White Water Rafting

There are few outdoor adventures more exhilarating than white water rafting. If you’re up for a grand adventure, consider a white-water rafting trip. Whether you prefer a brief, one-day whitewater rafting trip, a week-long trip or an even longer journey, there is something for everyone who wants to disconnect and spend time in nature. Here are just a few things to expect when you venture out on a white-water rafting expedition.

What You Can Expect While White Water Rafting

White water rafting can be an exciting way to experience the great outdoors. However, before grabbing your paddle and life jacket, it’s important to know what you can expect during your journey. First, know that there are six main levels of rapids. If you are new to white water rafting, you will likely want to stick with level 1 or 2. These levels have slower moving water and easier rapids. There will likely be stretches of calm water which can create a pleasant break between the rapids.

Once you move up to level 3, you can expect waves up to four feet and possible narrow passageways. This can easily send water gushing over the sides of the boat. With levels 4 and 5, the rapids become longer and more difficult. Turbulent water can be challenging to navigate and you will likely experience a lot of spinning and twisting. If you have white water rafted many times and consider yourself an expert, you may want to try the most extreme level. Level six is the most challenging and features “unrunnable” rivers and waterfalls. While this level is sure to get your heart pumping, it also comes with certain risks.

Best Places in the World to Go White Water Rafting

There’s no shortage of amazing white-water rafting destinations. If you’re looking for a great place to go on an adventure, consider the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River spans 226 miles through Arizona, Utah and Colorado, making it the ultimate white rafting location. The Ottawa River in Canada that divides Ontario and Quebec is also known for its incredible white-water rafting. There are areas of river that are suitable for all skill levels and the lukewarm water makes it a comfortable ride.

Another incredible white-water rafting destination is the Panuare River in Costa Rica. Ride through the tropical rainforest over 67 miles which is divided into three sections. There are rapids throughout this space that range from class 3 to class 4. Along the way, you will get the chance to see some resident monkeys, ocelots, jaguars and exotic birds. Other white-water rafting locations to consider include the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, the Futaleufu River in Chile and the North Johnstone River in Australia.

Start Planning Your White-Water Rafting Trip

Few outdoor activities live up to the thrill of white-water rafting. If you have the courage to brave the rapids, white water rafting can be an unforgettable adventure. Start planning your trip today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Why We Love Camping

Camping presents a wonderful opportunity to spend a good time with your friends and family. Every year, I take some time off my roof repair duties and find an awesome destination to camp with my lovely wife and children. It presents a fun way to socialize and expend quality time with my boys. When you go outside, you enjoy nature as well as saving money that you would otherwise spend on expending hotels.

Although some people might think that going on a camping trip involves a lot of hassle and might be time-consuming, the fact is, with a solid plan and proper organization, you can have a memorable camping experience. When it is properly planned, you will be able to avoid all ordeals that come along the way.

Benefits of Camping

Camping is indeed beneficial in a lot of ways. People get to enjoy the great outdoors and all the beauty it possesses. Here are some of the top benefits associated with camping, and why we do love it.

Physical benefits

Many camping activities present a good form of exercise. Camping includes activities such as walking, hiking, snow jogging, among others, all of which are great forms of aerobic exercises. Aerobics exercises are good for your heart as they improve blood flow and air circulation. When you walk on camping trails, you also benefit by boosting your levels of vitamin D in the body.

Emotional Benefits

There is a unique feeling of being calm and appreciating the simple things that life throws to us. Camping gives you an emotional rest from all the emotional expenses of a busy day. We don’t have to visit expensive places in urban centers to enjoy the best of life. Camping presents the exact opposite – simple life, low budget, best of what nature has for us.

Mental benefits

Mental benefits associated with camping are priceless. First, campers get a cool place to reduce their mental stress. The many piles of work to do and the demands of our everyday life can leave us fatigued. At one point in life, most people experience mental burnout. A sure way to rejuvenate is to set yourself on a camping trip. The serenity presented by wilderness can allow you to have calm meditation, reflection and peace of mind.

Social Benefits

Having a busy life with so much work can affect the quality time you ought to spend with your family. Today’s children hardly get time to play outside and enjoy outdoor activities. Most of them are glued in front of their computers, phones and social media, and this can be harmful health-wise. Camping presents a great way to break away from work and technology and focus on spending quality time with your family while enjoying various camping tasks.

If you are looking forward to having a great summer this year, be sure to organize an outdoor camping trip with your friends and family. The secret to having a great camping experience is to plan properly, and get all the right gear in time.

Biking Expeditions

     From the time when you were young and small, you probably learned to ride a bicycle at some point.  Learning to balance and propel yourself forward was a thrill, no doubt, and you quickly realized that a whole world waited for you to come explore and make new discoveries.  Well, the world is still waiting for you, and if you enjoy a nice, relaxing bike ride, then a biking expedition may just be the adventure that you should investigate.

From lazy, slow-paced bicycling through a small town or across several miles, to a faster-paced, challenging bicycle tour, the options are plentiful and the biking destinations are immense.  All over the world, people are discovering bicycling as a different way to explore new towns, villages, coastal areas, mountains, and so much more.  From the novice to the expert, anyone can find a biking expedition that is appropriate for their physical level and for their personal interests.

Once you have made the decision to take a bicycling adventure for your next vacation, then you must decide what type of trip will be most interesting to you.  For example, do you want to challenge yourself by taking a bike tour that is in the mountains or in the rolling hills, therefore working yourself physically, as well as seeing the beautiful countryside?  Or would you be better off staying in terrain that is smooth and flat, perhaps along a coastal region that is low-lying and is filled with open horizons.  Once you have decided what is the best choice for you, then embarking on your plans for your trip is the next step.

     Throughout the world, and throughout the United States, bike enthusiasts can find organized tour groups that focus solely on bicycle tours.  Perhaps one of these tours is a good choice for you, or maybe you want to organize one for yourself.  Perhaps you and a friend, or a small group of friends, wish to organize a biking adventure for yourselves.  Along with having bikes that are in good shape, ensure that you have other supplies that will be needed, as well.  Things such as moisture-wicking, comfortable clothing, plenty of water, first aid supplies, helmets, and a planned itinerary are essential for providing yourselves with a safe and unforgettable adventure.

When looking for some organized tours within the U.S., there are a few favorite spots that have been enjoyed by other bike enthusiasts.  Perhaps one of these listed below will spark an interest in you.

-The Lobster Roll Bike Tour:  Located along the coast of Maine, this bike tour offers riders the chance to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, while building up an appetite for a lobster roll meal.

-The Portland Beer Tours by Bike:  This Portland, Oregon gem offers a leisurely bike tour to those interested in checking out the local pubs.

-Pedal Oak Park, Illinois:  This 2-hour excursion offers riders the chance to see many historic buildings, as well as several designs by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Along with these day trips that were mentioned, bicycle adventures can also be found for people who are interested in multi-day excursions, too.  Be sure to check out all of your options before making your final decision about your next biking expedition.

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail

    Hiking is a wonderful, adventurous sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities.  All over the world, hikers can find a trail, and a suitable terrain, for their own natural ability and fondness.  One hiking trail that is well-known around the world is the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, also known as the Appalachian Trail, or is often, quite simply, referred to as the “AT”.

The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,200 miles long and runs from Mt. Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia.  The trail traverses through 14 different eastern states, including; Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia.  It also runs through multiple national forests and national parks, as well as state parks, forests, and game lands.

Approximately 2.5 million people hike at least some portion of the Appalachian Trail every year, although most people enjoy short one-day hikes or a night or two excursions through a portion of the trail.  A much smaller number of hikers actually hike the entire AT, but those people that do hike the whole trail have some interesting and exciting stories to tell.  Many people have written books, stories, articles, documentaries, and the like, about their excursions.

     Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail usually takes about 6 months, give or take.  Hiker Karl Meltzer broke a record in 2016 for hiking the AT in the shortest amount of time.  He did it in 46 days.  Most people who hike the AT prefer a slower pace, so they can bask in the beautiful scenery and limit the amount of wear and tear on their own body.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail allows the hiker to explore numerous wildlife and exotic plants and terrain variances.  Some of the animals that may be spotted throughout the trail include; white-tailed deer, black bears, Eastern cottontail, porcupine, red squirrels, and many others.  There are also many beautiful and unique plants that can be found along the trail.  Depending on the time of year, you may see mountain laurel, azaleas, rhododendron, tulip trees, dogwood trees, huckleberry plants, daylilies, and so much more.  If you are hiking the trail, you may wish to carry a plant-identification book or chart that will enable you to identify various plants along the way.  Some of them are even edible!

The length of the Appalachian Trail runs through many different terrain types, as well.  Almost the whole trail is mountainous, with terrains that include dirt paths, thick grass lands, rocky barriers, roads, concrete paths, farmland, and creeks.  A hiker of the AT should be prepared for all types of terrains, and for all types of weather, too.

Speaking of weather, this should be a serious consideration for anyone who is hiking the entire trail, or even going out for a day-hike on the AT.  The majority of hikers who plan to hike the entire AT will begin their trek at the southern tip in Georgia.  This is the best place to begin the hike if you plan to leave in the early months of the year, while the weather is still cool, but not too overwhelmingly hot.  The goal should be to reach the northern tip of the trail, in Maine, in the early fall, before the snow begins to fall in significant amounts.

Hiking is a very adventurous activity because it is physically challenging and allows the hiker to enjoy the natural environment around them.  Any hiker should take proper precautions and become adequately equipped, in order to enjoy the hike in a safe and comfortable manner.

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Ziplining

     If you believe that you have seen more and more Zipline opportunities and advertisements recently, then you would be absolutely correct.  Ziplining adventures have increased tremendously over the past couple of decades, and is expected to continue seeing substantial growth in the future.  Ziplining is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of varying ages, physical capabilities, and at different extreme levels, as well.

If you are unfamiliar with a zipline, it is defined as; “a cable that is suspended above an incline to which a pulley and harness are attached for a rider.  The incline of a zipline allows the rider to be pulled by gravity along the line”.

History shows that ziplines have been around for many generations, and that it was originally created for transportation of people and supplies over terrain that proved impassable or dangerous.  Ziplining then evolved into a way to view and study areas that were often unreachable or were delicate areas that were studied by scientists and environmentalists.  Ziplining high above certain environments allows people the chance to study various flora and fauna, while not disrupting the delicacy of the world below.  A fine example of this type of study can be found high above the rainforest areas of South America, where people can see the forest and the ecosystem below them, while not disrupting the natural environment.

     Zipline adventures can be found around the globe, and ziplines vary greatly in length, height, speeds, and thrill for the adventure seeker.  In the United States, almost every state offers zipline opportunities for zipline enthusiasts.  You may find that you wish to visit a variety of ziplining locations, in order to see the wide range of interesting destinations that are available.  Below, you will find a list of some very popular ziplining locations in the U.S.  Perhaps one of these will be on your list of places to visit, or perhaps they will spark an interest in you to check out some other ziplining places, too.

Skyline Eco-Adventures:  This company boasts the reputation of being the very first zipline company in the United States.  They have several locations throughout the state of Hawaii, and they offer ziplining tours high above the beautiful terrain, including; waterfalls and very lush landscapes.

Camelback Mountain Adventures:  Located in the Pocono area of Pennsylvania, this multi-adventure park has many exciting adventures for guests, including a 4,000-foot-long cable used for ziplining.  While on this zipline, you will pass over the Camelback Mountain Waterpark, have gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, and will be able to reach a speed of about 60 miles per hour.

Ziprider at Icy Strait Point, Alaska:  This zipline adventure is unlike other ones, due to its’ unique scenery and the chance of seeing some interesting wildlife, such as a whale, from the view in the air.  This zipline has a significant grade of about 25%, so riders are able to enjoy the steep decline, while reaching quick speeds of approximately 65 mph.

These zipline adventures are just a sample of some of the fascinating adventures that await you in the U.S.  When you are on your own travels, check out a ziplining tour close to you, if you want to challenge yourself with a unique and unforgettable experience.

Spelunking

     Spelunking is not just a fun word to say, but it is also a fun activity for many adventurous people.  If you are unfamiliar with the term “spelunking”, it refers to the act of exploring caves, or “caving”.  Spelunking is often referred to as an extreme sport, due to the amount of physical activity that is involved, as well as the mental exercises that are required for being deep within the earth.

Spelunking is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of various ages and physical activity levels, mainly because there are a wide variety of caves to access; therefore, you can easily locate a cave that is appropriate for your own personal interest and capability.  Some caves are much more difficult to access and to navigate than others, so it is important that you do your research prior to choosing a cave to explore.

Exploring caves has grown in popularity in the past few decades, and through trial and error, the methods and supplies that are used to increase the safety of cave explorers has developed into a thriving industry.  Some of the essential spelunking supplies include; a helmet, a headlamp that is attached to your helmet, protective, flexible, and warm clothing, protective and sturdy footwear, plenty of food and water for nourishment, a few first aid supplies, and, of course, a camera so you can capture all that you find in the cave on film.

     One other thing that is essential when exploring caves is a buddy.  It is never recommended that you go spelunking alone, in case something goes wrong and you need assistance.  There are several spelunking tour companies or clubs around, so there is always the availability of someone to go with you.  A database of spelunking clubs can be located by reaching the National Speleological Society, which is the group that governs spelunking activities in the United States.

There are several wonderful caves throughout the U.S. that can be explored.  Just a few of the most popular sights are listed below:

-Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky:  With over 400 miles of cave terrain to explore, this cave system is the longest one in the entire world.

-Luray Caverns, Virginia:  Originally called Luray Cave, this landmark is a favorite among cave explorers and is especially nice for novice explorers.  There are guided tours offered here on a year-round basis.

-Polar Caves Park, New Hampshire:  Located in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire is this unique, glacier-formed cave system.  The temperature within these caves stays very cold all throughout the year, so be prepared if you choose to explore this caving destination.

-Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas:  This huge cave system is known to be the largest commercial cave system within the state of Texas.  Explorers of all ages can find interesting things to do at this cave destination.

-Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota:  Located in the Black Hills, there are over 200 miles of caves to explore in this location.  This cave system is the third longest system in the world.

As you can see, there are many spelunking opportunities in the United States, as there are also many around the world.  If you have an interest in this type of sport, then you will find that the underground world awaits you.

Snow Skiing / Snowboarding / Snow Tubing

     For those people who enjoy a variety of snow-related sports, then you probably have some interest in either snow skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing.  Perhaps you have tried all of them, or at least want to try them some day!  All of these adventurous activities require some level of physical fitness, but once on the slopes, you can engage in novice experiences or high-level activities.  From the baby slopes to the black diamond slopes, skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing can be fun and challenging wintertime thrills.

Some professionals say that “Skiing is easier (than snowboarding) to learn but harder to master – whereas snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master”.  Among people who are very familiar with both of these sports, most folks will agree with this quote.  Almost all resorts that offer snow skiing facilities, also allow snowboarders to use the slopes, as well.

Whichever activity you are engaging in, there are certain pieces of equipment that you will need.  For example, for skiers, you will need skis, poles, boots, and bindings.  Helmets are also used quite frequently by snow skier enthusiasts.  Snowboarders will need a snowboard, boots, bindings, and a helmet, as well.  Both sports should be done with the appropriate clothing, too.  Items such as waterproof pants, a jacket, gloves, warm socks, and goggles may come in very useful, depending on the weather conditions of the day.

     Snow tubing is another snow sport that can often be found in areas that offer skiing and snowboarding.  Snow tubing is usually enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities.  Many snow tubing facilities include long, narrow passages where the tube can be guided from the top of a hill to the bottom surface.  The rider can enjoy the thrilling ride down the slope, without much need for expertise.

Below, you will find some favorite places for snow sports throughout the United States.  Perhaps you have already visited some of them, or maybe you will be introduced to some new snow sport destinations.

-Aspen, Colorado:  Throughout the town of Aspen, guests will find numerous ski resorts, snowboarding locations, and snow tubing, as well.

-Big Sky, Montana:  Big Sky Resort is famous for their skiing and snowboarding opportunities, and snow tubing can also be found in Big Sky, as well.

-Winterplace Ski Resort, West Virginia:  All types of snow sports can be found in this West Virginia favorite, including skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing.

-Camelback Mountain, Pennsylvania:  Advertised as having the country’s largest snow tubing park, Camelback Mountain Resort also has skiing and snowboarding, too.

-Sugar Mountain Resort, North Carolina:  All levels of ski slopes and snowboarding slopes are available at Sugar Mountain, as well as a four-lane snow tubing park, too.

As you might guess, many resorts across the country that offer snow skiing and snowboarding slopes, also have snow tubing locations, too, but not all of them.  The same is true in the reverse; not all snow tubing resorts have snow skiing and snowboarding facilities.  Wherever your wintertime travels take you, it is best to investigate your targeted destination before you set out for your next snow sport adventure!