Hiking For Health

While hiking can mean different things to people especially in different regions for the interest of this article we will conclude hiking is an extended walk sometimes vigorous usually on some type of trail in the natural environment. Together we will explore the benefits and beauty of hiking and some helpful tips to get you better prepared for your next adventure.

If you are new to the concept of hiking I am glad you are here because I believe this article will help you the most. To start let us discuss the obvious benefits of hiking. First thing worth mentioning is that it’s fun! Perhaps bringing you back to a past time where exploring seemed like a great adventure. The outdoors provides the most beautiful view that technology, while tries to imitate, cannot duplicate. Keeping inline with the fun aspect hiking is a great activity to do with friends and family. It can also be beneficial for team building and camaraderie as it challenges you mentally and physically which allows for encouragement between hikers.

Another great and possibly the most important aspect of hiking is the health benefits. Hiking depending on your skill level and trail can be an extremely challenging physical activity. Moving your way through a trail is much more difficult than using a treadmill because the ground is almost always uneven. There are hills and obstacles to work around forcing you to walk, run, jump and even climb. Consider it a full body exercise and expect to be sore if you are doing it for the first time. Another health benefit that can’t be overstated is that just being outdoors in nature is good for you. Studies have shown that walking outdoors is a good way to release stress and with society being as busy as ever it now is a better time than ever to get it.

Now that we have discussed the benefits of hiking here are some 8 tips to help you get started.

I always mention this first, please let someone know that you are out for a hike and how long you expect to be gone.

Start small, pick the right trail that fits your fitness level. You can always work your way up in difficulty but it takes time and practice.

Familiarize yourself with the trail and practice over and over on the same trail.

Check the weather for the entire time you will be gone.

Pack the essentials and keep it light.

Wear the right shoes and socks.

Bring food, snacks and plenty of water.

Pace yourself. This is not a race!

While most consider hiking a day activity that is not always the case. In fact overnight hiking trips are essentially camping trips as well. Most camping trips in fact do some sort of hiking during their time out. If you plan on doing an overnighter expect to be adding more to list in terms of items. Two items that can’t be overlooked is an efficient tent and a quality sleeping bag. If you need tips on sleeping bags visit http://sleeperequipment.com/ for in depth articles and reviews.

So in conclusion it’s hard to refute the benefits of adding hiking to your life. You might feel like there aren’t many options in your area but the reality is with a little research online you will be surprised how readily accessible parks are and how they are filled with trails to hike on. Some even give maps and have rangers on site to help you if you are lost. Now is a better time than ever to get involved. Don’t let the busyness of life make you miss an opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature and all its beauty and benefits.

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Swimming to Stay Fit

There are many ways to stay fit these days. Depending on your lifestyle you might be someone who goes to the gym to exercise or you someone who play sports to stay active. As you get older or if you get an injury you will find that your body just does not function the same as it once did. This is just a natural progression of life as your body begins to break down with age.

So I am writing to introduce swimming as a replacement for the gym and sport or at the least an addition to what you are already doing. The benefits of swimming can’t be overstated as an excellent cardiovascular, weight loss and muscle toning workout. The best part is that it does not break down the body like weight training or running where your joints are heavily impacted and the chance of injury is much higher. The resistance water puts on the body is natural and smooth. It does not impact the knees or joints like running would especially on a hard surface.

So you might be thinking how can swimming be a sport? Well, there are two ways to really challenge yourself when swimming. If it is not too much for you to join a swim club or team you could put yourself in training and compete just as any other sport would. If this is not feasible for you as a casual swimming what I encourage for you to do is to set goals and challenge yourself. For example, you could see how many laps you could do in a pool and slowly increase and set goals. Or you could time your laps and see if you can increase your technique and speed. There are many ways like this to keep swimming fun and help you stay committed.

Another obstacle that is natural to think about is availability to swim. If you don’t live near the beach or own a swimming pool you might think its impossible for you to get involved. But the reality just like other similar activities is that you really need to want to do it. You would be surprised by the availability but because you may have never searched or looked it appears unpopular. The most common is likely your local gym. Nowadays gyms are competing with each and many have or are upgrading to pools as part of their regular membership. If you check with the gym schedule you will find they have free time slots throughout the day where anyone can do laps in the pool. Also, the gym will have lessons and fitness classes provided in the pool that you can join. Another option is there are actually pools that have memberships. These are not gyms but strictly indoor and outdoor pools designed for the casual and serious swimmer.

With a little searching online you might find yourself not only a great new activity that is healthy and good for your body but you might also find yourself a wonderful community of people who have a passion for swimming. It doesn’t hurt to try and now is a better time than ever because with each passing day we are not getting younger. Stay fit!

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Overnight Fishing trip

Fishing is an activity that can be enjoyed by all types of people from all backgrounds. A fishing trip provides a great environment for sport, challenge and a good time with friends and family. Like many outdoor activities fishing is one that becomes more enjoyed with each opportunity to get out there. While an overnight fishing trip is generally reserved for the highly dedicated fan of the sport it can also be a great invitation for those who are trying to get involved or a fun filled friends and family trip.

There are a variety of different types of overnight fishing trips. You could simply camp out near a body of water or you can have a boat charter you out to some of the best fishing spots only known by the locals. While both are very different an overnight trip does require very similar equipment. It is highly recommended that when you are on land or sea that you pack is if you are going on an overnight camping trip. One of the most essential is a sleeping bag. Here is a helpful link with reviews and tips for sleeping bags if you need one or need to upgrade an old one.

While both types of trips are fun, I would encourage you to consider an overnight fishing trip on a charter boat. With a little research or your willingness to travel you will be able to find that there are many options available. Also, the variety of fish you can seek out is endless! Most overnight fishing expeditions allow you to really go far out and fish bodies of water that you just couldn’t reach with a simple day trip back and forth. This really makes for one unforgettable experience.

With an overnight trip expect about 20hrs of total fishing time and likely 2-3 bag limit of fish you can take back. Also, most can travel up to or even further than 100 miles and most provide meals and some variety of bait. While you can rent equipment at a cost, for a trip like this you really want your own rods and lures. It is advised to bring around 3-5 rods that can handle the weight of the fish you expect to catch.

With so much fun and exploration available when traveling by boat this is a great activity for friends and family. Visit a reputable fishing expedition website for details, make sure you know the licensing and laws of that particular state and pack and prepare properly.

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Kayaking Across the Country

With your body cruising just above the water, with the beams from the sun touching your face and the wind gently flowing around you, there is a calmness and a peacefulness that is hard to find in other places. This is what kayaking can be for some people. It can be therapeutical at the least. Kayaking and canoeing always seem to be interchangeable, but there is a difference between the two. The biggest difference being the paddle that you use to steer the boat. For kayaking, the paddles have blades on both ends, while the paddle for canoes only have one.

As far as the other gear goes, it’s pretty much the same for both kayaking and canoeing. Anyone that gets in the water should be wearing a standard personal flotation device for their own safety. If you happen to fall into the water, then the vest will help keep your head above water. Having a spray skirt on your kayak may be necessary. Maybe not so much on warm-weathered days or on warm, calm water because of trapping unwanted heat inside the kayak. But on cold days and on rough waters, the spray skirt will keep water out of your kayak and provide some warmth as it keeps the heat from your body from escaping.

If you don’t have a spray skirt or your kayak takes on water because of capsizing, there are bilge pumps available that were made to take that water out of your boat. You can choose from a manual pump or an automatic one depending on the size of your boat and how often you think you’ll need it.

 

 

 

 

Once you’re ready to go, you may be thinking of where to actually go. There are plenty of rivers across the country that have people traveling to see skylines and wildlife while they go kayaking. The Potomac River that runs along Washington D.C. is a popular place to kayak. There are many companies in the area that provide rentals, lessons, and even guided tours.

On this route from the Key Bridge, you are able to see famous tourist attractions such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. In the summer, people travel to Austin, Texas to kayak on the Colorado River for the chance to view the spectacle of about 1.5 million bats.

Zilker Metropolitan Park is the starting point for the kayakers as they move down towards the Congress Avenue Bridge where the bats appear from. Boston, Massachusetts is a beautiful city within itself, but there is an added layer of beauty when seeing it while traveling down the Charles River.

From here, you will be able to view the gorgeous campuses of very well-known universities such as Harvard and Boston University and as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To see more great destination spots for kayaking, take a look at this website. Check out a few of these places for yourself. Do your own research and see how many of these locations you can tackle.

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Camping/Backpacking with Your Pet

Thinking about going camping or backpacking with your dog, but having difficulty finding out where to start or what to expect? We got you covered! First off, you want to have a goal in mind and make sure that both you and your pet will be able to comfortably reach that goal without punishing your bodies. Remember, you’re the owner and it’s your responsibility to make sure that your dog is in good condition during the whole trip. If you’re just beginning to go on hikes, then you might want to start off on shorter trails until your dog gets used to the distance and pace. Once you both build some endurance and hit some benchmarks, then you can move on to meet your goal.

Be prepared! Depending on the distance of travel, plan to see how much food and water you will be needing. To save storage space, you may want to invest in a decent water purifying bottle in lieu of having to stuff large bottles of water into your packs. In that way, you can acquire refills whenever you need to. If you are still having trouble finding space for all of your items, you may have to strap a pack to your dog. Be careful not to fill all of the heavy items on one side. It will not be a comfortable experience for your pet. Instead, distribute the weight evenly on both sides of the pack so that your furry friend isn’t straining one side of its legs. There are many things out in the wilderness and forests that your dog can get cuts and scrapes from. Equip yourself with a first aid kit to treat any wounds protecting your pet from any bacteria and infection. If you are really worried, find little socks or something else of soft material to make a little booty for your dog’s feet. Research the weather and the climate of that particular area you will be traveling. Look up how cold it is supposed to get during the night and pack accordingly. Make sure the sleeping bag you carry with you will be able to handle freezing temperatures if necessary.

Don’t forget one for your dog as well! Even though they have their own coat, it can still get uncomfortable for them. For smaller dogs, they make sleeping bags especially for them. It’s designed with a half-round zipper for easy access in and out of the sleeping bag and forming a pouch-like shape. It also has an integrated loop on the outside of the bag. In case you didn’t want it to move around, you would have the option of taking it to the ground. For colder nights or environments, there is a sleeve on the bottom of the sleeping bag where you can insert a landing pad. Its purpose is to create more warmth for your dog acting as a barrier between the dog and the cold ground. Based on their size though, you may have to purchase a regular-sized one or a kid’s sleeping bag for them to fit comfortably.

Be safe! You don’t want your four-legged friend interacting with any wild creatures. Maybe consider bringing a rope leash, so they are closer to you on hikes. Beware of your surroundings but have a lot of fun while you’re out there! Hope this helps and gives you some things to think about before going out on your trip.

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Sleeping Bag made for both individuals and couples

Although camping can be an activity for any season for some individuals, in some States including Maryland, it can be seasonal. State parks have timeframes of when you can book a spot for your family and/or friends to go camping; the average season being between late April and late October. Now that the season has begun, preparation is everything. It will leave you with less stress and headaches in the future as you’re trying to head out for your trip. One of the most essential items you’ll need besides your tent are sleeping bags. Tents are important for creating a barrier between you and the wilderness, but sleeping bags are crucial for a comfortable night’s sleep. This is especially true when camping in locations of high altitude, where temperatures can be cooler and the addition of wind can make it feel even colder. Depending on the quality and the durability of your sleeping bag, it can withstand both of these conditions.

The Redcamp outdoor sleeping bag is an option that checks both of those boxes. It is built with a windproof baffle made to do as it sounds, deflect cold air from getting through the bag. To further prevent the access of cold temperatures and to maintain a warm environment, it also comes with a drawstring closure. Other features of the Redcamp outdoor sleeping bag are the reverse zipper and zipper guard. Have you ever had the problem of zipping up something, maybe too fast, and the material or fabric gets caught in the zipper? You try and try to unzip it, but due to a cheap material, the zipper breaks and you’re left with throbbing hands? Well, these features were added to prevent that from EVER happening to you again. Another feature involving a zipper is the 2-way zipper. Although the sleeping bag in its normal state is already quite spacious and roomy, this feature allows for the attachment of another sleeping bag to increase space and warmth if you need it. This makes it convenient for larger people or people who don’t like the feeling of being too constricted. It also makes it perfect for couples who want to cuddle next to each other during cold nights in their own enclosed space. In comparison to having two separate sleeping bags, where even if you were to unzip both of them and use one as a base and the other as a cover, there’d still be gaps for cold air to flow through making it ineffective. For people that are inclined to losing their belongings, an interior pocket was added to hold such things. So, you can sleep soundly as your phone, wallet, and keys are safe with you inside your bag. On top of all the features, this bag comes with a compression sack allowing for simple travel. It contains quick cords for you to pull on for compression with ease. This helps to make it the ideal size to put into your pack or to strap it onto the top of your pack. Earlier, I spoke of sleeping bags being able to give you a comfortable night’s sleep. How can we talk about comfort without talking about the material of the interior of the bag that is used to maximize the warmth and insulation from fairly cold weather? The Redcamp sleeping bag is made out of the soft fabric of cotton and flannel providing a cozy cushion between you and the ground. As long as you find a nice, flat surface to set up your tent on, you shouldn’t have to worry about discomfort while sleeping even without a sleeping pad. This particular sleeping bag even provides varying options for the amount of filling that goes inside it depending on your camping patterns:

  • 2 lbs. = sleeps comfortably between 59°F and 77°F
  • 3 lbs. = sleeps comfortably between 41°F and 68°F
  • 4 lbs. = sleeps comfortably between 32°F and 59°F

As you can see with the different ranges in temperature, this bag doesn’t hold up well below freezing temperatures. So, if you’re planning a camping trip on the frozen tundra, a suggestion could be made to invest in a thicker sleeping bag that satisfies your traveling needs.

The Redcamp outdoor sleeping bag is a worthwhile choice for most camping seasons depending on your location. It is made with quality materials and won’t break the bank. The features are great keeping you relaxed and stress-free from zippers that get snagged. However, if you don’t find yourself satisfied with it, it includes great customer service with the manufacturing company offering a 365-day warranty. For more information on this sleeping bag, go here. This website has more reviews on different types of sleeping bags and some advice as to what you want to look for when purchasing one. It gives you the ability to compare each bag and select the one that is right for you or your family and friends.

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