Is Owning a Pet Good or Bad for Your Home?

Ask anyone who has pets and they’ll tell you: it can be extremely tough to keep your home clean with all of the pet dander and odors that get trapped throughout their home.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about cats, dogs, rabbits, snakes, or any other type of commonly found pet – they all make it tough to keep your home pleasantly smelling and odor free. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the negative effect that they can have on your breathing, especially for people who regularly suffer from allergies.

Offending Pet Problems

It’s no secret that the number one problem when you have pets is allergies. If you are known to suffer from allergic reactions to your pets, it’s actually the pet dander that you’re reacting to. Pet dander the little pieces of dead skin and fur that are shed by your pet and become airborne, making their way all throughout your home and into your lungs. Keeping your windows open and vacuuming regularly can help, but they won’t keep your home 100% clean.

In reality, the only ways to truly keep your home allergen free is by investing in the best air purifier for pets that you can find. There are a number of good air purifiers for allergies out there, but if you’re mainly suffering from a pet problem, you’re better off finding one specifically made for that purpose.

Another common problem that pet owners run into – especially those with cats – is the smell of pet urine around the house. While dogs, primarily puppies, are often known to have accidents inside, more often than not it are the male cats which are the biggest offenders.

More times than I can count, I’ve had cat owners ask me the same question – why do cats spray? And while it isn’t completely restricted to male cats (female cats spray as well) they are commonly the worst at doing so.

To put it short, cats typically spray in order to claim their territory. Sure, solo cats will sometimes do it out of anger or spite, but more often than not you’ll notice an increase in cat spraying when you add a new feline into your home.

Nothing can completely prevent your cat from spraying, but if you want to take action to reduce the frequency – and greatly reduce the odor – you should look into getting your pet fixed. Oftentimes this will decrease their urge to mark their territory, especially when it’s male cats trying to ward off other males.

All in all, living with pets can offer a number of great rewards to their owners. It’s a proven fact that owning a cat or a dog can increase your lifespan by a number of years – especially when it comes to older owners who live by themselves. Yes, having a pet may mean dealing with annoying allergies or an unpleasant odor, but at the end of the day you’ll likely find that the benefits of being a pet owner far outweigh any of the potential negatives. So what are you waiting for? Go visit your local shelter or rescue organization today and look for your next family member.

It’s Fishing Season – Where’s Your Boat?

The weather’s getting nicer and everyone’s talking about going fishing, but wait – you don’t have a boat! How do you plan to get out on the water without one?

While many people may prefer to fish from the shore, any true fisherman can tell you that being out on a boat is better. There is nothing more relaxing to a man (or woman) than sitting out on their boat, away from the rest of society, but nothing but their rod and the rocking of the waves to keep them company.

Really, it’s one of the most delightful feelings in the world be to sitting out on the blue ocean, your float bobbing in the water, while you’re just relaxing for a whole.

So now you’re wondering: where do I get a boat?

Should I Hire?

There are plenty of good boat hire places all across the country. You can hire big ones, little ones, fast ones, and luxury ones. You may have seen them docked in your local marina or in on-land boat storage. Depending on which one you want, the costs and advance notice needed can vary greatly.

Some establishments will even require you to provide a captain’s license for some of the larger vessels. There are, however, many places where you can rent a small fishing boat on the spot for a reasonable price.

Should I Buy?

In the short term, buying a boat can be a very expensive proposition. On top of the initial purchase price, there are many other factors to consider when you’re buying a boat, like taxes, port costs, and operational expenses. But if boating, fishing, and other water activities, are things that you like to do and plan to do often, then buying will definitely wind up being cheaper than renting in the long-run.

Maybe you do prefer sitting on the bank of a river, or standing out on the pier, eating a sandwich and waiting for that nibble on your hook. But if you’re anything like most people, you probably prefer to be out on the water on your own private vessel. Really this is all your choice – it’s your life and nobody should tell you have to live it.

If you do think that purchasing a boat is right for you, however, you should put some serious thought into which type to buy. For many people, a wide-beam narrow boat seems to be the best option – it makes the most practical sense. This type of boat doubles as not only a vessel to do some fishing from, but also a home on the move where you can spend the night – or longer.

Imagine living out on your own boat – you could fish as long and as much as you want and you’ll be able to prepare your own dinner right where you caught it. What a life! Boat life isn’t for everything though, and some people may not be able to handle the constant rocking. There are others who find it better for sleeping, though.

If you had any doubts about whether you needed a boat before, I’m sure they’re long gone by now.

6 Hiking Essentials for Every Outdoors Trip

Hiking – especially in the Wisconsin area – is one of the most popular outdoor activities. And it’s easy to see why. Hiking gives you a chance to get outside and enjoy nature, to get away from the daily grind of the city life and get back to your roots. There’s no denying that it is one of the simplest, most relaxing recreational activities out there.

But while some hiking trails require little more than motivation, other trails – and definitely longer or multi-day hikes – require a bit extra preparation. In this article, we’re going to go over some of the most important items that should be in anyone’s hiking pack.

1. Know Where You’re Going

First and foremost, you need to know where you’re going and have some way to figure out where you are. In the old days this would mean bringing along a detailed map of the area, but today you’ll find yourself better equipped with a GPS or cellphone (that has service) which can accurately pinpoint your location on the screen.

2. Stay Protected

When you’re in the outdoors, there are a lot of harmful things that you need to watch out for. From skin-damaging sunlight to annoying insects, you need to be prepared to stay protected with sunblock, bug spray, and other items to keep yourself out of harm’s way.

3. Be Prepared for the Worst

You never know what’s can happen when you’re going on a longer hike, so it’s important that you prepare yourself for the worst. This means not only making sure that you have a phone or other way to get in contact with help if needed, but also that you’re carrying a full first-aid kit and are knowledgeable about how to deal with situations like a fall, snake bike, or inclement weather.

4. Stay Warm and Eat

Hiking takes a lot of energy – meaning that when you’re hiking for more than just a few hours, you need to bring something to eat and replenish the burnt calories. If you’ll be dealing with cold temperatures, you’ll also need to be able to start a fire. To achieve both goals, be sure to bring waterproof matches and food which can be cooked over an open fire.

5. Keep Dry

Few things are worse on a multi-day hike than being stuck out in the rain. That’s why most savvy hikers will bring some sort of emergency shelter to protect themselves from the weather. This may be a normal sleeping tent, or even a convenient and compact tarp. Either way, you need to be able to stay – especially when the weather can be cold at night.

6. But Not Too Dry

You may want to keep your exterior dry, but it’s important that you also stay well hydrated during your hike. Just like with energy, out bodies use a lot of water while exerting physical activity, and the water you find out on the trail may not always be safe to drink. That’s why you need to make sure to pack enough potable water for your trip, or at least in between locations known to have clean water.

Crucial Camp Cooking Tips You Need to Know

Few things are more satisfying that being camped out in nature, sitting under the stay and chowing down on a delicious meal that you just prepared yourself over the campfire. For some people, however, trying to cook in the wild outdoors can seem a little intimidating at first. That’s because without all of the tools you’d find in a home kitchen, you need to know what you’re doing in order for the food to turn out well.

Don’t fret though – we’re going to go through some of the most important things that you need to know in order to plan and execute a great meal for you, your friend, and your family the next time that you go camping.

So without any further delay, here are out four camp cooking tips that you need to know before your next trip:

Preparation Is Key

Contrary to common belief, being a great camp cook is 75% preparation and 25% technique. Sure, you need to know how to effectively work a fire in an outdoor setting, away from the comfort of a well-equipped kitchen, but more importantly you need to have the right items and ingredients to succeed. By planning ahead and prepping for your outing, you’ll find it much easier and less stressful to stay fed no matter what the situation is.

What to Bring

Few things are worse than getting all of the way out to your camp site and realizing that you forgot something that you absolutely need. To make sure that you have everything, take the time to create an itemized list well before you go and double check every single line when you’re loading up the car. Things to make sure to bring include a well-stocked cooler, plenty of water, toilet paper and paper towels, bug spray, and plenty of hand sanitizer.

How to Cook

While some people prefer to bring a gas-powered burner with them for their cooking needs, other campers demand the authentic taste and feel of cooking over an open campfire. No matter how you choose to cook, the important thing is that you’re prepared with all of the items you’ll need for your preferred method of food preparation. If you do wind up going with a propane cooker, just make sure that you bring an adequate supply of gas – nothing is more frustrating that running out of fuel and having no other way to prepare your meals.

Aluminum Foil Is Your Friend

There aren’t very many tools or accessories that are going to be handier when it comes to campfire cooking than aluminum foil. With aluminum foil you can cook nearly any type of food in a variety of different ways. That’s because it is one of the most versatile and heat resistant cooking aids out there. Where many materials would burn in direct contact with embers, aluminum foil can hold up in even the hottest camp fire. From creating a layer to keep your meat off the coals, to wrapping up vegetables and putting them well into the heat, aluminum foil is a must for any time of camp cooking.

4 Great Fishing Tips for Beginners

To many people, fishing is one of the best, most relaxing recreational activities out there. Not only are you right in the middle of nature, but you’re also taking part in a pastime that allows you to feed yourself and your family and become self-dependent.

But there’s a lot more to fishing than simply going out to the water and putting your line in. It takes skills, technique, and practice in order to become a true master, and while the beginner may have some luck landing fish from time to time, to generate the best results you need to be able to perfect some of the most important basic skills of fishing.

Here we’re going to discuss a few of the most important fishing tips that beginners need to know, as well as some of the best ways to implement them the next time that you’re out on the water.

Know Your Waters

No two fishing spots are the same and that makes it extremely important to have a little bit of background knowledge about the spot that you’re planning to hit. What kind of fish are there, what size are you aiming to land, and what areas of the body of water are most likely to be where fish hang out? By studying your environment before heading to the shore to cast your line, you can ensure that you’re in the right spot to catch the right kind of fish.

Be Properly Equipped

If you’re fishing in a small river or lake, you don’t want to bring an offshore fishing rig. Conversely, if you’re out on the ocean, a small test line isn’t going to cut it. You need to make sure that you have a range of equipment for different types of environments, and if as a beginner you only have one or two rods, make sure to only use them in the types of situations that they were designed for. Also be prepared with backup hooks, sinkers, and lures – as well as the pliers and other tools you’ll need to attach them – in case you line gets hooked and breaks.

Your Bait Is Important

Almost as important as bringing the right equipment is having the right type of bait. This could be live bait, frozen bait, or even specialty lures. The key is to know where you’re fishing and what type of fish you’re after, and then determine what kind of bait they’re most likely to hit. Again, this involves a little bit of research of your area and the kinds of fish that are most prominent there.

Stare at the Clouds

Most beginners think that a bright, sunny day is the best time to get out and do some fishing. After all, that is the most pleasant weather for us, so why wouldn’t it be for the fish? Regrettably though, sunny days can mean that the top layer of water gets too warm for some fish, causing them to retreat down to lower, secluded depths. For the best results, try to schedule your fishing trips on cloudy, overcast days – just be sure to watch out for any lightning.