More From: Mike Vause

Reviewing hammocks by Grand Trunk and Hammock air pads by Klymit

Hanging Out with Grand Trunk and Enjoying the Klymit

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

Today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite things… Camping! We have two camping essentials that are going to knock your socks off and leave you wishing you could "head for the hills" right now.

Sleep... What's That?

In a recent conversation with Mike Vause, sporting goods manager, he reminded me that sleep is an important aspect that is constantly overlooked when camping, hiking, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Mike said, "You may have to [fill in the blank]." You may have to get to the next ridge. You may have to land that next catch. You may have to bag that elk that has eluded you the last two days. You may have to stop and look at the scenery...

The Missouri River near Great Falls, Montana.

A view near Great Falls, MT from a hammock.

Whatever "you may have to" do, you'll need all the energy possible in order to obtain that goal. So, you'll want to make sure that you are getting the best night's sleep while in the great outdoors. Let's take a minute to look at my favorite bed, the hammock.

Click Here to shop our great selection of sleeping pads and air mattresses.

Time to Hang Out and Chill Out

Hammocks are a recent trend that everyone, especially the younger generation, is going crazy about. We carry a variety of brands and sizes, but my favorite brand that we carry is Grand Trunk. Made out of the same nylon material as parachutes, these hammocks are strong and durable. They come in a few different colors and patterns, so we are sure to have one that fits your style.

EmmaLee and her friend sitting in a hammock.

Hammocking under a bridge.

My favorite thing about hammocks is their versatility. Whether you're going on a day trip, a 50-mile hike, a 3-day hunting weekend, or just a trip to your backyard, you always have a lightweight, portable resting place that takes minutes to set up and enjoy. The Grand Trunk double hammock weighs only 2 lbs and can hold up to 400 lbs, so it is easy to enjoy with a friend or by yourself. Plus, at 10' 6" long by 6' 6" wide, there is no way you could go wrong.

Shop our growing selection of hammocks right here, or give us a call so see what all we have to offer!

EmmaLee showing off the Grand Trunk batik hammock.

EmmaLee pictured with her hammock, the Grand Trunk Batik Hammock.

Recently I set a goal to go camping with nothing but my Grand Trunk hammock, a tarp, an emergency blanket, and my sleeping bag for shelter. I still have yet to do so and my goal changed slightly when Mike Vause showed me an evolutionary sleeping pad designed specifically for your hammock. Wow! This evolutionary sleeping pad is none other than the Klymit Hammock V inflatable sleeping pad.

What's New for You

Like all Klymit air pads the Hammock V is made with a V-chamber design that limits air movement and provides excellent insulation. With an R-value of 1.6, it is perfect for the coming season of camping and warmer weather. The two valve system allows you to inflate the Hammock V quickly, using only 15-25 breaths, without the worry of deflating as you go.

EmmaLee holding the Hammock V air pad.

Hammock V air pad with EmmaLee, who is 5' 7" tall.

One of my favorite features of this air pad is the grip zones located on both sides of the pad. Your sleeping pad will be held in place in your hammock and you won't have to worry about your sleeping bag slipping and sliding around either. You can check out our other Klymit sleeping pads here.

One of the non-slip grip zones.

One of the three (3) silicone, non-slip grip zones.

These coming months are my favorite because I get to head outdoors and do some camping and exploring. I am excited for my night's sleep to allow me to climb to the top of the next mountain and take time to enjoy the beautiful vistas in comfort. Be sure to get a tarp and rope to keep the rain off of you. Shop online or in our store for tarps and rope.

Come On In and Check Us Out

Buy your very own Grand Trunk Hammock and Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad at Smith and Edwards! We've got the gear you need for all of your adventures and our helpful and fun staff will be there for you every step of the way. Let us answer your questions and help you find exactly what you need.

Come on in or give us a call today!

CarryMeGear Holsters

CarryMeGear Holsters: Concealed Carry Holsters made in Utah

- posted by EmmaLee Woodland

Small of Back CarryMeGear holster for her GlockLook out, Utah! There is a new brand of gun holsters in the state and they are exclusively at Smith and Edwards. We know you are going to love them.

CarryMeGear is owned and operated by Smith and Edwards' own Mike Vause, right here in Ogden, UT. Mike is the Sporting Goods manager here and we are super excited to be carrying his handmade gun holsters!

Mike has spent most of his professional career in the shooting sports industry. For years, he has been looking for something new to bring to this growing market.

"I have owned and tried many holster styles and brands," he explained, "and decided to take some elements that I like and incorporate them into my thoughts and needs. I woke up one morning and said, 'Let's do this!'"

After a lot of work, trial and error, collaboration and help from his good friends, the first CarryMeGear Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holster came to be.

Why Carry with Kydex?

Carry Me Gear holsters are made out of Kydex, which is a thermal plastic designed for heating and shaping for custom fit. Kydex is lightweight and durable, lasting longer than other materials.

Why is Kydex superior? It is thinner and easier to conceal, and it is sweat and weather resistant. You no longer have to wait for your holster to dry out, making these the perfect holsters for backpacking and hiking.

This Springfield XDS doesn't print with the CarryMeGear holster in kidney position.

This Springfield XDS doesn't print with the CarryMeGear holster in kidney position.

Mike Vause, designer of CarryMeGear holstersWhat sets CarryMeGear Apart?

When asked what sets CarryMeGear apart from brands we carry, Mike said, "The difference is adjustability of attachment and fit to the body. It spreads the load over a larger area than single attachment designs, and is sleeker than other 2-point, soft-back styles."

Still, the greatest things that set these holsters apart are: 1) they are handmade right in Ogden, so you'll be supporting a local business, and 2) they are about $10 less expensive than other great brands!

Additionally, each CarryMeGear holster is hand-fitted to a mold of the exact model of gun, and hand-sanded for snag-free carry.

We asked one of our buyers, Chris Jacobson, why he was so excited about the new CarryMeGear gun holsters. "These holsters are handmade locally in Ogden, UT and are fitted to your exact gun," he said. "The Inside-the-Waistband holster is surprisingly comfy. I personally own one and really enjoy using it."

iwb-carrymegear-springfield-xds-appendix-carry-holster

IWB holsters are especially popular because you can adjust to use your choice of strong side, kidney, or appendix carry. CarryMeGear holsters are even more comfortable because they are easily adjustable to fit every body shape and size.

The holster's forward and backward cant, or angle, can be adjusted. In addition, tension on the firearm itself can be increased or decreased. Screws and bushings also allow the holster to move closer to or away from the body.

IWB & OWB CarryMeGear Holsters

A Sig P238 is secure in an Inside-the-Waistband, left, or Outside-the-Waistband, right, CarryMeGear holster.

Outside the Box: OWB & Small-of-Back Carry

CarryMeGear also makes Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) holsters for strong side carry. Smith & Edwards carries these OWB holsters for several models of semiautomatic handguns, as well as a Smith and Wesson J-frame Revolver model.

OWB Sig P238 CarryMeGear handmade holster

This Sig P238 disappears completely in the CarryMeGear OWB holster.

Mike is also very aware of the needs of his customers, and is open to additional feedback and insights. Mike began working on Small-Of-Back holsters due to requests from women shooters.

The small of the back design allows ladies to carry while maintaining a natural hip silhouette. "We are designing, thinking, and testing more designs and products," he told me. "A Small-Of-Back (SOB) holster has been tested and approved by some of our Smith and Edwards concealed carry permit holders."

This Small of Back CarryMeGear Holster conceals her Glock perfectly!

This Small of Back CarryMeGear Holster conceals her Glock perfectly!

Look for the small-of-back holsters, magazine pouches, and even more styles of holsters from CarryMeGear at Smith & Edwards soon!

Get Yours at Smith & Edwards and on our Website

We know that you will love the CarryMeGear holsters, whether you are a CCP holder or looking for a good range holster. We love the CarryMeGear holsters and recommend them to everyone. You'll wonder how you ever lived without one!

Talk to one of our experts and try them today at Smith and Edwards. You can also find our selection of handgun holsters here on SmithandEdwards.com.

Iceolate Cooler Tray now at Smith & Edwards

Keep your Camping Food from Getting Soggy with the Cooler Tray!

- posted by Rose Marion

Bryan stopped by and showed us how the Cooler Tray can keep our food from getting soggy while camping.

(yikes, who films in portrait mode?!)
When you're camping, you want to keep all your food cool overnight or over the weekend. But that doesn't have to mean soggy buns, soggy grapes, soaking-wet beverage cans that have gunk on them - ick!!

The Cooler Tray by Ice-Olate has arrived at Smith & Edwards!This is an easy & economical solution to that summer problem.

As one of our managers said, "I'm sure gonna miss scooping the hamburger labels out of the water when I empty the cooler.... NOT!"

What a cool invention! You can get yours in the Sporting Goods department of Smith & Edwards as well as right here in our online Camping Coolers section..

The Ice-Olate Cooler Tray is designed to adjust to fit practically any size coolers: from 45 up to 100 quart ice chests & coolers, by Igloo, Yeti, Coleman, and just about any other brand. It holds up to 80 pounds of food & drinks.

Thanks for coming by, Bryan!

Smith & Edwards answers your questions! Q&A with S&E

Q&A: Why use a Gun Vise?

- posted by Rose Marion

You've got questions, we've got answers! Send us your question to help@smithandedwards.com. We've got good advice, bad advice, & years of experience with all kinds of crazy outdoors activities. Send us your question, you just might get something fun or helpful back!

Question:

I saw your post on how to clean a rifle. I've never used a Gun Vise to clean my rifle... does it make any real difference? -Major Paul

Answer:

You don't have to use a gun vise to clean your rifle. But it's a good idea to have one, or a bipod, so your rifle is secured and the stroke of the cleaning rod is consistent with the plane of your bore.
How to clean your rifle - Smith and Edwards Demo

A lot of people also use a bore guide so that when you clean from breech to muzzle, you don't scrape your crown on the muzzle end. You don't really want the cleaning rod to contact the crown. A vise will help you clean consistently without scraping the sides. Also, that keeps the mess in one area.

Mike Vause, Smith & EdwardsThanks for asking!
- Mike Vause

Smith & Edwards Gun Counter

Bug Out Bag & 72-hour Kit tips from Smith & Edwards

Prepare with 72-Hour Kits & Bug Out Bags

- posted by Rose Marion

It's that time of year to check your preparedness gear, make sure you have a communication/meetup plan for your family, & rotate your food storage.

One important piece of your preparedness plan is having a bag with all your necessities. Some people recommend a bug-out bag, but here in Utah a 72-hour kit is the most recommended pack to have.

What's the difference? Mike Vause from our Sporting Goods department asked Ryan Seager, our Surplus manager, and Jean Dimick, our Preparedness manager, and here's what he found.

What Ryan suggests for a Bug-Out Bag


A bug out bag, or go-bag, is a small bag designed to get your from Point A to Point B. Point B should have more supplies, such as your 72-hour kit or your food storage.

You might keep your bug-out bag in your car or truck, or in your desk at work; some place you can get to it easily and go.

So it's a minimalist kit that has just the necessities to survive. You can buy a pre-made bug out bag, or create your own based on your needs & preferences:

  • 1 quart water, a container, & water purification method
  • Food (preferably a high-calorie bar)
  • Bivvy or compact sleeping bag
  • Poncho
  • Paracord
  • First aid kit
  • Multitool with a good blade
  • Lighting: headlamp or area lighting
  • Gloves, hat, scarf, light jacket, and spare clothes (if possible)
  • Fire starter
  • Personal defense

Jean's picks for a 72-Hour Kit:


A 72-hour kit has the supplies you need to survive for 3 days. You'll store more food and supplies than a bug-out bag, and for this you should consider a large backpack from the camping department, rather than a slim tactical pack. See Hiking & Camping packs here.

You can download a list of suggested items for your family's 72-hour kits Get a printable ID card and 72-hour kit ideas from Smith & Edwards, as well as ID cards for your children:

Get your 72-hour kit list!

Did you know?

Save the Children has excellent resources for teachers, parents, and caretakers. Check them out here!  You can even make your own ID cards for your children on their website.

Don't Get her a Gun for Valentine's Day! Relationship tips from Smith & Edwards

Valentine's Day Advice (Video)

- posted by Rose Marion

The guys of the Gun Counter at Smith & Edwards really have seen it all.

We've seen husbands and boyfriends who think they're getting her the perfect gift... but it doesn't go quite as planned.
Trust us - we KNOW how it goes!

Bonus Tip from one of our Fans

"My rule for Valentine's is to buy a gift that you won't mind being thrown at the back of your head. Appliance-bad. Flowers-not so bad." - posted on our Facebook page

...Thanks for the tip!

Key Takeaway

If she WANTS a gun, get her one, by all means! Get her the one she's been eyeing!

But if you have any doubt.... Don't get her a gun for Valentine's Day!
Play it safe with one of these woman-approved gifts:

Candles
Get her Candles!
Tip: "Romance"-scented candles are 25% off in February!
Wind Chimes
Wind Chimes
Bird Feeder
Get her a bird feeder so she can watch beautiful birds all summer!
Get your girlfriend a cuddly Beanie Boo stuffed animal!
Get your girlfriend a cuddly stuffed animal!
Baking goodies & kitchen gadgets
She'll love something new to bake with!
Cowboy Boots like in our Valentine's Day outfit!
Get her Ladies' cowboy boots

Let me know what you think!

Do you agree with this video? Do you have different advice? Let me know in the comments below!

And do YOU have a video request for Smith & Edwards? Do you need relationship advice, fashion advice, or help with a project? Leave a comment for what you want to see in our next video! :)

Freeze Dried Meals review - Blueberry Granola and Biscuits & Gravy

Freeze-Dried Food Review: Try something new

- posted by Mike Vause

Some of us don’t like change.

I sometimes lean on tried and trusted gear for my outdoor adventures. I might be weird, but I like eating freeze-dried backpacking foods, especially the flavors from Mountain House.

I have favorite flavors like Spaghetti, Beef Stroganoff, Lasagna, and Chili Mac. These meals always go with me on backpacking and hunting trips.

This trip I wanted to try something new. (Totally out of character....just ask my wonderful wife).

I went for Biscuits & Gravy, and Granola with Blueberries.

Mike's latest Freeze-Dried Food Review

Warm Biscuits & Gravy chase off the cold morning really well.

Biscuits & gravy - photo courtesy Mountain HouseWith dehydrated meals, sometimes you expect everything to be casserole-ish.

This Biscuits & Gravy was such a change from your typical dehydrated meal. I'd eat it for lunch here in town at 4200 feet.


 

Blueberries at 10,000 feet are a treat.

Granola with Blueberries and milk - courtesy Mountain House Some of the foods you take backpacking don't remind you of home. This Granola with Blueberry has a good taste to it. The blueberries puffed right up; the powdered milk softens the granola and makes it a milky blueberry treat. I thought I was at home eating fresh fruit.

Sometimes at 10,000 feet, anything can taste good - but I was very impressed with this meal.

The Final Word

I'd get those flavors again for my next adventure. It was so much better than the usual breakfast bar and oatmeal style breakfast.

Try something new; it may become an old favorite.

Click here to explore Mountain House freeze-dried meals, wraps, and breakfasts.

Check out our Camping and Hiking gear - click here!

Luci Lantern

Backpacking Stories: Illuminating Rainy Chapters with a Little LED

- posted by Mike Vause
Mike Vause, Smith & Edwards

Mike Vause, Camping manager

My Grandpa used to say: “Too much of anything is not good.”

Is it possible to have too much gear? Too many gadgets?

I do love new stuff, but when I am in my backpacker mindset, some stuff just gets left behind. Most backpackers love convenience and comfort, but have to be choosy when it comes to weight.

For years, having a pack under 40 pounds was my goal. As I am no longer 20, my goal has changed to the low 30’s for pack weight for a 4 day or so hike.

Since I have, through the years, carried a lot of weight to get my young children into the backcountry (they are all full grown now), I try to take advantage of the payback opportunity as much as possible.  If I can’t convince one of my sons to carry it, I usually leave it home.

Lightbulb Moment

Luci Solar Lantern

The Solar-Rechargeable Luci Lantern - squishes down flat, diffuses light like a charm.  You know, you really should have one of these in your pack.

On this last Uinta backcountry adventure, I found an item that I just had to try out. The Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern has been selling by the hundreds in my department.

I honestly didn’t get how, but its success made me think that I was missing out.

I bought one at the last minute (along with about $200 worth of last-minute necessities) and left the solar lantern on my dashboard to charge that afternoon. My pack was in that low 30# range, so I threw it in my pack.

Two of the nights were cold, rainy, and early-in nights. Reading was a great escape to pass the time.

The LED lights were perfect in the tent and the inflatable feature diffused the light output to perfection. It was awesome. The Luci was light enough to perch in the gear loft and do its job.

In the morning, I left it outside the tent and headed out to fish. The afternoon rains soaked it, but it still recharged without a problem and was ready for the next chapter of nighttime reading.
Luci Lantern hangs easily in a tent

The Luci promotes itself as an inflatable light - and the fact that its plastic lining diffuses light in the tent is a big plus. But the more important factor for me was that this item, nearly the size of your typical lantern, collapses down smaller than the book I packed - now that's nifty.

Waterproof, lightweight, rechargeable, and affordable. It’s worth a look.

Get yours online at SmithandEdwards.com here or come see it here at the store off the I-15 Willard Bay turnoff.

Check out our Camping and Hiking gear - click here!

Range Day 2015 recap

Thanks for coming to Range Day 2015!

- posted by Mike Vause

To all our friends in Weber County, Box Elder County, & beyond who came to Range Day 2015.... THANK YOU! We are so glad to be here for you as you came and tried out a slew of guns. It was so great to see families here and we can't wait for the next one!

Trying out the latest from Smith & Wesson

Trying out the latest from Smith & Wesson

Crowd Favorites

Our vendors really pulled through, and brought some fun & hard-to-find guns. Some of the most popular guns:

  • Springfield handguns: 1911 and XD's
  • Smith & Wesson handguns (and a 500!)
  • Savage rifles
This little automatic BB revolver that our Umarex rep brought was a big favorite!

This little automatic BB revolver that our Umarex rep brought was a big favorite!

  • Browning rifles
  • Both 338 Lapua rifles
  • Sig 9mm & 45 pistols
  • TacSol .22pistols & rifles
  • CZ Scorpion 9mm
He likes this one!

He likes this one!

Last year, we had a gun at each of the 20 lanes. Thanks to vendors stepping it up this year, we had easily 50+ guns to try out!

Smith & Wesson at our Range Day

Smith & Wesson Reps and a whole ton of ammo at the Smith & Wesson booth!

Sig Sauer offerings at Range Day

Checking out the Sig Sauer offerings

Heard at Range Day:

  • When is the next one?
  • Thanks for such a cool event
  • Do you do this every year?
  • This is a nice setup and a nice range
  • I didn't know that this range was even here
  • There are lots of options here!
  • I wanted to try this gun out before I bought it.
  • Hey, I saw you on YouTube!
  • This is what we wanted for the city range - Perry City Police Chief Weese

Range Day Rifle

"Range Day was an awesome experience. I loved having so many choices of firearms from so many different manufacturers. The cost was very affordable. The manufacturer reps explained all the benefits and features of each gun and optics. The Smith and Edwards staff made the event fun for all." - Mike Taylor, Smith & Edwards fan and 338Lapua enthusiast

Connie and Karen

Perry City Mayor Karen Cronin and Connie Wolf from The Well Armed Woman (Northern Wasatch chapter)

Better than Last Year!

The Perry Range added a dueling tree this year, so the dueling tree was a fun challenge: 10 people won & received free ammo passes! Right on. This event definitely topped last year's Range Day.

We've really got to thank our AWESOME sponsors! Many more vendors showed their products this year, which not only meant that you got to try out more guns: you got more attention. Vendors got to explain specs, gun operation, and give you feedback.

Long range rifle - photo by Rebecca Adams

And, we the Smith & Edwards team were able to spend more time making sure the gun fit you, you had a good grip and stance, and that you felt confident operating the gun.

Spotting the long range targets

Spotting the long range targets

In addition to more vendors & many more options of guns to try out, this year we had more giveaways, and more parking!

Faye and Matt took home a FREE gun each! Thanks to H&K and Springfield Armory for sponsoring these awesome giveaways.

Faye and Matt took home a FREE gun each! Thanks to H&K and Springfield Armory for sponsoring these awesome giveaways. We also gave away BUCKETS of 22 ammo.

Thanks again for coming and making Range Day 2015 a great event. Leave a comment & let me know if you think we should do it a 3rd year!

We put these targets to use!

We put these targets to use!

Join our Email List to hear about all events like this!

The only way to know when Smith & Edwards is up to something cool like Range Day is to join our email list!





Well, if you're a HUGE fan then come on over and like our Facebook page too, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. But only if you REALLY love us....