Trials Of The Great Outdoors

BackpackerOne of the tricky things that being out in ‘the great big nature’ throws at you is keeping personal hygiene standards to a decent level. I don’t mean washing your sweaty sports socks, that’s not so tough to figure so long as you can find a stream or river at some point.

The tricky thing is washing yourself. Again, not so tough if you happen across a nice warm sunny spot at the base of a beautiful waterfall. That isn’t filled with dozens of other sweaty hikers all skinny dipping and soaping themselves up in your personal paradise. You can get quite far with nothing more than a packet of wet wipes though, which are ideal for hiking, climbing, camping type trips. Though keeping your hair clean if it’s long is a bit of a nightmare without wasting a lot of water. And despite what I’ve heard, hair does not eventually balance and clean itself – it just gets more greasy and smelly and nasty.

Anything you can do to keep weight down is obviously useful if you’re carrying gear (tents, climbing ropes, food, cooking equipment etc etc). I don’t tend to obsess but I know a lot of people who do. One recent trick I’ve picked up is for teeth cleaning – this one reduces water use and saves a little weight. It’s a neat little liquid teeth cleaner and mouthwash all in one called Oram Plus. And if you read the reviews of Oram Plus you’ll see that it’s not only super compact, lasts for ages but it’s also all natural ingredients too (which I happen to care about). The fact it’s an all-in-one makes it even more valuable if you normally can’t help carrying 11 different teeth cleaning products. You can even share 1 bottle across everyone in the group as it lasts for months. I can tell you it makes you mouth feel incredibly fresh. Someone should tell the ADA about it.

This is slightly off the point, but interesting nonetheless. Did you also know that regular mouthwash can show up on a┬ábreathalyzer test! That’s because of course most of them are alchohol based. Just watch this video from an attorney in will mouthwash show up on a breathalyzer. Now obviously you don’t drink the stuff, but the fact the alcohol is still all over your mouth and therefore appears in your breath can make you fail a roadside test. Bizarre but true. Not that you’re going to be worrying about that mid adventure trip in the forest, but on the way to the golf course in the morning proud of your pleasant minty breath it could be very embarassing.

The Outdoors Is Tough On Your Skin

climbingI’m sure you’ll excuse this post for being a little ‘girly’, but when you spend a lot of time outdoors you do find that your skin takes a beating. We all know how much damage sun can do to your skin, but wind will dry your skin out in no time too.

Then there’s rain – no problem with a quick shower, but if your skin stays wet for long periods of time nasty things start happening to it. And if it’s salt water because your outdoors means surfing, yachting or other sea sports, then you already know what I mean.

But sun is probably the biggest problem particularly in places of high UV radiation. That can mess your skin up (and your life) pretty fast without some extra care. Even more so if your complexion is fair, or if you’re using any products that make your skin lighter or more susceptible to UV. So people using skin whitening creams for example need take even more care, as these creams are mostly used on the face which is typically the most exposed part of our body. People with Melasma in particular are likely to be using these kind of creams. Meladerm is one of the most popular brands of this kind of product (see the homepage here for more info), although there are lots of other brands available that you might be using too.

All of which means regular application of good quality sunscreen is vital (you can find more tips on skincare in this infographic). So don’t forget to protect your skin when enjoying your outdoor sports, slop on the sunscreen when you’re rock climbing, and clean and treat those minor grazes and cuts afterwards. It’s girly, but it might just save your life, literally.

Tips For How To Curve The Ball In Golf


You have a concern that most golfers do not have; instead of wanting to reduce a slice or a hook you want to learn how to intentionally hit draws and fades. These are good shots to have in golf and traditionally the best ball strikers in golf have always been able to shape their shot at will — and so will you.

Lies, Myths and Misinformation

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to shaping shots in golf. For over 50 years of golf the PGA and others have promoted a strategy for shaping shots that has since been proven as incorrect according to modern research. Unfortunately, a lot of instructors and players still promote these inaccurate strategies such as that a draw is created by rolling your wrists and a fade is cause by simply opening the club face. Even the simple idea of opening and closing your stance are not the complete story. If you really want to learn more about this subject please research “the new ball flight laws” and the “D Plane” you will find a wealth of practical and scientific information about what really controls the flight path of the ball.

How To Draw The Ball

Most people who are recovering from being a slicer often choose to go the opposite direction and learn how to hit a draw. Draws typically fly higher, have more distance and are easier for most golfers to master than a fade. One concept that you must understand is delivery path. Delivery path has more influence over you flight path than anything else. With a draw, you hands typically take an inside path on the back swing and extend more outward on the downswing. It is very much a slightly in-to-out swing path.

How To Fade The Ball

The Fade is the shot that made Ben Hogan a legend and that allowed Jack Nicklaus dominate golf and become the best player of all time. The fade is hit by keeping the club in the center of the body on the back swing, not too far in or out, and then by tracing a path that is slightly to the left of the intended direction where you want the ball to end. Fades are typically hit out-to-in, in-to-in or by simply going left on the down swing to start the ball left for a right handed golfer.

Use these tips and you will be able to curve the ball at will.

How to Get Started With Rock Climbing

rockclimbingRock climbing is one of the most fun and exciting sports, and it is something that anyone can do. The sense of achievement that you get from scaling to the top of a rock face is incredible, and rock climbing can help you to build functional strength, as well as improve your confidence.

Rock climbing can be intimidating at first, but if you are reasonably fit and have the right equipment (as well as a good instructor) then it is something that you can do safely. A lot of athletes use rock climbing to improve their grip strength and their upper body strength, and as a form of active recovery.

There are a few different subsets within the sport of rock climbing, including bouldering, outdoor climbing and indoor climbing walls. It is a good idea to start with the indoor walls – these have artificial holds screwed into the walls, and color coded so that you can follow preset routes of different difficulty levels. This removes a lot of the confusion and stress from rock climbing, ensuring that you can practice the basic skills without worrying about getting lost partway up the climb. You will be able to rent safety gear, and you will have a rope attached to you at all times, so if you slip or fall you will have a controlled descent.

A lot of experienced climbers prefer indoor climbing to outdoor climbing because you can move the grips around to produce an almost infinite number of challenges, and you can enjoy the sport regardless of what the weather is like. In addition, most indoor climbing areas have more than one face, so an experienced climber can bring a novice around with them and they can both have fun, picking routes that suit them the best.

You would usually pay per visit when climbing indoors, which can work out more expensive in the long run than buying your own gear and climbing outdoors, but it is a flexible and fun option and it allows people to try out the sport without having to worry about paying out for expensive equipment that they may only use a couple of times before getting bored with the sport.

If you are interested in trying rock climbing, contact an indoor climbing center today and ask them if they offer equipment hire and lessons for beginners.