Preparing Outdoor Gear For The Spring Season

I don’t know about you, but when I pack up my outdoor gear at the end of the fall season it’s, ehh, not the cleanest should we say. Maybe I’m lazy, but usually at that point it just doesn’t seem so important to me that everything is nice and clean. What’s important is that it’s put away and I’ve moved on to the next thing in life. Hopefully I’m not the only one that thinks this way, and either I’m not lazy or we’re all lazy. Whatever works.

The thing is, almost every year on the last few trips things are just muddy and wet. Naturally everything picks up a ton of dirt. Are you really going to hose and brush everything down? How are you going to get it dry without bringing all of that into your house when it’s cold and wet outside? Maybe someone else out there has a practical solution, but I just pack everything up and wait to deal with it when the sun and the warm weather are back.

Well, spring has certainly sprung, and with it has come the sunshine, warm weather, and drier conditions that allow me to once again bust out my dirty outdoor gear and get it clean for the upcoming season. Here are a few things I do to get myself ready:

Clean Off and Out The Boots

At the end of a busy outdoors season my super high quality pair of boots often look like they’re destined for the trash can. They’re covered in leaves and pine needles, caked on with layers of dirt and soaked through with muddy water from the many puddles I had the misfortune of stepping in. I know what’s underneath though, and that’s my good old trusty pair of boots. I just have to bring them back to life.

So, first things first I’ll smack the living crap out of the to knock off as much of the dried and crusty debris as I can. You might want to cover your face when you do this, because so much dust and dirt flies up in the air you’ll be wondering if there’s a sandstorm. Then I’ll take a firm brush and while the soles are still dry I’ll continue knocking debris out of the tread. Once that’s all said and done it’s time for the garden hose, and I’ll hose those suckers down until the water starts to run clean. Then I’ll hang them out in the sun until they’re as good as new.

Getting The Tent Ready

On any given year my tent has likely seen some serious action. The first thing I’ll do is find a dry patch of land and get it set up so that I can do a basic damage assessment. While the tent is relatively dry – albeit awful musty – I’ll remove any leftover goods (train tickets, napkins, receipts, etc.) and take the opportunity to vacuum out all of the debris that had accumulated over the year of use.

Once the tent is clean on a dry basis, it’s time to actually get the material back in top shape. Usually my neglect has led to some mold forming on the outer and potentially inner walls, and once again there’s usually mud everywhere. I usually find a pressure washer works best for getting rid of both of these, as a gentle stream of high-pressure water loaded with detergent seems to be quite effective. If you don’t have one already, I’d recommend reading through some electric power washer reviews. They are quite affordable and even more useful.

Once I’m done washing I’ll give the tent a chance to dry, then I’ll treat all of the outer surfaces with a good water repellent to keep the coating in good shape to hold up through the upcoming season.

Tending To The Rain Gear

No, not reign deer. Rain gear. You know, like my rain jacket and rain paints. Duh.

I treat my rain gear very similarly as I do to the tent, with the exception of the fact that it is not resilient enough to stand up to the high pressure stream from a pressure washer. Instead I’ll hang them all on hangers, empty and invert the pockets, and wipe away any debris. Many people will put their rain gear in the washing machine but I find that this seems to have a hugely negative impact on the fabrics, seriously reducing their usable life. Instead what I’ll do is hose them down and use a sponge to gently lift any dirt and grime that has built up on them. Then I’ll let them air dry in the sun thoroughly.

Again, once they are dry I’ll use waterproofing spray to preserve the resistant properties of the Gortex. This will help them stay in good shape for years to come. If necessary, I’ll mend any minor tears or split seams with a needle thread, and I’ll put extra sealant on any of those repairs because I know from experience that my craftsmanship is a bit lacking and they’re prone to leakage.

With all of that behind me, I’m ready for the next outdoor season. This year I’m going to try to do quite a bit more hiking, as I feel I was spending a lot of time on flat ground last year. It was great fun, but you have to change it up from time to time.

Looking for an Adrenaline Boost? Try Paintball!

Paintball played speedball method can provide a good rush of adrenaline. It is a fast-paced game. The field of play is small. The strategy and equipment will vary when playing speedball version of paintball. The rules for speedball is different than traditional woodball version of paintball. Paintball can be expensive, but it really determined to how much the player will be willing to spend on equipment and how often they might play.

You need to try paintball especially speedball. The field of play for speedball can be an athletic field. The field size will be about the half the size of a football field. There are not many places to hide during a game of speedball. and contain man-made bunkers. The bunkers will be any shape and they are normally inflatable. The games can be held indoor or outdoors.

The game of speedball is short and can be quite intense. The teams can consist of three to seven players. Speedball is the version of paintball that is played professionally. It does require some strategy to win. Strategy will be influenced by on the setup of bunkers, number of players in the game, and purpose of the game There are games that last about 2o minutes. Since the games go by quickly, you are able to play several games in a day. Many people consider speedball very addicting. You can play the game once, and you will want play it again. People are addicted to the fast pace, rapid firing of the marker, and fun you will have with your friends.

The equipment is required to get total enjoyment out of speedball. The most important piece of equipment would be the mask. You want a mask that is not going to fog up too quickly on you. The less expensive mask may fog up little quicker than other masks. Mask with thermal lenses will reduce fogging, but the type of mask may be the most expensive. The marker is what the paintball gun is a called. For speedball, you want a marker that will fire rapidly. You would check how many paintballs the marker can fire per second – the best speedball guns can fire upwards of 15 balls per second! By having fast marker, you may sacrifice reliability of a marker.

The rush of playing speedball would be rapid fire of the markers and dodging behind the bunkers to prevent from being hit. Strategy changes as the game moves along and players are eliminated. The game is fast-paced, and you need constant communication with teams to have a chance at winning the game. Players are more aggressive with their moves and play in speedball. Teamwork at a fast-pace is very rewarding when the team is able to win. Players scurrying about trying to get to bunkers without being hit.

Speedball can be addicting and fast-paced, but it can also be expensive. A good marker can easily cost over $1,000. The use of CO2 and compressed air for the markers to fire will cost the player to refill. The pricing you will pay for playing field rentals. Price of playing paintball will be driven by the players’ preference to how much they want to spend. A player who wants to play with great equipment and is very involved with paintball will spend more. The beginner may look at the sport as casual and spend small amount for games on the weekend.

Finding A Place To Stay When You’re Abroad

The task of finding a place to stay when you’re traveling can be extremely daunting. Not only are you visiting somewhere that you’ve never been, but in many cases your native language won’t be the norm in your destination. Don’t let this turn you away! Here are some tips to make it easier on you.

Plan Ahead

Make every effort to get your ducks in a row well before your intended travel dates. Six months or more is preferable. This not only allows you to get the most affordable prices, but it also puts your mind at ease knowing that you have a plan in place and will not be left on the streets. Without a doubt, when making reservations choose the refundable option. Plans change – just take my word for it. You’ll end up kicking yourself when the day comes that your flight gets rescheduled, you get sick, or you simply have a change of heart while you’re on vacation.

Talk To People

This may seem obvious, but if you have friends or family that have been to the area, let them know that you’re going and see what they have to say. They may be able to recommend a particular hotel, or even tell you to stay away from one, which can be just as helpful. In the best of cases, you can even have friends that live in your destination. This can be enormously helpful for many reasons. They can show you around the town, point out places to visit and places to avoid, and generally act as a tour guide (for free!). Plus it’s nice to have a friend to enjoy your stay with.

Most relevant to this post however is that they may even offer to put you up in their guest bedroom, which can save you a fortune and get you off of the beaten tourist path. As you get older, this advantage gets better and better. On my recent trip to Spain I stayed in my friend’s beautiful guest bedroom for a few nights, and I slept on the most comfortable futon I’ve ever used. Just remember, if your friends were traveling to your home town, wouldn’t you be happy to put them up and show them around the city?

Pay Attention to Detail

The last piece of advice is to think of the little things. You’d be surprised what items a hotel may or may not include, especially when you are paying quite a bit of money. Here are a few things you should check to see if they are included:

  • Internet Access (WiFi)
  • Air conditioning
  • Breakfast
  • Refrigerator
  • Beach towels

Make sure you know what you are getting into. Maybe you can’t afford hotels that have all of these amenities, and maybe it’s not important to you if they do. The most important thing is that you don’t want to get surprised when you show up to your destination and be left without a key accommodation that you were depending on.

5 Essential Home Upgrades for the Frequent Traveler

Living life on the road (yes, this is indeed a nod to the classic book by Jack Kerouac) lends itself to a lifestyle with minimal belongings. However, there are some things that you absolutely need and others that you don’t necessarily need, but make your life much more convenient or comfortable. Here are a few of my favorite recent purchases:

Safe

This is truly a must. Having your home broken into and your valuables stolen will really hit you hard, especially if you lose a family heirloom. A safe can keep your valuables such as jewelry, cash, and expensive electronics from being stolen while you are away. Just make sure that you get a quality product, and that you properly mount it upon installation.

Firebox

Along similar lines, a firebox is a great place to store important documents and other heat-sensitive materials while you are away. God forbid anything happens, but even a safe wouldn’t save your birth certificate from perishing if a fire were to break out while you are out of the country. There are plenty of models to buy, just make sure you get something that is big enough for all of your sensitive belongings, has sufficient insulation, and is capable of locking. You wouldn’t want the firebox to tumble over and spill its contents in the worst case scenario.

Vacuum Robot

The next couple of items are definitely not required, but are certainly a luxury. 

Since I’m on the road so often, I don’t have a lot of time to spare. One way to free up some extra time is to outsource your daily tasks to others capable of doing the job. Luckily, these days you can buy robots that do some of your household chores for you. Notably, a vacuum robot has really been a huge time saver. While it doesn’t get all the nooks and crannies in the room, I’d say it gets 80-90% of the floor cleaning done, meaning my work in that particular area is cut down by to at most 20% of what I normally have to do to keep my home looking presentable. Popular brands include the iRobot, or my choice the Eufy Robovac.

Electric Fireplace

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that this one is a bit extreme. However, I’ve been so thrilled with my recent upgrade that I have to share. Growing up I always loved spending time by the fireplace reading with my parents to wind the day down. Obviously, it’s downright impractical to have a fireplace when you’re renting, but fortunately these days there are sleek and hip alternatives in electric fireplaces. While they aren’t quite the same as the real thing, they do have a number of benefits that you don’t come across with a real fireplace – namely there is no mess, the air doesn’t get heavy from the smoke, and you don’t need to buy wood. They are also arguably a lot safer than real fireplaces to boot. I find that they look really cool, and can make your home look very modern. If you’re in the market for an electric fireplace head on over to bestelectricfireplace.review, they have some helpful resources in making your next purchase. If you’re looking to impress your guests, this is one simple addition that can really up your wow factor

Web Security Camera

Nothing puts you at ease when you’re on the road more than knowing your life back home is secure. These days you can buy web cameras for seemingly pennies compared to prices of earlier years. Better yet, most come with apps that you can use to log in and check on your house from the comfort of your mobile phone. Just make sure to have the camera pointed at the most important parts of your home and you’ll be good to go. You don’t have to worry about logging in all the time either, as many web security cameras keep archives hour by hour, at least for some period of time. Make sure to get a wide angle lens for the most coverage for each camera purchased.

Well, there you have it. I’m about to head out on my trip to Spain, and I’m sure I’ll have some fun stuff along the way. Stay tuned and as always, thank you for reading!

Spain On The Horizon

It’s getting to be that time again. Soon enough I’ll be off and on my way to Spain to see a number of new cities in such a beautiful country. I’ve only been once before, and did a quick stint in Barcelona and a longer stay in a more remote town in the Costa Brava. This time I’ll be seeing a much larger variety of cities, and I’m eager like a child on his first vacation. In addition to sorting out last-minute logistics and planning my packing, I sat down for one of my favorite pre-travel rituals – watching some informational footage by Rick Steves.

Rick does an excellent job on his travel shows, and they served as formational videos for my childhood. I even crossed paths with him once in Athens – I didn’t have the opportunity to introduce myself unfortunately, but just being in his presence made my spine tingle and filled me with joy. It brought me back to my early childhood.

I particularly like this video, as it is a bit of a shift from the normal travel videos and, I find, a bit more candid. It’s pretty cool to think about the history of the country, and how much influence the Moors had in forming the country. Naturally, they have a bit of a bad reputation in terms of the history books, but their impression on the country’s culture brought a unique flare. This comes through particularly in the architecture of the south of the country, and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of that along the way.

I will be spending some time along the south eastern coast, seeing a few of spots that are high on my list for relaxation purposes. However, I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the other cities – Madrid in particular. I have only been to the Catalonian region of Spain before, yet I don’t speak any Catalan. My background, like most people who learn Spanish language in high school in the US, is in the Castilian language. Castilian is spoken in Madrid, and basically anywhere that more to the north and/or west of the country. I always enjoy a city more when I am able to immerse myself at a deeper level so I’m quite excited.

So, what’s on the schedule for me?

Well, I’ll be staying a nights in Valencia, just to get a quick feel for the place. Then I’ll be off to Alicante, which is a beautiful seacoast town. I’ll be there for a while so perhaps I’ll be making some day trips when I have a chance. Then I’ll be off to Seville, passing through Madrid as the train system necessitates. This has been on my bucket list since learning about it over a decade ago, and I am very excited to see what this quaint and romantic village has in store. Finally, I’ll post up in Madrid for a while before my trip comes to a close – it will be a sad day indeed, but unfortunately it is inevitable.

Well, back to travel prep for me. I’ll make sure to stay up to date!

What To Bring On A Day Hike

On busy and stressful days, sometimes you just want to have a small break. Once an opportunity comes, grab it. There are many things to do though. But why don’t you clean your boots and prepare for a hike? A hike is a great activity for a big or small group. You can also do it by yourself if you want to. You could go on a long trip or just nearby. If you are short on time, you can do it in one day. It is a great activity for you even if you are a busy person. It’s one of the great ways for you to unwind.

In preparation, what are the needs for hiking?

1. Hiking Backpack

Of course, you would need something to put your essentials in. Look for the one that is the perfect size, not too big or not too small. It is also important that is not heavy and fits your body really well. Remember that it will be used while climbing and various things will be put in it.

2. Food

Hiking is a very physical activity and would require lots of energy. In order for you to have plenty, you will need food. Of course, you would need something that is not bulky, but rather something that is easy to carry. There are a variety of foods like this to choose from but the most well-known would be granola bars and trail mixes. Not only they are easy-to-carry snacks, but they are also healthy. They are packed with nutrients that will give you energy and strength for your hiking. If you are looking for something to eat that is light to carry but heavier for your stomach, a sandwich is good to go.

3. Water and Other Drinks

One of the most important things for us to pay attention to is staying hydrated. When you are doing a physical activity like hiking, you will definitely sweat a lot and water decreases in your body. Water is important for regulating our body temperature and helps our joints and muscles to work better. That is why it essential to have water on hand especially on a long hike. You can also have other beverages that will help with hydration such as energy drinks and juice.

4. Navigation Tools

When hiking, you will need to always pay attention to your surroundings and know where you are going. Having navigations tools is helpful for they will guide not only to your desired destination but also in getting back. Basic navigation tools include a map and compass. With today’s technology though, it is much easier and you will not need to have extra bulk, which is helpful especially for a fast hike. Smartphones have maps, GPS, and even compass on them, so it will be easier and lighter to carry and also easier to use.

5. First Aid Kit

You never know what will happen during a hike, so it is always best to be prepared. Accidents happen whether big or small. You or someone might get their knees or arms scrapes and will need some quick cleaning and care. You might also need essentials for your health like an Epi-pen for allergies. You do not have to get crazy over it. You will just need some basics like bandages, cleaning material, and some over-the-counter medicine that might come in handy. If anything gets serious though, be sure to call for medical assistance.

Must-See​ European Cities

A great way to catch a break is to go on a vacation. By this, you will able to relax and just focus on the good. You can definitely do this when you are to go on a vacation abroad. It will not only involve new sights but also new cultures and a different atmosphere. So why don’t you go ahead and make plans?

If you are thinking about what country would be the best to go to, there are definitely a lot of them. If you want places that are rich in history, why not travel to Europe? The sights itself will draw you in and add to that are the different cuisines you could try. There are a lot of places though, so where should you start?

1. Paris, France

This city is also called the “City of Love.” It is already filled with iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower and Louvre. This city also has a lot of museums, monuments, and churches. If you want to do some activity, you can have a bike ride around the city. Paris also has a lot of cafes you can try.

2. London, England

It has the iconic sights such as Big Ben, Tower of London, and more. If you are into stage musicals, you can see one at the West End. You can also experience the local cuisine through pubs and restaurants.

3. Florence, Italy

Italy has a lot to offer and has more than one city and places you should go to. But Florence is a good start with the art museums, street eats, and great architectures. You can go to Piazzale Michaelangelo for a stunning view.

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you love going to cafes, Amsterdam is notorious for it. You can also have a bike ride throughout the city. It has the many famous museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, and Verzetsmuseum. There are also a lot of parks to set up a picnic.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is known for its Gothic architectures. You can see it when you visit places like St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle. There is also the Old Town Square with its lively atmosphere.

6. Edinburg, Scotland

Edinburg is known for its castle and rich culture. You can see a lot of historical places in this city. If you want to try their cuisine, you can hit pubs that are scattered around the city.

7. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has a lot to offer from architectures to art to food. Since Barcelona is located by the sea, it has a lot of beaches you can go to. 

8. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is known for both being a place rich in history and also with beers. It is where the Guinness headquarters is held and because of that, this city has a lot of pubs. 

9. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is a great place for people who loves history because of the variety of museums, art galleries, and historic neighborhoods. If you like to party and mingle at night, it also offers a great nightlife with all the nightclubs around.

10. Istanbul, Turkey

It is an ancient city with modern advances. Despite the skyscrapers they built, they still managed to preserve historical monuments.

Best Cities in Asia

Traveling is said to be good for the soul because it refreshes your mind and keeps you away from all of the stress. This is especially if you are going to another country where you will be exposed to not only new scenery but also new atmosphere and culture. One of the best continents to travel is Asia because of its rich culture and history. Asia is the largest continent though, so there are many possible places to go. Do you know where you’re going? Here are some of the cities you could go as a start.

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is firstly known for its food with noodles such as udon and ramen and their rice bowls. It is also a fashion capital with it having a lot of shopping malls. But in the midst of it being a busy city, Tokyo still preserves and treasure their culture and religion with the shrines and temples.

2. Seoul, South Korea

South Korea is a country that became really popular because of the rise of Kpop groups and their culture. When you visit Seoul though, you will see the vast skyscrapers and high tech facilities. There are also a lot of shopping malls you could go to. With Korean barbecues being a trend, why not try it in the source itself in addition to their other cuisines.

3. Singapore

Singapore is an island city-state that is known for its cleanliness, safety, and cuisine. It is also a place that is modern with its architecture and facilities. 

4. Bangkok, Thailand

It is known for its culture with temples and markets. But it is also modern with its buildings and skylines. Bangkok is also known for its various cuisines that also features other culture like the Middle Eastern. While you are there, check out the floating markets that can be done by a boat.

5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It is the home for the famous Petronas Twin Towers which were the world’s tallest buildings. But it is not the only one to see for Kuala Lumpur also offers a lot of architectures and skyscrapers to see. And because of its vast cultures, they have a great mix of cuisines you could try with a lot of restaurants. They also have a lot of markets and shopping centers you could shop.

6. Beijing, China

It has the Forbidden City which offers ancient palaces that is a great example for imperial architectures. It is also the home for one of the world’s greatest man-made wonder which is the Great Wall of China. There are also several temples you could visit.

7. Hoi An, Vietnam

This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which preserves the historical architecture of the 15th to 19th century through its streets, buildings, and Southeast Asian trading ports.

8. Mumbai, India

Mumbai is the home for the Bollywood film industry. It is chaotic but it surely has a lot of places to visit with their architectures and markets. Indian cuisine is also a must-try, so do not forget to visit their restaurants.

Bike Racing for Beginners

Being on vacation or break does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money to have fun or to relax. You can just stay at home or within your area and search for some fun activities to do. You can also do some sports you enjoy. While you are at it, why not join some competitions? 

One of the simple activities you could do is riding your bicycle. But as said before, you can join some competition or any other event. Joining is simple. You do not have to be really competitive, you can also do it just for fun or even help in case there are events for a charity. Here are some tips you can do before joining:

1. Buy the Best Bicycle for Yourself

A very good tip for this is buying it at your own instead of online. You may be able to save more on buying online, but the advantage of buying them yourself is seeing them and feeling them. You will be able to see and try if the bike fits you, and you will also see its faults. You may have a desired bike you have, but having other’s opinion may also help you. After getting your bike, have it on a test run and make yourself comfortable with it.

2. Have the Essential Gear and Equipment

After getting your bicycle, it does not stop with that. You should also have the essentials that are important for your safety and comfort. First will be your clothing. You cannot just wear anything you like for it might get uncomfortable for you. You would need to have the right clothing and shoes. The clothing consists of base layer, jersey, and cycling shorts. The reason for this is for you to move freely. You should also have the proper padding for your shorts for protection. Another essential for protection is the helmet. If you plan to bring your bike anywhere, be sure to have the security essentials such as a lock.

3. Join a Club

A great way for you to have more ideas and knowledge about cycling is to meet fellow cyclists that share enthusiasm and interest with you. Joining a club will be the fastest way to meet them. You will be able to exchange your knowledge and theirs. This is also helpful for you to know some latest trends and could answer some of your questions. Joining a club also will help you point out which race you can compete or even join them for group competitions.

4. Practice Tactics

Cycling is not just about riding around your neighborhood, it is also knowing the different kinds of routes. Some are more challenging than others, but you can always practice and learn how will go with it. You could also learn your strengths and weaknesses with it and how you will develop them.

5. Search and Know about Races

Before you sign up for anything, be sure to know the details of those races. Here are some examples of races you can join even if you are a beginner:

  1. Time Trial – racing bicycle designed for use in an individual or team time trials raced on roads
  2. Hill Climb – a basic skill that is competed the same to the event of time trial
  3. Road Race – Riding on paved roads that are usually closed down from other traffic.
  4. Circuit Race – This is a race where everyone starts at once, and you go around the course many times. The tricky part is that as you continue with the race the track gets a bit longer each time.
  5. Criterium – Several laps around the same defined route.

Food To Bring When You’re Camping

You surely have plans prepared for spring since winter. And once spring comes, it is time to put them in action. In the spring, there are many possible activities you could take part in. But one of the most popular is camping. The reason for this is that it is more cloudy and cool than summer. 

Camping requires a lot of preparation though from the place to the essentials. But of course, the most important would be the food. 

1. Snacks

Snacks are eaten at anytime in particular. It can be during the trip to the campsite. If there is a food that is great for head-starting a trip, it would be the snacks. They are also eaten during idle times or while exchanging stories. Food is a great companion when it comes to sharing. Snacks have a variety of options. There are potato chips and some candy that are less healthy but delicious and convenient nonetheless when you are on-the-go. A healthier option would be trail mix which consists of nuts, oats, and some dried fruits. An energy bar is also good and handy when physical activities are involved. Another snack that does not need any preparation are the dried items like beef jerky and fruits. There are also other alternatives such as sandwiches but obviously this would require a bit of preparation.

2. Campfire Recipes

Having a campfire is one of those activities that people will have in mind whenever camping is mentioned. There are a lot of activities involved during a campfire like games, swapping stories, and singing. But meals can also be cooked by a campfire. The most common snack would be s’mores and they are usually made when an activity is being held. You can also grill some meat like sausages and burgers. There are also easy recipes that you could make with a campfire. You just need some foil and skillet, and you can make some parcel and even some soup. As long as you have the ingredients and supplies, it will be easy and ready.

3. Instant Food

Not all are inclined to cooking though, and it could be definitely a problem with trips like this especially with no restaurants or food shacks nearby. In addition, there might be a lot of activities you want to do and time is limited, so you just need something that is quick and easy. That can be solved with instant food and there are many different types you can choose from. The most popular would be the instant cup noodles. You will just need hot water and then you have a meal that will also be particularly warming during cooler days and nights. If you want something different, there is also instant Mac and cheese. 

4. Hot Drinks

When nights get cold or during early mornings, a hot drink is often what we crave. It does not matter what you and your companions prefer. Be it coffee, tea, chocolate, or even milk, you can bring them. Nowadays, packets are common that are usually perfectly suited for trips like this. All you need is hot water and you are done. It is not only limited to hot drinks either, you can also bring juice packets to get energized for activities.

Tips for Traveling Abroad for the First Time

Being on vacation is exciting. What more exciting is having a trip. What is even more exciting is having a trip abroad especially if it is your first time. There is something about being in a new place with a different atmosphere and even a different culture. It will be really refreshing and relaxing and kind of overwhelming at times even. But it is definitely a great time to take a break and consume the sights that you will see and make new memories.

Like any other trip, it will involve planning and there will surely be a lot. If this will be your first time, here are some important essentials you need to know:

1. Know the necessary documents needed

First thing will definitely be your passport and visa. You should know about the limitation and expiry dates of them when you plan. They might need to be renewed before you plan or you leave and to know your schedule. Another are the files needed for confirmation with your flight and lodging. You can have them printed for you to have a physical copy to carry around when you are traveling and also as evidence in case problems arise. This also includes contacting your credit card company and bank to inform them that you are leaving the country. This will avoid suspicions of fraud and so that you can use them even if you are at another country. Another thing to prepare is your budget. Be sure to know about it and set it up even its limitations to be sure.

2. Know what to pack up

You may get too excited upon leaving for abroad for the first time that you may want to bring a lot of things and clothes. But always remember that you might need or even use all of them during your trip for there will be other things you will do or get excited about. Add to that, your luggage might be added with a lot of memorabilia and souvenirs that will be added. So that is why it is important to pack light and just bring necessary items including enough clothes (with some extras). A great way to know about them is to have a list beforehand. Be sure to have extra clothes in your hand luggage in case something happens like a canceled flight.

3. Know about their culture

When you are going abroad, it will be definitely different from what you are used to. Not only the sights but also the way of living people does. So it is important to know what their culture beforehand. There might be things or gestures that you should avoid because they may get offended or consider it rude. It is also handy to know about their language even just the basics. There are times that you will need to know your way around and it will be hard if people do not speak English. Also, by knowing their culture, the shock will be avoided and you will know that it is how it works for their country. To know about this, you can buy guide books and dictionaries or simply do quick research on the internet.

Skiing Tips for Beginners

It is nice to try something new once in a while. It could be something simple or you could go ahead and do something extreme. What is important is to get to try something and who knows, you might enjoy.

There are various sports out there that you can give a try. There are some that are well known and could be done near you. There are also some even if it is well known but cannot be done at your place or exclusive at certain places. One of those is the skiing. Skiing is commonly found at cooler places such as Canada and Vermont. You would see skiing resorts in those places. If you had the chance to go to those places or even in other countries such as Switzerland or even Japan, why not give skiing a try. If you are a beginner, you will definitely be assisted, but here are some tips that will help you:

1. Know about the Place

It could be at the same or another country, but no matter what, you should familiarize yourself with it. If you are a beginner, there will surely be trails that are available for you. But even if that is the case, you should know about the trails and slopes and the difficulty of it for you. Ask questions about them with some staff or even some experienced ones that will help you. 

2. Know the Essential Gear

For skiing, you will have your gear that you would use and also essential for your safety. Here are the essentials that you will need:

  1. Ski Helmet – used for your head’s protection.
  2. Ski Goggles – not everyone wears goggles but it is helpful as a protection from wind and other particles that may distract you.
  3. Ski Socks – you cannot just use any socks when you ski. You should have one that will not only protect you from cold but also stay up and support you.
  4. Ski Boots – should fit snuggly around your leg, but not so tight as to cause pain or damage. The idea is not only to give you some support, but also to keep snow and water out of your boot. It should definitely not be cutting off circulation to your feet.
  5. Ski Poles – used for balance and propulsion. Find ones that are best for you and learn how to handle them correctly.
  6. Skis – a narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow.

3. Know the Basics

Now it is time for you to ski. The first thing you need to know is properly putting your skis on. Then after that, you should learn about the proper positioning, stance, and how will you flex and gaze your body. When practicing, you should learn about the following:

  1. Warm up
  2. Learn about the different kinds of slopes
  3. Learn how to stop to avoid dangers
  4. Do not go to fast but take it slow
  5. Round off turns and could be good for controlling speed
  6. Slowly progress to parallel
  7. Warm down

In case you fall it is important that you will know how to get up and have your skis once again. As a beginner, you can also have lessons. There are some things we cannot just learn by ourselves and need some guidance.

The Most Dangerous Extreme Sports

Are you a person who always look for a thrill or adventure? It can be as simple as riding thrilling rides at amusement parks. It could be also going for a hike. Traveling whether abroad or locally is also an adventure for it is seeking something new. There are also activities like paintball, swimming, or riding a motorcycle that pumps up our adrenaline.

But there are also sports that not only gives you a thrill but also very risky. It is those activities where your life may be in line or danger. Are you willing to try them? Here are some of the examples:

1. BASE jumping

BASE stands for building, antenna, span, and earth, and they are places people can jump. People will have their parachutes, but that does not make it less dangerous. Jumping from an immense height is dangerous enough but add that the winds and altitude. BASE jumping is actually more dangerous than sky diving because it involves lower altitude. In addition, parachutes do not guarantee safety for it might fail and the right timing is involved in opening it.

2. Big-Wave Surfing

If we think about it, the ocean has enough dangers of its own. Surfing also requires a lot of skill to be done even on simple waves. Common problems when surfing include riptides, broken surfboards, and sharks. Add to that the risk of drowning. It will be a whole other level if it involves bigger waves. The wave should be 20 feet high in order to consider it as big-wave surfing. Those common problems will be surely a high risk.

3. Bull Riding

It is dubbed as “most dangerous 8 seconds in sport.” Yes, it is only 8 seconds long but remember that bulls are already dangerous as they are and harder to hold onto them while they are tossing you off which if it happens, will cause you a lot of injuries. Worst-case scenario will be paralyzation or even death.

4. Cave Diving

Scuba diving is actually dangerous itself with limited air supply, risk of the bends, and drowning. What more for cave diving? Caves are actually dangerous when you get stuck and do not know the way out. Add to that the low visibility and cramp space underwater. Also, there are no emergency exits in case of difficulties.

5. Heli-Skiing

It is skiing that involves helicopters, and the reason for that is skiing off-trail. The risks include being hit by an avalanche and getting lost. In addition, it is far away from human inhabitation, so it will be harder to get some help.

6. Free Climbing or Soling

Rock climbing is hard enough then imagine doing it without any safety gear and harness. It will definitely dangerous even if it is just a simple mistake such as stepping on loose rock or grabbing a wrong one, it will definitely cause a fall. Records say that only a few injuries have occurred for most are death. Climbers are provided with safety equipment but it is not effective, unfortunately.

Things To Do Before Leaving for Vacation

Going on vacation is very much anticipated by everyone. It is a great time for you to take a break from work and other stress that is happening. It will be a nice way for you to clear your mind and relax. If you are going with someone whether It with your friends or family, it will be a great way for you to bond with them.

But it is also important for you to plan your travel. There are many essentials needed. Before you leave for a vacation, you might need to do this.

1. Prepare the documents needed

Whether you are traveling abroad or not, there will be a lot of documents involve with your trip. When you are traveling abroad, of course, you would need your passport, visa, and plane tickets. Be sure to have confirmations about your flight and lodging. But even if you are just traveling locally, you will still need confirmations about your board and lodging and transportations such as train, bus, and plane. Another thing to confirm are places of entertainment that needed reservation such as stage plays. Documents also include ones at your home that needed to be settled before leaving such as bills. Be sure to update your travel documents and travel insurance too. If you are leaving the country, be sure to inform your credit card company or bank to avoid fraud and so you can also use it if it is applicable. Also, another important thing is that you know and set up your budget that will be needed for your vacation.

2. Prepare a list of emergency numbers

Being on vacation is unpredictable. In case something happens, you should have a list to contact like close friends and relatives. Keep track of other emergency numbers too such as hospitals and conduct research about the local numbers too.

3. Inform a trusted family or friend

When you are leaving, be sure to have a trusted person to know where are you going and how long. They could be the ones you can contact in case of emergency. They are also ones you will entrust with your home especially if you have pets that needed to be fed. 

4. Pack up 

Be sure to pack up the essentials. It will definitely depend on the place where you are going. But no matter where you go, do not overdo it and pack light. Like the clothes for example, just pack enough including the extras. Be sure to have one in your hand luggage too in case of an emergency like canceled flights. To know which one should be packed, it will be handy to have a list needed for your trip.

5. Check the weather

Know if the weather is applicable for you to leave. In case a plane trip is required, you might want to know about the flight being canceled that needed to be rescheduled or even refunded. This is also applicable when you are going home.

6. Secure home

Being on vacation means leaving home for a while, so make sure to check if it will be secured enough. Have a trusted family or friend, maybe a neighbor, to watch out for your home. Be sure that no unnecessary electronics are plugged especially those that might cause to start a fire. Also, be sure to have your trash empty and check your refrigerator if something needed to be disposed of. This will save you from food that might get rotten and the smell it will emit.

Must-Have​ Travel Items

With our lives being busy, it is good to have a break at times. Traveling exposes us to a new environment, so it is a nice way to clear our mind. Whether you are traveling abroad or locally, by land or by air, it is nice to be somewhere different. You may have gone to that place before or perhaps it is somewhere new to you but being in a different place takes you away from the busyness of your life.

Traveling will involve a lot of planning though. There are essentials that you need have. What are they?

1. Clothing

Clothing will depend on where you will go. If it is in a cooler place or even cold enough for snow, you might need to bring thicker clothes and accessories for it like a scarf, gloves, and cap. If you plan to go to a warmer place, you may need less. But no matter where you will go, it is important to pack light. Bring clothes, a few extras included, but just enough for your trip. Many times you get so excited when packing and in the end, you aren’t really able to wear them all. Also, since the weather is unpredictable at times, bring clothes that are essential when the rain comes.

2. Toiletries

Sometimes you would ask if it is even necessary to bring toiletries especially if there will be complimentary items in the hotel you will stay in or perhaps you just plan to buy in nearby stores you will go to. Toiletries are more than just the shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, soaps, and even towels. You can skip bringing those if you want to but sometimes they will be handy if you need extras. Apart from those, there are some items that are not given in hotels like sunscreens which are a necessity on a hot day or if you are planning to go for a swim.

3. Medicine

Sometimes, you just cannot predict what will happen. You might get a headache from walking all day or eat food that is bad. You or some of your companions might not be good with vehicles and get sick on the trip. That is why it important to have medicines around in case of emergency. This also includes vitamins and maintenance medication. Keep in mind if you or your companions are prone to allergy or asthmatic. You will need an Epipen or inhaler on hand.

4. Documents

You will need to check to make sure you have your documents because they are the most important thing for getting to your destination. Without them, you might not get to travel at all. When you are traveling by plane, train, ship, or bus, you will definitely need your ticket, so be sure to have them in a safe place. If you are going to travel to another country, your passport and visa (if needed) should be secured. Other essential documents including your ID and money (both cash and credit cards). You will also need information on where you are staying to assure confirmations and avoid problems like canceling without your permission. If you have one, medical prescriptions are also needed in case of emergency.