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Editor’s Note: Now that Apple’s third-generation has arrived in stores, that means a lot of earlier models of Apple’s tablet could find themselves looking for work. If you’re upgrading to a new iPad, you don’t necessarily have to sell your old tablet or give it away. This is the first in a series of articles in which we look at ways to give your old iPad a new purpose. In this installment, we focus on the iPad’s potential as a dedicated kitchen companion.

The App Store is stuffed with apps for planning out meals, organizing grocery lists, and discovering new recipes. So it’s little wonder that so many home cooks consider the iPad as indispensible a kitchen tool as a good chef’s knife. So why not take the next logical step and turn that aging iPad into a dedicated kitchen tablet? All it takes is a little bit of planning to find the hardware and software to fit your specific culinary needs.

Flexible or permanent placement

There are plenty of gadgets for cooking with the iPad, from portable stands to wall-mounted systems. If you tend to move around a lot in your kitchen and want the iPad to move with you, Belkin’s $40 Chef Stand and Stylus is a good option to consider. Since the stand comes with a stylus, you won’t need to use any greasy fingers to navigate your kitchen iPad.

There’s a drawback to portable stands, though: They tend to keep your iPad in the splash zone, where they’re suscpetible to splatter from whatever you’ve got cooking. You can always waterproof your iPad with other accessories (more on that below). And Belkin’s $50 Kitchen Cabinet Mount is another moveable option that will hang from your cabinets, above the counter mess.

If you know exactly where you want your iPad to live in your kitchen, there are screw-in wall or cabinet mounts that will give your iPad a sleek look while you’re mixing ingredients and frying up your latest meal. This is a good option if you want to use your iPad to play music or videos while you’re cooking, or you’re the type of person who doesn’t need to constantly look at a recipe while baking or cooking (like I do).

Vogel’s RingO Holder and Wall Mount ($70 for the iPad 2 and $60 for the original iPad) offer a protective backing for your iPad that clips onto a raised, o-shaped wall mount, giving the iPad a cool, floating look. If you don’t have much wall space, permanent cabinet mounts like the $26 Original Kitchen iPad Rack, are a good way to give your iPad a permanent, but safe spot. The great thing about this rack is that while its placement is permanent, the actual iPad tray lifts out of the screwed-in brackets so you can stick it in a drawer when you’re not using it. Like Vogel’s wall mount, The Original Kitchen iPad Rack also gives your iPad a cool floating look because it’s made of clear plastic.

And finally, you can mount your iPad onto the refrigerator with one of the many available fridge mounts, such as Belkin’s $40 Fridge Mount or the $50 FridgePad Magnetic Refrigerator Mount.

Keep it protected

The kitchen can be one of the messiest places in the house, especially while you’re actively chopping and stirring. While many of the iPad mounts and stands can keep your iPad further away from the counter, there’s still a high chance you’ll accidentally splash water or oil or worse onto your shiny tablet. Plus, touching your iPad’s screen with dirty fingers isn’t good for the iPad screen. Luckily, there are a few ways to protect your kitchen iPad from liquid terror and grease marks.

Protective sleeves like the Chef Sleeve, CleverWraps, and Locksaks fit tightly around your iPad while waterproofing the device. (For $20 you can get a 25 pack of Chef Sleeves, $15 gets you five CleverWraps, and a three pack of Locksaks costs $9.) All of these are fairly thin sleeves, so they don’t obstruct your iPad in most stands and mounts. Looking for a quick and cheap DIY option? Just stick your iPad into an appropriately sized plastic baggie, like Ziploc.

Reset and load up on food (apps)

Like with any dedicated use of an iPad, it’s best to clear the device of anything that won’t be useful to you in that particular setting. For kitchen use, you might consider clearing out your email settings, games, and non-food related media and apps. You’ll be able to focus on exactly what you need from your iPad while you’re in the kitchen.

There are plenty of visually pleasing and interactive cookbook apps, such as Allrecipes, The Photo Cookbook, and Food Network’s In the Kitchen. The original 20 Minute Meals app for the iPhone featuring celebrity chef Jamie Oliver won an Apple Design Award for its meticulous organization two years ago, and the iPad-optimized follow-up—Jamie’s Recipes—is available as a free download. (You buy content packs of recipes through an in-app purchase.) Appetites also has an eye for the visual: The free app features video recipes, so you can see exactly how a dish should be prepared. (Again, you purchase recipe packs from within the app.) Martha Stewart Cookies, recently updated for the new iPad’s Retina display, is a must-have for anyone who enjoys baking. But iCookbook may take the most clever approach for a dedicated kitchen iPad: It features simple voice controls for navigating through recipes, so you don’t have to worry about dirtying up your touchscreen interface when working with raw food.

Interactive book publisher Inkling also offers a full-length interactive iPad ebook of The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America, packed with instructional videos, images, and note-sharing capabilities. While the $50 price tag is a lot steeper than cookbook apps, the book’s 36 chapters cover everything from nutrition basics to braising and stewing to charcuterie.

Beyond cookbooks, there are plenty of iOS offerings that can help you manage your food, shopping lists, and personal recipes. If you find that you’re fridge and pantry get overstocked with old produce and snacks, both the Fridge Police and StillTasty apps can help you keep track of when you need to toss out your food. (Both of these apps are iPhone apps that run on the iPad, though they will not be optimized for the tablet’s screen.)

For keeping track of your grocery list, ShopShop – Shopping List and Shopping List are both excellent apps that can sync across all of your iOS devices. (The latter Shopping List, however, is not optimized for the iPad’s screen.) I tend to remember when I need when I’m in the kitchen and realize it’s not there, so entering your grocery list onto your iPad and opening it back up on your iPad while in the store is really useful.

Of course, just because you turn your iPad into a dedicated kitchen tablet doesn’t mean you can’t use it elsewhere. Most of the stands and mounts mentioned above make it easy to attach and remove your iPad. But using your old iPad as your go-to tool to access all of your favorite recipes, cooking videos, and more right in the kitchen will certainly give the tablet a new and useful life.

[Alexandra Chang is a Macworld staff editor.]

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Ipad Typing Tips And Tricks For Faster Typing On Your Tablet

Tapping away at the keyboard on a smartphone or tablet isn’t all that different from the physical keyboard these days. Interestingly though, because there are a few limitations like the number of keys displayed, lack of a Character Map-like interface from where you can copy-paste special characters and some more, it takes some tips and a lot of experience to master typing on the iPad.

The iPad’s onscreen keypad is designed to help you type faster, better and easier. However, using a few tips might save you considerable typing time (and the number of strokes) – and it will undoubtedly help you become a pro at typing faster on the iPad.

Handy Keyboard Tips and Tricks for iPad to Enhance your Typing Experience

Customize The Keyboard Settings:

To begin with, let’s get familiar with the keyboard settings. The reason why I’ve mentioned this tip right at the top is that it offers you some neat customization. So, based on your personal taste, you can fine-tune the setting.

To get it done, head over to Settings → General → Keyboard. (You can also touch and hold the emoji icon on the keyboard and then choose Keyboard Settings.)

On the next screen, you get many options like Text Replacement, Auto-Capitalization, Shortcuts and more. Customize the entire settings to as per your convenience.

Essential iPad Keyboard Shortcuts Tip

Let’s begin with a couple of keyboard shortcuts that you might be very useful if you type a lot on the iPad:

#1. There’s a caps-lock shortcut on the iPad for those all-caps words (like abbreviated names, USA, etc.). All you do is double-tap the Shift key. Tap the Shift key again to get back to the normal mode.

#2. Thanks to the smart trackpad, moving a cursor or selecting text while editing text is pretty simple. All you have to do is just press and hold the space to activate the space bar (Or use two fingers to press anywhere on the keyboard to activate the trackpad). Then, you can drag your finger on the trackpad to swiftly move the cursor. To find out more about it, head over to this post.

Getting a Little Further

Pressing and holding certain keys offers a lot of options. You probably know this already but it is often hard to find which keys offer those quotes or the degree symbol etc.

And having to shift to the numeric keypad occasionally is a definite turn-off sometimes. Here are some more tips that can make typing easier.

#3. Automatic Apostrophes: The iOS dictionary is smart. If enabled (which is the default state), you don’t have to worry about having to type those single quotes in “I’m”, “don’t”, “can’t” etc. Just type “Im”, “don’t” or “cant” and the iPad keypad will automatically correct it.

Of course, when enabled, the auto-correct is a very bad guy occasionally: it changes certain unrecognized words into something totally unrelated that makes for those awful (or insanely funny, depending on the situation, auto-correct fails).

#4. Begin and End Quotes: Tap and hold the quote key on the numeric pad, and you get begin and end quotes that you can use while typing. These make the message look better.

#5. Double/Single Quotes: If you’re looking for double and single quotes, you’ll need to remember this combination:

Double Quotes: Tap and hold the ? key for double quotes

Single Quotes: Tap and hold the ! for single quotes

#6. Typing numbers/punctuation faster: I hate having to switch to the numeric keypad just to type an exclamation. It’s a little uncomfortable especially when you type fast. However, there’s an easy way out if you’re in need of those punctuation marks occasionally amidst a lot of alphabets.

Tap and hold the .?123 key and when the keypad switches to the numeric, slide over to the number or the key that you want to use. Then, just remove your finger. The iPad will type the key you chose and then the keypad will switch back to the alphabets. There! You got it!

#7. Degree: In many countries, people use the metric system which gives the “degree” sign for use in temperature and elsewhere. Where do you get the degree symbol on the iPad? It’s buried in 0 (zero). Hold on 0(zero) for a while and out of the options, you get the degree sign.

Tap and hold on “?” in Safari and you get many options to choose from. Saves you four strokes.

#11. Quickly Switch Between Languages: The QuickType keyboard makes it pretty easy to switch between languages. All you have to do is touch and hold the globe icon and swipe to the keyboard language you wish to use.

Keep this little but pivotal hack for the times when you wish to express your views in multiple lingoes!

Split The Keyboard For Comfortable One-Handed Typing…

There are times when you wish to type with just one hand instead of engaging both your hands. And that’s when this feature comes into the play. Just touch and hold the tiny keyboard icon and choose Split.

Now, the keyboard will be split, allowing you to type comfortably with one hand. And when you want to merge the keyboard, touch and hold the keyboard icon and choose Merge or Dock and Merge.

More Hacks For Boosting Your Productivity…

We’ve lined up 18 smart keyboard tips and tricks for getting the most out of the iOS keyboard. If you wish to get more such cool hacks, head over here.

Stay Tuned In For More…

Now that you’ve got the tricks, you know how you can make typing more convenient and faster on your iPad. Of course, it’s gonna take some time before you will be able to master them. However, once you’ve got a good hold on them, typing will definitely become hassle-free.

You shouldn’t miss out on these posts as well:

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

How To Turn Your Own Videos Into Shorts On Youtube Mobile App?

Shorts was introduced as part of YouTube’s move into the short video market, which has seen a boom with TikTok and Instagram Reels. The company’s largest platform for videos was introduced Shorts last year. The company is making it simpler than ever for video makers to make Shorts videos, with more than a year of YouTube Shorts in place. Shorts makes sense to do so now that it has 1.5 billion YouTube users per month engaging with it, particularly for brand awareness and reach.

Users will be able to take material from their library, make a Shorts video of it, and post it on YouTube as part of the company’s new feature. YouTube is enabling creators to convert existing long-form videos into Shorts, which is a fantastic strategy for getting more audiences.

Short, bite-sized videos are thriving on the internet due to people’s short attention spans, which is a rapidly growing content category.

How to make a short out of your video?

YouTube’s ‘Edit into a Short’ function is the quickest way to transform a lengthy video into a short one. The step-by-step procedure is as follows −

Start by opening the YouTube app.

Choose the ‘Library’ icon located on the bottom right.

Select the ‘Your Videos’ icon near the top.

Navigate to the desired video and select it. The screen will now display the video and several options in the menu below.

The next step is to choose the ‘Create’ icon in the menu.

Select ‘Edit into a Short’ at the top.

Using the tool, users can clip the video into segments of up to 60 second’s total.

The short will start processing.

Furthermore, users can edit the Short by adding filters and additional footage with the camera or an imported video if the overall clip does not exceed 60 seconds.

When all the editing is done, tap ‘Next’ at the top right.

Set the visibility of the video. Schedule it if you want.

You can immediately publish it also after addig details to all parameters.

Select the audiences of the video.


After adding all details upload the short.

The shorts are uploading.

The shorts video is uploaded.

The Analytics of the short is opened.

Customizing your shorts

Content producers have been quick to adapt their lengthy films into shorter clips since the introduction of YouTube Shorts. This is a fantastic way for YouTubers to expand their audience. Efficiency is critical when you consider how much time creators spend shooting and producing their work. Therefore, YouTube Shorts’ app was updated to include time-saving development tools. This procedure is straightforward to follow.

A green screen, music, effects, and subtitles are just a few of the extra video enhancements available. A maximum video length of 15 to 60 seconds is currently supported on the Shorts platform.

YouTube has been hosting short videos for almost a long time. The capability to generate shorts out of previously recorded videos is blooming a lot.

Points to be noted while creating Shorts

When converting an original long-form YouTube video into a Short, there are a few things to consider.

The YouTuber’s original work must be the source of the short content.

If either the private or kid-friendly settings are enabled, the ‘Create’ button for shorts will not be visible in the menu.

Shorts that were created using YouTube’s tool will link the material to the original video, which is extremely important. Viewers will be able to jump directly to the attributing material and watch the whole video.

Shorts can now be created out of lengthy YouTube videos on iPhone and Android devices, thanks to a new feature. Hopefully, YouTube will launch this on the browser early.


Given the increase in Shorts consumption and wider user preferences toward short-form video, it is a smart update, particularly as noted. Why shouldn’t it look to benefit from such, instead of giving up market share to the challenger app, if that is what people want and YouTube has it?

The ‘Awww’ Factor: Turning Old Photos Into New Calendars

A calendar made from old family photos is a great gift for parents, grandparents, and similarly sentimental family members. And by old photos, we mean those printed from film and trapped in an album, envelope, or shoe box. It’s easy to upload newer, digital images to an online service to make all sorts of personalized gifts. But to do the same with truly old-fashioned photos, you’ll need to scan them.

Epson Perfection V550 scanner

A good rule of thumb as you embark upon this project is to stay calm. Memories are powerful, and even families who don’t consider themselves photo nuts likely have tons of old prints lying around. Focus on a select few albums and boxes, and limit the number of pictures for your calendar to 30 to 50 photos. From that group, pick the best of the lot: The brightest, clearest, sharpest, most colorful, and best-composed shots will make the most successful journey from paper to electronic file and back. 

Scanner and image setup

Make sure to clean your photos, your negatives, and your scanner bed for a dust- and lint-free scan.

It’s pretty simple to get your scanner in gear. If your hardware has been sitting around awhile, clean the glass bed to get rid of streaks and dust that will ruin your images. Glass cleaner or a specialty cleaner sprayed onto a soft cloth—not directly on the glass—works well.

Similarly, prep your photos and negatives. Clean everything with a lint-free photo cloth such as PEC-12 ($22) to remove dust, even from prints and negatives that have been resting safely in an album or in negative/slide sleeves. Or use a soft brush. Now you’re ready to scan.

Scanner software

The most popular consumer scanning software comes from photo-oriented printer companies such as Canon, Epson, and HP. You’d be surprised at how much they can do; we’ll review the Epson Scan software as an example.

Epson’s scanner-utility interface in Windows 8 

Epson Scan: Scanner companies typically release analogous PC and Mac versions of their scanner software. Epson’s scanning package gives you a choice of four modes: Full Auto, Home, Office, and Professional. 

Load negatives into the tray, and the Epson software automatically recognizes that they are color transparencies. You can use Professional Mode to tweak the photo before scanning, but you can also use an image editor to fix the photos later.

Use VueScan for Windows or Mac with older scanners whose companies no longer update the drivers for specific models.

Scanning tips

1. If your photo is black-and-white or sepia-toned, use the grayscale or color setting for your scan for more flexibility.

4. Scan in batches. Load as many images as will fit on the scanner bed. The software will break out each image into a separate file.

5. Some scanning software will enhance your photos automatically as you scan, unless you choose otherwise. If you’re planning to enhance photos in your own image editor, make sure that the scanning software is not duplicating the job.

Making the calendar

Now you’re ready to organize your scanned images into a calendar. For this task, you can employ any of the popular online photo-sharing apps from Shutterfly or other services such as CafePress, MixBook, or Snapfish. We use Shutterfly as our example below.

Shutterfly calendar: The best way to get started is to create a free account, where you can upload and store the images you want for your calendar.

1. In the tab menu at the top of the homepage, you can choose from three calendar types: wall, desk, and poster. I chose the wall calendar; with that format, you can pick either a 12-by-12-inch calendar or an 8-by-11-inch calendar. You then set the number of months (12 or 18), the starting month, and the year.

Shutterfly lets you experiment with your page backgrounds and themes until you’re happy with the result. It’s hard to judge beforehand what’s going to look best.

2. Choose the calendar style. I chose the 12-by-12-inch wall calendar, for which I had 14 style choices. Textured patterns seemed like a nice backdrop for my previously scanned family photos.

3. The Next button takes you to the Edit screen, where you add images and customize the background and layout. The first page is actually the calendar’s cover, but you can go in any order you want. Alternatively, you can upload all the photos you want to use and let the service auto-fill the pages—with quick and pleasing results.

The Shutterfly storyboard tool lets you visualize where your images will go and how many will be on the page in each month.

5. As you place images, you can edit them by rotating them, cropping them, and adding effects such as color tone. You can make changes to your pages at any time, such as altering the number and layout of images on the page, or swapping out the background. Note that Shutterfly enhances your images automatically, so if you’ve already done corrections in another program such as iPhoto, you may want to check the box that tells Shutterfly not to enhance your photos. 

6. Place your order and go to the shopping cart.

Create an iPhoto calendar on your desktop with uncompressed TIFF files.

1. Launch iPhoto, and assemble the photos you scanned into an album.

2. Under the Share menu, choose Calendar. You’ll see a tabletop motif with a carousel of calendar styles to choose from: Picture Calendar, Big Date, Colored Paper, Modern Lines, Classic, Travel, Vintage, Formal, Kids, and Seasons. Within each choice, you get a default preview of the pages. If you decide against the theme you selected, you can use the button at the upper left to go back. Navigate through the months with the arrow keys. Use the Navigator at the bottom left to adjust the size of the template in the canvas so that you can see exactly what you want to work on. 

iPhoto lets you fix your photos, craft your holiday calendar, and then order it from Apple for delivery within 36 hours.

3. Once you’ve settled on a theme, use the Layout, Options, and Photos tabs to make adjustments to each page. For example, you can scale the size of a photo within a frame, change the background color or pattern, write a caption, change the number of images on a page, apply special effects to one or more photos, and view photos that you did not place in the layout. Just drag and drop any unused photos into the slot you want, and remove photos you’ve changed your mind about. 

How To Turn Hand Drawings Into Vector With Illustrator

How to turn Hand Drawings into Vector with Illustrator

You can use four methods to turn your hand drawings into a vector with illustrator. you can use geometric shapes (ellipse, circles, rectangles, etc), you can use drawing tools (pen tools, brushes, etc), you can use a mixture of both, and finally, you can use Illustrator’s built-in Image Tracing. In this article, you will learn how to use the shapes to turn your hand drawing into a vector. Note that there will be some mixing of tools in places where they are needed.

Sketch the Drawing

Digitize the Drawing

Decide on Method to Illustrate


1] Sketch the Drawing

After you have planned the artwork that you want to draw, you can now get it on paper. For the best result, make sure to use very white paper with no lines. Also, try to make the lines as legible as possible, it would be even better to draw with a pencil and then trace over with a pen. Make the lines thick so that they will be easy to see after the drawing is digitized. Try to make as few mistakes as possible when drawing. Try to make the drawing stand out over the background as this will make it easier to see in Illustrator.

2] Digitize the Drawing

Now that the drawing is completed to satisfaction, it is time to get it into Illustrator. There are a few methods to do this but scanning with a flatbed scanner is the best and easiest method. Scanning with a flatbed scanner will eliminate shadows and creases that may make the drawing unclear in Illustrator.

3] Decide on a Method to Illustrate

There are four ways to convert the drawing to a vector, you can use geometric shapes (ellipse, circles, rectangles, etc), you can use drawing tools (pen tools, brushes, etc), you can use a mixture of both, and finally, you can use Illustrator’s built-in Image Tracing. The best and easiest method will depend on how complicated the drawing is. Your drawing may have a look that will make it possible to use geometric shapes in Illustrator to outline it.

Here is an image that is drawn, it is simple, and not much to it. It is kept simple for this article. Look at it and see which methods you think would best work on it.

We are going to explore using shapes to turn the drawing into vector art.

Use Geometric Shapes

Open the drawing in Illustrator to begin working on it. After the file is placed in Illustrator, create a new layer to work on.

Choose the opacity percentage that best matches your preference.

Start by using the easiest shapes to identify, there may be a need to overlap shapes then use various other tools to cut, blend and match. The first geometric shape would be the Ellipse that matches the lower face. Put it in place and then fix it to match the chúng tôi two ellipses so that they shape like the lower part of the mouth then use the Shape Building tool and join them. Use the scissors tool to cut part of the shape created then use the Direct Selection tool to drag the points to make them overlap. You can use the Pencil Tool and the Smooth tool to make the shape fit as close as possible to the chúng tôi create the mouth, use the ellipse and try to fit it as close as possible to the shape of the mouth.

You then use the Scissors Tool to cut the ellipse and delete the unwanted parts. You could also use the Arc Tool for the mouth.

To get the eyes, use the Arc Tool and fit it to the shape of the eye as close as possible then use the Pencil tool to shape the Arc Tool to the curve of the eyes.

Use the Arc tool for the top of the head and use the pencil to get the arc to curve along the lines of the drawing, The nostrils can be made from the ellipse chúng tôi is the completed vector drawing, you can see the original sketch behind the vector drawing.

You can color the vector image to make it more attractive.

4] Saving

After going through all that work to turn your hand drawing into a vector, it is only wise to keep it looking sharp. This means that you will want to keep it as a vector so that it can be scaled up or down without losing the quality. This means that you will want to save it in a file format that will keep it a vector. First, save it as an Illustrator file format so that it can be edited in the future. Then for sharing you can save it in any of the other vector file formats by going to File then Save as and choose PDF, SVG, AIT, or any of the others that will keep it a vector image.

If you wish to save it as a raster image you will go to File then Export then choose JPG or PNG or any of the other raster file formats. Note that the raster file will not keep the quality when it is scaled to a larger size, as raster images are made up of pixels that will begin to show as the file gets larger.

Read: How to warp and convert Text to Shape in Illustrator

Why is it Important to learn how to Save Hand Drawn Art to Vector?

Saving hand-drawn art as a vector is one way that you can preserve them. These artworks can be saved digitally and printed whenever you want. They can also be used to create a digital portfolio to showcase your talent to clients. They will also show others that you can use Illustrator to do illustrations for them.

Is There Only One Way to turn Hand drawings into vectors?

There are four ways to turn hand drawing into a vector. The method used depends on your preference and how complicated or easy the drawing is. These ways sometimes overlap as there may be parts of the drawing that will work better with one over the other.

Five Ways To Turn Household Items Into Wilderness Essentials

These tips might not be as valuable as knowing how to build a fire, but they’re close. Matt Whitacre/Unsplash

This story was originally featured on Field & Stream.

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest—which is certainly the case with this collection of outdoor tricks and gear hacks that readers have sent us over the years. In the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing our “greatest hits” of those reader tips, starting with this list of camping tips. From a toilet-paper protector to a modified mousetrap, these tips are simply brilliant.

Make sure your toilet paper stays safe and dry

Say goodbye to wet, or mice-eaten, TP in the camp outhouse. Field & Stream

Two of the most annoying problems at my hunting camp are wet toilet paper and mice getting into toilet paper. But there’s a solution. Cut a long slit in one side of an empty plastic coffee can. Stick a roll of TP in the can and pull a bit of the paper through the slit. Make a hole in the lid and the bottom. Run string through the holes and hang the can out of reach of mice. — Mark A. Clark, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Keep parachute cord tangle-free

There are a billion uses for p-cord at camp—but it’s useless if it’s a tangled mess. Field & Stream

The best way to store 550 parachute cord is in an empty plastic peanut butter jar. Drill a 3⁄16-inch-diameter hole in the lid. Stuff the cord into the jar (careful not to overlap it), and thread the end about 4 inches through the hole you made. Screw the lid back on, and pull out as much cord as you need. Kiss tangles good-bye. — Jim Ratermann, Tipp City, Ohio

Dry your boots with newspaper

Stuff yesterday’s news into your boots so they’re dry by tomorrow. Field & Stream

I stuff my boots with newspaper, which absorbs the moisture. Then I keep repeating with dry pages every 45 minutes, and they’re good to go the next day. — Marck Schwarze, Elk River, Minnesota

Haul firewood with a ratchet strap

Use a modifired ratchet strap to haul a night’s worth of firewood in just a couple of trips. Field & Stream

I took a broken 1-inch ratchet strap, cut off the end with the hook, and tied a loop at that end. I use this to gather firewood whenever I’m camping. I just lay the strap on the ground and pile sticks on it. Then I pull the male end through the female end and throw the bundle over my shoulder. I can carry twice as much wood in half the time. — Eddie Crane III, Richmond, Illinois

Set an inescapable mousetrap

A dab of peanut butter worked into yarn keeps mice from dining and dashing. Field & Stream

Here’s how to catch mice that steal the bait from a trap without setting off the trigger: Tie some yarn onto the trigger, leaving the cut ends about 1⁄4-inch long. Roll the ends to make them fuzzy. Work some peanut butter into the yarn and set the trap. The bait is tougher to get out of the yarn, and the mice will be more aggressive trying to get at it. — Richard J. Moncsko, Wilmington, New York

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