More Letters to Santa!

Dear Santa:

My name is Camila. I come from Chile. This Christmas we are celebrating it in Chile, it's going to be fun. Thank you for everything.

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I want hunting and fishing and Nerf guns. Pick one item from one of those categories and put them under the tree. Thank you!

Chance

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For Christmas I would like candy and a baby doll. Even though I am scared of you, you should still get me a lot of presents.
Thank you.
PS:  I have been a fairly good girl.

Saphron

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I've been a good boy. I would like a drum for Christmas. I'll leave a pickle for you.

Eston

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I love you. I'm trying to be good. I would like a stuffed animal. I'll leave you a snack.

Lexi
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For Christmas I want the Bass Pro Shop fishing game for Wii or a single tent with a tackle box with bait.

Dominic

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I've been a good girl this year. I want a Elf on a Shelf and Tinkerbell fishing pole. Thank you
And pretty, pretty, pretty please can I get those gifts!

Lexi

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I want a toy train for my grandparents house, a Duck Dynasty tractor and most of all  just want my family all together.

Mary

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Last, but not least:
I've been very good this year! I hope I get a heart transplant soon!
I want a Ryan Gosling coloring book, pack of crayons, birch box stuff, and gift cards! Thank you!

Terri

Good luck, Terri - hope you get your wishes soon, too!

______________________

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Winter Camping... The New Adventure

If you have never been winter camping, you are missing out on a new adventure! Good planning and packing will make your first winter camping trip safe and comfortable for the entire party.

Planning: Ask yourself a few questions; where would you like to go? How will you get there? What will you do once you get settled? Snowshoeing, skiing and hiking are great activities if you have packed the right equipment. Once you know your location, check out the terrain and weather. Get familiar with the area before you go. It is not hard to get lost in a blanket of snow. Be prepared for things to take twice as long due to the weather.

Caution Alert: Do some research before you go on your trip. Two biggest dangers in winter camping are hypothermia and frostbite. You will need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.  Remember to pack supplies that will protect you against heat loss. Several changes of clothes (warm, layers and snug fits). Mittens keep your hands warmer then gloves. Protect your head against heat loss too. Wearing a toboggan or balaclava is best. Over half your body heat is lost through your head.  Your boots should be insulated, waterproof and at least a mid height.

Dress Warm: When winter camping, dress warm! Dress in layers so you can easily adjust your clothes to regulate your body temperature. Three types of layers are considered normal: a layer against your skin (longjohns), an insulation layer (fleece) and a water/wind proof outer shell. Polypropylene is a fabric that will wick away moisture and keep you warm. Down, Thinsulate, Microloft and Polarguard are more good choices. Wear polypropylene sock liners underneath your wool socks to add an extra layer of protection.

Shelter: A roomy dome tent is your best choice, only attempt to build an igloo or snow cave with an experienced winter camper. Flatten your surface where your tent will go and pack snow against the bottoms outside to provide extra insulation. Attach 4’ -6’ of cord to each end of your stake out points so you can use rocks or logs if the ground is too frozen. When camping in deep snow you can fill 1 gallon size freezer bags with snow and tie your stake out cords to them for anchors instead of stakes.

Warm at Night: A good sleeping bag will keep you warm at night. Choose a sleeping bag that is rated for a lower temperature than what you will actually be sleeping in. Mummy style bags with hoods are the best. If the bag is too loose or large it will let in cold air. Wear warm clothes even inside the bag. Your body temperature will drop as you sleep. A full length foam or inflatable pad placed underneath your bag will protect you from the snow.

Fuel for the body: When you become cold, your body uses a lot of calories to try to heat you back up again. Eat healthy, hearty meals to keep your energy level up so your body can fight the cold. As a general guideline, your winter camping diet should consist of 50% simple sugars and complex carbs; 20% proteins and 30% fats. Avoid taking fresh foods with you. They freeze easily and are hard to carry. Dried foods, baked goods and freeze dried ingredients are all great choices. Bring enough water for the entire trip, however never ever eat snow.

 

Winter camping is exciting and rewarding. Plan carefully and have fun!

 

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Let's Have an Adventure!

Take a look at the Adventure play sets we have available for the holiday season - you are bound to find one to suit every child's interests, at your local Bass Pro Shops.

250First up, we have the Deluxe Ford F-250 and Nitro Bass Boat play set. This set features a gleaming Ford F-250 in a custom red finish (exclusive to Bass Pro Shops) and a sparkling white NITRO Bass Boat.  The truck features opening doors, a working tow winch, an opening tailgate and a travel hitch. The NITRO boat includes a storage locker, a depth tracker and moving engines. The set also comes with an action figure, an off-road quad 4-wheeler, a wave runner, a fishing pole, two bass fish and a landing net.bear

If your youngster prefers the open skies, then the Deluxe Boat Plane Bear Adventure Set will fit the bill.  The plane has doors that open to accommodate the the pilot/hunter action figure. This play set also includes an ATV, binoculars, a rifle, a tent, a cooler, a campfire, a cot, one black bear, and one grizzly bear!

We haven't forgotten about your daughters - there is a play set especially for them - the Hummer SUT Deluxe Outdoor Camping Adventure Set. This set features an SUT in a custom white pearl finish, pinkwith opening doors and a working hitch. This set includes a woman action figure, a little girl action figure, an angler raft, two paddles, a pink camo tent, a whitetail deer, a towing trailer, an off-road quad 4-wheeler, a campfire, a stove, an ice cooler, and a dog - 14 pieces in all!

All components are compatible with all Bass Pro Imagination Adventure products.

 

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Friday Featured Fan Spotlight

Bass Pro Shops Altoona Facebook fans are among the most LOYAL fans in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Between pursuing a college degree and part-time employment, time can fly. Enjoying outdoor activities become even more appreciated. Uriah Hanson, a management student at Drake University and labor relations specialist at MidAmerican Energy, is a fan who appreciates all his moments spent outdoors.

FEATURED FAN - URIAH

How Long have You Enjoyed the Great Outdoors? Forever!

Uriah and dogs

Uriah, like many sportsmen and women, got started at a young age...and like many others, he learned from a family member. It was that experience that gave him the bug for the birds.

"I first remember going fishing with my dad and family when I was four or five years old. It wasn’t until I turned 11, and we started pheasant hunting together, that I really got hooked on the sport. It was my first hunting experience and the game that kick-started my love for the outdoors. There is nothing more exciting than the flush of a rooster right under your toes and seeing good dogs in the field. Training my own dogs and being able to see them work and learn right before my eyes, as we’re hunting, is another reason I love hunting upland birds. Being able to see all my hard work and effort pay off for the dogs and for me is one of the best feelings there is."

Uriah is very involved with the North Polk Pheasants Forever Chapter, which has seen tremendous growth. As a public lands hunter, he Uriah Hansonrelishes being involved with an organization that can do so much good to extend the life of those hunting grounds.

"I really enjoy being a part of the chapter, not only for the great board members that I work with and have become friends with, but also to see all the good that the chapter is able to do. Just in the past year we have spent over $15,000 on local habitat restoration at public hunting areas such as Paul Errington Marsh and Big Creek State Park. I hunt and spend my time almost completely on public grounds, so it's a pleasure to be a part of an organization putting so much time, effort, and money into making those grounds the best they can possibly be. The other aspect I love is being a part of our youth involvement, youth events, and contributions to youth shooting initiatives. Whether it's donating money or supplies to the Ankeny trap team, or sponsoring a mentored youth hunt/education day that we do annually, seeing those kids light up, when they shoot their first clay pigeon or pheasant, is a feeling that you can’t help but be proud of."

What's Your Favorite Outdoor Activity? Hunting

"I try to get outside and do something as often as possible between work and school!  One of my favorite things to do is get outside with Uriah and friends at Drake University stadium!my girlfriend and our dogs. We enjoy taking them for walks and runs on many of the public areas throughout the metro in the evenings. I also enjoy being able to get the dogs out in the fields in the fall and actually hunt with them...it's great being able to watch them grow and learn right before your eyes.

"I am an avid hunter and go after numerous species but my main targets are pheasants, ducks/geese, deer (both gun and archery), and turkeys. Normally, if there is a hunting season going on, I am going to be out after something!  In the off season I fish occasionally, but not a ton. Instead, I normally spend my time outdoors during the summer at the lake or working with the dogs."

Go-To Gear? Knife

"I always have a good knife handy...when I don’t I usually wish that I did. There are tons of times where you’re in the middle of a hunt or climbing into your stand and realize there is a loose cord or string that needs cut, and that’s when you hope that the knife is still in the pack where you last saw it. On top of that, when it comes time to clean the animals after the hunt, it tends to be hard to do without the knife.

Words of Wisdom?  It's not the kill of the hunt, it's the experience.

"Take advantage of every opportunity you have to get outdoors. Whether it’s a walk on a trail or hunting elk out west, it’s not about the kill or achieving something that matters in the end. It’s just the ability to get out, take in the fresh air, and enjoy the surroundings. 

"I think all too often we get so busy in everyday life that we forget to take a step back and enjoy the simple things like a timber in the fall, or a fresh snowfall in the middle of January.  The simple things are sometimes the things that can make life the happiest.

"In September, I had the opportunity to go on a DIY elk hunt in Colorado with a good friend. We spent a week in the mountains, sleeping in a tent and eating granola bars and soup, only to come out a week later with no elk. The trip was still a success. For me to have the ability to see parts of the country and wilderness like that were priceless. It’s trips like that where you really get to see the beauty of the outdoors and understand that hunting isn’t about the killing or harvesting, but rather spending time with good friends and family and seeing nature at its purest form."

__________________________________

the North Polk Pheasants Forever hosts its 25th Annual Banquet in February 2014! 

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Fall Camping

Fall is an excellent season for camping: lower temperatures and fewer bugs make hikes more pleasurable, there are more opportunities for wildlife sightings, the leaves are changing colors, and many campgrounds lower their fees after Labor Day.

Before you begin that fall camping adventure, there are a few things you should consider:l

 

  • Check the weather before you go.  Depending on where you go, be prepared for a chance of snow, rain, or severe weather.
  • Wear layers- Daytime temperatures may still be warm, but evenings are usually cooler, so you may want to pack thermal underwear, hats, gloves, extra shoes, and a winter jacket.
  • Bring cold weather sleeping gear for lower temperatures than you expect.  You should also bring a mattress pad or foam for an extra layer between you and the cold ground.
  • Invest in a good tent.  Before your trip, set up your tent in your backyard to make sure it is functioning properly- test all zippers, and make sure it has a full rainfly.
  • Arrive early- days are shorter in the fall, so allow yourself plenty of time to set up camp before dark.
  • Bring insect repellent for those lingering bugs.
  • Bring easy to cook foods that don't require a lot of preparation or refrigeration: remember to clean up after eating.

There are also many safety issues that you should consider for fall camping:

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  • Be aware of wildlife- animals are always a concern, but they can become even more dangerous in the fall. As their food supply dwindles,they become more determined in their foraging. NEVER feed the wildlife-they continue to come back for more and could become very aggressive when you stop feeding them. It is also dangerous for the animals, because they may be eating something that is not in their diet and could become ill.
  • Seal up any food you may have in airtight containers, or in your car, if possible, to keep from attracting wildlife. 
  • Prepare for rain and snow-bring water tight containers and a tarp in case of rain.
  • Pack extra plastic garbage bags for lining backpacks or protecting other items from water damage.
  • If you use a small propane heater, be sure it has a safety shut-off, and is labeled for indoor use.
  • Be ready  for emergency retreat: bring extra money and be prepared to use it to eat out or stay in town if necessary.
  • If the weather is still warm, bees are still active. Watch for hives and nests, and bring  sting relief ointment, just in case.

As with all camping trips, a little careful planning and preparation can make a fall camping trip one you will remember for years to come.  Before you travel, come visit your local Leeds Bass Pro Shops, or visit  www.basspro.com  and see our great selection of camping gear.

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Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!

 

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Cold Weather Camping Tips

Camping in the fall and winter can be some of the most fun and scenic times of the year to get out of the house. These scenic views sometimes come with a little bit of a rough time with the weather. The cold fronts in the fall and winter are much harsher and being prepared for any scenario is always a must. While the cold might deter some people, the true outdoorsman can get through a rough night and enjoy the benefits of a nice chilly morning.

The first thing any seasoned or new camper can tell you is that watch the weather before you go on your camping trip. Check the temperatures you might be dealing with and always prepare for the cold you might not be expecting. A great way to do this is to bring a good sleeping bag along with a liner to match. The Ascend 0 degree Mummy bag is a great way to be prepared for the winter or fall cold. Bringing this along with a Bass Pro Shops Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner makes it so you are prepared for anything. If it is cold you can hunker down inside the liner inside the mummy bag, or if it is warmer than you thought you can sleep on top of your mummy bag inside your liner and still have a great nights sleep while being comfortable at any temperature. Another must have on a fall or winter night is a good sleeping pad. Sleeping pads keep your body off the ground and provide comfort while at the same time allowing you to retain precious body heat from being absorbed by the ground. The Ascend Hiker Tapered Air Mat is a great sleeping pad for the job, it is a light but effective pad for a hiker or a regular camper.

While sleeping bags are a big part of fall and winter camping so is finding the right tent and cooking equipment for the season. What is needed in a tent for fall and winter camping is zip up windows, a rainfly, and a tarp or reinforced floor. There are many tents that match this description but a great family tent for the fall and winter is the Bass Pro Shops Eight Person Family Dome Tent. This is great for any family that wants to camp in the winter while still having some space to move around and enjoy the time outdoors. There is only one way to go when talking about cooking in the fall or winter, this is cast-iron. Whether it be a Lodge Cast-Iron Dutch Oven or a Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet, the best way to cook in the winter is to use cast-iron. This material gets hot quickly and stays hot longer than other materials making it ideal for those people looking for a good hearty warm meal on a cold camp-out. While Lodge makes a good cast-iron line for cooking the best thing for camp lighting is hands down Coleman. This company has a huge line of lanterns and flashlights that are useful for any possible camp-out. The Coleman North Star Duel Fuel propane lantern has been a must have to campers and outdoorsman of all walks of life for years. The propane tanks are light and easy to carry while at the same time the price to keep the lantern running is quite low for those who have to camp on a budget.

Camping in the fall and winter is one of the most scenic things a person can do. Preparing for the weather during this time of year though is a must. Bringing a few different types of warm or cold weather clothing is always a good idea while at the same time bringing a few warm or cold weather sleeping bags is a must. There might be a few things you can leave off your winter camping list but food is not one. Bringing a lot of nutritious food that is high in calories will keep your body performing at optimal efficiency even in the bitter cold. While camping in the fall and winter can be a little frightening for some people, with a little help and some good gear it can be very rewarding. Bass Pro has all the gear you will need to make your camping experience comfortable and fun! Check out our gear here: http://www.basspro.com/Camping/_/T-12325000000

Ascend Sleeping Bag

 

                                                                                        

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The North Face Expansion

tnfDue to customer demand, Bass Pro Shops - Macon has now have added a section for The North Face-brand items in our Apparel Department!

The North Face is an American outdoor products company specializing in outerwear, such as fleece, coats, shirts, and equipment such as backpacks, tents and sleeping bags.  The company was founded in 1968 and is particularly popular among climbers, skiers, snowboarders and hikers.sweat

The North Face section is located adjacent to our Apparel Department, between the Fishing and Camping Departments.  You can find a variety of items for both men and women in this newly-designated area.  Some of the current offerings, for men and women, include:  the Fav-our-ite Pullover Hoodie, RDT Jackets, Half-Dome Hoodies, Oso Hooded Jackets, Denali Sweater Fleece Jackets and more. 

packWe even have a selection of backpacks to choose from, including the Borealis and the Yavapai models. The shoulder straps, back panel and hip belt help provide extra support and help disperse the load.  The packs feature a padded laptop sleeve as well as a hydration port. Other features include organization sleeves, side water bottle pocket, stash pockets and top carry handle for extra convenience.RDT

Head over to Bass Pro Shops - Macon and check out our new section for The North Face products. The holiday season is just around the corner and these are perfect gift items!

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Outdoor Cooking Primer - Venison Ziti

Venison is the main source of red meat at our house...actually it's our ONLY source of red meat. We typically have ample supplies due to my husband's hunting prowess...so, it's a good thing bow season started this week because we're running low!

Not long ago, I was visiting with a customer whose husband was just starting deer hunting. I explained that venison was all we ate for red meat. She seemed surprised and asked what I made with it.

"Everything that you make using beef," I said. 

The easiest dish to start with is Baked Ziti. It's just a simple baked pasta dish and much of it can be done ahead of time. Like lasagna, it can be thrown together and refrigerated, or even frozen, and then cooked later.

I made ziti this past Saturday night for our dinner AND my husband was able to take the leftovers with him as he headed out for hunting season. What better way to get in the deer hunting frame of mind...eat venison!

Before the true pasta lovers and aficionados correct me, I'll warn you that we use "ziti" as a universal term, meaning any short tubular pasta. That's only because our grocery store doesn't always have ziti specifically, however carries every other type of short tubular pasta. So we often use rigatoni or penne, which I actually prefer because they have ridges and hold the sauce better.

You can make your baked ziti as basic or loaded as you desire.

Venison Ziti

Venison Ziti

 

1 pound venison burger
1 pound venison Italian sausage
1 box ziti or penne pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce of choice (We sometimes make our own sauce using frozen tomatoes, mixed with one small can tomato paste and diced fresh onions, minced garlic, oregano, and fresh ground mixed peppercorns)
2 cups shredded Italian Cheese Blend
Smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 375. Brown and drain the burger and sausage. Add the jarred sauce to the meat and heat. Do not boil.

Boil the pasta according to directions. Drain the pasta; do not rinse.

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Put cooked pasta in the pan and distribute evenly. Pour the sauce/meat mixture over the noodles, mixing together in the 13 x 9 pan. Add about 1/2 cup cheese and blend it through. 

Cover top of ziti with the remaining cheese...add more if you really love cheese!

Sprinkle smoked paprika, light garlic powder and oregano on top. 

Cover the dish with aluminum foil (tent the foil to prevent cheese from sticking or spray it with cooking spray). Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes at 375. Remove cover and raise temp to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes or so until cheese is nicely browned. 

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Visiting our National Treasures, right here in Texas

Did you know there is 93 state parks and 13 National Parks in Texas.  These can range from the wild untamed such as Big Bend National Park, the Historic such as the Mission Trail in San Antonio and Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park, or of course who can forget beaches, and grasslands.   Here is some of the more popular parks in the state. 

 

Big Bend National Park

Sometimes considered "three parks in one," Big Bend includes mountain, desert, and river environments. An hour's drive can take you from the banks of the Rio Grande to a mountain basin nearly a mile high. Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

in 1718 Franciscans and Spanish representatives established the first mission. Within 13 years, five were located along the San Antonio River. The missions' purpose? To acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Today, visitors can retrace the footsteps of the mission Indians and friars. And, possibly, meet descendants of those first inhabitants.

Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park tells the story of our 36th President beginning with his ancestors until his final resting place on his beloved LBJ Ranch. This entire "circle of life" gives the visitor a unique perspective into one of America's most noteworthy citizens by providing the most complete picture of an American president.

Galveston State Park

Galveston Island State Park is a great place to enjoy the beach, the gulf, and the bay. Many people that visit the park come to spend time on the beach and to camp. While it is obvious to any visitor that the park's 2000 acres are bordered on the east and the west by more developed lands, fewer folks realize that the park is an oasis of undeveloped barrier island habitats. These natural areas are important for conservation

Mustang Island State Park

Families enjoy a serene environment at Mustang Island State Park in tents and RVs. Fishing, bonfires, building sand castles and beachcombing for shells are popular pastimes at this State Park. Along this 5 mile stretch of beach, just south of Port Aransas, visitors not only have convenience with bathrooms and shower facilities, the park store offers souvenirs, ice, firewood and snacks. With some 48 sites at the campgrounds to choose from, with electrical and water hookups, picnic tables and barbecue grills- Mustang Island State Park is a popular weekend retreat to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Other activities include surfing, birdwatching and kayaking.

Perdenales Falls State Park

Many of the activities in Pedernales Falls State Park center around the Pedernales River: swimming, tubing, wading and fishing. The park also has a number of picnic areas and campsites, including some primitive campsites that require a hike of two miles or more to reach. There are also 19.8 miles (31.9 km) of hiking and mountain biking trails, 10 miles of equestrian trails, and 14 miles of backpacking trails.

Local Area Parks:.

Cedar Hill State Park in Cedar Hill, TX is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Metroplex. Just 10 miles from Dallas, the natural setting of the park's 1,826 acres and the 7,500 acre Joe Pool Lake leave you feeling you have left the city much further behind.

Lake Ray Roberts State Park

Ray Roberts Lake State Park is a beautiful 30,000-acre lake complex complete with boat ramps, camping, fishing, a swimming beaches, numerous hiking trails, equestrian trails, Dorba mountain bike trails, hotel, marina and a park store.

 

For more information on the National Parks visit  www.nps.gov

For more information on the Texas State Parks visit  www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/

 

 

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Chilly Weather Calls For A Buddy!

We just got in our newest Buddy....Buddy heater that is.  Take a look below at what we have here in the store, then we'll walk through them one by one.

Let's start with the Mr. Heater Little Buddy. Everybody needs a little buddy...the human form and the warming form. This Little Buddy is only $69.99 and is FULL of great features! Actually ALL of the Buddy Heaters we have in the store have almost the exact same features no matter how big or how small. The only differences are the BTU's and runtime.Talk about convenience.

Little Buddy puts out 3,000 BTU's per hour and heats up to 100 square feet with a runtime of 5 1/2 hours of continuous heat. This heater is great for workshops, tents, campers, etc. because it is indoor safe. How can that be you may be asking me. Let me tell you how; it has low oxygen and accidental tip over shut off features. Runs off of a 1 lb propane cylinder or a 20 lb bulk tank. However, the 20 lb tank MUST stay outside so the fumes can't get to you.

Moving on to the Portable Buddy. The Portable Buddy is priced at $99.99 and like it's smaller counterpart, it's full of those same great features! BTU's are at 4,000 on low and 9,000 on the high setting and you can heat up to 200 square feet for a nice 110 hours. This particular heater has a single control for starting and heat adjustment. Again, this heater will run off of a 1 lb propane cylinder or a 20 lb bulk tank as well. Lighting this baby is easy with a built in Piezo lighter and the fuel connector swivels out for easy access. As always, there's the low oxygen and accidental tip over automatic shut off.

Our newest addition to the Buddy line is the Hunting Buddy. Priced at $129.99 is a great deal especially since it's CAMO! 2 heat settings give you either 6,000 (low) or 12,000 (high) BTU's. Perfectly safe for those small hunting blinds, tents, campers or wherever you want to use it at. There's storage on one side of it for an extra 1 lb cylinder or anything else small enough to go in there. Electronic ignition, heavy duty burner guard and all the fittings are included to take it from a 1 lb propane cylinder to a 20 lb bulk tank. Whatta deal!

Last, but certainly not least is the Big Buddy. The Big Daddy!  This heater gives you so much heat, you won't believe it! 4,000 BTU (low), 9,000 BTU (medium) and 18,000 BTU (high). Heats up to 400 square feet with a continuous runtime of 220 hours. Just like the other heaters, there's the low oxygen and accidental tip over shut off feature. The Big Buddy runs on either 1 lb propane cylinder (or 2 if you prefer) or a 20 lb bulk tank. The big difference between this heater and the others? Big Buddy has a fan that blows the heat.The fan runs off either an AC adapter or 4 D cell batteries (neither of which are included).

Any one of these heaters would be a great addition to your Emergency Preparedness package you may have. During the winter months, who knows if and when or for how long the power will go out.

Come on in here....you know you want to check them out! And I will be super excited to show you each and every one of them myself!

 

Stay warm and as always, thanks for letting me share my goodies with you!

 

Deedee Smith
Camping Team Lead
Sevierville Bass Pro Shops

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Please, Take a Seat

So you’ve been driving for the past few hours to get to your favorite camping site and you’re sick of the vehicle. Around the bend, there it will be waiting for you like a patient dog to come back home. There are even beams of light showing you the way to sanctuary amongst the wilderness.

You park and start unloading the vehicle. Tents up and the kitchen is set, all right! Now that the drive and work of set-up is over, what is the first thing you are going to do? Take a seat.

While you may have just spent too many miles sitting on the ride up the sitting around at camp is a completely different and enjoyable experience. The air is fresh (and void of stale chips/feet smell) and noises of the outdoors fill your eardrums (as opposed to a well-constructed playlist).

But as much as you love the great outdoors, a bumpy and rocky seat with some lovely pine needles poking you is not your idea for ideal idling. That’s where camp chairs make all the difference.

Now if you’re like me and you want to sit it’s going to be for a spell. Oh and I didn’t take the time to Google this or anything, but I’m pretty sure a spell is any amount of time more than 37 minutes but less than 58 minutes. Mathematically that would look like: (37>spell>58).

Anyways, you’re going to want a serious chair for some serious sitting. Some people don’t like a lot of motion when it comes to their relaxation so a solid and well padded chair like the one below would be great.

If you like your chairs more of an Adventureland ride as opposed to a Fantasyland ride at Disneyland, our rocking camp chair would be perfect. It folds up and out extremely easy and can withstand some serious rocking action.

But how about something in between the two with some real feet-kicking-up-action? BOOM!

Lounger, baby! This zero-gravity chair will take you from many to zero-worries in seconds. Not rustic enough though? DOUBLE BOOM!

Camouflage. #You’reWelcome

So before your next trip to paradise, make sure you have a chair that is up for the task of taking life easy. Come on by and please, take a seat. You’ll be glad you did. Kickin’ Back Koala Bears!!

PS- If you have an overly bossy camp friend, snag them the director’s chair. Kind of a compliment, kind of poking a joke, all with a cup holder and small table attached.

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Instant Hot Water

Now that fall is just around the corner, many of you may be thinking of a fall camping trip. You may want to consider purchasing a travel shower to make your trip a little more pleasant.

In our store, we carry the Zodi Instant Travel Shower, which can be used not only for hot showers, but for washing dishes and equipment clean-up.  This shower quickly heats water for hot showers anywhere it is available. Just place the system's 6 volt pump in a lake or other water source, ignite the propane burner with its push-button ignition and enjoy this on-demand self-contained shower system.

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DESCRIPTION

  • Portable, self-contained
  • Instant push-button ignition
  • Stainless steel burner
  • Hot water in seconds
  • Includes powerful battery-powered water pump and rugged plastic storage case that doubles as a 4 gallon water container and propane tank base
  • Propane and 4 D cell batteries not included
  • $179.95

 

BENEFITS

  • Storage case holds water for a 10 minute shower
  • Can be connected to a water hose for endless hot water
  • Heats 60 gallons of water between battery and propane refills
  • Adjusts water temperature up to 100 degrees F with a gas valve
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof battery case with on/off switch
  • 6 volt pump with debris screen for greater water pressure
  • Compact for easy transport and storage
  • 4 ft input hose and 8 foot shower hose with water-saver shower head included

So, whether you plan to spend a few days in a tent, in a sleeping bag under the stars, or you would just like to be prepared in case of an emergency, come visit us at your Leeds Bass Pro Shops or visit  www.basspro.com to purchase your Instant Hot Travel Shower. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

Until next time, stay safe and GO CAMPING!!!

 

 

 

 

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Camping: The Right Tent for the Right Place

There are many options when one is looking into buying a tent. Does the tent have a waterproof bottom? Does it hold the amount of people I am taking camping? And, of course, is it comfortable? These factors are very important in picking a good tent, but perhaps not the best criteria for finding a great tent. Here are some other factors a person might want to take into account when shopping for your next tent or looking at which tent to take out on your next adventure.

A great way to find a tent that is going to be suited for you is to look at the place you are camping and what kind of wear and tear are going to go on with the tent. For example taking a BPS 7x7 Dome Tent with a tarp bottom would be a great tent for an area where the weather is unpredictable. At the same time this tent would be great for campers who are hiking and staying on the trail because of the small profile coupled with its ability to be broken down into separate bundles that each hiker can share around with each other. This tent is also durable enough to be set up on rock surfaces with a simple ground cloth underneath, making it great for climbers who want to hike into a climb.

The BPS Dome Tent might be good for hikers, but taking the whole family camping is not an option with this tent. Instead look for a tent that has as large of an area as possible while being able to be divided into “rooms”. This gives you the ability to have some privacy in the evening or morning while still getting the camping feeling. A great example of a family tent is the Coleman 10-Person Vacationer. This tent comes with small hanging dividers as well as lights built into the frame. This tent is also big enough to walk around in without the need to stoop over. This monster of a tent is big enough to fit even the largest of families comfortably with some room to move.

This room to move is great but not what some people are looking for in a tent. Where the Vacationer is heavy and big for an entire family the Eureka! Solitaire Backcountry Tent and the BPS Hiker/Biker are light and meant for a quick setup in the most remote of locations. These tents are made from a durable material that is meant to take strong winds by flexing under the wind with their low profile. Both of these tents are ideal for back country hikers and hunters who need to have a light pack and the ability to take down camp and move on a moment’s notice.

Choosing the right tent may, for many people, be about finding the best overall tent that can last through anything and can be carried around for a while. For those of us who camp like there is no tomorrow finding the right tent for the right environment is what we live for. While hiking or biking a small easily put up tent that can take a beating from the wind and still go up day and night is what I need. If I am in the forest where the roots of a tree are going to shred my biking tent I look for my tarp floored tent. Finally if I am taking the family on a nice weekend away from the city I am definitely taking the biggest tent I can find. So next time you go out camping remember what you want from your tent and finding a great tent is always in your grasp. Check out the variety of tents we offer at Bass Pro Shops!  http://www.basspro.com/Tents/_/S-12325001000

BPS Tent

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When will the new Colorado Springs store open? Begin the media blitz!

Harold,

We are tentatively planning on opening the Colorado Springs store around the 2013 holiday season.  Check back with us for a more exact date as that time period approaches.

You can also find more information here: http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=34&template=news_display.cfm&newsID=386.

Thank you for your question!

-Brenden

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Explore Your Boundaries at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

IArrowhead Regionn northeast Minnesota, in what's known as the Arrowhead Region (due to its shape), there's a pristine area that beckons to the most hearty outdoors lover. Just over one million vast acres of wilderness dotted with lakes and rivers carved out by glaciers and sculpted over the years by Mother Nature...the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) traverses almost 200 miles along the U.S. and Canada border.

Boundary Waters

The BWCAW is historically important to our country's beginnings. It was crucial to our country's existence as a trade route and the primary means of transportation was canoe. It’s in this spirit that the area remains today.

Under the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Area was set aside by Congress in 1978 to be preserved in its natural setting without roads, structures, and most motorized access of any kind. This is what distinguishes its 1200 miles of canoe routes and over 2,000 camp sites from our national parks and forests.  

Do you like peace and quiet and a close relationship with nature? Then the rugged wilderness of the Boundary Waters calls to you. Many in the Midwest are already familiar with at least the existence of the Boundary Waters, due to our close proximity, but its popularity as a destination for paddlers, hikers, primitive campers, and fishermen, has spread throughout the country. According to a 2012 USDA Forest Service trends analysis, in 2007 the managers estimated total visitors at more than 250,000.

Peter Maley, Camping Associate at Bass Pro Shops in Altoona, Iowa, is a Boundary Waters devotee. He spent two summers as a canoe guide there in the early 1980s and continues to make several trips each year. He has also been there several times on annual winter camping trips for cross-country skiing, camping, and ice fishing.

"People often think that you have to be an expert outdoorsman or woman to take a Boundary Waters trip. But, that's not true. There are Boundary Waters adventures for all levels – novice through expert. There are plenty of outfitters to supply you with gear and knowledge and trip levels from basic family and group outings to major expeditions."

It's important to note that you don't just "show up" at the Boundary Waters. A permit is required to enter the BWCAW and there areBoundary Waters Entry Point specified points of entry for watercraft or hiking, which helps manage the use of the wilderness for the enjoyment of all. A few allow motor boat entry but the majority are by non-motorized and require portaging. Permits are allocated on a first-come, first served basis, even more of a reason, says Maley, for extensive advanced planning.

"You need to reserve MONTHS in advance for the more popular entry point. You can make reservations and get permits through the U.S. Forest Service, through outfitters, and at www.recreation.gov. The permits needed are snatched up very quickly, so it's really important to jump online at the end of January and get your reservations."

Maley says you want to think ahead about other things, too. 

"It also takes advance planning for equipment, gear, and travel time, for example. Be prepared for anything – no phone, radio or other means of communication access. Like any wilderness there are inherent risks, so a well-thought out first aid kit is important, for example. Bring a map and a compass - most people get confused at least once!"

Maley says he has had a multitude of experiences including putting stitches in people, using epipens for stings, and contending with forest fires and controlled burns.

With all his Boundary Waters background and opportunities to visit, Maley says his favorite time is in the fall.  

"Crowds drop dramatically after Labor Day. After September 30, only self-issuing permits are required so you don't have to reserve in advance.  Bugs almost non-existent. The birch and aspen colors are beginning to change, and the waterfowl migration is beginning and night sky viewing is at a premium!"

Maley notes that it is legal to hunt in the BWCAW because it’s part of Superior National Forest. 

"Trapping is also supported, moose and bear hunting, grouse (roughed and spruce), ducks, and geese, not to mention the fall bite for the dedicated fisherman. Deer hunting has become more popular, but wilderness hunting is even harder work because of the portaging."

Make sure to check with the Minnesota state and federal government regarding all hunting regulations and needed permits.

Maley encourages beginners and experts alike to visit www.BWCA.com as a great resource for planning your trip north. There's a message board with several topics related to travelling in the area – food, gear, route, fishing conditions.

"It's the satisfaction of travelling by your own propulsion across lakes and portages to your home for the night – a tent, a fire and warmth, with an unparalleled view of the sky and stories around the campfire. That's what the Boundary Waters are all about."

Boundary Waters Sand Bar

 

Like us @ Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center

Tweet us @bassproaltoona

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Bass Pro Shops - Your Tailgating Headquarters

Fall is here and football season is just days away.  Before the big game, head over to your local Bass Pro Shops to get your gear in order before the big game!

grillFirst off, a grill is practically mandatory for any tailgating activity. Check out the Coleman Party Grill. This compact grill breaks down for easy storage and comes with its own carry bag. It is propane operated and features Instastart Ignition for fast, matchless starting. The cooking surfaces are removable for easy cleaning, as well.This is a great time to take a look at your grill tools also.  If you find your spatula or tongs need to be replaced or you would prefer to keep a second set on hand for the tailgating grill, then look no further. The Pacific Bamboo BBQ Tool Set comes with spatula, tongs and grill brush (with bottle opener built into the spatula). The handles are made from sustainable bamboo and the heads are stainless steel.   Of course, if you're cooking, you're going to need a way to transport your food and keep it cool. The Igloo Glide cooler is easily moved with a telescoping handle and soft-side rally wheels. The 110 quart capacity will hold 168 cans!tent

The other "must have" item is a canopy. Canopies (or tents) provide shade on sunny days and protection from incelement weather. They can also serve as a meeting point for friends meeting you.  An easy-to-use option is the Bass Pro Shops Instant Canopy. It sets up quickly, is easily transported and provides 100 square feet of shade.  Relax in your Bass Pro Shops Basic Camp Chair are made of water-resistant polyester on a steel frame.These comfortable chairs come complete with armrests and drink holders and collapse into a carrying bag with shoulder strap.

footballFinally, make sure you take plenty of games along to keep you entertained while you are waiting for the "Big Game" to start. Some options sure to please kids of all ages include Tailgate Toss, Ladder Toss and/or Washer Toss. You can even stage your own game with a Bass Pro Shops Camo Football!  Find all of your tailgating needs at Bass Pro Shops!

 

www.facebook.com/bpsmacon

 

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Are YOU Ready For Some Football?

Believe it or not, football season is almost here!! If you are like most people in the south, this is your favorite time of the year. Whether you are a first-time tailgater, or a seasoned veteran,  now is the time to prepare for the upcoming season.

Here is a partial list of essentials to make all your tailgating adventures a success:

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  • Folding chairs; bring along some extras
  • Folding table
  • Small grill
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Grill brush
  • Tongs
  • Sharp knives
  • Cooler for food (Yeti coolers are great!!!)
  • Cooler for drinks
  • Shade tent or umbrella large enough for everyone
  • Football
  • Soccer ball                                                                                                                  
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball net
  • Radio or small TV
  • Batteries or cigarette lighter adapter (for electronics)
  • Portable generator (optional)
  • Deck of cards
  • Propane heater (optional; depends on how cold it will be)
  • Warm clothes: gloves, boots, winter jacket, hat
  • Blankets
  • First-aid kit

As you plan for your season to begin, come on in to your local Bass Pro Shops or visit www.basspro.com to see our large selection. From portable grills, to chairs, coolers, and folding tables, we can help make your next tailgating experience one that you, your family and friends will never forget.                                             

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Until next time,  stay safe and WAR EAGLE and ROLL TIDE!!!

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Boy and Cub Scout Events at Destin Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops in Destin and stores nationwide will be be teaming up with the Boy Scouts of America again this year for Boy Scout Appreciation Month during September.  During the month, we will be hosting various Scouting Units to solicit donations.  All Funds collected will be divided equally between the local Gulf Coast Council and the National BSA Office. 

The Destin Bass Pro Shops will again be offering the Fishing and Rifle Shooting Merit Badge Classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 6 pm.  Class size is limited and pre-registration is required by calling our Customer Service Department at 269-6200, beginning in late August.  Only registered Boy Scouts may apply.  There is no fee for the Boy Scout Merit Badge Classes.

Scout Units will again be selling popcorn in the front of our store beginning in late August through the end of October.  This annual fundraiser provides the needed money to finance Troop and Pack events throughout the year.

For the 4th year in a row, Destin Bass Pro Shops will host the annual Scout Fun Day on Saturday, October 26th beginning at noon.  Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from all around will be setting up games of chance, skill challenges, and booths for the public to enjoy Free of Charge.  This huge event takes place in the Bass Pro Shops parking lot on the northeast side of the building and is fun for the entire family!  Just around sunset, when the skies turn dark, the famous HAUNTED TENT opens to the public.  Boy and Cub Scouts from all over try to put-on the scariest, most gruesome displays that their imaginations can think of.  The Haunted Tent is actually a series of linked military tents connected together so that visitors who dare are led through a maze of dimly lit displays and live action.  There is a small charge for the Haunted Tent.  While all of this is going on outside, Trick-or-Treaters can come get candy inside the store as we will be in the midst of a week-long celebration of Halloween.

Gary Feduccia

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North Face Flint 2 Tent

By Noah Formby

North Face Flint 2

North Face Flint 2

The North Face Flint 2 is a great tent for hiking and backpacking.  Weighing in at just over 4 pounds it is lightweight and its simple design makes putting t up and taking it down fast and hassle free.  While the rainfly ensures that you will stay nice and dry, the fact that the tent is mesh means that if the weather is nice you can leave the fly off and enjoy the breeze while gazing up at the night sky and still be protected from mosquitoes and other bugs.  On weekends when you just want to pack up your gear and go camping the Flint 2 still gives a good showing.  A twin air mattress can fit in it while still leaving a border for shoes and other gear, and the headroom is still enough to sit up in comfortably. 

So whether you’re hiking the Applachian Trail or just getting away for the weekend, the North Face Flint 2 is the tent for the job.

 

 

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Staycations Iowa Style - The Rathbun Area

So often I hear people gripe about driving across Iowa and, in their opinion, how boring it is. I encourage people need to get off Interstate 80 (after they've stopped at Bass Pro Shops Altoona, of course!) and experience a bit of our state. In our staycations series we asked our Facebook fans for some recommendations - where would you suggest people visit in our state? One area that received several mentions, and that I visit regularly, is the Lake Rathbun area in southern Iowa. 

Rathbun area map

Lake Rathbun is one of the largest lakes in Iowa, located about seven miles north of Centerville in Appanoose County. If you're coming from the north, say down highway 5, the stretch from Knoxville to Centerville is one of the prettiest drives in our state, as is much of the driving headed east or west out of Centerville on Highway 2.Honey Creek State Park

Rathbun is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility with over 700 campsites available at eight parks at the 11,000 acre lake. It's also home to Honey Creek State Park and Honey Creek Resort, both operated by the state.

The state park has 149 campsites, but another unique feature is its "camper cabins."  The rustic pine cabins are great for those who don't want to tent camp, don't have an RV, or simply want more of a roof over their head, while enjoying the great outdoors. I met a woman at our Family Summer Camp this year who has two sons, both with severe medical issues and confined to wheelchairs, and she loves the camper cabins because they have electricity and her sons can better enjoy the camping experience.

For those who want something even more comfortable, Honey Creek Resort is available. This state-operated resort has a hotel, cottages/cabins, an RV Park, and a water park. 

My two favorite things about the resort are things YOU can enjoy, too, without actually staying there:

canoeing

1. Their naturalist programs and activities are open to the public. It is the resort's goal to connect people to nature and the outdoors, whether they are staying at the resort or just visiting the area for the day. Some activities do have limited spaces available. You can check out their continuously updated list of activities on their web site.

2. The Lakeshore Grille has amazing food...like their bacon-stuffed jalapenos. First-class food in a relaxed atmosphere with a great view!

While you're in the area, here are some other suggestions:

  • Rathbun OHV Park - If you have an ATV, then you might enjoy the Rathbun OHV Park located on the southwest arm of the Lake off Highway 142. It's a 120-acre riding area with a variety of skill-level trails.
  • The Rathbun Fish Hatchery - Open ever day for tours, the fish produced here are use to stock farm ponds, rivers, lakes and reservoirs around the state. According to the DNR web site:

Annually, more than 200,000 large fingerling catfish, 100,000 small fingerling catfish, 50 million walleye fry, 225,000 two-inch walleye fingerlings and 175,000 eight inch walleye fingerlings are produced at Rathbun.

More than 75,000 four- to six-inch catfish are provided for county conservation boards and cities each year for their caged-catfish rearing programs. 

  • Sharon Bluffs State Park is just south and east of Centerville – You can either go south of Centerville or east on Highway 2 and you’ll see signs for it….then it’s about four miles on gravel. Nice little park for picnics and walks.

If you're enjoying the area for more than just a few days, take a drive east to Van Buren County and discover the way life used to be 150 years ago in the Villages of Van Buren. That county has 110 ghost towns!  Scenic highways, hiking trails, gravel, mike, and pedestrian trails, and canoe, kayak and boat accesses provide plenty of ways to enjoy the scenery and history.


Facebook fan Rachel is an avid horse person. She says if you like horse camping head to Stevens State Forest to the west of Appanoose 
River Valley
County. Parts of the 15,000 acres have primitive horse camping available. She also suggests River Valley Horsecamp by the Shimek State Forest. Located south of the Villages of Van Buren, the camp has miles of trails and borders on 40 miles of established horse trails in Shimek State Forest. 

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Like us @  Bass Pro Shops Altoona or Tracker Marine Center

Tweet us @bassproaltoona

Pin us @ pinterest.com/bpsaltoona

 

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