Posts Tagged ‘Gear’

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Gear for Summer Activities

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Regardless of the fact that many of us are facing a tight budget, the summer season is here and the kids are ready for some boredom-busting activities. But it doesn’t have to break the bank to keep them having fun and active. The best recollections are often created from lots of laughs, creative imaginations, and simple activities. Here are a few fun suggestions for enjoying your summer while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Throw a party with a theme. This is a fun thing to do for people of all ages. Visit your discount party supplier and purchase some themed decorations that feel as laid back and fun as summer. A luau is the most obvious choice. You can buy some grass skirts for the girls and some leis for the boys along with some themed paper plates and cups. Decoration ideas for your table and backyard are limitless at the discount party stores, use your creativity and make it feel like you’ve retreated to a tropical place where tikis fill the land and where no one has a care in the world!

Go camping. You can find some great camping equipment at yard sales or rummage sales. Many people buy tents, stoves, etc. and then only use them once or twice before donating them or having a yard sale. This is a great way to get camping supplies for less. If you prefer new discount camping gear, check out online discounters and buy closeouts for the best deals. You can purchase camping permits at your state parks, lakes, or beaches for great rates. You can even camp in your very own yard! Don’t leave out the graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate!

Try putting on the greens. Golfing is one of the best ways for children to practice their hand-eye coordination and develop necessary motor skills. It’s easy to find golf clubs; you can lease it at a local golf course, purchase it online, or buy second-hand. Miniature golf is especially enjoyable for the children because the course is easy to use, has fun themes at each hole, and the putters are small enough for even the youngest kids! The cost is usually pretty fair also.

Visit your local YMCA or community center. Not only do they have water games to keep your family cool on those scorching summer days, but they often have fun crafts, activites, and even tennis courts for the kids. This is another great way to get the kids to stay active while developing their motor coordination. Wilson tennis racquets can be purchased for almost nothing at a yard sale and can bring tons of fun! If you would like a new one, shop on the clearance area of your sports store or even online vendors who have overstocks on sale.

Purchase an above-ground pool. For about $100, you can purchase a stand-alone pool that will surely be a splash with the kids for the entire summer! It can be a great way to bring their friends together in one place while keeping them busy for hours and keeping them cool. Summer is the time to get the best deals on seasonal items, so check online and in your local discount stores for specials on these great items! The best part is that you don’t need a huge yard in order to put one together.

Even with the limitations of a tight budget, you can still make the best out of this year’s summer break! Try these suggestions out and create some more of your own. With some creative juices flowing, you can have a few months of relaxation and good times that will make lasting memories!

Frank Stewart is a sports enthusiast. He has explained the importance of buying the best baseball gloves and baseball bats. His blog has plethora of information about many other sporting goods too.

How To Save Big Money On Sports Gear For Your Kids

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

I like many other fathers out there, used to leave shopping for the children up to my wife. She would take them to the store and I would get to sit on the couch and enjoy a football game with no interruption. Sadly, that’s all been changed thanks to the limited funds available at my kid’s school to supply the sports gear that they need. It is up to the parents to purchase what was once readily provided by the school and now I’m the one that makes the trips to the store with the kids in tow.

My wife and I have always encouraged our children to participate in sports because they teach them about teamwork and working hard to achieve their goals. These types of lessons will hopefully help them later on in life, as they attend college and then enter their chosen professions. Prior to budget cuts, getting their needed equipment was not a financial consideration for the parents. Now, in order for my children to continue to play their favorite sports, we have to cut down on other expenses to be able to afford the expensive gear.

Two of my children play hockey and this type of sport is rough on the equipment, so replacing it has become a fact of life. Just the cost of the skates alone practically has me looking in the want ads for another job. Even though we buy equipment made of good quality, my kids are constantly growing, so we are guaranteed to have to replace items with every season.

Then there’s my own gear that I use to go hunting with. I also fish and play golf. My wife plays tennis with her friends and between all of us; we should own stock in sporting goods companies. As it is, the sales clerks in the store that we frequent knows us by our first names.

We made sure to get on their mailing list for catalogs because they often contain coupons that will save money on the things that we buy. I have to admit that I love getting these catalogs because they keep me up to date on the new advancements in sporting gear. While I certainly can’t afford to replace my golf clubs every time they come up with an improved one, I can at least put them on my Christmas list with the slim hope of getting one of them. Recently, a friend of mine who is in the same boat that I am, told me about a sporting good supplier that sells high quality used equipment.

I don’t have a problem with buying used equipment, as long as it works well and will save me money. From what I understand, they will also buy my used gear or sell it for me on a contingency basis. This is a great relief because it will save us a bundle and I won’t have to get that second job after all.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as sporting goods online at

Karate Uniform, Karate Gear: What Does Your Karate Kid Need For Her First Class?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

So you got your kid enrolled in your local martial arts school, congratulations! This is the first step to a rewarding journey for both you and her. You probably have a few worries about what lies ahead but at the same time you’re probably really excited to see your child get into the martial arts. So what equipment, uniform and gear do you need to buy for the first class — and how much should it cost?

One of the great things about the martial arts is that it doesn’t cost much to get started compared to other activities. For example a set of good golf clubs can cost as much as $1000 or more. Starting soccer can lead to multiple purchases of a soccer shirt and shorts, socks and cleats, shin pads and of course a good soccer ball. Baseball and football have similar requirements. Dance and ballet can also become quite expensive with all of the different costumes and outfits for the various recitals. You want your child to look good of course so you’re willing to buy whatever is necessary. But you don’t know much about karate.

Initially for martial arts training you only need a uniform (often called a gi) and that’s it. Of course there are other things you could buy such as a gear bag or a club T-shirt but essentially your only piece of equipment to get started is a uniform. A basic uniform should cost around $30 to $40 and sometimes, depending on the school, your first uniform is given to you FREE as a bonus for signing up for the initial program.
”OK, this sounds good. All I need is a uniform for $30 and I might even get it for free. This is a great deal, what am I missing here? What lies ahead that will affect my pocketbook?”

Well, you’re right to be a little skeptical but honestly you don’t need much money for karate equipment. Your biggest ongoing expense will be the cost of your tuition which is currently (as of January 2008) at an average of around $100 to $120 per month for a twice a week program. Community center programs are obviously cheaper and large schools that are located on busy streets in nice areas are obviously higher because they have to be to keep their doors open.

Concerning the equipment, these are the items that you will need to purchase as your child progresses through the ranks to black belt:

· Better quality uniforms (these can range from $60 for a mid-level uniform, to $100 for a good uniform, and all the way up to $200 for a top of the line uniform – your instructor should offer a good selection to fit the different budgets)

· Sparring gear – your child will need hand pads and shin & instep pads, and in all probability a gum shield and some headgear. All of this should cost you $100 or less depending on the quality of gear you buy. Often your instructor will offer the whole package for a discount and you should definitely take advantage of this to save a bit of money.

· Training gear – Martial arts requires a lot of practice and your child will probably need to practice at home as well as in class. To facilitate this you may need to buy some focus targets or a kick bag (either a hanging bag or a free-standing bag). These targets usually begin at around $20 for the basics, and a good kick bag will cost a little over $100. However be warned you could easily spend up to $500 on this type of equipment depending on how much your budget is, because there are all kinds of really cool training gear available.

· Weapons – Depending on your school, there may be a weapons requirement and again this will be an additional expense. Basic weapons don’t cost very much however and you probably won’t have to put out any more than about $20 per weapon just to be able to participate in the class. As usual of course there are multiple upgrade options and if your child wants to enter into tournaments then a better quality weapon will be required.

· Instructional support resources – Many schools offer books and DVDs for curriculum support and although these items are yet another expense they are a one-time investment that can be tremendously beneficial to your child’s ultimate progress and development. These tools will help your child practice at home and can also provide you, as the parent, with the means to offer support and help to your child as she progresses through the ranks. The cost of these resources will vary based on the different curriculum that is being studied but very often there are some excellent resources to be found online, on your club website or on other style specific websites. Be sure to do your research in addition to purchasing the necessary content support.

All in all the gear, equipment and uniform cost of practicing martial arts is minimal because in most cases all you need for the first couple of years is a uniform (or two), some sparring gear, some basic training gear for practice at home, an occasional weapon, and some instructional DVDs or books to take your child’s understanding to the next level. The estimated cost of all of this equipment is about $400 to $500 over a period of two years to fulfill the minimum requirements. If you break this down on a per month basis then you are looking at less than $20 per month on average for basic equipment costs for the first few of years of training.

The truth of the matter is that like every good parent you will probably spend more because you will want to buy your child some T-shirts and clothing, a gear bag, additional equipment and so on. But these things will still be considerably less than that set of golf clubs! And what’s more, you can use these items as valuable incentives for your child as they successfully make it through the ranks of their training.

If you need more help with this or any other karate subject, please be sure to download my FREE Report “Beginners Guide to Karate”. You will find out how to download it at

Good luck and best wishes on your journey in karate.

Paul A. Walker, is a 4th degree black belt karate instructor with over 25 years experience in the martial arts. In 2003 he attained his 4th degree black belt, after studying with the legendary Karate Master, Hirokazu Kanazawa in Tokyo for three years. Get more info at