Electronics while camping?

As a scoutmaster, I never let the boys in my troop bring any kind of electronics with them on a campout. The idea was to get out and enjoy and learn about the outdoors, not play video games or electronic chat with friends who weren’t out camping with them. so when I was asked to review a video projector that could be used for “camping” I thought, “Really?” I’ll be honest, I still don’t think watching videos has a place on a campout. And the Pravette C7 projector I was given to test doesn’t really lend itself to camping as I know it. This projector is small and lightweight, and works best in total darkness, which is probably why the manufacturer says it is good for camping. But, it requires electricity to run it (there is no battery), which means you are in an RV lot at best. That said, there are some good reasons to consider getting one of these, even for outdoor use, such as in your backyard. Let me explain.

Video can be a great learning tool. There are portions of leadership training that use videos to show situations. A couple of times a year, our troop might have a movie night. Of course, having a projector can be useful when making a presentation. And if you want to show photos from recent outings at a family night, the USB input can be useful. The Pravette C7 will work well for any of these situations. As a video projector in a dark setting, it works well. It does have built-in speakers which sound OK, but if you have a larger group, there is a jack for external speakers as well. Input sources include VGA, USB, SD card, or HDMI. No cables for HDMI or VGA are provided. The native resolution of the unit is only 800 x 480, but when you attach an HDMI cable it is capable of displaying at 1080 resolution. Here is an example of a still image with small text, which you can see is still legible.

Brightness is the biggest concern among small projectors. There are three factors to look at when considering a projector: Lumens, Contrast Ratio, and bulb life. The problem is that in spite of published numbers, none of these seem to be comparible from one manufacturer to the next. In other words, the only real way to determine if a projector is bright enough to fit your needs is to try it. The reason is that most manufacturers make up the lumens number, rather than using ANSI lumens, which is the only real quantifiable number. For reference, a standard 60 watt incandescent bulb emits about 840 ANSI lumens. If a manufacturer says that a projector emits 3200 lumens, this number is often 10x what the real ANSI lumen number is. Some manufacturers market their products as +50% lumens instead of using the arbitrary “overseas lumens”. What does that mea? 50% more than the previous model? Who knows…But, I must commend Pravette. They don’t use either of these arbitrary terms (percentage or overseas lumens). However, they also don’t specify what the true ANSI lumen rating is either. So, I compared it to some other projectors I have and tested it in both a lit room and a dark room. You can see the results in the video review below.

The other factors playing into the performance of the bulb are contrast ratio and life of the bulb. Both of these are respectable for the Pravette C7, with a contrast ratio of 1200:1 and a stated bulb life of 50,000 hours. At a price tag of less than $100, one would simply replace the projector, not the bulb, at the end of the life cycle.

A couple of other things about this projector that are worth noting, and this tends to be true of all mini projectors: There is no zoom feature. The size of the image is solely dependent on the distance of the projector to the screen. If you want a larger image, move the projector back. That of course has the potential to dilute the amount of light hitting the screen. Typical distance to image sizes are (approximately):

Image size Distance
28″ 3′
37″ 4′
45″ 4.5′
50″ 5′
60″ 6′
72″ 7′
100″ 9.5′

If you are planning on using this outdoors, you may want to get a portable screen designed for outdoor use, such as this one: https://amzn.to/2MZqXky.

While no zoom feature is available, there is however a lever for keystone adjustment, which is the vertical distortion based on the angle of the projector to the screen. There is not an adjustment for paralax distortion (the horizontal angle of the projector to the screen). You must position the projector directly in front of the screen for a non-distorted image. One thing that seemed odd to me was that the hole for mounting the projector to a tripod was located at the front of the unit rather than in the middle where it would be more balanced. Here are the complete published specifications (which do not include brightness, as previously discussed).

  • 800 x 480 resolution with 720p 1080p HD support
  • 1200:1 contrast ratio
  • LCD/LED lamp
  • 16:9/4:3 scale ratio
  • User-friendly control interface
  • Versatile projection for image, audio and video files
  • Top-panel button control center
  • 360 image flip ability
  • Ceiling upside-down mountable
  • 50,000-hour lamp life
  • 20° keystone angle adjustment
  • HDMI, A/V, VGA, USB and SD card inputs
  • Compatible with Mac, PC, iphone, Android phone, TV, DVD, Chormecast etc.
  • Ventilation cooling fans
  • Manual focus lens
  • Adjustable projection size up to 120″
  • Dimensions: 7″ x 6″ x 3″
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Includes projector, remote, manual, power cable and AV connection cable

 

If you enjoyed this review, you can find this projector at https://amzn.to/2vVFFmq. Personally, I like this projector and plan on using it myself for my presentations, both to scout groups and professionally.

Disclosure: I received the projector at a discount in exchange for an honest review. The link proved above is an affiliate link, meaning that if you decide to buy one after clicking on this link, I will receive a small commission, at no extra charge to you. I hope you found this review helpful!

Great Backpacking Bag!


I was unsure about this bag when I first got it, as it seemed both small and thin. But after I took it out and let it “breathe”, it actually has a decent amount of loft. I’m pretty big at 6’1″, but this bag is perfect for a child or small adult wanting to go camping or backpacking. The actual size is 87×31.5 inches. It is rated to 35 degrees, making it a good choice for summer trips – it could also be used to double up with another bag during other seasons. It is very lightweight (3.1 pounds) and stores in a small stuffsack, which can be made even smaller by using the compression straps built into the stuffsack. In fact, that is one of the great features and why it works so well for a backpacking bag.

I prefer a rectangular foot, which this has. You don’t have to worry about your feet being constricted or getting tangled up at the bottom of the bag, as it is plenty roomy. It also has a unique plastic zipper so you don’t have to worry about breaking the zipper pull. It comes with a sleep mask, but quite honestly, that seems a little worthless – I’d leave that out and let someone get a higher quality sleep mask such as one of the ones I’ve reviewed recently. This bag is already very reasonably priced, but I’ve been allowed to share an even bigger 15% savings with readers of this blog. Simply go to: https://amzn.to/2A2bXRh to get yours, then enter the discount code of D4BWFFHG.

 This sleeping bag is waterproof, high strength, resistant to sun, and resistant to mechanical damage and high temperatures. It is safe for machine washing. If you are looking for a good quality bag for a good price, this sleeping bag provides a lot of value. Highly recommended.

 

Disclaimer: I received this product at a substantial discount in exchange for an honest review.

Great Bluetooth Speaker for Outdoor Activities


I have reviewed a number of bluetooth speakers over time, and this is the best one I’ve seen for a wide variety of outdoor activities, as it is waterproof, sounds great, and even answers phone calls!. 24 hour playback time. Get yours at https://amzn.to/2uHTH9K

It comes with the charging cables, an audio cable, and the inflatable floating device. I tested this by setting it in my hot tub and playing music through it, as well as call my cell phone and being able to answer the call and talk hands free. It can be submerged in 1 meter of depth in water up to 30 minutes and is dustproof, mud proof, shockproof, and rainproof. As scoutmasters, I know we don’t like boys bringing electronics on campouts, but this can also be used for playing scout music or recorded scoutmaster minutes from other sources.

This speaker has a dual 10W Audio Driver, the total output power reaches 20 watts. It delivers truly immersive sound with a stunning rich bass, tight mid and crystal clear highs. The premium acoustic sound,crystal clear balanced bass, exactly the way the artists intended for you to hear it.

UP TO 24 HOURS PLAYTIME: Build-in 4400mAh high capacity rechargeable battery for up to 24 hours of playtime. So you can enjoy your phone’s music streaming all day after a full charging.

HANDS-FREE FEATURES: This speaker build-in mic that you can conveniently pick up a phone call by this Portable Bluetooth speaker in car, bathroom, at home or office, anywhere during it is connected to your phone.

The working distance is about 33 feet, meaning your phone or other device does not need to be right next to it.

This is an influencer campaign – I teach companies how to use this type of marketing, and it is an endorsement in exchange for getting the product at a substantial discount. But I really do like this speaker! you won’t be disappointed.

 

“Waterproof” backpack review

This 25L backback is meant to be used as a drybag when canoeing or kayaking. So I decided to put it to the test. First I placed a 25 pound anvil in the bottom of the backpack to make sure it would sink to the bottom and get completely submerged, as if I was canoeing and the boat flipped. Next, I put in a roll of toilet paper so i would be able to see if it got wet. Then, I placed the pack in my hot tub. Immediately, I could see air bubble starting to come up, which I knew wasn’t good. The reason is that the zippers allow water to leak through.For this to truleybe a waterproof backpack that is capable of replacing a drybag, It need to have the same type of closure as a drybag. Zippers, by design will never be completely waterproof. You can see this in the image below.

On the other hand, this is a decent bag. If you are hiking in raining conditions, or even if you live in a humid climate like Seattle and want to use this to carry your school lsupplieson a rainy day, it would be a good choice. Because of the flap over the zipper, rain will not get into the bag. It also comes with a waterproof case for your cell phone, which had a tight closing clasp that per my tests is in fact waterproof. Here is a complete video of my test.

My conslusion is that this backpack would be great for being in the rain, but it will not replace a true drysack. Available at: http://amzn.to/2BLwyFn

I received this product at either a discount or for free for my honest, fair, and unbiased opinion. All opinions in my reviews are my own and are not swayed in any way due to receiving a discount. I am under no obligation to write a review, the choice was purely my own and I received no compensation.

Custom Memory Coloring Books

Adult coloring books are all the rage. And young kids still enjoy them as well. These help you relax, gain focus, organize your thoughts, and solve problems. Now you can get a custom coloring book made from your photographs to commemorate special events such as leader appreciation, Eagle Scout memories, Cub Scout memories, Trip to Philmont or Northern Tier, Pack or Troop history – just about anything you can think of. All you need is approximately 30 digital photos. The cost? $0. That’s right – Cyberbase Trading Post will build your custom coloring book at no charge. When it is complete, it will be available on Amazon, where you can order as many copies as you want.

What a great gift idea – whether it be for Christmas or for a Court of Honor. It does take a few weeks for us to do this for you, so get your orders in early. Interested? Click here get started!

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YETI Roadie 20 Cooler

It’s been some time since I recommended a product on this blog and newsletter, but with the Yeti coolers, it’s not too early to start thinking about the perfect Christmas present for the outdoorsmen in your family. Yeti coolers are known for keeping your food frozen for days. that’s huge when you are going camping for a long weekend and you don’t want your food to spoil (or rely on dehydrated food). And if it keeps food cold, that means it also keeps hot food hot. You could [CLICK TO READ MORE]

Scouting Out Amazon Prime Day

Many people are aware that Tuesday is Amazon Prime Day, a made-up holiday to promote sales. This can be a great time to take advantage of additional savings and get some great items for you and your scouts. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Boy Scouts Of America Fidget Spinner
  • Most Interesting Scout Shirt
  • Post Apocaliptic Survival Shirt
  • Scout Leader SuperPower!
  • What Scouters Say T-Shirt
  • Scouter Mom T-Shirt

Check them all out!

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