Month: August 2019

Hiking Tips and Tricks

With all the stress and busyness of our lives, we just want to take a break and unwind. One of the good ways to do it is to have a hike. This is an activity that you can do with your friends and family or just by yourself. There will be planning involved though even it’s just a short one. The reason for this is safety and also to have a smooth adventure. You need to know what to expect. What are those preparations that needed to be done?

Know the right trail and get familiarized

Are you a beginner or an expert? No matter what it is, it is important to know the right trail for you. There are short and easy trails that are perfect for beginners. If you are also looking for a time alone and relax, this may be the trail for you to go for it is less dangerous. Maybe you are an expert and would want to go to a more challenging trail. No matter what will you choose, always be familiarized with it. You should know to expect and what things like what kind of animals or plantsit has around and what kind of terrain it has. You should also have an expectation for what’s to come, so you can prepare what you may need on your trip. 

Know the weather

Another important thing to prepare for is the weather. What season will you take your hike? Will it be during winter with the snow or spring and summer where there are rainfalls? Keep in mind the heat you’ll experience too. The reason for this is because it will affect how you will dress and what to pack. It will also affect the trails you will choose to go to. Also, if the weather is not good and dangerous, you might need to cancel your plans.

Know the essential items

Hiking is not just about dressing up and walking on the trails. There are things you will need to bring during the hike for your safety. Make sure your stuff is clean and ready. The essentials include:

  1. Navigation (map and compass but with technology, your smartphone might have a map, compass, and GPS)
  2. Sun Protection (sunscreen and sunglasses)
  3. Extra Clothing
  4. Flashlight
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. Materials for fire
  7. Food
  8. Water
  9. Emergency Shelter

Know the right clothing

Knowing the right clothing is important for comfort and protection. Light clothing will be a requirement, especially on a hot day. There are all-weather jackets available in case the day is colder and windy. Rain essentials are necessary to be brought because weather is unpredictable at times and you need to be ready at all times. The material of the clothing is also important. Cotton should be avoided because it stays damp. Instead, choose ones that are made of wool or synthetic. Choosing the right hiking boots is also a must. You should have the right type to protect your feet and they should be comfortable for you to wear even in challenging and muddy trails. Choose also a pair that will not cause blisters.

Know about emergency essentials

We will never know what might happen during hiking, so it is important to have emergency shelters and first aid kits in case of accidents. Tell a friend or family where you will be going, so in case of emergency, they will be able to contact professionals and know where to find you. It is also handy to have emergency contacts on hand such as your medical assistance when something serious happens.

Easy Meals for Guests

Our home is an important asset to show people what we are. If you are going to have guests at home, whether planned or not, you should have your home welcoming. Even if you are not around the house all the time yourself, your house can still have the homey vibes that will make your guests comfortable and at home themselves. A good way to welcome them is definitely with food. Whether you made them yourself or have them ordered, how will serve and prepare them will definitely show your appreciation with them. 

Often times though, you might find yourself not enough time to prepare because of busyness. That is not a problem though. Aside from ordering, there are simple recipes that you can do that would not take much time, and here are they:

Pasta Dishes with Garlic Bread

Pasta is one of the ingredients that has many possibilities. With different kinds in various shapes and sizes, there are many recipes involving it. You can always have a simple spaghetti or chicken alfredo. There are also mac and cheese or lasagna and any other pasta casserole dish. If you do not feel like baking, a lot of recipes involve only sautéing with just a few ingredients. Then pair them with garlic bread and you are ready to go.

Salad

Another easy to prepare meal and healthy too. You can make it simple with just vegetables, but you can also have some add ons like roasted beef or chicken. You can also add some tortilla chips or even crispy pita bread for added texture. As for dressing, there are also a variety and it will definitely depend on the kind of salad you serve. It could either be a vinaigrette or a creamier one. You could also have both so your guests will be able to choose.

Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken sounds like a complicated dish, but it is not. You can have this prepared ahead then put it in an oven before your guests arrived. You can add a simple side dish with it like a salad. If you do not have time to cook, rotisserie chicken is available at grocery stores. 

Burger and Fries

Another simple recipe but longer preparation though. It could either be cooked by a grill or have it pan-fried. It will also be your choice how much stuffing you want. You can also have the ingredients set up and have your guests choose their own stuffing for their burger and that includes the sauce. You can also have smaller ones called sliders. As for the fries,  you can definitely make your own or just buy something from the grocery.

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Tomato soup can be served either hot or cold, so it will not matter what season will it be. There are different kinds of recipes to make it, and it will be according to your taste and choice on the ingredients to add and how the texture will be. Then add it with grilled cheese to dip in the soup, it will surely be delicious.

Scuba Diving for Beginners

Life is short, so make the most of it. That is what people might say. It is the reason why they have a bucket list or a list of things to try. It would be a mix of simple things such as trying a new food or going to places, and things that will involve danger such as skydiving or climbing a mountain. It is all about the thrill.

Scuba diving is one of those activities that is common but also dangerous. It involves going underwater that is limited to air. It does sound intimidating, but also fulfilling especially when you see the beautiful nature that is underwater. You just have to prepare yourself for it. Here are the things you should do for preparation:

Know The Locations

There are a lot of locations that offer lessons and destinations for beginners. You might want to search for those, but if you do have one within your area, go for it. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with it. 

Know The Gear and Equipment

Scuba diving will certainly involve a lot of gear. From the attire like the wetsuit and masks and then you have the equipment. You would need to choose a wetsuit that is right for you. It is not only looking for the right fitting but also the temperature of the water. You will need to have a research about the place you will most likely diving the most. Masks are also crucial. You should have one that stays on your face and does not leak. As for the equipment such as the oxygen tanks, it would be better to rent first than to buy to see the right one for you. You can definitely invest for one once you have decided that scuba diving is not just a one-time experience.

Get Training

You would need a certificate and license before you will become a scuba diver, so you will definitely need training. Choose a school that is known for safety. It is the most important factor. To know about this, you could have a research and read some reviews. As said before, water temperatures are also significant. So if you are thinking of having scuba diving as a hobby, know about the temperature of the place you will mostly go to.

Some Tips:

  1. If you want to make sure that scuba diving is right for you, why not try first in a swimming pool before doing it in the ocean. In fact, it is required for you to be able to read water or float for 10 minutes and have to swim 200m.
  2. Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is for your safety and enhancement of skills.
  3. If you have decided to have scuba diving as a hobby, always practice. Have a dive as often as you can to enhance your skills.
  4. Join a club or community, so you will be able to know about the latest trends about scuba diving. You can also exchange knowledge with one another and help each other improve.
  5. Relax. Panicking, especially underwater, will just cause you harm.

What To Wear When Hiking In Hot Weather

Hiking is one of those activities that is great for a group, but potentially just as enjoyable by yourself. It is a good bonding activity. But at the same time, it is a nice way for you to reflect and relax and also spend your time in solitude with nature. Also with a hike, not only will you get a work out, you will also able to connect with nature. 

If you are planning to go for a hike, there are certainly things you need to do to prepare. From the location you’re planning to hike to the essential gear and supplies you’re bringing with you and even the weather. What if it will be incredibly hot that day, for example? What should you wear under these circumstances?

1. Hiking Boots with Thin Socks

Trails are much different than the regular paths that you may be used to walking in. They are steeper and at times muddy. With hiking boots, you will be able to protect your feet from it. When the weather is hot, it is important to have boots that are lighter and breathable. It is also important to look for a boot that will not cause blisters. That will be a headache with hiking especially because this is more challenging than other normal walks. The kind of socks you wear is also important for they also provide protection. On a hot day, it would be more efficient to wear something that is thin enough. The type of material used should also be kept in mind. Cotton is mostly avoided for it absorbs moisture and dries slowly. It is advised to choose alternatives made from wool or synthetic. Remember to wear something that fits perfectly with your feet to avoid minor injuries such as blisters.

2. Light Clothing

What you wear will affect your activity. When it is hot, it is important to wear clothes that are light in color, so that they will not absorb heat unlike dark-colored clothes. Also choose clothes that are light and breathable so that they will help you maintain a tolerable body temperature. As with the socks, the material it is made from should be paid attention to as well. Avoid clothes that are made of cotton and choose nylon or polyester instead. But you will also need to choose clothes that cover you up as protection from sunlight especially if it gets particularly strong. You can wear long-sleeved shirts that are light, so they will not make you hot. It is also important to have something on your neck to keep you cool. You could use a neck gaiter or a lightweight cloth like a scarf to cover your neck and maintain moisture.

3. Hat

A hat can be used as protection for your face and neck. It could be a normal baseball cap or hiking hats that have brims goes around for more protection.

4. Others

What you will wear is not the only essential when the weather is hot. It is also important to have some things on hand that will protect you and your health. On a hot day, it is important to have a lighter hiking gear so your body will not need so much force that will likely cause exhaustion. It is also important to have water to keep you hydrated throughout the hike.

Planning Snacks for House Guests

Having house guests is very common. People will come for a variety of reasons. There could be a house party or a movie night or a game night. There are times that meetings were held at home. Some also would be for simple entertainment such as to watch their favorite TV shows or sports together and perfect for relaxation especially when you leave often. Or simply just want to hang out and exchange stories. No matter what the reason, food is a necessity. It does not even have to be a  full meal, especially for a great number. At times like that, snacks are sufficient and there are a lot of easy ones you can serve. Take note that most are finger foods that are easier to have on a single plate and services around.

1. Refreshments

Nothing can get wrong with refreshments. Whatever food you will have, there should always be something to drink to match them. It could be juice or cocktails that you made yourself or simply have drinks in a cooler where everyone will just get one. 

2. Popcorn and Nuts

This will be great especially for movie nights or sports night, but can also be served at house parties. It is easy to prepare. You can either buy those that are already made or the microwave ones or make one yourself from scratch. It has a variety of flavors that will suit your tastes and of your guests. Nuts also have a variety that there are even premixed available. Just be mindful of those who have allergies and maybe have an alternative ready.

3. Cookies

Cookies also have different varieties and are available in different shapes and sizes that will suit your taste. It can be either be a dessert or a snack but enjoyable either way. You can make them yourself if you want to but there are those that are ready to eat that are in bake shops and grocery stores for less hassle. But as said before, be mindful of allergies and warn them of the ingredients and always have an alternative ready.

4. Cheese Platter

A cheese platter may sound like a sophisticated snack, but it is not. Just have some crackers and bread and some fruits with a variety of cheese (having one or two types would be enough), and you are done.

5. Sandwiches

Sandwiches come in many forms. They can be small enough to be a finger food or big that would require a plate. You can have your sandwich as many or little stuffing as you want. You could also have them do it by themselves like a burger for example with different stuffings and sauces they could choose from. This way, you don’t need to know and have problems if they dislike something or not.

6. Pizza

If you do not have enough time, you can just always order pizza. You can have ones that will suit their tastes. It will be also less hassle with dishes because you will just need paper plates and tissues. 

7. Chips and Dip

Another one that you can purchase pre-made. Chips have different varieties from nachos to potato chips and even french fries. Dips are now also available to purchase at grocery stores but there are a lot of easy recipes you could try that will suit your tastes. It is a snack that is great either for interactions with others or simply watching something on television.

Best Country To Visit in Southeast Asia

Asia is known for its rich history and culture, and it is a great place for travel especially if you are looking for something different. And because it is the largest continent, it is definitely hard to choose where to go for a start. Southeast Asia is the best way to go if you are into beautiful scenery and beaches. If you live in a cold place or country, this will be a nice way for you to escape the cold and embrace some warmth. In addition, it is very budget-friendly. If you are finding a place to stay, here are some suggestions:

1. Indonesia

You can do a lot of activities in Indonesia with its volcanoes and beaches. Bali is a well-known destination because of its various activities and attractions, but there are still other places you could visit. Indonesia is also known for its coffee and fried rice.

2. Thailand

Thailand has its significant gorgeous beaches but what it is known for are the parties and if you love mingling and fun nightlife, Thailand is the place. Despite that, they still have their temples that you could visit. Thailand also offers vast cuisine that can be found in the streets and restaurants.

3. Philippines

An archipelago that consists of more than 7,000 islands and because of this, this country have a lot of beaches you go to. But if you are looking for other sights and activities, it has a lot to offer. With its mountains and volcanoes, you can have a hike with one of those. It also features amazing sights like the Banaue Rice Terraces. In addition, you can also see historical landmarks such as churches and buildings that were mostly made during the Spanish colonization.

4. Malaysia

If you love safaris, Malaysia offers them because of their rainforests. You could also see a lot of wildlife sanctuaries. You can also do some hiking. Food is also great and the must-try is their soup called Laksa that has coconut curry in it.

5. Singapore

It is an island city-state that is known for its cleanliness and safety. Unlike other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore is very high tech and full of modern architecture buildings. There are lot of foods to try too and the best place would be at a night market and multi-culture given its state.

6. Laos

Laos has this soothing and calm vibe to it. It is also rich in history. The capital, Luang Pragang, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for their ancient temples. With its rivers, you could do a lot of activities such as tubing and kayaking. There are also zip lines and caves you could go to. This is definitely a perfect place if you love doing adrenaline-rushed activities.

7. Cambodia

Cambodia has the Angkor Wat which is one of the largest temples in the world. You could actually rent a bike and ride around the temple. Aside from that, there are also towns that feature interesting architectures from the French colonization.

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.