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5 Places You Must Have an Instant Canopy

Posted on: April 1st, 2015 by Quik Shade

Now that the warm temperatures of spring are starting to stick around, it’s a great time to head outdoors with your family and kick that cabin fever. There are tons of warm weather activities you can engage in with the kids, but just remember that while exposure to direct sunlight can increase vitamin D levels, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. For example, according to the Sun Safety Alliance, just one blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.

5 Places You Absolutely Must Have an Instant Canopy

For this reason, it is absolutely crucial to set up your home base in a cool, shady area. Don’t gamble your family’s wellbeing by hoping that a shady spot will be available when you arrive at your outdoor destination. To create your own respite from the sun and elements, bring a Quik Shade Instant Canopy along for the trip. They are conveniently portable and simple to set up and break down.

Here are some outdoor family activities in which instant canopies are absolutely essential.

Outdoor Festivals 

One of the cornerstones of outdoor festivals, whether they are celebrating art, music or barbeque, is the pop-up canopy. These hassle-free devices line the main festival thoroughfares, sometimes for miles, and are the perfect way to stake out your space, whether you are selling your wares, promoting your business, or just want a central meeting place for your group. All festivals have different rules and regulations, so be sure to check with the officials before bringing your canopy. 

Little League Games 

When your kids and their teammates have been running around the soccer or baseball field for hours on end, having a shady place for them to sit down, rest and rehydrate is key. Set up a few folding camping chairs in the space (like the Quik Chair), keep coolers filled with bottled waters, juice boxes and snacks, and even sweeten the deal with a few handheld, battery-operated cooling and misting fans. 


5Ks and charity walks are great places to set up a shady canopy because runners can swing by for some quick shade and refreshment to keep them going all the way to the finish line. And don’t forget NASCAR and motocross races. Long days at the track can take their toll, especially with the sun beating down on you. 


What better place to get pumped for the big game than under a shady canopy, with tunes playing, a cold beverage in your koozie, and a freshly grilled hot dog or hamburger on your plate? Make your tailgate party the talk of the parking lot by starting with a simple instant canopy. The shade will not only make you more comfortable, but the protection from full sunlight will also keep your coolers colder and your food safer to eat, for longer periods of time. 


If you’re a family of nature lovers, then camping is surely a favorite activity. While everyone likes escaping into the wilderness, it’s also nice to have some creature comforts, one of them being shade. Set up an instant canopy at your campsite to shield you from the elements like sun and rain. 


Remember that even through shade and cloudy days, you can still be affected by UV rays, so be sure to pair your outdoor activities with a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and polarized sunglasses (which are especially important for people with light-colored eyes like green and blue). Pack up that canopy and set out on your family adventure this weekend! 

Sarah Kellner is a writer for The Home Depot who writes on a wide variety of family and outdoor recreation topics. To find the canopies mentioned in this article, visit

Top 5 Tourist Destinations that Require Sunscreen

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Cornwall Beach


Skin cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer worldwide. The UV damage caused by sun exposure contributes to over 90 percent of skin cancer cases. One of the best ways to prevent skin cancer is to wear sunscreen, especially when outdoors on a sunny day. Any exposure to sun, even for a few days on vacation, can contribute to skin cancer. Everyone should wear sunscreen when outdoors. However, if you normally live in a climate with less sun, or spend a limited time outdoors, it is even more important to wear sunscreen while on vacation, as you will not have any natural protection in your skin. When you travel to the following top 5 sunshine-rich destinations, be sure not to forget the sunscreen.


Australia provides many beautiful destinations for touring. You can choose to dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reefs, sail between islands, cruise along the Gold Coast, catch some sun on the Sydney beaches, drive the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne, tour the Outback, or see Uluru rock. Whether you only have time for one of these unique and picturesque locations, or you squeeze them all into your trip, you need to wear sunscreen. Although parts of Australia are southern enough to have real winters–and even penguins–many parts of Australia stay warm and sunny all year long.

However, it is not just due to the weather that you need sunscreen. The ozone layer above Australia is thinned, which allows more UV radiation to reach the earth. Since the 1960s, there has been a five to nine percent depletion of the ozone layer over Australia. The extra UV exposure provides a higher risk of skin cancer. Australians have the highest skin cancer rates in the world, which is two to three times the rates of Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.–and it is not just because they like to spend time outdoors. It is recommended that you wear sunscreen with high SPF levels year round in Australia, even on cloudy days, to prevent skin cancer.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is considered by many to be the most beautiful island in the world. Located in the South Pacific, this volcanic island is surrounded by a lagoon and barrier island. Several resorts feature over-water bungalows at a variety of prices, so everyone can enjoy the expierence. Bora Bora provides visitors several options for water-centric activities, in addition to simply relaxing and enjoying the sun.


The Pacific islands that make up Hawaii each offer tourists a different experience, but they all provide a paradise setting in which to relax and enjoy the sun and ocean. The islands offer mild tropical weather, with year round sunshine and warm weather, in which to enjoy the gorgeous vistas. Most activities in Hawaii are outdoors, including swimming, diving, snorkeling, hiking, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying luaus.

Caribbean Islands

It can be really difficult to decide which of the Caribbean islands to visit, which is why many cruise companies offer cruises that go through many of the different islands. Many visitors enjoy Barbados, the easternmost island in the Caribbean Sea. It features many world-class hotels, as well as private villas. The islands of Barbados feature white and pink sands. The east coast offers large waves, popular with surfers. 

Greek Islands

The many islands of Greece provide visitors beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, along with historical artifacts from Ancient Greek and unique architecture and culture. Each island has its own traditions and local culture, but they all feature areas to enjoy the sunshine amid the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The most popular island is Santorini, with is famous for the beautiful views and gorgeous sunsets. Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete are also popular island destinations in Greece. 

photo credit: Jim Champion via photopin cc

5 Adventurous Activities For The Whole Family

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by Quik Shade

Camping With The Whole Family

Your adventurous spirit does not have to become a distant memory once you start a family. There are several fun and adventurous activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family, regardless of the age of your children. Everyone can easily enjoy each of these five activities, although there might need to be some small modification for very young children.


Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors as a family. There are a variety of camping opportunities, including staying in tents, recreational vehicles, trailers, cabins, or lodges. You just need to find a beautiful outdoor area and enjoy sleeping in the wild. You can also include other fun outdoor activities such as hiking or tubing in the river. You can do a trial camping run in your backyard to see how well your children handle sleeping outdoors before scheduling a larger event.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing or snowboarding trips can be fun for the whole family. Generally, children can begin to take lessons for the full skiing experience around age three, but they can enjoy playing around in flat terrain on skis and boots before then as long as they are fairly stable on their legs. Even if you have children not yet able to walk, your family can enjoy a skiing or snowboarding trip. You can go sledding, snowshoeing, or just ride a gondola up the mountain, as well as trade off babysitting duties while the rest of the family enjoys skiing or snowboarding.


Kayaking is another fun activity for all ages. Until your child is experienced and old enough to kayak by his or herself, you will want one adult with every child in a kayak. If you kayak on smooth water and have a lot of experience yourself, you can take a child of any age in the kayak with you, as long as you take safety precautions such as a lifejacket. In rougher water, such as the ocean, you may want to wait until your child is a little older. It is important that you teach your child water safety and that they can swim before taking them kayaking, especially in rougher waters. You can also go canoeing, tubing, or rafting with your whole family, depending on the water activities available to you.


Hiking is something that anyone can enjoy. There are a variety of trails that can be convenient for all skill levels, including very young children. When you are taking your children hiking, you should keep in mind their endurance, and the possibility you may have to carry a child for some of the distance. As your children grow, you can go on longer and more intense hikes, including extended backpacking trips that include overnight camping.


Geocaching is one of the latest crazes that people of all ages enjoy. All you need is a GPS enabled smartphone and you can go treasure hunting all over the world, including in your own hometown. There are specific geocache, or containers, hidden in special places. You use your GPS device to search for the container hidden in the area. Typically, once you find the geocache, you leave it. However, if you want to take it, you are expected to leave something of equal or greater value for others to enjoy. There are a variety of geocache types, including the traditional containers, a mystery or puzzle cache, multi cache that has multiple locations, and EarthCache that tells about unique natural features of the area.

With these five adventurous activities, you and your whole family can enjoy spending time outdoors together. You can start doing many of these activities when your children are young with some modifications, and then continue to build on the activities as they grow up. 

photo credit: Frank Vincentz

Solar Car Canopies Bringing Power To The People

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Purpose of Solar Canopy

Solar power offers the potential to easily power buildings and homes without worrying about running out resources and contributing to global warming. When many people think about solar power, they think about solar panels on the roof. However, new solar car canopies provide another possibility for bringing renewable energy to homes and businesses.

What is a Solar Car Canopy?

A solar car canopy is simply a car canopy that has solar panels on the roof. It uses the same solar photovoltaic (PV) technology used in solar panels installed on roofs or used in solar plants. Solar panels can provide a significant portion of a building’s electricity needs, up to 100 percent. Solar power can be used anywhere, and the PV technology offers versatility that can be installed anywhere that can fit the panels. Typically, a solar car canopy needs to be built from scratch, as opposed to just adding solar panels to an existing roof.

Dual Purpose

Solar parking canopies have a dual purpose: generate power and protect your car. They feature solar panels on the roof structure to draw in the solar energy and convert it to electricity for the surrounding area, building, or home. They also protect the car from inclement weather and provide shading, just like any other car canopy. These panels do not just work in sunny, warm weather. They can withstand winter snow load, control the water runoff, and work through any type of weather. However, you will have to ensure that you purchase a canopy that is made to work with your climate. Additionally, solar car canopies help reduce the effects of heat islanding, which is what happens when the heat absorbed by the concrete and asphalt areas are released into the air at night. This can alter weather conditions, especially in large urban areas.

Parking Lot Structures

Businesses and apartment buildings can add parking canopies in their parking lots or adjacent open areas that provide covered parking in addition to generating on-site solar electrical power. There are several companies offering large-scale parking lot canopies that provide protection for the vehicles and create a power plant for the business. Many businesses have turned to installing parking lot solar canopies because of certain downsides and limitations to installing solar panels on their roofs.

Personal Car Ports

For individuals, solar car canopies can provide a way to bring solar power to their home. They are perfect for those who do not have the space on the roof for solar panels due to HVAC equipment or other issues. The solar canopy allows users to have significant space for enough solar power panels to power their house, or at least offset a significant portion of the energy use. Although these canopies are mostly used as carports, they can also be used to create patios in the backyard.

Electric Vehicle Charging

Solar car canopies can work in combination with electric vehicle charging stations to create a true zero emissions ride. The electrical vehicle charging station can be powered by the solar car canopies. These canopies can be used in cities to provide residents a place to charge their cars, or smaller canopies can be used in the home of the vehicle owner to charge their car.

Many people do not have a garage, or have more cars than fit in their garage. When this happens, they often consider installing a carport or a canopy in order to protect their car from inclement weather. Instead of installing a typical car canopy, consider using a solar car canopy. It not only protects your car, but it also will provide energy to your home, offsetting your energy costs and carbon emissions. In time, the solar car canopies will pay for themselves, especially if you have an electric vehicle.

photo credit: Tatmouss

10 Greatest World Cup Hosts Of All Time

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 FIFA World Cup 2014

The 2014 World Cup has ended, with the world congratulating Germany on its victory, the first European nation to win a World Cup title in the Americas. With World Cup fever beginning to abate and fans already anticipating the next cup in Russia in 2018, it is time to rank the 10 greatest World Cup hosts since its official beginning in 1930.

South Africa 2010

The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, making it the first time that the event took place on African soil. That alone makes the South Africa games memorable, but the culture and beautiful backdrops to the game intensified the experience for those who enjoyed the experience in person and on television. The games also introduced the world to the Vuvuzela, to much controversy.

USA 1994

In 1994, the United States played host to the World Cup, even though there was not a large population of soccer fans in the country. However, an average attendance of 69,000 set a new record, with a total attendance of 3.6 million that remains the highest. The games were played in nine cities across the country, showcasing soccer to Americans around the country. The tournament helped to bring professional football to America, and in 1996 Major League Soccer was established.

Korea and Japan 2002

In 2002, the World Cup made its way to Asia for the first time. Additionally, these games produced another first: tow countries hosting the event together. The event was held in venues that had scintillating perspectives, especially in Japan. The attendance was low, but it still ranks as a success for opening up the event into Asia, and for showing how two countries can successfully share hosting duties.

France 1998

In 1998, the World Cup expanded to featuring 32 national squads for the first time. Additionally, Japan and South Africa qualified for the first time, leading the way to their hosting the cup in the future. France not only hosted the games, they also took home the trophy.

England 1966

England last hosted the games in 1966, with the third most attended game with over 51,000 fans for each match. These games also are the last time England won the trophy. The games took place in many of the famous stadia around England still in use today.

Switzerland 1954

The 1954 games in Switzerland had the highest number of goals scored, with an average of 5.38 per game. For a game known for minimal scored games, these games must have been exciting for fans to experience.

Chile 1962

When the games returned to South America in 1962, it was to the victor Chile, who won hosting duties over Argentina and Germany. In 1960, a devastating earthquake hit Chile, making FIFA consider changing the event location. However, Chile’s FA president appealed saying, “We have nothing, that is why we must have the World Cup.” FIFA proceeded as planned, and the games successfully took place on two impressive stadia.

Germany 2006

In 2006, Germany hosted the games in twelve of its UEFA five-star rating stadia that had at least 40,000 seats for the matches. Visitors and natives enjoyed themselves during the games. The fans’ areas created an atmosphere for colorful congregations, providing a fun atmosphere to the games.

Italy 1934

In 1934, Benito Mussolini saw the potential of using such an international event for propaganda and hosted the World Cup with relish. Italy also brought home the trophy.

Brazil 2014

There are mixed reviews about the success of the 2014 World Cup games, but it deserves a place on this list for its news-worthy events, including the record-breaking, upsetting defeat of the host country in the semi-finals, the infamous biting incident, and more. About 3.5 million people attended the event, with an average 53,000 per match.

photo credit: Claudio Lara

A Style-Guide To A Cooler Backyard

Posted on: June 18th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Guide To A Cooler Backgroundphoto credit: Fuzzypumpkins via photopin cc

Have you always wanted to do something with that big backyard you have, but were never really sure what exactly that change might be? It doesn’t even have to be a big back yard, just something that you know you can work with but haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. With a bit of know-how, the right people, and a bit of an investment, you can have one of those cool backyards that people enjoy coming of to your house to hang out in. Here is a brief list of some of the things you can do in order to get that backyard you want, the one that you can entertain guests and just kick back in and enjoy. It may take some time and some money, but in the end it will be worth it.

Start with the Perimeter

Details make all of the difference, and such as a great frame makes that masterpiece painting all that much better, so does the peripheral of your backyard. Take a look at your fence and the condition your house is in, and the garage or tool shed if you have it. It’s hard to have a nice backyard with a dilapidated fence that could fall over in the next strong wind, and a house where the paint is peeling and the trim is chipped. Get to work there first.

Once your fence is in good order and same with the house (or id that is the case already) then take a look at the plants around the backyard. Should they be removed? Changed? Trimmed back? Can you add more? Some people like to set up potted plants and accessories like hanging lamps or maybe something like a garden gnome… just to give the place some character. Be creative with it!

A Patio

It is actually not too common for someone to have a patio of any kind in their backyard. This is not including concrete walking spaces or areas you can set up a table to two… but a bona fide wooden patio. If you already have one, what condition is it in? Does it need to be painted, sanded, or replaced entirely? This is the main area in which you will be hanging out and entertaining guests at, so it needs to shine. Again, adding some accessories like hanging or potted plants or what have you will only make the area better.

Take a look at the chairs, tables, awnings, and other things you have out there. To keep things linear,  ask yourself if the color of the patio furniture matches the house? The fence? Should they be replaced? Paying attention to those kinds of details will make your backyard more inviting and comfortable to be in.

Tables, Chairs, Plants, Oh My!

If you cannot afford a patio, then work with the space you have. Set aside an area for the a tables chairs, and the canopy. Make sure you have a canopy for those hot sunny days, and even those rainy ones where you still want to go outside and enjoy the weather but not get wet.

Setting aside an area can also be used with things like potted plants. You could even build something like a small fence and have some plants growing through it to give the sitting area an enclosed feeling while keeping it pretty and fresh at the same time.

Et Cetera

Once the details are taken care of, the fence is mended, the house has been cleaned and/or painted, the tables and chairs are out, the plants are watered and everything is where it should be, take a step back and ask yourself what is missing. Do you want to add a firepit? A barbecue? Maybe a walkway from the backdoor to the seating area with some of those solar-powered lights to illuminate the pathway? Something like that. The possibilities are infinite and all it takes is time and some creativity and it will all come together, maybe even better than you thought it would. 

Top Ten Items To Get For The Outdoorsman In Your Life

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Outdoorsman Must Havephoto credit: TOMediaCO via photopin cc

Sleeping Bag Onesie

It takes the normal mummy sleeping bag and turns it into something that can be gotten around in. It has openings in the top for the arms that can zip up, the opening for the face so, you know, you can breathe at night, and the bottom is made of two slots to slip your legs in to. Then, they separate via zipper at the bottom so you can get up and walk around! Sure, it looks strange, but it is probably pretty warm and great for getting up out of the tent in the morning and heading over to the campfire without even getting out of your sleeping bag.

The BioLight Camp Stove/Charger

This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments. Have you ever been on a camping trip or a long hike, and your MP3 player runs out of batteries? Ever wanted to cook something AND charge your MP3 player at the same time? Well, that didn’t occur to use either, but hold the phone! With the BioLight Camp Stove/Charger, you can cook the can of noodle soup AND charge your MP3 player from the energy the heat creates at the same time. Just wrap that cord in foil so it doesn’t melt.

The Pocket Shower

This is something several people would have wanted a long time ago. This is a simple bag you will with water and hang from the branch of a tree, then twist the nozzle at the bottom and take a shower!

Fire Crystals

This isn’t something that is necessarily essential for survival, but it is pretty cool. These are little crystals that you throw in the fire and they change the colors of the fire. Tell a ghost story, and at the best part, throw some of those in and make those you are with think you have magical powers.

Inflatable Tents

Yes, they exist, and they are for the lazy. But that’s alright. These are basic tents that have no stakes or poles, and you just fill them up with air and you have some sturdy shelter for yourself out in the wild.

A canopy

This is something simple that most people overlook, wish they had when they were out camping with the family, tell themselves they are going to get once they get back down the hill, and then forget about once they get home. Get a canopy! Not ideal for backpacking, but when you’re in a campsite with the family, the kids are off on a hike and it is time to relax, you’d wished you had a canopy to set up the chair underneath so you can get back to that good book as opposed to trying to find some shade from a tree.

The Waterproof Solar Lamp

Now, one might ask… a waterproof solar lamp would be charged by the sun, but if it is waterproof, which prevents rain from damaging it, then why would the sun charge it if it is raining? Take into account those backpacking trips where you fall into the river, or a sudden rain hits (as it can in certain parts of the country) and then dissipates quickly. Waterproofing isn’t only for the rain. This thing charges in about 5 hours time, so leave it out during the day, which then leads to about 15 hours of light.

Solar Fire Starter

This simple and yet effective item is a small reflective plate with a fork poking up out of the middle of it. It looks like a small satellite dish. You put some small firestarter material in teh fork, holding it up to the intense UV rays that the dish reflects, which eventually causes it to light on fire.

A Flashlight That Lights the Way Ahead and the Path at Your Feet

For lack of a better name, this item is made to might up the path ahead of you and what is down at your feet so you don’t trip over roots are rocks while you walk at night.

Glow in the Dark Tape

This is useful for more than just camping, but is ideal for putting on things like zipperheads to the tent, your flashlight, your shoes, and maybe even laying out a path from one thing to another so you can see your path at night. Who knows?

10 Ways To Make Use Of Your Summer Vacation Time

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Go to the Beach
The summertime is the best time to go ahead and take a trip to the beach, with the sun and the cool offshore breeze to make one feel relaxed. Don’t forget your sunscreen, because we all know what a bad sunburn feels like. Pack up the family and invite some friends, bring the chairs, a good book, some food, maybe the boogie board… and don’t forget to bring a canopy or two to keep the sun off of you and provide a nice shady space for people to come back to.

Go For a Hike
Who doesn’t like to take a day and get away from the craziness of the city life? Going out into nature can be extremely therapeutic for you, and provide some good memories to go back to when a day at the office gets to be a tad too stressful.

Visit Some Museums
With the way the year seems to fly by and we use the weekends to relax, things like going to a good museum and seeing art or learning about something important in history seem to go by the wayside. Take some time to go out and see a local museum, learn about local history or see some good pieces of art that may affect you in a positive way.

Go Camping
When going for a hike just doesn’t cut it, try taking a trip out into the wilderness for a few days and really unwind from a busy schedule. Going out into the wilderness and experiencing the quiet, the wind through the trees, more stars in the sky than you’ve ever seen before at night, campfires, so on and so forth… all that will help one to really get back down to the ground, Make sure to pack accordingly- do some research on this if you’re inexperienced. The elements can be brutal out in the wild, especially the sun, so make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and maybe that canopy you’ve been meaning to make use of.

Visit a Resort
Although expensive, going to a resort and taking some time to really relax and have yourself be provided for is a great way to feel like you’re on top of things. Take the family to a remote or expotic location and kick back, enjoying the good food, the spa, extracurricular activities and the quiet.

Attend a Music Festival
Summer is when all the great music festivals come out and rock the town for a few days. Not only is there music, but food, things to buy and entertainment are abound. Music festivals are springing up everywhere across the country and you can easily find one that fits your tastes.

Visit Family
The years fly by and people get older. Family is important and if yours is scattered across the country or the world, make sure to take some time and go see them. The work year is busy and people seem to have less and less time for family. Make sure to take a week or two and go see them while you still can.

Visit Friends
Same with visiting family, friends can be some of the most important people in your life. Make sure to take time to see them and keep the friendship alive. Wherever they may be, go there and not only will you get to see your friends but experience a new place as well.

See The Country
On the same coin, going out and visiting places in the country where you live is something everyone should do. Too many people stay confined to their local areas and never branch out, trying and experiencing new places. Our country specifically, the United States is massive and has so many good places to go out and see. Try it out!

Try Something Daring!
Do you have a bucket list? Ever wanted to try something like hang-gliding, rock climbing, bungee-jumping, sky-diving… any of those? The summertime is a great time to get out there and try those things out. You only live once and what a story you’d be able to tell your friends if you went out there and did such adventurous things.

A Guide To Upgrading Your Outdoor Lounge Area

Posted on: May 12th, 2014 by Quik Shade

A Guide To Upgrading Your Outdoor Lounge Area

If you’re one of those people who has a patio that is not being used, or a space in your backyard that could easily be changed into something worthwhile, then this is a little guide that can provide a few tips on upgrading it into something that is worth envying, a place that you can entertain guests and lounge on with pride.

The Patio

First off, when it comes to patios, most the time the wood used to make the patio can be old and sometimes either rotted out or hit with a termite infestation. Make sure to check out the patio to make sure that none of this has happened. If it has, then the unfortunate and rather expensive task of fixing or completely replacing your patio will have to happen. However, as burdensome as this might seem, if it is done, then this is the kind of fix that will last a long time and be worth it in the long run.

The Setting

Next, take into account the ambiance of the house and the backyard as a whole. Like the frame of a painting, the surroundings of where your outdoor area are add to the way it is received by yourself and others. Ask yourself if the house might need to get some touching up on the trim, or the roof needs to be worked on a bit. Take a look at the backyard lawn and the plants growing around. Should they be touched up a bit? Would some rose bushes or other kinds of plants need to be added? Taking into account these kinds of details will help the way you feel about your backyard and accompanying patio.

The Furniture

For a outdoor lounge area to be successful, there must be, of course, lounging. Do you have patio furniture? If you do, what kind of condition is it in? Does it need to be replaced? Take into account how many people you think you might want to have over for a party or a barbecue. Do you have enough patio furniture? The right kind of furniture makes all the difference and is worth an investment, much like the fixing of a patio or deck.

A good canopy makes all the difference as well when it comes to having an effective backyard lounging area. In the summer it is going to get hot and sunny, and in the winter, there is going to be rain. You don’t want to have your backyard area that you’ve put so much time and money into only be used during certain times of the year, while the rest of the year it just goes unused. So, invest in the kind of canopy that can keep the hot, beating sun off of you and your guests, as well as one that will stop the rain when it comes pouring down.

The Details

Like any fine art piece, greatness can lie in the details. You’ve got your new patio, the mowed lawn and tendered plants, the clean walls of the house and patched roof. You’ve got your new patio furniture and strong canopy. But now, you have to pay attention to the little things. These little things are commonly referred to as accessories.

Hang a few potted plants from the tree and the railing of your patio. Maybe have a few of the larger kind decorating the perimeter of your patio and backyard, and make sure to keep them watered.

There are also a lot of different kinds of accessories that one can include in their backyard lounging area. These are things like a barbecue, a hammock, tiki torches, a fire pit, a space heater for those cold days, a thermometer, hanging lamps, some weatherproof art pieces, and so on.

Go Forth!

This should help you get the kind of backyard lounging area that you want, the kind that will last a long time and be able to entertain your friends. Make sure you invest in quality items too, so they last you a long time and hold up against the wear and tear of all the parties that you are going to have.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself From UV Rays

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Quik Shade


The sun warms and nourishes the earth and our bodies, bringing nutrients like Vitamin D to us through our skin, as well as letting green plant life flourish. It has been worshipped across the ages by peoples of all cultures from everywhere around the globe, and it still is today. The sun is warm and comfortable, and besides, who doesn’t like a good tan?

But it is coming more and more to light (no pun intended) that the sun can also be harmful to us. Too much of us absorbing UV rays from the sun has been linked to ailments such as skin cancer, and everyone knows the bad experience a sunburn can bring on. So it is important that you take precautions and protect yourself from the sun. A fair bit of sun is fine, even healthy, but too much exposure at any one time will start to cause damage to your skin and lead to further problems.

Wear Sunscreen!

One of the most obvious of the ways to protect yourself from the sun, yet it is also the least used. How many people really put on sunscreen on a daily basis? There are, of course, occasions in which it is customary to put on sunscreen, such as when you go out hiking or to the beach, river rafting or fishing- any kind of outdoor activities. But on a daily basis, most people don’t use sunscreen to protect their skin.

Think about the parts of your body that get the most sun on a day to day basis: your arms from the elbows down and your head from the neck up. Sometimes, your feet from the knees down if you are accustomed to wearing shorts and sandals. It should be obvious to someone where they are getting the most sun from a quick once-over of their bodies. Check and see where your skin is darker than other areas and make sure to put some sunscreen on there before you go outdoors. You don’t have to overdo it or use a sunscreen that has a large SPF (sun protection factor) to it- maybe something along the lines of 10 or 15 will do fine. This is something that pays off in the future as a preventative measure to something like skin cancer.

Cover Up!

On hot days, it is hard to justify covering yourself in longsleeves and pants in order to protect yourself from the sun, but sunscreen doesn’t stop everything that is coming in from the sun. Again, you don’t have to overdo your clothing selection in order to keep those UV rays off of your skin, like wearing a jacket or sweater and thick pants on a day that doesn’t necessarily call for it, but maybe something more lightweight that will keep you cool and still protect your skin. And lastly, wear a hat, especially if you are someone whose hair is thinning or already gone to the wayside on parts of your head. Is is very common for skin cancer to crop up on the scalps of men and women whose hair is thinner than most on the top and sides of their heads.

Limit Exposure

When going to the beach, the river, out camping, and so on in areas that are more likely to have higher sun exposure, especially in areas that are of a higher altitude, make sure to stay out of the suns rays as much as possible by providing yourself with as much shade as possible. There are several ways to do this, and the best way (if you are camping or setting up a side to hang out at) is to use one or more canopies that can be easily set up anywhere. This will help you stay cool and keep those sunburns away while you are out and having fun.