Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ultralight Backpacking "Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Contrary to what many think, ultralight backpacking is not just about the freedom to hike more miles or to take your whole pack up the mountain with you. It is also about comfort and safety. Backpackers with heavy loads work too hard and threaten their joints too much. Challenges may add to the experience, but why suffer more than is necessary?

The Disadvantages Of Traditional Backpacking

Lack Of Freedom

You can't easily take a side trip up that hill, just to see what is there. If you do it without your pack, you have to go back the same way to get your pack.

Ultralight Backpacking

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Power of Ice"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Using ice to treat injuries is one of the oldest methods of pain control. Proven to be safe and effective at reducing swelling, relieving pain and decreasing muscle spasms, ice therapy is an easy self-care technique that anyone can administer. Every mother knows to put ice on a bruised knee after a soccer game or on a teething toddler’s tender gums. But do you really know how ice works?

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, works on the principle of heat exchange. This occurs when you place a cooler object in direct contact with an object of warmer temperature, such as ice against skin. The cooler object will absorb the heat of the warmer object. Why is this important when it comes to cold therapy?
The Power of Ice

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Great Family Camping Trips "Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

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.

Great Family Camping Trips

101 Travel Word Games to Play in the Car - familytravelgames.com - car travel games

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Camping At Stewart Rapids "Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Just got back from a camping trip with 4 of my boys.
The weather was great. We slept by a river where I
fished many times as a boy myself. The place we fished
was called Stewart Rapids. It was an 8 hr. trip by car,
from where we live in sourthern Ontario. The fishing
was great. We caught some sturgeon, northern pike, and
plenty of walleye. My boys and I do this trip same time
every year. We had a great time. Bugs weren't too bad.

If you have any questions about the trip just leave a post.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Photography Contest - a Fun and Rewarding Experience"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Do you like to take photos? Are you always standing by with your camera waiting for that moment that is meant to be captured on camera? You may even be taking photography classes or maybe you have already completed a photography course and you want to share your photos with others. You may want to get into photography as a career and winning a photography contest will help you get recognized. Maybe you are just an amateur that has a favorite photo that people keep telling you to enter.

Whatever your reasons, a photography contest can be a fun and rewarding experience for you. To find out all you need to know about entering a photography contest, read on.
Photography Contest - a Fun and Rewarding Experience

Thursday, May 19, 2005

7 Things You Must Do If You Want To Make That Perfect Camera Shot"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand. Margaret Bourke-White

These tips should help you relive those moments back where you've said "if only I had a camera." Now you will have it captured on film. These tips should help you to be camera ready.

1. Get as close as you can to the subject or action

Remember, if you're using a instant camera
a lot of them have a minimum shooting
distance. This is usually about two metres.

7 Things You Must Do If You Want To Make That Perfect Camera Shot

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dutch Oven Cooking Recipes"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"

Getting ready to for some serious camping and need some awesome
recipes. Here are some that are on my web site. Just click the link
below and you'll be taken right to them. Have a great camping trip!

Dutch Oven Cooking Recipes

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"Take Spectacular Nighttime Photos with your Digital Camera - Part I

Night photographs express a special something that cannot be seen in normal daytime photography. Whether it is a photograph of a moon and starlit sky over a windy deserted beach, the excitement of a downtown cityscape when the lights go on, or just a picture of you and some friends in front of a favorite hangout, nighttime photos, when done right, are sure to attract attention.

However, even for experienced photographers, nighttime photography can be a tricky situation. Photos often look unfocused, blurry, or lacking crucial details, and many may not come out at all. There are some tricks, though, to taking spectacular nighttime photos with your digital camera, tricks that can be explained yet only completely learned through practice.

Take Spectacular Nighttime Photos with your Digital Camera - Part I

Monday, May 16, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" Basic First Aid-"For Your Dog"

As an ardent reader of the Collins Dog Photoguide I came across this article, which I feel, might be of interest to readers.

Traffic Accidents A traffic accident is probably the most common cause of serious injury to a cat or dog. Always approach the animal with caution, it may react aggressively because of the pain.

Move the dog as little as possible, but if you must move it, it is probably best to use a blanket, sliding it underneath the dog. Seek the assistance of another person and lift the dog gently to safety. Check for heartbeat and any haemorrhaging. Attempt to stem excessive bleeding by holding a clean pad or clean handkerchief over the wound, binding it tightly with a makeshift bandage. Call the nearest vet's surgery to warn of your arrival.

Basic First Aid

Saturday, May 14, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" Red Hot Dutch Oven Chili

Easy Chili

2 lb. ground beef
4 tbsp. water
1 large onion chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp. Tabasco sauce
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans tomatoes

Brown the ground beef. Add the onion and cook until transparent.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the kidney beans. Simmer
for 1 hour. Add the kidney beans and heat through.

Recipe Secrets Over 100 top secret recipes!


My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" 10 Wide Open Tips For Food Safety In The Great Outdoors

by Terry Nicholls

Hiking, camping, and boating are good activities for active
people and families. However, if the food isn't handled
correctly, food-borne illness can be an unwelcome souvenir.

1. Choose foods that are light enough to carry in a backpack
and that can be transported safely. Keep foods either hot or
cold. Since it's difficult to keep foods hot without a heat
source, it's best to transport chilled foods. Refrigerate or
freeze the food overnight. What foods to bring? For a day
hike, just about anything will do as long as you can fit it
in your backpack and keep it cold -- sandwiches, fried
chicken, bread and cheese, and even salads -- or choose non-
perishable foods.

2. Keep everything clean. Remember to bring disposable wipes
if you're taking a day trip. (Water is too heavy to bring
enough for cleaning dishes!)

3. It's not a good idea to depend on fresh water from a
lake or stream for drinking, no matter how clean it appears.
Some pathogens thrive in remote mountain lakes or streams
and there's no way to know what might have fallen into the
water upstream. Bring bottled or tap water for drinking.
Always start out with a full water bottle and replenish your
supply from tested public systems when possible. On long
trips you can find water in streams, lakes, and springs, but
be sure to purify any water from the wild, no matter how
clean it appears.

4. If you're backpacking for more than a day, the food
situation gets a little more complicated. You can still
bring cold foods for the first day, but you'll have to pack
shelf-stable items for the next day. Canned goods are safe,
but heavy, so plan your menu carefully. Advances in food
technology have produced relatively lightweight staples that
don't need refrigeration or careful packaging. For example:

== peanut butter in plastic jars;

== concentrated juice boxes;

== canned tuna, ham, chicken, and beef;

== dried noodles and soups;

== beef jerky and other dried meats;

== dehydrated foods;

== dried fruits and nuts; and

== powdered milk and fruit drinks.

5. If you're cooking meat or poultry on a portable stove or
over a fire, you'll need a way to determine when it's done
and safe to eat. Color is not a reliable indicator of
doneness, and it can be especially tricky to tell the color
of a food if you're cooking in a wooded area in the evening.
It's critical to use a food thermometer when cooking
hamburgers. Ground beef may be contaminated with E. coli, a
particularly dangerous strain of bacteria. Illnesses have
occurred even when ground beef patties were cooked until
there was no visible pink. The only way to insure that
ground beef patties are safely cooked is to use a food
thermometer, and cook the patty until it reaches 160° F. Be
sure to clean the thermometer between uses.

6. To keep foods cold, you'll need a cold source. A block of
ice keeps longer than ice cubes. Before leaving home, freeze
clean, empty milk cartons filled with water to make blocks
of ice, or use frozen gel-packs. Fill the cooler with cold
or frozen foods. Pack foods in reverse order. First foods
packed should be the last foods used. (There is one
exception: pack raw meat or poultry below ready-to-eat foods
to prevent raw meat or poultry juices from dripping on the
other foods.)

7. Camping supply stores sell biodegradable camping soap in
liquid and solid forms. But use it sparingly, and keep it
out of rivers, lakes, streams, and springs, as it will
pollute. If you use soap to clean your pots, wash the pots
at the campsite, not at the water's edge. Dump dirty water
on dry ground, well away from fresh water. Some wilderness
campers use baking soda to wash their utensils. Pack
disposable wipes for hands and quick cleanups.

8. If you're planning to fish, check with your fish and game
agency or state health department to see where you can fish
safely, then follow these guidelines for Finfish:

== Scale, gut, and clean fish as soon as they're caught.

== Live fish can be kept on stringers or in live wells, as
long as they have enough water and enough room to move and

== Wrap fish, both whole and cleaned, in water-tight
plastic and store on ice.

== Keep 3 to 4 inches of ice on the bottom of the cooler.
Alternate layers of fish and ice.

== Store cooler out of the sun and cover with a blanket.

== Once home, eat fresh fish within 1 to 2 days or freeze
them. For top quality, use frozen fish within 3 to 6 months.

9. If using a cooler, leftover food is safe only if the
cooler still has ice in it. Otherwise discard leftover food.

10. Whether in the wild or on the high seas, protect
yourself and your family by washing your hands before and
after handling food.

Copyright (c) Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.

Terry Nicholls is the author of the eBook "Food Safety:
Protecting Your Family From Food Poisoning". For more tips
like these, and to learn more about his book, visit his
website at http://tinyurl.com/3fr2t

Recipe Secrets Over 100 top secret recipes!


Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Friday, May 13, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment"Nine tips for taking great digital photographs

Modern cameras are highly automatic in operation. They have auto focus and auto exposure. The camera will focus on the subject - often identified by a small circle or square at the centre of the viewfinder - and calculate an appropriate exposure by detecting the level of reflected light - usually from the same spot. A slight pressure on the shutter release will activate those two functions, without taking a picture. Further pressure on the shutter release will result in a photo being taken.

Nine tips for taking great digital photographs

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" Are You Buying a Boat Check Out These Tips First

Tips on Buying a Boat: Seven Tips on What should you look for when investing in watercraft
by: Keith Binnersley

I discovered sailing many years ago and found it to be a wonderful way to enjoy time with friends and family as well as a way to get away from the office and become totally entranced and absorbed with a world that I did not know existed. I love to sail, so much that I became a certified American Sailing Association Sailing Instructor.

It has been 30 years now that I've sailed the Chesapeake Bay, East Coast U.S.A. and the Caribbean Islands and I've been fortunate to have owned a number sailing vessels, currently two Beneteau sail boats.

I'm often asked by my students what to look for when making an investment in a sailing vessel. I often share the following seven tips and hope that you too may find some value in them.

First carefully examine where you expect to use your boat, long term. Will it be on the Ocean, trans-Ocean, near the shore, in a Bay, on the Caribbean or all of the above. If you plan to sail Ocean or trans-Ocean then be sure that the construction is class "A" or rated for extended off shore passage making.

Beware of the buying philosophy "I'll buy a smaller boat now and get a bigger one later." If you're buying new you will suffer two large depreciations. If buying used, the money you put into the first boat to bring it up to your own personal standards and needs will go a long way to paying a down payment or many monthly payments on the second boat. You will be upgrading the second boat anyway. Buy now what you expect to own for 5-10 years.

Take into account the area where you will be sailing and who you will be sailing with. Decide on the type of berths that will be suitable for you, your family and your guests. For example, aft doubles aligned with the axis of the boat or an aft double that runs across the boat port to starboard. Although the latter tends to be larger and more comfortable in the slip it is definitely not a sea going berth. How easily does the main salon table convert into a berth and is it sturdy enough to do so repeatedly? In a pinch or in good weather can any one sleep in the cockpit?

What is your likely cruising range? If just 2-4 days then water and diesel tankage can be respectively 20 and 80 gallons or less. If it is 5-10 days then a minimum would be 50 and 160. If you buy a boat with say 100 gallons diesel and 2-300 gallons water then the designer will have given up berth space to accommodate the tankage. Depending on the size of the boat the left over space may not be well utilized until you reach say a 50 ft. long boat. Look for living and storage space that is well utilized. Odd placement of the main salon settees, chart table and galley may indicate poor utilization of space and hence you may be paying good money for little advantage.

Boats that are heavy displacement, say 28,000 lbs for say a 42 ft. boat rather than say 17,800 lbs for a medium displacement, 42 footer will need 10- 15 knots of wind to develop any kind of "feel" at the helm and in many locations such as the Chesapeake Bay with winds typically 5 - 15 knots in the summer you may have purchased a very nice well equipped power boat. However these heavy displacement cruisers are excellent for extended off shore passage making and live-aboard sailing either in the Caribbean or the U.S.A..

One of the best tips, If you are a first time sailor and want to buy a boat in the 25 to 50 ft range, is to sail with someone who knows how to sail, take a sailing class and then charter a boat in the length range that interests you. Picking a boat with out sailing a boat of similar size is risky although many have done it successfully. Keep in mind that many of the modern designs of the last 10 years are designed specifically for two people to sail easily whether in the Bay or in the ocean.

Lastly, do insist on a survey. If the boat has any of the defects listed below find out the cost to correct them if you are expecting the boat to pass the insurer's surveyor. Insurers have their own requirements. Your insurance agent and the surveyor should be working hand in hand. This is where a purchaser of a used watercraft can suddenly be faced with unexpected costs. Costly defects include but are not limited to:

Soft or cracked gellcoat on the deck.

Deck leaks around windows, masts, caprail, traveller or through deck fittings.

If the engine that has stood idle for more than 6 months diesel may be contaminated with bacterial sludges, have pistons seized, injectors blocked and electrical system contaminated with water. Insist on at least a 2-4 hour run in the water at cruising speed. Check for undue vibration, overheating, proper charging of the batteries and that the engine can come up to its cruising rpm.

If the boat is more than 6 years old have the surveyor check that the engine mounts are OK and particularly that all mounting bolts are intact. Two can be broken without any obvious signs or effects. When #3 breaks the engine is loose! This is a common problem on older boats that encounter rough waters while under power and can easily be overlooked by the surveyor.

Obviously you will need an out of the water inspection. Check for blisters, gellcoat cracks, soft spots, shaft play in the cutlass bearing and loose rudder bearings, hull integrity around through hulls and the gap between the hull and the top of the keel which should be filled with sealant else corrosion of the keel may have caused the keel to separate from the hull.

Rigging should be checked by a rigger and all running rigging must be overhauled end-to-end to detect hidden chafe.
Hope you find these tips helpful. Best wishes to you on your investment, maybe I'll see you on the Chesapeake Bay or near the British Virgin Islands sometime, I'll either be sailing on Majjik II or Majjik III.

About The Author

Keith Binnersley is owner of Upper Bay Sailing School, Inc http://www.upperbaysailing.com. He is a Certified American Sailing Association Sailing Instructor and holds a 50 ton Masters USCG License. You can contact him at majjikll@msn.com.

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" Binoculars and the Outdoors

What To Know When Buying Binoculars
Buying a set of binoculars isn't as easy as you may think.
It all depends on how you plan to use them. Heres a
great article to help you find that perfect set that could
help you when you need them most.
Find Your Name Brand Binoculars Now

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" - Campgrounds for Sale

Campgrounds for sale are inevitable and if your looking to buy one, you can check out these links:Resorts International NA - Campgrounds for sale

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment
For all your camping info!

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" - Don't Know What To Eat At Your Campout

Cook-Ahead Campouts

by Rachel Paxton - rachel@creativehomemaking.com

When you're out in the woods spending some quality time with your family, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time cooking and washing dishes. I've found that the best way to make the most of your campouts is to cook some of your food ahead of time, and to make the cooking you have to do as easy as possible.

Fish you can wrap in a double layer of aluminum foil and cook in the coals of your campfire. Potatoes and corn on the cob (still in the husks) can also be wrapped in foil and cooked in the coals. Spread the coals around your packets of foil as evenly as possible so the food will cook evenly. Corn will take 10-15 minutes to cook, and potatoes about a half hour. The fish doesn't take long at all-15 minutes or less depending on the thickness of the fish. And, don't forget the hotdogs! We always bring along some hotdogs or sausages to roast over the fire on a stick. Watermelon can be brought along and kept cold in a cool shallow creek.

The following recipes are great to prepare ahead and take with you. The chicken you can eat cold and the shredded roast beef you just warm up in a pan or in foil and serve over hamburger buns. The fruit salad keeps well for a couple of days in a cooler. Yum!


3 pound fryer chicken, cut up 1/4 cup shortening 1/4 cup butter 1/2 cup flour Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash chicken and pat dry. Melt the butter and shortening together in the oven in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, salt, and pepper. Coat chicken pieces in flour and arrange skin side down in the baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and cook for another 30 minutes.


6 lbs. rump or chuck roast 1 (14-oz.) bottle ketchup 3 onions 1 stalk celery 3 tbsp. BBQ sauce 3 tbsp. vinegar 2 tbsp. salt 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. pepper 3 c. water

Cut onion and celery in large pieces. Dump all ingredients in large roast pan. Bake in oven about 6 hours at 300 degrees. Add more liquid if necessary. When beef if done it should pull apart and shred easily with a fork. (It seems like there is a lot of liquid, but when you pull apart the meat it absorbs most of it). Serve on fresh buns that won't fall apart easily.


1 cup mandarin oranges, drained 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained 1 cup sour cream 1 cup cottage cheese (optional) 1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional) 1 cup coconut (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate.

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of four home and family web sites. Visit her site http://www.organized-mom.com, featuring the Easy Organizer, loaded with tools to help you plan, schedule, remember events, keep in touch, get your family on an organized schedule, prioritize, and more.

"Reprinted from Zongoo.com Daily Press & Consumer Information"

Recipe Secrets Over 100 top secret recipes!


Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" - Backpacking South East Asia on an Adventurous Route

by: Parry Loeffler

The South East Asian region of the world - especially Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos - has become increasing popular as a destination for those travelers seeking a more adventurous holiday than can be had merely sipping fruity, ice-cold drinks at your typical beach resort. However, an adventurous trip to these developing countries raises many questions and one of the first is what route to take, which I will try to answer in this article.

Most people with enough time would like to get a taste for all four that I’ve mentioned earlier, so I’ll concentrate on a route that includes all of them. It would take about three months if you spent a few days at each stop. Keep in mind that there certainly are options available that would allow you to skip countries or even shorten the trip to fit into a more constrained timeline, but this should give you a good starting point for further research.

As far as getting around, travel by public bus, train, and boat is readily available and often full of adventure - after all, traveling with a busload of chickens or the occasional box of frogs just adds to the fun, right? However, those looking for a little more comfort will usually be able to find more upscale options.

Many people that intend on doing a circuit though South East Asia will fly into Bangkok since it is a major hub. Bangkok is also rich with markets, temples, and plenty of fabulous food. Around Bangkok, there are several options for some side trips which allow you to get your feet wet. Kanchanaburi is a few hours away and is the location of the infamous bridge over the River Kwai and the Death Railway, the Erewan National Park, and the Three Pagodas Pass near the Myanmar border. If you are not going to the southern islands, but wouldn’t mind checking out the beach scene, you could also take a few days and visit Ko Samet or Ko Chang (less expensive) to get a taste of island life. Both are only a few hours from Bangkok by bus.

Once you’ve had your fill of the Bangkok area, work your way north to Chiang Mai. I like the train and it can be taken overnight, for those low on time, or during the day for those that wish to see some of the beautiful countryside. Chiang Mai is much less hectic than Bangkok, has some opportunities for great sight seeing, and also has a great cooking school! If you want to check out some smaller towns in Thailand, you can do that from Chiang Mai with a little add-on side trip. It’s a loop that goes by public bus to the wonderful village of Pai which is set up in the misty valleys that are laden with lush rice paddies, and then continues by bus or boat to Mae Hong Son, then by bus back to Chiang Mai.

In any case, from Chiang Mai, continue your journey north to Chiang Rai and onwards to Chiang Khong, which is the jumping point into your second country, Laos. You cross the Mekong River with a short boat ride and enter Laos on the opposite bank at Huay Xai. From there you immediately continue on to Luang Prabang by slow boat or fast boat (latter not recommended, unless you enjoy wearing a crash helmet), making an optional overnight stay in the rustic village of Pacbeng.

After spending a few days in Luang Prabang you could do a side trip up north, exploring the small northern villages of Laos for a few days, or just head down to the chilled-out town of Vang Vieng by bus or air. The road route to Vang Vieng is sometimes the target of bandits, so be sure to check what recent activity has been like, and then make your decision - but the safety record of air travel may not be much more inspiring!

Vang Vieng is full of fun kayaking, biking and caving opportunities, so you’ll want to plan for a few days there before moving on to the capital city of Vientiane. It doesn’t seem too exciting for a capital city, so I wouldn’t plan to spend too much time there, other than to visit the strange, but interesting Buddha Park.

Take the bus from Vientiane to Hanoi via the mountains and the Cau Treo border crossing into Vietnam. Hanoi is a very interesting place with lots to do and also offers a few interesting side trips: Sapa is a beautiful village set in the mountains, and Halong Bay, a Unesco World Heritage site, offers amazing views of thousands of mountainous karsts jutting up from the ocean waters.

In Hanoi, you can buy an “Open Tour” bus ticket that gets you all the way south to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). It has a standard set of stops, but allows you to purchase add-ons for a few dollars each, two of which I highly recommend being Ninh Binh and Dalat. From Hanoi, the first stop will indeed be Ninh Binh. Not a particularly touristy town, but the launching point to visit the spectacular Tam Coc park and/or the Cuc Phuong National Park.

>From Ninh Binh, move to Hue for a day or two, then on to Hoi An to check out the amazing tailors and beaches, then to Nha Trang (a partying beach town that can be skipped if you wish), and then on to your second add-on which is the mountain town of Dalat. From Dalat, you can do another addon stop in Mui Ne which is very quiet and good if you just want to relax and maybe poke around the local market a little bit.

The last stop in Vietnam will be Ho Chi Minh which offers plenty to see and do including a massage at the Vietnamese Traditional Medicine Institute for a couple of dollars. From there, you can cross into Cambodia in a couple ways. The first is a bus ride through some beautiful country to Phnom Penh, and the second is a boat tour through the Mekong Delta which also deposits you in Phnom Penh. Be warned though: the roads in Cambodia are dirt and very slow going, but the scenery is incredible if your backside can take it.

Phnom Penh gets mixed reviews but does have a couple of must visits before you continue: the Killing Fields and S-21. When you do move on, you again have the choice of bus or boat up to Siem Riep. I prefer the bus because of the fantastic views and the insight into the lives of the country folk - trust me, you’ll never forget it.

After spending some time gawking at the awesome ruins of Angkor Wat at Siem Riep, you can fly or bus it back to Bangkok, once again back where you started! Again, the bus is harsh, but worth it to see Poipet (I’ll say it again: not to stay, but to see) and the night-and-day change visible in a matter of a few meters when you cross from the poverty of Cambodia into developing Thailand.

There you have it. That route can be done in 3 months if you don’t choose every side trip mentioned (to do it all you’ll want to add another couple of weeks). If you work it out, you’ll find you can spend a few nights in each place, but don't make the mistake of creating some sort of concrete itinerary. Just be aware of your time, because you will want to spend lots of time in some places, while spending little in others and you really won’t know which until you get there. Be flexible within reason, and remember: it’s all about having fun!

Once back in Bangkok, you now have the option to work your way south to the islands, and perhaps, onward to other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, or perhaps they will have to wait until your next trip, and yes, you will want to come back.

One of the next logical questions is: What is it like to travel around these countries on a route like this? That’s precisely the experience I detail in my book Rice Crust from the Bottom of the Pot: A Journey Across South East Asia (http://parryloeffler.com/ricecrust). It’s full of crazy adventures, wonderful stories of my interactions with the locals, and even a few recipes collected directly from their kitchens.

About The Author

Parry Loeffler is the author of Rice Crust from the Bottom of the Pot: A Journey Across South East Asiahttp://parryloeffler.com/ricecrust. Read it today… and get excited about your trip!

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Monday, May 09, 2005

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" - Camping Recipe Beef Stew

2 lb. stew meat, 1" cubes
1 large onion, sliced
3 tbsp. oil
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes
1/2 cup flour
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
5 or 6 carrots, sliced
3 medium potatoes, cubed

Coat the stew meat in flour and brown in oil in the bottom ofyour Dutch oven.
Put the remaining ingredients in the oven and cover. Simmer for 2 hours or
until the meat is tender and vegetables are cooked.

Recipe Secrets Over 100 top secret recipes!


My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

"Robin's Adventures In Camping Equipment" - 7 Things You Must Do If You Want To Make That Perfect Camera Shot

Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand. Margaret Bourke-White

These tips should help you relive those moments back where you've said "if only I had a camera." Now you will have it captured on film. These tips should help you to be camera ready.

Just click on the link below for the rest of this article.

7 Things You Must Do If You Want To Make That Perfect Camera Shot

Saturday, May 07, 2005

You Too Can Ski Down Mount Everest

by Robin Shortt
Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory. - David Breashears-

Extreme Skier Maegan Carney

Extreme skier Maegan Carney had made a bid to be the first woman, and second person to ski down the world's tallest mountain.

Because of the high winds of Mount Everest at that time, Maegan Carney abandoned her first summit attempt.

To find more information about Maegan's quest, go to
the mountainzone.com website.

Preparation Is The Secret:

Before you climb a mountain, you need some major preparations:

You definitely need to be physically and emotionally fit.

You should have people in the group who know first aid and of coarse you have a first aid kit.

Make sure you have a schedule set up, because of the dangers involved.

The mountain you're climbing, how long it should take, how many and who are going, and where will you start your assention.

Bring a camera for breath taking views and to record your trip. A cell phone for emergencies and to call someone to share your excitement when you make it to the top.

If you have the proper climbing gear with you, there's no worries about staying the night if you get lost.

Also you know you'll get rescued by morning because the proper people have been notified.

Some Guidelines For Climbing

It's not a good idea to be flown or driven to altitudes higher than 3000 metres. Begin your walk at below that.

Once over the 3000 metre altitude, travel up in 300 metre increments each day, thats it, no more than that.

Climb up high during the day and sleep at lower altitudes at night.

If high altitude symptoms start to affect you, stop climbing higher. If symptoms worsen, go down right away.

You will need to drink plenty of fluids, hiking dehydrates your body very fast when climbing at high altitudes and this increases as the temperature does.

Do the climb at a slow pace and you'll enjoy your climb more.

Stay away from alcohol, tobacco and other vices that will play havoc with your body and mind at these high altitudes.

A high-carbohydrate diet will really benefit you here.

In the USA there are many resorts above the 3,000 metre level, meaning you will need to keep a watch out for mountain sickness.

Some Mount Everest Facts:

Historic Mountain Climbing Deaths:

George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on June 6 1924, made an attempt on the summit from which they never returned.

An eyewitness claimed he saw the group reach the summit.

A total of 808 climbers have reached and stood on the summit,
764 men and 44 women. There were 161 that died, 36 on the descent.

More About Mountain Climbing Deaths

In 1965, was the best year for climbing, nine climbers summitted and there were no deaths.

In 1996, the worst single year for deaths, 15 climbers died.

About Mount Everest Itself

The Highest Peak: At 29,035' (8850m), thats about five miles up, the highest summit in the world, and is close to the cruising altitude of a jet, or it is 23 times the height of the Empire State building.

Above 26,000, the body gets a third of the oxygen available at sea level.

Even after getting acclimated, the body starts to shut down, and if someone stays at that height long enough, they will die.

A lot of the climbers use oxygen here for climbing and sleeping.

The weather on Everest allows for climbing only in May and October between winter snows (December-March) and summer monsoons (June-September).

As you can tell, this article is just giving you the basics of what information you'll need to find your way to the top of the world's highest peaks. Amazon.com has a great source of books on this subject.

Adventures Into The Unknown

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Great Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Camping With Man's Best Friend
by Robin Shortt

Man's Best Friend

Man's best friend your dog , and you, can go camping and have lots of fun.
Look at it as a walk that doesn't end, during which he gets to spend all his time with you.
For us campers, it can give us another means of security and another way of bonding.

Things You Need To Do

For those of you who are wanting to get involved in this great adventure with their pet, there are some things you need to do to make this as fun as possible for both of you.

Bring Him Along Slow

First time camping pooches should be shown the wonders of nature slowly.
City or urban dogs need to be brought along slow because of their tender pads on their paws, and they need to get used to all open spaces and wonders of nature.
Start with taking them on some day trips to state, county and conservation Parks

The Great Outdoors

The wide open spaces will help your dog get used to unpopulated areas.
He wll also find new odours and sights in this stress free environment.
Going on nature and hiking trails will also help your dog gain muscle strength and fitness before you go camping.

Being A Responsible Dog Owner

As we enjoy the companionship of our dogs, they become a member of our families.
Going with us on family outings, walks, trips around town, just about everywhere we go they tag along with us. Thats fine because we care about them so much.
Its not always the same with camp owners who feel dogs are not man's best friend in their camping area.

They have good reason to be.

A lot of dog owners are not very good in keeping their pets leashed or cleaning up after them.
They also don't abide by the camp rules the way they should, but many irresponsible dog owners feel the rules don't apply to them and their dogs.

Of course because of these pet owners , we all suffer, thus there are now many campgrounds not allowing dogs. Check ahead to see if the campground you' re going to allows dogs, and if so, are they allowed on the trails, or have special trails set aside for dogs. Also some campgrounds charge two dollars a night for dogs as well.

Taking Care Of Your Dog

As loving, caring, pet owners, we need to find a way to take care of our dogs while we go out on the trails with our other family members. We could take turns dog sitting with family, friends, other campers with dogs.

One thing we need to do is make sure we are good responsible pet owners. Check ahead before you go camping with man's best friend.

Here Are Some Pre-Camping Tips

Try to take your dog for a pre-camping visit for possible needed shots, and a Rabies shot tag for his collar. Look at a possible Lyme disease vaccine. Take with you a current copy of his records and his vet's phone number.

Pick up a proper dog license & ID tags for your dog with their name, your name, ect. Microchips, tattoos and pet registries can be used.
Bring medications and a copy of prescriptions.

Try to get a site with some shade for your dog. Supervise your dog closely around children, other visitors and other dogs. Keep your dog quiet. Frequent and continued barking disturbs the wildlife and other campers.

Let your dog have time to adjust to his new surroundings. Give him time to rest. Try to use ziplock bags to pick up after him and properly dispose of it in appropriate trash containers.

Keep an eye on how weather conditions effect your dog, heat, cold, rain etc. Consider use of a crate for travel and short term restraint, while you are near. Your pet could be stolen if not watched carefully.

You should be aware that your dog will have increased exposure to ticks and fleas. Take the proper tick/flea collars, repellants or use Frontline applications. Other diseases can also be transmitted by wild animals and insects.

Secrets Of A Professional Dog Trainer

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Family Fishing Vacations in Pennsylvania

Pack up the kids, along with the fishing and camping gear, and head for these top-rated summertime family getaway destinations, where fun and excitement await the entire family!

Family Fishing Vacations in Pennsylvania

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Black Bear Under Hunted in Ontario

Black Bear Chasing Kid Style

By Robin Shortt

Peddling as fast as my aching legs could move, I came to an abrupt stop. My shocked eyes followed the big black bear as it veered off the old brush road into the dark forest, just a few feet in front of me.

Camping With My Friends

It was early summer. A couple of friends of mine and myself had just finished a week end camping and fishing trip at one of our favorite lakes in the area, where we lived.

As I can remember it was a very long bike ride, even for three 14 year old boys.

Bear Country

The road we took to get there and back hadn't seen any traffic for a few years. It was a good bet we would run into something back there.

Sure enough I did, my buddies missed out on all the excitement, they had trailed behind and missed out.

Spring Bear Hunt

Since that time I've seen many a black bear in the Ontario Northland of Canada.

With the cancellation of the annual spring black bear hunt, I expect to see many more of these magnificent animals.

Black Bear Population

For the tourists, this is good and bad news, for the Northern Ontario resident, just bad. Ontario has a growing black bear population that is one of the largest in the world.

Bears In Politics

The spring black bear hunt was cancelled in 1999 in a pre-election move. The thought was that the government's decision would reduce the number of orphaned cubs.

The number of orphaned cubs in shelters rose.

Happy Tourists

Residents now have to put up with nuisance bears. Too many for their liking. The tourists have good news because they will get a better chance at seeing one.

Bad, because campers will need to keep a keen eye for nuisance bears. Now nuisance bear complaints are the norm.

Bear Control

Some municipalities have now hired bear-control officers, but many municipalities cannot afford this.

Without trained staff, municipalities must rely on law enforcement officers, with no background in bear management, to respond to nuisance bear complaints.

One day the Ontario government will come to their senses and bring back the spring Black Bear hunt again.

The Bear Facts

To read the rest of this article go to the link below:


My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

The Ultimate Skiing Experience

The Ultimate Skiing Experience

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Why Range Finders are Perfect for the BackCountry

Why Range Finders are Perfect for the BackCountry
by: Chuck Fitzgerald

Outdoor enthusiasts love to guess about all sorts of things. We guess how many stars are in the Milky Way, we guess how fast a deer runs or we might even guess about how long it will be until that big, dark cloud dumps rain us. But there are times when guessing in the backcountry just doesn’t get the job done. Specialty gear is available to help us determine how far we’ve hiked - and in what direction - and other tools are available to help take the guesswork out of purifying water. But there is a another useful tool overlooked by many avid backcountry visitors - the rangefinder.

Rangefinders are used in a number of commercial applications - surveying, mapping, mining, etc. - however for our purposes we will be discussing the portable laser rangefinder used by outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen.

Laser rangefinders calculate the distance to an object by bouncing a laser beam off of the object and measuring the lapsed time until the beam returns. Since the calculation is based upon the return of the beam, it stands to reason that a more reflective object can be measured at a greater distance than a less reflective object. Readily available models are accurate to within one yard and have the ability to measure distances to reflective targets up to 1500 yards away – that’s nearly a mile - and they’re accurate under nearly any condition.

The past few years have seen a number of technology advances across all rangefinder price ranges. Many models are lightweight, are easily operated with one hand, can measure through rain or snow, can see through nearby clutter, function well in low light, contain integrated optical magnification and are 100% waterproof. Additionally there have been vast improvements lately to lens coatings, battery life and information display.

If distances are important to your activity, you need a rangefinder. BackCountry features – rocks, trees, lakes, mountains, ravines, cliffs – have a tendency to distort one’s depth perception. It is easy to misjudge even short distances. The most widely used application of rangefinders is in measuring shot distances by hunters. Whether you are hunting waterfowl or elk, distance to your game is the most critical factor in placing an effective shot. Bow hunters would never hunt without their rangefinder, the difference between 45 yards and 50 yards for a bow hunter is the difference between success and failure. Rangefinders are also used by golfers for determining club selection, by hikers to determine the best route to travel and by campers, boaters and wildlife observers for a wide variety of distance measuring purposes.

The next time you plan to spend time in our wondrous backcountry consider taking a rangefinder along with you. If you’ve never looked through a rangefinder, you don’t know what you’re missing. With a quality rangefinder, guessing distances just became old news. Use this information and you’ll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!

About The Author

Chuck Fitzgerald is Owner and President of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online store providing backcountry specialty gear and educational information for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit www.BackCountryToys.com to receive the free newsletter "FreshAir” or call (800) 316-9055.

About The Author
Chuck Fitzgerald is Owner and President of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online store providing backcountry specialty gear and educational information for outdoor enthusiasts. Visit http://www.backcountrytoys.com/ to receive the free newsletter "FreshAir” or call (800) 316-9055. chuck@backcountrytoys.com

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What You Need To Know Before You Sell Your Boat

What You Need To Know Before You Sell Your Boat
by: James "Doc" Lewis

As the owner/operator of a full service boat
detailing- yacht maintenance business I can't
help but chuckle sometimes at seeing the extremes
that otherwise bright, intelligent, successful,
people will go to in a misguided attempt to save a few dollars.

One of the biggest mistakes that we see is that
people will decide to sell their boat without
first having her completely detailed.

According to Rob Scanlan, a well known and
respected Master Marine Surveyor;

"Detailing a boat is the single most important
investment of time, energy and money a seller
can make because a clean and shiny boat sells
faster and for a lot more money. I strongly
recommended that a seller enlist professional
assistance to do a quality job."

yacht1ship@aol.com (Email)
http://www.mastermarinesurveyor.com/ (Web site)

We at BoatDocs1, do a lot of work here on the Emerald Coast
with local yacht brokers and know what the standards are for
a "ready to show" boat. These professionals know that the
cosmetic appearance says everything to the prospective buyer
as to the overall care and maintenance that the previous owner
has given the yacht. Add to that the universal wisdom about
first impressions and it's not hard to see the importance of
this vital first step.

Even if you intend to do most of the work yourself we can
offer the expertise to assure that your time and money
are spent wisely. Our trained eyes will often pick up the
little details that only a prospective buyer would notice
and likely balk at.

Here is an outline of the standard procedures we use
when preparing a yacht to be put up for sale:

1. Thoroughly Wash and Dry the Boat

Note: For this part, pay attention to everything you see
and unless your memory is a lot better than mine, make
notes on a piece of paper for later.

Wash and chamois-dry your boat top to bottom including transom.
clean Isenglass and other ports/windows
wipe down and dress all aluminum/stainless
clean and dress vinyl seats
wipe down fly bridge and cockpit
vacuum exterior carpet
clean and dress nonskid
2. Stand Back and Survey the Boat

Note: Bring your list and organize it with the following outline

Put yourself in the buyers shoes, be critical, the buyer will.
a) Is it shiny? It's the first thing most people notice.

b) What about the smell? People have a way of getting used
to almost anything. Get a second opinion and see the hint below.

c) Is all hardware intact and presentable? Just because you've
used that broken table for years and are rather fond of it, to
anyone else, it's just a broken table.

d) What about dings, any damage to the fiberglass? Aside from
the fact that broken gelcoat can let water into the core of
the lay-up and delaminate the fiberglass, it just plain looks BAD.

e) What about rust? You are probably thinking right now;
(what's a little rust on a boat?) Let me tell you. A little
rust on a boat is a sure sign that the owner let's little
things go by unnoticed and if there is one thing there are
always more. What about oil changes? I wonder if he flushed
out the outboard after use? The object of this little
exercise is to make the boat look like you are conscientious
and a stickler for having everything perfectly "SHIP SHAPE."

f) One more little tip that you have probably already thought of.
Take a look around the boat and remove EVERYTHING that isn't part
of the boat.


Engine controls, compass, life jackets, flare kit, and a first
aid kit ARE part of the boat. Knick-knacks, fishing tackle,
cutesy wall plaques, and half full paint cans are NOT part of
the boat-and look tacky. A few cleaning supplies, in their own
locker is probably all right as long as they're kept neat and

g) Make a list of things that need attention, and get it taken
care of. A few dollars spent now will pay back in spades when
the time comes to show your boat. Anything that isn't right will
stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, be noticed and start
the price spiraling down. (if it doesn't just send them scurrying
off shaking their heads)

Hint: If you are not a woman reading this and don't have a wife
of your own, ask your mother or sister, or see if a friend will
loan you his for a few minutes. For some reason women can smell
things that a man would never notice. You may think that men buy
boats but in my experience they buy the boats their women like.

Along this same line, pay particular attention to the cabin and heads.

3. Prioritize the Job

With your list you are in good shape to decide what needs to be done
and whether or not you want to do the work yourself or have it done by a professional.

Most of the professional yacht maintenance companies we are familiar
with, would be happy to take a look and give you an estimate of what
it will cost to have the work done right. We can do part of the job,
for example the compounding/polishing and will gladly help you choose
the best wax to finish the job yourself.

What about those little chips and dings in the gelcoat?

Many books have been written on fiberglass repair and it isn't the
intent of this article to cover the subject in any depth but many
small repairs are well within the reach of a fairly skilled
do-it-yourselfer. Like anything else though, if you have never
done it before, "consult an expert."

I've been building and repairing in fiberglass since I was 14 and
while the first wooden boat I glassed was water tight and lasted
a good many years, it was far from pretty. The small investment
you lay out for expert repair now will pay big dividends when your
boat sells at the price you want.

In the Emerald Coast region the standard fees for compound/waxing
run between $15.00/ft. and $18.00/ft. for the topside (rub-rail up)
which includes a thorough cleaning and treatment of the vinyl,
windows, isenglass, and metal. In other words, for the price of
doing the "hard" part we'll detail the entire topsides and leave
it in "ready-to-show" condition. Hulls (rub-rail down) run about
$8.00/ft. but, of course, the boat must be out of the water in
order to do it. (This walking on water with a hi-speed electric
buffer in hand is still beyond me, but I'll let you know;-)

Fiberglass repair runs from $45.00 to $65.00 per hour and in
general as with most everything else, one gets what one pays
for. The up side to this is that when approached in a professional
manner the dents and dings of ten years hard use can be repaired
and made to look like new in an amazingly short time.

All too often we have seen people save $300.00 or $400.00 on a
detail only to loose $Thousands$ on what their boat could have
sold for. Then too, our local marinas are clogged with many
examples of boats with "For Sale" signs which were never given
the least bit of attention to make the passer by want to stop
and think, "Hey, I wonder what it would be like to call that boat
mine." Some of these boats have sat for years when all they ever
really needed was a little T.L.C.

I remember, years ago, someone saying something about
being penny wise and pound foolish? Let's not let them be
saying that about us.

About The Author

James "Doc" Lewis has been "messin about in boats" for as
long as he can remember. He is owner/operator of BoatDocs1,
a full-service boat detailing-yacht maintenance business
serving the Emerald Coast region of Florida. To learn more
about boats and keeping them looking their best visit his
web site at: http://www.boatdocs1.com/

You are welcome to distribute this article via Email or on the
Internet. The only provision is that it be published in it's
entirety including this resource box. Related articles can be
found at
©2004 BoatDocs1

Sports & Outdoors
Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

images/tryrocket.png" border="0" />

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader
and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment
For all your camping info!

Things You Should Know About Tents

Choosing Your Tent

Here are a few hints when choosing the tent just right for you or your family.

Tents that are advertised as one person are rarely big enough for one person.

Two person tents are usually comfortable for just one person, a three person tent is comfortable for two people and so on.

If you do not pick something large enough, you will find yourself cramped , claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

Pick something that will give you a little room to move and some space for some of your gear as well.

Pick something that will give you a little room to move and some space for some of your gear as well.

Each person needs about 3 by 7 feet to stretch out. You will need extra room to dress etc.

Remember, if the weather is not good, you will be stuck in whatever you have picked..

You don't want to be sitting cramped and hunched over feeling miserable.

In deciding on what you need, decide whether you will be summer or winter camping, and whether you will be backpacking .

Tents are not waterproof. They are made of breathable ripstop nylon. It allows your sweat and breath to evaporate.

For the rest of the article, go to:


Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

border="0" /> My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment
For all your camping info!

Whitewater Rafting Forges Bonds Stronger than the Rapids

by: Jim Sampson

Colorado River Rafting is a Trip

Visualize the boat's brow cutting through the swirling, surging water; the sun sparkling on the frothy waves, making tiny rainbows; the abrupt lurch of the craft, as the surging waves suddenly shift direction. The adrenalin is pumping, all senses alert, with nature working overtime to orchestrate a thrill you'll never forget. That's what most people think a raft trip entails, but there's much more going on. Your connection with the other rafters forms a matchless adventure that won't be forgotten.

Rafting down the Arkansas River on the rushing snowmelt from 14,000 feet peaks is exciting - no doubt about it. But the trip is still safe enough for a family vacation. River rafting in Colorado combines thrilling rapids with quiet stretches, where rafters can take in the spectacular mountain scenery close up. Their mental cameras capture images that will be studied over and over later, once they return home.

Look Past the Surging River and the Drama

There's one thing even more crucial than the water for making your adventure tour a treasured event. It's the other people. Some you bring along, like family, friends or group (such as a scout troop). You may think you know each other already, but the time spent on the river forever alters the way you'll relate back home. That's the real pay-off from a wilderness adventure. The guides and other rafters also play essential roles in the total experience.

Unlike taking a bus or a train, the goal isn't to arrive at the destination. Instead, getting there is ALL the fun. So there's no hurry. Everyone along plays their part in moving the boats, and reacts to what the river throws at them. Each person needs to develop their sense of teamwork and reliance on each other. The emotional exhilaration amps up even more because of the sharing involved. Facing physical challenges together builds trust and confidence in each other, in a matter of hours.

Make Memories that Don't Fade

Scientists have discovered that the intensity of an emotional experience permanently alters the way a person remembers it. Emotionally charged experiences are filed differently in the brain than everyday ones are. Later, they're recalled with vivid detail, without losing clarity over time. Recalling even a small part of the event brings the full force of experience back. That's why they're called "flashbulb memories."

When people go through such powerful experiences together, they relate to each other in new ways. It's certainly a step away from their day-in, day-out routines. That's a major reason why a wilderness adventure like whitewater rafting does more for those who take the trip than a casual vacation would. They develop new ways to relate to nature and each other. Rafters tell me they arranged the trip to get away from the TV and the cell phone. But they're pleased to find that the river is the tonic for much of what's stressful for them.

Even when they get home, those newly-forged ways of relating influence the way people treat each other. As owner for Four Corners Rafting, one of the oldest whitewater rafting company on the Arkansas River, I've taken thousands of people on the outdoor adventure. Without exception, they find the experience delivered in ways that they hadn't expected. I'm often told that what they experienced during whitewater rafting was the highlight of their vacation."We visited all the other attractions, we saw all the sights. Nothing comes close!"

Step Out of Your Shoes

The benefits that rafters receive don't stop when the trip is over. We've all heard the phrase about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. That does help to understand the experiences of others with fresh awareness. But I think that greater value comes in understanding yourself better. To step into someone else's shoes, you must temporarily step out of your own. That breaks a lot of habits and familiar assumptions. Then when you return to your own shoes, you can see aspects of your life that you usually overlook because they're so unbroken.

Taking a wilderness adventure is a walk in another pair of shoes. And those people who shared that intensely emotional adventure with you took the same mind-stretching trek. That stays with you for the long haul.

About The Author

--Jim Sampson owns Four Corners Rafting, an early whitewater rafting company on the Arkansas River. With 1 to 3-day Colorado wilderness adventures. Near Buena Vista, CO (800) 332-RAFT PO Box 219 Nathrop, CO 8123

Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

Intro To RSS

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Monday, May 02, 2005

My First Bear Encounter

by: jarba

The summer I got my college degree in anthropology, I headed to a small ranch in Montana for a summer job. My employer, Jack, was a stout rancher in his 40s. He raised cattle and sheep, and two young sons, Roy 8 and Nick 6, with his wife Jean, a very friendly woman a few years his senior, on his family ranch. My responsibility was to take care Jean's Mom Ester who had been partly paralyzed by a stroke and had spent most of her time in a wheelchair for the last five years.

Every morning, after breakfast and a shower, I would wheel Ester out of the wooden ranch house for a morning stroll. The wooden house was in an enclave flanked by tall trees forming a natural fence around the building. Beyond the line of trees, a small gravel path led off into the high prairie, green with grass, where is quickly faded. Ambling along the path and beyond was the favorite part of our morning routine - the splendid view of the undulating landscape, occasionly disrupted by some far-off cliff or hillock, seemed to push the horizon far and away. The stretched immensity of blue sky was pierced by a distant rock formation darkened by caves sheltering small animals. The nearby farms were many miles apart, and occasionally their herds passed by and we waved good morning to our neighbours; Most of the time we chatted among ourselves as the soft morning breez whispered through the leaves of aspens. Sometimes, deer could be spotted springing away and dispersing in the undergrowth.

I normally got us back home before noon and prepared simple lunches for Ester and the boys. Jack and Jean wouldn't be back until early evening. The boys usually had some work set out for them every day, and they spent their time about the ranch house. After helping Ester to her bed for a nap, I enjoyed watering the flowers in the front yard with a big water jar. Those flowers were bit over-grown, but fit into their surroundings just right. The boys liked to fertilize the flower bed with whatever they could get their hands onto - once they were seen laying dung on it, another time I found them dump fresh corn - always something organic, I couldn't really see much nutritional benefit they had to the plants - but the flowers did look good. The afternoon sun quickly raised the temperature into the 90s, this was the perfect time for a quiet reading session on my own - the boys frequently joined their friends for swimming somehwere in the nearby town - I would sit myself on a wooden bench in the yard, comfortably placed under the cool shadow of the tree canopy, the sweet aroma of flowers floating in the air.

It was on one of these idyllic afternoons, about a month since I'd first arrived on the ranch, that, after reading by myself for a little while and after checking upon Ester in the cabin, I went to refill my water jar to water the plants again. I loitered inside a little bit before exiting the gate. With the jar in one hand, and my book in the other, I made my way towards the bench about 30 feet away. when suddenly a great roar stopped me short. I looked up in horror at a fully upright brown bear staring down at me just a few yards to my right. I was never warned about any BEAR visitations! The bear raised its snout and turned it in every direction as if sniffing. Its round ears perked up to gather every minute noise. This was a huge fellow who stood a good 7 feet tall, at least 300 pounds in weight. I was frozen with apprehension, my heart pounding wildly.

Instinctively, I could sense something was wrong and this unexpected fellow was in bad humor. I franticly looked around to see if there was any safe path for a retreat, when suddenly a slight movement on the ground caught my eyes, I spotted another bear, this time a young one lying on its side, eyes closed, near one end of the flower bed. Something dawned on me, the cub was injured, or dying, while the grieving mother fixed on me as the perpetrator. Another frightening roar was directed at me, Mamma was in an ugly mood! God knows I didn't do anything to her baby! I couldn't tell the exact state of the cub, but I could clearly see the sharp teeth in Mamma's mouth, and could almost smell her stenchy breath. All my hair stood on end, and my blood gushed onto my face, my head was throbbing. I forced myself to think - wondered if Ester could hear the bear, but she wouldn't be able to help much. Female bears were most dangerous when with their young since mother bear was notoriously protective and vengeful. I've got to convince her I was harmless.

I started to retreat slowly away from where the bear cub lay, and shouted out loudly, "Hey Bear, Calm Down! I'm Leaving!" My voice was a little too faltering and squeaky for my taste, but that was best I could manage. The mamma bear raised her paw, her claw shining under the sun like a hook, and then she came upon me. I couldn't understand how a 10 yard distance could vanish in a matter of a second. It felt like tons of weight piling down on my shoulder, shaking me up, pushing me down like a little puppet. Her hot heavy breath was right next to my ear. I was fighting all I could, but in the next moment my book and water jar were out of my hands, and I fell to the ground on my back with a loud thump. I was too petrified to feel the pain, only one message crossed my mind, "I'm going to die", my eyes closed, waiting the ensuing slam to finish me off.

But it never came. It was just a few seconds, but it felt like a century, before I opened my eyes to a retreating bear. She proceeded towards her cub, who, stirred by the water jar accidentally landing on him and the water pouring out of it, was struggling to stand up. He looked, apparently not dead, not wounded, not sleepy, but disoriented! It was the most amazing scene in the world, the cub staggering up to his mamma! It was the corn, I later learned, which fermented in the hot, humid, air, which attracted the cub who subsequently filled her tummy with too much alcohol! He was literally drunk! I watched her limping a little, walking drunkenly away, with her mamma discreetly following, out of our ranch, till they disappeared into the far distance, never looking back once.

As to me, apart from a few clearly visible scars on my shoulders and arms, I fully recovered from the incident, and firmly discontinued from then on any further practice of using non-processed corn as organic fertilizer on the ranch.

The above article and its followup discussion are published on http://www.crossvoice.com (CrossVoice Magazine)

About The Author

Jarba, publisher of CrossVoice - magazine featuring stories, opinions and reviews on politics, pop culture and commercial products.


Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Steak and Mushrooms

1 lb. Mushrooms
½ tsp. Salt
1 cup onion, sliced
½ tsp. Pepper
1/4 lb. Butter
1 round steak
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Slice meat into strips and coat with flour. Saute in melted butter about 5 min. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until onions are transparent. Add the remaining ingredients . Simmer
about 1 ½ hours. Serve over rice

Recipe Secrets Over 100 top secret recipes!


Sports & Outdoors Its just a matter of time!

My Blog On Your Site
Subscribe to my blog feed through My Yahoo!:

You still want to be able to read the feed with no reader and you have IE? Well Pluck

Good Night Camping Equipment For all your camping info!