How To Get More Outdoor Time While Working On The House

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At Gary’s Outfitters, we’re all about the outdoors. Being outside, in nature, is where we thrive and so anytime we can tackle chores that allow us to breathe fresh air, we’re all over it. This list is to remind you that there are tons of ways to get your time outside while still being productive at home.

Gardening & Landscaping

Let’s just get the most obvious one out of the way first. Obviously, any landscaping and gardening you need to do can be tackled while spending time outside. This can include:

  • Trimming bushes
  • Pruning shrubs
  • Planting flowers
  • Tending to the vegetable garden
  • Raking leaves
  • Plotting flowers before winter
  • Adding mulch to landscaped areas
  • Shoveling snow
  • Creating brick or wood borders around plots

Walkways & Driveways

Depending on your level of skill working with brick pavers, asphalt or concrete, you could add walkways and driveways to your list. Check with your local municipality…some of these activities may require a permit or even contractor’s license.

If you’re in the clear, then see where you can fill cracks, replace old pavement, create new walkways to the front or backdoor or lay steps to the porch or deck.

Power Washing

Sidewalks and driveways get dingy, siding gets dirty, cobwebs get built around gutters…there are tons of areas on the exterior of the home that require occasional cleaning.

Don’t worry if you don’t own a power washer, most home improvement places rent them out. Just make sure you read the manual and understand the settings. You don’t want to damage your property by using too much power on that thing!

If you are in the market to buy a power washer, you’ll get more mileage out of owning a good solid air compressor with a power washing attachment. This way, you can max out your use, since an air compressor can be used with a multitude of power tools (ex. staple gun, air pump).

Once you’ve got your tool and have been trained in how to use it, again to avoid chipping away or damaging materials around your home, you can clean off fencing, siding, brick, walking paths, driveways, decking, wash down outdoor step mats and more.

Organize

Not our favorite kind of task, but organizing your outdoor spacing can give you sanity when you’re trying to get a job done. Here are a few items you can organize outside:

  • Tool box and shelving
  • Garage
  • Shed

Painting & Sealing

If you’ve got wooden deck, porch or balcony that needs maintenance, you can get your extra hours in the sun by cleaning it off (power washing or hosing down) and then, once dry, staining and resealing it.

For houses with wood siding, wood shingles or wood window trim, an exterior paint job will bring your curb appeal up big time and let you breathe in the outdoors while you’re doing it.

If your home has aluminum or vinyl siding, this can also be painted with the right prep work, paint type and technique. Spray painting may be a better fit with this material, but this will involve a lot of preparation and protection steps, so don’t skip that.

Just make sure you’re cleaning the materials properly (and sanding, when needed) before you start any paint job. Also make sure you have the right paint for that material and high quality brushes and tools so the finish looks great.

Light Exterior Clean Up

Only have an hour or two outside and want to knock out some light upkeep? Consider these minor jobs:

  • Clean out the gutters
  • Lightly hose down the AC unit (check with your hvac guy about proper technique for your unit)
  • Fix the garage doors or exterior doors
  • Clear cobwebs and dust off mail slots, doors and windows
  • Clean your windows
  • Sweep the garage floor
  • Water your plants and garden, if needed
  • Have the kids clean up their outdoor toys
  • Scrape down the grill and give the whole unit a cleaning
  • Give the riding lawnmower an oil change

There you go, 30+ chores you can get done around the house while you’re soaking in the sun or, at least, breathing in the fresh air.

 

The Complete Camping Packing List

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Selecting the right kind of camping supplies can make the difference between a great experience or having a miserable time. If you go camping on a regular basis, be sure to reference this ultimate list so you can enjoy your camping experience with the right camping equipment.

What to Wear

You should be more thoughtful than just throwing some shirts and jeans in your bag before heading out camping. Keeping dry and warm is the most important thing while camping. The apparel you bring should be tailored to protect you from the elements and wick away moisture.

If you anticipate cold weather:

  • Extra layers
  • Long underwear
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Beanie or warm hat
  • Insulated coat or vest
  • Fleece or wool pants
  • Ear warmers 

Tools & Supplies You’ll Need Camping

Camping tools are usually the first items on everyone’s list, such as tents, sleeping bags and flashlights. The ideal tent to bring depends on your group size, trip duration and campground location. Most people only have one sleeping bag they use on every camping trip, but the best sleeping bag should be rated higher than the coldest temperature of your campsite.

General Camping & Tenting Equipment

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Flashlights – don’t forget extra batteries
  • Lantern with fuel or batteries
  • Pillow
  • Camping chairs
  • Multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • Extra rope
  • Hammer for tent stakes
  • Axe for firewood

Kitchen Tools for Camping

  • Charcoal Grill and briquettes or Camping stove and fuel
  • Matches, lighter and fire starters
  • Sharp knife
  • Cooking pots and pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils
  • Mugs and cups
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Bottled water
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Cooler with ice
  • Sponges and dish towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Trash bags
  • Food
  • Canned and bagged food that doesn’t spoil (good for longer trips)

Planning for the Weather

You never know what Mother Nature can throw at you when you’re out in the woods. Weather conditions can change quickly so make sure you have these items to be prepared.

  • Tarps
  • Rainwear – jacket and pants
  • Extra garbage bags to protect your gear
  • Waterproof your tent – spray and seam sealant
  • Clothesline to dry out your items
  • Hand and foot warmers

Protection From Bugs, Sun and Animals

It’s easy to forget to bring protection from bugs and critters. Make sure to bring these items to stay safe and comfortable on your camping trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Bug spray
  • Citronella candles
  • Bear spray
  • First aid kit
  • Pepper spray, stun gun or other self-defense protection, possibly, if it is legal and you know how to use it and exercise extreme safety measures

You don’t want to be stuck in the outdoors wishing you would have brought an item that would have made your camping trip a success. Plan ahead and bring the camping supplies on this list to ensure you have the best experience.