Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Take a Second Look

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is often just a minor pit stop for tourists who land at the airport and almost immediately board busses for Siem Reap, the home of Angkor Wat, or the white sand beaches of Sihanoukville and its islands.

Phnom Penh, with its modern cafes and sky scrapers, French colonial buildings, and shopfront row houses mixed among gorgeous Buddhist temples and local markets, should not be overlooked at it really does have something to excite everyone.

Many travelers who take the time to see any part of Phnom Penh will simply grab a tuk-tuk and zoom off to visit the more popular tourist attractions such as the Royal Palace and the infamous Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

While important in their own right, these sites barely scratch the surface of a complex and engaging city that is undergoing massive and rapid change.

The National Museum 

Cambodia National Museum

The National Museum for instance, located just behind the Royal Palace, offers a museum experience that is unlike most others. Most visitors quickly notice is that the museum is open air. The window openings are protected by large wooden shutters during the night, but when open, air, and sometimes birds, freely pass through.

Not surprisingly, the museum contains one of the largest collections of Angkorian and Pre-Angkorian artifacts in the world.

What is surprising however, is that the majority of this collection was gathered after the ouster of the Khmer Rouge in 1979 as they had abandoned the museum and destroyed most of the artifacts during their reign of terror. The museum also contains a small, but hopefully growing, collection of artifacts from Cambodia’s French Colonial era.

Nightly, behind the museum, a traditional dance show is held with young artists who are rekindling their culture of dance and music that was all but lost during decades of civil war, genocide, and rebuilding.

Stability has finally allowed the arts to return and the Traditional Dance show is one of the best ways for tourists to witness them.

traditional dancers cambodia

Like any large city, the local neighborhoods of Phnom Penh each have their own distinctive character and charm.

Walking the streets, or taking a tuk-tuk ride through a local neighborhood is a rewarding experience, especially if you are able to explore several different areas and witness a variety of locals going about their daily lives.

From the busy streets surrounding the riverfront packed with local street vendors, markets, and small shops to the much more upscale BKK1 area with its Starbuckseque coffee shops and a new Krispy Kreme, there is a neighborhood that will make most everyone feel at home.

Walking a neighborhood is also an excellent way to see the architecture of the area.

The ornate metalwork that makes up many of the common fences that surround most buildings and villas can easily be called works of art.

From the French colonial buildings with their curved corners and balconies to the hand carved roof brackets, the architecture of Phnom Penh does not disappoint either.

French Architecture in Phomn Penh Cambodia

Many concrete walls, especially those surrounding the numerous wats (temples) around the city, are also intricately detailed and very worthy of close inspection.

For those who are interested in construction as well, Phnom Penh is growing at a phenomenal pace and new construction, in its concrete and rough brick form, can be seen all over the city in both low and high rise buildings.

Local Market – Local Life

Cambodia Local Market

Most tourists who venture into Phnom Penh’s markets visit Central Market and more recently Toul Tom Pong market, commonly called The Russian Market. While each of these has its charm, there are many local markets where the people of Phnom Penh do their daily shopping.

Unlike Central Market or The Russian Market, local markets will have little to no souvenirs and instead will be stocked with fresh fruits and meats, tools, kitchen appliances, and other daily needs.

A local market is a great place to interact with Cambodians, witness the variety of foods and goods, and practice some of the common travel phrases like “How much is this?”.

Local markets are also an excellent place to dive into a fresh bowl of noodles or whatever is on the menu that day.

Cambodians are often friendly people and more than happy to help you through the buying process but remember that modest haggling is expected.

Even if you don’t purchase anything, seeing a local market is not an experience you will soon forget and for many is one of the highlights of any trip to Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh Up-and-Coming Center of Business & Culture in Southeast Asia

Phnom Penh, once known as the Pearl of Asia, is again an up-and-coming center of business and culture in southeast Asia.

Unlike in its past though, today’s Phnom Penh is not just limited to Asia but is becoming a truly international city that is a worthwhile addition to any traveler’s schedule.

Off the path City See it Now

It’s Never Too Late For a Heroic Adventure

Dating in The City – Ten Tips for Hooking Up in London

There are few things more exciting than being young, free and single in the city.

Or even if you’re not so young, dating in a buzzing metropolis such as London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Paris is an adventure like no other.

There are immense opportunities to meet a lifelong partner or someone to warm your bed for a night:

City Dating

Whatever you are looking for, the city has it.

Dating in the city is not without its challenges, though. With that in mind, here are ten tips for finding a love-match in a thriving metropolis.

Get App-Happy

You might feel that Tinder is already old hat. But there are a wealth of exciting apps that will get your smartphone buzzing with dating activity.

Whatever your age and interests, meeting your perfect match can be a ton more fun if you do it at the touch of a handy app.

Examples include Coffee Meets Bagel or you can check out Tinder for travelers

Get Adventurous

One of the many great pleasures of dating in the world’s great cities is the enormous diversity of people and leisure activities.

Next time you are planning a date, get creative and try something new.

Ever considered dating in the dark, parasailing across the city or chilling in an ice bar?

Those are just some of the awesome ideas available for you and your date to enjoy.

Who knows where your adventures will take you?

Parasail Date Adventure

Explore Unique City Features

A meal for two is always nice… but you can do that anywhere.

When you want to try something new, why not look at the unique aspects of wherever you live and share it with your gorgeous new date?

Try a London Eye capsule for two, having caricatures done in Montmartre, a cruise on an Amsterdam canal, an exhibition at MoMA… anything that shouts:

“We’re here, were now and we may just be falling in love…”

London Eye Perfect Date

No Need to Be Shy

There is never any reason to be lonely in the capital.

If you are shy by nature, then find a group of like-minded people and focus on just enjoying city friendship first. Dating can follow soon after.

You could become a member of a top museum or gallery, or try a dance class, or join up a sports club for singles – your call, do whatever you feel like!

In the city, a date often finds you.

Finding Love in London

Hunt Romance Online

Bumping into “the perfect partner” is not always feasible.

That is one reason why very few people have reservations these days about online dating.

Sign up to a reputable dating site which suits your personal tastes – arty, teenage, over 60, sports-loving or whatever – and have some fun finding the perfect love match online.

Seeking Love Online London

It’s Not All Money, Money, Money

So your normal circles do not run to the smartest districts.

You don’t have to splash the cash to have the most fun.

City living is normally expensive, but all the more reason to shop around for fun ideas that will not cost the earth.

How about a comedy night, a university student union event, a street festival, book readings, an art happening or any of the other many low-cost high-fun options that can be found in every city?

Comedy Night of Romance

Mix it Up

If your normal dating routine goes first date: coffee, second date: dinner and movie, etc, why not mix it up a little?

How about a last-minute surprise for him, or her, with tickets for their favorite band?

Or taking a risk by daring to try a hot pop-up restaurant in town?

Or, something outrageous yet memorable like a parachute jump?

Surprise yourself, surprise your date and you will reap the romantic benefits.

Memorable Date - Jump out of plane

Mind Your Manners

Cities are, busy, pressurized places. The dating game can be fast-paced, but there is never any need to brush people off if you don’t click.

Be nice. Even when they might not deserve it. No need to tell them that you would rather date Shrek, just say a polite thank you and leave it at that.

It’s fabulous dating karma.

Shrek be nice on dates

Wrong-foot Them

It’s date three. You like each other. You think you have the measure of one another’s tastes.

She plays in a symphony orchestra – take her to a tour of Banksy art in situ.

He lives for football – blow his mind with a night at the Covent Garden opera or La Scala.

Why not?

Life is an adventure and you need a partner who can experience the best of all of it… starting now.

Travel Partner

Finally, Always Play It Safe… Dating City Mostly

Don’t step out of your door on a first date without telling a family member or friend where you are going, and who with – Rule Number One.

Only meet in well-lit, busy places. Also, always keep a mobile and enough taxi fare with you. You can be safe and still have a heroic adventure worthy of memory.

If alarm bells ring, you can always leave.

Most people really are lovely, so simply avoid taking unnecessary risks and stay strictly on the fun side of dating.

You might be surprised how happiness tends to find those who are open to finding love.

Enjoy!

Those Open to Love

Live Heroically – Everyday

Cultured Coffee: The Next Kopi Luwak, Civet Coffee Alternative

Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, is partially digested coffee that has been eaten and digested by an Asian Palm Civet; often called civet cat coffee…

Source of Kopi Luwak - Asian Palm Civet

Kopi Luwak

It is a slightly disturbing delicacy based out of Indonesia, and the pre-digested, partially fermented coffee beans have been known to sell for more than USD $2,000 dollars a pound!

Fermented Civet Coffee Beans

But there is good news for ethical coffee aficionados with a slightly tighter budget.

In July 2015, Camille Delebecque launched Cultured Coffee, the next coffee delicacy, through a Kickstarter campaign where he successfully raised over USD$50,000 towards putting his unique product on the market.

Cultured coffee is a uniquely fermented whole-bean coffee product that has been described by many as a better alternative to kopi luwak.

Fermentation is a process that has been practiced worldwide for thousands of years. It offers better, more delicious food products including cheese, wine, and even beer.

Fermented coffee has been around for many years, however, the fermentation process is often questionable at best.

Typically, coffee beans are left fermenting in water, which can lead to bad, uncontrolled bacterial growth and a bitter flavor. Not this preparation method.

Cultured coffee is a unique product that has gone through two incredible fermentation processes in a natural, controlled environment.

The fermentation process leaves you with a truly one-of-a-kind flavor. The taste provides very little bitterness with abundant notes of fruit, floral flavors, and chocolate undertones.

If you are a coffee connoisseur that can’t wait to get your hands on your own bag of Cultured Coffee, you can order bags and bottles of coffee beans in varying sizes, directly through Delebecque’s website>>>

If you are looking for a refreshing alternative to a typical cup of coffee, Cultured Coffee could be a great option for you!

Cultured coffee… the beginning of a new fermented foods revolution? [Video]

Ready for More Heroic Eating Adventures?

5 Tempting Treats Every Coffee Lover Needs to Discover

Is coffee the one beverage you can’t live without?

Do you consider yourself a confirmed caffeine addict with no desire to give up your drug of choice?

Being a coffee connoisseur is nothing to be ashamed of…

Attractive Female drinking coffee and looking out coffeeshop window

There are plenty of benefits available to those with a penchant for beautiful brews. If you want to up your status as coffee junkie, following are five tempting treats you need to discover:

1. Coffees Bot

Have a hankering for coffee but not sure where to go for your next caffeine fix?

Simply text Coffees Bot your current location and you’ll instantly receive a notification of the best coffee hot spots in your location.

Getting your brew on really couldn’t be any easier.

2. Behmor Connected Coffee Maker


The Behmor Connected Coffee Maker lets you control your coffee machine with your smartphone.

No, it won’t bring you a cup of coffee, but it will let you instantly start or stop your coffee maker.

Lie in bed and notify your machine to start brewing or make your favorite java brew while you’re on the way home from work.

Control both the temperature of your brew and the blend of your coffee. Who knew caffeine and home automation worked so well together?

3. Ozmo Smart Cup

Ozmo Smart Cup

 

 

Speaking of cups of coffee, the Ozmo Smart Cup will help you monitor your coffee intake throughout the day.

This Bluetooth-enabled device will keep you advised of your coffee (or water) intake so you know when to cut back on the caffeine or when it is okay to enjoy another cup of your favorite blend.

 

4. Coffeespec

Want an infographic detailing exactly how you like your coffee.

Make your own custom coffee infographic with Coffeespec.

Print and frame your infographic or share an URL on social media.

Friends and coworkers won’t have any more excuses for bringing you the wrong type of coffee now.

5. NootroBox Go Cubes

No time to drink a cup of coffee?

You can now chew your coffee instead…

NootroBox offers chewable coffee.

Each chewable caffeine cube is equivalent to half a cup of coffee, so you won’t end up with the jitters when you choose to chew rather than brew.

What a great idea for long hikes or bike rides, right?

Gifts for Coffee Lovers & Coffee Gifts to Treat Yourself

These are just five fabulous finds coffee lovers can enjoy.

Being a caffeine addict has its perks, especially when it comes to discovering cool treats to show off to your friends and family.

Coffee Strainer and Cup, background reads "Coffee Time"

Even if you won’t be investing in any of the above-listed coffee treats for yourself, they also make excellent gifts for the coffee lover in your life–these are useful accessories and coffee gifts.

Coffee Lovers Hearts filled with Coffee Beans and tray with coffee and milk

Bonus: 5 Coffee Gadgets Every Coffee Lover Will Go CRAZY for [Video]

Get Out More with Heroic Adventures

Five Reasons to Choose a Hostel Instead of a Hotel

Many travelers associate hostels with unkempt backpackers strumming on their guitars or massive dorm rooms filled with snoring strangers.

Others still think all hostels are youth hostels, and that they’re either too old or too experienced to check in to one.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Hostels have come a long way in the past twenty years, and are an increasingly appealing option for travelers of all ages, experience levels, interests and budgets.

Here are five great reasons why you should consider booking a hostel instead of a hotel on your next trip:

Why book a hostel: Hostel vs Hotel

1. You’ll Save Money

A quick search on one of the major booking sites shows that of the more than 1000 available accommodation options in London, England, the sixty least expensive options are all shared, dorm-style rooms.

In fact, the average price of a bed in a dorm room in London is approximately 80% cheaper than the average price of a hotel room.

For single travelers, the savings can’t be beat.

Groups of two or more may be able to find double rooms for approximately the same price as two dorm beds, but the hotels with prices that low generally get equally low scores from guest reviews.

The more expensive the city, the more you’ll save by staying in a hostel.

Hostels are economic when you are on a tight budget

2. You’ll Make New Friends

Whether you’re traveling solo or with others, it’s always nice to make new friends along the way.

When you stay in a hostel you have instant access to a group of people who, like you, are interested in travel, meeting new people and learning about other cultures.

Many hostels organize activities such as walking tours, day trips and pub crawls to help guests get to know one another.

The best hostels also have comfortable common areas where you can relax with a book, sip a drink or connect to the internet while chatting with other guests.

Most travelers who frequent hostels can easily list a dozen cool people they’ve met while hosteling… can you name even one friend you’ve made in a hotel?

Social Life is one attraction at hostels, new friends

3. You’ll Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Think about the cost and environmental impact of lighting, heating, cooling and cleaning a hotel room.  Now multiply that by the hundreds of rooms in any given hotel.

The impact is pretty huge, and it’s especially harmful in sensitive ecological areas.

When multiple travelers share common facilities, however, the impact can be reduced.  Instead of needing air conditioning in ten separate rooms, hostels can simply air condition one ten-bed dormitory.

Instead of cleaning ten separate bathrooms every morning, hostels can clean one shared bathroom a couple of times throughout the day.

When you’re concerned about your environmental footprint, spend part of your trip in shared dorm rooms and look for hostels that incorporate other eco-friendly practices like recycling, composting and non-toxic cleaning.

Hostels Use Less Fossil Fuels

4. You’ll Feel Like You’re At Home

Anyone who’s ever taken one look at a hotel’s dry cleaning price list and decided to just wear a dirty shirt again will know what this one is about.

Good hostels anticipate budget travelers’ needs and offer home-style services like washing machines, drying racks, shared kitchens (often equipped with cooking basics like oil and salt), free computers and complimentary boarding pass printing.

Even when you’re not trying to keep costs down, sometimes it’s just nice to cook yourself your favorite meal or wash that t-shirt that somehow seems to have developed a chocolate ice cream stain.

5. You Can Still Have Privacy

Example of a private room at a hostel two single beds.

The most popular hostels today offer a variety of room types, which may include a mix of both shared and private accommodations.

Solo travelers seeking a bit of privacy can look for hostels that offer single rooms, while groups can look for double or triple private rooms, or even consider booking an entire dorm just for their group (even if you don’t use all the beds, it’s often cheaper than the equivalent number of hotel rooms).

When you’re not into sharing a bathroom with strangers, book yourself into one of the many hostels where rooms feature an ensuite bathroom.

Recently, more hostels have been adding family rooms to their collections, so even travelers with children can take enjoy the benefits of staying in a hostel.

Take Away: Hostel vs Hotel

Motives for Booking A hostel

Whether your goal is to save money, meet new people, reduce your environmental impact or enjoy the comforts of home, staying in a hostel offers many advantages over staying in traditional hotels.

With the option of staying in a shared dorm room or your very own private room, you can now experience all the great things about hostel accommodations while also deciding just how much you want to interact with the other hostel guests.

Bon voyage!

Go Further, Life – Its Your Heroic Adventure

The Basics of Mahjong [Illustrated]

To a viewer unfamiliar with mahjong, the game can present a bewildering spectacle, what with its walls of tiles, talk of prevailing winds and the constant clatter of pieces being discarded in turn by the four opposing players.

Appearances, however, can be deceptive. This quintessentially Chinese game is, in fact, very similar to a number of Western card games such as rummy. The goal in mahjong is to complete a set with your tiles similar to a poker or rummy hand.

Anyone used to card games where a winning hand consists of a straight flush or a full house can easily get their head around the basic rules of mahjong.

Mahjong: The Tiles

Tiles Used to Play Mahjong

The most distinctive pieces in a mahjong set are undoubtedly the tiles.

Based originally on paper cards, the tiles are now solid, chunky pieces with an image or character on one side (similar in a sense to a domino) and a thick backing of bamboo or, more usually these days, plastic on the other.

There are three categories of tiles:

  1. simples
  2. honors
  3. bonus

As is the case with a set of playing cards, the simples fall into suits.

How to Play Mahjong Tiles on Table

In mahjong there are three suits for simples:

  1. bamboos
  2. characters
  3. circles

Each suit consists of nine tiles numbered one through nine. There are four copies of each of these tile in a set.

The honor tiles are divided between dragons (red, green and white) and winds (east, south, west and north) while the optional bonus tiles (flowers and seasons) are used mainly for the purposes of scoring and gambling.

Mahjong: The Dice

Attractive Women Holding Chinese Dice, Text on Image says "Mahjong Dice"

A mahjong set will also include a number of dice with which players determine who is to deal and where the dealing is to begin and a marker to show who is dealing and which round is being played.

Some sets may also include counters to help with scoring and racks into which players may place their tiles so they remain hidden from the other players.

Mahjong: Standard Game

Mahjong Tiles in box

A standard game begins with the players choosing a dealer either by means of a high-scoring roll of the dice or by the blind drawing of wind tiles (featured in image below).

The dealer is assigned the position of East wind and play proceeds in a counter-clockwise motion to the other players, each of whom is assigned the wind respective to their position in regard to the dealer.

Mahjong Wind Tiles, Chinese Character meaning North, South, East, West, Middle (zhong)

When a round is finished, the position of dealer shifts to the player on the dealer’s right.

Once a dealer has been chosen and the tiles have been shuffled, each player takes thirty-six tiles and builds a wall in front of them two tiles high and eighteen tiles wide, see image below for what this looks like:

Building Wall Mahjong

The players then push their walls together forming a square, the hollow center of which will be used for discarding tiles.

The dealer then rolls three dice and, counting along the row of tiles to his or her right, begins dealing from the tile which corresponds to the sum of the dice.

One by one, over three rounds, the players take four tiles at a time and one last tile for a total of thirteen tiles each.

Game play proper begins with the dealer taking an extra tile and then discarding a tile of his or her choice.

Three People Playing Mahjong Location Mainland China

A winning hand in mahjong consists of fourteen tiles.

Except when drawing a tile during a turn, however, a player should only ever have thirteen tiles in their possession.

The aim is to have your hand divided neatly between a number of groupings.

In mahjong these groupings consist of:

  • Lungs  – three of a kind
  • Kongs  – four of a kind
  • Chows – a run of three consecutive tiles of the same same suit
  • ‘A pair’ – used to round out a winning hand

During a round, a player draws a tile from the wall.

If the tile cannot be used to complete a set the player then discards it.

When another player can use the tile to complete a set, that player is allowed to claim it and take the next turn.

Otherwise, following a discard, play continues in a counter-clockwise motion until someone has completed a hand.

In Western games a winning hand is often referred to as a “mahjong” and the player will call it as such when he or she has drawn the winning tile.

How to Win Mahjong

Mahjong: It’s Easier than You Think

It is the unusual set-up of the game which often seems so daunting to the novice player of mahjong. But once a player is used to the assigning of winds, the building of walls and the dealing of tiles, mahjong is actually quite straightforward.

Games can, of course, get rather complicated once you begin to grasp the possible strategies involved.

Systems of scoring too can render the game overly complex, but a player can always just adopt the simple option of scoring winning hands only.

how easy is mahjong?

Ultimately mahjong can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it and this is perhaps the secret of its enduring success.

For those of you taking Heroic Adventures to your local China town or further wanderings to parts of Asia, knowing how to play mahjong can be a way to make a healthy connection with locals and gain deep insight into local culture.

Go Deeper with Heroic Adventures

Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – A Beach Paradise

In the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s Southeast coast, 320 km east of Colombo, laid-back Arugam Bay beckons tourists to the Indian Ocean.

It has a local population of only a few hundred people, one main road, and one of the best point breaks in the region.

Map of Sri Lanka and S. India showing Arugam Bay

Many find the crescent of multicolored sand and turquoise water along Arugam Bay beach to be the ideal surf spot in the country.

Tourists can glimpse expert surfers vying for prizes, and beginners attending their first lesson at one of the abundant surf schools in the area.

Arugam Bay surfing is not the only activity attracting wanderers from around the globe.

Surfing in Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

There are abundant options for swimmers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, beach partiers, yoga buffs, and seekers of ayurveda and traditional medicine.

It is an ideal spot to begin an adventure into the surrounding rural parks or to do nothing on a beach while enjoying Arugam Bay’s low-key vibe.

When to Go

The hamlet is energetic from May to October, and quiet November to April.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

For the local populace, Arugam Bay is a fishing village.

An afternoon walk along the beach will reveal myriad fishermen preparing their wooden boats for the following day’s catch.

Beach Scene sunset Arugam Beach, Sri Lanka

Some are happy to take tourists with them for the day, for those who wish to experience local life. Lagoon boat tours are also plentiful.

Cooking classes and homestay visits are available, but strolling along miles of unspoiled beach should not be missed. For those who prefer not to stroll, scooters are available for rental to get around locally.

Restaurants and reggae bars light Arugam Bay and become busy as the sun sets.

Things to do around Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a perfect base of operations for visiting Yala National Park, the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka.

Wildlife in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, which includes Ruhuna National Park and Kumana National Park, is a wildlife sanctuary important to the preservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, leopards and birds.

The site of ancient civilizations, Yala National Park also contains two pilgrimage sites.

On the way to Yala National Park, Kudumbigala monastery beckons from high atop a hill in the middle of the jungle. The 360-degree views are astounding, especially at sunrise.

The crocodiles, elephants, sloth bears, and birds seen en route is as spectacular as the monastery itself. Though you must remove your shoes at the entrance, keeping them with you to climb is a smart practice.

“…with wild elephants occasionally coming to drink at the lagoon, and langur monkeys and macaques roaming in the forests.” (New York Times)

Four kilometers north of Arugam Bay is the town of Pottuvil, site of Muhudu Maha Viharaya, a Buddhist temple nearly 2,500 years old.

Visitors can walk among the ruins and contemplate the history of King Kavan Tissa. The site takes about an hour to explore and is a must-do for tourists interested in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural past.

Nearby Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, an ancient Shiva Temple, can be seen in the same day.

Whether your interests are sun and surf, history and culture, fishing, religion or nature safari, Arugam Bay beach and its surrounds are a fun and fascinating place to relax and explore, and a welcome respite from Colombo or your hectic Southern Asia travel itinerary.

Beach Bums Go Further with Heroic Adventures

How to Break in a New Pair of Hiking Boots – Without the Blisters

Even the best pair of hiking boots will come out of the box a little stiff, which can easily lead to pain, pinching, and even blisters if you don’t take the time and effort to break them in properly.

While the time it takes to break in a pair of boots can vary depending on the materials, the handy tips below can help you quickly and easily get a perfect, comfortable fit – without the blisters.

Pay Attention to Pinches and Hot Spots

Before you start breaking in your boots, make sure that they are a decent fit out of the box.

While you can expect any brand-new boot to be a little stiff, sharp pinches or hot spots are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored.

Hiking Boots After the Sale - conditioning against blisters

In most cases, such pains are not likely to go away even after the boots are broken in, since they stem from a problem with the size or design of the boot itself.

Always take the time to try on boots before you buy them, and if you are shopping online, look for sellers with generous return policies.

Start Slow

Trying to break in boots too quickly, even on a day hike, can lead to calluses, blisters, and swelling.

Instead of wearing your new boots for a long hike or a full shift at work, take things slowly.

Start by wearing the new boots for 10 to 20 minutes a day, and work your way up as they become more comfortable.

Soften the Leather

Leather is animal skin, and just like skin, moisturizers can make it softer and more flexible.

Many manufacturers offer leather conditioners in the form of creams, oils, and sprays, all of which can help you break in your boots much faster.

Hiking Shoes with Walking Poles on top

A good moisturizing product will keep the leather supple, helping the boots mold to the shape of your feet, and it will also protect the boots from drying out or cracking.

Boots broken in — plan a trekking  adventure in India >>>

Invest in Thicker Socks

A thicker pair of socks can make a huge difference when it comes to being comfortable in new boots.

Avoid loose socks, ankle socks, or dress socks, as well as socks that don’t let your feet breathe. Hiking socks are an excellent choice–many of them offer extra cushioning, reinforced heel and toe areas, and arch support, making them perfect for long days spent on your feet.

Use Boot Stretchers

Sometimes a new pair of boots can have a problem area even after being properly broken in.

In these cases, your best option is to invest in a set of boot stretchers. These handy tools allow you stretch out the leather in places that might rub or squeeze your feet.

Using boot stretchers together with moisturizing oil is an excellent way to get rid of stiff leather and make your boots as comfortable as possible.

Avoid Hiking Boot Quick Fixes

There are a number of supposed “quick fix” methods for breaking in boots, ranging from wearing them in the shower to submerging them in salt water or even baking them in the oven, but the simple truth is that breaking in boots the right way requires patience.

These shortcuts are often very damaging to boots in the long term, and saving a bit of time isn’t worth the risk of cracked leather or loose soles.

Hiking Equipment Shoes New

A great pair of boots can last you a lifetime, but it’s crucial that you take the time to properly break them in early on so that they can mold to the shape of your feet.

While it will always be a bit uncomfortable at first, using the tips above will make the process as quick and painless as possible.

Are you planning to break in boots out on the trail? Ensure yourself, just in case, don’t forget trekking poles>>>


Hiking boots for women and men can conditioned the same way. Even waterproof boots can go through this process.

If the hiking shoe fits wear it, when it’s a hiking boot, break it in to avoid blisters!

Time to hit the trail…

Go Further with Heroic Adventure, More Tips for the Journey

 

The Story of the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Walkway’

El Caminito del Rey, which means “The King’s Little Pathway” in English, is a small pathway located in Spain.

Built over a hundred years ago to join two power plants in Malaga, the path stretches across beautiful scenery, inviting many people to walk across it.

This seemingly innocent road, however, has actually led many people to their deaths, and is treacherous to the extent that many now call it “the world’s most dangerous pathway.

Cliff Hanging Route of El Caminito Del Rey Spain

Workers began to build El Caminito in 1901 to connect two hydroelectric plants in Malaga.

When the pathway was completed in 1905, it was constructed of concrete and steel beams but had few safety features like handrails.

Over the years, the pathway became even more dangerous as it deteriorated.

In some places, the concrete had completely collapsed, leaving only metal beams hanging over 330 feet in the air.

Over time, blogs across the world picked up on the poor condition of the walkway.

When several people died in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they gave it the honor of being ‘most dangerous in the world‘ and dared adrenaline junkies to travel to Spain and walk across it.

Most Dangerous Walkway in World El Caminito Cliffs

Hundreds of people took on this dare, and many of them did not survive their trip.

The Spanish government, horrified by the deaths, closed the path in 2011 and began renovating it.

Using modern construction tools and techniques, they refurbished the walkway and installed handrails.

In 2015, the walkway was reopened to the public, now much safer for tourists to traverse.

Bloggers, however, did not realize that the pathway was now nowhere near as dangerous as it had been before.

King's Pathway (english) Spain Dangerous

Many webpages continued to call El Caminito ‘the most dangerous pathway,’ and daredevils continued to travel to Spain to see it.

Luckily, though, now tourists can test their bravery without risking their lives.

Are you heading on trek? Can you benefit from a professional trekking pole? Find out here>>>


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Destinations Unknown: What’s Your Secret?

Stay Safe on the Trail with Hiking Poles

Barring a trek up Mount Everest, hiking isn’t typically regarded as the most extreme of sports.

Nevertheless, safety is an important consideration to make, especially if you wander on trails that take you far from civilization and potential rescue.

Hiking poles not only increase your speed and comfort on the trail, but also your safety.

Here’s How Hiking Poles Enhance Your Trek:

Girl Pair of Hiking Poles Grand Canyon

1. Hiking poles act as antennas.

That rock might look stable, but you won’t know until you put your foot on it.

Hiking poles can allow you to test surfaces before transferring your full weight.

Use hiking poles to probe the ground for slippery ice patches, rogue holes and loose rocks.

This is a good way to avoid falling down or twisting an ankle.

2. Hiking poles prevent stress injuries by reducing strain on your feet and knees.

As anyone who’s hiked in steep ranges such as the Alps can tell you, mountain terrain can really wear on your legs.

Repetitive stress injuries are common among long-distance hikers, so it’s important to take preventative measures.

3. Hiking poles keep you alert.

Couple Iceland Trekking Nordic Poles

If you don’t believe this one, try doing an algebra problem after walking for a few hours with a heavy pack.

The discomfort of a heavy pack tires you out and dulls your senses, making you vulnerable to wrong turns or surprising dangerous animals.

Hiking poles will ease the weight of a pack. This will make you more comfortable and therefore more able to be aware of your surroundings.

4. Hiking poles keep you balanced on tricky slopes.

No hiker wants to fall to their death; hiking poles are handy on a steep slope that’s intent on pitching you to the bottom.

Whether ascending or descending, hiking poles will make slopes much safer, allowing you better control over your balance.

Poles allow you to have four points of contact, which can help you negotiate patches of loose rocks and slippery mud.

Couple Hiking Mud Puddle Hiking Poles in Use


While safety is top priority, also consider the other benefits that improve the trail experience. Poles allow you to move faster and cover more ground. If your goal is maximum mileage, poles better be on your equipment list.

The use of poles can also make more difficult terrain accessible to older nature lovers.

You may be over the hill, but with poles, you can get over a mountain.

Buying Trekking Poles

Many poles are listed at $200, but your first set doesn’t need to be that expensive.

You can purchase a perfectly reasonable set for $100 or less.

If you’re short on cash, simply repurpose some used ski poles, which can often be found for cheaper. To read more about things to consider when buying a trekking pole check out this post [with videos] >>>.