Why Now is a Great Time to Explore Outdoor Trails Less Traveled

It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 crisis has shut down most of the world. Public events where more than ten people would gather are postponed or canceled outright. Nonessential businesses are closed. The only way anyone can enjoy a meal from their favorite restaurant is by ordering it to go or having it delivered. The social distancing rules and guidelines put into effect may be mainly preventing people from spending time in public, but it hasn’t stopped them from spending time outdoors. People have found that going outside for walks, jogs, and bike rides is a great way to spend time in this era of social distancing. That’s not a bad thing. The problem is that having everyone in your neighborhood go outside for a walk defeats the purpose of social distancing. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve giving up and staying home. If you want to enjoy the outdoors while staying away from people, look for outdoor trails where there aren’t many people.

 

Depending on where you are, this may be easier said than done. If you live in a suburb or major metropolitan area, there’s probably a park with a nature trail near you. This is a great place to start, if only because it’s so accessible to you. You will need to act quickly to take advantage of these kinds of trails, though. As more and more people discover these places, the more likely they are closed. There may be some places near you that are still open, so take some time to look them up before you head out.

 

If you live in a more remote part of the country or you can travel, you have some more options. For example, if you like to ski and your favorite ski resort is closed, there are plenty of places that allow for backwoods skiing. The same applies to remote fishing, boating, and hunting areas where people are less likely to congregate. There’s no guarantee that your favorite secret fishing or hunting area will remain a secret for long, so take advantage of it while you can. It’s the best way to engage in your favorite hobbies and get some fresh air during this crisis.

How To Experience Outdoor Life Indoors

Due to recent events and the spread of the coronavirus, most residents around the world are advised to stay home. Most countries have mandated lockdowns and tight restrictions on travel. Staying home is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus and resume to our normal lives as soon as possible. For some people, this is challenging as it takes a toll on their physical and mental health. However, there are ways we can change those habits and enjoy the time we have in our homes. If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast, there are some ways you experience life outdoors inside. Listed below are simple ways to bring the outdoors into your home.

 

Bring plants inside your home: 

Plants have been shown in clinical studies to boost mood and fight depression and anxiety. One benefit of plants is they are an inexpensive way to boost your productivity and bring some life into your home or office. Depending on where you live, there may be shops that sell plants closed due to the coronavirus. There are several online retailers for plants that still deliver plants to your door including plants.com among others. 

 

Open a window: 

With temperatures rising as the warmer season approaches, a simple trick such as opening your window will boost your mood and bring in the experience of nature. Not only will the breeze from the window allow for natural air to enter your home, but it will also allow you to listen to nature. Anything from birds chirping next to a tree in front of your house or a squirrel climbing a tree in front of your apartment allows you to experience the tranquility of being in a park. Furthermore, it may help you save on your energy bills. 

 

Exercise: 

One of the most significant reasons people enjoy going outdoors is for the exercise. Whether it’s hiking or canoeing, exercise releases endorphins inside your body that boost your productivity and mood. You don’t need a home gym setup to complete some routine exercises. There are plentiful resources available online that alow you to achieve your goal. 

3 Tips To Make Your First Camping Trip Memorable

Camping allows many people to escape the distracting world we live in today and connect with nature. For many, it is a form of decompressing after a long work week or some looking for fun vacation ideas. There are many camping sites around the US that have their own perks and scenic sites. However, if you’ve never been camping there are some things you want to know before booking your first camping site. Listed below are 3 tips to make your first camping trip memorable and smooth-sailing. 

 

Choose the appropriate time: 

The best time for you to camp outdoors is between the late spring to the early fall season.  The main factor that plays into the best camping season is the climate of the site. To elaborate, you do not want to choose a camping site where heavy downpours are the norm or a site that experiences frigid temperatures.  These climate extremes will only make camping miserable.

 

Camping Activities: 

Depending on what you want out of your first experience with camping, it can be a relaxing experience sleeping outdoors in a tent away from civilization. However, there are campgrounds that are in close proximity to other outdoor events including rock climbing, hiking, or kayaking. Before choosing a campsite, think about what your goal is for your camping trip. If you’re looking to relax, a camping site in the mountains would suit your goal better. However, if you’re looking to be outdoors and active, find camping sites that offer or have access to outdoor activities. 

 

Learn the camping do’s and dont’s: 

As with any event, book your reservation for the camping site immediately. Camping sites tend to fill up quickly, especially on the weekends during summer. Once you book your camping site, the next important thing to analyze what is permissible and not permissible. For example, some camping sites welcome pets including dogs. Other camping sites may prohibit you from bringing pets including dogs. Some other features to look for in a camping site are the ability to start fires, a source of water (toilets, bathrooms, etc.), and the availability of the campsite. 

 

Best hiking destinations in Texas

Primarily because of its wide variety and diversity of terrain, the Lone Star state of Texas offers some of the best sites for hiking in the United States. Texas is home to more than 70 national and state parks scattered throughout the state. Hiking buff Mack Prioleau recommends the places listed below for a truly pleasurable and memorable hiking experience on scenic, breathtaking trails.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Hiking in Lost Maples is especially soothing and awe-inspiring during autumn when the leaves bring out a wide array of colors. The trails are to be found on the Edwards Plateau, about five miles to the north of Vanderpool. Its name is derived from the abundance of bigtooth maples in the area.

Brazos Bend

This spot, found along the Brazos River in Needville, is an excellent destination in Texas not just for hiking but for horseback riding and biking. It’s home to a diverse array of fauna for those looking to espy local wildlife along the trails (including American alligators). What’s more, Brazos Bend is not hard to get to, as it’s just near Houston.

Big Bend National Park

Many Texan natives will argue that this is the best hiking spot in the entire state, and with good reason, as it showcases over 150 miles of trails for both beginning and experienced hikers. Big Bend is situated in West Texas, near the Mexican border.

Gorman Falls Trail

This 2.6-mile trail is one of the Texas Hill country’s most popular and picturesque, the moderate hiking path ending at the gorgeous Gorman Falls. This waterfall is special for the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water, giving it the moniker “living waterfall,” explains Mack Prioleau. Both the trail and the waterfall are in the Colorado Bend State Park.

Vanderbilt University student Mack Prioleau enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, surfing, and fishing. For more on Mack and his interests, visit this website.

Tags: hiking, Texas, travel, fitness
Sources:
https://www.theoutbound.com/lifestraw/25-must-do-hikes-in-texas
https://vacationidea.com/texas/best-hiking-in-texas.html
https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/texas/15-epic-hiking-spots-in-tx/

Some valuable tips for beginning hikers

Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities you can engage in, providing many benefits to your health and well-being. If you are keen on including hiking in your fitness itinerary, hereunder are some tips from outdoors enthusiast Mack Prioleau that should make the experience more memorable and outright fun.

First, don’t go on your first hike until you have the right, comfortable hiking footwear. You’d need right-sized, hiking-appropriate boots or trail shoes to prevent hurting your feet and blisters from forming. Don’t just settle for the most popular or stylish pair; you’re not buying it for lifestyle wear, so make sure it fits you well and is not too snug.

Make sure you first learn proper hydration techniques, too. New hikers often forget to bring enough water; often one liter is needed for every two hours, but this depends on the time of the year, how challenging the hike is, and your body weight.

Before your first significant hike, you can get more prepared by taking practice runs at your local park. You can do it once a week either by yourself or with a group of friends. It’s also an excellent way to develop your stamina and test out your gear. Don’t go too far away from your home during your initial practice walks to better gauge your endurance.

Finally, and especially if you’re not familiar with the hiking trail, go for group hikes or do it with experienced friends. There are many local chapters of reputable hiking clubs you can research online. It’s also a great way to meet new people and get more motivated for future hikes, adds Mack Prioleau.

Hiking is one of Mack Prioleau’s favorite pastimes. The Vanderbilt University student is also passionate about sports, traveling, and surfing. Visit this blog for more tips and insights on hiking and other outdoor activities.

Tags: outdoors, fitness, health, hiking tips

Sources:

Hiking for Beginners: 10 Essential Tips

7 Essential Tips for First-Time Hikers


https://hikingguy.com/how-to-hike/hiking-for-beginners-11-essential-tips/

Mack Prioleau Eyes Prince Edward Island, Belize for Fishing

You probably do most of your fishing in your own backyard. Although fishing can be soothing and thrilling no matter where you do it, there’s nothing like reeling in a big one while on vacation, especially in one of the northern hemisphere’s most captivating saltwater fishing spots. Avid fisherman Mack Prioleau can’t say enough about two areas in particular: Prince Edward Island and Belize.

Prince Edward Island

Can you imagine catching a 1,496-pound tuna? One person didn’t have to imagine it: This person achieved this firsthand back in 1979 and continues to receive recognition for this world record. Several others have brought in 1,000 pounders during the past several years. On Prince Edward Island, you’ll do most of your fishing close to land/port, usually less than a mile out, between August and mid-October.

In addition, the majority of fishing boats feature fighting chairs. Of course, if you prefer to stand up for the battle of your lifetime, then nothing will stop you from doing that, either. Using kites, you’ll fish with live, whole or chunked bait fish and enjoy an unprecedented high-adrenaline fishing experience.

Belize

Looking for a change of pace in your saltwater fishing experience? Look no further than Belize. There’s a good chance you’ll bring in a trophy-size catch, ranging from a tarpon to a bonefish or permit. What’s so great about Belize is that the country vigorously guards its pristine flats, so you’ll no doubt enjoy the cream of the crop of fishing adventures.

Plus, Belize is the only Central American country featuring English as the primary language. And the best part? You can visit Belize for a once-in-a-lifetime fishing expedition year-round. Many of the country’s lodges and resorts cater to anglers, so you’ll easily receive the support and access to resources you need to make the most of your fishing vacation.

Mack Prioleau: Must-Visit Places in Singapore

Mack Prioleau: Top 5 Places to Visit in Singapore

If you ask Mack Prioleau, there’s something about Singapore that reminds him of Dubai. It could be the expats in the city or the high cost of living, but whatever it is, Singapore has long been on his must-visit list in the next few years. Having read extensively on the things one can do and places to visit in Singapore, Mack Prioleau has put together a guide that may help other people come up with an itinerary. Here are his top five picks when visiting Singapore for the first time:

1. Gardens by the Bay – For such a tiny city, you have to give it to Singapore for allotting plenty of public space for gardens. The city has close to a dozen, and among them, Mack Prioleau wants to visit Gardens by the Bay the most. The flower dome is arguably the prettiest in all Southeast Asia, with so many varieties of flora. Indeed, Singaporeans must love their flowers as the Gardens by the Bay is all out with a waterfall, conservatory, and an unbelievably beautiful cloud forest.

2. Marina Bay – Next on the list for Mack Prioleau is Marina Bay, lighting up Singapore’s skyline. The sunset is beautiful here, and once darkness falls, Marina Bay offers a spectacular panoramic view of Singapore. Aside from the views, the marina has a fun laser and light show you can catch for free. If you get hungry from walking around the huge complex, there’s a wide selection of restaurants to choose from. You can hit the food courts for something affordable, or dine at the posh French fine-dining restaurants. Mack Prioleau would love to try the steak and wine at CUT by Wolfgang Puck.

3. Maxwell Food Centre – It’s not Singapore without its hawkers, and Maxwell Food Centre is the food market to go to for a lesson on Singapore street food. This is where Anthony Bourdain had his fill of Hainanese chicken rice! Aside from the chicken rice though, Mack Prioleau is also interested in trying the carrot cake, char kway teow, fish bee hoon, and pork porridge. This is real and unique Singaporean food that can’t be had anywhere else. Of course, eating street food right where they were conceived is part of the experience.

4. Universal Studios Singapore – Sure, there’s always a nearby Universal Studios right at home like the one in California, but in Singapore, it’s been elevated as a vacation highlight. The long queues don’t faze Mack Prioleau — he’d gladly line up for the roller coasters while people-watching. Universal Studios Singapore draws in people from all backgrounds, from young couples to families with their kids and senior citizens.

5. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum – Mack Prioleau caps off his top places to visit in Singapore with this beautiful Buddhist temple with a roof garden. From a distance, the red facade is striking and almost intimidating, but once you step inside, the atmosphere is serene and peaceful. This is a great place to meditate or have a short moment of silence without being disturbed.

Follow this page to read more travel content by Mack Prioleau.

Mack Prioleau’s Top 2 Reasons for Visiting New Mexico

Mack Prioleau on Visiting New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment

Welcome back! This is Mack Prioleau and I’m glad to see you all here again. As you know, I love traveling, and I jump at the opportunity every chance I get. This year, I vow to pay more attention to places and attractions that I haven’t been to in the country; starting with New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

My top two reasons for wanting to go to New Mexico are; first, its archeological sites (which seem to be all over the place), and second, its awe-inspiring Native American communities. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate these wonders of New Mexico but if you are, all the more reason to go!

Archeological sites. It seems that everywhere you turn, you see an archeological site in New Mexico! If there’s only one archeological site that you have time to really explore, then I would suggest that you head straight to the Aztec Ruins National Monument. The ruins were said to be part of the migration journey of the Pueblo people. Follow the trail and walk back in time as you discover the paths that the ancient Pueblo people took.

Native American Communities. There are 19 Native American pueblos or communities that you can discover in New Mexico. The Taos Pueblo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and here, you can discover the cultural and traditional way of life of Native Americans as the residents here live in much the same way as their ancestors did. You can meet the locals and learn about their traditions and culture, and maybe even regaled with stories of old.

I feel that I didn’t do justice to these amazing wonders of New Mexico; but in my defense, you can’t really put into words just how awe-inspiring New Mexico is. You’d have to be there to experience it yourself!

Stay tuned for more travel posts from me, Mack Prioleau.

 

 

Mack Prioleau’s Top 3 Tips for Surviving a Winter Surf

Mack Prioleau Shares Tips to Help You Enjoy Surfing in Winter

For Mack Prioleau, surfing is a way of life. Either you live and breathe it every day or you don’t. There’s no middle ground; at least for serious surfers, in his opinion. In his latest blog entry, he talks about “extreme” surfing; that is, surfing in the cold, harsh winter weather. You are invited to read on to learn more about his thoughts on the matter.

You might wonder why anyone would even consider surfing in winter. But the harsh winter weather—and cold waters of the ocean—are actually what some extreme surfers look forward to every year. Besides, if surfing is in your blood, every day is a good day to surf, regardless of weather conditions. Only when your safety is at risk do you even slightly consider surfing another day.

So if you’re eager to surf in winter, below are a few tips that I suggest you consider—just to make surfing as enjoyable and smooth as when you’re surfing in perfect weather.

1. Suit up. When you’re out in the cold waters of the ocean, you’d want to stay as warm as possible. The last thing you want to take home from your winter surfing expedition is hypothermia! Go for a neoprene suit. Neoprene helps keep the cold out, keeping you warm while you’re out in the cold. If you can’t find a suit at the last minute, go for a vest that you can wear under your wetsuit, or a jacket that you can wear over your long johns or regular suit.

2. Warm up before hitting the water. Don’t expose your body to the shocking chill of the cold water immediately upon arriving at the beach. Do a few warm-up exercises first. Load up on carbs and protein, and drink water to stay hydrated. It’s also recommended to cover up while walking towards the beach. Wear a good pair of boots, cover your hands with thick, warm gloves, and cover your head with a hoodie. Once you’re out at the beach, start stripping off and do a few stretches again to warm-up before finally paddling out.

3. Keep your skin and lips moisturized. Cool air can dry your skin and lips so fast that before you know it, you’re already nursing chapped lips or getting itchy skin. Apply a liberal amount of moisturizer on your lips and skin and then keep the moisture in by adding a layer of petroleum jelly on your lips and skin.

These are but three essential things that I would recommend to anyone looking to go surfing in winter. You may also have your own rituals and safety measures for winter surfing, and if you’d like to share them with the rest of our readers, please feel free to do so! We welcome all types of helpful tips to make for a more enjoyable winter surfing experience!

You may get in touch with me, Mack Prioleau, through this site for tips and comments that you’d like to share. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Mack Prioleau’s Top 3 Tips for Surviving a Winter Surf

Mack Prioleau Shares Tips to Help You Enjoy Surfing in Winter

For Mack Prioleau, surfing is a way of life. Either you live and breathe it every day or you don’t. There’s no middle ground; at least for serious surfers, in his opinion. In his latest blog entry, he talks about “extreme” surfing; that is, surfing in the cold, harsh winter weather. You are invited to read on to learn more about his thoughts on the matter.

You might wonder why anyone would even consider surfing in winter. But the harsh winter weather—and cold waters of the ocean—are actually what some extreme surfers look forward to every year. Besides, if surfing is in your blood, every day is a good day to surf, regardless of weather conditions. Only when your safety is at risk do you even slightly consider surfing another day.

So if you’re eager to surf in winter, below are a few tips that I suggest you consider—just to make surfing as enjoyable and smooth as when you’re surfing in perfect weather.

1. Suit up. When you’re out in the cold waters of the ocean, you’d want to stay as warm as possible. The last thing you want to take home from your winter surfing expedition is hypothermia! Go for a neoprene suit. Neoprene helps keep the cold out, keeping you warm while you’re out in the cold. If you can’t find a suit at the last minute, go for a vest that you can wear under your wetsuit, or a jacket that you can wear over your long johns or regular suit.

2. Warm up before hitting the water. Don’t expose your body to the shocking chill of the cold water immediately upon arriving at the beach. Do a few warm-up exercises first. Load up on carbs and protein, and drink water to stay hydrated. It’s also recommended to cover up while walking towards the beach. Wear a good pair of boots, cover your hands with thick, warm gloves, and cover your head with a hoodie. Once you’re out at the beach, start stripping off and do a few stretches again to warm-up before finally paddling out.

3. Keep your skin and lips moisturized. Cool air can dry your skin and lips so fast that before you know it, you’re already nursing chapped lips or getting itchy skin. Apply a liberal amount of moisturizer on your lips and skin and then keep the moisture in by adding a layer of petroleum jelly on your lips and skin.

These are but three essential things that I would recommend to anyone looking to go surfing in winter. You may also have your own rituals and safety measures for winter surfing, and if you’d like to share them with the rest of our readers, please feel free to do so! We welcome all types of helpful tips to make for a more enjoyable winter surfing experience!

You may get in touch with me, Mack Prioleau, through this site for tips and comments that you’d like to share. I look forward to hearing from you!