Grow Your Own Vegetables In A Raised Garden Bed

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Are you looking to start your own backyard vegetable garden? Need to build a raised bed from scratch or already have one? You will have three important factors to account to consider before you start growing. They are location of the bed, soil type\mix, and which plants to grow together (companion plants). Trial and error is a good way to learn, but with available resources on the web will help cut the learning curve.

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The first step for me was identifying a location in my yard that where sunlight would be available at least 8 hours a day. Once I had the bed placed in a good location I went off to my local Lowe’s store to begin shopping for the materials and tools I would need for the project. The materials you will need may very according to your project needs. For the purpose of this post I have created a list of the items I used to fill the 8×4 raised bed I built.

Note: It is a good idea to use a Soil Calculator before purchasing your soil so you don’t under or over estimate your needs.

Tools:

     Materials:

Once you have selected the location of your raised bed you will need to prep the area. Using plastic spikes tie rope around the area you will dig. Begin by edging out the area of grass you will remove. Then proceed to uproot the grass using a spade shovel.

Tip: An alternative to removing the grass is laying down cardboard over. Cardboard/newspaper will smother the grass and weeds and will prevent growth into the soil.

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Next flip the raised bed over and drape the landscape fabric over it. Using a staple gun, staple the fabric down. Be sure to stretch the cloth for a tight fit. Once the bed is fully covered, use a scissor to cut off the excess fabric.

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Next proceed to place the bed in the desired area. If your bed post extend a few inches down use a shovel to dig holes where the post will go. Once in place even out the soil around the bed and proceed to neatly place the 12″x12″ decorative paver stones.

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The next step is optional, but recommended if you are not using cedar (naturally bacterial and fungal resistant, decays much slower).  Since I use white wood I lined the inside of raised bed with plastic sheeting. Simply unroll from the packaging and without unfolding begin stapling across the top. Make sure to start from the very bottom of the bed for best coverage. This will also prevent dirty water from seeping through the cracks.

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Time for your soil mixture. Soil mixture can vary depending on your plants watering needs. Depending on the mix you will have either have soggy soil or very dry soil. My personal preference in mix comes in thirds. For this mix I used 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 compost/manure and a 1/3 of compost. This mix adds good volume and water retention while allowing your plants roots to aerate. I’ve had good success in the past growing vegetables using this ratio so I stick to what works.

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Once your soil has been mixed thoroughly water it down several times to allow settling before planting. Plant selection is a broad topic with many considerations. Check online resources for companion planting to find out what plants fair the best with. There are many available guides such as this one from Heirloom-Organics.

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This bed will be the home of mostly tomates, peppers and herbs. I also have peas growing off on a trellis next to the bed. So far I have the following growing:

Tomato
Red Bell Pepper
Green Bell Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Banana Pepper
Marigold
Sweet Mint
Cilantro
Basil

Tip: Use Marigolds in your vegetable garden to naturally repel bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies.

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I hope you enjoyed the walkthrough of the newly installed raised bed vegetable garden. Feel free to leave questions as well as share your gardening tips via the comments.

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Disclosure: Products within this post were provided to The Outdoor Boys to help facilitate this post. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

DIY Raised Garden Bed – Step By Step Tutorial

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoysAre you looking to build a raised bed to grow your own food this summer? You’ve come to the right place! Since becoming a homeowner five years ago I became passionate about creating things from scratch. When I’m not outdoors fishing or camping I spend my weekends working on different projects around the yard. DIY has since become “my thing”.

My latest DIY project is an 8’x4′ raised garden bed that I plan to grow some delicious vegetables in. Several years back I created a smaller 4’x4′ raised bed in my previous home. Now with a larger back yard it made plenty sense to build a larger bed.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-materials-tools

Below is the list of tools and cuts that I used to create the raised garden bed. As a part of DIY projects I prefer to cut the wood myself. I used my awesome new Kobalt Sliding Compound Miter Saw for all the cuts. You can certainly take advantage of the friendly staff at your local Lowe’s store to assist you with the wood cutting if you prefer.

TIP: I recently learned some great tips from Bob Vila for getting clean cuts on wood. I found #5 to be the most help

      Tools:

     Materials:

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-miter-saw-cuts-

Step 1:
Begin by measuring and marking all the pieces of wood. Remember, measure twice and cut once! Proceed to make your cuts and neatly organize the wood by size.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed-wood-cuts-TheOutdoorBoys

Step 2:
(This step is done twice)
Proceed to building the two side pieces of the raised bed. Gather two pieces of the 4′ 2×6 and two pieces of 15″ 4×4 post. Align the edges on both sides flush with the top of the 2×6 boards. Drill two pilot holes on each end of the boards and into the post. Using the 3″ in screws drill down the first four screws to secure on side. Follow the same step on the other end of the boards. NOTE: The post will extend 4″ down which will be used to anchor down into the ground.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-side-cuts

Step 3:
With the two sides piece built you are ready to begin attaching the first set of 8 foot 2×6. For best results secure the first 2×6 using a heavy duty clamp on each side. Once again drill two pilot holes through each end followed by drilling down two screws. Follow the same step with the bottom 2x6x8. NOTE: As with “Step 2”, Step 3 must be performed two times as well for the front and back side.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-frontside-cuts-

Step 4:
Once all 2×6 are attached to the main four post measure four feet on the front and back side. Make marks on the inside in preparation for attaching the additional two post.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys--post

Step 5:
Using the 11″ cuts of 1×6 attach 2 on each corner. First drill pilot holes onto the side piece then screw them in. This will allow for the front side to be completely flush (image below) and hide the edges from the side board. Do the same for each of the four corners of the bed.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-corners

Step 6:
Using the 100″ and 55″ cuts of 2×4 cut 45 degree angles using a miter saw. These will be used as the ledge for the top of the raised bed.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-45-degree-cuts

Step 7:
Align the four pieces of 45 degree cut 2×4’s to the top of the bed. Clamps can also be used to tightly secure the edges. Once again drill pilot holes followed by drilling down screws to secure the edges. Use approximately four screws on the 8′ sides and three screws on the 4′ sides. (more can be used if desired)

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-ledge-complete

Step 8: (optional steps going forward)
At this point the garden bed is fully functional and can be used as is. However, if you plan to use it for growing vegetables, you will want to protect your crops from birds and other pest.

Using the 3/4″ PVC cut 4 pieces at 10″ length. Measure halfway from post to post for both front and back side of bed. Then proceed to vertically screw on the 3/4″ PVC. You will have 2 PVC pieces screwed on to each of the bed.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-PVC-

Step 9:
Using the two 10′ pieces of 1/2″ PVC bend them in loops inserting them into the 3/4″ PVC screwed on the inside of the raised bed. With the PVC now in place use your choice of bird netting or mesh blanket to drape over the bed once your soil and plants are in place.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Bed_TheOutdoorBoys-complete

The raised garden bed is now complete. From this point you are ready to fill with soil and begin growing your plants of choice!

I purchased all the tools and materials necessary for this project at my local Lowe’s store. Be sure to drop by and check out the selection of wood and tools you can use for your project. Be sure to share your creation via comments and social media @theoutdoorboys.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this project. I will be decorating the garden bed area as well as discussing soil mixture and plant selection.

 

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Camping Essentials Guide

Camping Essentials Guide

Camping is always fun but being prepared with the right gear can be a game changer. Besides the typical gear you carry on the field, think outside the box for essential gear that will make your trip better.

Check out some gear that will help take your camping experience to the next level.

Excalibur 5-Tray Clear Door Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator

Excalibur 5-Tray Clear Door Stainless SteelExcalibur Food Dehydrators have changed the way people all over the world prepare and preserve harvests and meat. 10-times faster than common round dehydrators and available in a variety of sizes, including commercial and non-commercial grade units, Excalibur Food Dehydrators make great tasting beef, venison, turkey and fish jerky, as well as homemade trail mix, dried fruits and vegetables and dried soup mixes.
Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-in Black Porcelain Enamel Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-in Black Porcelain Enamel Charcoal GrillOriginal Kettle Premium 22-in Black Porcelain Enamel Charcoal Grill
• 22-in porcelain-enameled, black charcoal grill with a built-in lid thermometer
• Heat-shield lid handle minimizes heat transfer to the primary touch-point
• A push-pin leg attachment for safe and secure fit to the bowl coupling
• Fully enclosed aluminized One-Touch cleaning system makes clean-up hassle free
• Fully enclosed ash catcher keeps ashes from blowing around and is easily detached for quick and clean ash removal
• 2 durable all-weather wheels
• 2 glass-reinforced nylon handles with tool hooks
Duraflame® Stax - Duraflame® Roasting Logs

Duraflame- Multi-log, wood-like fire; Start with two logs and add more to extent the fire time
- Easier to light than wood and compact; Just 3 logs produces a fire equivalent to an entire bundle of wood.
- Crackling sounds (using natural seeds) and ashed over appearance of firewood
- Made from 100% renewable materials - recycled wood and agricultural biomass and natural waxes (USDA certified 100% bio-based content)
- Great for camping, backyard fire pits, wood stoves & fireplaces
Bayou Classic® Cast Iron Large 3-Piece Skillet
Bayou Classic® Cast Iron Large 3-Piece Skillet SetThe premium Bayou Classic Large Cast Iron 3-Piece Skillet Set features three heavyweight skillets that heat evenly and will not cool down when food is added. Crafted from durable cast iron, these pre-seasoned skillets are ideal for searing and braising.
SureFire 500-Lumen LED Handheld Battery Flashlight
SureFire 500-Lumen LED Handheld Battery Flashlight500-Lumen LED Handheld Battery Flashlight
• Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize light output and runtime
• 2 output levels—500 lumens for maximum light, 15 lumens for extended runtime
• Precision micro-textured reflector creates smooth, optimized beam
• Tough polycarbonate window resists impact
• High-strength aerospace aluminum body, Mil-Spec hard-anodized for extreme durability
• Dual-output tailcap click switch—press for momentary-on low, click for constant-on low, return to off, then press or click again for high
• Weatherproof—O-ring and gasket sealed
• Includes high-energy 123A batteries with 10-year shelf life
RunLites Sport Glove
CAMO-HALF-GLOVESWhether you’re hunting, camping, hiking, or preparing for an emergency, you’re looking for resources that are compact, lightweight and multipurpose. You can’t afford to carry heavy supplies or hinder your ability to move freely and use your hands. So when it comes to lighting solutions, no other option meets your need quite like RunLites.

RunLites gloves are a lightweight, wearable, hands-free lighting solution ideal for outdoor activities. Carrying a flashlight can be burdensome, wearing a headlamp is uncomfortable and bringing a lantern isn’t always an option. Put light where you need it while setting up your tent, starting a fire or walking through the woods with RunLites.
Rheos Lifestyle Frame - Rheos Sport Frame
RheosThe Rheos Sport Frame is the most versatile athletic style in our All-Terrain floating sunglasses line. Each frame has a premium matte finish with polarized and mirrored lenses for style and enhanced optical color clarity.
•100% UV400 Protection
•Premium polarized lenses
•Dual anti-scratch lens layers
•Shatterproof lens technology
•Ultralight and durable TPX® frame material for floating capability
•Microfiber cloth and hard case included with every purchase
•Super durable screw-lock hinge
Sun Protection Zone: SUP PFD
SPZ SUP PFDFeatures & Benefits
•USCG Approved (approved only when worn), Type V Inflatable PFD with Type III Performance
•Auto Co2 Inflation with Pull Tab
•CO2 Cylinder: 33 grams with 1/2 inch thread
•Manual Oral Tube Inflation
•Chest Size: Adult Universal (30-52 inches)
•Weight Range: +80 lbs
•Emergency Whistle
•Convenient Zippered Pouch
RTIC 65 Quart Cooler
RTIC65The best large cooler available on the market. Makes an ideal marine, hunting or camping cooler. Still small enough for one person to carry. Keep your drinks, food, and meat cold on that long camping trip. Holds up to 64 cans plus ice.

•Offshore fishing
•Hunting bigger game
•Extended camping trips
•The ultimate party cooler
•Back up refrigerator

Capacity:
•64cans
•65quarts
•70pounds of ice
•16.25gallons
Columbia North Platte Daypack
Columbia North Platte DaypackBuilt tough for your active lifestyle, the Columbia® North Platte Daypack offers plenty of storage and comfort. Large compartments offer ample space, and the buckled sternum strap helps secure your hiking gear, books or athletic equipment. You'll enjoy increased comfort, thanks to the high-density, padded straps, and just in case your trip takes you into the late hours, reflective detailing keeps you visible to other hikers and commuters.

FEATURES:

•Designed for a day trip into the wilderness, everyday travels, gym, school, work
•Three large compartments offer plenty of storage
•Padded laptop sleeve for safe, secure storage of your laptop, tablet or other media device
•Organizer pocket keeps gear and accessories secure and easy to find
•Water bottle pocket at the side
•Stretch sack pocket at the front for quick stashing
•Reflective detailing helps keep you visible in low-light conditions
Coleman 15' x 13' Instant Screened Shelter
Coleman 15' x 13' Straight Leg Instant Screened ShelterFind protection from the sun, wind and bugs under a Coleman® 15 ft. x 13 ft. (4.6 m x 3.96 m) Instant Screened Canopy at your next picnic, BBQ or campout. There's no assembly required. Just snap the pre-attached poles into place and have it up in a minute or less. Once it’s up, the canopy's UVGuard™ Protection blocks some of the sun's most harmful rays. Two large T-doors make for easy entry in the front and back. The doors are versatile too, with loops to keep doors open and zippers to keep them shut. When the fun is done, the compact frame design folds down in a minute or less and fits into an easy-pull wheeled carry bag that fits inside most cars.

•Set up or take down the canopy in a minute or less
•Protection from the sun, wind and bugs
•Two large T-doors, entry from back and front
•Loops keep doors open, zippers keep them shut
•Easy-pull carry bag fits inside most cars
•15 ft. x 13 ft. (4.6 m x 3.96 m)
The Best Emergency Radio
The Best Emergency RadioThis emergency radio earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it had the longest playback time and clearest reception. In addition to being the only tested model that allowed users to set multiple weather alert types (49 total) across multiple counties and states using Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology, the Best Emergency Radio ran for five hours after a full charge, far superior to other radios that lasted merely 1 1/2 hours. Unlike lesser models that could not charge an iPhone more than 4%, The Best model charged an iPhone from zero to 88% of its full capacity. The Best model allowed analysts to hear every word of the NOAA Weather Band, unlike other models that produced distorted, static-filled audio. The Best Emergency Radio’s large, ergonomic hand crank required little effort to turn and it has an easy-to-adjust digital NOAA/AM/FM tuner that was superior to competing radios with analog tuners. It can also serve as a wireless external speaker for a smartphone or tablet when paired via Bluetooth. The Best model’s superior features include an integrated LED flashlight, water-resistant construction, USB port for charging smartphones, and a built-in solar panel for supplemental power. 7" H x 5 1/2" W x 1 3/4" D. (1 1/2 lbs.)
Goal Zero: Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit
Venture 30 Solar Recharging KitThe most rugged, durable, weatherproof phone and tablet recharger on the market, no rubber plugs needed. Charge up from USB or included solar panel. The Venture 30 packs the power you need to keep those small devices, cameras and tablets charged no matter the elements you may be out battling. With an IPX6 weatherproof rating and 7800mAh the Venture will keep everything running smoothly.
Built-in Micro USB Tip Tangle-free charging for phones and tablets. Certified cables for efficient charging.
•Solar Ready™ Built-in Charging Tip. No extra cables to lose. Charge up in 4 hours from USB - in 9 hours of full sun from the Nomad 7.
•Waterproof in Use Dunk it, spray it, use it in the rain. Power that handles whatever Mother Nature can throw at you. No rubber plugs needed.
•30 Wh, 7,800mAh Power Pack Power phones (2-3x), tablets (1x) and more. Lightweight and packable from the airport to the trail.
•High-speed USB 4.8A across dual ports Two high-speed ports capable of dishing out the fastest charge possible, at the same time. Power two devices at once or share with a buddy. Integrated Flood Charge optimizes your charging time.
Leatherman: Charge® TTi
7-charge-ttiWhen Leatherman made the Charge TTi, they combined all of the most requested features into one functional tool. The TTi's premium comfort-sculpted titanium handle scales and an S30V® stainless steel clip-point knife to really take this multi-tool to the next level. Who says a multi-tool can't be sexy?


Charge® TTi Features

A
All Locking Features
B
Lanyard Ring
C
Replaceable Pocket Clip & Quick-release Lanyard Ring
D
Outside-accessible Features
E
One-hand Operable Features

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutri Ninja® Auto-iQ Pro Compact System

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Are you a fan of smoothies and healthy drinks? The Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Pro Compact is an excellent choice for on the go drinks. Instead of boring protein powders with water or milk I now throw in some fruits and veggies and blend up great tasting drinks. Ninja even has a huge list of drink recipes to help expand your taste pallet. Below are a few of my favorite recipes from Ninja.

Nutri Ninja® Auto-iQ Pro Compact System
Nutrient & vitamin extraction AND high performance all in one machine
•Next generation Auto-IQ™ Smooth Boost™ Technology that takes drink customization to a whole new level
•Features 1200-watt motor base
•Includes two 24-ounce Nutri Ninja Tritan Cups with two Sip & Seal Lids, 24-ounce stainless steel Nutri Ninja Cup, 40-ounce blend & prep bowl with dough/chopping blade, 48-ounce XL multi-serve Nutri Ninja, and 30 recipe inspiration guide
•Additional attachment available is the first-ever coffee & spice grinder blender attachment

RECIPES

3-2-1 Immune Boost
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A delightful way to build your good health!

Ingredients:
3 tangerines, peeled, 2 kiwis, peeled and halved, 1 grapefruit, peeled and halved, 1 tablespoon dried goji berries, 1 cup water, 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions:
1. Place the Top Blades in the Pitcher and add all of the ingredients in the order listed.* 2. Select Speed 1 and flip the switch to START. Slowly increase to Speed 8 and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: Calories 133; Fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 5mg; Carbohydrate 33g; Fiber 5g; Protein 2g

Antioxidant Refresherhero-recipe-antioxidant-refresher

You won’t taste the cabbage in this refreshing antioxidant-rich smoothie.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup red cabbage, 1 stalk celery, halved, 1 apple, halved, 3/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup watermelon, 2 cups ice

Instructions:
1. Place the Top Blades in the Pitcher and add all of the ingredients in the order listed.* 2. PULSE 3 times. Select Speed 10 and flip the switch to START. Blend for 45 seconds.

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: Calories 115; Fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 27mg; Carbohydrate 33g; Fiber 6g; Protein 2g

Banana Coconut Energizer
hero-recipe-banana-coconut-energizer

This delicious smoothie could actually be considered a dessert!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh or frozen shredded coconut 1 frozen banana, peeled, cut in half 1 oz. dark chocolate 2 pitted dates 1 cup low-fat milk 2-3 ice cubes

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in the Nutri Ninja® Cup. Press the Single Serve button and hold until smooth. Remove the blades from the cup after blending. Serve at once.

Nutrition Facts
Per serving: 65 cal; 1g fat; 2mg chol; 38mg sodium; 12g carb; 3g fiber; 3g protein

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Hope you enjoyed these recipes as much as I have. Feel free to share your unique creations via comments. Be sure to check Ninja out on their webpage as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 
Disclosure: The product was provided to theoutdoorboys. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

Camping At Alexander Springs Ocala National Forest

Alexander Springs - Ocala National Forest - Florida

Camping is one of my favorite things to do with family and friends. My goal is to visit many different camp sites through the state of Florida. My latest camping adventure sent me up to Ocala, Fl to spend a weekend at Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest.

Alexander Springs - Ocala National Forest - Florida

Alexander Springs is located in the southern part of the Ocala National forest. The waters of Alexander Springs are crystal clear at a temperature of 72°F. The campgrounds are surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum and cabbage palms.

Alexander Springs Camping - Tree Climbing

The weekend started out sunny and outside temperatures at about 60°F. Perfect for camping in my book. We got together for a hike at the Timucuan Trail. The entrance to the trail has warning signs for bears in the area. We were fortunate enough no to encounter a bear but we were greeted by plenty of other wildlife.

Alexander Springs Camping - Hiking Trails-logo

Almost immediately after beginning out venture into the trail the sky became overcast and a steady drizzle began. Since we were protected by the tall cabbage palms we  continued deeper into the trails. We made several stops throughout the trails for photo ops as well as enjoying the scenery.

Alexander Springs Camping - Hiking-Group

Unfortunately for us the rain only became stronger throughout the day and forced us back to camp. We knew if we didn’t prepare early, night time cooking would be a disaster. The guys stood behind preparing tying tarps to trees to act as cover from the rain. Although it was cold and rainy the kids insisted on taking a dip in the springs so they head off with the ladies.

Alexander Springs Camping - Rain Prep

Our night consisted of ponchos, tarps cold weather along with a clan of raccoons raiding our camp for food. We played hide and seek throughout the night with the raccoons popping out of different areas stealing our food. We had everything taken from our camp site ranging from marshmallows, sausages, mac and cheese along with raw eggs. These little rascals are pretty slick, most of the food they took were while we sat not too far from the campfire while hiding under a canopy.

Although we didn’t really get to enjoy the springs due to the unpredictable Florida weather, we enjoyed our stay very much. We are already making plans for visiting the springs again when the weather is warmer.

Currently the camping destination is set at Flamingo Campgrounds of the Everglades National Forest.

 

 

 

Easy To Build DIY Firewood Shed

Build-It-Yourself-DIY-Firewood-ShedAre you looking to build your own simple DIY firewood shed? You’ve come to the right place! In the past year I’ve done a lot of tree trimming in my property. I began splitting the cut wood and stacking them against my house which is generally not a good idea. I used to purchase a lot of firewood for camping or backyard smores. Since I had plenty of good wood for drying, I figured it was time to stack and dry them in a better location.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-01-logoI had been considering the idea of building a simple firewood shed for storing the split wood. One day as my kids were drawing I grabbed a piece of paper and an extra pencil they had and began drawing out a design with dimensions.With a rough estimate of the materials I may have needed I head off to my local home improvement store to begin purchasing supplies. I will admit, I underestimated a few pieces and had to make a couple of trips back. Then again, I normally do that anyhow.

Below is the list of tools and cuts that I used to create the firewood shed. All cuts were done at home using a miter saw but can easily be cut at your local home improvement store.

      Tools:

     Materials:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Power Drill
  • Drill Bit Set
  • Miter Saw, Circular Saw or handsaw
  • Safety Glasses
  • (14) 1″ x 4″ x 8ft
    • (14) 3ft pieces – 42ft
    • (13) 5ft pieces – 65ft
  • (2) 2″ x 4″ x 8ft Treated – 4 pieces at 4ft
  • (1) 2″ x 4″ x 8ft Treated – 2 pieces at 29″
  • (12) 1/2″ x 4″ x 6ft  —  cut to 68″ each
  • (1) #8 x 1-5/8″ Construction Screws 1lb box
  • (4) 12 Gauge Galvanized Steel Angle

diy-firewood-shed-plans-02-logoStep 1:
Begin building the side walls by using the 4 pieces of treated 2×4 cut at 4ft. Also grab the 2 pieces of 2×4 cut at 29″ for the horizontal attachments at the bottom. Using 2 – 4ft pieces and 1 – 29″ cut attach towards the bottom of the 4ft cuts using the galvanized steel angles.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-03-logoStep 2:
Begin screwing on 7 slats of 1×4 cut at 3 ft to each side. Space them out evenly from top to bottom until you reach the horizontal 2×4.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-04-logoStep 3:
Now that the 2 sides are complete, proceed to attach the 5 ft 1×4’s. I found it easiest to attach the outer pieces first, then continue to screw down the rest. Attach a total of 6 pieces.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-05-logoStep 4:
Begin attaching additional 5 ft pieces of 1×4 for the back. A total of 7 pieces should be screwed evenly to the back.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-06-logoStep 5:
Using a couple pieces of scrap 2×4 screw on the top of the rear 2×4 post to begin creating a pitch for the roof. Use 2 pieces of of 1/2 x 4 cut to 3ft to bolt the angled pitch.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-7-logoStep 6:
Use the 12 pieces of 1/2 x 4 cut at 68″ and begin screwing horizontally from the bottom up of the roof.

diy-firewood-shed-plans-08-logoYou’re all done!

Based on this simple design you can make your own adjustments as needed to create smaller or larger builds. In addition to changing the size you can add more slats on the side for more of an enclosed style shed. This size was perfect for my needs and I have since added a whole lot more wood.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this design. I’d love to see what variations you come up with. Feel free to share pictures and comments below.

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Fishing With The iBobber: Castable Bluetooth Fishfinder

iBobber-logo-web

Ever wonder what it would be like to see what’s directly beneath your cast? Traditional fish finders only show you scans underneath your boat. I had the opportunity to test the iBobber, a cool new fishing product that is a game changer for fishfinder units. The iBobber is a castable Bluetooth fishfinder that syncs straight to your Android or IOS device via a simple user friendly app.

iBobber - Specs

The iBobber is a simple to use device that looks just like a fishing bobber. You simply sync the iBobber to your phone via Bluetooth using the app and it’s ready to go. It can be dropped in the water near you (make sure you attach it to your leader/line) or cast in any direction to begin reading the activity in the water. It is capable of scanning depths up to 135′ deep and easy to read. The app has a simple interface equipped with a sonar, waterbed scan, weather, calendar and even a trip log!

iBobber_9_logo_web

I took it to the ocean this past weekend and was excited to test it out. To begin using I simply had to drop it in the water which powered the unit on (no switch to worry about). Once in the water I turned the app on, connected via Bluetooth and voila! It instantly began giving me readings through the sonar. The fishfinder I have mounted on the kayak was also giving similar readings so I instantly knew this was the real deal.

iBobber-sync-fishfinder

I tested the unit at a honey hole I have plotted on my GPS that has produced many fish before. As you see from the screen shot above, the readings show a decent school of fish. What was more important to me was seeing the 20′ drop in the ocean floor I was looking for.

iBobber-Waterbed-map

The next thing I tested was the waterbed mapping. Selecting “waterbed” on the app initiated the mapping sequence. It prompted me to cast, then hit “OK” so I can begin slowly retrieving. Once retrieved another “Ok” finalized the waterbed image on the app. Since I was drifting north of the marked position on the GPS I casted directly south over the spot. The waterbed image (above) once again proved accurate showing the same 20′ drop I previously saw while on the sonar.

iBobber-Cast-Reel-CheckTheApp-logo-web

Overall, the iBobber is very easy to use and best of all versatile and cost effective. I’ve only tested from a kayak but the possibilities are endless. This can be used from boats, kayaks, off the jetty or at a pier with scans beginning at 3′ depths. I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a simple to use fish finder. No need to rig up power cables or mount transducers.

Ever thought you would be viewing scans of fish through your phone? Thanks to iBobber and their innovative product, now there is an app for that too!

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: The product was provided to theoutdoorboys to facilitate the review. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

Sickest Day Ever: Advil® – Giveaway

SICKEST DAY EVER - ADVILAs winter approaches and cold/flu season begin I make sure to stock up with meds to help fight any symptom. I’m normally busy camping or hiking in the cold season and don’t have time to sit around for a cold. I keep a box of Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain in my backpack any time I’m on the go. Knowing I have the tools to stay healthy is just as important as the gear I carry.

SICKEST DAY EVER - ADVILWhether you are hiking up mountaintops or skiing down the slopes, as adventurers, there’s a part of us that never wants to stop adventuring – rain or shine, cough or cold. No matter how we feel – nasal congestion, headache, sinus pressure or the like – it’s just another challenge. Luckily, this cough and cold season, Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain provides fast, effective relief of your severe cold symptoms, so you can enjoy your “sickest day!”

Advil® is currently running the “Sickest Day Ever” Sweepstakes. Sign up for a chance to win a trip to one of three locations for a “Sickest Day Ever” adventure for two! Prize includes airfare, hotel, one day itinerary and video prize package. In addition to the Sweepstakes, The Outdoor Boys have partnered up with Advil® to host a $25 Gift Card Giveaway which includes an Advil® prize pack (details below).

SICKEST DAY EVER SWEEPSTAKES
Record a video on the sweepstakes page of yourself saying the Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain tongue twister for your chance to experience your “Sickest Day Ever”. Then, just fill out quick “Sickest Day Ever” entry form for your chance to win the Grand Prize trip and other fun prizes, and you’re on your way!

Tongue Twister:
“Six of my sickest sinus symptoms solved with the speed and strength of Advil® in Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain.”

SickestDayEver-SweepstakesENTER TO WIN
Sign up to win a $25 Gift Card along with an Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain product sample prize pack. Giveaway ends on 11/27/2015.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: The Advil® Sinus Congestion & Pain product, information and gift was provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare to TheOutdoorBoys to facilitate this post. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

Use Vertical Storage To Your Advantage

Crawford Peg board accesoriesNeed help getting organized? Ever consider vertical storage using a peg board? With the right accessories it’s the easiest and fastest way to alleviate clutter in plain sight. Hanging tools and accessories on a peg board has several advantages. Neatly organized tools look great hanging on a wall. Most importantly, its easy to find what you need without having to scavenge through a cluttered tool chest.

Little by little I’ve been working into turning my old boring garage into more of a functional workshop. I started by building an 11 foot wall to give me extra wall space for storage and cabinetry. I then built a custom work bench so I can lean it against the wall in preparation for peg boards, cabinets and shelving.

WallFor my wall I choose to go with a diamond plate aluminum pegboard mainly for looks. I also have plans for matching cabinets. For the purpose of vertical storage any peg board will do. Depending on how much weight you plan to hang you might want to consider the aluminum.

As for peg board hooks and mounts, I used a variety of accessories from Crawford. They make every type of mount imaginable for peg boards along with removable wall mounted tool caddies and a variety of smart storage systems to fit your storage needs. Crawford conveniently has assortment packs that are excellent starter kits for a new peg board. They also have special mounts for paper towels, pencil & tape measure holders with integrated sharpeners. You can find anything from basic hooks to specialty mounts.

ToolsOrganizing my tools has worked great for me. I’m always in the garage working on small projects and even rigging up custom fishing rigs. Being able to find what I need fast helps me stay efficient. To be quite honest I love the organized look more than anything. My wife has already caught me a few times just staring at my hanging tools. Kinda weird huh? What can I say, I’m loving the way Crawford has helped me organize my tools.

Are you ready to get vertically organized? Drop by Crawford’s page HERE to get an idea of the type of system you can put together.

Crawford Peg Board AccesoriesUpcoming Project:
Re-purpose old (ugly) cabinets in the garage. I will be removing these cabinets, painting and hanging them up on the new wall. The old tool boxes will also be replaced with a newer, more functional cabinet for multi-purpose storage. (Stay Tuned)

Old CabinetsTips for organizing your garage:

  • Clear the Clutter
    Sort through and throw out those rusty tools, broken toys, worn-out sports gear and other items that you haven’t used in a year or more that are taking up valuable space. Make a commitment to discard as much as possible – recycling, donating or selling items, if appropriate. Then, group remaining items into categories, such as holiday decorations, gardening tools and sports equipment, to begin the organizing process.
  • Create a Parking Space
    A great way to approach garage organization is to divide the area into sections or zones. Categorizing items and storing them in dedicated areas not only makes it easier to locate things when you need them but also helps designate a parking spot for the car. Allow enough space for vehicle doors to fully open and for the driver and passengers to walk around vehicles without rubbing up against them. Use a multipurpose push broom to sweep this area and help avoid tracking dirt and debris into your car or home.
  • Keep Necessities at the Ready
    From old rags and scissors to disinfecting wipes and gardening gloves, there’s no shortage of supplies that people need to tackle daily chores. For frequently used items, specify a section farther away from the parking spot to help prevent dropping anything on a parked car. To help keep these items organized and easily accessible, the Crawford Safe-Mount Mobile Caddy features a durable plastic bin with mesh pockets and comes equipped with a durable mounting wall bracket for easy storage off the ground. With its ergonomic handle capable of holding up to 25 pounds, the Caddy makes it easy to carry items around the house, to the garden or wherever the day leads.
  • Safeguard Hazardous Items
    Place toxic materials such as paint, paint thinner, weed and bug killers, fertilizer and gasoline in high cabinets or lockable tool chests to keep out of the reach of children. Use well-supported shelves to store cleaning solutions and vehicle fluids. Be sure to secure tools and wrap up extension cords via tool hangers.
  • Go Vertical
    When zoning your garage space, don’t forget the walls and ceiling. By installing hanging shelves, pegboards, storing rails and overhead storage systems to secure items, you will open up floor space and enjoy a more organized system in which you’ll always be able to see what you have. Customizable mesh storage products that hang on the wall – such as Crawford Flexible Storage Solutions – are ideally suited to accommodating awkward items, from pet toys and hockey sticks to helmets and tennis balls. Be sure to keep a sturdy step stool or ladder handy so you can safely reach overhead equipment.
  • Securely Store Heavy Items
    With 70 percent of Americans using the garage to store equipment such as saws and power tools, it’s important to ensure that these large and potentially dangerous items are properly anchored. Capable of holding up to 70 pounds, the Crawford Locking Latch helps secure heavy equipment such as strollers, chain saws and leaf blowers. With its heavy duty metal construction and consumer-controlled release button, the Locking Latch ensures safer storage. Always remember to follow all manufacturer instructions regarding weight limits when using wall hooks, rails and shelving.

 

 

 

Disclosure: The products were provided to theoutdoorboys to facilitate this post. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.

Field Testing The Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7 – FREE GIVEAWAY

Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7I recently had the opportunity to field test the Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7. At first glance after unpacking the contents I was immediately impressed. The Adventure Cam 7 is very light weight and comes with a slim waterproof housing. The box also comes with a full assortment or accessories including handlebar mount, tripod mount, clip mount, adapters, straps, an extra door and more. Before turning the unit on you can already see the Adventure Cam 7 is packed with value.

Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7 - logoVisually the camera is very sleek and appealing. With the battery installed the unit is still very light weight. In addition to this being a wide angle camera there are zoom buttons that allow up to 4X digital zoom magnification. Comes with a standard MicroSD slot allowing up to 32GB cards. The back side of the camera has a 1.5″ LCD screen that allows you see the subject your recording/photographing. Once again, a feature that adds instant value to the unit. Higher priced units require an additional purchase of a bulky LCD that can draw more battery life out of the unit. Thumbs up to the Adventure Cam for having an integrated LCD.

Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7 - LCD View - logoA few product specs:
• HDR (High Dynamic Range)
• Motion Detector
• Still Picture burst rate up to 3 Pictures per Second
• Still Pictures at 3, 5, 8 or 12 Megapixels.
• Face Detection and Smile Detection.
• Image Stabilizer • HDMI HD output.
• Car Mode (camera can be used as a dash cam).
• Time-Lapse Recording Option
• Self Timer, TV Mode and Screen display Off/On
• Upside down Mode

The first thing I tested was looking through the LCD screen. In person the screen accurately displays the scene you are looking at with almost identical color and lighting. The photo of the LCD screen above is using flash, hence the brighter photo. However the LCD is in fact very clear an accurate.

Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7 - Clip Mount - logoThe first mount I attached was the clip mount because I wanted to test the unit for sound. This can also be considered a skeleton case. As you would imagine this is not weather proof and the camera will not be protected from the elements. For indoor sound testing this was perfect! The video below contains a clip of music in the end to demonstrate the clarity of the sound. Playing back the clip on the computer straight from the camera I can tell the sound is very crisp and there is no muffling. The recorded sound from this unit is great. I didn’t do too much testing with the case on as you would expect there to be muffling of sound. In the kayaking video you can here the movement and subtle sounds that were recorded.

The video below is broken down by the different environments in which I test the video recorder. This will give you a good idea of how it performs in different lighting and motion settings. While testing video mode I also played with the “HDR” feature of the camera (not in video). Turning on HDR captured better over all colors and helped with shadows in lower light settings, so far its my favorite mode.

Images captured on the Adventure Cam 7 turn are of very decent quality. I took images in low light, average light and bright settings. In low light it performed the way you would expect a camera without flash would. In brightly lit scenes the camera performed well but with higher contrast. I found that in environments with balanced lighting it performed best. The collage image below is about an hour before sundown at about the golden hour. Colors are bright and nothing is lost in the shadows. Even taking a photo inside of my vehicle produced great lighting. With less light the images can get grainy but that is to be expected as the camera will compensate with a higher ISO.

UltraProX-Adventure-Cam-7-photo-webSince I am a big fan of extracting images from videos I did test that as well. I normally do screen shots from a maximized video which does tend to decrease the quality of the image but even in doing so the images are very acceptable and sharp. While out kayaking over the weekend I sent the Adventure Cam 7 for a dive to see if I would capture anything swimming around. I actually didn’t see anything while it was facing straight down. Upon facing it upwards and removing it from the water I captured a fish hiding underneath my kayak. Turned out to be one of my favorite images captured so far.
Underwater-Hobie-Fish-web
Kayak-fishing-selfie-logoOverall when considering the price point of the Ultra ProX Adventure Cam 7 and the quality of the images and video I think you have a winner! Having tested cameras in the higher price ranges then some that fall within the $100 to $150 mark I can honestly say that this modestly priced Adventure Cam will produce videos and images that will make you happy.

If you’re seeking even better performance Ultra ProX also has a 4K model for your needs. Perhaps that will be the next review!

With that being said….. who’s ready for a FREE Giveaway? Sign up to win your very own Adventure Cam 7 following the RaffleCopter entries below. Email me if you have any questions: Roy@theoutdoorboys.com

Ultra-ProX-Adventure-Cam7-Free-Giveaway-weba Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on the Ultra ProX product lineup be sure to visit them on the web. You can also find them on Instagram @UltraProX

 

 

 

Disclosure: The product was provided to theoutdoorboys to facilitate the review. All opinions and comments stated are my own. All photos posted are taken by and property of The Outdoor Boys.