5 Hiking Apps to Make Your Next Adventure Better

Use hiking apps to find waterfalls

Cedar Run Falls

Heading out for a hike is supposed to be a relaxing experience that lets us disconnect from our busy lives, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your phone behind. Instead, take it with you and use one of the many available hiking apps to make your next adventure better.

There are hundreds of different hiking apps designed specifically for this purpose, but they have not all been created equal. So, before you rush to search through them all and then get lost trying to decide or, worse, fill your phone’s memory with useless apps, take a look at this list for some options that are really going to improve your hike. Most of the apps are free, and all are available for both iOS and Android.

Star Walk 2

If you’re a hiker and a lover of the outdoors, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a stargazer too. There is something about the night sky that is simply magical. There are lots of ways you can make your time watching the stars better, such as using a good set of binoculars, but Star Walk 2 is an app that takes the experience to a whole new level. It uses your phone’s camera to render images of constellations so you can find them easily and then gives you the chance to learn about their history and significance. This will turn a night of wonder into a chance to learn more about our beautiful night sky and all those who were amazed by it before you. Android users can bring the night sky to life for free, but Star Walk 2 on iOS costs $2.99—a small price to pay for such an interactive and informative app.

AllTrails

AllTrails is one of the most popular hiking apps available, and it is easy to see why. With maps for over hiking trails  and Canada, finding your next secret spot has never been easier. There is also a feature that allows you to create your own routes, track them using GPS and then share them with the community. By upgrading to a full membership ($50 per year), you can download and print the maps you make and get lots of other features such as access to National Geographic Maps.

Geocaching

Did you ever go on a treasure hunt when you were a kid? Remember how much fun it was? Well, this app takes that experience, combines it with hiking and applies it to the whole world. It works through a community; other users from all around the world leave “caches” or boxes wherever they feel like and inside put notes, tokens or little gifts. These caches are recorded onto the app or the website so you can look for one when you head out for your next hike. With over 2 million geocaches all over the world, it’s pretty safe to say this is the world’s largest treasure hunt.

MapMyHike

Hiking can either be a leisure sport or an intense workout. Either way, those of us who do it usually have some sort of competitive spirit. Whether you like to push yourself to go faster or simply like to motivate yourself to get to the top, there is often a goal in mind when we set out on a hike. MapMyHike is one of many hiking apps that allows you to set trails, record your speed and distance, and calculate calories burned or elevation changes. You can use this to set goals for yourself, which can be a great way to improve fitness and train yourself to be able to go farther on your hikes.

First Aid – American Red Cross

This is an app that could literally save your life. Okay, that’s perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly useful. For example, do you know what to do if someone is suffering from heat exhaustion? These kinds of things happen all the time, and if you are unprepared and don’t have internet access, an app like this is incredibly helpful. It gives step-by-step instructions for emergency treatments for anything that could happen while you’re out on the trail. If you are someone who likes to hike in remote areas, this app is a must-have.

Let’s Hike!

Having hiking apps like these on your phone will certainly make your next hiking adventure much better. They are all available for all types of phones, so go ahead and download those you think will be the most useful for you, making sure your phone is secure before you do. Once you’ve done that, you are ready for an enhanced hiking experience.

About the Author: Faith Macanas is a freelance writer and blogger who loves discussing how technology can make us better appreciate the world around us. She loves hiking, climbing, skiing and anything else that gets her outside and into nature.

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Affordable Family Vacation Spots

 

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains

We all love traveling and touring somewhere with our family. Taking a family vacation is all about making fond and lovely memories. Summer vacation is the main time that we choose to tour with our family. Vacations are becoming so popular and important because they allow people to take a break from their busy life style, offer relaxation and to view some gorgeous places across the world.

When schools and colleges are closed, you can think about taking your family for a family vacation. You may not get ample time to spend with your family when schools are open and you have a heavy work load. Obviously, family vacations let you to spend some quality time with your family along with making lifelong memories. You don’t have to be worried about your limited budget because there are several affordable summer destinations where you can travel with your family. Here is a look at some of the affordable summer destinations for a family vacation:

Yosemite National Park

Summer vacation is the perfect time to hang around and relax with family. It also gives some great chances for people to recreate their favorite childhood memories and spend some quality time together with family. Visiting a park is not expensive and you can explore natural beauty. Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park. The park covers an area of 747,956 acres and millions of people visit Yosemite each year. Yosemite National Park is famous for its waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and much more. It is home to Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls.

Myrtle Beach

Family vacation spot

Family Beach Vacation

Beach vacations are the best option for a family vacation. Sand, sun, relaxation, bathing, taking a boat cruise  through the  sea and family time all amount to a stress reducing and memory making experience. The city of Myrtle Beach has developed into one of the world’s most favorite beach destinations. It’s a coastal city on the east coast of the United States in Horry County, South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is a prime tourism center in the United States on account of the city’s friendly climate and widespread beaches. Tourists can come across a lot of hotels, restaurants and entertainment options when they visit Myrtle Beach.

West Lake in Hangzhou

West Lake in Hangzhou is a Paradise on Earth. West Lake is a freshwater lake situated in Hangzhou, China. The lake is separated into five sections by three causeways. There are many temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands inside the lake. There are several gorgeous landscapes in the lake area, and it will make every visitor to feel like they are in a paradise. In order to explore the splendor of West Lake, visitors can enjoy restful bike riding around the lake, walk around the lake, or take a boat cruise on the lake.

Vancouver

Vancouver is a lively west coast seaport in British Columbia, Canada. It is a popular filming location and it’s surrounded by handsome mountains. The place is also known for its thriving art, theatre, music scenes and urban beaches. Vancouver is a heaven for leisure activities. Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, Museum of Anthropology, Kitsilano Beach, Gastown, Canada Place, Chinatown, English Bay, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Robson Street, Museum of Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park, Science World, etc makes Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Paradise Island

Paradise Island is one of the most glorious places in the world with pristine beaches and crystal blue waters. Paradise Island is an island in the Bahamas and the island has an area of 277 hectares. It is positioned just off the shore of the city of Nassau. The island is famous for the extensive resort Atlantis, broad water park rides, pools, beach, restaurants, walk-in aquarium and casinos. The island is an excellent choice for your family vacation as it offers constant fun for all ages of people.

Honolulu, Oahu                                                                                   

Honolulu, on the island of Oahu’s south shore, is the capital of Hawaii and a perfect doorway to the U.S. island chain. Honolulu is Hawaii’s main center for arts, culture and entertainment. Honolulu offers you plenty of attractions from historic landmarks and precious monuments to top-notch shopping and affluent arts and culture scene. Museums, historic sites and beaches seen in Honolulu present both fun and educational elements.

Author-bio:

I am Karen Robinson and I am working as a freelance writer for the past 11 years. I love writing articles, essays and other papers. I have written a lot of articles for online blogs, magazines, journals, etc. Presently, I am working for one of the essay writing service reviews online. My experience in writing articles and essays has helped me to polish my skills and knowledge in writing.

 

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Barefoot and Wild

You can already find a lot about barefoot running and doing barefoot exercises, but, can you really go barefoot in the wild? After you are through with this article, you will be enlightened by some of the benefits, and possible drawbacks of barefoot trends. Moreover, you will learn how to finally free your feet from the shackles of the shoes and go barefoot. Commuting in a less urban environment might seem hard on your feet, but they could not be happier to go along for the journey.

The Soles of Your Feet

The early man has managed to survive for so long without shoes, which in turn had many health benefits. Besides being good for adjusting bad posture, the self-healing massage you get on your feet will be beneficial. Which comes as no surprise as a lot of Eastern cultures believe that some spots on your feet and soles are meant to heal almost any problem you could have.

Bedazzle Your Feet

Just because you do not have any shoes on does not mean that your feet cannot look their best. Wearing barefoot sandals will enable you to enjoy the outdoors, and still look stylish. Though, be careful which ones you pick, because you do not want your sandals to get caught in anything while hiking. Then again, offering some coverage for your feet can be good if you are going through rougher terrain, because you have some kind of protection from hurting your feet.

Switch Your Training Shoes

Take a walk outside, go running, try to go climbing, or go have fun in the park; all of it will contribute to healthy soles. However, when you go into the wild, you have to get used to it, because if it is your first time, you will feel every little rock and branch you come across. Again, barefoot shoes, and then true barefooted-ness. At first, it might be discomforting, because your feet are not used to the harsher environment. After a while, you will not even feel it anymore.

Feel Nature Between Your Toes

The good side of going barefoot is that you will improve your posture and strengthen your legs. All the comfortable shoes you are wearing are working against your overall well-being, because they are not providing enough support your body needs. On the other hand, going barefoot could result in picking up some kind of minor disease. In the worst case scenario, you could step into a rusty nail or broken pieces of glass. Be sure to look where you go, to avoid stepping into anything dangerous, and enjoying the fresh ground between your toes.

Practice going barefoot as much as possible, because it will only be good for you. In the meantime, be sure not to go overboard, because no matter how careful you are, it will be hard to sometimes evade stepping into something. Nevertheless, in the long run, your feet will get used to the feeling of the ground and various things you could step in.

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Putting Your Vegetable Garden To Bed

The tomatoes have finally stopped producing.  This year I had a bumper crop.  The raspberries have also stopped bearing.  Time to switch gears and get ready for winter.  I like a vegetable garden to look neat and tidy during the winter.  So here’s what I do.

1:  Pull up all the dead plants.  In my garden, that would be tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, asparagus and squash.  Since my raspberries are everbearing, I cut back all stalks to the ground.  They will regrow next spring and produce abundantly through the summer and fall.  I am also replanting my strawberries next year, so I dug them all up.

Tilling the vegetable garden

Easy to use

2:  Pull as many weeds as you can and then rototill the earth.  Don’t go too deep; just enough to turn under the remaining few weeds.  Then I shovel compost over the beds and add a layer of dried leaves.  On top of all that, I layer straw.  I apply the compost in the fall so that it will have a chance to decompose over the winter and feed the soil.  I mulch my blueberries with pine straw.

3:  I planted kale and chard and lettuce in the late summer and it is ready to eat.  The kale does fine with freezing temperatures, but the chard and the lettuce are more sensitive to frost.  I put row covers over the chard and lettuce and continue to pick them, even after several nights in the twenties.

4:  If you have leaves, rake them up or bag them with your lawn mower.  I have a friend who gives me all her bagged leaves every fall.  I really appreciate this because I don’t have that many mature trees in my yard yet.

Next year I am experimenting with “raised row” planting.  I have one portion of my garden
where I’ve created five rows, approximately 10 feet long.  I’ve made the rows about six inches high and incorporated a lot of compost and leaves.  Then I covered the rows with straw.  The walking space between the rows is heavily covered with straw.  We’ll see how they do next year.  The point of this is to apply the compost and soil amendments only to exactly where you’ll plant.  I’ve also devoted a few of my beds to an experiment with “no till” gardening.  In this case, you really pile on the straw, so in the spring you just dig down through the straw and plant.

The four steps I’ve mentioned here sound very simple and they are, but they are a lot of work.  Just pace yourself and enjoy what you’re doing.  You will be rewarded with fresh vegetables all summer.

 

 

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Top 10 Weekend Getaways in the Wild

From Australia to the Zambezi, take a tour with us to discover some of the most magnificent weekend getaways in the wild.

The Blue Mountains, Australia



The Blue Mountains near Sydney offer everything an active traveller can wish for. Become entranced with Australia’s wildlife by taking on a bushwalking trail. Explore caves and have the adventure of your life in the Blue Mountains National Park. Grab a mountain bike to discover the beauty of the Andersons Fire Trail or the Narrow Neck Trail. Visit Katoomba’s Waradah Aboriginal Centre to learn about indigenous art and culture.

Patagonia, Chile



Discovering the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia by hiking and camping should be added to your itinerary. Hike to the snowcapped towers of Mountain Fitz Roy and to the Torres del Paine National Park, where you can enjoy the famous French Valley and majestic mountain vistas. The Los Glaciares National Park offers breathtaking glacial lakes, including 160 km long Lake Argentino.

Hakone, Japan



Hakone is one of the most popular weekend getaways located 100 km from Tokyo. Set on a hiking trail leading to spectacular Mountain Kamiyama and Mountain Komagatake down to Lake Ashi. Another path from Mountain Kamiyama is headed towards Owakudani, a volcanic valley offering a panoramic view of the most beautiful mountain in Japan, Mountain Fiji.

The Hainich National Park, Germany



The unspoilt deciduous forest of the Hainich National Park is abundant with natural wildlife – this is a great place to spot wildcats, black storks and various species of bats. Do not miss exploring the Rennsteig Trail featuring beautiful landscapes, the Treetop Trail, the Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther took refuge, the 1000-year-old Mendicants’ Oak and medieval houses and convents.

The Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia



Lying on the bank of Zambezi River, this national park is a must for thrill-seekers. See elephants, zebras, pukus, impalas, buffalos, kudus and baboons in their natural habitat by taking a 3-5 day canoeing trip. Swimming under the Victoria Falls will definitely be a memory worth reminiscing to. Walking safari trips with an experienced guide will take you to the heart of Africa.

Vancouver, British Columbia



Whistler, Grouse Mountain and Dam Mountain offer exhilarating zipline adventures during the whole year. But when it comes to hiking, the Sea to Sky Corridor, the Grouse Grind and the Stawamus Chief are all popular destinations. Mountain biking enthusiasts should definitely visit the North Shore including the 10 km path encircling Stanley Park and the English Bay-False Creek-UBC seaside route.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador



If you are feeling energetic, start for the islands best known for being home to the endemic species Darwin studied. Begin with sea kayaking in order to meet sea lions, penguins and marine turtles. As the islands are notable for lava trails, the rim of the Sierra Negra, a volcano caldera will be the biggest excitement of the trip to the Galapagos Islands.

The North Cape and Western Finnmark, Norway



The North Cape, a 307m cliff, is Europe’s northernmost point. After a trip to the North Cape, rock carvings in Alta dating as far back as 2000-7000 years ago, the Alta Canyon, and the Alta Dam boat trip are not to be missed. The Havøysund National Tourist Route is worth taking due to natural phenomena such as the midnight sun and aurora borealis.

National Chambal Sanctuary, India



The Chambal, a tributary of the Yamuna River is a remarkably exotic vision. Whether you choose the river safari, nature walks, village walks, bicycle rides, the camel safari, or the jeep safari, you will definitely be lost for words in Chambal Valley. While you are in the vicinity, drop by Bateshwar, where you will find over 100 temples.

Iceland’s Highlands



The most popular tourist attractions of the seemingly inaccessible area are natural hot rivers Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk, a valley ideal for camping. Additionally, the Highland Road is famous for the Hraunfossar Falls, the hot springs in Deildartunguhver, the National Park of Thingvellir and the mountain pass of Kaldidalur.

Whatever destination you choose for your weekend getaway, you are guaranteed exciting hiking tours, the abundance of natural wildlife and rich cultural heritage.

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EQUIP YOURSELF FOR EXERCISING OUTDOORS

If you follow the latest trends and exercise on a regular basis, you may have noticed the rising trend of training in the great outdoors. It comes as no surprise that everybody wants to try. Not everybody will be taking to the forests and hills per weekly basis, but going for the initial training is always a fun thing to try out.

Now, jogging outside requires more equipment than, say, running on a treadmill, and likewise, exercising in the great(er) outdoors demands some more prep than usual – if anything, then because getting there is a bit harder, longer. And if you are already working out directly under the sun, this article might help you improve your experience.

Why would you leave the comforts of a gym?

There are many advantages to training or exercising outdoors, though they may not be as obvious from the get go. For instance, sunlight does not only improve one’s mood, but it also boosts our bodies with Vitamin D, which is quite amazing if you are looking to increase your fitness level. Also, a healthy dose of fresh air is always welcome, as well as the natural environment we were meant to live, work, and develop our bodies in. This should be absolutely enough to convince you to start working out in an open-air environment, but know that there are many other reasons pro. I’ll end on the note that all benefits of exercising outdoors can be felt instantly, which is, after all, the world we aspire to be in, in the 21st century.

How do you make it an effective thing?

There are numerous ways of exercising outdoors. For example, you could join a small group of fitness enthusiasts and work under the supervision of a dedicated trainer, or if you prefer being alone, you could do many outdoorsy activities with fitness as a goal, such as cycling, doing body weight exercises or having an activity training (e.g. canoeing, kayaking, etc.), which would add a great variety to your ordinary lifestyle.

Should you bring any extra equipment?

Technology is constantly advancing and becoming more compact and mobile. It is almost impossible to imagine a gym that is not buzzing with apps, or a casual morning jogger without ear buds. You could consider something from the range of apps and devices that tracks your progress and counts your every step and calorie burned in order to help you achieve your fitness goal much more easily. Some of the most popular gadgets to carry with you while training are GPS watches, smart phones or bike computers.

Should you dress differently?

There is no dress code for breaking a sweat, but the outfits you have prepared for a gym will not do out in the wilderness. Adapting to the weather conditions is crucial, and the weather forecast is your best friend, as with all outings to nearby wilderness. Active wear comes in all shapes and sizes, and you ought to be prepared for everything, from parching heat to cold, damp days.

So what have you got to lose? You are probably an outdoors enthusiast already, but why not go as far as becoming an outdoors workout enthusiast? Perhaps it’s the desire to enjoy the summer days while they are sunny, but not too hot, or you just need a change of scenery. But one thing can be said for exercising outdoors, it is a real breath of fresh air.

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DIY Hammock Ideas for Your Backyard

As summer warms up, many people find themselves spending more and more time outdoors. Coming up with outdoor decor can be difficult when you have to find something both attractive and weather resistant. Hammocks were first used by natives of South and Central America for sleeping and throughout history, hammocks were used on ships as a space saving way for sailors to rest.

In modern times, hammocks have become an international symbol for relaxation and leisure. If you want your backyard to feel like a relaxing paradise, adding a hammock to your yard could be the perfect addition to get the mood you desire. Buying a hammock can be expensive, but you can make your own hammock using a few things you may already have at home.

Use an old bedsheet to create a hammock in your backyard or on your next camping trip. First fold a sheet in half. Pleat the ends of each sheet like an accordion. Use some weather resistant rope to tie around the accordion folds, about 10 inches from the end. You will want to loop the cord around 6-8 times and tie with a secure knot. Next, fold the end over creating another loop and tie the cord around again. Wrap the rope about 8-10 times and secure with a knot. You could insert rings inside to make the hammock easier to hang.  Use a strong, weather resistant rope to run through the loop and secure this to a tree. Repeat this process on the other end.

 

If you know how to crochet, making a woven hammock for your yard will be easy; if you don’t crochet, you can do a simple knot stitch to create a bohemian addition to your garden. You’ll need 24 strands of rope and by simply looping and loosely knotting them together you can create a woven masterpiece. You could learn the basics of crochet by watching a few instructional videos or follow the instructions on this DIY tutorial from Kinfolk magazine for a backyard hammock that looks as fabulous as one bought from a store.

 

Another way to create an amazing outdoor hammock uses just a white canvas drop cloth and grommets. For this extra large hammock, you will hammer grommets into each corner of the canvas. Using an S-Biner and chain, you can attach each corner to a center point and hang it from a strong branch above or the porch ceiling. Read the detailed tutorial from Remodelista and make a lofted bed where several people can gather and relax.

 

Taking your backyard from boring to extraordinary doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. Adding a handmade hammock will be cost effective and will add a real statement piece to your yard decor. Swing beneath your trees and transport your mind to a tropical isle as the breeze blows gently across your face. Your new hammock will enrich your life for years and years creating the sanctuary of your dreams just steps from your back door.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

By Jane Blanchard

 

 

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Camping with Pets

Camping is a popular hobby all around the world, but nowhere as much as in the US, where it is a family classic. It is almost a ritual, a vacation, or at least a weekend spent in a camper, van or a tent. Some happy campers like to take  to the wild with their pets – usually dogs and cats. Pets, however, are not the biggest fans of such holidays unless they have been taught to like them from a young age. House pets like their routine and their home too much to want to change it for a foreign environment like a campsite, but some will still ‘follow’ their owners regardless. There are rules that can be taught at any age, to make the experience a fun one for your critters, rather than an unnecessary removal of comfort.

It is very important to keep a dog on a leash or a collar. This protects the dog as much as it protects the intactness of the campsite. It is also a favor to the other people in the vicinity – remember that not everybody can keep calm and collected around a dog, and there’s no reason to cause chaos on shared grounds. Cat leashes are also available, but in this case it is more to protect the cat than its surroundings. A cat will stray from its owners, and it is questionable how easy it will be for it to find its way back afterwards.

Pets should be trained and obedient, socialized for this sort of holiday. An unsocialized dog can be maintained at home, or in the backyard, but not in a large outdoors environment with plenty of potential threats and strangers. It’s a stressful situation no responsible pet owner would want to inflict upon their pet.

Both cats and dogs need to be properly fed, and they should be prevented from hunting on their own. House pets are hardly predators in the wilderness, though they may not be aware of their own defenselessness until it is too late. So a bowl of food, a bowl of water, and designated meal times can protect your animal from wandering off.

Even house pets need to be active. Long walks are a beloved pastime for all dogs, except the elderly ones (be easy on them), and spending a weekend outdoors means the dog is in for some very rewarding, very long walks in an exciting new environment. City rules work here as well – always have a leash on you. There is less of a chance that your pet will attack someone in the woods, but if it hears something exciting and runs off – that spells trouble for all participants. Keep your pets in sight at all times. A good practice is to stick to existing tracks; that way you can protect the birds and small animals nesting in other more remote spots. Also, clean up after your pets at all times, especially in the designated campsite.

The situation is somewhat different if the pet is a cat. Cats are not too big on leashes, but this is a necessity. Like with dogs, cleaning after your cat is an absolute must. Cats are more ferocious predators than dogs, so mind that your critter doesn’t get into hunting too much, or you’ll be spotting dead bird and rodent trophies all around the tent.

Last but not least, regardless of the breed of your pet, health comes first. People are prone to a whole variety of injuries and diseases when camping, and it is worse for animals, who are less careful of what they eat, and where they run. What does your friendly house-kept Labrador know about ponds full of leeches? Take care of all preventive health check-ups before you take your animal camping. This includes flea treatment for pets most of all – make sure that it is fresh. Give your pet a thorough grooming when you return home, as well.

All in all, camping with pets is no big deal if the animal is properly trained. It is actually superior to camping without an animal, because there is no fun outdoors that can’t be made better with a playful dog, and there is no family gathering quite like a family gathering where your house cat takes the spotlight. Enjoy your time outside with them, and make sure that they can enjoy it as well!

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Camping In Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the best Latin American destinations to go on a camping trip if you’re looking for an adventure in a remote part of the world. This region, in the southern part of South America, is one of the few places where you can experience pristine wilderness. Another benefit to camping in Patagonia is that, because of its remoteness and low population density, you won’t have difficulty finding places to camp. On the other hand, a camping trip to such a region requires careful planning.  This is not your typical Latin American vacation as you will be far from the conveniences of civilization.

When to Go

Patagonia is a great place to bring your family on a camping trip anytime of year. The peak season, for Latin American vacations however, is from December to February. This means that airfare and other expenses will be higher during this time. You will also find that campsites are more likely to be crowded. It’s best not to go in winter, which is between June and August in South America. Not only are you likely to experience extreme temperatures in winter, but many areas are closed.

What to Bring

Whether you are an experienced camper or planning your first major camping trip, there are certain essential supplies you must bring. This is true for any camping trip. However, when you are traveling to a place like Patagonia, although it is a popular Latin American destination, you will be a long way from anything.  It’s especially important to make sure you don’t forget anything and that all of your supplies are in good condition. It is generally cheaper to bring your gear from home than to stock up on supplies in South America, where equipment tends to be quite expensive.

Tent -Depending on what time of year you go and how far south you are, the weather may be chilly or you may encounter precipitation. That’s why you want to make sure your tent is durable and in good condition. If it’s moldy, has holes or you are missing any poles or stakes, it’s time to get a new tent!
Sleeping Bag-To make camping as comfortable as possible, you will want to have a good sleeping bag as well as a sleeping mat or air mattress. A pillow will also make sleeping more comfortable.
Clothes -You should have clothes that prepare you for temperature extremes, as well as dampness. This includes hiking shoes, long pants, sweatshirts and a swimsuit.
Food and Water -You will want to bring nonperishable food as well as fresh water. It’s also a good idea to have water purification tablets or a filtration system with you. However, water is plentiful in Patagonia and generally safe to drink.
Supplies For Cooking -If you will be starting fires, bring plenty of matches and lighters. You may also want to bring a stove for cooking.
Other Accessories -First aid kit, bug repellant, sunscreen, sturdy flashlights and headlamp, utensils for cooking and eating.

Where to Camp in Patagonia

There are many great places to camp in Patagonia. Some of these are in Chile, others in Argentina. You can choose between designated campgrounds and hostels or hotels that offer camping options. While some travelers simply pitch tents in the wilderness, this is not recommended, as you could be on someone’s property or on land that is closed to the public. Patagonia is a very large region. If you want to see a large portion of it, you will have to do some traveling. There are buses and flights that can take you from one location to another. Keep in mind that bus rides are costly and it can take many hours. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, in the southern part of the region, features one of the world’s most famous glaciers, Glaciar Perito Moreno. The coastal section of Patagonia is a place where you can spot whales, dolphins and penguins. Puerto Madryn is another good destination for whale watching and for beach activities. Taking your family on a camping trip in Patagonia can provide you with the adventure of a lifetime. Plan your trip carefully and be prepared to enjoy some of the world’s most pristine and unspoiled wilderness.

 

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A Road Trip on the Horizon

Pack your bags and go!

It sounds easy when you think about it. But it is common knowledge, tried and tested by all travelers, the worst thing about going on a trip is packing. If there was only some way to fast forward through it?

Start packing before you start packing

There are more than enough reasons to add some organized method to your packing skills. Otherwise, you’d just start the job a few hours before the trip, and both over pack, and leave necessities at home. Naturally, you can avoid this chaos if you follow some simple rules. The essential rule is to start packing ahead. Even if you are not putting actual things in an actual bag, you are jump starting the process mentally. All this is thinking about what you want to pack in the bag and where you stored it. If you know where your things are, you will not lose time in a treasure hunt back home, and you are one nervous breakdown closer to your destination.

Pamper the car

Cars are made for long distance transport, but longer trips are a serious strain for your used-to-the-city car, so be responsible with your annual checkups. Make sure the vehicle is in top condition and ready for highways of questionable quality, or else make sure your AA membership is current. From oil to tires, everything must be functioning. This might seem like a no-brainer, but do not even leave the house without your license, insurance card and contact numbers for roadside assistance. An emergency toolkit in the car is a legal obligation, but some drivers choose to live on the edge – do not live on the edge, especially if you are planning a long road trip. Also, if you can, have spare keys – heavens forbid you should lock yourself out of your car two states away from home?

Travel games for kids and adults

If you’re traveling with your children, make sure to bring a Frisbee or another toy they could play outside with when you pull over for a breather. An in-car source of entertainment could be based off of those popular DIY fun kits, but parents on the go could simply bring along a laptop or audiobooks to help them pass the time while your eyes are on the road. Just make sure to have something to charge batteries with, such as an electricity power inverter.

If this is an “adults only” sort of trip, it gets easier. Ward off boredom with these road trip games. Also, it’s not a trip without a camera, and most phones today come not only with great cameras, but also fun montage tools, so make the most of your trip, visually.

Keep Close at All Times

Bring enough comfortable clothes, depending on the length of your trip. Don’t over pack however, clothes can easily take over your entire trunk. Instead, think about bringing just a couple of versatile clothing pieces that you can rotate around into several outfits. Of course, blankets, and pillows are your only hope against cold nights and a sore neck. Tactically place toiletries such as paper towels and hand sanitizer around the car, and keep your first aid kit within reach. Hopefully you will never need it.

As for food, you can’t guarantee you will run into rest stops as often as you need them. Other than that, consider how much more expensive food bought at rest stops is. You’d be throwing a lot of money away. Instead, make sure to pack plenty of snacks and food which you can easily prepare on the spot. Consider fruits and raw vegetables as refreshment, as well as enough bottled water for every member of the company.

The Tune of the Trip

We grew up watching road trips on TV, to the sound of ZZ Top, and now we have particular expectations out of the road. Create a road trip music playlist, and have it available on either your iPod or a CD, depending on the format your car audio system works with. Pack some classical tunes that work with everybody in the car in order to make sure no one’s down during the trip.

Finally, if you’re really into gadgets and apps, download some travel application on your phone or tablet, and create a custom maps for your journey, full of sights you should stop by. You’re now ready.

Pack your bags and go!

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