Tips for Camping in Bryce Canyon

Try to look for a spot in a mountain where you can spend the night peacefully in a place like Bryce Canyon National Park? Here are some tips to helping find the best spot and how to put up your tents in cold weather. Make sure that there are no sharp objects, ants, bees, or other harmful things in the surroundings. If you’re ever going to Bryce and want to go camping, might I suggest combining that with a stay in a lodge in Bryce? By combining some excellent lodging with a camping trip is the best combo.

Stitched shot of Bryce Canyon from Sunrise Point

Pay attention to your surroundings and always have a sense of direction. Use a compass to help you. Also, knowing your directions may also guide you in knowing and predicting the air direction. This is important in knowing where you will face in setting-up your tent.

  • If you want to sleep peacefully and quietly, stay away from the common restroom, the campfire, or any place where other campers would often pass.
  • Try to avoid camping in the low area of the mountain. This is the part of the mountain that will be flooded first if ever it will rain.
  • If you want to camp near the sea, remember that while it is in an open air, temperature can quickly change instantly.
  • Avoid camping near the river, water can quickly rise in this area during rain.

Tips for Camping with Children

  • If you will be camping with kids, make sure that there is an area big enough for them to play their sports or swim, or do any activity during their free time.
  • Walk the children along the whole campsite so that they may be familiar with their surroundings. You may also show them the areas where they are prohibited.
  • Be vigilant in guarding the children, make sure that none of them will wander off. Make a head count from time to time.
  • Check if any of the children has a particular allergy. You might want to know that before deciding what foods to bring.
  • Allow the kids to set-up their own tent. You may only guide them.

Tips for Setting-up Camp in Cold Weather

It is always a challenge to find a good place to set-up camp during winter time especially when the snow are already deep. However, it is not impossible despite this kind of harsh weather condition. For example, you can find a campsite where the wind can easily blow the powder snow or even if the snow is already deep but still manageable, then you can push the snow with your shoes or other equipment.

Construction and setting up of tent
Setting-up of tents with traditional pegs on a snowy or frozen land will not be possible. What you need is an alternative. You may use special pegs that are made especially for snowy terrains. These pegs are longer and more durable. You may also use a trekking pole tent as your shelter. In order to avoid drifts of snow from getting inside your tent, make sure that you have set-up your tent facing the direction of the wind and not against it.

Signs of a dangerous avalanche
If camping on a mountainous place, you should be careful in selecting a campsite. You should be wary of a possible avalanche and its path. Therefore, you should only set-up camp on areas that are protected against avalanches. It is important that you avoid setting up camp on cavities and valleys because as temperature increases in other places, the snow melts and usually cause avalanches and ends up in these places. It will also be good to ask any local or experts in the area about the chances of any avalanche happening while you are camping.

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek

Senior Hybrid Golf Clubs – Are They More Forgiving?

Hybrid clubs are uniquely designed – they have this exceptional combination of irons and fairway woods – that is why they are considered by golfers around the world as the most forgiving golf clubs. Because of those special characteristics, hybrids are highly recommended for senior golfers use. Why write about something like this you ask? Because we love to golf and our favorite place to golf is in St George Utah, where the sun shines and the wind doesn’t blow, and for those who want to golf a lot they need a few pointers about them. Recently we visited St George and stayed here (link), before going to Coral Canyon’s golf course to try these new hybrid golf clubs out.

Photo Credit: wikipedia
Originally, hybrid clubs were called rescue clubs, because they have effectively transformed the way amateur golfers play by rescuing them from difficult shots.

One reason why hybrid clubs are deemed in the golfing world as more forgiving compared to the long irons is because their club heads are specifically designed with a mixture of hybrid and fairway wood heads. The cavity of the back of a hybrid has been deepened perfectly in order for greater weight to be moved efficiently to the perimeter of the club. This kind of perimeter weighting allows the creation of high MOI or moment of inertia once the ball is hit, which is higher than long irons’ MOI. This is the reason why there is lesser twisting on off-centre strikes and why senior golfers can hit with longer distances. This unique head design is also responsible for more ball back-spinning, which helps in lifting the ball up into the air. This helps the ball to perfectly fly up instead of curving in its flight. Generally, a senior golfer using a hybrid club could avoid hitting hooks and slices like what usually happens when they use other clubs.

Manufacturers of hybrid clubs have also effectively incorporated face bulge when they created the designed. This design is very much similar with that of a curvature designed into the fairway wood face. The face bulge allows for the ‘gear effect’ when striking for toe and heel, which imparts counter clockwise or a clockwise spin for the right handed players. This is the reason why for right handed golf players generally the toe strikes are curving to the left and the heel strikes are generally curving to the right.

Additionally, hybrid clubs are designed to be a bit longer than long irons that they intend to replace. This longer design is responsible for developing better club head speed going through the golf ball. This is essential to impart greater more backspin and distance on the ball, thus creating more height.

Golf club manufacturers have also fitted most hybrids with graphite shafts that have lower kick points. This lower kick point encourages higher dynamic loft during impact, which promotes greater ball flights. The hybrid sole is also designed wider to allow for more skidding across the turf, which is greater compared to the sole of a normal long iron that has the tendency to dig more into the turf. This allows for the hybrid club to be more forgiving compared to long irons.

Hybrid Club Forgiving Situations

A hybrid club is not just going to help a senior golfer to make easy off-centre hits on normal lies; it also provides forgiveness from poor lies. Hybrids are useful from light or heavy rough, fairway bunkers, around the green, divots, off the fairway, off the tree, and from many other kinds of situations. Hybrid clubs are very versatile because they are designed with additional perimeter weighting and better sole design. They are manufactured specifically to have rounded smooth soles to allow for easy sliding through tough tricky lies.

This hybrid flexibility adds to forgiveness making a hybrid club as an important piece of golfing equipment for a lot of senior golfers. If you want to try out the kind of forgiveness that a hybrid can offer, it is essential to compare a long iron with a hybrid club of similar loft. Use face tape for easier comparison in off-centre strikes and you will be able to see the difference in the effects on the ball.

Family Travel on a Budget

The current economic situation makes most families look very closely their consumption habits, many are thinking about how they can save money while not having to give a holiday with the whole family. There are a lot of things you can do to plan a less expensive holiday for you and your family it just takes some time to fish out the best affordable vacation ideas. It will take some additional planning but if you’re committed to making it work so that your kids will have something to look back on a smile then you can make it work.

Actually, there are different ways to get cheaper holidays are enjoyable and useful for their children. First, can teach them that money can give them moments of fun but not happiness. It will serve to light that they can have fun on your vacation doing something special with the family without involving spend huge amount of money. Children also will be prepared to handle difficult situations in life.

Beautiful Beach @ Sonta Monica, LAPhoto Credit: Tekkon C

Another idea that can be used for a nice vacation is to visit attractive places to have nearby. If you live near the beach, you can just go there for a day. It could also bring lunch from home, or a grill. The kids will love playing on the beach with his parents or taking a leisurely swim.

Another example of cheap holidays for the whole family, is to go to a national park. Almost all provinces have a national park. These are wonderful places for hiking, go fishing or even camping overnight. Children can play outdoors. Again, you can bring your own food and utensils to save money on eating out.

The third idea to spend an affordable vacation is to plan a fun day in the town or city in which they live. Many times we go through the sights of our city, ignoring them. You can go sightseeing to see their city from the perspective of a visitor, and not like a local. You and your family may discover a fresh new landscape of the city where housing. Best of all, you do not have to worry about staying in a hotel, because you only have to go home when you have finished your town or city tour.

Reproductive Tourism in the United States

With the onset of fertility treatments and specifically IVF treatments being still in their relative infancy, there is still much to learn and grow as things proceed. In fact the first IVF treatment was only done in 1978, and there has been much in the way of technological advancements since that time. These advancements have first and foremost been able to decrease the costs of fertility treatments, making them much more cost effective for those who suffer from infertility. This has paved the way for another set of questions, that of reproductive tsosie

Various governments have been steadily producing laws and regulations regarding reproductive medicine, some that regulate it heavily and regrettably restrict it in many ways, and others who don’t regulate it enough making the quality of IVF lower; there are as well some who have made it virtually impossible to do. IVF cost is always and has always been a factor as well. Thus has been born reproductive tourism, where people travel from another country to country to receive fertility treatments.

There are many reasons for it besides just fleeing different regulations, many places are able to do it for a lower price, and patients are more confident in a different countries ability to ensure a successful pregnancy and a healthy child. Often times it’s confidence in a certain medical professional that brings people here, a good example of this is Dr Jain of Santa Monica Fertility; with helpful and informative video’s like these it’s hard to not have a desire to travel for your fertility needs.

Here are many of the most common reasons:

  • The wait list in some countries is too long to allow older couples a real chance of success

  • The legality of it in some countries

  • In some countries certain patients aren’t eligible for the treatments because of the laws, including gays, lesbians, single people or even members of a certain religion.

  • Costs, some countries can do it for far less expense even after figuring in the travel costs.

  • Some seek a desirable genealogy, or a country that has greater donor diversity than others.

  • And finally some countries have better options available, and give greater control over the results of fertilization. The United States for example allows  pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of in vitro fertilization embryos, which permits the couple to pick and choose which embryos will be implanted in the uterus based on some genetic factors, which includes being able to screen for some chromosomal deficiencies and even sex.

How many people are engaging  in reproductive tourism? According to the data there are as many as 25,000 couples who have sought after reproductive treatments abroad. Benefiting at times the economies of other countries, as they must spend money on the treatments, as well as tourism costs such as hotels, entertainment and food.

Choice is always better, when there is a freedom of choice, when the free market has the ability to operate within the medical industry it will only make the process better, produce better technologies, and further allow for more people to become mothers and fathers if they want to. Reproductive tourism allows for doctors to expand their business, and compile a greater amount of research to aid in the betterment of the procedures.

There are still some issues that we need to be aware, specifically those entities who prey upon desperate young women to harvest their eggs. These organizations need to be sought after and shown for what they are. But in reality this issue has actually been taking care of itself as the screening procedures for many donor agencies has improved substantially.

This is an exciting time to be alive, so much of what our parents had no answers for, we do and they are only getting better and better.

Tent Tips for Camping and Traveling

We love traveling as much as the next person. Seeing things we’ve never seen before, being places we’ve never been before, and tasting food we’ve never tasted before; yes traveling is exciting and thrilling. But what of traveling to camp? Crazy are we? Recently we utilized one of several hotel group packages where we were able to do some camping. What a joy it was to sleep out in the wild. Yes traveling is wonderful, but camping and traveling is as well. If you’re one that likes to do this then please continue reading as I’ve got some tent tips:

Flooring of a Tent:

One important thing that you must consider in choosing a tent is its flooring. It is important that the floor on where you will directly rest is warm and dry. That should be your basis in finding a good tent. Make sure also that the floor of the tent is not less than 4 feet in length and in width. The floor must also be made of a material that is good in preventing water and coldness get inside the tent.

Alternatives:

You don’t have to buy a new one and throw your old one if ever the latter does not have a good floor. That will be too costly. What you can do is just sew an additional layer on the floor of your tent. You may use the same kind of material on the flooring or you may use something thicker. You must make sure that your additional layer is well sewn and that there are no loose threads or excess mat.

Another alternative that you can do is to simply add cardboard on the floor before the sleeping bag. You just have to make sure that the floor below the cardboard is waterproof. The good thing about cardboard is that they are easy to put and to remove. Also you can easily buy cardboard in nearby stores.

Camping and tents for utah group packagesPhoto Credit: N1NJ4

How to patch up holes in the floor of a tent:

If this should happen, that the floor has a tear or a hole in it, you must repair this as soon as possible as the moisture and fog on the ground may seep in your tent. What you must first do is to cut a patch from a tarpaulin or an old tent and simply patch in on the hole by a weather-resistant adhesive. This kind of adhesive can be bought on most hardware stores.

Traveling to Run

Running is considered as one of the best cardiovascular exercises. But have you ever travel to run? That’s what we did and we stayed in Abbey Inn St George, Utah before doing the marathon there. Most people think of traveling as something to do to sit by the side of the pool, but there’s  more to traveling that just sitting, how bout running? It improves the condition of the heart, burns the extra calories and also increases bone density. Furthermore, running is a very simple sport. There’s no need for flamboyant equipment and special skills. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and an accessible venue.

The hardest part in running is developing a starting program and it will take time to build your endurance even for a short span of time. An aspiring runner must develop a positive attitude to enjoy the sport notwithstanding the initial challenges. For a start, consult your physician and seek his approval to start a running program.

Traveling to run, abbey inn st george utahPhoto Credit:Phil Roeder

After getting the green light from your physician and finalizing a running plan, the next thing  to do is find a quality pair of running shoes. In buying for a new pair of running shoes, bring your old pair and a pair of socks so you can have a reference or basis. Sales people in the running stores can guide you on what’s the right pair for you. Test the new shoes by walking or running around the store to get the feel of the shoes.

Comfort is the most important aspect to consider. A short and a T-shirt is a good running attire. Majority of the runners prefer running shorts with a split leg, built-in underwear and a key pocket. In tropical countries, sleeveless singlets and light shorts are preferred by runners because it’s lighter and dries easily.

Before embarking on your first actual run, you have to plan the road-map so to speak. If you plan to do a road run  conduct an ocular inspection to determine the type of roads along the way. Given the choice, running on asphalt or dirt road is better because it gives a softer cushion as compared to concrete roads.

Meanwhile, a runner must also wear reflective clothing when running at night and to run towards traffic to avoid being hit by motor vehicles. In case of rain, either a treadmill or a stationary bike are good alternatives.

Warming up is another important aspect for runners to avoid injuries and to flex the muscles. For first timers, it is advisable to start with a brisk 10-minute walk and then alternate 30 seconds of running with one minute of walking on thrice a week.

Each week, increase your running mileage and reduce your walking. Run a comfortable pace so you can engage in a conversation with your running buddies. Slow down when you experience difficulty in breathing. Concentrate on time and don’t be carried away by the intensity. If you can run consistently non-stop for 30 minutes, it is fine to put on faster pace.

A new runner must also know how to minimize side stitches such as stomach cramps. In case you have eaten a huge meal, wait for two to four hours before running. Side stitches are also caused by weak stomach muscles. To remedy this problem, perform a lot of ab and lower back exercises to help strengthen your torso and reduce the stitches. In case you get a side stitch while running, slow down to a walk and try holding your hands up in the air as you take deep breathe.

Whether you’re a new or a veteran runner, you must remember shin splints are a downside of running. Experts recommend cross training with other sports such as biking or swimming to avoid shin splints. If shin splints are a recurring problem,check out your running shoes to determine it is providing support and do some stretching consistently before and after a run.

Bounce Back Program

After doing some traveling around for the holidays which is nice to get other priorities met such as relaxing and nurturing our social lives. However, after all the merrymaking, we find ourselves struggling to get back to our pre-holiday routine and reclaiming our fitness. Even while I was on a vacation in a Utah national park hotel in southern Utah, I was able to keep up on things a little, even despite all of the traveling. Here are some essential steps in recovering from your holiday rut to your race-ready body:

 

Running bounce back program from Abbey hotelsPhoto Credit:lululemon athletica

Week 1: Regain your Endurance

Start with a basic 45-minute to 1 hour easy to moderate endurance/cardiovascular program for at least three to four times this week, focusing on the weakest portions of your routine. You’ll need more jump-start training on this part because this portion is most likely to suffer more than the other two when you go into holiday mode.

 

Week 2: Regain your Strength

After some endurance work in the first week, look into reclaiming muscular strength. This will help you rebuild muscle mass lost during the holidays. Add two 20-30 minute strength sessions from last week on off-cardio days.

 

Week 3: Regain your Routine

By this week, you may be able to regain a significant portion of your race-ready endurance and strength. Begin to add more speed intervals and hills when you feel ready. Initial “bounce-back soreness” should be minimal, which means you can push your abilities a bit more than the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more than 10% of your initial bouce back training volume to prevent injury and premature burnout.

Things you must Bring during Camping

If you are thinking of doing some creative traveling, or going camping, or taking an ATV tour somewhere then pay attention as these are things you’ll need. Here are the most important things that you must bring during an ATV ride, or when camping: backpack, sleeping bag, lamp, stoves, utensils, canteen, big plastic bag, cleaning materials, clothes, compass, map, etc.

 

Backpack

Your backpack must be durable and waterproof. It does not have to be too big as this might be difficult for you to carry. It must only be big enough to carry all the necessary things. If the camping trip may last for longer days, then an extra bag may be advisable. But only of you can no longer fit your stuff in your backpack. It may be easier to pack heavier when you’re riding an ATV, but there are times when you’ll get off of the ATV to do some hiking around and may need a smaller pack. (we just went on ride with a Utah ATV rental)

Regarding packing your things in your backpack, there is a very simple way to do this: put first the things that you will not often use like your sleeping bag, extra boots, and trash bag. Those objects that you might use from time to time should be placed last so that they will be above inside your bag. These are your canteen, your first-aid kit, flashlight and other things. For those objects that you will surely reach for like a bottle of water, a compass, a map, ca, gloves, cell phone, it is best if you put them in your pocket or in the outer pockets of your bag.

Reminder: the overall weight of your backpack must not exceed the 20% of your body weight.

Sleeping bag

Along with your backpack, this is an important element in your camping that you should never forget. A sleeping bag has two kinds depending on the weather. On a hot weather, your sleeping bag must be light but durable, if possible it must not have a zipper. For winter, it is advisable to bring a sleep sack. This is perfect during cold season because despite the weather outside, you will still be perfectly warm inside.

 

Lamp

It is the most practical system of lighting during camping. However, you must keep them away from the tent or your clothes, or any other object that can quickly catch fire. When you usually think of traveling you don’t think of needing to pack a lamp, but that’s what makes this traveling that much more enjoyable.

 

Stoves and fireplaces

You must only use these for cooking your foods, not for starting a fire. In order to be able to cook in the campsite, bringing a small gas stove is advisable.

 

Canteen

This is also an important element. It will be convenient if you will make sure that this will always be full.  A good canteen must have a screw cap to avoid the water inside from spilling.


Food

In packing foods, take note of the following:

  • The weight and the amount of foods
  • The preparation of the food.
  • Whether the food will get spoiled quickly.

It is a better alternative to go with canned foods and instant foods such as instant noodles, peanuts, crackers, cheese.

 

Personal things

For most of your personal stuff, it is better if you will pack them in a separate small bag. Your bag must contain the following for your hygiene: soap, towel, tissue, toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, ointment, toothpaste.

There must be another separate bag for your cleaning materials as it may contain harmful substances. Also, don’t forget to bring a trash bag. Dispose the trash only in a trash bin in the city or somewhere dedicated for trash collecting.

Cooking Foods for Camping While on a ATV Ride

The Grub in Dent, CumbriaPhoto Credit:Eamon Curry

Our ancestors have cooked their food by placing their foods directly above their campfire. This primitive way of cooking food is great not only because of its simplicity but also because it allows members of the community to gather around and share their ideas and aspirations. A small piece of meat, sausages, vegetables, can be directly placed above the campfire. Or you can have a potato wrapped in an aluminum foil and have it placed above the fire. It is a bit complicated in cooking pigs and other animals since you cannot hold it for a long time and you will have to keep rotating it above the fire.

A few weeks ago we spent some time on an Zion ATV tour, where we were able to see so many things that are simply amazing. We got to camp out under the stars and just enjoy life. It’s this kind of traveling, out in the sticks that adds flavor and spice to your life. So if it’s this kind of traveling you’re after, then stick with me as we talk about the best ways to cook your food while camping.

In cooking your food during camping

You may use either wooden or metal skewers for cooking. However, for wooden skewers, you should soak it first in water before you put meats or vegetables in it. If not, they may get burned quickly. Metal skewers are great in conducting heat. Therefore, you should wear gloves or mitts in handling metal skewers. Cooking with skewers may be done by holding the skewers or by sticking them to the soil at a certain angle.

Cooking Sausages, bread, and marshmallows

Not all foods are appropriate for cooking in campfires. Foods that may take a long time to cook should be avoided. Foods with shorter time to be cooked are much preferred. Sausages and hot dogs are excellent campfire foods because they do not take so much time to be cooked. There is also what is called bread sticks that has a flavoring in it along with herbs. Another popular campfire food, especially with children, are marshmallows; as it starts to be heated, it forms a small layer of caramel outside and the inside starts to become softer.

Pros: You do not need to bring your cooking or grilling set. Also you won’t need to bring a gasoline. As you wait for your foods to be cooked, you can comfortably gather around the fire to talk to each other and to get some heat from the fire.

Cons: To cook by campfire, you will first have to find an open space where you can set-up a campfire. You must constantly rotate your food in order for it to be cooked evenly. Also the risk in having your food getting burned is higher in this method since you cannot always control the fire. If there will be children cooking with you, then you must be observant with them and stop them from playing or getting too close to the fire.

How Will Egg Donation Affect My Personal Traveling Lifestyle?

While trying to weigh the idea of egg donation or to become an egg donor there always comes into your mind even if you feel a little foolish about thinking it, “how will egg donation affect my personal lifestyle? Specifically my love of traveling lifestyle?” Certainly this is a valid question, as you need to know what it will require of you to successfully donate your egg to a needing mother.

  • Sexual Intercourse: First and foremost is the requirement to ensure protected sexual relations for the length of the cycle during donation (use condoms), and well the month following your donation.

  • Time: From the beginning of the process to completion the donor will have generally 8-12 visits to the doctors office. Keep in mind the majority of these visits will be during the 2 weeks before your egg is retrieved.

  • Fertility medication: Usually the side effects from the medication are minimal but they can include fluid retention, breast tenderness, feeling bloated, moodiness and tenderness of the ovaries.

Having said that you must be aware of some of the medical risks as well that are connected with egg donation. Egg retrieval is performed with very carefully using an ultrasound for direction, however there is a risk that the needle may pierce surrounding tissue or organs, causing bleeding and possible infection. Additionally there is a risk (which is less than 3%) of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. Which if that happens your ovaries become enlarged and you may have fluid that collects in the abdominal cavity causing pelvic discomfort, and bloating.

It is no small commitment as there is preparation for the cycle that takes longer that the cycle itself. There first has to be a recipient couple that has been determined is a match, and that may take some time and sometimes never happens. Once there’s been a match made you as the donor can anticipate the screening process after that to take at least 3-6 weeks as they must take care of all of the paper work. The actual cycle of the donation will take around 2 -3 weeks from the beginning of your menstrual cycle repression to the day of egg retrieval.

So once you’ve been chosen there are some things that you must be prepared to do to ensure that the recipient has the highest chance of conceiving. Altogether these for many are not major things that require a complete takeover of your life, and the benefit of knowing that the sacrifices you’re making are allowing a living breathing human being to be born into a family that wants nothing more than to love and care for that child for the rest of its life.

I hope that you realize how grateful those people are for you, in this life is seems so often that there is only greed and selfishness, enough to fill the whole world. But for those who have been through the egg donation process, particularly those who have been the recipients there is a profound sense of gratitude for those who are willing to lend a hand. To prove once and for all that the world they’re bringing this child into has hope for them, and for everyone.