What To Do If You Lose Communication While Camping

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Sponsored Post

For many of us, there is nothing like going into the great outdoors to get away from the stress and strife of modern-day life. Unfortunately, however, while being out in the wilderness is great to unwind, it’s still nice to have some connection to the outside world, which is why we also bring our phones with us. However, trying to get reception can be a huge pain, and if you ever lose your device while out in the woods, it can be almost impossible to retrieve it. For that reason, we are going to go over what to do if you lose your communication and how to find your phone with AVG if it is lost.

 

Maintaining Reception

lose communication 2If you are worried about losing your signal while out camping, you can plan ahead by bringing other devices that can offer you cell service no matter where you are. These include mobile wireless routers, cell phone boosters, and portable battery chargers to help you maintain access to your device at all times. These are the best ways to stay connected, but that doesn’t mean they are the only ones.

 

lose communication 3If You Lose Signal

For those that didn’t plan ahead, you can help improve your signal in a couple of ways. First, you can find a clear, elevated area that can give you more direct access to a signal, or you can craft your own makeshift antenna. Chip cans and aluminum foil can help boost your phone’s range if you know what you’re doing. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials out there that can help.

 

Losing Your Phone

lose communication 4If the worst happens and you misplace your device while camping, all is not lost. If you have AVG as your Android security and antivirus, then you can track your phone’s location, even if it’s off. This will help you pinpoint where exactly you left your phone so that you can retrieve it. Fortunately, if it’s in the woods somewhere, then you shouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing it.

 

 

Overall, the best way to keep your phone in tip-top shape while camping is to plan ahead and have AVG antivirus installed beforehand.

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Article provided by Lizzy and our friends over at AVG Anti-Virus.

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

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By Nicole Anderson

Many of us live for the time when we get to experience the outdoors.  We are constantly planning the next great escape from the city to again be at peace with the serenity, majesty and wonder of nature.

Often in our pressured, busy lives it is so easy to forget a few things that would make our experience in nature all the better.  How many times can you recall running late to get away from your routine and in your rush, you overlooked things you wished you hadn’t?  If you’re anything like me (human, that is), then you can surely relate.

And let’s face it.  On some outings, be they for a short or a long while, there can be so many things to remember, depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with.

So with the above in mind, a few Camping for Women contributors have come up with some checklists to help make our planning and getting things together a little easier.   There are 6 checklists that we have put up initially and more will be added to in the future.

Enjoy the Free Checklists!

The totally free checklists that have been prepared for anyone to download and use below:

 

Free Checklist Hiking and Backpacking

The Hiking and Backpacking Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

hiking-and-backpacking-checklist.pdf (118 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists CampingThe Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-checklist.pdf (104 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists Camping with kids at all stagesThe Camping with Kids at all Stages Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Camping-with-kids-at-all-stages-checklist.pdf (94 downloads)

 

 

 

Free checklists the ultimate road trip checklistThe Ultimate Road Trip Checklist by Janessa Tice Miller

Click below to download:

The-Ultimate-Road-Trip-Checklist.pdf (101 downloads)

 

 

 

 

 

Free Checklists first aidThe First Aid Kit Checklist by Amanda Parent

Click below to download:

First-Aid-Kit-Checklist.pdf (96 downloads)

 

 

 

Free Checklists post camping

And lastly, but by no means least:

The Post-Camping Checklist by Lynley Joyce

Click below to download:

Post-camping-checklist.pdf (98 downloads)

 

 

 

Use, share and tailor the checklists

You can also tailor these checklists by adding other things that may be particular to your circumstances, activity or location.

And in the future, Camping for Women plans to add to these checklists with different activities that readers tell us are useful.  Future free checklists and any updates to these initial lists will always be accessible from the Resources tab at Camping for Women.

You will be able to download which ever free checklists you like in future directly by going here.

We sincerely hope you get great value out from these checklists and that they save you some time and hassle that often goes with forgetting to take something that you really felt you needed to have.

Be sure to share this resource with your family and friends who love the great outdoors too!

Free checklists for lovers of the great outdoors

Personal protection against bears – guns or bear spray?

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By Carley Fairbrother

I spent seven years as a backcountry ranger in northern British Columbia, and one of the question I got asked the most was, “do you carry a gun out there?”  They seemed genuinely concerned when I told them that I usually just carried bear spray.

To many folks in the north, and I’m sure wherever gun culture is prevalent, bear spray is seen as something a gimmick. I can understand that.  I have been approached by an angry grizzly, and let me tell you, that can of bear spray made me feel a little like I’d shown up to a formal ball in my Pjs.

Yet here I am, years later still traipsing around bear country without a gun. Here’s why.

bear spray 2Effectiveness of bear spray

This may be counterintuitive, but bear spray does work better at deterring bears than firearms.  It’s nasty stuff, and when an animal with the sense of smell 100 times more powerful than a human’s gets a face-full of it, it’ll usually stop its charge immediately.  Bears, particularly grizzlies, often continue their attack, even after a fatal shot. It’s not surprising then that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service report that around 50% of people using firearms in a grizzly encounter still suffered injuries.  Those using bear spray suffered from much fewer and less severe injuries.

A 2008 study by biologist Tom Smith looked at 600 bear encounters in Alaska.  Bear spray proved 92% effective in the 72 cases that it was used.  Four years later, Smith did another study in 2012 looking at bear encounters involving firearms.  Depending on how you interpret the study, firearms were somewhere between 58% and 76% effective.

Speed and Ease of Use

bear spray 3Even a good marksman or markswoman will take at least a few seconds to unsling a gun, chamber a round, aim, and fire.  Even if you are in ready position with your gun, simply aiming is going to take longer than unholstering a can of bear spray.  To make matters worse, a bad shot may just make a bear angrier. Add to that the panic that comes with being face-to-face with and angry apex predator, and I’d say your chances are a lot better with bear spray.

Weight

Carrying too much weight isn’t just unpleasant, it can be dangerous.  If you are fatigued, you are going to be less aware of your surrounding, less likely to make noise, and slower to react in the event of a bear encounter.

A 12-gauge shotgun is going to weigh 6 or 7 lbs.  Compare that to 8-11oz for a canister of bear and there is no contest.  While a lighter gun may stand up against a black bear, a grizzly needs some serious power to bring it down.

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Unnecessary Killing

Just because a bear is angry at you doesn’t make it an evil creature that needs to die.  Remember, you are in its home, and it’s usually just defending itself.  Sometimes it’s only approaching out of curiosity, and spraying it will simply teach it that humans are best avoided.

That being said a predatory, habituated, or unusually aggressive bears should be reported to the appropriate authorities so they can take action if necessary.

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Human Safety

No matter how safe you are with your firearm, it’s hard to predict what kind of bad decisions you’ll make if you are panicked. There are plenty of stories of people inadvertently shooting themselves or their partners while hurrying to get a shot at the bear.

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What about Wind and the Short Range?

In good conditions, bear spray should shoot at least 16 feet, but some brands will shoot further.  This may seem uncomfortably close, but a bear further away will likely decide you aren’t worth the trouble before it actually attacks. You can also spray a bit earlier to make a cloud for the bear to run through.

In the Smith study, only five of the bear spray cases were effected by wind, and the spray still hit their target.  You may get sprayed a little yourself, but it’s a small price to pay.

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The Law

It’s now legal in many U.S. national parks to carry a firearms, but the ruling is still subject to state laws. Here in Canada it is illegal to carry firearms (with some exceptions for polar bears) in national parks.  Oddly, it is also illegal to carry bear spray in Yosemite, so if you plan on hiking there, bring your bear sense.

Things to Note

Now I want to make a few points clear.  Carrying any form of bear defence does not replace the need to use your bear sense.  Always make noise while hiking, stay aware of your surroundings, avoid hiking alone, keep you camp free of food smell, and know what to do in a bear encounter to avoid an attack.

Also, no matter what you choose to carry, know how to use it.  If you choose bear spray, practice unholstering your bear spray and removing the safety, and ALWAYS keep it somewhere where you can grab it.  Should you have an expired canister, practice discharging it.  If you choose a gun, make sure it’s going to be powerful enough and practice getting it ready and taking aim in a variety of situations.

Sources

U.S. Fish & Wildife Service. Bear Spray vs. Bullets: Which offers better protection? Living with Grizzlies http://www.bearsmart.com/docs/BearSprayVsBullets.pdf

Tom Smith et al.  Efficacy of firearms for bear deterrence in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management. 76(5):1021-1102J. July 2012. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/326124/efficacy-of-firearms-for-bear-deterrence-in-alaska.pdf

Tom Smith, et al. Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 72(3):640 – 645 · December 2008.  http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/bear_cougar/bear/files/JWM_BearSprayAlaska.pdf

Video

Also, check out this video put together by Carley Fairbrother, together with a giveaway she is running this month:

 

 

Cute Romantic Gestures For Hiking Lovers

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By Oceana Setaysha

Hiking is a wonderful activity to do with someone you love. If you and your partner both love to hike, it can be fun to bring a bit more romance into your hiking adventures. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few ideas for little romantic gestures you can do to really make your significant other feel loved, even when you’re out on the trail!

 

Plan A Surprise Romantic Getaway

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While it’s great to plan and organize a hike, there’s something really nice about not really having to do the planning, but still getting to enjoy the hike. So, one simple but romantic gesture you might want to do for your partner is to plan a surprise getaway that includes a few really nice hikes. You could go just for the day, or a few days, and either visit somewhere that has been a favourite of yours as a couple, or somewhere they’ve never been. You take care of all the details, and just encourage them to pack a bag and come along for an adventure!

 

Bring An Unexpected Snack

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If you’re going on a hike with your partner, a short-notice but effective romantic gesture you can do is to bring an unexpected snack with you. Now, there are lots of foods that people consider to be romantic, but here you need to think about portability and preferences. Chocolate dipped strawberries are great, as long as you keep the chocolate separate in a small, sealed container. A pair of small bottles of wine make a great surprise, or champagne to celebrate a relationship milestone. Even a small selection of cheese and crackers can really make them feel loved and appreciated.

 

See The Best Of Nature

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There are so many lovely things out there in the world, so many things to see and enjoy. But you can’t argue that it’s nicer to do them with someone by your side. So, if you’re looking for something romantic to do, try and see some of the best natural wonders in your area. Whether they’re a natural landmark, a stunning sunrise, a gorgeous sunset, or a sky full of stars, take your partner out into nature to see the best that’s on offer. Spend an evening stargazing and searching for falling stars and satellites, or pack a thermos of tea and watch the sun rise or set. It’s sure to be a hike to remember.

 

Go On A Geocaching Adventure

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Doing something together with your partner is a great way to further cement your bond. So, while you both might enjoy hiking it can be even more fun to hike with a specific goal in mind. If you’ve climbed a few mountains and you’ve completed the hikes in your area, have a go at them again with geocaching in mind. If you’ve never heard of geocaching, it’s basically a treasure hunt you do with GPS. People hide containers, called ‘caches’, and you have to find them. Many people lay the caches out along hiking trails, allowing you to enjoy the hike and collect the caches. For a truly romantic gesture, organize to lay a cache yourself, and name it in honour of your partner!  You can also read more about geocaching in our article about it here.

 

Walk A Heart

This is one for the forward thinkers, which might not be easily pulled off but is sure to make a statement. Encourage your partner to install, and then use, a fitness tracker app under the pretense of seeing how far you have walked and how fast. You could also use a GPS. Then take them on a hike that you’ve planned in the shape of a love heart. You’ll need some basic plotting skills for this, but you can easily program the hike into your GPS. For extra points, have the start/end point of the hike at a gorgeous spot where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the wild.

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Explore the Magical Desert of Joshua Tree, California, USA.

Joshua Tree

By Lucy Gomez

Explore the Ancient Desert at Joshua Tree

The Joshua Tree Park is considered as a magical and massive desert land, which is about 790,000 square acres. And speaking about the desert, here you need to know that there is absolutely no electricity, no lights, no food service and mobile receptions. Water is a scarce resource, so when coming here make sure that you bring enough to last during your visit. Luckily, there are toilets available, however, they’re not the flushing type, so you better be prepared.

Feed Your Soul with Creativity

Joshua Tree is the home of numerous artists, and many visitors are inspired by the artworks created by these amazing individuals. From the Farmers Market to the different Art Galleries scattered around the place, you’ll definitely feel the creative juices flowing.

Visiting the town proper is an amazing part of the Joshua Tree camping experience. In this area, you’ll be able to find various restaurants, boutiques and shops, as well as music events and galleries. The Downtown area is situated on the corner of Park Boulevard and Highway 62.

The citizens of Joshua Tree have been going the beyond the limits in preserving the authenticity of the place. For this reason, you won’t be able to find any fast food chains, or high rise buildings or even the famous malls and super stores. Exploring the place will give you a different sixties feel while helping the locals in promoting their own products and their local economy.

Take Advantage of the Annual Pass

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As soon as you arrive at the Park entrance, you will have the choice of getting a day pass or the annual pass. If you want to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy the Joshua Tree Park, you need to obtain the annual pass, as you will have the advantage of getting into the Park for free over the next 12 months.

It is a must that you ask for a map and be updated via their newsletters so you will be informed on the latest happenings across the park. Having the annual pass will also give you the advantage to cut in line and get in faster as a priority guest.

Enjoy your Stay at the Campsites

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Staying over and camping at Joshua Tree will give you the chance to sleep and experience the amazing night view brought about by the billions of stars. Start the morning and be amazed by the breathtaking view of the California desert. You may also be in awe as you can hear the coyotes howling from a distance.

Over 300 campsites are scattered within the boundaries of the park, so you just need to choose your own spot and spend the night there. The camping fee is usually around 15 dollars. You have to know that running water and electricity are non-existent in the park, so you do need to bring everything you might need.

Explore the Intersection and Arch Rocks

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When you are coming from the west entrance of the Joshua Tree, the Intersection Rock should be your first stop. This is the perfect place to check your maps and plan your destinations and activities for the day. This rock is situated about on the center of the various highlights of the park. You can also follow the available trails and explore more around the area.

On the other hand, entering through the North or South of Joshua Tree, you will have the Arch Rock as your first major pit stop. Following the trails nearby is also a great idea, but you won’t need to worry about getting lost since all the paths will eventually lead towards the camping ground.

Ask for a Guide

No matter what type of activity you intend to do, especially if you are a beginner, it is better to seek help from a guide. These guides will aid you in a more enjoyable and safer adventure in the park.

Joshua Tree offers an incredible and unique adventure for you and your family or friends. You will be able to enjoy the different and creative culture of the place; therefore, it is important to plan the trip carefully. Make the most out of every event and the views offered by this majestic place. In the end, you will surely come back for more, as the people living here really go for the extra mile in providing an enjoyable and memorable experience for every traveler.

Check out the Joshua Tree Park website here.

Related article and additional information: Dry but Delightful: Hiking in the Desert.

 

Overcoming Fear as a Solo Trekker in Zhangjiajie Mountains of China

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By Marinel de Jesus

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Catching the sunset after landing in China

My very first entry to China was through the Hunan Province in 2014.  As it turns out it, if you’re new to China, Hunan will shock you because it is far from the notion of a foreigner mecca in terms of tourism.  In fact, the entire time I was in this part of China, I only saw one Western foreigner – a European who was studying the language and therefore able to move around the country with ease.  He told me he was on a short break and his parents were in town so he was acting as their guide in this part of China.  He also happened to be staying at my hostel.

The night spent chatting with him was unforgettable.  This said individual challenged my decision to be in Hunan.  He bluntly asked what I was doing there as he was concerned that I didn’t speak any Mandarin at all.  He added that a better move would have been to go visit Guilin first or one of the big cities like Shanghai or Beijing, even Xian.  But Hunan – he asked why.  With enthusiasm, I explained that I was there because I wanted to see the Avatar mountains, also known as Zhangjiajie National Forest.  That explanation appeared to baffle him. Still, why would I start my China travel by hitting Hunan first.  He continued to counsel me that getting around will be difficult and that I should be prepared to navigate my way because even getting to the National Forest will be a challenge.   So, I said, well, I will get a map!  No, you just don’t get it.  Even the map is devoid of English completely, he says.  Okay, I heard the warning.  But I wasn’t dissuaded about my decision to be there.   Even though a bit nervous because he insisted that I will likely get lost, I kept reassuring myself that there is always a way.  Plus, this was nothing new.  I have been in a situation before where I was overwhelmed by the language issue (Guatemala) and that experience turned out to be life changing.  So, hush that worry-wart – it will always work out for the best.

I never was able to shake off that night of conversation with this European guy who was understandably concerned for my sake.  It was amusing but also I must admit a bit disturbing.  After all, it was my very first night in China and to begin with I was already a bit concerned how I would do in this country without much language skills to get me by.  So, that night I told myself it will be alright even if it means I may get lost.  That’s part of the adventure, right?  I didn’t come to a foreign place to be on point with all directions and roads.  I came to see where the roads will take me and what turns I would need to make to find the right way.

On a much more positive note, the hostel I stayed at was one of the hostel chains through the Hostelling International. It was a cozy place for a first night in China.  I was really just looking into resting my head in the upper bed of the bunk for some good night’s sleep.

The next day I made my way to the smaller town of Wulingyuan where I was to catch the bus to enter Zhangjiajie.  On my stop over at Wulingyuan, I decided to check out the cave nearby which was probably the most touristy cave that I have ever seen.   Although the cave was huge and appealing in its size, there was nothing special about it; nonetheless it was a good way to get used to dealing with the “crowd.”  At my hostel in Wulingyuan, I met by a coincidence a Cambodian traveler and we chatted a little.  He was traveling for a few months and had positive things to say about his travels in China, which was a refreshing moment compared to the night before.

The next morning I made it to Zhangjiajie without a problem. Thanks to the hostel staff who explained to me how I could get to the place.  The European guy was right.  There was no English whatsover to be read or heard except for some silly signs (see below). This was the beginning of my journey as the ‘mute’ version of myself.  Sounds crazy but in many ways it was a blessing because it allowed me to learn the value of being “mindful” of what people were actually saying in any means possible.  That turned out to be such a critical part of my trip.  I know that is such a weird thing to say but, seriously, muting myself made China a wonderful experience, most definitely.

To fully explore Zhangjiajie, I decided to spend 3-4 days inside the park. From my research, the karst-like peaks are elusive due to the foggy situation of the park.  Usually, the mountains are hidden behind thick fog; hence, I was not to have a high expectation of catching a glimpse of these pillars of beauty.   To execute my plan, I decided to stay inside the park where a hostel was available to budget travelers.  It was a basic hostel with a nice bed to myself (not even bunk) within a little village.  I suspect the people in that village are people who work at the park.  Living within the park is the convenient way given the park takes up a huge space.  Like any other national park in China, the mode of getting around within the park is through their shuttles which run from sunrise to sunset.  China is efficient when it comes to shuttles for parks and so much so that one should not feel discouraged by the crowd factor.  Oftentimes, the lines go faster than you expect.

To maximize my time in Zhangjiajie, I planned out the routes to take in order to see most of the highlights of the park.  With the park map in hand, I basically divided each day by which areas to hike so I can capture the mountain peaks.  The map itself was in Mandarin and so I relied mostly on the hostel staff (again, which was the pattern) to help me figure out the most viable itinerary.  The first day presented as super foggy and it was discouraging to go through the trails knowing there is beauty hidden behind such fog but not being able to see it.  Luckily, my luck changed and when the afternoon came, I was able to experience the magical beauty of the mountains in Zhangjiajie.  For the next two days, the fog came and went.  Having the fog was actually adding to that mysterious feeling behind the mountains.  Hiking in this park does require luck and patience in order to capture the mountains at the right photographic moment.

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That’s not a regret a hiker would like

As an added bonus, during my stay within the park, I met a lovely couple from Beijing who befriended me at the hostel and who spoke good English as is the case with people from big cities in China.  They became my hiking buddies for the entire duration of my hiking in Avatar.  After immersing ourselves in hiking each day, our days ended with home cooked meals at the hostel – the best part of being friends with locals is that they can help you order food at restaurants.  Traveling solo without language skills has its downside and that is the difficulty of figuring out what to eat each meal time.   When we returned to the city, the couple and I had our one last meal together which I often recall to be such a feast!

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Oh, and we did go to another park in the city center that was like the mini-Avatar but the park charged quite a more expensive entry fee.  That was a waste because it was foggy the entire day we were there.  The only upside is we did go check out some gorgeous temples.  The couple found it necessary to enter one of them to ask the gods for a child as they have been wanting to have their first one. I also fancied the conversation I had with the couple about how the locals gravitate towards spending more time with nature as they get older for they believe that by doing so, it lengthens their life and adds joy.

Zhangjiajie is worth a visit.  Yet, only a few foreigners ever make it to this part of China.  That’s good for western travelers as you can still feel the authenticity of the locals.  No one is aggressively pestering you so they can make a sale of some sort.  The entire park is still catered only to serve Chinese tourists which makes for a unique experience on its own.  And the mountains?  Yes, it was zen.  I had an opportunity to hike solo on the first day and an early morning hike on another day by myself (without the crowd) and it was an amazing place to just be on your own – a serene experience.  Contrary to what the European guy said, I think starting this journey with Zhangjiajie was setting the bar quite high.  It had to get better from here.

And sorry to disappoint Mr. European guy, but not once did I get lost!  And even if I did, the park was not as intimidating as I thought it would be.  And the locals themselves are much friendlier than anticipated.  They truly like to help and that was also how I was able to get around without knowing a word of their language.  So, as a solo trekker who found language to be a challenge, don’t let it stop you!  Have faith that with a bit of luck and some effort on your end, you’ll be perfectly fine.  Plus, you will always end up with new friends.

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One last look before a final bye.

 

 

9 Points About Using Menstrual Cups While Camping on Your Period

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By Phoebe Hodina

Menstrual Cups: Because your period shouldn’t ever hold you back. Period.

Thinking of using menstrual cups on your adventures in the great outdoors (or anywhere for that matter)?  Here are nine points to consider.

1. The cup is better for Mother Earth.

In a lifetime, the average female uses between 8,000-17,000 tampons. Adding up everything involved (tampons, panty liners, pads, etc.), and multiplying that by all the women in the world… adds up to a lot. If you take in account the energy and carbon released to create those products, and the time it takes for those products to decompose in a landfill… you’re looking at more than just some pesky cramps and PMS to deal with.

To save our planet, switching to menstrual cups can make a serious impact. Silicone cups don’t contain rayon, dioxin, or harmful chemicals. But more than that… they are reusable. They’re pretty much the eco-friendliest way to have a period (other than free-bleeding… which is a whole different kind of article, and not my preference for my clothing).

2. You can skip packing out your used feminine products, and lighten your load.

Lighter pack. This is probably the best perk of camping with a menstrual cup… you don’t have to carry out, and later deal with the waste you’ve created. Simply dump your red stuff in the toilet (or hole), rinse the cup with clean water, reinsert, and continue doing whatever you were doing before. Easy.

 3. You get to worry less and have more fun.

Your lady parts are warm, moist, and the perfect place to a tampon to harbor the deadly bacteria that causes TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Did you know that tiny bits of cotton shreds from tampons can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls—and lead to TSS? For me, remembering to change out a tampon every six hours while in the middle of the great outdoors can be a drag on my fun time. With a menstrual cup, the risk of TSS is almost null. As a woman, you’ve got enough to worry about… TSS shouldn’t be on that list. Plus, with the cup- you can go up to 12 hours before having to fuss with it.

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Spending my time petting a wolf, instead of changing my tampon

 4. You can save money… loads of it.

The average menstrual cup will cost you about $30 USD. You could easily spend that every other month on pads and tampons. Over a decade, you’re looking at a savings of around $1,500 if you replace your cup annually. Being a lady is expensive enough, save your cash for camping gear!

 5. You will be untethered in the best sense.

Tampon strings have the gross habit of being gross. Swimming causes other problems with your string, as sometimes it has the tendency to make an appearance. Skinny dip with freedom… without the string.

 6. You can stay hydrated… everywhere

No really, hear me out. Cotton tampons can strip your inner walls of not only their natural lining, but your natural moisture as well. This can make your lady parts more susceptible to infection. Not fun anywhere, especially out in the woods.

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No fear, and no leaks while snorkeling!

Tampons also absorb that extra moisture that is naturally secreted when you’re sexually aroused. So when you remove it before getting intimate, it can make for a less than slick experience. Also, there are some brands that claim you can wear it during intercourse, mess free(!!). I cannot personally attest to these products, but I am 110% behind women who get busy during that time of the month.

And the 3 things you should know, because you should always be prepared:

 7. It can get messy

The first time you’re using the device… be prepared for your bathroom floor to look like the elevator scene of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shinning. OK- it’s not that bad at all, but be prepared. After a couple tries, you’ll have your technique down, and if a drop spills… you will clean it up as the empowered, fierce woman that you are.

 8. Don’t freak out, it will be fine.

The first time I used mine, I had some difficulty… getting it in, and then out. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was sitting, squatting and everything in between all over my bathroom. If I wasn’t so panicked about getting it out, it would have been incredibly comedic. If you’re trying it for the first time… make sure you are in the privacy of your own home. But trust me! The learning curve is well worth it.

 9. There are two sizes.

If you’ve delivered a baby vaginally, your body is a little bit different from those who haven’t. There are two sizes of menstrual cups, one for pre-birth, and one for post-birth. Make sure to choose the correct size for your body.

 

All in all, menstrual cups can be a great option for outdoor activities during that time of the month. For more info, make sure to check out: Camping And Hiking On Your Period: Don’t let it slow you down! 

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Free to frolick with the flowers!

The Exhilarating World of Women Camping: What Is Your Style?

Camping: What is your style?

By Iris West

As summer comes to a dramatic but scintillating close, it wouldn’t hurt to squeeze in a last-minute camping venture into the great outdoors. Well, there’s something alluring about a woman’s camping experience. Maybe it’s a wonderful way to get that sun-kissed, summer tan that is the envy of all your friends. Or perhaps a chance to get away from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday doldrums of life and work. No matter what your reason to get real up close with nature, camping is a sure-fire way to kick back and relax. And, boy, we certainly deserve it.

Here’s the thing you need to know before packing your backpacks with camping essentials: not all camping is actually created equal. In fact, I get forwarded this question now and then: what is the best style of camping out there? Right off the bat, I’ll have to say that it boils down to personal preference.

Nonetheless, below I will walk you through the different types of camping. The good news is that any kind can get you that adrenaline-packed adventure and thrill or that rest and relaxation that you need before wintry months kick in. Let’s get started, shall we?

Camping: What is Your Style?

#1. Backpacking Camping

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Backpacking is perhaps the most extreme type of camping out there. Here, hiking is what I figured for the longest time to be the name of the game. So, if you love hiking and would like to garner an awesome camping experience, backpacking could be a slice of heaven. For this type of camping, however, a nice pair of hiking boots is essential. Here’s a no-brainer tip for any backpacker: pack efficiently but lightly, only bringing stuff that will last you for your hiking adventure. Packing too many things can get a little hectic, if not downright overwhelming out there. In essence, here is a backpackers’ packing list:

  • Light, mostly dried foods found in camping store aisles
  • Bear canisters to keep bears at bay
  • Wealthy supply of clean water
  • Backpackers guide tailored for your hiking destination

#2. Car Camping

The second type of camping is what many American families consider a “real” camping holiday. Car camping encompasses exactly what you are thinking: taking your friends, family or colleagues out in a car to a campsite. Once there, you can pitch a tent, from where you can make day hikes, swimming, play camp games, sports, and a raft of other exciting camping activities. The allure of car camping style lies in its straightforward and no hassle manner. It’s modestly safe and can make for an excellent group camping experience. Day hikes are the highlight of camping, though. This means you can go for nature walks, summit climbing, and so forth. A campfire can also make your nightlife exciting. With it, you can roast marshmallows while enjoying “monster stories” and cold/hot beverages.

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#3. Trail Camping

Before you even ask, trail camping entails traveling from point A to B on a ‘trail.” When it comes to trail camping, anything and everything goes. Most trail campers spend many days out in the wild transcending mountains, hillocks, thickets, and so forth. Of course, trail camping is more than a camp. It can be an indispensable way to shed a few pounds while at it. Much akin to meditation, trail camping can help campers find their “inner selves” and “real meaning in life.” No matter what your reason for trail camping, this type of camping can be fun. A lot of fun.

#4. Cabin Camping

Simply put, cabin camping is much like rustic hotel camping. More often than not, this type of camping has been associated with most baby boomers and retirees. Well, they are dead right on the point on this one. Cabin camping takes camping experience to a whole new and exciting level. If you like as much contact with the great outdoors as possible, however, this is not your camping style. Try something like trail camping. Nonetheless, cabin camping provides decent opportunity to mingle with the wild.

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Of more importance, however, is the fact that cabin campers can bring a truckload of food supply – groceries, hamburgers, beverages, water, condiments, and so on. That is the magical allure of cabin camping and the reason why it has gained increased traction with city dwellers and vacationers looking to find a teensy bit of quiet and peace away from their lousy jobs and fast-paced lives.

#5. And, finally….. RV Camping

As you might expect, RV camping is uncannily similar to cabin camping style, but you get to sleep and rest in a 5th wheel or RV. Again, this style isn’t for people looking for good contact with the wild and outdoors. It’s for individuals who need a small nature walk and hike just to breathe in that ambient and alpine air. Nonetheless, RV camping can be the ultimate fun. You can select a rustic spot to enjoy fishing, campfires, outdoor grilling, and much more. Some RV campers tug along a boat equipped with all fishing essentials.

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There you are – five types of camping styles.  So when it comes to camping: what is your style? With all these options, there’s always a camping style for everyone.

 

How to Prepare For Motorcycle Camping From a Woman’s Point of View

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By Daniela Schoenberg

As a woman motorcyclist, you want to make sure you’re prepared for your exciting camping adventure. Taking your bike on a long ride to the great outdoors is a great way to spend time with friends, family, or just by yourself.

Whether you’re going for a short ride/stay or you’re in for a longer adventure, these are the things you need to know for your trip.

Before You Hit The Road

Make sure your bike is ready to go. If you’re mechanic savvy, then you can do some of these checks yourself. Perhaps you know how to change the oil, check the fluids, and the lights and controls. If not be sure to take the bike to your local mechanic to check it out before you head out on the road. You also need to check your tires to make sure they are ready to go. You want to purchase tires for motorcycles before heading out. You don’t want to be stranded somewhere due to the motorcycle tire you need not being in stock.

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Packing For The Trip

Make sure to pack your heaviest items towards the bottom of the bike or luggage compartment so it doesn’t mess up your road control. Also be sure you have the right motorcycle apparel for your trip. Be sure that you have a variety of apparel to protect you from the weather you may go through. If possible check the forecast for your route so you are not caught unaware.

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Planning out your route ahead of time is also a great idea. Make sure to have alternative routes in place as well should you run into issues along the way.

Most of all bring along your sense of fun and adventure. Taking a motorcycle road trip can be an amazing experience when you take the time to prepare.

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Brazen Review: REI Mountaineering Skills – Snow Travel – Level 1

REI Mountaineering Skills

By Emily Pennington

I’m hurtling head first down an icy slope, tips of massive pine trees whizzing past my eyes as I wield my ice axe as hard as I can against the snow. My legs twirl around chaotically until I’m right side up again, digging the tips of my hiking boots hard into the side of the ridge. “STAB THE MOUNTAIN IN THE FACE,” my instructor, Eddy, yells from fifty yards away, and I do. I skid to a stop, my cheeks pink and tingly from their recent caress against the sandpaper that is a frozen peak at dawn. I regain my composure as I stumble to my feet, and I can’t help but pause and stare at the thick spider web of clouds licking the tops of neighboring mountains. I can’t feel my toes, and I’ve got the wildest, grin on my face.

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In February, emboldened by all the peaks I couldn’t climb due to snow, ice, and avalanche warnings, I embraced the things I do not know and opted for the REI Mountaineering Skills Level 1 class. I cannot express to you how happy I am that I did. Not only was the class incredibly informative, it also moved at a great pace, was an awesome way to meet like-minded adventurers, and contained huge amounts of fun!

The beginning portion of the day began with a quick tutorial on crampon technique and a brief lecture about snow travel from Nile, a sweet but fierce old-school mountaineer who has 409 peaks under his belt, most notably Denali. The instructors set us loose and had us practice uphill travel with crampons and an ice axe on slick, early morning snow, making sure we were comfortable ascending/descending, turning, and maneuvering the oh-so-sexy duck foot position (pied en canard).

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The second bit of the day was where things really picked up their pace, as we learned how to properly glissade. For those new to mountaineering, like me, a glissade is when you glide down the side of a peak on a sled made out of your own butt. From a seated glissade, we were taught the technique of how to self-arrest, which is what I was most excited about. Throwing ourselves down the mountain both feet first and head first, the teachers had us quickly roll to one side and shove our ice axes into the frigid slope to stop ourselves before hitting the ground below. One of the things I loved most about the class was that we had ample time to try each thing we learned enough to start to feel comfortable with the skill. By the end of this lesson, I was getting running starts and purposefully switching my hand grip several times to see if I could still screech to a halt in less than ideal conditions.

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After a quick break for lunch, we broke into groups (I dubbed mine the terrible twos), and got to work on learning snow travel in teams. We sidestepped up the now slushy afternoon snow, carefully following each other’s footprints to the letter. Being headstrong and probably a bit too alpha for my 5’2’’ good, I marched ahead, driving our group up most of the steep bank but quickly learned why it’s great to tackle mountains in teams – you get to switch off on the hard work of leading! Now, for me, the type-a overachiever, this is not an easy lesson to learn, but I’m glad I caught glimpses of it in this class, trading responsibility to let other people kick a staircase into the slush so that I could blissfully follow for a while.

In the squishy, mashed-potato snow of late afternoon, we got to glissade down even longer and steeper slopes after having traversed them in our teams, diligently swapping out the leaders. Because I’m a mad woman who doesn’t know when to stop, I thought this the perfect time to practice self-arrest at higher speeds, and it was inexplicably gratifying to have the opportunity to perfect potentially lifesaving mountain techniques with instructors present. I feel far more confident having had three different, highly-skilled people tell me I’m following the right movement pattern to properly work an ice axe than I would have if some random friend had just taken me up a slope and watched me zip down it a few times. For anyone serious about upping your snow skills and tackling bigger peaks this winter, I highly recommend finding your nearest REI store and asking them about their upcoming mountaineering classes!

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