Some of our favorite gadgets are outdoor accessories, equipment we use around our homestead. Included in this category are Sky Chairs, a professional-grade Weather Station, Swamp Coolers and "Skeeter Beaters".
We will be adding to this short list as we come across new goodies, and as always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions for other gadgets to be included. Simply Contact Us.
Interested in building a bird feeding station? Don't miss Best Bird Feeder.
These hanging canvas chairs have always been a huge hit with guests to our homestead. We call them Sky Chairs. They are so relaxing and comfortable, you'll find it hard to get up.
Davis Vantage Pro 2
I love my Davis Weather Station and refer to it daily. If you are like me and just "have to know", you'll enjoy having one of these too. It is versatile, customizable and capable of linking to the internet for uploading of your own data to local weather sites, if desired.
The system includes outdoor monitors (anemometer and weather vane for wind speed and direction; thermometer and hygrometer for temp and humidity and a rain gauge). All outdoor devices are engineered to withstand severe weather extremes.
The inside console provides interior temp/humidity as well as readouts of all the outside data, updated every 2.5 seconds.
Exterior station communicates with interior console via cabled or wireless systems, your choice.
One of the oldest and simplest forms of air conditioning is "evaporative cooling". Sometimes called swamp coolers, modern evaporative coolers are relatively inexpensive and quite efficient in some situations.
When hot, dry air passes over water, or through moist porous substances, (like wet cloth or filter pads), the air cools off, up to 30°F cooler. An added benefit of the process is that moisture is added to the dry, arid environment.
The key word here is DRY air. In the U.S., swamp coolers work well and are heavily used in the arid (desert-like) southwest. They don't work quite that well in the humid southeast, where we live.
But we use them to good effect anyway. The hotter it gets as the day wears on, the more cooling effect you will see from the swamp cooler, even in humid weather.
We have 2 swamp coolers, and they really make a difference. We use the Mobile Master in our pavilion (cook shack) and a larger Symphony brand cooler in the workshop/barn.
You may use a swamp cooler on your patio or deck, or in your garage or workshop. If working on a project, simply roll the unit nearby and aim the vents towards you. Cool!
Mobile Master Cool MMBT12
Features of the Mobile Master Portable Evaporative Cooler:
Symphony 1,800 CFM Premium Evaporative Cooler
I know some areas of the country are more prone to mosquito infestation than others, but here in the southeast U.S., they are legendary! It is important to control mosquitoes on your homestead (or at least keep them from biting) for two reasons:
We have tried all sorts of potions and gadgets to get rid of or repel them. We have come up with three of our favorite gadgets for mosquito control, none of which involve smearing bitter, oily crap on your skin.
#1- For large areas (up to one acre): Patriot Plus Mosquito Magnet
#2- For small area (15'x15'): Skeeter Reliever Lantern
#3- Portable unit you wear as you move around: Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller
Mosquito Magnet MM4200B Patriot Plus Mosquito Trap
We got an email from our friends the other day:
"I BOUGHT A MOSQUITO MAGNET YESTERDAY----CALLED THE PATRIOT PLUS---THEY SAID IT WOULD TAKE A FEW DAYS FOR US TO SEE A LOT LESS MOSQUITOS---TURNED IT ON AND THE RESULTS WERE ALMOST INSTANT---THIS MORNING THE COLLECTING BOX HAS ALOT OF MOSQUITOS IN IT---ME AND TONIE SAT ON THE PORCH LAST NIGHT AND THIS MORNING AND NOT BEING BOTHERED BY MOSQUITOS OR NO SEE-UMS---I'M GOING TO GIVE IT A WEEK AND IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED E-MAIL ME BACK AND I WILL TELL YOU WHAT I THINK OF IT---SO FAR IT'S THE BEST [XXX] DOLLARS I HAVE SPENT IN A LONG TIME----YOU CAN GET THEM ONLINE."
(They later told us the results are consistent and way less mosquitoes on their back porch.)
The Patriot Plus Mosquito Magnet works by attracting mosquitoes to it, then trapping them in a net, where they quickly die of dehydration. The attractant it uses is a combination of carbon dioxide, heat and moisture (which mimics the way humans attract skeeters), as well as other scents specialized for different regions of the U.S.
Features of the Mosquito Magnet:
Thermacell Skeeter Reliever Lantern
This device, unlike the Mosquito Magnet above, works by REPELLING mosquitoes. Use it to keep a small area skeeter free as you work or play there.
Skeeter Reliever features:
Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller
This device also works by repelling mosquitoes. It is meant to be carried on your person, and so is good when you are moving around as you work.
Thermacell Repeller features:
What's a homestead without a bird-feeding station?
Feed all those colorful songbirds and lure tiny hummingbirds to your backyard show. Do it right the first time with our report: Best Bird Feeder
Got wood? Make short work of that pile of firewood with our favorite wood splitters.