Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Rode VideoMic Me Review
By Jeff Barlow (Nimrod Outdoors)

Have you ever tried to record a video with your Cell Phone? Of course you have, we all have. Do you do it on a regular basis? Are you a Vlogger or a Film Maker and use your cell phone?

I know we use our cell phone to record video all the time of our hunts. In the beginning of our YouTube channel, my cell phone was all I had to record with. Some guys out them have highly expensive cameras or video camera but I just had my cell phone.

There were some great benefits for using my phone. Your phone is just so handy. Its small and fits in your pocket, you never go anywhere without it and I had the videos or pics right there at my fingertips and it was easy to post to social media from there. The cameras (video and pics) on phones is improving every day but the worst part was the sound. To get the quality sound you needed for your videos was really hard, unless it was a perfectly calm day they wind could cause major microphone problems.
We did a little research and found the solution. It is called the Rode VideoMic Me. It is a super great little mic to take with you wherever you go to get great sound quality while recording video with your cell phone in an outdoor setting.

The VideoMic Me is a lightweight, compact, high-quality directional microphone that plugs in directly to the phones microphone/headphone 3.5mm socket. Its got a great mounting system that allows it to work with almost any smartphones. You can use it with both the primary camera and front facing (selfie) camera depending on which way the mic is facing.

On the back of the mic there is a 3.5mm headphone jack that allows you to playback your videos without having to remove the microphone to assure quality sound. The VideoMic Me includes a deluxe furry windsock for shooting outdoors or in windy conditions. It is such an easy plug and play mic that requires no batteries or external power to run. I runs off you cell phone battery and uses very little power.
The mic is about 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide and weighs in at just over an ounce. It fits perfect into a pocket for quick access. It records in a cardioid pattern, which means it records from the front and sides and rejects sound from behind. The frequency range of this little mic is 100Hz – 20kHz and the connection output is TRRS. You can find this mic on Amazon for around $50 https://www.amazon.com/Rode-VideoMic-Cardioid-Mini-Shotgun-Microphone/dp/B018KIJGU8
We have used this mic many times and the windsock make a world of difference when trying to get good quality sound while outdoors. It can be blowing very hard and you can still get great sound. You can also use the mic in indoor settings when you want to make sure you get good quality sound on your recording.
If you are a Regular Joe and don’t have a lot of extra income to get the high end cameras, you should look into getting the Rode VideoMic Me as an addition to your cell phone recording. Whether you are trying to record a hunt or your kids playing in the championship game, this mic will up your sound quality and you won’t be disappointed.

We will have a YouTube Product Review video on the Rode VideoMic Me on our YouTube Channel which will give you audio samples of recording with the mic. http://www.youtube.com/nimrodoutdoors


Check it out this cool microphone at https://www.rode.com/microphones/videomicme

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


What Makes You Quiet?

Product Review of the SneekTec Sneek Boot

By Jeff Barlow (Nimrod Outdoors)



We get asked occasionally to do a product review of something we carry in our backpacks. SneekTec is the company that makes one of these items in our packs. SneekTec is in the game of making you quieter. They are driven by a passion to eliminate sound. Their Flagship product is the Sneek Boot.

SneekTec was created in 2007 by Mike Barrick. Mike noticed how much noise he was making while trying to stalk a Mule Deer. Mike immediately started thinking of ways he could reduce the sound he was creating while stalking. Mike became obsessed with silence and soon developed a revolutionary new idea, and the Sneek Boot was born. Sneek Boots eliminate the noise created by footfall in nearly all conditions.

We found SneekTec and the Sneek Boot about 2 years ago. We were looking for the same thing as Mike had been years ago. Ways to get closer to our query without being detected. As you know we have a bunch of us that always hunt with us, and quite often they are younger less experienced hunters (that don’t watch where they are stepping all the time, LOL). To help us improve our stalking abilities we were on the search for something.

We got our first pair of Sneek Boots and tried them out. We used them at home around the yard, on some scouting trips and while we were out camping just to get use to them. They are really easy to put on and come in a handy little bag you can hook to your backpack or drop inside your pack.
 
We put them to the test on some archery deer hunts that year. We were able to get into range for Joey a couple time and he was able to get a couple shots. Just throwing out a disclaimer right here, these boots cannot make you a better shot. LOL The boots seemed to work great for keeping the sound levels of our stalk down to a low roar with the boys. LOL

We used them on flat sage brush areas mixed with rocks. We used them on thick wooded area with lots of twigs and some deadfall. We tried them on steep slopes of the alpine country. In all locations they seemed to perform well. The only drawback we found was on very steep terrain there was some foot slippage side to side and it took a little bit to get use to walking with them on.  On the flat ground it was honestly like walking on clouds.


They use a great webbing design with strong cinching straps to help keep the boot snuggly affixed to you hiking boot. This is one of the things we liked best about the Sneek Boot. You do not have to remove you hiking boots to use them. For a guy like me this was huge. I have such tender feet I have a hard time walking across my grass at home in my socks. LOL

The material they use is a Berber Fleece fabric or a Silent Suede material. The Berber Fleece is a quieter and more durable material. The Silent Suede resists thorns and burrs from sticking to it. Both are great material, you just need to decide which works best for you. The foam interior is an industrial grade upholstery foam with is designed to take and handle abuse.

The Sneek Boots weigh in at around 1 pound. It is a little extra weight in your pack but if it gets you those extra necessary yards closer (undetected), the weight is worth it. We have not noticed the extra weight in our packs and it is great to have the boot when we need them.


If you have any questions about the Sneek Boot or SneekTec feel free to reach out to us or get in contact with SneekTec. They are located on the web at www.sneektec.com and also found on Instagram, FaceBook and YouTube.

We would recommend you watch some of their YouTube videos and learn more about the Sneek Boot and we would recommend you get you a pair and try them out.


Make sure to check out some of our other product reviews on our blog to see what else we carry in our pack.



Monday, December 9, 2019


5 Common Trail Cam Mistakes
By Jeff Barlow & Terron Hunt
(Nimrod Outdoors)

There are so many positives and negatives that come along with Trail Cameras. Some people don’t agree with their use, some do. Today we want to talk about other parts of trail cams that can make, or in this case….break your trail cam setups.

We are going to talk about 5 of the common mistakes that are made when setting up your trail cams. There are most likely many more mistakes but these are the 5 we want to go over.

#1 Location – When looking for a location to hang your trail cam, there are many things you can do to save time and effort. Do some good e-research and look at maps before you head out. Look for places that are travel spots, where you can see trails on Google Earth (or other mapping software) that might mean animal movement between areas. Also look for places that look like water sources or feeding areas; look for bedding areas. This will give you tons of info so that when you actually get out there and put boots on the ground you have a good place to start and you’re not just wandering around looking for something.

  
 #2 Direction – When setting up your trail cam, make sure to set it up facing North or South. If you set them up in an East or West direction you will get sun bursts in your pics. East facing cams with have washed out pic in the morning hours as the sun rises, West facing cams will have washed out pics in the evenings as the sun sets. These are the most productive hours for wildlife activity and to capture pictures. By setting your cams facing North or South you should get the best results on your pics.

#3 Angle – You have now found the perfect location and tree (facing the right direction) to mount your trail cam to. Look at the surrounding area and see if you can see where the wildlife might be moving to and from. Make sure to angle your camera in a way that you get a good pic of the area. Don’t angle the cam to high so you only get the heads or the feet of the animals as they pass through. One tip is to take your cell phone out and put it in front of the camera and take a pic. Look at it and
see if you like the angle, make adjustments until you’re satisfied.


#4 Checking Cams – When going out to check your cams. Don’t do it in the most active hours for animal activity. Check your cams midday when you shouldn’t bump or run into animals that are at your trail cam location. Checking the cams midday allows you to use the productive hours of morning and evening to get to a glassing location and watch the wildlife in those sweet hours.


#5 Use Bait – Obviously this is state specific, as some states don’t allow for baiting over trail cameras, but use baits where you can.  Animals need a reason to come into the view of your camera, and bait is a great way to do that.  If you are not able to use bait, use another area in which there is high traffic of the animal you’re pursuing.  This can be a well-used trail, a water source, or really anything natural that attracts an animal.


Hopefully following these Tips you can get some High Quality Trail Cam pics that you will be able to enjoy. Hopefully this article has been helpful and you learned something new. If you have any other suggestions for readers put it in the comments below. Now get out there and get some cool trail cam pics and share them with us.


Bonus Tip - Don’t use your trail cam to spy on your Wife!!! Enough said. LOL

Saturday, November 2, 2019



New Life Saving Product

By Jeff Barlow (Nimrod Outdoors)

I remember a night a few years ago that was one of the longest hardest nights I have ever spent on the mountain. I had killed a bull back in the back country, a couple miles from the truck through a very deep canyon. By the time we processed the bull, so we could get him out, it had turned very dark on us. There was no way we were going to be able to get out through the big canyon in the dark. We spend a very cold long night on the mountain. We were not prepared for that night.


This last year we ran into a new product that could have save us that long cold night. We were introduced to Pyro Putty, which is a sticky moldable putty that lights very easy.  It is light weight and comes in 3 different blends for different situations. There is a winter blend, a summer blend, and an eco blend. It comes in 2 different sizes (.5 oz can or a 2 oz can) and fits great into any pack. 




They also have different ways for lighting the Pyro Putty from a Dual Arc Plasma Lighter to a Ferro Rods. You can also use just a regular match to light it. If you have the patience you can even light it with a magnifying glass. 






All you have to do is pull out some of the putty, from the size of a pea or up to the size of a nickel, pull it apart exposing some of the fibers and light it. A piece the size of a Nickel will bur for about 8 - 10 minutes. In windy conditions make sure to establish a good flame before exposing it to the wind.





We have used it a time or two on the mountain and it is super easy to get a fire started. My boys started a fire in about 30 seconds and were getting warm last week on our deer hunt. If you haven't checked out Pyro Putty you definitely need to give it a look. This is something you can put in your pack that could save your live. I know it would have change one night for me and made it much nicer that night on the mountain. 


Check out Pyro Putty at https://pyroputty.com/



Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sleeping Pads "How to Choose"


SLEEPING PADS
What to look at before you buy
Jeff Barlow (Nimrod Outdoors)


It’s important to remember that each of us is different sizes and shapes and what works for me may not work for you or your hunting partner either.  Each person has to decide what is the most important to them. As I get a little older I realize that after a few nights on the ground it would be nice to have a pad that had a little more cushiness for my old bones. I may be willing to part with a little more money to buy a thinker pad where as my collage age son may say I don’t have the money for the more expensive thicker air pad, but I am young and strong and I can handle sleeping right on the ground so I can get a thin lightweight inexpensive foam pad. Each person’s needs and wants are going to be different so this list is just things to consider while looking at purchasing a sleeping pad.


TYPE – There are 2 types of pads and they both have their pros and cons. There is the Foam Pad or the Air Pad. Like I said pros and cons.
               
                   
Your foam pads are usually cheaper. You don’t have to do anything with a foam pad except roll it out, no pumping or blowing required. The other major benefit is that they can’t pop and leave you laying on the ground. The foam pads (at least for me) is not as comfortable to sleep on and is ridged and takes up more space in my pack. The Air Pads on the other hand are much smaller in packing size and they are much nicer to rest your aching bones on. They do take a little more effort to set them up (and at 10,000 feet elevation, oxygen is at a premium, LOL) and they can get holes in them at times so make sure to have a repair kit with you. Also look at the warranty on the different pads, there are some pads that can have issues with faulty valves or other things that a good warranty will cover. Think about your needs and where and how you will be using the pad when trying to decide which type to buy.


WEIGHT – This is a huge issue to consider if you are going into the backcountry (or for that matter any further than 10 feet from your car). You do have to carry these pads, they don’t just fall from the sky once you have reached your camping location. Pads can be a great thing in your pack or a miserable amount of extra weight.

The thicker the pad the more comfortable you sleep (most the time) but also the added weight you carry. Also, when you are talking ultralight weight, the lighter it is, most likely the more expensive it will become. Make sure to weigh out (Get that pun) what is most important to you. For a good backpacking pad you are looking anywhere between 13oz to 32oz depending on what you get.


WARMTH – Again, you need to look at the use of the pad when worrying about warmth. I remember not too long ago when I had an uninsulated pad sleeping on the frozen ground, mistake for sure. The question is, will you be using the pad (the majority if the time) in warmer conditions where you won’t need as much insulation (R-Value) or are you going to be doing a lot of winter camping? The higher the R-value, the warmer the pad will keep you, so to speak. Pads with R-values of 0-2 are good for warm weather, R-values of 3-4 are good for most conditions, and R-values of 4+ are good for nights you know you will be sleeping on the frozen ground. 1 thing to remember is that the more R-Value you have the more expensive and heavier the pad will become.


SIZE – There are tons of options here. There are supersized pads and there are minimalist pads (only covering down to about mid-thigh) out there. Some pads out there that have parts of the pad removed (locations where the padding is not as necessary and to help save weight).

Shoulder and hip areas are the most important places to have the pad, these are the 2 main pressure areas when laying on your pad.  Most common pads come in a couple sizes, length, width and thickness. It is up to you to determine your needs and wants and what you are willing to pay the price for and what you can sacrifice.


PACKED SIZE – There are a lot of factors that go into Pack Size. Size and thickness of your pad are the main factors. The other factor is whether it is an Air Pad or a foam pad. Air pads will pack down much smaller than foam pads, half-length thin pads will pack down smaller then full length thick pads. You will have to determine if space in your pack is an issue and make your choice of pad with that in mind.



PRICE – Ultralight backpacking pads with good insulation, size and weight are great to sleep on, but they will most likely be your most expensive pads. Prices can range on pads from $15 to over $150. The most expensive one we found while writing this article was $179. Do your research and know your needs and wants and you can find a pad that fits your size, weight, comfort and pocketbook.


Make sure to go to a physical store when you can throw the different pads on the ground and lay on them. Test them. Feel how heavy they are or how much room they take up when packed. Do yourself a favor and look at lots of pads and make decision based on your feelings after testing them. The pad you choose will make the difference for you when it counts. It is very hard to go day after day if you are not sleeping well at night.

You can at this point buy the pad at the physical store or look on line for a better deal. Make sure to look at the return policy and the warranty of the pad when purchasing online. There are lots of choices for pads out there and with some good research you can find what works best for you.



Monday, April 1, 2019






By Jeff Barlow (Nimrod Outdoors)
SCREEN TIME
HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS OFF THE SCREENS AND INTO THE OUTDOORS
 As I sit here and look at my kids this evening I begin to wonder. My wife and I have 7 children (6 living at home) and we try to keep them as involved as we can in things other than SCREENS. But this evening (Because of the snowy cold winter night) they are all having Screen Time. There are my 3 smallest watching a cartoon on Netflix, the middle 2 are playing video games (Mind Craft I believe) and the oldest is surfing Instagram on his iPod while watching his brothers playing video games. I thought to myself, what has happened to kids in this generation.

  Studies show that kids ages 2 to 8 spend on average 2.5 – 3 hours per day and teens age 8 to 18 spend more than seven hours a day, looking at screens (some of this is at school looking at computer screens). The new warning from the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, age 2 to 5, the recommended limit is one hour per day. Aug 6, 2018, CBS Morning News https://www.cbsnews.com/news/parents-need-to-drastically-cut-kids-screen-time-devices-americanheart-association/

 Screen time has an effect on health:
·      Influences Eating Behaviors – Kids get transfixed on the screen and forget to eat or forget to understand the signs they are full and continue to snack.
·  May Increase Obesity Risks – Lack of physical exercise and continual snacking/eating
·    Disrupts Sleep Quality – The blue light that’s emitted from these screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm ) to a later schedule
·      Behavior Problems – Elementary school-age children who watch TV or use a computer more than two hours per day are more likely to have emotional, social, and attention problems. Excessive TV viewing has even been linked to increased bullying behavior.

There are so many long term side effects and health risks of too much screen time, let alone the massive amount of wasted time that could be used for more productive things. Kid’s imaginations are disappearing at an alarming rate. As a kid, I played outside all the time where the sky was the limit to what I could imagine and dream up. Now they are being told what to imagine by the screens. Their ability to communicate verbally with people and interact and socialize with them is almost a lost art. It is time to unplug and find some new “Screen Time”
So in our home (currently living with us) our kids ranging from 18 down to 5. We have a kid that fits into almost every category. How can we, in our home, make sure that our kids don’t fall into this category of too much electronic screen time?

 “Screen Time” Program
S–Scenery C–Comradery R–Recreation E-Education E–Entertaining N–Nature

Scenery – It is important that your kids know that there are beautiful things out in the world beyond the screens. Take them to new places and introduce them to the world around them. Whether it be in the city or out in the country.


Comradery – It is important for kids to learn how to get to know other kids. And especially to learn how to communicate with others. Verbal communications skills are becoming a lost art but are something they will need as they grow into adulthood. Take them to the park where there are other children playing (hopefully there are other kids playing, LOL). Let them interact with the kids and learn how to get along and communicate.

Recreation – Get the kids outdoors. Go for a walk, a bike ride. Take them hiking or to a sporting event. Go for a picnic in the park. Look for things you can do with your kids that you enjoy doing together. There are so many things out there that your kids will never know about if you don’t introduce them.

Education – As you start doing more things away from the screen, find ways to teach your kids about things you see and do and be enthusiastic about it. If you go for a bike ride, take the time to help them make sure their bike is ready. Check the tires, make sure the breaks work and that you have the right safety equipment (helmets, reflectors, etc.) Take those moments to see that even when you are learning you can have fun. These can be some of the greatest life lessons you ever teach. And they can and will have long-lasting effects on your kids.

Entertaining – Make sure that your kids enjoy what you’re doing. Kids crave screen time because it entertains them. Make sure what you are doing with them is for their entertainment, not yours. If your children are 4 and 6 years old you can’t take them to an art gallery, while you may totally enjoy that your kids would be bored. Get down on their level and enjoy what they enjoy.

Nature – One of the best things about nature is that it is one big screen!!! Get out there and let your kids find out what nature is all about. Whether that be going for a short hike or going camping, let them be outdoors and learn to enjoy the quiet and peace that is felt there. That sunset that will never be forgotten. That butterfly that lands on their nose and tickles their face with its wings. These things will be etched in their minds and bring you closer together.

Challenge
I challenge you for the next month (well make that when it gets a little warmer, lol) to spend as much “Screen Time” with your kids as possible. It will have lasting positive effects on both your life and theirs and you both will be happy you did.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fishing with Cute Girls - Nimrod Outdoors


This is one of the events we most look forward to all year. Follow along as we go fishing with CUTE Girls!! This is the 2nd annual Girls fishing trip we have been involved with and it is an awesome event. It is important to us at Nimrod Outdoor to get the Kids and Youth involved in the Outdoors and teach them that there is a life outside. What a fun evening we had with this young ladies as some of them learned to bait a hook, how to get their fish off the hook and release it back into the water. 

What are you involved in that helps get the kids and youth outdoors?