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Top 10 tips for Rainy Backpacking - Trekking Trips

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Heading out during a stormy backpacking weekend? Or even a soggy hike through your favorite Canyon? Don't let the dampness ruin your initiative. Hypothermia is the number one killer of hikers. Backpacking or trekking through constant rain can still be fun if you're good at staying dry. Here are some tips for your next backpacking trip in wet rainy weather. 

1 - Layers, layers, layers

tart with a nice base or mid layer tights and a long sleeve shirt underneath all of your other rainwear. Definitely use marina wool. The reason is sweat can evaporate quicker and maintain your body temperature. You are looking for a skin coverage and to keep the wet cold jacket off your skin with plenty of stretch and comfort. I often skip traditional hiking pants and rely on trekking pants to dry superquick. Or if I know the rain is going to be bad I will be relying on my tights for warmth under waterproof hard shells. 

2 - Seek hard shell jackets and pants with vents. 

On the longer adventures your outer layer on your hardshell will definitely wet out. This drastically lowers the fabrics breathability. But pit breathe zippers will never fail you and make that hike much more enjoyable. 

3 - Wear synthetic fleece with insulation

For this I usually use some form of merino wool as a base layer with a fleece mid layer. When it is dry I definitely want a down jacket. But when everything is damp or wet, synthetic installations and mid layer fleece are definitely the way to go. They maintain some of their warmth and puffiness even when the wetness sets in. They are also easier to dry. 

4 - aterproof your backpack

There are many backpacks on the market. Some which absorb water and some that repel water. When you're carrying sensitive camera gear you definitely want to test your backpack out before you head out into the wilderness. I like to take a garden hose and spray my backpack. Making sure that water will not soak in even with the zipper closed. If it passes my Garden hose test then it is coming with me. If you have a backpack already that is water resistant then definitely try to find a waterproof cover for it. If you don't have one, you might want to just use a traditional garbage bag for this. 

5 - Keeping your equipment dry

camera equipment as you know can be very expensive. One of the key things to do when exploring nature is to keep it dry at all times. One thing you can do is definitely open your backpack as little as possible. Every time you open your pack or take the cover off a bit more rain will get in. This wetness can build up in my potentially stay with you for the rest of the trip. To minimize this, store all your regular snacks in your pockets or outside of your pack. There are waterproof bags on the market they can also help with this keeping your camera dry at all time. 

6 -  Common household item will save you

One of the best ways to combat wetness is utilizing Ziploc bags. To prevent water damage of any items that you are concerned about such as batteries, cables, memory cards etc. definitely put your items in a Ziploc bag to double protect them. 

7 - aterproof trekking boots with waterproof gators are a must

You definitely do not want to have any Gore-Tex in your boots when it is wet out. Contrary to what many people believe, Gore-Tex will hold the water and not dry out fast. Do your research and look for Waterproof trekking boots or water boots that will dry out fast. 

8 - Footcare

You want to find a good natural oil balm along with an antifungal foot powder. If you want to be super prepared, definitely try to find some dry packets to help your items dry when you can find shelter. When it is overnight you will want dry packets to draw your items out as best you can. Anti-blister kit is a must. Blister prevention will save you. Wet socks will quickly rub the natural oils off your feet which leads to water absorption, prune like skin, and a much higher chance of blistering. Especially if your boots are tight. You want to reapply balms and oil's to prevent foot irritation such as Bonnie's balm to help keep feet from blistering. 

9 - Proper socks for trekking

ne of the things a lot of hikers don't realize is your body temperature can drop with what you wear for base layers and socks. The type of socks you will want to find is merino wool hiking socks. They are thick enough to help prevent blisters and also maintain foot temperature. When your feet get wet in cotton socks it can be dangerous. Body temperature can drop from anywhere on the body especially your feet. You do not want cold wet feet while you were out trekking. Maintaining body temperature is key so do not wear regular cotton socks.

10 - Best underwear and beanie

ne of the three main areas of her body temperature lost his head, groin, and feet. You will want to try marina wool underwear for your rainy day trekking. The nice thing about merino wool is it will help maintain and regulate body temperature even when wet. Merino wool or acrylic style beanie will be perfect underneath your waterproof hood. 

emember safety first. I know we all want to capture great images… But if you're wet and cold and catching hypothermia will trying to do so then it won't be worth it. You can enjoy taking photos in any type of climate. Preparation and planning is key. 

Happy Backpacking - Trekking

Desire -Determination - Discipline

When it came to ice hockey my principles I used to live by was - be the first one on the ice and the last one off the ice has a pro athlete. Due to an unexpected shoulder injury/freak accident I was left unable to play at the pro level.

As I returned to the passion pit/square one. I had to figure out what I was going to do with the remainder of my life as my dream had come crashing to a halt in my early 20s. I always wanted to live a life designed by passion. I had lots of friends that used to work jobs just to support themselves and their loved ones but they used to complain about their jobs but didn't know how to change. I knew I didn't want to do that. What I did was I made a pact with myself. I made an agreement and said whatever it takes I will follow my passions and that will provide me with a living. 

The reason I titled this article with the above three words because this was a "code" I had established for myself early on in life.  

1 Desire - for me this meant the desire to be the best at whatever I choose to do. The desire to be successful and the desire to help others. 

2 - Discipline - for me this meant the discipline in order to get it done. I had a lot of friends who used to procrastinate and I recall it would drive me nuts. Even though I don't really like that saying I'm going to use it anyways. Watching people procrastinate their precious hours on this planet is tough to see. For me I was wanting to discipline myself to make sure I was focused on my goals and did whatever it took to achieve them. this meant disciplining myself and not wasting too much time but having a healthy balance in life of fun and work. 

3 - Determination - for me this meant the inner test. To see what I was made of. To find out if I was determined enough to succeed and reach my goals. To find out if I was determined enough to acquire the education or the skill set in order to achieve those goals. The determination to do whatever it took. And the determination to keep my head up and my attitude positive when things were down all around me. 

I am writing this because even in photography these three principles apply. I want to share a photo with you. I have been out shooting all day and was just finishing dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Banff Canada. I was tired but I wanted to go and shoot at a certain place that I love to shoot at. If I did this and that meant I wouldn't get back to the city until 4:30 AM. But the full moon was out and I just had to do it. 

When I arrived to my favorite location at Vermilion lakes in Banff Nationl Park Canada. I saw another photographer doing a shoot. We quickly became friends and were in synergy with ideas flowing and shots happening. 

This was the shot >>>

 Night shot long exposure Banff National Park Canada – Vermilion lakes - gregg jaden visuals  

Night shot long exposure Banff National Park Canada – Vermilion lakes - gregg jaden visuals  

I think the shot turned out great considering Ryan was probably getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and it must've been lab ext to impossible to standstill but he used his determination to stay perfectly still.  Imagine if I would've packed it up and gone home early then the chances are I would've never had this shot. What's even crazier was I just had major neck surgery two weeks prior to this shot so really I shouldn't have been out there at all but I saw it as an opportunity to "build my strength" which was the doctor's orders. One of the things about photographers that makes them successful is collaboration. Obviously people want to make a name for themselves but I think it is Way more powerful to collaborate as a team. 

Ryan is the fellow on the Paddleboard. He stood still for 200 seconds to get this exposure. What a champion. The other photographer was doing shorter exposures which looks awesome as well, but I wanted to push this to the limit to try to bring out the colors of the background.

if you could ever do one thing in life… Definitely follow your passions. If you do just this one thing all the other concerns ends up taking care of themselves and as always everything just works out.

Happy Shooting! 

Tweet Your Way to Success - How to use Twitter Effectively

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I often hear - "I don't get twitter" from some of my clients friends and family. I used to "not get it" either, but once you "get it", you would want to make Twitter part of your daily ritual.

How to use Twitter Effectively

If you maintain a perspective on why you are using twitter and what type of results you expect to achieve from it, then it will be a powerful network when used correctly and efficiently. For example, if your only intent is to "push" products or services with an automated message, then you will probably have a lower success rate. However, The real power comes when you see and use Twitter as an opportunity to connect with people (without limitation) that you might not have otherwise. Used wisely and smartly, it can be a chance to source out other networks and start to "be known" among them. This is the start of a potential connection of value. If only Bud Fox had could have grabbed Gordon Gecko's attention from his consistent tweets, it would have saved all those office visits and phone calls.

Initially, social networks were invented primarily to be social. Meaning without limitation? A good example is Facebook. When you friend someone that wasn’t in your email contacts, it’s like you’re asking “do you know this person personally”? The answer is “not yet Facebook, I’m trying to network on your social site, stop blocking me”. Facebook’s limitations pose a massive disadvantage when you are trying to build your network; you have this buffer preventing you from making brand new connections. Meaning, a social network shouldn’t push you in a corner, practically making brands “buy” likes with advertising. Imagine going to a cocktail party and being told “you can’t make a connection with that person because you don’t already know them” it’s one of those things that make you go hmmm. Boggle the mind, doesn’t it? Since when does social marketing become semi-social marketing? Facebook’s social conversation tools are awesome for personal connections but it’s not the right platform for networking yourself to success; the limiting connection gatekeeper is less desirable making Twitter far more attractive.

Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to follow anyone and everyone. They might not follow you back, but at least you have an honest chance making that connection. Even if they don’t follow you back, you can still be on top of topics that they tweet about and engage with them on the conversation. You can do this on Facebook but has way less impact as it will only show up on one page, on specific news feeds and not a general tweet listing.

Twitter for Social Relationships

From a relationship building perspective, consistently being seen, sharing thoughts, content links and supporting other like minded tweeters can only help you make a successful business connection. It doesn’t help to learn from them.  It can also help you improve your reputation online, be a thought leader in your industry, and hopefully lead to "potential" customers researching your brand and want to do business with you. If they think you know what you are talking about, they will go a step further and look over your corporate site. Additionally, you can connect with others that you might not have had the same traction as you would on FB or other networks. Also the UI allows you to be in on many topics even if you don't have a connection with the people tweeting and try to establish a connection or share an opinion.

Some of the best business relationships start on a personal level. Twitter can be super fun to find new connections during "hot topics"; for example sports playoffs are a blast to tweet the #hashtags of an event while it is happening and share/read comments with other passionate tweeters. From a keyword perspective, it is awesome to be "in" on topics being discussed - example #MKTGdebate or to start a topic on your own. Remember, originally Twitter was modeled after the NYC cab style radio communication and I think it does a great job of replicating that. Whoever is "listening" (reading) gets to "hear" (read) the tweet. Broadcasting snippets that either make a point, help someone share knowledge, thoughts, ideas, hot topics or opinions. This allows people you have never met see what you have posted, ultimately giving you a chance at a business connection that can lead to more.. You would want to consistently be seen in all marketing channels Use twitter correctly, you will gain attention or find a connection of interest.

Ultimately social networks are about connections, opinions, influence, sharing, relationships, consistency, awareness, and most of all, new connections to help build your brand. They are a great vehicle to drive traffic, engagement, and gain interest. They take patience and hard work. In most cases, the long-term goal is to gain more customers and sales, but as long as you are genuine in your approach you will see results. We coach many companies in this regard to find their "voice" for each network and have clear goals when penetrating communities on twitter which ultimately leads to measurable ROI.

There might be a lot of fluff on Twitter; however, if you know how to master the right tools and techniques, then you can stay on top of the right topics and drive target traffic to your site.

Author - Gregg Jaden