Apr 24 2019
Tuck Fest 2019
In March, we wrote to you about North Carolina’s US National Whitewater Center. Knowing how the Tuck Fest event turned out last year, we had to get this information out to you. It was an amazing time for everyone involved. If you are in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, plan ahead because this event is one that you don’t want to miss.
Located in Charlotte North Carolina, the creatively designed USNWC ignites a love for outdoor adventure for both family as well as competitive sport enthusiasts. This weekend, the USNWC will be hosting its annual Tuck Fest. From April 25-28, 2019, guests may observe or participate in competitions or clinics. Vendors will line the walkway surrounding the whitewater events while excitement fills the air. The Tuck Fest celebrates the joy of the outdoors in this four-day, fun-filled event.
Be sure to plan ahead as the schedule of events is complete. From marathon and mountain bike races to kayak and raft races, opportunities to challenge your skills are plenty. As many will be attending, all athletes are encouraged to register early online. If clinics are your interest, the list abounds for learning as well. Rock climbing, belaying, kayak polo and fishing, trail running, yoga and more are scheduled for clinics. There will even be a class on Wildlife Rescue! Each day packs a full schedule of events.
Visitors don’t need to participate in competitions or clinics to enjoy the experience. The atmosphere created at Tuck Fest alone with music, food, family and friends is a win-win for all.
Inclusive Excursions will be one of the many outdoor industry vendors featured at Tuck Fest. Keep your eye out for our tent and stop by. We are looking forward to meeting you all. We ar also raffling off a Strider Bike so the little ones can start riding early! All proceeds will be donated to the Altivas Canas Children’s Project in Peru. Mentionthis blog and get a 10% discount on apparel!Come out and enjoy the event.
Fantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, who lost it all, and somehow managed to find his way back. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces his own work. His songs are his fuel as he continues on the third comeback of his life, at a time when our world is in upheaval.
The Suitcase Junket
The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.
J. Roddy Walston and the Business
Heading into Destroyers of the Soft Life, the fourth LP by J. Roddy Walston and The Business, JRWATB pursued a brighter, more nuanced sound that teased out the band’s latent pop sensibilities without skimping on energy or attitude. As you press play on the opening track “You Know Me Better”, anthemic guitars scream out of buoyant, hooky lyrics as Walston’s chugging piano supplies a persistent heartbeat. The “bar band” sound of the past has been replaced by an aspirational, booming cacophony that could fill stadiums.
Instead of the raucous bombast JRWATB manifested on their breakout hit album Essential Tremors, the band’s leader had certain rules he was determined to follow on Destroyers of the Soft Life. One was:“Speak/sing clearly, no hiding behind mumbles.” Another was, “D.I.Y. but hi-fi —record ourselves as much as possible but have it sound amazing and full.” The final, most important, rule was, “Nostalgia is a cancer —acknowledge that you are in the present.”
The Marcus King Band
Marcus King has been writing songs, performing onstage for half his lifetime, and fronting his own groups for nearly a decade. Since he was a teenager, he’s been trading licks with famous fans and mentors, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, whenever their paths have crossed. Haynes was so blown away by the then-19-year-old’s artistic precocity that he signed King to his Evil Teen label, released the band’s debut album, Soul Insight, in 2015 and produced the band’s self-titled follow-up a year later.
“Forgive me for I have sinned,” Marcus King implores, on the gorgeous, contemplative “Confessions,” an essential track from The Marcus King Band’s third full-length album, Carolina Confessions. “The pain that I put you through is killing me inside/Thought if I could make you leave/Then you would see/I ain’t worth a damn anyway.” This highly revealing moment from the multi-talented, confident 22-year old artist gets to the heart of the album’s fundamental themes, guilt and the quest for absolution. Carolina Confessions is confirmation of a preternaturally mature artist coming into his own; it’s a sprawling, scintillating work that affirms King as one of today’s most engaging, singular songwriters. He may be young, but King’s eloquent songs, expressive guitar playing, and ecstatically soulful singing mark this gifted, thoughtful young prodigy as a force to be reckoned with.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers have moved from getting people’s attention to commanding it. Years–with its sharpened songwriting, unique perspective, deepened sound and roll-up-your-sleeves attitude–will grab you by the collar and put a defiant finger to your chest. It is resolute, blunt, and unflinching. Inspired by artists such as the Sex Pistols, Elliott Smith and Hank Williams, Sarah sings with confidence, control, and, at times, a hint of menace. The Disarmers match her on every track, coloring the tales of resilience and empathy with as much urgency as ever as well as a broader sonic sweep.
Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut, Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold. “I was writing an album about being in the mountains,” Childers said. “I wanted it to have that gritty mountain sound. But at the same time, I wanted a more modern version of it that a younger generation can listen to — the people I grew up with, something I’d want to listen to.”
Caamp is a folk trio from Ohio, making beautiful noise. Started by boyhood friends Evan Westfall and Taylor Meier, Caamp came to life in Athens, Ohio. Taylor began penning and playing original songs at coffee shops around Athens in 2013. Evan moved down a couple of years later and together in a hazy attic, enjoying light beers, they would find the heartfelt sound that became Caamp. Since independently releasing their self-titled first record in 2016, they have climbed Spotify charts, headlined the US, purchased denim jackets and added a bass-playing buddy, Matt Vinson – who also enjoys light beers and denim. With their sophomore album Boys on the horizon, the Ohioan folk trio have high hopes and no reservations.
With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up any stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his limitless onstage energy and vocal range. The new album Grown is a remarkable display of each member’s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul, and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar, and singers. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.
Mo Lowda & The Humble
Known for their progressive song writing and energetic live performances, Mo Lowda & The Humble’s beginnings were in the beer-soaked basements of Philadelphia. Following the release of their first full length album in 2013, the trio, consisting of Jordan Caiola, Shane Woods, and Nate Matulis began playing venues throughout the city. After experiencing the high of multiple sold out hometown shows, Mo Lowda took their act on the road and began consistently touring the country. Their 2016 sophomore release, Act Accordingly, was a short and sweet embodiment of the band’s natural progression; refining their already formidable sound. Following that release, Jeff Lucci stepped in as the new bassist, bringing his unique songwriting and tasteful use of effects pedals into the mix.
A grassroots following, now hundreds of thousands deep, has turned to Sean for a kind of musical exploration for almost 20 years. Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Meat Loaf, Jake Owen, Brothers Osborne, Christina Aguilera, Buddy Miller and more have all recorded his songs––a dizzying list that spans not just styles, but generations. Success shows no sign of slowing: Sean earned his first no. 1 single on country charts in early 2018 with breakout artist Brett Young’s delivery of “Mercy,” which the two co-wrote. As a performer, Sean packs listening rooms and quiets unruly bar crowds. His sound––a warm tenor painting vivid stories over acoustic guitar often cushioned by keys or other strings––has prompted a diverse range of music scenes from the storied Boston folk community to Texas’s defiantly self-sovereign camp to warmly claim Sean as one of their own.
“My payoff is just making the music,” Sean says, then smiles. “Everything else is bonus.”
At 34 year-old, Sean has the catalog of artists twice his age. He released his first album at just 15, and until his acclaimed eponymous record in 2015, he did it all independently. “Bootstrapping your own career, you get to build at an organic pace that allows you to grow with your music,” he says. “It teaches you how most musicians do it. Overnight success is not the rule––it’s the exception. Most of us are doing it the other way.”
The Milk Carton Kids
The Milk Carton Kids’ All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do waltzes into disaster and its aftermath. Though they didn’t approach the new album conceptually, a theme of shattered realities began to emerge out of the songs that sparked to life. Recent events provided a bruising background for the record, yet the project is somehow bigger than any personal grief. Two-part harmonies ride acoustic guitars high above the haunting landscape created by the presence of the band, as if Americana went searching for a lost America.
Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors
Souvenirs. Drew Holcomb has collected many of them. A road warrior for more than a decade, he’s spent his adulthood onstage and on the road, traveling from place to place with a catalog of vibrant, honest songs that explore the full range of American roots music. He turned a new corner with 2017’s Souvenir, a highly-collaborative album that finds Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors focusing on the things that truly stick with you — including family and friends, music and memories, people and places — in a fast-moving world.
Liz Cooper & The Stampede
“It started with golf clubs and country clubs, but now it’s all rock clubs”, Liz says, giggling. She spent the majority of her life developing her golf skills, only to drop her college scholarship to move to Nashville and pursue music. “Writing songs and playing the guitar came as naturally to me as golf did. But music tickled my brain in a way nothing else ever could.”
But, Liz didn’t know a soul in Nashville when she moved. So, she went and got a job at a familiar place: a country club. “Liz may not have known anyone when she moved here,” says the Stampede low-end provider Grant. “But now, I feel like she knows pretty much every person she walks past. She just doesn’t stop smiling, and people don’t stop smiling back.” Coincidentally — or not so coincidentally cuz, well, Nashville — some fellow co-workers at the country club also had a band. They called themselves Future Thieves, and they offered to record Liz’s first EP, Monsters. After that, Liz began writing songs as frequently as she smiles. She formed a band with Ky Baker on drums and Grant Prettyman on the weird long guitar, and they recorded the Live at the Silent Planet EP. And now, there’s enough new songs to record a full-length album. “The record we’re working on now is a combination of Liz’s darkly-lit, reclusive songwriting habits, and Grant and I’s Rolling Rock induced rock and roll” chimes Ky. “It’s about bringing our different styles together to create something that makes us all question what kind of music we even like anyways.”
For more information about daily schedules, race registration or to purchase tickets, go to www.tuckfest.usnwc.org.
Apr 12 2019
Hiking in a tropical paradise with panoramic views, breathtaking waterfalls and volcanic landscapes is on the bucket list of many, especially when considering the island of Hawaii. With trails ranging from family-oriented or easy to skilled or expert,this chain of volcanic islands offers opportunities to explore unlike any other place on Earth.
One of the most famous hikes is the Kalalau Trail. This 22-mile round trip hike located on Kauai, traverses through five valleys and across cliffs. Here you will find epic views on the NaPall Coast. It leads to Kalalau Beach, which is only accessible via this hike. It is a tropical paradise where you will enjoy panoramic views, turquoise water and white sand. However, please beware. Trails are narrow and quickly flood. Falling rocks make for unsafe swimming. Always remain cautious, but what an experience! It’s an outstanding hike.
Kaena Point is another popular destination. This is an easier hike with some folklore attached. It is said to be the place where souls go after death to leap into the otherworld. This wraps around Kaena Point on the western tip of Oahu where a lighthouse oversees a serene beach. Here there are natural tidepools, stone arches and stunning views. Often monk seals can be seen lounging in the tidepools. Little shade can be found on this hike, so remember to pack plenty of water and sunblock.
Diamond Head Trail is another easier hike on Oahu on the edge of Waikiki Coast. This three-mile round trip hike has a 500’ elevation gain with two sets of steep stairs, which can be strenuous, but it’s worth it. It winds inside an extinct crater where volcanic rock covers 450 acres. At the summit you will reach the Diamond Head State Monument where on a clear day you will see a spectacular view of Oahu’s popular south shore.
Another great hike is the Koko Head Crater Trail, which is also on Oahu. Depending on your ability, this hike will be thirty minutes to an hour, but it is one of the best. Be sure to take breaks as you climb the 1,000 steep stairs. This trail can be a grueling workout, but the panoramic views of Diamond Head and lava rock beaches are most rewarding!
The easy to moderate Manoa Falls Trail traverses through lush vegetation with spectacular scenery. Much wildlife may be observed including many varieties of birds. Please take extra care in the rain as trails may quickly become slippery. Also keep in mind that while the falls are quite a sight to experience, swimming may be hazardous and is not recommended.
Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike winds along the Kaiwa Ridge on Oahu. It leads to a stunning view of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. Its nickname “pillboxes” come from the boxes scattered along the trail. This hike is especially recommended for beautiful coastline sunrise views. If hiking with the sunrise in mind, begin early and bring a flashlight.
One of the more dangerous or adventurous hikes is the Olomana Three Peaks Trail on Oahu. Caution is especially advised here as there is no room for error. It is very steep with many drop-offs. Do not attempt this hike if you have any fear of heights. Dry days are the best to plan this hike. Peak One is strenuous with drops on both sides. Peak Two is less challenging with stunning views. Peak Three is only for the most experienced mountaineers. This trail is popular with mountain bikers and rock climbers alike.
Before undertaking any hiking trip in Hawaii, there are a few unofficial rules for all hikers as even the easiest hike may be dangerous. Preparation is key to success. Always tell someone where you are going! Proper footwear is a must. No sandals. Considerations for changeable weather is on the list. Flash flooding remains a constant threat, so beware of that possibility. Pay attention to ground conditions as slippery mud can be treacherous especially on steep slopes. Be sure to pack enough water for each hiker (½ liter per mile) and include plenty of snacks as well as sunblock. Also, there are many areas that are sacred to locals, so treat all areas with respect. Always make note of trail difficulties and only traverse those you know you can handle. Some hikes include dangerous cliff walks, where fatalities have occurred. Personal safety needs to be a priority. One last thought, beware of the temptation for the ultimate selfie. Use care when planning your photos.
Choices for hiking seem endless in Hawaii, so before you leave for your trip, be sure to research. Only a few hikes are summarized here, but there are many. When planning, in order to make the most of your trip, know your strengths and consider carefully. Most of all enjoy this spectacular experience!
Mar 15 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
Feb 15 2019
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Boots, gloves, goggles…check. All packed and ready to go–off for Steamboat. After a mild winter in North Carolina, we were finally headed for quality family time in the Colorado snow.
Steamboat Springs is known for its Champagne Powder®, which we have learned makes the best snow for skiing. Unlike ski resorts in the east, this snow is so light and powdery that snowballs don’t stick. Skis and snowboards seemed to glide effortlessly down the 165 trails on the mountain and the out of bound glades. Steamboat was the perfect ski destination for our family who range from intermediate to expert, but even beginner skiers or boarders will find comfortable trails throughout. Raised in the east with plenty of ice skiing, Champagne Powder® was a delight–a joy–for all of us.
It’s hard not to compare this resort to mountains in the east, but knowing the difference makes one appreciate the experience even more. Not only were trails free from ice, but they were free from crowds as well. Most times the trails felt as though they were our own. What a sense of freedom we enjoyed! No ice, no crowds–just free flowing, silent trails of powder and fun.
Blessed with two days of blue skies and the rest of the days getting blasted with snow. We had the best of both, and it truly was a winter wonderland. Riding the gondola gave the opportunity to soak in the landscape. Mountain homes topped with several feet of sparkling white powder, layered snow-covered Rockies in the distance, and the small western town of Steamboat resting below all added to the beauty. Aspens rustled in the breeze and pines held tight to the snow…what a peaceful sight.
We highly recommend Steamboat Springs for anyone looking for the total snow experience.
Jan 18 2019
Adventuring in Whistler, Canada
Just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, lies Whistler–home of the 2010 Olympics and one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Often called a Winter Wonderland, Whistler adventurers enjoy pow-filled fun with skiing, snowboarding, ziplining, snowshoeing, heli-skiing/boarding, nordic skiing and more. With 8,100 acres of slopes, 200+ marked trails, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, not to mention the world class terrain parks, Whistler is a certainly a “skiers dream destination.”
Activities abound for skiers and non-skiers alike in this family-friendly resort. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola offers sightseeing reaching a 360º breathtaking view of Whistler Blackcomb. Take a break and dine on the rooftop before heading back to base. For an adrenaline ride, try the glass bottom gondola! After the ride, explore Whistler Village. Easy to access, this Chalet-style village creates a unique atmosphere to enjoy shopping, dining, art and culture.
For a once in a lifetime experience, consider a helicopter tour to explore forests, rivers, summits, peaks and glaciers. Stopping at a glacial ice cave is an awe-inspiring destination where ice illuminates, where it is said that “time bends and minutes dissolve.” Along with helicopter tours, guided snowmobiling trips are another popular way to explore the backcountry. Ice climbing is yet one more way to adventure in Whistler. Even beginners may experience the excitement of ice climbing with classes available for all.
Activities in Whistler are year ‘round. The slopes remain open through the end of May. In spring, summer and fall, biking, hiking, paddling, and ziplining are plentiful. In summer, along with helicopter excursions, golfing, swimming, floatplaning and sightseeing are popular.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park provides trails for all levels and abilities. Lift access is available for the ultimate downhill experience with jump trails and more. For more adrenaline rush, try the two-hour Whistler Sky Walk. Clip into a cable and explore Whistler Mountain and brave the suspension bridges. Another exhilarating experience, said to be a Canadian tradition, is the 4×4 off-road tour which explores a network of old roads and logging trails.
Dec 28 2018
Dec 14 2018
Switzerland is for Adventure!
Located in Central Europe, the alpine country of Switzerland, with its crystal lakes, quaint villages and mountain peaks, provides a plethora of choices for adventurers. Switzerland is more than cuckoo clocks and yodelling. From skiing to hiking, paragliding to parachuting, adventure abounds with outdoor activities.
With 13,000’ peaks and year round skiing, Switzerland’s Alps have become known as one of the world’s top alpine ski destinations. Favorite resorts include St. Moritz as well as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Summer skiing at the Matterhorn offers 13 miles of runs!
Adventure in Switzerland is not limited to skiing. Interlaken has become known as Switzerland’s adventure capital. Along with hiking and biking, canyoning, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, heli-skiing, paragliding, parachuting, rappelling and jet boating are all popular in this Swiss town. Local tour operators help with all levels so that even first timers can experience these thrills.
For James Bond fans, bungee jumping from the 220 meter Valle Verzasca or Contra Dam is a favorite destination. The opening scene in the film Goldeneye shows a stuntman jumping this bridge. This bungee jumping experience will thrill all 007 adrenaline seekers.
The Swiss National Park offers 107 square miles of lush mountains and idyllic valleys. With trails marked in five languages (including English), and with levels ranging from beginner to advanced, hikers and bikers will have much to explore.
From the Rhine Falls, which is Europe’s biggest and Switzerland’s top natural attraction, to Lauterbrunnen, also called King of the Swiss Cascades, waterfall destinations are many. Several authors including JRR Tolkien and poet Goethe have been inspired by the towering peaks and falls.
Travelling in Switzerland is easy by rail, but with 2,800 miles of mountain bike paths, biking is another option. The Heart Route climbs Lake Geneva and travels through scenic countryside and vineyards. For those who want to skip the challenge of the climbs, Ebikes are a popular choice. Swiss Trails provide luggage services for those journeying overnight.
With skiing, boating, hiking and biking, the breathtaking country of Switzerland provides outdoor adventure for all travellers. Offering extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Switzerland is a must-do for all adventurers.
Nov 30 2018
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.
Nov 15 2018
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.
The 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.
When 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.
Helpful 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.
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
- 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
- Headlamp, flashlight with spare batteries
- Multi-tool (Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman)
- Expandable Towel
- Insect repellant
- Ziplock bags
- Journal and pen
- cash/credit card
- camera/phone/portable charger
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!
Nov 08 2018
Do you need Travel Insurance?
Travel Insurance: To buy or not to buy? That is the question.
Think about Travel insurance as a safety net to catch you if you need it, just like belaying in climbing.
Once you’ve narrowed down your travel adventure, there’s the last question about purchasing travel insurance. Is it really necessary? Well, that depends on your comfort level. For some, just having the insurance takes that edge of stress away from the journey. While most travelers never need that insurance, for those few cases with emergencies, having it in place makes all the difference.
When considering travel insurance, be sure to choose the right plan for your needs. Policies differ for families, single travelers or thrill seekers. For adventure travelers, special policies may need to be purchased. Often bungee jumping, caving or other extreme adventure sports may not be covered under medical, so be sure to inquire and to read all fine print.
The insurance company should include how they will help in an emergency. Are they available 24/7? Will they help with finding a flight if you miss a connection? In a medical emergency, can you go to any doctor or do they have a network? Are cell phones covered if lost? Make sure you know how they will help before you travel.
Another consideration may be to check with your homeowner’s insurance and credit card companies. Often these policies cover lost or stolen luggage (check deductibles though). You’d be paying double with travel insurance if you’re already covered. Also consider your primary health coverage. Will you need a high medical insurance? Modifying to a higher deductible should lower the travel insurance. Be wary of expensive upgrades.
Choosing the right insurance can be confusing. The fine print varies from one company to the next, and defining what is covered or not needs to be clarified before you travel. Comparison websites help distinguish cost and coverage differences, but even with all the reviews available, your best resource may just be your adventure advisor or adventure agency.