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Hiking Poles: Are They Worth the Expense?

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During a weekend hiking trip in college, an old man I met on a trail near Carter Caves, Kentucky gave me my first hiking staff, a length of branch he had carved by hand. It is beautiful and currently leans by our fireplace. But I have never used it.

Hiking canes, sticks, poles (whatever you call them) have always seemed awkward and unnecessary to me. Lately, however, after reading about the numerous benefits of hiking poles, I’ve begun to think they’re not such a bad idea after all, especially for people who hike a lot.

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Easy Tips for a Hassle-Free Family Lake Vacation

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Planning a family lake vacation soon? Apart from wanting to find a lake, you might also want to know about simple but helpful tips that will make that particular outing less stressful. These are simple yet practical pieces of advice that will make things easier not just for the outing planner (which is you) but also for the rest of your party. After all, occasions like these ought to be remembered for the fun times had by everyone and not as a way of recalling mishaps and disasters that could have been avoided.

When you find a lake for your family lake vacation, do check out the surrounding areas and make sure the following are present: garbage cans, park benches and emergency toilets. These are fairly common among many lakeside areas across the nation, but make sure that this is one of the first few things you scope out as soon as you find a lake. This will make bathroom emergencies last shorter and setting up that delicious spread easier, for it will lessen the load you have to carry in the car just so everyone can eat. If you must bring additional surfaces, try to get ones that are foldable for easy storage and set up.

Before you even find a lake for the family lake vacation you have been planning, do make sure that you have an emergency "anything goes" kit containing any or all of the following: band aids, mosquito repellent, allergy medication, an assortment of medicines for any general condition, baby wipes, cotton balls and gauze, cleaning solutions, among others. Any emergencies and mishaps can be easily fixed, and your toddler with the scraped knee can still join in some of the fun after being bandaged up. Antihistamines are also great for those who have food or environment allergies, so stock up on it, too.

There should also be a "family lake vacation fun kit" in your car consisting of lightweight and easy to set up sporting goods equipment (badminton or volleyball, for example), some playing cards, crossword puzzles, a transistor radio, visors, Frisbee and the like. This fun kit will be well-appreciated by both the active and the passive crowd for when excitement is the name of the game or when they simply want to kick back and chill in the lakeside. In terms of clothing, make sure the kids wear comfy and easy clothing that will go easy in the dryer should they be decorated with grass, food and soil stains during the outing.

When you plan something as fun as this, make sure you leave the gadgets at home to encourage friends and family to interact and have fun with one another and not simply roam around on their own. After all, the reason for the vacation is to bond with one another and become a lot closer. A family lake vacation is indeed a lot more fun and hassle-free when you keep these suggestions in mind as you find a lake perfect for such an occasion.

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