camping tent safe tips

Stay Safe on Camping Trips with These 8 Simple Steps

All adventurous activities, including camping, have an inherent element of risk, otherwise, they wouldn’t be adventurous, would they?

So how do we deal with this risk and stay safe on a camping trip?

As an experienced expedition leader and outdoor educator, I want everyone I work with to return safely from expeditions and adventures out of doors. To make sure this happens my primary responsibility is not to

step in and ‘rescue’ them when they struggle but to help them learn strategies to cope in the outdoors.

These camping safety tips are based on the training I give to people preparing for camping expeditions and adventurous activities and will help you return unscathed from an adventurous camping trip.

Proper Preparation and Planning

Staying safe on a camping trip starts long before you start off down the trail, research and route planning should be your first step. Research the area you are planning to visit so you are aware of risks that you

might encounter whether from local wildlife such as poisonous snakes or bears, bad weather, closed trails, local hunting seasons that might put you into conflict with hunters or forest fire risks to name a few.

Some of these things might be serious enough to stop your camping trip before it has begun, such as severe weather warnings if you are planning to camp at high altitude, but mostly they will inform your decisions

about what route to take, about where your campsite or sites will, what equipment you need to take and about the terrain that is safe to traverse.

Tell Someone Where You are Going and When You Will Return

These details will help a search and rescue team find you if they need to and telling someone when to expect you back will allow them to alert the authorities if you don’t return, this simple step has saved lives in

the past, and failing to do so has cost lives.

Never leave on a camping trip without telling someone where you are going and when you will be back. I’d go even further than that and say don’t leave on your camping trip without leaving a detailed plan of your

trip with someone else.

Just telling someone where you are going isn’t enough, if you don’t get back when you say you will how will they know exactly where to direct a search and rescue effort?

You can leave something as simple as a map with your route drawn on it but it needs to be detailed enough that should something go wrong whoever you leave it with can pass it on to whoever becomes responsible

for your rescue.

You should include on this map potential route changes that you have predicted and thought about in the planning stage; such as changes you might make under certain weather conditions, rivers you won’t cross

if the water is too high or ridges you won’t walk along if the wind is too strong.

I always leave a copy of my route map with my wife if I am hiking and camping alone, or with another family member if I am camping with my wife and children, with my route and camp sites marked on it and any

additional details that might be useful, such as other places I might camp if I can’t walk as far as I wanted in a day or details of my equipment to help a search and rescue team identify me,

for example, the fact that I carry a bright red rucksack might help them find me if they needed to.

Don’t Rely on Technology

Although GPS, altimeters, weather computers and other modern gadgets can make our camping adventures easier and more convenient over-reliance on these gadgets can place us in danger when they inevitably

fail. Batteries run out, have shorter life spans in the cold and electronic gadgets get wet and break.

When they break we need to be able to cope on our camping trips without them, at the most basic level that means that we need to take spare batteries or a way of recharging devices we use regularly. We also need

to make sure that any function performed by a piece of modern technology is backed up by something that doesn’t rely on that technology functioning, the easiest example is your map and navigational equipment.

Take a Paper Map and Compass

Their batteries never run out and they show the wider terrain around your planned route rather than the potentially limited scope of a map downloaded to your phone or the small screen of a GPS device.

This extra information can help us make decisions about route changes demanded by the weather, which direction to head in if we need to get help, back towards, roads or areas of population,

for example, all information which we can’t necessarily get from our gadgets, especially if you have taken a tumble in a stream and broken your GPS.

Take a First Aid Kit& emergency light

first aid safe help

Self-rescue is a very important principle if you are heading into the outdoors for a camping trip. If you can’t provide at least some basic care for yourself then you shouldn’t go out in the first place, and why should

you expect someone to rescue you if you can’t at least help yourself to some degree.

A simple first aid kit is all that’s required for a camping trip but it must be able to deal with minor cuts and lacerations, burns, blisters, contain bandages for compressing sprains and strains, painkillers and


Also you need to take emergency light, light camping light with power bank feature, it would be best for you to light the night and keep your phone in power

Take Spare Clothes and Keep Them Dry

Remember camping takes place out of doors, sometimes in inclement weather and sometimes accidents happen and a sudden rainstorm or an unintended dip in a river or marsh will leave you soaked to the skin.

As soon as you are wet you will begin to get cold as wet clothes lose their ability to insulate you and the evaporation of the moisture from your now sodden clothing wicks the heat away from you.

This is why spare clothes are always an essential item on a camping trip, they give you something dry and clean to wear at night and something dry to wear to reduce your risk of hyperthermia if you get wet.

If in Doubt Go Around

You have spent plenty of time planning your trip including taking the time to think about alternative routes that you might need to take in case of bad weather or emergency, you now need to be prepared to follow

those plans if need be. Far too often people push on regardless and end up in bother.

Just because your route says go a certain way doesn’t mean you should if it is dangerous, that might be as simple as not walking through a field with a bull in it or perhaps not crossing a river in flood or even not

using bridges or chain ladders that are broken or damaged. If you are having doubts about whether or not it’s safe to cross a river or climb a ridge don’t do it!

Pitch Your Tent Safely

camping tent safe

Even though most of your effort when you are camping seems to be expended on getting to your camping spot there are safety issues once your there too. Some of these will have been addressed in the planning

stages as you look for a suitable place to pitch your tent but others can only be addressed once you arrive.

The big factor to consider is not making sure you don’t pitch your tent anywhere that something can fall on it, be that a branch of a tree or an avalanche. Don’t pitch under trees at all if you can help it and if you

can’t certainly have a good look for dead branches, or whole dead trees, hanging in the foliage above you.

Also, bear in mind any livestock in the area, are you going to be woken by a herd of cows trampling across your tent in the middle of the night? Are there any wasp or bees nests that you will disturb? Once you have

pitched it away from any of these dangers there is another question; where shall I cook?

 where shall I cook?

Whether you are using a stove that you have carried with you or lighting a campfire the answer should be well away from your tent and certainly not inside it unless you have a tent and stove designed for that,

some wall tents and tepee style tents have a sleeve for a chimney can have wood-burning stoves inside them.

The general rule though is not to cook in or near your tent. Tents burn away to nothing in seconds with the touch of the smallest spark and the burning nylon will easily maim and disfigure anyone inside the tent.

Another reason not to cook near your tent is that it may attract unwanted wildlife if you are camping in bear country the smells of your cooking might attract bears and it would be advisable to have a separate

cooking site away from where you will be sleeping.

These camping safety tips are not designed to put you off, you should definitely go camping but to make the most of your trip and to keep you safe, especially if you are planning a particularly adventurous camping

trip, these simple steps can make a huge difference. They have saved lives before and certainly will again.

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snow tent camping night

5 Reasons To Go Camping In The Winter

Camping is fun. We usually camp in summer time. Winter isn’t known as camping season, but just because the temperatures dip, it doesn’t mean you have to pack your tent away. If you haven’t gone camping in the winter before, I have 5 reasons you should try it this season.

1. Fewer Crowds

We all know winter isn’t exactly known as camping season, which actually works out in your favor. Fewer people go camping in winter, which means that if you do some research, you could probably find a spot to have all to yourself.

2. Winter IS Camping Season

I grew up in Texas. Winter was the only time we could go camping without sweating all night. Check out destinations in the desert for prime temperatures when the rest of the country is freezing.

3. You Don’t Need a Cooler

We need cooler to keeps our food and beverages cold for days during the warmer months but it’s not super comfortable to carry cooler very far. In the winter, however, we don’t even need it! we just pop our beers (or sodas) right in the snow.

4. Fewer Bugs

There are few things we loathe more than biting flies and mosquitos, so you do not have to take mosquito repellent light. They can turn a fun backpacking trip into the seventh circle of backcountry hell. But in the winter, you don’t have to worry about it! Not to mention, you also save the weight on bug spray.

5. It Makes You Appreciate Home

The thing about winter camping is that it can go from awesome to terrible in a matter of minutes, if you’re unprepared. I camped once with a sleeping bag that I thought would be “good enough.” After a sleepless night filled with chattering teeth, I packed up my stuff, went home, took a hot shower and bought a new sleeping bag.
Use these tips on how to stay warm while winter camping.
Where are your favorite places to go camping in the winter? Our company Shenzhen JiuHe Optoelectronics like camping in winter with our camping light, cheers.

Top 3 USA Camping Places

Look at the map of USA. You will able to realize how big it is! And this size is a big advantage to ardent campers. To interested in exploring a series of attractions ranging from nature’s blessings to man-made marvels. The country has something for everyone. So here is a guideline of top 3 USA camping places that you may love.

You can easily find various places for camping in such a big state and USA has all the options whether you are planning a camping trip. And with friends or family to visit the wild part of the state. Beautiful beaches, numerous state parks. And many such natural reserves can be easily found in USA. You can plan any type of camping in this state.

The huge opportunities and environments of USA are difficult to describe in an article. It has various excellent outdoor adventure areas for camping. Some of the most popular among the best places see below.

1. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

2. Padre Island National Seashore and

3. Big Bend National Park

Top 3 USA Camping Places

To elaborate, these 3 places are considered a must visit if you live in USA or near USA. Many tourists come here to enjoy vacations and this wonderful land from all over the world. 3 best USA camping places are:

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

This is one of the most fascinating area of USA and has various outdoor activities to offer other than rock climbing and camping. This place is famous for its cave walls that have the ancient Native American rock paintings. You need to reserve your trip at least two days in advance as this site is very popular and is crowded during season. You would have to pay some fee to enter this site but you would be fascinated by its outdoor activity and historical tours.

Padre Island National Seashore

It is a stretch ranging from Corpus Christi until Port Mansfield Cut and is known to be the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island worldwide. You would get remote and remarkably beautiful seashore in the Padre Island region.

It is home of wide variety of floral life and animals. You can do beach combing, hiking, biking etc. or endeavour yourself with the aquatic animal and bird watching in this area along with other outdoor activities.

You can select any campsite of your choice, whether you like sophisticated or extremely basic campsites, Padre Island stretch has all to offer you. Facilities that are available at a campsite decide its camping fee. Although you need to get a permit for camping in this area but these are free of cost.

If you desire tent camping of “back to nature” types then you can opt for the campsites in the Yarborough Pass, South and North beaches that are deprived of any type of facilities. But if you feel that at least some facilities should be there then Malaquite Beach Campground is the place to visit.
city place night

Big Bend National Park

Want to see the wild and most beautiful land in USA? Then you should visit this 1,100 square miles national park. That has 8000 feet high mountains, river and desert. Therefore, it is a home of many interesting outdoor activities. Such as camping, rafting, fishing, biking, backpacking and hiking. All this can be easily enjoyed in Big Bend.

As a result, if you want to camp in Big Bend then you would be loaded with its exciting options. All the three campgrounds are very popular and elevations of around 1800 feet or higher than that. So it is advised that you reserve your camping trip in advance to avoid problems afterwards. There are various sites you should visit in each of the three campgrounds. I love go there often and I really enjoy. So as a result, I feel better always and I am happy with life enough. So now what about you?

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camping light feifan lighting family trip safe

How To Plan A Successful Family Trip?

For your vacation adventure to be a success, you’ll first have to get it right at the planning stage. You don’t want to go unprepared for emergencies, or forget the camera you need to take photos of the picturesque scenery. A Successful Family Trip plan gives you the maximum enjoy in your trip.

Especially when camping with kids, you need to be ready for anything. You want them to have the time of their lives, and you want to protect them at the same time. Here are 3 tips to help you get things in order.

1. Where Are You Going?

This is the first step to the perfect adventure. Where do you plan on taking your family? Is it a trip to gain camping skills, or a summer vacation meant to bond and bring you closer? Are you going mountain hiking or want some quality time on the beach? Are you surprising your kids with a trip or do figure that it’s time your family went out and did something crazy? Is it a Christmas adventure or a weekend holiday escape from the hustle and bustle of town life?

Do you want to challenge yourself or simple relax and unwind in the outdoors? Do you want a trip for your immediate family or are you bring your grandparents along too? How old are your kids? Are they comfortable trekking or park trails? Will you be bringing your pet? There are so many factors and things to consider. What is your budget? Every family and situation is different. You want a solution that is unique to your needs and desires. After you select your vacation destination, the next step is to prepare for it.

2. Select the Right Camping Site

After you know where you’re going, whether it’s to the Rockies, a National Park or the Beach, you’ll need to select the optimal campsite where you and your family will pitch your tent. Your campsite selection depends on a couple of factors. These are mainly the ability of you fellow campers, and their interests. If they are novice campers, the best place would be would be an already-established camping round. One that is protected and secure, and will enable you train your kids on their camping skills.

If your family wants to spend its time at the camp, sure that it’s close to the areas you’ll be visiting. Most families like hiking, travelling and site-seeing during the day, and camping at night, so ensure that the camp is close to the areas you’ll be visiting. Some families like making campsites on the go. They pitch their tents wherever the night meets them. If this is the case for you, ensure you at least pick a camp site that’s near running water. However, note that this latter option is for the experienced campers.
family trip safe camping


3. Go Prepared

Remember your Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared”. There’s nothing as frustrating as being in on a trip in the outdoors, and an emergency occurring, and you’re not prepared for it. Some campers even forget their cutlery and have nothing to prepare their meals with. Other’s run out of water in the middle of a hiking trail. Ample preparation is a necessity. Your family’s safety is a top priority. So make a camping checklist. Every family and trip is different, so ensure that you’ve customized it to suit your specific situation.

Also factor in the time you’ll be going on vacation. Is it a winter trip or a summer adventure? What to the weather reports say? How big is your family? Is there anyone with specific allergies? Here’s a basic checklist for family camping trips of a successful family trip:

Successful Family Trip Accessories


First Aid kit

Sleeping bags

Rain gear

Flash lights, camping light

Camping stove and fuel

Insect repellants

Water carriers

Camping cook set

Water carriers

Water purifiers

Sun screen

Swiss Army Knife

Battery operated transistor radio

2-way walkie-talkies

Camping coolers

Modify the list according to your camping plans of a successful family trip. Are you going backpacking or car camping? The amount of camping gear you can carry around will be different due to the weight. When making your purchase, you’ll notice that there are numerous products to choose from. Which are the best for you?

Go through their reviews and ratings, and what other customers had to say about them.

(Feifan Lighting Camping light with powerbank function is very suitable for outdoor camping)

Don’t let cost to be your only consideration. In fact, first spell out what you needs, then find the items that fit the specifications and are within your budget scope. Ensure you get a value return for the money you spend.

Woman holiday journey travel relaxation

Some Things About The Life Gratitude

Gratitude. A popular topic this time of year as we give thanks over an elaborate meal and start reflecting on the past 12 months.

We’ve heard the cliches time and time again. . .there is always something to be grateful for, it’s not happy people who are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy, etc.

I wholeheartedly believe all of these sentiments but sometimes it’s just not that easy. We know we should be grateful for the roof over our head and the food in the fridge but are having a hard time feeling that

gratitude when it feels like everything is going wrong.

I’d like to offer some thoughts to help you feel even the tiniest ounce of gratitude this season. Because as we know, you can’t start a fire without a flame, and it only takes one tiny, little spark to get that flame going.

1. If you are reading this, you are in fact alive.

A living, breathing being. Your life might really suck at this moment, but you still have a life.

In the time it took you to get to this paragraph, 105 people have lost their life. They no longer get to have hopes and dreams. They don’t get to fight with their father or drown their sorrows in whiskey.

You are here and that means you have hope and you have opportunity and you owe it to those 105 people to spend whatever moments you have left, living. And if things aren’t so great right now, that is OK.

You don’t have to feel happy, you don’t have to feel hopeful, but you have to understand how freaking lucky you are that you are still here and you still have a chance.

2. Are you feeling sad or angry?

Good, you’re feeling something.

We try so hard to avoid feeling anything negative and to always put on a happy face, but what if instead, we were grateful that we felt anger or sadness?

That tells me something meant enough to you that you are able to feel an incredibly strong emotion. Are you angry at a friend or family member right now?

Be grateful you have a relationship that means enough to get angry about. Are you sad over the loss of a loved one?

That means you had someone in your life that meant enough to you that you are missing them and feeling sadness over the loss.

When we’re wrapped up in these emotions, it’s virtually impossibly feel any sense of gratitude for it, so maybe ignore that word and just focus on feeling whatever it is you feel and let it be.

Something or someone meant enough to you that you are experiencing extreme emotions and that truly is a beautiful thing.

3. When it feels as though the world is crashing down and you just can’t find any sense of gratitude for anything, quit looking at the big picture.

Maybe that warm cup of coffee was the only good thing about your week, so be it.

Focus on that coffee and be glad for those few moments of joy. If you are battling a bout of depression and the best you could do is make it out of bed to grab a bowl of cereal, then celebrate the sh** out of that bowl

of cereal.

Sometimes the big picture is scary, and overwhelming, and miserable, but if you break it down, there is something good there, you just have to find it.

4. Make the choice.

I’ve had friends ask how I manage to stay so positive and optimistic most of the time.

I’ve heard comments stating that is just who I am. No, that is not just who I am. It’s a choice I make.

I wake up with the same stresses as everyone around me. . financial worries, the state of our country and climate, problems with relationships, health concerns, the list goes on but I make a choice.

I make a choice to savor every moment for what it is. I make a choice to be grateful for the roof over my head even if it needs a bunch of repairs.

I make a choice to be embrace the stress of a busy day because that means I have a job. I can chose to post a million rants on Facebook about politics or I can spend that time researching ways to get involved and

post a picture of something beautiful that may cheer someone up.

Everything is a choice and I want my choices to leave, not just the world around me a better place, but to leave myself a better person.

And in case you thought I forgot this was a blog about the outdoors, when all else fails, go outside, take a deep breath and get back to the simple things.

Your kids will remember the time you spend together hiking far more than they will remember what trendy toy they got for Christmas in 2017.

Your heart rate and stress level will thank you for opting outside on Black Friday over battling a million people for a TV you don’t need. Gratitude is not found in a big screen or cheap piece of furniture, it’s found in

moments of peace and reflection and nature.

One of my favorite quotes is “there are short cuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” I would add, there are short cuts to gratitude and getting outside is one of them.

It’s really hard to look up at the stars on clear night and not feel grateful for this one beautiful life you get to live.

*Please note, this post is not meant to touch on clinical depression. We understand the seriousness of depression and would encourage anyone dealing with it to speak with a medical professional.

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dog outdoor adventure

The Making of an Adventure Dog

How to find and train the ultimate outdoor companion—because you want so much more than just another pet.

about 12,000 years ago, canines came to the fire.

Before long, humans and dogs became very close friends. No one can say exactly where it happened, though it was likely in southern Europe or North Africa. But the terms of the arrangement were simple: The two

species would look after one another. Dogs would sniff out and run down game as well as guard the homefront. Man would offer food and shelter. Neither would be lonely.

Since then, it’s been man who most often fails to live up to the bargain—not by skimping on kibble, but by allowing his dog to become a do-nothing layabout or even a nuisance. The idea of a dog as purely pet is a

20th-century concept and, frankly, a bad one. Of course, I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know: Dogs like daily order and work. Hell, they need it. If you’re not willing to give a dog a job, whether

it’s running with you, sitting calmly while you fish, or running behind you while you ski, you should probably stick to having goldfish—or ferns.

the drill sergeant you need

But if you’re ready to dedicate time to training a dog that’s up for adventure, then we’ve got the drill sergeant you need. Mike Stewart, 58, is a former police officer—he spent seven years on the force in Oxford,

Mississippi, then 18 years as chief of campus police at the University of Mississippi—who’s been “piddling around” training dogs since he was a young man. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the best dog

trainers in the world. He breeds, trains, and sells British Labradors out of his Wildrose Kennels, a lovely and well-tended farm on 143 acres of fields, ponds, and woods outside Oxford. Stewart’s new book, The

Wildrose Way, details how you and your dog can be better in tune with each other in all sorts of situations, from boating to snowshoeing to birding—even just walking along Fifth Avenue in New York. While he

trains everything from hunting dogs to diabetic alert dogs, Stewart’s favorite pastime these days is training adventure dogs.

My wife and children and I trained service dogs for about two years. (It was my daughter’s idea; among the many benefits of the work, she got a great college essay out of it.) I recently returned from a visit with

Stewart at Wildrose. While his book goes into great depth, these are some of the principles he uses to help a pup grow into a finished dog.

Pick the Right Breed

“If you’re living in a small apartment in a big city and working long hours, even if your dad had German shorthaired pointers all the time when you were growing up, that’s still the wrong dog for your situation,”

Stewart says. “Know who you are and what you want from a dog. Consult professionals. Malamutes are born to run, hounds are bred to track and bay, and Jack Russells to burrow. Labs do well in cold water but

shed and, if untrained, will carry your socks and shoes around. Breed traits will crop up whether you’re going to the pound or the fanciest kennel out there.”

Give ’Em His Own Home

Contrary to what you might think, a dog crate is nothing like a cage. It’s a safe haven where your dog can get some peace and quiet. Every time you put your animal into its crate, you should reinforce the action by

looking the dog in the eyes, saying its name, opening the crate door, and saying “crate.” Treat the dog as it goes in. A dog that crates well is a dog that travels well and learns how to wait patiently. “It’s a retreat for a

dog,” says Stewart.

It’s also the key to housebreaking. Dogs instinctually avoid soiling their dens. Just be sure to let your dog out every two hours for the first few months. After that, lengthen crate stays to up to three hours during the

day and, of course, overnight. And every time the dog comes out, it’s straight outside and “get ’er done,” says Stewart. This routine is sometimes called errorless housebreaking, and it’ll stay with your dog for life

unlike rubbing your dog’s nose in its mess, which accomplishes nothing.

Point and Click

Stewart’s staff begins working with dogs at three days old, getting them used to different sensations and scents even before their eyes open. Then, at five weeks, Stewart and his staff initiate clicker training, leading

the pups through obstacle courses, marking behaviors he likes—confidence, eye contact, going through a kid’s playroom-style tunnel—with an audible click from a small noisemaker (they’re at the checkout of every

pet store for a dollar or two) and following that closely with a bit of liver treat. Entire books (like Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog) have been written on clicker training, and we recommend that you read them

along with Stewart’s book. But here’s a short explanation of why clickers work so well: Dogs like rewards, and they’re are very good at figuring out the patterns that lead to them. The click tells the dog that

whatever it was doing at that exact moment is what produced the treat.

Warning: Clicker training has a way of attracting starry-eyed disciples who talk about little else. We like to start with clicker training but move away from it as we head into the field.
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red chair snow

5 Things you didn’t know about the Mourne Mountains

There is a saying “you learn something new everyday” and we did just that when we caught up with tour guide Peter Rafferety owner of based in the beautiful Mourne Mountains.

Peter really is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to interesting facts on this spectacular area and we couldn’t wait to share with you these 5 interesting facts you may not have known about the Mournes.

The Mourne Wall

the mourne wall
You may find this hard to believe but this 22 mile long, 1.5m high and 0.8m thick wall, which took 18 years to build and crosses 15 mountains was constructed by hand!

Built using classic dry stone wall techniques (no motar used!) and granite from local quarries, the wall which encloses 9,000 acres of mountainous terrain, was designed to keep farm animals away from the

reservoirs and rivers. The wall passes the peak of each mountain except ‘Rocky’ where it skirts around the summit.



The Mournes was once a hiding place for some infamous smugglers.You may have seen clues to this if you have been to Bloody Bridge Car Park.

‘The Smugglers Head’ sculpture by artist Ralf Sander was inspired by the smuggling activitiy that was rife in the Mournes in the 18th & 19th Centuries.

Ships would dock in Newcastle at the foot of the Mountains with their illegal proudce including coffee, tea, silk, tobaccco and wine before trekking their way through the Mournes on horseback along the Brandy

Pad which crosses the top of the two valleys. But did you know they had a secret cave to store and hide their goods from customs men? Peter has lots of stories of their escapades hiding from the customs men and

will take you into the hidden ‘Smugglers Cave’ to see where they hid! Certainly not for those of a nervous disposition you will have the opportunity to enter the cave and crawl along a ledge to a small chamber

(hopefully Peter remembers the torch!).

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gateway walk autumn

Off the Beaten Track- Walks in the Sperrins Gateway

The Sperrins Gateway located south-east of Co. Derry~Londonderry remains an undiscovered gem for many in Northern Ireland. Hosting spectacular scenery, untouched countryside, rolling hills and green fields walking here is sure to give you the scenic escape you’re looking for.

Hudy’s Way, 5.8 miles circular, Moneyneany, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Boasting stunning scenery, this fully waymarked trail is well worth exploring. The trail which can be explored in either direction follows a mixture of winding country roads past the derelict clachan of

Crockataggard and rural field track past several old but atmospheric farmstead ruins.

Crockbrack Way, 7.2 miles circular, Moneyneany, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Those in search of superb panoramic views will not be disappointed by this walk. Key features on this walk include a large glacial erratic composed of folded, contorted and very ancient schist rock. You will also

pass extensive deposits of blanket bog and discover the hidden mountain lough of Lough Ouske on the northern slopes of Slievevaddy (Sliabh an mhadaidh- mountain of the dog).
gateway autumn


Pictured above breath-taking views from the slopes of Mullaghmore

Moydamlaght Forest- Eagles Rock Trail, 4 miles circular, Draperstown, Co. Derry~Londonderry

This trail will lead you through a conifer forest climbing up the slopes of Mullaghmore to the stunning rock face of Craig-na-shoke. Here you will be rewarded with extensive views over the surrounding hills and

countryside with the summits of Benbradagh, Binevenagh and the Inishowen peninsula coming into view as you go higher.

Reubens Glen, 0.6 miles linear (one way), Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry

The short trail at Reuben’s Glen follows a beautiful ancient coach road that once linked the plantation towns of Draperstown and Moneymore in the early 17th Century. The last remaining identifiable part of what

was once an important thoroughfare the trail will follows a small river through a mixed woodland.

Springhill House, Various Walks under 1.1 miles (walks can be combined), Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry

There are 3 trails to choose from within the enchanting grounds of Springhill owned by the National Trust. Explore the mixed woodland, walk through a wildflower meadow, stop at an enchanting tree door to see if

anyone is home and uncover clearings full of natural play sure to capture the imaginations of children and adults alike. Beyond this you have the option to explore the perimeter of the estate or take a stroll along

the spectacular avenue of Beech Trees which provide stunning colour throughout the year, from vivid green in the spring to rich reds in the autumn.

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white snow water tree mountain

Hiking the Hidden Gems to Find Peace – Snowy Range Mountains

Snowy Range Mountains

We drive through Laramie, Wyoming and turn west toward our destination. Antelope dot the horizon in every direction, herds gracefully graze together. Before long we arrive in Centennial, Wyoming population

200 something; the hub for the Snowy Range Ski Resort. We stop for firewood at the local grocery store, feeling as if we have stepped back in time. It’s mid-September and we know it’s a risk heading up to 11,000

feet elevation. Already the sky toward the Mountain peaks is clouded in white: Snow. The 60 degree change in temperature, from where we came from, is quite noticeable.

Medicine Bow National Forest

As we head up into Medicine Bow National Forest, the leaves are already transforming with vibrant oranges that stun the eyes. Beauty in change is all around. Medicine Bow National Forest was founded on May

22, 1902 with the establishment of the Medicine Bow Forest Reserve, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Its history, however, is rooted in Native American tradition of making mahogany bows.

Winding up the road, we notice that the trees aren’t as dense as many National Forests. Bitter cold wind blows and icy rain falls, as we reach Sugarloaf Mountain Campground in the Snowy Range Mountains of

Wyoming. With cellphones turned off and our black lab puppy running circles, we decide to head out on a hike. The Sugar Loaf Recreation Area is around Sugar Loaf Mountain, Lewis Lake, Libby Lake, and many

other small lakes. Though none of the trails go directly around the lakes, one can easily hike down and explore around their shores. The area offers trails leading up to the rocky peaks, where the views are

snow white mountain

The trail we set out on starts off flat and then quickly inclines up. It is covered in big and small rocks that slip under our boots; black rocks, grey rocks, beautiful quartz, all there to dazzle. The wind blows cold in

our faces, numbing our rosy cheeks. The higher we climb, the more spectacular the view becomes. The falling snowflakes have painted the tundra landscape white. Miraculously flowers colored purple and yellow

peak out from under the sparkling powder. Windblown and energized, we return to camp for a hot meal.

The next day

The next day is warmer and the wind has stopped. We start a different hike; one where the trail is less obvious, due to an overgrowth of foliage. Much of the snow has already melted and the scenery is a different

painted image. Puddles of water create obstacles and we decide to step off the path. Up a hill we find a huge rock to sit on and soak up some warm sunrays. The view below is incredible. Snowy Range is a unique

place to hike. So many hikes take us through wooded areas, plush with foliage; or a monotonous landscape. The hikes around Sugarloaf Mountain provide an eerie like scenery that changes from woodsy to arid

tundra. At elevations ranging from 9,000-12,000 feet; snow can come to Snowy Range any time of the year. The good thing is, there are many hiking options from easy to more difficult, so it fits most people’s

requirements. Do be aware of your footsteps, as the rugged terrain and rustic granite formations can pose a danger.

Hiking in the Snowy Range Mountains is worth it, if you want to get away from the chaos of the times.
snow mountain white


Find your trail to a better way of life.

With the constant assault of terrible news daily, we tend to suffocate in the weariness. For me, retreating to the beauty of nature is one of the best remedies, as it puts things into perspective. Hiking seems to clear

my mind, refresh my soul, and bring to light the small wonders on this earth. This is more effective when I explore the lesser known trails, where the variety of Nature expands.

My advice is to go away from the popular destinations and trek the routes that embrace silence. Snowy Range, in Wyoming, is one of those places; a place where you see more landscape than people. It’s a

wonderful wilderness area that allows you to breathe deep and detox from technology. A good life requires us to do just that.

Mother Nature provides an endless amount of trails to explore and discover, so why not Go?

Find your trail to a better way of life.

Advice from a Trail: “Find inspiration around every corner” Your True Nature Inc.

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snow women white

The Best Women’s Snowsports Gear Of 2017/2018

Ready to hit the pistes? I’ve been testing out the best snow jackets, salopettes and base layers for The Independent. My top picks will keep your warm and happy in the mountains all winter.

Snowsports kit isn’t cheap, so if you’re trying skiing or snowboarding for the first time it’s worth begging or borrowing a jacket and salopettes (waterproof ski trousers) to wear. But if you’re planning a week-long

trip in the Alps or spending a season working in the snow then it’s time to invest in a good jacket, salopettes and a decent set of base layers to wear underneath. My tried-and-tested top picks for for the 2017/18

season, tested for The Independent, will all do you proud, and there are great choices for every budget.


A ski jacket should be warm and waterproof (look for one that’s waterproof to at least 10,000mm). A generic waterproof jacket will definitely do if you’re just trying out skiing or snowboarding but a snow-specific

jacket will have extra design goodies to keep you cosy, dry and happy at sub-zero temperatures, and thus is worth investing in for a regular ski holidays or a ski season.


Whether you call them ski pants or salopettes, a good pair of warm and waterproof trousers are just as important as a decent jacket for skiing and snowboarding trips. Quality ski pants perform two functions –

they keep you warm when you’re zooming down a mountain slope and they keeps you dry if you end up in a pile of snow at the end of said slope.


It may sound like something your granny would advise but it really is worth investing in a great set of thermals for cold weather, and they’re especially useful for skiiers and snowboarders. Wear below salopettes

and a ski jacket for warmth on the ski lifts and breathability when you’re tearing down the piste.

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