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Category: Environment & Nature

Watch: Yosemite in Black and White

Chile creates five national parks in historic act of conservation

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins donated 1 million acres of private land as part of a 10 million acre addition to Chile’s national park system. This will add five new parks and expand three more and safeguard Patagonia’s wilderness, provide a boon to economic development in southern Chile, and continue to welcome Chileans and international tourists alike.

This conservation effort has been in the making for more than 25 years.

Jonathan Franklin, The Guardian

Chile has created five sprawling national parks to preserve vast tracts of Patagonia – the culmination of more than two decades of land acquisition by the US philanthropists Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and the largest donation of private land to government in South America.

The five parks, spanning 10.3m acres, were signed into law on Monday by Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet, launching a new 17-park route that stretches down the southern spine of Chile to Cape Horn.

McDivitt Tompkins, the former chief executive of the outdoors company Patagonia, handed over 1m acres to help create the new parks. The Chilean government provided the rest in federally controlled land.

Cultural significance of Bears Ears National Monument

On her recent five-month residency with the Native land’s advocacy group Utah Diné Bikéyah, filmmaker Alisha Anderson shot a series of films about tribal connections to the Bears Ears National Monument. This video features Diné’s spiritual advisor, Jonah Yellowman, speaking about how he connects to nature.

Norway aims for all flights of 90-minutes or less to be electric by 2040

Norway already has more electric vehicles than any other nation.

Agence France-Presse in The Guardian:

All of Norway’s short-haul airliners should be entirely electric by 2040, the country’s airport operator said on Wednesday, cementing the Nordic nation’s role as a pioneer in the field of electric transport.

Avinor, the public operator of Norwegian airports, “aims to be the first in the world” to make the switch to electric air transport, chief executive Dag Falk-Petersen said.

Watch an Arctic Fox and Snowy Owl compete for turf

Jason Bittel, writing for National Geographic:

“For the most part the owl was oblivious, but at times it seemed it would taunt and goad the fox,” says David Briggs, senior expedition leader for the tour company Arctic Kingdom, who took the video and sent it recently to National Geographic.

Briggs often sees Arctic foxes, but snowy owls are less common. In seven years leading Arctic expeditions, he’s never seen anything like it.

“I don’t know if I can say it was extraordinary,” says Briggs, “but it was a pleasure for us, for sure.”

Polar explorer Eric Larsen provides tips on staying warm in extreme cold weather

Katie O’Reilly, writing for Sierra Magazine:

First things first: Make sure your base-layer game is strong.

“What most people don’t realize is that when it’s 30 to 40 degrees below zero, the concern isn’t about getting too cold, but rather getting too hot,” Larsen cautions. “When you sweat, moisture builds up and can replace the layer of air next to your skin.” Hence, the importance of a close-fitting base layer made from moisture-wicking fabric that allows for ventilation. Larsen prefers the wide range of base layers available through Norwegian technical outfitter Helly Hansen. “They make a variety, and I layer up and down depending on the temperature and the activity. For polar expeditions, they have a great line of mountain apparel.”

Get down with down.

Larsen describes a big down jacket as his “last defense against really cold weather—whether you’re in a sub-zero-degree tent or just walking around town.” He explains, “It’s the lightest-weight and warmest of insulators,” and says he relies on Helly Hansen’s shell jackets. “They use Allied Feather & Down, which is sustainably harvested.”

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