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Camping Tricks to Keep You Safe

What’s not to love about camping: nature, sleeping under the stars, campfires, swimming in rivers/lakes and good old-fashioned fun? 

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It’s Camping Season! As I Yell This from a Mountaintop!

Outdoors enthusiasts and weekend warriors are all getting jazzed up for another camping season. What’s not to love: nature, sleeping under the stars, campfires, swimming in rivers/lakes and good old-fashioned fun? Sure camping is fun but it can also be dangerous, so keep you and your loved ones safe with this handy camping safety guide.

 

Know your lightning facts

Lightning kills more people every year than bears so pay attention to lightning and thunder. One important rule that you should know: if you hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm, so head for shelter.

All shelter s are not created equally, so stay out of your tent and tall trees, instead get into a building or your car. The rubber tires are perfect for grounding you incase of a strike. If you are away form a vehicle or building get to an open field, you may get wet but you’ll be safe.

 

Fire safety

Don’t play around with fire, it cannot only hurt you but can easily start a fire that gets out of hand. Make fires in designated areas only and follow all posted signs about fires. If there are no fire rings, make a safety ring out of rocks and clear all debris that could catch on fire. Some areas during certain times a year don’t allow fires because of forest fire risks, so don’t be the asshole that starts a forest fire.

 

Animals and Insects

You are going into nature, where animals and bugs live, so expect to deal with them. You may encounter bees, snakes, bears, and coyotes or worse, so it’s important to know what to do, just in case.

 

Bears

Bears will come to food, so if you are in an area with bears, keep your food safe either in a bear box or hung up in a tree. Bears have incredible senses of smell and can find even a small candy bar hidden in you tent, so never keep food where you sleep. If you see a bear, slowly get out of there, don’t run, they will catch your butt.

 

Bees – Wasps – Hornets – Ants

When choosing the perfect place for your campsite and tent, look around for nests and hives before you set up. Nobody wants to be woken up by a thousand ants in their tent or wasps attacking from above. If anyone in your group is allergic to any kind of stings or bites, they should have an Epipen handy, because help isn’t close in the wilderness. If someone is bitten or stung, keep an eye on the wound and look for signs of an allergic reaction, like sudden swelling or breathing issues.

 

Snakes

Snakes are all over the place so it’s best to know what kind of snakes are native to the area you are camping. Watch out for Rattlers out west and Diamond Backs and Water Moccasins in the East and South. Snakes like to hide in dark holes and underneath rocks, so be careful where you reach and step.

  

Coyotes/wolves

These guys will look for scraps, garbage and small dogs, so keep an eye on your little puppies. They are usually scared of people and noises.

 

Big cats

Big cats are all over the country from bobcats to mountain lions, they are out there. Rarely seen around people, these silent hunters see you ten times before you see them once. Just be aware that if you see one, act big and slowly walk away, never turning your back on them.

 

Moose

Moose kill more people than bears so be aware of these big old goofs.

 

Don’t get disoriented

Don’t get lost but if you do, stay calm dude. Always keep a map, a compass and a mirror or shiny object used for long distance visibility to a search party. If you do get lost, look for some simple signs to find your way. Look for your own footprints and back track. Look for moss on trees; it always grows on the North side of trees. Tell someone where you are going, before you go.

 

Hydrate

You will be exerting yourself more than usual so it’s important to drink plenty of water.

 

Heights can kill

Climbing things seems like a fun idea but heights kill in the wilderness. Be careful on rocks, trees and the dreaded rope swing. More people are hurt on these three simple activities than by animal attacks each year.

 

Don’t be dumb

Seriously, don’t do dumb stuff; you are way too far from a hospital. Don’t be stupid with an axe while chopping wood and don’t jump into bodies of water without knowing how deep it is.

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Destinations

Enjoy New York City – For Free?

Take in the sights and sounds of New York City without paying a dime!

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     New York City is easily one of the most expensive cities in the world, but you don’t have to make your trip expensive. You can enjoy the locale like a local and have a blast in the Big Apple… for free. It may sound impossible but you can certainly enjoy it for free! This magical city is composed of fun activities and events that won’t require a single dime.

Museums

     Several museums in New York offer patrons free entry a few days a month. New York is known for its incredible museums, full of culture and classic works of art, but often they carry a hefty price tag. If you know where to look, you can find out that most of these museums offer free or heavily discounted rates. Keep your eye out for these free culture passes.

Art Galleries

     Most art galleries in New York are free to enter because they want people to browse in order to make a sale. It must feel great to faux art shop in Chelsea. Within a 10 block radius are some of the best art galleries in all of New York, so check out 18th to 28th streets between 10th and 11th avenues. 

Public Parks

     New York is known for maintaining spectacular public parks and we aren’t just talking about Central Park. Urban parks have incredible sculptures and statues, while others feature fountains and playgrounds. All are free. Take your kids to the Washington Square Park fountain or Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. These parks are here for your pleasure… enjoy them!

Free Ferries

     Get out there and see The Statue of Liberty for free by taking a free ferry. The ferry runs from lower Manhattan to Staten Island every 20 minutes and takes passengers pretty close to Ellis Island and old lady liberty herself. Best yet… you don’t have to stay in Staten Island, just get off and back on the ferry and head back to the city. You can get amazing pictures of The Statue of Liberty from the deck.

  

Iconic Sightseeing

     There aren’t better places in the world to just walk around and sightsee. The city’s oversized buildings surround some of the most iconic sights you will ever see, so check out the city. Only a few buildings charge to get to the top but many times you can find views for free. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or checkout times square. The busier the attraction, the more there are to see.


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Destinations

The 411 On Travel Insurance

Whether it was a family memeber or stranger,you’ve probably had someone talk about travel insurance. Read through this simple breakdown and find out everything.

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     There are those that swear by it and some that don’t even know what it is – we’re talking travel insurance… and it actually may be much more beneficial than you may think! You never know what may happen when traveling so it’s always best to be prepared for anything and everything. The last thing you’d want is a ruined trip thanks to one unavoidable issue. This guide will help breakdown the extra expense and explain everything you need to know about travel insurance.

Needed?

     First and foremost, we’ll start by saying that it is definitely not necessary for any and all vacations. It all depends on what kind of trip you’re taking. Officially, you can ensure any trip that involves traveling at least 100 miles. so if you’re taking a short driving trip to visit family or friends within your state or a neighboring state, chances are you won’t need to bother. But, once your trip involves a longer flight, travel insurance can be a safe bet.

     However, there are many misconceptions about the insurance. It doesn’t cover any expenses that may come up during your trip. It will only ensure payments that took place before your departure. So, that suggests any shows or sporting event tickets, hotel expenses, pre-paid car rental, etc. can all be covered by travel insurance. But, if in the middle of your trip, you decided to catch a concert last minute, that expense cannot be covered by your travel insurance. Similarly, travel insurance cannot cover anything that is refundable, even if it was purchased before departing on your trip.

     Also, it is very important to compare and contrast plans before picking one. There are several different options out there. Take your time and consider everything about your trip and your budget. Consider the ages of all parties involved, the location of the trip, and the length of the trip. And make sure the one you choose is comprehensive and includes things like emergency medical coverage and baggage protection.

Again, travel insurance isn’t always necessary, but it can be extremely helpful and can help ensure you enjoy a safe and enjoyable travel experience. 

 


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Destinations

Travel East To West & Back On A Cross Country Train

Traveling in America can be expensive so what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs $213. Not on a plane but on a train!

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     Wanderlust takes us far away to foreign lands and different cultures but many haven’t even seen their home country. America is a huge parcel of land that it’s shocking how common it is for us to have never explored our own preverbal backyards.

We recommend getting out there to see what makes America so grand. Its people, land, and its majesty. Traveling across America can be expensive. Therefore, what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs just north of $200? Not on a plane but on a train! See our land and all it has to offer for only $200+!

Travel blogger Derek Low figured out the route and shared it with the world. He mapped out a path from San Francisco to New Your City on two trains.

His route takes you through 11 states, across 3,397 miles and so many unforgettable sights. Amtrak has some great deals so if this isn’t your desired destination, you should plan your own train adventure and see this beautiful country for yourself.

 

Details

     It’s a simple two-train path that can easily be recreated for a return trip. Amtrak offers these incredible 15-day rail passes that allow the rider to essentially take up to 8 separate rides.  The 15-day deal is more expensive ($429) than the straight route but it allows you more exploration time and freedom.

If you purchase Amtrak’s 15-day deal you can stop at cities along the route and explore at your own pace, as long as you finish the trip in 15 days. What a great way to see new cities without breaking the bank.

     Blogger Derek Low stopped at Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago on his way to New York. Can you imagine how expensive it would be if you tried to fly to all these different cities? Plus all the added stress that flying brings, geez, why does anyone fly. Oh, yea because it’s so fast.

If time isn’t an issue, traveling by trains are much less stressful and visually more appealing. Airports can be a real sore and most major city train stations are relics of our architectural past. Train stations hark back to a time when train travel was exciting and people treated it as such an inspiring event. Let’s make that magical feeling happen again and see just how special our country is. 

The Route

     From San Francisco, buy a ticket on the California Zephyr Line for as cheap as $130. This line takes you all the way to Chicago, through Salt Lake City, Denver, and Omaha. At times, this train travels alongside the historic route 66, the famed road from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The next route takes you from Chicago to New York City along the Lake Shore Limited for as cheap as $83. That’s a grand total of $213 for a cross-country trip, pretty sweet indeed.

For more adventures the train runs all the way to Boston, so your options are pretty limitless.

 

 


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