Recreation

Binocular Selection Guide

If asked, most people would turn down help when selecting a pair of binoculars. Most likely, their predominant selection criteria are based upon either magnification or the price. After all that is all there is to it, right?

Well… No. You will need to balance your personal expectations of the quality of the view, the functionality required and your budget. These factors will dictate the correct pair for you. Also there is give and take with binocular specifications, so you need to know what you are giving up by selecting other features or specifications so that you can make an informed purchase that you will be satisfied with for years to come.

Lets Define Your Expectations.

Binoculars are typically used while birding or hunting, during stadium events or races, for astronomy, or even while day hiking scenic or nature trails. When you look through a pair of binoculars you’re observing the field of view. (We will get to the definition in a minute). In each of these activities, the user wants to get a closer look at the subjects in the field of view. The quality of that view can vary significantly from different manufacturers even though the comparisons are made between the same magnification and objective size. The quality of the view needs to meet or exceed your expectations.

You see, a birder desires to see the coloring and detail of the subject, in this case perhaps the feathers of a rare bird. This could also be viewing any scene where razor sharp images are desired. Day long hikes at a birding festival are not uncommon. Often times birds may actually approach the viewer, so quality glass, light weight and a close focus specification are desired specifications that should be considered. The close focusing specification of a binocular designates how close to the user the binoculars will focus. Every binocular will focus out at infinity but the close focus specification is different for each model. The close focus is a critical specification for birders and those who enjoy butterfly watching. If close focusing is important to you, then select a pair that has a specification of ten feet or less.

When looking at a high contrasting image in the field of view you may not realize it at first but upon close inspection you may see thin bands of color outlining the edge of dark objects, rendering them fuzzy and dull due to unfocused light. This is called color fringing. In some binoculars this effect can be seen throughout the entire field of view and can even grow dramatically as you approach the edge of the field of view. You need to ask yourself if you are willing to live with a less than a bright, sharp and vivid field of view. Quality glass is essential.

Wide Angle & Focus-ability

A hunter will most likely not need to be concerned with the close focus specification as his subject is typically much farther away. The same is true of astronomy, stadium events or races. The user is not concerned about loose threads on a jersey, somebody’s tattoo, or the fabric texture of a jockeys cap. In these cases the typical expectation is to see the action. The more the better. Here a wide angle view is much more desired because the user not only wants to see the receiver, but the defenders and other players in the area as well. Compare field of view specifications and select a larger value.

If the action covers a fairly large area, a feature to consider would be nonfocusing style of binoculars; also called focus-free or perma-focus, this type of binocular does not have a focus knob as the lenses are designed with a very deep field of view. They are fitted with individual eyepiece (diopter) adjustments that once set, leaves everything in focus regardless of the distance away from the user. So if you enjoy getting into the action without having to consciously keep readjusting the focus knob as the action moves around then consider this type of binocular. It will let you concentrate on and enjoy the action! Since each eye needs to be adjusted these are not the pair to be sharing with friends at an event as everyone will need to establish settings for their own eyes. Perma focus binoculars usually have a poor close focusing capability. Do consider the ease of focusing if focus free style is not desired. Quick focusing is simply a must regardless if used by the hunter or the birder. Look for a pair of binoculars that can focus from close up out to infinity with a single stroke of the finger. You need to be able to zero in as quickly as you can so that you maximize the time analyzing the object. You don’t want to waste precious seconds messing around with the focus knob.

Twilight Use

Consider if the binoculars will be used during the twilight of dawn or dusk, certainly a critical time period for hunters and birders alike. Binoculars with a larger objective lens (42-56mm) will help draw in more light during this time, however, at around 2 to 3 pounds; they will also be heavier if they will be carried around all day long. A binocular harness can help support the weight of full size binoculars without the muscle fatigue associated with a neck strap. Harnesses support the binoculars at the chest when not in use, even when bent over to pick something up and are reasonably priced. If a full day of lugging around heavier binoculars is not for you then by all means select a midsized pair with an objective lens that is around 32 to 40 mm. Please keep in mind that the view may not be quite as bright as what the full size models can deliver. However higher quality glass and lens coatings can drastically affect light transmission, and in those cases a midsize pair with quality glass and multicoatings can outperform a larger binocular that uses lower grade glass without multi-coatings.

A word about compacts. Yes they are typically less expensive, however when it comes to compacts they give up all the quality features that standard size binoculars have. What you are buying is the feature of compactness. What you are losing is a clear, bright view. Compacts should be considered as a secondary pair that you can stow in the glove compartment or a fannypack- but not for your primary pair.

Lens Coatings

The next thing to consider are the lens coatings. Due to the laws of physics, some of the light that reaches the lens surface gets reflected back. Coated optics help to reduce the amount of light that get reflected. As more light gets reflected rather than transmitted the result is a view with a reduced contrast of the scene or object in the field of view. Fully multi coated lenses are most desirable. It is important to note that a lot of research has gone into different lens coatings and not all coatings are created equal. As a general guideline…

Coated optics- A single layer on at least one lens surface.

Fully coated optics- A single layer on all air to glass surfaces.

Multi coated optics- have multiple layers on at least one lens surface.

Fully multi coated optics- have multiple layers on all air to glass surfaces.

Rain or Shine

What is the likelihood that you will need to depend upon your binoculars during a rainstorm? Most all of us, when in the field, want to make the most of the opportunity and generally don’t let the rain spoil our fun. Unfortunately just like any glass surface, the view may get distorted due to the moisture build up on the glass lenses. Once again this could be a time when seconds matter and stopping to wipe the lenses could result in a lost opportunity or perhaps even scratched lenses if you do not have a soft lens cloth along. Several manufacturers have an additional proprietary coating which actually causes water to bead up and roll of the lenses allowing continued use during a rain. This is not a replacement or alternate coating to fully multicoated lenses. These coatings truly provides a lot of value for the serious hunter or birder.

Specs Are Important Too

Binoculars are designated by their magnification and the objective lens diameter; for example 7×35 means that the binoculars will magnify an object so that it appears seven times (7x) closer than it actually is. The number 35 represents the diameter of the objective lenses in millimeters, which are the light gathering lenses.

Exit pupil is a optical specification that defines the size, in millimeters, of the light at the eyepiece and should match the diameter of the iris for an unvignetted view. It is calculated by taking the objective lens size and dividing it by the magnification. The average pupil dilates from about 2mm in bright sunlight to 7mm in low light. This range varies with age as well. ( Most adults average around 5 mm) Exit pupil specification is more important factor when using the binoculars during low light periods. Manufacturers design mid and full size binoculars with Exit Pupil in mind. The only exception to this is compact binoculars which have a very small exit pupil specification- typically in the 2.0 to 3.0 mm range.

Eye relief is a measurement in millimeters of how far back from the eyepiece the eye should be positioned to enjoy a full clear view. Short eye relief does not allow an eyeglass wearer to see the full field of view because the user cannot get the binoculars close enough to their eyes. Eyecups are included to help position the eyes correctly. The system employed could be as simple as a rubber lip that rolls down or it could have adjustable cups that have twist up presets, which is much more desirable.

Field of View is a measurement of the width of the view at some standard distance downfield, typically at a thousand yards- for example 300 feet at 1000 yards. Depth of View is the total distance into the field that is in focus.

A binocular’s body style is based upon the type of prism that is utilized, either porro or roof. Porro prism binoculars are what we would define as the conventional style where the eyepieces are not in line with the objective lenses. Roof Prisms, on the other hand, do have the eyepiece and objective lenses in line. Roof prism binoculars are more compact and rugged than Porros but more costly to manufacture.

Optional Features for Hunters

Some binoculars are available with rangefinders or mil-dot reticles and even compasses that can be viewed in the binocular while using them. Combining features allows hunters to carry less tools on the hunt while providing tactical information that will help the user to be more successful.

More Give and Take

Now let’s talk more about magnification. As magnification is increased, the field of view will get narrower and eye relief is also reduced. In addition, as a larger magnification is selected it is more difficult to hold the binoculars steady enough by hand without getting movement in the field of view. These compromises are easily noted while using a zoom style binoculars that allows a variable magnification range, for example 10x to 30x. Additionally, in maritime use where the continuous bobbing and rolling produced by the water also creates motion, a smaller magnification and larger objective lens size will allow for more forgiveness for the movement. So select magnification carefully, as 7x or 8x powers will work fine for most applications. If higher magnifications are needed for land applications, then consider purchasing a support such as a tripod. Image stabilized binoculars are ideal for maritime use.

A Little Bit about Budget

Being an informed consumer is very important. Making the proper selection of Binocular specifications is critical to meeting your needs. As you noticed as you read through the article, there is give and take with different specifications. Only you will know what binocular specifications will satisfy your needs. If this is your first binocular purchase then it is recommended that you: 1) do not buy compact binoculars, 2) keep the purchase value between $100 and $250 and 3) do not buy binoculars made in China.

Final Thoughts

Finally, color and clarity of the view are the most important features that differentiates premium binoculars from less expensive binoculars. Serious hunters and birding enthusiasts alike demand these quality features. Having a view that allows you to pick out detail and colors from a camouflaged background can mean the difference between spotting the object of interest and missing it completely. High quality binoculars will produce vivid, detail colors even in the deepest twilight.

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Recreation

Bounce Houses – A Great Opportunity to Aid in Fundraisers of All Types

Schools, churches and organizations across the county are on a mission – to raise the money needed to sustain themselves through hosting events where citizens can make charitable donations. Fundraisers of all kinds have ways of attracting an audience and every small contribution counts. To aid in the hosting of the events, bounce houses and party rentals of all kinds are a necessity. Bounce houses, water slides, dunk tanks; The list goes on. Some of the best types of inflatables are the obstacle courses, jump climbs and combo slides.

The obstacle courses are the one of the most frequently requested due to the physical demand it requires and longer play time. Since the obstacle course is something that the kids can go in and out of, it gives everyone a chance to play. The lines the obstacle course generates gives the event coordinator an opportunity to generate a fee to enter without having to give a bounce time limit. Kids can give some type of ticket that had to be purchased to enter and exit the obstacle course in an orderly and fair fashion.

Jump climbs give the kids an opportunity to exercise their athleticism. The physical demand it requires to “jump” and “climb” is one that will burn a lot of energy- something parents look forward to at the end of the day.

Combo slides give the provides some healthy competition. Who can reach the end of the slide first? Generating a way where 2 kids can slide at the same time is another way for everyone to slide and slide more than just once.

Kids love the colors, characters and endless physical fun. Magicians, clowns, face painting and pony rides are some of the favorites with the kids. Bounce houses are among the safest activities to offer at events. They offer adults the time to mingle and socialize without the worry that they will be too far or out of sight. Inflatables are designed to ensure the safety of everyone.

Every great fundraiser, deserves a celebration. To celebrate a community, a town, a counties effort in raising money for a great cause. People are naturally drawn to fun and happy fundraisers. A place where the children can enjoy themselves and correlate fundraising to something they would consider being a part of for life. Carrying on the tradition and family hobbies is something that every family should look forward to passing on to their children. Donating to fundraisers and spending quality family and friend time.

Recreation

Why Choose Tour Packages For Your Holidays?

Travelling can be expensive, especially when you are taking a number of people and you want to give them a memorable time during the holidays. Even though it can be hard to limit people from the things they wish to enjoy during the holiday, it’s important that you work with a budget to ensure you strike a balance as you enjoy the holidays. Making a few adjustments to the holiday plans can be one of the best ways of saving money as you travel to your destination. Holiday tour packages come in handy in saving you money during travel.

The tour packages are usually put together by travel agents in conjunction with other holiday service providers to give you an easy time enjoying the holidays from your selected destination. They are ready and all you need to do is choose the package you feel suits your needs and paying the needed amount before you can start enjoying the travelling. The packages of course come with their own benefits.

1. They are cost effective. The cost of a package is cheaper than the cost of you having to book for everything you need during the holidays one at a time. Considering that the packages are put together by the industry players, they are offered at lower prices and include every important holiday feature including transport, hotel accommodation and airfare. You will end up saving much more when you choose a ready holiday package than choosing to start planning for everything individually.

2. They are less stressful. Planning for your holidays can be a challenge because there are just so many things to take care of before you can enjoy anything. When using the packages however, you will skip this stressful stage of finding everything that you need for the holidays. You won’t have to worry about accommodation availability or booking your tickets and rooms for your stay. The tour operators take care of everything and all you have to do is check and choose the tour package that interests you the most.

3. They offer you complete destination tours. When working individually, it can be hard to exhaust all holiday spots, especially if you are travelling to the destination for the first time. With the tour packages, however, you can be sure to enjoy most of the popular sites and spots in your holiday destination. The operators understand the attractions and therefore put together packages that cover most of them. You can be sure to enjoy complete holiday tours when you choose the packages getting value for the money you spend on the holidays.

4. They offer amazing services. All inclusive packages can include facilities and activities that you might need during the holidays. You can have a swimming pool at your disposal or a spa and sauna treatment. Booking such sessions can be expensive, but the packages make the affordable accessible to you during your stay. You can also have the packages custom made to match your personal preferences for the holidays.

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Recreation

Can A Log Cabin or Mountain Vacation Home Pay For Itself?

When the real estate market was thriving, vacation homes were a luxury that only those with expendable income could dream of owning. Today’s market sets a different tone for second homes with a country wide rise in affordable properties and some of the lowest interest rates in centuries. While second homes of years past may not have been able to pay for themselves, is it possible for today’s vacation home to pay for itself?

When vacation homes were more of a luxury and finding affordable log cabin foreclosures was like searching for lost treasure, the idea of renting out a property for a few weeks a year to counter expenses and taxes often left owners falling short. However the market is flooded with mountain homes for sale and log cabin foreclosures galore. The log cabins and mountain vacation properties available now have a greater chance of producing a positive cash flow if the buyer is diligent in making sure it does just that.

An affordable second home purchased at or below market value would need to be rented for at least 12 weeks out of the year to start paying for itself. This is about 3 months, and for mountain vacation rentals this works great for summer rental properties, but can work equally well for log cabins located in ski areas or attractive fall foliage areas which can extend their renting season beyond the 12 weeks of summer. With renting out a mountain vacation house you have to book the property early. Leave room in your rental price to offer a discount for booking the property for the next year to encourage return renters. It also pays to advertise your log cabin or mountain vacation home on the Internet where you are able to reach a wide audience for minimal expense.

A huge money saver and big step for making your mountain vacation home pay for itself is to leave the middleman out of the picture. Management companies suck upwards of 30% of your rental income into their pockets and not in yours. Handling rentals and maintenance isn’t that difficult, even from a distance. Consider a reasonable property manager instead of a property management company but check the references well as a bad property manager has the potential to hit your return on investment pretty hard. You should take the time to establish relationships with local services near your mountain vacation home and a simple calendar can make scheduling rentals a breeze.

Selecting the location of your mountain vacation home or log cabin will also play a big role in its’ ability to pay for itself. Obviously you will want to select a property in an area that people would want to rent. This usually means a resort area or an area with local attractions in addition to a beautiful mountain setting. Once you select an area to purchase a mountain vacation home, you are going to want to check to be sure the area does not have any fees for vacation-home-owners or costly permits for renting out the property for less than a month at a time. These fees would have an obvious negative effect on the bottom line of your investment and you would need to adjust your weekly rental rate accordingly.

If you have decided to take the plunge and are looking to purchase a mountain vacation home and have it pay for itself, here are the final questions that you need to ask yourself. Are you ready to invest a lot of time and research into costs, maintenance, taxes and more before buying anything? Are you willing to give up use of your great mountain vacation home during the peak renting seasons for at least the first three to five years? Are you willing to put in necessary work for unforeseen issues that arise with any property purchase? And finally, you need to be sure that you can cover the cost of the property should times get rough or you are unable to rent. If you can answer yes to all these things, you just might be ready to buy a log cabin or mountain vacation home that can pay for itself.

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Recreation

History of Call of Duty

The history of Call of Duty is an extensive topic to say the least. This game has been on the market for over seven years. With seven different editions to the game collection, new players may find it a bit hard to jump in the game. While game play is always fun it is a bit tougher to follow the story line. Let’s take a look at some of the expansions in call of duty.

The first Call of Duty was released in October 2003. It was originally released in the PC gaming platform only. Players got the chance to become a soldier in an epic battle of good VS evil. Based on the Quake III Arena Engine this game was also a first person shooter. A second edition to the Call of Duty series was released in October 2005. Due to the growing popularity in counsel games and upgraded platforms Call of Duty 2 was also released to Xbox in November 2005. It is also interesting to note that a version of Call of Duty 2 was released for cell phones and smartphones. The third of Call of Duty was released one year later in November 2006. A significant fan base grew from the first 3 editions.

Time between game releases began to follow a one year wait. In November 2007 Call of Duty 4: Modern War Fair was released. This was the first edition to receive a mature audience rating and marks the improvement of graphics and violence in the Call of duty series. Now with so many competing counsel platforms Call of Duty: World at War was released on 4 different platforms in November 2008. For the next installment of the series Activision decided to pick back up after Call of Duty 4: Modern War Fair and so the games new edition would be called Call of Duty: Modern War Fair 2. This edition was released in November 2009. Now excluding the Nintendo Wii as a platform for the Call of duty series. There are already three more editions in the works.

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Recreation

The Banzai Roaring Rapids Adventure – The Perfect Inflatable Water Slide For Summer

If you are on the look out for a really superior water slide then you most definitely have to consider the Banzai Roaring Rapids Adventure water slide. It is a genuinely amazing looking inflatable water slide that will keep all the family seriously amused and entertained all summer time long.

This is just one fantastic illustration of the kind of water slides that is part of the Banzai Falls collection. The company is recognized all over the world for making bright as well as vibrant water toys and games that are brimming with fun and always provide great thrills. The water slide is absolutely something that children of varying ages will enjoy all day long.

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The Structure of The Water Slide

The Banzai Roaring Rapids Adventure is similar to lots of inflatable water slides that are available to buy. This particular model comes together and forms an inflatable water toy that gives you a number of options. You are able to opt for the bigger slide which is ideal for the older boys and girls and there is also a shorter level slide for smaller kids to make use of till they want to try out the higher level.

It is constructed from an exceptionally tough material and utilizes the key colours of red, bright yellow and blue rendering it very appealing to the eye.

A good slide should have lots of different activities and this is something that you will find with this particular slide structure. You’ll find that there are a couple of climbing frames designed for children to pull themselves up to each level. Also incorporated in this slide are some very useful as well as versatile hand rails so that kids can easily climb completely protected.

Every one of the slides has a splash pool at the end to ensure that each child will travel down the slide and end up getting an excellent splash at the end of their short trip.

For even more entertainment the Banzai slide also has a water sprinkler attachment on one part of the structure. This results in a waterfall effect at the top of the slide. This is definitely an entertaining way to slide down and get wet all at the same time.

The Dimensions of The Banzai Roaring Rapids

This type of water slide has a huge inflatable construction giving you a few different sliding alternatives as well as plenty of places for kids to climb and jump over.

When it is entirely inflated the slide measures about 9 feet at its highest point. This makes it a wonderful place for kids to slide from. The maximum weight capacity for this water toy is up to four hundred pounds. This would definitely be ample in order for all the children you know to enjoy themselves without having a fear of the whole thing deflating.

The summer season is almost here so this makes it the perfect time to start looking at the different types of inflatable slides that you can choose from. Compare and contrast what is on offer and you are sure to find the right one for your back garden for all the kids to enjoy.