Deer in forest

A Hunter’s Tale: The Search for a Deer

It was early morning, and the woods were alive with the sounds of birds chirping and squirrels scampering. The air was crisp and the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon. I had been waiting all year for this moment, and I was not going to let it pass me by. I slowly made my way thru the forest, trying to stay as quiet as possible.

It was difficult to make out anything in the gloom and forest but luckily I had been tracking this deer for days and I knew exactly where he was. As I drew close to my favored spot I raised my hunting binoculars to my eyes and peered through the undergrowth. There, not more than 100 yards away was my quarry. The buck was feeding on the tender new growth of spring and he had no idea that he was being stalked.

I slowly drew my bow back and took careful aim. I could feel my heart racing as I released the arrow. It flew thru the air with a soft whooshing sound and struck the deer in the chest. He let out a loud bellow and started to run, but it was too late. The arrow had done its job and he would not be going anywhere now.

The deer fell to the ground, and I couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction. It was a beautiful sight, and I was proud of what I had accomplished.

Some folks may not agree with this but it’s more than a hobby to me it’s a way of life. Hunting is more than just a pastime, it’s my passion. I love the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of taking down my prey. There’s nothing like it in the world.

Mountains Landscape in Norway. Scandinavia.

My Latest Hiking Exploits

It’s been a hell of a long time since I wrote something here. Not so much due to the fact that I’m a lazy bastard, (although I am still that despite my efforts to better myself), but more so that I have been in the enviable position of having so many trips ongoing that I had no time to write about them. Normally the camping and kayaking and climbing trips are so seldom and special that in between them I have plenty of time to organise the photos, write up the hijinks and scrub the soot off my Trangia kettle. Lately, I haven’t even bothered emptying out the gear from my rucksack, because it seems every weekend I get to galavant around the countryside with some lucky group of friends.

The trips have changed a lot this Summer. Summer hiking for me is usually a goal in itself. The aim is to head to some beautiful, remote spot and set up a nice little tent and cook some food and stretch out on the grass to lazily enjoy the sunset, before finally retiring to bed before the mosquitos eat you alive. However, this year hiking has become a tool that gets me to a climbing spot. We head to the cliff, find a nearby spot to throw up the tents and tarps, grab a fast bite to eat and climb all day. It’s been very interesting to experience how different this feels, the minutiae of the gear or intricacies of the hike cease to have so much importance and instead they just become a means to an end.

That sounds a little negative though, I found that with the added bonus of climbing, all the joys of hiking get accentuated. Previously I wolfed down whatever food I made, and it tasted incredible even when it’s just dehydrated potato powder with some powdered soup and a can of tuna mixed in (my normal hiking dish, and I have received a lot of shit about it from people less frugal or concerned about pack-weight than I am).

And previously at night, I collapsed into bed, zombie-tired and so happy to be getting some sleep that I could have sung about it. After a day of climbing though, it would be paradise itself to eat dusty stones and sleep on an anthill. Exhausting, rewarding effort is the order of the day.

One amazing trip has already been written up by Toby (whom I met ages ago on a super-brief, super-dark, super-cold climbing taster on Södermalm), of the Northern light blog. I will also give that trip a write-up later as I had a lot of fun new experiences on that trip, trad-climbing with Toby as (a very patient and forgiving) guru, as well as sleeping in VBLs as a test to see how they work in Summer, and also sleeping under a very rushed MYOG tarp that I wanted to experiment with.

First I wanted to write a quick summary of a trip to Ågelsjön in Norrköping (where all the pictures above are from), with stalwart climbing companions Michi and Martin. We picked up eight people (and one dog) for this trip, all of us enthusiastic climbers, so our busy little base camp had a truly expedition atmosphere.

This trip was remarkable for a few good reasons, the then novel focus on climbing and the ridiculously fun evenings with ten good friends around a roaring campfire, but this trip was also the trip on which I had seen the most incredibly beautiful sight I have ever seen (I just got married last weekend so I better qualify that statement, it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen not involving naked Swedish women).

Camping under the stars. Green solo tent dark night sky

On the first night, we were exhausted, and after a quick meal, everyone raced into their tents. I was bivy sleeping under the stars, so I was last to retire. I went to the edge of the lake to brush my teeth, and as my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness I saw that the entire surface of the lake was covered in writhing wreaths of thick mist. The mist formed at the very edge of the lake and then slowly moved away from the shore, gathering speed as it went until it seemed to flow like a turbulent river of frothed milk over the lake towards the horizon. The mist was only a decimetre or so thick, and this is where it gets crazy. Bats were flying across the surface of the lake, and they would swoop down into the mist and fly through that layer, wherever they went they cut through the mist and left swirling eddies of vapor behind them, and their progress was marked out by long channels of black water that they had cleared the mist away from. These trails themselves were then flowing with the mist out to the center of the lake. Three bats dived in and out of the mist, the whole while ignoring my camera-work. Flashes, long exposures and high ISOs did nothing, I could not capture even the most remote, fleeting semblance of what I saw.

It was without a doubt the most frustrating experience I have ever had with a camera. Any kind of flash ruined the substance of the mist, and long exposures captured grainy nothingness. Hang your head in shame, Nikon D80! Time for a bigger sensor!

The lakes around Norrköping are stunningly beautiful, and they with patience and cold-resistant feet can even sometimes get a little pedicure from the local fish, who after a few minutes of cautious approach will get busy nibbling away some dead skin.

I was a little dictator when it came to fire-lighting, pressurising everyone to use a magnesium sparker with some tinder instead of the usual lighters-with-a-splash-of-petrol. It’s a tad archaic, I’m sure, but I do kind of think that doing a little practice with basic fire lighting pays dividends after a while. Successfully lighting a fire with those fucking sparkers does entail organising a properly ordered pyre with the lightest tinder setting fire to the smallest little twigs, and so on to the larger and larger sticks, and learning how to set up a good little pyre like that is a skill that is worth having. Cotton-wool soaked in Vaseline does a better job, for sure, but we can’t always take the easy way, can we?

Before the trip, my gear list had been gutted on the surgical table as usual, and my scalpel knows no pity. This time around I had a pack weight of under eight kilos (excluding the climbing gear). This was even including the heavy petrol-driven Omni fuel stove and a massive Trangia billy pot (so totally necessary with our large group).

It was hard to ignore that my rucksack (the Klättermusen Mjölner) was now over a quarter of my pack weight. It had to bear the fifteen kilos of climbing gear as well, but for future non-climbing trips, I think this monster will have to sit at home. A shiny new red Huckepack will be the lightweight replacement.

Years ago I spent ages tracking down a waterproof thermometer with a max/min function that had a decent temperature range. I ended up buying a Deltatrak dishwasher thermometer, which is designed for use for HACCP kitchen regulations. I figure it’s as important as any piece of equipment for someone that wants to optimise their gear. It’s very useful seeing what the minimum overnight temperature was when trying to figure out a good sleeping system, for example.

This time around the min was 0.0 °C, surprisingly low for Spring. It was the last trip I took my Warbonnet black mambo on so far this year, and that with the usual exped down mat and a thin cotton Haglöfs cover was perfectly comfortable during the night. Definitely on the warm side of comfortable though. Since this trip I have been using only my VBL with a silk liner, the total weight is around 250 grammes.

Like a proud father, I got to see my child making its impact on the world, as Michi had the MYOG rope-tarp I had made with him.

It’s a little redder, and a little taller and wider, and so it forms a longer, thinner sausage shape when rolled up, compared to mine, and that makes it very easy to drape over a shoulder. The material is a little tougher as well, VX-21 instead of VX-07. As with most ultralight gear, it can also be used as a tarp. This is something I joked about with Michi when I gave him the tarp, but it came in use when we got a surprise hailstorm during our climbs of Valhallväggen.

The first few days were stunningly warm, but the hail was typical for the final day, freezing sleet and hail meant it was fairy agonising to climb the aggressive granite of Valhallväggen. The poor dog (a beautiful Lapponian Herder) got abused as a hand warmer in between climbs.

The cold spell was a bitch on the hands. I had planned to give trad climbing a go on a 5+ crack and rigged up a top-rope to make it a little less suicidal, but the cold conditions and my inexperience at placing protection made the 5 feel like a 7. Trad-climbing is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Since this trip, I have been back climbing at Ågelsjön twice already, but this was the first time we had such a long tour with so many people all just totally focused on climbing.

 And maybe also a little focused on fishing.

How to Use maps When Hiking

Experienced hikers will often rely heavily on maps or GPS units to navigate along trails and through wilderness areas, whereas many novice hikers will simply try to “wing it”.

Amateurs will often reason that they can stick to well-traveled trails and forego the hard work needed to learn how to use maps. As the saying goes, ‘Good luck with that. Let me know how that works out for you.’

Sarcasm aside, you really can get seriously lost, even near clearly marked trails.

Even stepping a few yards off a trail into heavy forest has confused more than one beginner. In the absence of sun, stars or geographical markers it’s easy to get turned around. You can wind up walking even farther from the trail. Before you know it, you’re lost.

Many maps won’t necessarily help you out of that forest, per se. But you’ll usually run across another trail that, unknown to you, hooks up with the one you were on. A good map and some basic map reading skills will help you easily get back to your starting point.

So, how do you start?

Acquire a current map covering the area you intend to hike. Study it at home in a relaxed environment. You won’t be able to match the map against features you see, but it will help you understand the symbols used.

Almost all maps will have a legend. Get familiar with the symbols. They differ from map publisher to publisher.

Find out what the scale is – look for 1 inch = 1 mile or similar markings.

Don’t forget, though, that distance is only part of the story. One mile on level ground is one thing. But if 3/4 of that distance takes you from near sea level to 2,000 feet high by a steep, winding incline, that’s quite another.

To factor in the latter, you need to consider altitude. Altitude markings are usually indicated by a series of curved lines that, if ‘stretched out’ would make a circle. The distance between two curved lines around some natural feature like a large hill indicates the altitude. Often there will also be numbers printed along the lines to help you. These are sometimes called contour lines. The closer the lines are together, the steeper the terrain.

Now, look at the longitude and latitude lines. Longitude runs ‘up and down’, or north and south. Latitude runs ‘right and left’, or east and west. Those directions are put in quotes because they’re all just conventions. Maybe you’ve seen one of those maps that has the world turned ‘upside down’ with Australia on the top and Canada on the bottom.

In the daytime you can use the sun and natural features to orient yourself. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. So early in the day, find the sun and you are facing mostly East. Late in the day, face the direction of the light and you are facing predominately West. There are variations because of coastlines, latitude, etc. It’s just an approximate starting point.

At night, you can use the stars. You can often see the sky reasonably well – most wilderness areas are relatively far from city lights. Look up about 8 p.m. at night. Look for the Big Dipper, the group of stars that looks like a cooking ladle. The two on the end of the ‘scoop’ form a line that points toward the north star, away from the scoop.

Even at night, then, if you have a flashlight to read your map by, you can get yourself back onto a trail to find your way back.

 

A Guide to Hiking Etiquette

Occasionally, people who live in the city seem to forget that they came to a wilderness area to hike and to enjoy the peace and quiet and the great scenery. To ensure that everybody enjoys themselves, hikers generally adopt a few simple guidelines.

‘Pack it in, pack it out’ is a long-standing rule among fair-minded hikers. In order to leave the area much as you found it, for the sake of others and your own future enjoyment, you should not leave what you brought. That includes water bottles, trash and other items.

Even toilet paper can take months to deteriorate. If you use it and can’t dispose of it in a container, it should be buried. To pack it out, a simple plastic bag will contain odours until it can be disposed of in a container.

On that subject, if you have to urinate in a wilderness area (as opposed to supplied facilities), do so at least 100 meters away from water sources and trails where others walk. Faeces should be eliminated into a small hole well off the trail and covered with dirt.

We can only preserve the beauty of our natural wilderness if we exercise care when we’re passing through it or stopping to camp for the night.

Apart from the sheer devastation that carelessness can cause, as witnessed by the hundreds of fires set accidentally every year, there seems little point in spoiling the very very beauty that hikers set out to enjoy.

Part of the deep pleasure of hiking is enjoying the peace and quiet. There are plenty of exciting things to do in the city that involve making loud noises. Hiking trails are not made for that purpose. Respect others and keep your voice down and ride motorcycles elsewhere. Happily, with the advent of iPods, loud music is much less frequently a problem these days.

Make an effort to find out what the local regulations about camping and fires are. It’s preferable not to start a wood-based or open fire, in any case. They can easily spark and spread, even by accident. Once they do, they’re extremely hard to stop before becoming a major problem.

While it might seem nice to take a little music along with you, if you do, then take an earpiece along as well.

Better still, take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds of nature – perhaps the most relaxing music in the world.

If you plan to camp, set up in an open area and use a Coleman or other similar stove to cook food. When you’ve finished your stay, don’t leave behind anything that won’t decay within a day.
You should take similar efforts when you fish or do other activities that often accompany hiking. These activities can be enjoyed by large numbers of people almost indefinitely if a little moderation and common sense are applied.

Avoid wildlife to the extent they avoid you. Some even more – bears or mountain lions, for instance. Animals are particularly wary during mating seasons and when rearing young. Otherwise docile creatures can become fiercely protective and aggressive when pressed. Some may have diseases that can be spread to humans. Watching is enough. If you want to touch, go to a petting zoo.

Bears, mountain lions, skunks and others should simply be avoided. Bears are not always the gentle creatures that some nature documentaries depict. They normally avoid humans, but have been known to kill and eat them. Large cats, too, will eat small humans. Though normally shy, they are predators. Don’t be prey.

If you exercise a little common sense and common courtesy then everyone can enjoy a great hike.

 

An Introduction to Hiking Backpacks

Hiking backpacks come in all sizes and colors, in a range of materials, and with enough add-on extras to satisfy the most demanding gadget freak. To help you to find your way through the forest of hiking backpacks available here are some basics.

Don’t be tempted to purchase a bigger hiking backpack than you need “to allow for longer hikes”, or you’ll simply end up with the problem of taking everything including the kitchen sink with you.
Small packs, such as waist packs or fanny packs, aren’t technically backpacks. After all, they’re not worn on the back. But they serve a similar purpose on a smaller scale. For short hikes, they can do just fine.

Those smaller packs have a strap and usually two or three compartments. You can use them to store or hold a water bottle, nutrition bars, band-aids, disinfectant, sunscreen or a dozen other small items that are handy on the trail.

Some even have small, special-purpose water bladders with tubes and other mechanisms for drinking. They’re often called hydration packs and hold up to a couple of gallons. Remember, a gallon of water weighs about 8 lbs.

Just don’t try to put too much in them. When you intend to be out longer or need to carry more, there are lots of choices. Most of those are categorized by size (volume typically), measured in liters. A liter is just over a quart in volume, but it refers to space, not necessarily the amount of liquid something holds.

Day packs are designed for what the name suggests – to be used for relatively short hikes. They are anywhere from a dozen to three dozen liters in volume and come in a variety of styles. Some have no belt strap. Some have a chest strap to keep the backpack stable. All will have shoulder straps.

Larger packs, about 35 to 70 liters, go by a variety of names – midsize, midrange, light-duty packs and others. Used properly, they can hold quite a lot of gear, so be careful how much you bring. Remember, you have to carry it.

Remember that your gear is going to weigh enough by itself without the weight of the backpack and choose the lightest high-quality hiking backpack you can find.

They’re typically made with really sturdy material and have a variety of shoulder strap and waist belt styles. A common type these days will have the sort of plastic ‘dog-leash’ clipping buckles that are everywhere now.

The largest packs also go by a variety of names – full-sized, expedition, heavy-duty and so forth. Over 70 liters, they can carry a lot of gear and have a number of special features to help you do so.

Special splines or supports are often threaded through the shoulder straps, across the back or waist and otherwise. These stiffer elements help stabilize the pack making it easier to carry. They often are designed to ride higher on the back in order to keep the load off the lower back. That helps enormously to prevent fatigue and back pain.

Just as one analogy to understand the difference, think of carrying a child. When you carry a two-year-old on your shoulders, it’s pretty easy. You could do so all day. Try to have them hang off your shoulders and wrap their legs around your waist instead. You’ll tire quickly.

These heavy duty packs have all kinds of lumbar support, pads, special materials and well-engineered balance mechanisms. The frames have aluminum tubing in a form that has been really well thought out. Many have special holders for sleeping bags, or even a small fold-up tent. They come in ultra-sturdy composite materials and are just about indestructible.

Of course, you’re not, so you should still keep in mind that you have to lug all that stuff around. Make sure you’re only carrying what you actually will need, no more, no less.

 

Hiking Tips for the Novice

Hiking over normal terrain means being able to keep up a steady pace for several hours, with just short rest breaks of ten minutes or so about once per hour. But steep or slippery slopes, crossing creeks and hiking at high altitudes can make that almost impossible. In short, you need to tailor your technique to different conditions.

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Try hiking over different terrain and in different weather conditions and learn to tailor your hiking style to the terrain and conditions.

You’ll find this makes hiking far more enjoyable and also allows you to cope much better with the unexpected.

Ordinary walking speed on level ground is between 2-4 miles per hour. At that pace a person will burn about 50-150 calories per hours. Compare that with the amount of calories burned simply by sitting, which is at the lower end of that scale. Also, for every hour of hiking you’ll lose about a liter of fluid (more in hot conditions) that will need to be replenished.

But when conditions, as they frequently are, become more hilly or at higher elevations, the strain becomes much greater. As you walk up steeper slopes you’re doing much more work against gravity to stay upright and rise up the hill. And, as oxygen concentration levels drop, the heart has to work harder to pump more blood through the body to re-oxygenate tissues.
Kaito Anti-shock Hiking Pole with Compass and Thermometer, HP9

Keep those facts firmly in mind when you begin to tackle tougher terrain. Those more challenging environments are often more beautiful and exciting. Hiking up a heavily forested mountainside at 5,000 feet is definitely more interesting than a stroll around the brush in foothills.

But the conditions require much more of a hiker.

Monitor your heart rate to ensure it isn’t pounding away in your chest with every step. The resting rate is about 70 per minute, a hard workout will produce 120 per minute for short periods. Try to stay on the lower end most of the time. The figures can vary quite a lot from person to person, these are just averages.

If you do that, you can avoid the symptoms of something called variously: High Altitude Syndrome or Acute Mountain Sickness, and by other terms.

It’s extremely important to keep an eye on your health and that of your hiking companions.

Novice hikers will often try to push themselves too hard too fast and this is a recipe for disaster.

Just as steep slopes and high altitudes present special difficulties, so crossing creeks, rivers and lakes can introduce challenges. Though sheer strength can be very helpful, technique and experience count for a lot as well.

Selecting good boots is the first step. High-top, waterproof boots help keep feet dry. That’s essential for avoiding foot problems. They also provide a little bit better traction on slippery surfaces. Other waterproof gear, like a well-flapped backpack made of waterproof synthetic, is helpful, as well.

But the best weapons are inside your head – intelligence and experience.

Avoid the temptation of fording a river when you can avoid it. Cold temperatures, slippery bottoms, undercurrents and other potential dangers are hard to judge. Step on rocks in a creek rather than walking through it, if you can do so safely. Walk around a lake rather than swimming through it whenever possible.

Take a bridge or alternative route. You’ll actually experience less fatigue with a slightly longer walk than a relatively short, cold temperature swim.
Above all, exercise your common sense. The outdoors can be a huge, exciting adventure. But getting injured or even grossly uncomfortable shouldn’t be part of it.

 

All About Trolling Motors

Trolling is a fishing technique that is practiced by experienced fishermen. If you are planning to try such a technique, purchasing a boat or kayak for your fishing activities may have already crossed your mind. Rod, line, bait, and boat are the basic equipment for trolling. However, the role of boat additions such as trolling motors and fish finders should not be entirely disregarded. These parts that are sometimes optional are actually helpful in your fishing ventures. The trolling motor assists in positioning your boat in the most advantageous fishing spots and the best angle to cast. Getting into the best fishing spots as quietly as possible will boost your chance of catching more fish.

History
The first trolling motors were described as portable battery-operated motors with propellers. O.G.Schmidt was regarded as the creator of the electric-type trolling motors. In 1934, he made the first electric trolling motor by modifying a starter motor.

A. Parts
Trolling motors have three major components: controller, propeller, and the actual motor. The aforementioned parts are always present regardless of the designs of the trolling motors. The differences in designs are based on several factors. One of these factors is the place where the trolling motors will be mounted. The type of controller is another factor.

B. Mounting
A trolling motor is mounted either at the bow or stern of a boat. The bow is the boat’s front portion that is usually pointed. The stern, on the other hand, is the back portion. Mounting trolling motors on the transom means the same thing as installing the trolling motors to the backside of the boat.
C. Power Source
Marine batteries are typically the power source of trolling motors. The battery-operated trolling motors are further classified based on the batteries? volts (12 volts, 24 volts and 36 volts). The 12-volt batteries are the least expensive. However, in terms of performance, the 24-volt and 36-volt batteries are more efficient. They are more durable as well. There are also trolling motors that are powered by fuel or gasoline. Oftentimes, gasoline-powered motors are used as the primary source of propulsion. A gasoline-powered motor is considered a trolling motor when it is used as a secondary source of propulsion.

D. Control
Based on the controller, trolling motors are classified as foot-controlled, hand-controlled, and remote-controlled (wireless). Pedals are attached to foot-controlled trolling motors while handles are attached to hand-controlled trolling motors. The advantage of foot-controlled trolling motors is that you can hold your rod and control the boat at the same time. Hand-controlled trolling motors, on the other hand, are easier to operate than foot-controlled ones. Wireless trolling motors are the priciest type. Nevertheless, each has its own advantage for your personal fishing preference.

 

Never Have These Colors In Your Tackle Box

I have been fishing with an old friend lately named Joe. I have known him since he was born 38 years ago, 39 tomorrow. Happy Birthday Joe!

We have been fishing at a lake I love to fish, mainly because of the big bass there. If you’re a Bass Fishing Newsletter Subscriber, you know where I’m talking about. Anyway, if you look in most peoples tackle boxes you will find normal color lures like grape, black, brown, purple, and the normal colors for lures. Joe is a different story……

When you look in Joe’s tackle box you see some of the ugliest lures you have ever seen. Lures like a bright green tube that you almost need sunglasses to look at it. Or his green frog that is so far from any color of a frog that you wonder where he got it and why anyone would purchase that color to begin with to fish for bass.

So, what is my point? Well, he catches bass on these darn lures. I mean I wouldn’t even want people to know I even have them in my tackle box but he is proud as he can be of them and uses them regularly and catches fish with them. I have to start asking myself if maybe I should invest in a few of them. They go against everything I have ever read about choosing a color to fish in stained water. He has caught bass with them on sunny days, cloudy days and days when it was raining.

The first time he used them and hooked two bass, I thought it was just luck. Well, then he caught two more bass tonight on them while I didn’t even have a good strike, using the normal colored lures most bass fishermen use. Not some fluorescent bright green things like he uses.

Ok, now if you read most articles about fishing stained water, you will read to use dark colored lures like black and grape because the dark colors in stained water show up better. I might have to change my perception on this if he continues to catch fish the way he does on these bright fluorescent colors.

Well, I was informed tonight, he has a lure that he made and he has never seen another lure like it anywhere. I can hardly wait to see this thing. I bet it is bright pink or something. He also tells me he has caught bass on it. If this lure come out to be another fluorescent bright color like he has been using and catches bass, I am going to tell him the new rules are that he can’t use them anymore when we fish together because the colors embarrass me when people see them. Its on a par with using a full sized outboard when a trolling motor will do – its just plain unnecessary.

So, you might be asking yourself….what is the point in this post? I am going to tell you here and now. Just because you have never read about a pro using a different color lure doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work and catch bass. If nothing else, Joe has made me a believer in that statement. Just because you have never seen a color in another humans tackle box doesn’t mean it isn’t any good.

I am going to start buying bright colored lures like I would have never dreamed of owning before this year fishing with Joe. Then when someone laughs at me and makes statements to me, like I did Joe and I drag in the bass using it, they will probably be buying these stupid bright fluorescent colors too.

The last thing he said to me tonight after his usual bragging (the rare times he catches more fish than me) was “Hey, maybe you should get your newsletter and read some of the articles there”.

Happy Birthday Joe….maybe I let you catch the most bass because it’s your birthday tomorrow…..maybe not.

 

Email Marketing Made Easy for Newbies

A time-tested method for making money online that will continue to work for a long time to come is e-mail marketing. It is said that a newcomer to online marketing will benefit a lot more by focusing on list building and e-mail marketing as early as possible. People who don’t have the entire day to work on their business can benefit tremendously from building a list. Of course, there is more to e-mail marketing than simply building a list of people who want to hear from you. Getting people on your list is only have of the process; the other half is selling to them. Following, are several ways of getting and increasing your sales through e-mail.

Make sure that all of the important parts of your message are in your text. Consider how many people try to block images or coding within emails these days to try and avoid spammers or hackers. If you put the most important parts of your message in images or hidden in code, your recipients might never see them! In fact, by sending emails that contain too much code or too many images, they could be rejected by servers as being spam and never reach the people on your mailing list at all.

Be sure to always use a call to action in your email copy if it is appropriate. And the call-to-action copy is just telling your readers what you want them to do, such as click on a link, etc. Your readers, or anyone else, will never feel motivated to buy from only reading about product descriptions. Of course you should try to make them want to buy from you rather than elsewhere. You can help do that by the call to action copy, and help them complete the order by making the entire process as smooth as you can.

Before uploading emails to your autoresponders, give them a good check for mistakes/errors. Spelling errors, grammatical errors and typos are all mistakes that can be avoided. You can easily find help online if you’re a little lacking in these English areas. People tend to get turned-off when they see this stuff, makes them think you’re sloppy and unprofessional – and generally not a good business person. Buyers do not want to purchase things from sellers who do not know what they are doing. Make sure your e-mail messages are error free!

Some say email marketing is an art. So many internet marketers are not successful with email marketing because they don’t realize what’s involved to be successful at it. So many get tripped up because they don’t understand relationship marketing, and they’re too eager to make the sale. You need to become knowledgeable and take the time to create good messages that are effective. Keep at it, always!

A modern and green solution to an age-old problem – Holey driveway wholly fixed

Picture the scene, you are a legionary in Julius Caesar’s army, you’re on your way back to Roma from subjugating Gaul. You’re feeling great, nothing can go wrong, you’re marching down a famously straight Roman road , life is good! When suddenly and without warning, you trip on what can only be described as a pothole and make a fool of yourself in front of your whole cohort.

This is just one example of what an age-old problem we are talking about here! Potholes have been an unholy, wholesale problem for as long as roads have been a thing – which is quite some time-!

This is a problem I discovered firsthand when I returned from a camping expedition last weekend. There had been a particularly cold frost -which made the camping less than enjoyable, but I digress-! This frost had wrought absolute havoc on my driveway and had caused several appallingly large potholes!

You know me, I’m not really the houseproud type, but they really were astonishingly big, noticeable scars on my otherwise pristine driveway. I resolved to fix them and fix them I did!

However, my initial zeal and drive to fix the holes DIY style was diminished somewhat when I saw just how expensive hot asphalt is! After minutes of panicked searching, as I weighed up the cost of fixing these holes with the hole that was about to appear in my pocket, I at least found my salvation.

Red Stag Materials, a local company, based in rural Aberdeenshire, finally graced my google search screen with the solution I had been looking for.

Turns out you can fix a pothole just as easily, using what’s called a cold asphalt solution. Instead of pouring in molten asphalt, which requires no small amount of machinery and coinage to make work, cold asphalt can simply be dumped into the pothole, packed down using a compactor (or in my case, my feet and the business end of a shovel!) and it will bind into the ripped abyss that was my driveway.

The thing that I really appreciated with this particularly product that Red Stag had supplied me with, is that while, yes, I admit, it was really easy to use and offered a very effective and quick solution, perhaps more importantly, it contained no diesel component, instead using bio-fuel.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll know I love a green solution, so this feature was right up my alley!

I also found myself reflecting on the times we live in, we are so lucky to be able to purchase online, a product that when tipped into an asphalt pothole, will bind with the asphalt in the hole, and completely mend (or patch, as I’m told is the correct term in highway maintenance circles!) the hole with minimal time or money spent.

I have to hand it to Red Stag, I was skeptical when I had first heard about this cold asphalt solution. As is often the case, these things can turn out to be too good to be true. But as my eyes inspected my new ‘patched’ driveway, like a great lion surveying a savanna, I found myself admitting, it had done a damn good job of sorting my issue. The very next day, I was loading my land rover with my camping gear again, and I realized I had parked it, directly on top of one of the potholes I had patched with Red Stag’s product. Not only was it taking the weight of my fully laden 4×4, it was so well disguised that I hadn’t even noticed it!

All in all I can thoroughly recommend Red Stag Materials and their incredible product, if you ever have similar problems to myself, you should definitely consider checking them out!