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When we got married fifteen years ago, we both wanted to make the outdoors a part of our lives together. So we made a modest goal to go camping at least twice a year: once in the fall, and once in the spring. We even registered for a tent and sleeping bags as part of our wedding registry.

These early years of married life were pretty busy for us: law school and starting AoM and having babies. But we stuck with our commitment pretty well, even if most of our camping trips were just quick 36-hour getaways.

The kind of camping we did was car camping, where you pull up in your vehicle to a developed, preset campsite outfitted with tent pad, fire ring, picnic benches, and nearby restrooms. It was the kind of camping we were most familiar with and seemed the most accessible.

We certainly had some good times, hiking and sitting around the fire doing our biannual check-in on how we were each respectively doing in the different areas of our lives, and engaging in our tradition of sharing our individual and mutual “hopes and dreams.”

But almost from the start, we experienced some measure of doubt about the ROI of these excursions. Packing up for the trip took a lot of time and tedium (even though we found ways to streamline the process); then there was setting up camp when we got to our destination; then packing everything back up; then unpacking it when we got home to air it out; then packing it back up again . . . and for one (uncomfortable) night sleeping out!

The discomfort of sleeping outside would have been justifiable, if these trips really offered the feeling of getting away from it all — of stepping into the wild. But the campsites, at least the ones around here in Oklahoma and Arkansas, evoked anything but. It’s hard to feel you’re engaging in a John Muir-esque soul washing, when the glow of the restrooms casts a light over your tent, people blare music from radios, playgrounds sit a few feet away, and you fall asleep to the sound of bullfrogs . . . mixed with the hum of RV generators.

So over the last several years, we’ve tried alternatives. Staying in a cabin. Backpacking.

And now that we’ve sampled several avenues for getting a dose of nature, we’re ready to declare: car camping is the worst.

You know, at least relative to the other options.

Car camping requires the same amount of preparation/packing/unpacking rigmarole and nearly the same level of tent-sleeping discomfort as backpacking, but without the latter’s advantage of allowing you to feel you’ve escaped civilization completely and immersed yourself in nature.

Car camping requires more preparation/packing/unpacking rigmarole, and a worse night’s sleep than a cabin, without actually feeling like a significantly wilder experience.

Cabin stays, backpacking, and car camping all offer the chance to hike, which is, at least for us, unarguably the main point and best part of these excursions (and if you live close to the outdoors, a day hike that has you exploring all day, and back in your own bed at night, can be one of the best possibilities of all). But car camping sacrifices the comfort and convenience of the cabin stay, without the full-on-nature-bathing upside to backpacking, and thus exists in a kind of unappealing limbo land.

Now in fairness to car camping, it is cheaper than renting a cabin, or buying backpacking gear (although these are one-and-done purchases). And it allows you to

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Podcast #971: The 5 Factors for Crafting Simple (Read: Effective!) Messages


You want to convince your children, students and customers, whether you are a parent, teacher or business owner. In the modern world, where people are exposed to 13 hours of media per day, this is a difficult task. How can you make yourself heard in the midst of all this noise? My guest would tell me that it’s about keeping things simple.

Ben Guttmann, a marketing consultant and educator, has helped promote everything from NFL teams to New York Times bestselling authors. He is the author of Simply Put, Why Clear Messages Work–and how to Design Them. Today on the show, Ben explains the gap between how people like to receive messages and the self-sabotaging, complication-introducing ways people tend to send them. We discuss the five elements of effective marketing, which anyone can use to craft simple, powerful, and influential messages. We talk about why it’s better to focus on the benefits of something rather than the features. We also discuss how to use “and” instead of “so” in order to craft more focused messages.

Podcast Resources

Sunday Firesides: Do not confuse niceness with kindnessThing Explainer by Randall Munroe: Complicated Things in Simple Words

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Podcast #971: 5 Factors to Crafting Simple (read: Effective!) Messages The post Messages first appeared on The Art of Manliness.

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Angel Jackets Review – Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Jacket

Angel Jackets Review: Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Jacket

Online shopping can be a bit like sailing through a turbulent sea. But every now and then, you come across a treasure trove that makes it all worthwhile. Angel Jackets is a paradise for jacket lovers like me.

I already own four leather jackets for men. What was my prize? My prize catch? The black café racer leather motorcycle jacket. This piece promised to not only add an extra layer to my wardrobe, but also to bring a new level of sophistication to my everyday attire. This is my Angel Jackets Review.

Easy Ordering Process

Angel Jackets’ seamless online experience set the tone from the start. The website guided me through the plethora options, but it was a black cafe racer leather motorcycle jacket that caught my attention, promising style and versatility. The ordering process went smoothly, with clear instructions and a checkout that was smoother than leather I was about touch. The PS169 price, including free shipping, was a great deal for the quality of what I received.


The four-day wait was well worth it. The package was not a simple box but a chest full of luxury that awaited to be opened. It beckoned, “Experience Luxury.” The message “Elevate Your Wardrobe with Our Premium Leather Jacket” was also inside. It set the scene for what seemed like a historic occasion. It was neatly folded, and a work of art, ready to be worn.

Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Coat

The fit of the jacket was almost magical. It felt as if the jacket had been custom-made for me. The comfort of the 100% lambskin leather wrapped me in a whispering promise that it would age gracefully over time. The soft polyester lining of the jacket was like a loving embrace between it and its owner.

The nuances are what really set this jacket apart – the decorative padding on shoulders, which whispered stories of adventure; the four zipper pockets; and the zipper sleeve sleeves that speak the language of function with flair. The erect neckline with its smooth YKK zipper closure added a touch of sophistication.

This jacket wasn’t just a piece; it was an expression. The black color was like a blank canvas, allowing for endless combinations. The decorative seam details and the extra pockets, one of which is specifically for a smartphone

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Skill of the Week: Throw a Boomerang

A man’s ability to adapt to any situation is an important part of his masculinity. We’re republishing an illustrated guide from our archive every Sunday so that you can improve your manly knowledge week by week.

The process usually goes like this: You buy a boomerang in a toy shop because it sounds interesting. You can throw it in an open field. Throw it half a dozen times, only to hear it crash to the ground about 20 feet from where you are standing. Place the boomerang at the back of the closet and forget about it.

It’s easy to understand why boomerangs frustrate. It’s not intuitive like throwing a football or baseball. The key to a successful throw is the correct grip, throwing motion and evaluation of your circumstances. Make sure you are using a “returning” boomerang. Many of them are only for decoration and fly around as well as snow globes.

Ted Slampyak, Illustration

The Art of Manliness first published the Skill of the week: Throwing a Boomerang.

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