Friday, April 20, 2007

Outdoor Weblog is Live!

I just wanted to let everyone know my new blog, Outdoor Weblog, is now live at Creative Weblogging. Come on over and say hi!

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Best Months for Travel

Question: I know this may seem like a simple question, but what is the best month for traveling?

Answer: This is actually a good question and a very important one. Depending on the month you travel, your budget could decrease or increase dramatically. If you're on a budget, ideally, you want to travel during shoulder season, which during the spring is the months of March, April, and May and September, October, and November for fall. The weather may not be as enjoyable, but with the extra money you save invest in a good umbrella or an insulated jacket.

In my opinion, the worse months for travel is during the summer. Gas prices are high. The weather is hot and humid. And hotels, highways, and airplanes are at capacity. If possible, avoid this time, especially if you're counting your pennies.

Hope this helps!

* Have a question? Please send an email to or leave a comment.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Blogging Gig

I know this blog has been silent lately, but I'm proud to announce that I'll be taking over Creative Weblogging's Outdoor Weblog! I know you're probably wondering about the outdoor-related posts, but they're samples for my new position. I don't have all the details about the job yet, but when I do I'll keep you posted!

In the meantime, I plan on getting Traveler's Pen back on track soon. I'm returning to the original format of answering and addressing travel-related questions. So, if you have one, please send an email to or leave a comment. I'm also lining up travelers for the Traveler Next Door, if anyone's interested.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

Travel World: Leave No Trace

With peak hiking season upon us, the folks at Leave No Trace are reminding everyone to..well..leave no trace when hiking or camping in the outdoors. To curve environmental damage created by hikers and campers, seven principles were drafted as a form of outdoor ethics.

This summer, before you hit the trails, here are the principles to keep in mind:

1. Plan ahead and prepare

2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces

3. Dispose of waste properly

4. Leave what you find

5. Minimize campfire impacts

6. Respect wildlife

7. Be considerate of other visitors

For a detailed overview of the principles, check out the Leave No Trace website.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

Travel World: How to Avoid Submersion Accidents

Summer is here. And with summer comes water sports: swimming, kayaking, diving, and boating. But, each year hundreds of people drown from submersion accidents.

According to Dr. Paul Auerbach of Wilderness Medicine, weak swimming skills, panic, and poor judgment are the leading factors to these incidents. To avoid being involved in an submersion accident, here are a few of his tips:

1. Learn to swim. This is most important for children and teenagers, who are frequently in the water and often place themselves in precarious situations. It is also important for adults, particularly those who may need to self-rescue, such as surf swimmers, scuba divers, and river rafters. However, do not let swimming lessons create a false sense of security, particularly with children.

2. Do not tolerate horseplay in or around the water. This includes diving from heights into shallow water or water of unknown depth.

3. Avoid solo swimming; use the buddy system, so that someone is always on the alert to help a companion in need.

4. It is never safe to cross thin ice; one should be particularly careful during the spring thaw.

5. Alcohol and recreational drugs have no place anywhere near the water. It takes only a brief lapse of common sense to ruin a person’s life forever.

6. Never place non-swimmers in high-risk situations: small sailboats, whitewater rafts, inflatable kayaks, and the like.

7. When boating or rafting, always wear a properly rated life vest (jacket) with a snug fit and a head flotation collar.

8. Know your limits. Feats of endurance and demonstrations of bravado in dangerous rapids or surf are foolhardy.

9. Learn how to properly cross flowing streams of natural water. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream where the water is above your knees.

Read the full article at Medicine at the Outdoors.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Travel World: Top Outdoor Magazines

There are thousands of magazines dedicated to every conceivable genre and hobby. Peruse your local bookstore and you'll find crocheting magazines, pet magazines, political magazines and much more.

And outdoor and adventure topics are not any different. In fact, there are probably more outdoor and adventure magazines in existence when you factor in biking, hiking, boating, and kayaking topics.

But, with all of these choices, which ones cater toward the overall outdoor experience? Which ones feature in depth articles, interviews, and equipment reviews? Simply put, which ones are the best and, more importantly, for your area of outdoor interest?

Here are the top three outdoor/adventure magazines to gage your interest:

National Geographic Adventure - We've all heard of National Geographic. But, did you know it's sister publication is arguably one of the best outdoor/adventure travel magazine on newsstands? Last year, it took gold in the coveted Lowell Thomas Awards for best overall travel magazine. This month issue features twelve backdoor getaways for paddling, skiing, and hiking.

Men's Journal - Although they've recently shifted editorial focus from adventure travel, outdoor enthusiasts can still read insightful and informative articles on its pages. Check out this month's issue for two moving stories about Mount Everest's Ice Doctors and a journey to Africa in search of "lost waves".

Outside - For interviews with adventurer travelers, no one beats Outside. Regular contributors are outdoor connoisseurs Bill "A Walk in the Woods" Bryson, Sebastian "The Perfect Storm" Junger, and Tim "Lost in My Own Backyard" Cahill. An depth guide to National Parks, the best outdoor and adventure Jobs of 2007, and an engaging story about a little known American battalion in Papua New Guinea round out this month's edition.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue