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Shoes for Horses?

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Hey, Shoe-wearers!

You wouldn’t dream of doing hard labor in your bare feet! So why would we expect it from our horses? More than just a fun game of tossing metal shoes back and forth, the accessories of this leisure activity were originally footwear for horses. So how did the horse shoe come to be anyway?

This was first discovered by our ancient ancestors who, as they grew more domesticated and domesticated animals, realized that working animals lived on terrains that often times led to excessive wear and tear on hooves or worse—broken limbs. Our ancestors saw that the walls and portion of the sole on the hooves of a domesticated horse needed additional protection on their feet.

Around the world, different attempts were made. An early method was to wrap the hooves in rawhide leather and other materials which was used for therapeutic purposes as well as protective. Another attempt from the Romans took a note from the common footwear of people at the time—the sandal and strapped this metal bottom around the feet of their horses.

The other methods eventually faded away as people discovered the horseshoe as the best and most efficient means of protection. After proper fitting and grooming, the horseshoe is nailed into the bottom of the hoof (don’t worry—horses have no sensation in their hooves; it’s the equivalent of snipping our fingernails).

The popularization of metal horseshoes gave rise to a fun leisurely activity around the stables. Horseshoes has become an immensely widespread game—sort of a more rustic and rural version of bean bags, opposing players stand at opposite ends of the throwing area, marked by two poles sunk into the ground. The idea is to get the U-shaped shoe to wrap around and ‘ring’ a pole. Points are rewarded for touching the pole or being a shoe’s length away as well.

The game came along almost instantly after the shoe was first invented for the purpose of horse hoof protection a little more than 2000 years ago. Still a great means of entertainment today, check out or indoor version of Horseshoes by clicking here. Have a blast horsin’ around at camp and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

I Sea What You Mean

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Hey, Skilled Swimmers!

Moments in the water give us an entirely different view of the world! Unfortunately, opening our eyes underwater tends to cause us discomfort and irritation. That’s because our eyes aren’t designed to be open beneath the water—it’s a bit remarkable that we even CAN see in the water! But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. It isn’t eye doctor-recommended.

At Everything Summer Camp, we pride ourselves on providing practical function and increased comfort during rigorous activities such as swimming! We offer awesome swimming accessories of all sorts including swimming goggles here on our online shop. But how long have swimming goggles been around?

It may come as a surprise to hear that the history of swim goggles goes back to the 14th Century. Certainly there weren’t any pairs of Speedo Hydrospex around back then—no. The first swimming goggles were made of tortoise shells that were given windows made of polished layers of the shell. These were crafted and used by pearl divers of the Persian Gulf.

This was the first attempt at swim goggles and they worked rather efficiently, however, they virtually disappeared and it wasn’t until 2000 years later in history that swim goggles resurfaced among underwater divers of the Polynesian Islands. These folks fashioned their goggles out of bamboo.

These wooden goggles had no lenses, but instead, protected the eyes by trapping air bubbles which would form over the eyes. The divers were able to see clearly through the trapped air bubble at their submarine surroundings. Eventually, the Polynesians crafted their swimming goggles with glass lens to eliminate the need to trap air before diving down.

For a long time, swimming goggles remained bulky and uncomfortable apparatus. Some people preferred to go without and deal with the discomfort of water against their eyes. It took almost until 1970 that manufacturers caught on to the idea of creating plastic cups around the eyes that simply attached with elastic around the head. The smaller the better!

Eliminate the discomfort of water on your eyes and get a pair of goggles that fit just right for your waterfront fun! Peruse our swim accessories by clicking here and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!


- John

Lock Talk

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Hey, Secure Summer Campers!

Padlocks are an important part of camp trunk security! The necessity of a portable lock is one that’s been around for thousands of years going back to ancient times. Crafted with a shackle made to pass through a latch or other opening in order to prevent snooping as well as theft! Padlocks seem to have been invented in Ancient Egypt and Babylon about three thousand years ago.

Slowly spreading to neighboring civilizations, padlocks gained popularity in China, Greece, and Rome by the time BC turned into AD. Throughout history, padlocks have undergone a number of redesigns to provide improvements. But despite style change like shape, size, durability, and mechanics, padlocks have maintained the general idea and purpose. 

The most common use of padlocks throughout the dark ages were kept simply to smokehouses where meats were cured. Less concerned with keeping out burglars, these locks were intended to keep out animals. Other padlocks were used as well, though, like the one found in Birka, a trading center among Vikings from over a thousand years ago. Its heavy, welded bronze body served as an anchor for items that were otherwise at risk of theft. This provided a level of security that smokehouse padlocks could never afford.

Eventually, the strength of a heavyweight padlock was merged with the mobility of a handheld size. And, because padlocks are such an essential accessory and helpful means to the security of your camp trunk, we’re sure to always have an assortment of quality padlocks available here on the Everything Summer Camp online shop. Offering cool new ideas for padlocks today, check out our selection which includes a keyed padlock, a couple of combination locks, and a wordlock—the alphabet alternative to a sequence of numbers!

Keep the contents of your camp trunk secure from snoops and sticky-fingered strangers with our convenient trunk accessories right here at Everything Summer Camp and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John

First First-Aid Kits and Bandages

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Hey, Camp Fans!

When you get a scrape or a cut or a bump that breaks skin—whatever unfortunate accidents befall you—we’ve become accustomed to making a trip to the medicine cabinet or wherever your family keeps the Band-Aids for a quick, convenient fix. But how did people bandage themselves in the days before the Band-Aid? Let’s take a look at the history of bandages.

Sweet Solutions

What did people do for their cuts and scrapes before the Band-Aid? Ancient cultures like the Egyptians used sugar and honey to seal up their wounds. It wasn’t necessarily the most efficient or easy means to stop bleeding, but it did produce the result they needed.

Heat-Activated Adhesive

Eventually people transitioned over to using linens and clean cotton that they rolled around the wound. By the time of the Civil War, doctors created a sticky mixture of resin, olive oil, lard, and lead monoxide that they would spread on these linen fabrics. Once the mixture dried on the fabric, it could be rolled up to be transported or stored for future use! You could cut a strip for whatever size you needed and then heat it up to activate the adhesion in the dried sticky mix.

J & J First Aid

It was 1888, more than two decades after the Civil War, the company Johnson & Johnson introduced the first commercial first-aid kit that was small enough for folks of the general public to pack along on travels. They were packed with sterile gauze, bandages, and dressings. The initial design was meant for injured railroad workers. Injuries were common for those folks and they typically worked lengthy distances away from proper medical treatment.  

Careless Mrs. Dickson

Finally, it was 1920 by the time our story gets to a newlywed couple. The wife, Josephine was a wonderful woman but had a problem with kitchen-related accidents. Much like my mother, Josephine could barely hold a knife without somehow slicing herself. Her husband Earle came up with his own adhesive bandage with a simple piece of tape and a thin gauze pad. This way his wife could dress her own cuts easily. This was the invention of the BAND-AID® Brand.

First-Aid Kits are an essential item to bring along for your trips out into the wilderness. We’re sure to have them available on our summer camp shop. Check out our First-Aid Kit by clicking right here and keep yourself protected! As always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!


- John

Sealed with a Kiss

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Greetings, Greeting Card Lovers!

Who doesn’t love receiving a Greeting Card in the mail—especially one with an enclosed, heartwarming note written on a spectacularly printed piece of stationery?! And the special effort for correspondence of this caliber makes folks feel special themselves when it reaches them. It’s a treasured Christmastime tradition that people look forward to in that season, but it’s nice to surprise people with a nice note any time of the year when you have something special to say.

But how long have people been sending greeting cards and decorative paper to one another? It can’t be that old of a tradition, right?

Well…it’s only ancient. Despite being about 2000 years prior to the any kind of post office, exchanging greeting cards goes all the way back to a New Year custom in ancient China in which they sent messages of good will to one another. Around the same time, we see the early Egyptians creating elaborate designs on papyrus scrolls—producing the first stationery. Only the pharaohs and royal families were able to afford this decorated paper.

Through the Dark Ages, things remained essentially the same when it came to stationery. Greeting pretty much disappeared until the early 1400s. By that time, the Greeting Card custom had revived in Europe where they started making handmade greeting cards from paper to send Valentine’s messages.

But even then, Greeting Cards as we know them didn’t pick up beyond local exchanges for another 300 to 400 years when the U.S. Post Office became an official agency of the federal government.

Christmas cards became a big-time tradition markedly in 1843 as it was not only the same year that Charles Dickens published his timeless work ‘A Christmas Carol’ which solidified many Christmastime traditions, but it was also the year that one Sir Henry Cole from London hired John Horsley, a visual artist, to design holiday cards intended to send out to friends. And the tradition of the Christmas Card was birthed!

At Everything Summer Camp, we know what a big deal correspondence is to people especially when they’re away for their summer camp stay. That’s why we’re sure to have a great selection of Greeting Cards and Stationery as well as Postcards and even postage stamps for all your mailing fun! As always, thanks for reading, folks!


- John