Adventure More Safely by Bringing a Little Extra Light Along

Picture this: You load up your ride for a trip into the middle of nowhere. You’ve got your food, your sleeping gear, the basics. It’s gotten dark and you find yourself ready to call it a night, so you pull over to the side of the road to catch some sleep, but it’s pitch black. The light from your headlight just isn’t doing it for you. What you need is something a little more specialized.

An LED Light

Consider the LED light bar. This piece of equipment has any number of use cases, one of which can be attaching to your motorcycle or ATV to light up the world before you. In fact, if you have an ATV, getting a light bar for your ATV could be one of your greatest purchases. With their powerful beams, they can cut through pretty much any negative visibility issues you may be experiencing.

Whether fog, dust or rain, having the right sort of lighting can keep you safe in dangerous situations. That aside, simply having that extra light power can turn any sort of unknown area into a safer place after dark. If you’ve pulled over to the side of the road for the night, or tucked into some place deep in the woods after riding through them on your ATV, creating a well-lit space can go a long way toward making sure you have a more fun experience.

Light the Way

Darkness is dangerous. Not because of the things which may hide in it, such as werewolves and vampires, but because of the things you may not be able to see. Walking or riding through unknown territory means you don’t know the layout of the terrain. You could easily find yourself stumbling over a rock or root, or driving straight into a tree because of dense fog. A powerful light bar can nearly eliminate these potential problems entirely.

One may say the act of taking risks and avoiding safety is part of the thrill of riding a motorcycle or ATV. I think those folks need to think again. Jumping out of a plane can be a huge thrill, but doing so without knowing your parachute works isn’t smart. Riding around with low visibility can be just as dangerous.

More Than Just Safety

Safety aside, a light bar can be of great use to you as a general light source. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building a fire, using a light bar gives you the opportunity to focus the light wherever you want it. It can serve as a spotlight to illuminate areas a fire may not reach, or it can be removed from your vehicle and elevated in order to light a much larger area.

Conclusion

Making the decision to purchase a light bar shouldn’t be all that difficult. It’s easy to see how helpful they can be when you’re out on the road and far away from the lights of society. I admit, it may be a little less rustic than more traditional methods, but this modern technology is sure to make your adventures a little brighter.

Riding A Motorcycle With Back Pain

I can completely relate to this topic. I suffer from back pain and I ride motorcycles a lot, but putting the two together can make for one uncomfortable ride. Unless you have a full dressed motorcycle with arm rests and a huge back seat, you kind of have to balance yourself on the back of the bike. If you’re the driver, you have to balance the entire bike, which can put a lot of strain on your back, causing more pain if you’re a sufferer to begin with. Let me fill you in on how you can manage your pain while still enjoying the open road on your motorcycle.

Types Of Bikes & Best Position

There are essentially three types of bikes and with each bike there is a certain position that you ride in. Some bikes are easier to ride while others require the ability to fight against the wind as you go faster.

Standard

The standard bike is your typical dual sport or touring bike. Your body should be in a straight up position with your feet below you and your hands in a straightened position This is the best position you can be in for riding bikes long distances because you aren’t putting any extra strain on your torso from trying to fight the wind.

Cruiser

Cruisers are considered to be the next best bike for traveling on. You body and hands are straight and your feet are slightly in front of you. Your legs position your body less than a standard type of bike, but your body stays reasonably straight. I own one of these with a sissy bar and I can fold my mattress topper up and take it with me while traveling. I use it to relieve my back pain while staying at hotels during my travels that may have crummy beds.  You can find some pretty nice ones on the Sleep Buffs website.

Sports

Sports bikes or “crotch rockets” require you to lean forward. This will require you to lean forward and at faster rates of speed, the wind will push against your torso. Your hands will be lower than your body and your feet are behind you. This puts a lot of stress on your body and isn’t really the best for traveling long distances. This is why you may see a lot of people on these bikes have to stand up to stretch out at stop signs or red lights.

Riding Long Distances

If you plan to ride long distances on your motorcycle, make sure you map it out properly. You don’t want to find yourself running out of gas in the middle of nowhere with no water or food. You also don’t want to travel a long amount of time without stopping to give your back a rest. It’s best to stop every little while to stretch out. Your body is meant to move around, not remain stationary for too long. Riding long distances on a bike isn’t easy, especially if you aren’t used to doing it. Just make sure that you plan it out accordingly, pack all of your essentials, and keep an eye on the weather. Riding is supposed to be a fun experience, not a dreadfully painful one.

Why Having A Motorcycle Helmet Is Important

In some states, such as Florida, it’s legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. I ride on these and I can’t imagine not having a helmet on my head at all times. For some bizarre reason, there are those individuals who feel it’s necessary to ride without one, but I want to point out why you should wear one. It’s not because I do, but it’s because of the sheer fact of safety. Riding should be fun, not life threatening.

How Helmet Types Protect

Helmets are made of quite a few different components. If you have a full face helmet, which is probably one of the best motorcycle helmets for the money, they have plenty of padding and a protective shell. The shell disperses energy and the liner absorbs the impact of the fall. You also have the face shield that protects your eyes and face from debris and gives you good vision while out on the road.

Half Shell

Half Shell Helmet

Half shell helmets protect the head, but they aren’t as protective as the full face ones. They are simply a half helmet that sits on the top of your head and are secured by a chin strap. Unfortunately, these don’t protect your face as a full face helmet would. They’re pretty much the bare minimum that you could possibly have.

Open Face

Open Face Helmet

Open face helmets, or ¾ helmets, are just like full faced except they don’t have a face shield. They do offer more comfort and support than a half shell would, but still no face visor. They’re also very affordable and have a ton of options. These will protect the side and top of your head from impact.

Motorcycle Safety Statistics

In 2013, an alarming 4,668 riders were killed in in traffic incidents. This went down from the previous year, but that’s still a lot of people who lost their lives doing something that they enjoy. It’s estimated by NHTSA that helmets saved the lives of 1,630 riders in this same year. If all of the riders were wearing helmets, an additional 715 lives may have been saved. It was shown that 59% of these individuals were in states without universal helmet laws as opposed to 8% who were in states with universal helmet laws.

Helmets may not seem like such a big deal to individuals, but they really are an essential life saving piece of equipment that you should be wearing at all times, whether or not they are mandatory. It may take a little while to choose which one you want, but it will all be worth it when you’re protected that one and only time you may ever drop your bike, not to say it will ever happen, but just in case.

Conclusion

Not everybody is going to have the same outlook on motorcycle helmets as I do, but I will always wear one and I think that it’s important that one is always worn. They come in all different colors, sizes, shapes, designs, and you can even have them custom made for you. Don’t let an accident completely ruin your life because you chose not to protect your head. Do the right thing and invest in a great helmet.

Packing A Machete For A Motorcycle Camping Trip

I’ve been on my fair share of camping trips on a motorcycle. It’s not an easy task to do, but it’s been accomplished. Trying to fit a tent, clothing, and all other necessities on the back of a hog is all about playing a game of tetris with your sissy bar and saddle bags. You have to know how to pack your belongings and what’s necessary to bring and not bring.

Luggage

Luggage

In your luggage, you should always have a tent, sleeping bag, and some kind of mattress. If you can keep your air mattress in the box, that’s a great base or topper for all of your gear. It’ll make for a sturdy surface for tying down or balancing. There are a variety of options for what you can put your gear in:

  • Aluminum case
  • Saddle bags
  • Panniers
  • Tankbag
  • Ortlieb drybags

Inside of the luggage, you should try to fit some cooking gear, clothes, your sleeping necessities, water, and other quick grab items for when you stop for food or a drink. You should also make sure that you carry a self defense weapon of some kind if you’re camping in the wilderness, such as a machete.

If you don’t think you’ll need it for self defense, they’re also useful for chopping down small vegetation such as branches for fires. If you haven’t already, read up on a review of highly rated machetes or two to find one that’s best for you and your trip.

Tents

TentIf you’re going to rough it rather than take one of those pull behind campers for motorcycles, you should choose your tent wisely. Do you want a tunnel or dome tent? The tunnel offers more space, but the dome is more stable and ventilation possibilities are better.

Ventilation is something else that you should consider as well. If you don’t have enough ventilation, everything in your tent is going to become damp, which can lead to mold after you roll up your tent and sleeping bag. Proper ventilation calls for openings in the front, back, and top.

Sleeping Bags & Mattresses

Sleeping Bag

This is another one of the most important things that you are going to need on your trip. If you go for a sleeping bag that is made from down, they are ideal for packing on your motorcycle because they are light and pack in small volume. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in damp weather; this is where synthetic bags are best. Another advantage of synthetic is that they are cheaper and can be compressed for a long period of time without losing shape.

Mattresses, on the other hand, are much harder to pack once they are taken out of the box. Your best bet is to leave them in it, pack the pump in a saddlebag, and remove it once it’s time to set camp up. Due to the fluctuating weather temperatures, your mattress might lose air throughout the night, so make sure you have that pump handy.

Conclusion

Camping while out on the open road is a fun experience, i’ve done it a number of times and each time, it gets easier because I already know how to do it. Along with all of the obvious gear, make sure you pack your safety essentials such as bug spray to prevent against mosquito bites, sunscreen, thermal underwear for those cold nights, and a first aid kit. Be safe on the road, folks.

Making Riding With A Concealed Gun Safe Easy

The warm seasons are prime for motorcycle riding and club get togethers. There’s nothing better than getting out on the open road, either with a partner or by yourself, and just letting the road take you to wherever you want to go. The only thing that could make your riding experience a little uncomfortable is carrying around a concealed weapon without the proper holster. You don’t want it shoved against your hip or digging into your leg the entire time you’re riding, do you? My bet is not. So, here’s how you can make your ride more comfortable if you carry a concealed weapon.

Methods Of Carrying

You may see on some television shows that riders either keep their guns in the back of their pants or in a holster under their vest that wraps around their shoulder. These seem great, but not practical in my opinion. I mean, who wants to carry a gun in the back of their pants? That just seems rather uncomfortable. There are actually quite a few ways you can carry your legal concealed weapon while you’re riding. When you aren’t riding, keep them in a gun safe that you can find at http://www.gungods.net/best-gun-safe-reviews/.

Pocket Holster

Ruger LCP Pocket Holster

Most riders are as caution as possible when they are out riding. They may choose to wear safety gear such as a jacket with road rash padding and a durable helmet. Many jackets that you see have a gun pocket for a compact pistol or a revolver. Rather than just sticking the gun in your pocket, a holster for inside of the pocket would be ideal. It should protect the trigger housing group of the gun, which is really important for riders who carry with it loaded.

Inside The Waistband

Barsony Gun Concealment Inside The Waistband HolsterThese are ideal for carrying your concealed weapon, but aren’t always great for rides across certain border lines. Certain areas have laws against brandishing, which is essentially showing that you have a gun. The best way to do this is to ask a friend to see if they notice your weapon while you’re in the saddle. If they can’t, you’re good to go. These waistband holsters should have good retention on the weapon, meaning it should help keep it in place if you hit any bumps in the road.

Shoulder Holster

Santu Deluxe Outdoor Tactical Hiking Hidden Underarm Shoulder Holster Single Shoulder Bag with Additional Pouch for Hunting,Hiking and More Outdoor Activities (not tactical belt)

As much as I hate these, they seem to be quite popular, so I won’t leave them out. They come in two styles; horizontal and vertical. The horizontal ones work well but they allow the gun to face backwards and they may scare someone behind you once you take your jacket off. Also, if you’re a smaller person, it won’t do a good job of concealing a larger weapon.

The other huge drawback is that it’s pointed at your left brachial artery when you remove it from the holster. You should be properly trained not to do that.

Vertical holsters are a better option because you can carry a larger handgun under a jacket without it being noticed, legally of course.

Gun Storage

If you want to store your gun on your bike rather than on your person, there are quite a few methods you can use for this.

Tank Bag

Magnetic Tank Bag with Reflective PipingThe tank bag is a convenient place to store your gun inside of a holster while you’re riding. The main thing that you need to be aware of is that when you dismount, make sure nobody is looking. It’s also best to park away from people. You can then grab your gun from the bag and attach it to your body. Once you’re done doing what you need to do, place it back in the bag and roll out.

Fanny Pack

MOTORCYCLE RIDING THIGH TEXTILE FANNY PACK WITH LOT OF POCKETS WITH GUN POCKET

The fanny pack is a great option for those who want to carry a larger gun around with them with more ammunition. If you don’t want people to know you’re wearing the ever so fancy fanny pack, wear a vest or jacket to help camouflage it. A great advantage of these are that they can be easily taken off and put on and the entire thing can be placed in the tank bag if you have one.

Conclusion

Carrying a gun while you’re riding isn’t always easy, especially if you’re riding over border lines. It’s highly advised that you follow all of the laws and regulations of each area that you’re going through to ensure there are so bumps in the road along the way. When choosing the holster or storage you want, make sure it’s right for your riding style, body type, and your bike.

Taking Care of Your Outdoor Toys And Keeping Your Guns Locked Up

Anyone who appreciates the feeling of the wind in their hair on the open road likely has an overall appreciation for the great outdoors. Here, you can put your cares to the side and truly enjoy nature. Best of all, there are so many things you can do to occupy your time such as:

  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • BBQ’ing
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Rafting

Whatever your outdoor hobby of choice may be, you likely have special equipment, and these items can often be pricey. In order to ensure yours is protected, there are a few helpful tips you should consider employing.

Motorcycle Helmet Care and Maintenance

Your motorcycle has a crucial job to perform. Without it, your risk of becoming a fatal statistic is increased by about 37 percent. Therefore, it’s important that you always have it available, even if you’re just riding a couple of blocks away.

It can be all too easy to simply put your helmet on the shelf after a ride and forget about it until you ride again. However, consider the fact that the inside of your helmet absorbs lots of sweat and body oils while the outside is constantly being blasted with bugs and other road debris. That’s why it’s important that you take the time to clean your helmet regularly relative to the frequency you use it. Just a few cleaning tips to employ include:

  • Ensure vents are clean using cotton swabs or Q-tips.
  • Invest in microfiber towels to prevent scratching.
  • Use automotive polish to gloss and protect the helmet.
  • If you have a removeable liner, wash regularly on your machine’s delicate setting and air dry. If you don’t have a removable liner, air dry it using a fan.

Ensuring the Integrity of Firearms

Liberty Gun SafeIf you’re like the approximately three million Canadians who purchased a hunting license last year, then you know just what a thrill it is to get out and track your prey. As human beings, we have a need to eat. Before supermarkets and restaurants were just a quick trip away, we had to get out and hunt our food, and the desire to do so is still within many of us. Today, however, we have guns and other tools to make it easier than ever to succeed on the hunt.

The investment in guns, however, can be significant, and you wouldn’t want yours to become damaged. Furthermore, guns do pose certain risks, especially if you have young children in the home. A great investment that can offer your firearms and your family the protection necessary for responsible gun ownership is a gun safe. Liberty is a good brand, and you can read all about what real customers have to say to ensure you find just the product to meet your specific needs.

Keeping Your Drone in Working Order

Drone Flying

Drones have taken the world by storm, and they serve a number of valuable purposes. From military use to agriculture, security and more, they truly allow us to work smarter instead of harder.

A growing number is purchasing drones for their own personal use and enjoyment, and you can take advantage of a number of unique abilities with a drone of your own including help in hunting or just to get aerial footage of your property. In order to ensure you keep your drone in working order, make sure to:

  • Check batteries before use to avoid crashes
  • Check propellers frequently for cracks
  • Ensure sand doesn’t get in the motor

Future Use for Many Years to Come

Most of the equipment designed for outdoor hobby use is manufactured to be durable and withstand a lot. After all, it can get rough in the outdoors. However, unexpected circumstances can inevitably cause unforeseen damage, and this leaves you with the choice of setting your hobby aside or making a significant investment in repairs or replacements. It’s ideal that you never fall victim in the first place, and you have the power in your hands to prevent this from happening.

Your leisure time is precious to you, and you should be able to do what you love. Don’t let unexpected damage to your favorite outdoor toys get in the way from enjoying the quality of life you deserve. By employing these tips, you can keep yours better protected from harm’s way.

Modular Motorcycle Helmets vs. Full Face Helmets

If you are in the market for a new helmet you might have heard about modular helmets. This article will shed some light on these products and how they compare to their full faced brethren.

shoei-neotec-modular-helmetModular helmets have the ability to raise the chinbar and face shield to expose the rider’s face. This is accomplished by a hinge mechanism around the rider’s temple which is activated by a latch usually located on the chin bar. This feature is meant purely for convenience and the helmet is not to be worn this way when riding the motorcycle. With the faceshield and chinbar lowered, the rider’s face is completely enclosed, much like a full face helmet.

schuberth-c3-pro-modular-helmetThese type of helmets have become more and more popular in recent years, especially with touring riders or city commuters. They allow the rider to pop the helmet open during red lights to grab some fresh air. When the light turns green, it only takes a split second to drop the chin bar and be on your way. You can raise the shield on a full face helmet to get some air but the fact that the chin bar is out of the way exposes much more of your face to quickly vent hot air trapped inside the helmet.

Have you ever heard someone trying to talk while wearing a full face helmet? They almost have to yell for someone to hear what they are trying to say. If the person they are trying to talk to is also wearing a similar helmet, a regular conversation sounds like a yelling match. Again, raising the face shield on a full face can let more of your voice get through but that chin bar in front of your mouth still muffles the sound.

1storm-hg339-modular-helmetIf you are a rider that needs prescription glasses to operate safely on the road, then you might want to try a modular helmet. When the chin bar and face shield are up, you won’t need to remove your glasses to get in and out of your helmet. You can also do the same thing if you’re wearing regular sunglasses.

Another convenient thing about flip up helmets becomes apparent if you’ve ever been asked to present your driver’s license or some form of ID while stopped on your motorcycle. You can keep your helmet on your head while the other person makes sure that the picture on the card matches the person underneath the helmet.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to wearing a modular helmet. But you should also know that in order to allow the flip up features, there are obviously going to be some engineering differences in the helmet. To make room for the hinges and latch mechanisms, the internal padding has to be thinner, which might make it more uncomfortable for some. Since the front part of the helmet has to move freely, this also creates an area that allows for more wind and road noise to get through.

The chin bar on a modular helmet also has a hinge that makes it susceptible to impact damage in the event of a crash. Modular helmets are also significantly heavier because of the added components. Keep in mind that modular helmets are DOT approved and that brands with the European ECE certification are tested to some very high industry specifications. ECE certified helmets are the standard in MotoGP racing.

Because of their one piece structure, full face helmets don’t suffer from any weak points like hinge attachments. They are generally considered the best piece of head gear a safety conscious rider can use. Comfort is a subjective thing but the internal padding of a full face is more generous than a modular because there are no additional pieces to fit inside.

hjc-cl-17-full-face-helmetFull face helmets are also manufactured in larger quantities than modular helmets. What this means for the rider is that there are a lot more options if they go with this route. It is easier to find replacement shields, interior padding, and customized components like communicators or internal speakers. For riders who have a hard time finding a helmet that fits correctly, they are more likely to find a fully enclosed helmet that will work for them.

biker-1151343_640Hopefully this article has given you an idea as to the type of helmet you’d like to get. Before making that purchase, make sure that you try the helmet on and check to make sure it fits properly and comfortably. Don’t be afraid to wander around the store with that helmet. It’s the only way to make sure that you won’t run into any fit problems after some time. There’s a huge difference between putting the helmet on for a few seconds in a store and wearing it for an hour long (or more) ride.

How To Choose A Motorcycle Helmet

Safety and responsibility are one of the crucial factors motorcycle riders should consider. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to have fatal accidents than car drivers. To continue enjoying the amazing experience on the road, you must invest in a safe riding gear, especially the helmet. A helmet protects your head from injuries during a crash. With a helmet on, you will feel safe and confident on the road. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right helmet.

Safety Features

pre-cut-interiorA helmet should have at least two components of safety. The outer shell should be adjusted well to allow the reinforced fiber composites to contract during impact. The composites contract and reduce the intensity of the force significantly before it reaches the head. Another important component of a helmet is the impact-absorbing liner. The liner consists of a Styrofoam material. The material absorbs shock and deflects the impact of the hit away from the head.

DOT Certification

Make sure you look at the DOT sticker on the helmet to determine whether it meets the safety standards. The sticker, which comes from the Department of Transportation, is the only way to know whether the helmet will perform. According to the DOT standards, a helmet should be able to absorb a given amount of shock, prevent significant penetration and have a good fitting system. Manufacturing companies must do standard tests under the DOT guidelines before they put the sticker on their helmets. The companies usually send the products to laboratories run by independent institutions for tests. The department then posts the results on its website for those who want to make inquiries.

Retention Capacity

retention-systemRetention is an important safety factor that people need to consider if they want to stay safe. A good helmet should stay on your head during a crash. To test whether the helmet you want to buy will stay on your head, adjust the strap. While you adjust the strap, you should feel some pressure on the chin. Also, take the helmet and roll it over your head or lift it up. The helmet should not go off. If the helmet goes off or rolls over quickly, consider other options.

Comfort

hjc-cl-17-full-face-helmetThe helmet should be comfortable enough to enable you to enjoy the ride without any problem. Most people believe that there is no such thing as a comfortable helmet. However, the truth is that everybody can find comfort in a new helmet if he or she is willing to take some time and do an extra homework. You need to try more than four helmets to accurately determine the desirable level of comfort in a helmet. Most motorcyclists confirm that the full-face helmet models are the best options. Some full-face models come with interchangeable pads to accommodate different shapes of cheeks. Other standard features that make a helmet comfortable include paddling, presence of the seal around the ear and a roll on the neck.

Size of the helmet

racing-254609_1280The size of the helmet will determine the rider’s level of safety and comfort. A helmet with a perfect size should fit you well. It should come into contact with most parts of the head and the sides of the cheek. However, it should not exert a lot of pressure on the parts. The helmet must adjust with the shape of our head, but it should not feel loose. The neck roll should not push the head to the back of the helmet. To get a helmet with a size that matches the shape of your head, take a measuring tape and determine the dimension of the largest circumference of the head. Translate the measurement to the helmet. Try this several times with different helmets until you get the right one. If there is a sizing chart, use it for matching.

Consider the Coverage

Consider the shell coverage of the helmet before you buy it. A full open-face helmet is more efficient that a full-face helmet when it comes to coverage. A helmet with an additional coverage that protects the face and the head from the EPS liner is a plus.

Convenience

biker-1151343_640You need to determine how convenient the helmet is when riding your motorcycle. A helmet with an extra shield and an adjustable face-shield system is better. Others have features that allow riders to fasten the straps to prevent them from flapping. A breadth guard may also make the helmet more convenient.

The Cost of the helmet

dollar-signThe cost of a helmet should be the last thing to consider. Helmets with great features go for higher prices. However, you can compare the prices of same models in different shops and settle for the cheapest. But if you see a cheaper helmet that has a DOT sticker and fits you well, go for it without hesitating.