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5 Overlooked Items to Take With You to Camping

5 Overlooked Items to Take With You to Camping

Tired of the hustle and bustle of your routine life? Have you considered escaping from your mundane job and just take a break but can’t fit anything into your schedule.

Then camping might be the thing for you. You can go on a satisfying camping over the weekend and come back a revitalized man, ready to work on Monday. Plus, the budget for a walk in the woods is much lower than other holiday options.

Now, if you have decided to go on a camping, first you should get the necessary gears and clothes. Sleeping bags, tents, tarps, ropes, tapes, flashlights etc. are essential things that you most certainly would take with you. However, there are few items that no one considers taking but are actually essential for a proper camping experience.

Here are 5 items that are overlooked when going on a camping vacation.

1. First Aid Kit

First aid kit should be on top of your list of things to take with you in any outing and camping is no exception. However, many forget about it with the prospect of all the excitement in their mind.

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The idea of camping brings evokes thoughts of fun and relaxation, so people seldom think of accidents and injuries happening to them.  However, no one can predict accidents and it is always nice to be safe than sorry.

Besides, small bruises and cuts, allergies and other common problems are not unusual in the wilderness. If you have to hike to reach a campsite, blisters on your feet, which are very common, can ruin your experience. Your first aid kits are your best friends in such troubling times. So gather some antiseptic, anti-bacterial ointments, painkillers, aspirins, bandages and burn creams to take with you.  And ladies, be sure to include tampons in your first aid kit.

Do not forget to include hand sanitizers in your kit. Water is always short in camping, so you will have to use the alternative to keep your hands germs free.

2. Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of camping, so you may not even have thought of taking them with you. But they are essential if you want to enjoy a peaceful sleep.

Camping usually precedes and succeeds other physically demanding activates like hiking, trekking or rafting. You will need to be in your best physical and mental state in order to delightfully complete the challenges posed by such activities. Without a good night’s sleep, you will suffer throughout the ordeal instead of being able to immerse yourself in the adventure.

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Without the luxury of your room, you may have a hard time sleeping. Flapping tents, enthusiastic fellow campers singing songs, snores from your neighboring camps, gushing river if you are camped near a river can all produce noises that can keep you awake all night long.

Bringing your earplugs can help you feel more comfortable while sleeping and therefore help you enjoy your trip.

3. Trash Bags

Littering is one of the most serious problems on campgrounds. People tend to come to a place, have a good time and at the end leave a big pile of waste as their footprints. These waste not only destroy the natural beauty of a place but also affect the wildlife living nearby.

Any sensible camper with even a bit of morality and feeling of responsibility towards nature will not want to leave trails of trash behind them. While the intent of most people is to keep camp sites clean, the idea of taking trash bags with them does not come immediately in their mind.

Take large trash bags with you to collect all the garbage that are accumulated during your vacation and then dispose them in proper places.

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4. Batteries and Power Banks

Flashlights are one of the first things people pack when they get ready for a vacation into the woods. Given the rather obvious fact that human beings are not capable of seeing in the dark and there will no electricity to aid our sights, flashlights are very handy tools once night falls.

But if the batteries in your lights die, you will lose your sight in the dark. It is therefore always a good idea to keep extra batteries with you as a backup.

Not just flashlights, if you have other electronic devices with you, like GPS or i-pods, always take your charger and power bank with you. Power banks can help you with charging your electronics for a few days, but solar powered power banks are the better options since you can charge them without a power source.

5. Wet Wipes

Among the good things you will not get to enjoy during camping is a good old bath. Unless you are on a riverside campsite, water will be in short supply. Even if you are near a stream, it may be dangerous to enjoy a nice bath in it.

On top of that, as you will be living outside, you will get a lot of dirt and sweat on you. Most people assume that getting dirty is part of camping and do not consider alternatives to bathing. However, just because you can’t take a shower doesn’t mean you should abandon your hygiene.

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You can always take wet wipes to clean up without using water. Wipe your face, hands and other body parts to clean them without much fuss.

Camping gives you an opportunity to escape the busy city life and brings you closer to nature. Living in the woods is definitely harder than the luxurious life you may be leading. But it is in that hardship where the excitement lies. And the above-mentioned items, despite not looking all that important at first glance, are in fact necessary for a satisfying camping trip.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

“Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

3. You could suffer from excess weight

When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

8. You could end up eating more processed food

Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

 

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