Marathon Des Sables, the Ultimate Challenge



The mere thought of running just one marathon would be daunting for even the fittest people, but for the hardcore of the running world, completing 26 miles is no more than a stroll in the park. The biggest challenge to be faced is the intensely difficult Marathon Des Sables, which takes place annually in Morocco.

Marathon Des Sables

What is Marathon Des Sables?

It is perhaps wrong to refer to the event as a marathon as it is in fact a series of 6 marathons, or a total distance of 151 miles. The race is completed over six days. The route of the race is entirely in the Sahara desert, so runners accustomed to exercising on paved streets or a gym’s treadmill often find the terrain the hardest challenge. In addition, all competitors have to carry with them everything they need for the race, including water, change of clothing and any other supplies they require. All these factors combine to make the Marathon Des Sables something that only the hardiest and most experienced runners even contemplate.

Equipment

As everything has to be carried with the participant, most travel light and take with them the bare minimum to see them through the race. A typical kit for the Marathon Des Sables will be a sleeping bag, clothing, food, medical supplies and a rucksack to keep it all in. The choice of footwear is perhaps the most critical decision, as a poorly fitting or cheap pair of shoes will not last the distance and may cause lasting damage to the feet. Although the most appropriate choice may appear to be something like the Altberg Desert Microlite boot, it is probably better to opt for a well-made pair of running shoes. Visitors who are planning on seeing a bit of Morocco before or after the race should keep their Altberg Desert Microlite boots for then rather than carrying them with them.

Cost

Entering the Marathon Des Sables is not cheap at an average cost of £2,500. This entry fee covers the cost of the organisation of the race, medical support and transport for those unable to continue. Most participants in the race are competing for charity and there are also sponsorship deals which can lower the cost of the registration fee considerably. For the true elite runner there is the chance to win some prizes, but the prize money is generally only equal to the registration fee. People running the Marathon des Sables are doing it for the challenge rather than the potential prizes.

MarathonDesSables

Training

It goes without saying that only the fittest should even contemplate the event, and mental preparation is as important as physical preparation. Blisters and sore feet can affect even the most experienced competitors, and participants in these sorts of extreme events have to start to prepare their feet for the race at least six months in advance. There are many forums online for people interested in extreme racing, and these can be a valuable source of information and support for inexperienced runners.


Altberg Desert Microlite boots are perfect for harsh desert conditions and everyday use and are available online at Trekitt.


Citations: Images by timothy.barker.

The Pros and Cons of Skateboarding



The culture of skateboarding has been a significant part of society for years, and something absolutely everyone is aware of. If you live in a town or city, you will be especially aware of how skateboarding has changed the face of towns and cities. Unfortunately, there tends to be a bit of prejudice against skateboarders – they’re often viewed as ‘up to no good’ and associated with drugs, violence and mugging. In contrast, skaters are actually far less likely to be in trouble, because skateboarding is a huge passion and motivator for them.

Skateboard

Enthusiasm for Skateboarding

Skating really is a great thing for young people to get involved with. Many youngsters love the Xbox or Playstation, but computer games are so engaging that you can easily end up spending an entire day playing that and doing nothing else. Breaking it up with skating gets you out into the open air and moving about. That in itself can help you feel much happier and fulfilled as a person, and keeps you really fit.

Skating is such a deep passion for people, and with regular practise, you can learn some really amazing tricks. Get to know everyone else in the skating scene in your local area, and you’ll be well connected to be the very best you can be. Find out about other great places to skate, and this will open up a huge world of potential.

Skate Parks

Skate parks are a central feature to many city centers and parks, and a brilliant hub for young people to get together. Find out about your nearest ones and try them out, to find what works best for you and your style. Councils are really keen to talk to the people that actually use the parks, so they can improve current ones and build new ones that you’re really going to love and want to keep coming back to.

Issues with Skateboarding

Problems begin to form when kids start taking skateboarding outside of the park, and skate around the streets and shopping centers. There simply isn’t enough room out and about anymore to skate freely without engangering others, and elderly people are particularly fed up with young people knocking into them. Skaters needs to think about their actions, and perhaps think twice before skating into a busier area – remember that people are quick to judge and you will be doing no service for the skateboarding scene if you’re causing agro to other people.

The assumption by many that skateboarders are somehow automatically criminals is completely unfounded, but nevertheless, that assumption still stands due to a small minority making a bad name for the scene. Skaters should continue to do what they love, and strive to improve relations between themselves and non skaters; it’s an awesome part of our culture and something to be embraced by everyone.


The Alternative Store are retailers of alternative and skateboarding fashion such as Crooks and Castles clothing.


Citations: Image by RHiNO NEAL

What are Your Chances of Dying Doing Your Favourite Activity?



We all know that the majority of us are taken from this mortal coil due to pestilence, disease and various other nasties nature has to offer. But how many of us die before our time doing the activities we love most?

More Adventure, More Danger

As you would expect the more adventurous the pass time, the more danger and risk of death is involved. We flirting with the fringes of death for that ultimate adrenalines buzz, going home at the end of the day on a massive high knowing with skill and a little luck you have cheated death once again. Although the numbers might just be stacking up against you, maybe something to bear in mind the next time you go out to throw yourself off the highest thing you can find.
Don’t think those of you living a safe life style are shielded from the figures, sat in the comfort of your own home playing your favourite computer or board game carries a small degree of possible death, even if it is 1 in 100 million.

Chances of Dying


Source: Best Health Degrees

Top Five Most Extreme and Off-The-Wall Sports



Adrenaline junkies around the world are always on the hunt for new and more extreme ways to feed their thrill habit. Today’s hottest extreme sports span everything from zorbing to volcano surfing and are not for the faint of heart. But what exactly is zorbing and how does one surf down a volcano? To find out the answers to these questions, keep reading. Here are the top five extreme sports and pasttimes currently being practiced.

Volcano Surfing

Surfing, that activity first made popular in 1950’s California, has graduated from the waves to the sides of live volcanoes. Volcano boarders balance precariously on wooden planks and surf down the side of the Cerro Negro mountain, an active volcano in Nicaragua. While the activity itself resembles snowboarding, the surfers must take a number of precautions to protect themselves from the rock hard mountain. Protective gear includes helmets and knee pads as well as a specially designed jumpsuit.

Cliff Diving

Cliff Diving

This is a perennial favorite among extreme sportsmen. After all, there are few activities as purely extreme as flinging yourself off a cliff and hoping for the best. Expert cliff jumpers have the skills of Olympic divers, performing elaborate flips, turns and choreographed displays in mid air. While a number of regulations have been put in place limiting cliff heights, dive speeds and the amount of freefall time, there is no doubt that this sport is ideal for those who hunger for adrenaline.

Zorbing

Zorbing is one of the newest extreme sports to hit the scene, but it is hitting in a big way. Those who practice zorbing strap themselves into the center of a giant plastic ball. This ball is suspended within a larger ball, which forms the outer zorbing structure. Once the rider is strapped in, the ball is pushed from the top of a steep hill, rolling at great speed until it reaches level ground. Many extreme athletes consider zorbing the perfect sport because the protective coating of the ball makes it relatively safe, while the high speeds achieved churn up plenty of adrenaline.

Zorbing

Downhill Ice Skating

Unlike zorbing, the activity practiced by downhill ice skaters is obvious from the name of the sport. Participants strap skates to their feet and race down steep, icy tracks. In many cases, the tracks are laden with additional obstacles such as jumps and sharp turns.

Underwater Hockey

As it sounds, this sport is, literally, hockey played underwater. Competitors dressed in snorkeling gear use shortened, hand-held sticks to slap the puck around the bottom of a swimming pool. Most players find that the biggest challenge is getting up for air, as their snorkeling gear does not include an air tank.
So now you know what zorbing is, along with a number of other sports. Whether you decide to strap yourself into a ball, a volcano-proof jumpsuit or a set of snorkeling gear, there is no lack of methods for gaining that coveted adrenaline rush. From surfing, to diving, to zorbing, the world is an exciting place indeed.


Guest post by Zorbing South Ltd – pioneers of zorbing in the UK. For more information on zorbing, please visit the Zorbing South Ltd website.


Citations: Images by iragazzidiredbull; misterbisson

The Basics of BASE Jumping



A relatively new addition to the circle of extreme air sports, BASE jumping is indeed extreme; the name is well earned, as statistics show that BASE jumping is the most fatal extreme sport of all, with one in sixty participants dying. These are extremely undesirable odds for most, but they have served to be a perfect fit for those people who truly seek to take the greatest risks possible. So, then, what exactly is BASE jumping?

Base Jumping

Origins

The type of BASE jumping that individuals engage in today was developed originally in 1978 by one Carl Boenish. Boenish was convinced that the sky diving equipment utilized at that time could be used to successfully complete a similarly executed jump off of El Capitan, a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park that extends approximately three thousand feet from base to summit. After conducting an adequate amount of reconnaissance, Boenish filmed four people jumping from the top; they all landed safely. It was from this initial excursion that the BASE acronym was developed.

Meaning

B – Buildings – Due to legal constraints, most BASE jumpers looking to jump from a building choose skyscrapers that are still under construction.

A – Antennas – Often preferred over regular buildings, antenna towers are easier to climb and can be found in more remote areas.

S – Spans – Bridges; these are a more difficult jumping challenge, as they must span over large and deep canyons or gorges in order to be suitable.

E – Earth – As can be deduced from the name, this letter constitutes jumps from large natural formations.

Legality

The world of BASE jumping is often shrouded in ambiguity due to the questionable integrity of the activity’s legality. In most places, jumping from buildings, towers, bridges, and natural monuments is illegal. This is not due, however, to the fact that BASE jumping is illegal in and of itself; it is not, in fact. What constitutes the illegality is that, more often than not, owners of desirable BASE jump sites are reluctant to allow such dangerous acts to be committed on their property.  This, by extension, essentially necessitates trespassing in order to complete the desired jump. If caught, there can be legal and or pecuniary ramifications.Legality

In the United States, for example, BASE jumpers can face fines numbered in the thousands of dollars for BASE jumping in a national park. Due to the illegality of BASE jumping, such excursions are often committed covertly. This is why antenna towers in remote locations are often among the most desirable places to attempt a BASE jump; there are far fewer people around and security tends to be more lax. Exceptions do exist, such as the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho, where BASE jumping is permitted year round. There is even a holiday that involves a BASE jumping locale. The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia has a holiday rightfully entitled Bridge Day, where BASE jumping is legal for the day, and a festival is held in honor of the event.


Laura Ginn writes for Extreme Sports X, an extreme sports magazine that covers a wide range of sports including BASE jumping.

Home Survival Kit Guide



Even in the comfort of your own home dangerous things can happen sometimes resulting in death. There are tens of thousands deaths every single year attributed to accidental deaths at home and in leisure time. The numbers that are involved are extremely high, and many people are constantly losing their lives simply because they are not prepared and do not have a good home survival kit. A home survival kit basically has a variety of first aid equipment inside that can help prevent the cause of death during dangerous emergencies. Getting a good quality kit can ensure that you and your family will be safe no matter what crises happen in your home or outdoors.

What Kind Of Kits Are Available?

First Aid KitThere are many different kits that you will find to be available. Usually people who are just at home will purchase the ordinary survival kit that includes band aids, burn wraps, antibiotic ointment, and a variety of different tools needed for basic injury treatment. These home survival kits are small and easily stored close at hand for any emergency situations that may arise. Many people who plan on going outdoors will get the more advanced outdoor kits that are available. Along with a first aid kit these will usually have basic survival equipment such as food rations, water purification tablets, flashlight, fire starting kit, and various other important survival gear. Usually these kits are bought online or in a store and will already have the main items inside, so there is no need to worry about not getting the important essentials for any adventurous day out. Whichever survival kit you decide to buy most readymade kits have the right stuff inside to suit your needs.

The Importance of a Home Survival Kit

The most important reason why a survival kit is needed is simply because injuries are so common place in the home and leisure environment. You can get hurt at any time of the day, you can get hurt and nobody will be there to help you apart from the content of your home survival kit. These kits are filled with everything that you need for surviving during some of the most dangerous events of our lives. Investing in a good survival kit can prevent you from lasting injury or in the worst situation prevent death.

What to Look for in a Kit

Whether it is for your home or for your next outdoor trip, making sure that it fits into your budget range is the first thing to look out for. But also make sure it contains all the first aid equipment and survival supplies you may need. Size and portability is also important so ensuring that it is easy to store at home or lug around if you’re out and about is also a factor to consider. It’s definitely not a bad idea to buy a big kit and place it somewhere in your kitchen or bedroom, so if it is hard to maneuver around the house then make sure that you place it in a practical and easy to get to place.

A home survival kit is very important item to have in your home. Many people are able to achieve a majority of success at saving their appendages or lives, simply because they had the right tools for the job at the correct moment in time. These kits are usually very affordable and are not difficult to buy, and they can easily be bought online. Make sure to always look out for the quality of the kit contents, the quality of the items inside is very important. If the items inside are not that effective and of low quality, then it could be harder to save your life and the life of others due to malfunction.


Written by Damian part of the marketing team for Australian survival supplies a vital supplier for any type of emergency.

The Top 5 Different and Downright Dangerous Delicacies



For the seasoned-traveler, foreign delicacies are part of the experience. Tourists can become accustomed to tasting a wide variety of unusual foods, but there are still some dishes that could catch out even those with the most cast-iron stomachs – sometimes with fatal consequences.
Here is a top five list of potentially dangerous delicacies to savor:

Snake Wine

snake wineThis Southeast Asian alcoholic beverage is considered by many to be too risky to even open the bottle. The sight of the bottle would be enough for many and resembles the specimens in jars kept in biology labs. It’s a confronting sight – a snake (the more venomous the better) steeped in a rice wine jar. Known for its curative properties, the drink, which is consumed in shots, is a supposed cure for everything from impotence to baldness. However, fresh is not best. What hardly any traveler to Southeast Asia knows is the snake is inserted into the jar live. The bottle is sealed by a special porous cork that means the snake dies stewing in its own juices. Unlucky tourists whose snake wine hasn’t brewed long enough can be attacked by the snake as soon as they open the bottle. For very few, this has spelled death.

Fugu Sashimi

Many tourists like dicing with death. This is why they pack Japanese restaurants to enjoy Fugu sashimi – the so-called filet of Diodon. This is a very poisonous fish, lethal in fact, but is considered a delicacy if it is prepared regarding the rules. The poison Tetrodotoxin is contained in the fish can lead to an agonizing death causing paralysis, asphyxiation and death – all while the victim is fully-conscious. But the dish won’t lead you to your final destination unless the head chef made a mistake cooking the fish. Unfortunately, some do, more than 400 people die annually from eating Fugu sashimi.

Fugu Sashimi

Salad of Caterpillars

This is a kind of Vietnamese delicacy and a very pricey experience. The salad is prepared of different vegetables and is decorated with true caterpillar. As soon as you are served this rare dish, the caterpillar starts eating your salad…doing so with unbelievable speed. Hardly any tourist can beat it and, after all, it is very offensive when you pay and others eat your salad. But apparently the true delicacy is left after everything is eaten…yes…the caterpillar’s excrement is regarded as one of the best delicacies in Vietnam.

Trepanation of a Monkey’s Skull

You don’t need a medical certification to feel like a neurosurgeon in India and many other parts of Asia. One of the tastiest delicacies there is considered to be monkey’s brain. Usually, the monkey is served with already open skull. Hence, many tourists regard it as dead, but it is believed the brain must be scooped from the skull before the monkey dies. According to tradition, the monkey is only half-dead, so twitching nerve endings as the monkey dies can startle those at the table.

Sannakji

If you enjoy a raw food diet, then pack your suitcases for Korea. Soon after arrival you should pay a visit to one of local restaurants and enjoy Sannakji or a raw octopus. The dish is usually served with salads and oil to make it taste better. However, the octopus’ suction cups are still active when the dish is served, you should take precautions to avoid the octopus striking back. More than six people annually fall victims to octopus’s tentacles after the active suction cups cause it to stick in their mouth or throat and they choke. You can make this experience totally safe if you cut your octopus into small pieces before you start eating it.

Sannakji


By Olga Leleka, who is part of a team of writers at hotel reservation website www.booked.net. The website includes a comprehensive listing of hotels worldwide including the home of the above dishes Asia.


Citations: Images by William Nicholasnotsogoodphotographytsudammmyoso

Survival Skills – Why We All Need Them


Survival of the Fittest

Hands up anyone who has ever watched Bear Grylls or Ray Mears making fires, constructing shelters or catching rabbits and wished they could do the same things. These sorts of survival programmes on TV are extremely popular, and now everyone has the chance to take the next step and learn some real life survival skills with the experts.

Wilderness?

Although Bear and the likes go on their adventures in exotic locations such as the Sahara desert or South Pacific islands, most survival courses taken by UK residents run in less exotic locations such as the Scottish Highlands or Welsh mountains. These locations are no less challenging though, and offer a superb environment in which to learn basic techniques such as building a waterproof shelter and foraging for food to live on.

Camp Fire - Winslow Homer

Back to Basics

Survival courses vary in terms of “toughness”. Some of the most extreme courses will see participants taken into the wilderness with their instructor’s expertise and nothing more than a Swiss Army knife to see them through the weekend. Other courses allow the use of specialist equipment such as hydration packs, which guarantee a supply of safe drinking water. Although using hydration packs may be seen as cheating by some, it allows the experts more time to concentrate on skills other than finding water and making it safe to drink. Courses where participants use hydration packs may focus in greater depth on how to identify which mushrooms are safe to eat, or how to set traps for animals.

Is it All About Getting Wet, Dirty and Cold?

In part, yes. The UK climate means it’s almost impossible to guarantee that any survival weekend will be blessed with warm and sunny weather so some degree of rain and wind is inevitable. Going properly equipped with waterproofs and warm clothing will keep participants warm and dry, as will learning where and how to make an effective shelter. Likewise, getting dirty isn’t always essential, and washing is possible in streams or even in the sea, depending on the time of year.

The Food Issue

Many of the TV survival programmes focus on the presenter eating an array of disgusting foods such as snakes or bugs, and drinking even weirder liquids. In the UK though we are lucky to have a range of wild foods such as fish, rabbit, berries and mushrooms growing all over the country, and it’s relatively easy to make a nutritious and tasty meal out of foraged food. Learning to make a fire is often the hardest part of the whole process, but the instructor is there to guide course participants in the use of flints to make their fire to cook over. Cheating and taking bars of chocolate is frowned upon, but may be what is required to get people through a wet and windy afternoon on a bleak Scottish moor.

Transferrable Skills

Although you won’t often be called on to start a fire without matches in your daily life, skills learned on a survival course can boost confidence and allow you to experience something away from the daily grind. Other skills such as map reading and navigation are far easier to translate into a more suburban existence.


Trekitt offer a large range of outdoor clothing and accessories for climbers, hikers and ski enthusiasts including a good selection of hydration packs

Get Paid to Be a Daredevil



If you’ve always been a bit of a daredevil and wonder how you can make a living feeding that need, you might not have to look that far. There are plenty of careers – some surprising – that can help you be the professional adventurer you’ve always dreamed of being.

Theme Parks

That’s right, theme parks. Based on your education and experience you could possibly work with various forms of wildlife at theme parks such as SeaWorld (located in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Florida). SeaWorld is home to a huge variety of birds and aquatic life, including sharks, rays, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, otters and whales. Within each specialty, the parks then have sub specialties you may be eligible to apply for.

If the animals are a no-go but you’ve a need for speed then how about roller coasters? From designers to builders to repair mechanics, the perks of getting to ride such beauties every day can’t help but make a daredevil’s heart sing.

Sky Diving and Hang Gliding

Tandem Sky Dive

If you love sailing through the sky why not consider working at a Drop Zone specializing in sky diving or hang gliding? Even if you aren’t qualified to be an instructor you could work in the gift shop or maybe manage marketing and tours and hopefully get free or discounted flight benefits. And if you show promise, some companies might even assist you to become certified as an instructor! Depending on skill level and personal wishes customers might jump solo or fly tandem with an instructor.

Tour Guide

No matter where you live, if tourism is any part of the economy then guides of all stripes will most likely be needed. Love thoughts of all things otherworldly? Why not conduct ghost tours? Are you a major history buff of a certain era or famous figure? Then consider bring it all back to life for visitors from across the globe. If you love the subject matter every tour will have something new to offer. Sure, you’ll learn a script of sorts but there are few things more rewarding than learning all you can about a subject and then being paid to share your knowledge?

Not really into traditional history but love Rock and Roll? How about aligning yourself with the likes of Hard Rock or with one of the various music museums so many towns have to offer? No matter what type of historical significance or genre, signing up to be a tour guide can be a fun gig to land.

Window Washing

Okay so maybe this one sounds a little less than glamorous but if you want a daily adrenalin rush try hanging outside a 12 story building like Spider Man. Folks with Acrophobia need not apply because this particular job requires a major acceptance of hanging up high, often with your feet hanging free. Not high enough? How about becoming a window washer for a sky scraper? This line of work is obviously not without risk so a clear head and proper training and equipment is needed to perform such a thing safely. But because of such potential for injury the pay can be quite lucrative.

So how do you get your thrills? If you’ve always been a hobbyist why not finding a way to turn your love of adventure into a career?


Written by Erin Nolan. Injured during your adventure? Get help: www.accidentclaims.org


Citations: Image by Flawedartist

Adventurous Holiday Ideas



People who have a strong sense of adventure are really spoilt for choice these days, as there are numerous adventurous activity packages to choose from. These can be found in some of the most stunning parts of the world and can either be enjoyed independently or as part of a group trip. Here are just a few of the most exciting adventure breaks to choose from.

4×4 in Australia

Embarking on a four wheel drive adventure tour of the Australian Outback is the perfect way to let off a little steam while exploring this enchanting part of the world. Four wheel drive tours are offered in a number of different regions of the Australian Outback, such as the Simpson Desert. This large desert can be found in Southern Australia and is home to the Simpson Desert Conservation Park is well as a wide range of other interesting attractions.
4x4
Cape York can be found on the east coast of Australia and is another exciting place to explore with a four wheel drive vehicle. Several special tracks lead motorists along the Gulf of Carpentaria, offering visitors the change to see native kookaburras and other native Australian animals.

Trekking Adventures

TrekkingEcuador is among the most enchanting places in South American for adventurous travellers to explore. The Galapagos Islands is just waiting to be explored with an organised tour. People that like hiking and trekking will also be able to choose from a range of other adventure trips in Ecuador. Exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest is an unforgettable experience, while people who have a head for heights can climb to the top of lofty volcanos to soak up the stunning panoramic views that can be enjoyed from the top.

Trekking through the vast jungles that are located in the northern region of Thailand is the perfect way to get to know the area while having fun at the same time. Local tour guides lead visitors on specially created routes to visit the traditional hill tribe villages that can be found in this part of the world. Adventure seekers will have plenty of chances to bond with the other travellers as they make their way carefully along high rocky ledges and step across rope bridges.

White Water Rafting

Travellers who want to get their adrenaline pumping should take an exciting white water rafting trip. Careering along rivers that are surrounding by stunning scenery is sure to be an unforgettable experience. There are numerous places to try this type of experience, and some of the best and most popular include the rivers of Laos, Malaysia, Nepal and Indonesia.


Guest post provided by Imagine Cruising, see the world and have yourself an adventure on one of our many cruise deals.


Citations: Images by Allshots Imagingjosh.ev9