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Month: March 2018

A Chagga holy plant

When the Roaming Parkers were in Tanzania in January 2018, our guide showed us a Dracaena fragrans (Masala) plant and told us a story about the Chagga people who regard the plant as holy.  It seems that if you come upon four Dracaena growing in a rectangle, you can bet […]

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How to build a gin & tonic fit for an expat!

In the Middle Ages, the Dutch developed gin, grain alcohol flavored with juniper berries (or even turpentine!), as a medicinal spirit to treat maladies as wide-ranging as arthritis, back pain, upset stomach, and kidney infections.  During the 16th century, soldiers drank it before battle for its calming properties, leading […]

10 essentials – water

Something that you realize fast during any outdoor adventure or any disaster situation. Water weighs a LOT! 8.3 pounds per gallon adds up fast! Emergency prep experts tell us to try to stockpile 1 gallon of water per person per day in the event of emergencies – and […]

5 mistakes new hikers make

Hiking and backpacking are great ways to get some exercise and reconnect with a more natural lifestyle, but there are some pitfalls that can cause beginners to stumble and eventually give up on hiking.  Watch out for… Buying a bunch of stuff that you don’t need Hiking is probably the most accessible […]

You never know until you go

Around this time last year, I wrote about taking our Boy Scouts on the annual Swamp Tromp hike and camping trip at Percy Quin State Park.  For several years running, this 10-mile hike has been their favorite event of the year, and now another year has rolled around and it […]