Nat Geo Offers the 14 Best Spring Trips for 2018.

I know the calendar may have officially turned to spring late last week, but where I live we’re still waiting for it to properly arrive. While we patiently wait for the arrival of warmer weather and some sunshine, we can dream about visiting other places for a springtime adventure. And to help us out with that, National Geographic has put together a list of 14 amazing trips for the season ahead.

Amongst the destinations that Nat Geo recommends are Japan, where the cherry blossoms are in full blooms, and the Upper Amazon in Peru, where temperatures remain fairly constant all year round. The article also suggests a journey to the East Coast of Sri Lanka or Morocco, where the weather is a bit cooler this time of year. But for those who aren’t ready to give up on winter completely yet, Svalbard in northern Norway is on offer, allowing travelers to experience the Midnight Sun and quite possibly even spot some polar bears.

I’ll leave the rest of the list for you to discover, but needless to say each entry offers a short overview of what Spring is a good time to go and what to expect when you get there. This being National Geographic, there are plenty of great photos too and some suggested destinations that you might not have thought of yourself, both foreign and domestic.

If you’re looking for a way to shake off the cold grip of winter, and bring a bit of adventure back into your life, than you’ll want to have a look at the list. Check it on in its entirety here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Nat Geo Offers the 14 Best Spring Trips for 2018

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The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017

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Gear Closet: Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro – 2018 Edition.

A couple of years back I took a look at a product from Hillsound called the Trail Crampon Pro and found it to be an excellent add on to our hiking boots and shoes for use on icy and snowy trails. True to its name, the Trail Crampon acted much like traditional mountaineering crampons, attaching to your boot in a quick and efficient manner. But, since that time the company has updates its design, making it a lot more convenient and easy to use than the previous generation.

Unlike the previous generation, the updated model of the Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro uses a ratchet and buckle system to securely attach the spikes to your shoes. Previously hikers had to adjust the sizing of the crampon using a tool, which required setting it up ahead of time and made it challenging to adjust in the field. This latest iteration is about as simple as it gets however, and having used both models extensively, I haven’t noticed any change in performance whatsoever. Essentially, this product now offers the same level of grip as a mountaineering crampon, with the ease of something that is far less technical.

Designed for low and medium grade ascents – as opposed to ice climbing or truly taxing alpine pursuits – the Trail Crampon Pro features ten individual 1 inch spikes, with six found on the front and four at the rear. This allows hikers to not only get a solid grip on the ascents, but make descents with more control as well. I’ve used them over snow, ice, and slush on trails and over rocks, and have found them to be an excellent option for use in the backcountry during high impact winter pursuits.

The latest version of the Trail Crampon seems more comfortable on my foot as well, although I can’t tell if that is due to any change in design on Hillsound’s part or if it is the result of using them with different pairs of boots. Either way, they aren’t overly constraining or restrictive, even when ratchet on tightly, making it a breeze to wear them for long hikes and alpine approaches. And when you no longer need them, they slip right off and can be stashed inside or hung from a lashing point on your backpack until you need them again.

It is important to point out that these crampons tip the scales at 23.5 ounces (667 gram) per pair. That isn’t especially heavy, but its not the lightest we’ve seen either. But, the good news is that I feel that Hillsound has found an excellent middle ground in terms of weight, durability, and convenience, making these a good all around option for those who need a bit of extra traction on slick surfaces.

The Trail Crampon Pro is also fairly budget friendly, carrying a price tag of just $79. That makes them less expensive than most technical crampons that you’ll find, but also more expensive than some of the less technical options from competitors. Indeed, I feel like this product has found an excellent middle ground that offers a more durable and stable product for those who need it, without forcing them to purchase higher price crampons that exceed their needs. Chances are, they’ll like what they find in Trail Crampon Pro, and love the price and convenience that they bring.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Gear Closet: Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro – 2018 Edition

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

– Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

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Nat Geo Has Fun Facts for All 59 U.S. National Parks.

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the start of National Park Week, and to help celebrate National Geographic has published a story that shares fun facts about each and every park in the U.S. system. That’s 59 parks at the moment, stretching from Acadia in Maine to Haleakala in Hawaii, with some pretty fantastic landscapes located in between.

The list runs through all of the parks in alphabetical order starting with the aforementioned Acadia and ending with Zion. Scrolling through the story you’ll learn some fascinating things, such as the fact that Arches National Park has more than 2000 documented rock arches within its border or that Big Bend is home to a hot springs that reaches temperatures in excess of 105ºF (40.5ºC). You’ll also discover that Crater Lake’s caldera is nearly 6 miles in diameter and that beautiful wildflowers spring up in Death Valley for a brief time after a rainstorm.

These are just a few hints at the wonderful secrets that America’s national parks hold. These wonderful, beautiful, and endlessly wild places are amazing destinations, which is why they continue to hold such a sway over travelers. During National Park Week, entrance into the parks is completely free, making them even more enticing. And since the week comes prior to the start of the busy summer travel season, there is a good chance you’ll have the place to yourself if you go.

Find out more about National Park Week here and read all of Nat Geo’s fun national park facts here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Nat Geo Has Fun Facts for All 59 U.S. National Parks

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

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Men’s Journal Names the 9 Quietest and Darkest National Parks.

Looking for a some peace and quiet in the wilderness? Want to get a chance to see the night’s sky in all of its glory? If so, than Men’s Journal has just the list for you. The magazine has enlisted the aid of researchers from the National Park Service’s Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division (Yes, that is a real thing!) to provide us with a definitive list of the darkest and quietest national parks in the entire U.S.

The NPS department has been monitoring the amount of light seen in the parks since 1999 and sound since 2000, and they have found some unsettling things. For instance, the amount of light and noise found inside the national parks is much higher than what many people would believe, even in these remote settings. Those phenomenon have an impact not only on human visitors, but the animals hat live there too. MJ sites a recent study for instance that says increased noise levels reduces the bird population in an area by as much as a third.

So, just where should we go to get away from it all? According to this article, the nine best national parks for seeking darkness and reduced noise include places like Isle Royale in Lake Superior, Big Bend National Park in Texas, and Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. Obviously there are others that make the cut as well, but I’ll let you discover exactly which of the parks earned a spot on the list.

I have to say, looking over the list, I was surprised as much by the places that didn’t make the cut, as some of the ones that did. For instance, I thought for sure Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska would be there simply because it is so remote and lightly visited that there can’t possibly be too much noise and light found there. Also, places like Acadia and Voyageurs are also known for their incredible views of the night sky. Still, the parks on the list are all spectacular destinations as well, and definitely worth a visit.

Check out the entire list here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Men’s Journal Names the 9 Quietest and Darkest National Parks

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

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The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017.

The U.S. National Park Service has announced visitation numbers for America’s national parks in 2017, and as usual these amazing outdoor spaces continue to attract a large audience. According to reports, more than 330 million people filtered through the park system last year, which is down slightly from 2016 when the NPS celebrated its 100th anniversary.

If you’ve seen the list of most visited parks in the past, you’ll probably be able to tell which ones made the cut. But, there has been some shuffling around of the parks with perennial favorite Yosemite dropping from number 3 down to number 5, while Zion moves up to take its spot in the top five.

Here’s what the top ten looks like:

  1. Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee
  2. Grand Canyon in Arizona
  3. Zion National Park in Utah
  4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado
  5. Yosemite National Park in California
  6. Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming
  7. Acadia National Park in Maine
  8. Olympic National Park in Washington state
  9. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
  10. Glacier National Park in Montana
In total there are 59 national parks in the entire system, but 417 “sites” that include monuments, battlefields, historic places, and so on. If you include those into the mix, the visitation picture looks a bit different. Here are the top ten most visited places that the National Park Service oversees:
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia
  2. Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee
  4. Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey
  5. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  6. Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona
  7. George Washington Memorial Parkway in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  8. Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee
  9. Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  10. Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
None of these are bad places to have on your bucket list if you haven’t seen them.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – The Top 10 Most Visited National Parks for 2017

** see also: – Trekking – posts on my site :

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : GOKYO, KALA PATTAR and EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (19 days).

Everest Base Camp – CLASSIC treks. / Version polish and english /

Trekking in Nepal Himalaya : EVEREST HIGH VALLEY – Travel Guide. /Version english/

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Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series.

Tech giant Google and media outlet Discovery Channel have joined forces to create what promises to be quite the interesting travel experience. The new Discovery TRVLR series uses virtual reality to take viewers on a 38-episode, globe spanning, adventure that visits all seven continents. The episodes will be available on YouTube and the Discovery VR website, as well as in the Discovery VR app for iOS and Android, as well as various VR headsets.

The actual series isn’t set to debut officially until November 3, but according to the show’s website, the first season will take viewers to Auckland, Hanoi, Mexico City, Yerevan, Cape Town, La Paz and Antarctica. Along the way, they’ll get to meet locals, see the landscapes, and immerse themselves in the culture without ever leaving home.

The show will feature 7 chapters, each of which focuses on one of the continents. The chapters for North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia will be made up of six episodes each, while Antarctica will see two episodes. Viewers will be introduced to four different personalities on each continent, the Guru, the Renegade, the Entertainer and the Explorer.

Of course, there is no substitute for real travel and actually visiting these places, but this looks like a promising use of VR technology. I’m told that it isn’t just a 360º video shot using a special camera, but will be fully immersive stereoscopic virtual reality, which should make for an impressive experience, particularly on higher end devices.

Production of the series reportedly has taken more than three months, with some shooting and editing still ongoing. The recent earthquake in Mexico disrupted the crew to a degree, and there are still other locations to capture in VR before the show makes its official debut in a few weeks time.

You can check out the teaser trailer Discovery TRVLR below. Then grab yourself a pair of Google Daydream VR goggles or even Google Cardboard, and get ready to span the globe.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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50 Parks to Visit in 50 U.S. States.

The U.S. has always been at the forefront of creating public lands for its citizens and foreign visitors to explore. After all, the country was the first to designate a national park when Yellowstone was first created way back in 1872. Today, there are fantastic parks to explore in every state in the Union, and Popular Mechanics wants to help you discover the best ones.

In a slideshow entitled “50 States, 50 Parks” readers will go through each state in alphabetical order, with the individual slides providing some information on the absolute best park to visit at that particular destination. So, for example, in Alaska you’ll learn that Denali National Park has earned a spot on the list, which is no small feat when you consider the fantastic national parks that exist there. The slide not only contains a brief explanation for what makes Denali special, but an epic photo from the location as well.

Other great parks that make the cut include Grand Canyon (Arizona), Yosemite (California), Starved Rock State Park (Illinois), and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. I’ll leave the remaining 45 parks for you to discover, as it is a lot of fun to see what choices were made for each state.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the national parks, but there are some pretty spectacular state parks to be found as well. Thankfully, this list doesn’t count them out and you’re likely to discover plenty of new places to add to your “must visit” list. Check out the entire slideshow here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – 50 Parks to Visit in 50 U.S. States

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