Start Hiking Today

Talk about fresh air and great scenery while getting some exercise.

Whether you are looking to clear your head, reduce stress, lose weight, or just have some fun, hiking, trekking or bushwalking may be the sport for you.

Hiking is a recreational activity that is great for your general well-being. It is economical and convenient since it doesn’t require any special equipment.  There are no rules, and as long as you are healthy and can walk, you can hike.

There is no age limit when it comes to hiking. This is an activity that can be enjoyed by toddlers and the elderly. You can hike almost anywhere provided; it’s not a prohibited area.

Brief Hiking Stats

Hiking is probably the oldest outdoor activity, it started about half a million years ago during the Stone Age when man learned how to stand upright and walk. Back then, people hiked out of necessity to hunt and gather food. The oldest hiking milestone was in 1874 when Gardiner, Grove, Knubel, Sottajev, and Walker conquered the summit of Elbrus the highest mountain in Europe. One of the most recent was when Karel Sabbe smashed the Appalachian Trail record by four days. Some of the finest hiking trails in the world include;

·      Appalachian Trail in the United States

·      Pennine Way in the United Kingdom

·      Balkans, Montenegro and Albania

·      Tahoe Rim trail in the United States

·      Camino de Santiago trail in Spain

Hiking as a Social Activity

Though some people prefer to hike by themselves, hiking can be more fun in a group. This can be your family, friends, workmates, or even a hike with your partner for some special bonding. This is a recreational activity that can improve your social skills and bonds as well as help you make new friends.

Hiking for Health

Hiking is an excellent sport for people who want to exercise and can’t afford gym membership. It is also great for those who are living a sedentary lifestyle, and want to begin working out.  The elderly can also hike comfortably, especially if they can’t engage in vigorous exercise. Hiking not only gives you a good workout, but also allows you to interact with nature, therefore, refreshing your body, mind, and soul.

Hiking Events

If you wish to hike competitively, you can enroll for the Hiking World Championships. You can also join an organization that encourages hiking for a cause. For instance, The Wilderness Society that routes for the preservation of rights of way in parkland, foot, and bridle paths. It also protects recognized natural spaces from encroachment.

To start hiking, you only need the best hiking shoes. All you need is to invest some time.

Nock. Draw. Loose. The Sport of Archery

Once a method of hunting prey for food, the bow and arrow date back to Paleolithic times.

With the onset of firearms in the 17th and 18th centuries, archery became outdated. Revived for sporting activities, archery is once again finding its place in hunting, as well.

Archery Through the Ages

Some of the earliest arrowheads found, coupled with ancient pictographs, reveal the invention of the bow and arrow to have come in Africa some 65,000 – 71,000 years ago. As man began to migrate and explore new territory, there is no evidence they took their weapons with them until some 40,000 years later when traveling to Asia, India, Australia, and Europe.

Arrow shafts have been found in Europe dating back some 12,000 years ago, while fragments of a bow dating from 11,000 years ago were found in an archaeological site in northern Germany. Other accounts show bows being found in a Denmark site dating back possibly further, somewhere between 20,000-9,500 BC. In North America, it is believed that Native Americans began using the bow and arrow around 500 AD for hunting, with it later also evolving into a weapon of war.

Archery as Sport

The sport of archery became popular in Egypt during the 18th dynasty period, between 1567 – 1320 BC. Records reveal early archery tournaments in China during the Chou dynasty from 1027 to 256 BC.

In more modern times, archery began its history in the Olympic Games in 1900. While performed through the early 20th century, it saw an absence of more than 50 years following 1920 until 1972. Today’s Olympics offer competition for men and women as individuals and teams. Individual Gold Medalists from the US include John Williams in 1972, Darrell Pace in 1976 and 1984, Jay Barrs in 1980, and Justin Huish in 1996. The last men’s team to earn Gold was in 1996.

Two US women have struck Gold in the sport of archery, too, Doreen Wilbur in 1972 and Luann Ryon in 1976. No US women’s team has earned Gold since the sport’s resurgence, although the 1988 team did take the Bronze.

Today’s Bow and Arrow

Beyond the competition of shooting at a standard target, in the US, archery is seeing a comeback as a method for hunting. Each state has its own specific rules for hunting with a bow and arrow, and the season may vary from the regular hunting season.

Today, the sport of archery is taught throughout the country, through local 4-H clubs, some schools, and various other sporting clubs. Private archery lessons are available most anywhere. Local competitions are abundant and archery is a part of the Shooting Sports competition through National 4-H.

If you have an interest in archery, check with your local chamber of commerce or your city’s department of parks and recreation to see what may be available in your area.

Become a Member of a Live Studio Audience

If you are wanting to see a television show taping in person, there are only two places in the country to do it – Los Angeles and New York.

While many shows in the past used to not only allow, but sought out live audiences, those times are dwindling. Today, only talk shows, game shows, talent shows, and a few reality shows have them.

A Short History of the Studio Audience

Studio audiences date back to pre-television during the days of radio. Why the studio audience? They wanted the live response to the stories being told and the interaction between hosts and guests. The most common and appreciated reactions were laughing and cheering, but gasps and sighs were also welcome.

With the onset of television, the studio audience remained. I Love Lucy was the first TV show to be filmed in front of a live audience. At the time, director Desi Arnaz in coordination with cinematographer Karl Freund worked out a way to shoot comedy using multiple cameras to capture different angles of the performance. This allowed for audience reaction and for the actors to feed off their audience much like in the theatre. The concept continues today in the few sitcoms that still utilize a live audience.

Today’s Shows That Continue With a Live Audience

In New York, various talk shows have studio audiences including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The View, Good Morning America, Today, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The most-prized live audience show is Saturday Night Live. Early morning shows are much easier to get tickets for than the tapings of nighttime shows. Visit the website of the broadcast network to find out how to obtain tickets, which are generally free.

In LA, there is a bit more opportunity for studio audience tickets. Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Conan, and The Ellen Show are all taped in various studios from Burbank to Studio City to Culver City. So are game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and audience participation shows such as The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. Again, you should visit the network’s website to learn how to obtain tickets.

It is more difficult to get tickets for Dancing with the Stars, or The Voice, and yet harder still Big Brother eviction shows, and finales of Survivor. But if you have an interest, you should always try.

A Few Things to Consider

Tapings of any show can be lengthy. Game shows often tape more than one show at a time. Possible audience members should wear comfortable shoes, have eaten ahead of time, and made use of the bathroom facilities. Recording devices of any kind are not allowed and would be safest left at home. In an audience that may be seen on-air, well-dressed people generally get the best seats. Because of the hot, bright lights for filming, most studios are quite cold, so you may want to bring a sweater or jacket no matter the weather outside.

Being part of a studio audience is an opportunity that shouldn’t be forgone when afforded. What now is an unusual experience is becoming less and less available. Be sure to explore the possibilities before you travel to LA or New York.

Movie Making 101

The first films date back to the 1800s and were often just a few seconds to a few minutes long.

With so many inventors and creatives making moving pictures, it is hard to nail down the official first movie ever made but some say it was The Horse In Motion created in 1878 by Eadweard Muybridge.

Movie making has come a long way since then, and with film equipment now more accessible to a wider base, creating movies is easier than ever. These days, anyone can make a movie, but it does take some skill and creativity to make it a good one. 

The Idea

Every creative endeavor begins with a simple idea. A good place to start is with what you already have available. You could film in your home, your place of work (with permission, of course), or out and about in a city. Even if you just want a simple vacation video, a little forethought can go a long way to making it even better. 

If you are ready for an added challenge, try your hand at a scripted film. Sound is often the most difficult aspect of creating a movie for newbies, so a silent film might be the easiest way to go. 

The Filming

Here are three simple rules that will give you an overview of some of the basic principles of filming.

1. Keep it steady.

A tri-pod or steadicam are going to be your best options for keeping your camera steady during filming. If you aren’t able to acquire either of these, do your best to keep your hands steady and your feet planted. Avoid any sudden movements.

2. Mind the light.

Much like with photography, lighting is essential for film. Open shade or an overcast day often creates the easiest light to work with for beginners, whereas evenings and direct sunlight pose challenges, but can be used to great effect in the right hands.

3. Overcompensate.

It’s better to have too much footage than too little, so film longer than you think you need to. Transitions between clips often require a bit of extra time at the beginning and end of a shot so keep it rolling, you can always trim the clips later.

The Editing

If you’re just starting out, your computer’s built-in editing program may be the easiest way to go for editing your film. If you are looking for a little upgrade, there are some inexpensive and even free software options. DaVinci Resolve and HitFilm Express are just two examples of free programs that offer a lot more options than iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, and can really make your movie pop!

If you have a little competitive streak or just want to show your film to a wider audience, you can enter your film into a competition or festival. There are even festivals for movies created exclusively with mobile phones, so get out there and start filming!