How Backcountry Camping can decrease Stress, Pain, and Renew your Appreciation for Life.

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By Amy Fahlman

Overworked, overstressed, not enough hours in a day, responsible for too many tasks, projects, or people?  As a physiotherapist, I commonly encounter how a high demand, high distraction lifestyle manifests not only as mental anguish, but physical pain.  However, recent research has shown you can actually reverse these negative effects by spending time immersed in nature.  This is why I love backcountry camping – to routinely unplug from devices and reconnect with oneself.  Here are the top 5 ways backcountry camping improves your health.

 

  1. It improves mental capacity.  Attempting to stay focused and productive in an environment of emails, texts, push notifications, advertisements and noise pollution is mentally draining. David Strayer studies how we can reset these effects by what he refers to as ‘the 3 day effect.’  He has found people perform 50 percent better on creative problem solving activities after they have spent 3 days immersed it nature. The tranquil sights and sounds of nature don’t require the same level of mental focus as our typical day, giving our brains a chance to rest and recover.  This actually restores our mental capacity so when we return to our usual tasks, we are actually more productive.

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  1. It improves physical health and training capacity. Paddling or hiking trips require daily, multi-hour, low level aerobic exertion.  More commonly referred to as zone one heart rate training, during these trips you are working your heart at a low level of your training capacity over a long period of time.  Zone one training builds the base of your cardiovascular fitness, which improves your physical recovery time and teaches your body to burn fat as energy.  Not to mention zone one heart rate training lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and decreases the risk of heart attacks. Though the intensity of paddling or hiking may not be up to your usual workout standards, you are allowing your body to recover while continuing to be active, so you are getting health and fitness benefits at the same time as you rest from exertion.

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  1. Less is more. It’s hard not to get caught up in our consumer driven society.   Keeping up with the proverbial Jones’ can leave us unfulfilled and constantly consuming more.  However, one gruelling long portage through a boggy swamp is enough to reconsider the extra amenities.  Pack simple and light.  You don’t need much to meet your needs in the backcountry.

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  1. The appreciation for an abundant fresh water supply. Living in Canada, I have grown accustomed to fresh drinkable water flowing endlessly from the tap.  Though when backcountry canoeing, water is readily available in the lake and river systems, it is not so easily consumed.   Here you must consider how to safely collect and purify drinking water.  It’s a small extra step, but it brings the ease of first world water consumption to the front of our consciousness.  We are extraordinarily lucky to have an abundance of fresh water in Canada, a privilege billions around the world will never experience.  This serves as a reminder not only to be grateful for the world’s fresh water sources, but also to be conscious of consumption and preservation for future generations.

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  1. Let go of what you can’t control.  You can’t control the weather, neither literally nor figuratively.  Sometimes the conditions won’t be all that pleasant, and you will have to push forward and tolerate the discomfort if you want to make your destination. Likewise, sometimes it’s going to storm heavily and you’ll need to stop moving.  These things happen.  Yes it will slow your progress, but in the end that’s ok. Eat, nap, meditate, rest, refuel, refocus, and then push on. Certain aspects of life are simply out of your control.  It’s not good luck or bad luck, it just happens.  My advice – avoid checking the weather forecast.  If you approach each day in the backcountry without expectations, you will always be able to find gratitude in what you are given.

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If you have never experienced backcountry camping, but are at all conscious about your health and fitness, I would certainly recommend you give it a try.  You may be impressed by the wellness benefits you gain while exploring the world’s natural beauty.

 

Tips to Prepare for Fishing from a Boat

By Jameesa Alvin

Preparation

Preparation begins well before your hit in the water and involves everything from normal boat repair to servicing rods and checking all your terminal tools. Essentially, you should undergo a complete check of everything; test your engine, check the battery and electronics are working, and rods are performing well among other things.

How regularly do you see someone at the edge of the water with engine failure or your friend, who realizes that his/her rod has gone just as he/she tried to catch a fish? These are little facts that occur far more regularly than some of us would like to admit.

All in all, everything must be in place and ready before heading out. Bad planning and preparation can destroy a fishing trip. Do it well prior and you will not waste precious time preparing when you should be catching fish.

Focus on detail

Better fishers always do it right. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to take the responsibility. It is good to inspect all your tools before going in the water thoroughly.

When it comes to everything being in working order, some think it is best to often change rods. I should say that this is might be good depending on how much wear and tear you have. Braid, can last more than a year, but should still be checked regularly.

Check the leaders by running your fingers over them as well as physically checking them for wear or nicks. Then, test all joints and lastly have a swift look at the hooks. Do not be afraid to test your joints, flexibility on them to make sure they are completely sure. If I have any doubts about any part, change it.

Have your target

Fishing truly has shifted over the years, and as fishers get more and more skilled, their procedure has developed into more of an expertise. If you are beginner you can take essential fishing tips from many guidelines. Nowadays, if you want to fish, you have to select a certain focus species and set yourself up well.

Even temporal fishers head out looking for certain species, spinning for bream in a branch offshore. Paying attention to all your resources and efforts on one type, then utilizing the shotgun way and hoping for anything that occurs to be around, will make you more efficient.

Schedule your attack

Once you understand which overall areas have been giving fish; the next step is to get more specific about your game plan for the day. This truly is key to being a better fisherman/lady. It does not matter how good you are; there are daily changes that require taking account of, like tides and weather. Tidal data is important and shows the motion of water. It is always good to fish within the tide shift. Hence, if there is an early morning tide shift, it is well worth waking up early to catch it.

Spinning Rod and Reel

If you have not bought your spinning reel, you should first assess what kind of reel will go well with your needs. There are good websites and bass pro shops and cables to get you started. You should also visit Cabela’s, bass pro shops, or Gander Mountain and discuss with their fishing department to get an idea of which rods might be good for you.

Final Thought

With the best preparation, you will have the best fishing activity and hence success since preparation ensures that you are in a good mood to carry out fishing.

Overall focus on the tools you be using in the water and the prevailing weather of the water mass you will be doing your fishing.

Lastly, have the right confidence and mood to facilitate the same. Above all, you are going to be the best fisherman/lady ever – and above all, have a great time!

 

Know Your Knots Infographic

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Making Effective Knots Made Simple

Feel like you are all thumbs when it comes to doing knots?  You are definitely not alone!

As outdoor enthusiasts, we all know that we need to do knots with our ropes for everything from camping to fishing and survival.  It is obviously important when out in the wilderness to ‘know your knots’.

Know your knots 2First of all we all wish we knew more about doing effective knots.  Often knowing which knot to use for each situation can be a challenge.  Which knot is best for which situation?

The other difficulty is knowing HOW to do these knots correctly.  Even following someone else can sometimes be confusing as not everyone can explain things well.

So wouldn’t it be good to have something you could refer to and follow easily?  Kinda ‘Know your Knots 101’.

Knots are something we come across in everyday life, from tying your laces to putting on a tie, but what are some of the simplest, easiest to learn knots that can help you out while out camping, hiking, fishing or even sailing! Here you can check out a very cool infographic on some of the top knots for each situation, how to tie them and what you’re likely to use them for!

Sarah Brown from http://www.ptwinchester.co.uk/ has shared this very useful resource below:

Know Your Knots Infographic

Know your knots:

To conclude, the key to know your knots is to practice the ones you think you will need most.  The knots you choose will naturally depend on the type of outdoor activity you are doing.  Therefore practice, practice, practice…

Most of all keep this knowledge with you when you are out in the great outdoors because you never know when you might need it the most!

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Camping for Women sincerely thanks Sarah Brown and http://www.ptwinchester.co.uk/ for sharing this fabulous resource.

6 Essential Fishing Tips for Beginners

By Shelby Kisgen

One of the most peaceful ways to become in tune with nature is to sit on the river bank and watch the flowing water. A way to enjoy water that is not only peaceful but also entertaining, and sometimes delicious, is through fishing.  Could use a few fishing tips?  Read on…

 

Whether at the edge of a pond, in the middle of a lake, or on a protruding rock surrounded by a rushing river, fishing is a fun challenge to occupy yourself with while camping. If you are new to fishing, try out these 6 Essential Fishing Tips for Beginners to get you started.

 

  1. Get a License: Fishing without a current fishing license can result in hefty fines. Also, keep the license on you whenever fishing, because a warden is not likely to believe you if you claim to have left it at home.

 

  1. Salt or Fresh: You need to know what type of water you are fishing. Fresh water fish require different baits and lures than saltwater fish. You are also required to get different licenses based upon the types of water you will be fishing, so plan ahead when you purchase.

 

  1. Know the Rules: This is vital. The fines for breaking fishing rules are extravagant. Some places only let you “catch-and-release” fish which means that you can catch the fish but you must let them back in the water immediately. Some places let you eat the fish you catch. Some let you eat fish of a certain size and weight, but the smaller ones must be returned. Game wardens do not mess around with fishing regulations. Thankfully, handy brochures are often available with park departments that tell you the fishing rules of regulated rivers and lakes for your area.

 

  1. Bait Matters: First, make sure the bait is legal in the place you are fishing. Some places do not allow live bait such as worms. Next, research the type of fish you are hoping to catch. Fish are attracted to shiny things, so the shinier the lure the better. They also like things that look like what they eat, so worms, real or fake, are a good option. Spinner lures are also nice because they spin as they are pulled through the water which resembles a bug skimming across the surface. Remember to cover the hook entirely if you do use a live worm.

 

  1. Pick Your Pole: Lots of country songs mention fishing with a cane pole. A cane pole is a rod or bamboo stick with a string and hook attached to the end. These are perfect for dropping a hook into a spot where you know the fish live. They do not cast very far but they are easy to pack. Another option is a pole with a spin-cast reel. These are great for beginners learning to cast, because a simple push of a button releases the line as you cast out into the water. Push it longer for a farther cast, push it quickly to just drop the line close by. These poles can be inexpensive or fancy, but most break down and pack well. If you want to try fly-fishing, it is best to learn from a professional, as the lines easily tangle and the casting method is more complex. You can learn from a seasoned friend or take a class. Both are fun options as an introduction to fly-fishing.

 

  1. Question, Question: Fishers are some of the most genial sportsman around. Remember this over all fishing tips: When in doubt, ask! Fishers are happy to let you know what bait works best for what spot and where the fish are biting. They also are happy to explain the finer techniques of casting. Make friends with the local fishing stores and trust their advice. Now go out and catch you some dinner!