Gift giving can often be a stressful experience, leaving many holiday shoppers with a sense of dread that they haven’t found that perfect gift or that much-desired stocking stuffer. While we can’t tell you what’ll make everyone on your list happy this year, we are here to help you get something cool for the outdoorsy friends and family in your life! Whether you’re looking to just pick up a little something, or you’re in search of that holiday-defining gift, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Imagine yourself waking on a late spring morning, embers still crackling in the wood-burning stove and the sound of birds seeping through the open window. You throw on your hiking shorts and fleece pullover then step onto your patio, where you take a seat at the rocking chair and you think to yourself “which trail am I going to wander down today?”
There are three amazing lodges, only accessible by foot, that Team Green Adventures frequents for our spring and fall hiking getaways. This week’s blog gives you a taste of each!
If you’re a good outdoorist, you can wing it on the trail with the resources around you. If you’re a great outdoorist, you’ll bring everything you need, packed to precision. Our goal at Team Green Adventures is to foster a community of great outdoorists, which is why we have several downloadable checklists on our resources page, and have partnered with Cumberland Transit for a series of eight Gear Workshops in 2015. Topics cover our region’s most popular recreations including backpacking, hiking, trail running, water treks, cycling, and rock climbing. Our first workshop, Backpacking 101, was a huge success (and we’ll offer it again on September 23rd). We not only learned which gear to bring, but how to pack it efficiently.
Now that the holidays are upon us, there’s no denying that winter is here to stay, at least for the next few months. To help keep you out of the cold, we’ve got several indoor events coming up while the weather is less than ideal, like our glassblowing workshop on December 12th, our free boot camp class on December 14th, and our holiday social on December 21st (there’s nothing like a few beers to keep you warm!). Need some extra convincing to join us indoors this winter? Maybe the emotional rollercoaster that is winter in Tennessee will do the trick:
1. We all know the initial excitement about winter, especially that first snow or hearing Christmas tunes on the radio.
2. But unfortunately, this enthusiasm is always short-lived once you realize you you’re stuck inside for three months, unless you love the cold, wet weather.
3. Sure, there are some things to look forward to when camping in the winter.
4. But it’ll never outweigh the misery you know you’ll probably encounter.
5. It seems like you’re never as prepared as you want to be for the cold.
6. The weather is always unpredictable (especially in Nashville).
7. And it always looks way more fun in magazines…
8. …than it does in real life.
9. So during a season when even inanimate objects look upset with the weather.
10. And you may feel like winter will never end.
11. Just remember that winter in Tennessee…
12. Is still way better than winter in Buffalo.
Still feeling extra hardy this winter? We’ve still got some outdoor events for you to try your hand at, including our Resolution Day Hike on New Year’s Day, and another great day hike to the BFCW on January 11th. Layer up, and we’ll see you there!
Stay warm and dry, and happy holidays y’all!
– Matt (Team Green’s Events Coordinator)
A true outdoors-man (or woman) has probably heard of the “10 Essentials” for any wilderness trip. If you’re not familiar, here they are:
- Navigation (maps)
- Hydration (water + filtration system)
- Sun Protection
- Insulation (sleeping bag + extra layers)
- Warmth (see We Didn’t Start the Fire… or Did We?)
- First Aid Kit
- Shelter (tent)
- Safety (whistle)
But if you’re like me, you aren’t hitting the trails simply to survive. You’re out there to enjoy yourself, see the sites you can’t get to in half a day’s hike, and make some memories. Let’s make sure those memories are good ones by keeping your pack lightweight, organized, and dry! These are the “other” 10 essentials:
At one point or another you may have found yourself trying to start a campfire or getting ready to ignite your first cozy fall evening by the hearth, only to find that no matter how much crumpled newspaper or liters of gasoline you throw into the pit… the fire just won’t catch. There are a few reasons you might be having a tough time:
Life requires us to constantly be on the go. While many times our phones can distract us and waste our time, mobile apps can act as useful tools that make it easier to save time and access the outdoors from wherever we’re located. It’s our passion to connect you with the best trails, waterways and natural areas in Middle Tennessee and beyond, but when we can’t be there to do the trip with you, these mobile apps provide everything you need to work on getting outside on your own!
Record a walk, run or bike ride with NashVitality (free) to track your time, distance, pace and calories burned. NashVitality will guide you to all of Nashville’s greenways, trails and waterways. With the “Explore Near Me” and “News & Events” buttons, you can always be plugged in to the active outdoors community in Nashville.
Metro Parks (free) is a complete mobile guide to Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. Find immediate access to the natural history of the parks, an interactive map, news and events, and a photo gallery. Next time you head to Warner Parks, download this app to look out for specific plant species or find the perfect picnic table mid-hike.
With the B-Cycle (free) app, you will have no trouble finding the nearest B-Cycle station. Plan your bike ride ahead of time by checking the map for all of Nashville’s stations. The biggest advantage to having this app is that you will always know exactly how many available bikes and docks are at each B-Cycle station, meaning you’ll never end up bikeless or without a place to dock the bike you’re already riding!
All Trails (free) is like Yelp for hiking. All Trails has information on more than 50,000 trails across the country, so you will always be able to find the perfect route near you. Each trail has personal recommendations, reviews and photos. This app helps you create a wish list of trails and keep track of trails you have completed. All Trails also keeps you up to date on local hiking events.
Take part in protecting our wildlife with Project Noah (free), which helps you create a “mission” that others nearby can join. Each mission documents spotted wildlife and plant species. Discover innumerable organisms around the world and be on the lookout for endangered species in your area to photograph as part of this citizen-scientist project.
MotionX GPS ($1.99) will identify your location anywhere in the world on topographic and road maps. With a choice of nine maps, you are sure to find the graphic that matches your terrain. This app is worth the money because you can record your tracks for whatever sport, such as mountain biking or skiing, and replay your track in real-time. Check altitude, ascent, and descent. Mark waypoints and snap a photo to keep on your map. Some other impressive features include a compass, social media tools, and a personal tour guide via Wikipedia.
Map My Hike (free), which is much like the popular “Map My Run,” will track the pace, highest speed, split times, distance and calories burned on all of your hikes. A graph shows your pace at each elevation as well. The app features a nutrition calculator to count your calories consumed and burned, and how much water you need to stay hydrated through the end of your hike.
Chimani National Parks (free) is your mobile passport to the National Parks. This app will keep you from missing important monuments, memorials and historical sites. With a map and current news, this app is everything you need for traveling to these wonders of the world!
Feeling spontaneous? Reserve America Camping (free) is a helpful tool for finding camping grounds whether you need one in a month or tonight. Search sites in state, federal and private grounds across the U.S. and find photos and details on each site using this mobile app.
Eddie Bauer Adventure (free) is a well-rounded app every outdoors enthusiast needs. Choose the activity you want to do and the level of difficulty you desire, and then narrow your options down by time of day, distance from you, and whether you are bringing kids or a dog. The app will give you detailed guides with clear photos of the places that fit your description to help you discover your next adventure.
Coleman’s Camping Cookbook (free) has you covered for meal planning in the woods. With everything from breakfast burritos to s’mores, this cookbook makes it easy to amplify your camping meals so you won’t go hungry!
Sky View (free) is a simple app that allows you to point your phone at the sky to point out stars, constellations, satellites, and planets. We all know identifying celestial objects can be tough, so downloading this app means you’ll never be left stargazing again unsure of what exactly you’re looking at!
SAS Survival ($5.99) has been the go-to book for survival, but now the full text can be found in mobile form. This helpful app provides videos, photos of animal tracks, knots, poisonous and edible plants, a Morse Code signaling device, checklists, and a First Aid guide. While we still advise preparing for any extreme trek thoroughly beforehand, this app can be trusted to help protect you on your next excursion.
There is an overwhelming amount of weather apps out there, but Accu Weather (free) is a reliable source for minute-by-minute forecasts, animated radar, and more details than you could possibly need on the conditions in your location. Never get caught in the rain again!
You never know when you may need First Aid skills. If you are not First Aid certified, American Red Cross First Aid (free) will help you in case of an emergency. Videos, quizzes, and step-by-step guides will help give you a basic understanding of how to handle those backwoods medical emergencies.
Connect with Others
We know people who love the outdoors are the best kind of people. Yonder (free) connects you with people worldwide who share the same passion for an active outdoor lifestyle. Yonder is basically a fusion of Instagram with Google Maps that allows you to share your adventurous pics, get feedback, and look at other explorers’ photos before you head off to a new destination.
Suited to Your Activity
Bike Maps ($0.99) provides trails for city commuting or mountain biking. Never ride down a bad path again!
iTrail Map (free) keeps all of your mountain trail maps in one convenient place. Even better, now you can read trail maps paper-free.
Anyone who loves skiing needs Ski Tracks ($0.99). This app tells you everything about your runs, such as max speed, distance skied, your ascent and descent, max altitude, number of runs, temperatures and duration. Ski Tracks places these stats on a graph, as well as on a ski map so you can see how much of the mountain you covered.
Ski & Snow Report (free) is a clear guide to prepare you each morning before you hit the slopes. Check the number of lifts open, runs groomed, and amount of snowfall overnight to make the most of your time on the slopes.
Stay safe and catch the best waves with Surfline (free), which provides the latest conditions and forecasts across the globe.
Download the apps that fit your lifestyle and let us know how they worked out for you! If you need a little inspiration or a place to upload some fantastic pics to your new Yonder profile, join Team Green this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for a moderate hike at Radnor Lake. For more details, see our event page.
– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)