Tag Archives: outdoors

Thermacell® is for Nature Lovers

Now that summer is in full swing, most of us want and try to be outside as much as possible. The best time to do that is in the morning and in the evening when the sun is least harsh and the heat most bearable. Even though that’s also the time mosquitoes are out in force.

Worst!

Swarms of mosquitoes gather to talk strategy near waterbodies and shallow pools across the country. [Image: pixabay.com]

Thankfully, we have our trusty Thermacell® appliances! We’ve been given back not just a 15’ x 15’ bubble of mosquito-resistant bliss, but the freedom to work in our yards or gardens, enjoy the onset of dusk from our back porches, perch in a tree stand, relax with a rod and reel, and pitch a tent without the constant buzzing and biting we might otherwise encounter.

“How?” you might ask. We’ve addressed that here. Thermacell® has made a name for itself providing the best in non-topical mosquito repellents. Through the effectiveness of simple design and allethrin, the devices make the air—the very way mosquitoes sense and alight on you—work to their benefit. The mosquitoes are driven off before they can make a meal of you and others within the device’s “mosquito protection zone.”

"Ah, this is the best!"

“Not being eaten alive by mosquitoes is my favorite!” “Ha ha, me too!!” [Image: www.wideopenspaces.com]

It’s often said that the best defense is a good offense, and there are researchers who are looking at eradicating (certain disease-carrying) mosquito species, while exploring the ethics and deeper consequences of manipulating ecology. But consider for a moment that the best defense against mosquito-borne discomfort and illness is just the best defense. Thermacell®’s “mosquito protection zone” is 98% effective in repelling those pesky flying, biting insects. Oh, and you don’t need an advanced degree in biology to fire it up!

Thermacell® Gets You Outside

If you’re a hunter, angler, camper, hiker or someone who generally likes spending time outdoors, Thermacell® appliances allow you to put your energies into the tasks and leisure activities you stepped outside to enjoy. And nature lovers can enjoy the sweet smell of their surroundings, rather than smelly DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus lotions or sprays, or ineffective citronella candles or torches. You can obtain one at many sporting goods stores, or directly from www.thermacell.com, where you’ll also find more information about the company’s products and refills, as well as user reviews!

Thermacell logo.

[Image: www.thermacell.com/]

Finally, if you’re looking for new places to use your Thermacell® appliance, head on over to your phone’s app store, download your state’s Pocket Ranger® mobile app, and start exploring!

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Every time rumors of a snowstorm circulate, children (and even some adults, if we’re being totally honest here) across the afflicted areas have one collective thought: “Let’s build a snowman!” It’s an activity that crosses oceans, demolishes language barriers, and completely disregards age. We’ve pretty much been seeing an onslaught of snowmen since Thanksgiving in the States, so we’re used to their quirky carrot noses, round button noses, and adorable top hats by now. But where exactly did this fun snowy tradition come from?

Snowman.

Now that’s a well-made snowman! [Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/]

It’s hard to track when the first snowman was first crafted, but author of “The History of the Snowman,” Bob Eckstein, found documentation of snowmen dating back to medieval times. The earliest depiction he found was from 1380 and was a marginal drawing from a piece called, “Book of Hours.”

There’s also plenty of proof showing that people were building snowmen since the Middle Ages where they were searching for an outlet for creative expression. And what better way to show off your artistic skills than crafting a temporary human sculpture! Couples often took a chilly stroll to see what new creations sprouted up overnight, a tour de snowperson, if you will. There were even snowmen created by some famous artists, like the time that Michelangelo commissioned a snowman in Florence’s ruler’s mansion courtyard in 1494.

Snowmen.

Watch out for the snowman army—coming to your neighborhood this snow day. [Image: http://thingsaboutportlandthatsuck.com/]

Snowmen have also popped up during plenty of historical events. During the Winter of Death, a period of six weeks of subzero temperatures in Brussels, they saw what came to be known as the Miracle of 1511. Snowmen took over the city, and they even had their own personalities to go along with their presences with some designed in a political way while others were a bit raunchier.

Many years later, history saw another sighting of snow art when a pair of snowmen guards stood watch in Fort Schenectady as the actual guards fled inside to avoid the blizzard. This event became known as the Schenectady Massacre of 1690, as the snowmen did not do too good of a job warding off the French Canadian and Native American forces that had already braved three weeks of traveling through the snow.

Upside down snowman.

Who said there was a formula to snowman building? [Image: http://theverybesttop10.com/]

So whether you’re looking forward to impending snowstorms as a way to get outside and let some of your inner-creativity out, or you’d rather hunker down and preoccupy yourself indoors, our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps are the best aid for whatever adventure you choose. With whichever option you go with, just make sure you have fun doing it!

California’s Most Beautiful State Reserves

California is home to some of the most iconic national parks in the United States. Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Death Valley are only a few of the more prominent parks of the state. Hailing thousands of visitors not only from the country but even internationally, it has made a name out of stunning geographical features and activities for outdoor enthusiasts. These parks have since heralded visitors due to their monumental beauty and careful preservation efforts.

But aside from its more acclaimed national parks, California also hosts some of the most breathtaking natural state reserves in the nation. Natural state reserves are dedicated preservation areas typically with historical, geological, or cultural significance to the state or country. Even when flanked with the impressive national and state parks in the state, these reserves can more than hold their own. Check out some of the most beautiful state reserves in California below!

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve

Ever wanted to feel like you’re being transported to another world entirely? If so, that’s just what you’ll experience when you visit Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve.

Mono Lake Tufa SNR [Image url: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/514/images/P0074810_Sunset.jpg]

Mono Lake Tufa SNR is dazzling in the early sunset. Towers of tufas are seen adorning the scenery while gorgeous colors can be seen reflecting in the surrounding waters. [Image: http://www.parks.ca.gov/]

Mono Lake Tufa is a state natural reservation located in eastern California. While this seemingly out-of-this-world natural reserve is relatively near its more iconic cousin, the grand Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake can nevertheless hold its own candle. Surrounded by towering tufas—columns of calcium carbonate formed in carbonate-rich saltwater lakes—Mono Lake provides a dreamy sight for every visitor to marvel at.

The reserve’s preservation committee typically holds tours every weekend throughout the winter months for those interested in visiting this breathtaking place. Check their calendar of events for more information as inclement weather can effect the routine tour schedules. The best time to visit? Sunset. The clear waters and panoramic background paint a palate of dazzling brilliance over the scenery.

For adventure enthusiasts, you’ll find that the Mono Lake has quite an ecosystem. Multiple avian species like the mountain quail, calliope hummingbird, and American wigeon have been sighted in the vicinity. Canada geese, mallards, and other ducks are also frequent visitors during migration periods.

Canada Goose in Mono Lake

Canada geese can be seen flocking in Mono Lake during their migration months. [Image: http://static-myyosemitepark.s3.amazonaws.com/]

Hiking, photography, swimming, and boating are only a few of the activities offered in this area. For those that want to spend a night within its majestic grounds, be sure to read up on the rules and regulations regarding camping permits.

Mono Lake Tufa at night

Tufa can be seen standing regally against a backdrop of the Milky Way at night. During the spring and summer months, a stunning view of the stars make quite a memorable camping environment. [Image: http://goldpaintphotography.com/]

For more information regarding Mono Lake, please visit their park website.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

With views sweeping over deep blue ocean, impressive rocky montages, noble trees, and crashing ocean foam, Point Lobos is a picturesque paradise located in the central coast of Monterey County. Flanked by rolling meadows of green, a thriving ecosystem, and ethereal scenery, this natural reserve is an ideal place to simply get lost in nature’s astounding beauty.

Point Lobos China Cove

One of Point Lobos’ celebrated sights is China Cove. It is a popular tourist sight due to its crystal clear waters along the shorelines. [Image: http://www.montereybayinsider.com/]

The reserve hosts an outdoor program for children and families, tours, diving excursions, hiking, and easy access to adventures all amidst its tranquil atmosphere. Volunteers are available throughout the area to provide information regarding the rich history of Point Lobos.

A section of Point Lobos where waves can be seen crashing in the inland shores. [Image: http://icons.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/j/jimkv/460-800.jpg]

A section of Point Lobos where waves can be seen crashing on the inland shores. [Image: http://icons.wunderground.com/

If you intend to visit Point Lobos, layers of clothing are suggested due to the distance between the waters. The chilly ocean breeze is quick and eager to drive the heat away from your body, so it is best to bring extra clothing. Other suggested items include a camera to remember the stunning views with, as well as sunscreen and water.

Take a peek at the Point Lobos page for more information.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

On the southern side of California, between La Jolla and Del Mar and north of San Diego, lies Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This state reserve is one of the last two abodes of the rarest pine treePinus torreyana.

Pinus torreyana

One of the rarest pine trees in the nation—Pinus torreyana—can only be found thriving in two locations: Torrey Pines SNR and in Santa Rosa, California. [Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/]

Torrey Pines is considered a fragile ecosystem. Rigorous preservation efforts have been expended to conserve this natural habitat. It is a popular place of refuge to a large waterfowl population as well as the mule and black-tailed deer. As it is an undeveloped area, it is privy to erosion. An example of this can seen through the Broken Hill, a huge, rugged geological wonder overlooking the ocean.

Broken Hill

Broken Hill provides an ideal place to hike for outdoor enthusiasts. Its impressive location offers an outstanding view of the ocean and lower La Jolla. [Image: http://media.sdreader.com/]

Crags of rock interlock to create a geologic sight prime for sightseeing within the park. For adventurers, Torrey Pines is a small trip to the wildness away from urban life. Its sensitive ecosystem that’s being carefully reserved features cliffs and ravines overlooking the seas. Activities available within the park include swimming at the beach, hiking, interpretive programs, and wildlife watching.

Torrey Pines overlooking the sea

Torrey Pines towering over the sea. It is easy to see how it stirs wanderlust among adventurers. [Image: http://s3-media2.fl.yelpcdn.com/]

It is highly encouraged to check with Torrey Pines SNR website regarding the rules and regulations applicable within the area. As it is a natural area, regulations are carefully placed to avoid any unnecessary disruptions to its ecological system.

California is one of the most urbanized cities in the United States, so state natural reserves are carefully cherished and taken care of to preserve the natural beauty that’s in danger of ever-expanding civilization. It is a great place to relax, think, and be away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as get in touch with nature and its profound views.

If you’re thinking of visiting one of these SNR’s, let us help you! Our California State Parks app contains the most updated information for this park and can be found in the Apple and Google Play stores. Download now, and take advantage of the warm winter days this December to observe nature at its best in one of these parks!

Outdoor Adventures this Fall Season

Fall is finally here! The leaves are once again changing to vibrant colors, sleeveless shirts and shorts are getting replaced for long sleeves and sweaters, and seasonal fall treats are once again in favor. However, with the changing season comes the drop of temperature. While some of us may believe that we have to bid farewell to outdoor adventures along with summer, that isn’t necessarily the case! Here are some outdoor adventures you could have this fall season.

Fishing

Fishing is at its prime during this season—fish such as salmon, smallmouth, and walleye are popular catches. Of course, at times, fall does have its rough days where it is difficult to catch any fish; in which case, anglers can rise to the challenge and find innovative ways of catching by using other tools, such as rocks. Be sure to check out the right times and regulations in regards to each fish!

English: Smallmouth Bass Fishing in the Fall

Man fishing small-mouth bass in the fall. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

Hunting

Hunting is also at its peak this season. Depending on your state, you may be able to hunt antelope, bear, foxes, white-tailed deer, bear, and various game birds. Youth hunting is also available for children ages 12-15 so that they can spend some time in the field and learn the necessary skills for becoming safe and responsible members of the hunting community.

English: White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

State Park Adventure

Before the state parks are touched by a crisp winter frost, you can take advantage of a plethora of exploratory adventures that can be done within the many parks in your state! Enjoy the weather with its cooler air while observing the myriad of wildlife activity in the area.

Hiking

Trek with friends, family, or go out by yourself for some much needed alone time. Hiking not only improves fitness and health, but also gives you the chance to conquer nature by hiking through trails this fall. Witness the changing foliage on the way, admire tall, noble trees, listen to the sounds of birds, or simply appreciate nature in its entirety.

English: Wikipedia:Heilbronn, hike tour

Group of friends hiking in the fall. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

Camping

Relish the weather by camping in the woods this fall. Enjoy your coffee or seasonal autumnal foods, such as pumpkin pies while enjoying nature. Share stories around the heat of a bonfire, and witness the innate beauty of the stars at night in the campgrounds. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent and to keep yourself warm and comfortable with the appropriate season attire!

Car Camping at Hunting Island State Park, Sout...

Camping outdoors with a car. [Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/]

This coming season, don’t let the weather stop your adventurous spirit—go out, explore, and conquer the outdoors! Enjoy the beauty of nature away from the electric buzz of the city and the daily grind of everyday life. And with the Pocket Ranger® app in your pocket, you’ll always be up to date with the latest news on the outdoors. And remember, you can always share your adventures with us!

Lace Up a Pair of Hi-Tec Boots and Get Ready to Explore

Hikers, campers, backpackers, and outdoors enthusiasts rejoice—we just partnered up with Hi-Tec Sports and are excited to share the news! Whether you’re looking to get down and dirty on some muddy paths or are investigating the amenities of your local state park, Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite is what your feet have been waiting for.

V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite [Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite [Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

Hi-Tec uses the revolutionary Vibram® outsoles in its boots to continue the high standard they’ve set. The soles are put through intense testing in the lab and field by diligent Vibram® Tester Team members. This leads to a reliable shoe that’s sure to last from top to bottom through any sort of outdoor activity.

An extreme resistance to water also compliments their sleek design. Water slides right off the shoes, making them the perfect companion for a rainy backpacking trip or an exploration through a damp area. These shoes are waterproofed to the point that Hi-Tec’s creators claim that the shoes simply dislike water. In fact, you might even be tempted to walk with them on water and try the fictional sport of “Liquid Mountaineering.”

Whether you prefer wet or dry terrain, you still need a pair of hiking boots with a proper fit. Hi-Tec boots are just the thing! Fortunately, Hi-Tec’s waterproof boots and comfort-inspired design drastically reduces your chances of pain or injury to your feet—like those pesky blisters that can ruin the fun of any outing. To ensure an even better hiking experience, don’t forget to lace up. The laces lock to provide a snug fit that is durable and nonrestrictive. More information about the benefits of hiking, blister avoidance, and properly fitting your boots can be found under our Hiking section when you Search by Activity in the Washington app!

A girl hiking.

[Image: http://us.hi-tec.com/]

As the summer heat fades away, we’re prepping ourselves for some serious fall and winter hiking ventures. Check out our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps to see what state parks near you will be accessible for year round exploring.

Survivalists We Admire

Some days, nothing seems more tempting than dropping all our responsibilities, packing a single backpack, and heading for the nearest mountain never to return again. These survivalists have inspired us to learn more about the wilderness and how to survive in it.

Two survivalists and a horse standing on a hill pointing.

Drop everything and head for the hills—nature awaits you. [Image: http://www.artbarbarians.com/]

Bear Grylls

If you own a television, you’re sure to have at least heard of Bear Grylls’ popular series, Man vs. Wild. His amazing feats and disturbing feasts are well known from his show, and the man is definitely qualified for all that he does. Grylls learned how to climb mountains and sail as a child, moving onto skydiving and Shotokan karate in his teen years. He is certainly innovative with the techniques he employs, but regardless, he offers great advice and tips in bushcraft.

Bear Grylls covered in dirt.

You’re sure to see Bear Grylls getting down and dirty somehow on Man Vs. Wild. [Image: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/]

Les Stroud

Another outdoorsman you may have seen on your television screen is Les Stroud, the star and creator of Survivorman. However, rather than heading into the wild with a camera crew, Stroud films, directs, produces, edits, and even does the music for his show. Stroud and his family live off the land in the remote Canadian wilderness where he grows and hunts his own food. He is a self-taught adventurer who creates his own survivalist techniques and is really immersed in a primitive lifestyle. On top of all that, he is also an incredibly talented musician.

Closeup of Les Stroud with dirt on his nose in a red bandana.

Les Stroud is certainly someone we’d want around in a sticky situation. [Image: http://www.speakers.ca/]

Lisa Fenton

Lisa Fenton has a pretty amazing repertoire of outdoor expertise behind her, where she’s delved into many desolate areas and dangerous situations and always come out like a champ. She is a co-founder of the outdoors and survivalist school, Woodsmoke, where she teaches bushcraft and survival techniques. She’s led many conservation expeditions to track, trap, and radio collar wolves, lynx, leopards, cheetahs, and other predators. Fenton has traveled through remote areas for up to months at a time, coming out of it with more than just a few cool stories to share.

Lisa Fenton in the snow.

Lisa Fenton is one lady you would not want to mess with. [Image: http://www.woodsmoke.uk.com/]

Tom Brown

After learning bushcraft and survival skills from a friend’s grandfather as a child, Brown went on to have an extensive outdoorsy life. Using mostly primitive tools, Brown has lived alone in rural areas of the United States, perfect for answering the call of the wild. He has also worked with authorities, lending his tracking skills to find missing persons, fugitives, and animals. Brown founded the Tracker School in New Jersey where he teaches students all they need to know about outdoor survival and has published 18 books on the subject.

Tom Brown speaking.

Tom Brown is definitely a survivalist we would trust with our lives! [Image: http://archive.app.com/]

Now that you’re feeling sufficiently inspired, make sure you download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps and get out to a park near you!

Make Your Own Trails with the Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition

Any of our Pocket Ranger® apps can help you find adventure, but you’ll need a rugged rig to get you there. Named Motor Trend’s 2015 Truck of the Year®, we nominate Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition as that perfect ride to get you from humble abode into the great outdoors.

Chevy Colorado Z71 - Trail Boss Edition [Image: www.chevrolet.com]

Image: www.chevrolet.com

Reach any trailhead with the Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition. This midsize pick-up comfortably handles the toughest trails thanks to its rugged durability, powerfully efficient 3.6L V6 engine, and Z71 Off-Road Package. No matter the weather, the trail-ready Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac® all-terrain tires keep you moving in all conditions. Best of all that Z71 Off-Road Package guarantees a smooth ride.

Chevy Colorado Z71 - Trail Boss Edition [Image: www.chevrolet.com]

Image: www.chevrolet.com

Got gear? Whether you’re a hiker, kayaker, hunter or angler, with the Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition there are storage options galore for all of your outdoor gear. GearOn™ moveable cargo tie-down rings and GearOn™ cargo divider in the bed give you many ways to secure your gear. Inside the cab, the large center console provides easy storage options for your gadgets and a nonskid space for charging devices. Armed with rear vision camera, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and OnStar Advisor, this truck pulls its weight when it comes to you and your family’s safety. Composed of high strength materials and reinforced safety cage, the Chevy Colorado Z71 series frame actually minimizes damage in the event of a collision.

Chevy Colorado Z71 - Trail Boss Edition [Image: www.chevrolet.com]

Image: www.chevrolet.com

Take the internet into the wilderness with you! Turn your Chevy Colorado Z71 into a hot spot with 4G LTE high-speed Wi-Fi connection powered by OnStar. Forgot to download a Pocket Ranger® app before you left the house? Download apps, surf the web, and stream video and music with the cab’s powerful connection that can serve up to seven devices. Four USB ports found in the cabin’s console add to ease of use. The truck’s cabin is also equipped with a top-notch Bose® sound system. Queue up the perfect soundtrack for those nights spent star-gazing from the truck bed.

Driving along New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway is a favorite during peak fall foliage season. [Image: www.motorhomeroadtrip.com]

Driving along New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway is a favorite during peak fall foliage season. [Image: www.motorhomeroadtrip.com]

Download the Pocket Ranger® Official Guide for New Hampshire State Parks and cruise the scenic Kancamagus Highway. While most will be stuck looking at the White Mountains from the hardtop of “the Kanc,” with your Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition, you can access numerous trailheads. We recommend hiking Mount Chocorua, a steep climb with commanding views of the Presidential Mountains. Don’t want to leave your Chevy behind? Put the Chevy Colorado Z71 to the test by summiting Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast!

Alpine Lakes Wilderness [Image: www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/alpine-lakes-wilderness]

Alpine Lakes Wilderness [Image: www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/alpine-lakes-wilderness]

Or get lost in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington. Less than 50 miles from Seattle, you can rely on your Chevy Colorado Z71 – Trail Boss Edition to easily transition you from hip, urban sprawl to austere, alpine wilderness. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is home to the glacier-carved North Cascades and part of the legendary Pacific Crest Trail. Some of the best rock-climbing opportunities in the country can be found at Cashmere Crags. Or load up the kayak or canoe and spend the day on one of the 700 mountain lakes and ponds within the area. Download the Pocket Ranger® Official Guide for Washington State Parks for advanced GPS mapping capabilities that will help you navigate your adventure.