Monday, January 23, 2017

What to Look for in a Good Camping Air Mattress

If you live to be eighty, you will have slept for about 9733 full days in your life.

Another fun fact – did you know that we can go longer without food than without sleep?

For a camper or a hiker, the quality of sleep they get on the trail is one of those things that can make or break a trip. On the other hand, the quality of sleep we get is largely affected by the comfort of our air mattresses and sleeping pads.

Yet, many of us don’t fully understand what makes a good air mattress for camping.


So, today we take the time for an in-depth analysis of just that – the choice of an airbed. We’ll go beyond the usual stuff people talk about and commonplace advice like…

“Make sure you’re comfortable…”
“Make sure there's enough room in your tent…”
“Make sure you’re warm…”

We go beyond that and dig deeper and look at what actually makes an inflatable comfortable or warm. We might get a bit “sciency” but we’ll also make sure we boil it down to actionable advice.

What determines the comfort of a camping air mattress

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blog Update - Wildfires and How to Help

First, please STILL stay out of the Gatlinburg area. First responders are still trying to clear roads from downed trees and power lines. The Red Cross is not accepting any volunteers that are not Red Cross Trained. Upon last known update, a curfew was being imposed in Gatlinburg between the hours of 6pm to 6am.

If you have new items you would like to donate and don't have a way to get it there, let us know. We can schedule a pickup in the Union County, Anderson County, and North Knox County areas. The persons delivering our items will be going up on Friday, Dec 2nd.

If you still want to volunteer, Volunteer East Tennessee is working to connect volunteers to volunteer needs.
Visit https://www.volunteeretn.org/DisasterRecovery
They will be able to assist you in finding the best place for your skills.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wildfire in the Smokies - How To Help

Updated info as of 11/30 here: http://www.appalachiaandbeyond.com/2016/11/blog-update-wildfires-and-how-to-help.html

Most of you have heard about the devastating wildfires that have affected the East Tennessee area. Last night, Gatlinburg and the part of the National forest that stretches between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge - known as the Spur - was victim of an enormous, swift moving wildfire. Hundreds of homes and structures were damaged or destroyed and many, many people were displaced, some at this time still looking for family members including beloved pets.

It is sad, sad news. We are heartbroken for all of these victims, for all of the animals affected, and for our ancient mountains as well. Although as old as they are they've probably seen more fires than any of us could imagine, but in my lifetime, I've never seen anything like it in the Smokies.

There are more than 2000 people, at this time, that are in local shelters - more than 14,000 people evacuated. With this being #GivingTuesday, you may be wondering what you can do to help.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Want To Start Hiking? Plan Your First Hike With Ease

Image Courtesy of: Pixabay
Your first hike is an adventure you are likely to remember for the rest of your life. So the pressure is on to make sure you remember it for all the right reasons. Planning your first hike can be challenging when you’ve never been on one before. You might not know what to bring, where you should go and for how long. Not giving your first hike plenty of consideration beforehand can also increase the chances of you becoming lost or ill in the process. This is naturally something you want to avoid. So to help you plan a safe and unforgettable first hike, use these planning tips for beginners.

Be realistic
You might have dreams of completing a particularly difficult hiking trail that takes days or even weeks to complete. But this is probably not the best idea for your first hike. You need to be realistic about your current fitness levels and hiking abilities. This should strongly influence your choice of hiking trail. Look for trails in your local area that are designed for beginners and don’t take too long to complete. These trails will allow you to familiarize yourself with what hiking is like and ensures you don’t push yourself too much. Going on an extensive hike when you aren’t experienced could result in you becoming ill or injured. So always remember to be realistic when choosing an appropriate trail.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Making Camping A Year-Round Activity: Essential Items For A Winter Break

Are you a camping fan? Do you jump at the chance to get out and about and set up camp somewhere far from civilization? Camping is often regarded as a summer vacation option. But if you pack wisely and prepare thoroughly, you can make it a year-round activity. If you’re thinking of fitting in a few days away before the holidays, here are some essential items to take with you.

Clothing
Image via https://goo.gl/Ygh4Xn
If you’re freezing cold all the time, this is going to take the shine off your outdoor adventure. No matter how stunning the scenery, shivering will affect morale, and it could be dangerous for your health. Before you go away, make sure you have suitable clothing with you. Base layers are a good place to start. Pack thermals to wear under sweaters and fleeces. You’ll also need a heavyweight, waterproof jacket. You may need thermals to go under your trousers. Add hats, scarves and gloves for added warmth. Depending on what activities you’re doing, you may also need specialist shoes. If you’re going walking on ice sheets or scaling snowy peaks, for example, you may need crampons.