We've seen solar panels, battery packs, and kits in all shapes, sizes, and prices. Usually the completly contained units are not large enough to power more than your phone, or they're too cumbersome to truly be considered 'portable'.Read More
As an Explorer of all things cold & steep, skiing & riding Lake Tahoe has always been high on my bucket list.Last week the Williams family got to check that one off at Heavenly Mountain Resort.Read More
Looking for something a little more amazing than your local MTB track this summer? Why not ride from Durango, CO to Moab, UT?Read More
Education is probably the single most important factor determining your safety and survival in the great outdoors. The level of first-aid training you'll want to have can range from basic first-aid to wilderness survival and will depend on your destination. Although it's probably not a bad idea to be up-to-date on your basic first-aid and CPR skills all the time (regardless of your travel plans), don't underestimate the level of training you may need for a trip to a remote location -- better to have these skills and not need to use them. And the more you know, the less likely you are to panic if you find yourself in a difficult situation. In addition to health & safety training, which can be useful when reacting to a difficult situation, proactive training can go a long way toward improving your comfort and safety during adventure travel. Many adventure sports are very technical and require proper technical training. Some activities, such as SCUBA diving, require formal certification before you can participate. Do your research, find the training and/or certification course necessary for your planned activity, and be sure that you're comfortable and confident in your skill level before you head out on your own. From small wilderness first-aid and survival courses to full fledged schools that offer college credit (i.e. the National Outdoor Leadership School, http://www.nols.edu) surely you will find something that fits your needs.
Always make a plan before heading into the wilderness. Do your homework and find out about the area you'll be in. This will help you prepare for the conditions you might encounter. Write everything down as part of your full trip plan. Although small departures from the plan are ultimately what define an adventure, proper planning is key to maximizing your safety and enjoyment during adventure travel. Before you depart, leave a copy of your plan with a trusted family member or friend. In the past it was recommended you leave an additional copy of the plan on the dashboard of your car, however this practice has been reported in some instances to contribute to thefts at the trail head. Use your discretion in this matter. These steps ensure that should something happen to you, a rescue can be mounted quickly and the search area can be defined readily. And of course, be sure to check in with the person you left your plan with once you've completed your trip.
Although pushing your limits can make you stronger, flagrantly exceeding them may make you a statistic. Keep this in mind while planning your trip. Know the limits of your training and your equipment and never exceed them. Equally important is to know your own physical limits. The more remote your destination the more you'll want to feel confident in your physical condition before you go. Again, it's probably not a bad idea to to have physical at least once a year and be up-to-date on your immunizations -- when was the last time you had a tetanus shot? -- regardless of your travel plans, but if you're headed somewhere remote you should probably consult your doctor before you go. Are there immunizations you need to travel to certain parts of the world? Are there medications that you will want to have on hand in certain parts of the world? ...or even just in case of emergency? Are you in the proper physical condition for the adventure you have planned? Remember, the goal is to have a good time and return home safe.
Equipment should literally be double checked before you set out. Of course you'll examine everything before you leave the house, but it's worth remembering that items can get damaged during transit... baggage handling is not usually a 'white glove' service. It's easy to assume that this won't be an issue, because the equipment used in adventure is fairly sturdy and should stand up to relatively harsh conditions, but there is no sense staking your life, or your comfort, on that assumption. Also, make sure you check (and re-check!) the weather before you set off. The elements are part of the game when it comes to outdoor adventure, but last-minute or unseasonable weather that you've not planned for can quickly turn adventure into emergency.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, always have a basic survival kit. Your kit may change based on the terrain, weather, training, and experience but always carry one. Many examples of survival kits are available on the internet (http://www.google.com/search?q=basic+survival+kit). Also, never forget that circumstances beyond your control may force your stay to be longer than you have anticipated. When you head out for a day hike you should be prepared to make it through the night, if necessary. You don't have to be comfortable, just alive. In addition to your survival kit, always carry a map of the area and, most importantly, know how to use it. Some resources for maps are below: http://www.map-reading.com/ http://www.maptools.com/ Land Navigation Handbook: The Sierra Club Guide to Map, Compass & GPS
The cost of a search and rescue can be extremely expensive. Although generally not the case in the United States, you may be billed for the cost of any search and rescue efforts you require. Insurance can be one way to hedge that bet. Numerous organizations provide insurance and many credit cards will cover you while flying, renting cars, etc. but a policy specifically for adventure travel is a good idea. Again, a search of the internet will give you many options. http://www.google.com/search?q=adventure+travel+insurance
When making the move to Apple from PC, I ran into the problem of interfacing with my Garmin eTrex Vista Cx GPS (Buy). Although there are plenty of applications available to transfer waypoints, tracks, etc. to and from the GPS units. Garmin RoadTrip is a Garmin application to do just that, but may not be the best solution. The biggest missing feature was the ability to transfer maps to and from my GPS. Garmin now has a couple of tools to do just that. Let's cover them one-by-one.
Breckenridge, Colorado is famous for being one of the best skiing/snowboarding destinations in North America. The mountains surrounding Breckenridge offer some of the best snow in the state, and the scenery is second to none. This popular winter destination is well served by the many summer activities available in Breckenridge. From alpine slides to real Colorado mountain biking, Breckenridge has something to offer everyone. One of my passions is scenic off roading, so last September, we decided to head to Breckenridge and find a few off road trails. We went with 2 FJ Cruiser's, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Chevy Avalanche for the run. We started off simple and decided to get Boreas Pass & Georgia Pass out of the way. Boreas Pass is a very easy dirt road, any car will be just fine on this pass during good weather. The south side of Georgia Pass is about the same, but once we arrived at the top we found a very challenging trail. After a quick jaunt up Glacier Ridge, we headed down the north side of Georgia Pass (Rd 355). It became exciting right away, with a rather large rock blocking the trail. The Jeep decided to take the more difficult line, but the rest of us took the easier route around the rock. We crawled our way down the mountain, trying to say on the right trail. We eventually made it down to Swan River just in time for the rain to begin. We headed back to our little campsite (well off the beaten path, GPS 39.5354, -105.9006), packed up, and headed for home. Although we didn't get to hit all the trails in the area, it was a wonderful trip! If you're interested in experiencing the Breckenridge area by 4x4, I've put together a Google Earth layer of the major off-road trails.
Breckenridge & the surrounding area is a popular tourist area, so you'll have no problems finding a place to stay. There are dozens of great hotels, condos, and house rentals available. Make your reservations as far in advance as possible to get the best rate and the best room.
While we brought most of our food to the campsite with us on this trip, Breckenridge has plenty of great places to eat. There’s a little known pizza place on the north side of town, in the City Market plaza called Windy City Pizza. If you’re on the main drag, we’ve had really good luck with the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Downstairs At Erics. Don’t forget the infamous Breckenridge Breweryif you’re a microbrew fan.
Wow pretty much sums it up. The First Annual FJ Summit was held in Ouray, CO last July. It all started when several people from a FJ Cruiser Forums website started brainstorming about a meeting of FJ Cruiser owners nationwide. It wasn't too long before everyone voted on the location for this first event, and Ouray was chosen. Why Ouray? Well, if you haven't been there you don't know what you're missing. The 'Switzerland of America' is a beautiful small town in southwestern Colorado surrounded by the San Juan mountains. What makes Ouray so special to the off road community is the trails. Hundreds of miles of the most scenic, breathtaking, and awe inspiring off road trails in the country. This is not just a visitor guide bullet, the beauty can't be described with just words.
My wife, Angie & I met Kent & John (from London, Ontario, Canada), and our friend Stan & family (from Highlands Ranch, CO) for the drive up. This is my Quick Info Box Content Welcome!We took the scenic route through the mountains from Colorado Springs. We first headed out US-24, over Wilkerson Pass and down to beautiful Buena Vista & the Collegiate Peaks area. From there, we proceeded over Monarch Pass, past Gunnison and the Blue Mesa reservoir (the largest body of water in Colorado). Finally, we headed south from near Cimmaron, and over Owl Creek Pass. Once we reached US-550, we turned south and headed into Ouray.
For the first day of the trip, we decided to do Alpine Loop, which is rated a 3-4 (out of 10) in difficulty, and is quite long. There were a total of 8 rigs in our group and we were the last group to leave that morning. The Alpine Loop (which consists of Engineer & CinnamonPasses) is truly amazing. The first few miles of the Engineer Pass trail are the most difficult and give this trail it's rating of a 4, so this area can be challenging for those new to off roading. After cresting Engineer Pass, the trail is easier and the pace picked up some. Near the top of the pass there is a great pull off that's an overlook of the entire range. At over 13,000 feet, this spot is one of the most amazing views you'll find in the Rocky Mountains. Be careful though: the altitude can really start to have negative effects for those not used to it. Cinnamon Pass is a much easier ride than Engineer; we saw quite a few passenger cars & mini-vans on this leg. The summit is over 12,000 feet and nearly as impressive as Engineer. Although the Alpine Loop is extremely long, it's well worth the time you'll spend.
On Saturday morning, we headed out at about 9am with a group of 8. Destination: Imogene Pass. After the quick drive up toward Yankee Boy Basin, we made the left onto the Imogene Pass trail. We were immediately greeted with an optional water crossing. We plowed through 24" of water without skipping a beat. The first half of Imogene was a BLAST! There were plenty of decent rocks, water crossings, and puddles to keep us entertained. The views were magnificent as well, this area of Colorado almost cannot be described. Due to Kent's unfortunate issues with altitude, I was asked to drive his truck down to Telluride so we could get him to medical attention. We moved down the mountain pretty quickly, so we didn't get many photos of our descent. We arrived in Telluride a little after 3pm where Kent got treatment for his altitude problems. He was feeling much better by the next day.
At about 9am, we arrived at the parking lot where a group photo was planned. We ended up in the 3rd to last row, so our FJ didn't stand out much in the crowd. Still it was a very cool experience. Almost 200 FJ Cruiser's in one photo – very neat. The photo came out pretty good I think. We invited Stan & Mike to run with us up to Yankee Boy Basin, since we didn't make it up the day before. It turned out to be not that exciting, mostly because of the crowd of people all around. There were rental Jeeps, Subarus, and other all wheel drive vehicles everywhere. Everyone was busy snapping as many tourist photos as they could. That kind of crowd can make the scenery not so scenic. So, since we didn't spend any time at Yankee Boy, we decided to hit the first half of Imogene again. With the water crossings, water falls, and fun rocks, we wanted to make sure Stan & Mike got the chance to check it out. We made it up to the cabin area of Imogene pretty quickly, got a group photo, and headed back down to Ouray. It was lunch time, so we strolled down main street in Ouray & ended up at the Gold Belt Bar & Grill for a quick bite. We all ordered & decided to eat outside since it was such a wonderful day. The food was decent, and a reasonable price. Not fine dining, but a good quick lunch. After lunch we aired up & headed north out of town.
The First Annual FJ Summit was a HUGE success. Everyone had a great time and our outstanding Toyota FJ Cruisers got a good workout. Ouray, Colorado is one of the most scenic and adventure-filled towns in the Western U.S. If you've been there: GO BACK, if you haven't: MAKE PLANS. Keep in mind that the summer is a very busy time of year, so make your travel plans far in advance. Also remember that in addition to the FJ Summit, there are Jeep Jamborees and several other large events held in Ouray every year. You'll want to know what's happening in Ouray during your visit. Check the Ouray Event Calendarto find out more.
While our trip focused on off-roading, there are plenty of other activities including Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Mine Tours. In the winter months, you can observe or try out the world famous Ouray Ice Climbing Park, or head up into the mountains on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
When we’re in Ouray, we always stay at the Box Canyon Lodge. They have fair rates, clean rooms, and excellent service. We also really enjoy their 2-4 person authentic wood barrel hot springs. If rooms are not available at the Box Canyon, there are plenty of other hotels available.
If you don’t own a 4wd vehicle, you can still experience the off road trails in the Ouray area. There are several Jeep Rental services. We recommend Switzerland of America Jeep Rentals. They have excellent service, very good vehicles, and reasonable rates. If you’re not inclined to drive a 4x4, consider taking an off-road tour.
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A personal essay about your adventure and the story behind it. Although we want our readers to be able to reproduce most trips this section is more about the story behind your trip. AdventureLust pieces should inspire the rest of us. Story: 2,500-3,500 words Photos: 5-15 Payment: $50
A first-person, non-fiction, narrative story about an epic adventure. Story: 2,500-3,500 words Photos: 5-15 Payment: $50
Through the Lens is a photo-essay of adventure. There are no rules other than the photos must convey the sense of feeling from your adventure. Story: 250 word introduction Photos: 5-20 Payment: $25
Includes new & noteworthy gear, gear reviews, roundups and buyer's guides. Story: 1,500-2,000 words for roundups and buyer's guides. 500 words for in-depth product reviews Photos: 5-7 Payment: $20 for roundups and buyer's guides (...or if you know of some new & noteworthy gear you'd like to see us review, please tip us off!)
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Travel and adventure skills that can be applied to many aspects of travel and adventure. Story: 500-1,000 words Photos: 2-10 Payment: $20
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Reviews of recent and classic media such as books, music, and videos. This section is generally compiled by the editorial staff but if you have something in mind let us know.
Location: 39.473°, -106.101°
Question: What elevation does the highest ski lift in North America reach?
Answer: The Imperial Express Superchair at Breckenridge, Colorado reaches an amazing 12,840ft above sea level. Try your hand at more adventure trivia.
Location: 37.734°, -119.637° Question: What route on this big wall was first climbed in 1958 requiring 47 days, and again in 2008 in 2:37:05 breaking the fastest ascent record? Answer: The Nose (5.13+) on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park was first summited in 1958 by Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore in 47 days and in 2008 by Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama in just over two and a half hours. Try your hand at more adventure trivia.
Adventure Insider's business cards include trivia questions for your enjoyment. You can also find a list of the questions here. We give you the location (latitude and longitude) and a question and you come up with the answer.
|0001||37.734°, -119.637°||What route on this big wall was first climbed in 1958 requiring 47 days, and again in 2008 in 2:37:05 breaking the fastest ascent record?||See Answer|
|0002||39.473°, -106.101°||What elevation does the highest ski lift in North America reach?||See Answer|
|0003||45.121°, -116.753°||This is the deepest river cut canyon in the United States. How far below the rim is the river?||See Answer|
|0004||39.220°, -106.317°||What is the elevation of the highest airport in North America?||See Answer|
|0005||39.281°, -106.186°||The highest off road pass in North America ascends to what elevation?||See Answer|
|0006||44.270°, -71.303°||The oldest mountain hiking trail runs to the summit of this mountain. When was it constructed?||See Answer|
|0007||40.255°, -105.615°||Who completed the first ascent of this Rocky Mountain icon?||See Answer|
|0008||39.619°, -105.609°||What is the elevation gain from the entrance station to the summit of the highest paved road in North America||See Answer|
|0009||38.462°, -105.325°||How high does this bridge stand over the river it spans?||See Answer|
|0010||41.409°, -122.195°||What is the prominence of this peak?||See Answer|
Although we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our information, details may have changed since the time of writing. Please be sure to verify directly prior to travel. Remember, research and planning are critical to adventure travel, and you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. Adventure Insider assumes no responsibility or liability, either expressed or implied, for your safety.
Adventure Insider is written for outdoor enthusiasts by outdoor enthusiasts. Each and every review is conducted by Adventure Insider staff or guest writers and reflect real world field use. Weight, dimensions, and other measurements may differ from manufacturer information due to the fact we take the time to measure them ourselves. Occasionally we receive demonstration gear for review, but be assured that at no time will a favorable review ever be for sale. We stand by all recommendations we make. If we wouldn't recommend it to our family and friends, we won't recommend it to you. If you disagree or have a question about something, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Live To Explore was originally founded as Adventure Insider in 2008 as an alternative to large adventure travel websites and magazines.
Our original focus of little known Adventure Travel trips remains, but today the primary Live To Explore is show great ways anyone can Explore their life.
In the years since AI was founded, our lives have changed dramatically. Maturity, life partners, children, and a better understanding of our short time on this earth have revealed a few truths.
Truth #1: Life is about exploring everything from your local town to the far reaches of the planet.
Truth #2: The simple things, like learning to cook a new dish or the wonders of your local trail, are worthy of exploring and can profoundly effect your life.
Truth #3: Adventure is grand, however living to explore every aspect of your surroundings will change you.
As our adventure of exploration continues, Live To Explore will focus on Outdoor, Food, Family, Travel, and Off-Highway topics. We'll be exploring every step of the way.
The original About Adventure Insider:
Adventure Insider is for those looking to get away from civilization as well as the crowds. Our goal is to find little known trips and share them with you. In addition we review the gear we use as well as tips and tricks for use in the field. Adventure Insider staff writers are very experienced in their fields. Our experts have extensive experience in backpacking, guiding on rock, instructing SCUBA diving, and teaching survival to military aircrew members. We have the experience to find to the remote trips and bring you field tested instruction. In fact, many of our writers do this for a living and own their own companies. We will, of course, visit and share trips on more visited places, urban adventures and the like. After all, what trip to the west is complete without a visit to Glacier National Park. We will be trying to keep heavily visited and lottery based trips to a minimum, so please join us as we explore the lesser known.