Outdoor Enthusiast’s Heaven – Smoky Mountains National Park

smoky-mountainsThe Smoky Mountains offers an incredible range of diverse activities for visitors to take advantage of. Hiking, cycling, fishing, and the exploration of wildlife and historical sites are available for all people; whether you are brand-new to the tangled wildlife of a national park or an expert, there are opportunities for everyone. Shorter trails are available for those who are more inexperienced, and there are even specially designated child-friendly trails are offered.

A basic understanding of what to do in a dangerous situation involving black bears should be maintained before a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Black bears are often unpredictable and violent animals, and one should not approach them or allow them to approach. In order to not encourage problems between humans and bears, do not throw away food into the wilderness, and certainly do not offer food to the bears.

However, black bears and other forms of wildlife is always a pleasure to view from a distance with a camera or telescope, and should definitely be done. Just remember that safety is first!

Gem of United States Nature – The Grand Canyon

grand-canyonA summer vacation idea not to be missed is a road trip to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon National Park is split into two rims; the North and South rim. Due to the disparity in their elevations, the two rims seem like two completely separate parks. If you’re interested in visiting the North Rim, be sure to save the trip for a date between May and October, or you may risk being trapped by snowfall. However, a visit to the North Rim is well worth it because of the breathtaking views and solitude that can be experienced through a day hike.

Both rims should be explored through day hikes, and can be explored in a variety of different ways. Park rangers are available to offer information on the history and science of the park, and mule trips are offered for both rims. The South rim offers a Desert View drive, whitewater rafting trips through the Colorado River, and a photo hot spot for nature photographers trying to find the best lighting to capture views of the park. The North rim offers a myriad of different hiking trails and roads, and should be explored as thoroughly as possible for some truly awesome sights.

The Ultimate Hiking Trail – Appalachian

A hiking trip is a great way to get back to nature and to escape urban life, at least for a little while. The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world and runs across 14 American states from Georgia to Maine, passing mountainous terrain, forest and lakes. Practice your boots before you set off into the wilderness. Our road ahead t-shirt will keep you motivated and cool each and every of the 2160 miles!

white-mountains-Appalachian-Trail

the_road_ahead_shirt_navyAppalachian Trail Map

Buy A Tee, Plant A Tree – February 2013 Recap

I am very excited to announce that after just a few weeks of running our “Buy A Tee, Plant A Tree” campaign, we helped plant 43 trees in the Brazil Atlantic Forest in the month of February.

Helping restore the Brazil ecosystem is an important task and we’re excited about how our program will help bring back one of the world’s most endangered forests.

As outdoor enthusiasts, we spend a majority of our time outside in nature. With your help, we’re keeping nature the way it was intended and will protect it for future generations.

Thank you to everyone who purchased a shirt in the month of February – these 43 tree have your names on them! Not literally of course 🙂

If you want to help all you have to do is make a purchase on Adayak. It’s that simple.

Buy A Tee, Plant A Tree

It has always been a promise of ours to donate back to environmental and wildlife conservation charities – after all, if we don’t help protect the very nature we recreate in then who will?

We are proud to announce a new program here at Adayak – Buy A Tee, Plant A Tree. It’s really simple – for every t-shirt and hoodie we sell on our store we will donate $1 to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant A Billion Trees campaign. Every dollar donated equals one tree planted. Together we can help bring the Brazil Atlantic Forest back from the brink of deforestation. Not only will we restore 1 million acres of dense forest that so many animals call home, but we will help remove 4 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Join us in making a difference.

adayak-treeprogram

Support the Access Fund by Shopping at Adayak

Access Fund

As part of our efforts to help give back to the environment we enjoy all our favorite sports in, Adayak donates $1 for every order directly back to conservation groups who share similar values. For the month of November, Adayak will be donating to the Access Fund.

A little about the Access Fund:

The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, the Access Fund supports and represents over 2.3 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock, ice, mountaineering, and bouldering.

My favorite thing about the Access Fund is they help provide resources for direct acquisitions, leases, easements and other land conservation tactics. There are so many amazing climbing areas in the country (and aroung the globe) that are threatened by development or natural causes. It’s so awesome having an organization out there focused on keeping those sites open for climbers.

You can help support the Access Fund by shopping at Adayak or by donating directly on their website.

5 Reasons You Should Buy Organic Cotton T-Shirts

make the world a better place

What if I told you that you could make the world a better place by the end of this blog post, all because you’ve learned the benefits of organic cotton t-shirts? At Adayak, we only produce t-shirts made from certified organic cotton because of the many benefits it has over conventional cotton.

Read on if you want to learn why you should buy organic cotton t-shirts.

Benefit #1 – Soft & comfortable
When you shop in the store for a new t-shirt, you like pick the shirt up and feel it with your hands. You want to sense the texture, weight and softness of the fabric because you ultimately want to be comfortable. You should buy organic cotton because it is softer, lighter and breathes easier than convention cotton.

Benefit #2 – It’s all natural
When organic cotton is grown, farmers use only organic, all natural means of agriculture. The cotton seeds are not genetically modified or treated with fungicides like conventional cotton. Growing organic cotton doesn’t involve test tubes, DNA labs, or scientists. It is what it is.

Benefit #3 – Reduced health risks for workers
Cotton is still hand picked on a lot of farms around the world. That means workers spend hours every day in the fields potentially breathing in farming chemicals, walking on pesticides and touching insecticides. You can reduce the health risks for workers from these toxic chemicals by purchasing organic cotton.

Benefit #4 – Chemical free soil
As mentioned in Benefit #3, conventional cotton farms inject and spray their cotton with gallons and gallons of pesticides. Whatever chemical doesn’t hit the cotton will land on the soil and eventually seap into the ground when it rains. Down the road this will damage the soil for future farming and could affect a city’s drinking water. Organic cototn farms use tried and true methods of farming such as crop rotation that avoid injecting the earth with chemicals.

Benefit #5 – Certified
If you ever purchase a used car at a dealer they will always want to put you in a “certified pre-owned” car. These cars are certified because they’ve gone through rigorous manufacturing testing to assure quality. The same thing is applied to organic cotton. In the United States, the USDA oversees and certifies that the organic cotton was grown according to specific guidelines.

For superior quality organic cotton t-shirts, head over to the Adayak Shop where you can find apparel for hikers, campers, paddlers, climbers and anglers. Don’t you want to make the world a better place? Shop now!

TreeFight.org

Part of the Adayak model is to donate $1 for every order we get directly back to environmental and wildlife conservation groups. We believe in protecting and conserving the very same forests we hike in, rivers we paddle, rocks we climb and parks we visit.

We are pleased to announce that for the months of June and July (maybe beyond), Adayak will be donating to TreeFight.org. You may recall that we mentioned TreeFight.org in a recent Trail Talk post. If it wasn’t for the Trail Talk post, we might not have found out about them.

TreeFight.org is an initiative to inform the public of the plight of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s whitebark pines, and to search for solutions to prevent their extinction. The problem they are having is with the pine beetle that is taking over the area and killing all the beautiful whitebark pines. In the northern Rocky Mountains of the U.S., whitebark pine mortality in some areas exceeds 90%, where the beetle infests 143,000 acres.

Here’s a video that will help you better understand their mission and where the donation dollars go.

Read more about our conservation efforts and TreeFight.org on the Adayak Conservation page.

State and National Parks Are In Trouble

Tom Mangan of Two Heel Drive wrote an article Tuesday on Trail Space titled “State Park Closures Grab Headlines.” The subject of the article is the lack of funding within the states for our parks. It’s no secret that many (if not all) state governments and the federal government have massive debts – our country keeps spending and spending. Well, it’s finally catching up to us- only right now, it’s in the form of State Park closures and increased park fees.

Soon, there could be a day when we no longer have government run state parks. When you have programs like education, police/fire rescue and new road projects… you can why state parks can sometimes get pushed to the bottom of the list in funding – or just chopped out completely (no pun intended). While, I don’t think we’ll ever get to the day where state and national parks are commercialized – imagine Yellowstone brought to you by Toyota – I do think that would could see some of nature lost to new condo construction, marinas, water parks, etc.

We can’t let this happen. There will come a day when the federal government just can’t provide the funding needed to protect our national parks. Either they’ll cut funding or start closing parks.

This is were conservation comes in. We have the ability to help save our parks through foundations that give money directly to the parks. Through tax exempt donations, we can keep state and national parks up and running. A simple Google search for “your favorite park foundation” will likely return several organizations that fight to conserve the park lands. It’s going to be up to the people to donate to the parks if we want to keep them around for our children and grand children.

By shopping with us, you can help the parks with every purchase. At Adayak, we donate $1 for every order we receive directly to environment and wildlife conservation groups.

Benefits of Organic Cotton

organic cotton

Five to ten years ago organic cotton apparel was extremely rare. It was expensive, hard to produce and just not a lot of companies were doing it. Recently, there has been a shift in our niche of companies offering some sort of eco-friendly apparel whether it’s organic cotton of recycled polyesters. We’re all moving in the right direction one step at a time.

When Adayak launched, it was our goal to only provide environment friendly apparel. All the t-shirts you see for sale in our online store are all made from 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton, from non genetically modified plants, that is certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. For some customers, they might purchase organic cotton because it’s good for the environment while others might purchase organic cotton just because it feels softer. There’s no right or wrong reason to shop organic apparel.

The major benefit for the environment from producing organic cotton is the lack of chemicals and pesticides used in farming. According to Tree Hugger:

Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of insecticides on 3 percent of our arable land; that’s more than any other crop per unit. That adds up to 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to produce enough cotton for a t-shirt, and 3/4 of a pound for a pair of jeans. And that’s just not bad for the planet; 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you’re someone who prone to skin irritations then organic cotton is definitely for you. When organic cotton is grown chemical free, mother nature takes her course. In turn, I think she produces a much softer cotton fiber than your typical non-organic fibers. I love the softness of a 100% organic cotton t-shirt. You can instantly feel the difference when comparing the two side by side.

Adayak wants to know, do you wear organic cotton? If so, why do you purchase it?