Travel

IT’S HERE! Plan, manage and sell your trips in one platform

The new and improved PathWrangler is here!  With one CLICK, you can sign up and put this integrated travel planning and selling solution to work for you.

PathWrangler helps you run better trips & grow your business.

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Do You Know How to Tell Your Adventure Stories with Your Photos?

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Here I’m showing Cold, Fog, Rain, Immensity, Ruggedness, and Struggle. (Photograph by Dan Westergren)

A picture can be worth a thousand words, but only if it needs no explanation to support it.  I personally have a life long passion for photography so I am always on the lookout for tips from the experts.  National Geographic is known for their commitment to visual storytelling and this great advice comes from Dan Westergren, director of photography for National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Do Your Pictures Tell a Story?

A photo editor’s nightmare is when someone shows him a picture and then starts to explain what’s in it. In the worst cases, the photographer starts to talk about important things that aren’t even in the shot.

In the simplest of terms, a storytelling photograph must show what the story is about. As the stories we want to tell with pictures get more complex, it becomes harder to fit all the elements into one frame. However, trying to make that happen is a great exercise.

The first step is to photograph all aspects of the story. Get to know the subject until you can decide what visual elements help tell the tale of that place or person.

Think about it in terms of covering the story from different angles. Photograph your subject from near, far away, back, front.

The key to an interesting photographic coverage is variety. Change up the size of the subject in the photographic frame. Shoot the same thing with different focal length settings. This is the time to really play around.

Photos work best when they have more than one storytelling element. In this case I was pretty bummed that the rain and fog were obscuring the Alaskan mountain range behind the glacier. Then I found out our boat was to be visited by two National Park Service rangers. Their small size emphasized the scale of the landscape.

One of my tricks is to think of adjectives that can describe a place and then see how many of them I can get into a photograph. Here I’m showing Cold, Fog, Rain, Immensity, Ruggedness, and Struggle.

And, last but not least, don’t fall into the trap of including the main subject of your story in every picture. After a few photos the viewers will get the idea.

Be sure to mix things up, take a lot of pictures, and review your shots while you’re still in the field because that’s when ideas for what will become the best photos — the keepers — will start bubbling to the surface.

Most photographers don’t just stand around waiting for the best scenes to appear in front of them. They work to draw their mind into the scene, hoping to capture the telling details that would have gone unnoticed without careful observation.

The Reverse Travel Bucket List- Toot Your Own Horn. You’re An Amazing Traveler!

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I think it’s safe to say that all of us seem to have a travel bucket list for the future filled with things we want to do and places we want to visit. As the years tick by we wonder if we will have the time, money and desire to check all these off the ever-growing list.

But what about what you’ve already accomplished?  That’s got to be a pretty impressive list as well.  In my mind I’m always in the future, rarely dwelling in the past.  But, sometimes it’s good to reflect on the past and where I’ve been.

Through Trek Tech I learned about Rebecca Tracey’s Reverse Bucket List, the concept of remembering past achievements to remind yourself how amazing you are.  I would hope that’s a pretty long list for most of us.  I found the idea intriguing.

But what about a Reverse Bucket List specifically for travel, a topic near and dear to us all?  I set out to make my own Reverse Travel Bucket List of things I’ve done in some places I’m glad I’ve seen as a traveler and came up with just a few of the more adventurous accomplishments…

  1. Trekked to Mt. Everest
  2. Watched a Nepalese funeral cremation
  3. Experienced the warm people, proud culture and smell of yak butter in Tibet
  4. Swam and played with wild dolphins in Kaikoura
  5. Spent an entire day underground exploring caves in Waitomo
  6. Seen emus and kangaroos out in the wild of Australia’s Coral Coast
  7. Showered in a make-shift open air Botswana safari stall in the presence of a heard of zebras
  8. Hiked the Franz Josef Glacier
  9. Rafted the mighty Zambezi River
  10. Seen the brilliance of the Milky Way in the dark Caribbean sky

You’re adventurous travelers!  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  What amazing things have you done or seen in your travels that would remind you of your amazing travel achievements?

PathWrangler Testimonial: Indiana University Outdoor Adventures

We received a testimonial from a client yesterday that knocked our socks off.  Tyler Kivland is Program Coordinator (which basically means he’s the guy that runs it) at Indiana University Outdoor Adventures.  It is such a cool organization.  They are supported by Indiana University, however they support the community and offer all kinds of great trips, gear, activities and, most importantly, Leadership Programs to develop the next generation of those serving the Outdoor Community and beyond.  it isn’t just for Indiana University students, they also support their surrounding community.

Here’s Tyler explaining exactly how PathWrangler is taking their organization to the next level:

If I could describe Pathwrangler in one sentence I would say that it is “A dynamic approach to trip planning, execution, and customer retention.”

As an organization that staffs upwards of 50 trip leaders at a time, Pathwrangler makes the trip planning process better and easier to learn. The overall benefit of Pathwrangler seems to be that it allows a trip leader to begin a dialogue with trip participants, organizers and leaders before the group ever meets for the trip. Participants can ask questions, share their excitement, and stay up-to-date on any trip developments with ease.

I’ve always supported the idea that a trip should start as soon as a participant signs-up, if not sooner. Pathwrangler allows just that. For example, each summer I bring a group to Quetico Provincial Park for a 10-day canoe expedition. It is vital that I make sure each participant is packing the correct type of gear and that they have a passport in their hands. Pathwrangler’s personal gear checklist allows me to track the progress of my group without having to make phone call after phone call to each participant. Furthermore, the conversation feature allows me to answer important questions once rather than each and every time I make a call or send an email. And if someone new joins the group they can easily catch up on all the action without me having to send them a copy of every email that has previously been sent.

Pathwrangler takes all the components of trip planning and collects it into one dynamic space.

One of the more useful benefits, from a management position, has been the itinerary feature. This is because the interactive nature of the itinerary and map simply cannot be matched on paper. The technology allows us, as an organization, to pinpoint the exact location of each activity and allows the participant a more accurate depiction of where they will be traveling. We are currently using the itinerary feature as a sort of travel action plan for several of our spring break trips which aids in managing the risk inherently involved in any outdoor adventure.

I’m excited to see where Pathwrangler will go next. It has already begun to change the way our leaders approach trip planning and I see it becoming a necessary tool for our program in the future. The more I learn about the site, the more excited I get. It has truly taken trip planning into a new era.

PATHWRANGLER NAMED HONOREE AS PART OF OUTSIDE’S ACTIVE TRAVEL AWARDS

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA | MARCH 12, 2013 PATHWRANGLER has been selected by Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, as a recipient of its second annual Active Travel Awards.  PathWrangler was honored as an Honoree. The full list of award winners will be published in the April issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands March 12, 2013, and at Outside Online.

To select this year’s awards, Outside tapped our global network of correspondents, who spent months on the road traveling from the Philippines to Switzerland to Namibia and then some, to report a definitive roundup of the best new adventures, secret paradises, mountain epics, stunning beaches, airline deals, gorgeous islands, and more. The result is 42 fresh trips that we guarantee will change your life, plus smart travel strategies, the best travel gear, and five exciting new frontiers.

PathWrangler is proud to be awarded honoree of Outside Strategies to “Plug-In.”  With all these beautiful destinations and incredible activities to do, PathWrangler is the tool that brings it all together and makes these dream trips a reality. 

Outside magazine has long been one of the world’s most trusted advisors for active and adventurous travelers,” says Outside Editor Christopher Keyes. “In addition to truly award-worthy destinations and travel providers, this year we unearthed a handful of amazing new frontiers in active travel. Our annual edit franchise honors the year’s best trips, hotels, lodges, luggage, islands, and new destinations that will be an invaluable travel resource for years to come.”

Simply put, PathWrangler makes creating experiences and telling those stories easier than ever before.  Planning an adventure trip or an outdoor excursion is like herding cats. It is maddening to get everyone and everything prepared. Our web app brings the conversation together in an interactive place designed specifically for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts to dream and organize their trip together, and then share their stories after.  Over 100 Tour Operators, Outdoor Clubs and Outdoor Wilderness Programs and thousands of outdoor enthusiasts are using PathWrangler to run better trips and share them with their friends.

In celebration of the Outside Active Travel Awards, PathWrangler is offering its award-winning product for free in preparation for a new premium rollout in the upcoming months.  That means unlimited trips and users for any individuals or business that sign-up now.  Please sign-up here to take advantage of this offer.  Please contact us at info@pathwrangler.com if you’d like any help in getting you or your organization started.

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About Outside

Outside is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. For more than 35 years, Outside has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The Outside family includes Outside magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, and Outside Books. Visit us on www.outsideonline.com and www.facebook.com/outsidemagazine.

Contact PathWrangler

For further press inquiries or other requests, please contact CEO Doug Heinz at doug@pathwrangler.com and 415-309-2242.  Please visit us online at www.pathwrangler.com, www.facebook.com/pathwrangler and @pathwrangler.

Cascada: Kayakers in Search of the Perfect Waterfall

Here is an amazing video of several kayakers on a quest for the perfect waterfall to kayak.  They take us into the deep, lush, tropical jungle near Tlapocayan in Veracruz, Mexico to give us a glimpse of this wet and wild destination and show us how much fun it is to go over the edge.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival’s Best Films are on Tour

Do you need a little inspiration to get out there and do something a bit extraordinary?  The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has just the ticket!

For over 35 years this film festival has been showcasing some of the best mountain and adventure films and this year is no different.  The festival was held last Fall, but for those of us who couldn’t make it to Banff, the films are coming to us.  With 28 films in the tour’s lineup, covering such adventures as kayaking, rock climbing, and base jumping and filmed in some amazing locations, there’s bound to be one or two that will thrill and excite you.

View clips of the films, check out the schedule to see when the tour comes to your city, then grab some popcorn and be inspired.

Share Your Adventure with the World

A year ago, we created the first way to build your own adventures and organize them with your friends, clients and associates in one, central, integrated place on a map.  Six months ago, we built a way for everyone to tell their own stories and share photos with each other.  After doing this, we made all kinds of enhancements to the product that made doing all of these things easier and better.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that you can now publish your trips, as well as your individual stories with the public.  We’ve integrated with Facebook so you can easily publish them to your friends and family.

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 10.01.37 AM Your PathWrangler Story on Facebook

Benefits to You

PathWrangler is now almost seamless.  We can’t create the ideas for you, but once you get an adventurous idea, you can build it, invite others, organize together, share your experiences as they happen and then share them with the world.

For the Traveler: it is the best way to organize and journal your trip.  We make it easier to store your memories.

For Trip Organizers: not only is the the best way to organize the many trips that you run, but it helps you to get business.  As your clients/members share their trips with their friends, it is a way to get those crucial testimonials and word of mouth referrals naturally.

Share Your Trips Today

Start building and sharing your trips on PathWrangler today!  Please contact us if you have any questions.

We’ll be sending out more details around these exciting new features from some of trips and users that we find particularly inspiring.  If you want to submit a trip, contact and share it with us and we’ll put it up on our blog!

The Hippo Story

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While on my Botswana safari many a tale was spun by my South African guides by the campfire.  One that stuck with me was this hippo story.

The Creator sent the hippo to land and it ate more than any other animal.

The other land animals went to the Creator and said, “You must get rid of the hippo otherwise we won’t survive.”

So the Creator put the hippo in the water.

The same situation happened.

The water animals went to the Creator and said the same thing the land animals said, “You must get rid of the hippo otherwise we won’t survive.”

The Creator told the hippo it could be on both land and water, but could only eat plants.

To make sure the hippo only ate plants the Francolin bird checked for skeleton bones in the crap the hippo shot onto plants.

One day the Francolin got caught mid-shoot, got crapped on and that is why it is the color it is today.