Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Five Top Camping Destinations In Northern Indiana

Though northern Indiana doesn't have extensive public lands compared to those found in the region south of I-70, there are still plenty of places for campers to find relaxation and recreation in the upper half of the Hoosier state. Here are five favorites:

Prophetstown State Park- Indiana's newest state park is located at the junction of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, sitting on some of the most history-rich ground in the state.

Prophetstown is slowly being turned from a collection of agricultural fields and woodlots into a mature state park that will encompass a variety of habitats such as restored prairie and forestland. There are several other interesting attractions now open in the park such as the 1920's Living History Museum.

The campground is also Indiana's newest and features 110 electric sites, 55 of which provide full hook-ups. According to Lebanon resident Ken Campbell who recently stayed at Prophetstown, the campground is outstanding.

"While it is certainly not a Turkey Run (due to its young age)," Campbell said, "it's a very nice state park. We found the campground nicely spread out, making the sites roomy and those with trees seem almost private. The bathhouses are very clean and the staff was helpful. We like it."

Mississinewa, Salamonie and Huntington Reservoirs- These three upper Wabash reservoirs, operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, are located within a few miles of each other between Fort Wayne and Wabash.

Encompassing 3200 acres of water and 14,000 acres of land, Mississinewa State Reservoir includes several other recreation areas in addition to the main park near the dam. The campground is enormous, with over 400 available sites and is very popular with boaters and fisherman. Like other reservoir campgrounds, it is often bustling and more noisy than a similar-sized state-park camping area.

Salamonie Reservoir, a short drive east of Mississinewa, is slightly smaller but offers similar amenities along with a large 250-site campground. The lake is less popular with fishermen though the nearby countryside offers several interesting geological features such as the seven pillars of the Mississinewa and Hanging Rock. The dam spillway area is particularly scenic.

Huntington Lake is the smallest of the group and the farthest from Lafayette. It only offers 30 sites of primitive camping area and is usually much less crowded than its big sisters to the west.

Turkey Run and Shades State Parks- These popular, well-known state parks are both about an hour south of Lafayette in Parke and Montgomery counties. Both parks offer some of the best hiking and scenery in the state.

The campground at Turkey Run offers 213 electric sites and is very popular with both Indiana and Illinois residents. Campers should plan on making reservations for any weekend until winter fully arrives.

The Shades State Park campground is fully modern but does not offer electricity in any of the 105 campsites. This makes Shades less popular with trailer owners, meaning it usually has vacancies even when Turkey Run is booked solid. With less human traffic and a relatively smaller campground, this park is much more suited to tent campers and those seeking a less hectic experience, especially during the weekdays.

Raccoon State Recreation Area- Located on a peninsula in the middle of Cecil M. Hardin Reservoir (Raccoon Lake), this 4000-acre property is geared toward one thing: boaters.

The 279-site campground is usually buzzing with activity, even during the late hours as fishermen come and go. Since most sites offer electricity, it is very common for visitors to spend their entire vacation here, making this campground busier during the week than other areas.

Indiana Dunes State Park- Located among the sand dunes of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, this area is very popular with campers from northern Indiana.

Surrounded by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the state park completely demolished and renovated the campground in 2004. According to DNR Property Manager Brandt Baughman, a major 2004 renovation turned the old, crowded 292-site campground into a 140-site area that "is very spacious, very nice and comfortable.

The campground is also extremely popular. "During the last week, for example, we were full every single night," he said. "We have the highest occupancy rate of any State Park campground."

The campground is only a short walk over the dunes to the beach and does offer some partially wooded sites. The newly renovated Nature center next to the campground has also reopened. Campers should realize that, unlike most State Parks, alcoholic beverages are forbidden in Dunes.

Camping With Family - Cost Effective Way to Enjoy Your Beach Holidays

While you are on a beach vacation with your family, then you should surely try camping out with them for at least a day or 2. You will also save some money on stay, food, and travel. Well, here are a few things that you will need to consider:

  • Choosing camping site

  • Packing checklist

  • learn about the proper etiquette and safety for beach camping

  • Recipes and seasoning ingredients

Choosing a camping site:

You could search on the internet for information on camping grounds, and about the different kinds of facilities that they offer. Some campgrounds offer facilities and activities that are specifically designed to entertain you and your family. However, there also are a few sites that also allow families to enjoy much simpler joys of life, by offering just the basic conveniences.

If you are not allowed to drive right up to the site, then you will need to pack light, so that you can walk freely. Some camping grounds let the campers use their amenities at no cost, while the others charge a nominal fee.

Packing checklist:

While packing for a beach camping holiday, you will need to prepare a list of things that you will need at the site. Besides the usual stuff like sleeping bag, tent, clothes and food, there a few other camping items that you will need out there, in order to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

  1. Warm bedding: Even if you are travelling during the summer season, make sure that you carry some warm bedding. The nights by the sea are much cooler than days. The sand could get cold and moist at nights. Carry extra blankets and socks to keep you warm.

  2. Hiking Gear: If you are camping by the beach close to a big city, then the chances of hiking are very unlikely. If you were to choose a remote site, then you could enjoy hiking as well. It might also come handy while fetching wood for the bonfire.

  3. Rain gear: Tropical climate is unpredictable, and you could encounter unexpected rains at times. Make sure that you carry ponchos, rain coats, etc. Also, don't forget to check your tent for holes before leaving.

  4. Sand toys: Kids love to play on sand, and it will also give you some time to relax and enjoy too. Don't forget to include their sand toys while packing. You could take Frisbee, volleyball, hula hoop, hard ball racquets, etc if your kids are bigger.

  5. First aid kit: Always make sure that you carry one with you, particularly while travelling with kids. The kit should include medicines for all common ailments like cold, fever, bad stomach, cough, etc.

Proper Etiquette

Do not litter on the site. You could either bury the trash or dump them at designated points. You could check with the campsite facilitator about the waste disposal practice that they follow.

Recipes and seasoning ingredients

When you are at the beach, you would love to pamper your taste buds with some yummy seafood. Therefore, it is important that you carry appropriate cooking equipments like a big pan or pot for boiling, skillet, tin foil, disposable paper plates, etc. You could take some butter, lemon, and some spices or herbs, to make your food more delicious.

Tent, Pop-Up, Travel Trailer, or RV - What's the Right Type of Camping for You and Your Kids?

Camping can be a fun and great time for a family, but without the right experience, it may not initially be for everyone. Having experienced and upgraded from tent, to pop-up, to travel trailer camping, we'll take you through the pro's and cons of each experience, and show you how just about anyone, can love being outdoors, even when not completely roughing it.

Having a large family can mean activities such as camping or just about any event can have its challenges. Each person whether it's mom, dad, or kids has a set of needs and comforts that they are accustomed to and expect. Camping, particularly tent camping, doesn't afford much in the way of creature comforts and may be enjoyable for some, but isn't always enjoyable for all.

Tent Camping

My family, as most, started our camping experience with a tent. A tent is easy to pack and allows you to take off to a campground in a moments notice, without too much preparation. Though this is an advantage tents have, tents also have a number of disadvantages that are hard to overcome for a large family.

Though tents are advertised in 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 man sizes, the reality is that fitting any of these amounts of people in a single tent, is next to impossible. This comes to light very quickly on your first trip out.

Another thing that you learn very quickly is the ground is extremely hard, and a tent gets very cold at night. Kids can be rather forthcoming with these two issues; so what I am really saying is they can turn these issues into a much bigger problem than they really are. But, I am going to say with absolutely no sarcasm whatsoever, cross my heart and hope to die; "A significant other would never, ever, have these same issues and would never, ever complain about sleeping on the ground or being in the cold!"

Pop-Up Camper

Though tent camping was an interesting experience for us suburbanites, we still enjoyed being together, the cookouts, campfire stories and all that went along with camping; that is, outside of the sleeping arrangements. This small dilemma had me on a hunt for a better way, and a better way I found.

A friend mentioned, after discussing camping, that they had an older pop-up camper they were looking at getting rid of cheap. For about $500 I was the proud new owner of a 1985 Palomino Pop-up. The camper wasn't free from small issues, but it was functional and overall OK.

Immediately, our camping experience improved. Everyone was sleeping off the ground and the camper added a sink, a stovetop, an indoor table, electric lighting, and a few other small creature comforts that made the transition from city folk to campers a bit easier.

The downsides to a pop-up are, small interior space, limited storage, and no bathroom. Even some pop-ups that do have bathrooms have little to no privacy for their toilets.

Hybrid Travel Trailer

Though the pop-up camper was a good option and we enjoyed the experience with few downsides, I found myself doing the "guy thing" and eyeing/drooling over all of the really cool rigs other people were rolling up to the campgrounds with. After touring a couple campsite neighbors' trailers, I decided to get back on the lookout for something larger and more suited for our big family.

After some time of Craigslist searching, I found a used Hybrid Travel Trailer for $4500. Hybrid means that it has the interior of a hard travel trailer, with the addition of bunks on both ends that fold out like a pop-up camper. This seemed like a good mix of the outdoors and indoors, with all of the amenities and upgrades of a modern trailer.

The major pro's for the travel trailer are, integrated bathroom (this one is a lifesaver for a family), stovetop with oven, TV and radio, plenty of storage, which means you can load up days before your departure if you would like, refrigerator and freezer, heating and air conditioning, and a long list of additional upgrades.

Now I know what you may be saying, "That's not camping" and to a certain degree I would agree. However, by having the trailer we have been able to go on so many weekend trips to places we would have never gone before, and have been able to spend more time in the outdoors than we ever would have without. The hybrid gives us the ability to enjoy ourselves no matter if it starts raining, or if it gets extremely hot or cold.

Though a hybrid has been a great choice for us, there are some considerations for those deciding between a travel trailer, or a hybrid. Hybrids are known to leak some water when they are closed up and stored in winter months. This means maintenance and replacements down the road. Our hybrid is eleven years old and we just had to replace a bunk end due to rot. This was at a cost of $1000 with parts and labor.

Another thing that few are aware of before their purchase is that the bunk ends are made of canvas, like a pop-up camper. The canvas sweats and can drip water onto you when you sleep. You can reduce or eliminate this by unzipping windows, but that introduces cold air. Canvas sweating is very apparent when you run the heater or have a lot of people in the trailer.

Even with these couple of cons, we have had our hybrid trailer for over five years and really love it. We have slept as many as ten people in our hybrid, of course that was six kids and four adults. For us, the hybrid has been a worthwhile investment and we continue to enjoy it to this day.


As much as I love the hybrid, there are many times I consider stepping up to a full-blown traveling domicile, but not for the reason you might expect. It's not for the features, additional comforts, niceties, or otherwise.

The reason I have considered this upgrade (though I most likely will stick to the hybrid) is purely for travelling with six kids. When we go on long trips with the hybrid today, we take everyone in a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. Everyone fits in the SUV, but long trips can be cramped, cause arguments, and often requires multiple bathroom breaks, and snack/food stops.

An RV on the other hand, provides the ability for passengers to move about, utilize the bathroom if necessary, make food, play games, watch movies, and sleep. This could be a major advantage for those with kids and could make the whole travelling experience much easier.

The disadvantages for an RV are, higher fuel costs, maintenance, storage costs when not in use, maneuverability due to size, and more campsite restrictions.

Whatever you may choose whether it is tent camping, pop-up, travel trailer, or RV; taking the family on regular camping trips can significantly strengthen bonding and relationships. I would definitely recommend starting in the tent though; this will give you a better understanding of roughing it, and whether you, or better yet your family, are made out for that type of camping.

Having the hybrid has changed the way we travel and saves us money on overnight stays. If we are travelling to amusement parks or any other event, we always check to see if there are nearby RV sites where we can hook up. This usually saves us a significant amount on lodging, and is much more comfortable for everyone.

All of these things should be considerations when you are deciding on your flavor of camping. The biggest thing is to just get out there and have fun. Your family will appreciate every minute you spend with them in the outdoors. So just do it!

Why Are Pop Up Tents So Popular?

Yes, it's true.

Pop up tents and pop up shelters are very popular nowadays.

You can spot them everywhere.

When you arrive at the beach you can see pop up shelters of all colors.

If you take a walk near a campsite most of the tents are pop up tents.

If you attend a festival or a concert what you see is a colorful sea of pop up tents.

But why are they so popular then?

Pop up tents are not for seasoned campers!

Ask a seasoned camper and he will answer you that pop up tents are not for real campers. They are for beginners, for first time campers, for greenhorns.

Some of them complain that the fiberglass structure is too weak to stand in strong winds.

Others say that the fabrics used to build them are too light, not insulated and sealed, and even the lighter drizzle makes them leak.

Yet others say that they are not easy to carry on a backpack because their round bags are bulky.

OK. You know what? They are probably right!

These kind of tents are not built for heavy weather conditions or expeditions under extreme.

So why are they so popular?

Because pop up tents are for real people.

They are for people who want to enjoy a night looking at the stars without having to learn how to pitch a tent.

They are for guys who want to attend the concert of their favorite singer and drink a beer with their friends instead of having to deal with poles, stakes and ropes.

Pop up tents are for busy fathers and mothers who want to enjoy a picnic outdoors with their children, even in the backyard, without having to read instruction manuals and camping guides.

Probably most of these people will never become a professional camper. Probably most of these people will never use a tent another time!

Probably most of these people buy a pop up tent because it is not for the pros!

They are regular people and regular people buy pop up tents because:

They are easy to carry. OK, some of the bags can be bulky, but if you are going car camping, or to a festival, or you are planning a backyard campout, who cares about the size of the bag.
Pop up tents are easy to set up. They set up by themselves! Take them out of the bag, throw them out, and they are done.
They are cheaper than any other kind of tent. You can buy a pop up tent for less than one hundred dollars.
They are stronger than many other tents. Probably they will not withstand heavy rains and winds but if they withstand your children's test...
Pop up tents are funny to fold back. Have you ever tried to fold a pop up tent in front of your friends or children?

These are the reasons because pop up tents are so popular. Probably these are the reasons that will convince you to buy one.

There will always be time to become a pro.

Have fun!

The Best 3 Survival Knives

There has always been a heated debate when it comes to the top survival knives currently out there. Survivalists are fanatical when it comes to their tools. When searching for the perfect survival knife, there is whole range of knives to choose and that is where the debate comes from. In order for one to make the best choice, there are three things one should consider when choosing a survival knife, they are; A fixed blade, top-notch steel and a thick blade with heat treatment. These are the three most important characteristics that define the top survival knives.

When taking the above considerations into account, the following knives are the best three in this survivalist's opinion.

The 7 inch KA-BAR

When searching for the three top survival knives, the KA-BAR tops the list. This knife has been tried, tested and has proven to be true to its high accolades. The knife has so much history and its experience in the field is vast so one should not think twice about its reliability. The knife has a 7-inch, 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel/carbon mix blade. The blade is extremely tough and highly durable. Despite the blade's toughness it is still soft enough to have a razor sharp edge. It can come in a number of handles but its Kraton G handle comes highly recommended. Its sheath is a Kydex sheath. This knife is an all-purpose knife used even by the United States Marine Core, one of the most elite fighting forces on the planet.

The Becker BK2

This survival knife has a blade that is a ¼ inch thick and highly tough. It has a full tang design as its handle comes in two pieces of ivory wrapped around raw steel. It is simply a rugged knife. It has a drop point design and its sheath is one of the best designed in the market. The blade of the Becker BK2 is thinner; also, its sheath is nylon, so it's not quite as tough as the KA-BAR, but it's still a very good knife and has a better price point.

The Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

The Gerber LMF II is one of the best survival knives ever and this is due to Gerber's long history of makin gquality products. Its blade is made of 12C27, super tough, stainless steel and requires very minimal maintenance, if any at all. Its blade is also razor sharp and super thick and makes light of any survival task. The knife has been tried and tested and armed forces around the world regularly use it. Its buttcap is made of tough steel which can be used as a striking weapon or hammer when the need arises. It also has a well-designed and quality sheath.

The above 3 knives fit the bill as the toughest survival knives out there. Each one has its specific benefits, but none of them will leave you wanting for anything more in a real life survival situation.

Best 10 Places to Camp in Arkansas

If you are planning an outing in Arkansas, here is a list of the best 10 places to go camping. Most of these campgrounds have a variety of activities including hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and more. The sites vary so if you need to use a family cabin tent or want room for a privacy shelter be sure to allow yourself enough space to accommodate for that. Quite a few campsites these days have enough room for the larger family cabin tents or even a couple smaller 2-4 person tents or solo tents.

DeGray Lake Campground:
DeGray Lake campground is located in Ouachita Mountains foothills. The visitors have several fun activities at their disposal this includes fishing, boating, scuba diving, and swimming. The campground offers 113 camping sites which are available for reservation and electric hookups. Other extra amenities include flush toilets, swimming beaches, playgrounds, heated showers and a dump station. The camping fees are $12 to $18 per night.

White Rock Campground:
The White Rock campground located in the Boston Mountain range offers exquisite scenery. The campground has several amenities which include 3 natural stone cabins, a lodge which can accommodate up to 30 people, drinking water, vault toilets and picnicking units. Reservations for the cabins and the lodge can be made by calling the White Mountain concessionaires. The camping ground has several fun activities which include hiking, picnicking among others. The camping fees can be accessed from the self-service pay station.

Lake Ouachita State Park:
Lake Ouachita is located on the Ouachita River. There are several fun activities at this park which include fishing, camping, swimming and horse riding. The park has a total of 1106 campsites, 150 picnic sites, 21 recreational sites, 13 swimming beaches, and 24 boat ramps. The camping fees are not specified.

Petit Jean State Park Campground:
This campground has 127 individual camping sites which offer electrical and water hookups and 4 bathhouses. The activities offered in the camping grounds include fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking. Other facilities available include playgrounds, picnic areas and swimming pools which are ideal for families and groups. The camping fees can be accessed on site.

The Buffalo National River:
The Buffalo National River campground set along the Buffalo national river which is a free flowing river and has 112 camping sites which range from hook ups to primitive sites. The campground has several interesting activities for families and groups. These activities include fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and swimming. The camping fees are not specified.

Charlton Campground:
The Charlton campground is located in Walnut Creek. This campground has primitive and utility hookup sites which add up to 57 sites. The campground has several amenities which include an amphitheater, playground, flush toilets, warm showers, and picnic shelters. There are several fun activities available in the campground, these are: fishing, swimming, biking and hiking. The camping fees range from $10.00 to $23 per night depending on the requirements of the visitors.

Bear Creek Lake Campground:
The campground is a 625 acre lake located on top of Crowley's ridge. The campground has a total of 66 sites which include 1 bunkhouse, 12 cabins, 1 group site, 1 lodge, 1 picnic site, 49 utility hookups and other amenities which include a meeting room, vault toilets, boat ramps, restrooms and drinking water. There are several activities enjoyed in the park this includes hiking, picnicking, boating and fishing. The camping fees are posted on the self-service pay station.

Maumelle Campground:
Maumelle campground is located along the Arkansas River. It has 96 camping sites which include electric hookups and 8 group picnic shelters. The campground has several amenities making camping fun, these include hot showers, a dock, a boat ramp, flush toilets, fishing pier and playgrounds. There are several fun activities offered in the park, and they are fishing, boating, hiking, and birding. The camping fees are not specified.

Albert Pike Campground:
Albert Pike campground is located in the northern side of Langley. It has a total of 46 camping sites and 9 of those are crystal camping grounds. The available activities for families and groups are fishing, hiking, and swimming. The campground offers several amenities that make your stay there more comfortable, they include flush toilets, drinking water, and warm shower. This campground is normally open all year round. The camping fees range from $10 to $16 per night and there are no reservations, service is on the first come first serve basis.

Dam Site Lake Campground:
The Dam Site Lake campground is located in the shores of beaver lake in the Ozark Mountains. It has 48 spacious camping sites offering a number of fun activities which include biking, swimming, picnicking, hunting, wildlife viewing and hiking. The campground has several amenities available to the users; they include playgrounds, showers, and flush toilets, dump stations for RV users, drinking water, and picnic areas for the comfort of the visitors. The camping fees are not specified.

Flathead Valley Montana: The Best Camping Site

Looking out for camping options when in Montana? Nothing can beat a camping trip to Flathead Valley in Montana. It is the best place to be when you are planning a camping trip. Located amidst Rocky Mountains along western Montana, this valley is surrounded by the Swan & Mission mountain ranges thus giving it the feel of an adventure spot. Flathead Lake runs at the centre of this valley and is surrounded by a road on either side. No wonder, this place sports a camping look and, offers great many adventure opportunities to all you adventure savvy people. Some of the popular camping opportunities available in the Flathead Valley are listed below. You can pick out the best option for you and, go camping this season.

Glacier National Park

Marked with the right amenities to spoil you and, make your camping fun Glacier National Park is one of the best camping sites in Flathead Valley. You have a lot many campgrounds located very close to the entrance of this national park. The offerings of this campsite include water and electricity for your RVs and, amazing tent spots for your stay. The tents are absolutely relaxing complete with restrooms, showers, laundry and camp store. You also have a swimming pool and hot tub for rejuvenation. Breakfast and barbeque events make it a remarkable experience. What more the West Glacier is actually about 2.5 miles from the entrance of this park. This is an excellent camping destination if you wish to rejuvenate and camp at Flathead Valley.

State Parks

Along the western side of Flathead Valley lies the West Shore State Park that offers a beautiful camping site that's nestled in the beauty of the fir, pine and larch forest. This is a perfect outdoor camping site that offers you fire pits, grill rings, picnic tables and a line of electrical hookups. Both black and grizzly bears will happen to be your guests while you are camping at this place. A boat ramp and, a splendid parking for your boat trailer is placed for you. You will find vault toilets and drinking water facility here but, there are no showers in this camping site. You will get the real camping atmosphere when you visit this camping site.

National Forests

You also have the national forests in Flathead Valley region where there are plenty of campgrounds including Tally Lake which is very near Whitefish. Located along the Tally Lake, this is an amazing camping site complete with tents and space for RV. You are also offered a variety of amenities like flush toilets, potable water tower, picnic tables and grills. You can enjoy swimming and boating in the lake. You can also camp here while visiting the Glacier National Park via the Camas Creek.

Selecting an RV

Recently my wife and I were talking about our upcoming long term tour of the country. I will be 62 and we both have dreamt of traveling the country and seeing everything we have always wanted to see. We own a 32 ft. travel trailer and a Dodge 3500 diesel dually that we would be towing it with. For whatever reason, I started thinking that it would be nice to get a Class A. She had apparently been thinking the same thing. So off to the dealers we went.

Having no idea of what to look for, what kind of budget for the rig would be needed or even the operating costs we decided it would be a good idea to ask as many questions as possible. We are not new to the RV world, having lived full-time in a fifth-wheel for 10 years, has taught us a lot. We are familiar with the problems of freezing water lines, dumping the tanks, setting up and tearing down. How to economize the storage space and shopping while living on a limited budget. So we knew what we wanted on the inside. But a Class A is totally different from a fifth-wheel on the outside.

We had to look at things differently when getting on the road. Our current fifth-wheel is 42 ft. long. It is a toy hauler or garage unit. The back 14 ft. was used as an office instead of carrying around toys (motor cycles, ATV etc.). Storage on the outside was simply the basement area. With a Class A you have a lot more storage. But even that seemed to raise questions. Why were some models offering pass through and some not? Why do some models have a lot of storage and some don't? Also almost all Class A RVs have a generator, why? What kind of maintenance do they need? How big would we need? How long will it run, etc.? It seemed the more we started looking the more questions we had. Then the really big question, gas or diesel.

We really needed to narrow down the selection and get an idea on the costs of a Class A. If you have looked around at Class A's at all you know that diesel units cost more than gas units. Sometimes a lot more. But are they worth it? Our first problem was actually justifying a Class A over the rig we already have and paid for. My son kind of answered that. His feelings were that a Class A offered more options. If you are on the road and broke down, you had your TOAD (car that you towed behind the Class A for getting around town) that you could unhook and drive to get help. Second was the storage. Regardless of the type of Class A (gas or diesel), you still have a lot more storage than a travel trailer. The operating costs of a Class A versus the truck and trailer are also better. My truck gets about 8 MPG average towing the trailer. A diesel Class A is about the same. But once camped, my car (TOAD) gets 30 MPG and the truck 16 MPG. Gas is currently 30 cents a gallon cheaper than diesel. Our overall cost for travel would be cheaper.

Next was the size of the rig. We found out that if you are going to keep your camping expenses low, your best bet was National and State parks along with dry camping. Many parks have a limit on the size of the rig that they will allow. The closer you get to 40 ft., the more parks you will be limiting yourself to. 36 ft. seems to be a sweet spot. Plenty of storage and comfort and small enough to get into the maximum number of places. It funny how a little bit of information can go a long way. Just knowing that we wanted to stay around 36 ft. helped eliminate a lot of the rigs.

So now to tackle the big problem, gas or diesel. Up front this seemed like an easy problem. Gas is cheaper, gas engine RVs are cheaper. All Class A's offered a comfortable ride. All Class A's offered sufficient storage. Having worked on engines in my youth, I knew that a gas engine would not have the lifetime of a diesel, but I also knew you could rebuild or replace them fairly cheaply when the time came. SO gas it was... but why were diesels so much more in demand? That bothered me, so I started asking questions. Seems that diesels get better mileage, more get up and go in the mountains, have more towing capacity, have better basement areas (storage) and in general last a lot longer. When I applied my math skills to the numbers, it turns out that diesels had a lower operating cost, better resale value and lasted longer than the gas RV. Now I was really torn, gas or diesel? Enter my Son-in-law, a mechanic. He had simple advise... get a diesel. They are quieter (engine is normally in the back), come with a bigger generator (more electric to run things) and will last forever. Now we knew what to start narrowing our search down to. A diesel rig around 36 feet long.

Living space has always been a concern for me. I get slightly claustrophobic at times. Add a few people in a small space (think elevator) and I am close to losing it at times. So living in an 8 ft wide home on wheels could be an issue. The answer is slide outs. Diesel RV can have a lot of slide outs. These expand the interior room quite a bit. But the more slides the more expensive the unit and the more potential problems. After thinking about it we decided that two slides would be enough and one big slide in the living area would be our minimum. After all, we only sleep in the bed room. But we eat, read, entertain and relax in the living area.

We don't have any kids living with us any more so a single bedroom was our next thought. Then the mother-in-law said how she would love to travel the country. My wife also brought up the fact that she would love to have the grandkids travel with us from time to time. I know some of you also have kids that you can't leave at home (although you may want to at times). We did see a few Class A's that have bunk rooms and were actually very nice. That may be an option.

It was time to look at the budget. We had a basic idea of what we now wanted in an RV. The issue became how much did we want to spend and could we afford to buy what we needed.

I have always had expensive taste. Going to RV shows, I learned quickly that if the price of the RV was less than $300,000 I really didn't seem to like it. I also knew that we could not afford to pay $300,000 on a new RV. Sitting down with the budget and financial information we figured out what we could afford. We have a situation that is slightly different from almost all of you and that is a pending settlement of an insurance claim for my wife. For us, the settlement will be a determining factor on how much of a rig we can buy. But for now, we knew that a new rig was not in the question, used was going to have to do.

New set of problems. Used means someone else's problems. Now there are all kinds of things that you can do to limit the issues you run into. Insurance and aftermarket warranties, good inspections before the sale by a qualified mechanic, talking to the previous owner, buying as new as possible, reading reviews on the forums, asking questions of professionals and users. In short do as much research as you can.

So how used is used? Researching the web, you can find all kinds of used Class A rigs. Some with very low mileage. All different sizes and all different ages. Taking my list of requirements I started looking at the local dealerships, then eBay, then web searches. I can tell you this; there is no shortage of Class A Diesel RV for us to look at. Good Sams will cover a rig up to 14 years old. But each year it gets more expensive. So you can cover yourself for major issues.

So there you have it, how to select an RV. With lots of research and a little luck you can find the perfect rig for your travels. Decide what you need, what you want and what you can afford. Then search the local dealers so you can see what it is you are saying you have to have versus what you want to have. Then search the web for units in your price range.

There are a lot of good quality check list on the web to use to check out the RV of your dreams once you have a few narrowed down. Use them as well. Know a good mechanic? Take him/her along; it never hurts to have a unbiased eye looking over a major purchase.

Why People Opt For Batemans Bay Camping Vacation

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and retirees these days. The awesome weather in the summer and even in the winter, the spectacular landscapes and views across the area provide individuals wonderful vacation features that help them get away from their hectic work and spend quality time with their loved ones.

As of now, one of the most sought after area in the region is Batemans Bay. Its geographical location near the city of Canberra and easy trip via the Kings Highway and the Princes Highway has made the area a popular holiday destination for almost all individuals who wish to experience the best vacation of their life close to nature. In addition, Batemans Bay also features numerous options of fun and leisure for the whole family to assure that they can create memorable moments with their loved ones. Here are some of the best activities you may choose from.

Water-based activities - From swimming, surfing or even diving, individuals can surely have the ideal summer vacation on the white sand beaches and unspoiled coastline of Batemans Bay. For a more relaxing day cruising on the water, individuals can also opt for reef fishing. Moreover, individuals are sure to have a safe beach vacation since patrollers are present all throughout the year.

Wildlife ventures - The Batemans Bay is close to the wildlife and just a few minute drive from the coastline. Therefore, if you and your family wish to explore the lush green forests, you can certainly find certain areas that are filled with kangaroos, wallabies, possums and even bandicoots that can surely attract you. With the abundant trees and bushes, individuals can also find sea eagles and colourful parrots flying around the forest.

Camping - In case that you wish to experience to live close to the beauty of nature, you can also find a marvelous Batemans Bay camping location. This location is well-kept by individuals who wish to provide the best camping experience for you. From a good nights rest along with the cool weather at night up to the great morning wakeup call of singing birds, you can be sure to feel a relaxing sleep and a pleasant wake. If you wish to experience a more thrilling vacation, you can also look for camping grounds that offer the best camping facility.

With all these features, you can surely enjoy a wonderful vacation that can create the best and most memorable moments for you and your family.

Backpacking Camping Tips


You need to have a plan before you go out. Decide where you're going to go and learn about the area. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations of the area. In some spots you cаn't light fires for example because there are bans. You should create a list and decide what you want to take in your pack. Make sure you have a good map of the area and don't rely on your cellphone because some areas don't get good reception or none at all. A paper map of the area is essential. Make sure you know the roads in and out and get a good compass too.

Get in Shape

Before you do serious backpacking you'll need to be in decent shape. Start with long walks along trails without weight and then add weight to pack and go out for day trips. Once you do this for a while your body will adapt and you will be set for longer trips. Make sure you stick to easier hikes before you venture off into other terrain because it's easy to get lost of injured if you're not prepared for the hike.

Pack Light

Many backpackers make the mistake of bringing far too much gear with them. Everything you add just weighs down your pack and your back more so plan to pack light. One thing you should do is to pack a lighter tent. You don't need a giant tent for backpacking you want one that is going to be light and easy to setup as well as pack away. Make sure you buy a decent pack that can hold all you gear and one that fits comfortably for you. It's best to try out the pack before you buy it.


In the wilderness you need to stay safe. Water is your most important resource so make sure you have enough and be sure to drink a lot as you hike. Stop at streams and lakes to fill up and be sure to decontaminate your water before you drink it. Understand the wildlife in the area and be sure you have bear spray with you but only use this in an absolute emergency. Your pack should have a medical kits and tell your friends where you will be going and when you expect to be home. Take a cellphone with you for added security. Another thing to ensure you have is proper hiking shoes or boots. Never hike in runners or other shoes as you will quickly fatigue your feet and get blisters.

Adventure Travel In Australia

Adventure travel developed as a segment of the tourism market during the latter half of the 20th century out of the more general traditional notion of outdoor recreation. Adventure travel differs from from earlier forms of outdoor recreation, however, in that it offers travelers greater opportunities to experience specific physical activities (eg. rock climbing, diving, snow-boarding, kayaking, abseiling) that involve greater levels of skill and, within acceptable limits, risk. With traditional outdoor recreation, the primary attraction is the specific setting: with adventure travel, however, travelers are attracted primarily by the activities offered. Adventure travel is therefore primarily associated with travel products where the primary purpose is to engage in activity and participatory experience rather than the more passive sightseeing associated with traditional outdoor tourism.

The travel industry has evolved considerably since the 1970s. Changes include sociodemographic shifts which have seen a growth both the disposable income and available leisure time of many travelers. Travelers generally have become more discerning, have more travel experience, and have come to enjoy the benefits of cheaper, more convenient transport and other technological advances. As a result, substantial changes occurred in the demand for international travel products. The 1990s saw rapid growth in the evolution of specific segments of the tourism market including ecotourism, nature tourism and other special interest tourism which catered for the new breed of sophisticated traveler with both the means and the will to travel.

While travel costs will always remain a significant factor in decision-making for most travelers, the notion of tourist satisfaction is today of increasing importance. Increasingly, travel products must provide something other than simple value for money to attract tourists pursuing deeper, more satisfying purposes. In short, new patterns in travel choices have emerged to accommodate a much greater spectrum of travel interests, activities and experiences. Adventure travel today is increasingly the travel mode of choice for sophisticated travellers seeking to experience a holiday rather than simply sit in a tour bus passively sightseeing.

The increasing interest of many travellers in actively experiencing their holiday has also been matched with a rapid expansion in the range and quality of travel-related equipment available, extending the capability of tour operators to deliver more diversified adventure travel products. Australia has been at the forefront of these developments, and adventure travel is now one of the fastest-growing travel market segments in that country. Continuing to grow in their scope and appeal, it appears today that the variety and availability of adventure travel products for a broad spectrum of abilities and interests and abilities is almost limitless.

In Australia, the notion of adventure in travel is inextricably linked to that of the Outback. This means that true adventure travel is more likely to be found away from the comfortable, urban east coast, and in particular away from the area located south of the Brisbane-Adelaide line where over 80% of Australians live in urban and suburban settings oblivious to the geographic, climatic and cultural realities of the majority of the Australian continent. High on the list of authentic Australian outback adventure travel destinations therefore are Central Australia and the Northern Territory, far north and western Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. The island of Tasmania also provides many exciting opportunities for adventure travel in unique wilderness areas.

Quality outback adventure tours in Australia are characterized by many factors, including the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles rather than buses, access to spectacular remote sites, provision of challenging adventure activities, and active hands-on participation in daily routines. The use of 4x4 vehicles typically allows tour operators to access more remote, difficult and spectacular country. By encouraging active participation in daily routines such as cooking, cleaning, setting camp and packing up, adventure tours engage travelers in the complete outdoor adventure experience rather than simply waiting on passive participants hand and foot.

But the real adventure element provided by the best quality tours takes the form of specific adventure activities ranging from bushwalking, rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, through to more extreme activities such as diving, canoing, abseiling, jet-skiing, quad riding, white water rafting and hot air ballooning.

Adventure Travel - Forsake the Well-Trodden Path!

Adventure travel often conjures up images of mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving and four wheel driving. While these are certainly activities associated with adventure travel, adventure travel may involve something as sedate as a wine tasting tour in Bordeaux, France. Adventure travel is simply to go above and beyond one's normal known area, seeking out experiences which are unfamiliar. The travel destination may be as close as a few kilometers from your home, or it can be thousands of kilometers away in an exotic location in Africa or Asia.

Maybe it has to do with the stressful and fast-paced lives we are leading, that adventure travel has become one of the fasting growing segments of the travel industry. More and more travelers are abandoning the usual beach resorts, and are actively seeking new experiences in their travels. These trips often bring significant personal discovery, development of new skills and knowledge and cross-cultural experiences.

Adventure travel is not for everyone. It is for an individual with the thirst for new experience, one who dares to forsake the well-trodden path. Health and age may restrict the traveler to less-strenuous activities, but that does not stop the traveler from other forms of adventure travel.

It is undeniable that some adventure travel activities carry additional risk. Trekking across the desert is definitely more dangerous than planting yourself under an umbrella at the beach. As in most travel situations, having adequate planning and practicing common sense will go a long way in minimizing risk.

An adventure travel need not be expensive. In most cases, you would not be staying in five star hotels, eating in fancy restaurants and taking limousine rides. Instead, you would probably be staying in guesthouses, eating at local food stalls and taking public transport. These usually more than help to hold the line on the total cost.

If you need more reasons to start your adventure travel, here are some motivating quotations I have collected.
"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it." - Rosalia de Castro

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him." - Daniel J. Boorstin

"All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary" - Sally Ride

"It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Take action and start your adventure travel today!

Your Guide to Adventure Traveling

Adventure travel involves traveling and exploring remote, hostile and exotic areas. A traveler may anticipate unexpected things on an adventure trip. Adventure travel is a growing industry, as people enjoy exploring new locations and seek varieties in their vacations. According to a U.S travel association, an adventure travel is the activity of a tourist, which includes the following components:

1. Involvement with nature
2. Cultural interaction
3. Physical activity

Adventure travel is extremely exciting, as it involves people stepping outside the comfort of their homes to explore a whole new world. It may also involve performing different acts. All these factors require lot of efforts, and sometimes even involve physical danger. Some of the activities include mountaineering, rafting, bungee jumping, trekking, rock-climbing and zip lining. Other distinct and new forms of such travels are jungle tourisms.

Interest in photography, backpacking, navigation systems, and social networking among tourists has tremendously increased the popularity of adventurous travel.

Many companies and tourist organizations cater to different kinds of adventurous clients. Some of them include mountain equipments, rainforest expeditions and intrepid travel. Some public and private travel agencies promote various geographic regions as travel destinations.

Adventure Tourism For The Disabled:

There is a considerable increase in the tourism for disabled people around the globe. Some travel companies are in the process of developing tours, specially keeping the disable people in mind. They are also considering specific locations that might be restricted for tourism to such people only. British Columbia, Vancouver and Canada have already started organizing such kinds of tourisms. This kind of travel costs a whopping $ 13 billion in the northern part of America on annual basis.

There are many adventurous travelers, who despite of being disabled, became some of the well-known and prominent handicapped adventurous travelers.

Certain destinations for travel also offer various job opportunities and diverse programs for other unfortunate people. For example, Canada organizes rafting trips for those suffering from spinal damage.

Esprit Rafting is another sport that is becoming very popular among people with different kinds of ailments, and those who are not able to participate in normal adventure sports or tourism. In addition, there are other various adventurous traveling opportunities for people having interests in hunting and fishing.

Below listed are some sources, wherein you can find loads of information regarding adventure tourisms across the globe:

1. There are various programs dedicated to adventure tourism. They mainly focus on different locations and authentic food.
2. Various magazines focus on the importance of traveling in specific locations and their importance. They also give helpful information on various remote areas, which have recently become popular as travel destinations.
3. Several websites and blogs provide information on various types of adventurous tourisms.

There are various recreation programs organized by different outdoor organizations. Such kinds of recreation programs provide opportunities for people to make their adventure travel a memorable vacation.

Some of the adventure travelers also expose themselves to wildlife adventures, which involve a lot of risk. These kinds of adventure travelers need to make use of safety guidelines before venturing into such dangerous trips.

5 Tips to Adventure Travel in Small Groups

Are you planning your next vocation and thinking of taking an adventure travel tour instead of traditional beach - resort type of vocation? You are not alone, many people these days prefer active, adventurous style of travel. And the best way to have a safe adventure is to go for adventure travel in a small group.

Small group adventures travel is a fast growing industry and for a good reason. There are many definite advantages to having a guided adventure vocation in a small group:

- you can get more attention from the tour guide
- there is a great variety of small group adventures available even to rare and not tourist popular destinations
- if the group is not large the tour can be better customized to your needs
- often traveling in a small group is cheaper than participating in a conventional tour, because only a few people need accommodation, so it doesn't have to be a big hotel
- tours are less formal and you have more freedom, yet a safety of having a guide, in case you need help

These tips will help you to get the most from your vocation

1. Decide what kind of adventure you are looking for. Adventure vocation is a broad term - for some it means exploring the wildness of Alaska or the jungles of Amazon, while others want a guided tour to Paris or Sydney. Not all adventures require you to be in a top physical shape. Some tours involve a lot of hiking, but not all - you can still see a lot of interesting and exciting things without accosting yourself. Find out in advance how difficult your tour is going to be.

2. Do you want to explore just one country in depth or would you rather see a lot of different things in different countries? This question might sound silly, but it actually is important. Since most adventure vocation tours are 7-14 days long, you can't expect to see a lot of places and to spend a long time in each of them. More places and countries doesn't necessarily mean better vocation, you might just become exhausted and overwhelmed by too many things to see.

3. Are you after a family adventure or you preferring only a company of adult travelers? As adventurous traveling gains its popularity, many companies offer family friendly adventure tours. These are usually light tours with many activities to interest children. So, if you plan to go with kids, search for family adventures. On the other hand, if you don't want children as members of your group, make sure to ask your travel agent, if families with kids go for this type of tour.

4. Spend several hours researching adventure travel companies and comparing adventure tours they offer - that will save you a lot of money and frustration. If you do your research online, and you should, read what other people who took the tour you like have to say. Most traveling companies put testimonials online. You can also search adventure forums, where people share their real experiences.

5. Adventure travel doesn't have to be very expensive, especially if we are talking about traveling in small groups. Search around and find a tour that suits your budget. In traveling industry expensive doesn't necessarily mean the best. Compare what activities the tours offer and what kind of accommodation is included. It is possible to find great adventure tours at reasonable prices.

Tanya Turner runs Adventure Travel Reviews .org [http://www.adventuretravelreview.org] which helps you compare adventure tours and packages [http://www.adventuretravelreview.org/adventure-travel-tours.htm] offered by different companies

Adventure Travel - What is It, Why is it a Growing Tourism Sector and How Can You Take Part?

Despite much negative talk about what seems to be a now overused word, 'recession', the adventure travel and luxury travel sectors are fast growing segments of the travel market. Regardless of this I think many travel agents are still unsure how to approach this growing market. The term 'adventure holiday' cries out for a personal service. After all my perfect adventure might be your hell! The concept of personal service is further complicated since many potential travellers often don't really know what they want out of an adventure travel experience. The solution? Know what adventure travel really is, search out what you want to do and dare I say it - 'be your own travel agent'!

So, what exactly is adventure travel?

There is still a preconceived idea that adventure holidays are solely about high impact active experiences such as battling white water rapids, rock climbing or abseiling down a cliff face. This may be true to a point but adventure travel goes much deeper than this and can encompass a huge range of options with a cultural, wildlife and more easy going flavour.

Adventure travels involve exploration or travel to remote and more exotic destinations as opposed to an experience exclusively for the adrenaline junkie. If you intentionally step outside the box and choose to go further afield, deliberately looking for new experiences in otherwise unfamiliar off-the-beaten track territories then adventure travel is in your heart.

Many would wrongly associate adventure travels with 'roughing it' when in reality it can be about distinctive accommodation and surroundings that reflect the locality and culture, something that is comfortable and character driven as opposed to opulent style and luxury.

Adventure travel can offer rest and relaxation, stimulation and variety, inspiration and well earned treats as well as high quality and safe expedition environments for family trips.

So why is the adventure travel market expanding?

  • Escapism is a key factor! More and more people who are dissatisfied with their current situation and negatively affected by the economic downturn are looking for travel experiences that will inspire and invigorate them. Adventure travel is certainly personally rewarding and time spent in nature is a remedy for dissatisfaction, frustration and boredom.

  • Another reason also linked to the economic climate is that adventure travel can now combine with activities and voluntary work in local community projects. This, together with the group one often travels with on an adventure travel experience can provide an opportunity to develop social experiences, new skills and knowledge which can relate to an individual's career often providing travellers with a competitive edge on their return.

And so to the final question - if travel agents are failing to provide the kind of personal service required for such an experience then how should you go about an adventure travel experience?

  • The first thing you could do is practise. Allow yourself to go out and get lost! You'll be surprised what you'll find out there when you don't plan anything.

  • You can subscribe to outdoor adventure magazines and subscriber based newsletters to get a feel of what is out there, how it all works and what would suit you.

  • The most effective tool you have is the web. There is so much information out there in cyber space on the big wide world and how you can explore it! The whole point of 'adventure' travel is to have an 'adventure' so you could take the bull by the horns and plan your own adventure holiday by using the growing number of information portals (like the Best of Zambia) that aim to give you everything you need to provide yourself with your own personal service.

  • Finally, if that thought is way too scary then there are a number of top quality adventure travel tour operators who can help you - and they are not your standard high street travel agents who usually only provide off the shelf, over done and commercialised experiences.

Adventure Travel Agents Provide Great Benefits For Your Adventure Travel

Adventure travel agents make any travel possible and help you to enjoy your travel even more. Traveling is a way of exploring and experiencing what a particular place can offer, and all the things that can be really adventurous. However, travel will not be successful without adventure travel agents.

Planning to have an adventure travel can be confusing and time consuming. That's why it is important to hire a travel agent. Looking for an expert agent that specializes in adventure travel is important for the success of your travel. They are the ones who will help you in making your plan for your adventure. The agent will not only arrange the various means of transportation but they may be able also to let you save money with special fares, early bookings, accommodation deals, and travel advisories. Not only that, there are also great benefits that you can get when you use a travel agent such as:

* Save Money- agents will really get great savings. With the strong relationships of the travel suppliers and the advancement in technology for computer reservations allow travel agents to access the most up-to-date details on how to get you the best deals and value.

* Travelers Advocate- your best interests are their priority. There are societies of travel agents in America that have a long-standing record on fighting for their clients' rights, and every travel agent is required to stick to the strict Code of Ethics.

* Convenience- adventure travel agents really provide convenience for their customers. They are the ones that will provide all the things that you need for your travel. They mostly offer one-stop shopping travel arrangements.

* Great Service- agents are knowledgeable and active in their service. The travel agents are well educated and trained in order for them to offer the highest quality of service to the costumer.

With these benefits, your adventure will definitely be exciting and successful. Your personal agent will really work for you and will do everything just to provide you with your travel needs. An adventure travel agent is absolutely the best travel partner that you can have.

Adventure Travel Sites - Get the Top Destinations Now!

Adventure travel sites are the websites which are intended to present helpful planning ideas and illustrate actual experiences regarding different adventure destinations in the world. If you are planning to go on an adventure trip in a matter of days or weeks and you are in dire need to get yourself a travel reservation! Surely, you do not want to cram your trip. Thus, you will want to make the proper and necessary planning to prevent yourself from getting those reservations at the last minute.

These days, you will notice that a severe competition is penetrating the travel industry and there is a strong rivalry between adventure travel sites in order to get the attention of the travel aficionados and even the first time adventure travelers. This battle between websites is as a matter of fact beneficial to travelers, since they are offered with more choices than before when it comes to locating reliable services such as discounted fees for traveling at the last minute. Through a little bit of Internet research, you can now pack your things easily and indulge in economical fares and service.

There are different adventure travel websites. They have their own information content. Among them are the Adventure's World which emphasizes South American places such as Costa Rica, Venezuela and Peru and the Caribbean. There is also the directory of adventure travel writings posted by the Washington Post. Aside from that, Walkabouts informs readers about travel as well as interactive journeys. Meanwhile, The Traveler's Club is not a commercial site, but also provides information for independent adventure travelers. This is similar to the 1000 Travel Tips website intended for independent travelers. Furthermore, Rec. Travel Library provides tourism and travel information along with a highlight on personal travels and adventures.

With the different travel sites mentioned above as well as the many others which you can search on the Web, you have a great chance of getting the best results whether you want to travel within your state or out of the country. Adventure travel sites, along with their vivid illustrations of breath-taking adventure locations will not fail you when it comes to perfect travel destinations.

Adventure Travel - Offers the Trip of a Lifetime For Everyone

What do we understand by adventure travel? Years ago, an intrepid traveller, would take many months of preparation, and need as many months again, to embark upon an adventure. They would need a lot of money to arrange all the resources they needed. We imagine them to be hacking their way through a Malaysian jungle with a trail of bearers behind, or pulling their sleighs across frozen Arctic wastes. Perhaps, even, exploring the upper Nile, or crossing a desert by camel.

We have travelled far since those early pioneers paved the way for us. Now you can go on a family adventure as part of your annual holiday. Honeymooners can enjoy the first blooms of married life in a tropical jungle or trekking in Peru. Seasoned travellers may go to remote places by canoe, or hike over a mountain range. Even gap year travellers can make the journey of a lifetime and fall in love with the Brazilian Pantanal, or the Australian Outback. You can travel as part of a group or on your own.

There are some tour operators that specialise in adventure travel. They already have the resources in place in your preferred destination. Experienced group leaders and much local knowledge allow them to offer a high quality service to travellers looking for adventure.

These tours are generally eco-friendly and travellers can interact with local people and put their finger on the pulse of a country or region, to really feel the heartbeat of a place. Adventure travellers are ecologically aware and are looking for something different. The adventure traveller is not just seeking his own gratification, but would want the local people to benefit from his visit. He is a responsible traveller.

Where can you start with adventure travel? You can start in your own country by doing something you have never done before. You can start by doing something adventurous for one day - go up in a balloon, or take a canoe trip down your favourite river. If you want to trek through the foothills of the Himalayas, start with a walking holiday through the local hills or across the moors where you live, and build your confidence and your enthusiasm

Adventure holidays offers something for everybody. A wide range of tours are available to suit various styles, tastes and levels of experience. These tours are for anybody who is looking for something different. Many group tours are only six to twelve people in size, so you can get to know everyone, an adventure tour can offer a good social interaction with like-minded travellers.

When is the best time to go on an adventure holiday? That is the beauty of adventure travel, you can go anytime of the year. Different continents means there is something to do in any month of the year. When the Northern Hemisphere is having its summer, the Southern Hemisphere is in winter.

The adventure travellers of bygone years still have something to show us. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Save your money, read your books, and the old timers did not have the benefit of internet research - get to know something about your destination. Then a good tour operator can help make your dream holiday come true.

Seven Ways to Enrich Adventure Travel Experiences

What are the best ways to enrich Adventure Travel for you and your companions? Experienced travelers pick up tricks along the way, and I encourage you to add your own to the list. Below are seven ways that visitors to Cape Breton Island have increased their enjoyment of the journey, their stay on the Island and even the magic in their daily lives upon returning home. Notice the common ingredient is connection.

1. A Vision For Your Trip gives your adventure travel a context of what you would appreciate looking back on as a reference point of you being energized, connected with yourself and your environment, a juicy moment that can re-energize everyday life. For Aladdin, it's a ride on a magic carpet, while for me it is taking a hike with my wife to find a waterfall.

2. A Great Destination: What place engages your sense of curiosity, your sense of where you and your companion(s) would like to explore and even settle in for a time? Many cultures call this developing a "sense of place".

3 Knowledgeable Local Guides: By guides I mean people who know an adventure destination and are generous and passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience. They may actually escort you on a trip or simply educate you on places off the beaten track, things to do, where to eat or sleep, and where to visit in order to discover special spots mentioned above--to develop your own "sense of place". These guides can offer a local connection embodying their passion and enthusiasm--they show an adventurous spirit which is joyful, even contagious. Guides offer a connection to local people, places and adventures. They offer you safety and useful information and recommendations.

4. Unique Gatherings The native Mi'kmaq on Cape Breton Island call gatherings "Mao I Omi" and the French call them "place de rencontre" and the Celts "Ceilidhs" (often involving music and dance). What you will find is that meeting other people and sharing your experiences, adventures and stories is a way to feel part of things, to live your adventures and enjoy others' "magical experiences", gifts and talents. Local gatherings, events and ceremonies are designed to create connection between people, a sense of "magic", and the gift of good memories.

5. "An Adventure a Day (mild to wild)" By adventure, I mean something that has a degree of freshness and challenge to you even if you are accomplished at it. It does not have to be hiking up a wilderness trail or rock climbing, it can be as seemingly mild as learning a new recipe from an expert chef or discovering a blueberry patch ripe for the picking with most of the blueberries consumed on the spot and the rest put into a tasty blueberry pie! Easy as it is to overload your travel, with a list of things to do, consider focusing on "an adventure a day", whether mild, wild or somewhere in between.

6. A Higher Purpose (Through Service and Learning) Besides recreation why travel? And is the adventure travel most significant only for you and your companion(s)? Having a Higher Purpose often adds to the experience and gets you past temporary discomfort and obstacles. One current purpose is what I call the "Green Theme" for adventure travel. Many of us experience what some call a nature deficit disorder (c/o author John Louv) and notice it in our children and others' children. What happens when you connect with nature--trees, open space, birds and other animals--is a sense of connection not only with nature but with yourself. It gives you a different perspective and often a burst of energy, whether in a city, the country or a wilderness and unspoiled setting. Related to this "connection" with nature is an increasing desire and awareness of the fragile balance between ourselves and nature. Many volunteers and adventure travelers are seeking to stay in places that waste less and encourage use of renewable energy, as well tend to respect and preserve natural areas or at least to do no harm. For campers the expression is to "leave not a trace". The goal increasingly becomes to be "of service" and to have a higher purpose in adventure travel: one of enjoying and preserving the green around you. The higher purpose for the trip can extend to any number of special areas of adventure and possible learning:, the arts, outdoor recreation, re-building after a hurricane,, team-building, ie is any activity for which you have a passion and can become part of your adventure travel. The goal is to create a result in you or in your environment that is useful and has significance.

7. Well-being, health and safety Find a place and be with people fostering a sense "well-being" or wellness.. After all, our normal routine is often full of work, obligations and, frankly, stress. Have you made space for "healing arts" or what some call "wellness" in your travel plan? Make sure you have enough time and knowledge to not only travel safely, but to catch your breath and to regenerate. Testing Your Brand of Magic in Adventure Travel You are the adventurer, judge and jury. The feeling and experience of the "Magic" is yours and it may be a different experience for your companion(s), but a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you have some stories and memories and even pictures or video that capture some of the juice, energy and enthusiasm of the magic you created during your travel. Spread this spirit of magic upon your return home and the magic will continue.

Adventure Travel Destination Marketing

There are various websites which offer great opportunities in traveling. Each and every person in this world loves to go for a holiday. It is very important to choose the right kind of place as your holiday destination. Before choosing your destination it is always very important to discuss it with your family.

When you log on to the internet and look for the travel companies you will get lots of websites. Adventure holiday marketing has become quite popular these days. Adventure travel destination.com is one of the websites which provides you proper information about the adventure travel suppliers.

This website has lots of things like information about the car rental companies which are local, various adventure activities, information about different kinds of hotels and resorts. There are lots of tourism suppliers present all over the world. These suppliers can access the marketing pages of this website directly.

They will find lots of opportunities for them in these kinds of websites. Other than the suppliers the travelers also get various benefits from the website. So whether you are interested in adventure destination marketing or in an adventure holiday you can look forward to this website.

As a traveler you can check out the website for the various specials as well as deals offered. There are lots of travelers who like to go for an adventure travel once in a year. There are certain travelers who prefer to deal directly with local hotel owners as well as tourism operators.

They want to deal directly with them because by doing this they get special rates and offers on the holiday package. Other than this, there are many more privileges that are offered by the hotel owners and operators.

When you enter into this website you will different kinds of information as well as blogs written on this topic. You will also mingle with lots of other travelers who can share their experiences as well as reviews.

This website also has a page which is called the vacation special and this page offers you with the list of travel experts. These experts can also offer you with the knowledge about the special offers and packages. Other than this, you also have the destination guide pages.

This page offers you with the opinions of the travel experts. Adventure travel destinations.com is the website which has become quite popular these days. This website is actually a part of the AXES marketing network for tourism.

If you choose the local hotel owners and contact directly with them then you can enjoy the local activities much better. You can contact with the local hotel owners and operators for destination marketing with the help of this website. There are lots of adventure travel destinations in this world.

You will get information about all these destinations from this marketing website. Online booking options are also available in this website. Other than this, there are lots of other facilities that are available with adventure marketing. So get the best deal now.

Dial-Up Service and Its Impact on Sales

Dial-up service is not the ideal internet service for an internet
based business because it is generally very slow and make taking
care of business transactions a burdensome process. There are
also some convenience and cost issues associated with dial-up
service that may be hindering to an internet business operator as
well as some undesirable limitations.

Choosing an internet service provider and internet service is
obviously one of the first steps to launching and running an
internet based business. For your internet business to be
productive as well as time and cost efficient, making the
decision about your internet services deserves some thought and

There are several types of internet services. The very basic
internet service is dial-up service. Other types of internet
services include broadband or high-speed internet services.
Sometimes choices are limited due to geographic locations and the
availability of various types of internet service in your area.

If you are faced with a choice between dial-up service and high-
speed internet service, the high-speed service is your best bet
because it will improve the efficiency of your internet business,
make processing of sales transactions easier and quicker, and it
will be more convenient. Though high-speed internet services may
be more expensive than dial-up service, they are certainly a more
cost-effective solution for your internet business.

The most common internet connections included dial-up service and
variations of dial-up service, digital subscriber line (DSL)
service, cable modem service, wireless internet service, and
satellite internet service.

There are also dedicated line services like T1 fiber and T3 lines
that provide a higher level of internet service increasing speed,
scalability, networking capabilities, and reliability. Dedicated
fiber line options are generally pretty expensive and are usually
recommended for large companies with vast computer networks or
website hosting companies.

Dial-up service is available just about anywhere that there is
phone service. Dial-up service uses a standard phone line and a
computer modem to access the internet. Speed, functionality and
service limitations are generally a problem with dial-up service
making it an undesirable option for internet businesses.

Dial-up service usually has a maximum speed of 56k - very slow
for an internet connection. Dial-up service is usually pretty
inexpensive, but most internet service providers limit the number
of hours that you can be consistently online with a dial-up

So, when you are in the midst of something, you may just lose
your internet connection and be booted off. This can be very
inconvenient, especially if you are in the process of
communicating with a customer online.

Since dial-up service uses a phone line, it can be a burden if
you only have one phone line because you won't be able to make or
accept phone calls during the time that you are online.

This can be a very burdensome issue for an internet business if
you need to access things online while talking on the phone with
customers or with technical support representatives - it simply
can't be done.

If you have no option but to use dial-up service, having a phone
line for the dial-up service that is separate from your voice
line is crucial.

Also, if you are limited to the use of dial-up service, check to
see what dial-up service options are available to improve the
speed and reliability of your dial-up service internet
connection. Dial-up service modems come in different speeds with
56k being top of the line.

Lower level dial-up service modems will be even more inefficient.
Accelerated dial-up service is an option to standard dial-up
service if high-speed service is not a possibility.

Accelerated dial-up service also uses a telephone line and a
modem, but through the use of compression software, it can
increase the speed of dial-up service lessening the speed related
burdens by making web pages load faster and enabling you to
upload and download files more efficiently.

Business Idea: Online Marketing Services as a Work-From-Home Opportunity

Offering online marketing services is certainly an opportunity to
consider if you are interested in starting an internet business
that will enable you to work from home. Internet business is
booming, no doubt, and there are many people venturing into
e-business who haven't a clue how to go about marketing on the
internet. Online marketing services are not exclusive to
e-business; they can also be beneficial to brick-and-mortar type
retail or wholesale companies. Thus, there are many different
target audiences to choose from when offering online marketing
services. This enables you to identify and pursue a niche market.

There are a few things to do before launching an online marketing
services company:

1. Familiarize yourself with online marketing services

2. Conduct market research to identify a niche market

3. Decide which online marketing services you will offer

4. Become an expert

The next phase of launching your online marketing services
company involves:

1. Preparing your business plan and marketing plan

2. Developing your policies and service procedures

3. Marketing your online marketing services

4. Providing exceptional customer service

5. Building a base of repeat customers and referrals
for your online marketing services

With the internet, it is easy to review online marketing services
and to find out about your competition. A competitive analysis is
essential to differentiating and positioning your online
marketing services company. In your review of online marketing
services, you will get some great ideas about what services you
can offer and how to professionally present them.

Market research is the key to identifying a niche market to
target for your online marketing services company. For instance,
you may market your services only to attorneys, only to wholesale
grocers, only to work-from-home moms, etc. With an online
marketing services company, truly the world is your playground.
However, by narrowing the scope of your target market by finding
a niche to market to, you're advertising will have a stronger
impact as you can become known as an expert in online marketing
services for whatever field or niche you choose to market to.

Once you have reviewed other online marketing services, analyzed
your competition, and identified your target market, you are
ready to decide which online marketing services you wish to
offer. This is another opportunity to define a niche. For
instance, you may offer only pay-per-click management services
and you can position yourself as an expert in that area which can
be credible if that is the only service you offer. You can also
offer a whole menu of online marketing services with various
mixes in package deals which can be appealing to clients.

Whichever online marketing services you choose to offer, if you
are presenting yourself as an expert, make absolutely sure that
you are one before you take on your first customer. The
reputation of your online marketing services is at stake. If you
present yourself as an expert in search engine optimization for
instance, and you cannot achieve good ranking for your clients,
your credibility will be lost and this can frequently result in
your reputation being ruined via discussions about your company
through online marketing and business forums.

Preparing your business plan and marketing plan should be a
first-step before you launch your online marketing services
business. Writing a business plan just makes sense because it
helps you to put your ideas down on paper, to set your goals, to
think through issues and to define your budget. Your marketing
plan is equally important as it will serve to keep you focused on
the important aspects of your online marketing services business.
For suggestions about what should be included in a business plan
and marketing plan, visit the website for the Small Business
Administration . There you will find excellent guidance for
business planning.

Policies and service procedures are important for two reasons.
One, to protect your business; and two, to ensure that you
provide excellent service to your customers and that they
understand up front what your services entail. When marketing
your online marketing services business online, you should at a
minimum have a terms-of-use policy and a privacy policy. Through
your terms of use, it is a good idea to disclose your policy
regarding refund requests or your service guarantees as well as
any limitations to your service.

Taking customer service a step further, your service policies
will govern how you do business. Your systems will enable you to
provide the services. Starting out, you don't necessarily need
anything fancy, but as your company grows, automating some of
your sales and service features is a good idea. An example of an
automated customer service tool is an autoresponder that confirms
you have received an order. Repeat customers will come to you if
you offer excellent online marketing services.

It is easier to retain a customer than to get a new one, so
always keep that in mind when working with your customers. Happy
customers are also extremely valuable to an online marketing
services company because they will refer you to their friends and
associates. To encourage referrals, you may offer your customers
some type of incentive (like a 10% discount) if they refer a new,
buying client to you.

Customer Service Software

Customer service software applications and customer service
solutions range from simple to complex. Some businesses have a
greater need for customer service software than others; however,
if you serve customers through your internet business some type
of customer service solution or customer service software is
necessary to keep your customer information organized and
accessible so you can provide your customers with a high level of
customer service that meets their expectations.

Whether or not you need customer service software or a more
advanced customer service solution depends on the unique needs of
your internet-based business.

There are many types of customer service software ranging from
your basic point-of-sale systems to complex customer relationship
management systems. Databases are customer service software
solutions that enable you to store all types of data, including
customer information, which facilitates information management
making customer service data more easily and quickly accessible.

Customer service software and applications that improve
efficiency in regard to customer service are highly desirable
because they enable you to provide customers with quality service
which can help with customer retention and referrals.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a fabulous
tool for any business. There are several different types of CRM
software as well as alternatives for customizing CRM systems to
meet the unique needs of any business.

CRM customer service and relationship management software is
generally pre-programmed and is suitable for small businesses.
Some customer service software and CRM software can be
customized, though there are sometimes some limitations to the
customization that can be accomplished using customer service
software or CRM software that is pre-programmed.

In such cases, employing the services of a software developer or
computer programmer to design and create customized customer
service software and CRM solutions may be necessary. For
internet-based businesses that are small, home-owned businesses
customer service software is usually sufficient without the need
for extensive programming support.

Some customer service software and CRM options involve monthly
fees for their use while others are a one-time purchase. Some
require special database hosting while others can be installed
and operated from your personal computer or small business

Microsoft has customer service software and CRM software
solutions that enable the integration of customer relationship
management modules for internet businesses. Various solutions and
modules have different features and relatively different costs
associated with them.

One of the viable customer service software packages from
Microsoft is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 which is available in
a small business edition with a pretty reasonable licensing fee.
It integrates with other Microsoft applications such as Outlook
and Excel for effective customer communications and report

Some of the modules enable the automation of marketing functions
including organization of leads, campaign management and follow-
up capabilities as well as service scheduling and customization
of various customer service functions and communications.

Salesforce.com is another source for customizable customer
service software and CRM solutions. The customer service software
solutions provided by Salesforce.com are really good solutions
for integrating and automating your sales, marketing, customer
service and support functions.

There are quite a few other customer service software and CRM
solutions that can be used to automate your sales, service,
support, recordkeeping and marketing functions.

When selecting any software solutions for your new internet
business, even customer service software, you should consider
your future needs and plan ahead to ensure the software you
purchase today will meet the needs of your business in the future
in terms of functionality and compatibility with software and
information systems that may need to be added later as your
business grows and demands greater capabilities from your
customer service software and information systems.

What is a Service Level Agreement (An Example)

A SLA’s primary goal is to establish and manage expectations of customers, thus reducing confusion while defining acceptable service.

Below is an example of a Service Level Agreement. Simply replace the bracket information with your information.


[Company PBX Department]
[Internal Customers]

Terms in this document:

PBX is a direct reference to the Private Branch Exchange Department and it’s personnel.
Telecommunications refers to Voice communications and Voice Mail.
Service refers to the Move, Add or Change of telecommunications sets, fax lines, modems and voicemail programming.
Local Switch refers to the [Meridian 81C] switch that services the departments at [Company Name].
Distant Switch refers to the outlying [Meridian systems] at [First Location], [Second Location].
Central Office refers to [Bell South].
Internal Customer refers to the employees and departments of [Company Name].
External Customers refers to those individuals or business outside the scope of control of the PBX Department.
Turnaround Time shall be considered a good faith effort of the PBX Department and it’s staff to remedy a problem.
Business day indicates normal business hours between Monday and Friday, excluding Federal Holidays.

Goal of this Technical Support Service Level Agreement:

The goal of this agreement is to enhance, support and manage our internal customer's telecommunications requirements. A secondary goal is to identify response times, assist in our internal customer’s achievement of maximum proficiency and reliability in their telecommunications environments and set forth escalation procedures.

Specific Goal Topics covered in this agreement:

- Dependable support for a standard telecommunications platform for core business departments,
- Response times to problems, new users, and other service requests,
- Statement of operational hours,
- Reduction in labor cost via standardized call out procedures,
- Procedures for escalation of service request and/or outage reports.

Technical Support Service Level Agreement:

[Company Name]’s Private Branch Exchange Department has identified a standard business approach to providing technical services to the various departments of [Company Name]. The PBX Department will provide support, to include; new set installations and services, movement of existing telecommunication services, reprogramming of existing telecommunications services and maintenance of existing telecommunications services.

This document is the Service Level Agreement (SLA) that defines the scope of support and the services that [Company Name] users can expect:


The PBX Department will provide technical support to our internal customers via the [Pbx call center or trouble desk].

The [Pbx call center or trouble desk] is responsible for:

- Initial point of contact for the telephone questions and problems
- Issuing trouble tickets,
- Communicating expected response time,
- Tracking of service/problem ticket.

Hours of Service

8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday through Friday will be the normal hours of service. However, if additional coverage is required outside of these hours, the hours may be expanded.

Turnaround Times

The following turnaround times for services will be in effect:

New Service at local switch - within 1 business day with properly submitted requisition.
New Service at distant switch - within 2 business days with properly submitted requisition.

Move or Change of service at local switch - within 1 business day with proper notification.
Move or Change of service at distant switch - within 2 business days with proper notification.

Outage Report at local switch of non-essential telecommunications* - within 4 hours on business days. The following Monday if trouble is reported after 2:00 PM on Fridays.
Outage Report at distant switch of non-essential telecommunications* - within 6 hours on business days. The following Monday if trouble is reported after 2:00 PM on Fridays.

Outage Report at local switch of essential telecommunications** - within 1 hour on a business day. Within 2 hours on non-business days.
Outage Report at distant switch of essential telecommunications** - within 2 hours on business days. Within 2 hours on non-business days.

[Indicate your call out procedures here.]

The following actions require scheduled turnaround times.

- Custom programming,
- Telecommunications projects.
- Upgrade and patches for software releases ,
- Software licensing and maintenance,
- PMI’s,
- System backups and maintenance.

Problem Escalation :

Not all problems are emergencies. But those problems that are not addressed and resolved expediently can become emergencies. After pursuing the standard problem reporting mechanism via a trouble service ticket submitted directly to the [Pbx call center or trouble desk]. The user will have a service ticket that can be used to reference the problem reported. The user can progressively escalate emergency problems in the following manner:

- Obtaining approval for escalation from his/her management,
- Communicating a new acceptable response time.

Recognize, however, that a user(s) who set a pattern of problem escalation (attempting to circumvent the problem resolution queue) will be admonished to respect the service queues and established turnaround times guarantees.

Customer Responsibilities:

Customers of [Company Name] telecommunications services, as part of this SLA in which the services they will receive are detailed, also have some responsibilities:

- Customers should report problems using the problem reporting procedures detailed in this SLA, including clear description of the problem,
- Provide input on the quality and timeliness of service,
- Recognize when software testing and/or maintenance are causing problems that interfere with standard business functions.

"Ever greening:"

Telecommunication environments and requirements inevitably change, and this SLA needs to define an "ever greening" process to ensure that the support agreement keeps pace with the reality of user requirements. As the telecommunications infrastructure moves from the standard Legacy system switch to communications servers and local area networks – the PBX department and the Information Technology department will share in the resolution of a problem, thus possibly extending installation times and response to outages.

The management of PBX and IT will need to create a committee with cross- representation to meet quarterly to review technical support service success, service shortcomings, technology updates, and user requirement changes. Once the support service is initiated, the committee will note the results and recommend the changes and improvements.


The PBX Department and Customers have both acknowledged and accept the terms and responsibilities required for effective and efficient service delivery. Should there be a need to modify the level of support, this will be done by designated individuals/teams of each party.

*- Indicate a general discription of services or departments that are considered non-essential communicatioins (Modem lines, offices with multiple sets, etc.)

**- Indicate a general discription of services or departments that are considered essential communicatioins (Security Department, Executive Office, Offices with only one set, etc.)