I grew up in the "Cowboy State" of Wyoming, and my cousins are all professional rodeo stars, so evey year I attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, just to see how many bones they have broken this year.
And every year the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show (at the Venician Hotel) keeps on growing, and I always stumble across new and unique ranch gear, usually made of leather. This year canvas caught my interest with David Ellis' Canvas Products, a complete line of range tents, and really wonderful bedrolls. I don't know how many times I have slept out under the stars on the hard ground, but with Dave's cool canvas bedrolls, it will be a whole lot more comfortable next time. I like his slogan as well: "Providing Nomadic Housing for the American Cowboy". Here are just some of Dave and Kelly's outdoor products that you need to add into your next Cowboy Christmas list.
CANVAS TENTS are more comfortable than synthetic tents because they breathe. Yes they weigh more so don’t think you are going to back pack them. But if you want to set up a campsite that will show off an attitude start with a canvas tent. Dave calls it a COWBOY CAMP. Check the website at www.cowboycamp.net
The Range Tent (the cowboy tipi) is a historical tent that can be seen in many accounts of car camping or ranch camping. When ever there is a chuck wagon involved there is usually a Range Tent close by. It is held up with one interior pole. Dave suspends the tent from the outside using an A-frame, this way the interior will be free from a pole support. Four stakes hold it to the ground and set up is a snap. If these stakes stay in the ground the wind can’t blow it down. In fact Artic expeditions always use this tent for this reason.
Dave's Range Tent, with its nylon loop sewn into the peak, can be suspended from a tree limb to avoid packing poles. It’s made of 10.38 ounces of Sunforger Army Duck, with a vinyl coated polyester duck (calliope) sewn-in floor. “The Army Duck is a tightly woven double fill cotton canvas, and Sunforger is a marine treatment for water and mildew resistance," says Dave.
The advanced feature designed into the Range Tent is the way the canvas is cut, creating a para-wing design where it is connected to the floor. This upward arc keeps the canvas from touching the wet ground and eliminates the need for center staking. The seam here is double sewn, not simply bound, and this allows water to flow over, not into the seam.
387 County Road 234
Durango, CO 81301
Dave makes three sizes: 8’ square & 7’ tall; 10’ square & 8’ tall; and 12’ square & 9’ tall. The 10’ range tent is the most common and economical.
With D-rings attached on three walls, you can increase the inside space by pulling out the walls. The door is zippered shut with a #10 nylon coil zipper that is concealed with a 2.5” weather flap. Snap hooks are sewn into the inside to hang a lantern. This tent looks really cool lit up at night.
Range Tent Awning
Get the Range Tent Awning add-on. The awning makes it so you can have the door open while it is raining. The top of the add-on awning scoops over the top of the Range Tent exposing the nylon loop. At the bottom, bungee loops secure the awning to the front tent stakes. There is a 5’ pole that lifts the awning over the door of the tent and is guyed out to the front.
Bedrolls are the cowboy suitcase. When “Buckwheat” gathered up his worldly possessions and tied them to a stick in a canvas table cloth, he was conceptualizing a cowboy bedroll. If there ever was a useful tool in the wilderness it would be a sheet of canvas. The military’s version focuses more on sleeping and less on tarping, unless we're talking about tarping while sleeping through a rain storm.
Cavalry Bedroll (standard or zippered) This is a redesign of a military issue bedroll from the 1930s. It measures 34” wide X 7’ long X 9” thick, and has a 4’ head flap. It is made from 12.63 oounce Army Duck. This tightly woven, double fill canvas is treated with “Sunforger” which makes it water repellent. There is an envelope sewn into the sleeping area where a foam pad is concealed. This defines a central area were you can put a sleeping bag or just use a blanket for warmth. Dave has two models of Cavalry Bedroll, and they are by far his most popular bedrolls. Click photo to order.
The Standard Cavalry Bedroll This bedroll has two canvas flaps that fold in opposite directions over the sleeping area. D-rings and grommets are lined to the edge of each flap. The flaps are laced, which allows you to draw them over your body with one pull of the cord. This design, with the fore foot head flap allows you to really bunker down and sleep through a rain storm without getting wet.
The Zippered Cavalry Bedroll This bedroll is just like the Standard Cavalry Bedroll except that there is a single top flap with #10 zippers on each side. This makes it easier to get in and out.
The sleeping bag that Dave has selected is made by Nebo Sports and is rated for +10 degrees. It is square at the bottom but the top has draw strings so in very cold weather you can draw the bag around your face and shoulders. These sleeping bags are the right size to complement the bedroll. The local outfitters have field tested this bag for Dave and he has received exceptional feedback.
The Double Bedroll
Nebo also makes a 60”sleeping bag, and Dave has a double bedroll with pad to fit it. It is made just like the zippered cavalry bedroll. There is a velcro closure on the head flap so that the bedroll can be laid open inside a horse trailer or bunkhouse without worry of the bedding getting dirty. Rolling up this bedroll can get tricky and you will need two people, or four hands for the job.
Raffia Lifeguard & River Hats
Who have the coolest hats at the beach? The lifeguards!
Now you can get a genuine Raffia Lifeguard Hat that keeps cool in the hot sun. The straw (raffia) hat has a nylon strap band that is adjustable and a woven nylon strap inside the hat keeps the head comfortable. Get the Wedge or the Fossil or the Rush. And the prices are right. Click the photos at left for instant purchase.
If you are pushing deep into the jungle, you will need a Mosquite Head Net for your hat. Protect yourself from insect-borne diseases. Drop one of these head nets over your own hat or cap, snug up the adjustable neck cord, and enjoy complete protection when the bugs are buzzing really thick around your face. Spray with permethrin for extra effectiveness. One size fits over virtually all hats. Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net
Keep disease-carrying insects away from your skin with the Bug Jacket. When the bugs are buzzing nothing beats the protection of insect-protective clothing. Made of fine, cool, flame-retardant no-see-um poly mesh, this comfortable jacket fits easily over clothing, and has a roomy cut for maximum coverage. The waist and cuffs have an elasticized drawstring, and a zipper at the neck gives you access to your face. Available in unisex sizes by weight: S (up to 160 lb), Medium (161 to 200 lb), Large (201 to 240 lb), or X-Large (241 to 300 lb).
Who knows more about beating bug attacks in the bush than National Geographic? If you are on a safari, or even in the backyard, you can beat the pests with a men's or women's 100% Buzz Off cotton canvas shirt-jacket that repels bugs away with its odorless insect shield. Ex Officio BUZZ OFF Baja Long Sleeve - Women's
KONA COFFEE AFTER SUN LOTION
And after a day out in the hot summer beach sun try the Kona Coffee After Sun Lotion (click lotion bottle). It is an exotic and aromatic blend of natural acids in coffee that helps soften the skin and revitalize circulation. Coffee and EGCG help neutralize free radical damage due to sun over-exposure. Tropical emollients hydrate and nourish the skin for a healthy, radiant glow. Hey, and if that doesn't work, mix it with water for a cup of hot joe!
Then to make the beach shack smell like the tropics use this deliciously scented essential Vanilla Fragrance Oil, transforming the mood in your home to a happy and relaxing one. Indulge yourself with it. You deserve it. This is fragrance oil, not essential oil. Price: $2.99 a bottle (click bottle at right).
And for sun damaged hair, try Vanilla Bean Shampoo, containing nutrients to gently cleanse the hair leaving it silky and manageable. Normal to dry. Holistic Dermatologist recommended. This formula is a leap forward in shampoo functionality. Its cleansing agent is mild, for a thorough wash that will not strip the hair. Feel the difference, it leaves hair silky and manageable. Key ingredient benefits: Organic sunflower oil provides a protective barrier, glycerine binds water plumping and smoothing panthenol adds luster, and a smoother feel, organic herbal extracts and protein coat the hair creating body. Its PH is 5.5 for superior shine. Pure and natural. No animal testing (click bottle).
Inspired by the lushness of distant islands, the Tropical Mango Lotion is a tantalizing essence of fresh fruit entwined with precious herbs and flowers. Intoxicate and quench your senses with the lightness and warmth of this luscious blend. These highly acclaimed lotions are formulated with an unique complex of vitamins, botanical extracts, rich natural oils, and pure essential oils to restore and maintain the skin's moisture balance and softness while providing protection (click bottle).
There are two types of Citronella: the Java type and the Ceylon type. The best is the Ceylon type. While the grass that produces the Java oil is grown in many parts of the tropical world, the Ceylon type is cultivated in Sri Lanka. The oils produced from the two types of grasses vary somewhat in composition, aroma, and flavor. The odor of Ceylon citronella is fresh, grassy and warm-woody. It is preferred for scenting outdoor sprays, room sprays and household products. Java oil has a sweeter, more floral aroma, which is preferred in perfumery. Aromatherapy benefits: purifying, vitalizing. Essential, absolute and resin oils are volatile, fragrant materials extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf, or flower of a single plant. The plants used to produce these oils are grown on certified organic fields and are third-party certified by Quality Assurance International; no synthetic chemicals are used in growing or processing them. Steam distillation and cold pressing are used to extract the essential oil from the plant. Essential oils and absolutes are very potent and should always be used sparingly and in conjunction with a reliable reference. Essential oils contain the odor, taste, and medicinal properties of the plant itself, but in very concentrated form, with no base oil, alcohol, water, or dilutants added (click bottle).
Think Like the Boy Scouts, Be Prepared
Everyone has had this situation around the beach shack: The lights go out; you either have a flashlight but can't find the tools readily handy, or you have the tools but can't find a torch or lantern because that hurricane is blowing so hard. Now with the wonderful Tool Box Lantern you won't have to worry. The phony actors on "Survivor" should be so lucky. The Tool Box Lantern is a powerful lantern with tool kit and blinking emergency light. The lantern features a super bright spotlight, twin blinking lights, twin warning reflectors, and auto cigarette lighter power adapter (included). It operates on 4 "C" cell Ni-Cad or regular "C" cell batteries (not included). The 13 piece tool set includes 8 ounce drop forged claw hammer, 6" drop forged adjustable wrench, 6" drop forged slip joint pliers, 8 piece hex key, and 2 screwdrivers (slotted and phillips). Think like the Boy Scouts, "Be Prepared", and click the photo to order.
Feature by Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine. Opening photo of the Futaleufú River, Chile, by Jetsetters Magazine photographer, Robert LaGrone.