9 Mistakes that Hiking Noobs Make

source: wikimedia
source: wikimedia

Experimentation is part of any hiker’s learning process; that’s why being appropriately prepared is so essential. That stated, there are a few usual errors that you can totally avoid, if you take your time, think clearly and plan ahead.  Below are 5 of the most typical mistakes novice hikers/trekkers make, plus some recommendations on how to avoid them.


  1. Not bringing along the bare essentials

You should have a checklist of the minimum amount of gear you need to bring on every single hike. This checklist should include, water, a little food, some high strength rope, waterproof matches, first aid kit, and a flashlight.


Why do you need all this stuff? Just in case. Just in case something goes wrong and you end up needing to sleep outdoors. Just in case you get lost and it gets dark. Just in case you take a fall and wake up in an unfamiliar area and need to patch yourself up. Safety should always comes first, and all the stuff I listed above is reasonably lightweight and not hard to carry.


For flashlights, I recommend you read this review of the Fenix LD22. This is my flashlight of choice – it’s light, durable, and uses AA batteries.


If you’re the type of person who needs high horsepower on all your electronics, you might also want to read this site’s Nitecore TM26 review. It’s an absurdly powerful flashlight that still manages to be portable – and while we don’t necessarily agree with your life choices and suspect you may be compensating for something if you buy it, it is a very suitable flashlight for taking hiking.


  1. Inappropriate Footwear

Repeat after me: Sandals, Flip Flops, and anything that aren’t hiking boots or trainers are not made for trekking. Bad shoes = bad experiences. Do not go on a hike without appropriate footwear – at the very least, you should be wearing trainers, and if you plan to hike often, it’s probably worth thinking about buying some proper hiking boots. Wearing the wrong shoes will lead to blisters, scratches, and potentially even sprained or broken ankles. Don’t do it. Wear shoes that are A) comfortable, B) protective, and C) durable.


  1. This goes together with number 2. If you recognize there’s a cold wave or a rainstorm coming, you need to prepare for that and bring the appropriate rain gear and jackets and all that. Even if you don’t anticipate the weather turning bad, it’s probably wise to try and bring at least a light rain jacket with you so you’re prepared for poor weather whilst on your hike. Your clothes are your first line of defense against hostile environments, and that includes bad weather and other similar problems that you might encounter. Always have something long sleeved on hand in case you need it (bringing long pants/cutoffs might also be wise).


  1. Not staying hydrated


You should never be in a situation where you feel dehydrated. There’s just no reason for it. Keep up your water intake throughout your trek and make sure you bring a surplus of water on every single hike. I’ve known so many morons who don’t bring enough water and end up dehydrated – on a day-trip, no less. Keep up your water intake, and if you ever feel faint or weak, take a break and drink some water. dehydration is extremely dangerous and a very real risk when hiking – so bring enough water, and drink enough water.


  1. Know where you’re going and let other people know too


Don’t be that guy or gal who goes on a hike without telling anyone and ends up disappearing for ever. Firstly, you should always know your exact route – it’s easy enough to get lost when you have a trail planned out – don’t think that you can just wing it out there. You’re not Bear Grylls, and if you get lost and you can’t find your way back to civilization, you will probably end up dead.
Also, make sure that people know exactly where you’re going – so in the event that you do end up getting lost, your friends or relatives can pinpoint exactly what route you planned to take and emergency services can find you. If nobody knows where you’re planning to go, nobody will be able to help you when disaster strikes, and you’ll end up being a skeleton out in the middle of nowhere or eaten by bears or something.

Read More

7 Reasons why you NEED to learn Basic Survival Skills

source: wikipedia


7 Reasons why you NEED to learn Basic Survival Skills


Reason # 7: There are other people in your life who will rely on you in moments of crisis


Whether you realize it or not, someone counts on you. Someone depends on you and will want your help in a moment of disaster. Someone needs you. It may be your spouse, your kids, your relatives, your buddies or your brother or sisters. Most people don’t have any knowledge of how to survive in an emergency situation – you may be the only one in your group of friends and family who takes the initiative to learn some basic, essential survival skills. If the time ever comes when you are tested, do not fall short . Understanding how to survive in a crisis isn’t only about you. It’s about using those skills to assist other people if the need ever arises. Act now. You have an obligation to safeguard and provide for people who depend on you..


Reason # 6: Get back in touch with Mother Nature


Familiarizing yourself with basic wilderness survival will connect you to mother nature unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Learning how to navigate the dangers of the wilderness is an experience that everybody should have – and it will help give you a confidence, a sense of purpose, and a feeling of calm and tranquility that you’ve never experienced before.


Reason # 5: Because it’s bundles of fun

When was the last time you did something “Out of the Box”? Taking a survival skills class is an ADVENTURE! Get your butt out of your comfort zone and go learn something new! Whether you do it alone, or with friends or family, taking a week to learn survival skills is not your average week – you will meet incredible people and learn a set of skills that will never abandon you, even in the direst of situations. Even though you’re learning something that is serious and potentially life saving, the learning process itself doesn’t need to be dangerous or dull – it can be a ton of fun.


Reason # 4: True independence

Picking up survival skills an expression and act of independence – you’re taking your destiny into your own hands. There may come a time in your life when you have nobody else to rely on outside of yourself and your own knowledge and experience. It’s entirely possible that all the systems and institutions in your life will fail – if you can take care of yourself in the wild, you’ll always have a fall back, even if everything else in the world fails you. In times of disaster, even people and groups with the best intentions can’t help anybody. These are the times that you need to help yourself – and learning survival skills is one way to do that.


Reason # 3: Personal challenge

Learning this stuff is challenging!. Survival in the wild does not come easy. Learning this stuff takes practice, patience, and determination. Learning how to build a fire with nothing but natural materials – that’s a frustrating process that can take many hours of practice. However, the reward is one of true accomplishment – once you learn these skills, you’ve mastered your environment. If you’re someone who thrives in the face of a difficult challenge – well, this is going to be right up your alley. Also, studies show that people who challenge themselves do better in life on basically every metric – so there’s really no reason not to.


Reason # 2: Mother Nature is a bit of a Mean Bitch


Mother Nature can be exotic and beautiful, but she’s also kind of a ruthless bitch. She will slap you down and show you NO quarter – just think back to Katrina or other large scale natural disasters that so frequently tear lives apart. You can’t singlehandedly prevent disaster – but what you can do is learn how to work around her tantrums. In a real emergency, most people will find it incredibly difficult to survive without aid – but with survival training under your belt, you’ll be able to figure out the necessities – shelter, water, food, and warmth.


Reason # 1: Invest in yourself
It’s constantly weird to me how often people are willing to put time and money into stocks and bonds, real estate – even job training or learning new computer skills – but then when it comes to something as basic and primal as a survival skills course, they balk. Learning this stuff is an investment in yourself – you are your own most valuable asset, not the car that you own or the house that you live in. Never underestimate what one person can accomplish given the right knowledge and experience. Learning survival skills will arm you with that knowledge and experience that you need to thrive in difficult and challenging situations. Knowledge is power – and in an emergency situation, knowing this stuff will give you the power to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Read More

Hiking with Dogs – A Quick Guide to Keep your Pets (and you) Safe


I am blessed with two beautiful canines: Swaggy, my 6 year old, and also and Iggy, my 3 year old (yes, I know – I talk about them like they’re my children – but that’s the way I feel so tough cookies). Swaggy has actually been hiking and backpacking with me for the previous 3 years or so, but I’ve only taken Iggy out a couple of times.


My two dogs like trekking just as much as I do, and seeing them so pleased on the trail as they greet other pets (and also hikers!) is just awesome. They also seem to take great pleasure in the fresh air. Trekking with canines could be one of the best experiences a dog-loving hiker can have – however, there’s a lot of extra stuff that you have to be aware with if you’re going to take your dogs hiking.


I prepare my dogs for hikes as much as I prepare for myself. It is very important to bear in mind that your canine buddies can also get injured, dehydration, suffer from heat exhaustion, tiredness, and even get sick from high altitudes – just like humans. . The main difference is that they don’t always have the capability to communicate with us that they’re suffering – which means you need to be extra careful when you’re taking a dog on a hike.


Below are a couple of pointers that will definitely help you maintain your four legged friend’s health and safety while you go on your trail adventures.

How to prep for hiking with your dog/dogs.


Select a trek within the limits of your dog’s abilities: know the surface of the trail to prevent troubles when you’re on the hikel.


A lot of the time, I’ll go through a trail once myself (alone) prior to bringing Swaggy and Iggy along.  By doing this, I can ensure that both dogs can handle the conditions and I’ll know exactly where I am n the hike, which means that we won’t get lost.


Keep in mind that conditioning is as important for your pets as it is for you. If your pet dog has never ever been on the trail previously, do not simply throw them into a 12 mile trek – start with shorter trips and work your way up to the longer, more challenging trails. Both you as well as your canines will appreciate this workout, and you’ll have a more pleasurable experience overall on the hike. Your pets aren’t invincible – you need to think about what their limitations are before you start planning a trip with them. A dog that just sits around the house all day eating and sleeping isn’t going to be up for a long, challenging, difficult hike. You also need to consider altitude when you’re selecting your trail. Dogs can struggle with elevation just like individuals.


General preventative measures: if they appear to tire easily, pant excessively, or are looking sick, not interested in food or vomiting, these are indications that altitude is impacting them. Check with your local vet to make sure your dogs are in good health before you decide to take them on any hikes.


If the temperature levels are really warm for you, they are even hotter for your canine. A dog’s paws can get blisters from walking on hot rocks and dirt – you have shoes on so you don’t notice the heat on the surface of the trail. If your area is a warm one, you might consider getting canine footwear to protect your dog from being affected by the hot surface of the ground.


Make sure your pet dog’s ID tags are present and that your dog has a well-fitted collar. I’ve seen pets suddenly get startled while on a trek – a lot of the time they just take off running. We want to believe we have 100 % control of our pets, but they still have minds of their own. Make sure that they’re easily identifiable as yours and that you have a way to track them in the unfortunate event that they do get lost.


Bring lots of food and water: you need to always think about the quantity of food and water your pet will need – and you should bring enough so that none of you are in danger, even in an emergency situation. Bring more than you would expect them to need for a hike of that length – you never know what will happen on a hike, and you should always have a bit of surplus with you in case things go awry. You ought to be providing your dog treats throughout the walk to help keep their energy levels high – it’s better to bring too much than too little. Water is even more important – dogs have no way of directly letting you know that they’re feeling thirsty, so bring extra water and make sure that your dogs stay hydrated.


First aid is also important. Obviously, on any hike that you go on you should have first aid stuff available – this is doubly true if you have a pet with you. You might also want to pack a few animal-specific first aid stuff.


If you’re doing all this, you can probably hike confidently with your dog/dogs without worry. It’s a ton of fun to see your pets enjoying a hike as much as you do, so I highly encourage you to try it. Just remember – preparation is key, and when you’re out on the trail, it’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared. For more tips on pet safety when hiking, check out the ASPC guidelines.
Stay safe, and have fun out there!

Read More


The First Ever Snowboarding with the Family: Absolutely Unforgettable!

My son has always been telling us, his parents, that he wants to try snowboarding. It is actually one of the things he wants to do during the winter season. This is the reason why I actually looked for a resort that has a good offer. It was our first time and I was quite a bit excited for him so I made sure that we really get the best package from a resort. Moreover, it was less hassle to go to the location because it was not that far from our place.

We always show our support to our son by providing him whatever he needs or what he wants, especially if we know that it is going to make him really happy. As long as he is not doing anything bad that may harm him, my husband and I support him all the way! We just love him so much and we wanted to give the best for him. If you are not that familiar with snowboarding, I would suggest that you ask assistance or help from experts so that you will know which packages you are going to avail.

The experience of being able to try snowboarding with him was really amazing. It was one of the outdoor activities that I thought I could not do. I did not even expect that my son would really find it so exciting. The good thing was that, his father constantly assisted him until he completely learned it already. It was a good thing that my son was patient enough to learn the different skills from our guide. In fact, he was very participative in the whole duration of the activity. As a mother, I am very thankful that nothing wrong happened to my son. According to our guide, we really had to look closely at him, since he is still very young.

It really makes me feel good to see my child’s excitement while snowboarding. We always wanted to see our kids happy and excited about the things that they do with their life. Snowboarding has been a good winter activity for our family ever since. Winter has always been a season to look forward to every year because we gladly watch our son enjoy snowboarding, while our little daughter enjoys watching her brother. We consider it as one of the best seasons ever. Aside from building our snow man, we are also able to learn snowboarding, and it was actually a very fun thing to do.

For parents out there, you really need to support your kids with what kind of activity that they want to try or to do. You will surely love the feeling of seeing them happy with what they are doing. Supporting our son with his snowboarding has made him become more confident about himself and he has been more outgoing. We are hoping that he will become better at snowboarding so that he can then join different competitions because this is what he has been planning to do since he started. When our daughter gets older, we will definitely teach her snowboarding as well.

Read More

first snowman

Building our First Snowman with the Kiddos

I always look forward for winter season to come. It may not be the best time to play and run around the neighborhood, but the white snow reminds me of how fun life has been when I was still young. Things were really a lot different when you are still a child compared to becoming an adult. Being a child lets you enjoy more about life without thinking about what is going on around you.

Back when I was still a child, I can still clearly remember how excited I was whenever it would snow. Aside from playing snow with my siblings, I would always look forward to building a snowman during that time. Perhaps it is actually a part of being a kid. I would even feel bad whenever I could not make a perfect snowman. But eventually, it became too easy for me already, and I could make a lot of them. Even until now, the excitement is still there, especially that I already have kids.

My son, who is 7 years old now, really loves the winter season because it is the time wherein he can build a snowman with his dad. It is actually one of the best times of the year. Even our one-year old daughter loves to watch her brother do it. Building snowman has become a great bonding time for us family, especially when we get to play with the snow more often.

I remember those times when I was the one making my first snowman and I was really very excited and happy to see what kind of snowman it will look like. When I was looking at my family and kids making our first snowman that time, I could not really help but be teary-eyed. It feels so good inside to see your family happy and enjoying the moment.

Time is really flying so fast without you even noticing it. It has been years since we had our first baby and also created our first snowman together. Moreover, we always go out and play outside during winter. I had a great time to play with my siblings when we were young, so I also make sure that my kids will also experience the kind of feeling being able to live and enjoy life while they are still young.

Building a snowman may not be as exciting for others, but if only you can see how happy a family looks like when they spend time together, you would surely wish to do it every day just to see them smile and laugh.

We only live in this world once, which is why we really need to make the most out of everything. Let us stop complaining about the hassle that the snow brings to us. Instead, make use of them to enjoy and have fun with your loved ones. All I ever wanted is to see my kids really happy with my husband and me and the first time we built a snowman was something that will be most memorable to me.

I love my family so much and I would definitely love to spend more time with them especially during winter season.

Read More


How Fun It Was Hiking and Camping with the Kids

Just did another tiring, yet very fun adventure with the whole family! We experienced hiking and camping. I never thought that we could survive the whole activity because first of all, we have 2 little kids. But thankfully, we were able to do it, and even our kids really had so much fun. Spending more time with your loved ones is really very important since it gives you more time quality time to be alone.
Camping is actually one of the things that our family had been planning to do all this time because through this activity, you are able to see the real beauty of nature. Although I find hiking to be tiring, it was still a fun thing to do. My kids had so much energy that I did not notice I was getting tired already. With the big smiles on my kids’ faces, I can really tell how much they are having fun. We all love to do outdoor recreational activities and camping happens to be our all-time favorite of all the exciting things that we do as a family.
Being away from the city, our family was able to bond very well. It feels really a lot different to be in a more quiet place, more intimate for your family and most of all, the wonderful view of nature is really breathtaking. We set up a bonfire, which actually made us feel warm during the cold night. Adding to the warm night was good music. We listened to relaxing music, and even my kids sang along. In addition, we had satisfied stomachs because of the good food that my husband and son cooked. I never thought hiking and camping could be that fun.


To make sure that our kids would not get bored, we also held some activities for them, wherein they could get a reward if they would win. Knowing that his sister is still young, my son really helped her in those activities. Particularly, the activity was really able to strengthen the relationship between my son and daughter. It feels really great to see them playing together. I am really sure that they will both have a much better relationship with each other as siblings.


After all, the ones who really had fun were not my husband and I. It was the kids. The important thing is that, whatever activities we do, they will always be a big a part of it. We just want them to experience different things even though they are still young. For sure, this would not be the last time we will be doing hiking and camping. Camping is exciting, adventurous and brings your family a lot closer to you. Being able to get away with all the stressful things in the city and just spend time and relax with my family is really worth it. I know that we will never forget all those camping moments that we spent and will spend together. I would strongly suggest that you also go out for a camping with your family every once in a while.

Read More


Experience the Hawaiian Big Waves Surfing

The whole family really loves to go to the beach. During summer, we never forget to allot some time to go to the beach. Last summer, we went to Hawaii. I could never forget how happy and excited my kids were when we went to the beach. Aside from swimming, there were other activities that we were able to experience. One of them was surfing. Although my kids are not yet suited to try surfing, they were still able to enjoy watching their parents do it.


Hawaii is very famous for over a hundred surfing spots around the whole island. There are some people who go surfing, from beginners to experts; while the rest will watch the other people surf. When you can get the chance to visit Hawaii, this is really one of the events that you should not miss. Even though you would go there for swimming, surfing is still a must-try for anyone. However, a majority of the surf spots is a half-mile away from the shore that is why it would be difficult to watch the surfers going into action with the waves.


Hawaii waves are really huge and continuous. These are perfect for surfing and the big waves will be a lot more exciting and of course challenging. Several tourist surfers visit Hawaii because of its very beautiful beach and shoreline. It was definitely one of the best places that we visited.


I always have fun whenever I am with my family. They are the type of people who do not really get afraid right away by doing extreme activities. They are always adventurous, and whatever the plans of the family are, they will always look forward to do those things as well. It was actually my first time to try surfing, and it was absolutely unforgettable. It was also a great experience because my instructor was very good at teaching me the right skills to apply.


What made it a lot easier for us to learn was actually because of our patient instructor. He has been experienced enough to teach us about the basics and we easily learned because of him. I never thought that I would learn how to surf because it was just so unexpected and I ended up trying to surf with my family. I have been really nervous yet excited to learn and I realized that it was definitely fun and a must try activity for you and your family.


We are again planning to visit Hawaii once again. It is indeed a very wonderful place to visit and I would definitely never get tired going there with my family. Surfing is so addictive and I love the big waves in Hawaii. I cannot wait any longer to try the bigger surfing adventure and go to more advanced lessons. Life gets a lot better, especially when you are having fun with your family.


Surfing in Hawaii is really a lot more relaxing than you ever thought it would be. You will really have fun and will surely put aside all your worries.

Read More


Hawaii Getaway: One of the Best Summer Vacation Ever

Here we go again! We just experienced one of the best summer vacations ever! The whole family went to one of the best beach places in the world. Hawaii! Undeniably, it was really unforgettable because we were able to experience new adventures there. Traveling with my family is a lot more fun than traveling alone because you get to enjoy the vacation with your loved ones and always share how beautiful the places that you would visit. This has been our favorite summer activity every year – summer outing with the kids. I have been married for 6 years now and I am proud to say that my kids are really happy with how things are going on with our family.
It truly makes me happy to see my kids grow with so much interest in doing various activities such as traveling and spending some time outdoors. I am actually very happy that they are not afraid to try new things. At a young age, my son already knows how to swim. I am so grateful to have a dedicated husband because he was the one who taught our son to swim. In addition, my interest in surfing has blossomed. I was able to try it, and I never knew I could be good at it.


Aside from swimming, we were also able to witness Hawaiian dances during the night. It is actually interesting to see the Hawaiians dance. When you watch them, it makes you want to dance as well. The wonderful feeling of being surrounded by people with the positive energy really helps you put aside all your worries and forget your problems. The people there are really very amazing and fun to be with.


My family and I are definitely beach lovers. We love spending time relaxing under the heat of the sun and enjoy the view of the beautiful shoreline. We have been to different places with our kids with us and in fact, we sometimes bring our cat and dog every time we have a summer outing or vacation out of town.
Going to Hawaii was definitely worth it.  It is I think the best place that I have ever visited with my family and kids. There are many activities that you can do there, and you can even have your kids join you. It is absolutely one of the perfect places for family vacations. Even our kids love the whole place. Now that summer’s already over, my husband and I are planning to go back to Hawaii someday. By the time our daughter gets a little older, that will be a good idea.


At a very young age, we have already taught our kids how to swim and we even tried surfing. The cold beach water makes me a lot more relaxed and stress-free. Going to Hawaii has been the best break that I have been waiting for since I have been very busy and too tied up with office work. The wonderful place and scenery will definitely take your breath away.


With the Hawaii summer vacation that we had, I have learned that the time you spend with our family will be more worth it that the time you spend without them. I would really recommend that you bring your family at least once a year for a family outing or bonding.


Read More