Some Engaging And Fun Water Activities

Water games are fun activities that most family and friends can and love to partake in together. These activities help in strengthening family bonds, team work among teams, improving one’s hand-eye coordination and boosting stamina and strength. They can take place in swimming pools, ponds, rivers, lakes, or the ocean. Some of the different kinds of water games/activities are described below.

 

Scuba Diving

 

a couple scuba diving

 

Most of us know what scuba diving is. The diver uses a self-contained breathing apparatus designed for under water use, carrying their own tank of compressed oxygen. They use fins that are attached to their feet to enable them to move faster in the water, and a wet suit to keep them from getting too cold. Some people do this as a hobby, while it can also be used by scientists, military divers or media divers for work related issues.

 

Kitesurfing

 

wind surfing

 

This is a surface water activity that combines windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, gymnastics and wake boarding all in one. The kiteboarder depends on the power of the wind, which is held with a power kite, to propel them across the water on their water board. This allows them to do flips through the air when the wind lifts them upward or ride waves faster when the wind pulls them sideways. It’s all about control, and more than a million people enjoy this activity/sport every year.

 

Pool Scrabble

 

scrabble played in the pool

 

Scrabble is a game that uses letters to create words, incorporated into the pool, and it’s a fun way to engage the children and still assist them in learning. In pool scrabble, letters are written on material that can float or sink, and the swimmers find the pieces to make words and then put the words on the edge of the swimming pool.

 

Rubber Duck Race

 

racing rubber ducks

 

Just as the name implies, a rubber duck race involves racing rubber ducks on water (preferably a river or stream), and is commonly called derby duck races. This activity is mostly for fundraising events where the duck is given a number, which allows the participants to ‘adopt’ a rubber duck for a small fee. All the ducks are then dumped into a body of water. If the player’s duck crosses the finish line first, they can win money or other prizes.

 

Kayaking

 

yellow kayaks

 

Kayaks can be sit on tops or sit-ins, and can be used for fishing, diving, racing, sailing, or exercise. It can also be done with Origami Kayaks, a foldable kayak that allows one to easily carry the it from one location to another. The MY CANOE Origami Kayak has made interactions with nature easier by allowing one to carry it in a backpack, then unfold it and head out on the water from anywhere.

 

Water Skiing

 

water skiing in the ocean

 

Water skiing is a surface water sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat over a body of water, mostly lakes, for a smooth ride. One is tied with a tow rope to a boat and skis fast on the surface of the water. They can do tricks on ramps or just hold on and enjoy the ride. It’s a fun activity that is open for people of all skills and ages to enjoy.

 

Summary

 

There are many more water activities to participate in, these just being a few to get started. Water games/activities/sports have proven to be good for your health, your state of mind, and most importantly, they help to increase confidence in you and your children. For the more extreme activities, make sure to wear a life jacket for added safety. Have fun out there!

Bird Watching Etiquette 101

If you’re going to start bird watching, please have respect for fellow watchers and the birds themselves. Always be super quiet so the birds don’t get scared and stressed. Enjoy the beautiful birds!

Intro To Bird Watching

Watching birds is a year-round activity that can be thoroughly enjoyed from anywhere, even your own backyard. All you need is a good pair of binoculars and some know-how on what to look for when you start studying our flying friends more closely. Whether you watch birds in your backyard or travel thousands of miles to see a rare bird, all you really need is binoculars.

 

people looking for birds

 

Instead of a brown smudge in the distance, a good quality binocular will let you see the features of a bird. For instance, you would be able to see the white and yellow edging on the wings of a small bird, a bird with beautiful white patches, one with a combination of brown and gray with streaks of jet black near its eyes, etc. If you knew what you were watching for, you’d have said, “That’s the Bohemian Waxwing.”, or “That’s the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.” Buy the best quality binocular that you can afford so you can see every detail on these beautiful birds.

 

The good news is that an advancement in technology has led to improved performance with a reduction in cost. Before you buy a binocular, do some research online to find out exactly what strengths each one has. A good binocular will usually give a magnification that allows for as wide of a view as possible. If you wear glasses, you should know the minimum eye relief provided by the binocular, which is a miniumum of 15 mm for most people.

 

exotic bird

 

To get started, you’d need a field guide or some time to do research online to find out what species are in and around your area. A field guide is a book with pictures of birds and helpful commentary on how to identify them. Some may prefer a field guide with drawings, rather than pictures. Good bird artists portray birds in poses that make it easier for you to notice the bird and rightly identify them. Some photographs, due to lighting conditions or different postures, may hide important features of a particular bird.

 

different bird guides

 

Whether a drawing or a photograph, a good field guide must have highly accurate images so you can easily identify what you are seeing. A good starting point for beginner bird watchers could be The Sibley Guide To Birds (their store is closed for now, but there are links to shop elsewhere). Also, a standout app among all field guide apps out there is iBird, which is packed with pictures, facts, and illustrations. When you spot a bird through your binoculars, don’t try to immediately identify it. Keep watching it for as long as you can, watch its movements, the markings on its body, and the posture of the bird. Study the bird for as long as possible before it flies out of sight.

 

brown and blue bird

 

So now that you have your binocular and field guide with you, you know how to watch and what you are watching for. All you need now is a notebook to write down or sketch what you see, or use an app like BirdLog to keep a record of your observations. Using a camera is also helpful, because even a blurry picture could help you identify that rare bird that you thought you had spotted. Look at pictures shared online by bird watchers from all over the world for inspiration. A camera can be a very valuable addition to your starting kit, but is not a necessity.

 

Alright, you are all ready now to watch some birds! Just remember to be respectful towards nature and do not endanger the welfare of the birds or of any other animals around you. Happy bird watching!

Equestrianism – Horseback Riding!

Horseback riding, also known as equestrianism, is the skill sport of riding a horse, whether it’s for travel purposes or competitive horse racing. There are two kinds of horseback riding: the English style (which originated in England and is prevalent all over the world) has a lighter saddle in comparison to its counterpart, Western style (which originated in American, on many of the ranches). The heavier saddles were made with the cowboy’s comfort in mind, who spent a lot of time gathering herds of animals.

riding a horse

Horseback riding does not come without serious dangers, since horses are extremely heavy and large in comparison to humans, and we can be thrown off and/or trampled. Also, the sport requires one to be at a considerable height, which makes being thrown off even more dangerous. But, if one trains well, like with any other sport, the risks involved can be mitigated.

Mounting

The first step to riding a horse would be to mount the horse, which consists of putting your foot in the left stirrup, swinging your right foot over the horse, and putting your right foot in the right stirrup. Beginners should use a mounting block, as this would make getting on the horse easier. Also, it would be a good idea to choose a well-trained calm horse, instead of a younger one, who might be antsy if you have to try mounting multiple times. While mounting the horse, one should hold the reins in their left hand tightly, but not too tightly as to hurt the horse. Beginners should preferably have someone to hold the horse’s head as they mount. Horses are always mounted from their left (near) side because most riders are right handed and they can leave that hand free to do other things.

horse mounting

 

After mounting the horse, you should ensure your balance is alright. You should keep your back straight and most of your weight should be on your buttocks. Once the balance is okay, one should put their legs in the correct position. Keep your legs pointing inwards, not outwards, as most beginners tend to do. This is to ensures that your legs are also holding on to the horse, which helps with balance. Your toes should be pointing upward and your heels should be downward. Beginners can practice keeping their feet in this position by putting their feet on a higher surface than the ground, such as a step, and push their heels downwards.

The next step before riding the horse would be to hold the reins properly. An English-style rider would hold the reins in both hands, with the reins going through their fists and the loop facing upwards, their thumbs securing the reins in place and their little fingers resting on the outside of the rein. A Western-style rider would hold both of the reins in their left hand, like they would hold a bouquet. The reins are knotted at the end and the rider would hold the reins loosely.

Riding

Once you’re comfortable with mounting the horse and holding the reins, you can start riding. Pulling at the reins usually prompt a horse to start walking, but if that doesn’t work, you can gently kick the horse with your left to signal it. Their may be noises you can make that the horse has been trained to listen for to indicate movement, and you can ask the trainer if there are any. First, start with following the horse’s movements with your arms. A horse’s head indicates as to which direction it is going to move in. Let the reins move with his movement, as this will help you learn how to steer.

steering the horse

 

To steer, the rider pulls the right rein to indicate to move to the right, and vice versa. Moving in the seat toward the direction also helps to give the horse an idea of what direction to go in. Once you are comfortable with steering, you can start with trotting (if you’re an English-style rider), or jogging (if you’re a western-style rider). One has to gently press their legs into the horse’s sides to indicate to them to trot/jog. There are two kinds of trotting, which are sitting and posting. In posting, people raise their body as the shoulders of the horse go back, and sit down as its shoulders go back down. This helps to avoid bouncing heavily on the horse’s back.

horseback riding

 

English-style riders, after they have mastered trotting and it’s several kinds, can move on to cantering. Move your outside leg back and press gently to cause your horse to canter. It’s a 3-step movement that comes naturally to all horses. Beginners should hold on to the neck strap or saddle to be safe, as it’ll help with their balance. As you feel safe with these riding techniques, you can move on to more difficult and advanced riding methods.

Horse Riding Equipment

  • The most basic horse riding equipment that one has to have are:
  • Bridle
  • Helmet
  • Safety stirrups or boot (1-inch heel)
  • Saddles with girth or cinch
  • Saddle pad or blanket

Taking Care Of The Horse

Grooming – Ensure that your horse is always well brushed. Use a comb to remove tangles in its mane and tail, and trim its fur as needed. You’ll need a dandy brush to remove the dust from its fur, and a body brush to keep its fur well groomed. Use clippers to trim your horse’s hair. Keep its hooves well cleaned and give it baths when needed.

 

horse grooming

 

Feeding – Always ensure your horse has a good supply of water and fresh hay throughout the day. Depending on the horse’s requirements, you can reduce or increase its supply of hay. You can also give it carrots occasionally. In case you want to change anything or add anything new in its meals, make the change progressively, little by little. Ensure that you always feed your horse an hour before or after riding it, and not while riding.

 

feeding a horse hay

 

Bonding – Spend time with your horse even when you’re not riding them. Let them come to you when you’re outdoors and gently stroke them. Your bond with the horse is an extremely important factor when it comes to your riding experience.

 

bonding with a horse

 

Dangers

Horse riding is a quite risky sport, where there is the possibility of death or lifetime paralysis. Because of the horse’s unpredictable nature, there’s no sure-shot way of being safe while horse riding. This risk is especially high for children. Horses tend to kick people when they are unhappy, and due to their weight and power, a kick can be potentially fatal if the horse decided to kick hard enough. An important factor in ensuring safety around horses is how you behave with them. When conditions are right, horseback riding can be so much fun for you, while the horse is getting a nice amount of exercise as well. It can be a beautiful relationship!

Poisonous Wild Plants And The Rashy Consequences!

One day you may find yourself taking a walk in the woods, or wandering around while camping, and all of a sudden you get a rash. You might know what poison ivy looks like, so you’ll think to yourself that you were careful to avoid it, but yet you still have a rash. Well, there are other plants that can cause a rash, but they are not discussed nearly as often as poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Here are just some of them…

Wood Nettle

 

stinging plant

This unassuming plant is often found near streams and in other various areas of woods and forests. The plant is usually between 2-4 feet tall and the color of the leaves may range from medium green to dark green. The leaves can reach up to 6 inches in length with a slightly elongated appearance, sort of like a palm, with edges that are serrated. It is the leaves that carry stiff, fine hairs which come off upon contact with our skin or clothes.

Our bodies react to the formic acid on the hairs, causing an itchy, burning rash. The nettle’s hairs that remain stuck to our skin can be removed by sticking a good adhesive tape on the affected area and pulling them out with it. Do not reuse the tape. The rash usually lasts up to two hours, maybe less and can easily be relieved with an antihistamine.

Stinging Nettle

 

irritating plant

The Stinging Nettle is found in most of North America and it loves to grow in places close to water or soil that is constantly wet. It can also be found near people’s houses or backyards. This plant’s leaves closely resemble the Wood Nettle’s, except it grows opposite each other instead of alternately. Some plants have a purplish color in its green, serrated leaves.

The Stinging Nettle also has pretty pink colored small flowers in little bunches, which start out as white buds. The stinging nettles are not only on the leaves but also on the flowers and stems of the plant. Our skin’s reaction is more severe and the burning itch can last up to several hours. Taking an antihistamine can help, but it may take more than a couple of hours for the reaction to die down, even with medication.

Giant and Common Ragweed

 

poisonous plant

Common Ragweed

Both plants are commonly seen around the United States of America. They have leaves that resemble an open palm, complete with outstretched fingers. Their names are related to the sizes of the leaves; the common ragweed has smaller leaves compared to the giant ones. The ragweed plants can cause hay fever-like symptoms because of their flowers, but brushing up against the plants themselves can also cause our skin to react with swollen raised bumps which can be itchy and have a burning sensation. An antihistamine can be helpful in decreasing both hay fever reactions and the skin rash.

Wild Parsnip

 

plant that is poisonous

Wild Parsnip are commonly found anywhere in North America. The plant is often covered with small yellow flowers that are very attractive. It is quite sensitive and you can easily break off its stems, causing the sap to come out. When the sap touches our skin, there is no reaction until the affected area is exposed to the sun. The oils in the sap react to the heat of the sunlight and this creates the burning sensation, which is a bit difficult to remove. If the sap is left on the skin too long, blisters will form and the skin may form bloody welts.

Before you wander through the woods, there are many dangers to be aware of, and plants are just one of them. Research more poisonous plants so you can identify and thusly avoid them while you’re outdoors. None of us wants to deal with a rash! The more you know, the better, but just in case you accidentally run into one of these plants, make sure to carry antihistamines so the symptoms aren’t nearly as severe.

Challenge Yourself With Canyoning!

Canyoning is a sport and recreation that is unlike any other. It combines fun, adventure, endurance, and life-threatening risks, things you don’t usually experience in other sports. It can be insanely challenging, yet enjoyable at the same time. Canyoning, like other sports, requires that you have some training and learn certain skills for you to participate.

canyoning

What is canyoning, exactly? Canyoning involves walking, climbing, scaling rocks/cliffs, jumping, scrambling, and even swimming through a canyon. This entails jumping into a deep pool from a cliff, walking and swimming through rough and water-filled canyons, rope climbing waterfalls and more. These are high-risk activities that are designed to give you one of the most thrilling experiences you can have in your life.

Canyoning can take place where there are gorges, waterfalls, caves filled with water, valleys with cliffs, etc. This recreational sport is planned and organized in natural landscapes with beautiful surroundings and difficult terrains, which make it challenging and very interesting at the same time. It is for people who have a thirst for risky adventures.

going down a waterfall

There are so many beautiful spots around the world where people can go canyoning to get the best experience. Some beautiful locations you can visit for canyoning include:

  • Inchree Falls (Scotland)

 

falls in Scotland

 

  • Twister Canyon (Australia)

 

  • Kalang Falls (Australia)

 

canyoning location

 

  • Colorado Plateau (part of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico)

 

  • Grand Canyon (Arizona)

 

canyoning in Arizona

 

  • Eldorado Canyon (Colorado)

 

  • Hole-in-the-wall Canyon (California)

 

canyone in California

 

  • Maentrog Gorge (North Wales)

 

  • Fortress Canyon (Utah)

 

canyon in Utah

 

  • Galah Canyon (Australia)

 

  • Firefly Canyon (Australia)

 

canyon in Australia

 

  • Empress Canyon (Australia)

 

Canyoning requires special equipment if you are to indulge in it safely and successfully. This equipment is needed because of the risks associated with the sport, and they include helmets, specially designed shoes, climbing ropes, wetsuits, trainers, buoyancy aides, backpacks, towels, spare clothing and more. If you’re just starting, you should look up smaller canyons to get acquainted with canyoning, so you can move on to bigger canyons with extra challenges.

There are certain things you need to know before canyoning, which are very important because of the precarious conditions you may face in some of the locations you may be visiting. You need to be taught how to navigate a canyon, the rescue methods in case you are in danger, how to climb with the ropes, how to stay safe, how to swim (if you don’t know how), what you need to carry along while canyoning to boost energy, what to avoid, etc.

Scotland cliff scaling

Canyoning is safest in groups, with an experienced guide to lead you. Before you go out on your own, you should be trained by experienced hands in the field of canyoning. This is to guarantee that you stay safe while you’re learning all the ins and outs of canyon challenges.

This form of exercise/adventure is something everyone should attempt at least once in their lifetimes. It will make you see life differently and expose you to some natural beauties of the world. Life is too short and shouldn’t be wasted sitting at home, so get out there already! Be risky, see beautiful sites and have some fun with canyoning!

Spelunking (Caving) – An Underground Adventure

Caving, also known as potholing or spelunking, is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems. Depending on the type of the cave you are exploring, you may come across rocky walls, wade through waters, or dive into different depths of water. Caves have rock formations such a stalactites and stalagmites, which normally can never be found above ground. There are also creatures that have lived in and have fully adapted to the darkness and moisture in caves, such that if they were exposed to light, they would die. Some caves carry a lot of human history and you can find pre-historic pottery, campfire sites and ancient art.

2 people exploring caves

Why People Go Caving

Spelunking is a multi-faceted activity. You can do it to explore, exercise, or just to test your physical capabilities. Either way, it’s a fascinating adventure to see what exists underground, to find things lost to the outside world.

Discovery – Cave exploration is an adventurous activity of the highest form. The universe that lies beneath our feet is simply exotic. From creatures that live in the caves to rock formations to water types, caving has the lure of the unknown and the excitement of discovery.

Cave Archaeology – Caves were used for sacred rituals and ceremonial sites in many world cu­ltures. Because they are protected from elements of weather, they often have well-preserved ceremonial vessels, clothing & burial objects. Caving enthusiasts can study these artifacts to establish archaeological evidence.

drawing in a cave

Sports – No other sporting activity can give the same unique thrills and challenges that caving can, offering an adrenaline-filled sporting experience. You can engage in competitive traversing of gorges, ascend the potholes, climb boulders as well as swimming in the underground lakes.

Exercising – Caving requires flexibility, mobility and strength, which are beneficial to muscles and joints. Not only that, but there’s something very peaceful about exercising in a cool environment away from everyone else. It’s definitely a unique experience.

Best Types Of Caves To Discover

There are many types of caves and the best types to discover depend on how they were formed and where they are found. They include:

Solution Caves – These are the most common and complex types of cave systems. Solution caves are formed from soluble rocks, with the most common being limestone. When groundwater seeps underground through cracks, joints, faults and bedding places through these soluble rocks, they end up forming solution caves.

type of cave

Eolian Caves – These are wind-carved caves which are usually found in desert areas. Desert winds, which carry silt or sand particles, continuously hit against rocky cliffs, which then creates caves.

sand cave

Sea Caves – These caves are beautiful and well formed through the action of sea waves pounding against the land, leading to material removal over time. They are always found facing the sea and are adventurous to discover, as many of them can only be approached by boats or kayaks.

ocean cave

Rock Shelters – These are formed as a result of bedrock erosion which takes place in insoluble rocks. They are found in places where a resistant rock, like sandstone, overlies an erosion-susceptible rock, like shale. Erosion weathers the shale off and leaves behind a rock shelter with a sandstone roof.

type of cave

Ice Caves – Ice caves are the most unique type of cave, as they are formed entirely from melting ice and flowing water within and under glaciers.

caves made of ice

Equipment To Use

While caving, the most important equipment one should have is the helmet and a source of light. Hard hats or helmets should be worn to protect the head from any falling rocks, as well as to provide a hands-free source of light. LED lights are a caver’s primary source of light, which is usually mounted on the helmet so they can carry other things.

helmet for a cave

The clothing you should wear mostly depends on the environment of the cave. In cold/ice caves, the caver should have a warm base layer that has insulating properties. Light clothes can be worn in warm dry caves while wet-suits can be worn if the cave is wet or has stream passages. It’s also a good idea to carry a first aid kit in your backpack for emergencies, as well as some sort of stick to feel things out, like how deep a body of water will be.

Dangers Of Caving

Caving can be a dangerous activity and depending on the type of the cave, a caver can be exposed to many bad things/situations like the ones below.

Hypothermia – When a person loses more heat than they can absorb and their body temperature falls to below 90 degrees. They shiver and can become confused in the early stages, progressing to more confusion and no shivering. After that is the most dangerous stage where the condition becomes lethal.

graph for hypothermia

Falling – People have fallen down deep holes in caves, breaking bones or worse. If you’re alone, that could mean big trouble, as there’s no one around to help. Always watch where you’re going and try to have a friend go along with you, just in case there is such an emergency.

Floods – If it’s been raining in the area of the cave, there could be flash floods, so it’s good to stay tuned in to the weather before caving. The ocean water in caves will rise with the tide, so that needs to be considered as well. Floods can be deadly or cause you to be trapped for an extended period.

Falling Rocks – Falling rocks can quickly turn into a tragedy, so always be on the lookout for unexpected situations like this that can arise. If it’s a popular tourist destination, you can ask how often rocks fall from the ceiling and how safe the cave is overall. Be aware at all times of your surroundings.

Physical Exhaustion – If you get tired easily, think twice about a longer journey into a cave. It can be more tiring than you think, especially if it’s all downhill and you have to walk back on an upward slant. Take breaks if you must and take water with snacks for a nice boost of energy.

Histoplasmosis – This disease is also known as Cave Disease or Spelunker’s Lung and is caused by a fungus found in soil. The reason it’s in caves is because of bat droppings. If you’re in a situation where you’re excavating and digging for souvenirs, make sure to wear a mask to avoid breathing in any dust from the soil being disrupted. Some people wear one anyway, just to be on the safe side.

scaling an ice wall

Spelunking can be a fun and peaceful activity, a place to get your mind off of things while you go exploring deep into a cave. It’s truly like a whole new world underground that will excite our curiosities and show some uniquely beautiful scenery. Everyone should try it at least once, and who knows, maybe it will be something you become passionate about, as there are many kinds of caves to explore!

Mixing Frisbee With Golf? It’s Disc Golf!

basket for disc golf

Disc Catcher

Disc golf is a flying disc sport game invented in the early 1900’s. It uses the same rules and techniques of the classical old game of traditional golf, but instead of using clubs and balls, players actually use flying discs! It’s pretty interesting, especially for those who don’t really like regular golf and are good at throwing a frisbee. You might have thought, as I did, ‘What are those baskets with nets for in this park?’, well now you’ll know!

 

Origin And History

Although the sport of disc golf is thought to have been invented in the early 1900’s, modern and contemporary disc golf currently being played around the world only started in the early 1960’s. The sport has gained wide acclaim and acceptance and there are currently more than 35,000 players indulging in the sport in more than 47 countries around the globe.

 

Countries

 

crowd watching disc golf

Currently there are more than 47 countries recognized by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) where this sport is being played. These include the United States, Canada, and the European countries. There are thousands of courses throughout these countries that provide facilities for amateurs, as well as professional disc golf players.

 

Rules And Strategies

The rules and techniques of PLAYING DISC GOLF are the same as those of regular golf. There are 18 holes in regular golf, and it’s the same in disc golf, only with baskets instead of holes. Instead of using a standard club for hitting the ball off the Tee pad, the disc golf player uses his arms for throwing the disc towards a suspended catching post, an elevated metal basket called the Disc Catcher.

aiming for the target

The foot should be firmly placed on the Tee mat (for professionals) and should not cross the front of the Tee while throwing the disc. Multiple throws can be made in order to reach the metal basket. Once a throw has been made, the next throw is made from the point where the disc previously landed. In order to complete a hole, a player needs to put the disc inside the metal basket. The disk can either rest in the basket or in the metal chains of the Disc Catcher.

 

Pars and Yardage

The Par lengths and yardage for disc golf are the same as regular golf. There are Par 3, Par 4, and Par 5 holes in disc golf. The only difference is that regular golf is measured in yards, whereas disc golf is measured in feet.

 

Disc Types

 

disc golf discs in a store

There are two types of discs most commonly used in disc golf, the drivers and the putters. Drivers are discs that are designed to cut through the air and hence have sharp edges. Putters, on the other hand, have thick edges and are usually used while throwing from a close range, as they fly more in a straight line. The disc types and weights are important characteristics that must be kept in mind while playing the game.

 

Disk Golf Community

 

class on disc golf

Disc golf is an emerging sport, the fourth fastest growing sport in the United States. More and more people and athletes are taking interest in the sport. People travel to different states and countries to take part in tournaments and matches. Various online forums have been set up to guide and encourage people to play the sport.

Skydiving Basics For Beginners!

fully extended parachute

 

Remember the favorite line in the movie, Toy Story, that says “This isn’t flying, it’s falling with style!”? Well this is definitely true of skydiving, an experience that sets your adrenalin incredibly high. There’s no limit when it comes to using various styles of falling, not to mention the thrill of simply falling through the air.

Diving styles may vary, from falling with hands stretched on the air to more complicated maneuvers like somersaults, flat turns and formation skydiving. It can be so much fun, whether you do it alone or as part of a team. It is open for individuals who are 18 years old and above. Those who are over 40 may require a medical certificate from a doctor, and the activity is limited to individuals not heavier than 220 lbs.

Those who have disabilities, but would really love to experience the thrill of skydiving, can go tandem skydiving. Tandem skydiving is when one person is attached to the other (mostly a teacher attached to a student), with only the top person pulling the cord on the parachute and both people floating down together. It allows people who are handicapped to feel more alive and frees their minds of their own limitations for a while. It’s truly a beautiful moment!

 

handicapped skydiver

 

There is a pure adrenalin rush brought about by the extreme joy of total freedom once you’re up there, falling from the sky. It’s like dancing with the wind and being one with universe. Once you learn how to control your body to perform some maneuvers in mid-air, the thrill is unimaginable. The first few jumps can be daunting and scary, but remember that all skydivers were once beginners as well. Groups of skydivers are a happy and exciting bunch, willing to give some tips and share their experiences if you are really serious about pursuing skydiving.

 

group skydiving

 

If you are up to it and willing to experience this breathtaking jump from the air, then be prepared for the fact that skydivers jump out of the plane at about 13,000 feet. People with a fear of heights (who most likely wouldn’t be doing this anyway) will have a hard time with this. But the thrill will be well worth it. After pushing yourself to jump to freefall, stay in the air for a period of time, open your parachute, then descend slowly until you are at a safe landing speed. Timing is very important, as you don’t want to land at a fast speed and injure yourself.

Here are some skydiving terms to know:

Formation Skydiving is combining and holding different formations before breaking off and opening the parachute.

group activity

Freestyle Skydiving is considered the most entertaining one, where skydivers perform acrobats in the air, like tumbles, rolls and other formations before opening the parachute and landing.

doing tricks

Free Flying is the art of controlling your body to move in different ways while in freefall, like back flying, sit flying and head down.

head down

Accuracy Landing is the kind of skydiving where the diver earns points by landing on or very close to a target on the ground.

parachuting to target

Base is considered the most extreme and dangerous. BASE stands for building, antennae, span and earth. Divers jump off of a structure, like a tall building, but this may result in entanglement and a collision.

jumping off building

Skysurfing is when the skydiver has a board attached to his feet, while falling from the sky. Control is difficult, especially when standing up, since this requires skill and balance.

surfing in the sky

Wingsuit Flying is when a skydiver wears a specially designed suit like an airfoil, lifting the diver to an advanced level of control and descent speed.

skydiving with a wingsuit

So go ahead and feel the thrill of flying and falling that only skydriving can provide. Now that you know the basics, you can decide for yourself whether you want to do it. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to go tandem skydiving with a teacher or a friend who’s experienced. Know the dangerous situations so you’ll know what to do in an emergency, and ask a lot of questions. Good luck with your exciting adventure!

Posted in Air

5 Beautiful Places To Hike In Oregon

Have you ever visited Oregon? If you do, and you’re the active type, you might want to learn about some great places to hike while you’re there. Few urban cities in America have such stately green spaces, giving sightseers views that are beautiful, remote and quiet within the city.

We have put together a list of hiking trails in Oregon that’ll leave your legs burning while providing loads of clean, fresh air and stunning views:

1. Oxblow Regional Park

Be sure to go with your fishing rod for a fun day of hiking and fishing. This park in Gresham is well-known for fishing and is close to Oregon camping. Oxblow Regional Park offers a 3.3-mile loop that includes long stretches. One of the fascinating features of this park is the “ancient forest”, which is composed of large hundred-year-old trees that rise above the trail and river.

Oxblow Regional Park

2. Washington Park

Beautiful deep woods and a mountain view makes this Portland gem one of the best hikes within Oregon. The Wildwood Trail begins and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where signs for the trail are posted throughout the hike to ensure safety and prevent health hazards.

Washington Park in OR

3. Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park can be found inside one of the major metropolitan areas, just minutes from downtown Portland, if driving. The park provides several activities within its boundaries, such as a 659-acre park with several good hiking trails to follow. If you are experiencing health challenges that will hinder your foot from long trips, come along with a bike.

It is a good idea for the whole family to be fit in order to view the entire 2.7-mile loop. Starting at the visitor’s center, follow Old Main Trail, then the Red Fox Trail to the loop.

fun at the park

4. Mount Tabor

This park, also in Portland, takes you through a 2 mile hike from the 60th Avenue Trailhead that brings you to the summit of a dormant volcano with amazing views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood. Various routes can be taken to complete the hike, with many things to admire, such as picnic areas, playgrounds and statues.

park in Portland

5. Lower Macleay Park

There is parking space for your bikes and cars at the Lower Macleay Park in Portland. After packing, begin by walking under the Thurman Street Bridge. There are various trail options to choose from, but by focusing on the Wildwood Trail, you are guaranteed to reach the beautiful Pittock Mansion.

mansion on trails

BONUS: Cave Hiking

Cave hiking is one of the more risky types of recreational hiking. This movement requires particular security hardware and long haul items. Along with various light sources, suitable dress, adequate nourishment and water, one should likewise try to bring rope and climbing gloves. If you are considering cave hiking, contact an expert who can give you ideas for the right hardware needs and precautionary measures.

hiking through a cave

Summary!

Hiking Oregon trails is a mind blowing experience. You will get a thrill with these few trails, all with their own remarkable scenes and delights. Regardless of where you hike, you will be continually surprised by the beauty Oregon has to offer. Stay tuned for more great features of this stunning state!