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Archive for March, 2012

postheadericon Five essentials for skiers and snowboarders

Five essentials for skiers and snowboarders

Have you been skiing in 20 degree weather without your gloves? It can be a memorable and painful experience. If you’ve been there and done that, it helps to have a checklist of things to remember when preparing for a day of skiing or snowboarding. Otherwise, you expect to pay too much money when you get to the pro shop at the ski lodge. For example, consider paying $21.99 for gloves instead of the traditional $1-$10.

This article describes five essentials for skiers and snowboarders.

The first three items are meant to protect the snow enthusiast from the elements. You need a good ski cap that covers your ears and a pair of warm mittens or gloves. Each of these items should be waterproof. For skiers, it takes a good pair of gloves that fits well and still enables you to adjust your boots and unhook your skis. The ski cap should be warm and long enough to cover all of your hair.

The next item is a good pair of snow goggles or sunglasses. When you are up on the mountain during daylight, the sun can create quite a glare on the snow. A simple pair of sunglasses will give you some protection, but a wider pair of snow goggles will protect your eyes and the upper half of your face from the sun. If the goggles are held in place by a wide elastic band, you will also be less likely to lose them on the slopes.

The final items are things that you will need after leaving the mountain. Remember items like a change of dry socks and well-insulated shoes to put on after removing the boots from your tired feet. Some people also find it comfortable to change into fresh pants and a shirt.

When you prepare to hit the slopes, follow this checklist for the most basic things to protect yourself from the severe weather of the snow-covered mountain. Then focus on other items like ski gear or snowboarding gear, boots, sun block, and lip balm.

A final tip is to choose ski pants that have plenty of pockets. You will need places to put your keys, money, locker key, receipts, and other small items while on the slopes.

Have fun in the snow with the added peace of mind that you arrived well-prepared!
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postheadericon Backpacker’s checklist

Backpacker’s Checklist

The checklist here includes the essentials for camping in the backcountry. I’ve also included some hot tips and links to necessary gear which can keep the load to a minimum and yet not compromise the gear’s performance. This checklist can be modified and adjusted as necessary.

Backpacker’s Checklist of the Essentials:

_____ Backpack

_____ Water filtration system

_____ Tent

_____ Topographical Map

_____ Sleeping Bag- down or synthetic

_____ Tarp and Rope

_____ Sleeping Pad- lightweight, self-inflating or closed cell

_____ Headlamp/Waterproof Flashlight

_____ Stove/Fuel Canister

_____ Hiking Shoes

_____ Pots/Pans- aluminum pie plates for serving

_____ Rain/Wind Gear

_____ Cooking/ eating utensils/ Drinking Cup

_____ Insulating Layers: Capilene and/or Fleece Down Jacket

_____ Camp Suds/Camp towel

_____ First Aid Kit

_____ Leatherman/multipurpose tool

____ Fire Starter Kit

_____ Small Pillow Case

_____ Insect Repellent

HOT TIP: If your lightweight down jacket (see North Face down jacket or Patagonia Down Sweater) travels with you even in the summer months, stuff it in the pillow case. Instant pillow.

Firestarter Kit

_____ Birthday Candles (the “trick” ones)

_____ Firestarter Sticks (small)

_____ Dry Tinder

_____ Matches with Waterproof container

_____ Cotton Balls (include in your first aid kit)

HOT TIP: Soak your cotton balls in neosporin (included in your first aid kit) and use them as fire starters under your dry tinder.

They may not be in the checklist, but don’t forget your hiking poles. Your body will thank you for remembering them.

postheadericon Learning to skateboard

Learning To Skateboard

One of the first things that skateboarders must learn is how to stand in the proper position when standing on a skateboard. This might seem like a simple task but some people have problems when trying to balance their body weight on a board that is not very wide and not very long either. A person might practice standing on the board for an hour or so because they are trying to develop a oneness with the skateboard that is under their feet.

A skateboarder must develop a trust for the equipment that they will eventually use to perform tricks. This type of trust is necessary because a skateboarder will have to have a certain amount of confidence in their abilities and trusting the equipment will help build that confidence. The skateboarder must be thoroughly confident and self-assured while on the board and if they are not, there is a good chance that they will never be able to perform the aerial feats that skateboarding requires.

Part of the confidence comes from being able to stand on the skateboard without falling off. When a sense of balance has been firmly established on a skateboard, then the task of learning the aerodynamics of skateboarding is the next part of the learning process. The sense of balance must be learned before the person will be ready to try skateboarding for real and the first trick that makes them airborne will be the most memorable one of their life.

When learning to skateboard, a person should keep safety in mind at all times. It makes no sense to try out any tricks before the person is physically prepared to handle the task it. A skateboarder might be confident enough to try small tricks out while surrounded by friends who are more adept in the sport. Learning to skateboard properly requires a lot of time and effort and while someone feels confident about being around a skateboard amongst friends, they still might not be ready for outlandish tricks that could very well injure them.

When learning to skateboard among friends, a new skater is sure to learn various tips that are meant to keep them safe. They might learn that skateboards have the tendency to fly out from under skateboarders at any time and if the person that is learning to skate is not familiar with this event, they can prove to be a hazard to anyone that is standing around them. Most skateboarders will practice balancing on the skateboard in the safety of their front yards before attempting skateboarding in the street.

A skateboarder might even ask for help from their parents to build the ramps that they will use to practice on. If the ramps are built to exact specifications, all skateboarders who are training for skateboarding competitions might use them. Keeping parents appraised of the equipment needed to skateboard safely is always a good idea. They will be happy to buy quality skateboards, helmets and knee pads if they will be used during training sessions. A conscientious skateboarder will also make it a point to learn how skateboards are put together and the right speeds that will be needed to perform various tricks.