When Nature Calls: 8 Outdoor Tips for Your Next Adventure

Are you planning for your next outdoor adventure?

So, you are excited to do backpacking, rafting, climbing, trekking, and other self-propelled modes of adventures. Adventures bring us closer to the mother nature that provides us with a euphoric feeling. It can be gratifying because of the stunning sceneries and enjoyable experience. However, it can also be extremely challenging.

So, to thoroughly enjoy your wonderful escapade, I created some tips for your next outdoor adventure. I assure you that you will be ready to deal with whatever nature will throw you.

Tip #1: Be physically prepared.

Being physically prepared is an important thing to be ready for before your exhilarating and unpredictable outdoor experience.

From the Health and Wellness section of the University of British Columbia, you can find a statement telling us that getting active does not require several hours of gym. In fact, a 10-minute workout break is beneficial. You can also advance your physical exercise to prepare yourself physically.

I used to think that my walking activity is enough. However, when I tried yoga, I found more. I started showing up on my mat many times in a week, and I began to notice that my body felt stronger than before. You can try other exercises such as cycling. If you do not have time to start your daily physical workout yet, do the daily walking activity. Start small and work way up to the level of fitness that you need to complete your next adventure.

Tip #  2. Know the necessary survival skills.

Venturing into the unknown may be dangerous, most especially if it is taking you out of your comfort zone. The point is things can go wrong no matter how well you prepare, how many precautions you take, and how experienced you are.  According to the Wilderness Awareness School, there are just five basic survival skills necessary for you to make it home safely.

The five necessary survival skills include knowledge of the basic first aid, shelter, water and food, fire, and signal. First Aid survival technique does not only focus on the basic medical needs. It pertains more to the primary way you act to survive. Do not panic, remain calm, sit, think, observe, and plan. The shelter protects our body from too much exposure from the sun, wind, cold, rain, or snow while food and water are crucial towards survival. Among all these, the fire is the king of the survival techniques. A person who ventures on an outdoor adventure should know at least a minimum of two ways to start a fire. A fire can purify water, cook food, provide warmth, comfort, and light. It can also help signal rescuers or keeps predators at a distance. Lastly, signaling, it is a unique technique that gives you the ability to make potentials rescuers aware that you need help. 

Tip # 3. Bring navigational tools. 

If you are planning for your next adventure, carry a gear that you will need to have. Say, you intend to do a rock climbing, you will need carabiners and harnesses while for water rafting, you will need life jackets. For any outdoor activity, whether it is a walk in the local nature or a trek on a faraway mountain, bring your essentials to ensure your survival if an emergency occurs.

Navigational tools such as a map or a road map, a compass, and a Global Positioning System, commonly called as GPS are helpful. A map is a general reference that shows landforms, water bodies, political boundaries, and the position of the city. It acts as a guide in places that you haven’t visited before. A roadmap is also known as a route map that displays the roads as well as the transport links.  With the use of a map, you do not have to depend on anyone for local direction because it acts as a direction finder.

Meanwhile, a compass is an instrument that shows the direction concerning geographic directions. It is easy to use and lightweight. Hang it in your backpack or around your neck. On the other hand, a GPS is also excellent navigation and precise positioning tool that will pinpoint your exact position in up to three dimensions of latitude, longitude, and altitude. Whichever of these three you can have will be helpful. If you can have all of them, the better.

Now, if you love the nature and you want to figure out objects in the distance, you will need another gear. Use a monocular to zoom and see close-up views. Monocular is a miniature and low powered telescope that will make it easy for you to survey things which are far away, a good monocular will allow you to see further a more detailed figure. 

Tip #  4. Pick the right timing. 

I recommend that you go for your next adventure during the shoulder season for your destination only if you have the flexibility of time. According to Tripsavvy, shoulder season is the period between the peak and low seasons. Usually, it is an excellent time to get cheap deals on flight and hotel rates. You’ll find the best value for your money. Hence, you can save money, at the same time, avoid crowds and long lines which are typical in the tourist-filled cities.

For adventure travelers, it is possible to have a restriction to the activity you’ll be engaging. Seasonal sports like ice-climbing or canyoning is only available during a specific time of the year. Do you plan on whitewater rafting in Iceland? Check when the rivers flow the highest. Do you want to go trekking? Read up some to know which time of the year is the best time to visit. Regardless of the place, getting the time right can hugely enhance your entire experience.

Tip # 5. Pack things light.

I am a minimalist travel adventure packer, and the reason behind this is that I don’t want to drag a suitcase that will look taller than me. I don’t want to have a massive pack on my back and another big one in front.

The minimalist packing begins with the choice of luggage. It is, in fact, a place where most people make their misstep. Here is the thing, if you buy a suitcase or a backpack that is bigger than the carry-on size of the bag, you will never travel light. So, if your travel pack is small, it is going to force you to pack sensibly light. Besides,  science proved that your stuff would expand and fill all available spaces, regardless of how big or small is your suitcase. So, limit this expansion from the start to make packing a whole lot easier.

Tip #6. Be aware of the weather conditions.

Exploring the nature can be unpredictable, and when you come into play, the weather condition is often a critical consideration in the success and safety of your great outdoor activity.  Mother nature changes its course and suddenly make your plans in jeopardy. As what I have experienced, weather conditions determine what I wear, where, and how far I can venture. Do not trust your outdoor adventure away from the meteorologist. Get the exact local weather conditions.

The good thing is we can get a weather forecast. In today’s digital age, whether by an hour or day, the weather forecast is available online. It only takes one click away on your mouse or your handheld device.  Then, make an educated decision. Will you be heading out today or tomorrow? It will certainly depend. If there is lightning in the weather forecast, do not proceed with your mountain climbing adventure or water rafting. Use your common sense, and get the most out of your adventure experience.

Tip #: 7. Embrace “Leave no Trace” Policy.

You probably have heard or seen the phrase, “Leave No Trace.” It is a policy developed by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The principal purpose of this policy is to implement practices that will protect the natural environments that travelers invade during their adventures.

There are 7 Core Principles of the Leave No Trace Policy which can be adopted for your outdoor adventure. Remember to be prepared ahead of time by careful planning; Do not camp on areas that are prone to erosion; Get rid properly of your leftovers, litters, and wastewater; Do not remove anything from its natural environment; Adhere to campfire practices safely; Respect the wildlife;  and Remember that other people also want to enjoy their adventure.

Tip # 8. Remember the phrase, “Mind over matter.”

Mind over matter  is a phrase that refers to one’s ability to use his/her willpower over physical limitations. It suggests that the mind can accomplish infinite limitations whether it be physical or mental. Hence, it is essential to believe that we are not less powerful than our determination.

Positive mental attitude creates a difference in your planned adventure. It will determine whether you will enjoy or you will hate your travel outdoor. If you don’t mind negative things, it doesn’t matter.

I am a lover of outdoor adventures, and over the years, I have used all these tips several times. In fact, I regretted a single time I ignored this. So, when nature calls, remember this 8 outdoor tips for your next adventure.

If you agree and enjoy this article, share this with anyone you think may be interested. Do you have some tips for your next adventure? Write your comment below.

 

About the Author:

Hi! I’m Demi – founder and editor in chief here at Outdoorsdoc and welcome to my blog. Here, I will share everything I know about enjoying and surviving the outdoors and sports. Whether you love to go outdoors, you will find interesting and informational articles on this blog.

Cringeworthy Gaffes in Niseko – and How to Avoid Making Them!

You may think that being an international ski resort, you can’t do too much wrong in Niseko when it comes to cultural etiquette, right? Wrong! Niseko may now be a popular tourist destination, but it is still Japan, and as such behaving in a way which shows respect towards and understanding of Japanese customs is every bit as much appreciated as it would be elsewhere in the country, if not more!

So what things should be upmost in your mind to keep the more cringeworthy foreign gaffes at bay? Firstly voices should be quieter! It may sound obvious, after all shouting isn’t polite anywhere, but it takes spending some time in Japan to realise just how loud us foreigners are. The classic stereotype of the brash, domineering ‘gaijin’ is all the more prevalent when alcohol comes into the equation. What to us is normal jovial behaviour comes across as intimidating, rude and self-serving, all of which are characteristics the Japanese stay well clear of. And when you come to love these qualities in the Japanese, you will find yourself inwardly pleading with your fellow countryfolk, when in Japan, to follow suit.

Another top of the list for foreign gaffes is onsen etiquette. A lot can be written on this, but the main things to remember are to remove all items of clothing, to wash thoroughly before entering (think 5 minutes instead of 5 seconds under the shower), not to let any articles enter the water including towels, toiletries and the hair on your head, not to take photos while other people are present and to try not to disturb with loud conversation what for the Japanese is one of the few moments of peace and recuperation in their notoriously busy schedules! Remember all the above and you will probably find the experience all the more relaxing and enjoyable yourself.

Izakayas are another place which will remind you that you are in Japan. These are traditional Japanese restaurants and usually very casual, but things do work a little differently. Firstly you will be required to remove shoes in the genkan, or entrance way. It sounds pedantic but try not to take a single step out of the genkan with your outdoor shoes as this separate floor space is kept clean and dry. You will probably be given slippers to wear, which when you visit the restroom you will be invited to swap for ‘toilet slippers’, usually plastic, garish colours and sporting a cute little toilet motif, which will make it all the more embarrassing and hilaraious if you forget to swap back to your normal slippers before returning to your table. It will almost certainly happen to someone in your party if alcohol is involved! A few other cultural differences to be aware of – you may find you do not get fed unless you shout ‘sumimassen’ to request your order is taken, you should say ‘gochisousamadeshita’ to show appreciation when you have finished, and whatever you do don’t leave a tip, which is an alien concept in Japan and will require the staff to track you down and return your money!

On the mountain there are a few differences too. Breaking rules in Japan is considered even less acceptable than at home, so paying attention to signs is important. You may have heard that off piste is usually forbidden in Japan as it is considered disrespectful to the mountain dwelling Shinto spirits, but you will be relieved to hear that in Niseko, off-piste is allowed in all but the dangerous areas, giving you ample chance to fall in love with the powder, and making breaking the rules foolhardy as well as bad manners.

Now that you are ready to head to Niseko without making these faux pas, it’s time to book your Japan ski holiday! Contact Japan Ski Experience for the best help available, and start by checking out their wide range of Niseko accommodation here!

6 Tips for Working While on Vacation (Without Going Crazy)

Disconnecting from work while on vacation is easier said than done.  You might have a crucial role in your organization or there might be something important happening when you need to take your vacation. You may be a freelancer who work from home and needs to stay connected or a manager, a consultant or an entrepreneur who has no one else to delegate tasks to. But working on vacation doesn’t have to ruin your fun, if you manage it carefully. Here are some tips that can help you to get the most out of your vacation even when you have to stay connected.

  1. Set Expectations and Backup Plans

Let you colleagues or superior know months in advance that you will be going on vacation. Propose ideas on who can do what responsibilities when you are away.

Ask those persons if they will be able to handle those responsibilities while you are away. Let them know how to get in touch with you, like your whatsapp phone number, in case there is something that is urgent.

Also let them know the time periods in which you will be available and that they should only reach out to you in the case of real urgency that can’t wait.

Before you leave the office, select one or two blocks of time each day that you choose to catch up for work. I would suggest either the early mornings before your family is ready for breakfast or the evenings, after you have done enjoying your day.

Let your colleagues know the blocks of time when you will be available for answering emails, taking calls and other work tasks.

  1. Prepare Your Clients

Let your clients know in advance that you will be away and introduce them to the person who will be taking over while you are away. Make special arrangements with your clients if necessary.

  1. Make sure you have internet connection

Where ever you are going for your vacation, ensure that there is unlimited internet access. Whether you are going to a hotel, lake cottage, or another destination it is important to find out, before you go on vacation, if the place you’ll be staying at and it’s environs have internet access.

You don’t want to reach there and then find out that there are internet issues. That’s a total nightmare that will stress you out and start your vacation on the wrong foot.

Nevertheless, you need to be prepared for slow internet and have a backup plan to combat this.

Here are some tips:

  • Carry with you a small wifi router like Airport Express and a power strip. This is a backup plan in case there is no wifi (only ethernet access) or not enough outlets.
  • Save your important documents offline, so you can continue working on them in case of temporary internet loss.
  • Get a wireless hotspot or a tethering plan for your mobile phone. You can use pay as you go options, if you don’t want to do the monthly plan. You might not need a plan for tethering, there are free android tethering apps that you can add on your phone and laptop that will let you tether through USB cable. One thing to note is that this can eat up your data plan if you do more than shooting a few emails.
  • If the internet is slow at the hotel, make sure that you only do bandwidth-light tasks at that time and when you have better connection, for example at a coffee shop, do bandwidth-heavy tasks there.
  • If possible, do the most important tasks at the office before you leave, while you have good internet connection.
  • Add a secondary browser on your computer that might work a bit better with slower internet, with the right tweak or add-ons you might get your work done quicker.
  1. Set up Email and Voicemail Alerts

Set up an automated email notification to let your contacts know that you are on vacation. Let them know the date period of your vacation and how to contact you if it’s urgent. But please let them know to ONLY contact you IF it’s important and can’t wait until you return. You can leave a voicemail on your office line and cell phone letting them know that you are on vacation. You should check your voicemail and text messages periodically but do not answer your phone.

  1. Set Your Work Schedule

The most important rule here is to only work during “work time”. Do not do any work during “Vacation time”. Set your work schedule either in the morning or evening.

For example you can check your email around 5pm each day, during that time everyone is getting ready for dinner, showering, etc. That way you don’t get to lose any quality time with your family.

Resist the temptation to elongate your work schedule. The most important thing is that you relax during your vacation and enjoy your vacation time.

  1. Manage Your Vacation Schedule

Lastly, you need to manage your vacation schedule and let your family aware of your work schedule. It is possible that there are some days that you wont get to work because of the excursions or other scheduling issues, but it is important that you and your family keep your work plan or schedule in mind.

4 Tips on Funding Your Dream Travel Adventure

Let’s face it, traveling is expensive. Yet, over 70 million U.S. citizens traveled abroad in 2016, alone. This leaves us to question, “how do people pay for it?” Today, more travelers are extending their adventures away from home for months at a time. The truth is there are ways you can travel for less than you spend living at home. Experts claim that the secret to funding your dream travel is to learn how to afford it. You must also understand the difference between vacation and travel.
Here are 4 tips on funding your dream travel adventure.
Sell Your Stuff
Before you decide to take off on your next adventure, start your savings by selling valuables that you no longer use. Imagine how much you would have without that expensive treadmill, artwork, and unused furniture. If the item is not valuable to you, perhaps it could be to someone else.
Earn As You Travel
To help keep your travel funds flowing, earn money as you travel. There are plenty of ways to find a job online. Travelers have followed the digital lifestyle to work while they travel the world. You can earn money by teaching English, blogging, and other web-based work like writing or social media marketing. One of the most popular options travelers choose during the winter is finding jobs at mountain lodges and ski resorts. Not only does this provide income, it also comes with the advantages of working on location.
Work Remotely
In the age of digital nomads, thousands of people are relying on their laptops to “work from home.” What’s great about this option is that home can be anywhere. Ask your company if they offer this option. It doesn’t hurt to ask.    
Get A Personal Loan
You’ve finally saved up your travel fund, but your car needed a new brake light and your landlord decided to raise the rent. Now your vacation savings are gone with little prospects of returning in sight. According to Crediful (https://www.crediful.com/personal-loans/opploans/) you can receive loans with no collateral needed. This means you won’t have to worry about losing your paycheck or even your car in the event of a default.  Getting a personal loan will help you receive cash with a fixed interest rate to pay back. You can take a vacation without the use of a credit card and decide how much you need to borrow. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes that personal loans come with variable interest rates where you pay interest based on the amount.
Furthermore, when planning on your dream travel adventure, take the responsibility into your own hands. Remember, saving up for your travel funds is only part of the battle. You must also learn how to travel smart, budget wisely, and take advantage of the best promos you can get your hands on.  

Kayaking in the Channel Islands: What you Need to Know

The kayaking openings at the Channel Islands are a portion of the best anyplace in California. Guests can kayaking alone or run with a recreation center approved outfitter. Santa Cruz and Anacapa are the most prominent islands for kayaking, with several ocean caverns to investigate. At the highest point of most paddlers’ rundowns is an outing to Santa Cruz Island’s Painted Cave, one of the biggest sea caves in our world. It is right around 30.5 meters and expands to 370 meters into the west end of Santa Cruz. For safe and relaxed kayaking you need to select a best kayak. Here is some pelican kayak reviews, I think this post will help you to select best one.

Most suppliers lead visits to Painted Cave, and notwithstanding paddling amateurs can make the outing (however hope to have sore triceps the following day). Kayakers put in at Scorpion Anchorage, at that point paddle around the island to Painted Cave, going closer to what the ocean gives in en route. In the event that you would prefer not to paddle that far, a few organizations tie up closer to the rocks. When you go through Painted Cave’s ‘yawning’ mouth, you’ll discover that it’s pitch dark inside, yet there’s life surrounding you. Seals and ocean lions dissent your entry with a ruckus of woofing. Several seabirds perch in the moist anteroom. Make sure to pack a decent headlamp to illuminate the multi-toned give in dividers, with hues caused by lichen and minerals.

It is well known that practicing such activities provide you with maximum health and good tonus.

When we want to burn calories or have a much better mood, practicing our favorite sports is the best solution. Such activity that greatly helps in maintaining good health is canoeing (kayaking). The benefits of kayaking are multiple.

Thus, from a physical point of view, the benefits of practicing such a sport are very complex. If you practice kayaking for even half an hour, you will be able to get rid of extra energy, burning about 280 calories. In addition, the muscles of the shoulders, thighs and biceps will develop, with a much higher strength and strength. Once practicing this sport, its health benefits will not be delayed. The burned calories, but also the eponymous rafting, give you the certainty that you have a healthy body.

It is very important to know that in terms of children, practicing kayaking begins at the age of 12-13 years. Due to the fact that there is a lot of strength and power in the practice of rowing, it can not be practiced by children under the age of 12. Practicing canoeing at the age of 12-13 years makes the muscular mobility of children grow very well and the spine is very strong. In addition, body development in the most harmonious way is a very important benefit that this sport has.

From a mental point of view, practicing canoeing has many benefits. We must be aware that practicing sport does not only help us physically but also mentally. Practicing a sport like kayaking, stress and fatigue accumulated throughout the day will disappear.

Keeping an ideal balance between a healthy mind and a healthy body must be your goal. Canoeing in the Channel Islands brings together the benefits of nature and sport, helping to maintain a harmonious balance between body and mind. People practicing such a sport are ambitious and interested in having maximum health and stamina. So, by practicing this activity you have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain!

Read more about touring kayaks.

Best Budget Friendly Camping Destinations in Europe

Summer isn’t over just yet! There’s still a quick chance to take in a camping trip with the family. Plus, even if you’re low on funds, you can take on one of these budget-friendly camping destinations in Europe that are absolutely unforgettable. With opportunities to camp and some posh bits thrown in for good measure, you’ll be surprised to find these camping destinations offer such an incredible value.

Ready to go? Check them out!

Eden Campsite, Italy

Traditionally, only the rich and famous got to boast of taking camping holidays on Lake Garda. Now it’s your turn. Enjoy Lake Garda for an absolute steal. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful, family-run campsite. The views are out of this world, plus the kids will be thrilled to run amok in the pools and on the waterslides. There are also on-site pizzerias, but if you get tired of that, you can check out Portese, a nearby port for more options. It’s a more laid-back campsite than others that feature gobs of activities, but it’s perfect for that relaxed feeling while being surrounded by exquisite beauty. 

De L’Atlantique, West Brittany

Think of it more as glamping if you will, but you’ll get such a great value from this place that your wallet won’t feel like you’re roughing it one bit. It’s a holiday camp combined with a water park, and we promise the whole family will be thrilled. For one, there are so many things to do that the kids will jet off, leaving the grownups to stick their toes in the powdery white sands. Head to the bar and knock a few or more back as you’ll have a perfect view of the water park to keep an eye on the kids. When they shout, “Hey Mum! Watch this!” for the thousandth time, you can raise your glass and salute.

Oh but that’s not all here. There’s karaoke, magic shows, and even a disco. And don’t forget about the Funstations. They have them for kids 4 and up, but there’s a mini one devoted to the littlest ones. Got bigger kids, do you? There’s a special sports programme to keep them out of your hair too. Basically, this place is chockablock full of activities and fun for everyone in the family.

Camping Manor Farm, Switzerland

Not like there are bad views in Switzerland, but here at this campsite on Lake Thun, you’ll get prime views of the Eiger. And if you like watersports, this is the place to be. Fishing, windsurfing, canoeing and swimming are all options for your camping holiday. But if you’d prefer to stay on dry land, you’ll find mini golf and table tennis to be fabulous ways to spend your time. You can also check out nearby sights like Interlaken or join on the mountain railway for a ride to the highest station in all of Europe, Jungfraujoch.

La Brasilia, South of France

This one is ideal for the sportier family. It’s a place bustling with activities, plus you have direct access to Canet-Plage, a stunning beach in southern France. Jump into a game of beach volleyball, take a dip in the sea or dive right into the pools. You can also play football, badminton, volleyball and tennis.

But if you want to sow your camping oats, then you simply must try your hand at archery, like a real camper. Or do a little fishing. And what better way to explore the countryside than to rent bicycles. You can do so for 10 Euros per day (8 Euros for the kids).

Need a break from the kids? The kids clubs have organised activities, giving you some adult time. From here, you also have the option to take day trips to Spain and other places, making it possible to extend your trip for more memories.

Vilanova Park, Spain

On Costa Dorada, this fabulous campsite features a bar and restaurant on-site. You’ll find old-world charm galore in the Catalan farmhouse. And you’ll find plenty of refreshment in the indoor and outdoor pools. Kids can play in areas surrounded by large gardens. A supermarket on-site makes it easy to stock up on essentials too. There are also loads of activities, including mini golf! But if you feel like it’s just a bit too remote, you can also hop a bus right from there to Barcelona and then come right back to this lovely retreat.

Camping Lanterna, Croatia

Camp here where the beach is your neighbor. You’ll be able to feast on fresh seafood at great prices too. This large campsite is incredibly perfect for large family tents and for those who like to stay busy during their holidays. Try your hand at tennis, play mini golf, or enjoy a lovely swim. Best of all, there’s a Jacuzzi, ideal for soaking after a long day of outdoor fun.

Because of its prime location on the beach, you’ll also find plenty of watersports to keep you entertained. And if you want to explore, take a walk outside this campsite along the cobblestone streets while taking in plenty of history. There are also caves here where you can book a guided tour. You could easily stay here a week and not get to do it all. And the best part is it’s not nearly as costly as you think!

Parque De Campismo, Portugal

This beautiful place is located at Armacao de Pera, an area surrounded with almond and carob trees, and eucalyptus too. The refreshing beachside environment gives you even more to enjoy with a swimming pool, sports area, playground for the kids, and restaurants. Walk on over to the beach and discover the purity of this former tiny fishing village. 

Domaine de Litteau, France

Just outside Cerisy Forest, you’ll love this charming campsite. Get big thrills from the zip-wire, make a splash in the pool, or let the kids get adventurous with a BMX track, climbing ropes, golf course, and even a mini-farm. Step outside the park and you’ll be able to explore Normandy’s gorgeous beaches as well as the medieval towns that run along them. It’s the ideal place for taking in modern conveniences with a historic twist. Plus, make a fresh catch at one of the two fishing lakes on-site and you’ll be old pros at this camping thing.

Kur Camping Erlengrund, Salzburg state, Austria

For this sweet campsite, you don’t have to hurry in during summer to enjoy it. It’s open year-round. Gorgeous mountains still keep their snow-capped peaks in the summer, even when the rest of the mountain is lushly green. You’ll find 90 camping pitches here, though if you’re not keen on roughing it, there are also 29 apartments where you can enjoy the heated pool, table tennis and a trampoline. There’s also a playground for the kids. Walk and cycle around the trails to bask in the beauty here. Plus, just 10 minutes away is Bad Gastein, a place famed for its thermal springs and waterfall.

Why wait until next summer to make memories with your family on a camping holiday? Now is the time to seize the day and get out there. These incredible European camping destinations offer an amazing value that will make you wish you’d gone sooner!

How to Make a Living as a Freelancer in the Film Industry

CameramanBy Alek Sabin

Working in the film industry is a wild adventure for any type of creative professional. Did you know that the film industry is also alive and well in the Rocky Mountains? Between beautiful sets that directors from all over the world travel for, and great cost-efficiency, the mountain west is home to a lot of film production.

It’s a wonderful industry for people who enjoy the idea of working at a different place every day and facing new challenges on every project, rather than doing the same routine, over and over again.

However, there are also a lot of challenges that come with working in the film industry. First of all, there’s always 20 other people gunning for your job and waiting for you to fail, and working project-by-project means there’s always uncertainty about when the next job is going to come around. However, working in the film industry can be wildly fulfilling, if you find a way to make it work. Here are some tips on how to make a living as a freelancer in the film industry…

Be a specialist at what you do

Freelancer film

Many people get into the film industry thinking that they’re just going to do everything and are eager to try their hand at anything that someone lets them do. This is a great attitude for when you start out, but eventually you’re going to want to find your discipline. If you really want to make money working in the film industry, then you need to pick something that you’re a specialist at, and stick with it. Have you found that you have a good ear for production audio? Perfect, there’s always a need for good sound engineers. Do you have a good eye for how the physics of light work? Great, a director of photography is usually only as good as their gaffer. Becoming known as a specialist in a certain department is a quick ticket to higher rates and better work.

Look outside of films with your skillset

For certain professionals in the film industry, their skillsets have a market beyond the film industry. This is great, because then you can supplement your income with your skills even if you aren’t continuously on film projects. For example, makeup artists can get jobs both on and off film sets, if they know how to market themselves. Glamor makeup artists are always in demand for weddings, and special FX makeup artists can make a killing around Halloween-time by doing makeup for people with specific costume needs. Think of ways that you can use your talents outside of a film set, and you’ll have a lot more economic security.

Camera crew on set

Stick to your rate

When you reach a certain level that you can charge industry standard rates, don’t work for below those standards. When you do so, you are driving rates down for all professionals in that department, and they’ll all hate you for it. Unless you are helping a friend out on a personal project, stick to your rate.

Get your own equipment

After you’ve found your specialty and have been working in the field for a while, then you’re going to want to take the next step and start to build your own equipment kit that you rent out with your services. This is an investment that can really bring home the bacon. While most audio, lighting, or camera equipment is quite expensive, you can charge hundreds or thousands of dollars a day for a kit rental. However, you also need to make sure that you are taking care of that equipment. On-location outdoor shoots in extreme weather can take a toll on your equipment, on top of making it more dangerous to drive with your equipment. Make sure you take steps to protect your equipment, after you’ve made the investment.

Take advantage of tax deductions

When you work in the film industry, you’re probably going to have a dozen different tax forms to go through at the end of the year. Some shoots that are longer term will take you on as an official employee and have you fill out a W-2, while other shoots will only hire you out as a contract worker, and you’ll either need to file through your personal business or as a 1099 contractor. Either way, make sure that you are taking advantage of the tax deductions for money spent on equipment, using your home as an office, or even traveling out to set.

10 Things to do When Skiing in Breckenridge

Ski Breckenridge and you can take your pick between confidence-boosting corduroy, steep chutes, technical mogul runs or legendary snow parks, spread across five mountain peaks. Off the slopes, this Colorado ski town is an attraction in itself, with restaurants, bars and attractions galore, alongside friendly locals and Wild West roots which are very much alive and kicking.With so much to pack into your USA ski holiday, trawling through Breckenridge’s endless list of attractions could eat into your ski time. Work your way through our ‘top ten’ list instead:

  1. Hit the shops on Main Street: The clapboard buildings along Breckenridge’s historic Main Street are the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy. Browse more than 200 quaint boutiques, galleries and gear shops, which sell everything from handmade soaps to funky fashions.
  2. Ski Peak 8: Ride the Imperial Express – the highest chairlift in North America – to the top of Peak 8, where you can take in panoramic views across the Rockies and ski some of Colorado’s steepest terrain.
  3. Ski Peak 6: A brand new ski area for the 2013/14 season, Peak 6 adds an additional 543 acres to the resort, turning Breckenridge into the 4th biggest ski resort in Colorado – expect 400 acres of lift-served ski area, 143 acres of hike-to terrain and two new lifts.
  4. Cross-country/Snowshoeing: Book a lesson at the Breckenridge Nordic Centres and learn how to glide and skate along the resort’s network of cross-country trails. With something for everyone, from first-timers to pros, there’s a full range of lessons and workshops to get involved in, including ladies-only clinics.
  5. Dog Sledding: Mush a team of Siberian huskies through the Rockies as you ride into the woods and speed across magical winter landscapes with expert local guides. A great non-ski activity for the whole family and definitely one to tick-off on your next USA ski holiday.
  6. History and museums: Explore Breckenridge’s historic streets and learn about the town’s famous residents at the Barney Ford and Edwin Carter house museums, while families should head to the Mountain Top Children’s Museum for kid-friendly concerts and workshops.
  7. Gold mining: Venture 1,000 feet below ground to explore the century-old Country Boy Gold Mine, which was once Breckenridge’s largest. Open from late December through April, you can see, feel and smell what working life was like for Colorado miners.
  8. Hot air balloon rides: Get a bird’s eye view of Breckenridge as you float over its Victorian streets and across snow-encrusted mountains, looking down on the skiers and boarders below. One to add to your bucket list for 2015 ski holidays!
  9. Spa and stretch: Soothe your ski muscles with a visit to one of the town’s many day spas. Choose from sports massages and hot stone therapy to salt scrubs and herbal steam baths. Yoga fans will be pleased to find a good range of classes here too.
  10. Classy cooking: Visit Beaver Run Resort for evening cookery demonstrations, held from 6-9 pm on the first Thursday of each month. If you’d rather have someone do the cooking for you, ride on a sled to the top of the mountain for a star-lit dinner at Ten Mile Station.

About the author: Tara Rogers is a professional travel writer for Ski Safari – tailor-made ski holiday specialists.

Your Guide to Skiing in New Zealand

New Zealand is among the best places to hit the slopes in the southern hemisphere. The ski season there generally runs from early June to late October. While in the North Island there’s Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s only skiable volcano with two commercial fields, the South Island has nine established ski fields dotted around Christchurch and Queenstown. My pick of the bunch when I want to go off-piste is Treble Cone.

Make a beeline for Treble Cone

Treble Cone in the Queenstown-Wanaka region is New Zealand’s most popular place to ski. Plus if you buy your 2014 season pass before November 30 you’ll get bonus Treble Cone dollars to spend the following year as well as special access to Bonus Day 2014, which means even more great-value fun in the snow, (scheduled for 25 June 2014, subject to weather and snow conditions).

Treble Cone boasts legendary off-piste terrain and slopes that stay generally uncrowded, not to mention the all-round gorgeous views as you set about hurtling down those undulating runs. With 45 per cent of the ski terrain in the advanced or expert categories, you’ll be among those who love a challenge. Me included. See you there?

Where to stay

When you’re looking for a place to stay you’ll probably realise, as I did my first time there, that the standard of accommodation will vary drastically depending on your budget. Hostels in Queenstown are a good idea, and you’ll meet likeminded people this way. It’s never a bad idea to make more ski buddies, right? It will just give you a chance to get your skis out more often.

If you’re planning to ski at Treble Cone over a few days or longer, keep in mind that there’s no on-mountain accommodation, but the nearby town of Wanaka has plenty of options, plus it’s closer to the slopes than Queenstown.

How to prepare, and get there

Flying to Queenstown is a good idea, but book those tickets in advance. I got stung once because I left booking too late. I found that bus companies tend to run trips to most resorts and ski fields from New Zealand’s major cities, Treble Cone included. If you hire a car, you’ll find the drive from Queenstown to Treble Cone is breathtakingly beautiful.

Planning a road trip?

If you’re holidaying in New Zealand and decide to make the drive from Christchurch, Treble Cone is located 450 km or a lovely five-and-a-half hour scenic drive past the spectacular Mt Cook (Aoraki) glacier – a sight that’s worth the trip alone and one that induced a massive amount of gasps from all my friends. You’ll also pass the jaw-droppingly awesome Lake Tekapo. In fact, if you’re looking for a road trip in the snow, you can’t do better than this. And just imagine the slopes at the end of it!

What does it cost?

A full-day lift pass at Treble Cone starts at $95 for adults and $48 for children if you book in advance. For more information on skiing in NZ take a look at Student Flights and start planning that ski trip with your mates!

Author: Student Flights consultants love to travel, from adventure travel to backpacking in Peru, they’ve travelled far and wide to bring you the most up to date travel advice.

The Top 7 Ski Resorts in Europe

One of the most incredible vacations to take is a European skiing trip. Not only are the mountain ranges throughout Europe unique from the rest of the world, they are quite different from one another, so it’s easy to find a place that will cater to your exact demands. Whether you want challenging slopes or the finest spa on the continent, there is a ski resort that will leave you content (and here is another good site to help you find them). Here are the top seven ski resorts in Europe.

1. Chamonix – There is a reason why this has become a must-visit for serious skiers the world over. Chamonix is situated in a valley with five different skiing areas and access to some of the most challenging slopes imaginable. The Couloir des Cosmiques is a particularly exciting run, letting you go down a 45-degree, 2,600-foot couloir that can earn you 10,000 vertical miles if you take it all the way to the valley floor. Because there is so much space to work with, it’s recommended that you bring a full backcountry kit and hire a guide to make sure you don’t get lost skiing these remarkable slopes.

2. St. Anton – For the full experience of enjoying a ski town, you can’t do better than St. Anton, Austria. A charming skiing village, St. Anton has almost 200 miles of slopes and 440 miles of woods and backcountry to explore. If you want to try something a little different, you can always ski over to Lech via their system of lifts and slopes. When you’re done skiing, enjoy the various clubs, restaurants, and other entertainments, including an extensive spa. If you want to do more than just ski, St. Anton is the place for you.

3. Verbier – Located in the middle of Switzerland, Verbier is one of the most diverse places you can go. While it has quite a few offerings for hard core Alpine slope enthusiasts, almost outpacing Chamonix in that regard, it also has a sleek, modern feel and a number of discos and other amenities to draw your attention. If skiing is what you’re there for, then Verbier really shines with the various off-piste areas you can enjoy. Again, it’s recommended you get a guide if you plan to explore off the normal trails.

4. Mürren – Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Alpine skiing, Mürren really is a fantastic place to relax. With only about 33-miles of slopes, this is not the place for a hardcore skier, but the endless backcountry can certainly make for a great trip. The village is car free and can only be accessed by cable car or train, ensuring peace and quiet during your trip. For the James Bond fan, this is also the location of the Piz Gloria, the rotating restaurant featured in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

5. Zermatt – While Zermatt has a decent 153 miles of slopes to enjoy, the main reason to come to this little Swiss resort town is the food and drink. There are over 60 on-mountain eateries in Zermatt, ranging from five star restaurants to bars built into the backs of barns. You can spend weeks just exploring the different flavors and scents of the area. That is not to say that the skiing isn’t also top notch, with some incredible runs for experts and novices alike.

6. Alagna – This Italian hamlet is actually quite charming. With a population of only about 400, this little area has roughly 155 miles of skiing trails. But people don’t go for the trails. Instead, Alagna is known for its amazing backcountry lines, which stretch for miles and provide an incredible expedition for anyone who truly loves to explore on skis. Nightlife is low key and laid back, with only one bar that the guides tend to congregate at.

7. La GraveSki mountaineering is not for everyone, but if it’s something that you’re into, you will absolutely adore La Grave. This is the place where the most hard core of skiers go to experience 7,000-vertical-feet of glaciers, cliffs, couloirs, and no-fall zones. There is one lift, no avy control, no ski patrol, no marked runs, and no guide required, making this the place for only the most competent and extreme skiers.