Archive for the ‘What’s New’ Category

Packing your Daypack

Packing your Daypack

Multi-day outings are great. A respite from computer screens and traffic lights is the perfect way to relax and appreciate nature. However, it can be hard to find the time to play outside for multiple days at a time. Luckily, day trips can be just as much fun. While different activities require more specific gear (you might regret grabbing your climbing harness instead of your towel if you’re checking out more »

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Why You Need Sunglasses

Why You Need Sunglasses

Sunglasses make you look cool. No, that’s not the real reason that you need sunglasses. The real reason is that sun can damage your eyes, and sunglasses afford some needed protection. Just like skin, eyes can receive temporary damage, much like a sunburn. It’s called photokeratitis, and it can be uncomfortable. “Snow blindness” is one form of photokeratitis, but light reflecting on water or light colored stone can create similar more »

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Pizza at the Campsite

Pizza at the Campsite

When you’re car camping, there’s no reason to forego pizza — or to drive back into town to get it. You can bake a good pizza over the fire. You’ll need a good flat pan. At Uncle Sam’s, we have really big cast iron griddles that are perfect for this purpose, but you can also use a metal baking sheet if you’re prepared to watch it closely so it won’t more »

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Benchmade Knives

Benchmade Knives

We’ve just received a nice shipment of Benchmade knives at Uncle Sam’s. Benchmade knives are laser sharpened, and they were the first knife manufacturing company to have lasers in house for this purpose. It’s this kind of forward thinking (tempted to say “cutting edge,” but resisting the temptation) that makes Benchmade knives special. They use lasers for cutting precision as well as for sharpening, and this allows them to offer more »

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Basic Gear for Climbing

Basic Gear for Climbing

Rock climbing is rapidly growing in popularity. People are drawn to the sport for different reasons. The challenge, the community, the nature– these are all draws to climbing. If you are new to the sport, the best way to get introduced is to check out a climbing gym. Even though pulling on plastic inside isn’t as much fun as pulling on rocks outside, gyms are a good way to learn more »

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Sleeping in the Great Outdoors

Sleeping in the Great Outdoors

Sleeping outdoors in comfort is about both physical and psychological comfort. For some, sleeping like a cowboy rolled up in a blanket or a bedroll under the stars is completely satisfying. Waking up kind of stiff from sleeping on the ground, with some rocks poking into your back is an important part of the total camping experience. They bed down near the campfire, fall asleep, and wake up with the more »

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Grace Digital Outdoor Stereos

Grace Digital Outdoor Stereos

We have a new shipment of Grace Digital outdoor audio gear at Uncle Sam’s. These little beauties consist of a waterproof, shockproof case for your iPod and other small necessities, plus a quality speaker so you can play music at the campsite, on the boat, or at the lake. Even when you don’t need speakers, the quality of the case is enough to make these a good investment for any more »

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Hiking and Biking Trails Discovery

Hiking and Biking Trails Discovery

Where can you look for your next favorite hiking or biking trail? Uncle Sam’s has some excellent books on the subject, including those by Tim Ernst, and maps as well. Stop by and pick some up, and you can probably also get some personal reviews from our savvy staff. There are also online sources of basic trail info such as maps: State Parks trails page Trails.com shows 103 trails around more »

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Nightime Hiking

Nightime Hiking

Hiking at night is a completely different experience from hiking during the day. Even when you’ve got a bright moon or a good flashlight, you should plan to travel more slowly, since visibility will be lessened. That doesn’t mean that nighttime hikes are less wonderful than daytime ones. Look at the advantages: In summer, they’re a great way to take advantage of cooler temperatures. On popular trails, they can be more »

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Backpacker’s Guide to Water

Backpacker’s Guide to Water

Hydration is essential for backpackers, and in the Ozarks, you’re likely to see plenty of water while hiking. Should you plan to drink from those pretty streams, or to carry your water? Weight and space are two of the most important factors when it comes to backpacking. You usually want to shy away from items that are excessively heavy or bulky. This is where the need for water gets tricky. more »

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