Since airline travel has been a go-to form of transportation for millions of people, it might seem like old school American road trips are a thing of the past. However, all it takes is some preparation and a spirit of adventure, and you can be out on the open road experiencing a custom vacation up close and personal. Take charge of your next adventure with these tips for taking a road trip regionally, nationally, or even internationally. You will experience far more tourist destinations, restaurants, and nature by driving than flying. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your own vehicle rather than cramped on an airbus with a middle seat!
Your first step: get excited! Consider the fact that you will be getting away for a once in a lifetime adventure. Then, decide generally where you would like to go. Is there a unique tourist destination within a few hours’ drive of your home? Is there a region of the country you have only ever experienced on travel TV shows? How about that region famous for its BBQ a few states over? Once you have decided if you will be traveling for a weekend trip or going on a more extensive vacation, your next step will be figuring out logistics. Map out your route and places you will stop along the way and make all the appropriate bookings ahead of time.
Make sure to clean and maintain your road trip vehicle before you leave for your adventure. Your car is sure to collect some additional dirt and/or litter after you have been on the road for a couple of days, so it will be best to at least start with a clean vehicle and then clear out any trash or clutter as you go. Be sure your car has been serviced and get an oil change if it is due. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and you have all the necessary equipment to change a flat tire should you need to. Have your mechanic check all the possible areas of your car that could go wrong on a road trip in the days before you leave. Check out this article for more information on taking care of your car during a road trip.
No road trip is complete without your favorite music. However, you will want to prepare for this ahead of time by downloading your favorite playlists to your phone. Regional radio stations are no longer as reliable for listening to music as they once were, and you may not have the budget or internet service to stream your tunes on the road. Podcasts and audiobooks are also a great pastime on the road, and you might learn a thing or two! Also, consider downloading some TV shows or movies ahead of time to watch during downtime.
Divide tasks appropriately among your road trip companions. Different people are better at different things, so make sure your navigator, meal planner, and adventure scout know what they are doing! When your road trip duties are assigned adequately, your trip will run smoothly, and your travel partners will be happy and content. Be sure to check out this guide for packing for a road trip as well to prepare yourself and your crew for a successful and enjoyable vacation!
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When you want to be out in nature more, you might decide to go on a hiking trip at some point in the future. Hiking can be fun and refreshing, giving you a chance to take a break from constant media consumption and appreciate the complex beauty of the plants, animals, and landscapes you see firsthand. Prior to going, though, you should spend some time in preparation. Carry out these steps as you are planning a weekend hiking trip.
Choosing your destination should be among the first actions you take, since this can affect other details of your preparations. Find some new hiking spots within a distance that is reasonable for you to travel to over a weekend and read reviews about them online. This will give you an idea of what to expect at various places and help you to narrow down your choice. Try staying at a familiar or less intense hiking spot overnight at some point before going on a more extensive trip, just to get the feel for it. You might miss certain considerations when reading about hiking trips, but you’ll have a better understanding of what you need or want for a trip with some experience under your belt.
It’s not enough to just pick a location and go, even after familiarizing yourself with camping overnight. You also need to plan out the details of the trip to make sure everything is in order and that everyone is kept safe. Think about specifics, such as the exact route you will follow over the course of the trip, who will be going, the time you’ll start out, and when you expect to come back. Share these points not only with each person in the group you’re going with, but also with people who are staying behind back home. Should any emergency or unforeseen circumstance occur, those people will be ready to help. If you don’t return at the expected time, they can try to contact you. Failing that, they might call the authorities to check that you are not in danger.
Getting together the physical supplies you will need is crucial for planning a weekend hiking trip. Remember the survival essentials like food and water, which you will inevitably need to sustain yourself while hiking. It is always smart to bring a first-aid kit and some form of navigation, such as a map and compass, to deal with accidents and help you to stay on track, especially if you lose cell service for your GPS. You can ensure comfort and avoid problems by wearing the right clothing as well. Put on sturdy, waterproof outdoor boots that are made to provide support and traction on all kinds of terrain. Wear clothes that wick away sweat since you’ll be doing a lot of exercise and bring layers and a waterproof jacket according to the weather. With all this, your hiking trip will likely be a success since you’ve put so much thought into it.
When you buy a pair of waterproof boots or shoes, there is no guarantee they will remain waterproof for their entire lifetime. With wear and tear and abuse comes the loss of performance. A pair of hiking boots right out of the box might be entirely waterproof, and then after months of use and activity, the smallest puddles can start to cause issues for the wearer. While purchasing a new pair of boots might seem like the go-to option, it can be costly and forces you to go through the break-in period all over again. Luckily, there are ways you can improve the existing waterproof qualities of your boots without breaking the bank.
Unless you utilize your boots for hardcore tactical or outdoor situations, you probably expect to get at least a couple of years out of them. By waterproofing them, you can help keep your feet safe from the elements and prolong your boots’ lifespan. But how often should you waterproof your boots? Waterproofing needs will vary by person. If you use your boots simply to walk the dog, you will not need to waterproof your boots as often as somebody who hikes up and down mountainsides. You should consider applying a new waterproofing layer before any big hiking or camping trips. And if you use your boots often, it is safe to assume you should be waterproofing them at least a couple of times per season. You will want to keep an eye on your boots’ performance and jump to action before the original waterproof quality of your boots deteriorates and gets you into trouble.
Clean Your Boots Before Waterproofing
It is important to clean your boots as necessary, even if you are not waterproofing them. Cleaning them intermittently can help prolong the life of your boots by getting rid of bacteria that cause odor, as well as preventing mold. As mud dries on leather, it can cause it to lose moisture which can result in cracking and an overall weaker boot.
To clean your boots, you will need:
Remove as much dirt as possible before cleaning by banging your boots together and shaking them out. Get the boots ready for cleaning by removing the laces and rinsing them with water. Then, scrub your boots with water, soap, and a scrubbing brush. After scrubbing, rinse all the soap away, towel dry, remove insoles, and set boots to dry in a dry space. Stuff boots with newspaper to remove maximum moisture. Be sure to allow the boots to dry fully before applying any waterproofing solutions.
Waterproofing Leather Boots
Leather has many natural waterproof properties, but over time, boots made of leather can lose these properties. Taking extra waterproofing precautions can not only help keep water out but can also help keep the leather in fighting shape. After washing your leather boots and allowing them to dry completely, you can apply your waterproofing product of choice. A few of these options include:
Waterproofing Synthetic Material
Synthetic materials can lose waterproof treatments after long-term use, so it is important to reapply waterproofing solutions to keep them ready for anything. Many synthetic materials do not have natural waterproof attributes, so you will need to be extra careful when waterproofing them. Be sure to thoroughly clean your boots, focusing on seams and creases. After allowing them to fully dry, carefully apply the waterproofing solution of your choice. Here are some solutions you can choose from:
Here at ALTAI®, we pride ourselves on making some of the most comfortable, tough, and versatile boots available in the marketplace. We offer leather toe options as required for law enforcement and first responders. All our boots are made with SuperFabric®, which is an incredibly strong, breathable, and waterproof textile that provides the perfect qualities for tactical and outdoor footwear. While all our boots are waterproof, they can lose some of their waterproof capabilities after wear and tear and abuse. Using the methods provided above, you can keep your ALTAI® boots in fighting shape to help you overcome all the challenges and adventures life throws your way.
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Work boots are necessary for many people to wear every day. They keep your feet protected from the harsh work environments of construction sites, factory floors, oil rigs, and more. Although boots and thick socks may keep your feet warm and dry in the winter, the summer months can be brutally hot and cause your feet to sweat excessively which can have a wide range of problems from athletes foot to smelly boots. The human foot contains over 200,000 sweat glands that release sweat to keep cool, so it is no wonder heavily used boots tend to smell! The exact cause of the smell is bacteria that thrives in the sweat. When you work hard, you sweat, and your sweaty boots are a breeding ground for bacteria. When the bacteria break down, you experience those unpleasant smells!
So how can you keep your work, hiking, or hunting boots fresh?
Socks, socks, socks: carry extra pairs of socks with you and change them as needed throughout the day. Although cotton is a very common material for socks, do NOT wear cotton socks as they will absorb sweat and keep it in contact with your feet. Wear moisture-wicking performance socks with the appropriate thickness for your boots.
Breathable boots: thick insulated boots can be helpful in the cold but can cause issues in warm or indoor work environments. ALTAI® boots are built with SuperFabric®, which is a tough yet breathable material to help keep your feet at an optimal temperature.
Back up boots: if you have an active work or outdoor lifestyle and your budget allows, consider getting a second pair of boots to wear on alternating days. This will give your boots a break and the time to fully dry out over a 24-hour period.
Newspaper method: if your boots are damp after a long day, stuff them with newspaper. This can help pull the moisture out of them and to dry out faster.
Storing your boots: store your boots in a well-ventilated area so they can dry out fully before your next use.
Keep your feet clean: Wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap to properly get rid of all the bacteria and smell that it can cause. You can also consider soaking your feet in Epsom salt to kill bacteria and help relax your feet after a long day. Check out our blog How to Care for Your Feet for more tips!
Combat the smell: an even more effective way to dry out your boots and reduce odors is to stuff nylons with cat litter and insert it into the boots overnight. You can also consider using cedar wood chips to have a similar effect.
Sunshine method: place your boots in the sun to reduce moisture and smell as UV rays kill bacteria. You may want to consider removing your insoles while doing this do maximize the benefits.
Spray-on antiperspirant: the same antiperspirants used for underarms can be applied to your feet to prevent sweating.
Keep your legs and body cool: wearing breathable work or hiking clothes that keep your temperature regulated can have a positive effect on your feet as well.
Although sweaty feet and smelly boots can be embarrassing and even cause safety concerns when it comes to issues like slipping, fear not. More sweat glands are located on the feet than any other place on the body, so these issues are incredibly common. Using some of the tips mentioned above can help improve your work, outdoor, and hunting life dramatically. So, make sure you get the right socks, keep your feet healthy and clean, and your boots dry and maintained. You can overcome and keep your boots fresh!
Check out ALTAI® for breathable work, outdoor, and tactical boots. We are here to keep your feet comfortable, protected, and ready to face every challenge life throws your way.
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Getting the right size for your footwear is important in any situation, but even more so when it is for physical work. The last thing you need while lifting heavy objects or climbing up on high places is to experience pain or injuries in your feet. Signs your work boots may not be wide enough are not always as apparent as you might like, however. Be on the lookout for these indicators when you aren’t certain about the sizing.
Examine the outside edges of the boots. Are there bumps and/or wear marks right where you feel pressure on your feet? It may be that the boots are so tight that certain parts of your feet are pushing out on them and creating those bumps and marks. While materials like leather do stretch out to an extent over time, you don’t want visible protrusions on any type of boot, as those areas of your feet will rub and hurt even after you wear them a while.
Now at first glance, this one may seem counterintuitive. Loose heels mean that the boots are too narrow? How? Well, as you are trying on a pair of boots, you might find the size that is correct for the length of your feet from the heel to toes, but feel that it is overly tight. You then go up a size to compensate for the lack of lateral space. This is not always a good solution, though, because the boots may become roomy to the point that they slip as you are working. You don’t want to risk safety, so you should instead look for boots that fit snugly, but comfortably, in all directions.
To have proper stability while you walk around, your toes should have enough room to wiggle a bit in your boots. This will allow them to move while you shift your weight around in different positions. Your toes won’t be able to do this if they are cramped. Moreover, you can experience long-term pain where your toes start to become stuck in uncomfortable positions when you continue to wear footwear that is excessively narrow. When you pull on some boots, see if your toes are curling up at the end or just feel stifled. Get a wider pair if you notice either of these.
Armed with awareness on the signs your work boots may not be wide enough, you can successfully find a fitting pair. For earth-tone boots and black uniform boots suited to various lines of work, check out the offerings that ALTAI has online.
Keys. Wallet. Phone. For most of us, these three items are essential every time we leave home. We all know that feeling of momentary panic when one of these items is misplaced, causing our hearts to skip a beat. In these increasingly connected times, it can be unnerving when you cannot find your smartphone to communicate with others. As travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly lifted worldwide, we wanted to share some information about ways you can improve your everyday carry (EDC) regiment. With some simple additions and tweaks to your EDC, you can become more prepared to overcome the day to day challenges of life.
Old school wallets are typically thick, leather behemoths containing everything from cash, credit cards, business cards, family photos, receipts, lists, etc. But since an increasing number of businesses are going cashless, and smartphone apps can help you organize receipts, lists, and even help you save/invest money, wallet designs have been revolutionized. There are now thinner, sleeker, and more advanced wallets, most with RFID-blocking technology to keep you safe. Check out this list of the best minimalist wallets currently available.
It is no secret that wristwatches have not escaped the technological advances of the modern-day. From smartwatches by tech giants like Apple and Samsung to GPS watches by Garmin, and fitness tracking capabilities across the board, these little devices do a whole lot more than just tell time. Find the best watch for your everyday carry, whether it is a smartwatch or an analog or digital that doesn’t require daily charging. Check out this watch buying guide to learn how to find something affordable.
Although smartphones typically include apps for note-taking, it can be highly useful to carry a pocket-size notebook and pen for notes and sketches on the go. In studies, handwriting notes can help you remember things more effectively than typing. While it is better to use typing for large amounts of information processing, having a notebook on you can be a great improvement to your everyday carry. We recommend this one. You may also consider getting a tactical pen, which can come in handy for some emergency situations.
A poll in 2016 found that 85.4% of Americans utilize personal cars, trucks, or vans for short-distance commutes. Since most of us spend such a large amount of time driving, it is important to keep supplies in the car in case of emergencies. Get a first aid kit—a real one, not just the little one the car dealership threw in for free. You will thank yourself for getting it if you ever need it. Check out this list of the best kits available. You will also want to keep water bottles, snacks (calorie-dense protein bars are a great space-saving option), flashlight, blankets/warm clothes, spare tire(s), tool kit, and duct tape for strong temporary fastening solutions.
Since our smartphones, laptops, and tablets have made it easier for many of us to set up shop virtually anywhere in the world, it is important that we select the right bag to keep our belongings safe. You will need a comfortable fit and ease of use, whether you are looking for a backpack, messenger bag, duffle bag, or larger luggage for more extensive travel. Most of us will want to consider an understated bag design that does not draw too much attention—especially if there are thousands of dollars’ worth of electrics inside. So, when you are selecting your EDC bag, consider what you will be carrying most of the time. Consider your budget, and what style of bag will work best for you. Here is a guide to help you choose.
As always, our goal at Team ALTAI® is to help our customers find the information and rugged footwear that they need. Nothing makes us happier than satisfying customer needs by supplying some of the toughest, lightest, and most comfortable tactical boots available. So, when considering what footwear to include in your everyday life, look no further than right here. Our boots are highly water and abrasion-resistant, breathable, and ready for any challenge life throws your way. Trusted by law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders around the world. Check out our full line of tactical, outdoor, and work boots today to discover the ALTAI® difference.
At ALTAI®, we are proud to make boots specifically designed to the specifications required by law enforcement officers and first responders. From the use of SuperFabric® to provide maximum protection, to Vibram® soles and optional polishable leather toe, our boots aim to outperform for the individuals who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. Our department-approved boots were even designed alongside officers in our home state of Minnesota to ensure top quality. To further express our gratitude to these brave men and women, we have partnered with our friend, Donut Boy, to launch the new Officer of the Month program.
Tyler Carach a.k.a. Donut Boy is an inspiring young man who has set out (with the help of his mom, Sheena) to thank every law enforcement officer in America by meeting with them personally and giving away thousands of donuts and cups of coffee. You can read more about our history with Donut Boy here. The Officer of the Month will be selected by Tyler each month on the 15th. Submit your officer stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell Tyler how your nominee went above and beyond, performed a random act of kindness, or is simply an amazing officer! Monthly winners will receive a free pair of ALTAI® MFT100 boots. All nominees should be currently active officers.
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Today’s blog post is brought to you by our fabulous blogger and outdoor guru, Katlyn Spade.
For the past two months, people all over the world have been forced to stay inside their homes as a way to stop the spread of coronavirus. As such, all outdoor activities have come to a halt, leaving camping and hiking enthusiasts to wonder when they can be out in nature again. While the rest of the world is still under lockdown as they deal with rising coronavirus cases, some countries have already started reopening their public places due to low or zero new Covid-19 cases. In China, it has been reported that more than 3,000 designated scenic tourist destinations have been opened, while in Sydney, surfers and swimmers flocked to Bondi Beach shortly after it reopened earlier in April. In the US, it remains to be seen when travel restrictions will be lifted, so outdoor adventurers may have to spend more time finding ways to stay productive at home. But once the lockdown ends, it’s certain that camping and hiking holidays won’t be the same as the global pandemic has changed how we live our everyday lives.
More people will be heading to nature sites
The lockdown has caused people to crave wide open spaces, so don’t be surprised if there’s a sudden surge in the number of campers at your favorite nature park or camping grounds. It was previously reported that 77 million Americans go camping on a regular basis, and this number is expected to increase once the current situation improves. If you suddenly find yourself in a crowded campground, take measures to stay well while vacationing by making sure there's a good amount of space between you and the next tent or campervan. While camping, make an effort to eat healthy vegetables and fruits to boost your immunity. You may also want to take sanitizer and hand soap on your camping trip so you can protect yourself against illnesses.
Shorter camping and hiking trips
The average person spends four days on a camping or hiking trip, but after the Covid-19 health crisis, it’s expected that outdoor trips will be shorter as most people may still want to exercise caution after the lockdown. Going on an overnight camping trip is possibly one of the best ways to be out in nature after the quarantine, but those who are planning to do so should find a nearby campground for their mini holiday. Camping at a nearby area is more convenient if you suddenly want to extend your trip as it will only take you a few minutes or so to head home to get additional supplies if you need them.
Fewer group hikes, more solo hikes
Coronavirus has made people wary about being around other individuals, so it’s expected that more people will be going on short solo hikes to avoid the crowds. However, those who’ve been longing for the company of their hiking friends during the quarantine may result in the creation of group hikes wherein social distancing guidelines will still be followed. As hikers will be advised to maintain a healthy distance from one another, everyone may also be required to wear a GPS device to avoid getting lost during the hike.
Being back in nature can be a welcome change after months of being cooped up indoors. Though it’s uncertain when outdoor activities will be allowed again, campers and hikers can look forward to these changes in outdoor adventure holidays after the worst of the coronavirus crisis has passed.
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Many people around the world are dealing with travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders, and students around the world are spending more time than ever at home with remote schooling. We are here to help occupy some time! We will be releasing coloring book pages here over the next several weeks. Feel free to download and print them out and color away for your own enjoyment or with your child. Send us images of your results! We would love to see the creativity flow. Click the link below for your downloadable coloring page!
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For the entirety of April, we at Team ALTAI® had the pleasure of running the Altai Photo Contest in collaboration with our friends at INDY Guide. The photo contest challenged participants to share their best photos of the Altai Mountain Range. The vast number of incredible photos that came our way was staggering. There was no way we could have selected the winners ourselves. So together with INDY Guide, we narrowed down 10 finalists, and the rest was left to the public. The polls were open for two weeks, and our two winners were finally selected. These two winners will be receiving a free pair of ALTAI® boots of their choice. You can check out our champions' work on Instagram: their usernames are akhbupyemizan and tileukhan.gula. Congratulations to them both and thank you so much to all participants!
You can check out the rest of the amazing #ALTAIPhotoContest submissions here.
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