Month: September 2015
Hiking and camping are two of the most incredible activities to implement within your personal life. It’s not just about the natural beautiful scenery, but the experience fused within the journey on which you are about to embark. Over the years many adventurists have created camping tips that have helped them make their trip more pleasant and safe. Here are ten of this months top camping and hiking hacks that you can use on your next time outdoor adventure.
I have tried many different homemade mosquito repellants but sage by far has not let me down. Burn a small amount of dried sage outside to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Add it to charcoal when starting to barbecue and it will repel insects while you eat. Burned sage has a strong smell, so it is best to start with a small amount.
You never know when you may need duct tape. It is always a must for any trip. The best way to store it is to wrap some around your water bottle. This is so much better than lugging an entire roll.
If you want to get a quick fire rolling, nothing works better than dryer lint. Instead of throwing lint away, store it in a bag for your next camping trip.
Even though almost 90% of adventurists claim they know what these look like…THEY DON’T. So in case you’re itching to find out, familiarize yourself with these three and stay away.
After a long hike your shoes may stink. No one likes to smell that throughout the night. Placing a teabag in your hiking boots help keep bad odors away.\n\n
Ants!! They can get all into your gear and even into your camp and ruin a trip pretty quickly. They can be so annoying. If you see any sign of ants near your camp you can pour grits around and the ants will flee. Thank you Quaker Oats.
Got an itch. Well one thing is for sure and that is that you can’t scratch it and irritate it. Rub dry deodorant over the itch area and it instantly combats the itchiness. You will also smell better.
Tic Tac containers are great for storing things in small quantities. The best thing to keep however is spice. Salt and pepper can make or break a meal, and can be easily saved in these little space savers.
Got an old belt that you don’t use anymore? You can bring it along on your next camping trip. Wrap it around a tree and add hooks and you’ll have a ready made rack for pots, pans, and even clothes. It is great for keeping your supplies away from animals, and off the ground.\n\n \n
By: Bobby Ikebudu
As promised, here is my brief review of AWOL on the Appalacian Trail by David Miller. I’ve also gone ahead and included other great outdoors-related books that I have on my list to read right now in case you want some other choices.
I’m going to start with one of my favorite quotes from the book:
Hiking the AT is ‘pointless.’ What life is not ‘pointless’? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform? Hiking the AT before joining the workforce was an opportunity not taken. Doing it in retirement would be sensible; doing it at this time in my life is abnormal, and therein lay the appeal. I want to make my life less ordinary.
Whether you read this quote and are inspired to quit your job to go thru-hike the AT, like author David Miller did, or not- I think that there still is an important message and point that he makes. Many people are so comfortable with conforming to norms and standards that are set forth by society. As a college student myself, I am constantly surrounded by this sort of phenomenon.
People always ask what you’re studying and what you plan to do with said major once you graduate and enter the “real world.” Everyone seems to want to tell you what you should do: that you can’t do anything with an English or history degree, that you need to get an internship so that you can have experience on your resume. Your peers have a similar effect, but more indirectly because when you simply see other people do certain things you wonder if you should be doing them as well.
I’ve followed the typical life path thus far; I worked hard in school growing up and was able to go off to college. The next, traditional steps for me to take after graduating would be to get a job, perhaps move into my own place nearby, eventually get married, and start a family. Seeing the people you know do these things, it can be easy to think that it would be okay and normal for you to do the same. However, in my opinion, that sounds like the most boring life in the world.
I believe the problem is that people are scared to go outside of what has been proven to be safe and successful. Failure is a scary prospect, but isn’t that when you are able to learn and grow the most? It is not my intention to knock down this common lifestyle that many people live. If you are able to put food on the table for your family and have a steady job, you are much more fortunate than so many people. I just think that those individuals who are professional whitewater kayakers, or artists, or surfers, or musicians seem to lead the most exciting lives. People are quick to condemn these unusual lifestyles because they may not have the biggest paychecks or consistent schedules, but they are living their lives out pursuing their passions. So why should any of the rest matter if they are doing what makes them happy? Consistency is boring.
Now to get back on topic- AWOL. I was a huge fan and highly recommend the book. I elaborated so much on that particular quote because I think that it is a very important ideology that is part of the foundation of our company and is reflected in what Vestigo does. We encourage people to go explore their outdoors, especially for those who don’t have much experience and thus are willing to do something out of the ordinary for them. It is exciting to push yourself beyond the boundaries you, or society, sets up for you. This book is a great read to get an idea of what life is like on the trail during a thru-hike. The uphill battles, literally and figuratively, experienced by Miller and almost all thru-hikers tell a great story of human perseverance. I thought that Miller presented a very fair representation of the trail; he didn’t sugarcoat the bad times, but also didn’t fail to describe the rewarding times in great, beautiful detail. I felt like I was on the trail with him during many sections.
For those with little hiking experience, do not be scared away. He hiked the entire AT, which is a total of 2,175 miles. You can experience similar mountains and views in a day hike not over 2 miles and without the blisters or knee pains. I don’t want to give much away so that’s all I’ve got. I hope some of you read it! It isn’t too long either I promise. As mentioned at the beginning, though, here are some other books that are on my list to read that are related to the outdoors.
By: Maddie Anderson
Warren Keelan, an Australian photographer with an obsession for the ocean, is the epitome of someone pursuing their passion. Warren spends almost every morning rising at the crack of dawn (or earlier) and devotes the next few hours to swimming and searching for the perfect shot. He’s loaded down with gear – cameras, lenses, and fancy photography equipment. Often the best waves arise in the winter months, so the water can be freezing. But Warren is dedicated to his passion. He puts up with the hardships and inevitable downsides that accompany any hobby.
You like to fish? Sometimes the bait is bad and you can’t find the honey-hole.
You like to hike? Sometimes the trail is steep and your feet get blisters.
You like to watch Netflix? Sometimes –god forbid- your show ends and you don’t have Wifi.
Well, Warren likes photography, seascapes and ocean-life. Sometimes it’s too early, the weather sucks, and the water’s cold. But does that stop him from putting on his wetsuit, loading up with gear, and drifting over waves, kicking to stay above the surface? Does that stop him from pursuing his passion?
As someone with a passion, a dedication to adventure and travel and writing, I am not oblivious to the frequent troubles and excuses that present themselves and are easy to make up. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m so tired. I have so much other work to do. It’s too cold/hot outside. But then, while I was on Facebook one day, I stumbled across Warren’s page. I was blown away by his photography. My mouth literally hung open, awestruck, as I browsed through the variety of shots he took. His work captured unimaginable beauty. It provoked an indescribable perspective.
How could a picture of an ocean wave, something so mundane and abundant, look so incredibly surreal?
I’ve always known the ocean was beautiful, but never this beautiful.
I looked further. I read more about Warren Keelan and spent hours pouring through his collections. I constantly questioned how someone could capture something like this. And then I realized, it’s because this is his passion.
When you are passionate about something, whether its photography or writing or sports or animals or medicine, you have a gift. Your passion is your purpose. And if you pursue it and share it with the world you can show others how you see it. You can inspire others to recognize the beauty in something otherwise unnoticed.
Warren reminded me of seven things I, we, should always keep in mind, seven things to never forget when pursuing our passions.
Try something new.
So you’re unsure about your passion? You really, really like something but don’t really know how to go about pursuing it? Try out a bunch of different things. Get feedback. Find out what works and what doesn’t.
Maybe we’re not all researchers, but school taught us the scientific method for a reason. Get an idea, make a hypothesis, test it, collect data, make a conclusion. You learn through trial and error.
I love writing, but I was always hesitant to actually put words on a page and show it to people. What if what I wrote wasn’t good? What if people hated it? How do I know what to write?
So, I tried everything. Poetry, short stories, essays, narratives, fiction, non-fiction, the list goes on and on. And some people loved certain pieces while some people hated other pieces, but, despite uncertainty, suggestions, and some negativity, I was learning.
Right now, I’m finally writing. And you know what? I’m still figuring it out. I’m still experimenting. I’m still pursuing this passion.
Don’t overthink it. Sometimes too much planning or too much contemplation can ruin the beauty of a spontaneous idea.
When you overthink or over-plan or over-compensate, the true message is lost. There’s too much room for critique and negativity and judgment. Emptying your mind allows you to face your passion in its purest form. It’s where you’re truest, most sincere thoughts are expressed. It’s where beauty is born. It’s the origin of creativity.
Before I write a story I get all my thoughts down on paper, not worrying if it sounds okay or even if it makes sense. I just get it all out without thinking.
Emptying your mind creates space for it to be filled with opportunity and imagination.
Never give up. Never stop trying.
How many sunsets do you think Warren had to watch before he captured this one? How many waves rolled by, how many thousands of shots were taken, how many days were spent with no good outcome?
There will be struggles. There will be negativity. There will be people who tell you you’re crazy, you can’t do that, and, more importantly, you can’t make money doing that.
But that’s kind of the point in pursuing your passion. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it and I wouldn’t be writing this. Pursuing your passion is supposed to be hard. It makes the reward at the end that much better.
It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to find out that something didn’t work. It is one hundred percent okay to try something and not be able to do it.
But don’t give up. Because the only true failures are the ones who stop trying.
This goes hand in hand with never giving up. There will be good days and bad days, but that’s okay, because this is a journey. This is a roller coaster.
Your passion should fuel you. Work on it everyday. Whether it’s painting or singing or running or knitting, for god’s sake, do it. Work on it everyday. If you don’t like what you did the day before, start over. If you wish you did something differently, change it. Literally, there is nothing stopping you.
Wake up every morning thinking this is the day. This is the day my dreams will become reality. And, eventually, it will be.
Take the next step. Don’t stop learning about your passion because I promise there is always something new.
If its photography, there will always be new cameras, new lenses, new angles, new lighting, new shots to take, new places to see.
If its sports, there will always be new opponents to defeat, new plays to run, to strategies to practice, new techniques to master.
There is always room for growth. If you think you’ve reached the top, look up, there’s still sky above you.
With that in mind, don’t get discouraged if you’re just starting out and you’re at the bottom and everyone is above you. They’ve all been in your place before. No one was born automatically knowing how to do what they are passionate about. It takes practice. It takes experience. It takes exposure and learning and trial.
Whether it’s the fleeting moment of a breathtaking sunset or a drawn out day of smiles surrounded by the ones you love, find beauty. Find peace. It’s what will keep you going.
Every day won’t be filled with excitement and success so it’s important to find beauty wherever you can.
The world is a beautiful place, but it can be easy to get wrapped up and swept away by the stressors and negativity of everyday life. It’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take a closer look.
That patch of overgrown weeds isn’t ugly. I’ll bet there’s a four-leaf clover hidden in there.
That scar on your arm isn’t ugly. It’s a sign of strength and overcoming hardship.
There’s something beautiful in everything. You just have to find it.
The reward of inspiring others makes every struggle worth it. That’s what pursuing your passion is all about. Taking something no one else really notices, capturing it, exposing it, showing it to others through your eyes, and making people notice. Making people say “wow”. Making people say “I can’t believe this”. Making people say “how did I not notice this before”.
Being a source of inspiration is what makes the world a better place. Inspiring people to do what they love brings happiness and joy and a better outlook on life.
Pursuing your passion is a personal journey. Finding your purpose should, first and foremost, be about fueling your own happiness. But what if you gave someone else the strength to pursue their passion?
We’re all in this world together, whether we like it or not. We’re all connected, we’re all made from the same stuff, but we all have different perspectives. We all see things a little differently. Everyone has their own passion. Everyone has something they think is beautiful.
So why not share it? The world could use a little more understanding. The world could use a little more beauty. The world could use a little more passion.
By: Sarah Walls