Water – The Ultimate Camping Essential

If there is anything that you need to have without fail when camping out it is without a doubt, water.  Not only do you quench your thirst with it, you will need it to cook your hiking meals  If you want to enjoy camping stress free hydration is a key factor.  Water is essential to life. Here are some tips on how to use, store and conserve water while on a camping trip.

Storage

Gallon jugs are the best choice. It is easy to use and convenient for campers to grab some water on their way to a hike.  You can also use a 2-gallon container with spout. They are quite useful in camping trips for filling up just about anything.  For campers, hydration bladders are perfect as they provide amazing versatility for campers that plan to be on the trail and in camp by nightfall.  Water bags are also a good alternative as they can fit into almost any pack, left on a picnic table or from a tree branch. They are also cheap and most can withstand different weather and environmental conditions.

Filters

Your water needs to be safe to drink when out camping. There are a number of ways that you can ensure that the water you drink is safe. Ultraviolet sterilizers, water treatment drops, squeeze filters and even gravity flow filters are available depending on scenario.

Managing Water

When in camp, establish several watering stations. It is quite convenient to have a tap water in a central location for washing up and it also needs to be close enough for cooking your dehydrated backpacking food There also needs to be another station for refilling drinking water.  When your trip is winding down you could chip away at the block ice to cool drinks in bottles as well as in your hydration bladder. Do always pack water enhancers when you are out camping. They contain essential electrolytes to help stave of dehydration and keep your energies up.

How to use Camping Food Properly

Apart from shelter, food is the most important requirement when you are out and about in the great outdoors. One cannot be considered camping if one does not have camping meals to enjoy.  Cooking using an open flame provides that rustic outdoor feel and hearkens us back to a much more simpler time.   Here is some camping food advice to bring the best out of your meals outdoors.

Plan a Camping Menu

Most folks just grab whatever is in the shelf or the ref and some jerky until they realize that they want something else when they reach the campgrounds.  Plan a healthy camping menu that provides high energy for the many outdoor activities you plan during your trip. If you want a quick and savory option use dehydrated camping meals that you need to just put in hot water to cook and you’re done.

Choose the Right Cookware

Cast iron is your best friend and therefore you need to learn to use, care for and use it properly. Cast iron is very durable and versatile and offers the best cooking surface for outdoor camping.  When it comes to cooking utensils, less is more. Look for ones that have multi-functionality. Leave the non-stick pans at home because if you use them over a campfire they do tend to release toxic chemicals. Campfires tend to become real hot so keep your distance and be sure to wear protective gloves when you are moving pans around.

Cook Using Coals

When starting a fire, begin one on one side of the fire pit and then slowly add some wood on the open side. This will allow the fire to be moved from one side of the fire pit to the other creating an excellent bed of coals to cook on.

Use Block Ice

If you have to choose, use block ice rather than simple ice cubes. If you are camping for the weekend, load the cooler with at least one block ice, stack food and drinks and the remaining space with ice cubes.  Drain the water only if the water no longer keeps the food cold.

How to use Fire Safely and Efficiently During Camping

There is nothing like the soft warm glow of a campfire to shoo away the blues after a long day out in the trail.  However, planning your campfire especially when using wood is what gives campers a lot of headaches when they are out in the wilderness. Too little and you end up not being able to cook your hiking food properly while too much is a safety and health hazard.  Here are some essential tips for you to consider.

Identify the Burn Rate

As a rule, twelve to fourteen logs in split sections offer enough wood for cooking dehydrated camping meals in cast iron as well as enough fuel for a comfortable fire to last until midnight.  Do take note however that lighter dry wood tends to burn much quicker than hardwoods. Do also take some extra wood for an unplanned extra day in order to also cover for any contingencies. If you have some left, simply give it away to other campers or sell it off rather than bring it home.

Starting a fire with Minimal Effort

Use cotton balls with a hint of petroleum jelly to start your fire. Do store them properly in reseal able bags for convenient and less messy access.  You may also use cardboard toilet paper rolls filled with dryer lint to easily start a fire.  Purchase fire starter sticks available in the same section of the grocery where you can find charcoal.

Fire Safety

It is a known fact that fire pits get very hot to the touch instantly. It is recommended to use rocks to surround the fire pit and make it look neat. This not only creates a barrier but also provides a safe distance between the flame and kids.  Do take the time to explain how fire s made so they know what you are doing and how it works. Include them in the process by letting them collect tinder.  Do consider what your kids are wearing, as there are some highly flammable garments that can be quite dangerous if near an open flame.

Camping Shelter Tips to make you Feel like a Champion Camper

Most people go camping for 3 days on average while a smaller percentage hit the campgrounds for a week or greater at a time. Do you know that u need not have to sacrifice your comfort in order to enjoy the great outdoors? Here is some essential camping advice to make you feel like a champion camper.

Aside from camping food, shelter is the number one priority you need to know well when you are outside enjoying nature. Shelter is your safe haven and it is where you seek refuge during inclement weather. Ensuring that your shelter provides top-notch comfort needs more than just a large tent.

When choosing a Campsite

It is important to avoid widow makers like dead trees that can fall at anytime to injure you or someone you love. Check a potential campground for debris and tree branches and avoid it like the plague.  If you just walked-in meaning you did not have a reservation for a campground, it is essential that you survey the landscape as nosy or loud campers can easily ruin your weekend.

Picnic Tables & Fire pits

Many campsites have picnic tables and fire pits so make use of these amenities while you cook your camping meals outdoors.  Campsites with a bit of tree cover albeit healthy ones are good especially in the event of some light rain.

Selecting the Best Shelter

Correct Tent Size

It is imperative that you select the correct tent size for your needs. Bigger does not always mean better. Remember, the larger the tent, the more effort it needs to set up and pull down. Smaller tents offer superior flexibility in terms of location in campsites. Do consider wind direction as well as placing your tent downwind could result in a smoky night’s sleep.  Less gear inside the tent means more room to stretch your legs.

For Solo Campers

Hammocks are an ideal shelter for solo campers. They are versatile easy to setup and pull down and are available for a wide range of environmental conditions and temperatures.  They also minimize your footprint if the campsite is small.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in your LinkedIn Profile

We all know for a fact that in order to be successful in business we need to establish ourselves as believable, trustworthy and referral-worthy to other professionals in our industry. LinkedIn is a professional career-oriented network site with 400 plus million subscribers all over the world. It is used to evaluate people we work with as well as people that we may work with someday. Some of the biggest mistakes businesses make happens in their LinkedIn profile. If you want to get the connections you need to improve your reputation and get referrals, avoid these LinkedIn profile mistakes.

Hiding Behind a Company Persona

According to Internet Marketing Minnesota specialists, many business owners especially the new ones are hesitant talking about themselves, this fear can make you look like you are substituting the real you and hiding behind the persona of your company. People that make this mistake in their profile are those that show the company logo instead of their own. People need to connect with someone not something. Get a high-quality professional headshot where your face takes up most of the space. Never use a Selfie or a company logo.

No Summary

Writing a summary about your company may be a missed opportunity but not having an actual one is way worse. LinkedIn is not supposed to be all about just your accomplishments, it is also a means to show the world, who you are and that is what the summary page is for. There are about a couple of thousand characters you can use for the summary, use as much as you need in order to pique the interest of your connections.

Profiles that Look Desperate

According to SEO Minnesota specialists, the most attractive candidate is one that is employed and the most desirable consultant is one that is always in-demand. Never create a profile that looks like you need a favor from your connections. Avoid words like “seeking employment” or “ready for my next job”. The objective of the headline is pique the interest of the reader to want to read on, and they are more likely to do so if you do not sound like you’re asking for a favor or a handout. Make the headline compelling, not desperate.

How to Avoid the Most Common LinkedIn Mistakes

There is no doubt that LinkedIn is a very powerful business networking tool that allows user to connect with other professionals in order to establish contacts and potential customers.  With over 414 million users in over 200 countries around the world, this career-oriented social network is indeed a big influencer to help business owners touch base with authorities in their respective industry. If you want to increase the authority of your site, you will need the endorsement of people that are known to be the best in what they do, connecting with them via LinkedIn is a good way to expand your network and thereby increase your online presence.

Avoiding Personalized Messages

Sure you are probably sending a ton of connection requests everyday but that does not mean that your request should sound robotic and part of a mass email effort.  According to Internet Marketing Minnesota experts, bulk template like messages show that you have done absolutely no effort or research to connect with the person you want to establish contact with.  A personalized message while takes more time to write is not only more credible but also shows a genuine effort on your part to connect.

Connecting for the Sake of Getting More Connections

Some businesses in an effort to expand their reach and network in the industry are in a hurry to reach that 500+ mark without determining the legitimacy and importance of those connections to their business. It all boils down to quality, not quantity.  The more people in your network that you do not know means the more time you have to spend scrolling to determine whether or not you have created the right connection or not.

Ignoring Network Activity

According to SEO Minnesota specialists, LinkedIn is really more “network” rather than “social” to most if its users. Do not simply use it when you are actively looking to get more connections for your business, use it also to engage with those connections, as this will establish goodwill. People are more open to providing referrals if they have interacted with that person or seen some activity of that person in their network. It does not take too much time to click the “like” button or offer a congratulatory message.

Effective Means of Approaching Content Marketing for your Business

In this day and age where social media is everywhere, it is quite surprising that there are still a lot of businesses that do not realize the importance of creating fresh, new content for their websites, in order to improve customer service, sales or for raising brand awareness.  Before you whip out the checkbook and order some new content for your site, there are a few other things you need to consider such as audience, reach, delivery, aims and timing to name few.  Here are some methods on how to approach content marketing for your business.

Defining Your Objective

According to Internet Marketing Minnesota specialists, content marketing has huge ROI potential but in order to make it work for your business, you will need to invest a lot of time. Prior to commencing a content marketing campaign, you need to have the end objective in mind. Examples of such goals include: higher awareness for your brand, lead generation and development, customer conversion, customer service, upsell and lastly subscribers.

Get More Subs to Get More Customers

If someone agrees to receive email from you, they are providing you with permission to market your product to them. A well-designed permission based email marketing would give you the chance to develop one-to-one relationships with a large pool of potential customers. The 1st step is to get subscribers and then over time send them anticipated, personal and relevant emails to convert these subscribers into paying customers.

Defining Your Audience Persona

According to SEO Minnesota experts, if you want to run a successful content marketing campaign you need to plan your content in order to fulfill the needs and wants of your target audience. Most of the time business owners design content to their own thinking instead of the customer. Prior to starting your campaign get very clear on who your audience is so you can develop content in tune with your audience personas.

Here are some tips on how to determine audience personas:

Answer the ff:

Who is she or he?

What information this person needs?

What does this person care about?

It is not advisable to assume answers, do take time to interview your target audience, take time but no need to be perfect

Data-Driven Augmentations to Supercharge your Content Marketing Campaign

In the word of online marketing, content will always be king. If you are marketing your brand using content marketing you will need to publish not just high quality content that touches base with your audience you also need to ensure that content goes viral.  Here are some data-driven augmentations to quickly increase the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign.

Set Clear Objectives for your Content

Most business owners if you ask them what they want to achieve from their content marketing campaign, they most likely will answer to achieve more profits for their business. The issue here is that there are only a few examples where a single piece of content will directly lead to an increase in sales for your business. 

Internet Marketing Minnesota recommends focusing your energies towards objectives that are just one or two steps behind an actual sale. For example, when creating a blog post the goal would be is to number 1: to increase traffic to your site in order to generate new leads and eventually sales. The 2nd objective would be is to improve customer loyalty, which will eventually lead to repeat customer sales and word-of-mouth recommendations.  Lastly is to touch base with influencers in your industry, which will open up new marketing opportunities thereby automatically increasing the influence and authority of your brand.

Know the right Metrics to Track

According to SEO Minnesota specialists, most folks that become entrepreneurs base their decision on emotion instead of hard data which almost always leads to profit loss, time and money.  However, knowing the right metrics to track takes away the guesswork from major decisions which mean you can make the right ones based on numbers and not just purely on emotion which will lead to lower risk of loss.

5 Metrics to know include the ff:

Investment Metrics – determines how much you are spending on content marketing and the ROI for those activities.

User Metrics – this shows how many page views you are getting as well as how many downloads, likes your content is generating.

Sharing Metrics – this shows how many times and what channels your content is being shared.

Lead Metrics – shows how many leads your content has generated via email opt-ins or from social media subscribers.

Sales Metrics —  the most essential of the metrics as it tells you how many leads that you generate from the content end up becoming paying customers.

Use the right tools as well as develop a system in order to track these metrics so you can easily see what is working and what is not so you can easily integrate changes.

Top Online Marketing Trends to Drive your Sales

The ever-evolving nature of the Internet has spawned new and innovative ways for Internet entrepreneurs to develop new methods for getting more profit in the online marketplace. Search engine optimization will of course continue to be relevant and produce amazing results but these new trends cannot be ignored. If you are interested in improving your online presence and sales, here is some top online marketing trends to help drive your sales.

Micro-Influencers

According to Internet Marketing Minnesota experts, influencer marketing can offer the highest return if combined with other forms of online marketing. How many new brands and products have tied up with the likes of highly sought after social influencers like the Kardashians? Of course this is possible if they can pay six-figures to get the nod. This is the reason why micro-influencers are becoming the better alternative and the good news is it works.

Look for micro-influencers that have smaller followings and also align with the needs of your brand or product and you will achieve excellent results. Not only are they more affordable than big name superstars, the type of engagement they provide is quite genuine and reliable.

Live Video

Last year, major players like Facebook and Instagram began adapting streaming as a way of connecting better to your followers. Facebook Live and Instagram Live Video for instance allow you to reach your target audience in a way that is quite personal and cost-effective.

Paid up Social Media

According to SEO Minnesota specialists, the organic means of reaching followers back in the early days of social media is long gone. This is no surprise, as advertising revenue make up the major portion of profits collected by social media titan Facebook.  Simply put, if you want to reach the millions of people on social media, get ready to pay for it.  Begin small and learn first the ins and outs of paid social media promotion. Facebook ads are a cost-effective means of delivering amazing reach without necessarily breaking the bank.

Chat Bots

More and more brands are looking into the amazing potential of machine learning. Facebookfor instance is leading the pack with roll-out of news feed ads that open immediately into Messenger chats. Google also has a smart messaging app that features an integrated AI.  Using this method allows you to go from mass targeting to one-to-one interactions.  Better interaction with site visitors equals greater possibility of being converted to a paying customer.

Scrapbook Suggestions for a 40th Birthday Theme

The big 4-0 is a milestone in one’s life. You can celebrate a loved one’s 40th birthday with a scrapbook in order to commemorate this important milestone in their life.  You can create layouts using photo-safe paper and then add accents and adhesives. Finally, store all that hard work in an archival-safe album so that it would not fade or fall apart over time.  Here are some scrapbook suggestions for a 40th birthday theme.

40 Reasons to Celebrate the Milestone

Scrapbooking retreat MN experts recommend that you create a 40-page scrapbook album with individual layouts dedicated to a reason that makes the birthday a special one to remember. For example, create a page that shows images and text about the celebrant’s favorite hobbies, professional and personal milestones, challenges and hobbies.  Make sure to leave space for the last 10 pages so the celebrant can include reasons that have been overlooked.

 

Style File Expert

Scrapbooking retreats Brainerd Minnesota recommend a whimsical look back in the past of the celebrant in the last 40 years. Include images of funny childhood haircuts and embarrassing outfits worn in school.  Create a timeline that follows her hairstyle, clothing and accessory preferences from then until the present and determine if any, how much has changed.  A good dimensional touch would be to find fabric swatches that match the looks in the images.  You can also use old fashion magazine images that portray the original celeb fashion trends she wore in the pictures.

Accomplishments

A 40th birthday scrapbook would not be complete if it did not feature the accomplishments of the celebrant through the years.  Create layouts that feature professional and personal accomplishments in the last 40 years. Place special emphasis on any awards by featuring photos of trophies or making copies of diplomas or news clippings.  Ask co-workers and friends to donate pictures or have them write funny anecdotes.

Birthday Wishes

Finish the scrapbook with birthday wishes from family members, colleagues and friends. Instruct contributors to provide funny, silly or motivational messages to add spice to the scrapbook.