Camping Hammocks – Hikers Love Them

Hikers appreciate camping hammocks. They provide a comfortable way to sleep outdoors and boast several other advantages as well.

Camp in peace. Tents often limit you to the designated, cleared sites in camp grounds, where you are shoulder to shoulder with other campers. Camping hammocks permit you to sleep in the trees, away from the crowd.

Avoid unaccommodating ground. In order to sleep comfortably on the ground (in a sleeping bag only or on an inflatable mattress) one tries to find a site that is flat and dry. No such worries with a camping hammock. Also, although a site may have been cleared of all visible rocks, often there seems to be that uneven spot that renders a good night’s sleep impossible…

Do no environmental damage. With environmental awareness on the rise, people want to enjoy nature without causing harm. A camping hammock permits you to leave the ground undisturbed and when it is hung with ratchet straps, a hammock has no negative impact on trees. The straps suspend the bed by securely wrapping around the tree trunks – no screws needed.

Leave the creepy crawlers below. Being suspended above ground in a camping hammock substantially reduces the possibility that you will awake to find a snake or centipede in bed with you. A shock of that kind can ruin an otherwise wonderful trip!

Put your feet up. Elevating the feet is beneficial after a long day of hiking. Feet can be raised properly with ease in a hammock and by doing so, ankle swelling is reduced.

Enjoy bedding that is lightweight but strong. When hiking, you try to minimize the weight in your pack. A camping hammock weighs less than two pounds and can be folded into a small, manageable size for packing. This bedding is lighter and much less bulky to carry than a rolled sleeping bag or equivalent. The best of these hammocks are made from durable parachute nylon.

Once you have decided to suspend your bed from the trees, a few precautions will ensure that you hang your camping hammock successfully:

  • Inspect the condition of your hammock – the material, ropes and straps – before setting off on your trip.
  • Avoid tying it to dead trees or under dead limbs.
  • Set up the bed at waist height for safe entry and exit.

Fun and Adventurous Things to Do This Valentine’s Day!

The New Year was just a few weeks ago and this would signify for some a change in lifestyle or a change in the way they live their lives. Some want to improve their behavior while others want to be more active and daring. For couples, the same also applies. Relationships tend to become stagnant or even boring, the longer your relationship lasts. Sometimes, we all need something to revive a ho-hum relationship and bring back the exciting and fun times you once had. And now that Valentine’s Day is upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce something new in your relationship. Here’s a few ideas that you can try to introduce some fun and new things in a couple’s life.

Extreme fun can always get the blood pumping. Try going on a couple’s sky diving or white water rafting activity. These thrilling and definitely uncommon types of valentine dates will inspire the couple to be more daring and may even open new possibilities of fun activities for you and your special someone. While this may seem to be too much for some couples, those who give it a try will find that it actually helps enhance their relationship because of the unique experience that they are sharing together.

A fun idea would be learning how to dance salsa. As many have said, salsa is the dance of passion, intimacy and love. Salsa is a type of dance for couples and requires that you dance very close with your partner. It’s also all about supporting your partner and creating a smooth rhythm between the two of you. Dancing is a good way to create a new spark with your loved one because you use your body movement to convey passion and interest. Moreover, women naturally love to dance, and when a man takes that extra effort to learn a complex dance style like salsa, it shows determination, guts, and commitment. These are two very attractive qualities to women.

If physical activities are not your thing, a unique idea that you and your partner can do this Valentine’s Day is getting couples tattoos! Most tattoo shops have many recommendations as to the different possibilities for tattoo. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to be matching tattoos. The experience alone of getting tattoos together is a fun and completely exciting activity. If you’re uncomfortable with getting tattoos because of the pain, there are now numbing cream for tattoos that you can buy over the counter. You apply the numbing cream directly on the area of the skin where the tattoo will be placed and let it the cream take effect after several minutes. Pain will no longer be a problem and now you can get that couples tattoo you want!

There are many different activities you can do with your loved one on Valentine’s Day apart from the usual dinner and a movie set up. Be adventurous and try something new. This just might be the exact thing you need to take your relationship to the next level!

Student Trips – 7 Safety Tips For Students Traveling Internationally

Most students who have the opportunity to travel internationally do so only after having studied about that country’s language, culture and more for many months or years. In that way, the trip becomes the culmination of a growing wealth of knowledge that the student holds in his or her mind about that country.

For this reason, international student trips are definitely something to get excited about. Whether traveling with a small study group or a large school group, your student trip should undoubtedly be something to remember for a long time.

Of course, for students, parents and teachers alike, student safety during the trip should be priority one. You can never be too prepared when you travel.

If you are interested in student trips to international destinations (using Japan as an example), here are 7 safety tips to consider:

1. Each student should have a travel buddy when riding on any domestic transportation systems:

Just as scuba divers always dive in pairs, so students traveling internationally for the first time should have a travel buddy with them whenever the group is on the move – either en route to or from Japan or traveling domestically within the country. Before your group departs for Japan, be sure each student has a travel buddy assigned to him or her.

2. Rent a cell phone once you arrive:

In order to stay in touch with the group while in Japan, getting a cell phone is smart move. Unless your own cell phone will work in Japan (check with your carrier before your trip), you will want to rent a cell phone upon arrival. You can do so using a picture ID and a credit card at airport kiosks.

3. Make sure the trip’s chaperone or organizer gives clear instructions when traveling from one place to another:

The times during which students can be most prone to having problems while traveling are when they are in transit in-country from one place to another. Japan’s rail system is magnificent – but also very complex. Many signs are only written in Japanese. The organizer needs to constantly be giving clear instructions – including backup plans – at each step of the way.

4. Designate meeting places when visiting attractions:

When visiting a temple, shrine, or other attraction in Japan, make sure to designate easily-recognizable meeting places where the whole group can convene at a certain time. This is a good way to collect any stragglers who may have gotten lost.

5. Check the U.S. Embassy website for travel alerts:

The website of the U.S. Embassy in Japan offers regular travel alerts and updates. Be sure to check there regularly to be kept abreast of any unfolding situations of which you should be aware.

6. Avoid areas notorious for crime:

Roppongi in Tokyo and a handful of other places in Japan’s large and midsize cities are known for criminal activity. Learn these places – and avoid them if at all possible.

7. Be aware of your surroundings:

This final tip is one of common sense: just remain aware of your surroundings – including being aware of the other members of your group – as you travel in Japan. This is the easiest way to stay safe and have a great trip.

Consider these 7 safety tips as you travel internationally on a student trip.

The Concept of Concept Restaurants

Most restaurants aim to please by offering a variety of foods that will appeal to a large customer base. They strive for a pleasant appearance and efficient service. Concept restaurants stray from these goals. In a concept restaurant, customers get an out of the ordinary dining experience, according to the restaurant theme. The twist can be almost anything that is different than “normal restaurants”: the menu, decoration of the interior and tableware, location, experience, or a combination of these factors. Opening a themed restaurant has high risks. Sometimes the concept is interesting enough to draw customer at first, but too far-fetched to convince diners to return. Below is a list of 10 interesting restaurant themes. They range from beautiful scenery, to rashly daring.

10. Famous Service- Some restaurants are note-worthy for their fine service and attention to customers. However, top customer service is not the only way for a restaurant’s service to gain attention. Dick’s Last Resort (Boston, USA) has notoriously rude waiters. The Hooters chain restaurants promise a family dining experience, delivered by beautiful waitresses in revealing attire.

9. Themed Menu- Conflict Kitchen (Pittsburgh, USA) based its menu off of politics. The dishes offered are all ethnic dishes, originating in countries the USA is in conflict with.

8. One Main Menu Item- another way to spice up (or spice down) a menu is to offer a selection made up of only one main ingredient. OatMeals (NYC, USA) offers everything made from oatmeal; from savory and sweet oatmeal, to oatmeal cookies, the menu seeks to draw oatmeal lovers and adventurous diners to explore the versatility of the ingredient. Posibly the most popular main menu item is chocolate, but there are also business that incorporate blueberries, apples, potatoes, and even garlic into every dish!

7. Molecular Gastronomy- Alinea (Chicago, USA) is probably the most famous restaurant that build dishes using the science of molecular gastronomy. The idea behind this fad is to use science of flavors and chemicals, often mixed extremely well with a blender, and sometimes left overnight to better mix them, to make food that will taste like the original ingredient, but will have a manipulated texture and appearance.

6. Incredible Interiors- Snow (Finland) and IceBar (Norway) are two of many venues that boast ice interiors. Businesses with unique interiors will draw customers whom are curious to see how the concept was executed and want to enjoy and interesting environment.

5. Experiencing a Lifestyle- there has been a recent increase in the number of theme restaurants that seeks to give the customer an experience that mimics the life-style of others. Pitch-Black (Beijing), Blackout (Tel Aviv), and Opaque (various USA locations) allow diners to experience what it feels like to dine out for the vision-impaired.

4. All-round Concept- some concept restaurants design every aspect of their restaurant and dining experience around the central theme. Rosengrals Medieval Restaurant (Riga, Latvia) boasts a medieval menu, candle-lit medieval décor, and servers dressed in medieval attire.

3. Location- a great location can make a business thrive and be the concept itself. Just a few of these concepts are underwater restaurants, dining in the air while hanging from a construction crane, restaurants in the middle of the ocean, and tree-house cafés.

2. Unusual Payments- many restaurants around the world promise customers a free meal if their order is finished in a certain amount of time. For example, Kooky Canuck (Memphis, USA) will not charge a diner if he/she finishes a 7.5 pound steak in under one hour. Other restaurants challenge themselves, and their servers, to provide the best service possible, by allowing customers to pay what they want, based on their perceived value of the meal.

1. Wild Experiences- The best example of a wild dining experience is the Cannibalistic Sushi bar (Japan), where customers are brought a “cadaver” made of dough skin and sauce blood, and are instructed to “dissect” the cadaver and eat the “edible organs,” or sushi, inside.