Camping with Grandpa

By Glen Wunderlich

Landon, my 6 year-old great grandson, has been growing up in Michigan’s suburban Garden City and his connection to the outdoor world has been quite limited.  We haven’t seen much of each other over the years – mostly through visits during birthdays or holidays.   That was about to change, as he eagerly anticipated a visit to Shiawassee County with yours truly, his “Grandpa.”

As most anyone who’s ever spent any time with a youngster knows, kids are impressionable.  On a previous visit, we traveled to the nearby Looking Glass River and discovered a lone whitetail deer along the bank in clear sight; it watched us, as we watched it.  Landon never forgot that image and had asked me to take him back there so we could see “the” deer.   

He replayed that seemingly insignificant moment, so as part of an extended weekend, we planned a camping trip in the wild.  The setting was actually one of my more elaborate hunting shacks that has doubled as a stark 7×8-foot cabin. 

Landon in the shack

Landon in the shack

Nestled in the woods far enough from modern conveniences there would be no TV, video games, telephones, electricity or running water – a radical departure from Landon’s everyday-existence in suburbia.

Sleeping bags, lanterns, a hammock strung between two trees

Hammock Test

Hammock Test

, plus a campfire, hotdogs and marshmallows rounded out the scene on a ridge overlooking a swamp.  (Fortunately, the extra dry weather has kept the mosquito population in check, so the pestering bugs were not a factor in our adventure.)    

Before nightfall, Grandpa had other plans:  a coyote hunt at dusk.  I was compelled to explain why anyone would want to eliminate coyotes from the gene pool and Landon accepted my rationale.  So, off we went about an hour or so before dark to hide and watch – and, to do a bit of varmint calling before nightfall descended.

With plenty of available daylight, several deer appeared in the field we were observing.  One velvet-antlered buck and two does were feeding in front of us and provided a better show than can be found via any electrical gadget.  When the coyote calling began a bit before dark, the deer certainly took notice.  And, Landon observed that the deer were on high alert in search of trouble, although they never spooked.  We were not able to get any coyotes to respond, but the show intensified, as the whitetails came closer to us before we headed back to camp.

The nighttime temperature dipped into the 50s but we were comfy within the confines of the shack.  A candle lantern burned throughout the darkness and kept the scary factor at bay for the newly initiated outdoorsman.

We laughed and played together for another two days, as I relived my childhood vicariously through the good-natured child.  My guess is that we’ll do it again, too.

Can-Am Introduces the 2017 Defender Mossy Oak Hunting Edition

DEFENDER MOSSY OAK HUNTING EDITION HD10The all-new Defender Mossy Oak Hunting Edition side-by-side vehicle has been purpose built with factory-installed extras to appease the needs of modern hunters and outdoorsmen. Dressed with its exclusive water-dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo finish, the Mossy Oak Hunting Edition HD10 package is the direct result of joint effort from Can-Am and Mossy Oak Pro Staff. It starts with the regular Defender XT package items, yet receives its own unique functional, protective and rider-focused amenities to appeal to hunters. Essentials include Double Kolpin Stronghold gun boots, tool holders, Headache Rack with LinQ quick-attach system, half windshield, full hard roof, left-side mirror, unique wheels and more. Read more

Styrka and Mossy Oak Celebrate Partnership with a Summer Promotion Giveaway

EAGAN, MN – Styrka is proud to announce its partnership with Mossy Oak with the release of the Styrka S3 10×42 Binocular in the Mossy Oak Break-Up Country® camouflage pattern. To celebrate this great partnership, Styrka and Mossy Oak are launching a huge summer giveaway of Styrka and Mossy Oak products.The Styrka and Mossy Oak Partnership Promotion launches on Facebook, on July 11, 2016 and runs through August 25, 2016. In all, 50 winners will receive a variety of prize packages. The three Grand Prize winners will receive a brand new S3 10×42 Binocular, done in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, a $100 Mossy Oak gift card and an assorted Styrka and Mossy Oak swag package.

All 50 winners will be selected on August 25.

What do you have to do to enter? “Like” the Styrka and Mossy Oak Facebook pages, and then submit your name and email address in the “Styrka-Mossy Oak Giveaway” tab. Read more

Garmin Introduces New Handheld GPS Series w/Touchscreens

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the Oregon 700, 750 and 750t, an update to its popular series of touchscreen outdoor handhelds. Featuring high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS support, the new Oregon 700 series has a redesigned GPS antenna for better reception and performance. All models feature a worldwide basemap with shaded relief, while the 750t adds preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps. The new 700 series boast the new Active Weather feature for up-to-date forecasts and animated weather radar, as well as Geocaching Live for wireless integration with All of the new Oregon 700 models include more connectivity features like smart notifications and automatic uploads, and will be compatible with the Garmin Connect IQ™ platform.”We are thrilled to introduce an update to the Oregon series of handhelds,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “The redesigned antenna paired with new features like Active Weather, Geocaching Live and Connect IQ compatibility make these new Oregon units the ultimate rugged outdoor devices that can be completely customized to each user.” Read more

Registration open for Michigan Iron Industry Museum’s iron ore heritage bike tours

Participants in Iron Industry Museum bike tour The Michigan Iron Industry Museum will host guided bike tours along the backbone of the Marquette Iron Range July 15, 22 and 29. The tours begin at the museum at 9 a.m. and travel along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, a multiuse, year-round trail that features historic sites and human stories from the iron range.Before setting off, bikers will become acquainted with the Carp River Forge site, where iron mined on the Marquette Range was first forged in the 1840s. From the museum, the tour will pedal toward the Jackson Mine in Negaunee, which provided the iron ore for the forge operation. The tour continues through Negaunee into Ishpeming, making several interpretive stops along the way, including Old Towne Negaunee and the site of the Pioneer Furnace.In addition to the stops at historic sites, the tour group will have lunch en route, provided by Negaunee’s Midtown Bakery and Café, and return for a showing of the museum’s documentary “Iron Spirits: Life of on the Michigan Iron Ranges.” Read more

12 Survivors GeoSpark Flashlight and GeoDome Camping Lantern

(MANSFIELD, TEXAS) – 12 Survivors is proud to introduce the GeoSpark Flashlight and GeoDome Camping Lantern. These innovative lighting products deliver easy-to-use, weather-ready reliability to light the way in camp and on the go.The IP67 dust proof, waterproof GeoSpark Flashlight lights up your tent, trail and that spooky late night walk through thick woods. Big on throw, with 150 lumens of blinding white lite from a Cree XPE R3 LED set in a 32mm bezel, the GeoSpark Flashlight also boasts two additional modes: 20-lumen low-light and 150-lumen SOS for emergencies. A 2-stage on/off button and single AA battery powers the GeoSpark Flashlight and promises 1.5 hrs. of runtime on high, 10 hrs. on low and 5 hrs. on SOS mode. The GeoSpark Flashlight also features a phosphorescent push button and rugged composite construction. A lanyard and (1) AA battery are included. Read more

BoatUS Asks Boaters to Say “No” to More Ethanol in 2017

Ethanol damage to boat engine fuel system.

THE ISSUE: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply for 2017. If adopted, these proposed levels will require the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level ethanol fuel blends (including E15 or 15% ethanol) into gas pumps and at more gas stations. Most marine engines are built to only work with up to 10% ethanol, and it is illegal to use gas containing more than 10% ethanol in any marine engine.

ACTION NEEDED NOW: Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging all recreational boaters to send a message today urging the EPA to lower the ethanol mandates to ensure an adequate supply of fuel that will work with recreational boat engine and fuel systems. BoatUS offers a simple way to send comments by going to: The deadline for public comments is July 11.

BACKGROUND: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, US gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the law forces more ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline. Read more

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