5 Top Active Family Holidays

Top Active Family Holidays Elephants Safari Africa


Active Family Holidays – For most people, family vacations are a great way to get away from the hassles of everyday life and get enriched with new cultures and experiences.

When it comes to family holidays, there are a lot of destinations for any family with kids to enjoy.

If you are planning a family getaway, here is a guide to some the top active family holidays to keep in mind.

Top Active Family Holidays Elephants Safari Africa
Top Active Family Holidays Elephants Safari Africa

Safaris in South Africa

Over the years, South Africa has become the iconic destination for safaris, attracting thousands of visitors annually.

South African safaris offer great opportunities to see the verdant countryside and the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.

Those who dream of self-driving safari may enjoy a trip to the Kruger National Park.

The Kruger is Africa’s largest safari destination and is set up to make self-drive safaris easy and affordable than any other park in Africa.

Extending over 20, 000 squares Km, this destination has the renowned big five including the white rhino.

Also available are day and night drive safaris by qualified rangers.

Inside the Kruger Park sits the Skukuza Airport.

Adjourning this great park are private reserves like the Phinda rank and Sabi sand.

The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is another luxurious safari destination.

This reserve borders the Kruger Park and is best suited for safari newbies.

This is because it offers an all-inclusive guided safari and a spectacular view of the big five.

If you are travelling with your family then a Pilanesberg national park safari would be a great choice.

It is a malaria-free wildlife destination that lies within the regions and has all the attractions that would make your safari remarkable.

Alternative Adventures for an Eco-Warrior

Top Active Family Holidays Kayaking in Croatia
Top Active Family Holidays Kayaking in Croatia

Kayaking in Croatia

Croatia is the ideal destination for everyone keen to experience sea kayaking adventure.

With over a thousand islands, Croatia offers excellent opportunities to paddle on the Adriatic Sea as you enjoy the warm and gentle tides.

If you are planning for a kayaking holiday in Croatia, here are some destinations that you would love to visit.

Zrmanja and Krupa rivers

The Zrmanja and Krupa rivers are located in the terrain of Central Croatia.

These rivers offer the perfect location to kayak and enjoy the beautiful scenery for those who desire to learn about river kayaking.

While sailing around the Krupa River, you will get to adventure the 17 cascades.

Elaphite Islands

The Elephite Island is best suited for first-time kayakers because of the warm and calm sea.

In this island, you won’t come across cars, only kayaks that are used to navigate this beautiful region.


The Karlovac is a great kayaking destination to visit as it sits within four rivers including: Dobra, Korana, Kupa, Mreznica rivers.

This is the perfect trip to explore the beautiful lakes, rivers and waterfalls and get your adrenaline high.


The Vis is the outermost island in Croatia and is famous for kayaking because of its natural beauty and warm climate.

Before it became a top kayaking destination, the island was a Yugoslavian military base.

Plan a trip to the Vis Island to explore it’s unspoilt nature.

Kolocep Island

The Kolocep is a stunning island that offers a calm and relaxing atmosphere for kayaking.

With many sandy beaches, cliffs, reefs and the Kolocep blue cave, this island is ideal for kayaking for families with children.

Mountain Biking in Morocco

Another active holiday that you can plan with your family is mountain biking in Morocco.

Bike adventures in Morocco are common and are a great way to traverse through the famous High Atlas Mountains and South Morocco.

Morocco has been home to numerous mountain bikers from all over the world because of its diverse landscape, rich culture, well-maintained roads and favorable weather.

Morocco is also famous for its mountain footpaths and dirt tracks which give bikers the opportunity to explore the very best of what it has to offer.

Basically, a mountain bike tour in Morocco involves riding through the rugged Atlas mountain and passing through Berber trade paths that are centuries old.

Depending on your requirements, you can enjoy different types of bike rides such as mountain bike trails, cross country bike, fat bike and free-ride bike.

Besides, if you don’t have your own bike, there is the option for renting decent and high-quality bikes.
Active Family Holidays

Skiing in Andorra

If you are planning for a family-friendly ski holiday, Andorra should be your next destination.

Being one of the smallest countries in the world, Andorra is located right between Pyrenees Mountain between Spain and France.

Although it attracts groups of visitors annually, it is the best skiing destination for those who prefer less-crowded places.

Andorra experiences great snow conditions, with Soldeu and lofty Pas de la Casa having the most guaranteed snow.

Also in Andorra, you will be surrounded by mountains with the highest being Coma Pedrosa.

Apart from skiing, there is also a range of activities that you can do with your family and friends in Andorra.

For instance, you could take a snowmobile ride through forests in Grau Roig and Soldeu.

Another reason why skiing in Andorra should be on your list of family trips is because of its affordable price.

Compared to other ski areas, Andorra has affordable packaging prices.  

Additionally, there are numerous ski resorts and facilities; you just need to find the right one for you and your family.

In fact, the ski resorts in Andorra are the best in Europe for those who want to learn to ski.

kids in London will Love the London Transport Museum
Toddler in London will Love the London Transport Museum

Sightseeing in London

From the historic Tower of London to the popular Buckingham Palace tour, London is loaded with attractions that are perfect for family breaks.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to explore these attractions.

For instance, you can take a walking tour, sit on the top-deck of a bus tour or see London from along river Thames.

If you are on a tight budget and still want to navigate Central London, a self-guided walking tour is the way to go.

Take the chance to explore London through the seven different walks like the Capital Ring, 78-mile route and the Jubilee Walkway.

A walking tour is not only affordable but it also gives you the opportunity to see London at your own pace.

There are plenty of places to choose from to eat, whether you’re looking for restaurants by the London Eye, in Camden or Covent Garden, so you should find something to fit all tastes.

Iconic spots that can be accessed by foot include the Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Sky Garden, The Monument, Shakespeare’s The Globe Theatre, Borough Market, Millennium Bridge and many more.

Top 6 Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers

Plan for Your Hike to Everest Base Camp


Holiday Destinations for Hikers – If you’re a walker, then there are many places around the world where you can find great hiking spots.

If you planning to go on vacation this year and looking for hiking spots abroad, we’ve got a nice little list for you to check out.

Take a look at six of the best holiday destinations for hikers who want a little challenge.

Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers

Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers In Canada
Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers In Canada

Hiking Vacations in Canada

The great thing about Canada is that it’s got a lot of really beautiful mountain faces with acres of rolling forest.

If you’re into immersing yourself in the vast flora and fauna of the area during your trek, Canada is the place to go.

So where exactly are the places to go if you’re a hiker vacationing in Canada?

West Coast Trail in British Columbia and Killarney Park in Ontario are two of the most popular hiking trails in the country.

Aside from stunningly beautiful, they’re also very challenging.

Other than those two, you may also want to check out Cape Breton and Fundy Trail in New Brunswick.

These are also some great places to check out if you love epic scenery.

These are the trails that are pretty Instagram worthy because they look great on camera.

One picture, on your Canadian travels, you shouldn’t miss out on is Niagara Falls, placed right on the Canadian/US border, it’s worth taking the day to properly digest this magnificent wonder.
beautiful sunsets Annecy Lake French Alps

Hiking the French Alps, France

If you happen to be in France, don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to the French Alps.

The French Alps are one part of the Alps mountain ranges that are located in the territory of France but is connected to other places in Europe such as Italy and Switzerland.

Not only is this a great place for walking holidays but also for mountain climbing escapes.

The Alps has always been an attraction for those who want to have a full adventure with a challenge.

Aside from just trekking and mountaineering, you can also experience skiing in the Alps.

This area has some of the steepest slopes.

It’s great for athletic people who want the experience of a lifetime.

You can also visit a few towns in the area just to check out what life’s like there.

Some of the towns that you can visit include Grenoble, Annecy, Albertville, and Chambery among many others.

What You Need to Know About Traveling to New Zealand
What You Need to Know About Traveling to New Zealand

New Zealand Hikes

New Zealand became a very popular hiking destination over the past years because of its other worldly sights made famous by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

Just so you know, the Southern Alps can be found not only in France but also in New Zealand.

These alps themselves are already popular among mountaineers because of its breathtaking and challenging landscape.

Aside from mountains, New Zealand has a number of volcanoes and circuits that you can trek through.

One of the most popular ones is the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

This is the trail to go to if you want a really intense workout.

If you’re after some sightseeing instead of an adventure, then maybe you’d prefer some other beautiful routes like the Mount Aspiring National Park.

This walking route happens to be one of the best hiking trails in the entire country.

It’s renowned among many hikers all over the world.

It goes through the Aoraki National Park and eventually ends in the Fiordland National Park.

Hiking Ireland
Hiking Ireland

Hiking Ireland? NOPE! It’s not a pub crawl…

When it comes to hiking, Ireland pretty much has a slice of everything.

If you travel to Northern Ireland, you’ll find the Giants Causeway which is a 33-mile hiking trail that is sure to give your stamina a run for its money.

The interesting thing about this place is that it’s a trail wherein a volcano erupted which is why there are many basalt columns present in the area.

Just so you know, it’s actually a World Heritage Site, so you can just imagine how beautiful it is.

That’s just one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Ireland.

Other than that, you’ve got the Cronin’s Yard Loop.

This trail might not be as strenuous as the previously mentioned one, but it’s got some sights to behold.

This hiking trail is located in Carrauntoohil and has a stonewall trail that you need to follow.

It’s a great place to travel to if ever you’re into medieval scenery.

From the entry point of the stonewall trail, the path gets a little rocky and difficult to tread through.

But if you’re a hiker, you won’t really mind that.
Lake District England Hikes

Lake District, UK

When going to the Lake District, the first place that we’d naturally head to is the Scafell Pike.

We chose this hiking trail because it’s actually the highest mountain in the area.

In order to get to the Scafell Pike, you’ll have to go through the Corridor Route beginning from Styhead Tarn.

From there, you’ll get to see a lot of beautiful scenery such as mountains, lakes, valleys, and other cool things to see.

If you’re after a challenge, then you’ll want to check out the Blencathra.

In order to get to Blencathra, you need to go through the Sharp Edge which, as the name implies, has a sharp edge to climb.

Another way to reach Blencathra is through the Halls Fell Ridge.

It’s less challenging than Sharp Edge, but it’s also pretty much as beautiful.

The England has plenty of hiking spots but none quite as stunning as the Lake District.

Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers

Himalayas, India

One location you probably weren’t expecting to see is India.

The awe-inspiring Himalayas have perfect conditions for contemplative trekking tours.

Vibrant and vast, there are plenty of quiet little nooks and crannies to discover, just right to sit and meditate in between hikes.

Surrounded by scenic views of green tea plantations, there are plenty of small hotels, nestled into the mountains, that are the perfect luxurious pit stop to recuperate after a long walk.

They’re especially great for couples on an adventure honeymoon that want to add a bit of opulence to their trip.

With an excellent climate 12 months a year, the Himalayas is always an option for those hike lovers who can afford it.

If you’re after a great hiking trip during your next vacation, then make sure you keep this list beside you.

It combines hiking trails that are challenging and beautiful.

We also have some trails that are more relaxing.

Those routes allow you to fully enjoy the scenery and probably take a few pictures along the way.

Best Places to Hike

Whether you’re intent on the perfect walkers break or just looking for an unusual holiday, all you have to do is choose the destination that you think is best for your vacation.

Any hiker, mountaineer, or adventurer will have a field day with these trails.

So what are you waiting for?

Call up some of your hiking buddies, book your flights and get your hiking gear ready.

Cool Places in New York for Green Travelers

New York City


Places in New York – You’re committed to protecting our environment and our precious resources.

You’re also planning a vacation to explore New York City.

You may be wondering, how well do these two things go together?

Fortunately, very well.

For one thing, moving around New York with a minimal carbon footprint is easy.

If you’ve ever had the hair-raising experience of driving a car in New York, you know that it’s much easier to walk the busy streets than to drive them.

New York is also rich with eco-friendly experiences, such as beautiful parks and locally sourced foods.

The city has been a leader in passing laws that decrease its carbon footprint and increase sustainability.

One of New York’s most ambitious programs is the Carbon Challenge, a voluntary partnership among universities, hotels and other businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Read on for some tips to make your trip to NY as green as it can be.

New York City
New York City

Traveling Around New York City

Take a nonstop flight to get there

Every takeoff and landing creates additional carbon emissions from the airplane, so you’re doing a good thing for the planet by flying nonstop. (And you’re giving yourself an easier trip!)

Look for a green hotel

When you’re booking, find out about the hotel’s eco-friendly features, such as recycling, water-saving practices, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, green bath and cleaning products, and guest towel re-use plans.

Ask if the hotel is participating in the Carbon Challenge.

Do your part as a hotel guest

Take quick showers and re-use your towels.

When you leave your room for sightseeing, turn off lights and TV and re-set the thermostat.

Bring your reusable water bottle

If all tourists avoided disposable plastic bottles, it would make a huge difference to our environment.

You can refill at taps and fountains around town.

And in fact, NYC is known for its high-quality tap water, so filling up your reusable container is a win-win for you and the planet!

Buy local foods and products

When you buy produce and other food that’s produced locally, you’re helping to avoid the higher emissions that result when food must be trucked in from around the country or flown in from foreign areas.

You can also enjoy eating at restaurants in New York that have farm-to-table menus of delicious locally grown foods.

Places in New York to Walk and use mass transit

Any resident of New York can tell you that walking is the most efficient (and healthiest) way to get around.

A safety note: with its huge volume of vehicles and pedestrians moving in close proximity, New York is no place to be distracted by looking down at your smartphone while walking.

Be sure to stay alert and pay attention to the pedestrian crossing signs at each intersection.

And if you need to get from uptown to downtown or any other long-distance, there’s a great network of subway and bus lines to get you anywhere you need to go, more cheaply than taking a less environmentally-friendly cab.

Rent a bike

New York has a plethora of convenient bike rental services, such as Citi Bike, and bike tour companies that will guide you around the most interesting, scenic spots of the city.

Cool Places and Hidden Gems for Green Visitors to New York

Yes, New York is a bustling, crowded urban environment.

But it’s also home to many beautiful parks and sanctuaries that have been lovingly tended to preserve precious green spaces.

Here is a sampling of some New York sights to see:

Central Park

The most famous 840 green acres in the Big Apple offer a nearly endless array of nature preserves, bird watching opportunities, open-air concerts, theater performances, guided walking tours, scenic waterfalls, and much more.

You’ll find this 2.5-mile-long green oasis between the Upper East and West Sides.

Bethesda Terrace Fountain New York Central Park
Bethesda Terrace Fountain New York Central Park

Hallet Nature Sanctuary

Located in Central Park, this hidden gem is home to a variety of wildlife and native plants.

The Central Park Conservancy maintains the delicate balance of care needed for the sanctuary to thrive, and they offer guided tours that educate visitors.


Another gem is located downtown in Battery Park City.

This indoor hydroponic farm grows high-quality herbs and other ingredients for the Institute of Culinary Education.

Enjoy classes and tours of the farm, while sampling a taste of its produce.

Riverside Park

Visit this four-mile-long park on the Upper West Side to enjoy its views of the Hudson River, as well as running trails and playgrounds.

You can take a relaxing break by enjoying a meal at one of the park’s scenic cafes.

Brooklyn Grange

If you want to expand your visit beyond Manhattan, check out these amazing rooftop farms, located in Brooklyn and Queens.

The Grange is a commercial farm that smartly uses the available space on city rooftops, and sells their crops to farmer’s markets, local restaurants, and others.

You can learn a lot about the benefits of locally grown produce by attending workshops, guided tours, and farm dinners offered by Brooklyn Grange.

Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

Visit the museum, located in the East Village, for a fascinating look at the activists who turned vacant lots and abandoned areas into gardens and gathering spots.

The sustainable practices they designed became models for other urban areas.

The museum also offers tours of the beautifully transformed gardens around the Lower East Side.

The High Line

This popular park on the West Side is a wonderful example of how cities can repurpose obsolete and abandoned places.

Previously an elevated freight rail line that stopped running in 1980, the High Line was saved and reopened in 2009 as a park with trails, scenic views, and art.

If you want to learn about the park’s history, take their free guided tour.

New York City Metropolitan Museum Art
New York City Metropolitan Museum Art

Places in New York for Green Travelers

One final tip: remember that New York City is huge!

Make the most of your time each day by grouping your activities and places in New York to visit in one general area of the city, such as downtown or uptown.

As you can see, a visit to New York City can be fun and eco-friendly.

What could be better?

The Best Camping Hammock Guide – MUST READ


Best Camping Hammock Guide – Are you in the market for a hammock for your next camping trip?

If yes, then surely you’ve noticed that there is more than one type to choose from.

And suddenly, you realize that choosing the best one can be a little bit difficult as there are plenty of things to consider when buying one.

Obviously, you’d want the one that best suits your needs and requirements.

You’d also want it to be comfortable and sturdy enough to withstand the elements.

But there’s more to consider than comfort and safety when it comes to buying the best camping hammock.

The Best Camping Hammock Guide

The Best Camping Hammock Guide
The Best Camping Hammock Guide

What to Consider When Choosing a Hammock for Camping

When buying a hammock, it’s essential to consider these following factors:

Hammock Size For Camping

Hammocks usually come in sizes based on its capacity, whether that’s single or double.

Here are some tips for choosing the right hammock size:

Single Hammocks

This type usually has a width of 4 to 5 ft, and a weight limit of up to 400 lbs.

Also, some ultralight models have a 250-lb limit, which is perfect for those looking for something lightweight.

If you don’t need the extra space and if you’re looking for a lightweight option, then a single capacity backpacking hammock will be your best choice.

However, the trade-off here will be a less comfortable sleeping experience and less space for extra gear.

Double Hammocks

This type usually has a width of 5 to 6 ft, and a weight limit of up to 500 pounds.

Double capacity hammocks are best for those looking for a spacious lounging and a more comfortable sleeping experience.

If you want to have more legroom, extra space for camping gear, and an option to share your hammock with another person, you should definitely consider getting a larger double capacity one.

Hammock Length

A single or double hammock typically ranges from 6 to 7 ft in length.

Unless you’re an extraordinarily tall person, there will be no need to worry about this measurement.

Nonetheless, a good rule of thumb when it comes to sizing a hammock is to make sure that it’s at least 2 ft longer than your height.

This ensures that you’ll have ample leg space for added comfort.

Hammock Fabric

Different hammocks use different fabric materials.

However, when it comes to the best ones, they usually use heavy-duty fabrics that have high denier numbers—the unit of measurement that expresses fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments in fabric materials—such as nylon quilted fabric.

Generally, the high-denier fabric will wear out longer than a low-denier fabric, especially when used in rough conditions.

Hammock Accessories

Various hammock camping accessories can be used to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Here are some you should consider:
Best Camping Hammock

Suspension System or Support Straps

This accessory is utilized to tie and secure your hammock between two anchor points.

Some hammocks have built-in suspension systems, while others need to be attached and secured with each use.

You should also be aware of whether or not the one you’re buying comes with support straps.

If it doesn’t have one, make sure to buy a strap that’s at least 0.75 inches wide to avoid it from digging and damaging trees.


This is somewhat a necessity when it comes to camping accessories.

Rainfly or rain tarps hang above your hammock and utilizes guylines to maintain a taut pitch.

It will keep the rain outside your hammock, keeping you dry and warm all day and night.

Under Quilt

This accessory is designed to fit comfortably in your hammock to improve insulation, especially at night.

For example, if you’re sleeping with cold air wrapping around the bottom of your hammock without an under quilt, even a slight gust of wind would feel icy cold.

Bug Net

This is another accessory that you should always have in your camping trips.

It is specifically designed to keep annoying critters such as mosquitoes from sneaking inside your hammock.

Be sure to get one that has no-see-um netting to keep those tiny insects and pests from away from you.

Additionally, you can also get a bug net that offers 360 protection for added safety.

Top Quilt

This camping accessory is an extremely portable and lightweight quilt that can be used for additional comfort and warmth.

Most campers prefer using top quilts rather than mummy bags because it’s more comfortable and easier to use in confined spaces.

Sleeping Pad

This accessory is for those car campers who are not concerned about additional weight and are more interested in providing themselves with additional comfort and better insulation.

Sleeping pads are specifically designed to fit securely inside a hammock without sliding or slipping around.

Useful Items for a Great Sleep in a Hammock

These items are not necessary, but they can be beneficial in most circumstances.

Here are some essential things to have:

Extra Carabiners for Hammock

Although most hammock suspension systems have Carabiners, it’s always a good idea to have a few extra ones in case of emergencies.

Extra Carabiners can also be used to attach additional gear to your hammock or your backpack.

Extra Guylines

Guylines are often an overlooked item in camping hammocks.

However, keep in mind that they are essential in pitching tarps and other shelters.


Having a set of camping stakes will allow you to quickly set up a rainfly, tarp, or other shelters.

You can also use them to prevent your hammock from swaying too much when running into strong winds.


There can be many ways to use a paracord in a camping setting.

You can use it to safely and efficiently suspend your hammock in a pinch.

Best Holiday Destinations for Hikers

Getting the Best Hammock For Camping

When it comes to buying camping hammocks, quality is essential.

Getting yourself a high-quality hammock is not only important for durability, value, and comfort, but also for safety.

When looking for your next camping hammock, make sure to consider the things listed above and do your research before buying one.

Keep in mind that finding the right hammock is essential in ensuring a fun and exciting camping experience.

Chester Minima Spinner Carry-On Luggage ~ What’s great about it!

Chester Minima carry-on luggage


We are excited to share our Chester Minima luggage review. For years I’ve wanted spinner luggage. As my kids got older, I wanted them to have their own suitcases as well. 

I knew they would love having their own luggage as they’ve always enjoyed pulling our wheeled suitcases. But to have their very own sleek and compact suitcase with spinner wheels?!

That was more than they could have hoped for.

We were excited they would have their own carry-on suitcases for our cruise to Alaska.

They were able to tote their Chester Minimas in many ways: From our car to the airport parking lot; walking to the airport and then inside through security and to the gate; and on the plane.

Chester luggage

After that, we got in a Lyft to the cruise terminal. Then, they accessed them for their items once we were on the ship.

There are many great things about the Chester Minima

Chester Minima review

Fits airlines’ carry-on requirements

First and foremost, we needed suitcases that fit in the overhead compartment as we do not check baggage when we travel.

The lighter the load, the less of an impact. We wanted to be as environmentally friendly as one can be while taking an airplane and then taking a cruise. The less you bring, the better.

It’s easy to lift this suitcase and put it in the overhead bins, even when full. 

The Chester Minima is TSA-approved.

It also fits easily in the car. These are sleek and compact, sturdy, hard shell suitcases.

Easy to maneuver on airplane

I am always envious of people I see in airports with their spinner luggage. You might not think it makes that much of a difference because wheels are wheels, right? Wrong!

A major stress has always been once I’m on the airplane.

I’ve got to navigate my carry-on suitcase with wheels — but not spinner wheels — without bumping into airline seats and passengers. It’s not easy to do.

Most of the time, I’m doing a combination of lifting and twisting my suitcase on its side, dragging it along, trying to rush through the airplane aisle… all while trying mightily to not bump into passengers already sitting in the aisle seats.

Chester Minima in overhead compartment
Chester Minima in overhead bin on airplane

I am always saying “sorry” and am incredibly stressed just trying to get to my seat.

When I saw my kids gliding their Chester luggage effortlessly, without bumping into people already in their seats, it was such a relief!

It made everything so much less stressful.

Lightweight and compact

Chester Minima is seven pounds empty. That’s considered light in the luggage world. While I didn’t weigh it, I’m surprised it’s even that much. 

The outside is polycarbonate. 

Despite it being so lightweight, it’s very well made and sturdy. This is high quality luggage. 

Also, this is going to be the only suitcase my kids own. It needs to be functional in all situations. The size is perfect.

It also fits nicely in their closets at home to store it.

Spinner wheels

When the Chester Minimas arrived in boxes, we didn’t tell our kids what they were. We “wrapped” them in blankets as a surprise for them.

bottom of suitcase — look at these wheels!

They were stunned when they saw the suitcases, even before they realized they had spinner wheels.

Then they really had fun rolling them around our house, seeing all the different ways they could roll it, pull it, and twist and turn it. 

It’s effortless to use! There are four sets of two wheels, eight wheels in total, and they move seamlessly over every type of surface they encountered when traveling, including carpeting, concrete, gravel, ramps, moving walkways, and more.

Easy-to-use handle

The handle goes up and down easily. It’s adjustable to various heights and situations. It’s easy for kids to use and also convenient for adults. 

In addition to the telescoping handle, there are two other handles. One is on the top and one is on the side. These handles don’t move. They are if you want to carry your Minima instead of roll it.

Combination lock

Another surprising thing is the built-in combination lock. It’s right at the top of the suitcase.

zipper pulls in locked position

If you don’t want to use the locking mechanism, you can leave the zippers without putting them next to the lock.

There are three numbers. You can choose to lock it or not. My tech-savvy kids figured out how to use it right away.

Back in the day, when I was growing up, we had luggage with little locks and little keys. That was always a worry — where are the keys?

Since then, there have been innovations for sure, but they involved buying a lightweight combination lock. We love that this lock is built into the suitcase. 

It’s not a big factor when we are flying because we carry our luggage on the plane. However, we like locking our suitcases when we leave our bags in hotel rooms, or in this case, in our cabin on the ship.

We also like it’s just three digits, making it easy to remember. The lock is TSA-approved as well. 

Attractive design and colors

My teen sons were going to be the primary owners — us parents will be borrowing them, however! Chester Minima comes in a variety of colors:

  • Charcoal
  • Ocean blue
  • Black
  • Sand
  • Aluminum grey
  • Sky blue
  • Pink

We have Charcoal and Ocean blue.

This luggage is all-around attractive. It’s professional-looking and sharp. You can use it for weekends away, work travels, and for a week-long vacation.

It will exceed your expectations whether you are going on a road trip or traveling internationally.

It’s equally great luggage for teens, kids and adults.

On escalator in airport

It’s lightweight

It’s seven pounds empty and seems much lighter. 

Even filled up, it is easy to roll and lift.

Spinner wheels are a joy to use

We’ve never owned luggage with spinner wheels. I’ve for sure envied those with it every trip I took, especially as I would struggle with my regular pull suitcase, trying to navigate it through the airplane aisle and everywhere else.

These spinner wheels are amazing! My kids could push and pull and roll them every which way. They loved being in charge of their own luggage.

Easy to maintain

The shell is waterproof. It’s easy to wipe down. Luggage is sometimes made with a fabric outer layer making it harder to truly clean.

Chester Minima’s size

This is the perfect size for my teens, even with the various clothing they needed for unpredictable Alaska weather. My sons were able to fit everything from their swimsuit and flip flops to their sweatshirts and rain gear. 

The exterior dimensions are: 21.5″ x 13.5″ x 8.5″ 

Interior dimensions are: 19.5″ x 13.5″

Pockets and extra bag

In addition, on one side there is a small zippered pouch which hangs along the side. This is also a good hiding spot as it’s the same lined pattern as the rest of the lining, making it camouflaged. 

The zippered covers also have pockets.

It also comes with a separate zippered bag which you can use for dirty laundry or anything. (Note, in the video above, my son says it’s a drawstring bag; it’s not. It’s zippered. He did this video within five minutes of opening his suitcase; he was so excited to talk about it!)

Luggage for teens 

In my kids’ junior high and high school, they go on several school-sponsored trips. This suitcase will be perfect for that.

using in airport parking lot

I’m also really liking what they will be able to use as a hidden space to keep their extra money.

The interior liner fully covers both sides of the suitcase, hiding the telescopic handle and shell. The liner zippers on both sides.

I’m going to tell my kids to hide their extra cash in the lining. 

Sturdy zippers

The exterior zipper and interior zippers are easy to use and are sturdy. This is a quality suitcase you can use for years.

Clamshell design

Perhaps other spinner luggage is designed this way; I don’t know because I’ve never paid attention or owned luggage with spinner wheels before. 

All of the other luggage we own without these types of wheels has one main compartment. The Chester Minima has two compartments of equal size. 

In other words, imagine laying the suitcase down and unzipping it. Open it, and you will have two equal halves to fill with your clothing and belongings.

You can fit a lot on each side. After you pack a side, you can zip it so everything is contained.

I was also thinking it would be handy to put something in between both of these zippered sides. If you had an iPad, paperwork or work documents, you could put those in the middle, keeping them intact. 

My kids put a book in between theirs. In this way, when they were in the airport, they could access it without having to unzip a side. 

Once in our cabin on the cruise, they were able to easily find their belongings instead of digging through unearthing everything.

There aren’t exterior pockets on the Chester Minima. I liked that because it’s often a place to stuff snacks, wrappers, etc. which are usually forgotten about. 

Fits a lot

You may consider the size, and because it’s a bit smaller than the maximum TSA allows on planes, you may be concerned of how much you can fit inside. We found it to be deceivingly large. 

Dust cover

You can travel with this cover; there are openings for the handles

It comes with a velcro cover which you can slip on the Chester if you wanted to use it when you store it or if you check your luggage.

This would prevent it from getting dinged up. However, know that the outside shell is — sturdy with a little give — polycarbonate hardshell. 

Luggage tag

It also comes with a luggage tag. I like that it’s one that has a flap to cover our personal information.

10-year warranty

It’s hard to imagine a luggage company offering a 10-year warranty but Chester does. That’s saying something! This company seems to have a good reputation and stands behind their products.

What makes Chester luggage different?

You may think luggage is luggage — so what’s the big deal? Not all suitcases are the same!

The Chester Minima is a really nice-looking suitcase. It is durable and should fit what you need for your trip. It’s a great carry-on bag.

The wheels are superior to anything we could have imagined. My kids used these suitcases expertly every which way.

They were able to fit in many different types of clothes for our trip, including toiletries, easily.

My teens were used to carrying duffel bags on trips. What a dream this was to be able to glide through the airport, passing easily through security, and being able to lift and lower it from the airplane overhead compartments easily. 

My teens took pride in their luggage, taking ownership of their things and had fun with it at the same time.

It was easy for them to find and see what they packed. Even when filled up, the Chester Minima was still light. It exceeded our expectations. My husband and I wish we had this luggage and will be borrowing it for sure.

Chester Minima luggage



Are You Travelling Safe during Pregnancy?


Travelling Safe during Pregnancy – Waiting for 9 long months to travel can be a tough choice for a travel fanatic like you in case of pregnancy, right?

Travelling during pregnancy whether, by road, air or boat can be risky.

It has its own set of challenges that may cause a threat to your health.

But, thanks to the advancement in the insurance sector, travelling during pregnancy can be covered by most of the best travel insurance India.

And, in this regard, a little knowledge can make all the difference in the world when it comes to treating your itchy feet while you’re expecting.
Travelling Safe during Pregnancy

What’s Covered for a Woman with a Cute Baby Bump!

Although the coverage may vary from one insurance provider to another, some of the common coverage include:

  • Medical expenses during hospitalization
  • Pre-hospitalization expense cover
  • Post-hospitalization expense cover
  • Delivery expenses
  • Ambulance charges incurred in transporting the patient to the hospital
  • Vaccination charges
  • Pre and post-natal expenses based on the type of delivery
  • Newborn baby cover in case of congenital illness
  • Emergency expenses
  • Personal Accident

Wait! Health Insurance Not Everything is Covered

Not every insurer offers pregnancy cover.

Some cases, you will have to bear an additional premium.

Make sure, you confirm with the insurer regarding the coverage, as travel insurance with maternity cover comes with some limitations as well.

The Health insurance cover remains inactive in the following situations:

  • If the insured pregnant woman is travelling without the consent of her health adviser, any claim arising out of a complication will be denied.
  • Any claim arising out of a complication that is persisting during pregnancy, will not be covered. To ensure travel coverage, it should be an emergency claim.
  • It the duration of travelling period exceeds the permitted pregnancy week, no coverage would be offered.
  • The newborn baby is not covered unless he/she is suffering from a congenital disorder

Nevertheless, some insurance provider may allow you to skip these limitations by paying an extra premium.

Or some may consider pregnancy as a medical condition under their travel insurance plans, where you have to pay an additional premium to get coverage.

Hence, it is better to be clear about the policy terms and conditions before say ‘yes’ to a random policy.

Some Additional Tips Traveling During Your First or Second Trimester!

There are some commonsense advise while travelling during your first or second trimester to avoid unexpected complications, no matter how do you travel or what’s your destination country:

  • Trip insurance is essential to cover those unexpected risks that can cause huge out-of-pocket expenses
  • Schedule those visits to your doctor before your trip starts to avoid last hour rush and to ensure a green signal from your physician
  • Don’t forget to keep your medical reports, medicines along with
  • Make sure you’re travelling with a companion. Also, store the contact number if your obstetrician in case of emergency.
  • Have an idea about the weather, local laws, language etc. of your destination country
  • Keep a track of the healthcare centers in the country, to avoid from running pillar to post in case of a medical emergency.
  • Don’t get lured by food available outside. Try not eating outside. Even if you do make sure the pace is with utmost hygiene.
  • Walk as much as possible, take frequent small food at regular intervals, increase your liquid intake while travelling
  • Wear comfortable and loose outfit to make your stay comfy
  • Last but not the least, take your regular dose of medicines, folic acid supplements, vitamins, food with antioxidants, protein, iron, calcium and mineral.

Why is a Special Insurance Cover Required For Pregnant Travelers

Travel insurance is essential for all type of travelers, especially the one who love to explore new places.

And it is more necessary if you’re travelling during pregnancy.

No doubt, maternity comes with certain complications and restrictions to be adhered, with proper precautions, you can live up on your dreams.

One such thing is travel insurance covering maternity.

Even an optimum domestic travel insurance policy will cover all potential risks associated with travelling, especially when you’re expecting.

Most importantly, healthcare services are highly-priced in most of the foreign countries, where even a minor medical emergency could cost you a bomb.

Hence, make your travel plans accordingly and get these tips handy.

Moreover, it comes with other benefits as well.

You never know when you need to cancel a pre-planned trip due to a health issue.

With travel insurance, you can cover the incurred expenses.

So, if your next trip is awaited, consider buying travel insurance online to get it done instantly.

To Sum Up Traveling While Pregnant!

It’s incorrect to say that pregnant women can’t travel.

They can but only with precautions and extra care.

And, travel insurance comes first if we talk about travel precautions.

The second most important thing is to travel with the consent of your physician.

Also, weigh whether the travel is necessary or not!

Consequences of Global Warming


Consequences of Global Warming
Consequences of Global Warming

Consequences of Global Warming

Consequences of Global Warming – You’ve probably been hearing lots of news about global warming and how bad it is for our beautiful planet.

You might have also been noticing people arguing about the effects of global warming and the potential dangers it brings to the nature and our communities around the world.

The matter of fact is that the planet is getting warmer and that people do contribute to this process, but it is also true that our planet has been going through the cycles of warming up and cooling down for billions of years.

In this essay on global warming, we are going to look at some facts and try to figure out what all of this actually means for us.

Reduce your impact while traveling

Does it Really Get Warmer?

Yes, the planet does get warmer, and the noticeable spike in the average temperature around the planet happened after we started using fossil fuels.

The carbon dioxide we produce as we burn fossil fuels contributes to the greenhouse effect, which makes our planet warmer.

In the last half a century, we have almost doubled the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, causing the rise in the average temperatures.

The other factor here is that the planet would have gotten warmer anyway due to the natural cycles it’s been going through since before humans were even there.

Since we write something like global warming argumentative essay here, we must present all the facts on the problem and not tell you about just one side of the issue, that’s not the goal of our essay.

You might be shocked to learn, but we actually live in the Ice Age, and what our planet currently goes through is called an Inter-glacial Period or the period of warming that started just 12,000 years ago.

This is insignificant in global geological time, but we remind you that the entire human civilization emerged and developed to its current state within this period time.

So the current warming is just an intermediate period between the glaciations of the Earth.
Glaciers Melting because of Global Warming

Do Humans Cause Global Warming?

So, if the current warming is a part of global processes that would have happened anyway, does it even matter what we do?

Well, it does.

The long term consequences of our activity can be devastating to the planet, causing the postponing of the glaciation and the rapid meltdown of the Arctic ice shelf.

This will make the sea level around the world rise flooding coastal areas, which is bad for people living there as well as for the ecosystems that will be devastated by the flooding.

Discussing global warming effects, we cannot omit the problem of environmental pollution.

People produce so much garbage that the planet cannot really cope with it.

That is why so many people talk about the importance of recycling and promote a sustainable lifestyle.

You might be thinking, ok, this essay tells me that global warming would have happened anyway, and then tries to convince me to recycle, so what’s the point?

The point is that the common effort to reduce harmful effect we inflict upon our common home.

Our efforts matter because we are the ones responsible for the increase in the carbon dioxide emission, tons of garbage drifting in the oceans, and the ecosystems dying out.

It is our duty to make things right and at least try to live sustainable lifestyle.

What is Global Warming?

So what is global warming?

A natural process or the result of human activity?

Well, it’s both.

The geological processes combined with the burning of fossil fuels makes our planet get warmer.

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Naturally, the Inter glacial period must end sometime, and the planet would become a large snowball once again, but we humans can cause damage to the way our planet functions and disrupt ancient processes that have been happening on our planet long before us.

In this global warming sample essay, we try to tell you that you must care about your planet and make sure you make more good than harm to the home we all share.

EcoVessel Water Bottles for Your Drinking Pleasure

Eco Vessel Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review


EcoVessel Water Bottles – While there are many excellent reusable water bottles available, EcoVessel water bottles stand out for many reasons.

Living in the dry southwest, our family brings water bottles everywhere we go.

It’s a habit, even in the winter months.

We choose stainless steel, rather than reusable BPA-free plastic ones, 98% of the time.

During the school year, this also means our kids bring a stainless steel water bottle in their backpacks each day.

They also pack water for their lunch bags.

They need water bottles that are reliable and easy to use for 180 days each school year.

We own many water bottles and have tried many through the years.

We have various ones for different circumstances.

In the summer and for outdoor adventures, we carry water bottles that hold 25 or more ounces.

For school, our kids bring water bottles that are at least 16 ounces.

For their lunches, they need something much smaller.

EcoVessel water bottles

We owned The Surf, and now we own two EcoVessel water bottles.

We wanted a smaller one for lunches and a larger, all-purpose one for everything else.
EcoVessel Scout

EcoVessel Scout review

One of our biggest problems has been finding an appropriately-sized stainless steel water bottle to fit in our kids’ lunch bags.

We had tried a competitor to EcoVessel in the past; however, the lid broke after a few months.

Additionally, while it was BPA-free plastic, we preferred stainless steel. It was also 16 oz and took up a lot of room.

Our goal was to find something smaller.

What we like about the EcoVessel Scout: 13 oz

The bottle’s size fits well in taller lunch bags as well as shorter ones.

It holds 13 oz which is an ideal amount to bring for lunch.

Easy to use

It’s easy to lift and open the drinking spout.

You can keep the straw in for no-tilt drinking or choose to remove it.

EcoVessel Scout Materials and design

This water bottle is made from 18/8 single layer stainless steel.

It’s not insulated but for our purposes, this isn’t a problem.

It’s suited for cold drinks, not hot.

Again, this meets our needs.

There is a wide-mouth which makes it easy to fill.

We like the wide mouth also because it makes it very easy to clean as well as dry out completely.

It’s hand wash only.

We are used to this with water bottles.

We empty them when the kids are home from school and rinse them out and wipe them down.

Like with all reusable water bottles, we air them out completely overnight to inhibit mold growth.

The Scout is easy for kids to hold and carry with the loop in the lid.

EcoVessel Scout Colors and designs

They have cute, unique designs which are suited for children.

What could use improvement: Lid handle

The lid handle is wide.

It’s four inches which takes room in the lunch bag but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Some may view this as an attribute as it’s handy for kids to carry it.

However, for our purposes, we just wanted something our kids could use at lunch.

Designs and patterns

The EcoVessel Scout comes in artistic, appealing designs.

However, being our kids are older, it would be great if EcoVessel would offer the Scout in bright solid colors — even more than one color, with stripes, etc. — to appeal to tweens and teens.

EcoVessel Water Bottles for Your Drinking Pleasure
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Eco Vessel Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Review
EcoVessel Surf Recycled Glass Water Bottle vs Zulu Glass Water Bottle
Best Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle ~ Top Picks & What to Know
Best Insulated Water Bottle: Guide to the Best Bottles

EcoVessel The Boulder review

This is EcoVessel’s triple insulated water bottle.

They advertise you can carry any drink, any time.

This water bottle has fast become one of our favorites.

It’s ideal for many outings.
EcoVessel Boulder Water Bottle

What we like about EcoVessel’s The Boulder: 20 oz

Many insulated stainless steel water bottles that hold 20 oz (600 ml) are bulky and much larger.

This one is sleek and narrow.

EcoVessel Boulder Colors

There are many choices of bright, solid colors.

We own the Hudson Blue which is rich and vibrant.

We also like you can choose Silver Express which is not painted.

It’s stainless steel which means there isn’t paint to chip.

EcoVessel Boulder Triple insulation

The Boulder has triple insulation.

It will keep your drinks cold for 36 hours.

Being we live in such a hot, dry climate, this is a benefit.

It will keep drinks hot for 8 hours.

EcoVessel Boulder Materials and design

The Boulder is slim and fits in our car drink holders easily.

It also fits in our bikes’ water bottle holders.

It’s made with 18/8 food grade stainless steel.

There’s also a strainer for ice, tea, fruit, etc.

The top is easy to unscrew to drink from.

It also has a wide enough mouth which makes it easy to fill as well as to clean.

Like the Scout and most water bottles, this is hand wash only.

It’s easy to clean with a bottle brush, and the wide mouth allows enough air to come in for it to air dry completely.

We love that it doesn’t contain a straw.

However, if that is your preference, you can interchange lids with one of EcoVessel’s other water bottles.

EcoVessel Boulder Strainer

If you like using strainers to keep ice at bay or to use with tea or fruit, you will find this one easy to use and remove.

The stainless steel strainer comes with a handle that folds down.

Easy to use

It’s leak-proof and condensation free so you can carry it in your bag without worrying about anything getting wet.

It’s narrow and easy to hold.

There’s also a loop to make it easy to hold while hiking, etc.
EcoVessel Stainless Steel Water Bottle

What could use improvement:

We love everything about The Boulder.

It will be interesting to see how long the plastic handle holds up.

This is a flaw on many other water bottles we’ve owned: After a few months, the strap breaks.

The Boulder’s appears to be very sturdy.

We also like that it’s wider and thicker than other handles.

EcoVessel stainless steel water bottles

While we’ve only reviewed EcoVessel’s Scout and The Boulder, the offer other quality drinking vessels as well.

EcoVessel’s designs make it easy for you to enjoy a green lifestyle.

They also support Water for People, an international nonprofit.

(EcoVessel sent us the Scout and The Boulder for review. The opinions are our own.)

Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!


Brazos Walking Sticks – This Hickory Walking Stick ROCKS!

Over the years, I’ve hiked thousands of miles…in the military, as a Boy Scout Leader, just in my rural neighborhood.

For many of those miles, especially recently, I’ve used a sturdy walking-hiking stick.

My favorite is from Brazos Walking Sticks

The quality of the hiking/walking stick you carry makes all the difference.

The day I first tried Brazos Walking Sticks changed my hiking life forever.

In fact, their Brazos Hickory Hiking Stick has become my favorite companion on dozens of treks.

It’s so comfortable in my hand that I’ve started to feel a little out-of-step when I don’t have it with me even for a short stroll around the block.

I didn’t always feel that way.

Brazos Hiking Sticks

I used to meet people on the trail who were using walking sticks, and I couldn’t figure out why they’d want to burden themselves with that extra gear.

In my mind, walking sticks were designed for strenuous, multi-day treks through back-country terrain.

I just didn’t want to be weighed down with a stick.

My perspective began to evolve when I joined a group that included a number of avid hikers.

Many of them stared at me in disbelief when I expressed my preference for hiking without a walking stick.

They enlightened me as to why a stick might be a handy piece of equipment to have on a day hike, even one that covers well-known terrain.
Brazos Walking Sticks – Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Benefits of a Brazos Walking Sticks

Carrying a walking stick truly does enhance your safety in the wild.

It also can make for a more comfortable trek.

This is especially important as you age and body parts like your knees start to protest on those longer hikes.

There’s nothing like a walking stick for shoring up your balance when you’re on a steep slope.

When you’re moving uphill, the stick helps to propel you along.

If you’re going downhill, it can help you to control your descent.

In addition, it will take some of the pressure off of your knees and lower back.

Plus, using a walking stick is a great way to incorporate more of an upper body workout into your trek.

Periodically switch hands on the stick throughout your hike to get the most benefit and to keep muscle development in balance.

Moving through tricky terrain is easier, too.

It’s helpful to have another supportive limb making contact with the ground when you’re moving over an especially rough or rocky area.

I’ve found that walking sticks are handy when fording streams.

Spring runoff can cause a small stream to become a rushing creek.

Just probe the depth of the water with your walking stick before you step in.

You just might save yourself from a sprained ankle.

Walking sticks can make for excellent self-defense on the trail as well.

I’ve used them to ward off dogs that approach aggressively without a human in sight.

I’ve clicked my stick against a rock to scare off sizable wildlife.

For areas with venomous snakes, a walking stick can be a lifesaver.

Really, there are so many uses for walking sticks, that I’m surprised now that I hiked for so long without one.

The Walking Stick You Choose Makes a Difference

I’ve known some hikers to just pick up an obliging tree limb lying alongside the trail.

Others have whittled their own walking sticks.

I acquired my first one at a sporting goods store with little more consideration put into the purchase than a glance at the price tag.

That walking stick was all right.

It got the job done until it didn’t.

That was the day that it broke.

Unfortunately, I was planning a big hike for the very next day.

I was unfamiliar with the trail, but I knew that the going was reported to be tough.

I really needed a walking stick for that adventure, and I didn’t want to put it off.

So I called a friend who wasn’t going on the next day’s trip.

He offered me the use of his Brazos Hickory Walking Stick.

Half-jokingly, he told me that he was afraid I wouldn’t want to give it back to him.

I laughed and told him, “It’s just a walking stick!”

“You won’t want to go back once you’ve tried it,” he answered. “Just make sure that you bring mine back to me. You’ll have to buy one for yourself.”

I reassured him that I understood that this was a loan, but I was shaking my head as I hung up the phone.

That day, I felt like my friend was more than a little obsessed with his walking stick, but by the end of the next day, I was beginning to understand his feelings.
Brazos Walking Stick

Brazos Walking Sticks is a Superior Hickory Walking Stick

The walking stick that I borrowed was a Brazos Hickory Walking Stick, and it really changed my perception of this particular piece of equipment.

After using it on one hike, I understood what a difference quality craftsmanship and using only the best materials and methods can make.

I contacted Brazos to see if they would send me one to review. (All of these opinions are my own)

I learned it’s available in four sizes: 41 inches, 48 inches, 55 inches and 58 inches.

The size you choose depends largely on your height.

I love that each and every walking stick that Brazos makes is a one-of-a-kind original.

They build each one by hand, one at a time and using only natural wood.

This makes for exceptional strength and durability, which are both critical when you’re completing a challenging trek.

More than that, these walking sticks look incredible.

It’s a combination of the wood and the finish, which gives the piece a beautiful patina.

Best of all?!

They are made in America!

Walking stick customization

Unlike mass-produced walking sticks, you can customize Brazos hiking sticks.

Some of the add-on features and accessories include:

  • Laser engraving like a monogram, name, initials, etc.
  • Compass on the top of the stick
  • Thermometer
  • Whistle “cut in” the top
  • Spike tip (choices)

Brazos Hickory Walking Stick

Free Form Hickory Hiking Stick

I can’t say enough about the sturdiness and quality of this stick.

To be sure you choose the correct height, you can look on their website which explains it easily.

There are also pictures to help you choose correctly.

It’s a good weight to carry on a longer hike, but still has enough heft to it to feel really solid in my hand.

Also, it’s just the right diameter to fit comfortably in my hand.

It feels natural to have it with me.

Hickory Walking Stick

Everyone loves the way it looks, and so do I.

The artisan who made it really paid attention to the tiny details and found ways to bring out the natural textures in the hickory.

Again, I also appreciate these walking sticks are made in USA.

It’s a family-owned company located in the Brazos River Valley.

Not everyone agrees that a walking stick is an essential accessory for the day hiker, but I have plenty of arguments to counter them.

I love my walking stick.

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires


Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires – A wildfire is defined as being an uncontrolled fire that occurs in the wilderness.

They can be massive in size and have the ability to spread across vast distances, jumping rivers, roads and fire breaks in the process.

Usually, wildfires occur in hot and dry climates during the hottest months of spring and summer.

On average, there are a reported 60,000 to 80,000 wildfires each year, and 3 million to 10 millions acres of green land are destroyed in their wake.

Wildfires can have different effects on the environment depending on their size and frequency.
Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Have you noticed the apparent increase in wildfires across the globe? Consequences of Global Warming

If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ve already noticed the chatter surrounding climate change and global warming.

Raising temperatures continue to increase the likelihood of fires breaking out.

Have you stopped to consider what the environmental consequences of forest fires are?

Find out the top five ways wildfires impact the environment below.

Immediate Loss of Life and Vegetation

The most obvious environmental impact of a forest fire is the immediate loss of life and vegetation in the area.

As a fire breaks out, it spreads by burning through vegetation.

Wildfires take out smaller trees and ground-level vegetation first.

Depending on the size of the blaze, animals and humans may get trapped and killed.

First Responders attempting to put out the flames may also lose their lives.

The loss of vegetation and life causes both short-term and long-term effects on the environment.

Bigger trees typically survive smaller fires, but they do suffer long-term effects from their burn wounds.

Burns make bigger trees more vulnerable to insects, disease and funguses long after the initial threat passes.

Post-Fire Runoff

After the fire is put out, the initial threat is over.

Despite that, there are more environmental consequences of forest fires to consider.

What happens to all the ash, soot and debris that collects on the ground?

The scorched ground recovers by halting water absorption.

This tactic prevents the soil from absorbing debris.

Instead, the debris stays on the surface until it’s washed away by rain.

This effect is called post-fire runoff.

If runoff isn’t contained, then toxic sludge can make its way to natural water sources.

Here are a few things that could happen if a water source gets contaminated:

• Active burning can cause ashes to get into the water supply
• Changes in the long-term chemistry of the water
• Cloudiness and increased presence of metals, dissolved organic carbon and sediment
• Potential chemical runoff
• Death and disease in local wildlife

Around 80 percent of freshwater sources in the United States come from forested land, so post-fire runoff should be concerning for all of us.

Polluted Air

A wildfire immediately produces a smoke cloud.

The polluted plume moves downwind and impacts everything in its path.

Animals and humans both suffer when they’re exposed to soot and smoke particles in the air.

On top of the smoke itself, fires often release other hazards into the air.

What types of pollutants and chemicals are commonly released during wildfires?

Pollutants and chemicals from forest fires

    • Metals
    • Particulates
    • PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
    • Aerosols
    • Nitrogen oxide
    • Sulfur oxide
    • Carbon dioxide

The types of contaminants released in the smoke cloud depends on what the fire burns down.

The severity of their effects hinges on how long the area is exposed to the plume.

Most often, the plume travels upward and spreads out over large areas, which reduces its overall environmental impact.

In the past, researchers have mainly focused on how metals, particulates and smoke can cause health problems in humans and animals.

Now, they’ve become increasingly concerned about the levels of carbon dioxide that get released in fires.

According to scientists, about 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide have been released by fires over the last 20 years.

In short, that amounts to about five to ten percent of all global carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Massive carbon dioxide releases, like in wildfires, are only worsening climate change according to leading scientists.

Ecological Shake-Ups

Another significant impact of a forest fire is the effect it has on the area’s wildlife.

Immediately after a fire, numerous animals have scattered away from their homes.

Most animals are able to avoid the immediate danger a fire presents.

What are the main changes that animals deal with right away?

• An immediate loss of shelter
• Changes in the food supply

It may come as a surprise, but many animals benefit from fires.

Deer, turkey and other animals have more open area to graze.

Predator birds immediately benefit by preying on fleeing animals.

In some cases, wild bird species have been known to intentionally spread fires for this reason.

On the other hand, birds, reptiles and some smaller mammals often lose their nesting areas.

Fish and aquatic wildlife are also adversely impacted by runoff.

According to wildlife experts, young and smaller animals are the most vulnerable to both the short and long-term effects of fires.

Post Forest Fire Gentle Rebirth

Officials estimate over 3,000 human lives are lost each year as a result of fires throughout the country.

An additional $11.5 billion worth of property is damaged.

It’s impossible to measure the number of animals and level of vegetation that’s destroyed by fire.

These discouraging statistics highlight the negative aspects of fires, but there is light and hope on the other side.

After a blaze, nature always recovers and heals.

This process begins as grass and vegetation begin repopulating the burnt area.

Environment benefits of a forest fire

    • All pest infestations are destroyed
    • Prior diseases and fungal growths are killed
    • The soil is replenished with carbons and nitrogen, making the area more fertile
    • New growth is stronger and more resilient

While humans cause most modern-day fires, fires do occur naturally in nature as a result of lightning strikes and other causes.

These periodic burns are nature’s way of purifying the area.

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires

Natural Vs Man-made Causes of Wildfires

Naturally occurring wildfires are far less frequent than man-made ones.

The most frequent causes of natural wildfires are volcanoes, lightning, spontaneous combustion, and sparks caused by rock slides.

Natural coal seam fires have also been attributed to causing wildfires when combustible plant material is located nearby.

Most commonly, wildfires are started by human negligence.

Intentional arson, equipment sparks, discarded cigarettes, unattended campfires, controlled agricultural burns and power lines have all caused a number of wildfires in the past.

With an increase in deforestation across the globe, highly flammable grasslands have taken their place.

Statistically speaking, six times as many wildfires are started by humans than any natural causes.

Whether caused by human negligence or naturally occurring, wildfires can be dangerous to homes and businesses in the surrounding areas.

In order to protect one’s self and home, evacuation plans should be set and home insurance should be purchased.

Classes and instruction can be found to help protect businesses and employees such as safety degrees online or by contacting a local fire department.

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires – Positive Consequences of Wildfires

Wildfires can serve to clean up any dead or decaying matter strewn across forest, which, in turn, enables an increase in new plant growth.

Wildfires are also useful in maintaining the balance within an ecosystem by removing any harmful insects and diseased plants.

An added benefit of plant removal is an increase in sunlight, which can assist in the regeneration of plant seeds.

Scientists have also realized that wildfires can increase the amount of plant and animal diversity within a particular ecosystem.

In the midst of a wildfire, exceptional amount of nutrients are released into the soil, which can result in a flood of new plant growth.

Some plants even require wildfires to germinate their seeds and stimulate growth, such as the peculiar species of Panderosa pine trees.

Land use climate change adaptation and indigenous peoples

Regular wildfires also help by killing invasive species, allowing for indigenous species to continue thriving.

If wildfires do not occur regularly, this can lead to forested regions being overrun with underbrush and trees.

Subsequently, when these forests are finally subject to a wildfire, they may burn too hot, thereby stifling new growth rather than causing it.
Consequences of Forest Fires

Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires – Negative Consequences of Wildfires

When the frequency of wildfires in a particular region is too much, it may have a devastating impact on the ecosystem.

For example, frequent wildfires will disrupt the natural cycles of these forests by eradicating native plant species and encouraging growth of fire-resistant plants and other invasive plant species.

Because some of these invasive species are highly flammable, they cause a perpetual cycle where they increase the risk of future wildfires that further destroy native plant species.

Wildfires can exacerbate levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thereby strengthening the greenhouse effect that is already plaguing our earth.

Further, wildfires generate ash and destroy available plant nutrients, thereby greatly effecting the biodiversity of forests.

With an increase in water runoff, wildfires can engender flash flood conditions and enable soil erosion.

In conclusion, wildfires serve many purposes in nature, but whether they are positive or negative is contingent on their frequency and cause.

If human beings are striving towards a sustainable future, then a few precautionary measures must be made.

In regards to wildfires, humans need to become aware and educated of the potential consequences of their negligence.

If they can learn to live in symbiosis with the earth, then we can depend on the earth to provide us a sustainable future.