3 National Parks to Visit in 2016

yosemite National park

Yosemite National Park

This specific national park is probably one of the most well known across the country. It became even more famous last January when Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson were the first ones ever to do a free ascent of El Captian’s Dawn Wall. It is even more impressive when you take into account that the 3,000 foot smooth granite wall is considered one of the hardest, if now the hardest rock to climb on the planet. For us regular people who just want to go and look at El Captian’s Dawn Wall I recommend going to El Captian Meadow where you can get the best view of El Capitan.

Grand View Point Overlook, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

This National Park is on my personal list of national parks, the 5,200 feet deep canyon is truly one of the most impressive displays of mother nature not just in the United States but the world as well. It should come as no surprise that this canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. There are many things to do here but the idea that is recommended to me the most is rafting on the Grand Canyon’s 277 mile reach. I was surprised that the requirements for this make it accessible to pretty much any one over the age of twelve who has reasonably good health. The trip only takes six to seven days depending on the guide and does not require any padding experience. When I make my way to the Grand Canyon that is something I will do for sure.

Glacier

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is known for its huge mountain peaks, gorgeous alpine lakes and its glaciers (as I am sure you put together by the name). Unlike the other national parks this one actually has an expiration date. As of today there are only twenty five glaciers of that original 150 that existed in 1850. Some estimates put that by 2030 there will be no more glaciers left. If there is one National Park that you plan to visit in the next year, this is it!

The Best Backpacking Trails

A backpacking trip is one of the greatest outdoor adventures you can partake in. A true backpacking trip provides you with absolute solitude from the outside world, bringing you up close and personal with nature. There are many different options when it comes to backpacking, from day trips to weekend explorations to thru-hikes from state to state. If you are looking to escape from your normal life and explore the breathtaking views and unspoiled wilderness, then grab your bag and hit one of the trails below.

Appalachian Trail

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The Appalachian Trail is nearly 2,180 miles long, spanning 14 different states. While most of us probably don’t have the ability to take six months to hike the entire thing, you can create your own custom journey along the trail. There is the 14-mile hike through Georgia’s Blood Mountain Wilderness, leading hikers to the top of the trail’s highest point in the state. In New Hampshire’s White Mountains you can climb 20 miles above the tree line for optimal views of surrounding peaks. If you are looking for complete isolation, Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness section never crosses a single paved road.

Continental Divide Trail

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The Continental Divide Trail is 3,100-miles long, cutting right down the middle of the United States. The more advanced hikers can be found at the Knife Edge, a 25-mile loop through the extreme Weminuche Wilderness area in southwestern Colorado. For a more tame experience, explore the trails where the Continental Divide Trail meets Glacier National Park. If you decide to hit the CDT then remember to pack cold-weather gear, as ice and snow are a possibility at any time of the year.

Uinta Highline Trail

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This is one of the more difficult trails, with hikers often facing rough and rocky stretches throughout the trail. Uinta Highline is also extremely remote, and you can expect to have the trail all to yourself for long stretches. If you have a week free to explore, go conquer the Highline Trail, which is nearly 75 miles of paths that pass serene lakes along the peaks of Utah’s Uinta Mountains.

Pacific Crest Trail

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The Pacific Crest Trail will bring you through some of the most diverse ecosystems that the West Coast has to offer, including dry desert land and high arctic-alpine country. The incredible 2,650-mile journey attracts around 300 die-hard hikers each year. Thousands of others can be found embarking on some of the shorter expeditions. In California, you will find a 270-mile stretch from Mount Whitney to Sonora Pass, offering a monthlong journey through the Sierra NEvada range with amazing views of deep canyons, enormous granite peaks, and rocky lakes. Oregon’s section of the PCT is much more level, with few elevation shifts, making it a great place for beginners.

Information courtesy of Travel Channel

 

The World’s Greatest Adventures

Adventure travel gets you up close and personal to the landscapes and people of the areas you are visiting. Having the opportunity to explore new areas on foot is an exhilarating experience, especially when you have the chance to interact with the local cultures on the journey. If you are interested in taking your next trip to the next level, I recommend that you consider making it a real adventure. With the help of this article, here are four of the greatest adventures this world has to offer.

Great Himalaya Trail, Nepal

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The Great Himalaya Trail consists of a network of existing paths traversing Nepal. It will eventually form part of a 2,800-mile super trail, linking Bhutan and Pakistan. The existing section is divided into a collection of smaller routes that pass in sight of the world’s largest peaks and most remote villages. The trail crosses mountain passes up to 19,685 feet in altitude while climbing a total of 492,125 metres. You can take a fully escorted, 157-day hike with World Expeditions, but it is pricey, costing $28,511. However, there are seven shorter connecting stages that you can hike, if you do not have the time or money for the entire trail.

Tour du Mont Blanc

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A 14-day circuit of Mont Blanc is probably the most spectacular walk in all of Europe. The path links the seven valleys that surround Western Europe’s highest mountain, crossing three borders in the process: France, Switzerland, and Italy. You will traverse beneath huge glaciers and across beautiful alpine meadows. Throughout your journey, you will also be treated to some of the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc, the Aiguille Verte, Les Drus, Les Grandes Jorasses, and much more. This hike is based on the supported camping concept, meaning  a vehicle will assist with transporting luggage, equipment and supplies.

Native American Experience

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Take a 16-day tour with Intrepid Travel to the heart of Native American country. On this journey, you will camp and hike in wilderness areas while exploring ancient ruins in the process. You will have the opportunity to meet with native Americans from communities (Navajo, Anasazi, and Apache) who are striving to preserve their centuries-old way of life. While on the tour you will visit Canyon de Chelly, with its 3,000-year-old tribal artefacts, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Navajo Lake State Park, White Sands National Monument, the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Santa Fe, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon.

Diving Safari, Borneo

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The volcanic island of Sipadan is regularly been voted one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. While taking a dive under water, you will find the legendary turtles and reefs that drop off thousands of feet near the shore. An 18-day diving safari with Aqua-Firma also takes in the Layang atoll and the islands of Lankayan, Mabul, and Kapalai, showcasing the best diving Borneo has to offer.

Hunting Tips: Upland Game & Waterfowl

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We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. In this article, we will be discussing ways to improve your success hunting upland game or waterfowl. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life.Here are three great tips for when you are hunting for upland game or waterfowl.

1) Glassing For Ducks

When jump-shooting ducks along streams or potholes, use a good set of binocular to scan the area for distant ducks. If possible, make your observation while looking through brush. Ducks have great eyesight, so they will fly off if they spot you nearby.

2) Don’t Spook The Ringnecks

Wild pheasants are easily frightened by the sound of vehicles, dogs and voices. Most birds will start running or flying away at the first sign of humans in the area. To help prevent the birds from doing so, park as far as possible from where you expect to hunt and approach the area as quietly as possible.

3) Taking Down Grouse

As you are probably aware, ruffed grouse are masters at flying through tickets. Many hunters pass up shots if the birds are not in the clear. However, this is a big mistake. You should never pass up shots if you can see the blur of a grouse as it blasts through brush, but if you take this approach then you need to know exactly where the other members of your hunting group are at all times. If you continually pass up birds, you might never get a single shot all day.

Hunting Tips: Staying Warm

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We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. In this article, we will be discussing ways to stay warm while you are are outside hunting on a colder day. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life. Here are four great tips to stay warm while hunting.

1) Don’t Sweat It

Perspiration is one of your biggest enemies on a cold day. Take every precaution that you can to keep dry. This means that if you need to take off layers of clothes as you walk in frigid temperatures to avoid sweating, you take off those layers. When you sit for any length of time outside, you will guarantee yourself that you will get chilled if you have worked up a sweat beforehand.

2) Sleep In Comfort

A cot in an unheated tent or cabin will keep you cold all night if you do not have a pad underneath your sleeping bag. If you do not have a pad, spread out your clothing to insulate you from the cold air under the cot. The loft in your bag is compressed from the weight of your body, offering little to no insulation when in contact with the thin fabric of a cot.

3) Cold-Weather Horsemanship

Riding a horse in the cold weather will make you colder much faster, especially if you end up sitting for long periods of time. Warm up by walking the horse downhill. This will help you get your blood moving, and it is certainly good horsemanship to give the animal a break every so often.

4) Bring Your Best Bag

During a cold-weather hunt, you will want to make sure you have your best sleeping bag by your side, even if you are staying in a hunt or cabin with a wood stove. The fire is bound to go out during the middle of the night, and the temperature inside will not be much better than the temperature outside. A lightweight summer bag is only practical for use in the summer.

Four New and Exciting Outdoor Adventures To Try

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It’s always beneficial to get out of your house and enjoy the outdoors. On a regular day, the way to do this might be going for a walk, jog or bike ride. But sometimes it’s nice to really get out of the hustle and bustle. You may want to leave your hometown for a while to explore the great outdoors. It may seem intimidating at first, but immersing yourself in nature is a beautiful and exhilarating experience.

Spending some time in the rough of nature, regardless of what you’re doing, is a great way to truly sit back and appreciate life. When humans interact with nature, we gain a greater appreciation for the world around us. Don’t know what outdoor adventure is right for you? Here is a list of outdoor adventures that are bound to help you appreciate nature while also exercising and getting out of the usual routine.

1) Trail Running

You may be used to running on a treadmill or around your local neighborhood, but trail running creates an entirely different experience. When you run on a trail through nature, you never know what to expect. The unexpected nature of your surroundings truly allows you to be taken aback by just how incredible nature is. Not to mention, you’ll be exercising your mind by assessing the world around you while also exercising your body.

2) Whitewater Kayaking

Kayaking can seem dangerous, but with the proper instruction and gear, whitewater kayaking can be a lot of fun. Take an introductory class and make sure that you are travelling through Class I or Class II rapids when you are still a beginner. Kayaking is a great way to exercise and to immerse yourself into a new activity that revolves around nature. The best times to kayak are during the spring and the summer.

3) Slot Canyoneering

Canyons are some of the Earth’s most incredible structures. Explore them through slot canyoneering and it is sure to be an awe-inspiring experience. You’ll also be able to improve your abilities to travel through the wilderness. While some canyons are walkable, others require climbing, rappelling or scrambling. Always make sure you know what is required of a canyon before exploring it. Some of the most beautiful slot canyons are found in Utah, located in Zion National Park, the Paria Canyons region and more.

4) Peak Bagging

Have you ever seen a breathtaking photograph from the top of a large hill and wanted to see the view with your own eyes? You can if you go peak bagging! If you’re used to short hikes, consider taking your hikes to the next level and head up a larger hill. The terrain will be a bit hard to navigate, but this will make the experience all the more rewarding. It’s also a great way to get a cardio workout. At the end, stand atop your hill and look out at the beautiful view in front you. Once you see how incredible the view is, the experience will be well worth it and you’ll have a better connection with nature.

If you want to become one with the environment but don’t know how, why not try one of these activities? You will get a workout while also learning how to maneuver in nature. In the end, you will be happy you ventured out of your regular routine to take in the beauty of the world around you.

Hunting Tips: The Competition

Mack Prioleau Hunting Tips (2)We are back to discuss some new hunting tips and advice. As any good hunter is aware, the learning process is never ending. I would like to share some thoughts on the competition aspect of hunting. Like any sport, competition is an undeniable aspect. But it is important to not let the competition put anyone in danger or ruin the experience for anyone. For more information, please check out Outdoor Life.

Here are Four Essential Hunting Tips For The Competition:

1) Getting In First

Many roads are blocked to restrict vehicle access to the hunting areas. This means that you will only be able to access the area by foot or horse. Hunters will typically arrive at the gates early in the morning and hike up the roads. But you can beat everyone else by parking at the gate at night and sleep over. If you want to stake claim to the hunting area first, then consider taking a light sleeping back and searching for a clear area to camp out. You should position yourself in the back area in an elevated spot away from the road. Once you are settled, you can take a nap and wait for other hunters to push deer your way as the shooting hours approach.

2) Big-Game Honey Holes

If you are in big country and want to find a place where you have a high chance of finding big game, then you should look to find a heavily timbered canyon with no roads or major trails at the bottom. Most hunters will avoid descending into these spots because they know that they will need to climb back out. The idea of hauling a deer or elk out of the bottom is a double nightmare that will make hunters even more prone to avoiding these potentially game-rich spots. While this location will create more work for you, if you goal is to find the quality game, it will be worth the effort.

3) Drive Double-Dipping

If you are able to learn the drive of another group of hunters, then you may be able to use this information to your advantage. Find a location well away from the group in heavy cover where a scared deer might run after the other group frightens it away. This technique is ethically acceptable if you keep a reasonable distance from the party and do not interfere with the drive of the group.

4) Don’t Follow The Leader

If you are tracking a deer in the snow and discover that another hunter has come upon the same tracks (meaning they are in front of you), there is obviously no reason to keep following. You are better off making a  quick circle and attempting to ambush the deer. There is a good chance that the other hunter will keep pushing the deer ahead, hopefully to you. You will want to keep a considerable distance from where you think the hunter might be; this should be at least a half mile or more.

If you would like to learn more hunting tips, please check out my blog on hunting strategies and hunting tracking tips.

The Walk Across Arizona

The Walk Across Arizona is a visual film project of an 800-mile solo hike from the Utah to the Mexico Border via the Arizona trail. This project, brought to you by TArwood Media, began back in 2011 with the intention of exhibiting Arizona’s vast beauty and diversity by thru hiking from Utah to the Mexico border. They wanted this to be a visual reference for anyone interested in the newly completed Arizona Trail. As you will see in the video, the trip consisted of a wide array of challenges — everything from 105° heat to a daylong hail storm. Finding water was by far the most difficult part of the trail for them. On average, only 1-2 gallons of water was consumed a day. As the creators describe, this project literally took blood, sweat, and tears to complete. It is certainly worth checking out, and if you would like to learn more then check out their YouTube Channel.

A Breath of Life

I recently came across this moving surfing documentary that I thought would be great to share. Check out the description and video below!

To some people, surfing is a way of life. From birth, they are taught that the ocean is a resource, a place of healing, and something you never turn your back on. The lives of most surfers consist of traveling around the world in search of the perfect waves. They have built careers from it. Without the ocean, their lives would be incomplete. To cystic fibrosis patients, the ocean is something entirely different, it is a way to prolong their lives. For years, researchers have explored the connection between Cystic Fibrosis and the ocean. It was noted that in Australia, kids with Cystic Fibrosis who surfed all the time had better lung functions then the kids who were not in the ocean on a regular basis. They attributed this to the fact that the oceans high content of saline helps expel the secretions from the lungs.

In 2007, brothers, James and Charles Dunlop read an article about this connection. Being life long surfers themselves, decided to do something about it. It started first as just a simple idea: Get kids with cystic fibrosis surfing. What resulted was something incredible. Cystic fibrosis patients have to schedule their lives around hours of breathing treatments, chest therapy, and about 45 pills a day in order to stay healthy. Surfing is the one treatment that has proven to help cystic fibrosis patients more than ever. The oceans high content of saline acts as a natural lubricant which clears their lungs and makes breathing easier.

 

Only the Essential: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary

This documentary presents the cinematic story of a 2668 mile thru-hike on America’s premiere long distance footpath, the Pacific Crest Trail. In the summer of 2013 Casey Gannon and Colin Arisman thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with cameras in hand. “Only The Essential” is the story of their 5 month, 2668 mile journey on foot from Mexico to Canada across the wilderness of California, Oregon, and Washington. The documentary is filmed entirely by hikers. If you are interested in learning more, check out their website: http://www.wildconfluence.com/ote