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01 October 2022

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  • Rocker vs Camber Snowboard – Which One is Better?
    01 October 2022

    Let’s be honest: there are still times when snowboarders are frowned upon by skiers. You get those ‘You ruined our snow’-type of glances.

    However, 40 years ago, we were not even allowed in most winter sports resorts. Consequently, snowboarders spent their days riding powder in the backcountry. They were using flat boards, which allowed maneuvering in deep snow.

    When the acceptance rate started to grow, it came with the need to diversify the snowboarding gear for various conditions found on the slopes.

    Then came snow parks. It made even more sense to have different approaches to the snowboard riding style.

    Having gone a long way from those skis fastened together by Sherman Poppen back in the day, Camber and Rocker snowboards were developed. With hybrid profiles created between them, it became easier for riders to find their approach and the best piece of equipment to go with it.

    What is Camber?

    There isn’t any ‘The chicken or the egg?’ causality when dealing with Rocker and Camber snowboards. The Camber snowboard was born first, allowing more contact with the snow during those turns on hard snow. It did imitate the race skis of those days.

    For powder days and even slushy conditions, the Rocker snowboard started to be regularly used.

    Let’s dig deeper into the two styles covered by these board bends. In the end, it all depends on the contact points, the tip/nose, and the tail.

    If we look at a snowboard from the side, a Camber snowboard has an upward curve, between the tip and tail. While Camber snowboards are generally optimal for all riders and styles, they are the choice of aggressive snowboarders for carving at high speeds.

    When depressed or flexed, the profile of Camber boards snaps back to its initial shape. This generates energy that is useful for holding an edge.       

    What is Rocker?

    If we look at the profile of a Camber snowboard and then compare it to the profile of a Rocker snowboard, it is almost like looking at an item and its reflection in the mirror. The curve defining cambered boards and running between tip and tail was reversed to create the Rocker snowboard.

    This downward curve between the feet, with the nose and tail raised, allows the sidecut of the rockered board to depress fully when the snowboarder is up on edge. What follows? Deep carves that riders love.

    There are surfing influences behind the creation of this Rocker board. In the end, snow is still water, isn’t it? And we love to float! Remember that the playfulness of Rocker snowboards is due to the fact that, being already curved, they do not build that much energy between transitions.   

    With Camber and Rocker pinned on the map of snowboarding, was there a need for more?  

    Rocker vs. Camber snowboard– Can you spot the differences?

    Let’s do a recap!

    The most significant difference between Camber and Rocker boards lies in their snowboard profile. A cambered board has an upward curve, while a Rocker board has a downward one.

    The terrain is another factor differentiating between the two board profiles: hard snow in the case of cambered boards and deep powder (even slush!) in the case of Rocker boards.

    If talking about the setting, park riders prefer Camber snowboards. Their profile provides a higher degree of control and a snappy flex for precise maneuvers. You need that when dealing with jumps, halfpipe walls, and jibs.

    Already curved, Rocker snowboards are perfect for natural settings. They are not as precise and stable as the Camber boards, which is ok. When you’re out and about on a new mountain, you just let go and enjoy the ride.   

    Riding styles are also different! While suited for all riders, Camber boards are best for aggressive riding and better carving at high speed. Snowboarders also love the ‘poppy’ feeling while linking turns.

    Rocker snowboards are preferred for slow rides in powder. So, watch out for those pow days and have your Rocker ready!

    Last but not least, when discussing the level, while cambered boards are for intermediate to advanced riders, rockered boards are easier to ride. They can be a great fit for beginner to intermediate riders. That’s why, most snowboards for beginners have rocker profiles. 

    Many riders disagree, especially regarding this last difference between the two boards, so let’s examine their features more thoroughly. Also, it is important to have a look at the hybrid boards stemming from them.

    Traditional Camber

    There is a camber under the board – and it goes from the contact point near the tail to the contact point near the nose. Put more simply: this camber underfoot board has a camber from tip to tail. And it’s the most aggressive of all cambers!

    It is a good profile for jumps and can improve the edge hold, helping with stability at high speed. For beginners, to catch an edge with this type of camber could be easier, but it can prove more challenging with deeper powder, where you need more float.

    Rocker/Reverse Camber

    Also known as Continuous Rocker, Banana, and Anti-Camber, this Rocker profile is the opposite of the Traditional Camber. Why these names for the Reverse Camber? Because there’s a continuous rocker shape between the nose and the tail, namely between contact points.

    Recommended for beginners, these boards make turn initiation easier. You’ll probably not be catching edges! On the other hand, the Reverse Camber feels loose and hard to control for a beginner, with more difficult landings, but still great for extra float.

    Flat Camber

    This board is flat between the contact points, which provides stability for the rider. It is great for beginners if we disregard the fact that it can and will occasionally catch one of the edges.

    Great for narrow corridors in between trees and steady at landing, it is not for speedsters (there is much contact with the ground) but guarantees fun throughout the snow day through this flat uncommon design.

    Hybrid Camber

    The camber lies towards the tip and the tail. It is a successful combination between the pop of the camber and the looseness of the rocker. This hybrid profile makes precise turn initiation easier.

    It is a great all-around snowboard for the park and the mountain alike because it lands and butters well. Another lovely combination!

    Which Goes Best for You: Camber or Rocker?

    As usually in my articles, the first question comes with several others.

    What Is Your Level?

    Have you just started, or are you an experienced rider? If you are a beginner, consider purchasing a Rocker snowboard; it is a bit easier to handle. Go for a Camber board if you have some experience riding.

    Where Do You like Spending Your Riding Days?

    Is it in a snow park or a winter sports resort? Then, you would go with a Camber snowboard.

    If, on the other hand, you like to ride off-piste in soft snow, choose a Rocker snowboard.

    What Is Your Style?

    Do you enjoy high speeds and a lot of carving or love to ride powder? Get a Camber board for tricks and a Rocker snowboard to savor your snow day.

    Wrapping up Different Snowboard Profiles

    There are no ‘correct’ or ‘right’ profiles. There are only profiles that are right for you. Of course, you can embrace one or several and test various snowboards until you decide which best fits your experience and goals. Rocker, Camber, it’s up to you!

    While talking of skiing, the rockered skis are the happy medium between full cambered skis and a reverse camber skis.

    In the end, as corny as it may sound, it is not about the destination but the journey. And your journey ultimately means enjoying snowboarding to the full, in a way in which it enriches your life.

    The post Rocker vs Camber Snowboard – Which One is Better? appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

  • Where to Stay in Nashville – Best Areas For 2022
    01 October 2022

    Looking for where to stay in Nashville? Wondering where to start? Read on! As the capital of Tennessee, Nashville is packed with attractions and history. However, the city is most...

    Read the original post Where to Stay in Nashville – Best Areas For 2022 on The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog.

  • Freestyle Vs Freeride Snowboarding
    01 October 2022

    What’s your style? You got that James Dean daydream looks in your eye? No patsy! I wasn’t talking about Taylor Swift’s muse but your preferred style on the snowy terrains.

    You don’t know yours? That’s exactly why I was born, to educate you. Call me Pink Panther or whatever, but I’m going to stop you from spending dollars on the wrong products. I mean, how can you ignore this inflation? So, save your money and buy me the latest Fendi bag.

    Being a Romeo to snowboarding, you must be familiar with the two most loved styles, i.e., freestyle and freeride snowboarding. And if you are perplexed about becoming a freestyle or freeride snowboarder, I am here to solve the equation.

    First thing first, it’s not a competition. Every snowboarding style has to offer something very unique. So, it is all about what suits you and what you enjoy the most.

    In this article, I have tried to explain freestyle vs. freeride riding styles and their equipment. Let’s get into it!

    What Is Freeride Snowboarding?

    It is all about testing your limits and pushing them until you get your heart pumping and thighs burning. Unlike freestyle, freeride rely on natural challenges and natural terrains. This riding style avoids artificial obstacles like rails and halfpipes that a freestyle snowboarder relies on.

    Freeride snowboarding includes almost everything from cruising down the groomed trails to taking over off-piste. Unlike freestyle, freeride snowboarding is a bit hard to explain. Because freeride is a style in which a snowboarder rides with no agenda.

    I mean, one can say that you are probably freeriding when you are not performing tricks, following a specific course, or racing. The name itself explains the freedom you have in this style. You can lift, pick a trail, and ride at your own pace, take a turn whenever you feel like, that’s freeriding.

    One can ride in glades, off-piste, moguls, or blue, black, and green trails when they are freeriding. However, in the world of professional snowboarding, to differentiate this style from other styles, freeriding refers to riding off-piste or backcountry.

    If we talk about a freeride-specific snowboard, you’ll notice that this board is more extended as compared to the freestyle shorter board. The freeride snowboards own a detour shape or a directional shape signifying the nose is not similar to the tail.

    The bearing on the snowboard is designed and balanced towards the back, in an effort to uphold the nose above the snow in pow.

    Freeride boards are made a bit rigid to resist speedy riding. This rigidity makes them a little less tolerant.

    What Is Freestyle Snowboarding?

    Freestyle snowboarding is a style heavily influenced by skateboarding. It involves nailing tricks and exploring the wide fabric of aerial maneuverability, usually in man-made situations. That’s the reason why we find it synonymous with terrain parks. However, it also steps outside the arena of the terrain park.

    One can say, whichever trick you know in the park falls under the umbrella of the freestyle riding category.

    From riding through the half pipe, hitting rails, catching airs, buttering the piste, to nailing the jumps and jibs, everything can be counted as one peculiar stunt of freestyle riding. Mind it, every spin, jib, or jump you perform can be classified as freestyle.

    The best thing about this style is that it also serves as an official Olympic event, also, it is so popular in the world partially because of its long season as it doesn’t require heavy snow, and also because it involves riding away like you own the place.

    If we talk about freestyle equipment, these snowboards have a mirror-like design and an equal standpoint for more balance. It always has a true twin shape that allows for easy tricks in either direction. What does that mean? It means a super fun riding switch.

    Yes! The board is made symmetrical to cater to the needs of freestyle riders to ride switch however they want.

    Freestyle boards tend to be forgiving as they are built with soft flex, and that’s exactly what you are going to need if you fancy buttering the snow, perfecting jibs, or pressing. However, if you are one aggressive freestyle snowboarder, you might need a stiffer board. Not too stiff but a medium soft flex.

    Most freestyle boards are usually shorter for easy spins and tricks like that. It makes it easier to handle and ideal for maneuvers.

    Difference Between Freestyle and Freeride Snowboarding

    Now that you have learned about each style, let’s get into the main differences between the equipment of these two riding styles. Below I have highlighted the key differences and the science behind each distinguished feature of freeride and freestyle snowboards.


    Freeride snowboards tend to have a stiffer flex, around 7 to 10 out of a scale of 10 (with 10 the stiffest and 1 the softest). Now let’s find out why it is engineered this way. The top reason is that a stiffer board shows a better edge-hold. It is something that free-riders adore while charging down the mountain, attacking and carving steeps.

    Secondly, a stiffer board proves more stable at high speeds and tends to be more responsive. This is extremely important for a freeride snowboarder when tackling narrow chutes, trees, and other terrains that demand sharp, precise movements.

    Now you know you need to buy a stiff flex board for a freeride experience. However, a freestyle board should fall on the soft side of the scale for a fun ride. Just so you know, really soft flexing boards are less common, whereas, medium flex boards are more common.

    Because softer or medium flex boards are easier to maneuver and butter. Also, suitable for tail presses. They offer bags of forgiveness on landings and also while performing tricks and spins. This is the reason most beginner snowboards don’t have a stiff flex.


    Freeride boards include a setback setup of at least 20mm or more. This extra setback allows for easy and effective flotation in deep snow. This way, you can lean on your back binding, putting your weight on your back foot, and lift the nose up and above the deep pow.

    On the contrary, freestyle boards don’t require a setback stance as it would make the riding switch very awkward. A centered stance is more suitable as it helps to keep the board symmetrical.


    Typically, a freeride board has a tapered directional shape. These shapes are designed to be optimized for one-direction riding. That’s why these are harder to ride switch.

    Besides manipulating the shape into narrower, shorter, or stiffer profiles, there are also some other ways using which the board can be made directional. For instance, the flex pattern, sidecut, or setback stances.

    On the flip side, freestyle snowboards are typically always true twins or close to that. Boards with this profile are exactly the same at both ends. They feature identical flex patterns and identical shapes of nose and tail, which is ideal for ride switch.


    There are mainly two types of snowboard bases, i.e., sintered or extruded.

    On a freeride board, you will almost always find a sintered base. Why? Because sintered bases are faster and glide better over hard or icy terrain. It means if you happen to run on any short uphill areas, this base will assist in keeping you moving more than an extruded base.

    On the other hand, most possess extruded bases but some freestyle boards feature a sintered base. Freestyle snowboarders highly prefer a slower base, that’s why they prefer extruded baseboards.

    Sintered bases cost you more than an extruded base. Also, they require more maintenance. One can use a sintered baseboard to drive up the pipe walls or for extreme jumps.


    The freeride boards normally come narrower, which makes them more responsive. Although, some riders like them wider for stability in extreme conditions. However, if you are opting for a narrower board, don’t forget to match it with some low-profile boots to minimize the chances of overhang.

    Freestyle boards are made wider in comparison to the freeride board. This width provided much-needed stability to a freestyle rider on landings and while hitting jibs.


    Mostly a longer board is a top pick of free-riders. Because a slightly longer board offers that extra stability and speed they are looking for while cruising the whole mountain. However, you need to keep in your mind that a board’s length also depends on your weight.

    Freestyle snowboards are generally shorter in length. While buying such a board, you take a standard length measurement of a board and take off some centimeters to get a freestyle board.

    The reason behind its shorter profile is that it makes it easier to control and spin. So, an ideal profile for freestyle snowboarding is shorter, loose, and slightly wider.


    Freeride riders are okay with any terrain if there is fresh snow present, or wherever they can ride off-piste to find some fresh lines. So, if there’s present fresh powder and blue air with delightful blue skies, riders will be seen having fun shredding the whole mountain until the sun decides to sleep.

    They are totally into exploring all mountain areas. However, they might like to tap into the park for some odd runs. Their journey might include hitting the backcountry or snowshoeing new horizons.

    Freestylers are park rats, snigging out the best places to try out new tricks. Their favorite spots usually include resorts that offer a snow park and a halfpipe. They are interested in repeating their jumping sessions for hours until they improve it.

    What Kind of Snowboard Should I Get?

    One can say, freeride and freestyle are at the two opposite ends of a spectrum. Now that you have got yourself familiar with these two styles, I’m sure you are now confident enough to go buy a suitable board for yourself.

    To summarize it for you, if you want to ride freestyle, a flexible, playful, and forgiving board will do. A board that is built to take you to snow parks or park-style places. In contrast, a freeride snowboard is hard and elongated and built to take you hiking off the backcountry.

    If you think you want the best of both worlds and your style falls anywhere between the two, go for an all-mountain board.

    Final Thoughts

    Buying a snowboard demands you to know your style, but it’s okay if Elon Musk is your father. If you are a newbie, you should be opting for each style to explore what attracts you the most

    However, if you are an experienced rider, you must have gotten familiar with your type, and now looking out for the finest board that fits your intentions. You can find guidelines on some of the best pieces on the market for both freestyle and freeride boards.

    Remember! All that matters is that you are enjoying the rides. So always go for a style that suits your personality.

    The post Freestyle Vs Freeride Snowboarding appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

  • How to Spend One Week in Jordan
    01 October 2022

    Adventure calls in the Holy land of Jordan, with locals ready to lend a friendly hand. With archaeological gems decorating every turn, the country is nothing short of a museum. Here’s how to make the most of Jordan in one week.

    Day 1: Amman

    Amman, the capital of Jordan as well as its largest city, is friendly and vibrant. A modern city holding many gems of the past, Amman is a patchwork of old and new.

    This very past is brought to the forefront by glorious architecture. Discover a grand colosseum is embedded into the city. For those eager history buffs, there are plenty of museums celebrating Jordan folklore, architecture and art. Afterwards, enjoy the glittering skyline backgrounding the Temple of Hercules.

    Day 2: Ajlun

    Escape the city for a while. Just North of Amman in a sea of pine trees is Ajlun. Ajlun is best known for its 12th century castle, towering over the Jordanian pastures. This medieval castle was used as a stronghold against the crusaders. In the modern day, it is an iconic spot that overlooks a quaint village. The scenic views of the Jordan countryside is a must see.

    Day 3. Wadi Rum

    Known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum is an otherworldly experience. The desert is a blanket of amber sand that will give you a taste of Mars. In fact, many Hollywood productions have used Wadi Rum for filming. When the sun drops and the earth cools, the milky way galaxy will open itself up above. Whether it’s by trekking, camel or jeep, Wadi Rum is an absolute must see.

    Day 4. Petra

    Embedded into the rock side of Jordan’s southwestern desert is Petra. Otherwise known as the ‘Rose City’, due to the pink flush of the rock formation.  Deep corridors of the damn will lead you into the city. The Treasury is perhaps Jordan’s most iconic wonder. Centuries of history still await to be uncovered here, with the Treasury’s purpose still baffling archaeologists. As the day slips away, you can enjoy the formation’s orange glow during sunset.

    Day 5. Dead Sea

    Next stop, the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, stitched across Jordan and Israel, is the lowest point on Earth. It’s also one of the most Instagrammable places you’ll find. Clear blue water, white lumps of salt formations and the glorious views. Leisurely float on its surface as a result of the high salt content. Enjoy the fresh water springs or messy mud baths. One nourishing dip has a wealth of health benefits!

    Day 6. Jerash

    Just North of Amman is the ancient city of Jerash. Here you will find a spectacular archaeological site with Biblical origins and plenty to see. This is one of the best Roman sites you will find in the Middle East. Discover a grand amphitheatre, the temple of Artemis, the oval forum and more.

    After finding out a bit about Jordan, it should certainly be on your list by now! Keen to experience this and more? Check out our Jordan tours.

    The post How to Spend One Week in Jordan appeared first on Travel Talk Tours.

  • 7 Best Bucket-list Experiences in Greece
    01 October 2022

    Greece is a dream destination for so many reasons. Whether it’s the gorgeous beaches, the culture and history, the nightlife, or the food, Greece is always a great idea. In fact, Greece is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, famous for its remarkable beauty and an impressive 200 days of sunshine per year. 

    The summer season is the best time of year to visit despite the hotter months being the peak holiday period. With so many amazing places to see and over 2,000 islands to choose from, you can’t do everything in just one holiday. So, here’s a list of the best bucket list experiences you must do in Greece to help you out! 

    1. Watch the sunset in Oia, Santorini 

    Firstly, it’s no secret that the Greek sunsets are incredible. But have you seen a Santorini sunset? This experience is definitely topping plenty of people’s bucket lists for Greece and you should tick it off ASAP to avoid some serious FOMO this summer! Both tourists and locals flock to the village of Oia to enjoy the best sunset in Greece (if not the world!). 

    With a backdrop of the stunningly white rooftops, the 360 degree views of the calm sea and the various isolated islands, the sun’s orange, pink and red hues as it sets over the horizon… the sunset here is simply perfection. We can’t think of a better place to unwind with a Mythos beer or a glass of local wine and admire the view. What an unreal way to end your day! 

    2. Have the time of your life at the Mykonos Beach Clubs 

    Greece is also known for its nightlife scene, and it would be rude not to put it to the test. Life is all about balance, and while it’s essential to relax on holiday it’s also important to let loose and have some fun! The Mykonos beach clubs are famous for being some of the best in Europe. 

    Perhaps try the Paradise Beach Club, which has been voted the 14th best club in the whole world! Spend the day here sipping on ice-cold mojitos and dancing on the beach. Furthermore, partying at the beach clubs in Mykonos until the early hours is certainly something you must experience at least once in your life, and will have you coming back year on year for more!

    3. Discover the Acropolis in Athens 

    Greece is famous for its ancient history and the culture it started to build thousands of years ago. Visiting Greece isn’t really complete without a tour of the stunning Acropolis Parthenon site in the capital city of Athens. In fact, this iconic structure is the epitome of Greek heritage today. 

    Unsurprisingly, people travel from all around the globe to marvel at the Acropolis, often stopping to take in this impressive ruin during an interesting walking tour of the city. Even if you’re not a history buff, this bucket list must-see is a wonder for anyone to behold. 

    4. Take a boat trip in Ios 

    Exploring Ios by boat is the ultimate way to uncover the beauty of this island! Why not jump on a small private boat to sail the crystal clear waters on a hot day? You can cool off at any time by simply jumping off the boat and taking a refreshing swim in the Aegean Sea. 

    Furthermore, go adventuring to hidden caves or discover shipwrecks by snorkelling in the glistening water. Alternatively, drift into a secluded bay and chill out by soaking up the sun on a stunning beach. An Ios boat trip is the perfect way to find some of the island’s off-the-beaten-track treasures. 

    5. Explore Mykonos Old Town 

    Instagram is flooded with pictures of Mykonos old town’s cobbled streets, featuring quintessentially Greek white-and-blue painted buildings and the town’s five iconic windmills. 

    After partying all day and night at Mykonos’ top beach clubs, spend a lazy afternoon wandering around the picturesque narrow streets with an ice cream in hand. Alternatively, wait until dusk and seek out a Greek taverna for a delightful evening meal and a cocktail or two! 

    6. Visit Santorini’s volcano and hot springs

    Santorini’s active volcano actually lies mostly underwater, but you can visit the impressive caldera which was formed following several volcanic eruptions on the island. The enormous cliffs are dotted with little white houses and boutique hotels, with beautiful views of the volcano and other islands close to Santorini.

    Additionally, you can embark on a volcano boat tour which usually includes the chance to climb to the volcano’s crater and bathe in the calming hot springs. The water is full of sulphur which is known for its therapeutic effects, and you can take a mud bath while admiring the outstanding views. 

    7. Indulge in Greek food 

    You don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate the cuisine in Greece. Of course, sampling the authentic local cuisine is a bucket list experience in pretty much any destination. Fresh fish, greek salad, souvlaki, moussaka… the list goes on and on! 

    However, the staple Greek dish has to be gyros. This filling and versatile meal is out of this world, an easy option for lunch or dinner, and the obvious choice for curing that pesky hangover! Got a sweet tooth? Then it has to be a sticky slice of baklava for dessert. 

    Feeling inspired? Experience these bucket list experiences with us on our Greece tours.

    The post 7 Best Bucket-list Experiences in Greece appeared first on Travel Talk Tours.

  • Mount Everest: Andrzej Bargiel hopes the wind will calm down
    30 September 2022
    Andrzej Bargiel (© Bartlomiej Pawlikowski/Red Bull Content Pool)

    “Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t let them go for another attempt of a summit attack today,” reads Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel’s Instagram account. “The team stays overnight in Camp 2, and tomorrow will decide whether to continue the summit push. If the weather forecast is confirmed, it will be possible on Sunday/Monday.”

    Then the wind on Mount Everest is expected to calm down significantly. From Tuesday, however, new snowfall must be expected. And from Thursday at the latest, the wind could freshen up again. So – if at all – only a small weather window will open up for Bargiel and Co.

    First attempt at the South Col aborted

    Yesterday, Thursday, Andrzej and his companion Janusz Golab had climbed up to the South Col at just below 8,000 meters. There, according to their own words, the two Poles were greeted by gusts of wind with speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour – impossible to pitch a tent in this situation and certainly impossible to continue climbing. Bargiel and Golab turned around and descended to Camp 2 at around 6,400 meters.

    In strong winds, Andrzej and Janusz have reached Camp 4. Due to gusty wind there was no possibility of setting up a tent in C4,so they decided to suspend the summit attack and descend to C2.

    Bartek Bargiel@totalizator_sp @GrupaMurapol @redbullpolska @MBPolska @SalomonSports

    — Andrzej Bargiel (@JedrekBargiel) September 29, 2022

    Bargiel has set himself the goal of reaching the highest point on earth at 8,849 meters without bottled oxygen and then skiing all the way from the summit to base camp. So far, only Davo Karnicar had succeeded in doing this in fall 2000. At that time, however, the Slovenian had used a breathing mask on the ascent from the South Col.

    Higher risk of frostbite

    The wind is not one of the friends of mountaineers who want to climb eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen. The lack of oxygen leads to increased breathing. This causes dehydration, the metabolism hardly works, the extremities are supplied only insufficiently. This increases the risk of frostbite on fingers and toes. If in addition strong wind cools your body, it can be quickly over with your extremities.

    Der Beitrag Mount Everest: Andrzej Bargiel hopes the wind will calm down erschien zuerst auf Adventure Mountain.

  • Siberia as Vast, Melancholic, and Hilarious In This Masterpiece
    30 September 2022
    Ian Frazier's 'Travels in Sibera' is a grand adventure tale through one of the world's biggest, and strangest lands.
  • Clinging to the Spine of the Teton Over the Cathedral Traverse
    30 September 2022
    Palm sweats? Yeah. Gorgeous views? You betcha.
  • Make Your Guiding Business Legit: License and Permits
    30 September 2022

    Registering your tour company and getting the right licenses and permits to legitimately operate is actually a really big pain. Justin Wingerter of The Denver Post wrote an article in 2021 detailing just how messy the permitting process is.

    Wingerter said, “Due to understaffing at the U.S. Forest Service and a cumbersome process, it can take several years and hundreds of work hours before Colorado guides receive a permit to take small groups fishing, hiking or do other recreational activities on federal lands.”

    We all know how dangerous it can be climbing up a mountain. And it’s especially dangerous when an amateur risks their life on a mountain by themselves when they should really hire an expert. But, when agencies flat out ignore permit applications, you get beginners with very little experience climbing up dangerous 14ers like Blanca Peak and Little Bear Peak.

    Earlier this year, we wrote about the SOAR Act, which is supposed to help streamline the guide permitting process and eliminate unnecessary headaches the current process causes. 

    Until it’s passed in Congress, we’ve outlined the typical steps hopeful tour operators can take to legitimize their outdoor guiding business, which includes: naming your business, registering your business, decide where you’re going to operate, and then get the permit for whatever area of land you’ll operate on (e.g. U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure And Location

    Registering your tour guiding business may be the easiest part in all of this. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) says to choose your location and business structure first so you know how to register your business.

    1A. Different Business Structures

    There are (more or less) five business structures you can choose from:  limited liability company (LLC), corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or nonprofit corporation. Here’s an outline of what some of those business structures mean, according to SBA:

    Sole Proprietorship (Individual)
    • A Sole Proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single individual.
    • There are few legal requirements to meet to establish a sole proprietorship.
    • If you’re operating your business under a name other than your own legal name, you must register a trade name.
    • Sole Proprietor is the most common form of legal structure for new small businesses.
    • A corporation is a legal entity that exists separately from the people who create it. 
    • A corporation is owned by its shareholders and run by a board of directors elected by the shareholders.
    • In a large corporation, the directors hire corporate officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the business. In a small corporation, the directors and the corporate officers are usually the same individual(s).
    • Corporations are created by filing “Articles of Incorporation” with the Secretary of State and by adopting bylaws.
    • There are certain formalities a corporation must adhere to, including:
      • Procedures for annual shareholder meetings
      • The election of the board of directors
      • Maintenance of corporate records
      • Adoption of bylaws
      • Complete separation of personal and business finances
      • Proper filings with the Secretary of State
    • Although many of the requirements may seem unnecessary for a small corporation, they are important to preserve the corporate form.
    Limited Liability Company
    • An LLC combines the concepts of partnerships for tax purposes and corporations for liability purposes.
    • LLCs are created by filing “Articles of Organization” with the Secretary of State.
    • While similar, LLCs are NOT corporations. In an LLC, the owners are called members. The members may elect or hire a manager(s) to run the business. As in a corporation, the owner(s)/member(s) may elect themselves to be the manager(s).
    General Partnership
    • A General Partnership is a business owned by two or more individuals or other business entities.
    • Although it is not required, it is strongly recommended that a general partnership prepare a written partnership agreement that outlines the business’ structure and each partner’s responsibilities.
    • If the partnership owns real property, the partnership agreement should be filed in the county where the property is located. The agreement should be filed with the county office that keeps real estate records. Otherwise, there is no requirement to file the agreement with any state or federal agency.
    • If the partners are operating the business under a name other than their own legal names, the business name must be registered as a trade name with the Colorado Secretary of State.

    We checked out some tour companies in a few states to give you an idea of how other guiding companies structure themselves:

    Colorado Examples:

    Colorado Adventure Guides – LLC

    Denver Mountain Guiding – LLC

    Colorado Mountain School – LLC

    Golden Mountain Guides – LLC

    Montana Examples:

    Montana Alpine Guides – Domestic Profit Corporation

    Swan Mountain Outfitters – LLC

    S&W Outfitters – Domestic Profit Corporation

    Rock Climb Montana – Assumed Business Name, Individual

    Utah Examples:

    Southern Utah Guiding – LLC

    Inspired Summit Adventures – LLC

    Utah Mountain Adventures – Corporation – Domestic – Profit

    Roam Industry – LLC

    It’s clear that in our guiding company sample, most choose to become a Limited Liability Company (LLC). To be safe, make sure you talk to a professional lawyer to figure out what legal structure is best for you. 

    1B. Choose Your Tour Guiding Location(s)

    Once you know what legal business structure you’re going to form, you need to decide what state you’ll operate in. If you’re going to operate in multiple states, you’ll need to register with every state’s Secretary of State’s office, a Business Bureau, or a Business Agency.

    How do you know if you’re officially operating in a state? The SBA lists what to take into account when deciding whether you’re doing business in a state:

    • Your business has a physical presence in the state
    • You often have in-person meetings with clients in the state
    • A significant portion of your company’s revenue comes from the state
    • Any of your employees work in the state
    • Some states allow you to register online, and some states make you file paper documents in person or through the mail.

    If you have a physical presence in a state, your revenue’s coming from guiding in that state, and your employees work there, you have to register your business in that state.

    Step 2: Register With State, Federal, and Local Agencies
    2A. Get A Registered Agent

    Before you register your guiding business with the state departments you’ll be operating in, you’ll need a registered agent. It’s a fancy way to say it’s someone who receives all your legal documents and official paperwork on behalf of your company who lives in the state where you register.

    You can take on this role yourself, but you can also use a registered agent service to do this job. If you want to hire a registered agent, go to Google and type in “Registered agent service in YOUR STATE.” Research the different companies, interview them, and verify they’re legit.

    2B. File For Foreign Qualification

    Some guiding businesses operate in several states, and if that’s the case, you might need to file for foreign qualification in the other states you operate.

    Essentially, the state where you form your business is considered “domestic.” The other states you guide in will be considered as “foreign.” This qualification tells the state that a “foreign” business is active there.

    For example, you form your business in Colorado, but you also take clients to Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Colorado is the domestic qualification, while Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico are all foreign qualifications. 

    The SBA says you need to file a Certificate of Authority with the state. Using our same example, you’d have to file a Certificate of Authority in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Each state may also require a Certificate of Good Standing from your domestic state (Colorado, for example). 

    When you’ve decided on your name, business structure, location, registered agent, and any foreign qualifications you’ll need to apply for, you’re ready to file with the state(s).

    Information you’ll need to file according to SBA:
    • Business name
    • Business location
    • Ownership, management structure, or directors
    • Registered agent information
    • Number and value of shares (if you’re a corporation)
    • The documents you need — and what goes in them — will vary based on your state and business structure.
    2C. State Departments To Register Your Guiding Business:

    States charge different fees, but usually it’ll cost less than $300 to register your business. Use the links below to register your tour company with the appropriate state.

    List of State Departments

    Alabama Secretary of State

    Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

    Arizona Secretary of State

    Arkansas Secretary of State

    California Secretary of State

    Colorado Secretary of State

    Connecticut Secretary of State

    Delaware Department of State

    Florida Department of State

    Georgia Secretary of State

    Hawai‘i Business Express

    Idaho Secretary of State

    State of Illinois

    State of Indiana

    Iowa Secretary of State

    Kansas Business Center

    Kentucky One Stop Business Portal

    Louisiana Secretary of State

    Maine Secretary of State

    Maryland Department of Commerce

    Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development

    Michigan Business One Stop

    Minnesota Secretary of State

    Mississippi BOSS (Business One Stop Shop)

    Missouri Secretary of State

    Montana Secretary of State

    Nebraska Secretary of State

    Nevada Secretary of State

    New Hampshire Quick Start

    State of New Jersey Business Portal

    New Mexico Secretary of State

    New York Department of State

    State of North Carolina

    State of North Dakota

    Ohio Secretary of State

    Oklahoma Secretary of State

    Oregon Secretary of State

    Pennsylvania Department of State

    Rhode Island Secretary of State

    South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS)

    South Dakota Secretary of State

    Tennessee Secretary of State

    Texas Secretary of State

    Utah Department of Commerce

    Vermont Secretary of State

    Virginia State Corporation Commission

    Washington Secretary of State

    West Virginia One Stop Business Portal

    Wisconsin One Stop Business Portal

    Wyoming Secretary of State

    2D. Registering With the Federal Government

    It’s unlikely you’ll need to register your business with the federal government other than to get a federal tax ID. According to SBA, small businesses, like guiding companies, may register with the federal government for trademark protection or to get a tax-exempt status.

    For trademark protection: You’ll need to file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office once you’ve formed your business.

    To create an S corp: File form 2553 with the IRS.

    2E. Register With Local Agencies

    According to SBA, you typically don’t have to register with a county or city government to form your business, but if your guiding business is an LLC, corporation, partnership, or nonprofit corporation, it’s possible.

    Find out what cities and counties you’ll operate in, and visit the local government websites to determine if you’ll need to register with them or not. It’s important to verify if you need to register with local agencies since they determine registration, licensing, and permitting requirements.

    2F. Stay Up To Date With Registration Requirements

    If registering your tour guiding business wasn’t enough, you also have to keep up with your registration requirements, especially if you want to, you know, stay in business.

    The SBA says that some states will make you provide reports soon after you register your business. And some require you to file Initial Reports or Tax Board registration within 30-90 days after your register with the state.

    If this applies to you, reach out to your local tax office or franchise tax board. 

  • Exploring America to Find the Historic Buildings
    30 September 2022

    As anyone who’s been to Charleston, South Carolina can attest, the historic buildings there are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved in America. But Charleston is far from the only city with stunning historic architecture worth exploring. From the grand estates of Newport, Rhode Island to the iconic Mission-style homes of Santa Barbara, California, there are historic buildings to be found all across America.

    And while Charleston may have the most concentration of historic buildings in one area, other cities certainly have their share as well. Boston, for example, is home to some of the most important historical sites in America, such as the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park. New York City also boasts a wealth of historic buildings, from the Empire State Building to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    So whether you’re looking to Explore Charleston or other American historic buildings for their architectural beauty or their historical significance, there are plenty of options to choose from. So get out there and start exploring!

    As Charleston has so many historic buildings to explore, let’s take a look at some of them to start us off on our travels.

    Charleston’s Historic Buildings

    There are many historic buildings in Charleston, South Carolina. Some of the most notable include the Charleston County Courthouse, the United States Custom House, and the Battery. These buildings are all significant for their historic value and architecture.

    The Charleston County Courthouse

    The Charleston County Courthouse is the oldest public building in Charleston, and it has been standing since 1748. The courthouse was designed by architect John Ewing and is a prime example of Georgian architecture. The building has been used as a courthouse since its construction and is currently home to the Charleston County Court.

    People will always have a fascination with the oldest of something and so want to see it. Then, taking that a step further, we can research all about it. This can be before we go on vacation or once we are there. Local tour guides will be very knowledgeable to help you out with the facts. Then you can always Google for the information, of course, to find out more about somewhere instantly. After that, you have public libraries. You can enter one of these whiles on vacation in Charleston, just as you can back home. 

    The United States Custom House

    The United States Custom House in Charleston is another historic building with both architectural and historical significance. The building was constructed in 1853 and was designed by architect Robert Mills. The Custom House was used as a government building until the Civil War when it was occupied by Confederate troops. After the war, the building returned to its original purpose and served as a customs house until the early twentieth century.

    The Battery

    The Battery is a historic seawall and park in Charleston that was built in the early nineteenth century. The Battery is notable for its role in the Civil War when it was used as a defensive position by Confederate troops. Today, the Battery is a popular tourist destination and is home to several historic monuments. For anyone interested in military history this is something not to miss.

    These are just some of the historic buildings that can be found in Charleston, South Carolina. As you can see, the city has a rich history and plenty of architectural beauty to offer visitors. So if you’re looking to explore America’s historic buildings, Charleston is a good place to start. Then, after developing a liking for history, you can start to work your way around other American parts. There is plenty of history to explore and you can do this in relative warmth, compared to colder countries where you can do the same.

    Read more: Exploring America to Find the Historic Buildings or visit blog for more travel stories, photos and videos.

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01 October 2022

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  • 4 Facebook post ideas for a travel agent.
    01 October 2022

    If you're a travel agent then it makes sense to have Facebook as one of your main social media platforms. It's the biggest social media platform in the world, and more importantly, it's used by many people who love to travel.

    Because you have to constantly post on so many social media sites nowadays it's hard to keep coming up with ideas for each one. Here are some posts that you can use to help keep your Facebook page thriving.

    Key takeaways:
    • Your questions will help you get to know your followers and build a relationship with them.

    • Giving a behind-the-scenes look is an excellent way to sell a certain location and get people excited about travel in general.

    • You can post real news stories directly from news sites that will help you keep your feed alive.

    • Infographics make providing boring information more interesting.

    Ask questions

    One way to get to know your followers and create some interesting discussions is by asking simple questions. It will make your followers feel more involved and appreciated as you're considering their feedback and acknowledging that they exist.

    Your questions will help you get to know your followers and build a relationship with them. You can also use them to make your page more fun and questions will help you to promote your services now and in the future.

    Give a look behind-the-Scenes

    It's no secret that travel agents love to travel themselves, it's why they got into the industry in the first place. So why not give them a behind-the-scenes look at what they could get at some of the plates you're promoting?

    It's an excellent way to sell a certain location and get people excited about travel in general. It's also a good way to build an authentic relationship with your followers as you can show them the not-so-glamourous as well as the good times.

    Even though they'll see some things that aren't good, the fact that you've shown them will help build that all-important trust you need.

    News Stories

    You can post real news stories directly from news sites, it's a very simple way to create content and you'll become a valuable source of information. Although it's not your own content it is something that will help you keep your feed alive when you're struggling for ideas.

    You can also create content on travel news stories and give your own opinion on them, and how they'll affect the travel and hospitality industry as a whole. This is your opportunity to really stand out as an expert.


    Infographics make providing boring information more interesting, that's the way I see them anyway. You can present stats or facts in a fun and colourful way that won't make people scroll straight past them.

    They're also useful if you want to get your name out there as people like to share infographics. Make sure to add your company logo or watermark to them before you post them or they could be stolen.

  • Biking and Beer
    29 September 2022

    A few weeks ago, I discovered that a company was putting on a cycling event not too far away from home.

    The event was described as a sportive starting from the Purity brewery near Alcester. There was a choice of routes, aptly named The Half Pint (35 miles) and The Full Pint (52 miles).

    As I was still getting back into the cycling game, I picked the half pint and signed up.

    What is a Sportive ?

    Sportives are long distance organised events, the cycling equivalent of running the marathon, which involve completing a set route. Sportive events typically range from anywhere between 50 and 150 miles and, although at their most popular in summer, there are events run all year round.

    On the day, I was up early and after breakfasting, I made sure that I had all that I needed, including …

    • Bike (obvs!)
    • Cycling Shoes
    • Snacks
    • Drinks Bottle
    • GPS (with route pre-loaded)
    • Helmet (Mandatory – no helmet, no ride)

    I dressed in my cycling gear and after checking that I’d got everything, set off down the M42, through Studley and out to the brewery.

    I arrived with about an hour before the start and after parking up, made my way to registration.

    My details were checked and I was handed a printed map complete with useful telephone numbers and a small number to tie-wrap to my handlebars.

    An added benefit of arriving early is that the queues for the Portaloos are much smaller or in my case, non-existent.

    After attending to that aspect, I made my way back to the car to get ready.

    I managed to attach my number (46) to the front of my stead and with about fifteen minutes to go, made my way to the start.

    As nine o’clock approached, we had the safety talk before the first twenty five or so of us were sent on our way.

    I started easily and tucked in to a group of riders from the Warwickshire Cycling Club for a few miles.

    I was so intent on following the map on my GPS that at the point where the route comes back on itself, I carried on in oblivion until numerous shouts of “RIGHT!” brought me around.

    I did a one-eighty and rejoined the group.

    Just before we had to cross the busy A435 at Coughton we had to negotiate a ford.

    The rest of the group decided to use the adjacent footbridge but with a cry of “Come on, pussies!” I rode straight through. I sliced through the water soaking a foot in the process.

    On a previous ford encounter, I managed to get half way across before coming to a stop and, being unable to unclip in time, toppled over with an almighty splash. Not today though.

    We rode through the Worcestershire countryside before the first hill at New End.

    By this time I had lost the group and spent most of the remainder of the ride alone, apart from the occasional rider passing me (usually on the uphill bits).

    There were two more noticeable rises around The Lenches but I managed and was rewarded with some swift downhills.

    After around thirty miles, at Temple Grafton, the two courses split, with the half-pinters turning left towards Haselor. After an initial downhill stretch it was a steady pull up to the finish, back at the Brewery.

    I had finished my longest ride for many years. Obviously, my body told me that I had just ridden thirty five miles but I wasn’t knackered and could have carried on for more.

    Over the distance, I’d averaged just under 15 mph with which I was quite happy.

    After letting registration know that I had returned, I was awarded a can of Purity Ale, aptly named Bunny Hop.

    My first organised ride IRL (in real life) went well. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to doing another.

  • Health Update
    29 September 2022

    My right knee is still painful following my recent 800m run.

    After a couple of weeks of taping and Ibufrofen the pain is almost gone. It is still difficult to get comfortable at bedtime but is on the mend.

    Walking does exacerbate the problem but cycling does not so at least I can still exercise.

    Blood Pressure

    A combination of Diuretics and a better diet has lowered my BP to somewhere near normal. I am now on daily statins to reduce my blood cholesterol.

    I am using an app called MyFitnessPal to track my calories (in and out) and have managed to lower my weight from 95kg to 90kg in just over a couple of weeks.

    I am eating healthier, including cutting back on the booze.

    It’s early days but I am feeling better and I’m sure it’s too early but more than one person has asked if I’ve lost weight !

    29 September 2022

    We are on the cusp, one day distinctly chilly the next balmy sunshine. I’m confused,  already having titled posts the ‘End of Summer’ and ‘Autumn Calling’. But Summer is putting up a good fight with Autumn this year. Today was certainly on the side of Summer.

    The bike is in the back of the car so why not go up to the Lune Valley, yet again you may say, but I do discover a few more gems.

    Halton old station. Alas, the tea van is no longer here, probably finished for the season, hopefully she will return next year with that life giving coffee. The slipway is busy with university oarsmen and women out on the river for morning training. The old Station is now the center for the boat crews from the University.

    I pedal a short distance to the magnificent Lune Aqueduct carrying the Lancaster Canal over the river. A steep ramp takes me up to it, and immediately I’m in a different environment. Interpretation boards detail the history of the aqueduct. Find it on Google. There is a metal plaque commemorating the building of the aqueduct, designed in collaboration between Central Lancaster High School and the artist, Rachel Midgley which I hadn’t spotted before.  All the hustle and bustle below has disappeared, and I’m off along the towpath into quiet Lancashire countryside.   A few miles of riding to where I know there is a link to the Coastal Bay Way.

    I’ve not done this ride in this direction before despite scores in the opposite way. It all looks different, and it gives me different perspectives of the canal and then of the Bay. I should have looked behind me on previous trips. The views across the bay to the Midland Hotel and pier and the distant Lakeland Hills are always quality.

    Bracing is the term for Morecambe promenade today. There are white horses in the bay. But the sun is shining and the wind, though fresh, not a great hindrance to cycling. Hardy souls, mostly elderly and well wrapped, are out with their dogs.

    I take a trip down the old stone jetty with its Cormorant motifs, but decide against a coffee there as the café is in the shade. Fortuitously I have come at the right tide as the Tidal Bell is tolling its mournful note. I have not heard this before. See here for more information.

    Past the Midland yet again without visiting! Heading inland I venture into the wonders of the covered Festival Market and amidst the varied stalls, full of cost of living bargains, I find a bakery – time for my favourite..

  • 4 Instagram story ideas for a travel agency.
    28 September 2022

    Instagram has come a long way since it was just a picture-sharing app. There are now so many features for creators to use to promote themselves, their businesses, and express themselves, which is why it's one of the best apps out there for creatives.

    A popular feature that I think often gets misused in Instagram stories. So many people don't take full advantage of it so miss out on its full benefits.

    Key takeaways:
    • Shout-outs are a great way to show that you appreciate people.

    • Sharing a promotion or discount on your feed can easily be missed.

    • Despite Instagram being predominantly a platform for pictures, there is lots of information available.

    • Countdowns get people excited and they also remind them that something is coming around the corner.

    Shout out your followers and clients

    Shout-outs are a great way to show that you appreciate people, and they're also a good way to show that people are interested in you. You're highlighting that you have satisfied customers and engaged followers which will legitimise your brand.

    You can shout out a nice message, a long series of likes, a thank you that you've received, etc. Anything that makes you feel good. And in return, your shout-out will probably get reshared.

    Share discounts and promotions

    Sharing a promotion or discount on your feed can easily be missed, especially with Instagram's algorithms being the way they are. So resharing it in your story gives it double the chance to be seen. It also allows you to add more creative elements to the promotion.

    The mistake that I see people make with this is that they only share things in their stories once. You should share things in your story regularly, as not everyone will see your stories every day.

    Not everyone checks their Instagram every day, and even if they do, they might not check your story. So sharing it regularly gives more people the chance to see it.

    Share valuable information that you’ve found

    Despite Instagram being predominantly a platform for pictures, there is lots of information available, and some of it is very valuable. So your followers will appreciate you sharing it with them, and it won't take away from what you're doing either.

    You'll still be a place people go for information, and people will also visit your stories to get information from others.

    The person who created the post you've shared will appreciate you sharing it, and don't forget to tag them in the post to give them a notification that you've shared it. It's a good way to give credit to the original creator.

    Countdown to an event or holiday

    Countdowns get people excited and they also remind them that something special is coming around the corner. People still get excited during the Christmas countdown well into their adult years.

    You can set a countdown to an event that's coming up, a major holiday, or maybe even something that you've got going on. This will drum up some noise around your project and keep people engaged.

  • 4 content ideas for a travel agency.
    27 September 2022

    As a travel agent, it's your job to keep the clients coming in, and social media is a good way to do that. The only thing is that lots of other travel agencies are doing the same thing, so you're going to have to be creative and come up with some great content so you can stand out and make your mark in the industry.

    Content that will not only attract the attention of new potential clients but content that will keep them following so you can build a community.

    Key takeaways:
    • A good way to get close to your audience is by giving them an insight into you and your life.

    • A lot of travel content creators use other people's content on their social media profiles.

    • There are a million different world days to celebrate out there and they can all be used to promote yourself on social media.

    • Polls may sound a little boring but they can be made fun.

    Host an AMA

    A good way to get close to your audience is by giving them an insight into you and your life, and what you do for a living. Hosting an AMA is a good way to allow them to do that, plus it gives you a gauge as to who is following you as well.

    You're of course going to be targeting certain people with your content, and the types of questions your followers will ask will show you if they're the right people. If they're asking you all sorts of weird questions that aren't related to anything then you need to think about if you're content strategy is working.

    Repurpose other people’s content

    A lot of travel content creators use other people's content on their social media profiles. They sometimes use it in their stories, or they make share it on their feed, but a lot of the time they borrow it and use it themselves.

    If you reach out to travel content creators and ask to use some of their content most of the time they'll say yes, but in return, you should give them credit.

    This gives them some value in the deal as well, plus they are the ones that made the content, so it only makes sense that you'd credit the creator. A lot of people just take content without asking and repost it, then they get surprised when the original creator sends them an angry message.

    Celebrate world days

    There are a million different world days to celebrate out there and they can all be used to promote yourself on social media. Although it may not seem like it, there are a good amount of people that care about a world day. It also makes sense to celebrate them as you're in the travel industry and that involves bringing the world together.

    There are websites that you can visit that have all of the special days marked on them so you can see them coming in advance and plan some content. Doing this will keep your content calendar stacked and it takes some pressure off coming up with ideas.

    Create regular polls

    Polls may sound a little boring but they can be made fun for your followers. They're also a good way to get more information on your target audience as to what they want and need.

    You can ask travel-related polls and share the results with your followers. You can use polls to get the answer to some contentious questions that involve travel and you're own industry.

  • How to promote a travel agency on social media.
    26 September 2022

    As a travel agent, you've probably realised that social media is one of the best places to get clients. You may even say it's low-hanging fruit.

    But the only thing is that every other travel agent and travel agency has realised this too, and now you're going to be fighting with them for attention. All of a sudden that fruit is not hanging so low, and how do you separate yourself from the rest and get on top?

    Key takeaways:
    • Promoting your posts is all well and good, but unless you have something of interest, people aren't going to stick around.

    • One of the main reasons that people go to travel agents is because they're knowledgable.

    • Travel agents are typically very personable so it's important that you show your human side on social media.

    • Be relatable by showing your genuine love for travel on social media.

    Competitions and giveaways

    Travel agents tend to have promotional offers from travel companies to give to their clients in order to attract them to go to certain places or to do certain things. Right there you've got yourself a great opportunity to attract an audience for your social media.

    Promoting your posts is all well and good, but unless you have something of interest, people aren't going to stick around. People are going to be interested in winning a cruise or getting a discounted trip to Cyprus, so these sorts of things are perfect to promote via social media ads. A nice picture is just a nice picture, why are you promoting that?

    Be knowledgable

    One of the main reasons that people go to travel agents is because they're knowledgable. In order to allow people on social media to know that you're also knowledgable then you're going to have to show them.

    A good way to do this is by demonstrating that knowledge in the description or on the picture of your social media post.

    You can provide information on the area, what sorts of things there are to do there, and vacation-related things like the best times to go, and when bookings will be at their cheapest. Focus on your area of expertise.

    Lots of engagement

    Travel agents are typically very personable so it's important that you show your human side on social media. Respond to comments, take the initiative when it comes to contacting people and ask your followers questions.

    People really do appreciate things like this so once news of your helpfulness gets out people will start to come to you, and you'll also have a more engaged community.

    Be a genuine traveller yourself

    Be relatable by showing your genuine love for travel on social media. People will follow you due to the fact that they love seeing your travels on your feed, and they may even reach out before they book their next holiday.

    Combine this with the fact that you're a knowledgeable person in the field and you become powerful. Finally, a person that genuinely loves to travel that know what they're talking about. You're exactly what people have been looking for.

  • Gardens of the French Riviera: The Parc Chambrun in Nice
    26 September 2022

    Long urban and country walks are great but they do take up a lot of time: time to organize and to prepare, time to travel, time to do the actual walking. Such walks can easily become projects around which you have to structure not only the day itself but your entire weekend break, squeezing other things you might want to do into a couple of stressful hours on Day Two.

    But here is

    ... Gardens of the French Riviera: The Parc Chambrun in Nice

    The post Gardens of the French Riviera: The Parc Chambrun in Nice appeared first on EASY HIKER.

    26 September 2022
    So I could not work this past Friday as it was piddling down with rain so a boring day sitting in my office catching up
  • How to set up your own travel business.
    25 September 2022

    When you're ready to set up your travel business, there is a checklist of things that you must get done in order to get off to as smooth a start, if there is such a thing in business. If you can't do some or a lot of these things then you should reconsider starting your new company until you can. You need to make things as easy on yourself as possible.

    Key takeaways:
    • Locating your main competitors is crucial as they will help you keep up with current trends.

    • Before you do anything else you need to make sure that you can actually afford your new venture.

    • A social media profile is almost as important as having a website nowadays.

    • Make a list of everything that you may need for a business like yours and make sure it's all there on opening day.

    Lay out startup costs

    Before you do anything else you need to make sure that you can actually afford your new venture. So you need to calculate the initial costs as well as future costs.

    All you have to do is lay out what you're planning to spend and what you're going to spend it on, and note down how much you have right now.

    You should also think about whether everything that you're spending money on is crucial for opening day. You don't want to start your business journey off with unnecessary spending.

    Your aim is to make more money, but you can't make any of that planned income if you can't afford to get started.

    Some of the things you need to think about are:

    • Website costs

    • Any labour

    • Manufacturers

    • Rent

    • Advertising

    • Personal life Travel

    • Suppliers

    There may be more things you require depending on what type of business you're planning on setting up. Some businesses have little to no start-up costs at all.

    Find your competitors

    In order to do competitor research, you need to find the most important players in your field. This is not always as easy as you think as you may be doing something quite unique.

    Locating your main competitors is crucial as they will help you keep up with current trends, allow you to find gaps in the market, and help you set benchmarks for your own business.

    If you can't find a competitor then you can find someone similar in a different field. It's not ideal but it can be done.

    Create a website

    Even if you're an influencer you need to have a website ideally. It will help you maximise your income, create a portfolio, and it helps you look more professional.

    If you're having a promotion, selling anything, or have any other information you'd like to provide, a website makes it a simple task. Plus you're going to have more control over what you do.

    If you don't have the means to do this right away and you're a social media business first then you can get away with not having a website in the beginning. But you will need to get one sooner or later.

    Create social media profiles

    A social media profile is almost as important as having a website nowadays as it's an easy way to connect with your audience because almost everyone is on there.

    What social media site(s) you sign up for is up to you, but before you sign up for any, check to see which ones your target audience is using. In some cases, they may not be on social media, but that's unlikely.

    Connect your social media profile(s) to your website and start promoting on two fronts.

    As a side note, social media is a great way to find other businesses to collaborate with.

    Get all the needed equipment

    All businesses require equipment. Some only require a computer, but it has to be one that you are able to use for work. If you have a slow computer then tasks that should only take 20 minutes will take 40, I've been there before, it's agony and will make you miss your favourite TV shows.

    Some businesses require a lot more because they may be physical. You might need to get an entire store set up, inventory, staff, and equipment for them to use.

    Make a list of everything that you may need for a business like yours and make sure it's all there on opening day. Create a checklist, check it twice, and get second opinions on what you will need.

    Research your field

    In order to start in the right way, you're going to need to know the field as best as you can. It's still early days though so you can't expect to know everything, but you should get a general understanding.

    It will help you prevent yourself from making silly mistakes and damage your brand's reputation right off the bat. It will also help take your business in the right direction instead of several wrong directions.

    Put a schedule together for everything

    Having a schedule is vital as it will help you get everything done, and done on time. Put everything that you're going to do regularly on reoccurring schedules, and add in the things that you're going to only do once in a sensible place in between.

    Schedules help you get things done faster and more efficiently and help you stay focused. On one day you can focus on one area of the business, and on another day you can focus on a different part. Be smart with your scheduling, and eventually, you'll have it refined so it runs like a well-oiled machine.

    Create your strategies

    Create your strategies and put them in your schedule to execute in a practical manner. You're going to have several different strategies going on at a time so you need to make sure you haven't missed anything and all your strategies flow.

    These are things like your marketing strategies for each platform, your competitor research strategy and how you're going to use it in future, your target market research strategy, etc.

    Laying out what elements of your business you need strategies for makes things a lot clearer, but it is a lot of work in the beginning.

    Make sure you have inventory

    The worst thing that can happen to you on launch is not having everything that you need, It puts a spanner in everything that you're doing. This isn't only stock, it could be general store inventory that allows you to run properly, or something that makes a customer's life easier.

    It might not seem like a big deal right now, but when it comes to launch it may be another story.

Australian Hiking blogs

Australian Hiking Blogs

01 October 2022

Australian Hiking Blogs Australian Hiking Blogs
  • How to have Fun When Hiking in the Rain
    01 October 2022
    How to have Fun When Hiking in the Rain The Ultralight Hiker

    Having spent more than fifty years working outside in the rain I was delighted to see this take on the subject. It reminds me a bit of the old adage, ‘When it don’t rain the roof don’t leak; when it do (you) can’t fix it nohow!’ Most times I love being outdoors in the rain. …

    How to have Fun When Hiking in the Rain Read More »

    The post How to have Fun When Hiking in the Rain first appeared on The Ultralight Hiker.
  • Hydration bladders for hiking
    29 September 2022
    There are many reasons people like hydration bladders and there are many reasons people don't (cleaning is one of them). Like all things hiking related, it all comes down to personal choice. I like them, I use them and if you haven't, I encourage you to give one a try.
  • Restore Pedder Now
    28 September 2022

    “Is there any reason why Tasmania should not be more beautiful on the day we leave it, than on the day we came?”


    2022 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the tragic and shameful flooding of Southwest Tasmania’s Lake Pedder for hydro-electricity in the 1970s. But the loss of the lake also inspired Australian conservationists to take action, and, notably, galvanised opposition to another proposed dam nearby: that on the Franklin, which was ultimately saved. And now, momentum is building to drain the dam and to restore Pedder to its former glory. Bob Brown, Christine Milne and Tabatha Badger look at the early days of the original campaign, the aftermath of the flooding, and the hope that this great wrong can be righted.

    Words: Bob Brown, Christine Milne & Tabatha Badger

    (This story originally featured in Wild #183, Autumn 2022)

    Banner Image: Pedder Beach, 22 January, 1971. Credit: By Dennis Garrett


    By Bob Brown

    Powerful men lied, cheated and bullied their way to flooding the Lake Pedder National Park in 1972, but citizens raised a heart-rending campaign to save it and, unlike the ardour for its destruction, that campaign is yet to run its course.

    Aboriginal Tasmanians witnessed the reformation of the lake, high in the mountains of the Tasmanian wilderness, as the last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago. Records of an Aboriginal village in the nearby Vale of Rasselas, upstream beside the Gordon River, point to people walking on the lake’s beach millennia before engineers from the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) came in the 1960s to flood it.

    The beach of fine, pinkish-white quartzite sand was more than three kilometres long (the same distance as the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Railway Square) and, in summer, was 800m wide and backed by high, vegetated sand dunes; the latter provided fine camping sites protected from the Roaring Forties winds.


    Within 170 years of the British colony at Hobart, Lake Pedder and its national park, declared in 1955, was obliterated by Tasmania’s rampaging Hydro-Electric Commission. The remarkable sequel is that, fifty years later, the campaign to restore the lake is gathering a winning momentum, a momentum which awaits the political will and common sense of federal and Tasmanian leaders keen on restoring rather than ravaging the wilds. As the people, including scientists, led the lake’s defence in the 1960s and 1970s, so now they lead in its restoration.

    A doyen of the campaigners, Melva Truchanas, made many trips to the Lake Pedder National Park. She became chairwoman of the Lake Pedder Action Committee and, now in her nineties, is still an active member of the Lake Pedder Restoration campaign.

    Melva was a member of the Launceston Bushwalking Club in 1954 when she met, and later married, Olegas (O-lay-gus) Truchanas. He was a post-war refugee from Lithuania who saw the wild magnificence of his new island home in Tasmania, and set about recording it with his exceptional physical strength and photographic ability. (Ed: Wild ran a profile on Olegas in Issue #172)

    Melva and Olegas became aware that the political decision-making had little regard for long-term conservation, and the pair worked to protect Tasmania’s wilderness from development and destruction. “I found a real yearning to be involved in the land and the environment, to appreciate and make sure other people understood that,” Melva says.

    Lake Pedder and the Frankland Range from Mount Solitary. By Dennis Garrett

    The fight to save Lake Pedder from inundation dominated Melva’s and Olegas’ lives for years, and they were hit with some devastating blows along the way. In 1967, the Hobart bushfires destroyed the Truchanas family’s home and all their possessions. That included Olegas’ irreplaceable slides of his exploratory walking and canoeing journeys into Southwest Tasmania.

    Olegas set out to recapture his life’s work. Making frequent visits to the lake, he worked with friend (and HEC engineer) Ralph Hope-Johnstsone to create a presentation of his slides—My Pedder—which repeatedly filled Hobart Town Hall and other venues, showing thousands of Tasmanians what they were about to lose.

    However, in 1972, while setting off to photograph the Gordon River, Olegas was tragically drowned. He left us this immortal injunction: “Is there any reason why Tasmania should not be more beautiful on the day we leave it, than on the day we came? If we can revise our attitudes towards the land under our feet, if we can accept a role of steward and depart from the role of the conqueror, if we can accept that people and nature are inseparable parts of the unified whole, then Tasmania can be a shining beacon in a dull, uniform and largely artificial world.”

    Olegas Truchanas left another enduring gift to the Tasmanian wilderness: He had mentored the shy teenager Peter Dombrovskis in bushcraft, canoeing … and photography. Dombrovskis took the pivotal photographic role in saving the Franklin River a decade after Pedder was lost.

    As director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society during the Franklin campaign years, I was acutely aware not only of the Truchanas’ legacies, but also of the remarkable campaign those fighting to save Pedder had run a decade before ours. The Franklin success in 1983 was founded in their fortitude. In 1985, I produced the book Lake Pedder to salute the Pedder people and help keep their spirit alive.

    “Is there any reason why Tasmania should not be more beautiful on the day we leave it, than on the day we came?”

    Lake Pedder includes the evocative essay by then-teenage campaigner for the lake Kevin Kiernan, titled ‘I Saw My Temple Ransacked’. (For this edition of Wild, I have had the book digitised. It is copyrighted but feel free to browse. Go to:

    1972 was the Pedder campaigners’ annus horribilis. After Olegas’ death in January, the Serpentine Dam downstream of the lake was sealed, and the Serpentine River—which flowed to the Gordon—began damming back across the plains towards the doomed lake. In that summer and autumn, thousands of pilgrims walked or flew in to see the splendour of the lake and beach before they were obliterated.

    On 23 March, 1972, at another packed meeting in the Hobart Town Hall, Dr Richard Jones put a motion to establish a new political party to oppose the flooding (Labor and Liberal MPs all backed the destruction). With a show of hands over the cacophony of dam workers brought in to disrupt the meeting, Jones’ motion passed, and the world’s first Greens party was established.

    However, under a fusillade of threatening advertising from the HEC, and with news coverage about power price rises (subsequently shown to be false), the new party failed to win a seat in the May state election. ‘Electric Eric’ Reece was elected premier. Reece had famously described mainland bushwalkers as people who came to Tasmania “with one shirt and one five-dollar note, and go home having changed neither”. He glibly maintained the HEC was not destroying Lake Pedder but enlarging it—which led campaigners to dub the proposed artificial lake ‘Fake Pedder’.


    Bob Brown and Lake Pedder protestors. Creator unknown

    The controversy gave rise to street marches, vigils in the Pedder sand dunes, and, in September, the disappearance of campaigner Brenda Hean. She had organised a Tiger Moth flight with pilot Max Price, from Hobart to Canberra, to skywrite ‘SAVE LAKE PEDDER’ over the national parliament. Two nights before takeoff, Hean received a death threat over the phone. The hangar housing the plane was broken into the night before the flight, and the flight beacon removed. The plane disappeared, without trace, over Bass Strait. Reece refused to hold an independent inquiry into what looked like sabotage and murder.

    Renowned English expatriate, poet and environmentalist Clive Sansom told me that the campaigners were terrified: “We wondered who would be next. Each morning when I put my foot on the accelerator I worried the car might explode.”

    Winter and spring in 1972 brought heavy rain across the Serpentine catchment. The beach was covered, leaving the sand dunes an island arc in the flood. The last defiant campaigner, Chris Tebbutt, was boated off before their tops went under.

    “A small solar power station built to replace the deficit … would cost a pittance compared to the gains.”

    In December, Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister. Early in 1973, influenced by left leader Tom Uren and the new Minister for the Environment, Moss Cass, Whitlam is said to have offered Premier Reece $8.5 million for a last-minute stay of execution for Lake Pedder. The offer was rejected out-of-hand by Reece to the applause of the Tasmanian House of Assembly.

    Into this maelstrom stepped Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the new president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He flew over the wilderness to see it for himself, and then met Premier Reece in the state’s parliamentary building. Reece’s biographer Dr Jillian Koshin says “they had a ding-dong row behind closed doors in Reece’s parliamentary office that could be heard down the corridor.” Philip wrote to Whitlam that “the Tasmanian Government simply does not understand the point of conservation.” But the Pedder campaigners did and still do. Bolstered by the recent removal of concrete dams in the USA bigger than those which immersed Lake Pedder, the course of history leads to the lake’s imminent unflooding.

    A small (60MW) solar power station built in Victoria to replace the deficit to Melbourne (which currently receives Tasmanian hydro-electricity via the Bass Strait cable) would cost a pittance compared to the gains from having the lake and its beach recovered to the sunshine of wild Tasmania.

    As Melva Truchanas puts it: “There is an inevitability about nature. When the dams are decommissioned, nature will prevail.” Lake Pedder’s restoration is on its way.

    The expansive Huon Plains were also flooded. By Winston Nichols
    While the flooding of Pedder’s beach has justifiably received considerable attention, it shouldn’t be forgotten that we also lost the beautiful (and aptly named) Serpentine River. Here’s a cutting from The Sun in 1972


    By Christine Milne

    I didn’t know it at the time but the struggle to save Lake Pedder swirling around me at the University of Tasmania in 1972 would determine the direction of my adult life. From a conservative dairy farming family with nothing but a passing interest in politics, I was naïve enough at 19 to believe that political decisions were evidence-based. Lake Pedder changed that forever. Although unnecessary to meet Tasmania’s energy demand, it was sacrificed to fulfil the engineering dreams of the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) to create the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sheet of water. It was the ultimate triumph of ‘man’ over nature.

    Lesson learned. I determined then that I’d never let that happen again. We needed a new environmental focus in politics, and so when the HEC announced its intention to dam the Franklin River, I—with thousands of others—went to the blockade, was arrested, and then sent to Risdon Women’s prison. The loss of Pedder radicalised a whole generation of environmentalists who then fought to save the Franklin, and that success empowered us to maintain the struggle and to take environmentalism through grassroots activism and Green politics into state and federal parliaments. 

    Fast forward to 1994. After the successful campaign to stop North Broken Hill’s polluting, native forest-based, elemental chlorine bleaching pulp mill, I was in the Tasmanian Parliament as Leader of the Tasmanian Greens. I was delighted to give my full support to ‘Pedder 2000’, a campaign to restore Lake Pedder by the turn of the century. There were such high hopes that a new century would usher in an era of big-picture, transformative thinking that would make anything possible. Since 1972, campaigners had kept up the struggle to have Lake Pedder restored, but Helen Gee and Hilary Bennell took it to a new level. The campaign garnered the support of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature at its Congress in Buenos Aires in 1994, and from dignatories worldwide including David Suzuki, David Bellamy and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

    Pedder’s ‘mega ripples’. By Lindsay Hope

    “It [is] technically feasible to restore the Lake and THAT doing so would enhance the values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage..

  • The Best Hikes in Brazil
    27 September 2022
    Brazil is known for its natural beauty and rugged terrain. With 73 National parks, there are many beautiful nature alcoves to explore.

    Brazil is full of lush forests, towering green mountains, and breathtaking ocean views. Depending on which part of Brazil you’re visiting, you’ll want to check out some of the best hiking spots in the area.

    If you want to know what locals recommend, you can learn more about Brazil at Crowdsourced Explorer.

    Rio de Janeiro
    Pedra de Gavea, Parque Nacional de Tijuca

    Near Rio de Janeiro, you’ll find this challenging but rewarding hike. Pedra de Gavea is the world’s biggest monolith by the sea and provides a spectacular view.

    Halfway up, where the trail starts to get difficult, you can see the Garganta do Céu. This lookout point provides a view of the tree-lined mountains and sandy beaches lining the ocean.

    The trail becomes so steep after the lookout that you will need climbing equipment and ropes. Unless you’re an expert climber, you should probably get a guide.

    Pedra de Gavea is popular and will likely be crowded unless you go there in the early morning or evening. It is open year-round for tourists to visit.

    Need to know

    Length: 3.1 miles / 5 km
    Time: 3 hrs 30 min
    Elevation Gain: 2,500 ft / 762 m
    Style: Return
    Access: The easiest access is via a route called “Pico dos 4” near the “Garganta do Céu.” The other way to access it is to climb a 30-meter wall called Carrasqueira.

    Vista Chinesa hike, Tijuca Forest

    The Vista Chinesa hike in the Tijuca Forest is a popular spot for hiking because it has amazing views. You can look out over the top of Rio de Janeiro to see the city surrounded by tall green mountains and a deep blue ocean.

    Make sure you use the bathroom before setting out, as there aren’t any facilities there.

    Need to know

    Length: 2.3 miles / 3.7 km
    Time: 1 hr 45 min
    Elevation Gain: 1,023 ft / 311 m
    Style: Return
    Access: In the Parque da Cidade in Gavea, you’ll follow the signs to Trilha. Follow the dirt road for 20 min and then take a road to your right that has shoes painted on the trees.

    Portais de Hércules, Parque Nacional Serra dos Órgãos

    In Parque Nacional Serra dos Órgãos, you’ll find a unique trail called Hercules’ Portals, which is named after a cliff along the trail which looks like Hercules’ face. Along the way, there are many amazing views, including a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain range and ocean. There’s a gorgeous waterfall at Poço Dois Irmãos during the summer months. You can bring your bathing suit and take a quick dip, but during the winter it is too cold for a swim.

    This is a long hike and will likely take a couple of days even for those in excellent shape. You can stay at a hostel or a campsite near the trail, as there are many places to stop for the night. There is also a souvenir shop near the entrance you won’t want to miss.

    Need to know

    Length: 12.5 miles / 20 km
    Time: 2 days
    Difficulty: Hard
    Style: Return
    Access:  This hike is in the Parque Nacional Serra dos Órgãos, which is 2 hours from Rio. You’ll find the entrance to this route near the entrance of Teresopolis.

    Ilha Grande

    Ilha Grande is just off the coast of Brazil. It is a gorgeous island with plenty of hiking trails which follow the shoreline, giving you a magnificent view of the ocean.

    You’ll enjoy the swaying palm trees and tropical forest as well as the sparkling Feiticeira waterfall and the old buildings this hike passes. If you want to explore the entire island, it will be a seven-day trek to do an entire circuit.

    Need to know

    Length: 51 miles / 82 km
    Time: 7 days
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Style: Circuit
    Access: You’ll need to travel to Mangaratiba, Conceição de Jacareí, or Angra dos Reis to reach this island. From there, you can take a ferry or other water transport to the island. A private schooner departs from Conceição de Jacareí for a 50-minute- ride to the village of Abraão. A ferry runs from Mangaratiba and Angra dos Reis to Abraão as well. You can also take a private water taxi from Angra to the island.

    Trilha do Corcovado, Parque Henrique Lage

    This beautiful year-round trail leads to the top of Corcovado, a famous mountain with the Christ the Redeemer statue at the top. The trail has flowing waterfalls and abundant wildlife.

    It cuts through the forest with a few difficult climbs. The closer you get to the summit, the easier it becomes. At the top, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of Rio de Janeiro and the ocean.

    Need to know

    Length: 5.1 miles / 8.2 km
    Time: 4 hrs
    Elevation Gain: 2,358 ft / 719 m
    Style: Return
    Access: The trail begins at Parque Lage.

    Minas Gerais
    Gruta do Janelão trail, Parque Nacional Peruaçu

    This trail is inside the largest limestone cave in the valley in the Peruaçu National Park.

    The rocks are a sight to behold and have some of the most beautiful artwork on them. Exploring the cave is like stepping into an ancient art museum.

    There are countless archaeological sites along the way with engravings which are over 1,000 years old. While this hike can be done in less than five hours going there and back, it would take several days to explore all the attractions in the caves.

    To explore the caves, you’ll have to book it ahead of time, as you must have an approved guide. You can find the forms at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to fill out ahead of time.

    Need to know

    Length: 2.9 miles / 4.6 km
    Time: 5 hrs
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Style: Return
    Access: The Parque Nacional Peruaçu is 125 miles (200 km) from Montes Claros if you take highway BR135. If you want to stay closer, you could stay at Pousada Camaleao in Itacarambi, which is 9.3 miles from the park.

    Sao Paulo
    Trilha do Boi, Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra

    This trail is near Praia Grande, Santa Catarina. It is a popular hiking spot and can be somewhat challenging. There are three main trails in Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra, and Trilha do Boi is the most difficult.

    It winds along a river at the bottom of Brazil’s largest canyon, Itaimbezinho. The canyon is as tall as 2362ft at one point, towering above you as you pick your way through it. At the end of the trail, you will see two waterfalls, the Andorinhas and the Véu da Noiva, which you can swim in during the summer.

    You will have to climb boulders and cross the river at points. You’ll need to bring the appropriate gear and expect to get wet! You will need to book a local guide to explore the Trilha do Boi trail, as it isn’t for beginners.

    Need to know

    Length: 8.6 miles / 13.8 km
    Time: 7 hrs
    Difficulty: Hard
    Style: Return
    Access: Drive down a gravel road toward the Rio do Boi and you’ll find the Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra entrance.

    Vale do Pati, Chapada Diamantina

    The Vale do Pati is a moderate to difficult trek but you will need endurance.

    Along the way, there are many attractions including the Pati Valley Viewpoint, the Funil Waterfall, Castle Hill, and then Cachoeirão. During the rainy season (summer), there are over 20 flowing waterfalls but beware of slippery areas on the trail.

    If you go during the dry season, you won’t see the waterfalls but the views are still worth the trek.

    The Vale de Pati has been noted as one of the most beautiful places to cross in National Geographic’s 100 Hikes of a Lifetime.

    You can stay overnight at the “Pati de Baixo”. There are ten families in Pati valley which carry on the tradition of letting visitors stay at their house. You will get delicious meals and a place to sleep.

    Need to know

    Length: 37.5 miles / 60 km
    Time: 7 days
    Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
    Style: One-Way
    Access: You can access Pati Valley through the village of Guinea. The Valley is in the center of the Chapada Diamantina National Park

    Monte Roraima

    Mount Roraima in the Guiana Highlands is a stunning, flat-topped, tall mountain which borders Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. From the top, you can see surrounding cliffs which are 400 to 1,000 meters high.

    Some other points of interest on this mountain include the waterfalls and unique plants, some of which are carnivorous. It also has a valley of crystals and many rock columns along the way.

    Because of all the water that hits this mountain and spills down, it is only safe to climb from December to March during the dry season. At other times of the year, the rivers around it are flowing too fast to be safe to cross.

    You should plan to wear long sleeves and plants and lots of bug spray, as there are many black flies (puri puri) which will bite you. You’ll want waterproof clothing and shoes, as it rains often. You will need to bring a backpack of your things and camp out at night.

    Need to know

    Length: 53 miles / 85 km
    Time: 6 days
    Elevation Gain: 1,312 ft / 400 m
    Difficulty: Hard
    Style: Return
    Access:  Mount Roraima is on the border of Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. It is usually accessed from Venezuela as the other sides are very difficult.

    Have you been hiking in Brazil? Got it on your bucket list? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

    The post The Best Hikes in Brazil appeared first on The Bushwalking Blog.

  • Walk Leader Training
    27 September 2022

    Some people find leading a walk to be a very rewarding experience.

    Do you have a favourite walk that you would like to share with others?
    Are you interested or considering leading one or more walks for the Friends?

    Why don’t you give it a try?

    Prospective leaders or anyone thinking about what is involved are welcome to attend the Walk Leader Training scheduled for Saturday 15th October.

    The half day session will lead you through the basics of what is involved in leading a walk.

    To start the day, a panel of experienced leaders will introduce the skills needed to lead a walk. You may find that you have them already.

    Depending on your interest or experience, you may prefer to lead short walk such as a Summer walk or a Trail Starter. The day will also cover what is involved with leading a Trailwalker or even End to End walks.

    There will be an interactive session to answer your questions. After that attendees will break into small groups to plan a walk.

    You can find out more about the event and register here.
    After registering you will receive some information to help you prepare for the training. This will be sent out a few days prior to the day.

    The Walk Committee will support you.

    This is a great opportunity to understand what is involved in leading a walk with the Friends of the Heysen Trail.
    Our many walking members need leaders, so other leaders will help you!

    The post Walk Leader Training appeared first on The Friends of the Heysen Trail.

  • Friends Shop book and map clearance sale – starts Thursday Sept 29th.
    26 September 2022

    Image by starline on Freepik

    Don’t miss your chance to stock up early on summer time reading or Christmas gift ideas.

    We are approaching the end of our financial year, so the order has gone out for our first ever stocktaking sale.
    We will be slashing prices on selected items on Thursday September 29, 2022.

    Get in quick as stocks are running low on most of the following lines. We won’t be reordering more once they’ve gone.

    Here is your chance to check out the super low prices. Click on the items listed below to see the product description for further details.

    Sale lines
    Maps Clearance price Regular price
    Caroona Creek $6.00 $10.00
    Kuitpo Forest $6.00 $9.00
    Mt Remarkable National Park $6.00 $10.00
    Sea to Summit $4.00 $9.00
    Yurrebilla Trail Map/Guide  $6.00 $10.00
    Discover the Barossa $9.00 $16.50
    Discover Kangaroo Island $9.00 $16.50
    Exploring the Barossa $9.00 $17.50
    Walking the Flinders Ranges $11.00 $16.50
    Walking with Warren $20.00 $36.00
    12 new short Onkaparinga Walks $12.00 $15.00

    You can order from our on-line shop or call into the Office to look before you buy.

    Image by starline on Freepik

    The post Friends Shop book and map clearance sale – starts Thursday Sept 29th. appeared first on The Friends of the Heysen Trail.

  • Today I Felt Like A Failure
    26 September 2022
    At certain stages in our training, our hiking and our life, we feel like a failure. Things don't go our way. And we start to beat ourselves up.

    Today, I share a couple of simple ideas on how to bounce back from these days, and get moving forwards again.

    ​Want to get fit, strong and resilient for your hiking adventures?
    Check out the Online Summit Program
  • Andrea's Adventures - Find Your Joy
    25 September 2022
    What Is Adventure Anyway?
    Not all adventures have to be exciting and death-defying. Or a tough slog. Or any of those things you see so many people posting on their socials. Adventures can be easy and low-key and they can bring something equally as fulfilling into our lives.

    ​Sometimes we get so caught up in doing the ‘big things’ that we lose sight of the everyday things that can bring so much joy.  

    In our hiking world, we see people striving to achieve that harder or longer hike.  And that is awesome!  Nothing wrong with wanting to do this at all! Here at Summit Strength, this is what we love helping our clients to achieve.  But what I sometimes see is that on the way to their goals, they become so focused on the end game that they sacrifice the joy of other things along the way. The little adventures that are so good for mental and emotional health. 

    If you’ve ever been forced to stop hiking for any reason, maybe through illness, injury or life circumstances, you might recall the sheer joy you experienced on that first hike back.  Your senses were overloaded! You noticed the glistening dew on the trail, breathed in that crisp mountain air, listened to the wind whispering through the trees. You noticed how your body moved. All the things you’d not realised you’d missed.  But then, as you became stronger and got back into the routine of training and hiking, you started to take those things for granted again and didn't even notice them anymore. Sound familiar?

    I’ve recently returned from a hiking hiatus of sorts. I have to say, it's been quite the revelation! A couple of years ago, I was training for a multiday hike; my first ever.  I trained hard. And I loved that feeling of being strong and able to do things I’d not been able to do before. At that time, more often than not, you’d have found me looking for the next hard climb as I wanted to push myself to see what I was truly capable of. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting those personal challenges; they can be life-changing!  They were for me and will likely be for you too. But somewhere along the way, without me realising it, my adventures became all about that without incorporating any of the gentle, feel-good stuff that had attracted me to hiking in the first place. 

    A couple of weeks ago, I took myself off on a short hike, my first in months. No loaded pack, just some water, a snack and my first aid kit. I strolled. I stopped lots of times to look up in case I could spot koalas in the treetops. I wasn’t thinking about elevation gain, aerobic zones, pack weight or any of that stuff. I don't think I even looked at my Garmin! I spotted some wallabies. We chatted for a while. Well, I chatted; they looked at me with bored curiosity. I noticed the amazing formation of the trees and the stunning colours and patterns of their bark. I lifted my face to the sun and basked in the golden light after many months of grey skies. I finished that hike feeling amazing! Fulfilled and full of joy. What an adventure! And not a huff or puff in sight!

    Last week, I took a fab group of women along with me on a hike that I’d done a million times before in one format or another. However I’d moved away from the area  recently so this was like returning home.  I knew the hike itself was going to be longer and harder than I’d done in many months. I’d been struggling with ongoing covid issues which had led to a considerable reduction in my fitness. I was a little anxious because I didn’t know how I’d go. I thought the adventure would be in just getting through that hike.  But no, the adventure was what happened in a short section of that hike. 

    There was a section of track we walked that I had walked 5 years previously with my daughter.  It was ANZAC Day 2017.  The day I did my first ever hike.  On that day, we rose before dawn and made our way to the Dandenongs (Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne).  It was so misty we could barely see a few metres in front of us.  The sun was only just beginning to rise and that was when the forest took on a life of its own.  Birds began to sing and the early morning sun lit up a sea of autumnal leaves of gold and red.  We saw a lyrebird!  My first experience of seeing one in the wild.  This hike was life-changing.  It was the hike that got me hooked on hiking.  

    So when I walked through that small section of trail with the gals, I was transported back to that time 5 years ago. I felt all those feels again.  I was back in 2017 and seeing it all with new eyes.  

    ​I didn’t share any of this with the group.  It was a moment I wanted to keep for myself.  A very special memory that I felt would’ve been lost in the telling at the time.  This was my adventure; it was an adventure in my head and in my heart and soul.  It didn’t have anything to do with the many hills we climbed or whether I was able to finish that hike.  

    Don't Forget To Have Fun!
    Your hiking adventure might not look like what you think it ‘should’ look like.  It might be what the hike represents rather than the hike itself. It might be a 500 metre walk after you've been ill or finally got that wretched moon boot off.  These are milestones and awesome adventures in their own right. They are worth celebrating!

    Also as adults, we tend to forget how to play.  Bring the fun back into your hiking.  Or just into your life in general  Playtime isn’t just for the kids! We need it just as much, at times, even more!

    During Covid lockdown, people became creative with what their adventures looked like.  Often, these adventures were more about mental health than physicality.  Our adventures saw us discovering our own neighbourhoods which we’d often previously driven through on our way to somewhere else.  We walked around the streets and found parks and gardens. Spoonvilles!  Teddy bears in windows and chalk rainbows on footpaths. We connected with our neighbours. Interacted with our urban birdlife. We engrossed ourselves in the online streaming of birds nesting, penguins coming ashore. These were our adventures and they filled our souls when times were hard. For many, those adventures opened up a whole new world. And, although the pandemic is still with us, there’s been a return to a kind of 'normal'.  Which also means that many of us have already forgotten about those small adventures that fed our souls so wonderfully in the previous couple of years. What happened?  Why did we let them go? They can nourish us and keep us grounded. Bring them back!

    Now, I’m not saying that the big gigs aren’t important adventures.  Pushing yourself physically and mentally can be such a trip! The adrenaline rush and the buzz from ticking off a goal is pretty intoxicating.  This is why I’m here, working for Summit Strength. I love working with our clients and helping them to achieve their big ticket adventures.  I love seeing them progress and start doing things they never thought they could do.  But sometimes, when training for the big adventure, we forget to do those small things that feed our souls.  I did this.  I trained hard for the Overland Track.  I achieved that and then I wanted harder.  Pretty much everything that came after the Overland was a personal test.  And, yes, I loved it!  But I wasn’t stopping to smell the roses. These days, I'm keeping up with the training because it helps me to achieve hikes without injury and fatigue and I know I can head off hiking at the drop of a hat.  But I’ve returned to a more balanced approach. And I love this new added dimension to my life. 

    Let me share with you some examples of what some of my clients do to create mini-adventures.  One, a nurse, travels between different locations to see her clients.  Her job is hard, tiring and can be emotionally challenging.  She keeps a hammock in the boot of her car.  When she has time between seeing her patients, she’ll find a park, string the hammock up and take some time out by relaxing in the hammock.  Such a small thing and yet, wow, how effective!  An awesome little adventure to recharge the batteries.  Another client has a picnic on her shorter hikes.  She leaves all the stuff in her car, hikes for an hour or so and then sets up a veritable smorgasbord of gastronomic delights on completion of her hike!  Others I know really embrace their mindfulness hikes.  Again, these hikes don’t have to be long.  A short stroll through nature, stopping often to close the eyes and engage the senses.  Listening to the sounds and breathing in the scents of the surroundings.  Another client walks to a local park from her home, meets with a friend, wanders around for a while and then they sit on a rug and paint beautiful paintings on small canvases.  I’ve taken to throwing my little hiking stove in my pack along with some coffee and a snack and my hiking chair.  I prefer this to taking a thermos of coffee because it just feels more fun. I started doing this during lockdown and I’ve kept doing it.  I might only be doing a short walk to a local park but it feels like a real adventure! 

    So, what I’m getting at here is, don’t lose the joy.  If Covid has taught us one thing (well, it’s taught us much more than one thing!) it’s that we never know what’s around the corner.  Enjoy the small things. Make time for them.  If you have a training session scheduled but you’re simply not feeling it, give yourself permission to bunk off and go on a mini adventure instead. It might re-balance you. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did and you might even find it to be so uplifting that you start to incorporate it into your everyday life.  

    Do you take yourself off on fun adventures?  I'd love you to share the things you do to keep the sense of adventure alive.  

    About the Author

    Andrea is a coach with Summit Strength, who  specialise in helping hikers get strong and pain-free for their adventures. 

    ​At the age of 54, she discovered a real passion for hiking. But she also discovered just how limiting physical fitness and pain can be on the trail.

    After signing up to one of the Summit Strength signature programs, she discovered just how much of a difference the right training can make to a hiker's enjoyment and comfort on their adventures. She knows that the journey isn't always easy and 'life' can sometimes impact on our training goals. She shares her insights and experiences with us in her blog articles.

    These days, as an Online Adventure Coach with Summit Strength, she helps hikers all around the world get fit, strong  and resilient for their adventures.


  • September 19th, 2022
    25 September 2022
  • The 10 essentials of hiking
    24 September 2022

    First published in the third edition of ‘Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills’ in January 1974, the ten essentials have long been regarded as an essential part of preparation for hikes. They were quickly adopted by the hiking and mountaineering communities as a trusted list and have continued to be updated to better reflect the gear we use today.

    Though changes have been made over the years the main principles remain just as important and it can be argued that failing to bring one of these ‘ten essentials’ can end up either putting you in danger or make hiking far more challenging than it needs to be.

    The original 10 essentials were:
    1. Map
    2. Compass/GPS device
    3. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
    4. Extra clothing
    5. Headtorch
    6. First-aid supplies
    7. Firestarter
    8. Matches
    9. Knife
    10. Extra food

    Since 2003 these ten essentials have been referred to as the ‘classic’ version but they are still perfectly valid for use but do not include the many more modern pieces of gear we carry with us on hikes today. For this reason an updated version was published alongside this original list of essentials which better reflects the items required for hike today.

    The 10 essentials today:
    1. Navigation – A compass with topographic maps and a GPS.
    2. Sun Protection – Hat, Sunscreen, Glasses, covering clothing.
    3. Insulation – Hat, Gloves, jackets, thermals, socks and other clothing for cold weather.
    4. Illumination – Head torch and hand torch both with spare batteries.
    5. First-aid supplies – First-aid kit and insect repellent.
    6. Fire – Matches and other fire lighting materials in sealed container.
    7. Repair kit & tools – Knifes, multi-tool, trowel, duct tape and any other repair equipment.
    8. Nutrition – Good hiking food along with extra supplies for emergency.
    9. Hydration – Bring at least 2 litres of water and a filtration device (life straw).
    10. Emergency Shelter – Either a Bivvy, space blanket, tarp, or other shelter.

    On top of the ten essentials themselves it is also advised that you bring some communication equipment like a whistle, radio or a mobile phone so that contacting you in an emergency is easier for first responders and/or rescuers.

    How to best follow the 10 essentials.

    The 10 essentials were created to make it easy for hikers preparing for a hike but it should always be used in conjunction with your own research. Some hikes have special requirements for gear that you must bring so that it isn’t an awful trip and these are often discovered through your own research about the trail.

    A lot of hikes in Australia often require gaiters to be enjoyable because of both snakes and spiky long grass that can end up cutting your legs. This is just one example but it is always important to take the location into account when planning your trip.

    Tick off your ’10 essentials’.

    When it comes to packing my bag, I always check things off a checklist as I put them in just to make sure I haven't left anything behind. If you are looking to take the hassle out of creating your own then you can download the 10 essentials checklist from the checklists area of our website.

    So that is the ten essentials, they are an important thing for a beginner hiker to not only know about but also understand and use. If you make sure you bring these items every time you go hiking you can be pretty sure that it is going to go off without too many problems and you are going to have a fun, event free adventure.

    Written by Josh Welch

Hiking Podcasts

Hiking Podcasts

01 October 2022

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