Buying My Grandmother a Canister Vacuum

It was just the other day that my grandmother told me here vacuum really sucked! Jokes aside, it really did. I decided to go out and buy her a canister vacuum cleaner, and after reading reviews, I found the perfect one for her. If you don’t know what a canister vacuum is, it is essentially a regular vacuum except lightweight, high-powered, and maneuverable.

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I’m not sure how many people have Grandparents with a distinct “old-person smell” but, in my grandmother’s case, her house did. I actually didn’t bring it up, she had just mentioned it in conversation one day. “Dennis, this house stinks!” I said Gram, I couldn’t agree more. She then brought me over to her vacuum and had me take a look. My first impression was I didn’t know they made vacuums that old. Even the colors of the vacuum looked dated, from maybe the 80’s. Without being rude, I asked her how much she vacuumed her house, and she replied twice a week. So then I asked what sort of vacuum was she looking for? She has tons of low lying furniture and she is getting too old to move things around to clean under them. Canister vacuums are the best option for this and after looking at Canister Vacuum Experts, I decided that future proofing her with a top of the line Miele was the best option.

If you have a lot of furniture in your house, things like coffee tables, beds, tables, sofas, etc…then you know the struggles of being able to vacuum under them with an upright. Now imagine those struggles inside an 80-year-old woman’s body. As you can see the choice was obvious in going with a canister that was maneuverable and capable of cleaning under her furniture.

Now onto, allergens, HEPA, and hypoallergenic vacuums. This is something to keep in mind. My grandmother has lived in the same house for 40-50 years, longer than I’ve been alive. She has the same carpet in her living room and being able to get rid of any dust, debris, and allergens is crucial. Miele line of vacuums come equipped with HEPA filters that ensure 99.9% of allergens are trapped so they can’t get into the air. Before my grandfather passed he had installed hardwood floors throughout the house, except for this area, and luckily Canisters are the best vacuum for hardwood flooring. They have the strongest suction power of any vacuum and are considered in Europe to be the most widely used.

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The next thing to consider is whether or not you want a bagged vacuum or bagless. In this case keeping the HEPA filter in mind, we opted for a bagged vacuum. This does require regular changing but this isn’t something that she isn’t used to. Bagless options are well and good but both of our experiences show us that they are just far less superior in comparison to bagged options like the Miele.

Hopefully, this article helped you gain some perspective on vacuum cleaner purchasing as well as options to weigh before going out and spending a fortune on one. Just keep in mind you want to think of what’s best for you, and being able to future proof yourself when it comes to vacuums or any technology for that matter is essential.

UPDATE: My grandmother has been using her vacuum cleaner wonderfully. She has had no complaints over-all. She went with was the Miele after much research she decided it was the perfect choice for her. You can learn more about these vacuums by finding buying guides online, at least that’s what we did.

10 Things to Pack for Camping

Plan on going camping soon? Don’t forget to pick up camping gear that will surely maximize your outdoor experience!

1. Sleeping Bag

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A sleeping bag should be a given when going out on long trips, albeit camping, hiking, or any type of backpacking adventure. Those longs days (sometimes nights) are sure to bring on the “z’s”, so be sure to pack a sleeping bag that’s simple to set up and makes you comfortable. In addition, make sure that the sleeping bag is durable on any type of terrain, especially the rough and rocky kind. Plus, as you know, weather can be a very tricky thing, so make sure that you choose a sleeping bag that you feel will have enough insulation when the time comes. But just remember that when your hiking, you want to keep that excess weight to a minimum, so choose wisely what kind of sleeping bag you’re looking for.

2. Tent

Of course with a sleeping bag, you should have a tent with you. Be sure to get yourself a tent that can balance out with weight and size, all the while providing the maximum benefits. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, for instance, weighs about 2 pounds, is 90ins x 52ins x 42ins, and can hold up to two people. A bonus is that this tent can easily fit in your bag, so don’t let the weight and size fool you.

3. Backpack

Where are you going to put all of this stuff? Choosing the right backpack is essential, as it can either add weight or help you support the weight that’s already on your back. Also, you don’t want half of your things hanging out of your bag while you’re walking the trail and they keep falling out. Look for a pack that can handle the weight and has enough storage for your hiking equipment. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 is the right backpack for you if this is your ideal backpack. Of course, there are smaller packs if you feel that you won’t be taking a lot of extra things.

4. Proper Clothing

Wear fitting and enduring shoes. Obviously, open-toed shoes are out of the question. Most likely, your trip is going to be long, so be sure to pick up shoes that fit your feet, and are not too stiff or heavy. Make sure your shoes are able to last long periods without any wear and tear. The Saucony Peregrine 5 is beneficial for its padding, traction, and soft soles. Additionally, be sure that the shoes can endure any kind of terrain. Boots like the Outbound Mid GTX are highly adept at to the task at hand and are also highly recommended for hiking. Some are even water resistant and help with shock absorption, all the while serving your feet as a padded cushion. It all depends on what you feel, so try a few things out before you choose. Besides shoes, making the right choices for jackets are a must. As mentioned before, you never know what the weather has in store so be prepared. Make sure that you bring a jacket that can protect you from the potential rain as well as harsh winds. Again, we want to keep the weight down, but if you are okay with it, go for it. It also depends on what kind of hiking you plan on doing (3-seasons, etc.). There are heavy duty jackets like the Quince Down Jacket that can provide extended insulation. Just know that there are thinner, lighter jackets such as the Patagonia M10 that can get the job done as well Now, that’s clothing for the worst case scenario. Let’s talk about clothes for warmer weather. Trail shirts are a must-have for the warmer days of the journey. Trail shirts come in both short sleeve (Craft Trail Shirt) and long sleeve (Trail Dash Half-Zip Top), so choose wisely. Trail shirts sport sun protective material and quick drying, so don’t worry much about the sweating. As for pants, you can either take your chance with comfortable and flexible shorts with built in liners, or you can bring along a pair durable hiking pants, such as Sierra Trail Pants, that feel comfortable on the skin.

5. Tracking Device

Unless you somehow know where you’re going at all times, bring a tracking device with you, whether it’s a compass or some sort of GPS. They even have these things integrated into watches these days.

6. Grills/Portable Stoves. You’re going to need to eat, but don’t use public grills. You’d be better off bringing your own grill/portable stove with you. The 8.5 oz Jet Boil Sol Ti Premium can surely get the job done as it comes with a bowl and cooking vessel. Or, if you want more, you can go with the 14.6 oz Jet Boil MiniMo that comes with more features such as, a button igniter and extensive simmer control.

7. Water

This is a no-brainer.

8. Lightlf you’re a night person, bring some sort of light with you. Maybe you prefer a headlamp to a flashlight so you can keep your hands free. Whichever you prefer, be careful. For a flashlight, make sure you use a high power flashlight that goes easy on the battery while still providing a strongly lit path. If you’re going to choose a headlamp, make sure that the headlamp doesn’t hinder you in any way, such as weight.

9. Multi-Tool

You never know what you may need, so be prepared and take one with you Get one that has the major needs, such as a knife, pliers, and maybe even scissors.

10. Something to Do

You’ve been walking too much. Sit down and read, or do a word search. Play sudoku. Maybe even take pictures on your camera. Hiking can be stressful and strenuous, so take something with you that will keep you busy in between sleeping and walking. To conclude the list, yes, some of this stuff is pricey. But! There are tons of alternatives out there, these are just a few of them that I’ve mentioned and I’m sure they can get the job done just as well If you’re new to the backpacking experience, it is strongly advised that you wisely equip yourself with these items (as a minimum). But more importantly, be careful and have fun. Hiking is supposed to be an incredible adventure and experience, so don’t let anything intimidate you!