National Geographic Announces 2014 Adventurers of the Year

Online Voting for People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year Runs through Jan. 31, 2014

The 2014 Adventurers of the Year, naming extraordinary achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation or humanitarianism have distinguished them in the past year was already announced by National Geographic.


Runs through Jan. 31, 2014, the online voting for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year has already started.  Fans can go here to vote at any time for their favorite honoree.  In February, the adventurer with the most number of votes at the end of the voting period will be announced as the 2014 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.

The 13 honorees this year were a long-distance swimmer, to refresh your memory, he was the first to swim from Cuba to Florida without protection from a shark cage; another one was a skier who is re-imagining his sport in urban landscapes; and two veterans dedicated to establishing connections between veterans and the outdoors; lastly a snowboarder committed to helping brain injury survivors.

The 13 Adventurers of the Year for 2014 are:

  • Stacy Bare and Nick Watson — American adventurers and veterans who launched an organization that links veterans to the outdoors and the outdoors community;
  • Greg Long — American big-wave surfer who won the 2012/13 Big-Wave World Tour,  despite nearly losing his life in a massive wipeout a few months earlier;
  • Amy and Dave Freeman — American adventurers and educators who completed a three-year, 11,647-mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, dogsled and foot, connecting with students and teachers along the way;
  • Diana Nyad — Sixty-four-year-old American long-distance swimmer who recently completed a swim between Cuba and the United States, on her fifth attempt;
  • Kevin Pearce — American snowboarder who, after surviving a traumatic brain injury, launched the “Love Your Brain” campaign to encourage the use of helmets for kids;
  • Kilian Jornet Burgada — Spanish “skyrunning” ultrarunner whose new brand of running involves blazing up technical terrain such as glaciers, rock ridges and steep snowfields;
  • Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted — Canadian alpinists who were the first to summit Pakistan’s K6 West, one of the last great unclimbed peaks in the world, despite danger and political turmoil in the region;
  • Adam Ondra — Czech rock climber who takes climbing to new frontiers of difficulty;
  • JP Auclair — Canadian skier who is best known for his special style of urban skiing;
  • Sarah Marquis — Swiss hiker who has just completed a three-year trek from Siberia to Australia.

“This is the ninth year that National Geographic has combed the globe to find people who embody the spirit of adventure in diverse ways. The 2014 Adventurers of the Year are truly inspiring and remind us of the importance to pursue our own passions every day,” said Mary Anne Potts, editor of National Geographic Adventure online.



Since 1943, scuba diving has become a famous activity practiced the world over after the invention of the aqualung by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Diving could be dangerous if you are not qualified to do so but there are now many training programs to meet the requirements as a diver. There is PADI, NAUI and CMAS after, divers can rent equipment, request air fills, and dive without any higher supervision but it is always recommended to dive with a buddy.

If you are planning to go diving here are some great places you can visit:

Vinales, Cuba. Maria la Gorda and Cayo Levisa are Vinales’ great diving site and it is two of the most candid diving spots in the world. The stunning Maria la Gorda’s black corals overflowing with marine life such as barracudas and red snappers is a good choice for a diving spot. While Cayo Levisa is a dreamy mangrove-island on a 3km long coral-reef.

Dahab, Egypt. For divers of all levels Dehab is an easy shore access of a great spot for divers. It has deep water and extreme visibility. You can have the chance to see not only large numbers of reef species but also the occasional pelagic and even the odd shark.

Bali, Indonesia. Warm tropical waters, marine landscaped coral reefs, wreck diving and abundant tropical fish and mammals, these are just few of what Bali can offer divers. Not to mention there are plenty of dive sites all around the compact island and each with crystal waters and the opportunity to dive with dolphins. The three of the top spots are Menjangan Island, Tulamben and the island of Nusa Penida.

Boracay, Philippines is a Pilipino national marine preserve. It is one of the most famous diving sites in Southeast Asia. This is one of the great beaches in the world which makes it a great choice for a holiday vacation plus it offers a wide range of dive activities. You will also enjoy the numerous good quality resorts, restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Koh Tao, Thailand. If you want a pure relaxation and a getaway from the outside world, then this is definitely the perfect place for you. This place is small Tropical Island covered in jungle, surrounded by many quiet, palm tree covered beaches. You can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. You will definitely enjoy the corals and the turtles.

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. By the bay of Kota Kinabalu Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is a marine park made up of a number of islands. The waters here offer divers a first glimpse of Borneo’s profuse array of corals and underwater creatures. Its calm water is ideal for macro and close up photography, with a World War II Japanese freighter wreck nearby for the adventurous.


Category: Outdoor Reviews  Tags: ,  Comments off

Ski Safety Tips for Beginners

One of the most popular and maybe the most needed safety gear is helmet but one of the best skiing safety tips is really a matter of personal choice – to wear, or not to wear.  Although it isn’t really mandated, it is encouraged to use helmet.

Unquestionably skiers should be just as cautious if you think about those who usually wear protective headgear, namely football and baseball players, construction workers, horseback riders, rock climbers, bicyclers, auto racers, and motorcycle riders.  The most important safety gear for skiers is helmet and as well as the following.

You will definitely enjoy it more and will have much more fun on the slopes if you’re in good shape. Exercise in advance and work your way up to skiing by exercising constantly year-round.

Use proper ski equipment and don’t just borrow equipment. Rent from a ski shop or the ski resort and make sure that the shop is legit.  When purchasing equipment, be certain your ski boots are fitted properly as it should be. In any case, confirm your bindings are properly adjusted.

Get ready for the weather.  Be dressed in layers of clothes and put on a helmet liner, a hat, or a headband.  Also put on gloves or mittens.  Always carry an extra pair lest the first pair gets wet.

Acquire proper instruction. Either individual or group Sign up for ski lessons. Experienced skiers still polish up their skills with a lesson every now and then.

Ski goggles are also important.  Put on ski goggles that perfectly fit around your helmet. There are goggles for those who wear eyeglasses, buy goggles that fit comfortably over your eyeglasses or you may also consider prescription goggles but it would me a bit costly.


If you’re exhausted, take a break and rest for a short time in the lodge.  As you’re resting, ensure you eat and drink enough.  Although done in ice, skiing burns a lot of energy! At what time it’s the end of the day, there’s no need to attempt and obtain in a final run, or two, if you are tired.  It’s okay and in fact better to stop as you’re ahead and spare your energy for next time.

Ski with a friend or with a group; it’s at all times safer to ski with a friend so he can watch out for you and you watch out for him too.  Appoint a meeting area if in some point you lost each other and walkie-talkies will come handy so you could stay in touch.

Respect your limits. Do not ski trails that are on top of your skill level.  Do not go off-trail.  At the same time, maintain to be in control of your skis and the trail you are skiing should be the center of your attention. Accidents happen more often when you lost guard.

Obey the rules.  Comply with posted trail closure and other warning signs.  Remember that there are skiers who are in front of you, and below you, on the trail have the right-of-way.



Why it is More Fun to Shoot Video than Taking Still Pictures

It is nice to take pictures but there are moments that pictures cannot tell but videos can.  Videos can make someone feel like they were there also.  While photograph can last forever, you can go back to those moments watching and re-watching those precious moments.  “While pictures can be flat, video brings life to your experiences,” says Laurel House, who videoblogs about travel, fitness, and more at QuickieChick

“With video, you can share your adventures — and relive them again when you come home,” he added.

You do not need fancy equipments to capture the moments on video, you phone will do or there are quality and affordable camcorders available in the market.  And worried about video editing, you do not have to do it or there is Windows Live Movie Maker that is so much easy to learn.  Therefore there are no excuses!

Now let us learn how to get you going. Video recoding isn’t really hard; here are the ways to do so.  Get personal. Try adding narrations, wouldn’t it be boring if your video is a bunch of sequence photos like.  Plus, the people who are going to watch your videos will get as much excitement as you were during your travel.  They will understand what the shots are and what the experience meant to you.  And remember to sound natural, scripted is boring!  If you want to be in the video, do not appear stiff and cold, be natural, act natural.  Smile and laugh but never fake it!

Entertain and tell a story, who would want to watch a video that has no sequence and with a singles shot. Capture every detail and reactions of the people so that when you go back you will feel the same happiness.  I did not say join a competition for your video but it could have at least a beginning, middle, and end.

Keep your videos short, because no matter how interesting your video looks like audience will become antsy just stay snappy and stick to a single subject.

Focus on moments and experiences that are actually fun and fun to watch, skip the non sense, you would want to waste time viewing it.

Your travel video will stand out if you fit in the same simple tricks that you’d use if you were taking a still photo so borrow some photography tricks.  Remember to keep the camcorder still while filming.  “Your video will be 100 times better if the image is not shaky,” says Cailin O’Neil, who videoblogs at Cailin Travels Cailin also recommends shooting away from the sun to prevent glare and silhouetting.

Always check the audio, and use your ears. Nothing is worse than a video where you can’t hear the person talking. “What makes video unique from photos is that people can actually hear the ambience of a place,” O’Neil says.  Record you film or video in a location where you’re protected from the wind.  However, pick up some modest street or nature sounds while you push record.

“No one likes the way they look on camera, so don’t judge yourself,” says House of “So don’t stress too much — and have fun.”  So loosen up and enjoy!


Black Hawk Adventures – Tying the Knot

This technique although inexperienced campers take this for granted, thinking it is only

a deception that this is really necessary to learn and in fact a very essential skill. This is

one secret on how to have fun outdoors and at the same time survive in the wilderness.

A simple knot can save your life; each knot type fits a certain job.


You can tie a solid Square Knot by lapping right over left, and then tying again in the

reverse direction – left over right. This is a classic for connecting lines and tying knot,

basically most people know how to do a square knot. This is used for making a rope

longer by tying two ropes or even tying up a bundle of firewood to carry because this

type of knot is stable and secure.


Make a loop of rope around the tree to tie a Clove Hitch on it. Make another loop and

pass the free end of the rope under the second loop before tightening. To tie this one

over a post or stake, just create a loop in the free end of the rope and slide it over the

post. Then make another loop the same as the first. Put the second loop over the post

(just above the first loop) and tighten the hitch. This knot type secures a line to a tree

or post quickly and it is an easy one. But it can also slip if used alone so you need to

make other knots as backup.


A knot that is often taught with the story of the rabbit coming out of the hole, in front of

the tree, going behind the tree, and back down his original hole, the Bowline, to tie this

knot you form a loop on top of the long end of the line. And then pass the free end of

the line through the loop and around behind the line. While maintaining the secondary

loop which becomes your bowline loop bring the free end down in the original loop.

Once the “rabbit” is back down his hole, pull the “tree” up and the Bowline is tightened.

This Bowline will create a loop at the end of a rope that cannot shrink or expand.


Figure 8 also called as Flemish Knot is necessary to use in order to tie several other

more complex knots because it makes knot at the end of the line. To tie this knot, you

simply pass the free end of a line over itself to form a loop. Continue under and around

the line’s end, and finish the knot by passing the free end down through the loop.


This next knot is essential for tying different types of materials together and joining

different thicknesses of rope. Although this come a little weird but the Sheet Bend


can even join together lines or materials that normally couldn’t be joined together. Form

a “j” shape out of the thicker or more slippery rope then pass the other rope through the

fish hook from behind, wrap around the entire fishhook once and then tuck the smaller

line under itself.


Deception charge to those who thinks that tying a knot isn’t essential. These are only

few of the other knot types but could really help you survive the wilderness.

Be Present In Every Photo with Tripod Multi-tool

Tired of Bringing Big Tripods on camping Trips?  Tripod Multi-tool is the Best Gadget for you.


First things first, why do you go on camping?  Is camping really fun?  The outdoor is a great experience to anyone.  The adventure of living in the outdoors makes camping fun for everyone.  Camping is an escape of the hustle and bustle of the busy life in the city.  The nature and fresh air in addition to great sceneries can satisfy anyone.


Although camping is such a common word, everyone was to heard it in some point of their life but what is camping exactly?  Camping is an act of spending time in the outside, it is an outdoor recreation activity.  Campers would pack their essentials, travel the wilderness, and camp overnight or for several days.  It is basically spending time in the other shelter, preparing meals by cooking over a campfire and sleeping without your beds.


So why is camping fun again?  Aside from what nature can offer, camping is a great opportunity to spend time with your family and friends, have fun with your kids while you get the same fun as they do with no destructions from the modern world.  You can do a lot of things while you are in camping outdoors like fishing, hiking, swimming, biking, and canoeing.


Everyone in the world are so much into taking pictures more especially in moments like camping with the family an friends.  The dilemma is, bringing a big tripod with you would cause you more hassle but if you wont bring it, chances are, you would be the camera person as a result you are absent in every picture.


Tripod Multi-tool is the best gadget for you.  A camera-friendly multi-tool that functions as multi purpose tool and a tripod called Steady.  Costing only $65, Gerber has done a very nice job on this one.  Tiny arms fold out from the handle to offer the tripod’s three legs of support. Form the knife blades to driver heads and all the other components of the multi-tool are all made of stainless steal.


Built for campers and adventurers, Steady can hold digital cameras up to 340 grams and smart phones up to 170 grams.  This tool has 12 different components that are most essential to campers and even at home.  All these in one tool with rubberize coating.


The steady features:

  • Overall length: 6”
  • Closed length: 4”
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Steel type: 420j2 Stainless
  • Max Phone/Camera Weight: 170 grams/340 grams
  • 12 components
  • Tripod Functionality
  • Camera/Cell Phone Mount
  • Cell Phone Attachment
  • Fine Edge Blade
  • Serrated Blade
  • Micro Flat, Square Cross & medium Flat Screwdrivers
  • Bottle Opener
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Stainless Steel Components
  • Rubberized Coating




Black Hawk Adventures : Olympic-quality sports gear for all

In the wake of the Olympics fever, people across the world had a glimpse of sophisticated and high-end sports gear used by athletes in their games. Not surprisingly, they are using top-of-the-line gears and equipment to help them perform at their best.

And thanks to such an elite market, the advanced and highly-improved gears are made available to the public as consumer products. The technology used to develop gears in professional sports are now adopted by legit manufacturers in improved sports gear for amateurs, minus the fraud alert.

Sleek bicycles in word-class events are mainly from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic known for its durability, strength and lightness. This particular material is now available in high-performance bicycles — from rims, seat posts, handlebars, stems and cranks.

As for helmets, they are also becoming more advanced in terms of design and composition. Originally, helmets are made from leather, effective in protecting it from abrasions. Today, helmets being used in competitions are sometimes with built-in goggles and a wraparound design so that cyclists will have more convenience while having the optimum protection.

Likewise, consumer helmets for skateboarding, football and skiing are created with hard aerodynamic plastic shells that are highly resistant to puncture and have shock-absorbers. Separate visors or ultra-lightweight goggles made from polycarbonate plastic (like bulletproof glass) are also popular.

Bodysuits worn by track and field players of the US has now become part of a popular trend in recycled-materials-turned-fabric. Looks like many of our athletes and outdoor lovers are highly concerned about the impact they are making on the environment; good thing sports equipment firms have quickly responded to the market.

Olympians this year have donned uniforms that are reportedly made from recycled plastics — think old plastic bottles spun into fabric and fibers that combine superb quality with sustainability. Fortunately for you, this green innovation is already available for the public.

Military Gear gets Female Version

Army engineers of the US military has announced its plans to make a new gear for female soldiers that will provide them with more protection and make them more alert in combat.


In a study made by the US Army it was discovered that the ill-fitting military gear actually interferes with the women’s combat performance, citing examples like difficulty in boarding the vehicles and taking proper aim with their weapons.


This initiative to redesign body armor started in 2009 when women from the 101st Airborne division felt uncomfortable wearing the gear during the war.


“It rubbed on the hips, and the vests were too long in the front, so that when you had female soldiers climbing stairs or climbing up a hill or a tree, or sitting for a long time in a vehicle, that would create pressure points that in some instances could impact blood flow and cause some discomfort,” said Lt. Col. Frank Lozan, who is helping design the body armor.


However, engineers are faced with challenges because making new female body armor will present potential weaknesses on the material. This is because the material of the armor they use will get heavier as you add more curves.


“There are some complex curvatures that come into play with female hard-armor plates. I could make female hard-armor, but it would be twice as heavy,” Lozano said.


They  are now exploring “unique chemical designs” to make lighter but effective plates.


“It became clear to us that there was a difference in torso length. The other point that we realized is that there is a significant difference in shoulder width. I read this data, and it seems so obvious,” says the product manager for the Army’s soldier protective-equipment program.


Black Hawk Adventures reports that they are planning to design a body armor specifically for women with adjustments like narrower shoulders, shorter torso and curves in the hips and chest so they can fit more naturally.


Eight female sizes gears are now being tested by 100 female soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. In the meantime, female soldiers still have to choose from 11 different sizes of Army-standard body armor.


US military officials recognize that this feat will be an engineering challenge so such armor may take years to make.

Black Hawk Adventures: Scientist Arrested for Selling Research Data to China

A former nanotechnology scientist of Sandia National Laboratories pleaded not guilty to federal charges of selling intellectual property and research to institutes in China.

Jianyu Huang was arraigned last week on 1 count of false statements and 5 counts of federal program fraud as he was accused of sharing information from his post in the Sandia lab’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies since 2009. However, the charge was only for theft of federal property and was not for stolen classified information.

He reportedly sold research on nanotech that belongs to the US to government-run Chinese schools like Harbin Institute of Technology and Peking University, claiming them as his own.

The indictment accuses Huang of selling USD 25,000 worth of “materials, equipment, time and work product of the company staff along with intangible property” between 2009 and 2012, on 5 different instances.

One count of false statement included in the indictment stemmed from Huang’s alleged lying to a counterintelligence officer of Sandia about bringing a Sandia-owned laptop to his trip to China on July. Employees of Sandia are all required to undergo interviews before they can go on any international travel and are not allowed to bring company-owned equipment without permission.

Black Hawk Adventures said that Huang has been fired in April due to violations of their procedures and asserted that he never had access to classified information that might risk national security. Sandia is responsible in making sure the country’s nuclear stockpile is secure and helps in addressing national security threats.

Huang had been working in the nanotechnology field (the science of matter manipulation on the molecular level) since 2007 but in an open and unclassified science facility which does not have any access to classified data, according to Sandia’s statement.

“Sandia applies rigorous control and protection practices to all information regardless of the level of that information. Sandia expects all employees to follow specific and defined procedures. All employees are aware of the consequences when they fail to follow these procedures.”

On the other hand, the defendant’s side is insisting that this is just another case of litigation in federal court where the state charges first and then discloses later. Huang’s trip to China was approved and authorized by Sandia itself, according to his lawyer.

According to the spokesperson of New Mexico’s Attorney Office, Elizabeth Martinez, Huang will continue to be in the federal custody in Santa Fe until such a time that he meets conditions for release.

Blach Hawk Adventures : Cabela’s plan to expand franchise

Cabela’s, the leading fishing, hunting and outdoor gear retailer has announced their plans to open 3 next-generation stores and relocate their Winnipeg branch in 2013.

Construction of next-generation stores is set to start this summer and Cabela’s plans to open in the spring of next year in the following locations: Louisville, Kentucky; Grandville, Michigan and Columbus, Ohio.

Scaling from 80,000 to 88,000 square feet, the stores will be made in the trademark design of Cabela’s consisting of metal roofing, wood sliding, stonework and exterior log construction. They will also sport big glass facades to enable customers to see the shops’  interior even as they near the building.

Their first 80,000-sq foot Columbus branch will employ as much as 175 workers coming from the nearby areas. It will be constructed in the Polaris Centers at Interstate 71 and Gemini Parkway, putting it alongside Camria Suites, Costco, Hobby Lobby, Toys R Us and various restaurants and hotels.

The sporting and outdoor gear retailer announced on Thursday the 5% increase in their 4th-quarter earnings due to higher sales and bigger profit margins. They also publicized their plan to expand by establishing smaller stores, called Outposts in mid-size cities.

The results are largely optimistic, beating Wall Street forecasts, with its shares rising by almost 10%.

The company’s CEO has announced that they are planning to increase their retail square footage by as much as 10% this year and up to 13% in 2013 through opening in new locations and trying new formats for smaller locations.

According to Cabela’s, their net income for the previous quarter amounted to around USD 70 million or almost a dollar per stock, a small but significant increase from a year prior.

The Outpost Stores is expected to be well-suited to areas in Canada and United States as more stores are planned to be built with their locations still withheld.

In 2013, their Winnipeg, Manitoba store is set to move from their 44,000-sq foot building to a new 70,000-sq foot location where it is expected to employ an additional 110 workers.

At present, Cabela’s is operating 34 retail shops in Canada and US.