Category Archives: Outdoors

Ways to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

With the hot summers and the hottest month of the summer approaching, runners look for new ways to survive the heat during those hard long runs in order to come out stronger and faster with absolutely no health risk involved in the process. For long-distance runners who are training in the hottest months in even 80 degree weather with high humidity, the consequences can be dehydration as well as heat exhaustion. For individuals who are training for the 26 mile fall raise, it can especially be exhausting with the necessity of a 16-week training cycle to put the athlete in the ultimate running shape.

 

Though many athlete choose to move their runs into the nice and cool gyms, many others continue their training process despite the strong heat as well as the humidity. For that summer exertion, there are low-tech ways to cool one’s body off without having to put much effort in at all. Some of these ways to protect the body include freezing the underwear the night before the run or wrapping the neck with a cold cloth. All of these efforts are great ways to pick up the speed in the summer without having to worry about the consequences of the efforts.

 

Another recommendation is to take an ice-cold bath before going on a run. This lowers the overall temperature of the core and is known as the act of pre-cooling oneself before the workout. This not only keeps the body cool, but also slows down the brain’s process of developing a heat illness. With this step, the effects of the heat will not be as noticeable and will take a longer amount of time to bring the core and internal temperature back up the the original heat. For a 5-mile or longer run, this method is recommended.

 

Cooled runs have also been scientifically proven to maintain the overall leg muscle activation. This means that it is easier to maneuver the legs and the brain is able to process information faster which translates to the overall movement of the body. The overall outcome of cooling the body is to keep the individual who runs for a long time cool as well as focused. For runners in the summer, heat exhaustion is dangerous and best be avoided.

 

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.

Stranded Family Of Four Rescued after Kayaking Crash In Utah

With great interest, I just read a recent article that tells how a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot rescued a stranded family from Colorado while he was out looking for an overdue kayaker.

 

This exciting situation took place on the first Sunday in April in Garfield County, Utah. A man and wife, and their two teenage daughters were kayaking on the Escalante River, and became trapped after crashing into rocks.

 

As it so happens, another kayaker had not returned when expected from a trip on the Escalante River that same day. A pilot named Luke Bowman from the Utah Department of Public Safety had been called in to assist in the efforts to locate the kayaker.

 

While scanning the river area from overhead, the pilot and a deputy spotted a man signaling for help from a sandbar. They landed the helicopter, and discovered that the man and his family had been stranded for two days.

 

According to the article, the family’s kayaks and paddles floated away when they crashed. They did, however, manage to save their food and sleeping equipment. The family tried to find their way to civilization on foot, but found that their surroundings were too dangerous to traverse.

 

The helicopter pilot said that it is very common at this time of the year for people to get lost or stranded in the local region. Fortunately, the family that was rescued this week did not experience any injuries, only some sunburn.

 

As for the original kayaker who was overdue, he was unable to access his destination point, so he exited the river at another spot, then made his way back.

 

Being a big fan of vintage TV shows, I can’t help but think of how this entire situation resembles the plot on an episode of a retro adventure television series.

 

How to Plan a Hiking Trip

Hiking is a fun and thrilling activity that will get you outside enjoying nature. Some people love hiking all the time once the weather permits them to take a trail and others might be planning a hiking trip for the first time in their lives. No matter how advanced you are when it comes to hiking, it’s just as important for experts to bring along supplies and provisions as it is for beginners.

 

To start, you’ll need to plan out the type of supplies you’ll need to bring along with you. Having a handy and rugged backpack will allow you to bring all of your items without feeling overly weighed-down. You also need to bring along items specific to the type of trip you’ll be taking. If you’re planning on camping out, you’re going to need a tent and sleeping bags to make the night a little more comfortable. If you’re only going for a few hours, you’ll need a utility knife, flashlights, rope and a walking stick that helps you to clear away debris.

 

Along with all of the utility supplies, you need to bring along foods and drinks. It’s easy to assume that you can get through a hike without a nourishing meal, but it’s another thing when you’re feeling lightheaded and dizzy while walking. Be sure to bring along protein-packed foods like peanut butter sandwiches and trail mix with nuts to boost your energy. You should bring along a lot of drinks to keep yourself hydrated throughout the whole trip.

 

Before going on a trip, you need to plan out where you’re going to be going and how long the trail is. For instance, if you’ll be taking a 7-mile hike, you should expect to be out for just a few hours and will want to go earlier in the day to avoid getting stuck out in nightfall. If the trail is 25-miles or longer, expect to have to camp out overnight with your crew. Most hiking trails won’t have cellphone service, so you’ll need another way to contact the outside world in case of an emergency such as a panic button necklace or walkie talkies.

 

How to Plan the Perfect Hiking Trip

Hiking is a great outdoor activity that provides you the chance to explore a local area in all its natural beauty. Planning a hiking trip can be a lot of fun, but it should also be done to prevent you from experiencing problems on the trail. First and foremost, you need to have an idea of where you’re going to be hiking. If you live in an area that’s quite wooded, there are probably a myriad of trails you can take. Once you know which trail you’ll be hiking, you need to determine its length and duration. Certain hiking trails have several stop-offs which allow you to choose how many miles you’d like to walk.

 

Next, you need to determine who will be coming with you. If you’re going to be hiking on your own, it’s vital that you have a way to communicate with the world if something happens to you while you’re walking. Many hiking trails lose cellphone service, so it might be advantageous to invest in walkie-talkies or an emergency call button that will automatically alert police if something happens to you on the trail. You should also bring along plenty of snacks, provisions and drinks. Drinks are essential for long and intense hikes where you’ll be overexerting yourself. Protein-packed snacks like nuts and trail mix are great for when you’re feeling faint and lightheaded.

 

Apart from making sure you pack all of the right foods and drinks, you need to be wearing comfortable and loose clothing. You can bring along bug spray to prevent too many bugs from biting you and annoying you while you’re trying to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t going to be wearing bug spray, it’s crucial that you avoid wearing any other type of perfume, which even includes deodorant. These perfumes will attract bugs and make for a miserable hiking experience. Once you know where you’ll hike and have all of the necessities for the trip, it’s time to go out and explore mother nature. Take along your camera and get some great pictures of your experience so that you have something to look back on.

 

Outdoor Enthusiast Mary Anderson Dies At 107

Mary Anderson was known for her love of outdoors. She died on March 27, 2017 at the age of 107. She co-founded a company called REI in 1938 along with her husband, Lloyd. This company sold equipment that helped people enjoy hiking and climbing. REI released a statement saying that Mary’s legacy will live on. They wanted to make it easier for people to get outdoors.

 

Mary Anderson was born in Yakima Valley. She grew up in a family that enjoyed hiking. Mary worked as a teacher and incorporated her love for nature in the classroom. She taught for over 30 years. Dennis Madsen is the former CEO and president of REI. He stated that the first time he met Mary was in 1966. He just got out of high school and worked at the REI in Capitol Hill. Dennis stated that Mary and her husband ran their company as a team.

 

Mary was not only a hard-working woman, but she was also known for her sense of humor. Mary retired from REI in 1968. Because of Mary and Lloyd’s hard work, REI is a very successful business. Today, it has 6.3 million active members. It also has 140 retail stores. Additionally, the company brought in $2.56 billion in revenue.

 

Ms Anderson celebrated her 100th birthday in 2009 at the REI headquarters. Dennis attended the celebration. He stated that Mary was as vibrant as ever at her birthday celebration. Mary is survived by her daughter named Sue and two grandsons. Her husband, Lloyd, died back in 2000. She also has another daughter named Ruth who preceded her in death.

 

Funeral details have not yet been released. People who want to make a donation can send it to the REI Foundation headquarters. The address is 6750 S. 228th St., Kent, WA 98032. The donations will go towards the Mary Anderson Legacy Grant. This is a grant that helps people learn more about the outdoors.

Snowboarder Survives Avalanche Thanks to Inflatable Backpack

A snowboarder at Whistler ski resort in British Columbia, Canada has just released his GoPro footage of what it’s like being caught in an avalanche. The video can be seen on Digg.com here.

The clip starts just as the snow begins to break away from under the feet of the stationary rider. The camera quickly goes white as he is surrounded by snow and falling rapidly down the mountain. Moments later a loud whine can be heard as the rider surfaces but is still unable to escape the avalanche. Finally, he comes to a stop and the snow settles around him, the entire ordeal lasting a mere 30 seconds.

The mechanical whines being heard in the background are most likely the only thing that saved this rider’s life; his Halo 28 Jetforce Avalanche Airbag Pack.
The pack is about the size of an everyday school backpack and weighs just under 8 lbs. When activated the pack inflates, increasing tenfold in size, and helps the wearer stay above the crashing snow of an avalanche. Watch the pack in action here.

The pack fully inflates in 4 seconds, then automatically deflates after 3 minutes with the intent of leaving a pocket of air around the wearer. It can be repacked and deployed 4+ times on a single battery charge allowing for practice or multiple uses, let’s just hope you don’t get caught in more than one avalanche a day!

The Halo 28 isn’t really cheap, retailing at just under $1100, but when the alternative is being buried alive on a frozen mountain, it seems a worthwhile investment.

National Park Service Looking for Sponsors to Raise Money

Millions of people visit the National Parks each year, but park officals say that visitors fees are not enough to keep the parks open. That is why, accordign to a recent article on WBAL TV’s online website, the National Park service is considering selling sponserships 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 corportate sponsors could help the National Park system make some much anticipated and much needed improvments 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 precident. Old stadiums were once great exampls 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.

 

Dumping Goldfish Into a Lake is Not Good For Anyone

Most people have heard tales of albino aligators living in the sewers of New York. The story goes that a long time ago, aligators were popular pets, or possibly a few people bought tiny gators after being told they were small lizards. Suprised by the size, the New Yorkers either flushed them down the drain or dumped them in the sewers. While almost certainly and urban ledgend, the moral of the story is the same. Invasive species that start out as pets can cause a great deal of damage.

 

A recent article in the Washington Post highlights just how big of a problem this has become. For example Australia has over 20 million feral cats, which are not native to Austrailia and were brough over by European settlers. They have no natural predators and are a threat to many of the native species, including 124 threatened and endangered species.

 

Fish are another invasive species that has been known to cause huge problems. Asian Carp, orginally brought in to help control algea in fish farms are making their way into the Great Lakes. Not only do the destroy the native vegitation and animal life, but have been known to jump up and knock boaters out of the water.

 

And of of course there are the aforementioned Goldfish. With few natural preditors, they can grow as large as four lbs when released in the wild, taking over and disturbing the populations of native species.

 

Because of the negative effect that domesticated animals can have on the ecosystem, its imporant to remember not to release a domesticated plant or animal into the wild. Instead, be mindful when choosing pets and ensure that you can care for them in the long term.

 

Lapland to be a Major Tourist Draw in 2017

Serious travelers are constantly looking for new sights and experiences. In 2017, Lapland, with its majestic fjords and stunning sky, might be the new destination of choice for many. It offers unique activities in a beautiful setting, as well as stunning hotel options.

Forbes.com reports that Lapland represents a new travel trend in 2017, and claims that unique accommodations are driving the trend. The Icehotel, which is constructed from ice and used during the winter months in Finland, is fairly well-known. Forbes cites some less well-known accommodations, such as Norway’s Lyngen Lodge, which overlooks a fjord and serves as a base for outdoor activities like dog sledding and snowmobiling. Another unique option is the Logger’s Lodge, a new Lapland facility that is all-inclusive and features a sauna and whirlpool.

Even without exotic accommodations, the appeal of Lapland and surrounding areas is clear. Tourists can enjoy snowmobiling, dog sledding, gazing at the Northern Lights, or going for a polar bear dip in the frigid Arctic waters. Each of these activities is a compelling vacation option, even if they do not involve luxury accommodations.

While the appeal of Lapland might draw a new wave of tourists, many of these tourists will also benefit from the recent low-cost airline tickets to Northern Europe. As airlines compete to open new, low-cost routes between the U.S. and Europe, it is getting easier for Americans to visit Norway and other European locations.

For tourists who want a five-star experience, there are many hotel options to choose from in this natural setting. Whether you want to sleep in a treehouse, an ice castle, or a cozy lodge, Lapland has you covered. Regardless of your accommodations, the view will be stunning.