5 Best Ultralight Backpacks

Best Ultralight Backpacks

When it comes to backpacking, you want to be comfortable while you hike. That can be difficult when you’re lugging around a backpack that feels like it’s got a hundred pounds of gear inside of it. For those who hike on long journeys, having a backpack that is lightweight is extremely important. Whether you hike for a few days or few hours at a time and on a regular or an occasional basis, having one of the best ultralight backpacks on the market can make it easier while also allowing you tons of fun!

We found the five best lightweight backpacks on the market in order to make your life easier. The pros, cons, details and more are all lined up for you to make an informed decision on buying your next backpack. Whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, or otherwise, there’s something here for you. Grab the right pack to take to the amusement park or even to carry your textbooks in. We’re that sure about the five great backpacks on our list. Many are currently at super cheap prices and perfect for an aspiring or knowledgeable hiker.

Teton Sports Hiker 3700 Ultralight Internal Frame BackpackVenture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Backpack DaypackGranite Gear Crown 2 BackpackZOMAKE Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking DaypackTECOOL(TM) 15L Outdoor Sports Backpack Shoulder Belt Bag For Biking Cycling Traveling Camping Hiking
4 lbs0.8 lbs1.7 lbs0.8 lbs0.9 lbs
60 liter storage35 liter storage60 liter storage40 liter storage15 liter storage
Made of 420D 2MM Squared Double line RipstopMade of high quality tear and water resistant materialMade of mesh pockets and a foam back panel for comfortMade of High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabricMade of High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabric
Size 33″ x 15.5″ x 12.5″ unfoldedSize 20″ x 13″ x 7.5 ” unfolded23.5″ x 13″ x 8″ unfolded22.8″ x 13.4″ x 7.8″ unfolded50″ x 33″ x 18″ unfolded
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  • Teton Sports Hiker 3700 Ultralight Internal Frame Backpack
  • 4 lbs
  • 60 liter storage
  • Made of 420D 2MM Squared Double line Ripstop
  • Size 33″ x 15.5″ x 12.5″ unfolded
  • Check Price
  • Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Backpack Daypack
  • 0.8 lbs
  • 35 liter storage
  • Made of high quality tear and water resistant material
  • Size 20″ x 13″ x 7.5 ” unfolded
  • Check Price
  • G4Free Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking Daypack
  • 0.8 lbs
  • 40 liter storage
  • Made of High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabric
  • 22.8″ x 13.4″ x 7.8″ unfolded
  • Check Price
  • ZOMAKE Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack/foldable & Packable Hiking Daypack
  • 0.8 lbs
  • 40 liter storage
  • Made of High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabric
  • 22.8″ x 13.4″ x 7.8″ unfolded
  • Check Price
  • TECOOL(TM) 15L Outdoor Sports Backpack Shoulder Belt Bag For Biking Cycling Traveling Camping Hiking
  • 0.9 lbs
  • 15 liter storage
  • Made of High Quality Water and Tear Resistant Nylon fabric
  • 50″ x 33″ x 18″ unfolded
  • Check Price

Teton Sports Hiker 3700 Ultralight Frame Backpack

1The Teton Sports Hiker is a one of a kind hiking backpack. It’s rugged enough for long-term hiking but can also work as an all-purpose pack for short treks with friends. It’s the largest backpack on our list with a 3700 cubic inch capacity. It features a lot of padding on the shoulders, waist, and lumbar region to make it more comfortable to wear all day long. It has some nice features like split waist wings that allow adjustments of both the top and bottom, forward-tightening load straps, and redesigned chest straps. The lumbar support and aluminum stays leave you capable of holding large loads without feeling as if you are.

If that doesn’t sell it for you, you have to realize this thing is a monster. It has a key loop, gear loops, two pouches, seven pockets, and more. You can fit everything but the kitchen sink in this one and still have comfort as you hike. It also has the capacity for a hydration bladder of up to three liters, although you need to purchase the bladder separately. Last but not least, this backpack is a nice looking pack that will get you compliments. It comes in a red and gray that stands out against the backdrop of nature as you trek into the wilderness. In addition, it comes with an integrated rainfly in a flashy yellow color.

Pros:

  • Largest capacity out of the backpacks on the list
  • Tons of storage pockets and pouches
  • Extra padding for comfort and fit
  • Built with double line ripstop for durability
  • Torso positioning adjustment allows fit to many body types

Cons:

  • Heaviest backpack we feature on list
  • More expensive than other options

Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Backpack Daypack

2The Venture Pal is one of the best ultralight backpacks out there and it shows. This beauty comes in an assortment of colors including black, dark blue, light blue, pink, and orange. It’s made from a high-quality nylon that provides strength and comfort. This backpack weights less than a pound and gives you thirty-five liters of storage. This is more than enough for most hikers who aren’t seeking a journey of more than a few days. It also comes with a number of pockets for organization which can make things easier when it comes to finding something down the line. Just open a pocket, grab what you need, and go. No more digging around in the main compartment for your lip gloss or bug spray.

This backpack is extremely small and compact when not filled and easy to zip up into itself when you’re done. This makes it a convenient backpack no matter whether you are hiking or not. Easy storage is a perk of this pack. It combines the toughness of the nylon outside with a double layer bottom that allows you to carry more than you would think. It also has heavy duty zippers which allow you to operate from either side of the bag. With this and the sponge padding on the straps, you will have both comfort and strength. You never have to worry about this one breaking on you.

Pros:

  • Comes in various colors to appeal for all
  • Unfolds from pocket to backpack in seconds
  • Extremely light yet roomy

Cons:

  • Is not waterproof so beware of water near you

Granite Gear Crown 2 Backpack

This Granite Gear Crown 2 backpack has a huge emphasis on comfort and fit. That’s why it’s designed with a hip belt to remain comfortable and fitted to you without any discomfort. You can easily adjust the belt size to suit all body types, making it great if you wish to share this backpack with others. Once you’ve made the appropriate adjustments, velcro the straps together and slide them behind the lumbar pad to keep any loose straps out of the way.

The Granite Gear Crown 2 backpack features all the internal storage room and components most people need. It’s equipped with a large compartment and three stretch pockets on the outside. Plus, there are two bottles to keep your water bottle or store other objects if you need things to hand on your travels. You’ll love the mesh pocket to the rear that allows you to store wet gear or store an item of clothing to prevent you from having to stop and open the backpack.

This backpack is built with ease in mind. For example, the broad hip belt pockets provide the ultimate convenience for storing bulky items that you might need easy access to. All external pockets are designed with a hard fabric to keep your possessions safe while adding some flexibility.

A backpack’s frame is important to comfort and durability. Fortunately, the Granite Gear Crown 2 backpack features a ventilated foam panel to transfer any weight to your hips and prevent any strain on your lower back. Its sturdy frame can easily accommodate 30-35 pounds of weight, but don’t forget you can purchase this backpack in regular or short size to suit your body type and capacity needs.

Pros:

  • Removable lid for easy access
  • Mesh ventilation materials are ideal for weight items
  • Includes two bottle holders
  • Plenty of internal storage and several compartments

Cons:

  • Not as lightweight as the other backpacks on this list

TECOOL 15L Outdoor Sports Backpack

5The last backpack on our list is from TECOOL and it has a few different features than the others. It comes in various colors, which is always a good thing. It also has a front pocket for your phone, and lightweight straps to keep you comfortable. However, this one is not as big as some of the others. It will hold fifteen-liters, which may seem small after past backpacks, but is actually great for a short trip. It’s especially suited for cyclists as the bag has a helmet net attached to make things easier on your journey.

This is a compact backpack that won’t leave you sore after a trek or ride on your bike. While it may have limited storage space, what it does have is utilized in a good way. There’s no space that will go to waste with this one. It also has breathable mesh incorporated on the back to prevent you getting sweaty and muggy. We know this can be a problem with some backpacks and love that TECOOL chose to fix the problem with this particular backpack.

Pros:

  • Comfortable lightweight straps
  • Helmet net great for cyclists
  • Small front pocket for phone and other trinkets
  • Perfect for shorter trips without the extra weight

Cons:

  • Small in capacity compared to others

Best Dehydrated Camping Food

5 of the Best Dehydrated Camping Foods

So, you are planning a week-long camping trip in the woods with your family. You have already gotten out the family tent, and you have cleaned up the sleeping bags. The only thing you have left to do now is pack everything you will need.

As you begin to think about your family of four, you wonder how you will pack everything lightly enough to get up the hill, without having to make several trips. Not only that, but you know you are going to have to feed the family too which means, even more, weight.

As you ponder the food ideas, you realize that your resources will be limited to a campfire for cooking and some source of water will be available for use. You must also pack some cooking supplies and utensils for eating. The more you ponder, the heavier the load gets.

You could pack things such as salami or sausage. Even cans of tuna or some cheese, but all that will be too heavy. You could include some factory-made food packages, but you know that those things are filled with additives, and although such things as packaged soups are convenient, they are full of sodium.

If this sounds like you then why not consider the option of dehydrated camping foods? Not only are they a healthier choice, but they are convenient and delicious too. Below you will find some of the best dehydrated camping food available.

Many people prefer dehydrated foods over those other choices because they are all natural foods without the preservatives, chemical additives, and they contain much less sodium.

When it comes to dehydrated foods, the shelf life can be indefinite in some cases, and they are stored in convenient, easy to carry pouches. Most of the foods will only require adding water, and in most cases, the water can be added right to the pouch, so that means less mess and fewer supplies to carry in your backpack.

Dehydrated foods are not only perfect camping foods, but people have also used them as handy everyday lunches, and they are commonly packed away in survival kits. Some people even send these meals to college with their kids.

For an idea of which foods to choose, check out the following list of the best-dehydrated camping food. Most of the choices are available as an individual pouch, or they can be purchased in a bundle. There are plenty of choices to feed a hungry brood, and not only will you get the satisfaction of knowing that they are eating healthy, they will enjoy them too!

  • Backpacker’s Pantry Organic Blueberry Walnut Oats & Quinoa
  • Shelf Life: Approximately 4-5 years
  • Individual Pouch
  • Breakfast
  • Check Price
  • Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy
  • Shelf Life: 30 years
  • Individual Pouch
  • Breakfast
  • Check Price
  • Harmony House Foods, The Backpacking Kit, 18 Count, 1 Cup Zip Pouches
  • Shelf Life: 12-24 months
  • 18 Pouches
  • Mix of Dried Vegetables, Lentils, and Beans
  • Check Price
  • Mountain House Freeze Dried Food Kit
  • Shelf Life: 12 years
  • 6 Pouches
  • Mix of Breakfast and Dinner
  • Check Price
  • Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto
  • Shelf Life: 4 years
  • Individual Pouch
  • Dinner
  • Check Price
Backpacker’s Pantry Organic Blueberry Walnut Oats & QuinoaMountain House Biscuits and GravyHarmony House Foods, The Backpacking Kit, 18 Count, 1 Cup Zip PouchesMountain House Freeze Dried Food KitSurvival Food Storage – 60 Large Servings – Freeze Dried Meal Assortment – 18 Lbs – Emergency Preparedness Supply Kit – Dehydrated Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner – Camping, Hiking Too
Shelf Life: Approximately 4-5 yearsShelf Life: 30 yearsShelf Life: 12-24 monthsShelf Life: 12 yearsShelf Life: 25 years
Individual PouchIndividual Pouch18 Pouches6 Pouches60 Pouches
BreakfastBreakfastMix of Dried Vegetables, Lentils, and BeansMix of Breakfast and DinnerMix of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
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Backpacker’s Pantry Organic Blueberry Walnut Oats & Quinoa

Just add boiling water and this nutritious pouch will sprout a warm delicious and wholesome breakfast.

Although this pouch will only serve one, it is hearty enough to satisfy you for hours.

It is filled with blueberries, walnuts, oats, and quinoas, making it completely vegetarian and USDA organic.

It is easy and quick to prepare, it will take up little space in your backpack, and it has a shelf life for approximately four to five years.

Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy

Believe it or not, when you add the water to this pouch and let it sit for ten minutes, you will have delicious biscuits and gravy!

Two people can enjoy breakfast from this pouch and it will deliver the same results as eating at your favorite restaurant.

If you are allergic to milk, soy, or wheat then this pouch isn’t for you, but that doesn’t mean that the kids won’t indulge in it.

This is offered in a single pouch with the option of purchasing a six pack, and it comes with a thirty-year shelf life.

Harmony House Foods, The Backpacking Kit

If you feel like getting creative on your camping trip, you might want to consider this kit filled with all kinds of options.

This kit comes with a variety of quality mixed vegetables, lentils, and beans allowing you to be creative and stay healthy while having fun.

You can make soups with these pouches, and if you really want to add some zest to your meal, you can easily add bouillon cubes, meat or cheese to the recipe.

One thing people have praised with this kit is the lightweight packages and they also enjoy the quality and flavor of the food.

This will give you a variety of meals for the family, and maybe you will enjoy eating the dried vegetables right out of the package.

Eighteen, one-cup zip pouches are included and the shelf life is twelve to twenty-four months, so you might even consider this kit as a survival package or a long winter package.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food Kit

This is a great option when it comes to variety and all you will have to do is add water for a delicious and healthy meal!

The whole family can choose their favorites with the six pouch choices of beef stew, beef stroganoff, chicken teriyaki, lasagna with meat sauce, scrambled eggs with ham, and raspberry crumble for a delicious dessert.

All this will provide sixteen servings, it will sit on the shelf for twelve years, and many people have stated that these are delicious enough to eat every day.

You should heed caution to allergies because these meals contain soy, milk, wheat, and eggs.

Easy to prepare, they are lightweight, and compact so it only makes sense that these meals would be the perfect choice for your camping trip.

Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto

Good To-Go’s Mushroom Risotto packs come in single serving sizes and double serving sizes, offering enough food to fill you up plenty while you are out on the trail.

Each of these packages have an overall shelf life of four years, so they are not likely to go bad before you need to make use of them.

On top of being tasty, these packages of mushroom risotto feature entirely organic and vegan ingredients to accommodate the environmentally conscious.

As for the preparation process for this pack of edibles, reviewers report minor discrepancies in total cooking time ranging from an additional 10 to 15 minutes total. The process is simple – pour in hot water, mix ingredients, seal the bag and wait. The results however, are largely consistent among user reports – generally positive and filling without being overly seasoned or off in texture.

Well, with these choices you should be able to make a precise decision as to which package or packages would best fit the needs of your family. Now that you have now discovered this option, why not stock up on extra meals for your enjoyment at work and at home?

With all this great taste, the family will want to stay close to the campsite in anticipation of the next meal. We hope you have found the best dehydrated camping food that is right for you and your family.

Happy camping! Make sure you check out these great camping hammocks as well.

Best Diaper Pails

5 Best Diaper Pails

When it comes to having a baby, you always want to make sure and have the best of everything you need to make your life easier so that you can relax and enjoy your time with your little one.

A supply of bottles, blankets, clothing, and diapers are only some of the many things you will need.

You will have a creatively decorated nursery for the baby, including the best crib and changing table you can buy, because, after all, your baby is your pride and joy.

Then there are those dreaded feedings in the middle of the night, not to mention those dirty, stinky diapers. Just think, she hasn’t even begun to eat solid food yet, imagine what that will smell like.

The last thing you want to do during that middle of the night fiasco is to fumble around looking for a place to toss that dirty diaper. You also hate the thought of what that diaper will smell like when you wake up in the morning.

To make your life easier, and everyone’s lives around you, consider finding one of the best diaper pails you can buy to solve all those problems.

Diaper pails can be amazing for so much more than just in the baby’s nursery. When the baby is no longer in diapers don’t throw it away, convert it into a place for the kitty litter or dog feces. You might even find a diaper pail that can transform into a bathroom trash can.

Diaper pails don’t end there either; some will hold adult diapers too!

Here is a list of the 5 best diaper pails, and some of the reasons why having one can make your life easier:

Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper PailPlaytex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail with Odor Lock Technology, WhiteDekor Classic Hands- Free Diaper Pail, WhiteMunchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & HammerUbbi Steel Diaper Pail, Gray
Foot Pedal: NoFoot Pedal: YesFoot Pedal: YesFoot Pedal: YesFoot Pedal: No
Use for Adult Diapers: UnknownUse for Adult Diapers: YesUse for Adult Diapers: YesUse for Adult Diapers: UnknownUse for Adult Diapers: Unknown
Use for Cloth Diapers: YesUse for Cloth Diapers: UnknownUse for Cloth Diapers: YesUse for Cloth Diapers: UnknownUse for Cloth Diapers: Yes
Use Standard Bags: YesUse Standard Bags: NoUse Standard Bags: YesUse Standard Bags: NoUse Standard Bags: Yes
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  • Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe, Grey/White
  • Foot Pedal: No
  • Use for Adult Diapers: Unknown
  • Use for Cloth Diapers: No
  • Use Standard Bags: Yes
  • Check Price
  • Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail with Odor Lock Technology, White
  • Foot Pedal: Yes
  • Use for Adult Diapers: Yes
  • Use for Cloth Diapers: Unknown
  • Use Standard Bags: No
  • Check Price
  • Dekor Classic Hands- Free Diaper Pail, White
  • Foot Pedal: Yes
  • Use for Adult Diapers: Yes
  • Use for Cloth Diapers: Yes
  • Use Standard Bags: Yes
  • Check Price
  • Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer
  • Foot Pedal: Yes
  • Use for Adult Diapers: Unknown
  • Use for Cloth Diapers: Unknown
  • Use Standard Bags: No
  • Check Price
  • Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail, Gray
  • Foot Pedal: No
  • Use for Adult Diapers: Unknown
  • Use for Cloth Diapers: Yes
  • Use Standard Bags: Yes
  • Check Price

Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail

This special diaper pail made by Safety 1st boasts of high-quality construction and very well-designed waste disposal features that can drastically improve the diaper disposal process.

The carefully thought out design allows you to access it with just one hand while you are otherwise occupied. The process is kept as simple as possible as well, requiring no fancy motions or maneuvers to properly dispose of individual diapers.

This diaper pail also comes with its own deodorizer disc that helps to keep offensive odors under control.

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Affordable
  • Effective odor control

Cons:

  • No foot pedal

Playtex Diaper Genie Complete Diaper Pail with Odor Lock Technology

2With its clever Ergonomic design, the convenient foot pedal, and the height of this diaper pail, it will be a breeze to dispose of the diaper while holding the baby.

Never again will your guests be hit in the face with an unpleasant odor coming from the nursery, because this diaper pail is equipped with a built-in carbon filter and an air-tight clamp that keeps the odors concealed inside.

This diaper pail will require the use of the Playtex Diaper Genie bag refills, and it comes with a sample bag pack and an odor repellant bag.

It will hold twenty to twenty-five diapers, and it can also be compatible for the use of adult diapers and kitty litter.

Pros:

  • Equipped with a built-in carbon filter and an air-tight clamp to keep in odors
  • Foot pedal installed to prevent touching
  • Can be used for adult diapers
  • Holds up to twenty-five diapers

Cons:

  • Only the Playtex Genie bag refills can be used

Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail

3No touching is required to dispose of diapers in this pail, making it completely sanitary to use.

The height is perfect, so you can just step on the convenient foot pedal and drop the diaper in.

This pail is designed with an effective triple odor control that will keep the odors from escaping outside of the pail.

Although it is complete with a bag to get started, you also have the optional choice of using standard trash can liners with this pail.

This versatile pail can be used for cloth diapers or adult diapers, and can be converted into a trash can when it is no longer needed in the nursery.

Pros:

  • Designed with a triple odor control to keep odors inside the pail
  • Foot pedal installed to prevent touching
  • Can be used with a standard household trash bag
  • Can be used for adult diapers
  • Can be converted from a diaper pail to a trash can
  • High rating

Cons:

  • May not have the capacity to hold cloth diapers

Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer

4This diaper pail would make a great baby shower gift!

The self- sealing system on this one will seal the bag shut for you when you close the lid, keeping the odors inside the pail.

No touching is necessary because this pail is equipped with a foot pedal for opening it, and the height is compatible, so there is no bending required.

The easy- open front allows you to empty the can without touching the diapers.

Add all this to the self- sealing system, and you have one of the best diaper pails on the market.

Pros:

  • Equipped with a self- sealing system to keep odors inside the pail
  • Foot pedal installed to prevent touching
  • Convenient front opening to empty diapers

Cons:

  • Only the Munchkin Step refills can be used

Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

5This diaper pail is Amazons choice, and it’s easy to understand why.

It is designed with powder coated steel, and is equipped with rubber seals to keep the odors from breaking out of the pail.

Your toddler won’t be able to carry the dirty diapers into the room because a childproof safety lock was conveniently installed into this one.

If you use cloth diapers you will have no worries, because this pail will accommodate for those as well, and you can even use standard household trash bags.

Pros:

  • Designed with powder coated steel and rubber seals to keep odors inside the pail
  • Can be used with a standard household trash bag
  • Can be used for cloth diapers

Cons:

  • Does not have a foot pedal installed

Now that you have read and reviewed this list, you should have a better understanding of how a diaper pail can make your life easier.

Since these pails can be versatile, that should give you even more reason to understand why owning one will be a smart investment.

Decide which one would be best for you and add it to your gift registry. You can even add more than one to that list, and create a changing station in more places than one throughout the house.

No matter which one you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Check some of our bounce houses and some of our other fun games.

5 Best Lacrosse Shafts

Best Lacrosse Shafts

Lacrosse may not get the sort of press attention as other sports like football, baseball and basketball. But the contact team sport, played between two teams using a little rubber ball as well as lacrosse shafts with properly fitting heads, requires every bit as much strategy and skill.

While you’ll need different protective gear and other equipment to play the game, arguably the most important thing you need to be mindful of is the lacrosse shaft you use. Some hockey players swear by certain makes of hockey sticks for one reason or other, and you can bet that lacrosse players can be equally passionate about which lacrosse shafts they use.

You won’t have to be too picky when it comes to makes and brands if you’re just learning the game since there are lots of good, quality options available on e-commerce sites like Amazon. That said, people have preferences for a reason, and you may very well prefer certain types.

So that way can make an informed buying decision, read on to learn about the 5 best lacrosse shafts.

East Coast Dyes Lacrosse 2015 Carbon Lacrosse ShaftsSTX Lacrosse Stallion 200Maverik Lacrosse A1 Attack ShaftMaverik Lacrosse Union Attack ShaftString King Complete Attack Lacrosse Stick
Material: CompositeMaterial: CompositeMaterial: 7000 Series AlloyMaterial: Titanium AlloyMaterial: Composite
Position: AttackPosition: AttackPosition: AttackPosition: AttackPosition: Attack
Legally Acceptable: YesLegally Acceptable: YesLegally Acceptable: YesLegally Acceptable: YesLegally Acceptable: Yes
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WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT LACROSSE SHAFTS?

There are various reasons why shaft considerations should be high on your priority list if you’re interested in the game of lacrosse. These reasons include the following:

Your choice in shaft can give you a competitive boost

Since the lacrosse shaft is, of course, used with a shaft head to carry the ball and to check players on the other team in a bid to cause them to loose control of the ball. So you want the right type of shaft to help you do your best whether during practice or during game-time situations. If you have the chance to try different shafts, you’ll see that there are some that are better than others and some that are more advantageous than are others depending on your strengths.

Shafts are position-specific

Lacrosse shafts, also known as lacrosse handles, are position-specific. For instance, you’ll need a different type of shaft if you’re a goalie, a defender or an attacker/midfielder. For a goalie, you’ll need to consider 40″ shafts, for defenders your shaft needs to be 60″, and for attackers and midfielders your shaft must measure 30″. Once you select the right shaft, you’ll then need to put the right lacrosse head on it. Since there are position-specific considerations to make, you ought to familiarize yourself about lacrosse shafts as much as you can before making a purchase.

Shaft selection also depends on playing ability

A lot of things go into deciding what sort of lacrosse shaft you should buy, and one of them is your playing ability. Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate or a professional, you need to select the sort of lacrosse shaft that will help you to get the most out of your skills. Again, there are numerous manufacturers and various brands. The only way you can get a feel for which ones will be the best fits for you is to do some research as to what’s out there.

 Various price points mean that you can find something within your budget

When it comes to lacrosse shafts, there are a number of price points, so cost need not get in the way of your buying a shaft. So you can find something that won’t break your budget. If you’re just getting started and don’t want to spend too much on your first lacrosse shaft, you’ll find lots of relatively inexpensive options available on sites like Amazon.com. If you’re a most advanced player, you’ll be able to find suitable lacrosse shafts that are higher end if you prefer.

Different styles available

While the color of your shaft obviously won’t impact your playing ability, you can at least showcase some of your individuality by selecting a color or color scheme of your choice. Various manufacturers offer a wide range of color options, so if that’s an important consideration for you, be sure to check out the various companies to see which ones offer what you want.

Lots of different manufacturers and brands

There are, of course, a lot of different makers and brands available for lacrosse shafts, which favors you as the consumer since you’ll have lots of options to choose from. You might find over time that you prefer certain manufacturers owing to the types of lacrosse shafts that they make.

5 OF THE BEST OPTIONS

1. East Coast Dyes Lacrosse 2015 Carbon Lacrosse Shafts

41h7zpS+MZL._SL250_These shafts are composed of innovative composite materials as well as manufacturing methods so that you get the highest level possible of both performance and quality. With these shafts, your on the field play will benefit from a significant strength to weight ratio. Moreover, at a mere 147 grams, the 30-inch attack shaft will give you a competitive advantage in game situations. Another thing to consider when it comes to of the best lacrosse shafts is that the East Coast brands include REACT Technology. How can this help you? REACT Technology will enable your lacrosse shaft to flex to bolster shot velocity, snap and feel. As well, the shafts include sandpaper grip for optimum usability regardless of what sorts of weather conditions you play in.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Good grip
  • REACT Technology facilitates with performance
  • Half-year factory warranty
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons:

  • Some customers complain that shaft head sometimes gets loose

2. STX Lacrosse Stallion 200

This lacrosse shaft features a bit of graphic color and style in addition to being well-balanced.

The design of this option is well-optimized for new players and encourages you to improve on core techniques. Besides its thoughtful design, this stick meets all regulatory requirements for use in competitions.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Well-balanced
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • Needs breaking in

3. Maverik Lacrosse A1 Attack Shaft

1195iUV6bjL._SL250_This shaft happens to be the lightest one in the MAVERIK portfolio. So if that characteristic ranks high on your list of priorities, then it’s definitely one that you’ll want to consider. It comes with a butt end that is adjustable, is constructed out of 7000 Series Alloy and is easy to grip. Moreover, its shipping weight is one pounds. Lacrosse shafts come in various weights. As you progress through the ranks, you may find that you play better with certain weights than you do with others.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Works with virtually any lacrosse head

Cons:

  • Some reviewers on Amazon questioned durability
  • Some reviewers on Amazon mention that the shaft is prone to dents

4. Maverik Lacrosse Union Attack Shaft

11N6xOlV6NL._SL250_The Maverik Lacrosse Union Attack Shaft has a traditional shape, is made out of scandium titanium alloy and boasts the sort of finish that will give you a natural feel. It’s designed to offer a great strength to weight combination so that you can perform at a high level when practicing or playing. As well, the shaft increased an adjustable butt end.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Ideal strength to weight combination
  • Scandium-Titanium alloy

Cons:

  • No adjustable end cap

5. String King Complete Attack Lacrosse Stick

This lacrosse stick boasts of advanced features fit for both major league players and beginners alike.

Unlike other options on this list, this stick comes complete, as its name implies, with all the trappings and fittings needed to play. It requires no breaking in and can be used immediately in practice and games.

The String King Complete stick features a mark 1 head with type 2 string to deliver versatile attack precision and power. This stick is also regulation size at 40 inches in total height.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Durable

FINAL THOUGHTS

As you can see, there are lots of options out there when it comes to lacrosse shafts. The 5 options listed above are among the best lacrosse shafts. Again, you need to choose carefully in order to get the right lacrosse shaft for your needs.

With the right shaft, you’ll be able to control the ball with accuracy and agility as well as to pressure the opposition into loosing control of the ball. On the one hand, if you select a lightweight shaft, you can benefit from greater agility as you navigate the playing area. On the other hand, if you go with a slightly heavier shaft, you’ll be better able to deal with the abuse that comes from engaging in a contact team sport. The choice, of course, is yours.

There are plenty of manufacturers and brands on the market, so do your research and figure out which one gives you the sort of competitive advantage that will help you to play at your ultimate best.

Also, there are lots of manufacturers and brands on the market. This means that you must do your research to figure out which will help you to play at your ultimate best. Remember to consider things like texture and grip since you want to be able to maintain control of your shaft in game situations. Without control, you’ll be more a hindrance than a help to your teammates.

After you select the right shaft, you’ll need to go about the process of getting the rest of the required lacrosse equipment, and this includes the lacrosse head that attaches to your shaft.When you put everything together, you’ll be ready to participate in one of the most exciting team sports in the world.

No, it doesn’t get the same media attention as do other team sports in North America, but those who’ve tried it realize that the men and women who play the game are driven competitors.

Make sure you check out the best lacrosse sticks.

The 5 Best Splitting Mauls

Best Splitting Mauls

A splitting maul is a tool that is made to split chunks of wood into smaller and more portable pieces. While you can use an ax to split firewood, a maul has more weight and a wider head. This makes it much easier to do the splitting, which is a definite perk. It also causes nearly no part of the wood to go to waste. More wood means less splitting and enjoying that wood in your fireplace for a longer time. Finally, using an ax for a maul’s work or vice versa is dangerous and can cause accidents that you can prevent by using the correct tool. That’s why having a splitting maul that is good quality is so important.

Mauls are typically heavy with an eight-pound maul head being the typical offering. There are some mauls that are a bit lighter that can be used for smaller pieces of wood if you prefer. In addition to being much heavier than a typical ax, the splitting maul typically has a longer handle. The most common length is 36”, but some are available at a bit smaller length. You just want to be sure that it’s long enough that the maul hits the ground after the strike, rather than your foot. Definitely not something anyone wants to experience.

With that said, we have made a list of the best give mauls on the market right now. These are from various companies and have many attributes to them. There is something here for everyone, no matter how experienced you are. We ranked these on many things and offer all the information you will need to make a choice. We hope this helps you in ensuring you have the right equipment for you and your needs.

Estwing Fireside Friend 14″ Splitting MaulFiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-InchFiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″HUSQVARNA Splitting MaulGransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
4 lbs maul head4 lbs maul head8 lbs maul head6 lb maul head6 lb maul head
Steel handleFibercomp handleIsoCore Shock handleWooden handleWooden handle
14 inch36 inch36 inch32 inch32 inch
Lifetime warrantyLifetime warrantyLifetime warranty90 day warranty20 year warranty
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
  • Truper 30958 8-Pound Splitting Maul, 36-Inch Fiberglass Handle
  • 8 lbs maul head
  • Fiberglass handle
  • 36 inch
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch
  • 4 lbs maul head
  • Fibercomp handle
  • 36 inch
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • Fiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″
  • 8 lbs maul head
  • IsoCore Shock handle
  • 36 inch
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • HUSQVARNA Splitting Maul
  • 6 lb maul head
  • Wooden handle
  • 32 inch
  • 90 day warranty
  • Check Price
  • Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
  • 6 lb maul head
  • Wooden handle
  • 32 inch
  • 20 year warranty
  • Check Price

Estwing Fireside Friend 14″ Splitting Maul

This small splitting maul makes short work of wood chunks with a top-notch, immensely durable design.

Thanks to single-piece construction, forged in full, this hatchet-sized maul is effectively made to last.

This tool’s head design truly sets it apart from competing options as it is weighted with a sledgehammer second head, allowing you to work a lot less to get wood chopped. The weight drives the head through timber quickly and efficiently.

The grip on this maul is genuine leather that provides a stable and safe hold for working. You can swing away without worrying about this cleverly designed tool slipping from your fingers.

Fine steel makes up this splitting maul’s form, contributing to its impressive longevity. A shiny blue finish further protects it, while also making it quite a nice cutting tool to have and hold. Reviewers mention just how tough and fine-tuned this maul is for its intended task.

Complete with a protective sheath, you can rest assured this splitting maul will last you quite some time.

Pros:

  • Small size and comfortable weight
  • Fine-tuned design
  • Durable

Cons:

  • May be too small for some uses

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Ax, 36-Inch

21Gr5-U6KXL._SL250_The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Ax is number four on the list of 5 best splitting mauls. This ax is made to split medium and large logs with total ease. Balance and power have been perfected in order to increase the speed of your swing, allowing more power to hit the wood. This product is a bit different than others when it comes to the weight. It is 36” as is typical but it comes with a 4 lb maul head. However, the weight distribution is great and the super sharp edge makes this less of a problem than it would be on many mauls. In addition, it has a shock absorbing handle that helps prevent any overstriking.

This maul is available at a great price. That includes a sheath for storage and protection. It also features a great lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about what happens if something does break or function improperly. If you are looking for a maul that is a bit lighter than the typical ones, but with the average reach, this Fiskars X27 is the tool for you. The price is right, the options are right, and there are very few negative comments about the ax.

Pros:

  • Handle is lightweight but strong
  • Ideal for medium to large sized logs
  • Extra power from advanced bevel convex blade
  • Includes sheath for storage
  • Great price for what you get

Cons:

  • Lower weight means less impact power

Fiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″

31Gd0KaysmL._SL250_The third maul on our list of 5 best splitting mauls is another offering by Fiskar. It features a lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about problems now or in the future. Fiskars seems to be a great maker of these mauls and this one is a winner.

As far as the specifications of this maul, they are more average than the one above. This Fiskar has an eight-pound maul head and has a 36-inch handle on it. What makes this maul even better is the handle. It is made of a patented technology called IsoCore Shock Control System and you can guess what it does from the name. It is going to make shocks and vibrations much less intense, which makes chopping wood so much easier than a typical splitter. In addition, Fiskars features blade geometry optimized for this sort of work. This provides power and penetration that is much more intense than is typical. If you need more reason to check it out, take a look at the riveted head. This technique makes sure the head will never slide down or snap off of the handle.

Pros:

  • Blade geometry offers great penetration
  • Insulation sleeve holds initial shock
  • Riveted head won’t snap off or slide down
  • IsoCore Shock Control System takes away shock and vibration

Cons:

  • Not everyone is a fan of the grip material

HUSQVARNA Splitting Maul

21lsA-zGiFL._SL250_This next splitting maul is from Husqvarna and is their most heavy and powerful ax available. This maul looks more traditional with a wooden handle but is not entirely average. Rather than implementing an eight-pound maul head, this one has a six-pound head. It is also slightly shorter than usual as it comes in at 32”. If you’re looking for something a little more manageable for someone smaller or new to splitting wood, this could be a dream. It’s a very sturdy and useful maul without being too heavy or awkward for shorter splitters.

The maul comes with a warranty just like the others. The only difference is that the warranty on this product is only 90 days, rather than the year most of them offer. That said, you do get a leather sheath with this one for no extra cost, which is always a good thing. Free accessories are the best bargain of all.

Pros:

  • Made for splitting biggest logs and wood chunks
  • Can be used as sledge or with splitting wedge
  • Includes leather edge cover

Cons:

  • May not be as useful against hard wood types
  • Short warranty period

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

21I0DVgBZ8L._SL250_The Gransfors Bruks maul is our priciest option on the list and is a definite contender in the top 5 splitting mauls available. It comes with a 32-inch handle, just like the former maul, and comes with the same six-pound head. This is great for smaller individuals or those new to the practice of splitting wood. The handle is wooden and of a hickory, making it the perfect choice if you prefer wooden handles. The blade is ground to a concave blade making it thinner than a lot of splitting mauls on the market. There is also a steel collar to give a great grip. This maul is the heaviest sold by Gransfors Bruks, who are a well-known company.

While this maul is a bit more expensive than others, there’s a good reason for it. Gransfors is known for very quality axs and make a product that will be worth the money. You do receive a sheath with the maul and it comes with a 20-year warranty. This isn’t as epic as the lifetime warranties of some but it certainly speaks toward a quality piece of equipment. When you add all of these things together you get a great splitting maul that will last you many years into the future.

Pros:

  • Concave thin blade
  • Great for wedge striking
  • Leather sheath included

Cons:

  • Medium weight head

There you have it, The 5 Best Splitting Mauls available. You are now equipped to make an educated purchase.

5 Best Camping Hammocks

Best Camping Hammocks

Camping hammocks have seen a surge in popularity recently as more people realize the many advantages of using one!  They are easy to set up, lightweight, comfortable, and don’t disrupt the natural environment as much as a tent does.  They are also great value-for-money, which is fantastic if you want to go camping on a tight budget.

This article will detail some of the advantages of using a camping hammock before sharing the 5 best camping hammocks on the market!

The advantages of using a camping hammock

There are many advantages associated with using a camping hammock instead of a tent, including:

They are more comfortable

In most cases, sleeping in a camping hammock is much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.  You will be sleeping on a cushioned and flexible surface that evenly distributes your body weight.  It is much more comfortable than sleeping on a rock or compacted soil surface.  You will obtain a much better night’s sleep which will help you recover for the next day’s outdoor activities.

You can set up camp almost anywhere

Finding a great spot to pitch your tent can be quite difficult in some areas, particularly if the ground is uneven or covered with debris.  You only need a couple of trees to set up a camping hammock, which makes finding the ideal campsite much simpler.

It also means that you can set up your camp away from crowded camp sites where people pitch their tents — giving you a sense of solitude and peace.

You are truly in the great outdoors

When you sleep in a camping hammock you can see the stars and are immersed in the natural environment.  You can really soak in the natural beauty surrounding you instead of being cooped up in a tent.

Modern camping hammocks are packed with features

Camping hammocks now have an incredible variety of features including rain shields, heat reflectors, mosquito nets and pockets for holding items you need to get to in a hurry.

Less creepy crawlies to deal with!

There is less risk of being overwhelmed by ants, spiders, snakes and other creepy crawlies if you are off the ground.  This makes camping hammocks ideal for people who love camping but hate the idea of bugs wandering into the tent!

Protection against groundwater

If it begins to rain heavily, water runoff can come into your tent, leaving you soaked!  A hammock does not have this problem because you are off the ground.  

Simple and fast to setup

You can set up a camping hammock much faster than a tent.  Because setting up a camping hammock is a simple, you can spend more time exploring the wilderness before you think about setting up for the night.  The speed with which you set it up means that you can quickly build your shelter in a few minutes if the weather suddenly changes.  Because camping hammocks are so simple to set up, it can be performed in low-light situations — which can be difficult if you are using a tent.

You can camp near water

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a good site for a tent which is near a water source.  Using a hammock makes it much simpler and you can be close to the perfect swimming spot or source of drinking water.

Minimal disruption to the natural environment

Moving rocks, plants and sticks to pitch a tent can disrupt the natural environment.  While it doesn’t seem like much of a disruption, if thousands of people pitch tents in an area each year, it can gradually cause damage.  Because a camping hammock is suspended over the ground, there is much less disruption to the natural environment. 

The 5 Best Camping Hammocks

These camping hammocks are all well-made, great-value-for-money and packed full of features!

Hennessy Hammock – Expedition Series

This hammock truly delivers on utility with a strong feature set well-suited for avid campers and the casual crowd alike.

The Hennessy hammock boasts of two separate entrances – one with a zipper on the side and another on the bottom comprised of automatic snaps and Velcro. These entrances allow you to jump in from a comfortable angle quickly enough to keep out pests probing for an entrance of their own.

Above your head, a super-fine mesh protects you from all manner of tiny midnight marauders, while a double-layered bottom holds your body heat in place for warmer nights on the trail.

Special webbing straps make this hammock safe to use on tender trees without damaging their bark, and a rain-fly provides protection from wet weather.

A nifty mesh gear pocket is positioned overhead inside this hammock as well to hold your gloves and additional gear safely.

Lightweight construction allows this hammock to be transported easily over long hiking distances and a minimal packed size keeps it from feeling cumbersome to tote around.

Pros: 

  • Side zipper entry
  • Bottom entry
  • Durable and comfortable design
  • Rain-fly, straps and mosquito mesh included

Cons: 

  • Not well-suited for people over 6-feet tall

Wildhorn Outpost Camping Hammock

51E8hj0jClL._SL250_Wildhorn Outfitters make great camping hammocks that offer excellent value-for-money and are well-made.   This hammock is designed to be set up very quickly and will not damage the trees that it is attached to.  The Wildhorn Outpost comes with everything you need to set the hammock up in 5 minutes including the simple-to-use “Litespeed” hanging kit.  This system allows the user to quickly change the hanging angle of the hammock to make it more comfortable and make it sit well between trees of different heights.

This is a very durable hammock, featuring durable polyester tree straps, cold rolled steel buckles, and aluminum carabiners.  It also uses Amsteel synthetic fiber rope, which is very light while remaining incredibly strong.  The 100% reinforced polyester tree straps are rated at 2000 pounds.

This is a lightweight hammock designed for a single person.  Wildhorn Outfitters also offer the Outpost II, which is designed for two people.

Pros: 

  • Durable and comfortable
  • Excellent value-for-money
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Wide range of great colors!

Cons: 

  • Not suitable for all climates
  • Could have more storage

Legit Camping – Double Hammock

51wH+8+DJyL._SL250_This Legit Camping double hammock is one of the highest-rated products on the market!  It has an excellent build quality, some great functionality and a very stylish appearance.  The hammock comes with a sack which contains all components, making it easy to set up and pack away.

This double hammock comes with everything that is required for a quick setup.  Unlike some other camping hammocks, there is no need to buy additional ropes or hanging systems.

Legit Camping understands the rigors of the outdoors and have designed this hammock using weather-resistant and rip-resistant materials.  It will serve you well in all weather environments including those extremely windy or rainy days.  The military-grade 210T nylon fabric that makes up most of the hammock is also quite comfortable.  It uses nylon straps that can wrap around many types of trees.  This hammock also comes with steel carabiners.

Pros: 

  • Built to handy all kinds of weather
  • Very Durable and comfortable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Wide range of great colors!
  • Volume discounts (buy five, get two for free)

Cons: 

  • Could have more storage

TNH Outdoors Premium Camping Hammock

51lX8X0WXVL._SX425_TNH Outdoors make some fantastic camping products that are well-made and great value-for-money.  This premium camping hammock is no exception!  It is a parachute style camping hammock that is quick deep, shielding the occupant from cross-winds.

It is made from tough materials that can accommodate up to 400 pounds of weight.  It comes with an Easy-Squeeze carabiner set to help you set up camp very quickly.  The tree straps are triple stitched daisy chain straps that are extremely secure without harming the trees they are attached to.  This hammock also comes with a lifetime guarantee!

Pros: 

  • Very deep and comfortable hammock
  • Massive tree straps that are easy to setup
  • Lifetime warranty!
  • Comes with everything you need

Cons: 

  • None, this is a great hammock!

Kammok Roo Hammock

717Kium68AL._SL1500_This is a premium camping hammock that is lightweight and very portable.  It is ideal for any adventurers who are heading into remote locations or over tricky terrain.   The Kamok Roo Hammock uses 2 climbing-rated carabiners and 2 Dyneema slings for suspension.  It is simple to setup, allowing you to make camp in as little as a few minutes.

It features Kammok’s proprietary Lunar Wave rip stop nylon fabric.  They claim it is lighter and stronger than the parachute fabrics used by other hammock manufacturers.  This material is also UV resistant, mildew resistant and breathable.  This hammock has a max capacity of 500 pounds and includes a lifetime warranty!

Pros: 

  • A very well-made premium hammock
  • Very high-quality proprietary material
  • Lifetime warranty!

Cons: 

  • None, this is a great hammock!

There you have it, The 5 Best Camping Hammocks on the market. Check out some of ourcampfire games to help make your camping experience a memorable one.

How to Host a Murder Mystery Party Just in Time for Halloween

Are you ready to learn how to host a murder mystery party? Everyone loves to dig into a fun whodunnit type of story. There’s something incredibly exciting about seeing a problem, digging up clues, and putting the pieces together to solve the case. Whether we indulge in these sorts of mysteries by watching movies, reading books, listening to podcasts, or even hearing about the adventures in other people’s lives, there’s one place everyone can take a crack at it:

A murder mystery party.

These get-togethers can be an excellent party for any group of people, be it coworkers, family, a club, or even people who enjoy roleplaying. After all, what’s not to love about getting to put on your acting hat, pretending to be someone else for an evening, and getting to star in your detective role? Similarly, what could be a better choice for the Halloween season?

If that sounds like an excellent idea to you, there’s no better time to get started on the planning than now. But where do you learn how to host a murder mystery party? By reading our guide below!

Decide on Your Guests

escp europe london campus' halloween party

Image via flickr

While we’re talking about how to host a murder mystery party, we can’t forget about the guests. You can’t have a murder mystery party without any guests! Ideally, your invitation pool will include people who like to roleplay a little or don’t mind putting themselves out there to interact with others.

The guests you invite will decide several things, such as the tone of the party (friends vs. coworkers vs. family), the space you need, and how many players your game can accommodate. Like other parties, your guest list can also determine when you should schedule it for, so you can optimize your players.

Pick a Theme!

lights! camera! murder

Image via flickr

While the idea of a murder mystery party may bring to mind specific images (dinner theater anyone?), you can actually enjoy a variety of different themes. From classic murder mysteries to fantasy settings to sci-fi to the Old West, you have no shortage of choices. Your guest list will come in handy here, as you can pick a theme that your guests will enjoy playing.

At this stage, it’s also helpful to determine if you want your party to be dinner based or just a free for all in the evening. This decision will determine your layout later on, and it’s an essential part of how to host a murder mystery party.

If you’re uncertain about what themes you can go with, never fear! You can find numerous companies that sell murder mystery kits across different genres—which brings us into our next step!

Choose Your Story

murder mystery party

Image via flickr

We’ve mentioned murder mystery kits just above, so let’s talk a little bit more about them here. These kits essentially have everything you need to tell your story. They include the premise, character information, the identity of the murderer, possible scenes to help pace the party, and the clues your guests will need to solve the case.

Alternatively, you can take a crack at writing the story yourself! Building a concept from scratch can be a bit of a challenge. You’ll need to ensure there are enough clues to figure out who the culprit is without making it glaringly obvious and ending the game early.

There’s no one right way to choose your story. Kits are perfect for people who want time to plan the other aspects while writing the game on your own can be a fun and creative outlet. Plus it lets you customize the story for your guests!

Assigning Characters

murder mystery theme

Image via flickr

Once you have your story and your guest list settled, you’ll want to think about casting the “roles” of the mystery. There are plenty of ways you can go about this, such as:

  • Picking out characters that match the personalities of your guests, so it’s easy for them to play their role
  • Giving your guests characters with opposing personalities to challenge them
  • Letting your guests pick out the characters they’re interested in playing

While you can finalize the cast list close to the party date, stay aware that this is a task you’ll need to do to make your party successful!

Choosing a Location

murder mystery gang

Image via flickr

You can’t have a party without a venue. When selecting your location, think about how many players you’ll have, if you need extra space for food, and what your party budget can afford to rent out if necessary.

Even with small guest counts, people should have enough room to confer in private discussions without revealing their hand to everyone in the room. Locations that match the theme of the party can also add to the atmosphere!

So long as you plan it right, any location can host a murder mystery. It could be your home, outdoors, or a recreation hall—though you might earn bonus points if you can rent a haunted mansion for the evening.

Planning Decorations

decorations

Image via flickr

Even if your location doesn’t match up entirely with your theme, there’s no reason to fret! Some decorations and a bit of imagination can go a long way when the game is afoot. Some considerations to make when planning your decorations are:

  • Your budget
  • The theme of your party
  • What you’re allowed to do if you’re renting a place
  • How much time you’ll need to set up/tear down before and after the party
  • Any props or clues needed for the mystery

If you plan to have tables, several smaller ones are better than one large one to provide your guests with some places to have private conversations while in character.

Planning the Menu

cake on table

Image via flickr

Are you planning on serving dinner at your party? How about snacks or drinks? Murder mysteries can take several hours depending on the players, so some refreshments are usually excellent to have around. Having designated areas for food will give your guests a chance to encounter each other while in character as well!

If you have a kit which has a story focused around different phases where new clues enter the game, you can split up your food in courses, such as cocktail hour, dinner, dessert, etc. Keeping track of your guest list and RSVPs will ensure you have enough food prepared for everyone.

Sending Invitations

invitations

Image via flickr

No murder mystery party would be complete without invitations! As with any other party invite, you’ll need to have the essentials on it: the date, time, and location, as well as a way to RSVP and other essential details.

The invitation is the prime place to note if you’ll have a dress code for the party. People can have a lot of fun if they dress in character, but, for other groups, it can be a lot of pressure. Pick what’s best for your guests, and dressing up can be a lot of fun if you host your murder mystery around Halloween!

Make Name Tags

four markers on table

Image via Unsplash

Acting in character is some of the enjoyment of murder mysteries, but it’s not always easy to remember all the character names—especially if you have a lot of guests. Name tags are essential for your guests to have. So you should prepare them in advance. The style you decide to go with can complement your party, or it can just be convenient to make.

Plan Your Timetable

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook

Image via pexels

Having a structure for the evening will help the game move forward. If your party is going to be in a rented area or paired along with mealtimes, having a schedule is essential. For murder mystery kits that have mealtimes in mind, there is usually a recommendation of when to introduce new clues, break for eating, and bring in new elements of the game.

At the end of the evening, it’s always fun to have a time where everyone explains what happened during the game from their perspective. Plenty of events can occur while guests are busy doing other things, so this “wrap up” at the end is a recommended part of your timetable!

Laying Out the Rules

As the party approaches, you’ll also want to lay out the rules so all your guests can learn them. Your guides can include many different aspects. But some important ones to consider are:

  • How players can win
  • If there is any dress code
  • “Combat” systems (for games that have them)
  • Who are hosts that can help with game questions
  • What areas are off limits (especially if you are renting a location)

To ensure you can run the game properly, you should also use the time when planning the rules to review the game scenario, understand everyone’s characters, and know who the murder is.

Prepare to Host

grayscale and depth of field photography of clown

Image via Unsplash

Once you have all the preparation work done, you should get yourself ready to be a host. (If you find yourself interested in playing, you might want to see if someone will feel interested in hosting for you!) When guests arrive, you should be there to pass out nametags, acquaint guests with each other, and explain the rules once everyone comes.

As the game goes on, your role as the host will be to check on players, serve food if you have it, and introduce the new phases of the game as they happen. Don’t be afraid to review your timetable and bring everyone together as you need to move the game along. From there, your job is to have fun with everyone else!

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve made it to the end of our guide, you now know how to host a murder mystery party! The earlier you start planning, the better, so don’t be afraid to get started!