1. September 2012 20:46
Back to school is a stressful time and always seems to bring a wave of illness on campus. The key, of course, is to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Avoiding getting sick can help make you a better and more productive student. So build that immune system and stay healthy! [More]
5. June 2012 22:05
While in college money management is a difficult subject to tackle. Most of us are not working full time jobs and we may be paying for our education. Regardless of these deterrents, it is important that at an early age we are taking control of our financial future. This may be a familiar sentiment, as the pressures of saving and investing early are common. Unfortunately, beginning to plan and maintain finances can be a confusing subject, but hopefully this blog will be able to provide you with a resource to take on this challenge. [More]
4. April 2012 23:15
Time Management. Most people cringe when they hear these two words. With the end of the semester approaching there are finals, intern and job hunts, graduations and moves to occupy our minds. This is only heightened if you are a senior as well – senoiritis is real! So, where to start?
Time Management is not only the key to getting things accomplished, it is the key to less stress and a brighter disposition. The challenge is that it is not an easy skill to learn, it is a process. To begin, I have posted some of the ways that may help you improve your schedule for the next month or so:
-Make starting your to-do list easy by breaking up projects into smaller and more manageable pieces. This way, you are able to feel accomplished and will be more encouraged to continue.
-Find a place that is just for studying. Find it hard to stay awake in bed? Distracted by the TV in the next room? Set yourself up for success by finding an environment where you can focus the best.
-Prioritize. Be honest and determine which tasks are a must-do and those that are a want-to-do. Bite the bullet and do one must-do before you move on to something more enjoyable.
-Take breaks. On your quest to manage your time better it is good to reward yourself. You cannot work non-stop and plus, taking a break to nap or workout is going to pay productivity dividends later when you have to get back to work.
I hope that these tips are able to help you use your time efficiently. Once there is less procrastination and more productivity it frees up more time to enjoy the last weeks of the semester with friends! Feel free to look around online for more information on time management, there are plenty of resources available to you.
2. March 2012 22:31
Get to Know Your Gear’s weekly update will get you familiar with 0°F Sleeping Bags & Liners.
What is a 0° Sleeping Bag & Liner? – 0° sleeping bags and liners are, as their name’s imply, very cold weather sleeping bags and liners to keep an outdoor enthusiast safe and warm when camping in frigid winter conditions. These sleeping bags are made of different materials depending on the needs of the camper, varying from heavy to ultra-light. Liners specifically are used to line the inside of the sleeping bag as another layer of insulation.
How do they work? – 0° sleeping bags can vary in type and material, but they work to keep body heat in and the cold air out. The outer shell of the sleeping bag is typically made of nylon, which is used to protect the outside of the bag from the environment. Inner shells are often made or nylon also, but can be a type of polyester blend. Both the inner shell and outer shell are both good at keeping air from penetrating their exterior. The inside of bags (fill) is often filled with down, polyester blends, or synthetic materials made to insulate the bag. This combination of fill, inner, and outer layers keeps body heat within the bag while protecting the user from the cold outer air. Liners are often a fleece or microfiber material used to add an additional layer of insulation within the sleeping bag. While liners are not made to deflect air, they are an insulator within the bag, retaining body heat keeping the user warmer. I personally have a bag with nylon exterior and interior shells with 800-fill goose down insulation and a fleece liner. They keep me nice and toasty at night during my winter hiking and camping adventures.
When should you use them? – 0° sleeping bags and liners are designed to be used in extreme winter weather conditions. Some sleeping bags are rated even colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit,... [More]
29. February 2012 20:31
The Rec Center offers Body Composition testing that looks at different measures of fitness. This got me thinking about what healthy looks like numerically. If I am working out consistently throughout the week, what can I use to benchmark my progress? After a bit of research I came up with three different measures:
Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is a way to estimate how much body fat you have. Too much body fat is a problem for a variety of health reasons. You can measure your own BMI online at the American Institute for Cancer Research (aicr.org). It is important to remember that the more muscle you have, the more that this measure may not be an accurate tool because muscle weighs more than fat and you would have a comparatively higher body weight, throwing off the calculation.
Hip to Waist Ratio (HWR): This measurement is to evaluate where your body is storing its fat. If you are carrying your weight around your mid-section (waist), then you may be at higher health risks for diabetes, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease. It is best if you have your weight on your bottom half, waist, butt and thighs. This measurement is taken by looking at the ratio between your waist and hips. Check your HWR here: http://www.healthyforms.com/helpful-tools/index.php
Resting Heart Rate (RHR): Your RHR is a way to evaluate your heart health. A good rule to go by is the healthier you are, the lower your RHR will be. 70 beats per minute or below is a healthy number. The best way to measure your RHR is by taking it first thing in the morning, when your body has been completely relaxed for an extended period of time. Take your pulse with your index and middle finger on either your neck or wrist and coun... [More]
22. February 2012 20:01
Get to Know Your Gear this week will focus on Ice Climbing Tools.
What is Ice Climbing – Ice climbing is an adventurous sport that integrates rock climbing with winter weather covered terrain. The tools involved in ice climbing are similar to the ones used in rock climbing, but with the addition of an ice tool (ice axe) and crampons, and of course, cold weather gear.
How do you use an ice tool and crampons – An ice tool looks similar to a hammer, having a long “pick” on one side of the ice tool’s head and a shorter “adze” on the other side. The pick is used to impale the snow or ice during the ascent. When climbing, the pick should always face the snow or ice so it can be effectively used if the climber slips or begins to fall. The adze, the smaller shovel looking side, is used more for chopping small steps and can be used when self-belaying. Beginners are advised to use the leashed type, which has a wrist wrap to ensure the axe doesn’t fall to the ground if dropped. Crampons are attached to the climber’s boots and consist of multiple thick metal points protruding from the outward from the bottom of the boot. They greatly improve traction on ice and can be used to kick foot holds during climbing.
When should you Ice Climb – Ice climbing is a winter sport focusing on climbing icefalls, frozen waterfalls and cliffs or rock slabs covered with ice and packed snow. Once the free flowing water becomes completely frozen, the ice climbing season begins. Knowing when it is safe to climb comes with experience, but consistent below-freezing weather is usually a good sign ice climbing will start soon.
Keep in mind, crampons and ice tools are available for rent from the Outdoor Recreation Center throughout the winter season. Ice climbing is a great form of exercise and allows you to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months.
15. February 2012 22:04
This week’s Get to Know Your Gear segment will focus on Climbing Skins.
What are Climbing Skins? – Climbing skins, also known as ski skins, are cross country skiing accessories which attach to cross country skis to restrict backward sliding of the skis.
How do they work? – When the skins are attached to the skis, the fibers in contact with the snow lay flat when moving forward allowing for unrestricted forward movement. Alternatively, when sliding backwards, the snow pushes against the grain of the fibers causing the skins to dig into the snow and hold the skis, and skier, in place.
When should you use them? – Typically, climbing skins are only needed when venturing into areas with hills, switchbacks, or any type of ascent where momentum will not carry the skier to the top of the next hill. While they are not always necessary to have on the skis, carrying climbing skins in a pack when cross country skiing is always advised.
Now that you know what climbing skins are, when to use them, and how they work, you are ready to get outside and try some cross country skiing! Remember, climbing skins for Tele Skis or Randonnee (Alpine Touring) are available for rent from the Outdoor Recreation Center. Enjoy the great outdoors!
2. February 2012 15:54
One of ASWSU’s most recent initiatives will be a great way for students to improve both their social and financial wellbeing. The 30 Days of Pullman is a month-long event created by the Associated Students of Washington State University, which hopes to strength the connection between WSU students and the city of Pullman.
ASWSU has partnered with 30 different local vendors to provide students with 30 days of discounts in February. When students present their Cougar Card at any of the local vendors on the day of the sale, they’ll receive a discount.
According to an article on DailyEvergreen.com, the idea came from Virginia Tech in a brainstorming session during a conference in Denver. Some of the local vendors include Thomas Hammer Coffee this Friday, Black Cypress, Zeppos, Licks, South Fork and Crimson and Gray.
For more information about the 30 Days of Pullman, check out this article in The Daily Evergreen or find the full listing of local vendors on ASWSU’s Facebook Page.
1. February 2012 23:22
Don’t let the snow covered ground (which is quickly melting) keep you from enjoying all of the hiking trails scattered around the area. This week’s Getting to Know Your Gear blog will show you how to enjoy hiking regardless how much snow we get this winter by using snowshoes and trekking poles.
Snowshoeing has been thought to be around for roughly 10,000 years. The basic principle of snowshoes is the ability to distribute body weight over a larger surface area allowing people two walk across snow covered ground with greater ease. In the past, snowshoes were used in snowy areas so hunters/trappers could continue to provide for their family during the winter months (and to escape the ever lurking Yeti). Now, snowshoes are more of recreation accessories so outdoor enthusiasts can hike in deep snow.
While there are a few different types of snowshoes available, the most common is the recreational/trekking type. Other styles include backcountry/mountaineering and aerobic/running snowshoes. Running snowshoes are usually shorter and less wide than both recreation and backcountry. Additionally, for the same size person, mountaineering are going to be a little longer and wider for more difficult terrain. Each of these types of snowshoe have either fixed/limited-rotation or full/pivot-rotation bindings. Racing snowshoes usually have fixed-rotation bindings which do not allow the toe to pivot below the bottom plane of the shoe. Unfortunately, fixed bindings have a tendency to kick snow up the back of the user’s legs. Full-rotation bindings are normally preferred for traditional and mountaineering snowshoes because they allow for greater traction and mobility.
One of the best accessories for recreational or mountaineering snowshoeing are trekking poles. Poles help hikers maintain balance on most types of terrain, can help with knee pain and often increase the speed of the hike.&... [More]
25. January 2012 22:55
The continuation of our Get to Know Your Gear segment is going to focus on avalanche beacons.
What is an Avalanche Beacon? – It is a radio transceiver that is used to locate men and women in a search and rescue if they are buried beneath the snow due to an avalanche.
How does it work? – When a person is buried under the snow, their radio will send out a transmission that connects to other beacons. The search party can turn their transceivers to receive and use the device to measure distance and direction to the buried party. The standard for beacons is to transmit signals at 457 kHz (kilo Hertz) so it is important that the beacon you choose is also transmitting at this rate.
When should you use it? - Anytime you are skiing, snowboarding, hiking or ice climbing in the backcountry, it is important that you use an avalanche beacon. It is during these activities that you are most likely to encounter a loose snow slide avalanche. And remember, practice using your beacon with the men and women you will be in the wilderness with, it is not a useful instrument if used improperly.
Now that you know a little more about this particular piece of equipment, you can evaluate if it will be important to use on your next snow adventures. Happy exploring!