Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dog Breed facts: Pomeranian

Well, if you were looking for a lively dog to brighten up your house and your family, you’ve certainly made a good choice. Either if you are considering getting a Pomeranian or already have gotten one, this information will further your education and make you love them even more!

Historic fun facts

  • Although Pomeranians are a small breed in the present, developed in Germany, their ancestors can be traced to Iceland. In the beginning they were up to 20 pounds in weight and only white, so in such cold weather and with such a strong fur coat they were used as sled dogs. Every once in a while, completely unpredictably, a Pom can be born resembling their Iceland ancestors and weigh up to 20 pounds as well!
  • Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, had a Pom named Gem.
  • The first Dog Show to include Poms was in 1911. Short after, in 1912, the Titanic tragedy had a canine among the survivors, you guessed right, it was a Pom!

Furry monsters
They are known to be these cute furry balls, so you just assume that they have very fluffy hair. In fact, what makes that happen is that they in fact have two coats. The inner coat consists of short thick fur and the outer coat is the long hair we can see.
That particular fur makes them go through a phase known as “Puppy Uglies” which is when they become adults and change coats. Sometimes the results is a very strange look with balding spots and some hairs sticking out. It’s the equivalent of an akward teenager with pimples.
The Pomeranian is a breed that comes in a lot of colors, both solid and combined colors. One will never look exactly like another Pom. Also, the color may change between being a puppy and moving onto adulthood.

Furry and loving
Pomeranians, because of the way they behave are what they call “lap dogs”. This term relates to the fact that they are indoor dogs.
They are not prepared to survive the outdoors on their own because they are not hunters and they don’t scavenge. It’s because of that that they rely a lot on their human owners and feel very close to them. They love to be close to them, in their laps most of the time.
They are very loyal and loving, which is why they are very protective of their human families. They may not look tough or able to chase down a burglar, but they will bark and alert their master should anything suspicious arise.
Pomeranians are really active but they do need their time alone. They are very loving with children and very playful, but it comes a time when the noise is just too much, and they just go away. This is normal behavior.

Barking up the wrong tree
The general notion is that small dogs bark too much. This is not a fact. They will bark to alert of danger or to try to communicate, but not more than any other breed will. Proper training can deal with the barking situation with any dog.

Dog Breed facts: Labrador

Well, when you picture yourself living the American dream, you see a house in the suburbs, a beautiful family, a car and wait, what’s that in the yard? Oh yes, it’s a gorgeous Labrador Retriever.
You want a dog to complete your dream scenario and you know that these are the dogs to have. No wonder Labradors have been America’s top choice repeatedly over the past two decades.
You know they are cute, you know they are fun to be around, you’ve seen them at the park; but do you know what makes them great? Here are some fun facts to further your education, I already know you’re getting one no matter what, and I don’t blame you!

A walk down History Lane
Some breeds were particularly developed to be part of hunting activities for bird and water fowl.
The Labrador Retriever is one of these breeds and it traces its origins to Canada around the year 1700. Back then there were only two breeds that were working dogs: the Greater and the Lesser Newfoundland, later to be known as Greater and Lesser St. John’s. They would work hauling wagons full of fish but then would be a preferred company for fishermen. After a while, they were introduced to the rest of the family because they were really playful with children.

Work dogs
When have you seen a Labrador Retriever that you didn’t want to (and actually did!) play with? I would dare to say, never! They have impeccable temperament and are playful and loyal.
Apart from those obvious facts (that I can’t stop telling you about!) a great feature of Labradors is that they are work dogs.
Labrador Retrievers can be trained to guide the visually impaired and help people in wheelchairs.
They are also a great help to the police since they have a keen sense of smell. They have been part of search-and-rescue team for finding missing persons and bodies. They also have been used to detect bombs and illegal drugs.

Body features
You will never ever struggle to bathe your dog. These guys love the water! Don’t worry about them falling on the pool because they are great swimmers.
The reason for this is that they have webbed toes and a tail like an otter’s that serves as a sort of steer.
The webbed toes also help in the snow since they prevent the snow from accumulating between their toes. No matter the weather, you’ll have a happy dog!

A great hair day
Labradors have a short and dense coat that is also water resistant. If you go to the beach with them, they’ll jump in the water and will be dry by the time you get them back into your car. That’s practical!
As far as colors, Labradors come in different shades, beige and chocolate being the main ones. However, there’s a gene that make them have “Silver” hair. This makes a very interesting dog, yet, it is not considered Standard in the breed, and therefore Silver Labs can not be entered in contests or even registered as Labs.  

Dog breed facts: Doberman

So, you’re thinking about getting a dog. You’ve seen Dobermans in movies, working like crazy and helping professions like firefighters and police men. You want a dog that can protect your home but you also want it to be your friend. Or maybe you just want it as a friend? Either way, you’ll find that Dobermans are beautiful dogs, inside-out.
However, a lot of things are said about them that are not true at all. So, if you’re hesitant to whether to get one or not, these facts might be able to help you decide.

What am I getting into?
Dobermans are a breed that still has the characteristics that were sought after when the breed was developed: extreme intelligence and utter loyalty, apart from their obvious fitness. It’s true, your Doberman will own you, not the other way around; but with proper training this can be absolutely managed and you’ll find them to be the best choice for you.

Smart cookie
They are and have been for a long time, working dogs. Both the military and the police have used them because they have great abilities and are very trainable and responsive.
As far as basic obedience, with proper training, the sit, stay and down commands are very easy to establish. To further their education, they can signal when they’re hungry or need to go outside.
There’s a myth that has been going on for years that states that at a particular moment in their lives, the Doberman’s brain gets too big for their skull, at which point they become aggressive even to their masters. This is absolutely not true.

You have to upkeep that body
The Doberman’s great fitness relates to their energy level. They require a lot of exercise since they are very lean and muscular by nature.
If you do not exercise them (with walks and/or games), they will become hyperactive and that will end up with poor behavior on their part. They are very social creatures and they want somebody to play with. This doesn’t mean that they won’t relax with you while you’re watching a movie, but you do have to keep them entertained and exercised. If they get bored often, they will get creative and destructive.
A daily walk can meet their needs and it’s good to give them leash-training. Also, a good game that will get them to exercise their strength is tug-of-war.
Even though they can be quite protective and scary looking to strangers, they are not “big dogs”. They are actually a medium-sized breed and very agile for that matter.
Also, there are no Big and Small Doberman. A lot of people get the Doberman and the Pinscher as too variations. They are not, they share some qualities but they are in fact different breeds.

A friend
One of the characteristics as we mentioned before is their loyalty. They are a man’s best friend for sure. They will be devoted and a great companionship for little in return, though you will be glad to show them your love.
Despite their aggressive appearance, Doberman’s are respectful and careful with children. When a Doberman has bonded with you, you will see no danger in front of them. They fell very protective of their families and space. If they see someone in their house that they don’t know, they will definitely bark loudly to alert their master. This is why they are considered great guardian dogs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fish Breeds: which one goes with you?

You wanted a pet to lighten up the mood in your house but didn’t really have the time to take care of other types of pets so you decided on fish. After some research and visits to your local pet store you realized that although it’s fairly easier than taking care of a dog, it’s not something to take lightly.
Now that you know how to care for a fish, do you know which fish? It will depend on what you’re expecting of the pet. It won’t greet you at the door, but it can be entertaining to watch, especially if you have little kids that are best not exposed to dogs or cats just yet.

This is the go-to fish when you’re just getting into fish-caring. It is the best choice if you don’t really want to (or don’t have time to!) pay attention to special needs and cares. Goldfish are commonly found in a golden-orange color, though they can be bred in various patterns: White, yellow, black, orange and some of them in a very sought gray.
Goldfish were the first breed to be domesticated to be kept indoors.

Danios are very energetic, they stay super alert. Their hyperaction keeps you entertained because they tend to be very -acrobatic-. As for their appearance, they are sometimes called zebras because they present stripes in their body.
The bad aspect of them is that they sometimes are aggressive due to their high energy. This can be easily solved, keeping them in surroundings where they are the smallest fish and won’t threaten other. That won’t be difficult since they are small fish themselves.
They hold great survival skills so they can easily adapt to any changes in their environment.

Well, you didn’t want a dog because you don’t have the time or the space to keep it and so you opted for a fish. However, you want to see some aspect of interaction. Well, Gourami fish are known for their relative intelligence (considering domesticated fish) that can help them be trained for responding to visual commands; this can be a great feature for kids that demand some action!
As far as behavior, Gourami are generally a peaceful breed, but as many others can become a bit aggressive towards other male of the same species or smaller fish. A solution for these issues is to keep getting a larger tank if you consider adding more life to it in order to provide more shelter for smaller fish.

Indian Glassy
These fish are sought after because the main appeal is their appearance: almost transparent. To be more appealing, some of them are “painted” fluorescent. You can tell female and male apart because the latter have fins with dark edges.
They can grow up to 3 inches and do require special care though they make great pets.

These are functional fish apart from being a pet. Since thy are omnivorous they feed with ingredients both from plants and meat. They are what they call: bottom-feeding, which is very good because they have a great appetite for algae. They actually help you keep the tank clean! A down side of these fish is that they are more active during the night so you won’t really see that much action during the day.

French bulldog facts

Well you’ve seen them around in every corner. They are the cutest of all dogs. Those bat ears and snoring noses are just to die for. Well, I might be biased, I have a thing for vampires, but regardless, aren’t frenchies super cute?
Here are some notorious facts you may not know about them and advices in case you were considering getting one to brighten up your life!

·         We now know that they have those cute bat ears. However, at first they sported both bat and tulip ears, which were folded over. American breeders opted for the bat option. Comic book lovers that they are. That is now the standard.

·         Frenchies carry the roots of terriers and bulls, so it’s not surprise that when confronted with the same gender they sometimes tend to be aggressive. A way to avoid this is to ease them into other males right when you get them, as puppies. Neutering is also a solution to this behavior, such it arise.

·         They are stubborn in nature, their whole body is built to prove that point! They will be hard to train unless you turn it into a game that they can enjoy.

·         Their flat faces are cute, you just want to pinch it and kiss it. Also, it is the source of why you may not sleep at night, because it makes them snore!

·         They are stocky and small but strong. Although they are great with children, they may knock them over without wanting to harm them. You should always keep an eye on children playing with dogs, regardless of the breed.

·         The Titanic had great loses, but among them was a French Bulldog. He was reportedly insured for over $700 dollars. It is no wonder though, since they were the most popular breed during the second decade of the XX century, when the Titanic sank.

·         They come in various colors: white, brindle, fawn, white and brindle. However, solid black, black and tan, liver, mouse, black and white are considered disqualifications. We love them anyway, don’t we? Disqualified and all…

·         You better get used to the fact that they are going to live with you! Don’t plan on keeping them outdoors because it’s not healthy for them. There’s a reason why they were the favorite pets of many kings, they have to be treated like kings! They are short nosed (aka brachiocephalic) which means that they can’t regulate the temperature on their bodies and could dehydrate easily.
They are sometimes known as frog dogs because they get so hot that they lie on their stomachs and pull their legs back, like frogs.

·         Also, if you have a pool, you should keep an eye on your frenchie. Should they fall, they are terrible swimmers because they are top-heavy.

·         French bulldogs are very prone to allergies. If your dog needs to go to surgery for some reason, make sure you talk to the vet, because your dog may be allergic to the anesthesia.

·         Because of the allergy situation, it’s much better if you feed your French bulldog with high quality food with little or no preservatives and artificial colors. 

What NOT to feed your cat. Part 1.

You love your cat, he’s the second, third or fourth roommate in your apartment and we know how much he means to you. I’ve seen the photos on Instragram, I get it. However, in the midst of all your loving and caring, you might end up feeding him things that are not good for him. For you it’s a delicious treat that you want to share with your kitty-friend, but for them it could be very harmful.
They may look like they have all the answers (they do, they really do) and know what’s best for them because cats are so independent and cool (Geez, aren’t they cool?). Well, that’s not always the case, so, take a look at this list and be careful:

Break out a tan of tuna and they’ll go nuts. Sure, it’s ok to share it once in a while but not too often. If you decide to feed them tuna all the time, they will become addicted to it and not get all the nutrients that they need; apart from provoking mercury poisoning. Think of it as your cat’s thanksgiving treat and save it for special occasions just a couple of times a year.

We know, you already bought the saucer because you like the sound that it makes when you put it down against the floor tiles, but dairy is not good for your cat. While kittens tolerate milk, adult cats do not. It can cause digestive problems because they can’t process it properly.

Well, this may seem like a no brainer, right? Let me tell you anyway. All alcoholic beverages and alcohol-containing foods can be very bad for your cat. The substance has the same effect on your cat’s liver as it has on you, but with a lot less quantity. Three teaspoons of whisky can kill your cat. We know you weren’t going to, but in case you decide to have a killer Christmas bash, keep your cat either somewhere else, or somewhere safe where a guest may try a (so not funny) prank.

Chocolate can be lethal for cats because it has a toxic ingredient called theobromine that can cause changes in heart rhythm, seizures, tremor and even death. A cat would not eat it on its own, but make sure you don’t leave any chocolate lying around after a Sunday filled with movies, ice cream and treats.

You’re thinking “why would I feed my cat Xylitol? I don’t even know what it is!”; and I’m not saying you would do it on purpose, it’s just that many things that are in your house contain this sweetener and it can be bad for your cat. Baked goods, candy, toothpaste, gum are some of the products that have Xylitol. It can make the insulin levels in your cat’s blood to drop, leading to liver failure. Loss of coordination, lethargy and vomiting are some of the symptoms. So, be careful not to leave these things within your cat’s reach.

First-time Reptile owner

You want to take care of a pet, you made the decision to buy (or adopt) one. You don’t want a dog, a cat or a bird; you are hardcore and went straight for the reptile. Well, though these pets are really cool, don’t underestimate the care that they actually need. Along with feeding and housing (which will be covered later on), you have to consider it as a long-term commitment since reptiles can be expected to live up to 20 years or more!
For first-time reptile owners, here are some things to take into account before bringing one home.

Captive bred snakes vs Wild caught snakes
Well, there are many things to consider as far as this issue, but right off the bat, the general recommendation is to get a captive bred snake.
Wild caught snakes tend to give you problems mostly related to health since all of the stress cause by the capture, the transportation and the new environment leaves them prone to illness. Also, being on the wilderness makes it easier for them to carry more parasites.
Another thing to consider with wild snakes is that they are especially prone to escaping and fitting through any open space you may leave. Captive snakes will try too, but wild snakes have more “expertise”.
If you’re getting a captive bred snake, it will definitely be easier and plus you’ll be actually helping the wild snake population, since most of them that get caught, die in the process because they can’t survive the actual change.
It is a fact that not all kinds of snakes will easily reproduce in captivity, so you won’t get every snake to choose from, but it will be a wide variety. Also, captive bred will be easier to tame which is very important for a first-time owner.

Snake do’s and don’ts
If you are going to get a snake for the first time, cool as they may seem, you need to stay clear from poisonous and/or constricting snakes. Also, some species require special care and could be more complicated for a beginner: water snakes, tree boas, pythons, green snakes.
The good recommended choices are: ball pythons, milk and king snake and corn snakes.

Live prey vs pre-killed
While live prey is much more attractive for snakes, pre-killed is much better if you, as we recommend, get a captive bred snake. There are several reasons but storage and safety are the ones that stand out.
Keeping a bunch of frozen mice in the freezer is much more comfortable than having to run to the pet store to get new ones each week, or even worse, breeding them on your own!
A live prey will most likely hurt you (captive bred) snake in self-defense. Your snake won’t expected and might get very badly bitten.

Thermal needs
Snakes need to regulate the temperature on their bodies. You need to provide them with an environment with both a warmer and a cooler side on their quarters. This way, they’ll go towards what their bodies need for digestion.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Card collecting for beginners

Ever since you were a little kid, the notion of mystery that lies upon opening a brand new package of cards is absolutely thrilling. And it does not get any less exciting as the years go by.

Sure, what’s different now is that you can afford to buy them more regularly as opposed to just maybe once a week with your allowance. You are now an adult and this hobby that you’ve inadvertently had for years, can begin to be profitable.
The problem is, once one of your cards suddenly becomes valuable, or you find a buyer for a card you have, it may be hell to locate it. What you need is to have a proper storage system.
Got it, need it.
You open a brand new package and you have no idea what’s inside. It’s a gamble, every time. Are you one of those that after a got-it-need-it routine, simply tosses away the cards they already have? If you are, you shouldn’t! Having extra cards can mean that you have leverage for potential trades. Collecting is not only about the buying, is also about switching items with other collectors.
Keeping them safe
A perfectly normal first instinct is to just throw your cards in a shoe box, and while that may be a solution, it’s only good temporarily. Soon enough, the weight of the cards on top of each other will ruin and bend them, making them less valuable.
A way of arranging them is to figure out what they mean to you.

  • ·         General: this category would gather all less valuable cards.
  • ·         Special: these are your personal favorites.
  • ·         Valuable: these have monetary value.
  • ·         Untouchable: these still have the packaging intact.
Once you know which ones are most valuable (both monetary and to you), you can start storing them accordingly.

  • You can use cardboard boxes (show boxes maybe) to store them, as long as you place them vertically as opposed to stacking them on top of each other. Also, if you put the cards on a row and that row does not reach the other end of the box, make sure to block them so they don’t fall. This could damage and bend them as well.
You can also use photo albums to place them, though this will most likely be mucho more expensive, and maybe not an expense you want to make on just general cards.

  • For your special, valuable and untouchable cards, there’s a variety of storage styles. You have to take into account that the most important thing about these cards is that you want to show them off. You want to look at them yourself and to be able to reach them fast to show them around.
This is a case where photo albums would be handy. Another way to do (if you have many cards) it is to place each in a plastic sleeve and keep them in a box like the general cards.

  • For very special cards, you can purchase plastic see-through cases that are held together with screws. This is a more permanent display.

Beware of card-scammers!

You might be just getting started on the beautiful hobby of card-collecting; you might be a veteran in this whole thing; but even experienced people can get scammed. There’s a reason why they call them scam artists, it’s because they take it to such a next level that it is very difficult to avoid. However, there are things you can try to notice and pay extra attention to in order to make sure you buy a quality and legitimate card.
·         If a seller on an online auction has too many finite cards, chances are that he same a couple (if not all!) of fake ones. Sadly is very easy for them to commit forgery and for us to pay the price.
·         If you see someone at the store touching the packages too much, it means that they’re trying to “get a feel” and find those that have the most valuable cards. We all want to get those cards, we do, but we don’t cheat in the process. A good way to avoid this is to buy boxes instead of packages, that way you get better chances to get a good one without someone trying to guess what was inside and beat you to it. Also, the store’s reputation will help; how many people walk out with good cards? Word gets around…
·         It is also very common for the seller to pass as inexperienced and try to misrepresent the card he’s selling. For example, trying to get you to think that a “re-print” is the real card. They may (there’s the slightest, and I mean slightest chance) be honestly mistaken, but that’s not usually the case. Good news is that card companies know that this is something that can happen, so when they decide to re-print, they make sure to set some differences between them, either the photo or the material.
·         Another problem that may occur is when you are at an online auction and the sketchy salesman, once discovered in his scams, threatens you to give you bad rep around the site. Make sure you don’t fall for this and report them. The sites usually have policies to take care of you and if you have proof, share it!
Other things that can happen in online auctions is that the sketchy seller will make up fake profiles in order to place high bid on his cards to get other collector’s attention.
·         You know when you see a gipsy camp around town and then you don’t see them the next month? It’s because they move around. You need to make sure to get to know the people that sell their items in card shows, if there’s an unfamiliar face around, be careful. Some scam artists travel from town to town, like gypsies, trying to pretend that they own a store when in reality they’re collectors like you and me. They will try to sell fakes and will not give you any type of guarantee.
Far from making you want to just give up the hobby, or even worse get involved in their low ethic games, these tips will help you keep your hobby alive and well.

Sports equipment safety

Whether you are an old time sports player, or you’re just in it because either the doctor recommended it or swimsuit season is coming (somewhere at least!), you need to be safe. Don’t underestimate the damage that can occur if you don’t use the proper equipment, even if what you’re doing is health-related to begin with!

In order to properly perform and enjoy exercise you need to wear the correct apparel. Make sure when acquiring the equipment, that it suits your body, shape and skill level. Picking the wrong things may cause improper use and result in injuries.
If it’s possible, try out the equipment, see how it feels. Make sure that you can return it or exchange it if it turns out that it does not fit your need even if you thought it would.
Buying them is only a part of the job. Make sure you take proper care of it and check it regularly for working order.

Eye protection
Some sports are rough and may endanger your eyes from fast moving balls, elbows or other players running (more like slamming!) into you.
Goggles and glasses might make you look less “cool”, but an eye-patch will be even worse if you injure your eye! Halloween only comes once a year, so I’d go for the goggles.
Some people think that the use of goggles will diminish your vision and performance and they’re wrong! Here are some quick things to take into account:

·         Sunglasses in outdoor sport activities will prevent UV rays damage to your eyes. You can fasten them with straps and they won’t fall off. If you play a sport that has collision chances, getting shatter-resistant lenses will go a long way. You can get sunglasses anywhere from $25 to $200 and up.
·         Rough sports like racquetball, paddleball, squash and handball will most definitely require the use of goggles. These sports are played in closed spaces with balls flying very fast. That only gives you a second to react and if you don’t, you can get hurt really badly. They can also be fastened so they won’t fall and they need to cover the eye completely. They won’t diminish your vision and they might even help, they will keep the sweat off your eyes!
·         Skiers know how much easier the sport can get if you simply use goggles. Apart from the obvious factor of taking care of your eyes from the UV damage, that can be caused by the rays reflecting on the white snow, goggles will shield you against rain, snow and wind once you’re up and going. They can range from $25 and up.
·         Swimming goggles will improve your performance because they can help you see better when swimming. Also, they will protect your eyes against damage cause by pool chemicals. When buying goggles, make sure to make different facial expressions so your muscles will move and you can see if the goggles don’t move with it. These can go anywhere from $5 to $150.

A first glance into the RV world

If you’re reading this article I already know some things about you. You like RVs but don’t really know much about them. You like to travel and you’d like to explore the advantages of having a home on the road. You don’t like constrictions often related to extensive planning of a trip. Or maybe I’m wrong and I don’t know you at all! Anyway, there’s so much to learn about RVs, here’s just a small glance.

What’s an RV?
The acronym stands for Recreational Vehicle. Let’s just agree that saying RV is much better. An RV is the perfect combination of living quarters (mostly temporary) and transportation and travelling. Among RVs there are two categories:
These have a motor of their own. There are three types: A (the largest kind), B (campers and smallest ones) and C (somewhere between the first two).
Like their name states, they need to be towed by a vehicle, generally, the family car. Different towables are: expandable trailers, folding camping trailers, conventional travel trailers, truck campers, among others.
Who buys an RV? Can I afford one?
These vehicles can range from $5,000 to $22,000 for folding camping trailers. Conventional travel trailers can range from $43,000 up to $200,000. Truck campers can go from $8,000 to $95,000. Basicly you can fit it to your budget depending on what you will use it for.
According to research done by the University of Michigan, close to 9 million households own an RV. There’s a profile for the RV owner: a 48 year-old married person with a $65,000 annual income. It belongs to the baby boomers generation mostly. Although, a lot of younger people are starting to get RVs. The age span goes in average from age 35 to 65; and among those, the strongest group is between 35 and 50.

Why an RV?
Because it allows you to act with flexibility and convenience. You can always jump aboard your RV with minimum or no preparation. Just travel around with no need to book hotels. Sometimes you just feel like taking an impromptu trip just for the weekend. An RV is perfect for that impulse.
Because it lets you travel comfortably. You are traveling with a full bath and kitchen right there in your transportation. And if you accessorize well, it will be a really comfortable and entertaining space.
Because it’s family friendly. There’s no easier way to spend time with your family in a vacation situation. The togetherness that an RV entails, rebuilds and strengthens communication between family members. Sure, the kids might fight at the beginning, but rest assure that soon enough they’ll be best friends and won’t stop playing card and board games!
Because it’s budget friendly. Even owning an RV and all that entails, vacationing like this can mean up to %55 of fewer spending as opposed to a “regular vacation”.

Rock collecting for beginners

Are you the outdoors type? Well, if you’re thinking of starting a rock collection, you have to be! Of course you can get rocks from different sources, but the most exciting way of actually obtaining new additions to your collection is to in fact get your tools and digging out the rock yourself.

If you’re just getting started, here are a few things to take into account for your first steps as a rock collector.
The tools of the trade
There’s more to rock collecting than just carrying them around in your pockets when you run into them. But then again, I bet you already know that…You need some basic and pretty accessible tools to get started.
·         Geologist’s hammer: You can get one online, a hardware store or scientific supply store. They usually have a dual-head. One blunt end and a versatile end that has a pick/chisel style. The hammer is used to break off rock or to accommodate them to a smaller size, trimming them down.
·    Lens: it can be a simple magnifying glass and you can get one online, a jewelry store, a scientific supply shop, among other places. It is recommended to get a six to ten power, and it can be optically uncorrected. Although, if you are contemplating on collecting on a larger and deeper scale, you might want to get an optically corrected lens. This instrument will help you identify mineral grains.
·         Knapsack: You will need something to carry the rocks you collect in your trips, along with the tools, a journal for field notes and a pocket knife.
·    Sledge hammer: some trips might require the use of larger tools. A sledge hammer will be necessary for breaking larger and harder ledges of rocks.
·         Dilute hydrochloric acid: this will be helpful for identifying dolomite and limestone.
A rock house
Now you know the tools that you need and after you go on your first rock-gathering trip, you will need a more permanent spot to keep your specimens.
This is not a difficult thing to do since rocks are tough in nature and don’t really need special treatment. Collectors usually use some sort of box: cardboard, egg cartons (for smaller rocks), among other options.   
What’s your name?
Even if (when!) you become a rock collecting expert, recognizing the specimens won’t be easy to do. That’s why you need a concrete labeling system in order to not get them mixed up.
A good way to do this is to paint a small portion of the rock and write a number. Later, on a different media (computer, notebook, spreadsheet) record the rock name, your name, the date of the collecting, the site, the geologic age and formation and everything you consider you need to document for the collection.
It’s best to label everything, even those rocks that are extra. You can use them for trading with other collectors, and having them correctly labeled will help you find them faster.