National Geographic Announces 2014 Adventurers of the Year

Online Voting for People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year Runs through Jan. 31, 2014

The 2014 Adventurers of the Year, naming extraordinary achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation or humanitarianism have distinguished them in the past year was already announced by National Geographic.

Runs through Jan. 31, 2014, the online voting for the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year has already started.  Fans can go here to vote at any time for their favorite honoree.  In February, the adventurer with the most number of votes at the end of the voting period will be announced as the 2014 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year.

The 13 Adventurers of the Year for 2014 are:

  • Stacy Bare and Nick Watson — American adventurers and veterans who launched an organization that links veterans to the outdoors and the outdoors community;

  • Greg Long — American big-wave surfer who won the 2012/13 Big-Wave World Tour,  despite nearly losing his life in a massive wipeout a few months earlier;

  • Amy and Dave Freeman — American adventurers and educators who completed a three-year, 11,647-mile journey across North America by kayak, canoe, dogsled and foot, connecting with students and teachers along the way;

  • Diana Nyad — Sixty-four-year-old American long-distance swimmer who recently completed a swim between Cuba and the United States, on her fifth attempt;

  • Kevin Pearce — American snowboarder who, after surviving a traumatic brain injury, launched the “Love Your Brain” campaign to encourage the use of helmets for kids;

  • Kilian Jornet Burgada — Spanish “skyrunning” ultrarunner whose new brand of running involves blazing up technical terrain such as glaciers, rock ridges and steep snowfields;

  • Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted — Canadian alpinists who were the first to summit Pakistan’s K6 West, one of the last great unclimbed peaks in the world, despite danger and political turmoil in the region;

  • Adam Ondra — Czech rock climber who takes climbing to new frontiers of difficulty;

  • JP Auclair — Canadian skier who is best known for his special style of urban skiing;

  • Sarah Marquis — Swiss hiker who has just completed a three-year trek from Siberia to Australia.

“This is the ninth year that National Geographic has combed the globe to find people who embody the spirit of adventure in diverse ways. The 2014 Adventurers of the Year are truly inspiring and remind us of the importance to pursue our own passions every day,” said Mary Anne Potts, editor of National Geographic Adventure online.

Black Hawk Adventures - Embracing Adventure And Danger

It was never good to insult children from anything that could possibly have any danger attached yet parents keeping their children under permanent watch has become “what people do.”

People harmed children without them knowing it out of our fear-based culture.  Children need to confront danger; they need to explore; they need adventures at some point in their life.

There was a time when parents knew how important to embrace adventure and danger at some time when let their kids go off into the woods by themselves, with rifles.  And thinking about it now, if that was really so horribly dangerous, half of us wouldn’t be here.

You bet alright, it is scary to watch your children walk into a subway station or out into the woods.  But you have to do it.  Let them go out and face the world, it is healthy for them but remember to calculate the risks, pick your times, pick your spots, watch them from a distance if you must.

Fear is just an impulse; along with it can be based on lies, distortions, or even on nothing at all.  It’s an absurd thing on which to base your children’s lives.

A new German study shows clearly that adventure shapes the individual. As one of the researchers concluded, “Living our lives makes us who we are.”  Your children need to live, and not merely exist inside of a fear-inspired bubble. The study also indicates that exploration and adventure not only affect personality development, but also brain growth.

The real dangers for your children lie in government schools, and even in private schools that function on the same model.

People are pushed, economically, to put their children into public schools.  Make sure that you tell your children how the system is set up to condition them.  Educate them that understanding is far more important than memorizing.  Back them up if the teachers give them grief.

Your children should know, very clearly, that teachers and principals are just average people doing particular jobs.  Some of them are good people, others are bad people, and a title is just a title – it means nothing more.

Educate your children to be brave, let them learn how to fall and rise again.  but remember you want to let them encounter dangers slowly, and you’d never put them in positions to get truly hurt, but you should be nothing like the über-parents who surveil their children’s every move, in terror that poor little Johnny will encounter something that hasn’t been sanitized for his protection.

Black Hawk Adventures – A family of travelers: Life’s always an Adventure

After 14 years, four children, 55 countries, and 250 000km, this Argentinean couple had a dream of travelling around the world by car and still on the road fulfilling their dream.

In 1999, Herman Zapp and his wife Candelaria climbed into their car and drove out of Argentina with only $4 000 in hand.  Using their 1928 Graham Paige they went to Alaska as both wanted to go, so that’s what they did.  “I saw the car two months before we left and fell in love with it so I brought it,” Herman said in Cape Town, where they now live. They arrived in South Africa last year.

In the same year Herman, an electrician, and Candelaria, a secretary, sold their house, packed what they could into the car and left. “Everyone thought we were crazy,” Herman said. “But, really, who is crazy – the one who goes for the dream or the one who doesn’t?”

Even that they are doing what they wanted at first the couple has some fears.  “That first day was the hardest,” said Herman. But the pair was determined. “If you let your fear take hold, your life will pass you by,” he explained.

The couple, Herman Zapp and Candelaria was married for 20 years. “We think we will be around forever but it’s important to rethink life,” said Herman. “My mother died when she was only 46, the only legacy I have taken from her is to ‘do it now’.”

They survive mainly on the kindness of others, having been taken in by more than 2 500 households all around the world. “You have to give a chance to people to show how good they can be.”

They have three children, three boys and a girl and every child were born in different countries. Herman said being on the road was the best education they could get.

“School is important, but it’s not the most intelligent person who survives, it is the person who learns how to adapt the fastest.”  The husband is in no doubt that his children will be better people for experiencing all the different cultures of the places they’ve been to.

“We’ve been to Australia and Canada and have stayed with kids who’ve had rooms full of toys, but we’ve also been to countries like Cambodia where children have made toys from sticks.”

This kind of education, said Herman, is priceless.

“Now they know that everything has value and meaning.” Candelaria said the children were excellent travellers and adapted easily.

The Zapps, are currently living in a flat in Constantia, Cape Town.  They supplement their income by selling their book, Spark Your Dreams and giving motivational talks.  Their next plan as soon as they have enough money, they plan to head to Egypt for their next adventure.

Diving - Black Hawk News - Adventures Guide
Since 1943, scuba diving has become a famous activity practiced the world over after the invention of the aqualung by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Diving could be dangerous if you are not qualified to do so but there are now many training programs to meet the requirements as a diver. There is PADI, NAUI and CMAS after, divers can rent equipment, request air fills, and dive without any higher supervision but it is always recommended to dive with a buddy.

If you are planning to go diving here are some great places you can visit:

Vinales, Cuba. Maria la Gorda and Cayo Levisa are Vinales’ great diving site and it is two of the most candid diving spots in the world. The stunning Maria la Gorda’s black corals overflowing with marine life such as barracudas and red snappers is a good choice for a diving spot. While Cayo Levisa is a dreamy mangrove-island on a 3km long coral-reef.

Dahab, Egypt. For divers of all levels Dehab is an easy shore access of a great spot for divers. It has deep water and extreme visibility. You can have the chance to see not only large numbers of reef species but also the occasional pelagic and even the odd shark.

Bali, Indonesia. Warm tropical waters, marine landscaped coral reefs, wreck diving and abundant tropical fish and mammals, these are just few of what Bali can offer divers. Not to mention there are plenty of dive sites all around the compact island and each with crystal waters and the opportunity to dive with dolphins. The three of the top spots are Menjangan Island, Tulamben and the island of Nusa Penida.

Boracay, Philippines is a Pilipino national marine preserve. It is one of the most famous diving sites in Southeast Asia. This is one of the great beaches in the world which makes it a great choice for a holiday vacation plus it offers a wide range of dive activities. You will also enjoy the numerous good quality resorts, restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Koh Tao, Thailand. If you want a pure relaxation and a getaway from the outside world, then this is definitely the perfect place for you. This place is small Tropical Island covered in jungle, surrounded by many quiet, palm tree covered beaches. You can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. You will definitely enjoy the corals and the turtles.

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. By the bay of Kota Kinabalu Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is a marine park made up of a number of islands. The waters here offer divers a first glimpse of Borneo’s profuse array of corals and underwater creatures. Its calm water is ideal for macro and close up photography, with a World War II Japanese freighter wreck nearby for the adventurous.

Black Hawk Mines Adventure - Adding outdoor adventure to the family mix
NOW summer’s finally here, it’s time to take your whole brood outdoors and create some lasting memories.
Lisa Salmon is inspired by two adventure experts who have written The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors
THE electronic age, combined with an increasing tendency to wrap children in cotton wool, means kids are staying inside more than ever.

But while hours spent playing on a computer or watching TV may keep kids entertained, there’s one thing for sure: electronic entertainment is not what childhood memories are made of.
Memories come from doing things like climbing trees, making dens, sitting round a campfire and generally having fun outdoors; say Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, who have written The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors to encourage more families to get out and about together.

The married couple has picked up a wealth of knowledge about the great outdoors since they abandoned the London rat race when their first child was born more than 20 years ago, and moved to a farm in Kincardineshire.
They now have six children, five dogs and six horses, and their children have been brought up to love the outdoor life.
They’ve learned all manner of outdoor skills that Charlie and Caroline share in the book, from building rafts and treehouses, to starting a campfire and cooking on it, and even skinning a rabbit.

“Danger and fun have evaporated from normal life, but we brought our children up in the middle of nowhere in a very free way,” says Charlie.
“They were allowed to go off and play in rivers and climb trees, which is how I was brought up.
“We think that’s had a profound effect on their confidence and their sense of who they are.”
As well as information about outdoor living, the book includes advice on making weapons. Charlie’s great-great grandfather was the famous Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone, who had a collection of hundreds of axes, which Charlie still treasures.
He gives swinging and chopping advice in the book, after reminding readers never to forget how dangerous the tools are.
He also explains how to make weapons including a potato cannon, bow and arrow, dart launcher and catapult, and says: “One of the theories we have is that if boys particularly were allowed to chop with axes, throw things, make weapons and light fires a bit more often, there’d be very little fighting in the street.

“Boys are naturally aggressive, and the wrong outlet for that is computer games or TV. If kids get out and run round, climb something and get really dirty, they’ll come in and be sweetness and light.”
But Charlie, 49, stresses that just because his children – who are aged between 13 and 23 – have been brought up spending a lot of time outdoors, it doesn’t mean they don’t have TVs, iPads and computers.

“Of course they do. We haven’t brought them up in a way that says outdoor fun is all they’re allowed.
“But in a world full of ‘stuff’ and purchases, it’s nice to strip all that back and go for a sense of purity.” He says their outdoor fun is easily achievable partly because of where they live. But we’re not suggesting that children need to grow up in such a remote place – anybody can climb a tree, go for a long walk, swim in a river or cook on a campfire.”
Many parents may appreciate the fun side of the outdoor life, but worry about the safety aspects. However, Charlie stresses that as a child he did “unbelievably reckless” things, such as jumping into a river in flood, with a rope tied to his waist at one end and to a tree at the other.

“It was fine,” he insists, “and it removes an element of fear.
“You can survive unbelievable things in life. Allowing your children to walk to school on their own for the first time in a city is much more risky than climbing a tree.

“You just have to apply common sense, and learn your limitations.”
And while he acknowledges modern health and safety rules can have their place, he says, sometimes such rules can be “a nightmare”, which aren’t constructive or helpful.

“Stopping children from doing some of these things doesn’t improve their life,” he insists.
As well as explaining how to master outdoor skills, the guide suggests outdoor activities for families such as building rafts, dams, dens and treehouses, and making rope swings, smoke signals and even rosehip itching powder.
“You’d think kids would tire of outdoor games by the time they’re about ten,” says Charlie, “but if you add some real challenge and danger, they’ll enjoy them throughout their life.

“You need to be quite bossy with kids though and tell them, ‘We’re going to do it, tough’.”
He adds: “The best fun you can have in the world is sitting round a campfire with your kids. Given the opportunity, anyone can do these things – they’re completely free, and it terrifies me that more people don’t do them.”
• The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone is published by Square Peg, priced £12.99

Why it is More Fun to Shoot Video than Taking Still Pictures
It is nice to take pictures but there are moments that pictures cannot tell but videos can.  Videos can make someone feel like they were there also.  While photograph can last forever, you can go back to those moments watching and re-watching those precious moments.  “While pictures can be flat, video brings life to your experiences,” says Laurel House, who videoblogs about travel, fitness, and more at QuickieChick
“With video, you can share your adventures — and relive them again when you come home,” he added.
You do not need fancy equipments to capture the moments on video, you phone will do or there are quality and affordable camcorders available in the market.  And worried about video editing, you do not have to do it or there is Windows Live Movie Maker that is so much easy to learn.  Therefore there are no excuses!
Now let us learn how to get you going. Video recoding isn’t really hard; here are the ways to do so.  Get personal. Try adding narrations, wouldn’t it be boring if your video is a bunch of sequence photos like.  Plus, the people who are going to watch your videos will get as much excitement as you were during your travel.  They will understand what the shots are and what the experience meant to you.  And remember to sound natural, scripted is boring!  If you want to be in the video, do not appear stiff and cold, be natural, act natural.  Smile and laugh but never fake it!
Entertain and tell a story, who would want to watch a video that has no sequence and with a singles shot. Capture every detail and reactions of the people so that when you go back you will feel the same happiness.  I did not say join a competition for your video but it could have at least a beginning, middle, and end.
Keep your videos short, because no matter how interesting your video looks like audience will become antsy just stay snappy and stick to a single subject.
Focus on moments and experiences that are actually fun and fun to watch, skip the non sense, you would want to waste time viewing it.
Your travel video will stand out if you fit in the same simple tricks that you’d use if you were taking a still photo so borrow some photography tricks.  Remember to keep the camcorder still while filming.  “Your video will be 100 times better if the image is not shaky,” says Cailin O’Neil, who videoblogs at Cailin Travels Cailin also recommends shooting away from the sun to prevent glare and silhouetting.
Always check the audio, and use your ears. Nothing is worse than a video where you can’t hear the person talking. “What makes video unique from photos is that people can actually hear the ambience of a place,” O’Neil says.  Record you film or video in a location where you’re protected from the wind.  However, pick up some modest street or nature sounds while you push record.
“No one likes the way they look on camera, so don’t judge yourself,” says House of “So don’t stress too much — and have fun.”  So loosen up and enjoy!

Black Hawk Adventures – Tying the Knot

This technique although inexperienced campers take this for granted, thinking it is only
a deception that this is really necessary to learn and in fact a very essential skill. This is
one secret on how to have fun outdoors and at the same time survive in the wilderness.
A simple knot can save your life; each knot type fits a certain job.
You can tie a solid Square Knot by lapping right over left, and then tying again in the
reverse direction – left over right. This is a classic for connecting lines and tying knot,
basically most people know how to do a square knot. This is used for making a rope
longer by tying two ropes or even tying up a bundle of firewood to carry because this
type of knot is stable and secure.
Make a loop of rope around the tree to tie a Clove Hitch on it. Make another loop and
pass the free end of the rope under the second loop before tightening. To tie this one
over a post or stake, just create a loop in the free end of the rope and slide it over the
post. Then make another loop the same as the first. Put the second loop over the post
(just above the first loop) and tighten the hitch. This knot type secures a line to a tree
or post quickly and it is an easy one. But it can also slip if used alone so you need to
make other knots as backup.
A knot that is often taught with the story of the rabbit coming out of the hole, in front of
the tree, going behind the tree, and back down his original hole, the Bowline, to tie this
knot you form a loop on top of the long end of the line. And then pass the free end of
the line through the loop and around behind the line. While maintaining the secondary
loop which becomes your bowline loop bring the free end down in the original loop.
Once the “rabbit” is back down his hole, pull the “tree” up and the Bowline is tightened.
This Bowline will create a loop at the end of a rope that cannot shrink or expand.
Figure 8 also called as Flemish Knot is necessary to use in order to tie several other
more complex knots because it makes knot at the end of the line. To tie this knot, you
simply pass the free end of a line over itself to form a loop. Continue under and around
the line’s end, and finish the knot by passing the free end down through the loop.
This next knot is essential for tying different types of materials together and joining
different thicknesses of rope. Although this come a little weird but the Sheet Bend
can even join together lines or materials that normally couldn’t be joined together. Form
a “j” shape out of the thicker or more slippery rope then pass the other rope through the
fish hook from behind, wrap around the entire fishhook once and then tuck the smaller
line under itself.
Deception charge to those who thinks that tying a knot isn’t essential. These are only
few of the other knot types but could really help you survive the wilderness.

Be Present In Every Photo with Tripod Multi-tool

Tired of Bringing Big Tripods on camping Trips?  Tripod Multi-tool is the Best Gadget for you.
First things first, why do you go on camping?  Is camping really fun?  The outdoor is a great experience to anyone.  The adventure of living in the outdoors makes camping fun for everyone.  Camping is an escape of the hustle and bustle of the busy life in the city.  The nature and fresh air in addition to great sceneries can satisfy anyone.
Although camping is such a common word, everyone was to heard it in some point of their life but what is camping exactly?  Camping is an act of spending time in the outside, it is an outdoor recreation activity.  Campers would pack their essentials, travel the wilderness, and camp overnight or for several days.  It is basically spending time in the other shelter, preparing meals by cooking over a campfire and sleeping without your beds.
So why is camping fun again?  Aside from what nature can offer, camping is a great opportunity to spend time with your family and friends, have fun with your kids while you get the same fun as they do with no destructions from the modern world.  You can do a lot of things while you are in camping outdoors like fishing, hiking, swimming, biking, and canoeing.
Everyone in the world are so much into taking pictures more especially in moments like camping with the family an friends.  The dilemma is, bringing a big tripod with you would cause you more hassle but if you wont bring it, chances are, you would be the camera person as a result you are absent in every picture.
Tripod Multi-tool is the best gadget for you.  A camera-friendly multi-tool that functions as multi purpose tool and a tripod called Steady.  Costing only $65, Gerber has done a very nice job on this one.  Tiny arms fold out from the handle to offer the tripod’s three legs of support. Form the knife blades to driver heads and all the other components of the multi-tool are all made of stainless steal.
Built for campers and adventurers, Steady can hold digital cameras up to 340 grams and smart phones up to 170 grams.  This tool has 12 different components that are most essential to campers and even at home.  All these in one tool with rubberize coating.
The steady features:
Overall length: 6”
Closed length: 4”
Weight: 5.8 oz.
Steel type: 420j2 Stainless
Max Phone/Camera Weight: 170 grams/340 grams
12 components
Tripod Functionality
Camera/Cell Phone Mount
Cell Phone Attachment
Fine Edge Blade
Serrated Blade
Micro Flat, Square Cross & medium Flat Screwdrivers
Bottle Opener
Needlenose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Stainless Steel Components
Rubberized Coating

Black Hawk Adventures : Olympic-quality sports gear for all
In the wake of the Olympics fever, people across the world had a glimpse of sophisticated and high-end sports gear used by athletes in their games. Not surprisingly, they are using top-of-the-line gears and equipment to help them perform at their best.
And thanks to such an elite market, the advanced and highly-improved gears are made available to the public as consumer products. The technology used to develop gears in professional sports are now adopted by legit manufacturers in improved sports gear for amateurs, minus the fraud alert.
Sleek bicycles in word-class events are mainly from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic known for its durability, strength and lightness. This particular material is now available in high-performance bicycles — from rims, seat posts, handlebars, stems and cranks.
As for helmets, they are also becoming more advanced in terms of design and composition. Originally, helmets are made from leather, effective in protecting it from abrasions. Today, helmets being used in competitions are sometimes with built-in goggles and a wraparound design so that cyclists will have more convenience while having the optimum protection.
Likewise, consumer helmets for skateboarding, football and skiing are created with hard aerodynamic plastic shells that are highly resistant to puncture and have shock-absorbers. Separate visors or ultra-lightweight goggles made from polycarbonate plastic (like bulletproof glass) are also popular.
Bodysuits worn by track and field players of the US has now become part of a popular trend in recycled-materials-turned-fabric. Looks like many of our athletes and outdoor lovers are highly concerned about the impact they are making on the environment; good thing sports equipment firms have quickly responded to the market.
Olympians this year have donned uniforms that are reportedly made from recycled plastics — think old plastic bottles spun into fabric and fibers that combine superb quality with sustainability. Fortunately for you, this green innovation is already available for the public.

Black Hawk Adventures: Scientist Arrested for Selling Research Data to China
A former nanotechnology scientist of Sandia National Laboratories pleaded not guilty to federal charges of selling intellectual property and research to institutes in China.
Jianyu Huang was arraigned last week on 1 count of false statements and 5 counts of federal program fraud as he was accused of sharing information from his post in the Sandia lab’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies since 2009. However, the charge was only for theft of federal property and was not for stolen classified information.
He reportedly sold research on nanotech that belongs to the US to government-run Chinese schools like Harbin Institute of Technology and Peking University, claiming them as his own.
The indictment accuses Huang of selling USD 25,000 worth of “materials, equipment, time and work product of the company staff along with intangible property” between 2009 and 2012, on 5 different instances.

One count of false statement included in the indictment stemmed from Huang’s alleged lying to a counterintelligence officer of Sandia about bringing a Sandia-owned laptop to his trip to China on July. Employees of Sandia are all required to undergo interviews before they can go on any international travel and are not allowed to bring company-owned equipment without permission.
Black Hawk Adventures said that Huang has been fired in April due to violations of their procedures and asserted that he never had access to classified information that might risk national security. Sandia is responsible in making sure the country’s nuclear stockpile is secure and helps in addressing national security threats.
Huang had been working in the nanotechnology field (the science of matter manipulation on the molecular level) since 2007 but in an open and unclassified science facility which does not have any access to classified data, according to Sandia’s statement.
“Sandia applies rigorous control and protection practices to all information regardless of the level of that information. Sandia expects all employees to follow specific and defined procedures. All employees are aware of the consequences when they fail to follow these procedures.”
On the other hand, the defendant’s side is insisting that this is just another case of litigation in federal court where the state charges first and then discloses later. Huang’s trip to China was approved and authorized by Sandia itself, according to his lawyer.
According to the spokesperson of New Mexico’s Attorney Office, Elizabeth Martinez, Huang will continue to be in the federal custody in Santa Fe until such a time that he meets conditions for release.


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