Women In The Outdoors: Female-Focused Programs For a Fuller Life

 

It’s 2018. The world has changed from the closed-minded appeal of businessmen and housewives to an open, joyful, and exhilarating world where everyone has the chance to get active and be rewarded with the fulfilling opportunities nature provides us. As part of the movement to empower and encourage women to get active and start participating in outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, multiple state programs have been founded to educate women on water fowling, fly fishing, big game hunting, and a variety of other activities.

These programs range from one-day outdoor classes to multi-day camping trips. Through these programs, women are becoming engaged in the outdoors and are learning key tactics like wilderness survival. It’s through these programs that many women are beginning to see how fulfilling an outdoor lifestyle can be. Since many women lack good role models to teach them about the outdoors, these programs are excellent for all ages. Younger girls can even find similar experiences through youth hunting courses and other outreach programs.

Local & National Programs

Almost every state now offers a program aimed at women to teach them how to survive in the wilderness, hunt, or fish. The programs include a variety of skills and the are quickly gaining in popularity. One of the fastest growing programs in the country is the Women In The Outdoors Program offered by the National Wild Turkey Foundation. Before implementing the program, NWTF also supported many smaller programs offered through various foundations. With the national program, they are able to reach that many more women.

The issues that used to plague smaller programs—like lack of media attention—are no more. Since popularity of this kind of program began growing a few years back, multiple programs have taken off at the local, state, and national level. For instance, one newly founded organization, Women Outdoors, works across the nation to promote friendship, adventure, and leadership through programs that organize hiking, kayaking, biking, and cross-country skiing events.

 

The purpose of these programs is to engage, inspire, and empower women to get active in the outdoors. Many towns and counties themselves have been inspired by the success of national organizations to create their own activities for women. In fact, there’s a good chance you can find a Women In The Outdoors program in your area to teach all sorts of outdoor skills.

What’s Covered?

Every program varies by interest, region, and the organization running it. Some wildlife refuges have sponsored water fowling and hunting clinics for women, while Fish & Game boards across the country have founded multiple fishing and hunting clinics that range from fowling to big game tracking. But, not all programs are devoted to fishing and hunting activities. Many, such as those provided by the Women Outdoors organization, are focused on athletic outings like biking and kayaking. Other programs are not so much focused on teaching the skill itself, but on teaching other skills—such as communication and leadership—through activities such as skiing and hiking. The latter type of program are taken at the community-level and give women an outlet to find friends and network with other women in their area.

How Can I Join One?

If you’re interested in joining a Women In The Outdoors program, there are many ways to see what’s available to you. Depending on the type of program you’re seeking, you can call up your local Fish & Game office directly to see what they have or check online to see if one of the many national organizations has a program in your region.

If there aren’t any programs being offered yet, don’t be discouraged. In fact, you could be the one to start. Even if you don’t have the know-how to lead the class, you can bring a chapter to your region by getting in touch with an organization who offers programs you’re interested in. Just reach out to them and let them know there are interested people in your area who want a program in your town. They can help you assemble a program and find the people you need to lead it.

You can also contact your Fish & Game office and see about having an Officer or Forest Ranger come speak with you and the other people who are interested in your area. If you can get even a short list of interested women who would like to see a local program, they might even be able to set one up for you.

Before You Go

If you’re planning on joining one of these programs, make sure to get the gear you need! At ReelTrail, you can score great deals on new and used hunting, hiking, fishing, climbing, and snow gear for everyone in your house. Some gear has never been worn while other pieces may already be broken in for you!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Ever Wanted to Bow Fish?

Also known as Bow fishing, this is a sport wherein a fisherman uses archery equipment to fish.

A regular hunting bow can be used for fishing by simply attaching a reel to the front of the bow grip.

Archery fishing is especially favored by regular hunters when regular game like deer are off season. This way they can continuously hone their skills for whatever season it may be.

Before engaging in archery fishing, one must first take into consideration the following:

1. A fisherman must be duly licensed. Some states require that an individual have a state license to fish.

2. Equipment; Most states have a predetermined set of approved equipment for archery fishing.

3. Archery Safety Course; Still, some states require that an individual go through an approved safety course for archery fishing to ensure that the individual is well versed with the proper safety precautions and information regarding applicable laws in fishing.

4. Seasons; Bow fishing in some states can only be done in certain seasons. This is to allow the fish to spawn.

5. Species of fish; Some states have rules forbidding archery fishing for some species of fish.

The following skills are necessary for an individual to obtain and practice:

Knot tying. Though it may seem like a simple task, tying knots that will not slip (line for the arrow) are crucial in bow fishing.

Tuning; Tuning is making sure that the bow is at its best working condition. To ensure this, one has to continuously adjust the rest and calibrate the nock.

For a faster tuning process, one may shoot a regular bow-fishing arrow (without the tip) onto a target made of cardboard.

Marksmanship or targeting; Bow fishing and bow hunting, though similar on some aspects, really do differ on many things. Arrows for bow fishing are heavier, have larger arrow tips and, the most obvious one, has a string attached to the arrow.

And since fish are shot in the water, resistance differs as when compared to shooting in the air (for bow hunting of games)

There are various methods or ways of archery fishing. This includes the following:

1. Still hunting; A fisherman selects a place by a salt or freshwater creek or the lake in which he would wait for passing fish to shoot its bow at.

2. Stalking; This can be done on foot or while on a boat. One is in constant motion in an attempt to locate fish.

3. Ambush; Fish that are best ambushed are the ones that are spawning since they tend to crowd thus increasing chances of target.

What are you waiting for, go try it out!

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Alaskan Fishing and Adventures

An Outdoorsy Picture is worth A Million Words

Whether you consider yourself an amateur photographer, or you just want to create better family photos, there are many things you can do to get better photos. Here are some easy tips to use the next time you head out with your digital camera.

Even a beginner can take professional-looking photos – suitable for framing.

Be Prepared

Keep all your photography equipment ready for use. Collect everything youíll need into one place. A camera bag is ideal, because it keeps all your stuff together and lets you carry it all with you. Everything in its place. A good camera bag will let you organize a miniature tripod, extra battereis, memory cards, etc. – even a plastic bag or waterproof housing to protect your camera in wet weather.

Hold your Camera Steady

Blurry photos are almost always the result of camera movement. Just your own unsteadiness, causes your camera to shake enough to blur your pictures.

So steady yourself and your camera before you take the shot.

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and tuck your elbows in close to your sides. Instead of using the LCD viewer, steady your camera against your forehead and frame the shot using your cameraís viewfinder. You can also steady your upper body by leaning against a wall or a tree. Or totally eliminate any camera movement by using a tripod.

Once youíre all set, gently press the shutter release in one motion. Pressing the shutter release too hard could jerk the camera downward.

Get Closer

One difference in ìsnapshotsî and really great photos is the composition of the shot. Unless youíre shooting an outdoor landscape, you can improve most photos just by getting closer to your subject. Depending on the situation, you can physically move closer to your subject, or use the zoom feature on your camera for the same effect. Try to get within a few feet of your subject so you eliminate most of the background. Youíll like the results.

Take more Pictures

Even professionals take loads of shots of the same subject – to get just a few that they will use. With a digital camera, you can delete the images you donít like, and only print the winners – so donít hesitate to take several shots of the same subject. Change the angle of the shot. Get a little closer. Adjust the lighting.

Why not fill the entire memory card with pictures of your kid at the pool, or your daughter in her cap and gown? The more pictures you take, the better the odds that youíll get a few shots that will really thrill you.

Vary the Lighting

Using natural light will give better skin tones when photographing people, so try not to use the flash if you donít have to. Outdoor daylight shots are easy, but youíll have to be a little more creative when shooting indoors. Try using the light coming in from a window for warmer tones than you would get using the flash.

Experiment with natural lighting. You can get stronger shadows by moving your subject closer to a window, and turning your subject can create more dramatic shadows.

Eliminate Red-Eye

Red-eye is the result of light passing through your subjectís eye and reflecting back. Youíll get it more often when using your flash, just because the light from the flash isnít as diffused as natural light. So the first tip for eliminating red-eye is simply to avoid using your flash when you donít absolutely have to.

Another way to reduce red-eye is to have your subject look anywhere but at the camera. This reduces red-eye because any reflection isnít directed back at your camera lens.

If you have to use the flash, some digital cameras have a built-in feature to automatically remove red-eye. Use it.

Go for Candid

Instead of posing two (or more) people looking directly at the camera, get a shot of them interacting with one another. Even two people having a conversation is more interesting than having them stand next to each other facing the camera. Some of the best professional portraits have the subject captured deep in thought, with their attention focused inward, rather than on the camera lens.

It makes a more interesting shot. Your portrait will look more natural – less posed.

Create a Scene

Putting your subject in the center of a photo is just boring. Youíll get a much more pleasing result if you place your subject off center when you frame the shot.

This is a truly professional technique. Place your subject so that they occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the total composition, but NOT at the exact center of the frame. Capture an interesting background object in the rest of the frame.

Anybody can practice these techniques. Theyíre easy and youíll get better, more professional photos.

Guide to Buying a Snowboard

Buying a Snowboard is not as easy as it used to be. There are lots of different manufacturers and even more of different models. It can get very confusing process.

There are many different types of snowboards all for different uses. Here are the most common types of snowboards.

:Freeride
:Park
:Rail
:Freestyle
:All mountain
:Powder

The snowboard has evolved from a simple design to many different styles and functions.

Purchasing a snowboard requires a few key questions to be answered, but guess what! We have the answers for you right here. Your weight, height, foot size and riding style are the main factors that will define the appropriate stiffness, height, width and shape of the board you will buy.

So lets start with the first question.

Note down your answers so you can take them to the shop when you go to rent or buy a snowboard.

Your riding ability?
If you’re a beginner, first time, newbie, taking a lesson, snowboarded 1-3 times.
Intermediate- board 3-5 times a year, ride switch/fakie catch some air, turns no problem.
Advanced- buttering up those 270s on to boxes?
What type of riding style do you enjoy most?
Your desired riding style or the terrain you wish to ride will help determine the type of board you should rent or buy.
The three main categories of riding styles are.

1. All Mountain / Freeride style snowboarder utilizes the whole mountain. You enjoy carving, catching air, making turns in fresh powder or just cruising the slopes. If you fancy a bit of everything, then all mountain is where your style is.

2. Freestyle includes mostly trick riding. Jumps, spins, grabs, jibbing, rails, basically tearing it up. Technical freestyle riding is usually found in the parks or near the halfpipe. Freestyle boards can tend to range from very soft boards(ideal for buttering and jumps) to very stiff(ideal for pipe).

3. Carve/Alpine style combines speed and deep turns and utilizes everything the mountain has to offer. Alpine riders are continually transitioning from one turn to the next. It is all about high speed and hard carving. Next we move on to the question of your weight and height, this will help us pick the correct size of board.

Length
A good rule of thumb for all mountain is that the board should stand between your chin and your nose when set on its tail. For freestyle it should be a little shorted so you can make faster spins or put more pressure at the nose or tail of the board.

Width
Snowboard width is usually directly related to your foot size, you need a board wide enough so your heel and toes do not drag in the snow while turning.

Weight
A major factor in determining the correct board size also has to do with your weight. Riders who are heavy should look for boards that have a stiffer flex. Lighter riders will need a board with a softer flex. Also if you are heavy for your size then pick a longer board this will give you more surface area. Like wise if you are light for your size pick a shorter board. As the increased size will make it harder for you to control the extra surface area of the board.

CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD

Brand/Model

There are multitudes of board manufactures, a good idea is when going into your local rental shop or ask the honest opinion of the brands. If you’re a newbie rider, go for one of the bigger brands, they tend to have better support and warranty.

Price
A new snowboard costs between U.S. $99.00 and $600.00.. Most Snowboard companies offer a selection of boards at different prices. The higher end boards are usually pro models or have a high technical built to them.

Graphics
Snowboards are a great way to get a message across. Most buyers choose a snowboard because of its graphical nature. This is a way to show the world your inner spirit, or not. Snowboards are quickly becoming works of art. Most Snowboard companies provide a large selection of designs and colors to choose from. Many manufacturers will not keep the same graphic for the model type board regardless of size. Graphics is a personal decision and should be considered only after the proper board characteristics have been decided. But most riders choose a board based on graphics rather than compatibility.

TIME TO BUY?

Wait! Rent first
If you are beginner it is a good idea to rent. This will allow you to try a few different styles, models and brands of Snowboards. Ski Resorts offer snowboard rentals. Board, boots and bindings can all be rented at the same time. Many local sporting goods shops also offer snowboard rentals. This is helpful to do the day before so all proper adjustments can be made.

What about a used board
A used board is a great way to go if your budget is tight, Just make sure the condition of the board is good otherwise you could be wasting your money on a board that wont ride very well. Check the rails(metal edges)for any cracks or separation from the board it self. Top sheet for any cracks in the top of the board, it might be an indication to how hard to board has been ridden. Check the base for any large scores or any signs of separation from the rails. Some boards can be fixed if they’ve had a nasty hole put in them and they can be as good as new. But just check , you your common sense.

What about Last year’s models?
This is a good way to get a new board at a great price. Unless some new material is found in outer space, it is a safe bet that last years model will ride just about as good as this year’s. Summer time is a great time to start your search for last years model, (even though its the same calendar year). Most shops want to get rid of these boards so they can make room on their shelves for the new boards. EX demo boards. Every shop will have last year’s rentals or ex demo board laying around somewhere. Ask them and you might find yourself a bargain.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

A Guide To Resorts In The Alps

The alps are a popular winter travel destination. Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and other winter activities abound throughout the mountainous area. The Alps are shared among many countries, including Austria, France, German, Italy and Switzerland. Whether you are looking for a family vacation or are more adventurous and enjoy mountaineering and extreme skiing, you will find something for every one in this area.

Family Resorts in the Alps

Many resorts throughout the area cater to families. In these resorts, families with children make up the bulk of their business. There is plenty for both parents and children to enjoy. Horse drawn sleigh rides, skiing and snowboarding are popular family activities. Just about all family resorts offer ski instruction especially for children as well as adult lessons for mom and dad. Some offer night skiing, either nightly or on certain evenings during the week.

After a day of skiing, parents can enjoy the sauna and Jacuzzi, while children enjoy the variety of play areas and activities geared especially for them. If mom and dad want an evening alone, many resorts offer babysitting services. Many family resorts are low tech and don’t have internet access or video games, but some do have these features available. Many families enjoy the low tech atmosphere, which encourages children to enjoy the outdoors and other activities offered.

Many of these resorts are located in small villages scattered throughout the alps. These offer quaint scenery and older hotels. Restaurants are nearby, if you want to leave the resort, or you can eat right inside the resort. Others are in larger tourist areas and contain luxury hotels and apartments for families to rent.

Singles Resorts in the Alps

Other resorts are geared for the younger crowd. These are more popular with single people in their 20s and couples without children. These resorts offer more expert runs for skiing and snowboarding. Many are near glaciers and have monster pipes built into the glaciers that allow snowboarding even in the summer. More experienced skiers generally choose these resorts.

Many of these resorts are wired with internet access. Rather than family based activities, they contain bars, lounges and a busier nightlife. Most offer night skiing with lighted trails for skiing or snowboarding in the dark.

For the more adventurous, mountaineering is a popular activity in the area. Daily climbing excursions or multi day trips are common here. Hut to Hut tours make it easier to climb more difficult routes. These are great for multi day excursions. You won’t need to carry heavy overnight gear with you, as you would when camping. The huts have what you need for sleeping.

Easier to more difficult routes are available with hut to hut climbing. The easier routes tend to be more crowded and the huts fill up quickly. The more difficult routes are less crowded, but are not meant for beginning mountain climbers. There is generally more room in the huts on these trips.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Plan a Trip, Get Outside, Enjoy Nature

Are you interested in taking an outdoors trip? Whether you want to your trip to be alone, with your friends, with your family, or even just with your romantic partner, you will need to find a place to visit, as well as activities to participate in. If you have yet to decide what you would like to do for your next trip, have you ever though about going camping and hiking? When alone, camping and hiking are both fun filled activities, but when combined, they are, literally, the perfect combination.

Although it is nice to know that hiking and camping are the perfect combination, you may be wondering exactly why that is. If you are, you will find that there are an unlimited number of reasons as to why hiking and camping are the perfect fit for each other and the perfect way to spend your next vacation. For reasons as to why you should give camping and hiking a try, you will want to continue reading on.

As previously stated, camping and hiking are things that just seem to fit together. This is apparent in a number of different ways. For instance, hiking trails are commonly found in areas or establishments that are referred to as hiking parks. Hiking parks, especially large popular ones, often have their own onsite campgrounds. You will also find that most public campground parks have at least one or two hiking trials on them. The fact that hiking and camping experts automatically pair hiking and camping together is a sign that camping and hiking really are the perfect combination.

Another reason why camping and hiking may be perfect for your next trip or vacation is because they are both designed for individuals of all ages. This is important, especially if you are looking for something to do with your family. Children of all ages, as well as adults, enjoy both camping and hiking. In fact, in the United States, you will find that hiking trials come in a number of different difficulty levels. For instance, it is more than possible to find hiking trails that are designed for beginners. These types of hiking trials would be ideal, in most cases, for young children or elderly individuals.

The cost of hiking and camping are another one of the many reasons why they make the perfect combination, as well as why they may be perfect for your next trip, vacation, or adventure. Hiking and camping are both affordable activities for you to participate in. In fact, if you decide to make a reservation at a public campground park, you will likely find that you are able to go hiking, on an onsite trail, free of charge. The same may even be said for if you visited a hiking park and decided to stay overnight. While many activities may end up being free for you, you will see that it all depends on the establishment in question.

If you are interested in combining hiking and camping to make the perfect adventure for you, your family, your friends, or you and your romantic partner, you may want to think about making your arrangements in advance. Hiking and camping are both popular activities in the United States. While you may not necessarily need to make reservations to go hiking, you may need to make them if you plan on camping overnight at a hiking park or in a public campground. In fact, the earlier that you make your reservations, the more choices you may have, as many establishments allow you to handpick your own camping spots.

As you can see, there are a number of different reasons as to why hiking and camping make the perfect combination, as well as why they would be great for your next vacation, trip, or adventure. Hiking and camping is something that you may at least want to think about discussing with your traveling party. Once it is mentioned, you may be surprised with just how many people would like to give this perfect combination a try.

Night Vision Goggles | The Ultimate BackCountry Gear

Many nights in the backcountry are far from dark. A bright moon and a sky full of stars can throw off enough light to allow for reading a book, but add cloud cover, mountains or trees and it gets dark awfully fast. When you need to see in the dark, you have two choices – you either turn on a light, or use one of the many available night vision devices (NVD). The NVD could be the ultimate backcountry toy.

Like choosing many other types of technology, choosing the correct NVD is all about how you are going to use it. When most people think of night vision capabilities, they think about spy movies, the military or law enforcement – applications where it is vital for the good guys to see without being seen by the bad guys. A drop in pricing over the past few years has made a NVD affordable for campers, hunters, hikers and a wide variety of other outdoor enthusiasts. However, high-end devices used for specialized purposes remain quite expensive.

There are two broad categories of NVD. Image Enhancement devices collect small amounts of light and amplify them to the point where the human eye can observe the object. Thermal Imaging devices capture the high end of the infrared light spectrum which is emitted as heat by objects. Image Enhancement devices will provide a much crisper image with detail while Thermal Imaging devices show regions of heat. Currently, five Generations of NVD exist. Generations 0 and 1 are less expensive and typically produce a poor image quality. Generations 2, 3 and 4 have increasingly better image quality and an equally increasing price to match.

Applications for NVD are actually quite diverse. They include but are not limited to: military, law enforcement, hunting, wildlife observation, surveillance, security, navigation, hidden-object detection, spelunking and entertainment. NVD can be found on helicopters, rifles, camcorders, cameras, boatsÖ.just about anywhere. A new craze found at up-scale gatherings is called A Dinner in the Dark Party where guests wear an NVD throughout their dining experience.

Many outdoor enthusiasts are beginning to discover the wonderful world that can be found after darkness falls in the backcountry. If you like to camp, hike or hunt, chances are good an NVD will be perfect for you.

Browse ReelTrail for all your outdoor needs, from night vision goggles, to kayaks, snowboards and skis, to backpacking and climbing equipment.

Have a closet full of gear you don’t use? Sell it on ReelTrail for the lowest fees around. Only pay when your item sells, and print discounted shipping labels directly on our website and app! Download the app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

Use this information and you’ll get it right the first time. Get outdoors!