Hiking Gear for Short Day Hikes

Hiking, irrespective of whether it is a one day hike or of a longer duration, can be great fun; but only when it is not marred by accidents. Even though it does not guarantee being cent percent accident free, being well prepared does ensure that the chances of some unpleasant incident ruining your outing are minimal. You need to understand that there is some difference between a hike and a picnic, with the former demanding planning well in advance and due importance to the equipment that is to be used.

Essential Hiking Gear for a Short Day Hike

You need to take a few things into consideration when preparing for your hike. These include the duration of the trip, where you are going, what time of the year it is, etc. Just because it is a relatively easy and short day hike, it doesn’t mean you should take it for granted. Obviously, differentiating between the equipment you would carry on a short day hike and camping will help you strike out things that are of no use for your short hike; but will only add to your burden.

Though important, footwear and clothes are by far the most underrated components of your hiking gear. It is important to take into consideration the terrain and weather of the region where you are heading to, in order to decide what clothes to wear. Hiking boots, along with socks made of wicking material, which will keep your feet dry, will ensure safety of your feet. If you are off to a region wherein it rains or snows, or some place wherein you have to wade through water, you need to make sure that you are wearing waterproof footwear.

As with the footwear, even the clothes to wear when going hiking have

Managing Moisture While Hiking With Layers

If you’re planning a multi-day trek through the wilderness, or even just an epically long day-hike, you will need to carefully consider what to wear. As any seasoned hiker would tell you, jeans and a T-shirt will only get you so far.

Serious hiking requires a more thoughtful approach to clothing, including an accurate assessment of the conditions you’ll be encountering, and a thoughtful layering system that will not weigh you down. Weight is an especially important issue for hikes that extend over multiple days. You can’t bring a suitcase filled with half your wardrobe on this type of excursion – you will need to pack very lightly.

Importance of Moisture
One of the most crucial things to consider when deciding on your hiking wear is moisture. Moisture can come from outside, like rain, or from inside, usually from perspiring. Being wet all the time is no fun, and can also be very dangerous. Water on our skin traps heat, and when the water evaporates, the heat goes with it. This means that, if you are wet in windy or cold conditions, the evaporating moisture could cool you down faster than your body can expend energy to keep itself warm. It’s a recipe for shivering discomfort, and can lead to hypothermia, in extreme conditions.

Water-resistant Layers
To stay dry during long hikes, it’s a good idea to have, at minimum, a water-resistant outer layer, like a rain jacket. This will help keep you dry, by repelling most of the moisture that comes from the outside. Water-resistant jackets are usually also breathable, which means that, they let air pass in and out. This is a good thing, because it can help regulate your temperature if it’s warm, and can help keep you dry, by letting your perspiration evaporate efficiently. Unfortunately, breathability also means that

Things to Know While Hiking in Humid Climate

On a recent trip to visit family in Texas, I got a chance to do a little hiking. Being from an area with a much less humid climate, I got to thinking about the unique issues involved in hiking in high humidity areas. During the Texas spring, wildflowers are in bloom, and some areas of the state are truly a hiker’s paradise. But if you’re used to dryer weather, you might find that moisture is something of an obstacle.

Let’s not mince words about it-one of the most difficult things about hiking in humidity is the sweat. I’ll admit that Texas Hill Country has lower humidity than some places I could have chosen, but by the end of the day, I was feeling very, very swampy. Do yourself a favor and bring along a towel or old T-shirt to keep yourself dry. I would also recommend that you carefully think about what type of fabric you’re wearing before you go. Not only are some fabrics, like denim, more absorbent than others, not all clothes are equally friendly to the skin when you’ve been out in the sun all day. I’ll spare you the detail, but let’s just say that I would not recommend denim. My hiking partner wore a pair of lightweight, moisture-wicking pants, and I wish I had done the same.

An issue related to perspiration is hydration. Some people think that you do not actually produce more sweat in humid climate, but the slower evaporation makes it seem like you do. This is a myth. In fact, most people do perspire more in humid climate. The reason is this – it’s true that sweat takes longer to evaporate in humidity, and evaporation is the primary reason that perspiration cools us down. When our sweat evaporates, heat goes with

Desert Hiking Essentials and Safety Tips

Hiking in the desert may seem unconventional to some, but this activity does have quite a few avid followers. Desert hiking gives you ample opportunity to indulge in rock climbing, walk along the gorgeous terrain, and of course, click pictures as you move ahead.

Hiking, as all other adventure sports, should never be taken lightly, especially when you consider the harshness of the desert. There are certain safety measures and precautions that you need to keep in mind, every step of the way.

Top 5 Desert Hiking Essentials and Safety Tips

1. Carry All Essentials

A desert hike is definitely not a stroll in the park, so it is imperative to make preparations for it. To begin with, you must make a list of essential items which you need to carry along with you. These include basic supplies and safety equipment. Usually, the items that you carry along for your trip depend on the location, weather, and the amount of time you plan to spend there. But a desert hiking trip in particular, calls for the following essentials –

– Extra water
– Extra food
– Map and compass
– First aid kit
– Flashlight with spare batteries
– Spray water bottle to mist water on your body
– Protective clothing
– Sunscreen
– Whistle/mirror for use during emergencies
– Swiss knife

2. Keep Sipping on Fluids

Nothing works like good ol’ water to beat the desert heat. Preferably, you should never hike between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., times when the sun is at its brightest. However, it is important to be hydrated at all times, in order to keep heat-related afflictions at bay. A good hydration pack will help you keep up your fluid intake, and won’t be too cumbersome to carry.

It is estimated that an individual perspires around half to one quart of fluid

What to Look for When Buying Hiking Socks

Every hiker admits to conducting enormous amounts of research before buying hiking shoes, equipment, backpacks, and even hydration packs. But one piece of gear that unmistakably goes unnoticed is the simple pair of socks.

Wearing the wrong socks can land the most seasoned of hikers in quite an uncomfortable position. Therefore, it is imperative to pay adequate attention while shopping for this seemingly menial piece of clothing.

Buying Guide for Hiking Socks

It may sound a little preposterous to have a ‘buying guide’ for socks, but rest assured that you’ll be thankful for this information during that unexpected lash of rain on your next trip in the mountains.

Consider the Material

Say no to cotton.
It’s natural to prioritize comfort and opt for cotton socks, but this fabric can be a nightmare for hikers. It is a poor insulator, it does not dry fast enough, and it may cause blisters due to friction.

100% wool is no good either.
Woolen socks provide amazing warmth and cushioning. They have better wicking properties (the ability to draw moisture away from the skin), as compared to cotton. But they don’t dry fast enough, and may feel itchy to some.

It’s better to skip silk.
Silk socks are lightweight and airy. They also wick well, and offer comfort to the wearer. The downside, however, is that they are quite delicate, and also very expensive.

Synthetic blends are the best buy.
Synthetic socks can be made of elastic, acrylic, spandex, polyester, nylon, GORE-TEX, or COOLMAX fibers. These provide comfort through cushioning, possess good wicking properties, and can take a lot of wear and tear. Another plus point is that they are easy on the pocket as well. When blended with cotton, wool, and silk, they enhance the qualities of the natural fibers.

Types of Hiking Socks

As the name suggests, these are meant for

What to Wear While Hiking

Clothes to wear while hiking in the cold
True lovers of nature are always looking for ways to spend time amidst the greens. Hiking and camping are the ideal choices to refresh one’s mood, while enjoying that adrenaline rush. However, before you set out on your hiking adventure, you must be well-equipped to handle various unforeseen situations that may arise. Apart from the basic essentials, the clothing that you opt for is equally important to ensure that your trip is safe as well as enjoyable.

The weather largely dictates the kind of clothing you should pack. Layered clothing will help you to adapt to the changes in the varying moods of Mother Nature!

–The best material for hiking gear in the summer is synthetic fiber like, polyester or polyamide.

–Start with a base layer of comfortable innerwear. Opt for a short-sleeved top and three-quarter length leggings.

–For the next layer of clothing, go in for a zip up jacket and comfortable trousers.

–Carry a jacket that is windproof as well as rainproof, for precaution against the natural elements.

–Wear a pair of liner socks and carry an extra pair along with you.

–Wear a thermal top with long sleeves and full-length leggings over your innerwear.

–As a second layer, go in for a fleece jacket with long sleeves or a woolen turtleneck. Over the leggings, opt for pants that are water-resistant and thick enough to protect you against the cold.

–For the third layer, take along a jacket that will act as a shield against the wind and rain, if required.

–While hiking in winter, two pairs of wool socks and two pairs of gloves are recommended.
Spring and Autumn
–The base layer includes a non-cotton top. Wearing leggings is optional depending on how cold you feel.

–The second layer includes full-length pants and

Appalachian Mountain Facts

The Appalachian range is in fact the oldest chain of mountains on the North American continent.
The Appalachian mountain range, simply referred to as the Appalachians at times, is a vast mountain system in the eastern part of North America. The formation of this mountain range began approximately 300 million years ago as a result of tectonic movement, and continued through the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods.
Interesting Facts about the Appalachians
▶ In a broad sense, the term Appalachian refers to the entire mountain range as well as the hills and plateaus in the surrounding. The range derives its name from the Apalachees — an Indian tribe that inhabited this region.
▶ Almost the entire Appalachian mountain range is located in the United States, except for a small part which extends into south-eastern Canada. The range also covers a part of the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
▶ The Appalachians run along the eastern coast of the United States over a distance of 1,600 miles, extending from Newfoundland in the North to Alabama in the South. The average width of this mountain range varies between 100 to 300 miles, while the average height of individual mountains averages 3,000 ft.
▶ The whole range can be broadly divided into three sections: the northern section, central section, and the southern section. The northern section extends from Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada to Hudson River in New York. The central section extends from the Hudson Valley to the New River. And lastly, the southern section extends from the New River to Maine.
▶ Some of the most prominent geological features of the Appalachian range include the White Mountains, Black Mountains, Green Mountains, Allegheny Plateau, Mount Mitchell, Great Smoky Mountains, Cumberland Plateau, Blue Ridge, etc. Mount Mitchell, with a height

How to Pick the Right Cruise Cabin

There can be nothing more delightfully reassuring than being allotted the best cruise cabin as you embark on your cruising holiday. Although the cabins look similar to the naked eye, they do vary. You can choose wisely as per your personal requirements and budget. Here is how you can choose the perfect cruise cabin to ensure a pleasant journey.

Selecting Perfect Cruise Cabin

It is common knowledge that holiday cruises are always in demand. If you have opted for a cruise trip for your vacation, then it is time for you to start selecting the most appropriate cruise cabin for your family. Fortunately, there are enough cabins to suit your specific requirements. Here is what you need to consider before you pick out your cruise cabin.

Cabin Tariff
Cruise ships usually have cabins with different tariffs on separate decks. Cabins on higher decks have a better view. Therefore, these cabins happen to be some of the costliest on the entire ship. Similarly, cruise ships have cabins in various sizes with different standards of services and accessories to suit our holiday budget. There are cabins that face the front side, rear, as well as sideways with a clear view of the ocean. As a thumb rule, you may expect a very high tariff on cabins facing the ocean. While cabins located in the central part of the deck tend to be cheaper since they do not offer an ocean view. Cabins located on the lower decks are the cheapest, but you need to brace yourself against the sound of the turbines of the ship. If you are looking for a special suite, say a honeymoon suite with a dedicated butler, private pool, etc then the prices may soar to a very high level. However, such suites are

Cruise Ship Ratings and Reviews

Cruise ships are a man-made gift to the whole mankind. They have fulfilled the human fantasy of ‘gliding’ over water. Traveling in a cruise is a blissful experience. Cruises are huge ships that provide magnificent amenities to the passengers. Nowadays, there are many cruise ships providing varied services. One will find a wide range of different cruise ships to choose from, for spending their vacations. From a classy luxurious vacation at sea to a more modest yet rejuvenating holiday secluded from the outside world, cruise ships offer a varied kind of experience to people of different tastes and pockets. So, according to your budget and preferences, you can decide on a cruise shop and sail on the deep waters. You can spend time in the waters of Caribbean Sea, Arabian Sea or even the big oceans. So read on and take your pick and get ready to enjoy soothing waves of the salty waters.

Reviews of Famous Cruise Ships

The following list gives you a gist of what the popular cruise ships in the world offer their passengers.

Azamara Journey

It travels to various destinations, like East Caribbean, Europe and The Mediterranean. Each state-room and suite is provided with its own butler services. A few other facilities include restaurants, concierge amenities, spa and wellness center, coffee cafe, piano bar and wine bar, live entertainment and daily enrichment programs. Along with these, the spacious verandas made available to the guests, win this ship a four star rating.

Carnival Pride

The fabulous Renaissance lobby of this ship awes the guests, the moment they step in. It is a perfect family ship that renders excellent ocean views from the private balconies. With a four star rating, this cruise ship is well-ranked for the destinations namely, East Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Celebrity Constellation

This ship was

Things to Bring on a Cruise to the Bahamas

Going for a cruise vacation is certainly an exciting thing, but packing luggage is certainly not that fun. If an individual is traveling to Bahamas for the first time, then he/she might not have a clear idea on what to carry and what to leave. The best that first time travelers can think of are clothes and money and in this confusion the chances of forgetting important items is very high. Hence, it’s better to do all the packing at least one week in advance.

What to bring for a Cruise to the Bahamas

People from all sides of the globe flock to the Bahamas to enjoy its white sand and heavenly waters. The island is situated on the eastern coast of the US which helps this tiny piece of land to avoid various natural calamities. The bright sunshine makes it one of the top golf destinations of the world. Apart from the countless water activities, Bahamas also offers an amazing view of the flora and fauna for its visitors. Many people don’t know but Bahamas is an independent nation and hence it is essential to make pack necessary items before heading towards it.

What to Wear
Bahamas normally experiences warm weather. Hence, people traveling during summer seasons, should carry light-weight clothes as temperatures run up to 90°F. Avoid dark-colored clothes and wear comfortable slippers and shoes. People who are planning to spend most of their time near the beach should carry more swimsuits. Men and women should also carry an extra formal suit and a beautiful gown for attending any formal parties hosted on the cruise.

Important Documents
Place all you personal identification documents and paperwork in a separate backpack. Carry airline tickets, cruise documents, proof of citizenship and driver’s license, and carry multiple copies of all these documents and keep them separate

Helpful Tips to Find the Best Cruise Deals

Sea cruises, without a doubt, spell class, style, and luxury. They seem to have it all―spacious cabins with top-of-the-line amenities, multi-cuisine restaurants, spas, swimming pool(s), recreation areas, and amazing live entertainment. And move over seasickness; because most cruise liners today are the very definition of comfort.

So, when you’ve got a liner that lets you travel in style to the most exotic destinations in the world, from Scandinavia to Antarctica, you naturally assume them to be jaw-droppingly expensive. Well, some of these sure are, but there also are a variety of options to suit your budget. The following pointers will come in handy to find you that dream cruise vacation.

How to Find the Best Cruise Deals

Begin with Research
The first rule is also the most obvious one on the list; to be able to find a bargain on your cruise vacation, you need to invest a good deal of time in research. Get the basics in place by deciding:

– myour destination
– myour choice of ship (big or small)
– type of cruise (adventure/family/singles/exotic)

Once you have these answers in hand, you can get to the task of zeroing in on the cruise that ticks all your boxes. Read up on cruise companies and their reviews on the Internet. This will help you shortlist a few options. You can even order brochures of the trips that interest you.

Proceed to Booking
If this is your first cruise trip, it is suggested that you book it through a travel agent. A cruise, unlike a regular holiday, is like your mode of transport/accommodation/sightseeing all rolled into one. Which is why a travel agent’s expertise will come in handy to book a trip that suits your needs. An agent can help you pick the right cruise, a good cabin, food and beverage options, age-appropriate entertainment for

A Guide to Help You Plan a Caribbean Cruise

Tip to help plan a Caribbean cruise
Considered to be the exclusive domain of the rich once upon a time, cruising has nowadays become one of the most popular modes of travel―not only because they offer you luxuries and amenities that fit perfectly into your budget, but also owing to the plethora of activities that these “floating resorts” offer. Plus, cruises enable you to see numerous, so-called exotic destinations in a single trip. Many tend to think that taking a cruise vacation is not very cost-effective, and that such a holiday would burn a large hole to their pocket. However surprisingly, contrary to this popular belief, most cruise fares are all-inclusive, thus, making it one of the most affordable travel options.

Planning a Caribbean Cruise: A Traveler’s Guide

These days, cruise ships sail to a number of exotic locations throughout the world. Nevertheless, the Caribbean continues to remain the number one cruising destination. A picture-perfect “sand and palm tree” tropical paradise that the Caribbean is, it offers several opportunities to tourists, both for adventure as well as relaxation. Considering each and every rocky outcropping and sandbar, there are hundreds of large and small islands that are surrounded by the Caribbean waters. However, out of the 45 or 50 that make it onto the world map, about 25 are regularly frequented by ships, operating through various cruise companies all over the globe. Here are a few tips to help you plan a hassle-free Caribbean cruise.

Choosing an Appropriate Cruise Line

► As of now, roughly about 20 cruise lines from the US sail the Caribbean waters. These include both the big ship cruises as well as those which are smaller in size.

► Big ship cruises offer a plethora of luxurious amenities and activities on-board; however, owing to their huge size,

Tips for Choosing the Best European River Cruise

At the cost of sounding very ill-informed, it must be admitted that cruise ships were, until recently, considered to be a perfect holiday for those who found themselves on the wrong side of 50. It involved a comfortable setting, with lots of time spent bobbing up and down on the calm waters of the Danube or the Rhine, seeking the most wonderful photo ops of continental Europe. It still is all this, but you’d be surprised to know the extent to which cruise companies have reinvented themselves to cater to a more younger and hipper crowd.

So, before you dive right in and book one for yourself, here are a few things that you’ve got to keep in mind.

Pick one that is all-inclusive
With group holidays, most itineraries are not all-inclusive, which can be a shame, as the traveler has to be mindful of what he can or cannot do. Therefore, it is better to pick a cruise that gives an all-inclusive deal, upfront. This should include all of the following―airport transfers, tips, meals, drinks, excursions, and on-board facilities like spas, specialty restaurants, pools, gyms, etc. Try to evade the “conditions apply” deals as far as possible, as it is really hard to keep a track of what you’re allowed or not allowed to do.

Screen their specialties
With their growing popularity, cruises are now catering to all kinds of travelers; gone are the days when it used to be the ‘elderly’ way to see Europe. Once you dock, there are ample opportunities for doing whatever it is you want to, be it cycling, exploring, clubbing, or simply taking the designated walking tour conducted by in-house tour guides. You’ve got to be clear about the kind of excursions that are offered, as some companies can be quite rigid about their itineraries, and

French Riviera Beaches

The Côte d’Azur, known in English as the French Riviera, is a stretch of coastline that runs along the southeastern corner of France. It starts at Menton near the Italian border in the east, and carries on up to Hyères or Cassis in the west.

French Riviera beaches have developed into one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It first evolved as a winter health resort for tourists from cold countries searching for balmy warm climes at the end of the 18th century. By the mid-19th century, it was patronized by British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, and King Edward VII while he was Prince of Wales. As its popularity grew, it drew artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, Aldous Huxley, as well as other wealthy people from all over the world. In the latter part of the 20th century, it was promoted as a destination for mass tourism through trade fairs, exhibitions, and business conventions. While it still remains the playground of the rich and famous, and celebrity sightings are common here, it has not remained exclusive to them.

Contrary to the burgeoning popularity of these French beaches, many have pebbles rather than sand, are often small or narrow, and located near busy roads or highways. The beaches turn into seas of humanity in the height of summer, and visitors often find that they have to pay for a stretch of sand to lie on, as many of the beaches are privately owned. For those who want to get away from the crowd and commercialization, there still exist pristine stretches of sand that allow for a relaxed peaceful holiday experience.

Plage de La Paloma, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

East of Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is where the truly affluent live in

Best East Coast Beaches for Families

Beach vacations are always rejuvenating and recreational. The United States is known to have some beautiful beaches on the east coast for families, which are mainly frequented during the summer time. Even a weekend getaway at the beach could distract your mind and bring mental peace. Nowadays, many beaches come with interesting water activities and even comfortable lodgings, to make the beach vacation pleasurable and enjoyable. Also making sand castles, swimming in the blue sea, or just walking along the shore is equally revitalizing and fun.

Best Atlantic Coast Beaches in US

The United States displays some of the best east coast vacation spots, which mainly exposes its visitors to beautiful beaches accompanied by soft rich sand and sea oats. Following is the list of east coast beaches which are best suited for family vacations.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
Virginia holds some of the most beautiful clear water beaches, which are suitable for family getaways. Among them, Sandbridge Beach is frequently visited by many tourists. The seashore is covered by rich golden sand, blanketed by sea oats. Beautiful beach houses and cottages make for a good and a comfortable stay for families who want to visit Sandbridge Beach. The area around the Sandbridge Beach offers some interesting shops, giving you a chance to indulge into some shopping. Arrangement of certain activities such as kayaking, surfing and dolphin tours keep the tourists engrossed into their vacation. After plunging into the activities of your choice, you can enjoy a nice sunset dinner at the beach with your family.

Maryland Beaches
Ocean City is a popular beach here. It is heavily packed by many tourists and has many amazing activities to offer to its tourists. Due to its good climatic conditions, people around the world love chilling at the Ocean City Beach

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