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Sunday, October 22, 2017

(Credit: (c) Galyna Andrushko - Fotolia.com)

(StatePoint) Spending time enjoying nature is good for the body and mind, helping to reduce stress, increase focus and provide opportunities for physical activity, say studies. Unfortunately, our busy schedules sometimes don’t allow us to get outside as often as we’d like.

But there is no time like the present to plan your next outdoor adventure. As you make your preparations, consider these tips for making the most of your trip.

Get Informed

Visiting a new place? Learn more about the area, investigating its natural and social histories before you hit the trail, river route or campsite. You’ll be more likely to identify rock types and plant and animal species with a bit of knowledge. This can also help you understand and appreciate what you are experiencing with greater depth.

Use Tech Tools

New tech gear is augmenting the outdoor experience for both casual adventurers and hardcore enthusiasts. For example, the Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F20 from Casio has a rugged build, low power consumption GPS, is water resistant and features dedicated apps for outdoor activities. If downloaded prior to your journey, full color maps can be used offline. And because it offers a range of tools that can be used independent of your smartphone, including an altimeter, barometer, thermometer and compass, it frees up users to fully enjoy their adventures. Other features include a Location Memory app, which enables you to customize maps with markers and text so you can revisit otherwise unmarked spots, such as a great viewpoint or fishing spot.

Be Prepared

It’s hard to be at one with nature when nature itself is making you miserable. So be prepared for all kinds of weather and climate conditions. If you are camping, patch or replace tents that are worn or torn and bring a tarp for extra protection. Check the weather report for temperature, precipitation and other factors and pack the proper clothing and sleeping bag accordingly. Make sure socks and shoes or hiking boots are in good shape so that long hikes don’t cause you any undue pain. And of course, don’t leave civilization without a first aid kit, water, sunscreen and insect repellent.

With a bit of extra preparation, you can take your outdoor adventures higher and farther than ever before.