Writer reviews outdoor products

COOKINA Barbeque Reusable Grilling Sheet

Anytime is the right time to get out the grill and throw on some burgers, chicken and vegetables. I love grilling and will cook almost anything on those grates.

My grill isn’t that clean, though. Cleaning it is not one of my favorite things to do.

The dirty grates may be sealing in the flavor … or not, but sometimes the hardest part of grilling is having certain foods stick. Fish and sometimes vegetables aren’t the easiest to cook over the grates. The fish sticks and the veggies, well, they just fall through.

I recently found a product that helped me solve that problem. When I placed the COOKINA Barbeque Reusable Grilling Sheet on the grill grates, it kept the fish from sticking and kept the vegetables on the grill.

I first used the COOKINA Barbecue Reusable Grilling Sheet to cook white fish and various vegetables. At first, I was reluctant that this product could cook, for it’s just a piece of plastic-like material.

The non-stick reusable sheet is made of coated fabric called polytetrafluoroethylene. Also known as PFOA, it is a man-made fabric that is free of chemicals.

It’s a replacement for foil or parchment paper, which I never use on a grill (aside from foil packets).

The fish turned out great, never stuck on the grill once, and the vegetables were delicious (of course, it helped that I have great marinades).

It’s easy to clean – just hand wash in soapy water. The sheet comes with its own scrubbing pad. It didn’t take much to get the food off the sheet.

It also can be used on a smoker and cut to fit any size grill.

COOKINA Barbecue Reusable Grilling Sheet retails for $14.99 and can be found at www.cookina.com and the retailer Home Depot.

Tackle Grab

There always is something new when it comes to fishing lures. Companies are taking the traditional designs and improving them, throwing in a twist so anglers can be more successful.

Keeping up with the trends and having the newest gear can be time consuming and expensive.

Someone came up with the idea of having lures shipped to your house every month.

Tackle Grab, a leading online subscription box service for the recreational and sport-fishing industry, allows anglers to go online and set up an “angler profile.”

Then, every month, a box will be mailed out with selected high-end baits from new and best-rated brands.

Profiles also will customize the lures to the geographic location of where most of the fishing is done and the type of fishing desired. So, there’s no useless baits for open-water fishing for trout fishermen and vice versa.

The great thing about these Tackle Grab monthly subscriptions is they are good for all ages of anglers, men and women both.

Each box comes with an information card called “What’s in the Box.” It gives an overview of each lure sent and its price.

Our first box started out with bass fishing lures ranging from tubes, crank baits and weedless lures.

If you like your lures enough to want more, the Tackle Grab online store features them all.

Also in the monthly box are Tackle Grab Tips and Tackle Grab Pro Pointers that offer expert advice.

Tackle Grab has partnered with Earnhardt Outdoors, the outdoor lifestyle brand founded by siblings Kerry Earnhardt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt Jr. According to Tackle Grab, the two organizations hope to promote a multi-generational love of the outdoors by bringing families together for new fishing experiences.

Each monthly subscription package comes with free shipping, and there are four membership options:

$13 per month for a year subscription;

$14 per month for a six-month subscription;

$14.50 per month for a three-month subscription; but

The one we liked is the $15 for a month-to-month subscription. We were billed $15 every month.

Tackle Grab guarantees that the cumulative value in each box is equal to or greater than $15.

For more information, go to tacklegrab.com or call 1-888-834-7475.

Snipe Hunt game

There is one game that young kids always will play – hide and seek. It’s timeless but also can be fun for all ages. Indoor or outdoors, as long as kids and adults are willing to participate and be creative in hiding, it can last for hours.

Education Outdoors, a company that makes games and outdoor-themed products with the mission to bring families together to interact and learn about the outdoors, created a new twist on the old standby game.

Snipe Hunt involves two small creatures, the snipes – a hybrid that looks – we thought – like a combination of a bird, rabbit and mouse – and challenges players to hide them in the great outdoors (or indoors).

There is a twist: Once the snipes, which are named Smartin and Biela, are taken off their base, a internal countdown starts. When it ends, the little creatures start to make noise.

The snipes come with a great, entertaining back-story on how they got to earth and why they look like they do. The box says these “snipes” are a morphing of a snipe, an actual bird, and a pine marten.

The game is played by forming teams. The more people on your team, the better your chances of finding the hidden snipe. Once it’s found, it’s brought back to its base.

Teams can dispatch to find the snipe before the creatures begin making noise but, as time lapses, the chirps and purrs began and the snipe’s eyes light up. Playing in the dark can be pretty fun.

“I liked it! It’s fun … energetic and active,” Rebecca Peters, 10, of Loganton, said after playing Snipe Hunt. “It is a smart game … you have to think where to hide it.”

Other kids who played the game for the first time said it requires being about to stop and listen so you can find the hidden snipe’s location.

The adults who played had a little trouble distinguishing the snipe noises from the birds that were tweeting that afternoon. Once you can tell the difference, it becomes easier.

All who played enjoyed their time outside. It reminded the adults of capture-the-flag, but with a fun twist.

Find Snipe Hunt at www.educationoutdoors.net.