Posts Tagged ‘gear’
I hate getting cold when I’m camping. Hate it, hate it, hate it! That’s why I always use a fleece liner inside (and sometimes on top of) my sleeping bag. Of course, picking the right sleeping bag helps too!
So when I ran across this fleece blanket I knew I had to add it to my camping collection. This is a basic, no sew fleece blanket that’s warm and simple to make.
The best part about fleece? It won’t unravel! Ever. And some fleece is made from recycled plastic. How cool is that!
1. You start with two pieces of fleece. Each should be two or two and half yards (72 inches) and 60 inches wide. Now, do yourself a favor and get thick, heavy fleece! Yes, you can buy it at a discount store but it isn’t as nice. And if you go to one of the better fabric stores you can get it in all different colors and patterns.
Or you can buy a no sew blanket kit. (Amazon affiliate link)
2. Make your bed. No seriously, a queen size bed is the PERFECT place to lay out this blanket since it is a large and elevated surface. I think it would slip around too much on a table.
3. Place the fleece layers wrong sides together. That’s the side that is less fuzzy OR the side where the pattern isn’t as pretty. The fleece will “stick” to itself so make sure that it’s nice and flat.
4. Line up the edges as best you can. I can guarantee one piece will be wider than the other AND one piece will be longer. Trim the excess so both pieces are about the same size. Don’t worry about cutting straight or if the pieces aren’t exactly square. You’ll never see it on the finished project!
5. Make a line of pins around each side 7 inches in from the edge. Don’t worry if you drift a bit! I use a regular school ruler to help me measure in 7 inches.
6. Cut 7″ squares out of each corner. The blanket will now look like this:
7. Cut 7 inches into fleece at one-inch intervals around all four sides. Be sure to cut through BOTH layers. And you want to make your strips about and inch. Again, don’t worry if they’re not perfectly straight or perfectly seven inches long. However, if you go much wider than and 1.5 inches it WILL make it hard to tie!
8. Using a double knot, tie the fringe pieces together. Make sure you get one from the top and one from the bottom AND that you don’t jump ahead on one layer. You want the knots to be firm but not too tight or it will pull the fabric.
You can use a shorter length of material for a child’s blanket. Launder according to fleece directions. I just throw mine in the washing machine on cold, regular cycle and then into the drier. I DO try to empty the lint trap halfway through the drying cycle.
If you’ve read any magazines lately, you’ve probably seen article after article about sun protection. As an Arizona native, I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit nutsy about my sun protection.
And with summer just around the corner, I’ve been after ESP Boss to get new sunglasses (he did) and fussing at CodeWolf to either get contacts and sunglasses or a pair of prescription glasses. (Still working on that one!)
I always wear my hat, I use sunscreen like it’s going out of style, and my sunglasses are my best friends. (Yes, I’m working on a sunscreen article of my own!)
But I know a lot of people who don’t wear sunglasses or who aren’t consistent in wearing them. And I’m here to tell you that you need to be!
What are some things to think about when choosing sunglasses for the family?
1. Will they wear them?
Protection does no good if it isn’t used. When you buy sunglasses, make sure the person who’s going to wear them is there to try them on. You’re going for fit first, not looks. So, make sure they don’t slip off the face, pinch the nose, or put pressure behind the ears.
2. Do they offer UV protection?
What’s the point of sun protection if it doesn’t protect? Read labels! If you can get some with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection that’s the best bet for your money. But at the very least make sure that your sunglasses offer some UV protection.
3. How big are they?
Itty bitty sunglasses might look cute, but they don’t really protect the eyes. As anybody who’s fished can tell you, there’s a lot of reflected glare coming UP at you, so make sure they protect the eyes all the way around.
4. How dark are they?
You want sunglasses that are dark enough so you won’t be squinting, no matter how bright the reflections or glares are. Squinting creates wrinkles too, and who wants those?
If you can, walk outside on a sunny day before buying your sunglasses. If nothing else, look at a store’s florescent lighting to get some idea of how the glasses will work outside.
5. Don’t skimp on cost
I love my polarized sunglasses since they dramatically reduce glare and reflections. Of course, they’re prescription so they were expensive to begin with, but the added cost of polarization is well worth it. But, if your family won’t WEAR the sunglasses (see Tip #1) then cheap or expensive doesn’t make much difference.
I will tell you this, though, if you wear prescription glasses and spend a lot of time outdoors: spring for the extra pair of prescription sunglasses OR the glasses the darken in the sun.
If you wear contact lenses then YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to have a good pair of sunglasses!
You know I LOVE recommending people take a look at Amazon.com for shopping ideas so here’s a link to the Amazon.com page about sunglasses. (Affiliate link)
Readers Weigh In:
- How often do you wear sunglasses?
- Crows feet make you look younger: yes or no?
- What is your favorite pair of sunglasses? (Style, brand, etc)
Bandanas aren’t just for pirates or Harley riders! They are the perfect camping accessory, especially if you are camping with kids.
Here’s 19 reasons why I love them:
- They’re light and don’t take up much room
- You can wash them each night and they’ll be dry by morning
- Use them to wash grubby faces and hands
- Cover messy hair (especially when you decide to go out to eat!)
- Mop up spills
- Bandanas are perfect for using as a hanky.
- They can be a bandage
- Tie it in a triangle and use as a sling for an arm
- Tie a red or orange bandana to your car’s antenna to signal for help in an emergency
- Get it wet and tie it around your head or neck to cool off
- As a puppy fashion statement
- Tie over your nose and mouth to keep out dust
- Use it as a belt (maybe if your waist is tiny or for your kid!)
- Cut it up and patch tears in your jeans
- Tie it to your daypack so you can find your pack when you put it down under a tree
- Make a bundle and tie it to the end of a stick (pretend you’re running away from home!)
- Make like a cowboy and tie it around your neck
- Get one with Insect Shield and keep away the bugs (Don’t believe me? See my product review!)
- Three words: Cops & Robbers
So go ahead: Play Pirate!
Readers Weigh In:
- What are your favorite uses for bandanas?