Category Archives: This Just In

That Hiking Guy

That Hiking Guy, Chris Colbert, in the woods.

Image: Chris Colbert

Whether you are stuck in the office or ready to take on the wilderness, the Pocket Ranger® video channel is your one-stop shop for entertainment. Spanning across the United States, the video channel captures some of the most pristine views in the country and some of the best terrain for your next adventure—but wait, there’s more! Filled with loads of excitement, education, and even some laughter, hiking videos like this one from contributor That Hiking Guy are well worth the watch:

That Hiking Guy demonstrates that to maintain health and wellness, you have to start somewhere—so why not make it an adventure? Narrated by Chris Colbert, “an average middle-aged male in Indiana who recently discovered the joy that comes with getting outdoors,” viewers get a firsthand view of the fun that can be had in their own backyards. His videos of the forest trails, sloping mountain crests, and winding rivers put Indiana on the map for fun in the outdoors. Subscribe to his YouTube channel to watch his hikes, like this one of the Birdseye Trail:

Want to make your memories last? That Hiking Guy reviews the latest and greatest in video and camera gear to make your outing one you will remember for years. Follow That Hiking Guy on Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ for details on what to pack and where to go. Don’t forget to stay connect through Facebook as well to get updates and tips on how to shoot videos like this one:

Fully loaded with what you need to get psyched, watch the Pocket Ranger® video channel today! Packed up and ready to explore? Download the FREE Pocket Ranger® mobile app for full access to everything you need to know about where you’re going. Happy trails!

Fishing with Flair

When it comes to fishing, camping, and pretty much everything outdoors, look no further than the Pocket Ranger® video channel. The video channel gives you a front seat into the world of up-and-coming adventurers, such as contributor Andrew Flair, bass fishing extraordinaire. Flair is a far cry from your run-of-the-mill angler, making fishing look like a piece of cake. He’s even got his own website, Fishing with Flair, dedicated to showing people what bass fishing is all about. Just watch below as he reels in a gigantic five-pound bass:

Flair likes the outdoors, enjoys hanging out with friends, and goes to school. But don’t be fooled—Andrew Flair is no ordinary Gen Z’er. Discovering his passion at a young age, he is active in local angling clubs, maintains a fabulous following on social media with his fishing tackle reviews, and has placed in state competitions on more than one occasion. Flair has an unbelievable knack to bring award-winning bass fish home in the blink of an eye, like in this video below:

Want to know how you can catch your next big one? By subscribing to the Fishing with Flair’s YouTube channel, you’ll get reviews on top of the line fishing gear along with great tips that’ll give you a head start on your next outing. These videos are worth watching, whether you are at the cabin or at your desk. Get the very latest from Fishing with Flair by liking him on Facebook and following him on Twitter and Instagram.

Fishing with Flair brings fishing to your doorstep! So what are you waiting for? Watch him on the Pocket Ranger® video channel, where you can see the best of the best in outdoor adventure, education, and much more!

Fishing With Flair Screenshot from Pocket Ranger® Videos

Ready to launch the boat? Download the FREE Pocket Ranger® apps, and get all the information you need to have fun in whatever stream you choose to paddle up.

Related articles

Fighting for the Greater Sage-Grouse

Greater Sage-Grouse.

Image: http://www.wyofile.com/

On September 22nd, it was decided that the greater sage-grouse will not be protected under the Endangered Species Act. This news comes as a delight to ranchers, big industry leaders, and some conservationists while other environmentalists think this decision isn’t doing all it can for the sage-grouse.

These birds call eleven Western sagebrushes (the Sagebrush Sea, approximately 165 million acres) their home and are not keen to human development. They depend on the sagebrush for food, especially in the winter, and conservation of the sage-grouse would benefit many other species that also rely on the sagebrush for survival. Watching their unique mating ritual is a treat for visitors as well, one that shows the sage-grouse strutting and fanning their tail feathers about theatrically.

Greater sage-grouse doing mating dance.

A greater sage-grouse showing off his feathers and dancing in an attempt to woe some females. [Image: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/]

As development continues out West, the greater sage-grouse suffer and have been steadily declining for decades. In 2010, their populations were low enough that they should have been protected under the Endangered Species Act, however, the federal government claimed to have other priorities that led to it not being added. Some environmental groups believe this was done out of economic pressure from the oil, gas, mining, and agriculture industries.

The greater sage-grouse avoided being added to the list again due to heavily managed land-use plans by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, which ensure that public and private land will be protected and improved with the greater sage-grouse in mind. Again, however, there is a split on opinions with this ruling. Some environmental groups are saying that the ruling isn’t strict enough while big industries affected by these limitations are saying they’re too harsh. In the end, these big companies face less constricting restraints than what they would have had to endure if the bird had been listed as endangered.

Greater sage-grouse mid-flight.

Image: http://www.natgeocreative.com/

In the meantime, both sides are threatening litigation to either reduce the limitations or have the sage-grouse be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The sage-grouse’s eligibility for being listed as an endangered species will be reevaluated in five years, in which time its population will hopefully start to grow regardless of what happens in court.

Reel Adventures with Darcizzle Offshore

Watch out, guys—there’s a new girl rockin’ the boat, and she has a knack for catching anything off the Southern Florida coast. Watch the Pocket Ranger® video channel for fun and exciting fishing adventures brought to you by Darcizzle Offshore. Her name stands up to her reputation with jaw-dropping videos that reel you in and never let you go! To get you started, watch her bass fishing expedition:

Darcizzle Offshore host, Darcie, takes fishing to another level. Her skill behind a fishing rod and experience handling the deep unknown captivate audiences, “showing the world girls CAN fish too, one catch at a time.” Whether you are an avid angler or experience fish only when it’s on your plate, follow her blog for the latest updates. The videos are nonstop entertainment and know-how, showing the best ways for a successful fishing trip. In the below video, Darcie invites viewers on a lobster dive, giving step-by-step instructions on how to find the big ones and bring them to your table:

Enough to make your mouth water, right? By subscribing to Darcizzle Offshore’s YouTube channel, you can get an angling education from someone who has done it her entire life, which far surpasses what you could get trying to learn on your own. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram then like her on Facebook. By following her on Google+, you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of Florida fishing, including monthly fishing reports, events, and more. Darcie also likes to help promote partners and sponsors, often bringing them along on her adventures.

Darsizzle Offshore using a speargun to catch fish

Image Credit: Darcizzle Offshore

Visit the Pocket Ranger® video channel to watch Darcizzle Offshore bring in the big catch! The video channel is filled with entertainment from contributors like Darcie who are dedicated to showing you a good time and inspiring your next trip. Before you pack your bags and ready your tackle box, download the Pocket Ranger® mobile apps for the latest in travel information, weather, and things to do. The Pocket Ranger® apps are free and fully equipped with GPS features to make your next adventure a stellar one!

Alabama State Parks Funding Crisis

Alabama State Parks Funding Crisis - Funding Cuts Could Close Alabama's State Parks [Image: www.facebook.com/ALStateParks/]

Image: www.facebook.com/ALStateParks/

According to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, the state is facing a budget crisis. Alabama lawmakers are currently in talks regarding the cash-strapped General Fund budget.

Among the potential impacts of proposed budget cuts are closures and cutbacks to state parks and other outdoor activities. The leaders of the Alabama State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say the legislature has pulled $27 million dollars out of their accounts to shore up the General Fund over the last four years, and they are looking to pull another $9 to $18 million next year.

Here is an excerpt from the last update on September 23rd from the Alabama State Parks website:

The Legislature has concluded their budgeting effort for FY2016 and made their decision to transfer funds from our Department for a fifth year in a row. They make the state’s laws, and we must find ways to implement them. Our immediate task is to now work with Finance and Budget authorities to analyze the impact of this additional year of transfers, and our staff are already working on contingency plans to address this loss of revenue. We do not think it’s fair to the people of the state, and the hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists that enjoy our parks each year, for us to speculate today on how this transfer will impact the system. This remains a very serious matter for the park system, and we expect to know more within the next week to ten days and will share that information with the public at that time.

For the full article about the funding crisis, as well as the latest news about potential state park closures, please visit the Alabama State Parks website.

There are several things you can do for the Alabama State Parks Funding Crisis. Stay updated on this issue, talk amongst community, and express your opinions to your elected officials. You can also volunteer, follow their Facebook page, keep your eye out for rallies hosted by state parks, or join the Alabama State Parks Partners Coalition. But the best way you can help is to visit a state park with your family and friends (and use the Pocket Ranger® Official Guide for Alabama State Parks)!

Biking for a Cause

Biking is a fantastic way to explore a new area, get a healthy dose of exercise, and even raise awareness about a cause. In fact, plenty of people are biking for a cause these days, taking to the saddle and setting out on a ride to give their passions some much needed attention. Ranging from animal awareness to sustainability, these are a few cyclists with a cause that have caught our eye lately.

Where’s Bixby?

Where's Bixby? founder Mike Minnick with Bixby looks at the ocean while biking for a cause

Adopt, don’t shop! [Image: http://www.wheresbixby.com/]

Mike Minnick and his five-year-old furry companion, Bixby, are on a bike adventure to raise awareness for shelter pups. Mike quit his day job, attached Bixby’s dog bed to his eccentric Yuba Mundo cargo bike, grabbed a rubber safety chicken (Chicken Charlie), and made his way out of Texas on a mission. In the past year, Mike and Bixby have ridden over 9,000-miles across more than 30 states, stopping at over 50 adoption shelters along the way. Their goal is to help some lucky dogs meet their new best friends and shift people away from dangerous puppy mills to the nonprofit services of local shelters. Track Mike and Bixby’s adventure through their site Where’s Bixby?

Biking and Breathing

Myrna Gatica in her air pollution monitoring gear for the Biking and Breathing project.

Earth science teacher and bike commuter, Myrna Gatica, helping out the Biking and Breathing project. [Image: http://www.wnyc.org/]

WNYC, New York’s Public Radio station, is coupling with Columbia scientists for a project called Biking and Breathing where they’ll be studying the air quality on city streets. Air quality is typically measured from stationary boxes located high above street level, however, it’s difficult to know exactly how many fine particles and air pollution a person is ingesting in the city. Equipped with portable air quality measuring tools, cyclists are helping WNYC and Columbia measure pollution from a commuter’s perspective. The results are sure to be a bit scary, but we’re excited to see them. And in the meantime, WNYC is working on another project called Bike Blockers where cyclists send in their photos of blocked bike lanes and WNYC creates an interactive map of all the locations. Overall they’re bringing a ton of attention to biking in a big city, something no commuter can complain about!

Marissa Muller

Marissa Muller and her solar-powered bicycle.

Marissa Muller and her awesome solar-powered bike. [Image: http://greenfiretimes.com/]

Marissa Muller is traveling from California to Washington D.C. on a solar-powered bicycle to raise awareness about wellness. Muller isn’t racing or trying to break a record, but what this cycling gal is accomplishing is pretty amazing regardless. Along her trip of biking more than 3,000-miles across ten states, she aims to engage with locals and set up meetings to discuss improving both physical wellness and wellness for our planet.

Cycle for Water

Michiel and Joost, founders of Cycle for Water, on their 2010 trip.

Michiel and Joost on their 2010 Cycle for Water adventure with their bamboo bikes. [Image: http://calfeedesign.com/]

Beginning five years ago, Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg formed Cycle for Water where they cycled about 30,000-kilometers on bamboo bicycles from the Arctic to the Antarctic, giving attention to the global water crisis. Their cause raises funds for those that don’t have access to clean water, and now their adventure has expanded even more. They recently passed the torch along to Theo Rohfritsch and Simon Valdenaire who will ride 25,000-kilometers from France to New Zealand. The next step they’re working on is linking primary school students with a water project in a different part of the world.

Climate Ride

Climate Ride participants in California.

A group of California’s Climate Ride participants. [Image: http://pacificenvironment.org/]

Promoting sustainability, alternate modes of transportation, and environmental causes is what the Climate Ride is all about. Through multi-day rides, hikes, and a do-it-yourself program, they are creating a network where people can contribute to a cause they’re passionate about. They have a few different Climate Ride options around the country to take advantage of: Climate Ride Northeast takes place over five days through Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts; Climate Ride California spans through beautiful Northeast California from the Redwood Empire to San Francisco; Climate Ride Midwest is a three day trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago; and Climate Ride NYC-DC, which is unfortunately on a break for 2015, is a ride that connects two of the nation’s most important cities over the course of five days.

If all this talk has got you amped up and in need of exerting some extra energy, then hop on your bike and explore a beautiful area near you. Maybe you’ll find Bixby along the way or will become impassioned with your own cause. Either way, our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps will be sure to aid in your journey!

Go Exploring with Adventure Archives

The Pocket Ranger® video channel is the place to visit before you head out on your next outdoor trip. The video channel is easy to access, updated weekly, and is a great companion whether you are at work or just hanging out. Watch thrilling adventures from contributors like Adventure Archives where you’ll get in-depth videos into some of the best wilderness sites in North America.

Adventure Archives Member on a Canoeing at Mammoth Cave

Andrew Lin, Bryan Lin, and Bobby Huang take you to the backcountry for fun and education. Here is a teaser below for what’s in store with them:

With Adventure Archives, you’ll learn not only where to go for amazing experiences, but also how to prepare for the unexpected. Learn the important difference between edibles versus poisonous flora while meandering into the deep woods with your hosts. The show takes viewers through all of nature’s elements, from a torrential rainstorm in Red River Gorge to winter camping in Monongahela National Forest—their videos are filled with never-ending surprises. While it might not always be cotton candy and ice cream on the trail, Adventure Archives’ documentary style and original music compilations bring beauty into any outdoor adventure.

To give you a bigger taste of what they’re all about, watch the team tackle Red River Gorge here:

Want to learn more? Adventure Archives is a contributor to the Pocket Ranger® video channel. You can also subscribe to their YouTube channel and like them on Facebook. Enjoy listening to the tunes? Their Bandcamp showcases soundtracks from every one of their videos so you can continue to nod your head to their beats.

Before making plans for your next outdoor trip, be sure to download the Pocket Ranger® mobile apps for the latest information on weather, road conditions, and local activities in the area. Whether you are an avid adventurer or enjoy relaxing weekends in your backyard, the Pocket Ranger® video channel with Adventure Archives is essentials for fun, knowledge, and adventure.