Backpacking

My Appalachian Trail Clothing System

Not going to lie, figuring out the clothing system to take for this hike has been stressful. I know I probably need less than what I think, but I also don’t want to be cold. Do I need camp shoes? Will I be okay sleeping in my Nano Puff or should I get a separate base-layer for sleeping? I don’t need a beanie and a buff, right? I’m not an anxious person but holy crap these pre-hike uncertainties got me feeling like my Grandma (If you are reading this Grandma, ...

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The Trail Don’t Cost a Thing (But the Gear Does): How to Get Out There Without Blowing Your Paycheck

There comes a time in life that the desire to be “out there” hits. If you are anything like me, you’re probably in your late twenties—maybe even the latest part of your twenties—working your first desk job, kind of suffocating at the idea of being inside for 40 hours a week. You need an escape, some kind of outlet, and fast. Enter backpacking. Because you’re not independently wealthy, because you have bills and need to feed yourself, ...

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Frosty Mountain to Gooch Gap Shelter

I didn’t pick the names.
I woke up at 5:30 Monday morning after a full eight hours of sleep. Surprisingly, I felt no soreness from the previous day’s five-mile uphill jaunt. I laid in my sleeping bag until 8:00 packed up my gear, and made quick work of the 3.5 miles to the top of Springer Mountain. During a brief rest, I met a former Marine, Marvin, who informed me that he was the 200th thruhiker to sign in back at the Amicalola Falls Visitor Center. ...

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Resupply on the Great Divide Trail

As mentioned in my previous articles concerning permits, advanced planning is an important part of the character of the trail. It’s hard to “wing” it and that includes resupply on the Great Divide Trail (GDT). Over its 700 miles, the trail passes through just one major town (Jasper), 3 small hamlets (Waterton, Coalman and Field), 2 ski resorts (Castle and Sunshine), 2 general stores (Boulton and Saskatchewan Crossing) and 2 backcountry lodges (Assiniboine and Shovel Pass). ...

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How to Pack a Backpack for Thru-Hiking

So you’ve got all this gear ready to go… but now what? While out backpacking, everything that you need is carried on your back, in this pack. You’ll pack and unpack multiple times a day and likely try different things before settling on a method that works best for you. The key to it all is organizing your stuff in a way that saves you time and energy. So, where do you start?
The principles of packing are the same across the board: 

Efficiency 
Comfort 
Convenience

Here, ...

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The Attempt Episode 6: “The trail is kinda glowing”

SHOW NOTES
From the Washington/Oregon border to Crater Lake, Benjamin calibrates his hiking machine.
The Attempt is produced by Julia Drachman with help from Doug Beyers. We are a production of Bad Cat Media, created in partnership with The Trek. All music in this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions.  
The Attempt is sponsored by Gossamer Gear, manufacturers of functional ultralight backpacking gear, designed by hikers.
LISTEN

– download the episode –
– Find all of The Attempt’s episodes here –

TRANSCRIPT
Previously on The Attempt
 
“Hey it’s Ben. ...

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Planes, trains, and automobiles

At 4 a.m. on Sunday, after what amounted to little more than a short nap, I rose from bed, took a shower, grabbed my gear, and caught a lift to the airport for a flight to northern Georgia. When I boarded the plane, I was dismayed to discover that the exit-row seat I had purchased, out of a desire for some level of comfort, had no ability to recline. Fortunately, Atlanta is but a short hop from home in southwest Florida. ...

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Deer 139 – mule deer documentary

Deer 139 (Tour Edit) was one of the films selected for the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2019-20. Very entertaining. “Three women follow the 137km migration path of a scruffy, pregnant mule deer doe and in the process, learn to see the world differently.” Hopelessly overloaded, much of the entertainment is watching their …

How to Navigate New Airline Carry-On Rules

Several major airline services have made new changes to their carry-on policies, some of you may find this a challenge to keep up with.

Not knowing these new changes or how to best navigate them could easily cause you to experience dreaded travel delays. No one wants to miss out on the vacation they have been looking forward to for months or the visit with loved ones miles away.

We review these new policies along with offering some helpful insights on how to maneuver these policies with ease!

 

What You Need To Know

Size Requirements

The luggage size allowed for carry-ons vary from airline to airline, but we have listed some on the requirements for some of the more well known airlines:

  • Allegiant Airlines - 56 X 35 X 23 cm

  • American Airline - 56 X 35 X 25 cm

  • Delta Airlines - 56 X 35 X 23 cm

  • Southwest Airlines - 60 X 35 X 25 cm

  • United Airlines - 56 X 35 X 23 cm

  • Virgin Atlantic Airlines - 56 X 35 X 23 cm

  • Lufthansa - 56 X 40 X 23 cm

 

Medications

If you are bringing your medication on board its important you understand the rules for carrying them on. Although you are allowed to bring as much of your medication as needed in your carry-on you will want to make sure to place them in zip lock bags, no larger than 1 quart for screening. If you are traveling with liquid medications they will need to be in 3.4 0z. clear bottles. 

For all liquids such as lotions, creams, mouthwash they will also need to be in 3.4 0z clear bottles.

 

Restricted Items

Not everything you travel with on your trip will be allowed in your carry-on. You will want to avoid bringing anything flammable, sharp objects, weapons, firearm tools with you in the carry-on.

 

Cost for Carry-Ons

Not all carry-ons are treated equal! Some airlines include the carry-on, while others charge an additional fee for your carry-on: 

  • Allegiant Airlines - Varies from $10.00 to $75.00 based on the trip you are taking. They do allow for one free personal item I.E. laptops, purses, small bags, small backpacks.

  • American Airline - They offer both a free personal item and 1 free carry-on. However if you opt to get their cheaper ticket, Basic Economy that will only include the one personal item. 

  • Delta Airlines- Allow one free carry-on and one free personal item, however they must be able to fit in the overhead bin or under the seat.

  • Southwest Airlines- Permits one free carry-on and one free personal item, they must be able to fit in the overhead bin or under the seat.

  • United Airlines- Both a free personal item and 1 free carry-on. Basic Economy tickets only allow for one personal item. 

  • Virgin Atlantic Airlines- All classes except Upper Class allow for one personal item and one carry-on. If you opted for the Upper Class ticket you will be allowed one personal item and TWO carry-on bags.

 

Get Ready To Go!

Now that we have taken the time to review the new carry-on guidelines let’s talk about what you can do to navigate these like a frequent traveler! When it comes to the sizes of carry-ons for these major airlines it’s safe to say 56 X 23 cm should easily pass the requirements. If you’re a light traveler then purchasing the best underseat luggage of that size would ease your mind knowing that you can use that on a variety of airlines. If you really want the extra space for more items, you can always check the measurements on the tag of the luggage before you purchase your new bag. There are even some manufactures that clearly state if it is “carry-on size” right on the label.

So you have your bag picked out, now it’s all about getting packed and through TSA. At most retail stores such as Walmart, Target, Meijers, Amazon you can purchase prepackaged toiletry carry-on bags. In these bags you will find a variety of different products like toothpaste, deodorant, mouth wash, and lotions all in bottles or containers that are already TSA compliant. In addition to being the perfect sizes, they are also all packaged together in a clear travel bag. It is helpful to bring anything you need quickly in your carry-on. Obviously no one wants to think about their luggage getting lost, but this happens every day to travelers. If you pack your important documents, medications and other sensitive items in your carry-on you will not have to worry about being completely without in the event the luggage is lost or delayed.

If the flight you need is with an airline that charges for carry-ons, but you do not want to pay the additional price tag for a carry-on that is still possible.  Most airlines allow free personal items. Take any large items and put those in your checked bags that leave more space in the personal item for a variety of things.  You can take this a step further and purchase small packing cubes. These cubes can really be a life saver as they allow you to pack items inside the cube in a tight, but strategic manner. This will let you use every available inch in the personal item. In some cases you may not even miss the Carry-on bag when you use a tip.

 

SAFE TRAVELS!

As airlines continue to change their carry-on policies it’s always good practice to check airline and TSA websites to ensure you are up to speed on any changes. Most commercial airlines have detailed carry-on policies that can be located on their websites. You can also contact the airline for further information in regards to carry-ons, if you prefer to speak to a live representative.

Traveling can be a great adventure, but it can quickly become a nightmare if you are unprepared or have unexpected mishaps. We hope you find this article insightful and that you have safe travels!

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10 Amazing Cities to Visit in Asia

Asia is a must visit continent that should appear in every traveller’s diary. Home to some of the best monuments, lip-smacking food, a variety of spices, flora, fauna, and ethnicity, Asia is every traveller’s delight. With top 10 places to visit and strike off your bucket list, here is your Asia trip planner.

Cities to visit in Asia

1. Udaipur, India

Udaipur located in the state of Rajasthan, India is called the “City of Lakes”. Rajasthan is one of the stately provinces in India and is known for the numerous palaces and heritage. Udaipur tops the list of best places in Rajasthan. Udaipur is considered one of the most romantic places for its boat rides and serene environment. Visit the various palaces and get transported to the bygone era and get lost in the royal streets. Stay in the “Taj Palace Hotel” – an 18th-century palace in the middle of Lake Pichola, now transformed into a hotel and experience royalty.

 

2. Mumbai, India

Mumbai located in the state of Maharashtra, India is called the “City of Dreams”. Mumbai is considered the financial capital of India. Step into a different world and experience the British and Portugal architecture infused into the Indian heritage. Visit the Gateway of India, Sanjay Gandhi National Park or theme parks. Go on a drive along the Marine Drive or sip a cup of piping hot Irani tea and relish Irani delicacies at the famous Irani cafes or enjoy roadside chaat and vada pav. Go on a tour around Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia. Visit Crawford market, Chor Bazaar and many other market streets for various goodies.

 

3. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is gearing up to the 2020 Olympics and is set to welcome thousands of visitors. The food capital of the world has a large number of Michelin starred restaurants. Devour ramen, udon, sushi, sake and lot of other scrumptious food in these Michelin restaurants or go strictly on the budget with hole-in-the-wall joints. Head to the shopping streets for amazing treats or visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for fresh fish. Enjoy a stroll on streets lined with skyscrapers or visit a cat café for a dose of cuteness. 

 

4. Beijing, China

Beijing, the capital of China, infuses old world charm with the new age technology to give its visitors an enthralling experience. Get transported to the ancient times by visiting the imperial and marvellous palaces. Beijing is also home to one of the most world’s largest man-made architectural marvel, “The Great Wall of China”. There are several tours to the Great Wall from Beijing, like this one.

Visit the Forbidden City, once the home of Chinese emperors to get a dose of old and new architecture. Also, go on strolls or shop for goodies inside this imperial wonder. Also take a walk across the Mausoleum of Mao and Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public squares and that has seen some historic protests.

 

5. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, the Garden City is a must visit place for all nature lovers. Singapore is well known for its safety, cleanliness and fusion cuisine. It is also well known for its eco-friendly designs and conservation. Visit the 150-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens or Sungei Buloah Wetland Reserve or the eco-friendly attraction, Gardens by the Bay (book your ticket online before).

 

6. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in Asia. It is known for its street food. Prepare yourself for lip-smacking and mouth -watering roadside delicacies. Feast your eyes with magnificent Hindu religion sites and ancient Buddhist relics. Head to the Khao San Road, where foreigners and locals come together and soak in the nightlife. Grab fresh and unique products from the floating markets.

 

7. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is considered one of the capitals of beauty trends. The development of this impoverished city from nothing to everything is commendable. Splendid skyscrapers and overshadowing ancient Buddhist temples make it one of a kind experience for the tourists. Visit spas or bathhouses and calm your senses in the invigorating scents. Check off the UNESCO World Heritage Site Changdeokgung Palace your bucket list. This tour includes the palace along with visits to two traditional markets.

 

8. Siem Reap, Cambodia

One of the awarded Travellers’ Choice Destination, Siem Reap in Cambodia is a must visit place for its cultural and architectural marvels. This place is widely known as the base camp for Angkor. Don’t forget to visit Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm. Also visit Angkor Night Market for silk, wood carvings, and delicious street food. Soak in the city’s beauty by going around in a Tuk Tuk and visit during sunset and sunrise for an enthralling experience. 

 

9. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei in Taiwan is known for its street food and markets. Try “xiao chi” which translates to little snacks. Try stinky tofu, oyster omelettes, sugarcane juice and sweetmeats. Join a food tour, like this one, to find all the best hidden food spots in the city. If you are bold and ready to experiment, then head to the Huaxi Street and try rats and snakes. Also try the oolong tea, produced locally in Taipei. Taiwan is also the birthplace of bubble tea, a special concoction made by combining tea and tapioca pearls.

 

10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia is mostly famous for its twin towers called the “Petronas Towers”. This tower was considered the tallest tower for the longest time. Apart from this tower, KL is also famous for its street food, cultural heritage, and marvellous architecture.

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