Monthly Archives: April 2017

Gregory Baltoro 70 Vs 75 – How Can You Improve On a Winner?

The Gregory Baltoro 70 backpack was a proven winner having received the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award. The vast majority of the user reviews gave the pack high marks primarily for its comfort, even with heavy loads. Gregory had introduced a new suspension system with this 70 litre model around 2006.

The Winning Ingredients

The Custom Fit Suspension (CFS) and Auto Fit Suspension (AFS) systems are unique to Gregory backpacks and they are used in their larger capacity models. Working together, these special engineering systems made the fit and comfort of the Baltoro 70 a highlight of the pack for users. To describe it in a simplified fashion, the CFS keeps the pack stable under heavy loads (prevents barreling) plus allows a certain amount of flexibility to the hipbelt. The AFS technology allows the shoulder straps and hipbelt to be attached to the back plate in such a way as to allow them to have enough articulation to provide an individualized fit to each person's shoulder contours and hip angle. Together they keep the weight of the pack centered on the hips and stress off of the shoulders. Along with other technical improvements, this was a real win for the backpacker and for Gregory.

According to early reviews, some of the first models of the Baltoro 70 had quality issues. Buckles broke; shoulder straps and hip belts separated from the back plate and the weight of the pack by itself was heavy. However, these complaints were not numerous and the pack underwent some upgrades. The internal frame was changed to a lighter weight material and it reduced the overall weight of the pack. And by 2008, durability was one of the characteristics users liked most about the pack.

Improving the Winner

But Gregory has not rested on its laurels. Last year, 2011, the highly popular Baltoro 70 was replaced by the Baltoro 75. A risky proposition when you have a proven winner on your hands. The 70 is not even listed on Amazon anymore and if you went to Gregory's website you would see that it is not part of their products listing. A specific search on the site for the 70 will fish it up but the title now includes the qualifying descriptor "old" (Baltoro 70 – old). No doubt you could find it at some of the retail outlets that carry Gregory products but a quick online search of outlets shows the 70 to be on close out or out of stock.

a) Detachable Waist Pack

The new Baltoro 75 is now the inheritor of its predecessor's much deserved sterling reputation. How can the Baltoro 75 improve on the already popular 70? Well, one of the obvious ways Gregory has intended to improve the Baltoro is with the addition of a detachable waist pack.

One of the biggest complaints of users of the Baltoro 70 was that it had no detachable waist pack that could be used on short excursions from base camp once your destination was achieved. The new Baltoro 75 has a top cover that can be reconfigured and used as a detached waist pack.

b) Additional Capacity

Of course the added capacity expands the useful duration of the Baltoro. Since the Baltoro comes in small, medium and large sizes the addition of 5 litres means that the Baltoro line will just about span the entire 70 litre range. Small being somewhere in the 73L range and the Large reaching up to about the 78L range.

c) Updated Suspension

According to Gregory the suspension system has been updated for even more comfort. Although no specific details are given.

Yet To Be Seen

The other consistent complaint about the Baltoro 70 was the noise. It had a tendency to squeak when you were walking. In some instances the squeak was intermittent but in others it was non-stop. Some users found it to be extremely nerve racking to themselves or to their trekking companions. The jury is still out as to whether this annoyance has been remedied.

So apparently Gregory has determined that you can improve on a winner. You do it by building on its strengths and improving its weaknesses. That is what they have done with the Gregory Baltoro 75 backpack. Pretty sound logic. But in the end, the user will be the deciding factor as to whether it succeeds.

The Development of the Cruise Industry Around the World

Before the advancement of air travel, passenger liners were the method of traveling overseas. With the industrial revolution, came the rise of very wealthy people with a lot of disposable income. They turned their attention to creating large passenger ships for the economic and social elite to vacation and travel to exotic countries.

In 1818, New York's shipping company, Black Ball Line, was the first shipping company to provide a scheduled passenger service from the United States to England. By the 1830s, steamships were introduced and took over the passenger and mail transport market. In the 1920s, cruise tourism became popular for the wealthy. Bigger and faster ships were custom-built and luxury living space designs became the industry model. Between 1920 and 1940, transatlantic travel became increasingly more popular along the very wealthy. Over the years, famous ships included the Queen Elizabeth, Lusitania, Ocean Monarch, and the Queen Mary.

World War I and II saw the use of passenger ships to carry soldiers and transport displaced people to new lands. After World War II, The US government began sponsoring companies to build more ships in the event another World War broke out.

In the 1960's, there was a surge in the manufacturing of cruise ships because more people were looking for holiday cruises. Vacation cruises became popular with people in their middle ages. People enjoyed the luxurious accommodations and lifestyle. It also became popular for people wanting to get a break from cold winters. However, there was a period in the 1960's where there was a decline in the cruise industry as the airplane industry took off, but public desire for reliving traditional means of traveling the seas helped the cruise industry rebound.

During the 1980's, cruise ship companies broke new ground promoting the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtraveling for pleasure. Since 1980, the cruise industry has been growing at a steady rate. People of all ages and walks of life began to take cruises. The cruise industry has developed programs to target both the young and old. Some features they have developed include: increased passenger room, a variety of cruise destinations and durations, affordable prices, luxuries such as pools, rock climbing, ice skating, and even wave simulators. As well, there are also saunas, fine dining, entertainment, sight seeing at various ports, dancing, musical performances, luxurious rooms, and much more.

The cruise industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Cruise ship owners now focus on developing new and innovative ways to attract customers. Today's cruise ships have accommodations that often exceed hotel rooms and contain such features as chic cabins, luxury private bathrooms, and gorgeous and comfortable living quarters. The recreational activities are numerous, and the entertainment is endless with such features as casinos, singers, dancers, and much more. As well, advances in the design of propulsion systems, decreases in the weight of the ships, and cleaner fuel, has resolved in ships that are more environmentally-friendly.

The future trends in the cruise industry include more lifestyle cruises, larger cruise ships, more services, attracting more of a diverse demographic, providing more affordable vacation prices, offering more destinations, and providing more recreational activities. The future appears bright for the cruise industry and everyday it is fast becoming a vacation choice for more people seeking a relaxing, luxurious, and fun holiday.

How to Avoid Cape Cod Bridge Traffic

Ah, the beauty of Cape Cod's miles of coastline, the calming hues of a Cape sunset, and the unmistakable scent of … mini van fumes ?? When you're headed to Cape Cod for a vacation, the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic on the way to the Bourne or Sagamore Bridge. In the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day (some might say Columbus Day), you just might find yourself sitting in bridge traffic … sometimes for hours! Do not worry, we've been there, and there's a way to avoid bridge traffic (and it's not the mythical cape cod canal tunnel).

The first thing you have to realize about Cape Cod is that there are only two bridges, and hundreds of thousands of cars using the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. That means at certain times of the day, those peak travel times we mentioned between Memorial Day and Labor Day, traffic is practically inevitable. The good news is that the Sagamore Bridge Rotary is no more, and a much more efficient flyover has been built on Route 3 in Bourne. The bad news? You still might sit in traffic.

Now, how can you avoid Cape Cod bridge traffic all together? The secret answer (please, keep this a secret!) Is to travel early, or travel late. When we say late, we mean after 10 pm. When we say early, we mean before 7 am. Do those times not work for your schedule? Try traveling between Monday and Thursday, provided Monday is not a holiday. These days usually have much, much less traffic.

There are also some shortcuts to avoid some of the bridge traffic. If you're heading towards the Sagamore Bridge, getting off at Exit 2 and heading south on Route 3A. Following the signage, you will reach Route 3 again, just before the bridge, cutting off much of the traffic. The same can be done at the Bourne bridge by getting off at Exit 2, then following Route 6 – Route 28 to the Bourne Bridge rotary / interchange.

Looking for another way to avoid bridge traffic? The only other options are to fly into Barnstable Airport, or if you're heades to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket, take a ferry from New Bedford to the west of Cape Cod.

On your return trip, keep in mind everyone is headed over the bridges near hotel checkout time on Sunday, between 9am and up until 7pm (sometimes much later). Your best bet in those circumstances might just be to spend the extra day relaxing at the beach.

Bad Eco-Tourism Does More Harm Than Good

Tourism is a booming industry. With many travellers flocking to different destinations around the globe, tourism is becoming one of the most viable business markets in the world. However, air travel, car travel and other aspects of tourism are adding to the planet's pollution crisis and this is becoming a problem. Travel operators and hospitality corporates realised that some action needed to be taken, and Eco-tourism was created as a solution to this problem.

Eco-tourism is now one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. Eco-tourism involves the conservation of biological and cultural diversity through education of locals and tourists alike. By protecting ecosystems it has had a positive effect on the local communities and their livelihoods through their participation in projects and lessening the impact on the environment.

Why Eco-Tourism?

A tourist operator who offers eco-tourism is basically an operator who makes no negative impact on the environment and helps to sustain and promote the life of the local ecosystems.

Their activities should not pollute the local surroundings and have a mutually beneficial relationship with local residents through education of how to sustain themselves without damaging the environment. In South Africa, teaching locals how to make crafts from empty cans and used containers to minimise litter and help create a source of income is one example of this. The tour operator should also be involved in the education of locals concerning the environment and teaching them how to live in harmony with it, instead of destroying it.

There are many benefits to eco-tourism, yet many hospitality providers claim they offer eco-tourism holidays and accommodation when they do not. Governments and tourism providers are leaning towards the promotion of anything which involves nature as eco-tourism, allowing activities which are not based upon sustainable development of the environment and communities.

Tourism ventures such as low-impact tourism, green tourism, bio-tourism and ecologically responsible tourism are advertised as eco-tourism when they do not fall under this category realistically.

The Problems with Fake Eco-Tourism

"Green washing" is a term used to describe the occurrence of a tourism operator claiming to offer eco-friendly holidays when they are in fact, environmentally destructive. This practice involves the commercialisation of tourism involving nature and some ecological projects as eco-tourism. Many people flock to these tourism operators and end up doing more damage to the environment than if they had not used a 'green' operator. They are destructive towards the environment, are insensitive towards cultural needs and exploit the tourism economy. They are also misleading to tourists as they appeal to the desire to help the environment which tourists have, yet destroy the environment, not giving the tourists what they have asked for.

Despite some operators meeting the guidelines, there may still be a negative impact on the environment and local communities. Eco-tourism operators need to have a thoroughly positive impact on the environment with few, if not no negative impacts. If there is a negative impact, this should be counter acted by some kind of compensatory action such as planting trees and so forth.

South Africa is currently reaping many economic benefits from eco-tourism but there are still problems with displacement of people, violations of constitutional rights and negative impact on the environment from tourism activities.

An eco-tourism operator should be involved in investing in the local ecosystems and conservation. Rejuvenation of the natural resources and the education of locals in living in harmony with these ecosystems is paramount to eco-tourism. Education of tourists, assisting the livelihoods of locals in supporting themselves without negative environmental impact and the conservation of biological and cultural diversity should be not only endorsed but achieved through eco-tourism. Money generated from eco-tourism should also be invested in furthering conservation efforts.

Tourism Industry Is Growing Fast in Nepal

Tourism industry is growing speedy in Nepal. It has been included in the top ten travel recommendation 2010 worldwide. Nepal, the land of mountains, is one of the most spectacular places on earth. It holds eight of fourteen highest mountain peaks of the world. Due to presence of mighty mountains in Nepal, it is preferred destination of trekking and mountain climbing. It is developing as adventure tourism destination. It is globally acclaimed destination for adventure travel. The adventure sports like trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, rafting, paragliding, etc. Nepal also provides the options for wildlife tourism and nature sightseeing.

The developing infrastructure and growing hospitality is contributing a lot in the sharp development of tourism industry. The improvement in mode of transportation allows the tourists to travel comfortably in hot destinations of Nepal. Many hotels are standing in the cities to provide comfortable accommodation to the guests. Travel operators are also providing many facilities to attract tourists.

It is paradise destination for adventure lovers and nature lovers. They can trek in popular treks like Everest region, Annapurna region, Dolpo region, Kanchenjungha trekking trails, Langtang regions, etc. These trails are best places in the world for trekking. Trekking in Nepal can be made very adventurous and playful with right preparation and planning. Trekkers should pack their bags in right manner. They must carry winter clothes, knife, water bottles, necessary medicines, etc. It is advised to plan trekking under the guidance of trekking guides. The guides will provide you safety gears to trek in the adventurous trails. Nepal trekking tour is the main selling point of Nepal tourism. Mountain flight for sightseeing is also very contributing in growing tourism industry. The options of trekking attract numerous adventure seekers from all corners of the world.

To promote tourism with greater pace, many tour packages are being launched by both Government Corporation and private travel operators. According to source it has been confirmed that Nepal hosted more than five lacks tourists in 2010. It has also been confirmed that most of the tourists are from India, China and Sri Lanka. Such a sharp development of tourism is attributed development of tourism infrastructure and effective management that include accommodation and transportation.

If you also want to visit this preferred and globally acclaimed tourism destination, then plan a trip to Nepal. Enjoy trekking and sightseeing in Nepal. Nepal trek is very adventurous for the adventure crazy people. Many rivers originated from the mountains of Nepal. These mountainous rivers are very ideal for rafting and boating.

Mountain House Vs River Run Base Areas

Keystone Resort, Colorado is home to world class skiing terrain, incredible dining, affordable cat skiing, three mountain peaks and it is one of the few resorts in Colorado to offer night skiing, making for one of the longest ski days around, offering visitors a huge bang for their buck. It is also home to Kidtopia- a festival where kids can have a blast, participating in fun activities geared just for them, including visiting and playing in a huge snow fort at the top of the Mountain! Not to mention the countless other winter activities to enjoy such as snow tubing, ice skating, fine dining, sleigh rides, live music, festivals, and more!

So you’ve made the decision to visit Keystone this winter, now comes the hard part, where to stay? Keystone is a small town, about 3 miles in length sitting in a valley at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain itself is made up of three separate peaks that line up from North to South; Dercum, North Peak, and the Outback, each offering it’s own unique terrain and features. Dercum Mountain is the furthest peak North and it’s front side offers the only two access points to the entire mountain, River Run and Mountain House.

Of the two base areas, River Run is the newer of the two and is known as the main Village, where both the gondola and the Summit Express chair lift pickup and take you to the top of Dercum Mountain. This village features a pedestrian-only walking area, with plenty of cute boutiques, ski rental shops, coffee shops and restaurants. There is an outside overnight ski check near the gondola and bathrooms and lockers inside the season pass and ticketing office. The only thing this base area is really missing is a central ‘ski lodge’, but making up for it are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the slopes. The Kickapoo Tavern is a fun place to have lunch or an apres ski beer, with a big outdoor patio that overlooks the slopes. Some fun features of River Run Village are the Dercum Square Outdoor Ice Rink, the various statues throughout the village, the many unique shops and an outdoor gas fire pit, which is perfect for warming up at on a cold day. There are a cluster of River Run accommodation options that are all within yards of the gondola, including the Springs, Jackpine, Arapahoe, Black Bear, Silver Mill, Dakota, Buffalo, Expedition Station and Red Hawk Lodge. The two true ski-in, ski-out properties at Keystone are Lone Eagle and the Timbers, which are actually across the Snake River Bridge just past the gondola and then up the slopes a few yards from the Village.

Both bases are home to ski schools, skier services and rental shops. Mountain House has a great beginner’s area with a magic carpet and easy chair lift. You can find similar beginner terrain at the mid-mountain gondola stop and at the top near Schoolmarm. Although you will not find the pedestrian ‘mall’ area here with the same extensive shopping and dining options as River Run, you will find that Mountain House is a true ski resort base area complete with a lodge with indoor lockers, a cafeteria, a bar, ski supply shop and bathrooms; suiting any skier’s needs. You will also find a lift ticket office here at the base near the two chair lifts, the Peru and Argentine. The Peru Lift takes you to the top of Area-51, along with some green and blue runs and you can be back to the River Run Base area in just one run or hop on the quick mid-mountain Montezuma lift to head up to the top.

Lodging prices at Mountain House tend to be a little lower than River Run, while offering most of the same conveniences. Chateaux DuMont Properties are very popular and unique, most feature a private hot tub with a slopeside view! Slopeside Condos are another great option at Mountain House, and are just steps from the lifts. There are quite a few properties here that are within walking distance to the mountain at a fraction of the cost. If you feel the need to stop by the main village, just ski down or take a shuttle!

There are also plenty of lodging options outside of the two main villages. Settler’s Creek in East Keystone is one of the newest and most popular housing developments to the resort and feature beautiful multi-story town homes with garages and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. In the center of the neighborhood is ‘Minnie’s Cabin’, a central recreational gathering spot, complete with a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, pool table, grill, and hangout area to host gatherings and barbeques.

Keystone Resort hosts a free resort shuttle that will take you just about anywhere you need to go within Keystone and most lodging complexes are serviced by the shuttle. Most rides to the slopes from anywhere in Keystone are 10 minutes or less! There is also a free county-wide transit system known as the Summit Stage which makes it very easy to get around in the high country without a car. The Denver International Airport is just a mere 90 minutes away and there are numerous shuttle companies that will take you to and from the airport.

If you are willing to stay outside of the main villages at Keystone, you will often be able to find better deals and prices on your accommodations. Sure you choose Be a property management company That lets you pick the exact property you are On staying at so you will know what to expect and can plan your trip ahead of time. If you have a large group, ask your property manager about renting a private home! Wherever you stay in Keystone, you will find it is very easy to find everything you are looking for and more!

Five Reasons Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

Planning an Outdoor Survival Trip

If you are planning to go on an outdoor survival trip, be sure you are physically and mentally able and prepared for such a daring and risky adventure.

We suggest you take the time to gather some notes and plan your trip way in advance. All though this will be an awesome experience, and a lot of fun, it could be very dangerous and potentially life threatening if not prepared for it. There is a big difference between hiking or camping then going on a real live survival trip. A survival trip means your only taking accentual items to live off of. A survival trip is not for the beginning hiker or camper, but for the experience outdoor enthusiast, an outdoor person that has done a lot of hiking, camping, fishing or hunting in the wilderness, or has had some kind of military experience in the wilderness . One thing for sure, is to never try to do something like this on your own, always have a partner or two to go with you.

Depending on what kind of trip your going to take, you need to give it a lot of thought. Do you have all the right outdoor gear that your going to need to survive? Are you going to take a trip for a week, a month or several months? Are you going to the mountains or a desert? Are you taking a trip in the wilderness or just in the back woods?

There are many different types or ways of taking a survival trip. Like, you could take a trip threw the swamps of Louisiana, or a wilderness trip threw the hills of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. No matter where you decide to go, it takes a lot of planning and preparation. By all rights, it would be wise to plan many months ahead.

What kind of outdoor gear and how much are you going to take? What route are you going to take? What time of the year do you want to go? Is it going to be extremely cold or unbearably hot? Is it going to be hot in the daytime and cold at night? Are there going to be any rivers to cross or canyons to scale? Are you going to be able to get in touch of the outside world, if there was an emergency? I could go on and on about things that could go wrong, and that's why it takes a lot of planning.

If you are an experienced outdoor enthusiast and have quite a bit of knowledge in hiking and camping, but have never been in, or done a real life survival trip, I believe you would like to take your first trip to the Appalachian Trail in the eastern united States.

The Appalachian Trail is a marked trail for hikers and campers. It is approximately 2,200 miles long and runs from the state of Georgia all the way to Maine. It is the longest continuous marked trail in the United States. The Appalachians offer some of the most beautiful sites of landscape that America has. There is some pretty big rivers that you are going to have to cross too. These rivers also provide some mighty fine fishing also. Even though it is a marked trail for hikers and campers, it still offers an awesome challenge to under take and would be a great achievement for anyone that has never done a real life survival trip.

To just get out and hike this whole trail from south to north or vice verses, would take you about 6 to 7 months if you wanted to do the whole trip at one time. There are plenty of small towns to get to off the trail if you needed to stock up on supplies, but that is just like taking a long hiking trip instead of a real life survival trip.

A survival trip consists of getting off the beaten path and actually live off the land, another words, do it the hard way. Yes, this is just like taking a hiking trip, but if you take and live it the hard way and do things that are unnatural like starting your campfire with two sticks or getting your water from little ponds and creeks and having to boil your water to purify it, and eating things like worms or grub worms, eating berries and mushrooms and so forth, then your doing it the hard way. Finding or building a shelter from mother nature instead of pitching a tent is a great experience. Making and setting snares to catch animals like rabbit, squirrel or wild pigs so you can eat is a great experience. Finding certain plants that hold water that you could drink is another good experience.

Make sure that when you do plan a trip, study up and get information on the area you will be going in. You need to know what type of edible plants there are. What kind of animals inhabit there? Are there animals of prey, like bear or mountain lion, or even wolves? Are there snakes, and how many different species, and are they venomous or not? What kind of insects or spiders are there, and are they venomous?

Doing things like this is all part of survival, and this is a good learning and training experience. You may never know when something bad could happen, so you need to be prepared for the worse. Remember, this is only a practice survival trip and not a real one, but if you do not plan it well, it could go awfully wrong for you and turn in to a real life survival situation.

For more information on the Appalachian mountains, look it up on the web or call just about any of the eastern states of commerce for literature and maps.

You can find more outdoor survival articles of mine and other well known authors at many other article directories sites. Gather all the information you can get before taking on such a wonderful adventure.