Category Archives: Outdoor Adventure

Need to Lose Weight? Get Outside Now!

If you’re hoping to get healthier this spring, there’s only one thing that you should focus on doing, and that is getting outside. Those who live in climates where the winter is cold and harsh end up staying indoors for months at a time. When spring finally rolls around, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. This is also a perfect way to get healthy. Getting outside can help you lose that winter weight and improve your fitness levels. For many people, working out indoors is difficult, but getting outside to go for a run or a bike ride can be a good idea to improve your cardiovascular health.

Furthermore, vitamin D from the sun is essential for your overall health, and it can help to ward off the winter blues that may still be hanging around even in the spring. Vitamin D helps your bones grow, and if you’re a woman, this is absolutely necessary because many women experience osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in later years. The more vitamin D that you can get on a regular basis, the better.

Finally, getting outside can be good for your attitude. Being inside for long periods of time can make you feel depressed. Not only does vitamin D specifically help mood disorders and depression, but also, just experiencing a little bit of the outdoor weather will lift your spirits and help you to take your mind off of life’s worries and stressors.

The next time you would like to get together with friends or do something fun on the weekend, don’t go see a movie or get a drink at your local watering hole. Instead, consider going for a hike or bike ride. You might even do some gardening. By getting outdoors this spring, you’ll lose excess weight and improve your fitness levels, so why not try it?

California’s “Super Bloom” a Site for Sore Eyes

After more than four years of drought, last winter’s record precipitation in California has created an explosion of wildflower growth this spring. The blooms are so massive they can be seen from space. Swaths of bright purple tansy, orange poppies and yellow coreopsis have transformed hillsides into impressionist paintings worthy of the Louvre. From the forests of the north to the deserts of south, no region in California has a monopoly on these spectacular blooms.

Already famous for its wildflowers, the Carrizo Plain National Monument in southern California has become a photographer’s paradise these last few weeks. Seemingly endless blankets of blue, yellow, red, purple and orange cover the hills and valleys drawing thousands of tourists and professional photographers alike.

In the central valley, the South Yuba River State Park is in full bloom. You can find purple larkspur, yellow or purple wild iris, fairy lanterns, star tulips, orange bush monkey flowers and more. Both the Point Defiance Loop trail and the Buttermilk Bend Trail offer great wildflower viewing.

The San Francisco Bay Area has many open space preserves and parks that are teaming with wildflowers. Chabot Regional Park stands out this year with its plethora of wild radish, poppies and blue-eyed grass. Further North at Point Reyes National Seashore, the Douglas irises delight with their show-stopping purple and yellow petals.

Five miles north of Arcata in Humboldt County, Azalea State Natural Reserve has an abundance of pink and white blooms. There are also purple and orange varieties of these trumpet-shaped flowers. With their amazing scent heavily perfuming the air, these wildflowers are a treat to more than the eyes.

Wherever you find yourself in California, you can bet there is a profusion of wildflowers nearby. Get out there and enjoy them but remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints.

The Mystery of Antarctica’s ‘Blood Falls’ Demystified

Recently, Antarctica has gained some interest after the discovery of blood-like red liquid oozing from Taylor Glacier. While a 2015 study indicated that the water was just salty brine filled with iron and active microbes, that revelation now seems to just be a fluke of the natural order there. New research into the area indicates that the issues with the glacier’s “plumbing” can be traced back to a brine reservoir deep beneath the glacier.

While the old information clued researchers into the outflow of brine coming from the falls and that salty water originates from beneath Taylor Glacier, they have started to decipher the link between these two pieces of information. Normally the glacier isn’t supposed to have liquid water flowing through it; salt lowers the freezing point of water and keeps the brine in a slushy state. Further research indicates that the brine actually grows warm during the freezing process thanks to the heat generated when it changes from a liquid state to a solid one. In the case of these “Blood Falls,” the amount of heat generated by the brine that freezes is sufficient to keep the rest of the brine flowing.

The heat generated by this phase change allowed researchers to trace the path of the brine by using radio waves and timing how long it took for the waves to rebound. After careful analysis, the results indicated that Taylor Glacier’s interior is sufficiently warm and fluid; results that were confirmed by samples collected by a polar mining robot. The end result is a glacier that houses red, salty brine beneath the surface while also having an array of crevasses along its base where pressurized streams of brine enter and rise up until such time that the surface cracks open, releasing a “bloody” mess over the ice.

Young Woman Finds her Purpose Fishing in Alaska

Few people are fortunate enough to truly find their calling in life, but at 34, Alexis Abercrombie knows exactly what she wants to do, and it is not what anyone expected. In her early twenties, after a spur-of-the-moment trip to Alaska, she traded her life of glamour and modeling for a life on a fishing boat. While she expected this to be temporary, returning home after her first season, Abercrombie was drawn back to this challenging life.

 

As she apprenticed with a veteran captain to learn the trade, she realized there was an entire part of life that most people completely miss. She fully understood the relationship people can have with the natural world, the world that provides everything humanity needs to survive. She gained skills that are not taught anywhere else but absolutely necessary in Alaska, both to make a living fishing and also to survive.

 

While generous and full of resources, this world is a dangerous one, and out at sea, Abercrombie realized the true meaning of man versus nature. Between weather, wildlife and equipment issues, a life outdoors is completely unpredictable. Abercrombie gained all the experience and knowledge she could during her time training because she knew, once she bought her own boat, she was responsible not only for bringing in the fish but also for the safety of herself and her team.

 

As she learned the difference between cod, halibut and salmon and the techniques for catching different fish, she discovered true resilience and how to survive in a very cold and dangerous climate. Even on the most difficult days, though, Abercrombie knows that this life outdoors, battling the elements and truly experiencing the natural world, is where she belongs. She is not alone in that sentiment. Whether in Juneau or Sitka, fishing communities throughout Alaska are thriving. As a recent feature about Abercrombie describes, these people live and work in a world so foreign to most of America and the modern world. On a daily basis, they experience the beauty and immensity of the natural world coupled with the danger and challenges inherent in nature.

 

How to Have an Enjoyable Outdoor Party

Whether you are throwing a birthday party or are having a reunion, being outside is a great way to open up the amount of space you and your guests have while enjoying the warm weather. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time outside can also be a problem if you’re dealing with bugs, wind and unforeseen weather conditions. First and foremost, it is important to be very careful of the weather before having an outdoor party. It is understandable that you’ll want to plan for the party months in advance and that you won’t know the weather until about a week before the event, but you should have a backup date in case of rain.

 

If the weather is going to be decent, there are still other things that might come to ruin your special occasion. Bugs are a real issue when it comes to outdoor parties and they can wreck an otherwise fun event. The best way to get rid of a bug problem is to use citronella candles and bug sprays to prevent them from being attracted to party goers. In many cases, bugs are also attracted to the food that you’ll be serving and may swarm soda, meats and breads. If you’re serving fruit, expect there to be a lot of bugs interested in the delicious sweet treats. You can invest in table food covers that act as a net over the dishes to prevent bugs from walking all over your meal.

 

Planning the party accordingly will allow you to have a fun and memorable event. It might not be enough to buy some food and get the barbecue going. Think of some fun games you can all play and get the kids involved. This prevents your little guests from getting bored and annoying their parents who will then want to high-tail it out of there. Be sure to leave all of your outdoor partying for the warmer months of the year when it’ll be fine to sit outside for hours without feeling chilled. Appropriate planning is essential for having a party that you will not soon forget.

 

What Essentials Do You Need for Spring Outdoor Hiking?

Hiking is a great way to burn extra calories and get outside. If you enjoy hiking or if you’re interested in starting a hiking hobby, you’ll need to have some essential products. The following is a list of essentials for hiking that you should get now so that you’re prepared when spring rolls around.

 

  1. A big backpack to hold everything

 

The first thing that you’ll need to go hiking is a great backpack. Whether you plan on hiking for a few days or a week or just going on an hour-long walk in the hills, a quality backpack will be helpful so that you can carry all of your essentials with you and have your hands free. Naturally, you’ll want a larger and more industrial type backpack for longer trips. A smaller, more lightweight backpack will be good for short hiking trips.

 

  1. A great sleeping bag

 

Of course, you’ll need to have a place to sleep on your hiking trip. A sleeping bag is the best option. There are numerous types of sleeping bags. For example, there are lots of different sizes and even different levels of warmth. For this reason, make sure that you do your research in order to find the best bag for you.

 

  1. An emergency bag

 

In addition to having a great backpack and a warm and comfortable sleeping bag, you should also have a small bag that has emergency essentials in it. You need to have first aid kit with health and safety essentials as well as a solar panel that can charge a cell phone in the event that you need to call for help.

 

  1. Lighting

 

Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll need to have lighting on your trip. It gets dark up in those mountains! A flashlight should be brought with you no matter how long you plan on hiking, and you might want to bring a lantern for your campsite if you plan on staying overnight as well.

 

You can find all of the products listed above on the Internet or in select brick and mortar outdoor goods stores.

 

Why You Should Take a Digital Detox and Get Outdoors

Would you like to become someone who spends more time outdoors in nature and with your family? Are you interested in de-stressing? Would like to be able to sleep soundly through the night?

 

If these sound like good ideas to you, here’s what you need to do. First, put your smart phone, tablet device and computer into a large box. Next, put that box into your closet, and shut the closet door. Now, get some hiking clothes on or even a pair of jeans and some tennis shoes. Finally, walk out your front door and get ready to spend some time outdoors.

 

Why You Should Consider Doing a Digital Detox

 

What’s a digital detox? It’s a span of time when you don’t use digital media. This includes things like social media, the Internet, television and anything to do with your smart phone. This can be tough for some people, and this is especially true if you work online or in the tech industry.

 

With that being said, it’s absolutely essential to make sure that you do this at least once every few months. Going on a digital detox means taking a break from the online world, and we all need this in order to stay sane.

 

In addition to taking a digital detox from social media and tech in general, make sure that you try to get outdoors as well. Outdoor living may not be your thing, and it doesn’t have to be. But you should still be able to recognize the importance of going outside and taking part in the natural world. It doesn’t matter if that’s with a hike, a walk or a bike ride.

 

Tips for Your Digital Detox

 

First, go slow. This will be difficult. Try just detoxing for one or two hours at a time.

 

Second, don’t worry if people get mad at you. It will be common for people to criticize you for being out-of-reach. That’s just the way that it has to be, and you’ll have to learn to live with this.

 

Finally, try to do this on a regular basis. At least once every few weeks will give you the greatest results.

 

New Trends in Outdoor Living

When looking for a new home to buy or rent, people have always considered whether or not the home has a nice outdoor space. Nice outdoor living spaces provide an owner or renter with a great place to relax and entertain. While outdoor living spaces have been highly sought after for a long time, a recent news article (http://www.channel3000.com/madison-magazine/home-and-lifestyle/trends-in-outdoor-living/411473049) has pointed out that there have been a lot of new trends and advancements with outdoor living spaces in recent years.

 

One trend that people are looking for more than ever before is for the lot to have more functionality and technology than ever before. A growing trend in higher end homes is to have outdoor kitchens, which greatly enhance the amount of cooking and preparation that can be completed outside of the home. Many people also like to have an area where they can sit and watch an outdoor television or have outdoor speakers installed to listen to music. Another growing trend is to have a separate router outside to provide guests with access to WiFi while they are outdoors.

 

Those that would like an outdoor living space are also looking for their space to be lower maintenance. While having nice landscaping is important, the would like it to look nice and not take a lot of work. Because of this, installing more container gardens, patios, and other fixtures to replace open grass is ideal as it results in less time needed to mow and prepare the yard. Many people also look for yards that already have a built in irrigation system, which can reduce the amount of time that is needed to water plants.

 

One of the most important features that people want in their outdoor living space today is to have more durable furniture. Furniture that sits outside will have to deal with a lot of impact from weather and people coming and going. Because of this, it needs to be very durable and be able to withstand the pressures of outdoor living. Today, many people look for acrylic upholstery that is both fade resistant and can be waterproof.

 

REI Takes the Lead in Promoting Women’s Place in Outdoor World

While REI has traditionally done well in the market, focusing on people looking for active wear and outdoor gear, it turns out that they’re not only concerned about their bottom line. REI is getting set to launch Force of Nature, a project which is intended to change the way the industry views and treats female employees and customers.

 

In the upcoming year, the company will embark on a three-prong effort. First, they’ll feature more women in adventertising and marketing materials. Second, they’ll be prepared to spend $1 million on supporting nonprofits that promote women’s involvement in the outdoors. And third, they’ll add more technical gear and clothing specifically targeted toward women to their stores.

 

The outdoor industry has been traditionally dominated by males, but hopefully that will change thanks in part to campaigns like REI’s. To help them achieve their goals, REI will hold over a thousand events designed to encourage women to venture outside and participate in new activities.

 

Women generally feel that being outdoors is an important aspect of overall health, but many have shared that they can’t name one outdoor female role model. When men’s roles in outdoor activities takes such a more prominent role than women’s roles, the disparity can be a bit discouraging to some. Hopefully after women see themselves depicted in advertisements and recognize that certain types of equipment and apparel are being marketed directly towards them, they’ll feel more motivated to take up a new, health hobby.

 

This isn’t the first time that REI has taken up a social cause. In 2015, the company closed the doors on all of its stores on Black Friday while still paying employees for that day. This made a big impact in how the employees thought of themselves in relation to the company management, and it helped REI attract many more customers. In 2016, they continued to stay closed on Black Friday, and they will likely keep up that effort in the future because of the positive reaction by customers.

 

With this Forces of Nature campaign, REI may be able to widen its reach even further.

 

National Park Service Looking for Sponsors to Raise Money

Millions of people visit the National Parks each year, but park officials say that visitors fees are not enough to keep the parks open. That is why, according to a recent article on WBAL TV’s online website, the National Park service is considering selling sponsorships to help keep the parks open.

 

 

 

The proposal would allow sponsors to put logos on just about everything, including bathrooms, benches, and the pavement under people’s feet. For most people this would take away from the pristine beauty of the parks. People come to the parks to experience nature and get away from the crass commercialism and noise that comes with everyday life.

 

While their is no certainty that the proposal will get approved, it is clear that the push for corporate sponsors is a troubling one, particularly for many of the park’s regular visitors. The money from corporate sponsors could help the National Park system make some much anticipated and much needed improvements in order to ensure that none of the parks are closed to the public. Fort Hood in Baltimore, for example hopes to add a piece of the National Anthem that they are missing.

 

 

A decision like this could set a terrible precedent. Old stadiums were once great examples of classic architecture, but today, stadiums are often covered in as much advertising as possible. Many people think that this is very distracting and takes away from their enjoyment of the game. Decline in the attendance at certain sporting events certainly supports this theory to an extent. While the temporary influx of money into the National Parks System would be welcome it is very important to consider the cost.