Whether you’re a truck owner, or simply someone driving a posh convertible vehicle, I assume you’re aware of tonneau covers and the amount of protection they offer to you and your luggage. During manufacture, these covers are treated to repel water and other contaminants. However, following extreme exposure to the elements, tonneau covers are likely to wear out. Due to this reason, regular maintenance is required to prolong their function and usage. So, to restore the amazing deep color and shine that’s accustomed to these covers, this short guide will discuss how to clean a tonneau cover without ruining its integrity.
Just like bed liners, chrome exhaust tips, and premium tires, tonneau covers too are aftermarket automotive accessories that enhance the integrity of your truck or convertible auto. Therefore, to maintain their natural shine, these accessories need to be cleaned and conditioned more regularly to remove dirt, debris, grime, and mold. So, whether it’s an A-Series, an E-Series, or an M-Series Rock-N-Lock tonneau cover, this article will discuss how to clean these covers faster and smoother.
Before you commence the cleaning process, it’s always recommended that you take some time to do a quick visual inspection of the tonneau cover. Check for any scratches, tears, and cases of wear. Inspect the mounting hardware, the bolts, and the clamps to ensure they’re secured in place. Check the side rails as well to ensure they can easily open and close.
If your truck is fitted with the Hard Tri-Fold cover, taking some time to inspect the hinges is necessary. You see, the reason why it’s necessary to inspect the tonneau cover is to guarantee there are no cases of corrosion or possible wear. Since you’ll be cleaning the cover using water and cleaning agents, these two can exacerbate wear leading to even greater damage in the long last.
Step One: Laying Down the Requirements
Several microfiber towels
Car washing solution
Water (avoid hot water)
Scrub brush with soft bristles
Microfiber applicator pads
Fire hose nozzle
Finally, the manual. This is what will guide you throughout the cleaning process. Always read the manual carefully as some of them might be more detailed depending on the specific model of your truck’s tonneau cover.
Step Two: Park your Truck Under a Shade
Just as the English man once said, “There are many ways to kill a rat”. The same principle applies here. While some people may prefer to remove the tonneau cover to clean it, others, especially in a car wash, may opt to clean the cover while it’s on the truck. All in all, you will first need to pack your truck/pick up in a shady area. This can be under a tree or in the garage just to ensure the cover is out of direct contact with sunlight.
Step Three: Spray the Cover With Water
After deciding whether to remove the cover or leave it on your truck, the next step is to spray it with water using the fire hose to remove dust and debris that have accumulated over time. Additionally, spraying the cover with water will help to increase the effectiveness of the cleaners once you start the actual cleaning.
Step Four: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution and Get Started
Preparing your cleaning solution is quite easy. All you need is a ½ cup of the car washing solution which you’ll mix with lukewarm water inside a bucket. Now, whether your tonneau cover is made of hard or soft material, it’s highly recommended that you use gentle car shampoo. Using strong cleaning agents such as detergents, solvents, and bleaches will only corrode your cover causing it to fade.
For those covers made of vinyl, you should consider using specialized cleaners that are only intended for vinyl tonneau covers. Now that you’re ready, start by applying the cleaning solution on the cover then use a light bristled scrub brush, to scrub the cover.
For effective results, it’s always wise to start from the center moving outwards towards the edges. Make sure the motion is gentle without applying excessive force to avoid damaging or scuffing your delicate tonneau cover. In case of tough stains, simply allow the soapy cleaning solution to soak the area for about 5 minutes then try scrubbing the stains again.
Step Five: Rinse the Cover Thoroughly
So, once you’re done cleaning, the next step is to rinse the cover thoroughly using the fire hose. The best thing about a fire hose is that you can easily adjust the water pressure from a powerful spray to a gentle mist. Here, you need to apply a powerful spray to rinse the cover entirely without leaving any soapy solution on the surface.
Once you’re done, you will either hang the cover to dry up (in case you decided to remove it) or simply use a microfiber cloth to dry up the excess water. In case you opted to clean the tonneau cover while on the truck/pick up, then you’ll need to use several microfiber cloths to dry up the cover entirely.
Step Six: Time to Apply the Protectant
Before you apply the protectant, you’ll first need to leave your truck for some time to give the tonneau cover some time to cool off. Here, you’ll notice that the tonneau cover is quite faded and discolored. So, to restore its natural shine, you’ll need to apply a protectant. Although you can pick any protectant of your choice, some of the leading varieties that have made a name in this business are Maguiar’s M40 and the ExtangTonno Tonic cleaners and conditioners.
To apply, simply spray the protectant on the tonneau cover then wipe it gently using the microfiber cloth. When you’re done applying the protectant, leave the product to soak for about 30 minutes. After that, wipe the surface of the cover gently using a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess conditioner and give the surface a shiny look.
Most of the tonneau covers you’ll find in the market are treated right from the factory to withstand harsh environmental hazards. Although they’re marketed as so, that doesn’t make them entirely immune to damage. Therefore, to prevent them from wearing out quickly, these covers need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.
From the steps above, we have discussed in detail on how you can effectively clean your tonneau cover without ruining its integrity. While most tutorials only cover the cleaning process, we’ve gone beyond that to include a bonus step on how to apply a vinyl protectant.
The success of enjoying a cup of hot coffee, charging your cellphone, and listening/watching your favorite shows is determined by the success of inverting DC current into AC. However, most RVs only come with converters already installed. What this means is that you will need an external source of power such as shore power or a generator to power your RV’s 120V power outlets. Without these two power sources, your RV’s outlets will not operate causing you inconveniences in situations where AC power is needed. So, to avoid these inconveniences, especially in a camping scenario, an RV inverter installation will definitely be an inevitable upgrade.
Although most modern RVs come with factory-installed inverters, there’s always a trade-off here between quality and price. The good news, however, is that there’s a way of utilizing the mechanical energy stored in your RV’s batteries to power your home supplies via the outlets. In this guide, we will discuss exactly how you can successfully install an RV inverter to take advantage of your RV’s battery power.
RV Inverter Installation Guide
But, before you can turn this idea into a reality, you need to understand what an RV inverter really is, how it works, and how to pick the right flavor that will work in your specific RV depending on the appliances available.
So, What’s an RV Inverter and How Does it Work?
Just as we mentioned earlier, your battery’s 12V DC is only designed to power your RV’s low voltage components but not your home appliances. So, to convert this power into AC, you generally need a shore power or a generator. Now, since these two will require you to be close to hookups such as Walmart parking lots, you will need to add an RV inverter into the equation if you’re truly looking to enjoy an excellent time off the grid.
Therefore, an inverter is an excellent option that will help you power your AC outlets for you to use some of your home’s 120V appliances without the need for a generator.
How Do You Pick the Right RV Inverter?
Just like shopping for other pieces of equipment, your RV’s inverter will need to be examined carefully to ensure that what you buy is efficient enough to meet your needs. Now, some of the factors you’ll need to keep in mind here are;
Input and Output Voltage: The first requirement you’ll need to think of is the input and the output voltage. In terms of the input voltage, the type of inverter you choose should match with your RV’s battery power bank. Since batteries offer 12V powering, your RV’s inverter should have the same 12V DC rating. About the output voltage, the inverter you choose should deliver 120V to power most of your appliances.
Energy Efficiency: Although you should look for an inverter that’s powerful enough to supply ample power to run your appliances, you shouldn’t neglect its efficiency. Therefore, you should shop for an inverter that doesn’t put significant strain on your RV’s battery. Remember, you still need some juice on your battery to power the engine when it’s time to roll.
Type of Inverter: Now, depending on your requirements, inverters come in three main types that are the sine wave, the modified sine wave, and the square wave. Since these three types of inverters differ greatly, you should always think of the cost, efficiency, and types of appliances you’re powering before you make your move.
The Size: Other than the efficiency, type, and power input/output, the size of your inverter is something else you can’t afford to neglect. During our RV inverter installation process, the size of the inverter will play a huge role as it will determine where exactly you’re going to mount it. In most cases, a small yet powerful inverter is the best option, as it doesn’t take much space.
So, How Do You Install an RV Inverter?
Now that we’ve cleared the air for you, this section will now focus on how to install an RV inverter. In our discussion, we will be installing a 2000 watts inverter and a power meter. In cases where the inverter will need to connect to the existing load center (where you connect your generator or shore power), an auto transfer switch will be necessary.
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
In this instructable, you will need:
A 2000 watts RV inverter
Four heavy-gauge electrical cables (at least #4 AWG). The cables should be one red and three black.
A pair of wire cutters/strippers
A toolbox with all your hand tools (screwdrivers, utility knife, sockets, screws, tester,etc)
A power meter and a remote switch
Step Two: Clear Some Space
Once everything is in order, you’ll need to clear up some space where the installation will take place. The area you choose should be close to the battery and away from fluids and flammable objects. It should also have enough airflow to keep your inverter cool at all times.
Step Three: Installing the Shunt
So, our first step in the installation procedure will be to install the shunt. The reason why you’ll need to do this first is that you’ll have to install the power meter to see the in-depth power usage of your inverter.
To do this, you’ll first disconnect your negative cable that goes from the battery to the frame ground (the earth wire). Once disconnected, this negative wire will instead go to our working area to connect one side of the shunt. Pick another negative cable, connect it to the other side of the shunt, and back to the frame ground.
Step Four: Installing the Power Meter
The good thing about the power meter is that it comes with a detailed instruction manual that you can refer to during installation. Since the power meter is a low voltage component, using telephone cables will be the best option here. Using a pair of wire strippers, strip the ends of the telephone wires and connect them to the power meter as per the manual.
In most cases, the power meter will require four wires. The first step is to connect all the wires to the power meter as per the instruction manual. The second step is to connect the other ends of two of these wires to the shunt.
From there, connect the other end of the third wire to the negative cable on the shunt then leave the other end of the positive (red) wire. This one will run separately to the cut-off switch wiring where it will connect to the positive terminal. Once you’re done with the wiring, mount the power meter securely on the RV’s frame.
Step Five: Add One More Negative Cable
Now that the power meter is mounted, you’ll need to add one more negative cable to go straight to the inverter. So, the shunt will act as a convergence point for all the negative cables. Here, you’ll have the main negative terminal from the battery, the negative cable to the frame ground, skinny cables that connect to the power meter, and the final negative cable that goes to the inverter.
Step Six: Modify the Cut-Off Switch
Now, the cut-off switch has two original wires—the positive and negative wires from the RV’s battery. So, to modify this, we’ll add a new red cable on the positive side of the cut-off switch to merge with the positive cable coming from the battery. This new positive cable will go straight to the positive terminal of the inverter. Here, you’ll also connect the positive thin cable we left out earlier that goes to the positive terminal of the power meter.
Step Seven: Wire the Inverter and Hook it Up
At this point, you should have the negative (black) cable from the shunt and the positive (red) cable from the cut-off switch next to the inverter. Before you connect the wires to the inverter, you need to mount it first using the available screws and a screwdriver. Once you’re done, connect the wires and everything is all set.
Step Eight: Testing the Meter and the Inverter
Once the installation is complete, the next step is to test whether everything is in perfect order. Here, you’ll need to turn off the shore power to ensure the inverter is the one in charge. You can pick an appliance, let’s say a fan system, and connect it to the inverter. With the power on, the fan should operate while the meter shows the readings of how much power your CPAP and fan system are drawing.
At this point, you’re now free to connect an extension cord (with a plug) from the inverter to various compartments in the RV where power is needed to run your appliances.
Finally, in case you’ll need to switch between the inverter and shore power, a remote or auto-transfer switch will be required. This switch will help to toggle from one power source to another (i.e. from your inverter to external shore power and vice versa) without having to do it manually. Just like the power meter, the auto transfer switch is wired using thin telephone cables, as it’s also a low voltage component.
If you’ve read our guide up to this point, then you’re good to go. As you can see, an RV inverter is an essential component that guarantees you a steady flow of AC current to power your appliances when you’re off the grid while camping. Although it will take a bit of research beforehand, finding the right inverter that will work for you is an absolute must if you’re looking for a flavor that will provide enough current without draining your RV’s battery.
Weeds are a common problem. If you own a garden or manage one, you’ll know that a lot of unwanted plants love to choke the life out of what you’ve planted. For this reason, you spend a lot of time trying to get them out. Not every attempt to do so is as effective though. This is because over time weeds have developed a lot of resistance to different methods to get rid of them. Not anymore. With this article, you’ll learn how to clear a garden full of weeds.
One thing you don’t want is a situation where you kill your plants along with the weeds. Here are points to help you get things right and rid your garden of weeds for good.
There’s a lot to gain from using mulch in your garden. The most important is dealing with the weeds while you also get to keep your soil cool and with enough moisture. This ensures the weeds don’t receive light to keep growing. Also, some mulches like the organic variety attract crickets and carabid (ground) beetles that find pleasure in eating weed seeds.
If you’re going to use mulches, try to keep the weed seeds out and replenish the mulch as often so that it’s around 2 inches. Going above that can choke the soil since enough oxygen won’t go through. A good way to deal with this is by using a newspaper or something similar before spreading the mulch.
Mulches, when used adequately will decompose and provide nutrients to your soil and plants. Further, it’s easy to apply some between the wanted plants in your garden. Just observe a good distance so that insects and rot won’t take over.
Chop of Weed Heads
Weeds often prove difficult to take out or kill. Your best bet? Take off their heads! This is the best option when you have to deal with annual weeds. When you cut off their heads, you gain more time before they come back again. Getting a few weeks of respite from annoying weeds will help you deal better with them next time.
Furthermore, with the heads off, they use up reserves of food and moisture thus stopping them from spreading. Since you can’t spend all day stooped and cutting off their heads, a good tool will come in handy. For this, pruning loppers is an ideal tool particularly of you have tall weeds.
Getting the weed heads off right before they go on to seed is a great way to limit them. When they are all grown, their seeds drop and spread all around. You’ll have more work trying to clear your garden.
Water Only Your Plants
Sounds hard to do right? Well, this is not entirely true, especially when you get the spacing of your plants right. This very act means the weeds don’t receive water which helps their growth and spread. Get a drip or soaker hose under your mulch and water your plants. Of course, the weeds are close by but not close enough to much-needed water. While this stops the spread of weeds and their seeds, there are some deep-rooted weeds like nutsedge. These types of weed will spring up with very little water, whether you drip-irrigate or water plants in isolation.
Remember, weeds only need a little amount of water to get busy competing with your plants. This is why you need accuracy in ensuring only your plants get water.
On the other hand, close plant spacing is good so that newly formed weeds are dealt with. The area between close plants is shaded so that weed seeds don’t get the much-needed air and light. Further, with a scattered garden of plants, not only do you lose shape, you lose good space and allow weeds to choke the life out of your plants.
Pull the Weeds Out
Finally! Something you can comfortably do with your hands. But the catch is; this works better when you don’t have a lot of garden space to cover. Also, there are a couple of tools you can consider using but sometimes, a nice and small garden space is better attended to with your hands. Not so much for a large area. All you have to do is get a hold of them and apply a little force to pull them out. What’s more, some weeds are quite tough. For such, wearing a waterproof glove helps. A seeding pad is also necessary so your work becomes less tedious.
Furthermore, pulling weeds out also gives you the chance to take it out along with the roots. This way, you’re dealing with them on a permanent basis. It takes some technique though, because you’re not cutting off only their heads and part of their stems. For instance, leaving parts of the roots of a dandelion only encourages it to grow again. For such plants, their important roots don’t remain.
Use a Weed Eater
Sometimes the size of a garden is enough to wonder how you’re going to get through it. The large area presents a challenge human effort might find difficult to handle. For this reason, most homeowners prefer to use an electric weed eater. It is a string trimmer equipped with a blade attachment that helps to effectively cut down thistles and other weed types. More so, it packs the necessary power to cover a large weed-infested area in good time.
If you have a bunch of overgrown patches of weed in your garden, a weed eater is what you want. It’s easy to use and helps your lawn too. They’ll have a well-trimmed look that’s pleasing on the eye. Everyone loves a good-looking lawn but with terrible weeds, the only tool you need is a weed eater. There are different types of machines out there whether they are gas-powered, electric or cordless. Whichever you choose, your garden will benefit from the best service.
Weed eaters also help you trim your yard edges. It’s a given that weeds breed faster in such locations. What you can do is use a trimmer to mow them off. This way, they don’t spread. Also, a trimmer makes more sense for your lawn edges since it can easily reach the weeds. More so if you have highly well-grown and annoying weeds placed in odd places.
Dig Weeds Up
This is a classic response to weeds that just won’t die. They are stubborn enough to become dormant and spring up at the slightest opportunity. They also spread seeds around thus encouraging more weeds. This is mostly the case with roots that hardly die.
What you can do? Dig them up! Good tools for such activity include a spade, little shovel or digging fork. With these tools, the roots of weeds don’t stand a chance. Using your hand is another option but roots can remain. A spade will get to those roots and deal with the problem permanently.
The best time to dig weeds out is just after a rainfall or when they are really dry. They’ll be soft enough to pull out all the way from the root up.
Planting Cover Crops
Cover crops are another option you should consider to deal with a garden full of weeds. It’s okay to get a lawn sweeper to give your garden a lovely look. But you’d be surprised to see how effective cover crops are at dealing with weeds. For instance, if you planting crops like wheat, clover or barley discourages the growth of weeds. They will block them from growing when their access to light and air is denied.
If this proves too much to do, let the weeds take up your garden space. Of course, you’re not leaving it that way for long. When they reach a certain level, you’ll have an easy time of it clearing them. This way, you’ll have a fresh space to plant your garden along with any crop you want. To make the process faster, get some sheets of clear plastic to cover the garden space you want to use. Do this during the early parts of spring so that the soil gets warm which also allows weeds to grow faster. With the weeds grown to a certain level or inches above the soil, take them out by pulling or with a spade.
As you pull, ensure you get it out with the roots and stem. Then go ahead to start your garden with the plants you want.
Preserve Your Garden’s Soil
There are a few beliefs most homeowners and gardeners have when it comes to the best practices to keep weeds out. One of which is turning your soil at night. Well, that might work a treat for some but it’s a largely unproven tactic. On the flip side, light, no matter how little, will encourage the growth of weed. So, when you turn your garden soil in the daytime, it gets the exposure to light you don’t want it to have.
If at all you’re going to preserve your soil by turning, do so at night. But one thing you must do is ensure the roots of the weeds get taken out. Without doing so, you’ll be putting your soil and plants at risk.
Furthermore, a lot of people are comfortable working at sundown or deep into the night. This is not a bad idea but hardly helps to prevent weeds from growing. What you can do though, is preserve the natural layers of your soil by leaving it the way it is. This is because turning it will most likely give dormant weed seeds access to air and light. They need very little to spring up again.
These are proven ways to remove weeds over a large area. Whether it’s big garden space, it’s great to note that you don’t have to use harmful chemicals. You can mulch, use a machine like weed eaters, pull them out with your hands or dig them up. This is aside the other ways that offer excellent results to keep your garden safe and rich.
Further, you can get fresh compost and other organic matters to keep weed away. When your soil is healthy and enriched with nutrients, weed seeds don’t stand a chance against your plants. The weeds won’t get the space to thrive,and they won’t appear frequently.
The debate regarding garment steamer vs steam iron is one that has been around for a few decades now. Although ironing clothes is a real chore, choosing between a steamer and a traditional iron is one of the hardest decisions most people have to make.
Now, ironing clothes is one endeavor most people despise. However, since we all want to wear nice, crisp and wrinkle-free garments, learning how to iron our clothes is one basic skill we must acquire whatsoever.
Following the advancement in technology, ironing clothes has been made much easier with these two appliances—a garment steamer and a steam iron. However, choosing the right appliance between the two is where the real problem lies. This is because most people are not fully acquitted with these ironing appliances in terms of their use and design mechanism.
Due to that reason, this guide has dug deep into the world of steamers and steam irons to offer you a short comprehensive guide on the major differences between these two home appliances and which to prioritize on depending on your specific situation.
So, What’s the Working Principle of These Two Appliances?
The Garment Steamer
Now, if you’ve survived in the wild, or at a remote place, then you might have heard of an old hack where you hang your clothes on a hanger in the bathroom to remove the wrinkles overnight. Now, by using a steamer, you actually, kind of improvise this old hack as this appliance is definitely an improved version of that old concept.
Although they’re gaining popularity in recent times, garment steamers have been around for quite some time. Now, these appliances consist of a nozzle, a flexible hose, a water tank, and a telescopic tube.
To operate, you need to first fill the water tank with water then plug the machine to heat the water. Once the water heats up (after about 30-45seconds), you take the nozzle then point it towards your garments (a few inches away) to remove the wrinkles.
The hot steam works by relaxing the fibers on the fabric of your clothes to remove creases. This makes it the best for delicate fabrics such as silk, polyester, and satin.
The Steam Iron
The steam iron, on the other hand, is quite similar to the garment steamer but with just a few minor differences. It consists of a water tank, a flexible hose, and an iron. Now, just like the steamer, you need to add water in the tank first then plug it to heat the water.
The steam ejected passes through the flexible hose to the holes beneath the metal plate for an effective ironing process. While steamers generate wet steam, steam irons eject dry steam at very high pressure to effectively remove wrinkles from your clothes. This process of generating extremely high pressure is what sets steam irons apart when compared to ordinary iron boxes.
What Are the Major Differences?
Now that we’ve discussed briefly how each of these appliances works, let’s now get straight to what sets them apart. The first major difference is, of course, the technology. Just as we’ve discussed above, the steam iron works by pressing its smooth metal plate towards a garment to remove the wrinkles. It also released hot steam through the nozzles at the bottom to relax the fabric when ironing.
On the other hand, steamers release very hot steam that relaxes a garment’s fabric. Unlike steam irons, you don’t necessarily have to get into contact with your clothes when removing wrinkles. Due to their different operating techniques, steam irons are hence the best for ironing heavier fabrics such as cotton while steamers are the best for lighter fabrics such as silk and polyester.
Now, with that regard, there’s no definite winner here as everything will heavily depend on what you’re ironing.
Ease of Usage
Although both of these appliances are easy to use, there’s a slight difference between them that separates one from the other. For instance, a steam iron will require you to have an ironing board for you to accomplish your ironing needs.
On the other hand, a steamer will require you to hang your clothes and let the steam do the rest without having to think of adding an ironing board.
A steam iron will also demand you to have some basic skills on how to iron whereas a steamer will only require you to grab the nozzle and let the pressurized steam handle the creases on your garments.
So, with that said, it’s clear that the steamer is the ultimate winner when it comes to simplicity and ease of usage.
If you’re a young professional who happens to iron his/her clothes at the last minute before rushing out, then a steamer can prove to be a convenient companion that will never fail you. One,a steamer takes approximately 30—45 seconds to heat while a steam iron takes about 8—10 minutes to entirely heat up.
Secondly, a steamer generates a lot of heat that removes wrinkles from your garments when they’re hanging. This is quite different from a steam iron where you have to lay the clothes on an ironing board to iron them.
Thirdly, a steamer can reach hard to reach areas in a matter of seconds while a steam iron is likely to compress your garment towards the hard ironing board leaving some creases somewhere at the back when you’re ironing the other side.
Again, the steamer is the ultimate winner in this category as it offers a faster and more efficient ironing strategy.
By just mentioning versatility, I believe you can easily predict the winner here. Now, the fact that steamers use pressurized steam makes them the perfect option for a wide range of activities. When it comes to removing creases and wrinkles, steamers are generally the best and can be used on almost all fabrics due to the one advantage they hold—they use steam.
Therefore, removing creases from even the most delicate fabrics such as saris, formalwear, silk, wedding dresses and chiffon has never been so easy with the use of a steamer.
Steam irons, on the other hand, must get into contact with your garments. This alone makes it quite tricky to use them as the hot metal plates can easily scotch and damage your clothes if you’re not careful.
Now, back to steamers, these appliances can also be used in a wide range of settings such as in the bedroom for steaming beddings, towels and curtains to remove odors, to kill bacteria that attract dust mites and finally, deal with cases of a bedbug infestation.
So, just as I mentioned earlier, the steamer is definitely the winner here with nothing less than flying colors.
Finally, there’s the issue of convenience. Now, a steam iron has one benefit—it can dry or steam your garments. Earlier on, we mentioned that a steam iron releases dry steam that helps to remove creases with ease. Combining the steam with the hot metal plate guarantees exceptional results.
When it comes to the steamer, this appliance releases wet steam and sometimes it spits out water. Since it doesn’t have a dry function (such as a hot metal plate), you will have to leave your wet clothes to dry up first before you can put them on.
So, in this department, the steam iron gets the most votes making it the winner.
So, Garment Steamer Vs Steam Iron: Which is the Best?
Although the main objective of these two appliances is the same, to remove wrinkles, the final results can differ greatly. For those homeowners with both appliances at the disposal, here’s how you can differentiate them;
Since a steam iron can generate pretty high temperatures of 280—320°F, using it to get crisp lines on your formalwear can be the best move. Also, if your clothes are tailored, have short collars or are made of hard cotton fabric, a steam iron can be the best to use.
On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry or maybe you’re planning to get creases out of delicate fabrics such as silk and polyester, then a garment steamer can generally be the best option.
So, there you have it. Whether it’s choosing a steamer over a steam iron or the other way round, it’s all up to you. The best thing about this post is that it has offered you solid information that will help you decide on which between these two appliances will work out for you.
If asked, I would prefer to go with both. That way, picking one appliance to work for these garments while the other one works for these other garments can really save you a lot in terms of time and energy costs.
Now, is there anything you feel we’ve left behind? Well, if so, or maybe if you wish to add something, then don’t hesitate to do that in our comments section below.
To be honest, laundry is one of the most annoying chores ever. And why? Well, the first reason is the spacing. You see, most urbanists suffer a lot when it comes to spacing. That’s because most laundry rooms are tiny thus posing a challenge on how to fit all your daily laundry essentials. The second reason is the setup. Since its small, organizing everything to avoid clutter becomes another challenging endeavor. Now, although the challenge is huge, our team of experts has gathered immense information from exclusive interior designers to compose these nine very small laundry room ideas that will help to transform your cluttered laundry room into an eye-catching space.
Now, taking your dirty clothes to your local laundromat can sometimes be a costly affair. This, therefore, makes having a washer and a dryer in your laundry room a huge bonus.
Thankfully, with these nine hacks and tricks, you will manage to utilize any nook and cranny in your confined laundry space to create more room to breathe and to allow proper air circulation. With that said, please read on.
What is a Laundry Room and Why do You Need One?
Now, a laundry room, also called a utility room, is a precious space within your house/home designated for the primary purpose of storing some of your unused household appliances. Some people can use this space to store large fridges and freezers. However, the primary purpose of a laundry room is to keep laundry essentials such as the washing machine, the tumble dryer, ironing board, clothes steam presser, and dirty garments.
For most people living in urban apartments, there’s a high need for a laundry space to help declutter other rooms such as the bedroom. For those homeowners with kids and pets around, there’s a high need to set a designated space where you can perform all the mucky, grimy and messy jobs such as keeping pet bowls, littler trays, old coats, gumboots and any dirty litter from around the house.
What’s the Right Size for a Laundry Room?
Just before we get to our main topic, I think its best if we can discuss a point or two regarding laundry room sizing. Now, according to most interior design experts, not forgetting contractors and expert plumbers, the minimum size of any laundry room should be about 9 ft. wide and 11 ft. long. Of course, bigger is better.
The door leading to the room should measure somewhere from 30 inches to 32 inches. Since the nature of these special rooms involves water, the floor should have tiles and a waterproof membrane. A floor drain should also be fitted at the center of the room with the floor slanting towards the center.
At least, with such conduction, you’ll never worry about water leaking from the laundry room to the rest of the house when doing the laundry, when bathing your pets or following accidental pipe damage such as a pipe burst.
9 Very Small Laundry Room Ideas: An Ultimate Guide
1. Hang Your Clothes to Dry
One of the biggest challenges of any small laundry room is dealing with clothes, especially those button-down cotton office shirts, that need to self-dry. Such clothes will definitely need to be removed from the dryer while still damp to air dry them to prevent them from shrinking. So, if you’re not lucky enough to convert your bathroom into a drying chamber or add a clothing line in your balcony, then you don’t have to worry as you can hang your clothes in your laundry room.
But how? First, you can fill any unused walls with tension rods that can be used to hold the hangers. Secondly, you can mount simple steel rods underneath the laundry cabinets to create a perfect spot for hanging your clothes. Thirdly, you can hang a simple ladder on the ceiling using chains which will then support the hangers.
2. Add More Shelves
Supposing your machines (both the washer and the dryer) have a front-loading design, then you shouldn’t complain about lack of space when there’s enough to utilize. Instead of allowing this top space to gather lint, why not add some shelves all the way to the ceiling?
You see, with selves fitted all the way up, you can create enough space to organize your clean towels and beddings and still spare some space to organize your cleaning detergents and soaps. You can also use the lowest shelve just above your machine as the ironing board just to save on more space.
3. Think of a Spot That Seems Unusable
Since you’re dealing with a small laundry room, any unused corner space is an asset. So, after organizing everything, that small space at the corner that seems to be unusable can perfectly house a vertically adjustable wire shelving.
This wire shelving can be fitted with multiple shelves from top to the center where you can keep your detergents, iron box and some folded clothes. You can add a metal rod just below the last shelf (which is at the middle) where you can put some hangers to hang some of your ironed clothes.
4. Add Baskets
Although we’ve mentioned about adding selves, baskets too are also a brilliant idea for any tiny laundry room. Now, baskets are usable in several ways. First, you can use them to carry dirty clothes from your bedroom/kids’ room to the laundry.
Secondly, you can use separate baskets to sort the clothes out from those that are dirty to that that are already clean and need to be transported back to the closet or wardrobe. By doing this, you not only amp up your storage option, but you also reduce the clutter at a considerable level.
5. Add a Laundry Cart
Another excellent idea that can work on small laundry rooms is using a laundry cart to hold all your laundry supplies. Here, you can build your own DIY laundry cart and fit it with shelves, chest of drawers, closet rods on the sides to hold the hangers, decorative hooks to hold laundry bags and an ironing board at the top where you can do the ironing.
The best thing about this laundry cart is that it has wheels at the bottom for easy mobility around the room.
6. Go Vertical
Who said that dryers and washers should only be organized horizontally? Well regardless of how huge they might seem to appear, these laundry machines can also be stacked vertically one on top of the other to save the horizontal floor space.
By doing this, you tend to save more floor space which can be used to place a narrow cabinet with shelves. These shelves can be used to store all your cleaning soaps, detergents, softeners as well as for organizing folded clothes.
7. Level Up
Alternatively, you can opt to level up and use the available horizontal space to save the vertical space for installing shelves and cabinets. Now, there are two ways you can create some extra space here. First, you can opt to buy newer models of washers and dryers to take advantage of the pedestal drawers underneath them. With this space, you can keep some of your dirty clothes, orphan socks that don’t have their partners or you can organize all your detergents, soaps and softeners.
Secondly, if your laundry machines are not fitted with pedestals, you can opt to loft them a foot or two off the ground to create some space underneath. This space can be used to fit two baskets which can function as the pedestals.
8. Use the Space Behind the Door
Another excellent idea that works for small laundry rooms is utilizing the space at the back of the door. If you’ve researched about jewelry armoires, then you know how you can utilize the space behind the door. Here, you only need to add a hanging wire storage rack that can be mounted on the door using hooks.
This wide rack can serve as an excellent storage spot for some of your essentials such as a toolbox, tissue papers, detergents, orphan socks, and other tiny essentials. You can even opt to add some hooks beneath the last shelf to hang your raincoats and aprons.
9. Sacrifice Your Closet Space
What if you live in an apartment that doesn’t have a laundry room? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a large closet, why not sacrifice it by turning it into a laundry space? If that’s the case, then you’ll need to be really creative and think outside the box.
First, you need to stack the washer and the dryer on top of each other in a vertical position to create more room. The space remaining at the top of the machines can be used to fit two small baskets or some shelves.
Secondly, you can use the space on the other side to create some shelves, cabinetry, and a countertop for ironing your clothes.
As we conclude, allow me to mention that a laundry room is a basic necessity for any homeowner. It’s something that you definitely need even if sometimes it doesn’t sound like you do. It’s more of a designated space that allows you to declutter the rest of your house.
Since a laundry room is part of your home’s backbone, it, therefore, needs to be kept clean and tidy using any or even a combination of these insightful hacks we’ve mentioned above. By decluttering your laundry room, you’ll not only give it a gorgeous look but also make ironing and doing the laundry a fun endeavor.
Kayaking is one of the most excellent ways of exploring the quiet scenic rivers and lakes that are available in your area. Apart from taking photos and enjoying the cool environment, kayaking provides one of the best full-body workouts than most gym sessions. But, even if that’s the case, one main drawback most kayak owners experience is storing and transporting their kayaks. For those living in garage-less residential apartments, storing or transporting your kayak is next to impossible. In such desperate circumstances, considering a DIY folding kayak can be the only option.
Why take this route? You see, if you’ve run out of space, the next possible cause of action you’ll be forced to take is to rent a kayak. But look, over time, the cost of renting the kayak and transporting it will definitely lead to a significant dent in your wallet.
So, to enjoy kayaking to its limit, considering a foldable kayak is the best choice. After all, these kayaks are gaining popularity really fast due to their folding characteristics. Apart from that, these kayaks can travel in sensitive areas where other kayaks cannot.
What is Folding Kayak?
Since folding kayaks are gaining popularity really fast, understanding them is one paramount factor any avid kayaker should note. This is also important to all kayakers living in small urban apartments and is looking forward to building their own DIY folding kayaks to solve this annoying space issue.
Briefly, folding kayaks comprise of two main parts—the frame and the skin for the hull. Also known as the longitudinals or the stringers, the frame is usually made from wood, aluminum tubes or composite rods in some cases.
Now, there are pros and cons of choosing either wood or aluminum. Wood on its side is heavy, quite hard to maintain and it’s relatively expensive. The best thing about it is that it’s strong and very durable (though you need to protect it from sucking water to avoid rotting).
Aluminum on its side is lightweight, affordable and very easy to maintain. The only thing you need to do to boost its longevity is to sock it after every outing to ensure it doesn’t deteriorate faster due to the accumulation of salt.
Away from the longitudinals, we have the ribs or the frames. These are the pieces that go across the folding kayak and which help in strengthening the overall framework of the kayak. They’re usually made from help-inch plywood, molded plastic composite or solid plastic such as the HDPE.
Now, when it comes to the skin for the hull, there are lots of great options one can consider. However, some of the most common types of materials used for the skin are tough nylon and polyester coated with neoprene or Hypalon.
The best thing about these skins is that they’re thicker (with about 3-layers of reinforced fabric) and are highly resistant to oils, UV rays, abrasion and salts from the ocean.
DIY Folding Kayak: An Ultimate Guide for Making a Folding Kayak
Now that we’ve offered you a solid basic understanding of folding kayaks, this short guide will now proceed to discuss some steps you might like to follow when setting up or assembling this kayak to accomplish all your folding kayak plans with enthusiasm. Please read on to understand the concept.
Part One: Gather all your Essentials
To make your kayak from scratch, you’ll require the following materials:
1 piece of wood lath
About 2 to 3 ft. wood for the seat support rails
Exterior latex paint and primer
About 200 inches of untreated canvas
About 6 C clamps
Waterproof wood glue
2 – 4 ft. × 8 ft. untreated plywood with one smooth side
Part Two: Cutting the Wood
Step 1. The first step you’ll take after assembling all your essentials is to cut one sheet of plywood into four equal pieces with each measuring 1 ft. × 8 ft.
Step 2. Now, take two of the sheets (which will go at the top of the kayak) and clamp them together. This will make it easier for you to cut the hole for the cockpit. Note that the cockpit should be cut at least 41 inches from the front section of the kayak and should be about 28 inches in size.
The depth itself should be about 5 inches and it’s all on you to decide how you want to shape it.
Step 3. Once the pieces are ready, it’s time to clamp them together to see how the kayak will look like after completion. Here, you need to ensure that each piece corresponds to its other piece to make the kayak symmetrical. Also, don’t make the edges (especially the front of the kayak) too pointed or else it will be difficult to attach the canvas.
Step 4. Now paint the side of the plywood that will serve as the inside of the kayak. You can do this by applying at least two coats of exterior latex paint.
Part Three: Time to Make the Spreaders and Spacers
Step 1. You will first have to cut the spreaders—two to be precise. So, to accomplish that, simply cut four pieces of 11” × 24” from a ¼ “ thick plywood. Take two of the rectangular pieces and bond them together (using wood glue) to create a ½ “ thick rectangle. Do the same to the other two pieces to give you a total of two thick ½ “ rectangular pieces.
Step 2. Next, cut the spreaders according to the dimensions of the kayak for them to fit properly. You can also cut out the center part of the spreaders to reduce their weight.
Step 3. When you’re done, you can now make the spacers. The function of these spacers is to hold the kayak’s shell, or rather the pieces, firmly and in the correct configuration when you’ll be applying the canvas.
Part Four: Preparing the Canvas
Step 1. Assembling your kayak will require you to use 5 strips of canvas which will consist of 2 – 4.5” × 46”, 2 – 4.5” × 72” and 1 – 13’ × 12”.
Step 2. Before you start applying the canvas, first assemble your kayak by bonding the pieces together with the help of the spacer blocks.
Step 3. Next, mark at least 2” on the edges of the plywood around the kayak and coat it with contact cement. Now, start applying the canvas strips from the edges of the kayak along the 2” marked border.
While ensuring the long canvas strips are applied on the side while the shorter strips are applied on the front and back of the kayak, slowly stretch the canvas by flipping the kayak on either side while you gently apply it.
Make sure you apply the canvas at the bottom of the kayak too. In case the canvas overlaps, simply add more contact cement on the canvas to secure it gently.
Part Five: Install the Spreaders
Step 1. Once the canvas is secured, it’s now time to add the spreader. To do that, you need to take measurements of your feet to have a picture of how you’ll be seated while kayaking. You need to ensure that your feet stay straight.
Therefore, the best locations to mount the spreaders are in the front of the kayak about 22” from the front and another 22” from the rear.
Step 2. To keep the spreader boards firm, you can opt to add stop blockers (about 1.5” ×5”). You can use waterproof wood glue to secure the stop blocks to the interior of the kayak to support the spreaders.
Part Six: Installing the Center Canvas
Step 1. Now that you’ve installed the spreaders, it’s now time to install the canvas on the front and rear sections of the kayak. So, start by clipping the canvas on the kayak to determine how much canvas is required to “dress up” your kayak.
Step 2. Once you’ve determined the size of the canvas that will be required to dress this folding kayak, apply the contact cement once more both on the kayak and the canvas then bond them gently.
Part Seven: Time to Assemble and Set Up the Seat
To design the seat, you’ll have to cut two rectangular plywood sheets then join them together with the canvas to make them easily foldable. You also have to design seat rails to where the seat will rest on. To accomplish all this, here are the steps.
Step 1. Start by cutting the plywood sheets to design the seat. The length and the width will vary depending on the size of your kayak as well as how much seating allowance you’ll need. For the case of the width, you’ll need to measure the distance between the seat rails.
Step 2. When the seat is ready, measure the size of the kayak where you’ll set up the rails. Measure and cut two pieces of wood to set up the rails. Use waterproof wood glue to bond the rails to the kayak.
Step 3.Paint and prime the entire section including the seat. Use Velcro attachments to attach the seat to the rails.
Part Eight: Prime and Paint your Kayak
Step 1. To finalize your DIY project in a high, it’s time to prime the kayak’s seat and other parts such as the spreader boards. When you’re done, coat the entire kayak alongside the seat and the spreader boards with another two to three coats of paint to make it extremely tough.
Step 2. Leave it to dry for several hours before you take it for its first trip.
So, if you’ve followed these steps closely, then congratulations! You’ve just made a DIY folding kayak right at the comfort of your home. As you can see, folding kayaks are gaining popularity in recent times due to the increasing unavailability of space in most urban apartments.
In addition to their lightweight and excellent space-saving capabilities, folding kayaks are amazingly quicker on the water, they’re easy to assemble and they’re quite stable and durable as compared to most other kayaks.
In conclusion, combining these benefits with the benefit of setting up your own folding kayak at home, you’ll realize you’ve actually saved more bucks thus removing the hefty budget you might have incurred if you were to rent out a kayak or simply buy one straight from a vendor.
There are myriad ways you can enjoy the treacherous waters when fishing or just passing time during summer. For water sports enthusiasts, paddling as a team in solo kayaks is one way of enjoying their recreational time together. However, if you’re looking to share a great kayaking experience with a close friend, a family member or a significant other, riding on a tandem kayak is ultimately one way you can spend your time on the water together. But, what is a tandem kayak and how can you exploit it to its limit?
What is a Tandem Kayak Anyway?
Before we move on to our main topic, it’s paramount that you understand what a tandem kayak really is. Basically, these kayaks are quite the opposite of solo kayaks. They allow more than one person to seat and can sometimes accommodate even three paddlers.
They’re longer than most other kayaks with lengths that go as far as 18 to 24 ft. To compensate for your weights and the weight of your gear, these kayaks have a higher weight limit that can go upwards of 500 pounds.
Tandem kayaks are some of the best for taking your family out. They’re usually hailed by couples as they not only encourage teamwork but also provide a perfect way of building intimacy while enjoying a great time in the wild.
Expert kayakers usually recommend these types of kayaks to beginners. That’s because they offer you the safest way of learning how to kayak as there’s someone guiding you and always there to help out in case you mess up.
Why Choose a Tandem Kayak?
Now, there are many reasons why you’ll need a tandem kayak over its solo counterparts. One of these obvious reasons is the space factor. Unlike other kayaks, tandem kayaks offer ample space and are always open to customization.
In some cases, avid anglers go to the extent of removing the back seat to create more space to keep their fish and other fishing gear well organized. With that said, let’s now discuss a few more factors that explain why a tandem kayak is much better.
Provides Bonding Exercise:
This is, by the way, of the major advantages why people consider tandem kayaks over others. Since they’re designed to allow two paddlers to sail together, a sense of teamwork is usually developed in the process.
By doing this, you not only bond but also the pool is twice the muscular power to propel the kayak. That’s the main reason why tandem kayaks are much faster than other types of kayaks.
Great for Newcomers:
If you’re a beginner getting ready to explore the world of kayaking, the tandem kayak is the best to start with. Now, paddling is difficult and learning the different stroking techniques can be challenging.
Although practice makes perfect, having someone watch your back while on the deep waters is one way of practically learning kayaking the safest way. After all, you may never know when things might get worse.
Offers More Space:
Just as we mentioned earlier, one major reason why you might need this two-person kayak is to take advantage of the space available. Avid anglers and paddlers going for camping expeditions find these kayaks an excellent choice because they allow for a clearer packing arrangement as compared to their solo counterparts.
Great for Kayaking with Kids:
If you’re looking to surprise your kids with something quite unusual, you can use a tandem kayak to have them enjoy the scenic beauty of the sky blue waters. Since they have two or more seats, an experienced kayaker can take their kids out and enjoy the beauty of the water.
However, it’s recommended that you strictly stick to the rules regarding kayaking with kids to prevent any accidents or unavoidable surprises.
Types of Tandem Kayaks
Since tandem kayaks are some of the most sort after types in the market, most manufacturers have opted to include various designs that categorize them depending on the type of activity they’re intended to handle. So, if you’re new to tandem kayaking, here are some popular types that might interest you.
Tandem Recreational Kayaks:
As you already know, recreational kayaks are usually suited in calmer and less challenging waters. When it comes to tandem recreational kayaks, these vessels are best for calm waters making them the best for learners and beginners.
Tandem Fishing Kayaks:
The best thing about tandem fishing kayaks is that most of them are actually sit-on-top. This makes them more spacious as they offer additional space to keep your fishing essentials. Due to the enormous amount of space they offer, most of them are equipped with a host of features such as pole holders and mast receiver receptacles to make your fishing, surfing and sailing experience more fun-filled.
Tandem Touring Kayak:
Most people perceive these kayaks to be in a class of their own. Unlike their recreational counterparts, these ones are designed to cover long distances such as extended trips when camping.
Due to their long expeditions, they’re usually exposed to unpredictable environmental conditions hence they’re built using high-quality materials that are resistant to regular wear and tear.
Since they’re designed to carry a lot of stuff, these kayaks have additional waterproofing capability and usually feature a tri-form hull (a V-shaped cross-section at the center) to allow them to navigate at a straight line while maintaining stability.
Tandem Whitewater Kayaks:
If you’re a couple or just a pair enthusiastic enough to paddle down on rough fast-moving rivers, then this is the perfect kayak for you. Just like solo whitewater kayaks, these too are constructed from heavy-duty materials that can withstand frequent knocks and rough maneuvers on fast-moving waters. They’re easy to control but lack sufficient space to store some of your essentials.
Tandem Inflatable Kayaks:
The beauty of this category of tandem kayaks is their ease of storage and transportation. Unlike their hard-hulled counterparts, these inflatable types of tandem kayaks can easily be stored in confined places by just deflating them.
These kayaks have bladders inside them to improve buoyancy in case they capsize. However though, due to their susceptibility to damage (especially by sharp rocks), these kayaks are strictly suited for flatwater kayaking or paddling on calm oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Tandem Sit-On-Top Kayaks:
Just like other sit-on-top kayaks, these too are molded into a hollow shape where you and your partner sit when kayaking. These kayaks are easy to launch and are the best for avid anglers as they allow you to stand when casting or when adjusting your fishing accessories.
The only drawback with this type of kayak though, is that it exposes you to all the negative impact rough water can throw to you.
How to Get On and Off a Tandem Kayak?
When it comes to launching a tandem kayak, there are lots of challenging situations you’ll need to deal with such as considering your partner’s wishes. This is one reason why most people, especially those that are not fond of consulting others, find these kayaks quite challenging to adapt to. However, regardless of all that, here’s a short guide on how you can launch these kayaks as a pair.
Launching From the Shoreline
Step 1. Although tandem kayaking is quite complex as compared to the rest, it’s one of the most exciting ways to explore the majestic waters. So, before you launch your kayak, always go through your kayaking checklist to ensure everything is set.
Step 2. When you’re done, push your kayak (with the help of your co-paddler) to the shoreline. Since tandem kayaks are longer than most other kayaks, they should be positioned parallel to the shoreline. Make sure the kayak is at least knee-deep on the shore.
Step 3. The paddler at the front should get in first. This can be done by placing the paddle across the kayak with one part on the shore while the other rests over the kayak. Your partner should hold the kayak firmly at the back.
Step 4. Once you’ve seated down comfortably, adjust the paddle towards the shoreline to stabilize the boat. This will allow the person at the back to get on the kayak without it tipping over.
Step 5. Once everyone is set, use the supportive paddle on the shoreline to push off the kayak. This will allow you to take off safely and smoothly.
How to Exit From the Shore
Just like launching the kayak, exiting the tandem kayak is pretty much the same. Here are some steps to follow.
Step 1.Start off by paddling the kayak towards the shallow point of the shore. Next, the person at the back should provide stability by putting the paddle on the shoreline. This will allow the person at the front to exit.
Step 2.Once you get out of the kayak, hold it firmly to allow the second person to exit safely.
Launching a Tandem Kayak From the Dock
Launching a tandem kayak from the dock is, by the way, one of the simplest endeavors. Here’s a short guide.
Step 1. The first step you need to take is to position the kayak parallel to the dock.
Step 2. Next, the person seating at the front should get in first. Here, the second person should hold the kayak firmly while the first person gets on.
Step 3. Once you’re set, the first person should then hold the dock with both hands to bring the kayak closer while keeping it firm for the second person to get on.
Step 4. Once you’re both seated comfortably, pick your paddles from the edge of the dock and start paddling. Note that, the person seated at the front should paddle first.
How to Exit From the Dock
Step 1. Exiting a tandem kayak from the shore is much like a reverse of launching it. You’ll first have to paddle as close enough to the dock as possible.
Step 2. Next, place your paddles on the edge of the dock so that you can hold the dock firmly with your hands.
Step 3.With both of you holding the dock, the person seated at the front should exit the kayak first while the one at the back holds the dock firmly with both hands.
Step 4. Once the first person is safely on the dock, hold the kayak tightly from the dock to allow the second person to exit safely from the kayak.
And with that said, you can have as much fun as you possibly can with friends and dear ones. As you can see, tandem kayaking is increasingly becoming popular by the day. That’s all thanks to their huge spaces, higher weight capacities, and, of course, the fact that they can accommodate more than one paddler.
So, whether you’re a professional or a beginner learning how to kayak, a tandem kayak offers you the opportunity to learn new kayaking skills as you enjoy exploring the cool waters. As for expert kayakers, taking your spouse, your kids or your canine friend out on an expedition has never been this fun all thanks to the tandem kayak.
When it comes to kayaking, so many things come to mind besides choosing the right kayak. One of these is how to get in and out of a kayak. Whether you’re a professional or simply a beginner, learning to get on and off your kayak is one of the most important lessons you need to learn and master.
It’s also one of the most daunting parts of kayaking besides learning how to paddle. It requires you to master the techniques and develop the right physical effort failure to which can lead to a potential embarrassment or even an accident, in case the kayak topples or capsizes over.
Now, in recent times, kayaking has become a major outdoor activity, especially during summer. It’s one of the ways through which people spend most of their leisure time. But, even if that’s the case, navigating the raging waters when you’re a beginner can be quite intimidating.
The kayak may seem a little wobbly at first and you might expect to fall off a few times. Although it might sound annoying, the good news is that through practice, you can always make a better version of yourself.
To add to that, there are various techniques you can employ when getting in and out of your kayak. To help you get started, this short guide will discuss some of these techniques, which, of course, vary, depending on where you’re launching the kayak from. Please read on.
How to Get In And Out of a Kayak: Step-by-Step Guide
First, Choose your Launching and Landing Spots
The first trick to successful kayaking is finding the right spot to launch and dock your kayak. This is one area where most beginners in kayaking actually mess up. Finding the right spot to launch your kayak is considered the first step that will dictate how easy or difficult you’ll get in or out of your kayak. In general, there are three spots where you can launch your vessel. They include; the beach, the dock, and the uneven or rocky shoreline.
As for Beginners: Just Before you Launch…
If you’re a beginner kayaking for the first time, there are those factors you need to understand before you launch your vessel. First and foremost, you need to take a tour of the region you’ll be kayaking just to familiarize yourself with the topography.
Secondly, make sure that you’ve dressed up appropriately. Since you’ll be getting to the water, you need to understand that your kayak will not be 100% a dry boat. Water will definitely get into the cockpit making you wet. You, therefore, need to wear a wet suit and have some spare clothes to wear after you’re done kayaking.
Thirdly, ensure that your life vest is strapped tightly and snugly and that it’s comfortable enough to prevent any disruption. Also, make sure that you have the necessary attachments with you such as a GPS navigational device, a cellphone dry bag, and a survival whistle.
Now, most people might be asking why a cellphone dry bag is required right? Well, the reason why you need one is to ensure that your phone or your camera is tightly sealed inside to prevent any damages caused by water.
It also allows you to take picturesque photos of the waters when kayaking or even check your compass for direction. It also helps you to scroll through your playlist when kayaking in shallow waters.
Next, go through your kayaking checklist to ensure that you have everything present before you launch your vessel. Accessories such as your water bottle, paddle, spray skirt, helmet, throw rope and float bags should not be left out whatsoever.
Now that you’ve accomplished all that, it’s now time to get started.
First: Getting In and Out of a Kayak From the Shore
According to experts, launching a kayak from the shore is one of the easiest methods for anyone including beginners. It’s less challenging and very easy to master as compared to launching from a dock or on rocky ground.
So, to launch from the shore, you can consider using any of these two methods.
Start off by pushing your kayak to the shoreline where you’ll be launching it. If your vessel is constructed from heavy-duty plastic, you can launch it while it’s perpendicular to the shore. This means the bow of the kayak should be resting on the water while the stern rests on the sand.
It’s usually recommended that half of the kayak be submerged on the water to make the launching process smoother. It also helps to prevent beaching where your kayak gets stuck on the sand.
Once you’ve positioned your kayak correctly, get at the back of the cockpit and get ready to dive in. Here, you’ll have to get in systematically by sliding one foot at a time inside the cockpit. When both feet are inside the cockpit, slide your lower body forward to sit upright on the kayak’s seat.
In case of a sit-on-top kayak, all you need to do is simply swing your legs on top of the kayak, sit upright and start paddling.
Now, in case you’re wondering how to get in a kayak that’s made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, then you don’t have to worry. You see, our first technique was for kayaks made of plastic, which are tough enough to resist the heavy abuse caused by pushing them on top of the sand.
So, in case your kayak is constructed from any of these fragile materials, then here’s a safer technique you can adopt. By the way, this technique is also recommended for very long kayaks.
Step 1.Start off by placing your kayak a few inches into the water. Make sure the depth of the water is about your knee-deep to prevent scratching your kayak. For the case of a sit-in kayak, get over the kayak just above the cockpit.
Step 2. While in this straddling position, lower your butt slowly down onto the cockpit seat.
Step 3. Next, place one foot at a time inside the cockpit with your knees slightly bent.
Step 4. When both feet are inside the cockpit, adjust your butt to sit firmly on the seat. For the case of a sit-on-top kayak, all you need to do is to swing your feet firmly to sit upright.
How do you Land or Exit your Kayak While on the Shore?
Unbelievably, getting off a kayak is one of the trickiest and most challenging parts of any kayaking experience. However, though, we’ve put in some simple steps that will guide you through.
Step 1. Paddle the kayak to the shoreline up to the sand leaving it in a perpendicular position.
Step 2. Remove your spray skirt if you had one then grab each side of the kayak (next to your hips).
Step 3. While grabbing the kayak, bend your feet with your knees facing upwards then bring your feet close to your butt.
Step 4. Lift one foot and place it outside the kayak onto the shallow water. Balance yourself carefully using the foot that’s outside then stand up while taking the other foot off the cockpit and onto the water.
Second: Launching and Exiting a Kayak From a Dock
Unlike launching a kayak on a shore, launching it on a dock is considered more challenging regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a professional. Now, the first step you should take in such a situation is to evaluate your situation to see what suits you best. If you have a friend in close proximity, then he/she can hold the kayak for you as you get on.
However, if you’re launching all by yourself, then you need to find the lowest position on the dock where the distance of the dock from the water is less.
Step 1. Once you’ve dragged the kayak in a position lowest and closest to the water, set it in a parallel position for a much smoother launch.
Step 2. Next, put on your spray skirt and place the paddle close enough at arm’s reach to prevent any hassle once you get onto the cockpit.
Step 3. Sit at the edge of the dock then dangle one foot on the cockpit to adjust the kayak and bring it closer.
Step 4. Hold tightly on the dock and place the other foot on the cockpit. Slowly but carefully, hold the kayak with one arm while the other arm holds the dock. Lower your body steadily with your butt heading towards the cockpit seat.
Step 5. Once you’re seated, release the dock and adjust yourself properly on the cockpit. When you find a comfortable position, relax a bit then grab the paddle from the edge of the dock before paddling off.
Exiting a Kayak on a Dock
Just like launching your kayak, exiting will still use the same procedure where you’ll first need to find the lowest point on the dock where it’s nearest to the water.
Step 1. Once you’ve recognized the lowest point on the dock, paddle the kayak and position it parallel to the dock.
Step 2. Next, hold the dock steadily with both hands to balance yourself as you attempt to stand up. Make sure you rotate your torso until your upper body faces the dock.
Step 3. While holding the kayak, pull your body steadily as you get off. Raise your butt then remove one foot at a time from the cockpit. Make sure that you raise your leg to support yourself with your knee at the edge of the dock.
Step 4. While keeping your weight low, lift the other leg from the cockpit and onto the dock. Here, you need to be really careful to prevent the kayak from drifting away into the water.
Third: Kayaking on Uneven or Rocky Shoreline
Of all the kayaking basics we’ve discussed in this guide, this is one of the most challenging parts that call for a lot of care. Launching a kayak on uneven or rocky shoreline requires you to be a professional kayaker rather than being a beginner. Nonetheless, here’s a simplified procedure that can help you get through this tricky endeavor.
Step 1. Start by pushing your kayak on the shore where the water is at least your ankle or knee-deep.
Step 2. Position the kayak to parallel to the shore then place one end of the paddle on the kayak’s stern while the other end is on the shore or on a rock on the shore.
Step 3. While holding the paddle behind you (make sure it’s stable), slide your butt onto the cockpit then raise one leg at a time onto the kayak.
Step 4. Once both feet are on the kayak, adjust your body firmly to seat comfortably while making sure that your feet are straight.
Getting Off the Kayak on Uneven or Rocky Shoreline
Step 1. So, the first step you need to take when landing your kayak in such a situation is to paddle towards the shoreline. You need to be really careful in such a situation as a little blander can cause the rocks to damage the hull of your kayak.
Step 2. Once you’ve settled on a spot close enough to the shore, place one end of the paddle on the stern while the other end rests steadily on the shore or on a rock.
Step 3.Now, grab the paddle from your back and use it to support yourself as you get off the cockpit. Here, start by sliding your butt off the seat and onto the back end of the kayak.
Step 4. Pull the first leg from the cockpit and plant it firmly on the water. Use it to support the other foot and plant it on the water as you raise to stand up.
And there you go. In case you’ve been wondering how to get on and off a kayak in various conditions, then you have everything that’s needed to get started. As you can see, getting in and out of a kayak is one of the hardest parts of the entire kayaking course.
It also varies greatly depending on where you’re launching. So, to enjoy the best out of your kayaking endeavor, always launch and exit in situations that favor your skill level. Also, make sure that you anchor your kayak properly and if possible, call a friend to hold the vessel for you as you get on and off the kayak.
Kayaking has continued to gain immense fame in recent times due to its versatility. Whether it’s fishing, exploring or sporting, kayaks can provide you with a wide range of fun activities that can captivate you in multiple ways. Now, to enjoy the best out of your kayak, there are those factors you’ll need to consider one of which is the kayak weight.
Now, when shopping for a kayak, most people are blinded by the excitement and go-ahead to bypass some of the key factors that need to be considered. Most buyers usually concentrate on the dimensions, the measurements, and the model.
To those that are a bit technical with their search, they usually look for the kayak’s volume, the hull’s material and the rocker.
But, does the weight of a kayak really matter?
Yes it Does
Although most people, especially beginners, face a great deal of confusion when choosing a kayak, weight is one factor that plays a paramount role in your overall kayaking experience. When asked, most people may fail to find the big deal in considering the weight.
However, if you have gone kayaking before, or maybe you have a family member or a friend who owns one, then you’re aware of the hassle that comes in if you own a kayak with the wrong weight and size. When you’re kayaking, the first thing you do is to transport your kayak to the shore.
You first need to think of how you’ll lift the kayak to your car’s roof rack without scratching your car’s painting. When you get to your destination, you have to think of how you’ll offload the kayak from the roof rack without causing any damages.
Now, accomplishing all these will obviously be easy if you have a pair of hands helping through. But, imagine loading your kayak on the roof rack at home, offloading it while at the shore then loading it again after you’re done kayaking all by yourself?
It will definitely be an exhausting endeavor, especially if you consider lifting a kayak with a whopping 80 to 100 pounds worth of weight.
So, to avoid any of these issues, considering the weight of your kayak way before you buy one will really help you to shop on what you can handle. So, with that said, let’s now get to our main topic.
Kayak Weight Limit: Step-by-Step Guide
What Exactly is Kayak Weight Limit?
When you’re shopping for a kayak, it’s highly paramount that you understand how kayak weight limit works. In a nutshell, the kayak weight limit is the maximum weight a kayak can handle while still staying afloat. It’s basically a kayak lateral weight limit beyond which it can definitely sink or get unstable leading to capsizing.
In most cases, manufacturers indicate the weight of their kayaks just to help paddlers understand the maximum weight they’re supposed to work within. It also helps them to choose a kayak based on their own weights and the amount of gear/accessories they can carry along, especially in the case of fishing kayaks.
Now, How Much Does a Kayak Weigh?
Kayaks vary greatly in weight depending on the size, the shape, and the brand. In addition to that, the weight of a kayak varies greatly depending on the type of kayak you’re planning to buy. That’s the main reason why a single/solo kayak won’t weigh the same as a tandem kayak, a fishing kayak or an inflatable kayak.
With that said, the average weight of a kayak ranges anywhere from 20 pounds to around 80 pounds and more. Now, most people have been asking whether there’s an industry-standard weight for a kayak. The simple answer to this is no.
Instead, the weight of a kayak varies greatly depending on the type, use, construction, and, of course, the brand. This is the reason why a fishing kayak will have a significant weight difference with an inflatable kayak and a recreational kayak.
How Do You Determine the Weight Limit of a Kayak?
One area most paddlers have been facing a bit of a challenge in is determining the right weight limit of their kayaks. If you’re a beginner, this can not only be overwhelming but also confusing especially if you’re yet to decide on which type of kayak to buy.
So, when we mention weight limit, what exactly we’re talking about is the amount of weight it can handle and still float. If a kayak has a weight limit of, let’s say 300 pounds, the amount of weight its able to handle without causing any maneuverability issues should be 30% to 35% less.
If your kayak is for fishing purposes, then you might consider choosing a kayak with a higher weight limit to allow it to handle your weight and the weight of your fishing gear and the fish. So, to let you understand this concept quite well, we’ll do some simple calculations here.
Now, let’s assume your weight is 175 pounds and your gear weighs 25 pounds.
This will make your practical weight limit to be; 175 + 25 = 200 pounds.
So, to determine the maximum weight capacity of your kayak, you’ll have to divide the total load capacity (which is your weight and the weight of your fishing gear) with 70%.
Maximum capacity = total load ÷ 0.7 (70%)
200 pounds ÷ 0.7 = 285 pounds
So, rounding up this figure, you’ll have at least 300 pounds of kayak weight limit.
The reason why we used 70% is that paddlers should always stay below 70% of the overall weight limit of their kayaks to prevent overloading which can result in poor maneuverability.
Now, most paddlers have been asking whether sacrificing 30% of their kayaks total weight can lead to a dry boat. Well, the simple answer is no. In fact, even sacrificing 40% or 50% of the kayak’s weight will still not guarantee you a dry boat. You’ll still expect some water to penetrate through the scuppers.
However, the good thing about it is that you’ll manage to paddle effectively with more uniform paddle strokes without worrying about the kayak capsizing.
Factors Affecting the Weight of a Kayak
When shopping for a kayak, you need to be aware of those factors that affect their weight. Here, you can use the internet to search the seller or manufacturer’s site to see the model of your specific kayak.
This will help you find the right information regarding your kayak’s weight, construction, length, width, and the type of kayak you’re buying. So, with that said, let’s now discuss some of those factors that affect the weight of your kayak.
The first factor that affects the weight of a kayak is the material to which it’s constructed from. Some of the most popular materials used in their construction include; wood, polyethylene, plastic, fiberglass, composite and wood among others.
Rotomolded Kayaks: These kayaks are constructed from one piece of plastic that has been melted and built in the shape of a kayak. They’re usually cheap but quite heavy to carry along.
Thermoform Kayaks: These kayaks are constructed from two separate pieces that are sandwiched on top of each other. These kayaks are usually inexpensive and are durable just like the one-piece kayaks. They’re lighter in weight making them the best for beginners.
Fiberglass Kayaks: These kayaks, alongside composite, Kevlar and graphite kayaks are some of the lightest. They’re also the fastest and the smoothest when paddling in the water. Due to their construction, these kayaks tend to be expensive making them the best for professional kayakers.
Wood Kayaks: The weight of these kayaks vary greatly depending on the type of wood and the fiberglass resin used to coat them. Most of them are relatively lightweight though they’re expensive as compared to most other types of kayaks.
This is the next factor that can really affect the weight of your kayak. Here, you have to think of how you’ll use the kayak. If the kayak is for fishing purposes, then you have to find one with a hull that offers immense storage space for some of your fishing gear.
This is also ideal for paddlers looking to do multi-day trips or those going for long expeditions. So, for these reasons, your intended kayak will definitely be heavier as compared to kayaks with limited storage space.
Your kayak’s size is another factor that really affects its weight. Concisely, short kayaks tend to be lighter than their longer counterparts. However, regardless of whether the kayak is short or long, the material used to construct the hull can also make a huge difference in the weight.
For instance, an 8 ft. polyethylene-fishing kayak weighing 60 lbs. will definitely be heavier than a 10 ft. touring kayak made of one-piece PVC plastic weighing just 30-40 lbs. Although their lengths seem similar, the construction is what makes the ultimate difference.
Type of Kayak:
Last but not the least, there’s the type of kayak you’re looking to buy. Kayaks come in various types, which, of course, dictate their weights. For instance, a folding kayak is an example of a lightweight kayak and cannot be compared to an inflatable or a tandem kayak.
Popular Kayaks and Their Weight Limit
Recreational kayaks are some of the best types of kayaks to consider for casual or recreational purposes. They’re usually easy to paddle and have lengths that reach a maximum of 10 to 15 ft. long. These kayaks usually don’t have any special features and are best for beginners, intermediary and professional paddlers.
Since they’re not built with any special features, these kayaks thrive in flat waters such as lakes, slow-moving rivers or still water. About the weight, these kayaks weigh anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds. They also have the lowest weight capacity that ranges from 250 to 300 lbs.
The reason for their low weight limit is because they’re only intended for lighter duties such as photography and normal recreational purposes.
Also known as expedition kayaks, touring kayaks are quite the opposite of standard recreational kayaks in terms of the structure. While recreational kayaks prove to be efficient in still waters, touring kayaks can navigate well on both large water bodies and windy/turbulent water where recreational kayaks will find it challenging.
Before we get to the weight, it’s good to understand that touring kayaks are longer and narrower with a length of about 12 ft. Since they’re intended for multiday tours, they have a lot of storage space enough to fit all your stuff such as your sleeping bag, cooking equipment and other types of expedition gear.
Due to these reasons, touring kayaks have a higher weight limit that ranges from 300-350 lbs. Due to the heavyweight, they’re able to bear, these kayaks are quite tricky to control hence require professional paddlers.
These types of kayaks are very different from the rest of the kayaks we’ve mentioned. Their sizes and design vary greatly and are intended to navigate in waters that are more aggressive. Whitewater kayaks are categorized into playboats, longboats, creek boats, and river runners.
Playboat kayaks are short with a length of 6 ft. while longboats are longer with a length of 12 ft. and over. Creek boats and river runners have a length of 7-9 ft.
As we mentioned earlier, whitewater kayaks are intended for aggressive kayaking and are designed to withstand the heavy knocks by rocks and other solid objects while in the river. About their weights, whitewater kayaks can weigh anywhere from 40-60 lbs. and have a weight limit of 200 lbs. to around 280 lbs.
Although kayaking is regarded as a solitary endeavor, there are those kayaks that have gone beyond this tradition to accommodate at least two people during kayaking. Tandem kayaks are exactly what we’re speaking of.
Since they’re intended for two people, these kayaks tend to be the best for beginners as they can easily take a trainer along to assist them. They’re also the best for couples, family gatherings and friends looking to explore nature together.
Due to their design, these kayaks tend to be longer with lengths ranging from 14 to 18 ft. long and a weight that ranges anywhere from 50 to 80 lbs. In addition to that, a tandem kayak weight limit can vary from 500 to 600 lbs. They’re among the heaviest kayaks in the kayaking business and for a good reason.
If you’re an avid fishing connoisseur, then you probably won’t miss considering a fishing kayak. Briefly, these kayaks are more of recreational kayaks with major improvements that make them stable enough for fishing.
The size of these kayaks can range anywhere from 10-16 ft. long and 30-42 inches wide. Due to their extra-large sizes, anglers can add additional features such as extra storage space and motorized fishing equipment just to make fishing easier and more fun-filled.
Now, depending on your fishing requirements, these kayaks can weigh anywhere from 35 pounds to over 200 pounds. Their weight limit can also vary greatly (depending on the fishing gear you’re using) from 400-550 pounds.
An inflatable kayak is another variation that has been designed to tackle the issue of portability. They work normally just like other kayaks and are best suited for people living in small urban apartments where space is an issue.
These kayaks are quite convenient and easy to use as you only have to inflate them when padding or deflate them for easy transportation and storage when not in use.
Now, depending on the quality of the construction, the materials used and the size, inflatable kayaks can weigh anywhere from 20 pounds to over 50 pounds (when inflated, of course). The weight limit of this lightweight kayak can range anywhere from 220 pounds to over 300 pounds.
How Do You Transport a Kayak?
Once you determine the type of kayak you’ll be buying, the next thing you’ll need to consider is how you’ll be transporting the kayak from your home to the shore. If the kayak is on the heavy side, for the case of fishing and expedition kayaks, you’ll definitely have to add a kayak trailer to make transportation a breeze.
This will not only save you the time of loading the kayak on the roof rack, but it will also reduce any possible wear and tear that might occur in case the kayak falls off.
On the other hand, if the kayak is a basic recreational or whitewater variation, then you won’t need to purchase a kayak trailer. Instead, you can load it on your car or SUV’s roof rack.
Most topics on kayaks only touch on their variations and factors to consider when buying one. Just a few of the topics touch on the kayak weight limit. Although they make our lives easier when it comes to sporting, fishing and exploring the great waters, kayaks have their own weight limits which paddlers should really be keen on.
In addition to the weight limit, kayaks have their own weights too which you should be aware of when getting ready to kayak. At least with all these in mind, you will be able to plan ahead and shop for a kayak that will handle your weight and the weight of your gear without losing their balance, capsizing, or causing maneuverability issues.