The Bosse Tools Blog

3 Steps to the Perfect Snow Fort


Building a snow fort is one of the best parts of winter. If you're a child, you'll love the fact that the snow fort can shield you from your playmates' snowballs and prevent you from getting drenched in snow. If you're a parent, you'll appreciate the fact that snow forts — along with snowball fights — give you the chance to play around with your kids and build wonderful memories with them. 

If you're planning to construct a snow fort this winter, don't just get out and turn piles of snow into a haphazard shelter. Instead, follow these easy three DIY steps and get ready to build the ultimate shield against snowballs:

3 Steps to the Perfect Snow Fort

1. Determine how large your fort will be

The size of your snow fort depends on the amount of snow in the area. If there are several feet of snow available, you can plan to build a sturdy, four-walled structure with an intricate design. If you're stuck with just several inches of the white fluff, it's best to opt for one large wall with a couple of two-foot wings. 

Your snow fort's size also depends on the number of people on your team. Obviously, the more people you have, the bigger your fort should be. Don't forget to consider the height of team mates; your walls should be tall enough to provide cover to the tallest person yet still short enough to let the smallest person throw snowballs. 

Once you've decided on your fort's size, take out your snow shovel and outline the perimeter of your structure. This will serve as a guide when you start building your shelter.

 WATCH! Extreme winter snow fort video 1,055,394 views

2. Choose the right materials

Experienced snow warriors know that moist snow — not the powdery ones — are the best materials for an excellent snow fort since they easily stick together and form into blocks. But, if powdery snow is all that's available, don't worry: you can still use them as long as you pick those that fallen near houses and plants. They're wetter than snow in other areas and will be easier to transform into bricks.

Of course, if you want to make your structure sturdier, you can  use a material known as pykrete. It's basically a mixture of ice and wood pulp and will render your snow fort strong, sturdy, and even bullet-proof! How's that for the ultimate snow fort

3. Construct your fort

Once you've found the right snow, start building your fort. Get a bucket, fill it with the white fluff, and put your “bricks” along the line that you've previously traced on the ground. If you're out of time, get a large cooler and use it to make big bricks that you can easily stack on each other. Fill any gaps between the bricks with packed snow.

After stacking your bricks, take more snow and arrange it on your outer walls. Using an ergonomic Bosse shovel,

make your outer walls slant slightly (while keeping your inner walls straight and perpendicular). Doing this is will make your fort sturdier and more durable. Once you're done, pour cold water on your structure and let it harden overnight.

Use these sites for added inspiration! 

WIRED How to Make an Indestructible Snow Fort - With Pykrete

Smithsonian's How To Make the Best Snowfort Ever

Buzz Feed's 33 Ways to Build A Snow Fort You'll Want to Move In To

7 Snow Shovel Safety Tips


Snow Shoveling is an excellent winter exercise.  It improves muscle tone, strengthens immune system, and maintains good cardiovascular and respiratory health. Despite these health benefits, approximately 28,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries that happened while snow shoveling and related activities, according to the 2013 US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

There are many steps to prevent injuries without pushing your body too hard and putting your health and safety at risk. These include:

1. Performing warm-up exercises

One of the worst things you can do is to force your still-stiff muscles to work right away. So, before doing anything, perform exercises that will help you limber up your muscles and make your body ready for the day's snow shoveling tasks. Stretching is good, but you can also warm up by going through your normal day-to-day activities — like showering, making your bed, giving your dog a walk.

2. Practicing proper posture and body mechanics

For many people, poor posture and repetitive movements are some of the reasons why they feel tired and sore after snow shoveling. Fortunately, you can avoid this scenario by simply by practicing good body mechanics. Bend your knees instead of bending your back when lifting something. Keep your work close to your body instead of arching your back or overreaching your arms.  

Watch FOX10Phoenix and see Aaron and Stephan talk about how feeling tired after shoveling led them to create Bosse Tools:  

3. Wearing the appropriate protective equipment

Some people refuse to wear winterized coats and boots, but don't make the same mistake. Professionals put the equipment on all the time because they know that these will help them protect their health and safety. Gloves, for example, will safeguard your hands from cuts and wounds, while boots will protect you from slips and falls. 

4. Using the right snow shovel tools

Doing this can help you finish your tasks without using a lot of effort. Instead of using an old fashion snow shovel, for instance, you can complete the job using a ergonomic one. Click to read how reinvented Bosse Shovels  are easier to handle, and they won't put a lot of strain on your back.

5. Using adaptive tools when necessary

There are now lots of adaptive tools for snow shovels, if you find yourself having some mobility issues, you might want to take advantage of these innovations.  Read this story on students who build a snow blower for a man in a wheelchair.

6. Staying hydrated

Your body heats up when you tackle snow shoveling tasks, which means you'll still sweat buckets even when you work during winter. Because of this, you need to drink plenty of water, even when you don't feel thirsty. This way, you'll keep dehydration at bay and maintain good health.

7.  Taking breaks

Make sure you are taking breaks while snow shoveling.  Stand up strait, stretch, wiggle, fidget and touch your toes.  Ideally every 10-15 minutes.

To find more information on staying safe while snow shoveling read these sites we found helpful:

Here's what different about Bosse Tools Ergonomic Show Shovel:

Three DIY Tips for Halloween using a Shovel


Perhaps a shovel isn’t the first thing people think of when Halloween is mentioned, but the holiday would be much less spooky if the digging implement were not around.  Here's three fun Halloween tips to shovel up some fun.

Three DIY Tips for Halloween using a Shovel

1. Buried Treasure

A shovel can be part of all the unique fun you decide to dig up on Halloween.  One party idea you may want to use is hunting for (spooky) buried treasure. Have the buried treasure hunt before dark for children and after dark for adults.  All you need are a few shovels, solar powered lights, candles or tiki torches, a few spooky treasures and a treasure map can create some unique Halloween fun in your own backyard. Bury the treasure, create a map, add the lighting choice in strategic locations around the yard and hand your guests a shovel and a portion of the buried treasure map. Let them dig their way around looking for the treasure and avoiding the pitfalls you’ve placed along the way.

2. Graves with an Eerie Glow

Dig a shallow grave or two and rig zombies to pop up from them as treasure hunters walk by. Dig a few shallow holes and fill some with water to create mudholes and fill others with burning embers to create an eerie glow. 

3. Grave Markers

Shovels also make spooky grave markers for the shallow burying place you dig for the dead and the un-dead and can be used as signs along the treasure-hunting route to point the way.  After the night of fun and the dawn begins to break, use shovels to hide all the evidence. Throw dirt on the fire to ensure it’s out, fill in all the holes in the yard and pat the dirt on top of the grave down smoothly so your yard will look normal and not like a crime scene.

To wrap up the Halloween holiday, rinse the remaining evidence off the business end of the shovel and wipe off your finger prints from the handle. Store the shovel in the shed until garden season rolls around and no one will ever know about all the fun you had with a shovel on Halloween.

Remember, take care of your back by using our innovative new shovels.  You don't have to hurt making this holiday fun!

 

 

 

5 Benefits of Gardening - #3 Will Surprise You!


With spring slowly creeping in, it’s time to get back into gardening mode. We already have visions of radishes, strawberries and plums dancing in our heads.

In case it’s been a long winter, we decided to remind you of the top benefits of gardening.

1- Ease Stress 

Feeling a little stressed lately? Well it’s time to pick up a shovel (preferably an ergonomic Bosse one) and hit the yard. Regardless of how much you dig, several components of gardening help to wash away the stress. 

Sunlight

You gotta love increasing serotonin. This little chemical is known for boosting your mood. And, sunlight just happens to be known for increasing serotonin in the brain. 

Fresh Air

Getting out of stuffy offices can be an instant energy booster. Not only an energizer, getting enough oxygen can also help you sleep better at night. 

Focus & Meditation

There are many elements of gardening that are methodical. By focusing on removing weeds or trimming, your mind takes a moment to forget your problems and relax. 

2- Healthy Eats  

Once your garden gets into full swing, it’s hard to not eat healthy. Bell peppers will start showing up in breakfasts, lunches will feature home grown salads and dinners will start showcasing six different ways you can cook zucchini.

By the way, zucchini can be steamed, stuffed, baked and turned into bread. Just in case you find yourself in need of a way to get rid of excess zucchini.

And, if you plant a few crazy producers, like spaghetti squash, even your neighbors will be eating healthy!

The best news is that this is the most scrumptious way to have vegetables. Few things compare to the burst of flavor when you pick a cherry tomato right out of the garden. Or, the bright orange carrots straight from the ground. In fact, everything tastes better fresh. 

3- Boost Brain Power & Fight Alzheimer’s

We’re not going to lie, this was a surprise! A welcome one. But, the science is there: adults who garden see a 36% risk reduction for Alzheimer’s. No one can really explain the full mystery behind this disease or the relationship with gardening. But experts have speculated that it’s because gardening uses so many critical functions. In a half-hour gardening session, you could be utilizing your solving problems skills, learning, dexterity and sensory awareness.

All of those are positive brain exercises.

So if you are looking to spur a little extra brainpower, it’s time to turn to Mother Nature and test out that green thumb of yours.

4- Exercise

Regardless if you are tending to a patio garden or trying to outperform a local farmer, gardening gets you moving. Especially if you have a medium to large sized garden, maintaining the garden gets your heart pumping. Digging, planting and weeding are great ways to get some exercise.

*Be careful not to overstrain or hurt yourself. Look to adopt ergonomic practices to maximize health rewards of gardening.

5- More Money in the Bank 

Eating healthy is known for a lot of things (losing weight, reducing blood pressure, boosting energy) but rarely “cheap eats.”

Unless you can grow it yourself!

Growing your own produce provides scrumptious fruits and veggies for a fraction of the cost. Bags of seeds start off under $2. Starter plants are typically under $5 and while they might start off small, they do create a big impact.

Something as small as a windowsill garden can produce more than you think. Consider a producer like spinach, lettuce or tomatoes for smaller spaces. Add an herb like basil, and you can enjoy Caprese Salads all summer. Throw a Garden Tower into the mix, and the possibilities are endless!

Conclusion

Hopefully you are inspired to take up gardening this summer. This is only a small list of the benefits of gardening.

Here at Bosse, we wanted to make enjoyable activities like gardening more rewarding. That is why we designed a complete line of ergonomic shovels. By focusing on a design that complements human form you can reduce injury and increase productivity. 

 

Why Ergonomic Gardening is Important


With spring just around the corner, it’s time to start getting back into gardening mode. Perhaps you are planting your seedlings indoors. Maybe you’ve started planning out your ideal vegetable garden. Or, you might be exploring all the cool ideas on new Pinterest Boards

No matter how you are preparing from another fruitful gardening season, make sure to incorporate ergonomic gardening tactics into your summer plans. Here are three reasons ergonomic practices will make this summer the best gardening season yet:

1 – Prevent Injury

Gardening may not be a contact sport, but it does come with its fair share of injuries. Did you know that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates over 100,000 gardening related injuries occur a year? Ouch.

More than 25% of those injuries are attributed to unpowered garden tools. This doesn’t even account for the most common complaint of back pain. Sidestep this slightly awkward fate by utilizing ergonomic practices combined with tools designed for human use.

At its core, ergonomics is based on designing environments and tools to best accommodate for human use. Because they were designed with the human user in mind, they have built-in measures to reduce overexertion and strain. 

For example, the Bosse Shovel promotes a more upright posture while shoveling, reducing low back strain. The two handles offer additional wrist support. These innovative features are the byproduct of designing for human use. It’s ergonomics in practice.

2 – Work Smarter, Not Harder

Wouldn’t you love to accomplish more with less work? Of course, you would. Who wouldn’t want to maximize their impact? Think more beautiful gardens with less tedious measures.

Ergonomics allows you to do just that!

By adopting ergonomic practices and tools, you can only increase your productivity. Especially when working with these tools, know that the creators design them to leverage human strengths.

That’s exactly how the Bosse team approaches their design. The second handle of the Bosse Shovel increases your lifting power. Another positive feature is that it extends your wingspan. Now a shovel can help you be more efficient and effective in the garden.

3- Have More Fun

This is the ultimate goal. Gardening is your creative outlet, your passion and your pastime. Don’t let it be riddled with chronic back pain or stress from overexertion. When you take care of yourself, and protect against injury, you are going to enjoy everything more.

By implementing ergonomic practices, you are opening the opportunity to have this pastime bring you more gratification. Bottom line: you will feel better doing it. At the end of the day, few things could be more important than that.

Conclusion 

The benefits of ergonomics extend far beyond the garden. If you apply this philosophy to other areas of your life, you will enjoy increased productivity and improved quality of life.

At Bosse, we fully believe in the positive impact ergonomics can have in today’s world. With all the technology we have available to us, we should be designing products to complement the human form. We’ve started by providing you with a full line of shovels. Who knows where we can go from here.

Ergonomic Tools: A Must For Everyday Living


You’re only given one body in this lifetime. It should come with a giant tattoo that reads, “Please handle with care.” It’s crucial that we preserve our health by taking care of our bodies.

Most people want to make it to old age with flair. Retirement should be spent doing the activities you’ve grown to love. But did you know that many of our jobs and daily habits wreak havoc on our joints, back and nerves? Sitting is being referred to as the new smoking. Labor jobs could put you into early retirement. Don’t let making a living cost you the ability to live your life to the fullest.

Thankfully, there is a new movement driving change in this area.  

The Ergonomic Movement

Finally, companies have started designing products to better-fit humans. Why it took so long, we will never know, but only good can come from optimizing design based on the way we use products.

Several different factors go into ergonomic design. The first priority is to improve safety. In fact, this was one of the initial motivators driving the ergonomic movement. You’ll find this in a variety of manufacturing and construction spaces. It started as a way to limit on-the-job injuries and it has expanded to include reducing long-term effects from jobs as well.

The other two factors that go into ergonomic design are increasing efficiency and improving practicality. 

Stress, Strain & Overexertion

Repetitive motions can send you to an early grave, and if they don’t put you in the grave they could render you immobile in a chair.

While that might seem a little extreme, you get the idea. It’s not a pretty picture. Our bodies weren’t designed for a lot of the repetitive motions we do every day.

Here are a few examples from OSHA’s Ergonomic Study:

  • Awkward postures, or unsupported positions that stretch physical limits, can compress nerves and irritate tendons;
  • Static postures, or positions that a worker must hold for long periods of time, can restrict blood flow and damage muscles;
  • Motion, such as increased speed or acceleration when bending and twisting, can increase the amount of force exerted on the body
  • Compression, from grasping sharp edges like tool handles, can concentrate force on small areas of the body, reduce blood flow and nerve transmission, and damage tendons and tendon sheath.

Despite the negative impact, there are some motions we can’t do without. Integrating ergonomic practices and products will limit the effects of those motions.

Life & Work Longevity

Arthritis is crippling our aging population. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you want to adopt practices designed to limit the negative impact to your body?

By definition, ergonomic practices reduce stress on joints. Ergonomic practices produce a higher quality of life in the short term as well. We call that a win-win.

Increased Productivity

One of the most overlooked benefits of ergonomic practices is increased productivity.

For computer work, taking frequent micro breaks to stretch or walk leaves you energized. Once you hit that mid-afternoon slump, take a quick trip around the block. This will increase oxygen and boost circulation. Both are natural energy sources. Added benefit: it awakens stiff muscles and eases joints.

For manual labor, well-designed ergonomic tools require less effort to accomplish more work. Not only can you accomplish tasks faster, you have more energy at the end of a long day to live your life to its fullest.

Conclusion

The best news is that there are impressive ergonomic advancements being made every day. Just take shoveling for example. Although no one knows when the first shovel was created, there are archeological findings dating back to 12,000 years ago. Talk about ancient technology. The last time the shovel saw a good makeover was about 110 years ago. Frederick Winslow Taylor took a crack at shovel design by playing with different materials. A good redesign was long overdue.

Enter Bosse Tools, an innovator in ergonomic hardware tools. Our revolutionary shovel design promotes good posture, allows for a greater range of motion, and supports the wrist with a solid handle. We took an ancient art and modernized it for human use.

The Best 2014 Gift for the Family Gardener Or Handyman


This year, think outside the box for giving a gift to a special gardener or handy man in your life. Give them the gift of the ability to work smarter, not harder. Inspire them to transform their yard into a work of art, bringing to life all their forgotten aspirations. Bring back joy to their beloved craft or pastime. Empower them with more energy to complete things that matter.

Give the gift of an Ergonomic Shovel.

Age-Old Design Meets Ergonomic Innovation

Ergonomic Shovel

Now you might be asking how a simple shovel can give the gift of creativity, inspiration and enjoyment while easing the burden of work. Let’s start with this isn’t just a simple shovel.

It’s an innovative ergonomic tool designed to leverage the strength of users with minimum effort and strain. 

We accomplished this through focusing on the user, maximizing their strengths, protecting the back and neck, and putting the burden on the shovel. No unnecessary muscle strain. In short, it was designed to make your life easier.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

No one will tell you that manual labor is easy. And there is a certain draw to knowing that as the sun goes down, you put in a full day’s work outside. But imagine how much more fulfilling a long day in the yard or in the field can be with the opportunity to accomplish more with the same amount of effort.

Which is exactly what a gift of a Bosse shovel will do.

The new line of shovels successfully redesigns not only the way that handymen, gardeners and farmers approach the job, but it maximizes their impact when working. By building in ergonomic principles, they accomplish the same tasks with less strain.

This unique design also promotes proper body mechanics, reducing back, shoulder and neck strain.

Inspiration & Enjoyment

Your loved one has a passion to be outside immersed in hands on activities and building new creations. But especially as time passes, many of us lose the zeal through the continual wear and tear.

Overcome the past wear and tear, reigniting the passion again!

By limiting the physical strain of tasks they once enjoyed, they will be able to take to the field or garden with more gusto and inspiration, making the entire process more enjoyable.

Conclusion 

If your loved one is an avid gardener, Do-It Yourselfer, handyman or spends a lot of time doing manual labor, then this year, give them a gift that will redefine their passions or the way they approach daily tasks.

Give the gift of an ergonomic shovel.