Its summer time and you’re probably thinking of going camping with your family. But then there are house chores in pending and you can’t drive out of city leaving things undone. That’s not even needed when you have a backyard. The most you will need to travel is going to your backyard and spend time […]
1. Get to Where the Birds Are! This sounds obvious, but many birders spend the majority of their bird watching time and energy on poor locations. Some folk have the advantage of looking out of their windows into the back yard to observe nature’s best. The rest of us need to get moving. I would highly recommend visiting a National Wildlife Refuge. There are over 500 of them across the United States. To find one near you, visit http://refuges.fws.gov/
2. Know What Species to Expect. There are approximately 900 species of birds in the United States and recognizing each of them is nearly impossible. So when you visit an area, do a little research first. You may find that perhaps only a few species actually inhabit that particular area. With a little preparation, you will be able to more readily identify bird species from each other. Keep a list of successfully viewed species – we’ll call this tip number two and a half.
3. Get a Great Pair of Binoculars. Spending time and money to get to the right place can be totally wasted when your binoculars are inadequate. If you have an inexpensive pair of binoculars you are not getting the most out of your viewing. Today’s technologies come at a price and they provide crucial benefits in wildlife viewing. For instance, image stabilization will keep your view from shaking-very important when watching from a long distance. Other cool features include anti-fogging, low-light viewing and wide-view characteristics. Additionally, binoculars with built-in digital cameras enable you to identify birds once you get home. These benefits will definitely enhance your bird watching. A great pair of binoculars will turn a mediocre experience into a great one. You can count on it!
4. Practice Before You Go. A key to viewing wildlife, and especially birds, is to have the ability to very quickly put your binoculars on target. Many people have difficulty finding a full moon in a pair of binoculars-but alas-learning to focus on a bird in a bush or track a bird in flight is easy for someone who has practiced prior to their outing. Try this before you go; lower your binoculars to your side and very quickly raise them to find and follow a jet airliner across the sky. After only a few attempts, you’ll get good at quickly acquiring your target. Quite often, birds are visible for only a few seconds, practice to become proficient.
5. Take Someone with You. Life is always better when shared. Not only do you get to spend time out of doors with someone you like, but they might alert you to the “Number One Sight of the Day.” Share your birding experiences with your friends and family. Pass the birding excitement to a child.
Are you interested in taking a camping trip? Whether you are interested in going camping alone, with your family, with your romantic partner, or with a group of your friends, you will need to find a campground to camp at. While many individuals just choose to go camping at the nearest campground, you may want to think about not doing the same. In the United States and probably even close to your home, you should have a number of different campgrounds to choose from. So, why not just take the time to make sure that you choose the best one for you and your needs.
If you are interested in taking the time to find the “perfect,” campground you may be wondering exactly how you can go about doing so. In all honesty, it will depend on your own wants and needs, as well as the wants and needs of the rest of your camping party. Although not everyone wants to get the same thing out of their camping trips, there are a number of important factors that you may want to think about taking into consideration, when looking for a campground to camp at.
One of the many things that you will want to take into consideration, when looking for a campground to camp at, is the cost of doing so. In the United States, you will find that most campgrounds require the payment of an admission fee or a camping fee and occasionally even both. The cost of the admission fee or camping fee will all depend on the campground in question. For instance, many smaller campgrounds charge smaller fees. Also, you will likely find larger fees for campgrounds that have more onsite activities.
Speaking of onsite activities, activities are something else that you may want to think about taking into consideration, when choosing a campground to camp at. When it comes to the onsite activities of a campground, you may want to take a look at the scenery. If a campground has on onsite lake or pond then there is a good chance that swimming, boating, and fishing are activities that you may be able to enjoy. Campgrounds are also often home to hiking trails, biking trails, playgrounds for children, and much more.
How reservations are taken is another factor that you may want to think about taking into consideration, when choosing a campground to camp at. For instance, there are some campgrounds in the United States that randomly assign you a camping spot. On the other hand, there are campgrounds that allow you to handpick your camping spot out of all available locations. Many campers prefer choosing their own camping spots, as it tends to give them some freedom over their camping trip and how much fun they have. If you are picky about where you would like to camp, you may want to find a campground that allows you to choose your own camping spot.
Although it is nice to know what you should look for in a campground, it is also important that you know how to find them. If you are interested in camping locally, you may already know of a number of local campgrounds. If not, you should be able to use your local phone book or ask those that you know for recommendations. As for campgrounds that are located a ways away from your home, you may want to think about using the internet. A large number of popular campground parks have online websites and a standard internet search should them you find those websites, which could be used to learn more about the campground in question.
As a reminder, you may want to think about taking the time to research a number of different campground parks. It is important that you remember that no two campground parks are the same. To ensure that your next camping adventure is as memorable as possible, you may want to make sure that your intended destination is perfect for you and the rest of your camping party.
Having made my share of mistakes in the wilderness over the years, I have compiled a list of gotcha’s that can be applied to any outdoor adventure. I urge you to print this out and store with your outdoor gear. Hiking can be a most rewarding distraction from the daily grind, but safety should NEVER be taken for granted!
1) Plan your hike. You are more likely to have a safe and happy hike if you “plan your hike, and hike your plan”. To rush out on a big hike w/o proper planning is asking for trouble! ALWAYS notify someone close to you where you will be and how long you will be gone.
2) Know your terrain. Use every resource available to get to know your hiking trail before you set out. This will prepare you for the walking conditions. “Are there streams to ford?, Elevation changes?, Is terrain rocky or smooth?”, Just some of the questions that can be answered BEFORE you set out.
3) Know your climate. Hypothermia is real, dangerous, and misunderstood. Hypothermia can strike in relatively warm environments. Hypothermia plain and simple is a rapid cooling of the body. This can be caused by cold, wet or a combination of both. Hypothermia can easily be prevented with proper preparation.
In The Pack Essentials
1) Potable water. Always have fresh water available, on any excursion. It is also a good idea to bring along purification tablets and/or a filtration device. Having the ability to produce drinking water can be just as important as the water you pack in. I also bring along some protein snacks, just in case.
2) First Aid Kit. Although an obvious choice, it is surprising how many folks go in the wilderness without one. Items as simple as pain relief tablets can be a welcome addition when you are far from civilization. Other items are bandages, tweezers, moleskin, antiseptic, needle and thread (for repairs).
3) Fire and light source. Matches and a lighter are essentials for me. I usually pack along a small piece of commercial starter stick for quick fires in moist environments. I also pack a small conventional flashlight and an LED light, as well.
4) Clothing. It is always wise to pack some extra layers. The weight of these items will be dictated by the environment, err to the side of caution, as temps can fluctuate greatly, especially in mountainous environments. An extra pair of socks can be life savers.
5) Orienteering. Packing along a map and compass has gotten me out of a jam more than once. I also carry a cell phone, even though I may not get reception in most places, in a pinch, I may be able to get a call out.
The single most important item to pack on your next hike is common sense. Making sound decisions while on the trail will keep you out of most troubled situations. If you hike with your family members, especially children or seniors, remember that they may not have the stamina handle the same level hike as you, and you ultimately must make the right decision.
In fishing, trout are one of the favorite “fishing friends” of most anglers. These crafty fish are abundant anywhere. The native habitat of these crafty fish depends on the type of trout.
For brook trout, the native habitat includes the territory from Labrador westward to the Saskatchewan, while the rainbow trout is a native of the Pacific slope from Alaska to California.
On the other hand, brown trout has found its way into the waters of every state in the United States except Florida, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. It has been reported in the waters of some of these states, but according to conservation officials, no authentic reports have been received. It is also found in many parts of Canada.
In trout fishing, there are some factors that need to be considered in order to have a successful catch.
1. For trout fishing, the leader should not be greased. It will not sink far enough to cause any difficulty when picking the line and lure from the water, but if it is allowed to float; it will cast a shadow on the bottom of the stream which may scare the trout.
2. The trout is one of the fishes that are usually secured through the use of the dry fly. For trout, the current as well as the pools should be fished. It may sometimes be a bit difficult to keep the fly from sinking or dragging because of the various conditions of the current, but this is a matter that the angler will have to figure out for himself.
3. It is not good practice when fishing for trout to fish directly upstream so the flies, line, and leader will float directly over fish. The fisherman should make the cast from one side of the stream so the fly will only float over the fish.
4. It is important to make the first cast the best. A feeding trout will usually strike the first lure presented if it is cast so that it will float over his private domain. The angler should never fail to fish the lower end of the pool first even if the trout are rising in the middle or upper end.
5. Trout are sometimes very moody or selective and will try the patience of any angler; hence, possibly a fly with less hackle will do the trick or it may be necessary to use a spent-wing fly or a fan wing.
Indeed, catching trout fishes can be lots of fun. The anglers just have to remember these tips in order to have a happy catch.