Thursday, May 31, 2012


Food & Drink for Outdoor Recreation & Sports Activities (subtopic).

We need to stay well fueled and well hydrated during our activities. The food and drink that we consume during during recreation or work activities may be designed specifically for athletes (e.g. sports drinks) or chosen for convenience in packaging or transport (e.g. dried banana chips are more convenient than fresh bananas).

Pumpkin Spice Granola Fiber Bars homemade in my food dehydrator.
Garlic rosemary flaxseed crackers made in my food dehydrator.
Banana flax crackers and banana walnut crackers made in my food dehydrator.
Cranberry Walnut Flaxseed Cracker recipe made in my food dehydrator.
Raw Flaxseed Crackers made in my Food Dehydrator.
Dried Carrot Chips make a healthy, raw and tasty snack food.
Tart Cherry and Pomegranate Homemade Sports Drinks Help Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in Athletes.
Hot and Sour Zucchini Chips - Raw Dehydrated and Tasty.
Watermelon and Watermelon-Lime Sports Drink Recipes - homemade, healthy, natural and taste great too!
Pickle-Flavored Zucchini Chips and Dried Pickle Recipes Made in a Food Dehydrator.
Sweet & Sour Watermelon Chip Jerky is a tasty healthy homemade snack food.
Dried Watermelon, Cantalope and other Melons make great healthy homemade snacks 20july2012.
Spicy Veggie Chips - recipe for healthy homemade snack foods made in a food dehydrator 16june2012.
Healthy Hiking Snacks Made in my Food Dehydrator 01june2012.
Apple Juice Hydration Sports Drink - homemade recipe 02may2012.
Low-Fat Chocolate Milk as a Post-Workout Recovery Drink 17april2012.
PowerT Hydration Juice - healthy homemade energy-sports drink recipe 07sept2010.
Homemade Energy Drink Recipe Made Using Healthy Natural Tea 06sept2010.
Energy drinks boost your metabolism for better athletic performance 05sept2010.
Grape juice sports drink homemade recipe for hydration and reducing muscle soreness 21aug2010.
Pomegranate, blueberry, cherry & grape sports drinks decrease muscle soreness 17july2010.
Organic sports drinks made from healthy natural fruit juices 13nov2009.
Go Green with Homemade Sports Drink Recipes 02nov2009.
Stevia natural sweetener enhances the flavor of homemade sports drinks 09oct2009.
Hydration Fruit-Ade Natural Sports Drink Update 01oct2009.
After Sports Drinks Provide Carbohydrate & Protein for Recovery After Workouts 24sept2009.
Hydration Fruit-Ade - homemade natural sports drink DIY recipe made from fruit juice 22sept2009.
Hydration Cool-Ade - homemade inexpensive sports drink recipe for outdoor sports 18sept2009.
Sports Drinks for Hydration of Kayakers & Paddleboaters 14sept2009.
Paddle boaters need good hydration drinks for optimum performance 09sept2009.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012


Sunscreen and Other Strategies for Protection Against UV During Outdoor Sports

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so its a good time to update our strategies for protection against sunburn and skin cancer caused by ultraviolet light exposure.

Sunscreen Safety & Effectiveness

Two nongovernment organizations that rate sunscreens have radically different conclusions about the safety of many popular brands of sunscreen. Consumer Reports sunscreen buying guide (test results available to subscribers only) gives good ratings to many popular sunscreens that are considered not so safe by the Environmental Working Group sunscreen guide. Here are some sunscreens that got good safety ratings from Environmental Working Group.

Be sure to buy a sunscreen that is effective for protection against both UVA and UVB. To get the best results from whatever brand of sunscreen you use it is helpful to apply the sunscreen a while before going out into the sun. Sunscreen should also be reapplied periodically throughout a long day of sun exposure, especially if you are swimming or perspiring heavily.

Clothing that Protects Against the Sun

Clothing provides good protection against the sun, in part because the whitening agents in our modern laundry detergents enable the clothing to reflect sunlight. RIT SunGuard laundry powder has a special whitening agent that enables clothing to reflect even more sunlight. Special SPF clothing designed for higher protection against sunlight is available from Coolibar, Snapper Rock and other manufacturers.

What is your favorite sunscreen?

Please click on the comments link below and let us know which sunscreen you will use this summer.

More about:
Make sure your sunscreen is safe and effective 25may2008.
Supplies & Equipment for Outdoor Sports - BRT Insights.
Sunscreens remain safe, effective form of sun protection - ScienceDaily 15may2012
How to Choose and Use Sunscreen - Expert Advice from REI

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


GIMP is a Powerful, Free Software for Digital Photo Editing

I use GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) software for advanced photo projects that simpler software cannot accomplish. For example, working with layers allows multiple photos to be combined into a photo collage. GIMP freeware is available for PC, Mac and Linux computers. It is well documented and well supported by an active user community.

More about:
Software, Books, Videos, & Websites - critical reviews by BRT Insights.
IrfanView software for enhancement of digital photographs - BRT Insights.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012


Webcams for Parks and Hiking Trails in California

Viewing current conditions on a webcam can be helpful for planning your hiking trips. Seeing the current conditions at a potential hiking spot may help decide whether or not it will be a good day to hike a particular trail.

U.S. National Park Service Webcams - Webcams for parks in CA.
   * Channel Islands National Park webcam -
   * Lassen Volcanic National Park webcam -
   * Lava Beds National Monument webcam -
   * Point Reyes National Seashore webcam -
   * Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area webcam -
   * Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park webcam -
   * Yosemite National Park webcam -

USGS California Water Science Center Webcams - Webcams on creeks and rivers in CA. Live view allows camera to be repositioned.

Webcam overlooking Mount Diablo State Park - mtdiablocam Private webcam looks onto mountain peak on public land.

Webcam overlooking Mount Tamalpais State Park - Private webcam looks onto mountain peak on public land.

Please add a comment to let us know about any other webcams at hiking areas & parks in California.

More information:
Websites, Books, Videos & Software - Reviews by BRT Insights.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012


Canon PowerShot A490 - digital camera equipment review

The PowerShot A490 Digital Camera is a simple, inexpensive camera that produces good quality pictures suitable for online viewing in websites, blogs, online photo albums, etc. The settings options the camera provides are easy to learn and quick to operate. This enables the camera to take good pictures and video clips over a wide range of conditions. Over the past 6 months I have had success with this camera taking product photos, close-up photos, landscape photos and videos. The AA batteries used in the A490 are less expensive and more widely available than the proprietary batteries that are used in many other cameras. Overall this camera is a good value in the inexpensive price range.

Canon PowerShot A490 digital camera

More information:
Reviews - Cameras & Equipment for Hiking, Biking & Whitewater Boating.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Apple Juice Hydration Sports Drink - homemade recipe tastes great with some vinegar added

A little vinegar gives apple juice a zesty, sweet & sour flavor enhancement

Diluted vinegar drink recipes have a long history for hydration of farmers working long days in the hot sun. Lots of recipes are available for Haymaker's Punch, Switchel, Secangevin, and Oxymel drinks made from diluted vinegar and sweetened with honey or molasses. My initial reaction to the idea of vinegar drinks was negative. Fortunately I kept surfing and reading long enough to find Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, commercial drinks that were unexpectedly good. Lemon juice is harsh and acidic, but when diluted and sweetened most of us can enjoy it as lemonade. Likewise, vinegar-containing drinks can be appreciated as tangy, sweet & sour drinks.
apple cider fruit juice

EatDrinkBetter blog has a good do it yourself recipe for an Apple Cider Vinegar Sports Drink. This recipe has less sugar than is typically found in commercial sports drinks. My modified version of the recipe contains more apple juice to add flavor and to achieve the isotonic sugar concentration that is beneficial in a sports drink. Isotonic drinks that are absorbed into the body most rapidly are needed to help maintain good hydration in athletes and workers who are exercising vigorously.

apple cider vinegar

Apple Juice + Vinegar makes a great Sports Drink Hydration Recipe

My initial attempt to make an apple juice sports drink was unsuccessful. Apple juice is not my favorite fruit juice straight out of the bottle and I liked it even less when it was diluted to make a sports drink using my homemade sports drink recipe. Adding the stevia and apple cider vinegar from the EatDrinkBetter recipe produced a really great tasting apple juice sports drink recipe containing:
2 1/2 cups apple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (= 4 tablespoons)
1/4 tsp stevia concentrated liquid extract (e.g. NOW Foods, NuNaturals or other brands)
1/4 tsp lite salt (optional, provides sodium and potassium electrolytes, prolongs thirst)
5 1/2 cups water (final volume = 1/2 gallon)

Critical roles of electrolyte salts in sports drinks

The lite salt in the recipe serves three important functions in a sports drink. 1) Normally we get all the electrolyte salts we need from food. Workers and athletes who lose lots of salt in their sweat during prolonged activities without access to solid food may benefit from getting some electrolytes from their hydration drink. 2) Salt also prevents the sports drink from quenching thirst. Workers and athletes who are preoccupied with their activities typically do not drink enough to remain properly hydrated. Salty drinks ensure that people remain stimulated to continue drinking more to help maintain adequate hydration during intense, prolonged activities. 3) Sodium salt plus sugar is needed for the most rapid mechanism of water absorption into our body tissues. The small amount of sodium that occurs naturally in apple juice may be sufficient for this, so I often make my sports drink recipe without adding any lite salt if I think I'm getting enough salt from food around the time of my activities. 

More about:
Athletes need good hydration for optimum muscle performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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