Similar to a triathlon but with more off-road focus, adventure racing is considered far superior to both The Amazing Race and triathlon. Essentially a team sport, adventure racing combines a number of events or disciplines that typically comprise running or hiking, paddling, kayaking or canoeing and biking. There are no course markings but you can’t go around without a map, as well as instructions. You need to find your way to different checkpoints using not just your limbs but your brains as well. How do you make sure you don’t end up simply following a dotted line from start to finish?

yak1

Prepare yourself physically

Although this is the least important component of training for an adventure race especially for a novice participant, it can still have pretty much an influence over how well you perform in the event. You need to eat smaller quality meals 2 to 3 days or 48 to 72 hours before the day of the race. By ‘quality meals’, we mean healthy ones. However, any racer needs to remember that proper nutrition is not just a race thing. It’s an everyday thing. Each meal should comprise all the three essential macronutrients that include fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Your body uses these as fuel. Consider having 30 percent fats, 30 percent protein and 40 percent carbs calories. In addition, remember that even with an imperfect diet, you will easily notice the effects of eating and drinking cleanly during the week prior to race day.

Conditioning your body is also important. Although adventure racing is far from being a physical sport principally, not all racers are fantastic athletes. Oftentimes, those with the skills and knowledge end up ranking higher than awesome athletes who try the sport. Ultimately, it’s the team that can find the most suitable route from checkpoint to checkpoint who do better. If you can navigate yourself through the myriads of challenges along the way even if you don’t move extremely fast, you should do well in a race.

yak3

For the trekking and running you have to do, you simply need to be able to hike comfortably at a fast walking pace for at least 6 or 7 miles. Mountain biking entails riding comfortably 20 to 25 miles without taking plenty of breaks, so at least 11 or 12 average mph should be enough. You should be able to do one or two paddle trips for 5 miles or so before you go on the race.

Prepare yourself intellectually/mentally

One of the most important aspects of training for an adventure race is the mental preparation you need to do. Have the right mindset. This starts with simply being aware of what adventure racing is about. Even seasoned triathletes would be surprised to know that not all information is readily available until the race begins. Embracing the adventure aspect of the sport will ensure that you thoroughly enjoy the experience. You will not know the distance you will be covering nor the order of the events you will be doing, which only drives the excitement even further.

yak2

Adventure racing is exploration at its best. Take what comes, deal with it and don’t stop moving on. Challenges are in store for your team, but let this heighten the adventure factor more greatly. Stay sharp mentally and don’t let frustration get the better part of you. This ensures less mistakes along the way. Before the race begins, accept that mistakes will be made and you may even lose your way or not even finish the entire course. The chances of winning are slim indeed, but that should not stop you from having fun.

Prepare your racing skills

Developing your skill set for adventure racing is not a one-time endeavor. Most often, it’s a lifelong process. Even the most seasoned adventure racers always find more room for improvement. Technical skills are barely developed in beginner racers. That being said, before attempting to race, you need to determine if you are good at navigating. If not, leave it to the team member who genuinely is. However, it pays to know basic orienteering skills too. Be prepared for some technical biking, which may or may not be part of the race. This may involve knowing how to quickly fix a flat tire or do other basic bike repairs. You also need to be able to steer a boat to the desired direction, aside from knowing how to do basic rappelling.

Camping is not an activity for anyone and those who are keen on going into the wilderness or remote places need to include in their gear survival items for both daily tasks and emergency situations. What makes survival gear so difficult to pick is that most items included in this category are everyday tools that you can find basically everywhere around your house. When you are in a remote place, this changes, as some of the most commonly used objects are nowhere to be found. Therefore, choosing basic home tools should be your first criteria in selecting survival gear for camping.

yak2

Firstly, you should pack a knife. This is one of the oldest tools invented by man, used to achieve a wide series of operations like cutting, carving or for defense purposes. When you go camping, you can use the knife for many basic operations: cutting ropes, slicing food, cutting branches, etc. Even so, it is advisable that you take a sturdy, well-sharpened knife that you can use for various tasks without breaking it. In addition to the basic knife, other sharp objects can be needed. For example, if you’re in for some heavy cutting or making a path in the woods, an ax may be more suitable and effective than a knife.

 

Rope

Rope is one item that will spare you some trouble. You can use it to tie some items together, so that you carry them more easily or to fix your tent poles. The most compact ropes for camping come in the form or paracord bracelets that you can attach to year hand wrist.

 

First aid kit

yak3There’s no questioning as to the utility of a first aid kit when you go camping, as you can find yourself in a lot of health endangering circumstances. A well-thought out aid kit is a life insurance when camping. You can stuff in it many medical products such as bandages, plasters, antibiotic solutions and creams, ibuprofen for pain, rubbing alcohol, but also individual medication and products you may need. However, make sure you stash them in a compact way and in a waterproof container.

 

Fire-making tools

When you find yourself into the wild, you cannot rely on one fire making tool, like a lighter. In addition to that, waterproof matches and a magnesium fire starter are important additions to your gear, as you can never be too sure when it comes to securing warmth for your body.

yak4

Signaling/lighting equipment

For moments when you need to get in touch with other people, you either need a flashlight or a whistle to be able to emit a recognizable noise or powerful signals. A flashlight can, for example, be used to produce Morse Code messages, like S.O.S, if you get into a life threatening situation.

 

A botanical guide of the area

If you don’t have enough food with you, you may sometimes need to feed on fruits or herbs that grow nearby, which means you should know which ones are edible and which not. A botanical guide will be a dependable item in case you get hungry and don’t know which fruits you can eat and which you must avoid.

 

Water purification tablets

It’s the same for water. You can never have enough with you and water sources may not be available or may not always be the healthiest. In such a case, water purification tablets will make sure the one you drink won’t affect your health.

 

Waterproof  backpack

All the security measures and survival gear you take with you on a trip won’t be of any use, if you don’t store them in the proper manner. A resistant, sturdy backpack will keep all your equipment safe and make sure they don’t get damaged in case of shocks or if you get caught in a heavy rain.

yak5

Adventure racing is a competition combining several sports, such as navigation, trekking, mountain biking, paddling and climbing, all of which come with increased lengths are challenging for one’s physical resilience, feature that make them similar to an adventure, hence the name. However, an Adventure Race may include other disciplines besides those previously mentioned.

yak5

You may think it sounds a bit like triathlon, but, in fact, there’s a major difference between the two. Participants in a triathlon use a marked course to arrive at the checkpoints, whereas Adventure Race competitors need to find their way to the finish line using a map or certain instructions. As such, you could say this sport reaches beyond the usual limits of an adventure sport, as it demands that you participate with all of you: brain, body and spirit. However, this particular aspect makes it an attractive sport.

yak6

You may trace the history of Adventure Race back to 1998, in UK when Phil Humphreys created an event that lasted for two days and gained increased popularity in the following years. The competition became so popular that in 2007 was organized the first World Adventure Race Championship, and since then it that changed location every year. Typically, races can last from 4 hours to several days and are intended for teams. As such, very few events accept solo players, but generally receive teams of 2 to 4 members, based on gender and, sometimes size. The team members are supposed to stay together during all races and are not allowed to split.

There are four major race categories: sprint (lasting from 2 to 6 hours), 12 hours, 24 hours (18 to 30 hours) and expedition (3 days to 2 weeks). Your gear should be adapted to the events included in that competition. The basic gear you need is a mountain bike (as biking is present in most races), a protection helmet, and a repair kit for the bike. For the running race you’ll need appropriate shoes and protection for knees and elbows, for the paddling section a paddle (you won’t need a boat, thanks God!) and climbing equipment such as harnesses and ropes. However, many races will put at the participant’s disposal a way through which they can rent this equipment or they’ll offer part of it in exchange for a fee. In any case, you may want to check the competition’s web page for regulations, where you can find information regarding other mandatory gear requirements. As mentioned, some competitions include particular events that may require that you bring other items with you. For example, if you happen to go into an urban race that takes place in the city, you may be asked to play football, mini-golf and who knows what else.

yak7

There is no strict requirement that you need to fulfill to enter a race, but that also depends on the level of that competition. Of course you need to be skilled in all disciplines introduced in that specific event and to be in good physical shape. Imagine that some of these adventures take place in remote places and on vicious terrain, so you need to be able to keep up with your teammates.

Spending time outdoors was normal in the past, until recently, people spent most of their time outdoors, either they worked or accomplished mandatory tasks around the house, such as cleaning and gardening, a small time portion was spent inside the house. Nowadays, things are a whole lot more complicated and outdoors activities have almost vanished from our daily activities. As such, we are more and more forced to find ways to go back to pass time in nature and replacing physical activities with another kind of physical training.

How do you do that if you work in a big city?

 

Walk to work

yak1If you live within the proximity of your workplace and you need 20 to 30 minutes to get there on foot, it is recommended that you do it. This activity will bring you multiple advantages: it will make you feel more energized, it will charge you with vitamin D, it will provide you with new experiences and it will allow you to know the surroundings. You can always take a longer route on your way back home if you don’t have anything pressing to do at that moment, to find out a little bit more about the city. If walking is not possible, hop on your bicycle and get to your workplace faster than with any other means of transport.

 

Find time to go to the gym or run in the morning

young woman running on rural road at sunrise

We were not programmed to be sedentary beings. Our locomotor system is designed to carry us around and our muscles need to be used so that they don’t become atrophied in time. As such, make room for 2-3 gym sessions in the morning or after work so that you keep your body in good shape and relieve stress. If you can’t go to the gym, find a park or a quiet area where you can run in the morning, before you go to work, 3-4 times a week. You’ll not only maintain your weight this way but you’ll feel revitalized.

 

Find a nearby park (preferable with a lake)

yak3You can choose to take your lunch in the park and not in a cafeteria or a restaurant. This will give you the opportunity to go out and take your mind off the daily worries, by submerging yourself in a different, more relaxed environment.

 

Leave the city during weekends

Finding a refuge from the crowded, polluted and stressful environment that the city is, can be a blessing. You can easily check for secluded or, at least outside the city limits locations where you can spend your Saturdays and Sundays. You don’t even need to plan ahead, just find a train or bus that gets you there and spend a couple of hours away from your quotidian activities.

yak4

These are only small things you can do to improve your life, but the advantages associated with them are immense: exercising keeps you fit and healthy, it helps you fight difficult issues such as depression, anxiety and burnouts (from which an increasing number of people suffer), it preserves a balanced weight, it promotes a scheduled lifestyle, it gives you a different perspective on life and, finally, it lets you see that there are other things to do in life than work.

Greenpeace activists hold up a banner reading "No fish No future" in the hold of the ship 'Heng Xing 1' in an area of international waters near the exclusive economic zone of Indonesia. The Cambodian flagged vessel, was caught illegally transhipping frozen tuna from a Philippine fishing vessel and two other Indonesian vessels in the Pacific high seas, where none of the ships have licenses to operate. Under international law, the lack of a valid license means the vessels forbidden to engage in any fishing activities - including fish transfer. The transshipment of fish from one vessel to another is prohibited in international waters under international law as it has been proven to aid illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities. Greenpeace activists boarded the 'Heng Xing 1' and found the hold to be full of skip jack tuna and juvenile yellowfin, which are likely to be destined for canned tuna markets in the West. Yellowfin tuna is classified on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 'Red List' as 'Near Threatened'. Pirate fishing operations are common in international waters where monitoring and surveillance is difficult. Greenpeace is calling for a network of marine reserves to be established in four high seas pockets known as the Pacific Commons, and for these be declared off limits to fishing.

Fishing can take a serious toll on the environment since some of the major concerns of world organizations include overfishing, fisheries management, and the ecological impacts of the sport, in general. While it’s hard for a regular fisherman to contribute to solving these global issues, there are some simple tips and tricks that everyone can use in order to respect nature and preserve the health of ponds, rivers, streams, and other fishing locations you might visit from time to time.

yak2One of the first things to keep in mind is to avoid littering. Bring a reusable bag with you and be sure to discard all the unnecessary items in it, once you’ve wrapped up your fishing session. Throwing line and pieces of plastic in the water is both unpleasant and dangerous, as there are various species that might confuse those pieces of plastic with food. There’s a myriad of circumstances where your debris can end up in the ocean and add to the plastic build-up that already pollutes the water nowadays.

yak3

Discarding used pieces of equipment can be done easily once you’ve left the fishing site. All you have to do is have a little patience so that you’re able to trash them along with other items you might not find the use for anymore. There are more than six hundred thousand forks, plates, and cups in the ocean and over one million bags and plastic bottles that need hundreds and hundreds of years in order to be disintegrated. Think of it this way - if you’re in your boat or on the shore one day, and you’re looking forward to catching a big fish, wouldn’t it be unpleasant to grab a plastic bag, instead?

 

Some people argue that paper and other biodegradable products will probably be disintegrated by the first rainfall. While this might be true, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit conscious of the extent of the issue and preserve your fishing space so that it looks and feels the right way. There’s nobody telling you to pick up the trash that other people have left behind, but if you’re kind enough to do it and dispose of it in the right place, nature will surely be indebted to you.

yak4Caring for the environment can also be done by the way you handle the fish you’ve caught. While it might not be a primary focus of many fishermen, fish stock conservation is on the rise these days, with many people using the catch and release policy. If you don’t intend to target invasive species where your interference is a benefit for the environment, you may want to let that fish swim free in the water again. Unless you plan to cook your catch, you need to handle it with as much care as possible. Sometimes, the pleasure in fishing is winning the battle with the target and not eating the fish per se.

In spite of the fact that some of these simple measures aren’t marketed enough, your perspective can change only by analyzing your mental depiction of the fishing space. Besides, with so much waste in the water, who knows when your favorite species will become extinct?

For more info on overfishing, you can check out this link.

I’m writing on this topic because I know it is one that interests many amateur fishermen. When you have years of experience behind you and all your friends tell you how great you are at catching fish, choosing the right spots and picking the perfect gear, you start thinking about taking that maybe you should take your hobby at professional levels. So what are the conditions to participate in a professional competition?

MLFMost fishing tours will require a participation fee that can vary and sometimes be quite expensive, but will rarely include any other conditions that could stop you from participating. These tournaments are numerous and it shouldn’t be hard to find one you can participate in.

Even so, if you’re planning to start a career in fishing, you should first join a local fishing club and participate in local fishing competitions. There are a couple of advantages and connections you can make only by being a fishing club member. Plus, most fishing clubs are included in a bigger regional or state network, making it easier for you to know other fishermen, talk with professionals and even find a tournament partner.

If you don’t know what type of competition to choose, there’s a traditional and successful scheme of Pro-Am (professional-amateurs) fishing competitions. Prior to the start of the tournament, you team up with another fisherman and you go into the competition together.  In the beginning, it is preferable to join a professional partner, one who has extensive tournament experience. In the team’s structure, the amateurs assume the co-angler position, which means they fish in the back of the boat belonging to the professional, while they are also allowed to use some of their partner’s gear. This is an advantageous way to go pro for beginners, because it doesn’t require a large investment from their part. You don’t have to own your own boat, for example.

mlf 2Besides the material advantages of starting your professional career as a co-angler, you can also learn a great deal from your team partner, such as finding the best fishing spots, new fishing techniques and even discover useful pieces of equipment. Even if you don’t manage to win the competition, you will still feel like you’re the winner given the possibilities offered by such a tournament. Plus, in the contest, you’ll be competing against amateurs such as yourself and not against professional fishermen, but you’ll have the opportunity to use professional tools and receive advice from the best.

However, choosing the right partner is as important as choosing the right competition. Not all professionals participating in Pro-Am tournaments will be willing to teach you their tricks and help you, even though you’re a beginner or will do so as long as it serves their goals. That is why it is important that you are the member of a fishing club. There you will have the opportunity to find great team partners that you can communicate and work with efficiently during competition. Once you start making a reputation for you, you can start thinking about assuming the position in the front of the boat yourself.

Now that weather is starting to get warmer and warmer, it is a really good idea to get out of the house and start searching for activities to keep you outside. Instead of just spending hours in front of the TV or the computer, it is much better to grab some fishing equipment and head for a fishing spot to catch some fish. Since we want to introduce everyone to a more active, much healthier way of living, we decided to give you the perfect motivation by showing you what fish you can catch in the US during springtime.

Fishing for tarpon in Florida

yackity tarponIn case you want to go somewhere that is warmer, a good idea would be to go on a fishing trip to Florida. Between March and April, you will find here plenty of tarpon to fish, and there are so many great fishing spots, that your main dilemma would be which one to choose. With tarpon being quite an exciting fish to chase, you will have quite an amazing trip if you choose to go to Florida during this time of the year. Tarpon is available all year round, but seasoned anglers say that the best season is just close to their spawning cycle.

Largemouth bass – a real trophy

yackity bassBass fishing is a good way to get started with this great pastime and hobby, but if you are really into getting a trophy, you should go for largemouth bass. Depending on where you choose to fish, you can find better timing for getting a nice looking specimen. When the water goes under a certain temperature – 55 degrees Fahrenheit – largemouth bass tends to become lethargic and swims deeper into the water, so it may be more difficult to catch. At the beginning of spring, better fishing spots for largemouth bass can be found in California, but if you are among those who are getting their vacations a bit later in spring, going up north, in Iowa, for instance, is a much better bet.

The always on the move carp

051807CARPFISHjc10 Sports photo by Jim Commentucci 5/18/07 A common carp weighing in the mid teens fights at the surface against French teammates Numa Marengo and Frederic Labrousse during the second day of fishing Friday in the American Carp Society's Northeast Regionals tournament on the Seneca River in Baldwinsville. The fish was caught on a flavored dough bait called "boilies." FISHING DERBY

Another good bet you can make for starting to fish this spring is carp. Like many other species of fish, as soon as spring comes, carp is on the move and it starts migrating. To catch this one you definitely need one of the best portable fishfinders. For anglers, this is the best moment for catching some really nice specimens and carp is often on the list. Shallow bays are good fishing spots, because this is where carp tends to gather during its move in spring.

We have taken a big decision to change our target, by including blog posts and articles about survival challenges, adventure sports, fishing tournaments and many exciting things. Our editorial staff is passionate about spending a lot of time in the great outdoors and this is what we want to write about from now on.

adventure racing adventure racing 2

We have passionate anglers, hunters and extreme sports enthusiasts among us. This is what makes us tick and this is what we want to share with the world. If you are interested in finding more about the latest fishing tournaments and the latest news on adventure sports, this will be – hopefully – your go to source of information.

Why are we doing this? In a world where so many people have to spend so much time indoors, doing nothing but work, watch TV or staying hooked up to digital devices, getting out of the house and doing something active seems quite difficult. But staying in touch with nature is essential for us, as human beings. We were not created in a lab, to lead our lives cooped up all the time. Of course, everyone has a day job, a family and obligations of all kinds.

huntingadventure fishing

This should not mean you giving up on living freely. This is what we want to share with you. We love spending time outdoors, and, sometimes, just for kicks, we even take part in survival challenges and tournaments. Even if we do not bring home trophies, we are still proud of being able to participate in such events.

In case you need more motivation than just going out and doing something that will make you feel alive, let us tell you that many of these challenges and tournaments offer money to those who win, along with a shiny medal or trophy. If you are the materialistic type, that may be the thing to tip the balance. Joking aside, these events and tournaments are a lot of fun and they stimulate the competition spirit.
When we say adventure sports, do not imagine that we now want you to jump off a cliff with nothing but a rope around your ankles (although this is a challenge you may want to undertake one day). We are talking about fishing, hiking, dirt biking, and any activity that puts the mind and body up for a challenge. Unlike going to the gym, which is boring, these activities are fun and you may find the thing you are lacking in your life.