Florida’s Torreya State Park

Torreya State Park is located in sunny Florida and plays a crucial role in maintaining the unique plants and animal’s species. Two other critical roles the park is known for are; the essential communities that are of regional importance, and the water quality of the Apalachicola River, which flows into the productive Apalachicola Bay. Torreya…

Torreya State Park is located in sunny Florida and plays a crucial role in maintaining the unique plants and animal’s species. Two other critical roles the park is known for are; the essential communities that are of regional importance, and the water quality of the Apalachicola River, which flows into the productive Apalachicola Bay. Torreya State Park and the Apalachicola River are both historic and rich in history.

Backpacking: Knowing Tent Specs

During the selection process of your tent you will notice a configuration of letters and numbers. This arrangement actually looks like a formula and you wonder, what purpose does it serve? At first you may think to yourself that there is no purpose, just something the manufacturer put on. However, understanding these specs can help…

During the selection process of your tent you will notice a configuration of letters and numbers. This arrangement actually looks like a formula and you wonder, what purpose does it serve?

At first you may think to yourself that there is no purpose, just something the manufacturer put on. However, understanding these specs can help you understand some vital information about your tent. The goal of this article is to enlighten you on this codes meaning and give you a clear picture of its function.

Beginning with what one of these equals looks like, keep in mind that while the figures may change, what they reference will not. Alright here is a typical specification: 20D X 330T ripstop nylon 1200 mm Durashield Polyurethane and Silicone. Looking at this all at once can be intimidating, when you take one piece at a time, it becomes easier to understand. First piece of this is 20D and the “D” stands for denier and what it tells you is the how thick the fibers are in a particular fabric. In regards to fabric the two most commonly used are nylon and polyester. There is one denier to a single strand of silk, so the 20D indicates the diameter of the strands of that particular fabric. Note here that the higher the number, the larger the diameter and it usually means that it is also stronger. Along with the diameter of the thread you have the thread count of the fabric which in this case is 330T. The 330 are the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch of material and the “T” stands for the thread count of the fabric.

Now looking at our fabric which in this case is a ripstop nylon. Ripstop is a double thread placed at established distance. This is a very reassuring knowing that a tear in your tent, if one occurs, can only spread so far. Now you know your fabric is nylon and it comes with a ripstop. Another that you may see is a storm shield plus which is an exceptional polyester fabric. Polyester fabrics are thicker than nylon which is great for tear strength and resistant to abrasions. Tafetta material will give you protection with punctures and mildew, very lightweight, and easy to clean and repair. These mentioned fabrics are usually found in the making of the fly and walls of your tent. However, in regards to the floor they are usually made out of oxford or taffeta which are both excellent in regards to abrasions which is great for your floor which will be in constant contact with the ground.

Returning to our example we now see 1200mm Durashield. The “mm” is for millimeters and it provides the waterproof rating for the particular tent. It represents how much water pressure it can stand before a leak begins. The test is done by applying water to the back of the fabric until water begins to see through. So in this case we have a coating of Durashield which can stand 1200 millimeters of pressure before leaking.

Lastly in our example is polyurethane and silicone coating. The first application was for waterproofing, but this next coating is for the repelling of water. This allows the water to bead up which protects the fabric from becoming scheduled. In closing you can see the important information that each formula provides for you. This should give you a better understanding while comparing tents. It will help narrow down your choices and always keep in mind the intended use of your tent.

The Great Heaphy Track of New Zealand

If you want a real hiking challenge in the majestic New Zealand South Island landscape, then head out to the Kahurangi National Park, where the Heaphy Track is waiting for the most adventurous tourists. Heaphy is included in the list of the nine Great Walks in New Zealand. A number of hikers even consider it…

If you want a real hiking challenge in the majestic New Zealand South Island landscape, then head out to the Kahurangi National Park, where the Heaphy Track is waiting for the most adventurous tourists. Heaphy is included in the list of the nine Great Walks in New Zealand. A number of hikers even consider it the greatest of the tracks dues to its incredible diversity.

Unlike the other Great Walks, Heaphy has the advantage of staying open throughout the year. Although the track is understandably more frequented during summer, hiking it during the winter season can also be a wondrous experience. With the trail being less busy and sandflies nonexistent, you can enjoy a more serene and relaxed atmosphere. Tackling this wide track means covering approximately 82 kilometers, which starts in the northern section of Kahurangi, where thick beech forest loom. The track then leads you to some of the South Island's most wonderful scenery including the Aorere Valley. Finally, Heaphy perfectly ends on the West Coast, home to the park's gorgeous palm-adorned beaches.

The Heaphy Track not only requires you to walk, it also involves some tramping (hill walking). By doing so, expect to spot natural habitats of the country's most predominant native birds, which are pipits, kea parrots, screeching kaka, blue ducks and even kiwis. You will also be exposed to various geological formations like alpine tussock country, limestone cliffs and caves and densely forested mountains. If you have made the necessary preparations and meet the medium fitness level, you can finish the track in five to six days.

Before reaching the wild Tasman coast on your way to Karamea, you will need to walk into a luscious rainforest and nikau palm groves. If you are really up for some serious challenge, you could also walk the track both ways. This means staying overnight at the Perry Saddle Hut (at Collingwood); or the Lewis Hut or Heaphy Hut (Karamea end) before heading back. However, the majority of trekkers cover the track only one way beginning their journey at Collingwood and ending it in Karamea.

To provide respite to your hiking journey through Heaphy, several benches and huts are set up along the trail. Most of these huts, which are built by the Department of Conservation, are equipped with gas cooking facilities. Some of these spots also have a camping area. Kids aged 17 and below can use the huts for free! The closest airports to the Heaphy Track are located in the towns of Nelson and Westport.

If tackling the entire Heaphy Track sounds intimidating, to difficult or to long, you can also opt for the shorter day walks on the trail. The short trails can be found at both ends of Heaphy. The final section of the track, which is Karamea, is one of the ideal places to do your short walk. The trail here allows you to walk along the rugged coastline dotted by tranquil sandy beaches. One particular destination in Karamea is Scotts Beach, which has become really popular with hikers because of its barbecue areas, picnic tables and camping sites.

Backpacking With Bears

There are preventive steps for you to take so that you will not have a bear encounter whether in you are in bear country or not. However, this is not a guarantee, but helpful safety measures. If you do find yourself in a bear encounter situation, what is the best deterrent.

There are preventive steps for you to take so that you will not have a bear encounter whether in you are in bear country or not. However, this is not a guarantee, but helpful safety measures. If you do find yourself in a bear encounter situation, what is the best deterrent.

Conquering Mount Kinabalu in Borneo

Being one of the region's highest mountains, Mount Kinabalu is the one of the best outdoor destinations in Southeast Asia. Every year, thousands of people come to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, to conquer this beautiful peak. Locally called Gunung Kinabalu, it stands at a little more than 4000 meters above sea level. Kinabalu is an imposing…

Being one of the region's highest mountains, Mount Kinabalu is the one of the best outdoor destinations in Southeast Asia. Every year, thousands of people come to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, to conquer this beautiful peak. Locally called Gunung Kinabalu, it stands at a little more than 4000 meters above sea level.

Kinabalu is an imposing mountain. It can be viewed from several parts of the Sabah archipelago, including the city of Kota Kinabalu, which has become its main access point. The mountain is the center piece of Kinabalu National Park. If you decide not to climb to the summit, you will still find the park's lush surroundings a worthwhile travel destination. At the base of the mountain is the rain-forest where you can enjoy the cooler weather and the various easy walking trails.

Mount Kinabalu's has become a popular climbing destination because of its accessibility. You do not need special mountain climbing equipment or advanced mountaineering skills to ascend to the top. However, trekking Kinabalu is not a walk in the park. It requires good physical fitness and dedication, but of course, in the end, reaching the top is worth all the preparation, guaranteed!

It usually takes two days to ascend and descend Mt Kinabalu. It is possible to do this trek even if you have no previous experience in climbing mountains. The climb starts at the Timpohon Gate nearby the park headquarters. Then, climbers typically need to stay overnight at one of the guesthouses at Laban Rata, which is around 3000 meters above sea level and is less than the 3 kilometers from the peak.

After spending the night, the your climbing group will need to get up at dawn, to try make it to the summit at Low's Peak before sunrise. This is the best time to view the spectacular scenery from the peak. After enjoying the sunrise view, your climbing party will then go back to Laban Rata for breakfast. After which, you will descend and hopefully reach the park by mid-afternoon.

Since Mt Kinabalu is such a popular climbing attraction, it is actually hard to organize the trip, accommodations and the climb all on your own. It is very common for prospective climbers to acquire the Kinabalu climbing packages offered by tour companies operating in the area. A package can cost approximately 360 USD or RM1,020; and covers accommodation, transportation, meals, climbing authority, mountain guide, insurance, equipment and other expenses. Taking an organized excursion will keep the hassles out of your climbing vacation.

The best time to climb the mountain is between the months of March and August, which is the dry season for Sabah. During this period, you will have a better chance of avoiding heavy downpour on the mountain, which will make the trek difficult and risky. However, the busiest time for climbing Kinabalu is usually begins from April through June. The wettest months are December and January. Take note a refund is typically not given bad weather prevents you from climbing the mountain on your chosen date so plan accordingly. Do not forget to bring a camera to capture your adventure.

Backpacking: Tent Poles

When purchasing your tent there are two areas to examine, features and specks on the poles and fabric. It is less complicated comparing the features of one tent to another. However, when it comes to specs on the tent in regards to your poles and fabric it is a little more confusing. Knowing about these…

When purchasing your tent there are two areas to examine, features and specks on the poles and fabric. It is less complicated comparing the features of one tent to another. However, when it comes to specs on the tent in regards to your poles and fabric it is a little more confusing. Knowing about these specs is important because they will affect the weight, durability, and overall construction of your tent. However, the focal point today will be on the poles of your tent. You should let the intended use of your tent guide your decision. For example; If you are only driving to a campground to use your tent, weight will not be as much of a concern as it would be for someone who is going backpacking.

Understanding your choice in tent poles is important because they are the backbone of supporting the structure of your tent. Tent poles can be made from fiber glass, aluminum, or carbon fiber. The majority of tent poles that you will find will either be fiber glass or aluminum and that is where the focus will be today.

When you are considering fiber glass poles these are some important things you should know. A benefit to fiberglass poles is that that will not rot or corrode. In regards to the expense of fiber glass poles they are the least expensive, but come at the sacrifice of being heavier and less durable. Since fiber glass is not as strong as aluminum they must be made thicker to hold the same amount of weight. In the event of a break these poles do not break cleanly. Instead the fiber glass pole will splinter which adds a larger risk of doing damage to your tent. Lastly, these poles are very fragile when exposed to cold weather. Again it comes down to intended use. If you are a backpacker who enjoys hiking in the winter, these will probably not be your choice of poles.

Giving attention now to the aluminum poles and some meaningful information to keep in mind. The aluminum poles are of lighter weight, but are a stronger pole than the fiber glass pole. However, these poles are subject to possible corrosion and to prevent this from occurring, need to be treated. Over time this protective coating may wear off and if this occurs will need to be re-applied. In regards to breakage aluminum poles have a much cleaner break. This actually will give you two benefits with the first being less chance of doing damage to your tent. A second advantage of aluminum poles is in regards to repairs. Because of the clean snapping break instead of splintering these poles are much easier to fix.

Finally you will find that these tent poles come in a variety of grades and series. These pole grades can range in a series from one thousand to nine thousand. However for tent poles they will usually be in the six or seven thousand series. The higher the number in the series, the better tent pole you will have. For example; on the specs of the tent it reads, free-standing three pole design with seven thousand series aluminum poles. This information tells you your tent is free-standing, which means it can stand on its own without staking. The three pole design, aluminum, and seven thousand tells you three things, number of poles, what they are made out of, and what series they are in.

Backpacking: Tent Features

When considering buying a backpacking tent today it can be overwhelming with all the choices that are available. To complicate matters there are features that may give you a headache trying to figure out which is better. So today my aim is to give you some clarification on features to aid you in your choice.…

When considering buying a backpacking tent today it can be overwhelming with all the choices that are available. To complicate matters there are features that may give you a headache trying to figure out which is better. So today my aim is to give you some clarification on features to aid you in your choice. Let's begin by looking at whether you need a three or four season tent.

The three season tent is good for summer, spring, fall, and is the normal choice for these seasons. However, if backpacking year-round and in the snow is your desire then a four season tent will be necessary. Next decide whether you want a freestanding or non-freestanding tent. The difference in these two is that the free-standing tent can stand on its own and does not need to be staked down. The free-standing tent is also easier to set up and move around if necessary. However, if windy conditions exist it is recommended that you take your tent down so it does not blow away. Another advantage of the freestanding-tent is when it comes time to break down camp. You can point your tent opening towards the ground, shake and all the loose debris will fall right out of your tent.

Next you would determine whether you would like a single or double wall tent. In looking at a double wall tent you will find that it consists of a body and fly to cover it. Advantages of the double wall are they are usually less expensive, better ventilation, and drier in the wet conditions. In comparison the single wall tent does not have the luxury of an inner body. The benefits are easier set up and lighter to carry. However, the down fall to the single wall tent is poor ventilation which can cause a buildup of condensation which can become a problem. Finally, we turn our attention to the design of these walls and floor of the tent.

On the two wall tents a portion of the inner body is made out of mesh. This is the reason that the circulation is so much better. You can find a partial or substantial amount of mesh on your tent body. If you enjoy staring at the stars then all you have to do is pull back your fly and experience it from the comforts of your tent. If it is rainy then pull the fly back over for full protection from the weather. It is worth mentioning that you can have a no-see-um mesh for your tent. Very small two-winged flies found all over the world are known as biting midges, this includes no-see-um, sand flies, and other tiny bugs. This mesh was made to keep them out and has approximately six hundred holes per inch. Now in regards to the floor of your tent make sure that the seam is factory sealed and waterproofed. In fact you should make sure of this for all the seams of your tent. Another floor to look out is called a bath tub floor. There is no seam on this floor because the floor is one piece, carries up a few inches on the side wall and is attached there. Last important tip, do your homework before shopping. Anything you are not sure of can be found on the internet. I hope this has given you some insight on the selection of a backpacking tent.

Backpacking: First Aid Tips

Today's focal point will be on a few first aid tips. This is by no means a complete list of the possible emergency situations you may face. This is why bringing a first aid kit and handbook are vital part of your backpacking gear. Two possible difficulties that are very serious are hyperthermia and hypothermia.…

Today's focal point will be on a few first aid tips. This is by no means a complete list of the possible emergency situations you may face. This is why bringing a first aid kit and handbook are vital part of your backpacking gear.

Two possible difficulties that are very serious are hyperthermia and hypothermia. When your core temperature drops below normal this is known as hypothermia. Symptoms that you may observe are shivering, chills, and lack of coordination. The other adversity you may face is hyperthermia which is when you overheat because your internal body heat can not be released fast enough. Hyperthermia occurs mainly in the summer time and signs consist of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, and weakness. Some other circumstances that can cause you misery are blisters. Deterring blisters actually begins with the procurement of the correct footwear. One more thing to remember when choosing your footwear is making sure you try them on with the same socks you will be hiking in.

While you are hiking it is essential to keep the right posture because it will help in decreasing strain to your muscles. Your walk should be with your head up, shoulders back, relaxed, and swinging your arms. One more meaningfulful tip is to set yourself up with a good walking pace. Just begin your walk with what feels natural to you. Setting your pace is easy when you are by yourself, but becomes much more challenging when hiking with a partner or a group. The reason for this difficulty is because with a partner or group your pace must be that of the person who has the slow pace. Trying to set a faster pace could result in an injury of the person who is trying to keep up. Also you may find those hikers becoming annoyed and distracted. This is not how you have fun when you are backpacking. Remember that safety should always come first. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Trails will not always be smooth, but there will be ruts, holes, and other hazards that can trip you up.

Other basic first aid suggestions consists of protecting yourself from sunburn. To do this wear sunblock and a hat with a wide brim to protect your face. For your neck and ears I would suggest you wearing some type of veil which will cover these two areas. Next have insect repellant available at all times because there is no way of escaping those annoying mosquitoes and other insects. One more option you can choose for defending off the insects is to invest in bug clothing. You can find this clothing for just your head or cover to your whole body. Make sure that while you are on this backpacking adventure that you keep yourself well fed, hydrated, and rested. Finally, make sure that those items like clothing, bug spray, or anything else you will need to use for the next day's hike is readily available. This will save time and aggravation from having to dig around in your pack try to find something.

Put On Your Walking Boots and Start Walking

There's a Countryside Walk Near You One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the center of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive…

There's a Countryside Walk Near You

One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the center of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive or take a bus or train, there is some countryside near you.

It was once the preserve of Sunday afternoon walkers, but with today's flexible work patterns, any day is a good day for enjoying a walk in the countryside. If you live in London, a short train ride of an hour or less will take you to East Sussex or Buckinghamshire. You can stay closer to home and walk along the Regents Canal from Paddington to Limehouse on the River Thames. Alright, so it is not strictly countryside, but you can experience a quiet haven as you walk through 8 miles of one of the most bustling cities in Europe. Anyways this article is not about the countryside so much as to encourage you to put on your walking boots and get walking.

You Can Walk In Any Weather

It does not even matter what season it is, walking in any weather has a way of energising us. Walking lifts our spirits.It is said that all truly great thoughts are conceivable while walking! Walking is also good for our physical health whatever our age. It strengthens our hearts and gets our circulation going. Walking tones up our muscles and leaves us feeling invigorated.

You can walk in any weather but it is still important to wear the correct clothing. Check the forecast. Do you need to carry a sweater in your backpack? maybe a lightweight waterproof jacket if there is a chance of rain? If you are walking in remoter places like the High Peaks in Derbyshire, the weather can change suddenly. So even though you are only 20 miles from Manchester or Sheffield, be prepared.

Carry a thermos flask and some food just it case takes longer than you expected. Wear the correct footwear for the terrain. If you are walking on loose stones and steep inclines your walking boots should be more rigid with good ankle support.

Put On Your Walking Boots

If you decide to walk on various terrains on a regular basis, it is worth investing in the right walking gear and accessories. Waterproof jackets, good walking boots, and a backpack to carry emergency supplies and extra clothing. You can buy all this online or at one of the stores that specialize in the great outdoors.

You may think that you are not fit enough to go walking up mountains. So, choose a walk according to your level of fitness and go forward from there. Walking along country lanes on a summer's day, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna, is a wonderful experience

The important thing is to make a start. Get out of that comfortable armchair and step out to enjoy a new level of fitness for mind and body. Put on your walking boots and get walking!

Preparation for Backpacking 2

This article concentrates on taking practical steps to make you better prepared for your backpacking adventure. Planning and specific tools such as a map and compass will be a tremendous asset to you. The knowledge you gain from your planning will help improve the odds in your favor for safety and an overall better experience.…

This article concentrates on taking practical steps to make you better prepared for your backpacking adventure. Planning and specific tools such as a map and compass will be a tremendous asset to you. The knowledge you gain from your planning will help improve the odds in your favor for safety and an overall better experience. These fundamentals will aid you before you hit the trail, on the trail itself, or both.