Jeremy

Rock Climbing Techniques for Beginners

Sometimes, life gets too boring that we just want to try to do new things. It could be as simple as learning how to cook or play an instrument. It could be traveling to another place, either in another country or just somewhere near. It could also be some exciting sports or even more challenging ones.

One of the activities you could try is rock climbing. You could either do it indoors with artificially made climbing walls. If you want more challenge, there are also a lot of spots outdoors that you could try. No matter where you want to first try, you will surely be guided as a beginner. There are techniques that you could try, and here are some:

1. Footwork

The problem for beginners is that they tend to focus upwards and what to grab. One of the important aspects of rock climbing is what you will step on. There are techniques for footwork that you could work on:

  1. Smearing – If you’re facing an ambiguous surface with not much to stand on, you want to expose as much of your foot’s surface area to the rock as possible. Think of it as making the sole of your foot one with the rock. You want your feet to stick like a suction cup (not really, but you get the idea).
  2. Edging – Sometimes there is an edge to stand on, but it’s very small. In this case, you want to basically wedge the edge of your shoe sole into the edge, as square as possible. This will allow you to maximize your grip to the edge, allowing you to propel forward and upward.
  3. Hooking – In some instances you can use one of your feet as an additional hand, rather than using it as a base like you normally would with your feet. Make sure you are in a good position to do so, as you are temporarily sacrificing one of your two most stable limbs.

2. Use Your Legs

Since your legs are much stronger, make use of them instead of relying too much on your arms which easily tires. 

3. Grip

Gripping the rocks is very essential for this activity. It is not about just for balancing but also for pulling yourself up. Some rocks you will climb on are of different shapes and sizes and tend to get tricky. You should know what to do if you get there. Here are the techniques for your gripping that will help you:

  1. Crimp – Use your thumb to give your index finger a bit of extra support when it needs it.
  2. Open Grip – When you have large holds at your disposal, open your hands and wrap your fingers around it as much as possible.
  3. Pinch – Use your thumb and fingers to pinch the hold like a lobster.
  4. Pockets – When you have a smaller hold you may need to use less fingers but you still want to make as much contact with the surface as possible.

4. Body Movement

The way you will move your body is also essential. You should not be stiff but also not frantic. Eventually, you will develop your own style and dynamic that you are most comfortable with. In the meantime, you can also learn some of the techniques you can begin with and can use or practice on:

  1. Sidepull – Sometimes you simply can’t get a good grip to make upward progress. Consider instead making movements to the side.
  2. Gaston – Another option instead of making upward progress is to make outward progress, potentially making other opportunities for you to grab next.
  3. Palming and Stemming – When palming, you’re relying on your palm rather than your fingers. It’s usually combined in conjunction with stemming, or basically spreading as discussed earlier.
  4. Underclings – This happens when you simultaneously push up with your feet and cling with your fingers.
  5. Dynamic Moves – also called as “dynos.” It is a way of utilizing your body’s momentum to make a movement to a grip that is a bit out of reach.
  6. Core Strength – Not only is it good for a six pack, core strength helps ensure you are strong from the center.

5. Relax

In climbing, be sure you would have resting points to catch a break. It is also important to relax and do not let fear overcome you. Sometimes, it is what will trouble you and might cause you to fall.

Things To Do While Camping At Night

If there is an activity that requires a lot of planning ahead and preparation, it would be camping. It sure is a great thing to do with your family or friends but no matter, you should be prepared and know possibilities.

But of course, camping is not about all of that. Its purpose is to relax, have fun, and not only to connect with nature but also with your family and friends. So that is why, during the camping trip, activities are important. It is not only to have fun and just to do something, it is also about getting to know how everyone is doing. Camping will surely take days or maybe just an overnight, but it is important to have fun activities held for it.

1. Go for a walk

Camping is about discovering and connecting with nature, so how else are you going to do that without exploring a little bit. You can have a companion or even your kids and take awe of the beauty around. It might be better to do this in the morning but sometimes, it is different at night. There are some animals and sights that only come out at that time, one example is the fireflies.

2. Explore the campsite’s activities

Campsites actually offer activities that you can do. Usually, they will have lakes that are good for swimming or boat riding. Some actually have pools in them and even hot tubs. If that is the case, you can take a swim at night. 

3. Stargazing

Nature is not only what you find around. You can also look up and see its beauty. If you live in a city, this will be your chance to see the stars brightly for city lights cover them at times. You can point out different constellations with your companions. But if you do not have a knowledge about them, it is not a problem. Just point out different kinds of shapes with them, and it will be good enough to encourage bonding and fun.

4. Set up a camp fire

Campfires can also be used for cooking and there are a lot of recipes that you can try. But the most common are the smores and hotdogs. And while you are doing this, you can exchange stories and just have some fun.

Of course, a camping will not be complete without a campfire. With it, there are many possible activities you can do, and here are some:

a. Cook with the fire

b. Play and sing songs

You or one of your companions can bring a guitar or even a harmonica or tambourine and have some jamming session and sing some of your favorite songs.

c. Play a game

There are a variety of games you can choose from. You can bring some materials like for a card game. One of the most popular games is the truth or dare it will likely involve a bottle. But many times, you just need to keep it simple and can play without involving anything and just have some fun. 

d. Exchange stories

Telling stories is a great way to not only have fun but also get to know each other and what is happening with each others’ lives. It could be fun with funny stories or ghost stories or it could be sentimental.

Fun Things to Bring On Vacation

Vacation is a good way for you to relax and take a break from stress. It is a good way for you to spend time and bond with your family and friends. It will clear your mind and also give you a new perspective on other cultures whether you are traveling abroad or locally.

But you will also need to bring some things that can be helpful for your trip. There are the necessities but there are also some things for preserving memories and also entertainment when you are at your hotel to rest.

1. Gadgets

There are a lot of possible gadgets to bring. Smartphones would be an obvious one since it will be used for contacting friends and relatives especially in need of emergency. Smartphones are also used as a camera for documenting though you can still have a camera if you want to. And because of social media, you will be able to share them on the spot. Smartphones can also have games, music, and movies installed in them in case you need an added entertainment at your hotel room.

2. Portable Speakers and Headphones

Taking a break is done even on a vacation. Sometimes we just get tired of walking around and seeing sights. You can watch movies with your laptop with your companions and have portable speakers for enhancing the sound. If you would want it by yourself or listen to music without disturbing anyone, a good pair of headphones will be handy. You could also use it when you want to relax at a park and taking in the scenery with music.

3. Playing Cards

Another thing handy while resting in a hotel room with your companions and bond with them at the same time. There are endless possibilities to do with playing cards even if you are playing with kids. You could also bring alternative playing cards like the Uno cards.

4. Journaling Items

At times we want to document our travels and photos are not enough. Journaling is the best way to do that. You will just need to bring a notebook with you. This will be best if you love to write and could describe the places you have seen and what happened that day.  If you are not into writing, you could just save your trinkets like tickets, stubs, food wrappers, brochures, and anything memorable for you and stick it in your notebook. You could also do both or even have some pictures with them too. Some do their journaling mixed with scrapbooking, so if you are into that, why not do it with your vacation? It is a fun way to preserve memories for some.

5. Books

Another way to relax while resting is to read a good book. Not only is this handy for hotel room stays, but it could also be done in a hammock on a beach or a cabin or even at a park. Sometimes,  walking around may be overwhelming, so it will be nice to have your mind elsewhere by reading a book. 

How To Make Your Life Simpler

A quote of Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” There are many things in this world that are already complicated but our lives do not need to be. The beauty of it will help us not only financially and mentally but also to other aspects such as our emotions and physical health. It is not hard and you could try it every time you want.

1. Track your expenses

No matter what, we will always have something to spend our money with. But what we could do is to know if it is really necessary. Water and electricity bills are surely one of those and so is food. But if you start to track what you are spending on, you will find out if some of them are necessities or just for your own luxury. It is not bad to have something that is of luxury like gadgets or going on vacations as long as it makes you happy and not stressful about the expense surrounding it. Tracking will also help you see if your purchases those you really need or just have it on impulse because of want. This will make you think about your future expenses if you would really need it or not.

2. Track your time

There is this saying that “time is gold,” and it is indeed for life is also short. So we have to spend our time wisely. By tracking your time, you would know if you spend either too much time with your work or the opposite, slacking off. It is important to have it balanced. Once you know about it, why not have a schedule and have plans that will not be a waste of time. It will be surely helpful for your growth as a person.

3. Declutter your home

It is said that decluttering your home would also lead to decluttering your life, and that is why it became a trend. Clutter indeed adds stress to our lives, so why not look upon your supplies and utensils and see what you always use and what you think is needed. Sometimes, we tend to purchase something on impulse or have old things lying around that can still be used but not needed anymore. You can either dispose of them, donate them, or even sell them and that way, what you will have are just the essentials. If you still have more stuff but you think they are necessary, have them stored instead of having them lying around. This way, not only your home will look clean, but it may also lengthen its life.

4. Find joy in simple things

With technology today, we can easily find entertainment. You can watch movies or listen to music as long as you have an internet connection and gadgets. But oftentimes, that’s just it, having us entertained but did not bring us joy. Why not spend some time discovering your real joy. Go write or read. Spend time with your friends and family. Have a hobby like sports or DIY. The beauty of it is that you do not really need to spend a ton for them and find yourself realizing that you could enjoy life without being complex.

How To Become a Minimalist At Home

The world is already complicated. But the problem is we made it more complicated through our lifestyles and choices. But we can make simple though and to do that is to get only what you need. The home will be a nice way to start that. You would think it is about the decorations, but it is not. It also includes our attitudes that will be used outside of the home. Here are some of them:

1. Declutter

Why is it important to declutter? Not only it will improve your home, but it will also improve your well being. There is a trend nowadays about decluttering and that if we declutter our house, we will be also decluttering our lives. It means that with all the stressors we have in our lives, the clutter at our home will just add to it. You do not need to wait for spring to have a general cleaning. Just look around you: countertops, tables, and even your bed. Also, check out your utensils and supplies. Maybe you have something in double or not used. If you have some things that you do not need lying around, you should get rid of it as soon as possible. You can throw it out or have it on sale. If you do have a lot of stuff and do use them, the organization is the key. If you have a lot of stuff that is on your table or countertops, you can have them stored in your drawers, cabinets, or organizers. You can also have them stored at storage containers to keep them in place.

2. Be simple with your design and furniture

You would know a minimalist by looking to one’s home. We would think that it will all white and traditional with fewer decorations. But that is not the case. You can keep it simple but still be colorful as long as it relaxes you and makes you happy. What is most important will be the usage and importance. Just stick with the basics like sofa and table for living room, bed for bedroom, table and chairs for the dining area, and so forth. Just have enough space for you to breathe and move around, and you can do this even if you have a smaller space. The secret to that is to have only the necessary items and do not take too much space like having few chairs in your living room. In case you need to have more because of visitors, why not get some that you will able to store when not in use. Being a minimalist does not also mean you will not decorate your home. You can but as said before, keep it simple. You can have simple framed paintings or pictures here and there and some bookshelves. Just remember to not overdo it for it might look like a mess than pleasing.

3. Be mindful on what you buy

Sometimes, we do not realize that we tend to horde. At times, you buy things you think you might need but after a while, it remains unused. Next time you go shopping, remember to think about things you will buy and to not get it on impulse. Not only it will save space in your home, but it will also save you money. 

Essential Equipment To Get Started Recording Audio

Are you planning to have your own home recording audio? There are a few possible reasons that you might want to. It could be to start a small business. It could be also that you have great love for music and you want to record when the inspiration hits. No matter what the reason is, having your own studio at home takes a little bit of forethought. It will certainly be not cheap either. But like any other venture, it is essential to know about the basics and what your needs will be.

1. Computer

With the technological age, computers are just about everywhere. Whether it’s at a school or an office, computers seem to have become a necessity, and almost everyone with a medium wage has one. Studios now are also pretty much all digital, so a computer is definitely needed. If you are starting, it is fine to use whatever computer you have on hand. As you develop though, it will certainly may warrant an upgrade later on.

2. Digital audio work station (DAW)

A DAW is the software that you use for recording, editing, and mixing on a computer. In buying yourself a DAW, it important to consider what computer you are using, the style of music you want or usually produce, and your budget.

3. Audio Interface

An audio interface is the hardware used to connect your computer with the rest of the gear in your studio. Learn the basics of how to use them before buying one. They come with different options and like the DAW, the model you choose reflects on what kind of music you usually produce. 

4. Microphones

Even now, microphones are still needed in recording studios. If you are just starting, one or two microphones will be enough but as time goes on, you will probably need to add more. This is because microphones have different uses depending on your sounds, instruments, and situation. Choosing your microphones will also depend on how you intend to record the sounds emitted from your instruments.

5. Headphones

The headphones in your music studio are used for monitoring as you record and also for mixing. They come in two major styles: the closed-back headphone which is used for tracking and offers optimal isolation of lesser sound quality and the open-back headphone that is used for mixing and offers optimal sound quality at expense of lesser isolation.

6. Studio Monitors

Visually, they are similar-looking to a bookshelf speaker. However, on some levels what they do is the opposite of a speaker. Instead of enhancing the sound, they provide a flat frequency response. The reason for this is to hear the true sound of your mix and know how will it need to be adjusted accordingly.

7. Cables

Cables are a basic need for piecing a home recording studio together. You need to search and have the right ones for this, but unless you have an unlimited budget you can pretty much get away with anything offered on Amazon these days.

8. Microphone Stand

Stands are almost a necessity when using a microphone, and like microphones, you’re going to need more of them as more microphones will be used in your recording sessions. As time goes on, it will be better to invest in good, solid microphone stands.

9. Pop Filters

A pop filter is the mesh-screen that goes between the microphone and the vocalist. It is a good filter for the low-frequency blast of air called “popping” that happens whenever “p” or “b” is pronounced. It is not really a need per se, but it is cheap and can be really helpful with your recording process.

Packing List for a Beach Vacation

Going on vacation is the best thing to do if your kids are on a break. If you do not have one, it does not matter for you yourself will need breaks from time to time. Going on a beach is a vacation that is more enjoyable when you have company. You will be able to bond with them and can do various activities together.

Of course, like any other vacation or travel, you would need to plan ahead. First thing you should need to know are the essentials when you are going to trip on a beach. What are they?

1. Bag

The first thing you would need are the right bags. There are many beach bags available according to your needs. You will need one big enough to accommodate your needs such as towel, clothes, and toiletries. As for food, it would be wise to have them in a separate bag to avoid spillage on clothes and smell. It would also be handy to have cooler bags for beverages and ice.

2. Clothes

You do not have to bring many especially if you will always spend your time doing beach activities. You will surely need an outfit for those though. If you are planning to stay overnight or are on a beach far away from home, be sure to pack enough and is appropriate for your trip.

3. Towels

Towels are not used only to dry after a swim but also for laying down in the sand in for rest or for sunbathing. Be sure to have enough because sometimes, one or two might not be enough especially if they are small in size.

4. Toiletries

Toiletries include sunblock for protection from the sun. That is definitely a must. Another is lip balm because our lips will tend to dry not only from the heat but also from the water. If you are planning to shower at the beach rooms, soap and shampoo would be handy to get rid of some dirt and saltiness from the water.

5. Food

Going to the beach most often involve lunchtime, so be sure to pack enough and put it in a safe container. Drinks especially, water is a must to stay dehydrated from the heat and activities. And because of various activities will likely be done, it is important to have some snacks to stay energized. There are beaches that provide shelter to stay in for sleeping. It will be possible for you or your other companions to cook meals if that is the case. Just know if there are markets or grocery stores nearby for the ingredients.

6. Entertainment items

Being at the beach does not only involve swimming. There are a lot of possibilities for kids and adults alike. You can bring sports equipments such a ball or frisbee for a game. You can also bring a book if you just want to have quiet time to yourself. Portable speakers are also handy to add some noise (not too disturbing though). 

Fun Things To Bring Camping

Camping is one of those activities that needs a bit of planning ahead. From the outdoor gear to the food. But it is necessary for your camping trip to be successful and keep in mind the purpose of it. That is, to enjoy and relax and spend some quality time with your friends or family. This will be a great way for you to connect not only with nature but also with them. 

Here are some ideas you could bring to have fun on your camping trip:

1. Something to create

You could bring something that will have your hands working. This will be especially enjoyed with the kids but adults can also enjoy this quite a bit. It could be set of clays for molding. With a fire, you will be able to make them hard. You can also bring some paints. Watercolors and tube paint are light and easy to carry for a camp. And since you will be in nature, you could also do some experiments. Bring some things and explore the different kinds of plants around. Just be sure that they are not poisonous and that you’re not violating the campsite rules.

2. Something entertaining

The point of camping is to have fun and bond with your companions, so why not bring something to add with your activities? The easiest would be a deck of cards. There are many ways to play with them be it for adult or children. It could be also a different type like the Uno cards. If it is not too bulky, you can also bring some board games. Even though the point of camping is to connect with nature, having gadgets is okay especially if it has a purpose in your activities like those that involve music. You could just set up rules involving gadgets if you want. And speaking of music, you can bring a guitar or any other instrument like a harmonica so you can play and sing songs. You could also bring a book if you want to have some time with yourself. At times, it will help gather your thoughts or maybe keep you entertained if you are the one who is preparing meals.

3. Something useful

When it comes to being useful, food is what comes first to mind. It is essential for us and it is also a way for you to bond with your companions. Aside from the main meal, you can also have different kinds of snacks to munch on. You can also bring some for a campfire like ingredients for s’mores or some hotdogs to grill. This way, you can do this while sharing stories or playing some game. And speaking of useful, you should keep in mind what will you will need to use. When setting up a campfire for example, you might need a lighter. You might also need a source of light like flashlights because campsites do not provide them at times and might be needed at night especially for navigating. Lights can also be used in a game, so it will be dual purpose. Just make sure the batteries are full and have some extras if needed. And aside from tents, why not also bring a hammock for extra space to sleep or space for relaxing?

How to Go Camping

Winter is over. Snow is melting away. This will be the great time to catch up with your friends or spend some time with your family and have some activities for this spring. One of those activities is camping. Camping is great way for bonding. It is also a great way for you to connect with nature. But there are a lot of things you need to do before and during camping. Here are they:

Preparation 

1. Find and know your campsite

First things first. You will need to know about your campsite, and there are a lot of them nowadays. It could be near or require a longer drive. You should know how the place would like, so preparing other things will be easier. It will not hurt to have some expectations about the place too and also to know the rules. Be aware also if animals like a bear lurk around your campsite. You may want to avoid those places.

2. Prepare your gear and essentials

Camping will require a lot of things. First will be the tent where you will stay and sleep. You need one that is comfortable and roomy for enough the people and the kind of bed you will use. Keep in mind how you will prepare your meal because you might need to bring small stoves. Other essentials such as clothes and toiletries are also important for how you will pack. Know which items are important and which are not because keeping it light and simple is a must. Having a source of light like a flashlight is also important because the site may not provide them and there will be a tendency to get dark at night.

3. Plan your meal

Food is essential to this activity but it will come down to limited resources. It is important to plan ahead to know which ingredients to bring and how to prepare them. Another thing to keep in mind is for how many days you will stay at the camp and how much you will need.

At the campsite

1. Set up your tent

The first thing you would need to do when you arrive is setting up and organizing the tent. After setting it up, it is important to know how the arrangement will be. Always clean your tent also and maintain it that way because it is where you will stay and sleep.

2. Set up your meal

There are campsites that offer a place to cook but more often, you will need to bring your own. Be sure to know about the conditions because it will affect how you will set up your stove. Be sure to collect your wastes also and secure them in a bag.

3. Make arrangements with routine

Campsites offer shower rooms and comfort rooms so you should be sure how it is operated. It is also important to make arrangements with your companions on who will go first and so forth. Take note that there might be other campers too so be mindful of it and also take it into consideration.

4. Activities

Camping would not be complete without activities. It will be a nice chance to relax and spend some quality time with your friends or family. Setting up a campfire will be a great way to connect via games and food. You can also play and sing some songs. It could also be simply exchanging stories. In the morning, you can have your own activities or explore what the campsite has to offer.

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.