Dedicated campers need little to no encouragement to pack their bags, load up the car, and head out to their favorite spot for a few days.
However, for the rest of us, why should you choose camping vacations over others? Aside from the fun of the outdoor lifestyle, camping actually offers several benefits for your physical and mental health.
Here are just a few …
You’ll Feel Happier and Less Stressed
Ever seen a friend or relative come back from a camping trip with a lighter step and a sunnier disposition?
Spending hours outside, in the fresh air and sunlight, can hep to increase your serotonin levels. This hormone is known to lift your mood and encourage feelings of calm and focus.
Likewise, darker settings activate the release of melatonin, another hormone. This is responsible for making you feel sleepy and ready to get some shut-eye.
As you’re outdoors when camping, you’ll spend more time soaking up the sunlight. Without the bright glow of streetlights or excessive artificial lighting, your melatonin levels may well help you enjoy longer, better sleep.
You can Get Away from Your Everyday Life
Camping lets you get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Whether you’re under pressure at work, fed up with college, or having relationship issues, just taking a few days to leave that behind can work wonders. For the most part, you’ll have no signal or internet when in the great outdoors, preventing you taking bothersome work-related calls or checking social media every few minutes.
You can use this time to reduce your stress levels, get some exercise, and consider your life without the ongoing distractions of ‘the real world’.
You’ll Get More Exercise
Too many of us live sedentary lifestyles. This isn’t new, of course, but actually finding the motivation to get some exercise is hard. Especially when there’s so much outstanding entertainment to keep us inside nowadays.
Well, with camping vacations, you’ll find yourself surrounded by so many picturesque views and gorgeous landmarks, you’ll genuinely want to get out there and explore.
Even walking can work your muscles, get your blood pumping, and burn calories, so you’ll get much-needed exercise while enjoying some leisurely sightseeing.
You might be able to go even further, too: some campsites offer various activities, such as canoeing, swimming, and more.
While camping, you may discover a love for exercise or specific activities you never knew before – and carry them back home with you.
You’ll Connect with Friends, Family, and Yourself
Whether you go camping with friends or family, it’s a fantastic way to reinforce your relationships.
When you’re out in the woods, walking the hills, or just sitting around the campfire, you’ll have more time and less distractions than in ‘real life’. This gives you plenty of time and freedom to just … talk. You’ll form stronger bonds and feel closer for years to come.
Going solo? This applies to yourself, as well. Maybe not the talking part, but you can use the time alone to think about who you are, where you’re going, and other aspects of life you may have neglected at home.
You may well leave that campsite with a renewed love for yourself, your friends, or your family.
Feeling inspired? There are countless gorgeous campgrounds across the USA, catering to campers of different kinds. Make sure you take the right gear to stay dry, safe, and happy!
What type of terrain do you prefer to ride your mountain bike on?
Flat or steep? Dirt or grass? Do you like lots of jumps? Do sharp turns get your pulse racing or inspire cold dread inside you?
Whatever your tastes, the USA is filled with fantastic mountain-biking spots to visit, with something for everyone.
Join us as we look at five of the best ...
Munds Wagon Trail
This trail, in Sedona, Arizona, offers bikers eight glorious miles to explore.
The singletrack climbs to an amazing 1200 feet, though there’s a generous helping of dips to take a little of the strain off. You also get to ride along the creek bed for short intervals, giving you more time to take a breather.
The incredible surroundings offered by Arizona’s red-rock environment keeps this easy on the eye at all times, and is a must for mountain bikers more used to urban or green landscapes.
Tahoe Rim Trail
This is a stunning trail, though not all of it is accessible to bikers. Considering this runs 165 miles around Lake Tahoe (the biggest alpine lake in all of North America), that may not be such a bad thing.
Mountain bikers can enjoy riding around 80 miles of this trail, especially the singletrack connecting Tahoe Meadows and Spooner summit. This is about 23 miles, with plenty of steep descents, inclines that put you to work, and a wealth of beautiful views.
This is a complete contrast to Munds Wagon Trail, offering lush greenery, meadows, and lakes. A feast for the eyes and the wheels alike.
This is part of the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, which make up the biggest range of trails in America’s northeastern region.
The Mountain Loop itself runs over 15 miles, starting at Burke Mountain Campground, which leads on to singletrack. You’ll find bridges, jumps, and more, before you return to the campground later. It’s a great trail to try, in fantastic surroundings.
Poison Spider Mesa
For decades now, Moab has been a must-visit for serious mountain bikers. However, the expansive range of trails on offer continues to grow, with around 30 miles of new tracks appearing every year.
This is a stunning location, offering endless desert vistas as far as the eye can see. It provides slickrock steeps and trails for bikers of all levels, with a massive 13-mile run that reaches up to Poison Spider Mesa. This stands around 1,000 feet high,and benefits from one of the coolest, most dangerous-sounding names ever.
McKenzie River Trail
In Eugene, Oregon, the McKenzie River Trail runs for around 26 miles across the Cascade Mountains.
These are ideal for seasoned bikers as well as newcomers, with plenty of amazing sights to take in. There are hot springs, unforgettable forests, and even lava fields – what more could you ask for?
You’ll also see waterfalls, and get to enjoy tricksy turns and smooth terrain, keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
At Adamant Gear, our bikes provide experienced riders with the highest-quality designs and construction, ensuring reliability and stability.
Booked your first ski vacation?
You may well feel daunted by the prospect of heading up into the mountains, surrounded by people who have more experience skiing than you.
You shouldn’t let this overwhelm you, though. Everyone is a beginner at one time or another. Your first ski vacation should be an unforgettable experience you’ll want to repeat again and again.
There are certain things you should do on your first skiing trip to make it all it can be – let’s take a look …
Don’t be Afraid to Actually Ski
Some people might like the idea of a skiing vacation, but feel too intimidated or afraid to actually ski.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with this. You can absolutely spend time relaxing at the lodge, walking through the beautiful surroundings, maybe even head down to the local town.
However, if you go all that way and let fear keep you off those skis, you may regret it. Consider taking lessons with an instructor, and let a trusted friend or family-member help you – you may just be surprised by how much you like it.
In some resorts, you may be able to hire a pair of snowshoes and go exploring.
This is a terrific way to explore your alpine environment, get some exercise, and do something a little different.
Snowshoeing takes some getting used to, and can leave you feeling tired faster than you expect, but it’s an experience everyone visiting a ski resort should try.
Step onto a Snowboard Instead
You may be able to try snowboarding at your alpine resort. If you get the chance to, do it!
This is a totally different discipline to skiing. First of all, you have no poles to help, and need a strong sense of balance to stay upright. You’ll also develop your core control as you twist and turn to guide yourself along the slopes.
Without doubt, snowboarding is one of the coolest of all winter sports, and can add a faster, more exhilarating dimension to your first ski vacation. If you’ve never tried it before, take snowboarding lessons and invest in decent gear.
Let Yourself be Pampered
Had enough skiing and/or snowboarding? It’s time to relax at the lodge and enjoy a taste of luxury.
Quality resorts provide spa treatments for their guests, ranging from head-massages and pedicures to more exotic treats, such as hot-stone massages.
This can help you relax and unwind, but also ensures your body gets a little care after being out in the cold for hours on end. You may prefer this if you find yourself falling or picking up more bumps and scrapes than you would like.
Strap on your Skates
Ice skating is available at various ski resorts, and allows you to get away from the mountains for a while. If this is your first time, it’s a fun new skill to learn (along with skiing and snowboarding), and is a great way to meet new people.
No matter which ski resort you head to, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the alpine environment or the range of activities on offer. Throw yourself into the atmosphere, pack quality accessories and equipment to keep yourself safe, and remember to have a blast!
For anyone who travels on a regular basis, staying in shape can be difficult.
Many professionals in various areas of business go from one city to another week in, week out. You may not stay in hotels with their own gyms, and you may not want to work out in your room when there’s a new place to explore.
Luckily, running allows you to get all the exercise you need in a hassle-free, cost-effective way – while also letting you see the sights.
America has plenty of fantastic cities for runners. Let’s look at five of the best …
New York, New York
New York is an incredible place for runners. To start with, Central Park offers a six-mile loop that lets you take in the gorgeous surroundings as you get your blood pumping.
You won’t be alone, either. There are around 60,000 members in the New York Road Runners club, guaranteeing you’ll see many of other people working up a sweat on those iconic streets. Especially as the five-borough marathon nears – as the biggest in the States, this event attracts new and seasoned runners alike.
Like New York and America’s other major cities, Chicago sees countless business-travelers come and go during the week. It’s a great city for anyone looking to stretch their legs while in town, with an 18-mile path following Lake Michigan.
Chicago has more tan its fair share of amazing views, and there are numerous water fountains set up to keep runners hydrated. You’ll also find restrooms in abundance – always helpful if you’re stopping at each of those fountains!
San Francisco, California
One of America’s most famous cities, San Francisco is a running hotspot, with 16 clubs and well over 250 races this year alone. It’s easy to see why, too, with Kezar Stadium offering a public track that’s kept thousands satisfied for almost a century.
You can also explore a terrific three-mile Lands End Coastal Trail, which brings you to Sutro Baths (saltwater pools). This is just one of many routes, and the city’s a gorgeous place to explore whichever you choose.
As with New York, you’ll also feel like you’re running through one movie-location after another. Especially when you cross that amazing Golden Gate Bridge.
While Seattle is known for its drizzly weather, it’s nevertheless a terrific place for runners. There are countless runs throughout the year, with some of those themed around Christmas and other holidays incredibly entertaining for all.
No matter what your preferences, you have a massive range of trails to choose from, providing miles upon miles of path to explore.
For example, the Burke-Gilman Trail offers 27 miles, and covers flat terrain and helpful mile-markers to help you keep track. Another highlight is Green Lake, and Lake Union (offering a full 10K circuit all the way around).
You also won’t struggle to find a nice cup of coffee when you’re done, either.
For runners touching down in Boston, one of the most obvious routes is the path along the Charles River. This crosses 18 miles, and is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike.
There’s also the Emerald Necklace, which is more than 1000 acres covering nine interlinked parks.
Before you set out on any long-distance urban run, you need to make sure you have comfortable sneakers that will offer your feet the right support. You should also wear several layers, so you can peel one off at a time as your temperature continues to rise.
Staying safe is vital in any outdoor activity.
While hiking may not appear as risky as, say, mountaineering or whitewater rafting, there are still dangers out there. Everything from a sprained ankle to a nasty scratch can put a downer on your trip, and potentially lead to further problems down the line.
Still, you can’t let this put you off – hiking is one of the greatest, healthiest, most sociable ways to soak up the beauty of our country. To stay as safe during your hikes as possible, take a well-stocked first aid kit with enough supplies for everyone in your party.
What should your kit include?
Obvious but absolutely essential. Carry a variety of sizes to cover cuts, scrapes, blisters, and burns.
Be sure to buy a few rolls, enough to accommodate multiple wounds. As unlikely as numerous injuries are, it’s always better to be prepared.
Knife or Scissors:
A knife and scissors can help you to cut bandages, remove clothing to access a wound, and more. You should keep it in a secure place, and ensure it stays within your sight at all times, as well as that of other adults in your party.
Don’t think you’ll need these on a hike?
Think again. Should yourself or another member of your group get a deep cut, tweezers are vital to remove splinters or unwanted materials from a wound. In the slight chance of attracting ticks, tweezers will also prove handy.
Invest in a sturdy pair and ensure these are cleaned thoroughly before adding them to your first aid kit.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use dressings during a hike. However, in the event of becoming injured with an open wound, dressing pads can help to stop blood loss.
Make sure these are sterile to avoid infection. You may also need sticky tape to keep dressings in place, when it’s impractical for anyone to put pressure on the wound.
These are available all over, and allow you to keep your hands clean if you need to dress a wound. Pack several pocket-sized bottles.
Being struck down by diarrhea’s terrible at any time, but while out hiking? It’s the worst.
Whether your stomach is irritated by dirty water or food past its best, anti-diarrhea pills will keep you comfortable, prevent you needing to stop every few minutes, and avoid the risk of dehydration.
Before applying dressings to a wound, even the smallest scratch, cleanse it with a topical antiseptic ointment. This tends to cause a little discomfort, but it combats the risk of infection.
This is critical when you’re outdoors, in strange surroundings. A lax approach to hygiene, especially with open wounds, is highly inappropriate during hikes. Keep your hands, cuts, and clothes as clean as possible.
Never underestimate how important safety pins are in keeping bandages, slings, and torn safety-clothing in place. Buy these in bulk and take as many as you can with you.
If you’re heading out to hike in wet weather, be sure to keep your first aid supplies safe in a waterproof bag. You don’t want to discover your bandages and dressings are soaked if you find yourself in need.
Remember: hiking is fun, healthy, and accessible to almost everyone. Take care of yourself and the rest of your group by packing a comprehensive first aid kit.
Not only does this make sure you’re prepared, it also allows you to enjoy great peace of mind from that first step to the last!
Today, we’re overwhelmed with ways to stay entertained without ever having to step outside.
Streaming movies, playing video games, browsing limitless TV channels, and watching videos of cats provide endless amusement behind closed doors. However, staying inside day after day isn’t the healthiest way to live your life – there’s a whole world out there just demanding to be explored!
For anyone looking to see and do more, here are four eye-opening activities everyone should try at least once.
#1. Whitewater Rafting
Few pastimes provide adrenaline-pumping excitement while putting you at the mercy of nature’s awesome power.
Whitewater rafting is fast, frantic, invigorating, life-affirming fun. Needless to say, you should only go on your first rafting trips with experienced people to stay as safe as possible.
While there are many stunning whitewater rafting spots around the world, we have more than our fair share here in the USA. Check out the Green River, Salmon River, and Chattooga River for a taste of our finest waters.
Anyone who ever watched Point Break (the original, of course), Blue Crush, or even Surf’s Up will admit to feeling even a little tempted to try surfing, but how many of us actually do?
Well, quite a few actually – believe it or not, there are more than 2 million surfers across America. It’s easy to see why, too. We’re lucky to have a stunning variety of beaches to visit, offering some mind-blowing waves.
It’s natural to be intimidated by such a wild activity, yet surfing transforms lives – so much so fans tend to wonder how they coped before.
Don’t just grab a board and dive in – take lessons, prepare, and follow professional advice. When you’re ready, consider visiting Oahu’s Sunset Beach, California’s Trestles, and the famous Malibu Beach (of course).
#3. Mountain Climbing
As challenging, exhausting, and time-consuming as mountain climbing is, there’s nothing quite as rewarding as the view from the top.
Reaching a mountain’s peak, breathing the crisp air, and taking in the vista at your feet is an incredible experience everyone should enjoy at least once. Climbing a mountain is also a terrific way to build friendships and discover the joys of teamwork.
As a beginner, consider climbing Mt. Katahdin (in Maine’s Baxter State Park), Half Dome (in California’s Yosemite National Park), or Longs Peak (Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park). These may look tough at first glance, but they’re all prime challenges for novices.
Invest in top-quality mountaineering gear to maximize your own safety.
# 4. Skiing
Perhaps the least-extreme activity on this list, skiing is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors while having fun. Skiing’s also ideal for keeping fit, demanding a strong core, solid control of your own body, and fast reflexes.
You also get to enjoy some unforgettable views, breathe clean mountain air, and spend relaxing evenings in luxurious ski lodges.
Here in America, we’re lucky to have plenty of amazing ski resorts, most of which are accessible for beginners. Winter Park, Aspen, Vail, and Beaver Creek are all top choices for the novice.
Before you try any of these, be sure to invest in quality gear, including waterproof backpacks, safety equipment, and more.