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Aug 02, 2017

Hit the Trails: 6 Next-Level Gear Items to Take with You On Your Next Car Camping Trip

There's something about a winding road. It's still a bit wild and rebellious, like nature hasn't completely given in to the straight line of civilization just yet. That's the kind of highway that I think of when I want to take a road trip, and no road trip is complete without a day or two of car camping. For me, car camping is a great mix between roughing it and going posh in a rented bed. I just seem to find a lot more enjoyment when I can bring just a few more pieces of gear along, but still sleep outside. Here are a few of my favorite pieces I take with me on every car camping adventure these days.   

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Jun 02, 2017

Fly Fishing Basics: Everything You Need to Get Started

Did you know there are more fish in the water than stars in the sky? S

eriously, the water you have within a few minutes of your house is almost guaranteed to be sheltering a school of those fin-tailed creatures just below the surface. All those mouths have to eat, and it's easier than you think to get started in the timeless art of fly fishing.   

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May 16, 2017

The 7 Best Apps for Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, and Other Outdoor Adventures

Most of the time, the whole point of going on a hike or camping trip is to get away from technology. We couldn't agree more. But the truth is, most of us still carry our smart phones for emergency calls, wayfinding, and camera possibilities, all in a single package. Our vote? Turn off the email and the Twitter alerts, and take advantage of the way your phone can enhance your trip. Just make sure your protect it from the weather. 

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Apr 20, 2017

5 Things You Should Take with You on Every Single Bike Ride

created at: 04/30/2016

Says Ernest Hemingway, "it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” 

We couldn't agree more. Nowhere looks more like itself than the way it looks on two wheels. And no matter your pursuit, there's a bike for it. Whether you're looking to spin for miles through country lanes on a road bike, run errands on a stout commuter bike built for comfort on city streets, or zip down tree-lined single track on a mountain bike, at the end of all the fun and adventure, you're going to have to get back to where you started. Safely, efficiently, and, hopefully, comfortably.

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Feb 20, 2017

7 Great Sports Movies...That Are Really About Something Else

created at: 01/13/2015

Jesus taught in parables, and Polonius advised his king "by indirections to find directions out." One of the best things about revisiting classic sports movies as an adult is suddenly realizing all the incredible themes and lessons that were way over your head as a boy, but you likely absorbed through osmosis. Whether you’ve never seen these films or can practically do them as a one-man show, here are seven classic movies about sports that are really about something else…   

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Dec 05, 2016

Take a Walk: What a Day in the Woods Does to Me

I recently read an exceptional book by John Muir, father of our modern wanderlust and grand adventurer in a time where the great outdoors was truly an untamed place. His descriptions of a first look at the Sierras, of the sprawling views of Yosemite, and the way the woods filled his soul like nothing else could. While the wild is a bit more domesticated now with established trails, cell coverage, and guidebooks, it still holds in an important key to the overall sanity of humankind.

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Sep 26, 2016

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of the Tailgate

These days, the word "tailgate" conjures up images of cooler and pavement, jerseys and face paint, grills and foldable chairs. But, despite its current association with parking lots and sporting events, it's actually got quite a rich history. Like, older than you think. Like... 1861?   

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Sep 14, 2016

How to: to Beat Those Boardwalk Games Like A Champ

I wish I could say I loved winning as much as I hate losing (what's up, negativity bias) but unfortunately I can't. So generally speaking I avoid boardwalk-type games that are usually unevenly weighted against the participant, but the recent fervor of state fair mania in my hometown got me thinking about them, when I conveniently came across this...   

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Sep 08, 2016

How to Prepare for a Day Hike

How to Prepare for a Day Hike

As autumn cools the air here in the south you will quickly find all the campgrounds and nature centers booked up from September through November. It seems like everyone comes out of their humidity-soaked habitats and are starved to trek all the great mountains and valleys all across the southeast. Hiking season is upon us!

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Aug 24, 2016

How to: Build a Set of Classic Cornhole Boards for The Backyard

Cornhole is the perfect backyard game. It's got a leg up on other lawn games like croquette since it's you can play it one-handed with a drink in the other, without ever having to actually leave your conversation. On the other hand, it also lets you to get as competitive as you want with it (unless you're me and your brother-in-law has to limit how excitable you're allowed to get for the onlooker's sake)...   

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Aug 23, 2016

An Original History of the Baseball Bat

From Roy Hobbs' “Wonderboy” in The Natural to Tom Cruise’ thinking bat in A Few Good Men, baseball bats hold a special place in the American masculine consciousness. A versatile weapon on the field, the baseball bat embodies an element of the American dream wherever it goes. The lone batter, a man himself against an entire team, hoping to hit it big.   

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Aug 10, 2016

The Process: Making an English Longbow from Scratch

created at: 05/28/2013

With the summer Olympics in full swing, it's time to start paying attention to one of the many sports that most of us barely remember until this time every four years: archery. (We love you too, steeplechase and race walking.) As an ancient sport dating back some 64,000 years, the bow and arrow's construction has understandably undergone some manufacturing changes. But not for John Neeman Tools...    

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Jul 22, 2016

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of the High Five

created at: 07/29/2014

So, where did the high five come from?           

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Jul 21, 2016

How a Dirty Old Waffle Iron Became Nike's Holy Grail

Every great breakthrough has its "Eureka!" moment, whether we're talking the discovery of gravity or the founding of the world's largest shoe empire. In the latter's case, that happened while searching for a way to create cleats meant for a urethane track (meaning no more metal spikes on the bottom of running shoes), and it involved a household wafflemaker. The infamous wafflemaker was then lost for decades... and now found.   

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Jun 27, 2016

How To: Make a Canoe from a Single Sheet of Plywood

In my neighborhood, we have an excellent urban bike trail that runs along the a fairly large river that divides my city in half. Often, while cycling, I'll see folks, mostly elderly men, pop out onto the trail with their large canoes and kayaks.

"How fun," I always think, but there's no liveries or rentable canoe places until you drive an hour or so out of the city. Of course, I wouldn't need to rent one if I could get my hands on a piece of softwood plywood and a saw.

Which I can.

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Jun 07, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Canvas and Leather Archer's Quiver

Matt Pierce came up with this tough and rugged design for a DIY archery quiver. Created from long lasting materials like leather, canvas, and cooper, this guy is all kinds of durable and all kinds of stylish.    

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May 13, 2016

The Ultimate Cycling Library: The 8 Essential Bicycle Books Every Man Should Read

created at: 05/02/2016

If you search for a list of best books about bicycles, you'll find several... and among them, you'll notice a definite trend. They're all about "cycling" - the competitive racing of road bikes - rather than "bicycles" - the thing with two wheels and a chain and handlebars.

Not that we have anything against competitive cycling (we love it), but only true dedicated fans of the sport need a list of biographies and recaps of historic Tour de Frances, and the like.   

So instead, we set out to create our own cycling library that encompasses all aspects of the simple, brilliant machinery that is the bicycle, and all the fun that comes with it.

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May 13, 2016

7 Great Cycling Movies You Can Stream Right Now

created at: 05/02/2016

For our money, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than spinning on two wheels. But if the weather's not cooperating or the sun gone down too soon, then there's no better way than spending an afternoon getting inspired to ride tomorrow by watching a great movie about bicycles. Here are seven you can stream right now with your Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts.

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May 12, 2016

9 Important Tools to Help Your Step Up Your Bicycle Game to the Next Level

created at: 05/03/2016

Let's say you've learned to make basic adjustments on your family's bikes, and then assembled a basic bike-specific tool kit to keep things running smoothly and avoid labor costs and long turnaround times at the bike shop.  Let's say you actually enjoy it, and have learned to appreciate the zen and simplicity of keeping things running smoothly. Let's say you're actually good at it.

If that's the case, then it's time to really upgrade your collection of tools to tackle almost any problem your bike might have. 

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May 11, 2016

15 Essential Bike Tools Every Cyclist Should Own

created at: 05/03/2016 Once you've identified the essential tools you should take with you on every bike ride, and built a small tool kit to keep things running smoothly, it's time to look at assembling the right tools and materials to keep your bike in good shape without having to take it to the shop every time you need a small adjustment. 

A lot of that comes with knowledge, but you can find loads of free information on simple adjustments online, and especially on YouTube. The trick is to make sure you have the right tool to tackle whatever you're learning. 

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