Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bird Watching Made Easy"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Bird Watching Tip:

Binoculars for bird watching need to be light, so you can carry
them for long periods. Also sturdy enough for many years of use.
Should be easy to hold and very steady. Need to be properly sealed
from dust and moisture.

They should be able to discern the most
delicate subtle colours and detail. Of course they need to be able to
focus on the entire picture if you where eyeglasses. Of course only
you will be able to determine how this works for you.

Bird Watching is a Recreation Anyone
Can Enjoy at Anytime of the Year

By Robert Benjamin

Do you ever have a day when you have nothing to do ?,
You know them times when your on the internet in some
chat room, and you type ' I'm bored ! ', or your
flipping through the TV channels, and you say to
yourself or out loud ' 250 channels, and nothing
good to watch ! ', yes, you know what I am talking
about. Now you have something you can do on them so
called boring days, go bird watching.

No matter where you live you probably have birds
of some kind, even folks in New York have central
park and other places where they can go bird watching.
There are three things you should have when bird
watching, these are a pair of binoculars, a notebook,
and a bird guide.

Binoculars can be purchased for under $60 at most
Kmart or Walmart stores. Binoculars with a magnification
of 10 x 50 are perfect for bird watching. Don't think
that a more powerful pair of binoculars like 20 x 60 or
30 x 80 are better, this is not the case. Stronger
binoculars are fine if you are into star gazing, but
they are horrible for bird watching. The higher powered
binoculars need a tripod to use them without shaking,
and even without a tripod, the powerful binoculars are
larger and can be very heavy to carry around, the 10 x
50 ones are perfect for every occasion.

A small tablet or notebook can be purchased at most
stores, don't get nothing expensive just a small spiral
one will do fine. Now the last thing is the most
important item when it comes to bird watching.
If you are truly going to watch birds, you should
know what type of birds you are looking at when you
spot a new one, so visit your local book store or look
in the birding section of an online bookstore, such as
amazon, at the end of this article I have a website
address that has some of Amazons best bird guides,
videos, binoculars and more.

Ok, so you have your binoculars, notebook and pencil,
and your bird guide, now let's go outside and go bird
watching. I am sure you won't have to walk very far
to spot a bird or two. I am lucky enough to currently
live here in the country, all I have to do is open my
door and I will hear the sounds of birds.

If I step outside my front door, I can often see
sparrows or finches, in the spring time the yard
always has a couple robins hopping around, and
crows flying around the nearby woods, high overhead
I often see turkey buzzards soaring against the
blue sky. One time I opened my front door and across
the road in the top of a large tree a horned owl
was sitting, it stayed there for about 10 minutes,
turning it's head often as it looked around.

If you have any grassy, wooded or open areas with
trees or bushes, you can usually find birds. One
of the best things about bird watching is anyone
can do it, even if your in a wheelchair, you can
sit and watch birds. It's a great recreation for
anyone that is alone, or for the whole family to
do together.

When you go out, remember to take your bird
watching items with you, your binoculars, notebook
and pencil, and bird guide. When you spot a bird
look in your binoculars too see all it's beauty in
close detail, if you do not recognize the species
of bird your seeing, get out your bird guide and
look it up. When you realize the type of bird you
see, write down in your notebook the following
information; ' the name of the bird, the area where
it was spotted, the date, and time '. The
information in your notebook, helps you understand
what types of birds frequent your area, it also is
pretty neet being able to read back and see when
you spotted a new or rare bird.

If you have a yard, tree or even a window you can
attract birds by installing a simple feeder. Bird
feeders are very inexpensive and they have feeders
that can hang on a tree branch, or fence, or even
stick to the outside of a window.

Attracting different species of birds often requires
different types of bird seed and other food.
Hummingbirds are attracted to red, pink and orange
flowers, they especially like trumpet vines or other
tubular-flowered plants, they are also very attracted
to hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water or
red sweetened kool-aid. Robins like mowed lawns, so
in the spring and summer if you want to see robins,
mow your grass, the birds come looking for bugs and
earthworms that are more easily accessible because
you cut the grass length. Goldfinches love thistle
seed, thistle is more expensive then most common
bird seed, but you cannot beat it if you want to
attract goldfinches.

Blue Jays are large and sometimes noisy, but if you
want to bring them, put out a feeder full of black
oil sunflower seeds. Cardinals are very neat looking,
there is nothing nicer than looking out the window
in the winter, and seeing a bright red cardinal
sitting on a nearby tree branch or feeder. Cardinals
are like Blue Jays, in that they both love a diet
of black oil sunflower seeds. If you want to attract
sparrows, a bag of plain mixed bird seed will do
just fine.

There is Computer Software that is made just for
'Bird Watching'. The software is called: 'Bird
Watcher Professional', you can read the details
and download a trial version of it for free at
this website address:

Here is a website address that has some of the
best Bird Guides (Books), Videos, Binoculars and
other birding equipment that Amazon sells:

By Robert W. Benjamin

Copyright © 2006

You may publish this article in your ezine,
newsletter or on your web site as long as
it is reprinted in its entirety and without
modification except for formatting needs or
grammar corrections.

Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software
business on the internet for over 5 years,
and has been producing low-cost software for
the past 25+ years. He first released
software on the AMIGA and C64 computer
systems in the late 1970's-80's.

RB59 Software
Article Source:

For The Love Of The Outdoors

Robin and Val

Please leave a comment to let us know what
you think of this post, or what else you would
like us to write about.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

GOOSE DOWN or SYNTHETIC?"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Camping Tip:

Need a pillow but don't need more bulky gear to carry. Try using a large ziplock bag filled with air.

How To Have a Comfortable Sleep When Camping!

by Trevor Kassulke

The last thing you want to happen when you're 20 miles into the woods is to find your sleeping bag is not warm enough. You will be facing a very long and restless night which can ruin your spirits and sap your strength for the next day.

So how do you make sure you've selected the right sleeping bag for your needs? There are several aspects to consider:


There are pros and cons to most of the options available in sleeping bags.

Goose down is very warm. It is lightweight to carry and can be easily compressed for travel and quickly regain form when shaken out. It is by far a better choice for backpackers who intend to carry the bag with them for extended trips because of the lighter weight and smaller packing. However, goose down is also more expensive and loses its insulating properties when wet - a consideration if sleeping outdoors or travelling in inclement weather.

Synthetic filled bags are cheaper than goose down and retain their warmth even in wet conditions. They dry faster than down and are good choices if travelling by boat or sleeping outdoors on the ground. However, synthetic bags are heavier and larger which can be a downside if you are hiking long distances with the bag.

For the average family camper synthetic bags are the least expensive and least affected by wet conditions. If travelling by car to a campground the size and weight of a synthetic bag should not be a problem.


As with the insulating materials, the shape of bag you choose will depend on your specific needs with pros and cons for each type.

Rectangle bags are most similar to bed sleeping and most familiar to the average user. They permit room for movement and you can easily zip two bags together for shared sleeping. However, rectangle bags are the biggest and not the best option for carrying on extended hikes.

Tapered bags are somewhat narrower towards the feet area of the sleeping bag. This shape provides less freedom of movement but more warmth because of the restricted space.

Mummy bags are the smallest and lightest to carry. They are very snug to the body (as the name suggests) with a hood that can be fitted around the head to conserve the greatest amount of body heat. While the average user may find the mummy bag uncomfortable to sleep in because of the restriction, they are the best choice for cold weather camping and long hikes because of their warmth and small size.


Sleeping bags will list the coldest temperature they are suitable for sleeping in. Depending on if you are camping in the summer or colder months you will need to choose a bag accordingly. Also take into consideration if you are normally cold or hot when sleeping and make the adjustments.

In most cases it is recommended to choose a warmer bag since you can always open it for venting if it is too warm. The temperature rating is based on using a sleeping pad under the sleeping bag which conserves body heat from the ground.


If you frequently camp out you may want to consider a liner for your bag which will increase its warmth and can be washed separately, saving your sleeping bag from extra wear and tear.

You can also purchase sleeping bag covers. Some of these can substitute for a warm weather sleeping bag and can extend an all season bag into a cold weather bag by increasing the warmth. They can also provide extra protection from wet conditions and are a good choice for protecting goose down sleeping bags.

How comfortable you are when you sleep will drastically affect your enjoyment of a camping or hiking trip. Saving five or ten dollars at the expense of a good nights sleep will not seem like a good idea when you are tired and cold out in the woods, so choose wisely.

About the Author


Dessert Recipe:

Foiled Banana's Again

bananas (as you need)

marshmallows (mini work best)

chocolate bars (1/2 for each banana)

Cooking instructions:

Peel back a piece of banana peel and scoop out about 1/3 of the banana. Put broken pieces of chocolate bar and some of the marshmallows inside and then cover with the banana peel and wrap in aluminum foil and place in fire while your main course is cooling down. Take out in about 30 min.

For The Love Of The Outdoors

Robin and Val

Please leave a comment to let us know what
you think of this post, or what else you would
like us to write about.