Last Days of Summer!

Let’s talk Summer. The end is soon approaching and typically this is one of the last big weekends where family and friends enjoy some of their favorite past times. The warm summer air will soon turn to a cool breeze and the leaves will be off the trees before you know it, which means one last big weekend soaking in the summer sun sounds pretty good to most! A couple of favorites that we enjoy around here are boating, kayaking, camping and exploring what nature has to offer.

Boating provides an array of activities for all. There are so many styles and sizes of boats available for all interests. Boats can be categorized into three main types: there are unpowered or human- powered boats such as rafts and floats like canoes, kayaks.  Sailboats are another kind which can be propelled by the wind and sail and lastly there are motorboats which are powered mechanically with an engine. These allow for more recreational use like skiing, tubing, fishing, etc.

Boats are commonly made of wood, aluminum, steel, fiberglass or any combination of these materials. Wood is the traditional material used for boat building and can be considered a classic style. In the mid-20th century aluminum gained popularity. Though much more expensive than steel, there are now aluminum alloys available that do not corrode in salt water, and an aluminum boat built to similar load carrying standards is lighter in weight than the steel equivalent. Steel is commonly used on larger vessels and aluminum is usually found on canoes, skiffs, pleasure craft and fishing boats. Around the mid-1960s boats made of fiberglass became popular, especially for recreational use. Fiberglass boats are strong, and do not rust, corrode, or rot. They are, however susceptible to structural degradation from sunlight and extremes in temperature over their lifespan. Depending on which activities you enjoy or what you are looking for in a boat there are so many different styles to choose from.

If you prefer a much simpler route on water, you may find that canoeing and kayaking is your style! Most of today’s canoes and kayaks are made from three materials: thermoplastic, fiberglass, or aluminum. These, like boats can all vary in durability and price, and how much you are planning on the use of them.

Everyone is familiar with camping in some way, shape, or form. But do you know the anatomy of camping? Your tent, for example? Tent poles are made from fiberglass or aluminum and held together by shock cord. This keeps the poles lightweight and portable for hiking and ease of packing. Tent fabric may be made from a number of materials including: canvas, nylon, and polyester.

Maybe you’re a glamper? Most RV’s have steel frames that are welded, bolted, or riveted together. Wood is generally used to frame up an RV’s walls and floors because it is inexpensive, lightweight, flexible and durable. RV skins are made from either aluminum or fiberglass. A classic example of aluminum skin is the Airstream trailers – but even the more modern looking RV’s with the white or taupe paint colors can be aluminum as well.  The hitches used to pull RV’s are ductile iron or austempered ductile iron.

Food is a necessary and fun part of camping. Many people eat food that is easy to roast over a fire on a stick – but some bring pots and pans for cooking. If you’re a hike-in-and-camp person, then your cookware will be very lightweight stamped steel or aluminum. If you’ve got the room and you’re driving directly to your campsite, then you might have a cast iron skillet to cook food over the fire. Or maybe your RV comes with a stove. Whatever the occasion this holiday weekend we hope that you are able to enjoy the last days of summer and the beautiful nature that surrounds us all!

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