Thursday, March 31, 2005

How To KiteSurf

by Jakob Jelling

You have been bitten by the KiteSurfing bug, you can’t wait to hit the first current to propel your body screaming 40-feet into the air and crashing into the water. With each gusts of wind your elevated high off the surface and breaking each wave as you land. The thrill associated with the sport of KiteSurfing has many able-bodied thrill seekers flocking to the beaches across the world to set sail and fly across the top of the ocean.

But before you could set your feet in the water you will need to know how to KiteSurf, if you have surfed or have sail surfed you have an immediate advantage to understand how to maneuver your board, however when KiteSurfing your feet will move a little and your arms and hands are the only thing holding you to the kite, your feet are attached to the board.

Most rookie KiteSurfers have accidents because they have trouble calculating distance and variable levels of speed that the kites can create by a gust of wind. Learning to KiteSurf through instruction and practice is by far the best way to learn and experience the heart-pounding action and gravity-defying jumps.

As with any sport there are safety precautions you should adhere to.

You must be a good swimmer. Swimming entails that if your kite flies away from you, you may have to swim after the handles or swim back to shore. Depending how far out you have gone on your board this may not be such an easy task.

You can be carded or rated by a professional instructor. This will help you understand the risks as well as the conditions that are appropriate for your time out on the water. Your instructor should be certified by the IKO, International KiteSurfing Organization. Never go out with a friend, it could prove disastrous.

You should always wear a helmet. Like bicycle laws they are encouraged in some countries and mandatory in others. Your head is the most delicate part of your body, if you crash into the sea at a high-rate of speed or run into rocks your chances of suffering head trauma can be disabling.

Watch the weather conditions. It is important to understand the weather and the effects of strong wind and how it can play havoc on avid KiteSurfers.

Other guidelines you will learn along the way will be important and somewhat common knowledge but it is good to go over the basics to make sure you and the people around you remain safe as you launch.

· Never launch kites in crowded swimming areas
· Do not lay your lines out along the beach
· Whenever possible try not to launch kite from the sand
· Be willing to help KiteSurfers as they re-enter the beach
· When making jumps in the water, measure the downwind zone
· If you can not swim far distances avoid going deep into the ocean
· Use your self-rescue signals when killing power to the kite
· Always wear a life-jacket or a buoyancy jacket.

By following the simple rules you can keep yourself as well as those around you safe during launch and re-entry to the beach.

About the Author

Jakob Jelling is the founder of Visit his kitesite for the latest on kitesurfing equipment, kiteboarding lessons, places to surf and much more!

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Camping Checklist



Spare tent stakes

Sleeping Bags

Ground pad or air mattress

Stove and fuel

Lantern and fuel

Flashlight and spare bulb and batteries


Dutch oven or Reflector oven

If taking a reflector oven- cake pans, pie plates, muffin tins

Griddle or frying pans


Pot holder

Can opener

Cooking utensils- spatula, large spoon, fork

Mixing bowls


Dish cloth and towels,Dish Soap

Plates, cups, knives , forks, spoons

Repair kit


First Aid Kit


Pocket knife


Moisture proof bags

aluminum foil

Food supplies


Water bottle




Insect Repellant


Rain gear-jacket and pants or poncho


Shirts- Cotton and wool

Sturdy shoes or boots for hiking, lighter shoes for camp


Long pants- cotton and wool

Sun screen lotion



medications etc.

I hope this list has been of assistance in preparing you for your camping excursion.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Costa Rica White Water Rafting Trip

by: Andy Bezara

Costa Rica's mountainous topography and copious rainfall are both responsible for one of the best white water rafting river choices in the world. Experienced rafting outfitters regularly run about half a dozen of rambunctious rivers, and those river trips not only provide plenty of excitement, but also allow enjoying gorgeous scenery. Not only do white water rafting enthusiasts flock Costa Rica, including several Olympic kayaking teams, but every year tens of thousands of visitors experience here the thrill of rafting for the first time.

Costa Rica is the perfect place for a first white water rafting trip experience, since it has several rivers that offer a combination of reasonable rapids and beautiful floats. There are even rivers that are great for family excursions and bird watching, since they lack big rapids and flow through forests full of birds and other animals. In fact almost all river trips offer chances to see a bit of the country's wildlife, such as iguanas, blue morpho butterflies, parrots, otters, king fishers, and herons.

The river routes available to rafters range from the turbulent waters of the lower Reventazon, where you hardly have enough time to catch your breath between rapids, to the meandering curves of the Corobici, where you spend more time watching wildlife than paddling. The most popular Costa Rica white water rafting trip offer a good combination of challenging rapids and calmer stretches where you can sit back and enjoy the passing scenery. If you've done a bit of rafting up north, you'll find the comfortably cool water of Costa Rica's rivers a nice switch from the chilly water of the northern rivers. All white water rafting trips can also be done in kayaks, but kayakers must be experienced.

A wide selection of outfitters run trips down the country's most accessible rivers using trained river guides and modern equipment -- all rafters are provided life vests and helmets -- ensuring safe but exciting excursions. Costa Rica white water rafting trip one-day include transportation to and from the river, breakfast and a picnic lunch on the riverbank. Overnight trips often include lodging riverside cabins and all meals.

Following are a few of the most convenient rivers for Costa Rica white water rafting trip:

Reventazon: The Tucurrique section (Class III) is easy enough for first-timers. The Pascua section (Class IV-V) is very wild, and requires previous rafting experience. Can be run year round

Pacuare: The country's longest and most spectacular river trip (Class III-IV) can be run from mid May thru mid March. Two-day trip recommended.

Sarapiqui: Beautiful river (Class II-III), good trip for beginners. Can be run out of San Jose or the Arenal area, from mid May thru mid March.

Savegre: Another beautiful river (Class II-III) excellent for first timers. River trips leave from Manuel Antonio and Quepos, May thru January.

Naranjo: A wild river (Class III-IV) near Quepos that requires some rafting experience. Run from June thru November.

El General: A popular three-day kayaking or rafting trip
(class III-IV) best during the height of the rainy season,
September to November.

About The Author

Andy Bezara
For amazing Costa Rica white water rafting vacation package visit

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Highpointing: It’s Not Just For Mountaineers

by: Diane Winger

Mount Sunflower, Kansas. Ebright Azimuth, Delaware. Hawkeye Point, Iowa. Hoosier High Point, Indiana.

They may not have the name recognition of Mount McKinley (Denali), Mount Rainier, Mount Whitney, and Mount Hood. And they certainly are far, far easier to get to! But all these places have something in common. Each is the highest natural spot in its state.

Welcome to the world of Highpointing. Thousands of otherwise sane people have set out to drive, stroll, hike, or climb to the highest point in each of the 50 states. Many never plan to make it to the tougher highpoints like Denali (in Alaska), Rainier (in Washington) or Granite (in Montana), but they’ve discovered the fun in planning trips to locate the unusual “summits” of Sunflower (located on the flatlands of Kansas), Ebright Azimuth (yes, a suburban neighborhood can be the site of a state highpoint), Hawkeye Point (located at the end of a feeding trough on a farm in Iowa), and Lakewood Park (turn right at the restrooms, and stroll a short way along a path in a Florida park).

Of the 50 state highpoints, 14 are drive-ups. You drive right up to the highpoint, or so close to it you could toss a rock and hit it. Probably 8 more are extremely easy, involving a round-trip walk or hike of 30 minutes or less. In fact, only about 9 or 10 of the state highpoints involve more than a hike along a good trail. OK, some of these trails require long hikes that may gain a fair amount of elevation. Still, if you’re in good condition, and can walk for many hours, you can manage to check off about 40 state highpoints!

Why do people get into highpointing? It’s a great way to see our country. You’ll find highpoints in popular resort areas (Mount Mansfield at Stowe in Vermont), National Parks (Clingmans Dome, in Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee), and State Parks (Mauna Kea in Hawaii; Harney Peak in Custer State Park, South Dakota). But many highpoints are well off the beaten path, and will take you to beautiful and interesting parts of the country that you may have otherwise overlooked. Eagle Mountain is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota. Oklahoma’s highpoint, Black Mesa, is near the very tip of the panhandle. Taum Sauk Mountain in Missouri is in a beautiful region of the Ozarks. Visit when the autumn leaves are at their peak, climb the nearby Lookout Tower, and prepare to be thrilled.

There are also many interesting things to see and do near the highpoints. Take in a concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra or Boston Pops at Tanglewood in Massachusetts. Looking for something less cultured? How about the Boll Weevil Monument in Florida? Or the Wisconsin Concrete Park, featuring concrete sculptures of horses, soldiers, and heroes? If food and drink are more to your liking, don’t miss a tour of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Vermont, Great Adirondack Brewing Company in New York, or stop in at the Hilltop Restaurant in L’Anse, Michigan for the most decadent (and largest) sweet rolls you can imagine.

Happy Highpointing, everyone!

About The Author

Diane Winger is co-author of “Highpoint Adventures – The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints”, and other guidebooks. Visit learn more about hiking, climbing, and travel adventures in the great outdoors.

Diane Winger © 2004 All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Great Family Camping Trips

by: Valerie Giles

A wonderful way to invest in your families’ treasure trove of
memories is by spending time in the great outdoors. Camping
trips can be an excellent tradition that your family will look
forward to and in time, look back upon with fond memories.

Whether you plan to camp at the same place every year or seek
out new places doesn’t matter as camping is always filled with
new adventures. Your family might have a favorite place you go
to every year mixed with a new spot you select together for
another weekend or extended holiday during the year. There are
so many national parks to explore; your options really are
quite limitless.

Camping doesn’t have to be an overly expensive expenditure.
Again this all depends on how you’ll be camping. Camping in a
tent carries a completely different dynamic than camping in a
fully equipped camper. Camping in a tent is also relatively
inexpensive. Perhaps the camper is something you’ll decide to
invest in after a few years of tent camping, then again there
are some who prefer to only go tent camping. There’s something
to be said about the rustic quality of sleeping in a tent, you
can hike to far off remote spots where you couldn’t get to with
a camper in tow.

Regardless of how you’ll be camping you’ll want to have the
proper camping gear and accessories. First off you want to have
the best tent and sleeping bags you can possibly afford. As your
tent will be your home away from home for your trip and your
sleeping bag will keep you warm and covered for those long
nights under the stars (there are tents available that have
mesh roofs for star gazing, of coarse if it starts to rain, you
can just cover it up with your tent fly), you’ll want to be sure
that both these items keep you appropriately covered so to speak.

Next you’ll want to have proper camp accessories; a trustworthy
camp stove, a lantern, flashlights, a first aid kit, tarp,
cooking and eating utensils, a little axe (for chopping
firewood, also doubles as a hammer for hammering in tent pegs),
some rope (for clothes lines and securing tarp), and cooler.
Along with your sleeping bag you’ll want to remember comfy
pillows (unless your backpacking then you might want a
convenient inflatable pillow) and very importantly a good sleep
pad. An uncomfortable sleep experience on hard ground may steer
you off tent camping altogether, so come prepared, a good
sleeping pad is worth its weight in gold. A good idea to help
you remember all these items is the camping check list.

It’s a good idea to store your camp gear in some plastic
containers. This way it’s all in one place (with your camp list
included), so when it’s time to pack up and go camping you can
go through the containers making any necessary additions needed.
It’s very important to check that all your equipment is properly
maintained and cared for; there is nothing worse than getting to
your destination and finding that your camp stove is not working.
You’ll also want to be sure that your camp fuel supply is
replenished and you have extra batteries (for flashlights,
lanterns or radios).

One of the best things about the whole camping experience is
the food. Now depending on where you’re camping and what time
of year it is, if you’re lucky you’ll be able to do some of your
cooking around the campfire. During dry seasons there may be
fire restrictions due to forest fire concerns, if that’s the
case you’ll do all your cooking atop your camping stove. Every
meal always seems to taste a bit better when you’re camping, it
might have something to do with all the fresh air, or maybe all
the fun activity builds up you’re appetite, either way you’ll
want to bring along some family favorites. For dinner maybe
some grilling of the families select choices, accompanied by
some corn on the cob and potatoes wrapped in tin foil cooked
on the coals with a nice salad and later for dessert smores
(marshmallow and a slice of chocolate sandwiched between two
graham wafers), add to that some hot chocolate before bed and
that’s a night of food to dream of.

The activities (or lack of activities) will also make your
camping trip one to remember. Hiking, kayaking, cycling and
sailing might be on your agenda. Most parks offer excellent
groomed hiking trails. Research in advance the area you will be
visiting to know what activities will be available, you may be
able to rent a kayak and take a lesson at the same time. Many
areas also offer great bike trails that the family can cycle on
together. A late night walk is among favorite suggestions; you
can check out the stars and just listen to the silence.

Bring along a book you’ve wanted to read or some magazines.
Games are another excellent pastime, a deck of cards or a board
game might be some fun. Of course you can always bring along
some baseball gloves and a ball for a game of catch. Soccer
balls, badminton rackets and a net or volleyball and net all
make for a fun day at the park.

If your family has little one’s you’ll be presented with a whole
new challenge. Depending on the ages of your babies or toddlers
you’ll want to pack some extra conveniences. There are excellent
baby back carriers available allowing you to hike all sorts of
terrain with baby in tow while keeping your back feeling
comfortable, as well there are a numerous variety of baby
strollers to select from which are great for using on trails.
For toddlers you may want to bring a playpen to keep baby safe.
You can never bring too many toys; the more your child has to
keep them entertained you can rest assure they will be more

Be prepared for weather changes by bringing along extra clothing.
Most likely you will be camping in the warmer spring, summer and
fall months. It’s wise to remember however that the evenings can
often get quite cool. Bring along heavy sweaters or extra
jackets for added warmth, it can never hurt to bring along a
couple of extra blankets for comfort beside the fire (or for
use at a day picnic). Rainwear is another excellent addition
to your camping wardrobe. With good quality rain jackets, hats,
rain pants and boots you can take advantage of the rainy weather
and actually go out for a hike rather than staying inside the
tent or worse yet ending your camp trip all together.

Camping certainly has its challenges. Knowing what to bring and
having the proper equipment and accessories is the first hurtle.
Once you arrive at your destination and set up you want to keep
everyone as comfortable and happy as possible, whether it’s
keeping the kids occupied without the use of video games or
cooking a surefire dinner. Rest assured that after your first
couple of trips when you find out what everyone enjoys doing
and you realize all you like to include on your trip, you will
certainly add camping to your families list of favorite
excursions and traditions. The wonderful thing about camping
is its always different, perhaps the site is different or the
campground you selected is unique to the last you stayed at,
whatever the difference is it always seems to be an adventure
that the whole family can enjoy.


Best Camping Supplies is a resources site owned and operated by
Valerie Giles. It features tents, campers, fishing gear, boats,
kayaks and outerwear, making your camping experience enjoyable.
Everything for camping enthusiasts at reasonable prices!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Be aware of this new
car-jacking scheme Imagine: You walk across
the Parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your
doors, Start the engine and shift into REVERSE, and you look into the
rearview mirror to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of
paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into PARK,
unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever
it is) that is obstructing your view... When you reach the back of your
car, that is when the car-jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car
& take off!!! Your engine was running, (ladies would have their purse in
the car) and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
TO YOUR REAR WINDOW LATER!!! and be thankful that you read this email. I
hope you will forward this to friends and family . . . Especially to women!

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