Posted in Outdoors

5 Cool Facts to Know About Garner State Park

Would your ideal vacation spot be a perfect natural haven filled with hiking, canoeing, tubing, geocaching, and even dancing? For many the answer is yes, and each year many outdoor enthusiasts choose Garner State Park as their ideal summer destination. Chock full of numerous nature-based activities, loaded with Mother Nature’s wonders, and highlighting the beauty of The Frio River, this state park could be your prime location for summer outdoor adventures as well. Are you unfamiliar with this amazing state park in Uvalde County? Here are 5 cool facts to know about Garner State Park.

1. Location

This beautiful state park is located in Concan, Texas on the southwestern edge of what is known to be the Edwards Plateau in the Balcones Canyonlands. It was created during the Cretaceous age due to fault line activity. Deep cliffs and mesas define this picturesque canyon land and surround clear rivers and streams perfect for fishing, canoeing, and tubing. The location, although visited by many year after year, remains mostly unchanged by human activity. The natural changes that occur due to weathering, flooding, or plant growth are allowed to constantly redefine the landscape without human intervention.

2. Wildlife

Being that the naturalness of this park is preserved as much as possible, much wildlife live and thrive there. Visitors to the park will frequently spot this wild life around them. Squirrels, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are the most common, but more exotic animals exist there too. Look for Rio Grande turkeys and mourning doves amongst a whole selection of various birds. If you are a bird watcher then you are in for a treat. The golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, both endangered species, nest in the park from spring until summer.

3. The Frio River

Rising from springs as the West Frio River, it promptly joins 2 other tributaries and flows southeast for 200 miles before draining into the Nueces River. The name Frio means cold in Spanish and this name perfectly describes the fresh cool waters that lure swimmers and campers up and down the length of its banks. This river is given a shout-out in the song, “All my Ex’s live in Texas,” by George Strait who grew up in Frio County.

4. Geocaching

Merge the joys of hiking and exploring with a scavenger hunt and you have geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden throughout the park and can be found using a GPS device or an app on a smart phone with GPS capabilities. The GPS device tells you how far away a geocache is and you must go off searching for it. They can be hidden in trees, under rocks, or even placed behind signs and landmarks. Often times a geocache will house a log book so you can write in your name and claim victory over that treasure forever.

5. Dancing

Back in the 1940’s during summer evenings, people would gather at the park’s concessions building and host a dance. This tradition has survived to this day and the park hosts dances each evening. They are very popular and require early arrival as they fill up quickly.

As you can see, this national park is a wonderful vacation destination filled with wildlife and natural beauty.

Posted in Outdoors

The Dangers of Rip Currents to People and Pets

A rip current is a strong, localized and rather narrow current of water. Rip currents are usually strongest near the surface of the water and they move directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves. From oceans, seas and large lakes rips can occur at any beach that has breaking waves.

Rip currents are hazardous because they can be difficult to identify. This is especially true because they are often encountered by people with no experience with ocean waves and currents. I live in a small coastal town in the state of Washington and I’m saddened by the number of children, adults and pets that lose their lives every year on our beautiful beach.

The average beachgoer or vacationer needs to know the clues to identify a rip current. Some of ways to identify a rip include:

• A break in the wave pattern as the waves roll into shore by this I mean a flat spot in the incoming waves.

• An area of churning and choppy water.

• Seafoam, seaweed or debris moving in a line steadily seaward.

• An area of different colored water beyond the surf zone.

One or several or sometimes none of these clues may be present to indicate that there is a rip. It’s important to ALWAYS use caution when entering the water in our oceans and lakes.

Learning to spot a rip current can help you get caught. Some inexperienced beachgoers will notice a calm patch of water between more turbulent breaking waves which presents as an inviting pathway. This area is actually a rip above a deep sandbar channel, and people will inadvertently enter in the most dangerous spot because it looks calm.

Avoidance is the most important way to survive a rip current. It’s very important that anyone who enters ankle-deep into the ocean needs to know how to swim and how to float. It’s easy to be caught in a rip, most often it happens in waist deep water. If the person were to dive into a wave they will resurface much further from the beach and still being pulled further out from the beach.

What the person does next can decide the fate of their beach experience:

• Remain calm and conserve energy, a rip is like a giant treadmill with no off switch.

• Never try to swim against the rip. Even a small rip tide can move faster than an Olympic swimmer can swim.

• Try swimming parallel to shore and out of the current. Rip currents are often narrow so once you are out of the current you can begin swimming back to shore

• If it’s too difficult to swim sideways out of the current, try floating or treading water and let nature take care of you by conserving energy you’ll be able to swim to shore when the current circulates back to shore.

If you are with someone who gets caught up in a rip current, Do Not attempt to rescue them. Call 911, get help from a lifeguard if one is available and throw a floatation device into the rip current. We see too many tragedies of people trying to save the rip victim becoming drowning victims themselves.

Posted in Outdoors

Nature’s Staircase and the Pygmy Forest

In the northern California coast, nature has created her own forest of bonsai trees. Instead of pots, she used iron cemented hardpan for containers. Instead of scissors for pruning, she stunted the trees with a highly acid, infertile soil and a layer of hardpan that holds too much water in the winter. Her tools were ocean waves, heavy rainfall, and uplifting caused by the grinding together of continental plates.

The story of the pygmy forest is part of a larger story of an ecological staircase. It’s a story best told at the Jug Handle State Reserve, 2 miles south of Fort Bragg on State Route 1 in Mendocino County. Here a 2-1/2 mile nature trail leads visitors on a self-guided tour up nature’s terraces from the seashore.

From the headlands of the first terrace, you can gaze down upon the ocean as it deposits sand and gravel on a future terrace. The earth has been steadily uplifting this coast. “What’s so rare is that the land was uplifted flat, so you have soils that are a million years old,” says Teresa Sholars, Professor at the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg. During this time, sea level has lowered and risen with advances and retreats of continental glaciers. As the sea lowers, it drops sediments on a level beach. As it rises, the sea pounds away at the now-higher beach that will have formed sea cliffs. Each of the five terraces along Jug Handle Creek is about 100 feet higher and 100,000 to 200,000 years older than the one below it.

On the lowest terrace, grasses and wildflowers like California poppy and coast lupine have enriched the old beach sediments. This coastal prairie is maintained by salt spray from the ocean that keeps trees at bay.

By the second terrace, the soils have nurtured coniferous forests. Then a leaching process called podzolization, common to coniferous rain forests, depletes the soil.

Rainwater draining slowly on the flat terraces picks up acids from falling needles and carries iron and alkaline minerals down through the soil, forming a hardpan.

“The acid soil and the hardpan are really creating the pygmy forest,” says Sholars. In fact, this soil is nearly as acid is vinegar – the most acidic soil in the world.

By the third terrace, after 300,000 to 600,000 years of leaching, the contrast is startling. As you walk through a luxuriant forest of towering redwoods and Douglas Firs, you’ll see an incredible shrinking act by the trees around you; you’ve finally arrived at the pygmy forest.

Here the ground is an ill-clad dingy white, with little more than lichens and sparse leaf litter for clothing. Rarely found wild outside the pygmy forest, pygmy cypresses and Bolander pines, along with the widespread bishop pine, eke out their livings in this depleted soil. Where the hardpan is less than a foot deep, a 2-foot high, half-inch diameter cypress may be a mature 80 to 100 years old. Other vegetation in the pygmy forest consists mostly of shrubs of the acid-loving heath family, including showy pink rhododendrons and huckleberries.

Another good place nearby to explore pygmy forests – especially with young children – is in Van Damme State Park. Here also a self-guided tour brochure provides interpretation along a short trail.

Perhaps the oddest thing about the pygmy forest is that it is a climax community. On the terraces, the process of ecological succession – the gradual replacement of one plant community by another – proceeds from grassland to pine forest to pygmy forest. But it ends there – with the pygmies. No other plant community will take its place as long as conditions stay as they are, the ecological staircase will bear its forests of bonsai trees throughout time.

Posted in Outdoors

Take It Outside: New Orleans Outdoor Fun

Hello, Spring! While the actual first day is still a few weeks away, the weather in New Orleans keeps rising to the perfect temperatures… low 70s and humidity-free! Why not take advantage of clear skies and balmy temps and explore outdoor New Orleans? Take it outside with our perfect-weather picks.

Spend at Day at City Park

Smack-dab in the middle of New Orleans sits City Park, a public green space that is 50% larger than NYC’s Central Park. On any given day, there will be intramural sports teams practicing and playing, golfers (and mini-golfers) trying for that elusive hole-in-one, school children on field trips learning about the botanical gardens and century-old live oak trees, joggers running along the myriad of tracks and walkways and art aficionados viewing the latest traveling exhibit at NOMA: New Orleans Museum of Art.

It’s easy to spend an entire day here, especially when it’s a pretty one. Wear your sneakers and something comfy, so you can be prepared for any and every activity. After you work-up an appetite, grab lunch at Café NOMA. It’s central to the park, located inside the museum and by the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group – the perfect combination!

Mix n’ Mingle at the Lakefront

While New Orleans is known for the Mighty Mississippi that flows through it, there is also another body of water that creates its northern border: Lake Pontchartrain.

On a beautiful day, head to the lakefront for fishing, sailing, paddleboarding and more. No boat? No problem! There are boat captains ready to take you out on 600+ sq. miles of water. If venturing out onto the water is not your style, try one of the many waterfront restaurants lining the shores. Try and grab dinner around 6 o’clock and you’ll catch one gorgeous sunset over water.

While on-the-water activities are fun and waterfront restaurants are delicious, one of our favorite things to do will always been just sitting along the lakefront, watching the sailboats pass by.

Walk on the Wide Side at Audubon Zoo

Hop on Magazine Street and head all the way to its end for Uptown’s Audubon Park. You’re just 6 miles from downtown, but will feel worlds away.

The Audubon Zoo is one of New Orleans’ best attractions. Kids and adults both love the swamp exhibit, complete with a houseboat and bathtub, in which the Louisiana black bears love to lie on a warm day. Monkey Hill, one of the park’s oldest and most cherished spots, was created in the 1930s to show New Orleans children what a hill looked like. No, that’s not a joke. Audubon Zoo’s quirks have made it one of New Orleans’ prized attractions.

Not quite ready to head back to the bustle of downtown? The Fly (located next to the zoo) is a local favorite for picnicking, sunbathing and catching up on a great book. The green space sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, so it’s the perfect spot to watch barges traveling to and from port.

Posted in Outdoors

Access Upgrades Abound in America’s National Parks

Although not all areas of America’s national parks are wheelchair-accessible, there are many accessible options for wheelchair-users and slow walkers. And the good news is, more and more access upgrades and improvements are added every year. With that in mind, here’s a sampling of wheelchair-accessible trails and attractions in select national parks across the country.

Yosemite National Park

Even though the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls was originally rated as “accessible with assistance”, in reality a steep slippery section prevented most wheelchair-users and slow walkers from completing the hike. All that changed on April 18, 2005, when a new accessible trail was unveiled. The result of the 10-year $13.5 million Lower Yosemite Falls restoration project, the 3/4-mile paved level trail leads from the shuttle bus stop to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls. The gentle grade allows for wheelchair access; and numerous benches along the trail provide places to rest for slow walkers. Additionally, there’s good access in the viewing area at the base of the falls, where wheelchair-users can roll out to the edge, hear the roar of the water and even feel the mist of the falls.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon Rim Trail, which is the most accessible trail in the park, has been undergoing sectional access upgrades over the span of many years. The newest accessible section is the 1.3-mile Trail of Time, which runs from the Yavapai Geology Museum to Verkamp’s Visitor Center. The paved level trail winds along the rim of the canyon and helps visitors understand the magnitude of geologic time. The geologic timeline is marked by brass medallions embedded in the pavement; and interpretive exhibits and displays along the way encourage visitors to connect the visible rocks in the canyon to the geologic timeline. Wheelchair-height viewing scopes are available, and accessible pictograms clearly point out the wheelchair-accessible route.

Bryce Canyon National Park

After many years of planning and construction, the Bryce Canyon Shared Use Path was completed near the end of the 2015 season. Although the primary purpose of this trail is to provide a safer route for cyclists, walkers and joggers, it’s also an excellent option for wheelchair-users and slow walkers. The trail begins outside of the park at the shuttle staging area at Ruby’s in Bryce Canyon City, and travels 2.4 miles to the park entrance, then continues another 2.6 miles to Inspiration Point. And the good news is, the entire five-mile length is paved, level and wheelchair-accessible. It also connects with the shuttle system at the visitor center, general store, lodge, Sunset Point, Sunset Campground and Inspiration Point, so you can do as much of the trail as you like, then hop on the shuttle to return to your car.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy has raised funds for accessible trail improvements in Rocky Mountain National Park since 1985. At the top of their list of completed projects is the accessible Lily Lake Trail. The level ¾-mile trail, which is covered in decomposed granite, circles the lake and passes through the adjacent wetlands. There’s also an accessible vault toilet, picnic tables and a fishing pier there. The area is especially scenic in late spring and early summer, when you’ll find it filled with wildflowers. The conservancy is also credited with raising funds to repair the accessible mile-long Coyote Valley Trail. Due to harsh winters and an abundance of visitors the trail began to show the stains of time, but thanks to some repairs in 2014 it’s now back in pristine condition. The hard-packed dirt trail, which is covered in crushed gravel, winds along the river and offers a great place to see elk and moose in the early morning or evening.

Yellowstone National Park

After a two-year renovation project and a bill in excess of $28.5 million, a renovated Lake Yellowstone Hotel was unveiled in 2014. Built in 1889, this colonial revival property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America. And although the renovation wasn’t an easy task, the contractors managed to preserve the historic nature of the property, and add modern access features. Access upgrades include the installation of a wheelchair-accessible elevator, as well as the addition three accessible rooms — two with a tub/shower combination and one with a roll-in shower. Access to the public areas is equally good, with plenty of room to wheel around the magnificent first-floor sun room and the lobby bar. And for a real treat enjoy a meal at the Lake Hotel Dining Room, which features a magnificent view of Lake Yellowstone.

Everglades National Park

Last but not least, don’t miss the very accessible Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park. This half-mile boardwalk, which was constructed after Hurricane Andrew, winds through sawgrass pines and Taylor Slough and is home to a wealth of bird life. You’ll see Blue Herons, White Ibis and Snowy Egrets, along with the “namesake” Anhinga there. The Anhinga (also called water turkeys) can be seen in abundance drying their colorful wings in the sun, or perched peacefully in trees along the trail. The Anhinga Trail is also an excellent place to get a close look at alligators — sometimes closer that you would like — as they have been known to frequent the approach to the boardwalk.

Posted in Outdoors

The Guide to Getting Anyone to Love the Outdoors!

Obviously today’s society is a very stay at home, anti social group of individuals who see the outdoors as the equivalent of running a marathon. Well over the years I’ve come to understand that the wild IS for everyone, they just don’t know it yet. In many cases, a camping trip is one outdoor enthusiasts trying to talk someone, usually of the opposite sex, into joining them in the great outdoors. And in most cases the person who has never been camping usually has a difficult time adjusting to sleeping outside. I believe every person has that primeval wild side inside them, it just needs to be drawn out slowly. So from my experience, turning many city dwelling individuals into wanting to be the next Bear grills, I’ve put together a simple guide to help get your friends or significant other to take a walk on the wild side with you.

The Guide to Getting Anyone to Love the Outdoors!

Question Their Experience

First and Foremost find out what experience your guest has with the outdoors. Did they grow up in a rural area or in a downtown apartment? Have they gone camping in the past? What are the details of the trip? Did they stay in an RV with a TV and shower, or was it in a tent and they used baby wipes as their shower. Usually people always say they have been on a camping trip where they were “roughing it!” Obviously err on the side of caution because roughing it for some people may be a full blown survival situation and for others it may be going without Phone Service.

Start Small and Simple

Once you have an idea about how far you can push them, you have to use the acronym KISS to plan a trip! Keep It Simple Stupid! You might be a survivalist badass who can climb Everest in a single bound, or pull salmon out of the river with your beard, but remember, your guest probably don’t even know what a beard is. Start small with what I like to call “cheater camping!” Rent a Cabin, a Yurt, an RV, or find a campsite with all the amenities like hot showers, temperature controlled clean bathrooms, etc. The shorter and simpler the outdoor adventure is, the less chance for things to go wrong, and more likely that your guest will return. Plan short hikes that aren’t difficult, or drive to the great view instead of hike. Avoid any areas with mosquitoes or really cold weather! Those two things will end a great trip real quick.

Make Them Overly Comfortable

Now that you have the perfect plan and you’ve got them outside, make their outside experience as cozy as their home. Whatever everyday items your guests just can’t live without, find a way to bring that into the outdoors. Maybe your guest can’t go a day without brushing their teeth, blow drying their hair, Starbucks coffee, checking their email or missing a home cooked meal. Many campsites offer electrical hookups, and showers which can be a life saver for someone who isn’t use to roughing it. Bring pillows and extra blankets to place in the tent to keep it soft and warm instead of just the old ground pad and sleeping bag. Bring a French press for Starbucks on Trail! Get creative with the cooking and take the kitchen outside. This also gives you the chance to show off your cast iron cooking skills, your guest will rave about. Nothing smells better than bacon and eggs on a cast iron grill over an open flame!

Teach and Be Taught

Be a Mentor, a supporter, and then learn. Teach the student, then have the student teach the teacher. Most people like to learn new skills, and are excited, but people are usually nervous or embarrassed when trying something they don’t know. Get your guest involved in the trip, don’t act like a know it all, be humble and teach them the cool skills you know and love. Show them the best way to pack a bag, build a tent, bait a hook, or make a fire. Then on the next night give them at a shot at making the fire, or building the tent, but don’t let them get discouraged and make sure you are always motivating them. Explain the calls of the wild to them. People see the outdoors as something to be feared instead of embraced. Explain that the sounds you hear at night are beautiful and not to be feared. Sounds like the howling of coyotes, the hoot of an owl or the call of a moose are all to be enjoyed. Explain the different animal tracks on trail. Nothing is cooler than your friend heading into work on Monday to brag about all the new stuff they learned.

The WOW Factor

This tip is the icing on the cake! Make sure that first adventure has a WOW factor somewhere in the trip. Find one visual scene that will burn a lasting memory in your guest’s mind that will have them itching to come back for more! Whether it’s a beautiful sunset/sunrise, a splendid mountain view, endless night sky or close encounter with wildlife, make it EPIC! A picture worthy shot of your friend with the special scene will go a long way.

Surprise and Reset

The Surprise and Reset part of the trip can be as simple as extra candy on trail, to a night at a 5 star hotel. It’s up to you, depending on the difficulty or duration of your adventure, to determine when the best time to use this will be. It may be earlier than later depending on how hard you pushed your guest. Once you have hiked all day, camped multiple nights in the back country, or lived off mountain house meals, execute the Surprise and Reset tip. Take your guests into town to grab a beer and a sit down meal, order a pizza, have an extra box of chocolates for them that you pull out when they run out, or ditch the tent for a warm cabin to cap off an amazing trip. Whatever you do, surprise your guests so they aren’t wondering when all this nature will stop. Let them have a brief, relaxing moment that will reset them from all the new outdoor experiences.

Prep and Push The Envelope

The Final stage is to prep and push the envelope. Once you are on your way home, reminisce about the great times you had and the funny mishaps. Motivate your guest, explain how impressed you were with how they handled their first camping trip and prep them for the next adventure. Now that they have experienced a small piece of the outdoors, ask them what they are willing to give up in the future. Maybe they can shower in the stream, eat a mountain house, or bring a solar panel to check their emails on trail. Push them a little further each time and do whatever it takes to get them back in the outdoors. Follow this guide and you will have given someone the greatest gift of all. A Love for the Outdoors!

I hope this helps you get that significant other, friend or family member off the couch and into the great outdoors. Feel free to send me some ideas you’ve used in the past to make someone fall in love with the outdoors.

Posted in Outdoors

Trekking the Choquequirao Ruins of Peru

A number of adventurous travelers may seek out the world-renowned Manchu Picchu, but it is definitely not the only fascinating Inca ruins worth visiting in Peru. Just about 44 kilometers from the nation’s top tourist site, lies Choquequirao, which is means ‘cradle of gold’ in Quechua.

The Choquequirao complex is tucked in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is surrounded by the Salkantay mountain range. This mountaintop city was used as a ceremonial site and a place of refuge for the royal family of the Inca civilization. It is believed to have been built during the 15th century under the authority of Top Inca Yupanqui, the son of the great Emperor Pachacuti.

Choquequirao possesses the same atmosphere as Manchu Picchu minus the big crowd. This deserted quality has very much to do with the old city’s very remote location. The only, albeit enjoyable, way to get here is by trekking. This trekking adventure usually starts from the town of Cachora, which can be reached by driving four hours from the city of Cuzco. Although there are other trails that begin at various small settlements, most people choose Cachora as the jumping point because the service trail from here to Choquequirao is the best maintained.

There are many reasons why hiking to Choquequirao using centuries-old well-connected trails is worth the effort. Along the way, the mesmerizing beauty of nature will unfold. You will see scenic valleys and snow-capped mountains. You will also most likely encounter a wide range of plants, as well as wildlife especially birds. Although it may be possible to do the trek on your own, it is highly recommended that you hire a guide or a tour company to assist you. The terrain is challenging and tricky especially for people who are not familiar with it. The entire journey can be done all on foot but you also have the option to rent a mule to carry your pack or ride a horse for most of the way. You can arrange the trip, hire a guide and rent a mile in Cachora town.

The trek to Choquequirao typically lasts for two days. In those two days, you should expect to really tough it up as the trekking will not only be long; the trip also involves camping in the wild and seldom showers. You may bring sleeping bags and tents with you or rent them in Cachora. As for food and drink, it is best to bring some with you. But there are small family settlements near campsites and along the route that sell water and simple dishes like eggs, potatoes and soup. Expect to pay a minimal entrance fee once you reach the gate of the Choquequirao Park. The gate is situated about a kilometer from Marampata, a small village (pueblo) below the ruins.

As you step into the old Incan complex, you will instantly realize why Choquequirao is a special destination. Being here gives you that authentic feeling of being in a lost city of a world that has long been gone. The complex is a protected park that covers a large amount of land. Thus, if you want to completely explore the area, you will need a full day to walk around it. Make sure to bring a camera to capture your exploration of Choquequirao.

Posted in Outdoors

5 Ways How Outdoor Adventure Relates To Entrepreneurship

When I first braved myself to embark on the entrepreneurship journey, I was soon facing a daunting question: Do I have the qualities to be an entrepreneur?

I am purely an outdoor educator. There were numerous instances when people told me that this passion of mine will not bring me far. But here I am, until today, staying stubborn passionate with this hobby of mine.

So I did take a step back to analyse if I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. And I found 5 key qualities. Here they are:

1. Decision Making

Being in the outdoors requires me to make decisions. This is especially so when I have a group of participants. There are countless decisions to make before, during and after a programme.

For example, have I sorted out all the contingency plans? Have I brought sufficient food and equipment?

As an entrepreneur, I have to make countless decisions. No one is there to tell you what to do.

2. Risk Taking

I have to be used to take risks in the outdoors. If I do not risk falling, I will not know how high I can climb. If I do not risk making a wrong decision at a junction, I will not know if that is even the correct path to take.

I have started out a few businesses. Some worked while some failed. But still, I will not have known all these if I had not tried.

3. Safety Mindedness

However, people often misunderstand that being a risk taker means that we do not bother about safety. In the outdoors, the safety factor has actually been considered multiple times.

A climbing rope, for example, could withstand about 12 times more than an average climber’s weight. Safety procedures are everywhere. Where there is none, we are taught to make conservative judgement calls.

The very reason why I do not focus only on one single business is based on the wise saying: Do not place ALL your eggs in one basket. There has to be a safety net.

4. Perseverance

This is a classic nature of an outdoor adventurer. We are used to toughing it out. We know that words don’t count without actions. And the effort required is normally superhuman. We are trained to go the distance.

No one ever said being an entrepreneur is easy. It took me 6 months before I made my first dollar. Thankfully I have been trained to persevere.

5. Creativity

Facing problems is a staple diet of an outdoor adventurer. No one day or one activity is the same. Hence, we have to always think outside the box. Speak about being a maverick. I myself am amazed at what I or my participants do to solve problems.

I started out with minimal capital. Hence, I needed to be creative in planning my effort, energy and money. Be creative in using the many Softwares work for me instead of the other way round.

These 5 qualities inherent in an outdoor adventurer definitely fits the bill of being an entrepreneur. Well, if you lucky, you could turn the passion into your profession. If not, you sure would have picked up enough tools to run a business!

Entrepreneurship Growth Hits Both Ends of the Spectrum

Posted in Outdoors

The Adventures and Risks of Geocaching

Have you ever gone treasure hunting? Do you remember playing hide and seek growing up? While on vacation, do you enjoy sightseeing, but sometimes like doing it independently instead of the being held hostage by the constraints of tour groups? An old game called letterboxing has influenced a modern, digitized and mobile game, using GPS-enabled devices, called geocaching.

Geocaching, a recreational outdoor activity gives participants the ability to use their mobile and other GPS-enabled devices to hunt for geocaches. Geocaches, or caches (waterproof containers) can be placed anywhere around the globe. These caches can contain a logbook and writing instrument, allowing the seeker to sign the log and return the container exactly as it was found. Sometimes these boxes contain items that can be used for trading. The geocacher, the person participating in geocaching, enters the date they found the cache and by using an established code name, signs the log. There are several types of geocaches depending on whether or not you want something traditional or daring. The different types include a multiple locations cache, an event cache with multiple participants, or an initiative involving a geocaching community, just to name few.

This techie-driven adventure can introduce unique experiences, while exploring new and exciting destinations. There are also risks involved that geocachers must be aware of. In light of local and national security, law enforcement officials find the placement of certain caches problematic. They may be placed in hidden spaces where the container looks suspicious or threatening. Depending on locations, other risks tag searchers appearing to look a little shady especially if they are seeking around buildings, structures, residential areas or near schools. Placement of these containers could also be considered in some situations as littering. Precautions must be taken when placing these containers in designated areas so that geocachers are not encouraged to trespass or find themselves in harm’s way (near high voltage or risky locations).

Could geocaching become the new modern-day tour guide? Clues are used to reference landmarks and other caches. For the independent, recreational tourist this will certainly introduce them to a new adventure, by discovering unique destinations locally and around the world.

Posted in Outdoors

Best Survival Knives Available

Imagine yourself getting caught in an unfortunate and unexpected survival situation. Now, think about what kind of survival knives you want to be on your side in this situation. Maybe you would be happy enough to have any knife with you. But since we have learned how being prepared has always been better, of course you would want to have the best one possible.

Here, we have laid out the best survival knives and a short description of each one that will help you decide the best one for you.

Best Survival Knives Available

  • Gerber BearGrylls Ultimate Knife, Serrated Edge

Gerber’s 70 years of expertise brought about a collaboration with Bear Grylls which resulted in the development of the 4.75-inch Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife that can help you withstand even the toughest environments. Some of the best features are its ergonomic grip which makes it comfortable to hold.

The dependable stainless steel blade is composed of a versatile serrated edge. The half-serrated blade is designed for a quick work of cutting rope and other fibrous materials. It has a full-tang construction and hard stainless steel in order to serve overall durability and excellent edge retention. This is highly recommended to every adventurers, backpackers and hunters in the wilderness.

  • Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion Fixed Blade Knife

KA-BAR Knives, Inc. has been known for their high quality military, hunting, sporting as well as outdoor survival knives and any all-purpose utility. You can bring this with you for your next hunting or camping trip as it is lightweight, durable. It is made of 1095 cro-van steel blade that is suitable for outdoor activities such as splitting kindling, skinning game or even chopping spices and herbs for your campfire grill.

  • Gerber 22-01629 LMF II Black Infantry Knife with 4.8-Inch Blade

Decades of innovation has made Gerber unstoppable when it comes to survival knives. They have engineered the 10-inch Gerber 22-01629 LMF II Black Infantry Knife with 4.8-Inch Blade to help you survived any conditions even the worst ones. You can use it for cutting firewood, building a survival shelter or even cutting through your seat belt since this knife has been designed to adapt a wide variety of situations.

  • Cold Steel SRK Kraton Handle, Black Blade (Concealer Sheath)

This one has 3/16 inches thickness made of AUS 8A Stainless steel which is fine enough for any of your delicate work, yet efficiently capable of cutting, slashing and skinning strokes at the same time. It provides the sturdiest potential point and edge configuration, without sacrificing sharpness.

Survival knives are not only a tool for every outdoor enthusiast who have happily adapt to an extreme lifestyle in the wild. However, it is a tool that everyone should keep and carefully consider since it has proven to be very useful in a range of situations. Moreover, we will never know what Mother Nature might bring and how it can get so much rougher on us.