The One Reason We Camp

As has been so often repeated, our society these days is caught up with TV, computers, cell phones, and constant electronic input. People find themselves absorbed with work, their day to day lives, and the onslaught of modern media. They burn themselves out and don’t spend as much quality time with their family and old friends as they would like or feel they need.

Sometimes there is just a need to get away, to add a little diversity to our lives in a different environment, and in a more peaceful setting. Spending time outdoors is the perfect way to do this, especially if it’s with Friends and Family. Camping brings people closer together, and helps renew our energy and old bonds.

Camping and participating in outdoor activities with those we care about blows away any corporate team building you may participate in. Plus it’s a great way to stay healthy. Hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and bike riding are all activities you can participate in together as part of almost any camping weekend or vacation. And who wouldn’t admit that these things are better for us than sitting home on the weekend watching TV.

When it comes to kids, you can use the camping experience to teach them about the outdoors, about cooking, how to set up a tent, how to start a fire, and of course how to put the fire out safely. You can use the opportunity to teach them to swim, boat, canoe, fish and how to care for the environment. It is a learning experience for kids and adults. A way to bring families together. A way to create lifelong memories.

And since we mentioned cooking; preparing and sharing meals in the outdoors is best when you come prepared and have planned your meals. A good propane stove or grill helps too. A communal meal with everyone sharing stories of the day, while they eat, and around a blazing campfire afterward, is often the true highlight of the day.

There is definitely a feeling of freedom we get when we leave the world behind, and are focused on making a life in the outdoors, even if it’s only for a couple of days. It’s revelry with loved ones, and being out under the stars, with a campfire burning, after an active day and a good meal, that gives us a feeling of satisfaction close to spirituality. It transcends our daily lives during time we’re out there.

So back to original question. What is the reason we camp. Is it a love of the outdoors? A social opportunity? The fact that it’s a healthy alternative? Some people say it is to test themselves and to prove they can survive. Some say it is communing with nature they enjoy. It may be that you like the camaraderie of being with friends and family or the feeling of accomplishment of having hiked and conquered a mountain. Maybe it’s because it is an economical way to vacation, or even an educational opportunity for your kids. It could be all of the above.

Whatever your reason for camping, what it really comes down to is, that if you like to camp, it’s because you enjoy it and it makes you happy. According to Wikipedia, happiness a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy”. So if you are one of those people who find contentment, satisfaction, pleasure and joy in camping, and it makes you happy…pack your tents and stoves and keep on camping.

Grand Canyon Float Tours Are Adventurous Fun

All-day Grand Canyon float tours down the Colorado River are amazing, unforgettable journeys. They’re a great way to kick back and relax, but at the same time they give you a remarkable number of things to see and do. Here’s some info on what you can expect on one of the South Rim smooth-water rafting tours:

Getting There

You’ll be transported to the base of Glen Canyon Dam – the starting point for all South Rim smooth-water float tours. You’ll get there by bus (if you’re on a standard tour) or plane (if you choose the upgraded, deluxe package which also includes a 4×4 Jeep ride to Antelope Canyon). Just seeing the dam looming overhead is pretty awesome – it’s over 700 feet high and 1500 feet wide!

At the foot of the dam, you’ll board your 19-passenger motorized pontoon raft for a smooth, comfortable 15-mile float down the river. The water segment of the trip ends at historic Lee’s Ferry. The entire tour takes 12+ hours, so you’ll definitely be gone all day.

No rapids are involved, so kids 4 and up can participate. These trips are a terrific adventure for families.

The Experience

It’s hard to accurately describe what you’ll see and experience while you’re on the river. No photos or videos can do it justice. Besides seeing some amazing sights (California condors, anyone?), you’ll smell and taste the air of the canyon and the surrounding cliffs. This is the total package when it comes to Grand Canyon tours.

Floating through scenic Horseshoe Bend is one of highlights of this smooth-water rafting tour. This section takes its name from the horseshoe-shape of the river as it winds its way through some pretty amazing rock formations. A lot of folks camp and hike in this area because they feel like they’ve entered another world. This is a quiet, serene place where time flows slowly – its tranquility is the exact opposite of today’s usual hustle and bustle.

People who live in the area call Horseshoe Bend by another name. I’m not sure how it got started, but they call it King Bend. In this section you’ll be cruising down the river at an altitude of 4200 feet above sea level, which isn’t that much short of a mile high.

Colorado River

The river is ancient and has a storied past. For one thing, it’s responsible for carving out the canyon over countless millions of years. Portions of the river are in 7 different states.

You’ll pull over at a sandy beach during your smooth-water rafting trip. Just a short hike away you’ll come onto some prehistoric Native American rock drawings. We don’t completely understand their significance, so you’re free to interpret them however you like.

Float tours last all day, and you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of the experience. Protect your camera/cell phone from getting wet. Bring sunscreen and wear a cap or hat to reduce your exposure to the sun. Bring some extra water and snacks that are easy to carry. Because you could get wet, you’ll probably also want a change of clothing.

Planning a Long Road Trip With the Kids? Don’t Over Look Your Most Important Item – The Car

Car Maintenance is extremely important when you are planning to travel with your family. Can you imagine getting on an airplane that had not been thoroughly checked over before departure? It’s a very scary thought, yet we have all driven past vehicles that are broken down on the side of the road either from a flat tire that was so worn it should have been replaced months ago, or out of gas, fluids, or other engine problems.

We’ve seen vehicles broken down in the mountains during snow storms, on the highway near Death Valley, and on a typical sunny day. There are many reasons why a vehicle brakes down, but car owners and especially parents traveling with young children should make every effort to prevent a vehicle brake down at all costs.

Here are some basic steps to take to make sure your car is always in top notch shape and ready for your next camping trip or long road trip adventure with the kids.

  1. Get that oil changed every 3,000 miles or every 3 months along with the vehicle inspection. Which ever one happens first.
  2. Have your tires checked and rotated at each oil change.
  3. Check your vehicle engine, belts, brakes, fluids, windshield wipers, lights and mirrors. Carry extras in your vehicle incase a blinker goes out, or a windshield wiper malfunctions while you are traveling.
  4. Check your spare tire to be sure it’s in good shape.
  5. Replace the thin spare with a reliable regular size tire ahead of time.
  6. Keep up on all routine maintenance checks.
  7. It is also good to have some emergency items for your car such as a 12V tire pump, portable jumper cable battery, tire repair kit, spare tire in good shape, and tools.
  8. Carry a GPS or Road Atlas.
  9. In the winter, it is advisable to carry chains, car wheel grip mats (for ice), 12V heater blanket, and shovel.
  10. Carry a cell phone and/or some payphone spare change with you while you travel to keep your family safe.

Now that you’ve taken the steps required to insure your vehicle has passed the safety check, and you are confident your car is in perfect traveling condition, load it up and head out on the highway for some more great travel experiences with your family. This is one preparation that should be a top priority. Your family is depending on it.

Happy Travels!

Costa Rica – A Destination With Unparalleled Beauty

Costa Rica is a magnificent destination located in Central America. The destination is flanked by the Caribbean and the Pacific, to the north, Nicaragua is located, and to the south Panama is situated. The location of this destination is unique in the sense that it is located at the confluence of two continents and two oceans. The city is environment friendly, and the sensitivity shown by the Costa Ricans towards the environment are exemplary. About one fourth of the total area is set aside for the national parks and protected areas. This is the reason, this destination boasts of some unique, rare and endangered flora and fauna mesmerizing environmentalists. These days, cheap flight deals on several flights plying their services to this destination are easily available.

Encompassing the Central America isthmus, this city forms an essential link in the series of small nations joined together. It is fascinating to note that about five percent of the world’s biodiversity is available in the city. About 800 fern species, 2000 types of trees, 1000 types of orchids and 200 mammal species can be seen. Several flights to Costa Rica like British Airways ply their services to this unique destination. A wide range of pristine beaches with white, sandy shores mesmerizes the guests. Four mountain ranges shape the insides of the city. From North to South, the mountain ranges run. Nestled amidst a highland valley, the capital of the destination, San Jose is set. If a visitor simply wishes to unwind, one need not look further than this destination. This extraordinary place is located at the confluence of the continents and oceans; this place is just like a soothing balm for frayed nerves. One can rest in the palm lined shores and enjoy living in the quaint little towns located close by. One can cap the day with a visit to the Caribbean Coast. There are many rivers that meander through the destination at a leisurely pace. The most prominent river flowing through this area is the Reventazon. There are two peninsulas, the Osa and the Nicoya that extends into the Pacific.

The climate of this picturesque destination is a treat for the visitors coming here through cheap flights to Costa Rica. Mild and subtropical climate are a treat for the vacationers. This weather is experienced round the year. As per the elevation, the range of temperature varies. As one goes higher up, the atmosphere becomes cooler. Rainy season continues from May to November and from February to April, the destination experiences a dry spell. On the whole, the destination is perfect for a rejuvenating experience. Availability of cheap tickets to Costa Rica has enhanced the number of tourists coming to this mesmerizing destination.