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Posts Tagged ‘hiking

Once you’ve bought your tent, your next major consideration will be what equipment to buy to ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible. Here’s a guide to help you choose.

Sleeping on the Floor?

Whilst some people can adapt to the challenges of sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a regular sleeping bag with only the groundsheet between yourself and the floor does not often lead to a comfortable night’s sleep. For some added comfort, you have two main options – a camping mattress or a Sleeping  Bed. Both offer their own advantages and are discussed in more detail below. But whilst both provide added comfort, neither will raise your body particularly far off the ground. Therefore if you don’t like the sensation of sleeping close to the ground, however comfortable, there is also the option of buying a camp bed. Whilst it will not be suitable for some smaller, lower tents, inside a larger family tent it offers you a solution to this problem.

Camping Mattress

There are several factors to consider in terms of deciding which sleeping mat or camping mattress to choose. The first is perhaps the simplest – do you need a single or a double mattress? A key factor in deciding this is to look at the floor space inside your tent, as this will determine how large a mattress you can actually fit inside. The second factor is whether to go for an inflatable mattress or a foam mattress that remains at a constant thickness. Inflatable mattresses can offer greater levels of comfort, but must be inflated and deflated before and after use. A third option is a self-inflatable mattress such as the Quechua A300 Mattress, which offer a compromise between the convenience of a foam mattress and the comfort of an inflatable mattress.

Another important consideration is the ‘folded size’ of the mattress. Whilst a mattress might fit inside your tent, but if it is too large for you to actually transport it then it will not be a worthwhile purchase. Studying the folded size (and weight) of the mattress is essential for any backpackers, but even if you will have access to a car during your camping holiday, it is still worth considering as a mattress with a smaller folded size will be easier to store at home following your holiday.

Sleeping Bed

The Sleeping Bed offers an alternative to the traditional pattern of buying a separate sleeping bag and mattress, and come in two main varieties. The first is a sleeping bag with an integrated self-inflatable mattress built-in, such as the 15° Sleeping Bed. This built-in mattress can be detached, meaning that both the mattress or the sleeping bag can be used on their own as well as together, offering a 3-in-1 sleeping solution. The other variety is mattresses with integrated duvets such as the Single Sleeping Bed Camp, providing a more portable option for people who prefer duvets to sleeping bags.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags come in a range of varieties, but there are a number of features to consider when deciding which is the best for you. One of the most essential features is the temperature that your sleeping bag is designed to cope with. For example, the O° Quechua Light Hiking Sleeping Bag is designed to be comfortable at O°. Therefore if you are camping in that sort of temperature, it will be an ideal sleeping bag to ensure your temperature is comfortable throughout the night. Yet if you are camping in warm temperatures, other sleeping bags will be more suitable, such as the 20° Basic Camping Sleeping Bag, which is designed for use when the temperature is 20° and above. Therefore identifying the likely temperatures during your camping trip will help you to choose a sleeping bag that will provide the most comfortable night’s sleep. If you will be camping in a wide range of temperatures and don’t want to buy multiple sleeping bags, choose a bag that is suitable for the lowest temperature you expect to encounter as it is easier to find ways to lower the temperature in the tent at night than increase it.

Size is again another important consideration. The sleeping bag should be large enough for you to sleep inside of comfortably, so check both the size and the dimensions prior to buying to ensure that this will be the case. As with the camping mattress, the folded size is also important, particularly for backpackers. The smaller the folded size of your sleeping bag, the more space you’ll have available for additional equipment and supplies. And finally, if you are going to be using the sleeping bag regularly, it is worth investigating whether it is machine washable or suitable for a tumble drier.

 

Bed sheets, duvets and blankets

Sleeping bags are not the only option. Your normal duvets or blankets will work too, and depending on the type of mattress you choose a bed sheet is an option too. The advantages of this set up is that it brings the comforts of home with you when you are camping. However, the major problem is that they are not designed specifically for the purpose of camping. Duvets in particular are notoriously difficult to transport, taking up a lot of space and being difficult to reduce down into a smaller size. This clearly rules them out for anyone backpacking, and even if you have access to a car, anything more than one duvet will be too large for most hatchbacks. However, if do have a car available offering the necessary space, it’s an option that will give you added comfort.

Additional Equipment

If you have perhaps already got a sleeping bag that maybe isn’t completely suitable for what you need to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, other sleeping equipment can help you get the comfort you need. Liners and pillows can help provide additional comfort, whilst if your sleeping bag is not designed for the cold temperatures you are encountering, then a Fleece Blanket is an option for providing additional warmth. More camping equipment, you can click  Basic Tent Camping Equipment | Sports Related.

(This entry was posted by Colin)

More summer camping information, you can see:

10 best national park campsites across the USA | Sporting Life.

 

Selecting the Right Hiking Equipment Before Going on a Outdoor camping Trip | Sports and Exercise.

Basic Tent Camping Equipment | Sports Related.

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Bored of hitting the gym every day this summer? Don’t fret! Fitness can be achieved through fun sports too. There are several fun sports that can help you achieve great health and fitness.

Summer Sport # 1: Tennis

Tennis is undoubtedly the best way to pass your time leisurely and improve your health. Playing tennis helps in moving your body and keeps your mind alert. Since it is a low-impact sport, you don’t need a lot of strength and skills to play the game. Hence a good option for toning.

Summer Sport # 2: Football

Football or soccer is one of the best summer sports, as it engages players to run fast and slow – with sudden balance shifts. This helps to build stamina and works for interval training too. Being a continuous game, it is extremely effective for fitness and cardiovascular health.

Summer Sport # 3: Cricket

This favorite Indian sport provides a number of benefits to its player along with gallons of excitement. Cricket helps in endurance, stamina, balance and co-ordination and physical fitness. It also improves hand-eye co-ordination.

Summer Sport # 4: Frisbee

Frisbee is a swift and easy sport which can be played with anyone, anywhere. Besides adding the fun quotient, this has health benefits too. Throwing a Frisbee is a good cardio-vascular workout; it uses your thigh muscles and arms too. It improves balance and helps to develop better landing skills.

 

Summer Sport # 5: Volleyball

Summer volleyball is one of the best sports workouts. This sport helps you burn calories and improves your muscular system.

Summer Sport # 6: Cycling

Cycling is a good summer sport option, because you don’t need company. All you have to do is pick your bicycle and race for good health. Cycling helps to build strength, tones muscles, builds stamina, burns calories, improves heart health and reduces stress.

Summer Sport # 7: Swimming

Swimming is the best way to help your body cool down during summer. Since, swimming involves your entire body; it is the best full-body workout. It helps you to relax, builds endurance, tones your muscles, maintains a healthy weight and improves flexibility.

Summer Sport # 8: Dancing

Dance is an amazingly fun activity. It allows people to enjoy, socialize and develop creative skills. Dancing for 30 minutes helps to keep the body active, helps to improve strength and flexibility, improves posture and balance, reduces stress levels and burns calories.

Summer Sport # 9: Badminton

Racquet sport is good for people of all ages. Badminton helps to burn calories, maintains healthy weight, and improves cardiovascular fitness.

Summer Sport # 10: Hiking

Hiking is a good recreational activity. It helps to improve muscular fitness, reduce depression, maintains healthy weight and lubricates your joints well. So, plan a trek this weekend to enjoy a peaceful traffic-less zone.

(By Renita Tisha Pinto)

You’ve decided you’re visiting backpack throughout America and live out all of your Woody Guthrie dreams. But you just have a L.L. Bean knapsack from tenth grade, some ancient hiking boots and some outdoor tents that has even more moth gaps than you thought feasible. Before you prepare for your journey, nonetheless, you may want to get some supplies. By getting some quality hiking devices in order to live conveniently as you camp throughout the country, you can plan for your adventure and feel confident while going out into the world. Now you just need to choose the right devices that is best for you.


The first thing you’ll wish is a good hiking backpack. There are hundreds of different brands of knapsacks to choose some. A few of the most durable knapsacks are Gregory backpacks, Osprey backpacks and Deuter backpacks. These are fantastic for long journeys because they are created to hold a big quantity of supplies however taking the least quantity of space. Each of these knapsacks must be effectively gauged and sized for each customer before usage. In order to make sure it is effectively sized, you should determine your shoulder width and back length in order to choose the best one for you.
Tents and resting bags are important as well. By having stable shelter and a comfortable spot to rest you can be sure that you will constantly be energetic and prepared for each day. Nemo tents and Big Agnes tents are trusted during extreme climate or on challenging surface. By having such trustworthy shelter, you could rest your head any place you could and get up the next early morning refreshed. It is also exceptionally vital to choose the right bedroll for you. Brands like Big Agnes has long lasting sleeping bags and even hold a two-person bedroll for couples that are traveling.


The final thing you must consider is your boots. Depending on where you are going, you’re rambling boots will keep you comfortable in even the most extreme weather condition. There are numerous different brand names to pick from however you have to discover the right pair for you. Many spots that sell hiking boots will have indoor hills and rock walls you can attempt new boots out on before purchase. Brands such as Vasque, Zamberlan and Koolaburra have long lasting boots that are excellent for many climates. They commonly have waterproof boots but if you intend on hiking in the Rockies in February MSR snowshoes can be a great choice for you. These are a large financial investment that should be taken seriously since you will be staying in these shoes for potentially months.
After that, the rest depends on you. If needed, you could get probabilities and ends such as Bolle goggles, Primus stove or glacier glasses depending on the landscapes you prepare to dominate. As you travel you will be glad you purchased the right devices while hiking across the country. While it is feasible to only go from state to state with just a knapsack and a guitar, you may desire a bit more in order to stay healthy and safe.

(Author: LeviPhelts299 from ftopdirs.com)

More outdoor camping information:

Basic Tent Camping Equipment | Sports Related.

10 best national park campsites across the USA | Sporting Life.

The majority of summers during our first three decades of marriage were spent camping in the national parks — from Acadia to Zion. And we did so in a series of four VW campers, the first of which was so underpowered it was unable to make the minimum speed limit heading west against the wind on a Wyoming interstate. Indeed, spending three months each summer in a VW bus is the gold standard for testing the oft-repeated vow “….. for better, for worse.”

Elements of campground desirability tend to be homogeneous. Most of us probably prefer a peaceful environment, beautiful scenery, spacious sites offering a degree of privacy, availability of drinkable water and flush toilets. Showers, of course, are a nice addition. Cost isn’t a differentiating factor for national park campgrounds because rates span a relatively narrow range.

Still, there are some campgrounds that stand out. So, here are some of our favorites. We are listing only those that are accessible via a typical family vehicle. Therefore, no hike-in or backcountry campgrounds are included.

Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower National Monument: Belle Fourche Campground 

This is perhaps our favorite among all national park campgrounds. Located in a grove of cottonwood trees (unfortunately, lack of water is causing the trees to look pretty shabby) the campground is seldom crowded. Most campers depart relatively early in the morning after staying only one night. Thus, we nearly always have the campground to ourselves throughout most of the day. A number of campsites offer excellent views of Devils Tower. A trail leads from the campground through a prairie dog town to the visitor center at the base of the tower. Another meanders along the Belle Fourche River.

Glacier National Park: Two Medicine Campground 

It’s a great location to appreciate this wonderful park without the crowds. Located about 13 miles from East Glacier, the campground is near peaceful Two Medicine Lake and a camp store that was constructed as a chalet by the Northern Pacific Railroad. Many of the nearly 100 sites provide shade while a shuttle offers transportation to locations along the east side of the park. Red Bus tours also make a stop here.

Olympic National Park: Kalaloch Campground

Olympic National Park: Kalaloch Campground 

It would be difficult to find a campground with a more spectacular setting than this relatively large unit (170 sites) that sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The driftwood-covered beach below offers a world-class place to stroll, and dozing off with the sounds of circling gulls and the ocean’s roar isn’t a bad way to spend part of a lazy afternoon. Fog, mist, and wind are frequent visitors to the Washington coast, but this is all part of the coastal experience. Kalaloch Lodge is a short walk north so a warm restaurant with hot coffee isn’t far away. During our first drive to Kalaloch many years ago, the fog in the distance was so thick that we were certain a major forest fire was in progress.

Grand Teton National Park: Signal Mountain Campground 

Situated in a grove of fir and spruce trees, Signal Mountain is an ideal location from which to explore the Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake areas of Grand Teton National Park. Even with nearly 100 sites, the campground fills very early from June through August. Groceries, supplies, and meals are nearby at Signal Mountain Lodge. Although views of the mountains and lake are not available from all campsites, a short walk will reveal some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the country.

Lassen Volcanic National Park: Manzanita Lake Campground 

This large campground (179 sites) has been a favorite since our first visit in the mid-1970s. In a pine forest at 6,000 feet, the cool summer temperatures are a welcome relief for travelers who have driven up from the hot and dry Central Valley. The giant sugar pines drop cones so large they could stagger Mike Tyson if he ever decides to camp here. A path circling Manzanita Lake leads to Loomis Museum and its exhibits that document the 1914-1917 volcanic eruptions here. Bring a canoe or inflatable raft and enjoy a quiet morning paddling the lake.

Capitol Reef National Park: Fruita Campground 

One of the most unusual and enjoyable campgrounds found in any national park, Fruita is set amid an orchard maintained by the National Park Service. We haven’t camped here for some time, but we have pleasant memories of picking apricots, apples, and cherries, the latter of which were eaten with such abandon that we both got sick. The National Park Service description of the campground as “an oasis within a desert” is spot on.

Kings Canyon National Park: Sentinel Campground

Kings Canyon National Park: Sentinel Campground 

Sentinel is one of four campgrounds in the Cedar Grove area of the park. Actually, any of the four would be on our favorites list because we consider Cedar Grove such a great place to camp, but Sentinel is closest to Cedar Grove Lodge with a small market and dining area. The campground sits along the Middle Fork of the Kings River that can really roar in the spring and early summer.

Big Bend National Park: Chisos Basin Campground 

Surrounded by high cliffs, this 60-site campground is in an area that offers hiking, beautiful night skies, and a chance to see some javelina — a strange looking pig-like mammal — chow down on a cactus or two. The campground isn’t far from Chisos Mountains Lodge, which offers a market and restaurant. One night while camping here we heard a commotion from a nearby campsite. It turned out that a skunk had gotten into a tent. The commotion was from the human occupants, not the skunk.

Blue Ridge Parkway: Rocky Knob Campground 

We have generally considered the Blue Ridge Parkway to have some of the National Park Service’s most pleasant campgrounds. In fact, it is difficult to choose which is best among the nine that are along this 469-mile drive. Rocky Knob Campground at milepost 161 is certainly near the top of the list, in part because it is only 9 miles from Mabry Mill and its excellent breakfast biscuits. Some campsites are in the deep woods while others are more open. An attractive picnic area is next to the campground.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Juniper Campground 

Located in the badlands of western North Dakota, this national park has always been one of our favorites. We prefer the smaller Juniper Campground in the park’s north unit to Cottonwood Campground in the more popular south unit. Juniper Campground sits beside the Little Missouri River in an especially scenic area of the badlands. This unit of the park is more distant from the interstate and receives fewer visitors. A visit to the small town of Medora near the south unit is a must.

(By David and Kay Scott, NationalParksTraveler.com)

Through rainforest, over mountain ridges, across open plains, beside lakes and oceans, Australia has so much to offer the hiker who’s prepared to pull the boots on and get stuck in.

With the peak walking season for Tasmania’s stunning Overland Track beginning on October 1, here’s our list of great hikes, taking from half a day to a week.

Multi-day treks

Overland Track, Tasmania

What would Frodo do? The writer stands atop Mount Ossa.

What would Frodo do? The writer stands atop Mount Ossa.The Overland Track covers 65 kilometers over six days through the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, part of the World Heritage Area.

Walkers can trek independently but must book with the Parks & Wildlife Service, or use one of the many guided-walk operators.

We went with Cradle Mountain Huts, known for its eco-friendly lodges tucked away from the track.

Highlights include Marion’s Lookout with (if the weather’s good) great views of Cradle Mountain; Barn Bluff towering over an exposed alpine plateau; and the beautiful D’Alton and Ferguson Falls.

Worth the challenge, weather permitting, is the five-hour side trip climbing Mount Ossa.

Our guide points out two rocky towers, nicknamed The Gates of Mordor, after that dire place in “The Lord of the Rings.” And up we go.

Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory

Trekking along Euro Ridge on the Larapinta Trail.

Trekking along Euro Ridge on the Larapinta Trail.The Larapinta Trail winds through a rugged and ancient landscape in the Northern Territory.

Waving goodbye to Alice Springs from the Euro Ridge, walkers head westward, experiencing the beauty of Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge and ascending Mount Sonder at the end.

Being remote, this trail is best tackled on a group tour.

Michele Eckersley of World Expeditions (WE) says: “It’s our No. 1 trek worldwide.”

Apart from the six-day classic experience — support vehicles reduce the total walk — there’s also a 14-day end-to-end option (the whole 223 kilometers).

Both treks are organized by WE subsidiary Australian Walking Holidays.

Great Ocean Walk, Victoria

The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Walk.

The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Walk.Since 2006, the Great Ocean Walk has enabled us to go where its namesake road could not.

Stretching 104 kilometers from Apollo Bay, the track meanders through gum and eucalypt forest, reaches Cape Otway Lightstation, traverses sand dunes, beaches and cliff-top tracks.

There are shipwrecks to inspect and magnificent views of the Twelve Apostles, those much-photographed limestone sea stacks.

If you’re walking independently, there’s a shuttle service transporting gear from one stop to the next and the VisitVictoria site has information.

For guided walks or self-guided inn-to-inn packages try auswalk.

Six Foot Track, New South Wales

Crossing the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge over the Coxs River.

Crossing the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge over the Coxs River.Marked out in 1884 as a six-foot-wide (1.83 meters, if you really must know) track to allow loaded horses to pass each other while traveling from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, the Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains is iconic.

Taking three days and two nights, the 44-kilometer track starts at the Explorers’ Tree, drops into Megalong Valley and crosses Coxs River by the Bowtells Swing Suspension Bridge.

Challenging climbs take walkers to the Black Range ridge before heading for the caves.

Cape to Cape Walk, Western Australia

Walkers heading for Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Walkers heading for Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.The Cape to Cape Track in the southwestern corner of Western Australia follows the ridgeline for 135 kilometers through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.

This seven-day walk can be done independently or on a guided group tour with Inspiration Outdoors; participants carry a day pack and accommodation and transport is included.

The track mostly follows the coast, sometimes along cliff-top paths, at other times crossing beautiful beaches.

Several inland loops traverse sections of karri forest, while staff at the spectacular lighthouses at both ends run guided tours.

Do these in a day

Kosciuszko Walk, New South Wales

One of several streams on Mount Kosciuszko that will become the legendary Snowy River.

One of several streams on Mount Kosciuszko that will become the legendary Snowy River.From the Kosciuszko Express chairlift at Thredbo in the summer, a 14-kilometer return walk (five hours) goes to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko — at 2,228 meters, Australia’s highest peak.

The landscape features rocky granite outcrops, wildflowers and glacially carved Lake Cootapatamba.

Many walkers seem oblivious to the stream near the trail, but we pause to see the beginning of a waterway that became a legend thanks to Banjo Paterson’s poem “The Man from Snowy River.”

Passing the sign at Rawson Pass, it’s not much further before there’s a carnival atmosphere among hikers who have made it to the top of Australia.

The route’s easy to do independently but guided walks are an option.

Kings Canyon Rim Walk, Northern Territory

The sheer wall of Kings Canyon, a feature of the Rim Walk.

The sheer wall of Kings Canyon, a feature of the Rim Walk.It’s one of the world’s best short walks.

The reasonably fit should not be deterred by the 500-step climb to the top because it’s then quite flat.

This walk of six kilometers (four hours) follows the rim of Kings Canyon in a horseshoe fashion.

There’s a sense of awe at this ancient land with 100-meter-high sheer cliff walls, weathered dome-like structures called the Lost City and the Garden of Eden with its permanent waterholes. It’s enough to make one feel humbled.

Stay the night before being sure to start early to avoid hiking in the midday heat.

Kings Canyon Resort lays on various accommodation levels and guided tours.

Dove Lake Circuit, Cradle Mountain National Park

Looking back at a brooding Cradle Mountain, towering above Dove Lake.

Looking back at a brooding Cradle Mountain, towering above Dove Lake. This six-kilometer walk leads around the shores of Dove Lake in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park in about two hours.

It’s an easy grade of walk, much of it on boardwalk, and one of Tasmania’s most popular.

Highlights include the much-photographed boat shed, built in 1940 by the first Ranger at Cradle Mountain, Glacier Rock, which bears the marks made by Ice Age glaciers and the peaceful cool temperate rainforest known as the Ballroom Forest.

Towering above it all is Cradle Mountain. Look several times to see its mood change from bright to brooding with the weather.

Binna Burra to Green Mountains (O’Reilly’s), Queensland

A peaceful moment on the Binna Burra to Green Mountains walk.

A peaceful moment on the Binna Burra to Green Mountains walk.Part of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, a multi-day hike, the section from Binna Burra to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park makes a good full-day walk.

The Border Track passes through stands of Atlantic Beech forest, subtropical and cool-temperate rainforests and along the rim of the Tweed Valley volcanic erosion caldera.

From Wanungara Lookout views extend over Limpwood Valley, Mount Warning and sometimes as far south as Byron Bay. The 23-kilometer hike takes six or seven hours and can be done in either direction, completely independently or with transport by O’Reilly’s.

Manly to the Spit Bridge

Walking the Forty Baskets Beach section on the Manly to the Spit Bridge walk.

Walking the Forty Baskets Beach section on the Manly to the Spit Bridge walk.Hiking in the middle of the city? Absolutely.

Walks through Sydney Harbor National Park provide a peaceful perspective.

A favorite is Manly to the Spit Bridge, a 10-kilometer one-way walk of three hours.

No human guide is needed and manlyguide.com has an excellent map.

Catch the ferry from Circular Quay, alight at Manly Wharf and head west along the foreshore.

Having crossed the picturesque and oddly named Forty Baskets Beach, the track heads up through a reserve with spectacular lookouts.

Quiet beaches like Castle Rock give the walker reason to pause, before everything becomes busier approaching the Spit Bridge, which we see open for a ferry to pass.

(From: Bruce Holmes/ CNN Travel)


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