we take away the majority of the problem.

This brings us to mentioning that even food and supplies that are not in a trash will bring problems to you if you aren’t being careful. If you are camping look to using old methods like throwing any food supplies up into a tree to keep it away from bears and other land animals (unless you are in a rainforest, then you should bury it). You can also even buy special canisters and containers that are ‘child-proof’ except for bears and other animals that have a bit of dexterity in opening things like raccoons.

Just following some of these important methods could end up saving both your life, and the life of the animals that are being lured to you. Remember, you don’t want them around as much as they don’t want to be around you. They are just being drawn there because they are hungry. So avoid drawing them to you in the first place and everyone will be safe!

Make Sure You’re Prepared Whenever you Hike

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hiking excursion

Whenever you are deep woods hiking, you never want to find yourself without the proper equipment. Before setting out on your excursion, ensuring you have the right equipment will make for a much safer outing.

Footwear

The utmost number one important component to any hiking trip is footwear. Your feet are the most important part of your body- they are your vehicle when you are miles from civilization and protecting them is a must to make sure you safely can get back. So purchasing a high quality, high impact hiking boot with a shock absorbent sole is imperative to making sure you have a comfortable woodland trek. Ankle support is crucial for protecting against rolling and potential breaks and sprains.

And shoes aren’t the only thing footwear is comprised of. Making sure you have breathable socks make sure your feet stay dry. When your feet are wet, they swell. And if they swell, you will experience pain and have a hard time walking on them until your feet dry and the swelling resides. So when hiking, do your best to avoid wet areas and puddles. And if moisture is inevitable on your trek, make sure you change your socks as soon as possible.

Hydration

It doesn’t matter if it is the dead of August and it is ninety degrees outside; without hydration you can easily contract pneumonia- especially if you are hiking in elevated areas. Not to mention you need water to keep your body active and able to move onward. Constant hydration using a hydration pack complete with a sip tube is an absolute necessity.

Hydration packs with sip tubes not only replenish your system with water, the task of drinking water is so much easier you are actually encouraged to drink more. Otherwise it is unlikely you will drink enough water because studies indicate most hikers do not drink enough water.

And hydration isn’t only found in H2O. Ensuring you have proper nutrition on your hike is also extremely important. Nuts for protein and energy are highly recommended, as is granola and flat bread. The nutritional value to these items is as important as their portability.

Raingear

If you are simply hiking a trail for a couple miles and it is bone dry outside, packing raingear might be overkill. But if you are hiking high peaks, you can never be over prepared.  Because weather is so unpredictable above 2000 feet, always making sure to pack rain protection is imperative to protecting you from the elements and contracting pneumonia.

Obviously how much gear, hydration and nutrition you will pack is dependent on the duration of your hiking trip. You never want to pack too much or you will weigh yourself down and you never want to pack too little at the risk of being under prepared.  But never trek off into the woods without hydration and letting someone know your itinerary.