Category Archives for "Lifestyle"

Ultimate Guide: Grab One Gutter Cleaner for Your Lake House Now!

Gutter Fingers is a tool to help you clean the gutters without climbing on a ladder

Your lake house is the place that feeds your soul and refreshes your spirit. It is the place to be to recharge your batteries and reaffirm that life near the water is amazing.
When you are at the lake house, you want to kick back and enjoy life at the waterline with family, friends, or solo. The lake house is your sanctuary. Just as it enfolds and welcomes you, you protect and preserve this haven. 

Gutter Cleaning Is A Must

While it sounds mundane, one of the most important ways to protect your oasis is by attending to the gutters on a regular basis. Maintaining your investment is part and parcel with being able to enjoy it for years to come.
A basic function of owning a lake house is making sure you have a gutter system in place. Gutters are an indispensable part of the home’s exterior. The gutters are a shallow trough, usually made of vinyl or metal, that is fixed beneath the edge of a roof. 

Gutters Protect Your Investment

Gutters serve the function of diverting rainwater away from the walls and foundation of your lake home. This diversion helps prevent foundation erosion, wood rot and damage to your landscaping.
Leaves, twigs and other debris will clog gutters, and if the gutters are not cleaned out, in cold months you run the risk of ice dams forming at the edge of the roof. The ice dam can seep underneath shingles and down into insulation and ceilings, creating quite a lot of mess and damage. Translation: expensive repairs.

Gutter Cleaner


Let’s say that your lake house is located where the only white stuff in sight is not the snow on the roof, but the sand on the beach. There are still hazards to be avoided.
Without gutters, or if your gutters are clogged with debris, damage can occur to your lake house foundation.
The undiverted rainwater can erode the ground next to your footings. When this happens, the water can seep down along the foundation.
If you have a basement, this can create leaks, and even if you don’t have a basement on your lake house, you risk structural instability. 

When To Clean Your Gutter

It is best to clean your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall before winter arrives.
However, depending on where your lake house is located, and if there are a lot of trees in the area, you may want to check the gutters more frequently.
Wait until it rains and pay attention to how, and if, water is running through the gutters while you are waiting for the chicken in your smoker to be done. The water should run freely out of the downspouts. 

Safely Clean Your Gutters

Now that we have established that gutter maintenance is necessary and essential to protecting your lake house, how do you go about it in the easiest, safest manner possible?
While caring for and preserving our happy place at the lake house is a given, we also don’t want those tasks to become another line item in a long laundry list that eats away our precious time at the water.
Scratching gutter manintainece off your list is quick and easy when you have the right tool and you do it yourself.
Hiring someone is always feasible, but it will cost you more, and will tie up your day hanging around on shore while the job is being done. 

The DIY Method Of Cleaning Gutters

If you do the job yourself in the conventional way, and unless you are over 12 feet tall, you will need a ladder.
There are many types of ladders out there to choose from, and a few things to consider before using one.
A four legged step ladder would be good for a single story lake house, but you will need an extension ladder for a two story house.
A wooden ladder is not recommended as they can be wobbly and harder to balance than a metal ladder.
Fiberglass ladders are among the sturdiest, but unfortunately, they are also the heaviest. The weight will be a matter to contend with as you move the ladder around the lake house. 

Gutter Cleaner

Be Safe, Not Sorry

Anytime you are going to be up on a ladder for any reason, the first thing to do is to let someone know that you will be up on a ladder working on the gutters.
It is better to be safe than sorry. Accidents can happen quickly, and having someone watching out for you that is able to call for help if needed can save your lif

Gutters

Fortunately, there is a simple, inexpensive tool that will allow you to attend to those gutters on your own time, safely, and, the miracle of miracles, no ladder required!
That last item is a big one for me, as heights are a challenge.
I don’t mind standing on the second-floor patio overlooking the lake, or on the upper deck of a cruiser, but put me on a ladder and I can feel the entire world tilt.
This ladder phobia can prove to be a problem when the dog’s frisbee lands on the roof, or the kid's glider ends up in the gutter.
Again, there is one tool to both clean the gutter and retrieve the wayward toys with ease.
To avoid the whole ladder climbing, ladder hauling thing, this indispensable tool can be used to remove leaves and debris while standing safely on the ground.

Gutter Fingers Will Clean Your Gutters Safely

The Gutter Fingers tool is both effective and efficient in removing debris that is clogging gutters. 

gutter cleaner

The Gutter Fingers tool grabs leaves and debris that are trapped in the gutter.  It can also be used to pluck items, like toys or branches off the roof of your lake house. 

The grabbing mechanism of Gutter Fingers operates by the simple sliding, tightening and loosening of its rope. 

Tool itself slides onto the end of your own extension pole, and we all have an extension pole at a lake house. 

The height of your extension pole will determine how high you can reach, and my experience is with a 16 footer. 

Easy To Use

What I like about the Gutter Fingers tool is that it requires no setup. I can name my own time to clean the gutters on my lake house. 

 I just slip it on the end of my extension pole, grab an empty bucket with a garbage bag liner, and I am off and running.

If I want, I can do the entire lake house in one go.  Or I can do the back of the house today and the front of the house on a day when the fish are not biting. 

For me, it makes it seem like less of a chore when I break it up and spend half an hour here or there cleaning the gutters.

Easy To Use

What I like about the Gutter Fingers tool is that it requires no setup. I can name my own time to clean the gutters on my lake house. 

 I just slip it on the end of my extension pole, grab an empty bucket with a garbage bag liner, and I am off and running.

If I want, I can do the entire lake house in one go.  Or I can do the back of the house today and the front of the house on a day when the fish are not biting. 

For me, it makes it seem like less of a chore when I break it up and spend half an hour here or there cleaning the gutters.

Cleaning Gutters On A Ladder is Messy

In the past, I have done gutters in the old fashioned way. With the aforementioned ladder, bucket and gloves.

Gutter cleaner


Again, the ladder was the issue for me, both hauling it around and feeling unsteady when I was at gutter level.
Suffice it to say, the gunk in the gutters is a stinking, slimy mess. Remember that there might be all manner of objects...or living things...in the gutter.
Worms, small birds or mice might be roaming around. Bees and wasps will search out the trapped water in a gutter. 

Cleaning Gutters On A Ladder Can Be Hazardous

When cleaning gutters in the conventional way, you have to protect your hands from the debris that you will be removing from the gutters.
There can be sharp debris, even glass or metal, and bird and squirrel droppings in the gutters.
You don’t want to get poked with the bacteria filled gunk that inhabits the bottom of the gutter and have to make a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot.
There has been more than once that a creature (imagined or not) has startled me.
Those were the times that I dropped the bucket holding the previously retrieved gunk and splashed it down the side of the lake house, creating another job when I just wanted to be swaying on the hammock, not the ladder. 

Cleaning Gutters With Gutter Fingers Is Not Yucky

The beauty of Gutter Fingers is that you don’t touch any of the yuck that you dislodge. The tool itself does that unenviable job.  

The “fingers” on the tool grab all debris, both moving or inert, allowing you to drop it in your garbage bag for disposal without getting your hands dirty. Just rinse the tool off before you put it away. 

Another nuisance that you avoid by using Gutter Fingers is having to have specific shoewear.  Sandals and flip flops should be the only footwear in sight at the lake house.
Young lady cleaning gutters using Gutter Fingers gutter cleaning tool

With Gutter Fingers, You Don’t Need to Get On The Roof

However, if gutter cleaning is done the old fashioned way, on a ladder, you will also need rubber soled shoes.
Rubber soles shoes should be used as you need a good grip on the rungs of the ladder or (heaven forbid) a good grip on the roof if you are going after the frisbee.
Roofs can be slippery. While you might argue that a fall off a roof will not hurt you, I can guarantee the sudden stop will do major damage and keep you out of the game.

Man holding Gutter Fingers gutter cleaning tool

Saves You Time And Money

Hard to believe, but there is yet another advantage of having a  Gutter Fingers tool.  It is so  easy to use.  

With your extension pole you can reach your gutters while you are safely on the ground.  No ladder is needed, no hauling a ladder around, no falling off of it, no rubber soled shoes required.

Protective gloves can be left on the shelf as you will not be touching any gunk, and not being poked by anything lurking unseen in the gutter.  

I find that being able to choose when I want to check the gutters and cleaning it in stages, or in one fell swoop, to be a huge advantage.  

It makes it seem like less of a chore and more of a choosing to me. I think that is because there is virtually no setup involved in getting Gutter Fingers ready.  

It does not seem like a “project” doing the gutters this way. 

Yet another advantage of the Gutter Fingers tool is that it is inexpensive. No need to take out a second mortgage, no need forgoing fuel for the boat, or meat for the grill. 

No need to schedule and pay for someone to come do the job.  Your piggy bank probably contains the entire sum you would need. 

The tool becomes part of your lake house protection arsenal. Besides saving you money, it saves you time.  

In Conclusion

As we said at the beginning, cleaning out gutters is one job that should not be neglected. Left unattended, the damage can cost thousands to put right.  

Your lake house protects your sanity. Take a bit of time to protect the lake house itself.

Our List of The 10 Must-Watch Best Movies Set on Lakes. Trailers Included.

Movies set on lakes. Lake Living Guide list

During this time of a pandemic, people are encouraged to stay at home. Doing so can reduce the risks of being infected with COVID-19. Some people think that staying indoors could be quite tedious since you can’t go outside to do some thrilling activities.

But staying at home is an excellent opportunity to binge-watch some exciting movies. Besides, it is a great past time that allows you to bond with your loved ones. If you are looking for must-see films, you may try the movies set on lakes.

Must-Watch Lake Movies

Viewing your favorite films is a fun recreation. What makes it more exciting is when you watch them together with your family.

However, it is quite challenging to pick which film you should watch, considering a wide range of options.

To help you decide what you will include in your cinema playlist, you may try these exciting lake movies:

A Month By the Lake (1995)

Featured Lake Como
Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox, and Uma Thurman

One of the classic lake movies you can watch is entitled A Month By the Lake. The story revolves around the love triangle of Miss Bentley (Vanessa Redgrave), Miss Beaumont (Uma Thurman), and Major Wilshaw (Edward Fox).

The film is not just a typical love triangle story. It has comedic acts that you will surely enjoy. Besides, you will be in awe when you find how the movie features the stunning Lake Como.

Big Fish (2003)

Featured Jackson Lake
Starring Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, and Jessica Lange

The film is all about the tales and adventures of Edward Bloom. He was portrayed by Ewan McGregor (flashbacks) and Albert Finney.

If you are fond of watching adventures, then this film is a must-watch movie for you. Although it was not properly set on a lake, it features a lot of water adventures.

One interesting thing about the film is that the lake house and other structures used in the movie still exist. Movie enthusiasts can visit the place to have some photo opportunities.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Featured Mountain Lake and Lake Lure
Starring Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze

If you are into dancing, you’ll surely love this film starring Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze. The story started when Baby performed by Gray arrived at Kellerman’s Resort to have a simple vacation.

But her summertime became more memorable after meeting Johnny Castle, a dance instructor. From a fine young lady, Baby became one of the graceful dancers in town.

The film has featured some lakes which can help you reminisce about your summertime in a lake house.

Lake City (2008)

Featured Lake City
Starring Sissy Spacek, Troy Garity, and Dave Matthews

Perry Moore directed this lake story. It is an American drama film starring Sissy Spacek, who reunited with her son, played by Troy Garity.

She left home for many years because of a family tragedy that took place.

Lake Effects (2012)

Featured Smith Mountain Lake
Starring Scottie Thompson, Jane Seymour, and Madeline Zima

“There’s no place like home.” It is one of the best lessons you can gain from the movie. The story features Sara, a woman who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream.

After becoming an attorney, he promised not to go back to Smith Mountain Lake, her home. But after an unfortunate event, she got no choice but to go back and reconnect with her relatives. There, she realized the importance of her family.

Nell (1994)

Featured Fontana Lake
Starring Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson, and Natasha Richardson

Nell, portrayed by Jodie Foster, was left to raise herself in an isolated cabin on Fontana Lake. Many years had passed when Dr. Jerome Lovell (Liam Neeson) discovered Nell.

He found out that she communicates using a language she only knows. It is because Nell has never experienced life outside the humble cabin.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Featured Lake District National Park
Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron

Fairy tales always fascinate kids. But if you want to watch an adult adaptation of Snow White, you may consider watching Snow White and the Huntsman. Rupert Sanders directed this 2012 film.

Kristen Stewart playing Snow White was an imprisoned daughter of the late king. She escaped the palace after discovering that she is the source of the Evil Queen’s immortality.

The Evil Queen, played by Charlize Theron, ordered the Huntsman to capture Snow White. But after realizing that she is playing him, he turned out against the queen and saved Snow White throughout the film.

In the movie, you’ll find a scene where it featured the beautiful Lake District.

The Lake House (2006)

Featured Maple Lake Forest Preserve
Starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Christopher Plummer

From the title of the movie itself, much of the scenes in The Lake House were shot in Maple Lake (although the lake house movie was set in Wisconsin Lake).

Starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Christopher Plummer, the story revolves around a doctor who exchanges love letters with the former tenant.

But there is something odd in the way they exchange the messages. If you want to know what it is, then it’s time to call your family and watch it together.

Without a Clue (1988)

Featured Lake District National Park
Starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley

Another film that featured the Lake District National Park in the movie Without a Clue. Thom Eberhardt directed this classic film.

The characters were based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters from the Sherlock Holmes stories. Sherlock Holmes, in this film, was an actor who was hired by a brilliant detective.

It is because he needs to cover up Dr. Watson, who is the real great detective.

Thirteen Lakes (2004)

Featured 13 great lakes in the United States

Directed by James Benning, the film was shot in 13 great lakes in the U.S. The movie is more of a documentary that highlights the beauty of the scenery.

Although it is not for the general audience, people who want to be inspired and have a contemplative experience should consider this movie.

There are many breathtaking lake destinations that you can find across the globe. No wonder these places are often used as sets for several blockbuster movies.

Since some lake destinations are still not open to the public, you may want to explore them by watching lake movies. In this way, you can always reminisce about some of your memorable lake experiences.

10 Ways To Prevent Drowning In A Lake This Summer; Lake Living Safety Tips

10 Ways to avoid drowning in a lake this summer. Safe Lake Living Tips

Camping by the lake is one of the most popular family activities during the warm summer season. People found it to be a great way to relax, given the beautiful green sceneries around and the refreshing touch of lake water. Biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, in his book “Blue Mind,” said that being on or near the water can bring on feelings of calm, peacefulness, and general happiness. If you are having difficulty sleeping because of stress and anxiety, you should try lake-living once in a while to improve your overall well-being.

However, it is also important to note the potential safety risks of living near a body of water, especially to small kids. According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1–4 years, followed by children 5–9 years. While you would not want to replace your family’s excitement with worries, make sure to set relevant safety measures while camping by the lake.

10 Lake Living Safety Tips


1. Listen to the weather forecast.

Before you head out with your family to the lake area, do not forget to check your local weather forecast for strong winds or rain throughout the day. Bad weather is the sign you need to skip your camping trip since the water level and current become unsafe for swimming. Depending on your location, you might be experiencing thunderstorms even during the summer season. 

2. Wear life jackets in and around water.

Wearing a life jacket is an essential safety practice whether you are heading out on a boat or going swimming in the lake. The United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) reported that about 84.5 percent of drowning victims are not wearing a life jacket. Besides saving your life, wearing an approved personal floatation device (PFD) also reduces the impact or shock when you first fall in the cold water, preventing hypothermia. Remember to choose a life vest that fits your age and body type and have it appropriately secured at all times.

Lake Living

3. Bring a life-saving floatation device.

Aside from requiring every member of your family to wear life vests, bringing water floats can also help ensure your kid’s safety. Inflatable ride-on, raft-style floats, and lake pads are very easy to carry and add to the outdoor fun. You can check out for top-grade summer outdoor gears made in the USA in the online market.

4. Stay away from unfamiliar areas in the lake.

When swimming in the lake, do not dare to go away from the crowd of swimmers. Only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. If you would like to go diving, only do so in areas marked for diving. You also have to check for underwater obstacles, such as dams, rocks, and vegetation that might wrap around your feet.

5. Build a fence around your camping area.

Bringing an easy-to-install fence to your camping trip will not only protect you and your belongings from stray animals but will also provide extra safety for the kids. When camping by the lake, it is very common for kids to end up in the water suddenly. It could happen when you are sleeping inside the tent or busy attending other tasks around the camp. Common ways to build a fence around your campsite include bringing a portable fence or attaching strings to the surrounding trees.

Lake Living Life Guard

6. Have your boats checked before use.

If you plan to go on a boat tour around the lake, make sure your water vehicle is properly checked by a professional for any repair issues. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons offer complimentary boat examinations. They do that to verify the presence and condition of specific safety equipment required by state and federal regulations—Discover Boating. To add, do not forget to take a boating course to learn significant rules while on water.

7. Do not let the kids go swimming alone.

Camping by the lake is not just solely an adventure; it comes with the responsibility of keeping your kids away from harm. It would be best if you made your children understand that they cannot be near the water without an adult accompanying them. The American Red Cross suggests you avoid distractions when supervising children around water. It may also help to add other camping activities, such as going on a nature walk or playing cards or board games, so kids do not think about going to the water all the time.

Lake Living Safety

8. Read the signs.

Never ignore the lake signs posted by the local authorities as they help provide safety for every camper. These signs warn people of the potential hazards around the lake area, such as strong currents, big rocks, and sudden drop-offs. Safety signs are often customized to be used specifically in lakes, rivers, and beaches.

9. Take a swimming lesson.

Learning how to swim offers a lot of healthy benefits. More importantly, it can save you from a drowning accident. If you do not know how to swim, perhaps you should cancel the lake camping trip and enroll in swimming lessons first. Learning how to swim will not only let you enjoy water activities but also help you keep your loved ones safe while in the water. Aside from adults, it would also be wise to enroll the kids in swimming classes at an early age, so they can learn the different water safety rules and build life-saving skills. A case study entitled “Association Between Swimming Lessons and Drowning in Childhood” found that children enrolled in swimming lessons had an 88% reduced risk of drowning.

10. Learn CPR and first aid.

Attending first aid training will let you know what to do during a water rescue operation, which includes helping someone having trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help, and CPR—American Red Cross. This can help save your life and that of your loved ones when going to water activities.

Lake Living Safety

Lake Living and Camping This Summer With Zero Waste

Zero Waste Lake Living and Camping

Lake living in the summer is one of the best ways to experience the lake!
Summer is the time of year to camp out along the shore. Even if you have a lake house, forsake the indoor amenities and sleep out under the stars!
You can't get a lot better than falling asleep to the water lapping against the shore.
Camping out is also a great learning experience for the kiddos.

It gives them a new perspective on life and gets them up close and personal with Mother Nature.
This is a perfect time to teach the kids about zero waste and to learn more about it yourself. It is an essential topic in today's world.
The problem of waste and the impact it has on the earth is very real. You can contribute to the solution by practicing zero-waste habits when you are lake living and camping.

5 Essential Tips for Zero Waste Camping At The Lake

Here at Lake Living Guide, we love lake living and all the benefits received from being at the lake. The peace, the nature and the release of stresses and pressures.
There are tips you can practice to work towards the goal of zero waste when camping at the lake. Here are 5 essential tips to consider.

Essential Tip #1 Cut Out the One-Time Use Products

It may seem easier to purchase paper plates and then just dispose of them in the campfire. That might be right, but it does nothing to contribute to less consumption.
It takes resources to manufacture and distribute those paper plates that you will use just once. If you visit a second-hand shop, you will be able to find plates that you can use again and again.
Look for either metal or enamel dishware. You don't want glass or ceramic dishes to be used at a campsite as breakage can quickly occur when you have fun around the flames.
If you find a set of plastic dishware, that is great too. They are objects that have already been produced, and you will be able to use them again and again.

Essential Tip #2 Use Second-Hand Camping Gear

When camping by the lake, you will need some gear. Rather than purchasing new gear, look at local second-hand stores.
The Salvation Army and Goodwill will often get camping equipment that you can buy for less than the cost of new gear.
Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, along with eBay, would also be good places to look for used camping gear.
Here are some well-known retailers who sell some of their products used:

https://www.thenorthfacerenewed.com/

https://wornwear.patagonia.com/

https://www.usedgear.arcteryx.com/

https://www.rei.com/used

Consider borrowing from friends for your lake camping excursion. You may be surprised who has gear that is not in use and would consider loaning out or selling to you.
When you look for used camping gear, you are circumventing vital resources being used to produce yet more products.

Essential Tip #3 go For an Environmentally-Friendly Diet 

When choosing the food you will have on your lake camping trip, try to eat a plant-based diet.
That will remove the need for ice and plastic bags. If this is not a reasonable possibility, buy in bulk for your lake camping trip and prep meals at home ahead of time.
Bring all of your camping food in reusable packages. The best way to carry your food into a campsite is in a durable and reusable cooler

You can choose meals that consist of simple ingredients. The best kind of preparation is to have all the ingredients in one reusable container. This oatmeal recipe is an example:

Camping Oatmeal

1 cup of oatmeal per serving
4 cups oatmeal
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup slivered almonds or other nuts
½ cup golden raisins or other dried fruit
½ tsp cinnamon
Mix ingredients in a reusable container.
Measure out each serving in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.
Let sit about 7 to 8 minutes
Can be topped with a banana if desired

Essential Tip #4 Use nature-friendly hygiene products

Small changes add up. Bring along bandanas rather than disposable wipes. Bandanas can be handy for any number of needs.
Soak your bandana in water and tie it around your neck to cool off while camping along the lake.
Use it to wipe away dirt and keep your hair under control.
Bring along a collapsible airtight container to store your food waste until you get home to compost it.
Take along nature-friendly hygiene products when camping by the lake. Shampoo and conditioner bars work just as well as those that come in bottles.
Use an old lunchbox to create a first aid kit.
Hit up the dollar store to fill up your lunchbox with bandages, tweezers, antiseptic ointment, and other first-aid needs.

Essential Tip #5 Commit to a Leave-No-Trace Camping

Whatever you have brought to the lake camping trip with you, take it back out when you leave.
If you come across debris, pick it up and carry that out too.
Lake living is an inspiration to "Leave No Trace." The lakeshore should be a pristine setting for all to enjoy.
Every time you are by the lake, it is an opportunity to leave the environment better than you found it. It is the perfect time to lead by example to others around you.

Zero Waste Camping

As we humans have come to understand and see the impact disposing of products has negatively impacted the environment. The need for zero waste is evident to us.
While being able to achieve completely zero waste may be an impossibility, each of us can do our part to join the conservation effort of responsible consumption.
Zero waste camping at the lake is not just a trend; it is a lifestyle. Practice zero waste with the intent of reducing your carbon footprint.

Zero Waste Swimming

What is lake living without swimming? Unfortunately, most swimsuits come from a combination of polyester and nylon, which means plastics.
These fabrics can wear out quickly, depending on how often you swim. Look for swimsuits that are constructed from regenerated nylon from pre and post-consumer products.
You certainly don't want to give up swimming on a lake camping trip, but there are suits that are made responsibly from sustainable materials.
Look for those products that use recycled materials. 

Types Of Waste

Many kinds of waste impact the environment negatively, and the crisis is getting worse, not better.
The amount of waste generated has numerous effects on humans and the environment alike.
It contributes to the climate crisis; it harms wildlife, damages the environment, and is detrimental to our health.
Here are some of the contributors to the waste problem

Plastic Waste

Plastic pollution is everywhere on our planet according to Our World Data

There is a very well-known example of this accumulation called theGreat Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean.

Plastic Waste Statistics will give you a rundown on just how huge the problem of plastic is worldwide. 

Out of 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste produced, only 9% of that plastic waste has been recycled.

Microplastic Waste

You may have heard about the issue of micro waste; it is a monumental problem in the form of minuscule waste. 

Micro Waste is made up of microplastics in tiny pieces that pollute the environment. 

Microplastics are not a specific kind of plastic, but rather any type of plastic fragment that is less than 5 mm in length according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

To compound the problem, plastics degrade slowly. It can take hundreds, if not thousands of years. 

Because of this length of time, microplastics can be ingested, incorporated, and accumulated in many organisms' bodies and tissues. 

Microplastics are found in the oceans, ice cores, freshwater ecosystems, marine environments, the soil, and the air we breathe.

Non-biodegradable Waste

Products that are not biodegradable contribute to the waste problem because these products cannot break down. 

Outlined in this article, the Difference Between Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable Substances is a crucial thing to know. 

If you understand the differences, you will be able to make purchases more carefully. 

Doing so will help reduce pollution and ease the strain on our environment

The Little Things Add Up

Lake living develops a greater appreciation of the environment and the beauty of nature. 

It is essential to understand How Our Trash Impacts the Environment so that each of us can do our part to mitigate the impact.

In Conclusion

Lake living is a way of life. Camping out at the lake creates memories that last a lifetime.
You also want the lake and its surroundings to last many, many lifetimes.
By practicing zero waste whenever and wherever you can, you will help to preserve and protect the lake that you love. 

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

Is lake water safe to swim in

Summer is all about getting outside, enjoying some fresh air, and basking in that summer sun. It’s hot outside though, and that lake starts to look more and more tempting as the temperatures rise.
Whether you’d like to swim in a lake that you know of, or you found a secret swimming hole on your vacation, take a moment to consider whether it’s safe to swim in the lake water before you jump in. These warning signs will make it easy to judge if that lake will be as safe as it is refreshing.

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

Sometimes, it can be easy to figure out if a lake is safe to swim in. For instance, if a lake in your neighborhood never has people jumping in, you can assume there’s a reason why.

There are other warning signs though of dangers that can pose a risk while swimming, or which can foreshadow possible illness if you jump in the lake water. To protect yourself and your friends, take a look here for some guidelines.

Check Yourself

Part of swimming safely in a lake is to check yourself first. If you’re not feeling well, don’t risk it. Hang out on the side and stick only your feet in. Do not jump into any natural lake with an open wound either.

Is that Algae?

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

?

Take a look around the river. Do you see algae building up? Even in a still lake or river, you might see some algae. This little green plant looks harmless, but if there’s a lot of it, be cautious. If you swim during an algae bloom, there is a risk of getting sick, especially if you drink some of that lake water accidentally.
Not all algae are harmful, but there are certain types like cyanobacteria that can be dangerous. Cyanobacteria can be toxic, causing irritation if you touch it and internal damage if you swallow it.
But if you're like me, you probably aren't an algae expert. In terms of knowing if the algae are in bloom or if it's dangerous, you should be able to pick out a distinct smell. It will be off-putting and is a good sign that you shouldn't jump in.


Check Your Surroundings

One thing that people forget when swimming in lakes: there’s no lifeguard. If someone gets hurt, you need to be prepared to help them. This is especially true if you’re swimming with young children; keep an eye on them at all times.

Also, check to see if you can see the bottom of the lake. If you can't, this isn't necessarily a problem, but it's better to know what you'll encounter and how deep the water is just in case you have any problems staying afloat. This is especially true when it comes to slippery rocks. Those can be very dangerous since people are known to slip and hit their heads.

A Fast Current

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

!

You might find a beautiful lake to swim in that has a current to it. It’s easy to think that you’ll be able to move right though, but powerful swimming currents are hard to combat. Before you jump in the lake water, take a second to think about how fast that current is moving and if your swimming skills are good enough to match up.
Don’t pretend you’re a better swimmer than you are. Step your feet in the water to test how strong the current is. Be sure not to go in any further, even in shallow water. Another method is to throw a stick into the water to see how fast it moves. If you couldn’t catch the stick if you swim after it, you’re at risk to be overpowered in the current.
Also, check to be sure that no current lead to anywhere dangerous. This isn't a movie; you don't want to end up falling down a waterfall because the current is too strong. Try looking for a place with a calm current, or no current at all.


River Merging

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

!

Speaking of currents, the current will be strongest when two rivers meet. This spot will be much stronger than the current for individual rivers and can baffle even the most experienced swimmers. Make sure there are no dangerous areas like this when you begin swimming.
You can check for other danger signs too, like rocks or sharp turns in the river. If you do get swept down the current for a moment, you don’t want to accidentally get tripped up and hurt by some rocks.


See Any Signs?

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

!

Check around you to see if there are any signs posted around the area. If the land is publicly owned, these signs will let you know what is safe and what isn’t safe. For instance, if there’s a sign that says “no diving,” this means that it won’t be safe to jump in head first. Always make sure to check the lake water’s depth before you dive in anyway.
Take a look online to see the status of the water for public swimming spots too. Many states list the swimming conditions for public lakes so you can see if the water has been contaminated.


Water Testing

Is Lake Water Safe to Swim in?

!

People can get ill from swimming in streams that are contaminated with fecal matter. This might be because the lake is near farmland where animals live or where there are other contaminants like fertilizers. If you’re going to swim near an area like this, pick up a product like API Master Test Kits.

These kits are made to test and monitor the water quality, checking for the pH balance, ammonia, nitrite, and phosphate levels. They're not overly expensive and can be used to test places the EPA hasn't gotten to.


API Master Test Kits

4.5
  • Contains one (1) API POND MASTER TEST KIT Pond Water Test Kit 500-Test, including 6 bottles of testing solution, 3 color cards and 4 glass test tubes with cap

  • Helps monitor water quality and prevent invisible water problems that can be harmful to fish

  • Measures ornamental pond pH balance, Ammonia content, Nitrite levels and Phosphate content

  • Contains six test bottles, instructions, glass test tubes and color charts for 500+ tests
    Use weekly for monitoring and when water or fish problems appear

  • Complete kit for testing pond and tap water

  • Tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and phosphate levels

Conclusion

Swimming safely can feel like a hassle when you just want to jump in the lake and cool off after a hot day, but it’s definitely worth it. Before you run off to have a great time, think about the safety of the lake you’re considering.
Some signs will be obvious, like actual signs, but others, like algae, may take a minute. Either way, you’ll be thankful that you’ve remained safe and in good health when you jump in the lake water.

Our Pick of the 7 Best Lake House Weed Cutters

Man using a weed cutter near a lake house in Central Florida

Ah, the lake!  There is no doubt that it is a wonderful and restful place to be!  Truly, there are few places that have the same ambience of sun, sky, water and well-being.  

The lap of the water against the shore has a natural rhythm that calms and refreshes. I find it one of the most soothing sounds, one that comforts and lulls you while promising adventure just off shore!

The very air around the lake is full of nautical smells that beckon you to participate in the secrets held in its watery depths. 

It is not over the top to say that being at your lake house is rejuvenating to mind, body and soul. 

The tempo of the water currents helps us to slow down and brings our minds and our bodies back into rhythm. 

During our everyday lives, we are focused on what comes next.  Work, meetings, emails and agendas. If you have kids added to the mix, there is school, practice schedules and homework. 

Never a dull minute, and rarely time to relax. 

The time spent at your lake house holds great benefits for banishing stress, clearing the mind, regaining focus and spurring creativity.  In our everyday lives, we tend to have a myopic view of life, and life at the lake enables us to expand that view. 

Which brings us to the lake house itself.  The sanctuary, the breath catcher, the stress reliever. While you are at the lake house, there are necessary tasks to be done.  The sooner you complete those tasks, the sooner you can get to what really matters...reconnecting with yourself, the ones you love and nature. 

Yard and lawn maintenance will be one of those necessary tasks at the lake house.  And one that you will want to accomplish as quickly and as effortlessly as possible so you can kick back.

 As is the case, mowing a lawn also involves weed whipping it.  Keeping the weeds at bay will also cut back on bugs and crawly critters, as it will help eliminate their hiding places.

There are also the weeds near the water that should be dealt with, as this also helps with the health of the lake itself and your corner of it.

 To help you with the control of these weeds, we have compiled our picks of the Best Lake Weed Cutters for 2019. 

PRODUCT

SUMMARY

WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12" Cordless String Trimmer & Edger 

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

This first trimmer on our list is a double duty piece of equipment.  It is a trimmer and edger. Even though it has an edger, I am in hopes that your lake house has not one sidewalk and that you don’t feel anything in your light of sight needs edging!

Jenlis Lake Weed Razer, Weed & Grass Removal Tool for Lakes & Ponds 

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

With the Jenlis Weed Razer, you can remove aquatic vegetation quickly and easily from narrow spaces between docks and boats, or wide stretches of shoreline.

Midwest Rake Company 86036 Lake Rake with Float

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The Midwest Lake Rake is of a different sort of implement than the Weed Razer that we just reviewed. This looks more like a conventional yard rake, and you can use it as a landscaping rake, for dragging in cut weeds from the water or for dressing the beach.

The WeedBlade - Lake & Pond Aquatic Weed and Water Grass Cutter

Overall Rating : 4/5

Here is a weed blade that includes a carrying case, two extra extensions and cut resistant gloves and blade sharpener.

Weed Razer Jenlis Express

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The little brother of the previously listed Jenlis Weed Razer 48 inch cutter, this tool has a 30 inch cutting path.

Crystal Blue Lake and Pond Weed Cutter

Overall Rating : 4/5

Pond weed cutters can be used to help supplement any type of chemical treatments you might be using.

Aquatic Lake & Pond Weed CUTTER

Overall Rating : 3.5/5

This heavy duty rake can haul in heavy loads of dead vegetation as well as dig down and help pull out weed stems and roots from the beach bottom.

PRODUCT REVIEWS


  • Worx offers Free Spools for Life.  Visit their website to get 6 replacement spools for the cost of shipping. This trimmer/edger has a 4.5 star rating with 1,718 reviews on Amazon.

    • TRIMMER & EDGER 2-in-1:Easily converts from a string trimmer to a wheel edger in just seconds

    • INSTANT LINE FEED: Innovative push button Command Feed spool system for instant line feeding. Plus, Free Spools for Life!

    • BATTERIES ARE INCLUDED: 2 powerful and lightweight 20V Power Share MaxLithium batteries come with this tool, and can be used on any other tool in the WORX Power Share family

    • RUBBERIZED WHEELS:  Support and guide the edger, giving you straighter lines and cleaner cuts

    • HEAD TILTS 90°: So you can trim and edge on sloped terrain, and get to tough-to-reach places

    • SPACER GUARD: Adjustable, so you don’t damage plants, landscape features, and lawn ornaments while you’re trimming

    • SPECS: 7600 rpm no-load speed, 12” cutting diameter, 5.3 lbs machine weight, 10’ cutting line length, 0.065” line diameter


  • The Razer will slice through weeds and grasses in just minutes from your lake or pond. It will help control milfoil, cattails, grasses, and lily pads that grow around your shoreline or beach access. This piece of equipment received a lot of great comments about it’s performance, but one thing that was stressed was that this implement is SHARP!  It needs to be sharp to do the job effectively, but make sure that you are careful when using this implement. Using cut resistant gloves would not go amiss, and definitely don’t let the kids around it. 

     

    • INCLUDES: Weed Razer, 25 ft of rope, instructions, weed deflectors, blade sharpener and covers

    • REALLY, REALLY SHARP: The v shaped head has razor sharp blades with a 48 inch cutting path; lightweight construction (8 pounds)

    • GETS THE JOB DONE: With little resistance slice through vegetation including milfoil, cattails, lily pads, grasses and more

    • EASY TO USE: To clear your lake shore and beach, simply throw into your lake or pond and reel back in

    • CAN BE USED IN SEVERAL AREAS: A great tool for boaters and swimmers to clear out weeds around the dock, shoreline, and beach areas


  • This looks more like a conventional yard rake, and you can use it as a landscaping rake, for dragging in cut weeds from the water or for dressing the beach.  Hopefully, you will be dressing the beach only if you are hosting a big party because, remember, the lake house is for relaxing. 

     

    • WIDE WIDTH: 36" width aluminum head

    • RUST PROOF: 11' 2-piece blue powder-coated aluminum handle with push pin splice

    • FLOATS: Detachable polyethylene float

    • GENEROUS LENGTH: 50' rope


As with the previous weed balade that we reviewed, please remember that, while effective, these tools need to be used with caution and care.  You want to spend your time at the lake house communing with nature, not getting stitched up.  

 

  • INCLUDES: Aquatic Weed Cutter + 2 Extra Optional Extensions + 25ft Rope + Blade Sharpener + Protective Storage / Carrying Case

  • EASILY CUTS: through nearly all types of aquatic weed at the base such as milfoil, hydrilla & lily pads.

  • RAZOR SHARP: V-shaped blade design cuts a 4 ft wide path with each pass - handle is extendable handle from 5ft to 9ft.

  • EFFECTIVE: Comes with 25ft rope that attaches to the top of the handle for long throws cutting and deeper water

  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not completely satisfied with how well the WeedShear cuts, simply return it for a full refund. No questions asked!


It would be idea for smaller areas, or if you want a lighter, less intensive piece of equipment. Even though it is a smaller version, it has 4.4 stars out of 5 star customer reviews.  

 

  • REALLY, REALLY SHARP: The v shaped head has razor sharp blades with a 30 inch cutting path;
  • INCLUDES:Contains Weed Razer, 25 ft of rope, instructions, blade covers; Weights 6 pounds;
  • GETS THE JOB DONE: With little resistance slice through vegetation including milfoil, cattails, lily pads, grasses and more
  • EASY TO USE: To clear your lake shore and beach, simply throw into your lake or pond and reel back in
  • CAN BE USED IN SEVERAL AREAS:A great tool for boaters and swimmers to clear out weeds around the dock, shoreline, and beach areas.


This tool is a great alternative to taking a more natural approach to pond and lake care and weed removal. There are many states that aquatic herbicides are restricted for sale, which makes the pond weed cutter the best option for lake clean up.

 

  • Eliminate weeds around your docks and swimming areas

  • Has the preferred cut width of 42" to easily cut the base of the weeds

  • Includes razor sharpener, rope and blade covers

  • Cuts and uproots aquatic weeds, not intended for use on cattails

  • Weights only 8 pounds

  • USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN USING THIS TOOL


  • The rake teeth also extend above the top of the rake giving you the perfect tool for grooming and leveling your beach sand. 

     

    • You can cut, rake, skim surface weeds, fork and collect more efficiently.

    • The razor sharp V-shaped blade design cuts a 4 ft wide path with each pass 

    •  3 piece extendable handle from 5ft to 9ft - Includes 25ft rope & blade sharpener. 

    •  Cuts milfoil, hydrilla & lily pads.

    • A multi-use tool - rake, fork & skimmer. it features a 3ft wide head, 9-inch long heavy-duty tines, 7ft handle with curved grip, 27ft rope and detachable float kit

    • Money Back Guarantee

IN CONCLUSION


The tools we reviewed above will help you to keep the weeds at your lake house at bay.  As it is with weeds of any kind, prevention is the best control. If you prevent the weeds from infesting your lake or pond, it will be your best bet for keeping up with the ones that do show up. 

The way to do this is simply a matter of vigilance and good management practices. So many of the old sayings we often hear are based on experience. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ is one of those.

It means that, if one solves a problem while it is developing, you will save yourself time and work in the future. 

So too with weeds.  If we control them early on, the less time you will need to spend on them in the future.  Here is another saying: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.  

Some of the weed problems in the lake come from weeds that are not native, and it is best to prevent introducing them to your lake.  You can do this by making sure you clean and inspect boats, trailers, fishing tackle and anything else that goes into or near the water. 

Even run off from other bodies of water could also bring in unwanted weeds.  

Lake weeds start in the shallow areas, because the sunlight can reach the bottom of a shallow area. Weeds can’t grow without sunlight, and if you can prevent that, you can cut down on weeds.  

If you keep your lake deep, to a depth of more than 20 inches, you have a good chance of preventing lake weeds from starting in other areas. 

If possible, a good depth to try and achieve is two to three feet.  This will help prevent weeds from getting the sunlight needed to take root.  You will still have algae and free floating plants, but it will help prevent the weeds that have a root system. 

We spoke about runoff earlier.  If you use fertilizer on your land or in your landscaping, the runoff from this fertilizer feeds lake weeds and can boost their numbers. If possible, create a buffer zone between the fertilized areas and the lake.  

If you want to put in a buffer zone, you could put in trees or natural plants between the fertilized areas and the lake.  Plants that prevent erosion and don’t require any chemical assistance are a good choice. If this is not an option, try to make sure your fertilized plantings are about 100 feet from the lake. 

Addressing any issue with weeds as soon as it is noticed is the best advice to be given.  Weeds grow like...well, weeds! The longer they are allowed to grow, the more time, money and effort it will take to get them under control. 

You are not trying to eliminate all the weeds from your lake, that is not feasible or even wise.

You want a certain amount in your lake. If you aim at about 20-25% of the lake containing vegetation, that is a good balance to have.

The products reviewed will help you to maintain that balance. If they are used on a regular basis, the time spent doing so should be minimal.  Which will bring you closer to doing what you really want to do...nothing!  


What Kinds of Fish are in Rough River Lake?

Rough River Lake Fish Kinds

What Kinds of Fish are in Rough River Lake?

If you are going to be in Kentucky any time soon, you will want to experience some of the local hotspots. But if you are more into the outdoors than the city, you need to take time to visit Rough River Lake. With plenty of things to do and opportunities for outdoor activities like fishing, it is a great spot to check out. Whether you’re alone or with the family, there is something for everyone at Rough River Lake.

10 Kinds of Fish
found in Rough River Lake

?

If you are interested in fishing in Rough River Lake, you should first know what you might find in there. This will help you get your bait and gear ready and be able to accommodate for the specific types of fish.

Bass

Rough River Lake has eight different types of bass that call it home. Largemouth, smallmouth, Guadalupe, spotted, striped, white, yellow and striped bass hybrids are all occupying the river. Largemouth and smallmouth bass will need to be over 15 inches in length to be kept. You will also need to look at the statewide limits and regulations for catching them as well so you don’t go over the limit.


Catfish

Channel catfish, blue catfish and flathead catfish all live in the Rough River Lake.


Bullhead

Black and yellow bullheads are both available in the lake.


Crappie

There are two types of crappie in Rough River Lake. The black crappie and the white crappie both live in the area and are also referred to as white perch. It is important to remember that to keep the crappie you caught, they need to be at least 9 inches in length to be kept. You will also need to look for statewide creel limits before going out.


Bluegill

Bluegills are also referred to as Perch, Sunfish, Sunperch, Brim and Bream.


Sunfish

Four types of sunfish call Rough River Lake home. The green sunfish, longear sunfish, redear sunfish and redbreast sunfish are all available to be caught.


Warmouth

Warmouths are also referred to as Goggle- Eye fish.


Drum

The red drum and the freshwater drum are both common in Rough River Lake .


Carp

The common carp and grass carp are both found in Rough River Lake.


Shiner

There are four types of shiner in Rough River Lake. The Texas shiner, blacktail shiner, golden shiner and red shiner all call the lake home.


Shad

Threadfin shad and Gizzard shad both reside in Rough River Lake.


Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel are also known as jackfish or pike.


Gar

The Longnose, shortnose, spotted and alligator gar are all found in Rough River Lake.


Buffalo

There are three types of Buffalo fish in Rough River Lake. They include the smallmouth, bigmouth and black buffalo.


American Eel

The American eel is also called the freshwater eel.


Paddlefish

Paddlefish are also known as spoonbills, boneless cat, shovelnose cat, and spoonbill cat.


Bowfin

Bowfins are also referred to as grindle, dogfish, cypress trout, mud fish and grinnel.


Rio Grande Cichlid

The Rio Grande Cichlid is also known as the Texas Cichlid and the Rio Grande Perch.

About Rough River Lake

The Commonwealth of Kentucky teamed up with the Army Corp of Engineers back in the 1950’s to create a perfect spot for wildlife to thrive as well as accommodate more recreational activities for people. The 5.100 acre lake is located in Grayson, Hardin and Breckinridge county in Kentucky and is home to the Rough River Dam State Resort Park. This resort offers plenty of activities to do, while being surrounded by the beauty of nature.


Things To Do


If fishing isn’t your thing, or you just want to try out some other activities while you’re there, there is plenty to do around Rough River Lake.

Check Out A Local Event


Rough River Lake almost always has something going on at their State Park Resort. From concerts to craft shows, and even buffets, there are some great opportunities for getting to know the community. The different activities change, so if you don’t like one, there is something new to try out all the time. It is a fantastic way to get involved and meet new people, as well as finding new activities you may want to try out.

Swimming


In addition to the fishing, you can also enjoy swimming in the water. During the hotter months the lake makes a perfect place to cool off, or just splash around and have some fun.

Hiking


There are many great places to walk around near Rough River Lake. But if you are more into hiking, you will want to check out Lake Ridge Trail or Folklore Trail. They both offer great views of the area including the shoreline and an old pioneer cabin.

Recreational Activities


If you want to enjoy more of a formal game or workout, you can also enjoy plenty of recreational activities. The lodge offers you the ability to play basketball on a full court, or mini golf, shuffleboard, tennis and volleyball. There are also disc golf competitions in the area.

Picnicking


Rough River Lake offers plenty of beautiful spots to stop and enjoy a picnic. This is a great option for those who want to spend the day on the lake and have their meal there.

Playgrounds


If you have children, there are also playgrounds around the area to give them plenty of places to play. Swings, slides and lots of fun can be had, while also making it easy for you to enjoy time with the family.

Boating


If you are looking to do some boating or water sports, Rough River is ideal. There are plenty of boats and slips to be rented and the marina is open year round. You can also rent equipment for more specific water sport needs in the area. Using the best fishing kayaks will also be a great way to do your water adventures.

Conclusion

Whether you live in Kentucky, or just passing through, you should take a few hours and go visit Rough River Lake. From fishing to more recreational activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Best Snap-On Boat Covers for Pontoon Boats

Snap On Boat Covers for Pontoon Boat
A pontoon boat is a worthwhile investment that will bring enjoyment to you and your family for years to come. Maintaining the condition of your boat is important to ensure its long-term durability and appearance. The furniture, boat accessories and gear can last significantly longer with the proper maintenance and care
What is the simplest and most cost-effective way to protect your boat? That’s easy – a cover.
The best covers will act as a solid, protective barrier between your boat and the outside elements. From lightweight to heavy-duty, there are many options available.
 
While this topic was previously discussed in the article: The Best Boat Covers of 2019, this article specifically covers pontoon boats. We will go over several options to help narrow down the playing field to the best cover protection for your boat.

      WHAT A PONTOON BOAT COVER CAN DO

A pontoon boat cover works by wrapping around the exterior of the boat. Many of these polyester canvases work like a tent, with inserted poles that the cover wraps around. The base is often tightened with ropes, buckle straps, or some sort of stretch cord.

 

What is the point of this type of cover for a pontoon boat?

 

Consider that, if left uncovered, the inside of the boat would be susceptible to the outdoor elements. Rain, snow, and UV damage can cause irreversible damage to your boat. Keeping moisture out of the boat will also help prevent mildew and mold buildup.

 

Debris can easily fall into and coat the inside of the boat. Sticks, pollen, dirt, and even nest building insects can wreak havoc on the lining and fabrics inside the boat. Bird droppings are a nuisance that can be avoided by using a cover. Animal droppings can carry harmful bacteria and diseases, so it is best to keep the critters out.  A cover secured in place can also protect any equipment stored onboard. 

Even though the cover is an extra, upfront cost, the long-term benefits of protecting your boat will pay off. Avoid costly repairs and pay less up front by purchasing a decent cover. Now that you know what a cover can do, it is time to consider a few things before making that final choice.

Things to consider in choosing...

There are so many options to consider when you’re in the market for a new boat cover. We want to help you make the right choice, so let’s make sure you have your bases covered.

1

WATER PROOF OR WATER RESISTANT 

The fabric on many of these covers are treated with a water-resistant coating. This type of coating will act as a barrier, but will not be able to withstand heavy rainfall or standing water. You might want to invest in a cover that can stand up to rainfall if this is a major consideration.

2

MATERIAL DIFFERENCES 

The main two types of material that you are likely to see when browsing for a pontoon boat cover are cotton canvas and synthetic material, like polyester. Synthetic blends are often more protective than their cotton counterparts due to an added layer of acrylic. The extra protection assists in keeping the water out.

 

To get technical with the material types, there is a durability measurement, called denier. This measurement represents the thickness and stability of the cover. For better protection, thicker covers are better. For a specific number, 600D or higher is typically considered high quality material.

3

OPT FOR THE BIGGER SIZES 

Opting for the next size up will help you avoid struggling with a too small product when covering your pontoon. This is especially true if your boat is in between the listed sizes or on the end of the listed size for the cover.

4

AVOID BRIGHT COLORS 

You may be tempted to purchase a bright and appealing cover. However, do not be tempted by colorful covers. These covers often have a reputation for bleeding into your boat’s upholstery.

5

BUY FOR YOUR NEEDS 

Not all pontoon boat covers are made equal. And, no, we do not mean differences in quality here.

 

Some covers are made for boats that spend lengthy periods in the water. Others are lightweight and great for storing in a shed or somewhere covered. Meanwhile, others are made to be trailered. Since these covers will need to withstand high speeds/winds, they are often equipped with extra ties and air vents to prevent ballooning.

6

STORING AND WINTERIZING YOUR PONTOON BOATS 

Storing your boat for the winter is a little more involved than slapping a nice cover on and calling it a season.

7

CLEAN YOUR BOAT

Sounds simple enough, but this process is time consuming. You will need to clean inside and out to prevent mildew, hardened debris, and any food residue that would attract critters. Remove all your gear and extra accessories and give your boat a proper scrub and vacuum. Apply mildew and rust protection, making sure to wait until everything is completely dry before covering.

 

To protect your engine, you will want to check your boat’s manufacturer guide. Most will follow these steps: Disconnect the battery and/or drain the engine, spray fogging oil into the carburetor and all around disconnected spark plugs, empty the gas tank to about ¾ full and fill the engine with propylene glycol based antifreeze, ensure all valves and seals are shut off, and change oil and oil filters as well.

 

Now it is time to cover your boat with your pontoon boat cover. Make sure there is some air flow to prevent mold buildup.

 

Make sure that you update your insurance policy to protect yourself against theft. Depending on where you are storing your boat, you will need to take appropriate actions to prevent vandalism.

INFOGRAPHIC:

PRODUCT REVIEWS


Overall Rating: 4.5/5

EmpireCovers Aqua Armor Pontoon Boat Covers brings a top of the line cover to your pontoon boat. This cover is ideal for those who do not have a boat garage to house their boat.  This cover protects against most of the elements. It blocks snow, sun, heavy rains and winds. This cover will keep those elements from penetrating to the boat below the distinctive blue cover.

 

Not only does the Aqua Armor act as a block against damaging weather, it is 100% waterproof. It does not simply repel or resist water, but the 1,200 Denier polyester fabric causes water to bead and drip off.  The breathable material will protect against mildew, dampness and musty odors Heavy duty shock cord hem gives the snug fit you desire when traveling with your boat, or if it is sitting in rough wind.

Pros

  • Reinforced seams and sturdy material

  • Quality, 1200D polyester

  • Breathable fabric

  • Auctor ipsum dolor sagittis

Cons

  • Some users report leaks after heavy rainfall


Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Classic Accessories StormPro has crafted this marine grade pontoon boat cover. Although this cover can cost over $200, we definitely feel that this product is worth it. This boat cover was designed to last and will not shrink or stretch with heavy use.The cover remains durable with heavy use or in heavy storms.  The cover is made with high-strength, water resistant polyester fabric. Once in place, the cover has a sleek appearance that adds to its appeal.

The elastic hem, adjustable transom flap, and buckled strapping system will keep this cover in place even during intense winds while duel air vents prevent ballooning. This remains true for high traveling speeds as well. 

A definite bonus that comes with the StormPro is the storage bag that comes with the purchase. This gives you a place to store the cover when the boat is in use.

 

 Classic Accessories wants you to purchase  peace of mind, not just a product. This is why they make sure that they take care of you after the purchase with quality US-based customer service and a five-year warranty. 

Pros

  • Great for various weather conditions

  • Snug, worry-free fit

  • Great customer service

Cons

  • The color fades a bit quickly if left out in the elements


Overall Rating: 3.5/5

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The Brightent pontoon cover is easy on the budget, so If you are looking for adequate protection at a great deal, this cover may be right for you. There are two size options along with the adjustable straps, so getting this cover to fit snugly on your pontoon boat should not be an issue.

 

The material is 240D woven polyester and treated with PU, water repellent, and UV-proof coating. While this is a wonderful cover, it is not heavy-duty when compared to some of the others on this list. One of the benefits to this is that one person can manage to fit the cover on without assistance. It is also easy to fold for storage and washing.

 

The fabric is strong and works well for short-term storage.

Pros

  • Budget friendly

  • Lightweight and easy to put on

  • Surprisingly durable

Cons

  • Becomes weak and brittle after continued sun exposure


Overall Rating: 3.5/5

You will have your choice of three colors with this MSC Trailerable pontoon boat cover; specifically, beige, blue, or a nice grey. The Trailerable is our choice for a practical cover. Several sizes are offered so you can make sure you get one that fits your boat snugly, so you can travel or store it with no worries.

 

The durable, marine grade polyester canvas is tough and capable of withstanding strong winds and a variety of natural elements. This cover is specifically designed for both long-term storage and highway travel, so the tough fabric is essential.

 

No matter the shape of your boat, this cover should adjust to fit it.

Pros

  • Strong and waterproof polyester

  • Dependable for long-term storage

  • Fits snugly and is tailorable

Cons

  • No air vents lead the cover to balloon when traveling


Overall Rating: 3.0/5

Another product from Classic Accessories is the Stellex. This cover is marine grade strength. The classic blue cover looks sharp once fit snugly on your boat.  The cover has weather, UV, and mildew protective coatings.

 

An adjustable transom flap and elastic cord provide a tighter, more custom fit for your pontoon while a rope attaches through D-rings for a tailored fit.  A bonus with this cover is that the fabric is 20% lighter, making it easier to handle.

Pros

  • Great for long-term storage

  • Four-year warranty

  • Good cover for the price point

Cons

  • The cover is not durable enough to use while traveling

Wrapping Up!

Year-round considerations for protecting your pontoon boat are essential in its upkeep. A good cover will benefit your boat through each season and all the different elements and challenges that they bring along with them. This means that if you get a quality cover, you can even use it for winterization. Follow our guide and considerations to help choose the best snap-on cover for your pontoon boat. If you have never thought a-boat it, now is the time to keep your investment afloat.

The 9 Best Made In The USA Drinkware For Your Lake House

Dinner set on a beautiful porch by a lake on a sunset

Glassware is a necessity

We don’t often think of the basic necessities for lake house living, but your drinking ware is an item that you really can’t go without. It is definitely a necessity.
If you plan in advance for your needs, you can secure those items and never get in a crunch when friends and family descend for a visit.
When looking for those items, it is also a bonus for you and your country to look for items that are American made.
So when you are looking at the various choices, you might think that it is just a simple choice of what color, what size, or even what features the product might offer.
However, your purchase choice has far greater ramifications than you might think. Buying American has a huge impact on the economy and the very foundation that our nation is built upon.
Like the ripples you see in the water at your lake house, the positive ripples created when you buy American-made products are far-reaching.
We have compiled a list of American made glassware that will serve you well at your lake house. You can feel doubly glad knowing that it is made in the USA. 

Top 9 Made in the USA Drinkware

Made in the USA Drinkware

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

US Acrylic produces a wide range of products for the home. From concept to creation, these products are proudly manufactured in Libertyville, IL.

Overall Rating - 4.7/5

From their headquarters located in California, Tossware is committed to making drinkware that is made from recycled material and is recyclable itself.