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Essential gear for summertime hiking

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Anything can happen in the wilderness. That’s why it’s important to be well equipped when hiking, even if you’re only planning on being out on the trails for a few hours. Here’s a list of everything you need for a day hike.

• Backpack (20 to 40 liters is ideal) and a waterproof bag cover
• High quality hiking shoes and socks
• Moisture wicking clothing

• Extra clothes including rain gear, a fleece vest, a long-sleeved shirt, dry socks, a warm hat and gloves
• Sun protection including a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
• Head lamp and spare batteries
• Identification
• Watch
• Trail map and a compass
• Toilet paper
• Fully charged phone
• Plenty of water
• Food and snacks
• Survival kit that includes a multi-purpose tool, duct tape, rope, a lighter, a whistle, a survival blanket and water purification tablets
• First aid kit that includes adhesive bandages, scissors, splints, bug spray, over the counter pain medications, tweezers and antiseptic ointment
• Trekking poles (not essential, but nice to have in many scenarios)

You may not use everything on this list during your hike, but if you need it, you’ll be happy you thought ahead.

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Travel itineraries: take the guesswork out of your summer vacation

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If you intend to take a road trip or visit more than one place during your summer vacation, it can be hard to know which route is best. Luckily, the internet is full of travel itineraries created for explorers just like you.

Local tourism associations create travel itineraries in their region to cater to all types of adventure-seekers. Whether your interests lie in history, architecture or gastronomy, you’ll find a route tailor-made to your particular pastimes.

The biggest advantage of following a travel itinerary is that it saves you time. If you’re like many people, you have a limited number of vacation days every year. Knowing which towns to visit and when allows you to make the most of your time off.

Travel itineraries make planning your vacation simple. Once you’ve found a route that appeals to you, you just have to decide how you’ll get from one destination to another and where you’ll stay for the night. If you don’t want to make these decisions either, visit your local travel agent who can make all the arrangements for you.

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3 ways to keep your travel memories alive

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Vacations don’t last forever and once you return home, the memories slowly start to fade. To remember as much as possible about your trip, use one of these three methods.

1. Take lots of pictures
Tourists with cameras around their necks are a common sight at most travel destinations and with good reason. Taking photographs is one of the best ways to document awe-inspiring vistas, fascinating cities and friendly new faces. To make sure your pictures do the location justice, invest in a good quality point-and-shoot camera instead of using your smartphone.

2. Make a scrapbook

More than a photo album, a vacation scrapbook allows you to showcase your pictures alongside various mementos such as tickets, sketches and postcards. You can also write short stories about the things you choose to include.

3. Start a travel blog
Blogging is a great way to document and share your vacation. And it’s surprisingly easy to set up your own blog. All you need is an internet connection and a few minutes at the end of each day to upload photos and write about the day’s adventures.

You don’t need to go anywhere to collect your summer memories. Even if you’re staying home, take the time to keep a record that you’ll look back on in the years to come.

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A beginner’s guide to golf equipment

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Are you hoping to take up golf this summer but don’t know a wood from a wedge? Here’s a rundown of the equipment you’ll need before heading to the golf course.

Golf clubs
You can have up to 14 clubs in your golf bag. These are the main ones you’ll use to get the ball down the fairway and into the hole.

• The driver packs the most punch. It’s used to launch balls from the tee box.

• Woods 3, 5 and 7 resemble the driver, but since the club faces have more loft, they can hit balls directly off the ground.
• Irons are the most used clubs. They’re put to work for middle-distance and approach shots. It’s easier to control your ball flight with an iron than with a wood. Golfers tend to have five to seven irons in their bag (not including the wedges).
• Hybrids are a cross between irons and woods. They deliver greater control than woods but more distance than irons.
• Wedges have the most loft and are used for shots around the green.
• The putter is used on the green to tap the ball into the hole.

Other essentials
Here’s everything else you’ll need while out on the links.

• A golf bag to put all those clubs in.
• Proper golf attire including a collared shirt and golf slacks or a skirt. Most golf clubs have a dress code you’ll need to follow.
• A golf glove so you can grip clubs more easily.
• Golf shoes so you can keep your balance when swinging.
• Golf balls, tees, divot tools and ball markers — all of which you can fit in your bag.

Before heading out on the course for the first time (or the first time in a while), it’s worth having a lesson with a professional. Golf is a highly enjoyable sport but it takes some time to get the hang of.

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Which camping experience is right for you?

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Whether you’d rather battle the elements or preserve your comfort, there’s a camping experience that’s right for you. Here are some of the different ways you can get close to nature this summer.

Backpacking
Are you an experienced camper who wants to venture deep into the wilderness? Then backpacking may be right for you. This type of camping involves carrying all your gear on your back and hiking to one or more remote campsites. Sleep at the base of a mountain, at the edge of a stream, on the shore of a lake or anywhere else your feet may take you.

Tent camping

Tent camping can include all the comforts of home but if you’re looking to rough it, you can forgo the excess gear. How far away from civilization you go is also entirely up to you, with thousands of campgrounds across the country to choose from. The amenities available at each campground differ but many are equipped with showers, laundry facilities, potable water and electric outlets.

RV camping
RV camping is more comfortable than tent camping. It’s especially practical if you want to live in the wilderness for an extended period or if you want to visit a number of different parks. There are RVs for every budget, from small folding camping trailers to luxury motorhomes. If buying isn’t an option, it’s also possible to rent RVs.

Cabin camping
Cabin camping is perfect if you’re looking for a home away from home nestled in the wilderness. There are many types of cabins that can be rented, all the way from modest shacks to luxurious cottages. Undoubtedly, at a certain point a camper becomes a cottager, but you can decide for yourself where that line falls.

No matter what type of camper you are, remember to always let someone know where you’re going and when they can expect you back. Happy camping!

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12 safety tips for your next hiking adventure

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Ready to venture through the wilderness? Here are 12 tips for staying safe during your next hike.

1. Choose a trail that’s appropriate for your skill level
2. Never hike alone
3. Let someone know where you’ll be and when you plan to be back

4. Bring a map of the area and local trails
5. Start early and make sure to finish your hike before nightfall
6. Check the weather and trail conditions before heading out
7. Pack the appropriate gear, even for a short hike
8. Know what animals are native to the area and what to do if you encounter them
9. Wear appropriate footwear and bright, visible clothing
10. Snack frequently and drink water before you get thirsty
11. Protect yourself from the sun and insects
12. Be careful near precipices

Above all else, stay on clearly marked trails and use your common sense. If something looks like it could be dangerous, keep your distance

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How to choose the best course for your golf getaway

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Does your dream vacation involve hitting the links? With a bit of planning, you can make golf the central component of your next trip. Here are the factors to zero in on when selecting the perfect spot for your upcoming holiday.

• The surroundings. For many, the beauty of the course and its natural surroundings are essential to having a great golf holiday. Think about the particular type of weather and terrain you most appreciate and plan accordingly.

• The difficulty. Even if it’s the most stunning course you’ve ever played on, you probably won’t enjoy yourself if you need to take too many extra strokes. Look at the course and slope ratings to determine the level of difficulty.

The course rating is the score the average scratch golfer shoots on the course. The course slope indicates a course’s difficulty for a bogey golfer. It ranges from 55 (very easy) to 155 (very difficult), with 113 representing a standard level of difficulty.

• The price point. A golf trip can be planned and executed on any budget. The most affordable options tend to be golf packages that include accommodations, green fees and sometimes club storage, cart rental, driving range access and deals on dining.

• The extras. Since you can’t spend the entire day golfing, it’s a good idea to find out what else the area has to offer. For instance, you might opt to stay at a resort with an outdoor swimming pool and spa. Or you might select a golf course near a town where there’s lots to do. These are especially important considerations if there are non-golfers among your travel companions.

Once you find the course you’re looking for, make sure to book your holiday well in advance. You aren’t the only one dreaming of a golf getaway!

Let’s not forget about our own great courses here in Warren County.

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Oct
22
Tue
10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I – Fal... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 22 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes,[...]
Oct
23
Wed
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Oct 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing: October 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
Oct
24
Thu
10:30 am Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
Oct 24 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Small Business Lending Forum @ Samuels Public Library
The forum will provide participants with an overview of U.S. Small Business Administration and USDA/Rural Business Cooperative-Services (RBS)’s financing programs and services.  Participants will have the opportunity to field questions to lenders and learn more[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 24 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
25
Fri
9:00 am Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Virginia Department of Veteran S... @ Able Forces Foundation
Oct 25 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Virginia Department of Veteran Services @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation is hosting Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Virginia Department of Veteran Services, to assist veterans, their spouses, and dependents with questions regarding Veteran benefits and in filing claims[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 25 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
Oct
26
Sat
9:00 am Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Walk to End Alzheimer’s @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Oct 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Walk to End Alzheimer's @ Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Join the Northern Shenandoah Valley Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Together, we can provide care and support to improve the lives of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia (including family, friends, and caregivers), and[...]