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Month: November 2016

All About Travel Gear for Any Adventure

On a planet where we need to save money on travel but still get the very best experience possible, these essential travel items can certainly help keep your travels easier, safer, plus much more enjoyable. I’ve compiled this list from my own experience with travel items which have made my life easier around the country, and so I can fully attest to them.

Here are 10 items needed to be a successful traveler:

10. Damp washcloth

Seems simple enough, but on a daily basis it’s worth its weight in gold. Whether you’re wiping food off your hands, sweat from your face or grime off your gear this little essential item is light versatile and always leaves you feeling refreshed throughout the day.

9. A Map

Some people might think of this a little old fashioned nowadays with smartphones and GPS, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself running out of battery and still in need of direction when the good old map comes in and saves the day. Just about all the places I’ve been have tourist information centers with free maps and info of the town. Bus stations and libraries are another great place for maps. I’ve even sat down at diners where the paper place mats were little maps of the city.

8. A book

Books are a great way to relax and pass time while traveling. Whether you’re stuck killing time waiting for a train or can’t really fall asleep after an exciting day the good old book is there to help keep you occupied. Also it’s another one of those items that doesn’t need electricity like the good old map.

7. Sunscreen and bugspray

The closer you get to the equator the more attention you need to pay to sun exposure and bug bites. A sunburn and a few dozen mosquito bites can ruin any vacation but if you’re traveling without the creature comforts of a hotel like an a/c, soft bed, nice shower, this can really be hell. Nothing like trying to get a good night’s sleep outdoors when you’re burnt to a crisp and itching all over. One of those things you do once and remember for the next time.

6. Travel Mug

This is one of those indispensable, multi-use items that should be on everyone’s essential travel gear list. With a proper travel mug you can always enjoy a discount on your coffee and use it to do a little cooking in a pinch. This stainless 64 ounce mug is a great example and the one I use. It’s single wall insulated so if needed you can heat its contents over an open flame and coming in at 64 onces it can pack 3xs the coffee for a refill price of less than a buck a most convenient stores. I really do love this thing.

5. A change of clothes

With proper attention to your wardrobe you can pack a couple of outfits for less than the weight of a pair of jeans. A lot of these light weight close are also quick to dry which is nice if you happen to get caught in the rain or need to wash them as you wash yourself which I’ve done plenty of times. I found that a big part of traveling is being able to condense things, and if I can reduce my wardrobe and the time it takes to do laundry I’m all for it.

4. Toothbrush and dental floss

Bad breath leaves a poor impression wherever you travel. Maintaining hygiene while traveling is important. You should always be prepared with a toothbrush and toothpaste because you never know when you might find a nice little spot to do some quick refreshing. If you do happen to skip a day or two brushing at least you can floss in between. The floss can also be used to repair a backpack, leaving it minty fresh.

3. Passport

The passport really comes in handy during a border crossing. Unless you enjoy jumping borders illegally, this is a must when touring multiple countries. It’s also considered primary identification right up there with your birth certificate and can help you acquire things an id alone can’t get.

2. A little cash and a credit card

It’s always good to have both on your travels. Nowadays you can’t be sure which one is acceptable. The days of cash is king is gone. Some hotels accept only a credit card for a deposit while the city bus that dropped you off only took exact change. Some local restaurants don’t accept credit cards as payment while the meter you parked at doesn’t accept cash or coins. It’s also a good idea to carry cash and credit separate-you don’t want to lose everything to a pickpocket in one shot.

1. Positive attitude

By far the most important and essential travel item on the list. A positive attitude. A lot of things don’t go as planned while traveling. There’s always Murphy’s Law waiting around the next bend to hit you upside the head. It’s just one of those facts of life. The best way to combat the unavoidable obstacles you’ll face along your travels is to meet them with a positive attitude. Like when you get caught in a torrential downpour and forget to pack a raincoat. Look at the brightside, maybe you remembered to pack a bar of soap.


My Coworkers Proposal Using a Party Bus

My coworker James is looking for a really creative way to propose to his girlfriend. He wants to do something really creative that involves not only his friends but his family as well. I came up with a really great idea. I told him to go to http://platinumpartybusrentaltoronto.com and look at the different party buses that they have available. At first he didn’t quite know where I was going with that suggestion. Then, I explained to him that a party bus would be the perfect way to transport a large number of guests. The reason we would need to transport a large number of guests is because we were going to plan a flash mob.

He was really surprised. He had seen lots of flash mob videos online before, but he had not thought about doing it for his own proposal. (more…)


How To Find Fossils in the Great Lakes

Hundreds of millions of years ago and long before glaciers carved the Great Lakes as we recognize them today they were once a shallow saltwater sea full of ocean life. Gastropods, trilobites, sponges, and corals covered the ocean floor. Whales, walruses, and giant fish swam in this ancient ocean and the giant short faced bear hunted in the woodlands. Now, millions of years later, all but their fossils are gone.

Today many of these fossils have been uncovered from the continuous movement of the sand and sea. Here are a few awesome examples of what can be found in and around the great lakes.

Dunkleosteus is one of the largest predatory placoderm fish known in the fossil record. An apex predator capable of taking down pretty much anything it could clasp its jaws around. With a concentrated force of up to 8,000 pounds per square inch at the tip of its mouth, this placed Dunkleosteus in the league of Tyrannosaurus Rex. By Devonian standards, Dunkleosteus was one of the most highly evolved animals and was one of the earliest jawed fishes. Instead of actual teeth, Dunkleosteus possessed two long, bony blades that were extensions of its jaw and could slice through flesh and snap and crush the bones of almost anything.

Considered one of the largest known terrestrial mammalian carnivores, the short faced bear existed until about 11,000 years ago which put in direct contact with early man. Coming in at 2000 pounds 12 feet tall on its hind legs and an arm span of 14 feet, this beast was something to be reckoned with. Despite that gargantuan proportions of this mega bear its fossils have revealed that its skeleton was actually not designed for fighting but built for efficient, long-distance travel which has lead many to predict this bear was a scavenger instead of a hunter.

Trilobites are hard-shelled, segmented organisms that existed over 520 million years ago in the Earth’s ancient seas. Theses are the single most diverse extinct organism found around the world with all types of shapes and sizes.

The Great Lakes are a great place to find some of these fossils. Digging through the layers of shale that line the lakeside and rivers can reveal one of these ancient creatures if you have a little luck and a lot of patience. Of all the lakes, Lake Michigan seems to be the most famous for fossil hunting. Every year residents and tourists comb the beaches which are filled with fossil fragments and collect these ancient souvenirs.

The Cracked Compass is ready to set sail on adventure. Follow the boat through the Great lakes and down the east coast of the U.S. on its way to the Bahamas and Cuba. If you have a passion for sailing, Subscribe to the adventure and join in on the fun.



How National Parks Tours Can Provide A Different Experience

Adventure tour operators specialize in guided tour packages focused on providing an experience of the National Parks like most have never seen. Visitors to the great National Parks of the United States southwest will be exposed to the offerings of scenic landscapes and natural terrain that is unlike anywhere else in the country, or even the world. These “adventurous types” are generally overwhelmed by the volume of choices of day trips, and a lack of understanding of the area actually could have potentially disastrous effects, as recently discussed in a story presented on ABC’s show “20/20” called “My GPS Almost Killed Me.”

The 20/20 story follows a day trip to Death Valley involving Donna Cooper and her family, where a lack of updated information causes the Garmin GPS in her car to give directions leading her horribly astray from any civilization. Her car runs out of gas in a remote part of the park near Scotty’s Castle, and the lives of the family are saved only by a California Highway Patrol chopper who got lucky and followed a hunch, finally locating the family in a small area known as “The Big Trees.” The nightmare story of being lost in one of the Earth’s most harsh climates without food or water has a happy ending, but should be used as a learning experience. It isn’t called “Death valley” for nothing, and many of the other National Parks that are located within driving distance are equally daunting.

Adventure tour operators offer an experience that is both safe and entertaining, as the operators utilize professional equipment and vehicles so as to tour in style and comfort, but also have an intricate knowledge of each area that they tour. As a learning experience, a professional tour operator will provide the tidbits of information that you cannot find in books, and as a tourist experience you will have a far more pleasurable trip not worrying about your GPS being updated.

Many tour packages are available on websites that carter to National Parks tours that will provide the adventure you are seeking, and private tours are another option for those who want a more private experience. National Parks like Zion, Bryce, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon provide scenery and landscapes that are unlike anywhere else on the globe, and professional tour companies can enhance the experience by removing the stress, allowing you to experience the park the way you want to, and giving you the guidance you may be seeking.



Guide First Trip to Sydney

Sydney is a destination that lies in many bucket lists. Australia’s biggest city is a wondrous destination that every traveler is fascinated with. From amazing attractions to free healthcare, there are plenty of reasons why your visit is a must. The ideal climate all year round is surely a winner, and most of the travelers find it the best getaway when the climate in their countries reaches its extremes. For anyone who visits Australia, Sydney is truly a magnet.

If it’s your first time to the magical city, here are some of the things you must explore.

1. The Rocks

Sydney has a very interesting past, and to explore the best of it take a trip to the Rocks. There are plenty of ways the locals and the tourists can enjoy this attraction of Sydney. Most of the tourists love having a picnic under the Harbor Bridge.

The Rocks is home to amazing museums and retail shops that you wouldn’t find elsewhere in Sydney. The galleries and museums would take you back in time to explore the rich history of Sydney. The Rocks Discovery Museum is one of the most fascinating attractions to explore while you’re there. There are plenty of options for eating out and getting entertained while you’re there.

2. Sydney Tower

The tallest structure in Sydney is also one of the most attractive ones. This is a major tourist attraction in the city that readily becomes everyone’s favorite. The view from the top is truly an amazing one and one of the must-do experience while you’re in the city.

Stepping onto the SKYWALK is one of the most tremendous experiences. The glass floor platform gives the best views to the rest of the city. Looking at the bustling city below is truly a jaw-dropping sight.

3. Bondi Beach

Everyone knows about Sydney’s beaches. There is nothing more appealing to the tourists. To top it off, the ideal climate all year round makes it even more fascinating to splurge in some fun and have the time of your life. Famously known to be ‘London on the Caribbean’, Sydney boasts its 100 beaches. The Bondi Beach is the most popular one of these.

For adventurers, the Bondi Beach is no less than a paradise with amazing opportunities all year round. It is packed with tourists and locals because of also being a family-friendly spot.

4. Sydney Opera House

If you’re a first time traveler to Sydney, you wouldn’t want to miss out the most popular attraction of the city. It is surely Australia’s most well known buildings with a rich history. The location and architecture of the Opera House is appealing to date. Whether it comes to opera or dance, the atmosphere of Sydney Opera House is truly an experience you would want to remember for a lifetime.

Most of the major events in the city take place at the Opera House. You may wish to plan your trip accordingly.