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Articles on this Page
- 10/06/14--14:00: _How to Clean and Sc...
- 10/07/14--09:00: _How to: Make a Faux...
- 10/07/14--11:15: _Yes, Every Man Need...
- 10/07/14--12:00: _How to Make Pumpkin...
- 10/08/14--11:00: _Free Download: The ...
- 10/08/14--11:00: _Make This: A $5 Woo...
- 10/08/14--12:00: _Woodworking Faux Pa...
- 10/09/14--11:00: _How to: Build a Tot...
- 10/09/14--13:30: _DIY Recipe: Make Ta...
- 10/09/14--14:00: _Make a Table Instan...
- 10/13/14--08:00: _How to: Make a DIY ...
- 10/13/14--10:00: _How to Tip [i.e. Ev...
- 10/13/14--10:45: _5 Awesome Fall Beer...
- 10/14/14--10:00: _How to: Repair a Da...
- 10/14/14--10:30: _10 Great Watches fo...
- 10/14/14--11:00: _Do Try This at Home...
- 10/15/14--10:00: _Warm Up with Wool G...
- 10/15/14--11:15: _Make This: DIY Rose...
- 10/15/14--11:30: _Manly Makeover: Fro...
- 10/20/14--07:00: _Is Your Tailgate Re...
- 10/06/14--14:00: How to Clean and Scale a Whole Fish
- 10/07/14--09:00: How to: Make a Faux Vintage Industrial Metal Sign
- 10/07/14--11:15: Yes, Every Man Needs an Apron
- 10/07/14--12:00: How to Make Pumpkin Spiced Liquor for Seriously Tasty Fall Cocktails
- 1 750 mL bottle distilled spirits like rum, tequila, or whiskey
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 10/08/14--11:00: Free Download: The Periodic Table of Unspeakable Horrors
- 10/08/14--11:00: Make This: A $5 Wooden iPad or Tablet Stand
- 10/09/14--13:30: DIY Recipe: Make Tasty and Inexpensive Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 10/09/14--14:00: Make a Table Instantly with Floyd Legs
- 10/13/14--08:00: How to: Make a DIY Rustic Wood Clock from Scrap Wood
- 10/13/14--10:00: How to Tip [i.e. Everything You Don't Know About Tipping]
- 10/13/14--10:45: 5 Awesome Fall Beers You Should Try this Season
- 10/14/14--10:00: How to: Repair a Damaged Electric or Power Cord
- 10/14/14--10:30: 10 Great Watches for Under $300
- 10/14/14--11:00: Do Try This at Home: It's Impossible to Break an Egg in One Hand
- 10/15/14--10:00: Warm Up with Wool Gloves
- The Ragg gloves over at Upstate Stock are available in fingerless to maintain full dexterity, with leather palms for added durability, and in full or mitten form to keep fingers warmer.[ Pictured at top.]
- Over at Smartwool, the Merino Wool gloves are butter soft and have touchscreen compatible tips for answering that phone call without freezing off a digit.
- Orvis has some great ragg wool options in several styles, many with leather palms for extra grip.
- Icebreaker has some streamlined, technical options for outdoor recreation.
- We love all the Fox River options, available very affordably at Amazon.
- 10/15/14--11:15: Make This: DIY Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream
- 10/15/14--11:30: Manly Makeover: From Unfinished Basement to Rustic Log Cabin
- 10/20/14--07:00: Is Your Tailgate Ready for #Techgating Season?
Hopefully, at some point, every man is gonna break down a whole fish. Ideally, you'd catch it yourself, but perhaps a friend or neighbor may drop one off for you to enjoy. But, really, you're gonna catch one at some point, or be on a camping trip when someone else does, and you get to be the guy that says, "oh yeah, I know what to do with that."
Food 52 has a nice clean introduction to the process. They go through gutting and scaling, so you can roast or pan sear it whole.
You could definitely take the next step and fliet it here, but when you've got a fresh caught whole fish, why would you do a thing like that?
As much as we love the warm feel of wood textures, sometimes the cool touch of metal is the way to go. Industrial and modern, metal signs offer stark lines and muted colors that tend to fit well hanging in any masculine space.
But, metal can be fiesty to work with and requires complex equipment, sp it's not always a great choice for a weekend DIY project for the uninitiated.
But! Making these letters and shapes out of wood then finishing with a metal patina is definitely the way to go.Corey figured out how to do just that to create this vintage road sign-inspired project. The trick? Carriage bolts, and metallic spray paint.
Variations could include lighting, rust treatments, or even a shiny chrome finish; it's really up to your imagination. But one thing is for sure, an afternoon spent crafting these is going to churn out some great results. Large letters or funky shapes can be made in just about any size with this lengthy post from Corey over at Stitches2Sawdust.
Men wearing aprons seem to be more of a novelty than a practical household item. In popular culture the apron on men seems to only show up on tacky backyard cooks (think Kiss the Cook) and wisecracking chefs and their hyperbolic reality shows, or the hapless dad in the movies putting on a pink ruffled thing when he's stuck with the kids. But it's time to ignore all of those stereotypes and get yourself an apron. Here are a few reasons you need to consider one for yourself.
Aprons keep your hands dirty but your clothes clean.
It’s certainly much easier to go straight from work to your workshop without having to stop and change out of your office clothes and into that old t-shirt when you can just throw on an apron.
Aprons have valuable hand-wiping real estate.
No more accidentally wiping your hands on your jeans! Aprons give you one less reason to have to wash your raw denim.
Aprons protect your body.
A well-made apron can keep flying hot liquids, shards of glass, paint splatter, saw dust, and more from damaging your clothing or your body.
Aprons make you look like a pro.
There’s a reason everyone from baristas to welders don these fabric shields. Serious working professionals wear aprons, and so should you. Get an apron and be prepared for your neighbors to ask you for advice on how to rebuild their transmission.
Aprons help you hold your tools.
The integrated pockets helps keep your often used tools at hand: a pencil, a pair of tongs, a tape measure, shears, etc. Many aprons are designed for particular kinds of tasks and will feature appropriately sized pockets for common tools and equipment.
There are a few things to consider when looking for an apron:
You want a durable fabric like denim or duck canvas with thick straps around the neck and waist. Leather or synthetic materials are great options if you’re interested in welding, crafts that involve caustic chemicals, or other things that may harm your skin. If it's just about the way it looks for you, which is ok too, check out these denim and leather ones from American Native.
Pockets keep commonly used items within reach. Look for one with a pencil holder like these from LC King in Tennessee. Some aprons are so decked out they practically have tool belts built right in, like this one from Duluth Trading.
Consider the work you love to do and how it relates to the length of the apron. If you love to paint, you may want a longer apron to keep things off of your pants. If you are a woodworker you may want something that rests at your knees so you can stay mobile.
Whether you’re new to the DIY thing or you’ve been an amateur crafter for some time, you need to stop getting crap on your good clothing and get yourself apron. Your clothing budget will thank you.
I'm not much for lattes. In general, they don't do much for me, but I especially can't stand the overtly frothy, foamy ones that demand all that sugar and syrup and whipped cream to cover up the fact that the coffee is burnt in the first place.
But, I'll admit it: I get jealous that people get so excited about these pumpkin spice coffee drinks this time of year. I like seasons, especially fall, and I wish I could grab a scarf and march right down to the burnt coffee shop and Instagram the s--t out of my to-go cup and my boots standing in fallen leaves. But, I can't, cause I'm a dude; and I won't, cause...well, I'm not much for lattes.
So, this year, I decided to bring the seasonal, pumpkin-pie-spiced-thing to something that I like ... you know, like booze.
Thusly, we present - the ManMade guide to making your own pumpkin spiced liquors, to drink neat, in cocktails, mixed with cider, or even, well, coffee.
If you do a bit of research, you find that the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte doesn't, in fact, contain any pumpkin. Just the sort of spices one would use to flavor a pumpkin pie. Sad for pumpkin fans, but good for our purposes, cause it makes this project much easier and cheaper to create.
Pumpkin pie spice is a mix of cinnamon, ginger, mace, cloves, and allspice. You can find it pre-mixed at your local grocery store, spice shop, or online. Ground spices only last six months or so, so unless you're gonna be whipping out carrot cakes or raisin muffins like crazy this year, a small bottle is all you'll need.
For the spirits - anything will do, really, but I recommend sticking to liquors that mix well with spiced flavors. Any straight spirit that's been aged in oak will work: dark rum, bourbon, even brandy. Here, I've gone with a reposado tequila, because it plays well with all kinds of flavors. You could use vodka if you wanted, and actually give it some flavor, but I'd avoid anything with competing aromatic flavors, like gin or fortified liqueurs. A pumpkin spice Tom Collins or G&T might be delicious, but I'm not gonna waste a whole bottle to find out.
When infusing liquor, the thing to keep in mind is: a little bit of stuff, a short amount of time. You're not making an aged liqueur or tincture here; you're just taking advantage of alcohol and water soluble flavors, which can be extracted quite quickly.
For a standard 750 mL bottle, you don't need anything more than a simple teaspoon of mixed pumpkin pie spice.
So, here's an official recipe for the scrollers:
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Liquor
Mix the two together in a large container, cover, and lest rest for one hour, two max.
The spices will settle at the bottom, so give it a sturdy shake or stir every fifteen minutes or so to keep things moving.
Then, strain the mixture back into a bottle through a coffee filter set in a funnel. This will probably take fifteen or twenty minutes to allow all the liquid to seep through. Use a marker to write "spiced" on the label or a strip of masking tape, and you're good to go.
So, what do you do with it? Anything you want. Use it to make your favorite cocktail recipes, or simple highballs. A pumpkin spice Old Fashioned is a mighty fine thing to drink in October. It tastes awesome mixed with a strong ginger beer (a la a Dark and Stormy), or with some seasonal cider. Your brain probably associates this spice flavors with sweetness (think zucchini bread, sweet potato pie), but this will actually work well without any sugar at all. If you do find yourself upping the simple syrup, be sure to add more acid from fresh lemon or lime juice to keep things in balance.
Cheers, and Happy Fall!
For more autumn cocktail ideas, check out our guide to: 7 Ways to Make Your Homemade Cocktails Taste Like Fall
A little bit of slightly spooky fun for October - Cartoonist Adam Koford of @ApeLad has created a Periodic Table of Phobias, Fears, and Unspeakable Horrors. He says, "
I've got a shirt on woot featuring unspeakable horrors, phobias, and fears, from Hell to Nosferatu. I also threw in a few less traditional phobias like expired bacon and ugly undead quakers, for good measure."
Makers Simon Blazer and David Bakker shows you how to turn a simple block of wood into a super quick and easy tablet dock. The process? A single drilled hole and a quick saw cut. That's it.
The hole is optional, really, but clears a space for pressing the home button. This tutorial is a few years old (new to me!) but with the change to the Lightning cable, it'd be super easy to add a hole through the bottom so this could serve as as charging station as well.
Check it out on Instructables: DIY wooden $5 iPad Dock / Stand
When you're just getting started in the world of building things, you'll find it can be rather hard to some "best practices" to help guide you down the right path. You're busy trying to figure out what the difference between a bevel and a miter is, but what you really need is someone to say "do this, not that."
It wasn't until I took a few classes and befriended some woodworkers that i really started to learn how to not do dumb things. Here's a five things I wish I would have learned before I wasted money and time on early projects.
1. Using pressure treated pine indoors
It may be a cheap building option, but PT pine is treated with chemicals that, if ingested, are harmful to you, your children and your pets. If the FDA doesn’t approve it for food contact, I wouldn’t recommend it to be used in furniture inside your home. It also stays wet, and can be hard to finish or paint. If you are trying to save money, use kiln-dried or furniture-grade pine.
2. Thinking you don’t need to measure twice and cut once.
This rule applies to everyone. Take my word for it: Don’t cut into expensive materials without double-checking your measurements. Ruining an expensive piece of tropical hardwood will make you wish you would have heeded that advice. Measure twice, heck, measure three times.
3. Using stain and polyurethane in one.
There’s no substitute for applying stain and poly separately. Stain needs to be applied with care and attention to detail. Poly needs to be applied in several coats, including in-between sandings. When you put the two together you make it harder on yourself when you mess up. The more coats you do of the poly/stain, the more murky layers you cake on top of your wood project, and the more buried the wood grain gets.
4. Maverick drilling
The quickest way to ruin a project is to avoid drilling pilot holes. Skipping that one easy step will assure that the screws will split and crack the wood or the screw heads will get stripped. Don’t get cocky and think the screw will be ok without it. It won't. If you want your screws to go in even smoother, roll them on a bar of soap or beeswax. This reduces friction and will guarantee a quicker, smoother grip.
5. Disobeying the order of the sandpaper
Sandpaper is ordered by grits. The higher the number, the smoother the paper becomes. After you’ve determined what grit you need to remove or smooth material on your project, you must work you way up the scale. The idea is that each level of paper blends into the previous one. If you start with an 80 grit and skip to a 400 grit, you’re going to have a hard time getting those deep scuffs out.
6. Going against the grain
That cliche phrase is so over used I think we may have forgotten why we say it. Paying attention to the direction of the grain can help you when it comes to cutting and sanding any kind of wood. Think of it like petting a cat from the back to the front–it's a great way to get scratched. Going against the grain may get you a promotion at work, but when you sand, plane or scrape against the grain it can pull up fibers and make your task a heck of a lot harder. This same principle applies to rip cutting a board. It can make a difference in whether or not your wood splinters and tears out as it is cut. Check out this article from American Woodworker for more information.
The general theme here is to not cut corners. Take your time with your projects and be wary of "quick and easy" DIY plans that tell you how to avoid important steps to finish quicker. If you take your time and focus you'll have results and less money in your swear jar!
Thanks to some epic solar flares and the resulting auroras last month, the annual time for me to procrastinate by downloading the NASA Astronaut Application came a little early this year. If the requisite 1,000 hours piloting a jet and/or relevant PhD isn’t exactly your jam, you might try exploring the universe through one of these spectacular homemade telescopes.
This award-winning, Newtonian-Dobsonian telescope design was built by Ken Slater for the 75th Stellafane convention and is now open-sourced on the Stellafane website. The site features endless design variations and how-to’s as well as links to all your additional telescopic needs. Ken made his telescope (pictured above) for around $200 with most materials found at Home Depot, although you can also get fancy like the one pictured below if that’s more of what you’re about.
It’s a hearty project to be sure, but it’d definitely look good on that astronaut application…
Click here to view the complete instructions:Build a Dobsonian Telescope
Vanilla gets a bad rap for being plain and simple, but adding a dab to your morning coffee can really boost the flavor, and it still tastes great with all kinds of goodies. Imitation extract is okay and fancy store-bought vanilla is pricey, so hand making this delicious extract is just too easy for us to pass up.To make the tasty flavoring, grab a few glass bottles with sealing lids, a bottle of vodka, and whole vanilla beans. Fill up the bottles with vodka, and add 3 beans per 8 oz.
The worst part about making the extract is the 6-8 week wait time, so hurry up and get started this weekend. If you get going now, it'll be ready in plenty of time for the holiday season - great to use in your baked treats or to give as gifts.
Take a look at the full tutorial at Averie Cooks: Homemade Vanilla Extract
If you’re just now getting into building things on your own, buying pre-made legs is a great way to keep your focus on building and finishing a flat surface, like a tabletop, without worrying about the mechanics of leg structures. I can definitely say when I started building things I didn't trust the weight of a coffee mug on my tables. Thankfully, we now have an inventive product like The Floyd Leg to the rescue!
After a successful Kickstarter, Kyle Hoff and Alex O'Dell started manufacturing these unique and easy-to-use systems known as The Floyd Legs. All it takes is one set of legs and a relitavely flat, sturdy surface for the legs to clamp onto. No tools required!
Each set is ready to go as soon as they arrive at your door. This out-of-the-box mentality makes it perfect for beginning DIYers and even professionals that may need a quick, sturdy surface without compromising for battle-scarred saw horses. You can purchase the legs at varying heights and colors to match whatever project you need a table for. Find out more on their website.
The Floyd Leg www.thefloydleg.com
Every DIYer has that pile of extra scrap wood sitting in a bin from the last project. You know, the pieces gather dust until a free afternoon when I go rummage through the pile and make something worth hanging on the wall. Like this scrap wood clock, an awesome option because there is so much that can be done customize the face and hands to match your style.
The main character of a clock is the face, which can be weathered, sized , and endlessly styled with numbers. Some people choose to skip the numbers or add other markings instead. Ashley's gone for a shabby chic look here, but the beauty of DIY is that it can be matched to everything else on that's on your walls, in your taste.
To make it, select, select and assemble your pieces and then cut to final size, then add a finish with paint, stain and more sanding. Add mounting brackets and cut a hole the hole for the clock mechanism. Numbers can be vinyl stickers, hand painted, or stencils, depending on available materials and whether you trust your proficiency with a paintbrush.
Take a look at the full tutorial here for additional details on this project here:
Rustic Wooden Clock Tutorial [Cherished Bliss]
While proper tipping is a sign of a good manners, knowing how much- and when to- is one of those life skills I think I was supposed to pick up by osmosis. Generally speaking I’ve done my best to lean on the generous side, but I’ve definitely guessed my way through a handful of social situations. Thankfully, this long-form article written by an academic - and former waiter - takes a look at some of the large-scale statistics on tipping in different situations across America.
Synthesizing information from a variety of resources (including the only “tipping expert” I’ve ever heard of), this piece on Wait But Why offers an incredibly informative how-to guide for customers that will come in handy to any modern man. Check it out in full:
Fall is officially upon us, with its cool evenings, warm and windy days, and the exceptional flavors of my favorite season. As the weather cools down, we heat the kitchen up with long-cooked roasts, simmered soups, and plenty of spiced deserts. But the changing of seasons also rouses a plethora of fall-flavored beers to compliment the heavy meals the cooler weather inspires. So, we've highlighted 5 of the brews we wait all year to sample, take a look at the variety of beers that welcome in fall:
1. Tour De Fall by New Belgium Brewing - 6.0% ABV
The Tour De Fall is a light malt ale that starts out bittersweet with a smooth mouthfeel that finishes sweet and crisp. This medium bodied amber beer pairs well with warm soups and hearty stews.
2. Harvest Ale by Founders Brewing Co. - 7.6% ABV
The Harvest Ale is a hoppy brew with fresh citrus hops and a toasted malt finish for those that don't want the IPA flavor to fade with the summer heat. This light bodied brew pairs well with baked breads, and hefty burgers.
3. Oak Jacked Pumpkin by Uinta Brewing Co. - 10.35% ABV
The Pumpkin Ale just has to be included as a fall flavor. Aging in oak barrels tones down the massive ABV content to a smooth drinkable level, and the spiced flavors bring out the seasonings in roasts with a full bodied mouthfeel and syrup sweet finish.
4. Oktoberfest by St. Arnold Brewing Co. - 6.0% ABV
This amber-hued beer has a full bodied malty-sweet flavor that provides a well rounded taste without a bitter finish. Traditionally, Octoberfest beers celebrated a successful harvest, and today the Octoberfest beers still take their influence from heavy laden toasted malts and well balanced flavors. Pairs well with roasted birds and spicy meats.
5. Tumbler Autumn Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewery - 5.5% ABV
Tumbler takes all the best parts of fall and combines them for a subtle but complex flavor worth contemplating. The Brown Ale has a malted flavor with notes of chocolate which provide a sweet body but still finishes crisp. Pairs well with baked ham, roasted bird, or grilled fish.
So get out there and find a great fall beer, then sit back and let the leaves pile up while you enjoy a smooth taste of fall. The rake will still be there tomorrow.
Whether it’s by accident or misuse, chances are you’re going to need to repair a power cord on something you own. I can’t count how many times I’ve almost cut my circular saw cord while ripping a board or yanked a lamp line and ripped it clean off. The good news is you don't have to toss out your expensive tools to a severed cord. Instead you can repair it yourself!
Contrary to my typical method of wrapping yards of electrical tape around the problem spot, repairing an electrical cord the right way will go a lot further for you and your tools. Not to mention, it can increase your chances of not getting shocked. Fixing cut or frayed cords is one of the easiest things you can do when it comes to repairing electronics. Check out this how-to on repairing a cut power cord that is better than wrapping tape around the cut and hope for the best.
Catch the step-by-step instructions over at One Project Closer.com
“A decent man must have a decent watch.” So said Albert Falco to his watch-less companion just before legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau gifted him his personal dive watch (a DOXA Sub) in preparation for their deep-sea dive.
I’ll back that up with the number of times I’ve made friends with strangers who complemented me on the “Stauer 1916 Flyboy” watch my grandfather gave me on my 19th birthday. While the exact watch I have was discontinued (pictured below), it looks expensive and the updated model is secretly priced at around $200. It has a beautiful rose gold face and can do all sorts of archaic aeronautical things, which comes in handy for that inevitable moment when I’m caught in an aerial dogfight with proto-Nazis.
But what’s a man who wants a good watch but doesn’t have a benevolent grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, or thousands of dollars to do?
Check out this list of 10 Great Sub $300 Watches from Primer Magazine.
You know that folk rumor where you can supposedly only stand an egg on its end during the vernal equinox, and how its totally false and nothing to do with the day of the year?
Turns out, there's another interesting viral-like tale that its impossible to crack an upright egg using only your hand. I'd never heard of this one until I read this post on The Kitchn this morning, and, of course, I immediately grabbed an egg and went outside to put it to the test.
And...it's amazing. You can't do it. Well, I couldn't. I reckon I'm an average adult man with average adult man strength, perhaps even a slightly stronger hand strength due to some of my hobbies and activities.
But? With egg in an upright, vertical position? Nothing. See, an egg shell is thin, so when we crack an egg for breakfast by applying force to a small area, it causes direct strain on a small area, which breaks. But, in your palm, the force is distributed evenly over the shell, and the shell absorbs it.
If you hold the egg horizontally, its possible to break it, but not easy. I was able to do it without fingernails or my wedding ring even with my left hand. But it took a few minutes, and its surprising how difficult this was, as well.
Cool, huh? Give it a shot and post your results in the comments below.
With fall blowing her cool breath along our neck, it's time to fend off the frost with some warm layers. If grabbing that door handle with ungloved hands can be both shocking and unpleasant without a toasty set of gloves. With so many types of gloves available, it's hard to figure out what fits well into the daily grind of autumn life; and we're here to solve that dilemma - go wool. Always go wool.
Wool gloves are great for so many reasons, first off they're durable. That heavy-knit material is naturally strong and resistant to tearing so it will hold up well under daily abuse. Next, wool is moisture wicking so sweaty hands won't go clammy when they heat up. Finally, wool is just a great looking material, matching up well with casual and semi-dress clothing for an all-purpose glove that just fits.
Here's a few options when looking for a set of wool gloves:
So grab a set of wool gloves and greet those mornings with style...and also warm hands.
I can't say I can recall the ingredients on a basic can of shaving cream. It's pungent smell and pearly white appearance can only make one wonder if you're putting healthy chemicals on your face. Lucky for you, controlling what you put on your face is as easy as this recipe for your own jar of shaving cream.
Typical shaving cream can have soaps and other chemicals that dry out your face–hence the occasional need for aftershave. With this recipe you may find you will not need any kind of moisturizer when you're finished due to the natural properties of the oils (coconut, shea and almond) in the cream.
The best part about this recipe is your ability to customize the scent to your liking. Rosemary and mint is a fantastic idea, I'd also consider patchouli or lavender and cedarwood if you're looking for a scent that reminds you of the great outdoors, smoky camp fires and beards—oh wait—maybe not the beards thing if you're using shaving cream.
Get the recipe at Food For My Family: Rosemary Mint Shaving Cream: Homemade Gift Ideas
What do you do when you're a hunting enthusiast craving the comforts of your warm log cabin but all you have is a dingy storage room in your basement? Gather up some spare wood and a heap of imagination and prepare to build a mind-blowing, compact-sized outdoor lodge.
Reddit user kelhans shared his design with the Reddit community last month and demonstrated how he used scrap wood, roadside stones, and other cheap materials to cultivate the hangout space his hunter's heart desired. He cleverly constructed faux columns to mask the steel floor supports and also employed a draw knife to create a hand-cut look for all his lumber.
Obviously, he really went for the hunting lodge look with the rifles and trophies on the wall, but even if that's not your thing, the techniques and inspiration here are really solid, and could be applied in lots of ways.
The most incredible fact? The entire re-model cost him only $107.
Football is back in season. For some of us, it's the all-consuming, stark-raving crazy best time of the year. For others, it's time to make some random fantasy league picks and hope we don't get embarrassed too badly.
But whether you're a rabid fan or rueful bystander, I think everyone can agree on the merits of tailgating. Eating good food, getting outdoors, and hanging out with friends should be on every guy's list of things to do this weekend.
Recently, AT&T got in touch with us to let us know about their #Techgating tour. They're stopping at select games around the country with the AT&T Fan Zone Tour Truck, which is decked out with huge U-Verse projections, device charging stations, and a bunch of other fun game-day activities. Plus, they're giving fans who share their tailgating moments with the #Techgating hashtag on Twitter a chance to win a trip to the 2015 College Football National Championship game.
So, in the spirit of combining two things I like (technology and tailgating), here are a few of our tips for bringing the latest in high-technology to the stadium parking lot:
Technology requires electricity. Here are some ways to get it:
A stationary bike electrical generator. I was going to include this mostly as a joke, but then I started looking around for one, and they're kind of awesome. And fun. You can make one yourself (here's a good tutorial from Popular Mechanics), or buy one. The K-TOR Pedal Powered Generator is compact and looks cool ($195 here). The Pedal-A-Watt is more expensive ($370 online) but provides a lot more power (up to 400 watts).
A battery power pack. A bunch of models are available, so do some research based on how much power you'll need. The Duracell Powerpack 600 (above, around $170 online) is strong enough to power a TV, recharge your mobile device, and even jump start a car.
Now that you can power things; the next step is to hook them up to the internet! With the AT&T Network you can set your phone up as a wireless hot spot (make sure to check your data-plan limits!), and let friends connect their laptops or tablets. With the AT&T U-Verse package, you can stream video directly to your mobile devices.
If you're planning on setting up a TV, look into using a streaming video device like Chromecast ($35) or the Roku Streaming Stick ($50), which let you broadcast media from your phone or tablet onto your TV.
And then or course you could also go with a portable satellite TV system, available from many providers.
It's no fun getting stuck by the grill while everyone else is playing beanbag toss. So grab a wireless digital thermometer that will notify your phone when the burgers are ready. The Range Smart Cooking Thermometer (above, $70 at The Supermechanical) is slick-looking. The Cappec Bluetooth Wireless BBQ Thermometer also looks awesome (and withstands temps up to 600 degrees!).
Making things hot is only half the story. Keeping cold things (um, in particular, beverages) cold is arguably more important. The Coolest (above, pre-order online), has a built-in 18-volt-battery-powered blender, a bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, and of course a built-in bottle opener. Plus it's on wheels! You can also try the slightly-less-awesome-sounding-but-probably-ok-at-keeping-stuff-cold Koolatron Kargo Portable Cooler ($132 on Amazon)
If you mostly just care about keeping your own stash cold (every man for himself, etc.), then you could try the 64 ounce insulated growler from Miir. It's $60 and will keep liquids cold for 24+ hours.
The best portable bluetooth speaker, according to The Wirecutter (which is usually spot-on), is the Logitech UE Mini Boom ($96 on Amazon). There's also the SOL Republic Deck ($114) which purportedly has a range of up to 200 feet.
September tailgating? Nice. October tailgating? Perfect. November, December, January? Possibly really freaking cold. This electric blanket from Trademark Tools ($21) will keep you toasty warm, and plugs right into your car's 12V power outlet. If it's just your tootsies you want to keep toasty, try the battery powered foot warmers pictured above. Or if you want to heat up the whole parking lot (ok, just your corner of the parking lot), try a propane-powered heater like the Mr. Heater
These are just a few tips to get you started. What are your favorite #techgating accessories?
This post was sponsored by AT&T. All opinions are ours alone.