Tips For Enjoying The Great Outdoors -- Safely

By Copley News Service

February 1, 2008 4 min read

RV AND OUTDOOR LIVING 2008

Tips for enjoying the great outdoors -- safely

Copley News Service

KEEPING FUEL COSTS DOWN

GoRving.com, the recreational vehicle industry's consumer Web site, offers lots of tips on how to save gas and have a great time on your next RV vacation. From staying closer to home to sticking to a regular maintenance schedule, GoRVing's advice is practical without getting in the way of fun. Among the tips:

-- Take advantage of local parks and campgrounds. The logic is obvious -- by staying close to home, you will use less gas than you would on a long-haul adventure.

-- Instead of several short stops, cut down on the number of places you'll visit. By staying a little longer at one or two sites, less gas will be used driving from point to point.

-- Slow down. Driving 55 mph can be more fuel efficient.

-- Keep it light. Don't overload your RV with items like firewood, which can be purchased at the campground. A lighter load is lighter on the gas tank.

-- Maintain your RV with regular tuneups and keep tires properly inflated for maximum fuel efficiency.

For more information, visit www.gorving.com. (CNS)

PURSUITS OF HAPPINESS

Outdoor pursuits like camping, hiking and boating are on the rise, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. It's sports participation study found slight to modest increases in 2006 (the most recent year study data is available) over the previous year.

Camping had two categories. The study shows 48.6 million participants in camping (vacation/overnight), up 5.7 percent; and 13.3 million participants in backpack/wilderness camping, up .4 percent. Hiking was up 4 percent with 31 million participants, and boating (motor/power) had 29.3 million participants, which was an increase of 6.2 percent.

Cross-country skiing saw a major increase, even with a small number of participants. The sport was up 36.7 percent with 2.6 million participants.

Which outdoor activities fell behind? Fishing was down 2.5 percent and hunting saw a decrease. Hunting with firearms was down 8.3 percent with 17.8 million participants, and bow and arrow hunting was down 11.6 percent with 5.9 million participants. (CNS)

GONE GREEN

Consumer demand for environmentally friendly apparel and gear continues to drive the market, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Expect to see more products with green components. Whether it's recycled or sustainable materials, everything from shoes to sleeping bags are being made to have less of an impact on Mother Earth.

Primaloft and Climashield are leading the way in green insulation, says the OIA. Sierra Designs, Big Agnes and Kelty sleeping bags are being made with Climashield's 100 percent recycled insulation. And Primaloft manufactures Eco Insulation, a product that is 50 percent post-consumer recycled.

Sustainable footwear is also making strides. Brookes Sports will debut its eco-conscious running shoe, the Trance 8 featuring BioMoGo -- a biodegradable midsole. It's a first. Over at Merrell, new running styles will feature recycled mesh uppers and strobel boards, as well as manufacturing in a way that reduces the amount of water and energy used.

Green fibers to keep an eye out for include bamboo socks, and merino wool garments certified as Zque, a qualification created by the New Zealand Merino Company that meets specific environmental, social and economic sustainability and animal welfare criteria. (CNS)

(c) Copley News Service

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