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Multi-Tools for Camping and Hiking

 

All kinds of different safety tools and camping gear accessories are available on the market today. Swiss Army Knives is famous for their high quality and relatively expensive items, while many other companies make lower-cost outdoor utensils, sometimes of questionable quality. Multitools are great for camping, as they are based on the basic Swiss Army Knife premise (lots of little attachments on a single tool with many different functions). One mutli-tool I recently picked up was a 7-In-1 safety tool from HighGear, Inc. It’s not anywhere as fancy as a Swiss Army Knife-type item, but it is still pretty decent! For your backpack, I recommend  The PNW Packable Backpack. I have been using it for years now!

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The HighGear 7-In-1 Safety Tool is a useful basic survival tool for old and young alike. I received the the 7-In-1 as a Christmas present and eagerly opened it, wondering if it would be just another outdoors gimmick or something actually useful. There are far too many cheap, trashy outdoors products that wouldn’t help much (if at all) in an emergency or survival situation. For instance, last year I received a hand crank portable radio and flashlight combo. A good idea on paper, maybe, but the hand crank was the weak point and snapped off after the second turn of the handle-definitely not a good purchase from my point of view. However, the 7-In-1 does not rely on such gimmicky devices for its functionality, so I was less apprehensive upon receiving it.

The 7-In-1 is made of durable plastic, upon which is fitted a compass, LED light, magnifying class, mirror, and LCD display with temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit) and a whistle. A neck lanyard is also included so the tool may be worn like a necklace. Unfortunately, a battery is required for the LCD display-it would be more useful if it ran just off of solar, like the small solar powered calculators. The device is fairly ergonomic and well-designed, it feels sturdy and easy to use. The mirror and magnifying glass are attached on little arms that swing out of the tool when pulled, remaining secreted away in the tool when not being used. HigGear has added little button on the side of the LCD display to allow the user to adjust the time or temperature degrees (Celsius or Farenheit). The LED is quite bright, supposedly it is not for sustained use (like a flashlight) but it certainly lights up the night. There is a little metal ‘button-like’ nob on the tool, near the LED button, that is the thermometer sensor-obviously it will display a considerably higher temperature if one keeps their finger over it by accident. The battery is kept in a twist-top/screwtop holder on the back of the 7-In-1 tool and seems to be snugly fit in, thus lowering the chance of it being lost on a bumpy bike ride or rapid mountain descent.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the 7-In-1 survival tool from HighGear. It’s more of a general purpose, safety tool than a true survival tool, but it is quite useful nonetheless. A great present for seasoned outdoors enthusiasts or the budding Boy Scout alike!

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Why a Good Web Design is Essential for Your New Business

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Small business owners often make the mistake of paying for cheap web design. Cheap web design generally details a lackluster design, difficult navigation and zero benefit for search engine placement.
So why is a good design important for a business website?

Reason 1: To capture a visitor’s attention

Just like the old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Unfortunately, the majority of people will make their decision based on the design jacket of a book – this goes equally so for a website.

You only have a few split seconds to capture a visitor’s attention; a cheap design will look unprofessional and result in the visitor leaving soon after landing on your page. A great design, however, will keep them locked in and will get them to dig deeper into your website which can later result in a sale. Men doing some web hosting Canada reviews know more about this.

Reason 2: Easy navigation lets customers find their products and services

Good design for a business website goes well beyond just the visual appeal – it also needs great navigation. Navigation is the process that a visitor will take to find your products and services; if your navigation is difficult than they will give up and leave.

From the ground up, have your business website built with the end user in mind. Make the navigation process from landing page to check out a simple as possible – don’t make them think. Use common web practices and call-to-action to help guide your visitor throughout your website.

Reason 3: Great design give you room to expand

Another essential reason why your business needs a good web design is that in the result that your business becomes successful you will be able to expand without growing pains. A bad design will show itself as it increasingly becomes clunky and difficult for new visitors.

Avoid the growing pains at your business by laying a strong framework into your design that will be flexible in the future. Ensure that every element that you integrate into your website (such as a shopping cart) will be able to process the increase in customers and will be reliable for the future.

Reason 4: Great design helps your search engine placement

Search engine optimization is a widely search subject amongst business owners because it allows them to rank high within search engine placements. A bad design will often come with coding and various elements that will gimp your overall effectiveness of implementing SEO.

From the moment the website is being built you must make sure that it complies with general web practices, uses accurate html tags and has clean CSS to allow the site to run smoothly. A good website design will allow you to then focus on larger SEO factors such as backlinks and content creation – without the headache that they’re ineffective because of cheap on-page optimization and design.

Conclusion

The web is the future of business; it makes no sense to spend so cheaply for your web design when it will really be one of the most important decisions at your business for years to come. This article gave you four different reasons why your business should have a good design; take it and implement it in your business today.

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Decorating with Ikat Designs: 2012 Trend

 

pexels-photo-280221Ikat fabrics are anything but new. Yet, for 2012 they are new again. You may remember learning about the the Silk Road in school. The Silk Road was a trading route covering Europe, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, India, China and locations in between. On the Silk Road, or Silk Route, high-quality Ikats were sometimes used as currency. Ikat designs were made with handloom weaving and produced vibrant, worldly patterns. These same patterns are trending for 2012, sometimes in fabrics and also in more unexpected home decor accessories.
Decorating with Ikat Fabrics in 2012

Choose Colorful Ikat Designs on White – Make a bold statement in any room by selecting graphic Ikat prints on white. Choose a vibrant pink or an inky blue from 2011’s blueprint-inspired palette. The graphic Ikat prints work best in uncluttered rooms where you want to make a statement. Try them in a foyer, a formal living room.

Upholstered Furniture – Ikat is traditionally found on fabric, so using it on upholstered furniture is not a far stretch. For the best results, choose small pieces of furniture with Ikat designs including ottomans or side chairs. An entire couch decorated in a bold Ikat design might overwhelm a small space but it would be great in a large living room.

Home Decor Accessories with Ikat – Experiment with color and pattern combinations by using small accessories decorated with Ikat.

* Throw pillows – Look for designs with two or three colors and soft, organic shapes. If you like to sew you can make your own covers for existing pillows rather than replace a perfectly good (but boring) pillow.

* Lampshades – Although they give off light, plain lampshades can often come across as cold and uninviting. How often have you loved a base of a lamp but wished the lampshade were different? Ikat designs are also being used on lampshades, not a common place to see any pattern.

* Table runners – In Ikat table runner gives a little nod to its bigger and older brother, the area rug. Table runners are affordable and a great way to cover a visible surface area in a room without changing the floors. Add some nice  wooden dinnerware sets for a nice finish.

Mix it Up: You can use Ikat fabrics with other patterns in your home. In fact, it looks much better to mix up the occasional Ikat fabric with other patterns than to go crazy with Ikat everywhere in the room.