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Beginners Guide To The Great Outdoors

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Being Outside Too Much Has Its Drawbacks

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Ok so you have spent years in the great outdoors enjoying the sun and beautiful nature, but you may have noticed some setbacks. Not many, but a couple of unpleasant ones. While our bodies need the sun for vitamin D and other great benefits, too much sun can cause damage to our skin and health. There are also some other dangers of the great outdoors as you will see below. BUT, none of these mean you shouldn’t go outside and play. Just be mindful and come prepared for your conditions so you can enjoy the outdoors without harming yourself. So what are some of the dangers?

Animal Encounter

While many of us love seeing wildlife on our hikes / bike rides, there are some animals that can be quite dangerous to us unless we are in a very large group. The obvious one is bears, especially grizzly bears as they are larger and more dangerous than black bears. But did you know that moose can also be very dangerous? Especially when their young are around, like bears, you want to keep a far distance from them. Basically as far as you can! Depending on who you ask, keep at least 1-2 football fields distance at all times. But I say why not be safe and keep a further distance then that. Also, other animals to keep an eye out for are cougars, snakes, and spiders. Some tips are, carry bear spray, an air horn (this can often scare animals away before they get too close), a first aid kit, and try to travel in larger groups (at least 4 people).

Skin Cancer

As far as I am aware, skin cancer is not caused by getting some sun. It is caused by getting sun burnt over and again. So be really mindful not to get burnt. Plan your activity and prepare your gear accordingly so you don’t get stuck out in the sun without anything to cover your skin or sunscreen. Better to carry too much and not need it then carry not enough and suffer for it, that’s what I always say.

Skin Damage

Let’s face it, when we are outside for long periods of time we get sun burnt. So many of us use sun screen. But there are many nasty chemicals in sunscreen and I know that I don’t like using it frequently. I would rather cover up then wear sunscreen. So what I do is alternate between covering up and exposing my skin to the sun for its vitamins. Do what’s best for you. But what if you have already suffered from skin damage and wrinkles? Well there are many different things that can be done to treat this such as surgery, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, skin creams, and natural remedies. Check out some options that are best for you.

Multi-Day Hiking Trip Preparation

Hiking TripIt may seem like a simple enough task to go for a multi-day hiking trip, bring food, water, and a tent. You’re all set right? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. There are many factors that you need to take into account before going on a multi-day hike. The below list may not be a full complete list for some, but we find that it works well for us.

Know What Your Doing And Where You’re Going

First of all, know what you are doing. What kind of trails will this hike involve? Do you know how to set up your own tent and stove etc? Do you have a current map that you actually know how to use? Have you talked with a local about trail conditions or if there is any available drinking water on the hike? These are all things that you will need to find out and make sure you know what you are doing and where you are going. The list above is a good start…

Make Sure You Are Comfortable At Night

There are several things that can help you here. Firstly as I mentioned before, get the right sleeping bag for the expected night temperatures. You also want a nice and comfortable mattress, after a long day of hiking, you want a comfortable night sleep, trust me. And finally, make sure you go to the bathroom at night right before you go to bed. It may sound funny now, but if you wake up at night needing to go to the bathroom, it can be very cold outside! Not fun.

Bring The Right Food

Generally for a hiking holiday you want to go to an outdoors store for food and not the food from your supermarket. The reason being that supermarket food is heavy and bulky, it’s not meant to be light as it doesn’t need to be. If you get food from an outdoors store, there will be a lot of dehydrated food and other very light and compact food you can take with you on your trip. The first couple of meals may not be that tasty but after that you will get so hungry that the meals will start tasting fantastic.

Make Sure You’re In Shape

Part of being prepared is being in shape for your multi-day hike. Make sure you are fit enough for the hike, hike within your level. Also, you don’t want to be overweight carrying those extra pounds. You will already be carrying heavy loads, no point of carrying extra.

Bring The Right Gear

I mentioned before, know the trails and you also need to know what the weather will be like. Pack accordingly. If it’s going to be cold and rain, make sure you are prepared. Rain jacket shells are great for these trips where there is a chance of rain but not definite as they are light and effective. Also, make sure you have a light but strong tent. You don’t want to be lugging around a really heavy tent and you also don’t want to cut your trip short because your tent broke. Have a sleeping bag that is the right temperature rating for your trip, you don’t want to be too hot or cold at night. And of course, make sure you have everything you need to actually cook your meals.

Sources: Weight Loss Tips Washington Trails Association

Want To Spend More Time In The Great Outdoors? Learn A New Sport

Rock Climbing

One of the best ways to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors is to learn a new sport. There are so many to choose from but we have narrowed down our top picks for sports that pretty much anyone would be able to do.

Rock Climbing

If you have never tried rock climbing, I suggest you at least try. I know what you may be thinking, and I thought the same thing – it’s far too dangerous. Well I still think that outdoor rock climbing is too dangerous (even though it is probably quite safe as long as you are prepared), but indoor rock climbing is easy and safe. There are a wide range or walls to suit all skill levels including first timers. You can even do this alone indoors as some indoor centres have automatic rope holders and others will require a partner.

Golf

Golf is a great sport to play on your own or a couple of friends. It can very much be played as a social game or professional. There is a catch though, golf can be a little tricky to learn. But the good news is that this is a well-known issue and therefore several products have been made as a training equipment for golf. These pieces of golf equipment can greatly help you improve your golf game much faster than you would have normally.

Kayaking

This is another great fun sport which can definitely satisfy your adrenaline if you so desire. It can also be a very relaxing paddle on a Saturday afternoon or a workout before work. Whatever you paddle for, it is great fun and rewarding. Once you build up our skills, you can start getting more adventurous with your paths. I would recommend going with someone else though, and make sure you find out about the area in which you will be kayaking. There could be some things that you need to know and you don’t want to get stranded somewhere because the tide was moving too fast.

Mountain Biking

This is my favorite sport on the list but be warned, it can be very dangerous but very fun at the same time. When you start this sport, make sure you start on very easy trails to get used to your bike before moving on to more difficult ones. Also, make sure you have the right gear. I would strongly recommend a solid helmet (which hasn’t been dropped before), knee pads, elbow pads, and a decent bike. You want at least front suspension but if you can afford a dual suspension bike that would be better. And I am not talking about the cheap K-Mart dual suspension bike which you can get for less the $200, those bikes will not last you long off road and can be very dangerous as a result. You would probably want to spend at least $800+ on a half decent mountain bike that shouldn’t break on you for a couple of years. Ask your local store for advice on a bike.

Looking Your Best When Enjoying The Great Outdoors

Looking your best at the beach

We all want to look our best wherever we go. But some places make it hard to look good and enjoy the outdoors. One example of this is going to the beach where makeup will soon smudge and hair will go everywhere. So what are some tips to help us look good while being outdoors?

Lose Weight

The first thing that always helps us look good no matter what we are doing is to lose weight. Losing weight and toning up helps a lot whether you are heading to the beach, going for a run, or just going for a hike. It will make you fitter for your outdoor activities, feel better and look better. So try to avoid pretty much all packaged food and stick to your basic foods such as vegetables and protein. In combination with this, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, even just a morning walk before work (or walk to work) will help. Or try weight loss products that works for you.

Remove Your Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are much more common than you think. Stretch marks affect both men and woman however is more common in woman and especially during pregnancy. No one likes having stretch marks and when going to places like a beach, stretch marks can make you feel very uncomfortable and self-conscious. There are solutions for stretch marks though and they range in cost. Options include surgery, stretch marks creams, natural oils to help prevent stretch marks (great for pre pregnancy, but see your doctor to make sure they are safe for your baby), and home remedies. So check out which option works best for you.

Get The Right Gear For Your Outdoor Adventures

Sometimes looking good is as simple as having the right gear for your activity. So if you’re going to the beach, get a bathing suit that looks good on you. If you’re going for a hike, get some nice hiking clothes that won’t show sweat, and just in general, get clothing that looks good on you. This may not be the same piece as clothing as you like unfortunately.

To sum it up, get outdoors, look your best, and have a great time.

Hiking With Kids

Hiking with kids

Did you used to love hiking but when you had kids, you stopped? You think that it will be too hard to hike with kids as you have to worry about so much more and bring so much with you. Well the good news is that it is a lot easier than you think. And once your setup, you will find it even easier to go next time.

There are several things that you can do to help you hike with kids. Here are some of the main ones.

Think Like A Child

In order for your child not to get bored on the hike, try thinking like a child. Think ‘what would I find fun right now?’ You may surprise yourself with some of the ideas you come up with. And your child will appreciate it by not getting all grumpy.

Bring Lots of Snacks And Water

When kids get hungry or thirsty, they often get grumpy. Especially if you don’t have any food/water. Stay one step ahead and bring plenty of snacks which are healthy and water. Some good options are homemade protein bars, cut up carrots and celery, and trail mix (without chocolate).

Bring A Change Of Clothes

This one depends on how old your kids are and what kind of a hike you are going on. You may not need to bring a change of clothes at all for a short hike with your 10 year old. But your 2 or 3 year old may get wet or very cold. So bring an extra layer and pack for the weather. Or if you are hiking with a toddler, make sure you bring the appropriate diaper change equipment. That includes new diapers (2+ just in case), talcum powder, and a blanket for changing.

Play Games

When it is safe to do so, try playing games with your kids. Race them to a specific point, play ‘I spy’, or teach them a thing or two about plants, animals you may see on the hike or about the landscape. Keep them engaged and they will remain happy during the hike. Or if you are hiking with other adults, if they have kids, bring them along too. This way the kids can entertain themselves while the adults catch up.

Some Of The Benefits Of The Great Outdoors

Outdoors

There are so many benefits of getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors. I think that each and every one of us can enjoy ourselves out there and also enjoy the following health benefits. Below we go though only a select few health benefits, there are many many more.

Fresh Air

Most of us live in large cities where air quality is not as high as it should be. We really need to be getting out of the city at least once a week for a few hours but would be better more often. This way we get the fresh air we need.

Exercise / Lose Weight

Getting outdoors is a great way to do some extra exercise. Going for hikes for example is great for our health and fitness and can also help us lose weight. And best of all, it is fun while we are doing great things for our health.

Fun

One of the best things about getting to the great outdoors is that it is fun. There are so many things to do outside some of which include, hiking, biking, snowboarding, camping, and fishing. There really is something for everyone. You can find new hobbies or continue to get better at the ones you already like.

Positive Effects On The Mind

Getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors will also have positive effects on the mind. It would actually reduce stress and anxiety for most people, and let’s face it, we could reduce our stress and anxiety.

Being Social

Try going outside and enjoy the outdoors with some friends. It’s a great way to catch up with your friends. Or if you want to try a new sport or hobby and don’t know anyone who does it, try looking online for a club in that activity such as a hiking club. This way you will meet many new people and enjoy yourself even more.

Sources: Ideal Weight Hiking Body Mind

5 Great Homemade Snacks For Your Outdoor Adventures

Snacks

So before we head outdoors on our adventures, we need to make sure that we are prepared for what we are about to do. In most instances where we will be out for a few hours, we will need snacks to keep us going or in case of an emergency.

There are far better options for you than going to your local store and buying unhealthy snacks. After reading this post, you will be well prepared, at least in the food department. Make sure you also have the right equipment for whatever you are doing out there.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are our favourite snack to bring with us on the trails whether we are hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. They are great for any sport of activity outside. If you haven’t yet made your own protein bars at home, I would strongly recommend trying them asap. They are far healthier then store bought, and have much healthier ingredients. If you are looking for a protein bar recipe, there are recipes online and also in the sources section of this post.

Energy Chews

Not many people think that they would be able to make their own energy chews, so they buy them in store. Making your own energy chews is far easier than you think and often you only need a few ingredients. And best of all, they taste great.

Kale Chips

I never even though of kale chips until a few months ago when I first bought them in a store. Since then I found out that they are super easy to make your own. So that’s what I do now. Click the link below in sources for the recipe.

Trail Mix

This is a classic and is available in most supermarkets. Many people eat trail mix but not many people make their own. Next time you buy trail mix, pick and choose the best and worst parts of the packet and then make your own supreme mix with only the things you love in the portions you like. Easy!

Fruit

Not really a homemade snack, but fruit is great to bring with you when you’re out doing something for the day. Fruit is loaded with natural sugars, energy, they are convenient, and best of all, fruit taste great.

Sources: Protein Bar Recipe & Energy Chews Kale Chips Recipe