How to Hike Like a Sherpa and Tips For Your Next Outdoor Recreation Adventure

The best path to good health involves exercise. This does not mean joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer. A brisk walk is great for a cardio workout. Best of all, it’s free to walk. After making several circuits around the neighborhood, it might help to expand the walking route. This is where the idea of hiking along a trail comes into play. The abundance of state and national parks means no one would be prohibitively far from a hiking trail. Just because someone has mastered the energetic walk does not mean they are ready to take on the next level of outdoor recreation that would be an intense hike. This is an exercise that should be approached much like the hike itself: Slow and steady. Here are some valuable tips to make sure a hike experience can be a winning one.

Leave the Denim in the Drawer

Check the label on a pair of denim jeans. It will read, “Made with cotton.” That’s great for casual wear but horrible on a mountain trail. Wet denim takes forever to dry out. It also draws out body heat leaving the wearer shivering. Embracing outdoor recreation means being prepared to embrace the elements and geological waterways. Cotton is not the clothing to be worn on these adventures.

Always Drink Water

Headaches, dizziness, and lack of focus are all signs of dehydration. The number one sign is when a person becomes thirsty. At that moment, the body is asking for water. On a hiking trail, the hiker needs to carry his or her hydration. Ideally, that would mean a six-ounce drink every twenty minutes. That keeps the hydration flowing before the body has a chance to get thirsty. Keep in mind that water is needed just as much on the way down as on the way up.

Break in Hiking Shoes Before the Hike

The first time a person goes on a hike is not the time to break in a pair of hiking shoes. Those shoes should be worn around for a few days before hitting the trail. It is also helpful to give the feet a break. During lunch or rest, remove the shoes and massage the feet. A nice foot cool down will help prolong the outdoor recreation.

Start Early

Hikes work best in the early morning hours. The sun hasn’t had a chance to reach its zenith for the day, and that means cooler temperatures. The longer a hiker waits to take to the trail, the less actual time they’ll have outdoors. Getting stuck on a trail after dark is not recommended even for the most experienced hikers.

Notify Friends

Despite all the preparation, an outdoor recreation adventure can go south in a heartbeat. Look no further than “127 Hours” for a prime example of that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to commune with nature by hiking solo. However, it is highly recommended that any hiker tells a friend where they are going and what trail they intend to use, just in case.

Outdoor Camping Tips – How To Not Run Out Of Brilliant Ideas

Are you thinking of going outdoor camping sometime this year? Camping is always a safe bet when it comes to choosing recreational activities. Not only is it a good family friendly thing to do, but it also helps promote good health and appreciation for nature. If you are one of those people “planning” to go on an outdoor trip but do not have an idea what to do, what activities to engage in, where to go, and how to organize everything, consider the information presented in this article as a startup guide.

Some Interesting Facts About Camping

Outdoor camping, as a recreational activity, became popular in the early 20th century as a means for people to temporarily get away from the bustle of city life and explore nature. The reason why people go on outdoor trips has not changed since the beginning. In today’s modern economic and technological setting, people are more busy than ever. Camping is a more attractive and appealing option for people living in this generation who want to unwind in a place closer to nature.

Which Type Of Camper Are You?

There are two predominant types of people who go out on camping trips. The first one is the recreational type of camper. Recreational campers usually go outdoors just to relax, try things they have never done before, and view relaxing scenery. If you are more like the recreational type, make sure you choose camping spots that are more conducive to simple fun and has lesser possibilities for danger.

The second type of camper is the survivalist. A survivalist goes outdoors for a challenge and not just for the mere fun and relaxation of camping. Their idea of camping is to experience a sort of “Survivor” or “Lost” scenario. Are you a survivalist? If so, you should pick camping spots which are more challenging and that will give you a greater sense of danger. Make sure though, that you will take all the necessary precautions so that you and your companions will be safe.

Range of Camping Activities

First time campers usually run out of things to do on a camping trip. However, there are virtually limitless options and possible activities that you can engage in when you are outdoors:

You can go mountain or rock climbing. This is a physically strenuous activity that brings a lot of excitement and adrenaline to everyone involved. Fishing is another enjoyable outdoor activity that gives you and your fellow campers more chances to bond and talk.

Aside from the ones mentioned above, you can also try swimming, scuba diving or kayaking. There are so many options to choose from. All you have to do is explore the possibilities and be open to them.

Outdoor Education and Outdoor Recreation Degrees

Some people just aren’t cut out for a desk job. They would prefer for their office to reside in a wider, more open space; notably, the outdoors. Individuals who wish to pursue a career that allows them to work outside can do so while earning a degree. Most people don’t realize that many colleges offer degrees such as outdoor education and outdoor recreation to interested students. Can you imagine what it would be like to learn about your passion every day? For many students, college is about earning a degree doing something they wouldn’t mind having as a career. However, for the majority of those in outdoor studies, nature and the environment is their passion, and they thrive in their outdoor courses.

These degrees can be applied in areas such as resort recreation, summer camps, nature centers, military/community recreation, private guide service, adventure travel agencies, and outdoor and mountaineering retail environments. Specific companies may include Outward Bound, YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, and Armed Forces. These careers are especially prominent in areas such as Colorado, where outdoor tips are becoming increasing popular with residents and visitors alike.

The goal of many of these programs is to ensure students are equipped to take on a variety of recreational and survival outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, search and rescue, survival, canoeing, mountaineering, and wilderness second-aid. Some of the best programs also allow students to earn certification and special training in addition to their degree. Example areas include outdoor emergency care, search and rescue technician, avalanche safety, swiftwater rescue, and wilderness first responder.

Both Outdoor Education and Outdoor Recreation degrees focus on many of the same topics. However, outdoor education combines recreation activities with other outdoor aspects such as wilderness survival and environmental awareness. Outdoor recreation focuses more on the managerial aspects of leading groups through different activities. Some specific positions available with this degree are camp director, health club manager, director of recreation and parks, recreational therapist, and activity specialist.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice in looking for an outdoor program is to search in the area in which you will reside after graduating. While a student’s mindset may not be the same after completing a program, this is still an important aspect to consider. In these programs, students will be receiving a lot of hands-on experience outside their school’s campus. Many excursions will take place in collaboration with local rafting companies, mountaineering places, and federal or state parks.

Especially for an outdoor recreation degree, programs are also available through an online basis. Students can explore options for an online degree program if they wish to have more flexibility in their learning experience. Earning an outdoor recreation or outdoor education degree will be a great fit for someone who enjoys being outdoors, trying new activities, and sharing this passion with others.

The Snowy Outdoors

Winter is coming! This also means that for certain areas of the United States snow is coming too! The winter months in the snow can be filled with hardships like having to snowplow your driveway, or having to winterize everything so that it makes it through those harsh winter months. But the winter snow can also mean hours and hours of fun outdoor and winter sports and activities!

Some great winter sport activities that everyone in the family can get involved with are skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking, ice skating, sledding, and many more.

Winter sports are great for the entire family. Everyone can get involved, the super fit and active snowboarder, the more leisure loving ice skater, and the fun time sledding master, can all have a great time in the snow. There is nothing like spending quality time together as a family and there is no better way of spending that family time with some active outdoor and winter sports activities.

Here are some tips and gear that you might want to invest in when becoming an avid snow sports lover:

Clothing- The first thing you have to do when getting ready for your winter sports is get suited up with all the winter and ski clothing. So that means ski pants, ski jackets and tops, gloves, hats, anything that will keep your body warm and dry. Some great brands to look into for quality ski clothing would be Swix, Sporthill, and Salomon. If you are looking for durable ski clothing that will last you through many winters, those would be the brands to look for.

Skiing- Make sure to purchase or rent quality skis and poles. Classic waxless skis should work perfectly for the entry-level ski lover. This type of ski is maneuverable and shorter, resulting in less swing weight and improved maneuverability. A brand to look for in ski equipment is Fischer or Rossingnol; they make quality ski equipment that will give you the best in ski experience.

Snowshoeing- Snowshoes are mainly used for recreation, primarily by hikers and runners who would like to continue their hobby in wintertime. Snowshoeing is easy to learn, and in appropriate conditions is a relatively safe and an inexpensive recreational activity. Some great shoes are Crescent Moon Snowshoes. If you want to make snowshoeing apart of your winter sports hobbies, you should definitely invest in a pair of those.

Winter Hiking- A great way to enjoy winter is to hit the trails! But some people are prone to cold feet in the winter, so one of the keys to keeping your feet warm is to make sure they stay dry. Wear a good pair of hiking socks that keep moisture away from your skin, retain heat when wet, and dry faster if they become wet. Always keep an extra pair in your pack just in case the ones you are wearing do get wet. You should also wear above-the-ankle hiking boots which help to keep snow away from your feet. You may want to consider purchasing and wearing crampons or microspikes on your boots, which will add extra traction, especially if there are several inches of snow on the ground.

All of these tips and winter gear will have you 100% ready for your winter outdoor adventures. Get the entire family prepared and set up with the best in winter sports equipment and gear! There is no better way to spend time in the snow during the holidays than by participating in some thrilling winter outdoor recreation.

Hair Care Tips – How to Prevent Sun Damage

It is a well-known fact that the sun is dangerous to skin, especially light-toned skin types, but the damaging UV rays that cause sunburn and can trigger melanomas are also damaging to your hair. Many people use UV blocking skin lotions but leave their hair unprotected. Sun damage to hair can cause color fading, dry and brittle hair shafts and split ends.

The main object to protect hair from intense sunlight is to reduce exposure, especially from the midday sun that arrives at high angles to the horizon. The simplest way to reduce exposure is to wear a hat that has a wide brim.

However, wearing a hat is not compatible with most outdoor recreational activities. In that case, a sun block is recommended. These are sold with differing amounts of protection, using a measurement in SPF units. SPF means Sun Protection Factor, and indicates the length of time that you can stay in the sun unprotected multiplied by the SPF. The length of time you can stay in the sun unprotected before getting a sunburn depends on the sun angle, which itself depends on time of day and your latitude. If you would expect to get a sunburn after 15 minutes and the SPF is 10 then this would provide 15 x 10 or 150 minutes of protection.

Two types of sun blocking products are available, ones that absorb the damaging UV rays and others that reflect the UV rays. In the first category are chemical filters that absorb the rays and prevent them from reaching the hair shaft. These are often combined with gels, creams and lotions including waterproof base gels and so are quite cosmetically agreeable. On the other hand, other chemicals rely on reflection of the harmful UV rays. Typically, zinc oxide or titanium oxide repel radiation at all damaging wavelengths, and so are very effective as sun blocks.

Even though these sun blocks for hair are very effective, after a full day of sun exposure you can benefit from the use of special after-sun shampoos and conditioners, which help replace lost moisture and natural oils. Split ends can be temporarily repaired with hair spray. However, if you have had excessive exposure to sun and water, such as after a day on the beach, it is recommended to cut off about 3/8 to ½ inch (1 cm) of your hair to stop further split end damage.

How To Create An Outdoor Space That Your Kids Will Love At Every Age

For kids, the backyard is often where some of the very best memories are made. This is an important point to keep in mind when considering the different options in landscaping designs. The addition of the wrong features could make your kids feel unwelcome in this space. Moreover, certain outdoor features and amenities may be outgrown before you’re even able to get sufficient value from them. Following are a few, simple tips for creating an outdoor space your youngsters will love at every age.

Many property owners are opting to install artificial turf, rather than grass. These durable coverings provide ample cushioning and they are very easy to keep up. You don’t need to water artificial turf or cut on a routine basis. It is perfect for setting up play structures, trampolines and other structures for outdoor entertainment.

If you plan on having turf installed, think about enhancing this addition by constructing a mini golf course. This can include a number of fun obstacles that even your youngest kids will enjoy. As your children grow older, they can even invite their friends over to play a competitive game. The only drawback is that this set-up is fairly inflexible. Aside from playing golf, there won’t be much else to do. This is especially true if your new course takes up a majority of the available free space.

Before investing in a massive play structure, think about how long your kids will actually enjoy it. In just a matter of years, they may be too big to be enchanted by swings and slides. Then you’ll have to go through the arduous process of taking it all back down and finding something to do with it. If this still seems like a worthwhile addition, you always have the option of selling the structure once your kids outgrow it.

Trampolines are an exciting and very popular investment. Kids can use these for exercise or they can host trampoline parties with their friends. The best trampolines are large enough to accommodate adults and so, the whole family can have fun together. You may, however, need to add special coverage to your home insurance plan when setting this structure up, especially if you intend to let visitors jump on it.

Swimming pools are by far the best investment that growing families can make when it comes to outdoor recreation. These come in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, kids love swimming in them at every age. They are perfect for keeping cool in the summer and they make it easy for everyone in the home to stay fit.

There are, however, several considerations that you’ll have to make when installing these structures. For instance, you may need to install a safety fence as well in order to protect toddlers. Each person in the home should additionally be given swimming lesson and taught standard, pool safety rules.

If this form of recreation seems ideal, reach out to a concrete pool builder to collect information on the available pool prices and plans. During the formative stages of the planning process, make sure to learn more about the costs ongoing maintenance. Once your new water feature is complete, this addition will add aesthetic beauty to your yard while significantly increases the amount of fun and enjoyment that your kids get from this all-important space.