I’m Not Giving These the Boot

I took an education class a couple spring semesters ago.  Unfortunately, I don’t particularly remember the class or the coursework but I remember the shoes of the girl I sat next to.  Like most women would.

She donned a pair of outdoor boots that seemed to be a hybrid of hiking boots and waders.  The best part about her outfit was she sported these with pearls on her earlobes.

I don’t consider myself to be particularly “girly” but that may well be because I fear my outdoor comrades, male counterparts and feminists of the world would be disappointed in my weakness for shoes.  I do; however, admire any woman that can combine rugged, outdoor gear with feminine style.  As a matter of fact, my original idea for Woman, Water, Wild was to portray myself as a pink bow-wearing, girly-girl pursuing outdoor water activities I am unfamiliar with.

But because this is an outdoor blog, I will contribute this article to this particular pair.

I ordered a pair of Redhead brand Pac boots.  And yes, I chose this brand for the irony of the fact that I’m a redhead as you can see in my About Me

redhead brand, brands of the world

Courtesy of brandsoftheworld.com

section.  I recently read that a “Pac boot” can be described as a boot containing a removable inner lining that is helpful in the winter time when the cold can dampen even the best, most insulated pair of shoes.

So far, I have worn them on a more rainy day because the idea of wearing boots before it is cold enough to do makes my feet sweat even when they’re bare.  I would recommend these boots as a winter time rain boot because of the waterproof nature of the product in addition to the fuzzy (and, yes, plaid!) interior of the boots.

They are a little bit chunky but lighter than you would expect, making them a comfortable boot for all day wear.  Comfortable enough that the outdoorsy woman could wear them camping in the Apalachicola National Forest or hiking down in Gainesville’s Devil’s Millhopper.

I do have a minor complaint about the fact that these babies do not come in half sizes (which I never understand because I know plenty of people who are between sizes).

On various reviews that I read, the customers complained that these boots are slippery and don’t keep feet as warm as expected but did succeed at keeping feet dry.  As a clumsy, baby giraffe-like individual, I disagree with the slippery part of their assessments because I have yet to bust my butt!

As a Florida customer, these complaints are invalid for me and only add to my previous article, 20 Reasons I HATE the Cold.

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What to Do When Mother Nature Calls…

toilet

Courtesy of buriedwithchildren.com

You’re camping.  The serenity is just what you needed.  The breeze sways the treetops, the fire is warm and crackling, you’ve got your beloved s’mores complete with Hersey’s chocolate.  The brook is babbling.

The brook is babbling?!  What do you do when nature calls but you’re a lady who is stuck in nature?

Keep calm and fear not.  This post is dedicated to the age-old female problem of using the little girls’ room in the great, wide open space that is the outdoors.  Avoid the ridicule of your masculine counterparts by being prepared and keeping that complaint about lack of proper equipment to yourselves and read on.

Supplies

Unless the idea of wiping with a waxy leaf or some stray pine needle sprays is appealing to you, be sure to provide your own toilet paper.  Chances are, if you are camping with anyone but your mother, the will not think to pack your favorite Charmin despite the cute, woodsy bear mascot on the package.  One roll should cover you but remember, friends are made where extra T.P. is had.

The Scenic Location

Be sure to seek out a secluded spot of wilderness so you won’t be disturbed.  Be aware of sloped ground leading down to the nearest clean water.  No one wants contamination to be an issue… or their sneakers to become victims. 

Last but not least, be sure your pants are where you can see them at all times.  No one wants to re-live their embarrassing preschool “accident” days and find it necessary to use the precautionary “accident pants.” 

The How-to Do…. Do

pine trees

Courtesy of reflectiveimages.com

 

I highly recommend the assisted squatty-potty.  This is done by propping oneself against one of nature’s best oxygen-producing friends, a tree.  Be sure you choose one on level ground and bend your knees as to not disturb the flow. 

According to CampingTrip.com, there are other ways to achieve the worry-free outdoor pee including holding onto a thinner-trunked tree (which can hold your weight!) and leaning back, finding an abandoned log or stump and scooting forward, and the buddy system.  The buddy system isn’t for the shy or the new friend you made because you brought that extra toilet paper.  It involves gripping a friend’s hands and leaning back to simultaneously go at once.

Like I said, not for the faint-hearted or faint-stomached.

The camping experience shouldn’t be one of anxiety or discomfort.  Once you brave the chill of the night air or the solitude that is not your Clorox-scrubbed home bathroom, we ladies can pitch camp with the best of them.

Panasonic Lumix Wins My Heart in the Underwater Camera Category!

If you’re anything like me, your technology takes a beating.  I drop my phone on a daily basis.  I have submerged an iTouch in a dorm toilet.  My last few cameras have been ruined due to getting beach sand in the lens.

Panasonic Lumix

So when the time came to purchase a new, waterproof camera, I knew it would be important to choose a sturdy model that could roll with my clumsy lifestyle.

I first went on Best Buy’s website and scrolled up and down the page with all the waterproof cameras.  Being the lady that I am, I was attracted to all the magentas and the blues and the gem-tones but quickly shock my head and went to investigate the most important factor to someone on a college budget: cost.

reef scene

On attempt two, I visited a good friend of mine… Amazon.  I quickly scrolled past the $300s and the $400s… For what I plan to do with the camera, take pictures of my shenanigans aboard kayaks and under waterfalls, a higher priced camera wouldn’t be a sound investment.

The camera I settled for is the Panasonic Lumix.  This baby is usable at underwater depths up to 40 feet, durable, easy-to-use, and fits in your back pocket.  The Lumix not only has a cool name but take crystal clear pictures that can’t be beat for the $250 price at which I bought it on Amazon.com.

flounder

I knew upon using it in the Keys to capture the beautiful reef life that I had made the right decision.  The camera comes equipped with a bright yellow floating handle.  If you drop it, it won’t become a part of the Little Mermaid’s collection.

Although my version doesn’t come with a fully-functioning GPS system, it does have a 12 megapixel sensor.  It also takes a 3968 X 2976 image and records short videos in case I ever find myself in a cage in a shark tank.

squids

And the best part?  Mine is a pretty blue!

How to Avoid Being A Fool on April Fool’s Day- Lessons Through Photos

As a tribute to all of the foolish times I’ve had on the water (and as a warning to the rest of you), I have posted some of my best insights into what to avoid in all your Woman, Water, Wild escapades…

Don't hold sharks

Don’t hold the sharks without gloves for protection… Their sandpaper skin will give you rub burn!

The Burren

Never stand this close to a ledge on a day when the water is rough… the oysters will cut you, the waves will rough you up and, if all else fails, the rocks won’t be fun.

bloody fish

Always bring a rag with you in case the hook leaves a fish bloody…

bad boat picture 1 bad boat picture 2 bad boat picture 3

Be sure you’ve got stable footing on the deck before snapping a picture… You might miss an opportunity to capture a quick moment (like a fish before it jumps off the hook!).

boat blanket

Dress appropriately for the type of weather you’re most likely to experience… Rain, cold or sunshine.

wakeboarder

Wear a helmet when wake-boarding or water skiing.  Water may seem like a gentle, soft place to land but surface tension  begs to differ.

fishing in the keys

Be sure to pull and then reel, pull and then reel… This technique takes the tension off your line which decreases its chances of snapping!

spear fishing

Keep one person on the boat at all times.  Not only does this insure that it stays in the same place (even if there’s an anchor dropped).  Not to mention, someone can take pictures of all the action!

wading

Always be safe and aware or you might find yourself stuck in the mud!

Happy April Fools’ Day!