An Outdoorsman’s Guide – How to Use Dry Ice

You don’t have to spend a fortune on quality coolers. In fact, the hard or soft small coolers I have ever bought kept perishables cold for days. Don’t think that’s possible? The key is using dry ice. I am cautious, so the beginning was a bit of a learning curve. However, I wouldn’t go back to using any other kind of ice on my long journeys and I bet you won’t, either.

Measure the Cooler

Measuring the cooler will help you determine how much dry ice you can fit inside. This cooling gas comes in blocks and pellets, and I recommend purchasing blocks for the longest lasting results. Remember, each 24-hours requires 10 pounds to 20 pounds of dry ice to keep the perishables cold. If you have a cooler between 40 and 60 quarts, it can hold 10 pounds of dry ice at a time. 

Protect the Cooler

The interior of the cooler can be damaged if it comes in contact with dry ice, so it’s important to protect it. Wherever the ice could touch should be protected, whether that is the top, sides or bottom. After wrapping the dry ice in newspaper, I suggest using cardboard or Styrofoam to create extra space.

Additionally, loosen the cap of the drainage hole. This will prevent gas from building up and damaging the integrity of the cooler.

Protect your Hands

Make sure to put on gloves before handling dry ice. You can also use towels, but be careful. If the dry ice comes in contact with your bare skin, it could burn. Also, warn your guests not to touch. You can always place a piece of cardboard with a small hole cut in the middle on top of the dry ice. If there are children present, it might be best to get out their food and drink for them.

Dry Ice on Bottom or Ice on Top?

Before you pack your cooler, decide whether you want to place the dry ice on the top or bottom.

When placed on the bottom, it will keep food and drinks cold. When placed on the top, it will quickly freeze the food around it. There are some other tips, tricks, pros and cons to the question of ice on top vs. ice on bottom.

Ice on Bottom

If people will be reaching into the cooler frequently, storing the dry ice on the bottom is the way to go. Since you are only aiming to keep the food and drink cold, make sure there is cardboard or a few layers of newspaper so anything touching the dry ice won’t freeze. Keep leftover papers on hand to crumple up and fill in gaps between items.

Ice on Top

Want to create a freezer? Put the dry ice on the top instead of the bottom of the cooler. Let the newspaper-wrapped dry ice sit directly on top of the food you want to freeze. However, this makes it inconvenient to get in and out of the cooler quickly. I’ve found dry ice does best on top when I’m storing only food and keeping a separate cooler for only drinks.

The Pros of Outdoor Activities and Sports in Houston

If it’s Houston and if it is outdoor activities which you love doing then there are plenty of options you can exercise. Being outdoors is always a good thing to do. You remain healthy, fit and it helps promote physical as well as mental well-being. There are sports you can choose from such as cycling, hiking, travel and social gatherings to expand your circle of friends.
Some of the clubs that have outdoor activities on a regular basis in Houston are – Bayou City Outdoors, Audubon Society, Gulf Coast Cycling, Seeing Mountains, Skate Trash Street, Houston Canoe Club and Football Association. Most of these clubs keep organizing events for the benefit of their members and also have recruitment drives to get people more interested in outdoor activity.
If paddle sport is your thing then you can join up clubs that will take your interest to the next level with sports such as canoeing, white water rafting and kayaking. There are also clubs that organize proper biking routes through the many trails Houston has to offer. They will ensure you make the fullest use of your mountain bike for off-road and tough trails.
The Audubon Society promotes interest in wildlife and ornithology if birds are your mainstay interest. Fishing buffs can practice their new found passion for fly fishing. The Texas Fly Fishers is a good club for people who would like to learn and enjoy fly fishing.
The benefit of sports and outdoor activities is immense since it helps boost self-confidence and regulates and balances the work life equation. If you like the rush you will want to do it more often and also keep a tab on your lifestyle since you want to keep healthy and at it. Houston is the ideal place to be for everything outdoor and adventure.

Pepper Spray – Effective Self Defense Weapon To Bring When Camping

There are so many things to love about the great outdoors. Spending some time with the family on a camping trip is one great idea. Just thinking about the many activities you can do in camping grounds already gives you the thrill and the excitement to pack up and mark an X on the remaining days. It is mostly the young ones who get too excited in this type of activity.
This type of outdoor activity requires thorough planning. It is important that you know where you will be heading or will be camping that way you can prepare for the necessary things to bring along. Aside from that, you will also be able to know the necessary expenses while staying on the camping site. There are some sites which require campers to pay for a small fee. The small fee will then support for the development of the site or the park.
When camping, it is important for you to prepare gears and equipments ahead of time that way you will never forget anything. These gears include the camping tent, cooking tools, sleeping bags, blankets and other necessary things for providing warmth and comfort. And most of all, never forget to bring food and water. It will be very helpful if you list down the things you will need for you to have a guide.
Another important thing that you should also bring is any type of self defense weapons. Pepper spray is a good form of self defense tool that you can use when you are camping. It is very effective and safe to use especially on animals such as bears. Many have preferred to bring this type of non lethal self defense weapon because it is handy and the effects on animals are not that serious.
The pepper spray is just easy to use. To ensure the effectiveness of the device, make sure that you hit the eyes because the eyes easily get irritated by the active ingredient found in the pepper spray. When you hit the right aim, the animal, like the bear for instance, will immediately feel burning sensation in its eyes which distracts him and thus, giving you ample time to run and ask for help. It is indeed one of the mighty self defense weapons in the market.
There are so many wildlife creatures in the great outdoors and surely, you would not want to put your safety at great risk. You will fully enjoy camping once you are also equipped with a non lethal self defense weapon such as the pepper spray or animal repellents. Having one around keeps you at ease and relaxed.
So if you have plans to have camping over the weekend, make sure you are packed with the right equipments and that you have with you an effective type of non lethal self defense weapons for your protection and your family as well. Make your camping worth remembering through being active in the activities offered by the camping grounds. Not only will you be able to have fun but you will also be able to meet new friends.

Backpacking, A Great Outdoor Activity

Hiking and/or backpacking is a healthy and exhilarating past time that takes the enthusiast to beautiful, scenic and pristine areas that are usually secluded and remote. It gives the backpacker a sense of freedom that he or she can’t find in civilized or populated areas.
These outdoor activities can last for one day or many days and consist of one person to a small group of people. Those who take part in this kind of activity can usually be described as rugged, independent and self reliant. They are in good physical condition, mentally tough and are able to handle extreme situations, terrain’s and conditions without outside assistance using only the skills they possess and the equipment they bring in their backpacks.
To some degree these rugged individuals are a throw back to the mountain man of pioneer days, they enjoy the solitude of the great outdoors and the excitement and danger it provides along with the inner piece of being alone in a vast expanse of whatever wilderness area they find themselves. They enjoy being able to overcome obstacles that stand in the way of the destination they are trying to reach. They may not even know their destination till it is reached. In many instances the anticipation of not knowing the destination, what’s around the next turn in the trail or over the next hill is what makes the trip exciting.
Each new day brings with it new adventures, new challenges and new obstacles to overcome. They enjoy the freedom of being cut off from the rest of society and having to make decisions without the advise or council of others with only there own wit, knowledge and intuition to guide them. These hardy souls love the challenge of a long day of hiking and climbing over rocky trails up steep slopes to new and undiscovered area’s visited by only a select few. They carry with them only the items they can fit into their backpacks.
Depending on the number of days they are planning to be away from civilization these items might include, but not be limited to, clothing, sleeping gear, an ax or hatchet, folding shovel, miniature camp stove with fuel, fire stick, lighter or matches, a flashlight, canned and dried food and possibly fishing gear and a firearm of some type.
Part of the adventure and excitement in backpacking is being able to compete with nature and overcome whatever obstacles or challenges, including terrain or weather conditions they are faced with.
After meeting and overcoming these challenges there is the inner peace that comes with watching the sunset in the evening on a hilltop overlooking a valley surrounded by snow capped mountains, or watching the sunrise with a morning cup of coffee by the camp fire.
There is a desire I believe that has existed in the human soul since the beginning of time to experience this kind of closeness to nature and to have the strength of character to be in harmony with the natural order of things and backpacking in a remote outdoor area is one of the best ways of doing it.