BrandBuilders Podcast + ReelTrail

BrandBuilders Podcast with Ryan & Kirk Leaphart from ReelTrail

 

September 13, 2018  |  BrandBuilders  & Dunstan Group
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or weekend warrior, you’ve probably got a bunch of used gear in your garage that you hate to throw out. Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and even Nextdoor are all options… but they all have their drawbacks, too.
Enter father and son consignment shop owners from Charleston who thought there had to be an easier way — so they designed ReelTrail, a buying and selling website and app that also gives back to environmental causes. Ryan and Kirk Leaphart joins us on the Brandbuilders Podcast with The Dunstan Group!

 

 

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:37 — 35.2MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More
http://dunstangroup.blubrry.net/2018/09/13/ryan-and-kirk-leephart-reel-trail/

Learning to Sail the USA Way

 

The syllabus can be readily divided into two parts. The Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is made up of seven stages while Small Boat Sailing Program contains a further two stages.

The Basic Small Boat Sailing Standard requires no previous experience or qualifications. It is the first course in the Small Boat Sailing Program. Students must demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the names and functions of various parts of a boat together with common sailing terms, the sail and its ancillary components, the International Rules for Collision Prevention both at sea and on inland waters and hey should demonstrate a basic knowledge of safety procedures. On the practical side they must show they can tread water for 5 minutes and swim 100 metres, rig, launch and retrieve the boat, set and trim the sails, sail both upwind and downwind, tack and gybe, correctly apply the rules of the road, recover a man overboard, recover from a capsize, accept and pass a towline, tie four specified Knots within a given time. Upon completion he or she will be able to sail a centerboard or multihull sailboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters.

The first course in the Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is known as Basic Keelboat. No experience or qualifications are necessary. To complete the course students will be required to demonstrate that they can put a name to and describe the workings of various parts of a boat including the hull, keel, deck bow and stern. The components of both the running and standing rigging. The different sails including the names of part of a sail – foot, leech, luff, head, tack and clew. The various spars, mast and boom. They will be familiar with sailing terminology used to describe various manoeuvres such as gybing and coming about. Students will understand the points of sail be it close hauled, reaching or running. They will understand the basics of collision avoidance including rules of the road. They will demonstrate they are familiar with regulations covering registration and identification, proper waste disposal, who to notify in the event of an accident and what safety equipment is requires by law to be carried on a vessel and how it is used. They will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage Participants will know how to anchor a boat and describe the choice of anchors and their attributes and failings. On the practical side they must demonstrate sail handling skills, they will display competence at the helm including mooring, sailing both upwind and downwind together with a successful tack and gybe. They will complete a successful man overboard recovery. They will show they know how to tie 6 different knots and understand their various uses. Upon completion of the course students should be able to sail a boat of some 20 feet in length in moderate winds in familiar waters.

The second stage is called Basic Coastal Cruising and students must hold the Basic Keelboat Sailing Certificate prior to undertaking this course. The course looks at safety on board including equipment and procedures. An understanding of fire prevention and fighting is required. Students will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of first aid and the treatment of hypothermia. Basic meteorology is considered and students must demonstrate an understanding of shipping forecasts. An understanding of the relationship between the skipper and crew and the respective duties of each is required. Students must be able to undertake basic chartwork including depths; types of bottom, hazards, bouys, beacons and lights. The practical side of this course looks at boat handling under power and sail, man overboard recovery, the various points of sail, reefing and heaving to, docking and mooring and some knot work. When completed the sailor should be able to cruise safely in regional waters on a sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

Trailerable Multihull Standard, this course is the second in the Small Boat Sailing Program. It may be taught as part of or following the Basic Coastal Cruising course. Completion of the Basic Keelboat is a prerequisite prior to taking this course. On the theory side students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsize. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, bow anchor and bridle and single bow with a stern line to the shore. When completed sailors are able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary multihull sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate wind and sea conditions.

Bareboat Chartering is the next stage. Participants are expected to hold the Basic Coastal Cruising Certificate before doing this course. The theory side covers the preparation of both crew and boat for a one week cruise including the preparation of a passage plan. Meteorology is considered including a look at fog and onshore and offshore winds. Seamanship is looked at and students should know what action is required if the engine fails, they should know how to anchor the boat bow or stern to. On the practical side the student will be able to undertake daily and weekly maintenance tasks, manoeuvre the boat under power in a restricted space, pick up a mooring buoy, use the VHF radio. The following navigational skills are required, plotting a course and establishing the compass heading and calculating an estimated time of arrival. Establishing a fix using visual bearing. Use a chart to pilot the boat into an unfamiliar harbour. Students must obtain and interpret a shipping forecast. When completed the individual can act as skipper of a boat up to 50 feet in length sailing by day in coastal waters.

The next stage is known as Coastal Navigation. This is a theory only course and no prior experience or knowledge is required. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of various State and Federal regulations pertaining to sailing. They must understand how the use navigational instruments including both steering and hand bearing compasses, binoculars, depth sounder, log, parallel rule and dividers. Participants must display an understanding of tide tables and their use when dealing with secondary ports. They should be able to convert bearings and compass courses between, compass, magnetic and true, plot a dead reckoning position, understand the effect of current and leeway when estimating a position and plot a position by two or more bearings, a running fix and a bearing and distance. Finally they will need to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage and lights.

The Cruising Catamaran course deals exclusively with multihull sailing and concentrates on the differences a sailor finds as opposed to monohull sailing. Participants should have completed the Bareboat Chartering stage. On the theory side students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsize. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, two anchors of the bow or stern, bow anchor and bridle, single bow with a stern line to the shore and bow to fixed mooring. Upon completion the person can skipper a multihull sailboat of up to 50 foot in length by day in coastal waters.

Advanced Coastal Cruising follows and participants should have completed both the Bareboat Chartering and Coastal Navigation stages. Students will be required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the theory of sailing, an understanding of meteorology including the various cloud formations and the weather that can be expected with each. They will understand the needs of heavy weather sailing, the necessary sail changes and the use of the correct safety equipment and procedures. They will be able to describe: how set a second anchor to reduce swinging, how to recover a fouled anchor, how to use a trip line and an anchor buoy and when and how to set an anchor watch. They will describe how to tow or be towed. They will have a knowledge of distress signals. Students will correctly describe the actions required in the following emergency situations: a dismasting, running aground on a lee shore and engine failure. Students will be able to carry out maintenance and repairs on the engine. On the water students must: sail on all points of the wind and tack and gybe in a wind of at least 15 knots, sail a compass course to within 10 degrees, carry out a man overboard recovery in darkness. They will demonstrate their ability to set, sail with including a gybe, douse and pack a spinnaker. And finally they will stand a navigation watch of 20 miles both at day and night. When completed a person can skipper a sailing vessel of up to 50 feet in length both during day and night in coastal waters regardless of weather and sea conditions.

The next stage is called Celestial Navigation. The course is theory based and requires no experience or prior qualifications. The student must be able to demonstrate the Celestial Navigation required to navigate a sailboat on an offshore passage. The successful student will have demonstrated their ability to: Convert longitude into time and standard time and zone time to GMT. They will be able to calculate: the zone time given longitude, the chronometer error given a previous error and the daily rate, the time of meridian passage of the sun and calculate the boat’s latitude from the observed meridian altitude of the sun, the times of sunrise, sunset and twilight, plot celestial lines of position on a Mercator projection or on a universal plotting sheet and the true bearing of a low altitude celestial body in order to determine the error and deviation of the compass. The student will be able to apply the corrections for index error, dip of the horizon, and total correction to convert sextant altitudes of the sun, stars, planets, and moon to true altitudes, determine the latitude at twilight by means of the Pole Star and the approximate azimuths and altitudes of the navigational stars and planets at twilight. In addition they will be capable of solving the navigational triangle using a navigation table and advance the LOP obtained from a sun sight to another LOP obtained from the sun at a later time and find the boat’s position using a running fix (sun-run-sun).

This celestial theory can be put into practice during the Offshore Passage Making course. Entrants should be certified to the Advanced Coastal Cruising level. The student will plan a passage across either the Pacific or North Atlantic using Great Circle Plotting Charts and Climatic Charts. They must show an understanding of the essential factors to be considered when selecting a vessel for an offshore ocean passage of at least 1000 miles including hull construction and shape, keel, rig, and rudder type, fuel and water capacity. They must provide a list of tools and spares required for such a voyage. They must victual the boat for four people on passage for seven days. They must list the items to be carried in the first aid kit and describe basic treatments for injuries and illnesses that may occur together with identifying a source of mare advanced medical information while on passage. They will prepare a watch keeping system and define the duties of crew members both on and off watch. They will design a maintenance plan to cover: Bilges, electronic equipment, fuel system, hatches, galley equipment, rigging, safety equipment sea cocks, steering and the water system. They will describe the procedures to be undertaken in the following emergency situations: abandon ship, dismasting, fire onboard, lightning strike, man overboard. A comprehensive knowledge of the International Regulation for Preventing Collision at Sea must be demonstrated. When the course is completed is the sailor cans skipper a sailing vessel on offshore passages in any weather.

Tackling Conservation Through A Community for Outdoor Enthusiasts

ReelTrail.com; Helping Tackle Conservation & Building a Safe Haven for Buying and Selling Outdoor Gear 

July, 2018– Created by outdoor enthusiasts for outdoor enthusiasts, ReelTrail.com is a fast-growing community and marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts looking to buy and/or sell outdoor gear. ReelTrail’s 7.5% fee compared to eBay’s 12% and Amazon’s 15% fee, makes them the lowest around, and they go one step further by donating 1% of every sale to conservation.

 

ReelTrail started from a small storefront located in Charleston, South Carolina, where father-and-son, Kirk and Ryan Leaphart, sold outdoor gear through consignment. Faced with endless frustrations from dealing with eBay and Craigslist and the cycle of fees, ReelTrail was birthed as an online community created and operated by outdoor enthusiasts to help solve the dilemma of buying and selling outdoor gear seamlessly.

 Relationships are the gold standard for us. We want to help others create small and/or large businesses through our platform, and give back to our planet at the same time. We know how it is when the big companies are over-charging, adding in hidden fees, and taking advantage of their users.” says Ryan Leaphart.

“Our core principle is transparency, and we wanted to build a safe and simple marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts to buy sell or buy gear without all the nickel-and-diming. ReelTrail does not have hidden fees, and we allow our users to list as many items as they choose to, as long as they fall within our categories!”

Created with the goal to provide a tailored community for outdoor enthusiasts, ReelTrail is very easy to use. Interested users can download the free ReelTrail app in the App Store or Google Play Store, visit them online at www.reeltrail.com. Interested sellers can choose between PayPal, Venmo, or direct deposit to be paid when their gear sells, and have a piece of mind that each item they sell contributes to conservation.

ReelTrail’s  mobile app is FREE to download in the App Store AND Google Play store, download now!

Media Details:

Contact: ReelTrail, LLC
Email: support@reeltrail.com

 

A Hiking Guide to Easter Island

 

Ask me which Pacific island has the most to offer hikers and I’ll probably answer Easter Island. Here on an island 11 km wide and 23 km long you’ll find nearly a thousand ancient Polynesian statues strewn along a powerfully beautiful coastline or littering the slopes of an extinct volcano.

The legends of Easter Island have been recounted many times. What’s less known is that the island’s assorted wonders are easily accessible on foot from the comfort of the only settlement, Hanga Roa. Before setting out see the sights, however, visit the excellent archaeological museum next to Ahu Tahai on the north side of town (the term “ahu” refers to an ancient stone platform). Aside from the exhibits, the museum has maps which can help you plan your trip.

The first morning after arrival, I suggest you climb Easter Island’s most spectacular volcano, Rano Kau, where Orongo, a major archaeological site, sits on the crater’s rim. But rather than marching straight up the main road to the crater, look for the unmarked shortcut trail off a driveway to the right just past the forestry station south of town. It takes under two hours to cover the six km from Hanga Roa to Orongo, but bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. (If climbing a 316-meter hill sounds daunting, you can take a taxi to the summit for around US$6 and easily walk back later in the day.) Once on top, you’ll find hiking down into the colourful crater presents no difficulty. It may also look easy to go right around the crater rim, but only do so if you’re a very experienced hiker and have a companion along as shear 250-meter cliffs drop into the sea from the ridge.

Another day, rise early and take a taxi to lovely Anakena Beach at the end of the paved road on the north side of the island (you should pay under US$10 for the 20 km). A few of the famous Easter Island statues have been restored at Anakena and you could go for a swim, although the main reason you’ve come is the chance to trek back to Hanga Roa around the road-free northwest corner of the island. You’ll pass numerous abandoned statues lying facedown where they fell, and the only living creatures you’re unlikely to encounter are the small brown hawks which will watch you intently from perches on nearby rocks. If you keep moving, you’ll arrive back in town in five or six hours (but take adequate food, water, and sunscreen). This is probably the finest coastal walk in the South Pacific.

Almost as good is the hike along the south coast, although you’re bound to run into other tourists here as a paved highway follows the shore. Begin early and catch a taxi to Rano Raraku, the stone quarry where all of the island’s statues were born. This is easily the island’s most spectacular sight with 397 statues in various stages of completion lying scattered around the crater. And each day large tour groups come to Rano Raraku to sightsee and have lunch. However, if you arrive before 9 am, you’ll have the site to yourself for a few hours. When you see the first tour buses headed your way, hike down to Ahu Tongariki on the coast, where 15 massive statues were reerected in 1994. From here, just start walking back toward Hanga Roa (20 km) along the south coast. You’ll pass many fallen statues and enjoy some superb scenery. Whenever you get tired, simply go up onto the highway and stick out your thumb and you’ll be back in town in a jiffy.

An outstanding 13-km walk begins at the museum and follows the west coast five km north to Ahu Tepeu. As elsewhere, keep your eyes pealed for banana trees growing out of the barren rocks as these often indicate caves you can explore. Inland from Ahu Tepeu is one of the island’s most photographed sites, Ahu Akivi, with seven statues restored in 1960. From here an interior farm road runs straight back to town (study the maps at the museum carefully, as you’ll go far out of your way if you choose the wrong road here).

A shorter hike takes you up Puna Pau, a smaller crater which provided stone for the red topknots that originally crowned the island’s statues. There’s a great view of Hanga Roa from the three crosses on an adjacent hill and you can easily do it all in half a day. A different walk takes you right around the 3,353-meter airport runway, which crosses the island just south of town. Near the east end of the runway is Ahu Vinapu with perfectly fitted monolithic stonework bearing an uncanny resemblance to similar constructions in Peru.

Easter Island’s moderate climate and scant vegetation make for easy cross country hiking, and you won’t find yourself blocked by fences and private property signs very often. You could also tour the island by mountain bike, available from several locations at US$10 a day. If you surf or scuba dive, there are many opportunities here. A minimum of five days are needed to see the main sights of Easter Island, and two weeks would be far better. The variety of things to see and do will surprise you, and you’ll be blessed with some unforgettable memories.

Kayak Fishing Tips

It takes a long time to become an expert in kayak fishing. The period of apprenticeship, which must be served in order to transform the novice into a veteran kayak angler can be discouraging and often runs into years.

About the nearest thing to a short cut is to have an old-timer take the first-timer under his wing and let the novice accompany him on kayak fishing trips

Basically, kayak fishing is gradually making a name in the industry. Its popularity is steadily creating sustainable gratifications aside from the fact that kayaks have long been used in fishing.

History has it that even in the early times; kayak fishing has long been the primary source of fish supply ranging from the ìflatfish halibutî to other kinds of big fish. These activities, which happened from the mid 18th Century until the late part of it, were all noted by the Russian Orthodox priests. These turn of events are now known as ìThe Native History.

From then on, kayak fishing continued to dominate the fishing industry, where once, people were doubtful if it could really aid the anglers to catch some fish. The steady feature brought about by its ìsit-onî type has long been the primary characteristics of kayaks that made it an ideal fishing boat.

However, with kayak fishing, the angler has to learn how to steady the kayak as he tries to paddle through the waters, in which it is considered as part of the whole process.

Therefore, for people who wish to know some tips about kayak fishing, hereís a list that may help them enjoy this tricky activity.

1. Safety first

Like any activity, it is necessary that before an individual plunges into action, he or she must first observe some safety measures and background checks to ensure security and protection against any imminent danger.

The angler must check the weather condition, the tide, and other elements concerning kayaking.

2. Hatches should be closed at all times

The angler should always keep in mind that it is best to keep the hatches closed while fishing. Water can never seep through the kayak if the hatches are kept closed.

3. Steady fishing

When the angler is already in the midst of the waters, it is better to have an anchor to keep the kayak steady while on the verge of catching fish.

Best of all, before an individual goes out to the waters, it would be better if he let somebody know his whereabouts. In this way, somebody will be able to keep track of your activity.

As they say, safety should always come first.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Women In The Outdoors: Female-Focused Programs For a Fuller Life

 

It’s 2018. The world has changed from the closed-minded appeal of businessmen and housewives to an open, joyful, and exhilarating world where everyone has the chance to get active and be rewarded with the fulfilling opportunities nature provides us. As part of the movement to empower and encourage women to get active and start participating in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, multiple state programs have been founded to educate women on water fowling, fly fishing, big game hunting, and a variety of other activities.

These programs range from one-day outdoor classes to multi-day camping trips. Through these programs, women are becoming engaged in the outdoors and are learning key tactics like wilderness survival. It’s through these programs that many women are beginning to see how fulfilling an outdoor lifestyle can be. Since many women lack good role models to teach them about the outdoors, these programs are excellent for all ages. Younger girls can even find similar experiences through youth hunting courses and other outreach programs.

Local & National Programs

Almost every state now offers a program aimed at women to teach them how to survive in the wilderness, hunt, or fish. The programs include a variety of skills and the are quickly gaining in popularity. One of the fastest growing programs in the country is the Women In The Outdoors Program offered by the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Before implementing the program, NWTF also supported many smaller programs offered through various foundations. With the national program, they are able to reach that many more women.

The issues that used to plague smaller programs—like lack of media attention—are no more. Since popularity of this kind of program began growing a few years back, multiple programs have taken off at the local, state, and national level. For instance, one newly founded organization, Women Outdoors, works across the nation to promote friendship, adventure, and leadership through programs that organize hiking, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing events.

 

The purpose of these programs is to engage, inspire, and empower women to get active in the outdoors. Many towns and counties themselves have been inspired by the success of national organizations to create their own activities for women. In fact, there’s a good chance you can find a Women In The Outdoors program in your area to teach all sorts of outdoor skills.

What’s Covered?

Every program varies by interest, region, and the organization running it. Some wildlife refuges have sponsored water fowling and hunting clinics for women, while Fish & Game boards across the country have founded multiple fishing and hunting clinics that range from fowling to big game tracking. But, not all programs are devoted to fishing and hunting activities. Many, such as those provided by the Women Outdoors organization, are focused on athletic outings like biking and kayaking. Other programs are not so much focused on teaching the skill itself, but on teaching other skills—such as communication and leadership—through activities such as skiing and hiking. The latter type of program are taken at the community-level and give women an outlet to find friends and network with other women in their area.

How Can I Join One?

If you’re interested in joining a Women In The Outdoors program, there are many ways to see what’s available to you. Depending on the type of program you’re seeking, you can call up your local Fish & Game office directly to see what they have or check online to see if one of the many national organizations has a program in your region.

If there aren’t any programs being offered yet, don’t be discouraged. In fact, you could be the one to start. Even if you don’t have the know-how to lead the class, you can bring a chapter to your region by getting in touch with an organization who offers programs you’re interested in. Just reach out to them and let them know there are interested people in your area who want a program in your town. They can help you assemble a program and find the people you need to lead it.

You can also contact your Fish & Game office and see about having an Officer or Forest Ranger come speak with you and the other people who are interested in your area. If you can get even a short list of interested women who would like to see a local program, they might even be able to set one up for you.

Before You Go

If you’re planning on joining one of these programs, make sure to get the gear you need! At ReelTrail, you can score great deals on new and used hunting, hiking, fishing, climbing, and snow gear for everyone in your house. Some gear has never been worn while other pieces may already be broken in for you!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Ever Wanted to Bow Fish?

Also known as Bow fishing, this is a sport wherein a fisherman uses archery equipment to fish.

A regular hunting bow can be used for fishing by simply attaching a reel to the front of the bow grip.

Archery fishing is especially favored by regular hunters when regular game like deer are off season. This way they can continuously hone their skills for whatever season it may be.

Before engaging in archery fishing, one must first take into consideration the following:

1. A fisherman must be duly licensed. Some states require that an individual have a state license to fish.

2. Equipment; Most states have a predetermined set of approved equipment for archery fishing.

3. Archery Safety Course; Still, some states require that an individual go through an approved safety course for archery fishing to ensure that the individual is well versed with the proper safety precautions and information regarding applicable laws in fishing.

4. Seasons; Bow fishing in some states can only be done in certain seasons. This is to allow the fish to spawn.

5. Species of fish; Some states have rules forbidding archery fishing for some species of fish.

The following skills are necessary for an individual to obtain and practice:

Knot tying. Though it may seem like a simple task, tying knots that will not slip (line for the arrow) are crucial in bow fishing.

Tuning; Tuning is making sure that the bow is at its best working condition. To ensure this, one has to continuously adjust the rest and calibrate the nock.

For a faster tuning process, one may shoot a regular bow-fishing arrow (without the tip) onto a target made of cardboard.

Marksmanship or targeting; Bow fishing and bow hunting, though similar on some aspects, really do differ on many things. Arrows for bow fishing are heavier, have larger arrow tips and, the most obvious one, has a string attached to the arrow.

And since fish are shot in the water, resistance differs as when compared to shooting in the air (for bow hunting of games)

There are various methods or ways of archery fishing. This includes the following:

1. Still hunting; A fisherman selects a place by a salt or freshwater creek or the lake in which he would wait for passing fish to shoot its bow at.

2. Stalking; This can be done on foot or while on a boat. One is in constant motion in an attempt to locate fish.

3. Ambush; Fish that are best ambushed are the ones that are spawning since they tend to crowd thus increasing chances of target.

What are you waiting for, go try it out!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Alaskan Fishing and Adventures

An Outdoorsy Picture is worth A Million Words

Whether you consider yourself an amateur photographer, or you just want to create better family photos, there are many things you can do to get better photos. Here are some easy tips to use the next time you head out with your digital camera.

Even a beginner can take professional-looking photos – suitable for framing.

Be Prepared

Keep all your photography equipment ready for use. Collect everything youíll need into one place. A camera bag is ideal, because it keeps all your stuff together and lets you carry it all with you. Everything in its place. A good camera bag will let you organize a miniature tripod, extra battereis, memory cards, etc. – even a plastic bag or waterproof housing to protect your camera in wet weather.

Hold your Camera Steady

Blurry photos are almost always the result of camera movement. Just your own unsteadiness, causes your camera to shake enough to blur your pictures.

So steady yourself and your camera before you take the shot.

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and tuck your elbows in close to your sides. Instead of using the LCD viewer, steady your camera against your forehead and frame the shot using your cameraís viewfinder. You can also steady your upper body by leaning against a wall or a tree. Or totally eliminate any camera movement by using a tripod.

Once youíre all set, gently press the shutter release in one motion. Pressing the shutter release too hard could jerk the camera downward.

Get Closer

One difference in ìsnapshotsî and really great photos is the composition of the shot. Unless youíre shooting an outdoor landscape, you can improve most photos just by getting closer to your subject. Depending on the situation, you can physically move closer to your subject, or use the zoom feature on your camera for the same effect. Try to get within a few feet of your subject so you eliminate most of the background. Youíll like the results.

Take more Pictures

Even professionals take loads of shots of the same subject – to get just a few that they will use. With a digital camera, you can delete the images you donít like, and only print the winners – so donít hesitate to take several shots of the same subject. Change the angle of the shot. Get a little closer. Adjust the lighting.

Why not fill the entire memory card with pictures of your kid at the pool, or your daughter in her cap and gown? The more pictures you take, the better the odds that youíll get a few shots that will really thrill you.

Vary the Lighting

Using natural light will give better skin tones when photographing people, so try not to use the flash if you donít have to. Outdoor daylight shots are easy, but youíll have to be a little more creative when shooting indoors. Try using the light coming in from a window for warmer tones than you would get using the flash.

Experiment with natural lighting. You can get stronger shadows by moving your subject closer to a window, and turning your subject can create more dramatic shadows.

Eliminate Red-Eye

Red-eye is the result of light passing through your subjectís eye and reflecting back. Youíll get it more often when using your flash, just because the light from the flash isnít as diffused as natural light. So the first tip for eliminating red-eye is simply to avoid using your flash when you donít absolutely have to.

Another way to reduce red-eye is to have your subject look anywhere but at the camera. This reduces red-eye because any reflection isnít directed back at your camera lens.

If you have to use the flash, some digital cameras have a built-in feature to automatically remove red-eye. Use it.

Go for Candid

Instead of posing two (or more) people looking directly at the camera, get a shot of them interacting with one another. Even two people having a conversation is more interesting than having them stand next to each other facing the camera. Some of the best professional portraits have the subject captured deep in thought, with their attention focused inward, rather than on the camera lens.

It makes a more interesting shot. Your portrait will look more natural – less posed.

Create a Scene

Putting your subject in the center of a photo is just boring. Youíll get a much more pleasing result if you place your subject off center when you frame the shot.

This is a truly professional technique. Place your subject so that they occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the total composition, but NOT at the exact center of the frame. Capture an interesting background object in the rest of the frame.

Anybody can practice these techniques. Theyíre easy and youíll get better, more professional photos.

Guide to Buying a Snowboard

Buying a Snowboard is not as easy as it used to be. There are lots of different manufacturers and even more of different models. It can get very confusing process.

There are many different types of snowboards all for different uses. Here are the most common types of snowboards.

:Freeride
:Park
:Rail
:Freestyle
:All mountain
:Powder

The snowboard has evolved from a simple design to many different styles and functions.

Purchasing a snowboard requires a few key questions to be answered, but guess what! We have the answers for you right here. Your weight, height, foot size and riding style are the main factors that will define the appropriate stiffness, height, width and shape of the board you will buy.

So lets start with the first question.

Note down your answers so you can take them to the shop when you go to rent or buy a snowboard.

Your riding ability?
If you’re a beginner, first time, newbie, taking a lesson, snowboarded 1-3 times.
Intermediate- board 3-5 times a year, ride switch/fakie catch some air, turns no problem.
Advanced- buttering up those 270s on to boxes?
What type of riding style do you enjoy most?
Your desired riding style or the terrain you wish to ride will help determine the type of board you should rent or buy.
The three main categories of riding styles are.

1. All Mountain / Freeride style snowboarder utilizes the whole mountain. You enjoy carving, catching air, making turns in fresh powder or just cruising the slopes. If you fancy a bit of everything, then all mountain is where your style is.

2. Freestyle includes mostly trick riding. Jumps, spins, grabs, jibbing, rails, basically tearing it up. Technical freestyle riding is usually found in the parks or near the halfpipe. Freestyle boards can tend to range from very soft boards(ideal for buttering and jumps) to very stiff(ideal for pipe).

3. Carve/Alpine style combines speed and deep turns and utilizes everything the mountain has to offer. Alpine riders are continually transitioning from one turn to the next. It is all about high speed and hard carving. Next we move on to the question of your weight and height, this will help us pick the correct size of board.

Length
A good rule of thumb for all mountain is that the board should stand between your chin and your nose when set on its tail. For freestyle it should be a little shorted so you can make faster spins or put more pressure at the nose or tail of the board.

Width
Snowboard width is usually directly related to your foot size, you need a board wide enough so your heel and toes do not drag in the snow while turning.

Weight
A major factor in determining the correct board size also has to do with your weight. Riders who are heavy should look for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need a board with a softer flex. Also if you are heavy for your size then pick a longer board this will give you more surface area. Like wise if you are light for your size pick a shorter board. As the increased size will make it harder for you to control the extra surface area of the board.

CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD

Brand/Model

There are multitudes of board manufactures, a good idea is when going into your local rental shop or ask the honest opinion of the brands. If you’re a newbie rider, go for one of the bigger brands, they tend to have better support and warranty.

Price
A new snowboard costs between U.S. $99.00 and $600.00.. Most Snowboard companies offer a selection of boards at different prices. The higher end boards are usually pro models or have a high technical built to them.

Graphics
Snowboards are a great way to get a message across. Most buyers choose a snowboard because of its graphical nature. This is a way to show the world your inner spirit, or not. Snowboards are quickly becoming works of art. Most Snowboard companies provide a large selection of designs and colors to choose from. Many manufacturers will not keep the same graphic for the model type board regardless of size. Graphics is a personal decision and should be considered only after the proper board characteristics have been decided. But most riders choose a board based on graphics rather than compatibility.

TIME TO BUY?

Wait! Rent first
If you are beginner it is a good idea to rent. This will allow you to try a few different styles, models and brands of Snowboards. Ski Resorts offer snowboard rentals. Board, boots and bindings can all be rented at the same time. Many local sporting goods shops also offer snowboard rentals. This is helpful to do the day before so all proper adjustments can be made.

What about a used board
A used board is a great way to go if your budget is tight, Just make sure the condition of the board is good otherwise you could be wasting your money on a board that wont ride very well. Check the rails(metal edges)for any cracks or separation from the board it self. Top sheet for any cracks in the top of the board, it might be an indication to how hard to board has been ridden. Check the base for any large scores or any signs of separation from the rails. Some boards can be fixed if they’ve had a nasty hole put in them and they can be as good as new. But just check , you your common sense.

What about Last year’s models?
This is a good way to get a new board at a great price. Unless some new material is found in outer space, it is a safe bet that last years model will ride just about as good as this year’s. Summer time is a great time to start your search for last years model, (even though its the same calendar year). Most shops want to get rid of these boards so they can make room on their shelves for the new boards. EX demo boards. Every shop will have last year’s rentals or ex demo board laying around somewhere. Ask them and you might find yourself a bargain.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.