Adventure starts here.

Stuff You Should Know

  • Travel To Your Adventure Friends

    “Hey, wanna go on adventure?”

    “Heck yeah! I’m down!”

    Ever get this? Sometimes it’s great when your friends actually pull through, but when they say they will do the adventure, then bail, it can put a damper on your trip and wallet. Everyone has been here before. You ask your friends, they say yes, you book the trip…then they bail and leave you high and dry on the adventure. Now you have to pay for the whole trip and will be traveling solo!

    One way to solve this problem is to have your travel advisor bill your friends individually. Another is to travel solo and not worry about it at all. When you travel solo, you are the author of your own adventure. You decide what you want to do and when you want to do it.

    Adventure-Friends

    *Pic is just for example* (Brad is still adventurous)

    You may not be comfortable traveling solo yet, but I do recommend you try it. If you are one of these people, pick a spot where you have a friend or two and surprise them! This will most likely be a win for both parties. Just try to casually find out their plans in advance without giving away the surprise.

    Our Dad just had knee surgery and our uncle came out to surprise him and our Mom. This was a huge win for everyone! Bernie (our uncle) was happy because he had an excuse to travel, and he hasn’t seen Mom or Dad in years! Also, once he got to his destination, he had his own personal travel guide and friends to adventure with at the same time!

    Next time you think your friends might bail on you, either have your travel advisor bill their portion seperately, feel them out ahead of time, or if it’s a repeated habit of theirs, leave them out on this one and take a solo adventure. Find a friend in a destination you think might be cool to check out and go. You won’t regret it.

     

     

  • How To Be Successful

    How do you define success? Just like adventure, everyone seems to define it differently. Everyone has their own definition of adventure, and the same goes for success.

    Many people will say success is to have a lot of money, big house, fancy cars, yachts, even planes. If you ask someone else it may simply be – freedom.

    Now-a-days everyone seems to be caught up in what everyone else thinks about him or her. If freedom is what you are looking for you can’t think like this. Freedom is living the life YOU want to live, and not how someone else wants you to live based on judgement. Cut those people out of your life that are judging you and making you feel this way. These peole and their mindset will hold you back from following your dreams. If you don’t want to cut them out completely, limit your time with them, and learn to have selective hearing.

    If you live your whole life searching for other people’s approval, you are not living for yourself, you are living for other people. Freedom is the ability to live the exact life that you wish to live. You can be living out of a van traveling the world, or living in a mansion working your butt off every day. Both can be considered success.

    Happiness

    Do What Makes YOU Feel Good!

    85% of people hate their job! – Gallop Poll

    This number is appalling! Most of the population spends an average of one third of their adult life at work. Why would someone spend close to half of their lives doing something they hate? Sure, everyone has to make money to pay bills, take care of family, mortgage, etc., but you can find a way to make money doing something you like! Find what sparks your fire.

    Happiness

    If you want to be successful, do exactly what you love to do; that is success! Money will follow. If you believe in something that makes you happy and fulfilled, DO IT! Don’t let anyone stand in your way even if it’s family. If your dream is to quit your job and ride your bicycle across the country, DO IT! Maybe vlog your journey along the way, and that can be how the money follows.

    Success is not an item, success is of the beholder. Follow your heart and your dreams. Then, you will have success.

     

  • How To Train A Trail Dog…

    Do you have a Trail Buddy? Not necessarily another rider but a dog! Having a trail dog is one of the coolest part of our adventures. They say a dog is man’s best friend. Now take your best friend and have him chase you through the trails. It puts a great big smile on his face, your face, and your other riding buddies’ faces.

    Kayak Dog

    Adventure Buddy is an avid camper hiker, rock climber, kayaker, SUP boarder, dirt bike rider, motorcycle rider, beach goer, and best friend. Make sure you and your furry buddy always come prepared. Bring a life jacket for you and him when boating.

    Some people wonder how he is so good, and wish their dog could be like Buddy without running off. Truth be told, I am no dog trainer. The most important piece to the puzzle is trust. This goes for dogs and children. If you keep your dog on a leash his or her whole life, the second you take them off they are going to bolt. They want to explore while they have the chance! Most trainers would disagree with me, but as I am writing this, I am in a park on a peninsula. Buddy is swimming, exploring, and saying hi to others, all while checking in with me every ten minutes or so.

    Adventure Dog

    Buddy is rarely ever leashed, and it’s been this way since he was a pup. Now he is three. There was a little bit of a rebel stage in his teen years, or around 1.5 years old. That took a bit more due-diligence to pay attention to him. It is important to let him know if he’s been a bad boy and reward him when he’s a good boy. I found it very helpful to keep treats with me so if he was off adventuring, I would call him. When he came, I would give him a treat. He liked this and learned to come when I called him. If he didn’t come I would make him sit and go nose to nose with him without saying a thing. I would stare into his eyes feeding him my disappointed energy. He knew what he did was bad. Now, if I give him “that look,” he doesn’t sit or wait for me to even get close to him. He comes to my feet, then rolls over with his arms and legs in the air waiting for me to say it’s okay.

    Trail Dog

    If you trust your dog or child to make their own decisions to an extent, they will be more respectful to your orders because it will be their choice to follow them. I learned this from my parents growing up. This is how they trained me. They gave me a long enough leash to explore life on my own while still keeping a close enough eye on me. This allowed me to learn self-dependence and understand why I should or shouldn’t do something. 

    Here is an example: 

    If you baby your child all through high school and don’t let him off your leash, that energy and curiosity will be kept inside waiting to explode. The second he has a chance to be off the leash, things can get bad. Like everything, drinking is okay in moderation, but if your leashed children never experience that, as soon as they go away to college or to the real world, they might party too hard to catch up on all the years they missed. This could lead to a downhill spiral towards alcoholism, mischief, or even drug abuse. This theory goes for your adventure dog too. Trust is key.

    I personally take my Riding Buddy with me every ride we do. He’s a trooper and switches on beast mode for our rides. He’s a little thirty pound Beagle / Border Collie mix and he not only hangs with us, but usually ends up running past and waiting on us. On the downhills though, he is in hot pursuit.

    You can say Buddy is a competitive rider. He doesn’t like being in the back of the pack. He likes to battle with us through the single track, both of us skimming trees in the process. On the downhills when he realizes his little legs can’t quite keep up with the RPMs of our bike wheels, he gets a little frustrated. 

    Bark! Bark! aaahoooooooo! Barking and howling at us to wait up for him, he chases us as fast as his legs will take him until we get to the next uphill as he dashes past us to take the lead again. He will sit at the top of the hill with his tongue out patiently waiting until we reach the summit, then he takes off again. Buddy is a well trained trail dog…unless he catches a scent of something. Then off he goes barking and howling again, but this time not at us rather another animal. Usually, we will keep on riding at a slower pace until he hops back on the trail farther down the line without skipping a beat. 

    Adventure Dog

    No matter what the adventure is, Buddy will be there with us for the excitement. Having Buddy with us makes our adventure complete.

  • How Can I Be A Van Life Nomad?

    Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to quit your job, leave your ordinary life behind, and travel? Well, like they say, “anything is possible.” You can travel the country or even a lot of the world and live out of a van! I know it seems like it’s impossible, but it’s really simple.

    Some business ideas that allow you to do so could be to create a blog and market it, create a marketing agency, travel agency, and a great one that truly allows you to be free and enjoy your travels to the fullest would be photography or videography. Any  of these can be scaled to a massive size with just one laptop, WiFi, and some determination. I know its easy to say, “I don’t or won’t have time to learn all of this, let alone make it happen.” If you are traveling in a van you won’t have as many distractions as you would in an ordinary day in the life. We all have the same 24 hours in a day 7x. That’s a lot of time to learn something new. Other people can do it and are doing it, Why can’t you?

    Van-Life

    Maybe you’re not into the whole idea of freelancing or entreprenuership. That’s fine too! There are tons of jobs that allow you to work from home. Why not make “home” your van or RV? There are lots of business owners that even pay bonuses to an employee with a “Home office.” Take advantage!

    Life is too short to work more than half of your life away. You should strive for something bigger and better! Create a life where you are free! These work from home jobs are mostly choose your own hours, and if you choose to be a freelancer, you are the boss! Society is taught to go to school, get a job and work a 9-5 for the rest of your life, until one day you may be fortunate enough to retire and then if you are still in good health, and can afford it, then you can be free. At this point in life you will have a stack of excuses why you can’t do this. Family, funds, health, etc. Even though there is no excuse for living the life you desire, unfortunately, society says otherwise.

    Make sure whatever you do is something you truly enjoy. Maybe you aren’t cut out for life on the road and that’s fine! Still though, if you are spending more than half of your life doing something you dread every day, odds are you aren’t living your best life.

    There is no time like the present. If you have an idea, do it! Live your dreams. Live your best life, and don’t let anyone else influence your dreams. Remember this is your life, make it the best one. You never know what tomorrow brings, and you never know if you will even make it to tomorrow let alone retirement, so live every single day like your last. Follow your dreams!

    Van-Life
    Where can I camp when living on the road? – Van Life
    • Walmart
    • Campgrounds
    • Churches
    • Rest Areas and Truck Stops. – Lots of truck stops have showers too which you do have to pay about $12/shower.
    • Sealth Camping (Camping discretely in a parking lot or neighborhood) – look for other cars parked overnight to stay hidden in plain sight.
    • BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and USFS (United States Forest Service) – allows boondocking which is the act of remotely camping outside developed campgrounds. 
    • Make friends along the way or if you know friends in different areas, crash with them for a night or two.
    What to do if you get that dreaded midnight knock:
    • Stay calm and be honest. For the most part the officer or security gaurd is not looking for any trouble. He or she is just doing their job.
    • If they ask to search, remember as long as you are on U.S. soil, you have the right to decline.
    • If you are sure you are parked legally, you may want to keep quiet and play it out. Just remember to keep your doors locked.
    What happens if I break down far from a service area?
    • It is always a good idea to have your tools ready and spare parts.
    • Make sure you have your manual handy and try to troubleshoot.
    • Stay calm. Don’t freak out, and you should be able to get through it.
    • Always make sure your fluids are filled to the required amount by checking them regularly.
    • Make sure you have good tires and a good spare that is filled to the proper PSI.
    Where can I get Wifi?
    • Starbucks
    • Dunkin
    • Panera Bread
    • Mcdonalds
    • Gyms
    • Restaurants
    • Public WiFi areas and Parks
    • Hotels
    • Phone hotspot or WiFi hotspot, which you can purchase from your phone provider. You’ll pay around $200 for the device itself (or cheaper with a two-year contract, but then you are locked into paying a monthly fee for that time period)
  • You Work And Sleep More Than Half Of Your Life. When Do You Play?

    Everyone needs to work and do their part to afford a life, but it is important to have a work/life balance. They say if you live to 75, and work an average work week of 8 hour days, that you spend 1/3 of your life working. Another 1/3 gets devoted to sleep. That’s a lot of time!

    Travel

    This being said, make sure whatever you do that it is something you enjoy, and even more important, make sure to take time for yourself. Ever hear the saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” This goes for everyone, not just Jack.

    Travel

    In recent studies, it’s been proven that traveling decreases stress and can actually boost your health! Lots of people travel to gain new experiences, which is great! Sometimes though, travel is the perfect remedy for past experiences that may be holding you back. If you travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, it is easier to forget about the bad experiences that might be hard to get past along the way. If you remove yourself from the environment that is causing you stress, and send off on an adventure, nine times out of ten, the stress will not follow!

    Travel

    Take that ski trip with your buddies from back in the day, go on that one month backpacking trip in the Andes, or take off work and drive wherever the roads take you. This is your life! Don’t let anyone else think they own you or your decisions. It doesn’t matter if it’s your wife, husband, boss, friends, or kids. If they don’t want to join you and instead hold you back, see ya!

    Travel

    It’s a good idea not to burn your bridges with anyone, but if they are holding you back in your own life, you may want to rethink who you are spending your time with. You become who you hang around. If you spend time with someone who is super fun and adventurous, you will be the same way! If you hang around someone who is always negative, puts people down, and is never up for your adventures, you will eventually, and unfortunately, become like that too.

    Which path sounds better? How will you choose to live your life? We all know that life sometimes gets in the way, but beyond that make time for your dreams. Travel.

  • Spring Break Adventure Safety – Have Fun!

    For those who are looking forward to spring break, it’s a time to be free from the confines of the classroom and the face of the computer. Weather your Skiing in the Alps or exploring the beaches, it is always wise to assess the situation before making decisions. Before you adventure away though, it’s always important to keep safety in mind. Spring Break safety is important when setting off on your adventure… get wild, but be smart. Time for an exciting week ahead.

    We ourselves like to be spontaneous with our adventures, but while adventure does often involve risk, make sure your choices are well-planned. Jumping from balcony to balcony on spring break often makes the news.  Unfortunately though, this is usually to note a fatality, and we don’t want that to be you! Even the best of adventurers use safety equipment. Ropes and harnesses are purposeful–to keep you safe and alive. Use them on the slabs, but hold off from those balcony jumps.

    Spring Break

    Looking to dive into unknown waters? That sure will be fun, and what a photo opp!  Please first consider though the underwater dangers that can bite you. Are there rocks or even crocs? Read signs and pay attention.

    Speaking of taking pictures…beware of selfie dangers.  Don’t get too close to the edge of that cliff or the mouth of that snake. Be aware of what’s around. No selfie is worth your life.

    Many sites offer safety information while traveling, but perhaps one of the most important is to maintain the buddy system wherever you go.  Stay accounted for and travel with a buddy. From hotel reservations to outdoor locations, always let a friend or family member know where you are going. Save social media updates for once you’re home…(You’re there to enjoy the moment after all). Keep your cell phones charged and carry a portable charger.

    In terms of hotels, ask for a business card with the hotel address and number.  When traveling abroad where language may be a barrier, you can hand the taxi driver the card with the address.  

    Spring Break

    Emergency services such as 911 are not available in all countries. Plan ahead. Before you travel, research your destination for similar services and store them in your phone.

    Spring Break

    With Spring Break around the corner and fun-filled adventures planned, keep safety a priority, so that you can live to tell the crazy adventure experiences you had. We advise all of our adventure clients to purchase travel insurance. You never think it will happen until it happens. Be prepared.

    Be smart.  Be aware. Be safe.  And most importantly, be adventurous!  Enjoy Spring Break.

  • North Carolina’s U.S. National Whitewater Center

    USNWC

    Dreaming of whitewater rafting, rock climbing or other adventure sport but don’t know where to start?  Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the USNWC has created an environment where you can safely learn and practice skills in outdoor recreation before actually going into the wilds.  

    USNWC

    Dedicated to promoting an outdoor lifestyle, with 1,300 acres, the US National Whitewater Center has artistically designed the land to meet the needs of a range of enthusiasts.  Along with whitewater rafting, guests may enjoy kayaking, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, rock climbing, ropes courses, canopy tours, team building activities and mountain biking.  Mountain bikers have an option of 40+ wooded trails to explore, while other sports are contained to a carefully maintained and organized setting where safety is always a priority.

    USNWC

    The USNWC not only offers a wide range of outdoor sports, but also provides opportunities to learn and practice skills.  Along with techniques, leadership and communication skills are also encouraged and implemented with specialized adventure instruction for all ages and levels.  The Whitewater Race Series held at the USNWC also encourages competition for many sports from mountain biking, kayaking to triathlons.

    USNWC

    A family-oriented environment wouldn’t be complete without relaxation and play.  Outdoor festivals are held throughout the year with music, food and vendors. Also the Whitewater Race Series holds competition for many sports from mountain biking, kayaking to triathlons.

    USNWC

    A great place to learn a new skill or to spend the day, the USNWC is a terrific destination in Charlotte, North Carolina.  As they say on their site, “ the USNWC empowers the guests to play, relax and learn outside.” Highly recommended, this is a must-do experience.  Visit HERE for some inside details of one of the events held last season.

    USNWC

    Photo Credits @USNWC

  • How To Start Rock Climbing For Beginners!

    How To Start Rock Climbing For Beginners…

    If you are wondering how to start rock climbing and “Go Outside And Play,” as Blue Ridge Outdoors would say, then this could be a great starting point for you.

    Rock climbing involves mental and physical fitness, trust in your climbing partners, natural adrenaline, and most importantly FUN! If you love the outdoors and are looking to pick up a new hobby this season, this could be the one for you. Not sure where or how to start? Let us tell you!

    From the early 1900s, rock climbing was seen as a necessity to reach the summit of a mountain. Today though, we see it as a recreational sport…Sport Climbing.

    If you are looking to get into sport climbing, there are a few steps you can take to make sure your journey there is safe and fun.

    How To Start Rock Climbing

    How To Get Started Rock Climbing?
    1. Try an indoor climbing gym to make sure you like it before emptying out your wallet on the equipment.
    2. Make sure when you do buy equipment that it is QUALITY.
    3. Hire an experienced coach or go with an experienced partner.

    How To Start Rock Climbing

    Where Do I Start?

    When taking on a new sport, especially rock climbing, it is important to learn the basics before jumping right into something that could be potentially dangerous. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself, and whoever you take with you into. Make sure to never climb alone. Climbing buddies are a total essential to this sport.

    If you don’t have any climbing buddies yet, that is A-Okay! With this sport growing at such high volumes, more and more climbing gyms are opening every day. Find one near you to start practicing, and there you can meet your potential climbing buddies.

    How To Start Rock Climbing

    How Do I Know What Equipment To Buy?

    How To Start Rock Climbing

    When you are on the hunt for your climbing gear, you want to make sure what you are buying will last you. You know that old saying, “you get what you pay for”? That basically sums it up. If you are serious about this sport you may want to spend the extra couple of bucks to make sure it will serve you when you most need it. The last thing you want is an equipment failure when you are hanging off the edge of a cliff.

    Support your economy and do your shopping local. You can check out your local outdoor stores and speak with one of the sales reps on the topic of starting your climbing journey. Just ask how to start rock climbing. He or she should be able to point you in the right direction of where to start and what to buy. They may even be able to give you tips and tricks to the local climbing areas.

    How Do I Find A Climbing Buddy?

    This is one of the most critical pieces to your climbing journey. Rule number one: always climb with a buddy. If your friends are more of the TV watcher and less of the adventurous type, try starting your search in your local climbing gym. Here you will find other newbies who are on the same mission as you… (to learn how to climb and find a climbing buddy.) Make new friends, and experience this journey with other people who have the same interest as you.

    How To Start Rock Climbing

    Remember, the best views come after the toughest climbs.

    Your Question of “how to start rock climbing” should go a long way. Keep an open mind and always ask for advice. You will get there!

    Learn more about Adventure Travel HERE!

     

     

     

     

  • You are the author of your destiny.

     

    Your life is your story.  Write well. Edit often.” –Susan Statham

     

    What is your story?  We create stories every day.  Why not stop to consider what you are writing?  Are you taking charge as the author or are you letting each day slide by?  Sometimes we need reminders that tomorrow is not promised. We must choose to live with passion and purpose.  Our life journey, our story, must be cultivated to have meaning.

     

    Consider your story.  What are you writing? What changes can you make to embrace life?  You can certainly begin with kindness, compassion and service to others.  Be thankful and strive to be better. At the top of the list, with all of life’s obligations, remember the importance of making time for yourself.  Make time for that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Create that adventure.

     

    Be sure that your story is one to be shared.

    mountains

  • Find out what to pack in your sack!

    Adventuring by Backpack?  Whether you’re going to Peru, Thailand, Nepal or the Grand Canyon, destinations by backpack may be the best way to experience our world–to see nature at its best. Packing that pack the right way though, may make all the difference in comfort during your trip.  

    backpacking, winter, mountainsThe key to comfort for multi-day packing is with organized balance and keeping your essentials to a bare minimum.  We all know the concept of balancing needs vs. wants. Packing your pack is similar in that we need to choose what we bring with focus: essentials vs accessories. You will find that careful selection of what to pack and where to place it in your pack will keep unwanted aches and pains at bay, thus making your trip so much more enjoyable.

    Once you’ve narrowed down your trip and know the climate and terrain, you will have a good idea of what is needed.  Take all the gear you think you will need, and spread it out all across your room. Arrange everything in piles of essentials vs accessories.  Place the accessories to the side and group the essential gear by category and weight: cooking, sleeping, clothing, toiletries and so on.  Don’t overpack, and try to save some room for trail souvenirs. 

    backpacking, trail, hikingWhen packing your pack, think first in, last out–meaning your sleeping bag should be the first item to pack because it will be the last out.  Also, your base layers such as long underwear and shoes should go in the bottom of the pack. Lighter gear should also be placed in the bottom. Most importantly, be sure to choose a pack with solid back support.

    Helpful tip: Use an extra large, heavy duty garbage/leaf bag to layer the inside of your pack to protect from moisture.

    Remember the importance of center of gravity in keeping balance.  For men, it is usually a bit higher than for women, so you may need to personalize by placing items at different heights to see what feels best.  Even so, generally you will want to pack your heaviest items centered between the shoulder blades and closest to your back. Heavy items will be your bear canister (filled with food), cooking equipment, pots (stuffed with food or other), and the water bladder (fill first and then pack).

     

    After the heavy items are well centered, carefully fill in the empty spaces and pack to the corners.  Clothing should be rolled to be long and thin to maximize space and minimize wrinkles.

    jetfoilHelpful tip: If packing cooking fuel, place it upwards and under your food in case of leaks.

    The top of the pack should be saved for items needing quick access such as first aid or for a bulky coat. Raingear or an extra layer should be accessible.  Organize your side pockets so that you know where everything can be found. Compass and trail map, flashlight, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, bug spray, snacks, swiss army knife, toilet supplies and cash should all have easy access.

    Consider separating your tent from poles. Use the body of the tent to wrap clothes or to create support by filling in empty spaces in the pack. Poles can be removed and tied to the center or sides of the pack.

     

     

    Helpful tip: Leave a trip itinerary with family or friends.

    backpack, ruff sack

    Suggested Items to Pack for Multi-day Backpacking

    • Tent or camping hammock
    • Sleeping bag
    • Sleeping pad
    • Compass and trail map
    • Stove and fuel
    • Matches or lighter
    • Rope
    • Cookware, dinnerware, utensils
    • Dishwashing kit with biodegradable soap
    • Dry bag for electronics
    • Backpack cover for rain
    • Freeze dried food and snacks
    • Water bladder
    • Water treatment
    • Clothing with quick dry fabric
    • Cushion socks
    • Fleece, beanie and gloves
    • Rain jacket and pants
    • Hiking boots
    • Bear canister
    • Watch
    • Headlamp, flashlight with spare batteries
    • Multi-tool (Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman)
    • Expandable Towel
    • Toiletries
    • Sunscreen
    • Sunglasses
    • Insect repellant
    • Ziplock bags
    • Journal and pen
    • cash/credit card
    • camera/phone/portable charger
    • Ipod

    backpacking

    First Aid Kit suggestions:  

    Bandages, safety pins, tweezers, wipes, antiseptic, antidiarrheal, antacid, ibuprofen, oral rehydration sachets, etc.

     

    To get the most out of your trip, be sure to pack smart.  Be organized, keep weight distributed and remember to have fun.  Enjoy the adventure!