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Ultimate Guide: Best Winter Destination; Frozen Bubbles in Lake Abraham, Alberta Canada

LAKE ABRAHAM

  • Length: 19.90 miles

  • Width: 2.10 miles

  • Surface area: 20.73 sq miles

  • Surface elevation: 4,396 feet

A hard to believe spectacle, the frozen lake bubbles in Lake Abraham, Alberta Canada,  are a rare and stunning phenomenon. Located in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Abraham is an artificial lake named for Silas Abraham, who lived in the Saskatchewan River valley in the 1800’s. 

The former Calgary Power Company (now called TransAlta) created Lake Abraham when they constructed the Bighorn Dam in 1972.  The lake was built on the upper course of the North Saskatchewan River.  

Lake Abraham, often called Bubble lake,  is also Alberta’s largest reservoir which stores spring run off from the Rockies to be used in hydroelectric generation.  

Because the lake is man-made and not a natural lake, there are organic materials such as trees, grasses and plants that would normally not be found on a lake bed.  The decomposition of these materials contributes to the methane gas in the lake. 

The lake levels change rapidly, and so the lake has never been conducive to any type of water-based recreation.  This has led to very little development around the lake. As a result, any interest in the area is focused on ecology and nature trails. 

FROZEN BUBBLES

Each winter after ice in the lake forms, a natural phenomenon takes place that makes it a favorite spot for photographers.  The area the lake is in recieves little snow, so the lake ice is clear, with great visibility.

Rock flour (finely powdered rock) is carried down the Saskatchewan river from the glaciers above the lake and gives the water a milky blue hue, which adds to the beauty of the lake. 

When dead organic matter (both leaves and animals) falls into the water it then sinks to the bottom of the lake. In the case of Lake Abraham, because it is man-made, there are additional organic matters on the lake bed. 

Bacteria on the lake bottom feeds on this organic matter, decomposing it,  and releases methane gas in the form of bubbles. 

As the bubbles rise towards the surface of the lake in the winter time, they become suspended in the ice.  It creates one-of-a-kind “stacks” of frozen bubbles.  

In addition to the bubbles, the water level changes contribute unique cracks, ridges and patterns on the ice.  The unusual characteristics combine to make extraordinary displays that entice photographers from all over the world. 

Lake Abraham Frozen Bubbles

GETTING TO LAKE ABRAHAM

If you are not already in the area and will be flying in, choose either Edmonton or Calgary airport.  Both of these airports are about equal distance, three and a half hour drives, up into the lower hills of the Canadian Rockies. 

Once you get there, it will not be hard to find Lake Abraham as there is only one road in and one road out.   The David Thompson Highway, or Hwy 11, runs between Banff and Jasper National Parks. The lake will be in view for over 15 miles along Hwy 11. 

The most popular route is from Lake Louise as it is about an hour and a half from Lake Abraham.  Head north along Icefields Parkway and at Saskatchewan River Crossing you will take a right turn onto Hwy 11. 

It is important to know that this area is isolated.  Whatever vehicle you are driving needs to be roadworthy.  Fill up with gas at the last station in Nordegg and pack food and beverage items just in case.

Lake Abraham location

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Lake Abraham freezes over in mid to late December, but the ice bubbles are at their best a bit later in the season. 

The best time to visit Lake Abraham to see the frozen bubbles is from mid January to early February.   If you go earlier, the water may not be solidly frozen and later in the year it will either be covered in ice cleat marks or will have begun to thaw and be slushy. .  

You will want to know that the ice is solid enough to support your weight.  Winter temperatures do fluctuate in Canada, which impacts the ice forming.  

Keep an eye on the weather in Canada, and keep your travel dates flexible to ensure that you go when the ice is about a foot thick.  This gives the bubbles a chance to form and build up. In addition, the cracks on the lake will have had the chance to create the depth that makes for fascinating photos. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

While the frozen lake bubbles will be what draws you to Lake Abraham, don’t forget to look up.  You will be at the foot of the spectacular Canadian Rockies that are a majestic formation in themselves.

If you do not already have a camera, invest in one that will be able to create these once-in-a-lifetime pictures and give you memories that last. You will not want to leave these shots to your phone.

Consider a camera with a polarizing filter to help cut out glare. The winds across the lake make the surface much like a polished mirror.  A wide angle lens will help you capture the mountains that flank the lake.

As was mentioned earlier, the frozen bubbles are methane gas that are trapped in the ice. This gas, if released, is highly flammable.  Remember that as you are out on the lake, and don’t smoke!

It will be quite windy at Lake Abraham as the winds, called chinooks, blow through the lake area.  These winds blow the snow from the lake and leave the surface of the ice polished.  

The chinooks can be quite strong, so it is best to keep your gear with you at all times. Otherwise your gear could be blown across the frozen surface of the lake. You will need to wear crampons, or ice cleats, on your boots to be able to stand on the surface of the lake. 

Know that you will be in a rural area.  There are no nearby convenience stores or gas stations. Orient yourself with maps of the area before you venture out, as the GPS on your phone will have no signal and cell service will be spotty, if it is available at all.  

If you have the least doubts about your ability to find your way around, go with an experienced guide that does know their way around.  Don’t go venturing to this area alone. Go with friends or on a group tour that has an expert guide. 

Lake Abraham is not a Provincial park, so there will not be any rest areas on the lake itself.  Just before you get to Preachers Point, in a car park just after Township Road 355, there is a public bathroom.

Wear the right clothing and have the right equipment.  Even with the sun shining, the wind chill can be formidable. Wear winter clothing with thermal layers underneath.

You will need thick winter gloves and consider hand warmers to put inside your gloves.  Sturdy winter boots, with a full insole warmer, along with ice cleats are a must. Get a good pair of spikes that grip the ice.

A warm hat, and a face mask to guard against the chinooks blowing across the lake is a necessity. Remember that it is better to have an abundance of winter gear and not need it, than to need it and not have it. 

PLACES TO FIND FROZEN BUBBLES

Abraham lake is huge, just over twenty square miles!  Listed below are some of the more popular spots on the lake to look for frozen bubbles.

Preacher’s Point:  The most visited spot, Hwy 11 runs right by this section of the lake.  There is a staging area where you can park your car and walk down to the lake. 

Cline Landing:  The water is shallow in this area and so it freezes over quickly.

Belly of Abraham:  The wind often sweeps this area clean and the ice can be very clear in the part of the lake. 

Hoodoo Creek and David Thompson Resort:  Two spots that often yield great views of the fantastic bubbles.  

IN CONCLUSION:

This phenomenon is absolutely stunning.  While it may require more effort and planning to get there, it is well worth the effort.  We live in a beautiful world with majestic and unique vistas to discover. At Lake Abraham, you will be able to experience both the majesty of the Canadian Rockies and unbelievable uniqueness of the frozen lake bubbles.

14 Fun Facts About Lake Tahoe that You Need to Know

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, but size is not all it has. An unrivaled natural beauty, it is blanketed with attractive landscapes and surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Sugar pines and white firs tower their way into the heavens and cover most of its hillsides and mountains. There are still more Lake Tahoe fun facts to discover, but before I give you the run-down, allow us to provide you with an opportunity to skim through the area by telling you more about North and South Lake Tahoe.

NORTH AND SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

Lake Tahoe is more like a tale of two cities. The lake streams over California and Nevada, high up in the Sierras. This elevation paved the way to make this lake unique and compelling in so many ways. With an hour’s travel in between the two lakes (depending on traffic), you can quickly check both parts within a day’s tour.

North Lake Tahoe is on the up-scale side, which makes it ideal for people who prefer a serene vacation. It is perfect for winter vacation since you’ll find most snow-covered peaks in the north, although there are also fewer beaches in the north, too.

South Lake Tahoe is where the majority of people are. It is an ideal destination for summer vacation with loads of beaches and outdoor activities. The south can be more tempting because of its prices, which are generally less expensive than North Lake Tahoe.

With that, you are now prepared to learn our Lake Tahoe Fun Facts:

1.) The Name Lake Tahoe

Tahoe came from a mispronounced Washoe Native American word, which is da’aw, meaning, “the lake.” The majestic lake went through 5 names (Lake Bonpland, Mountain Lake, Fremont’s Lake, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Lake Bigler) before it was formally named  Lake Tahoe.

2.) Two places at once

Lake Tahoe stretches a distance of 35km, which is why two-thirds of it is in California, and a third of it crosses into the state of Nevada.

3.) Lake Tahoe as Source of Water Supply

The volume of water in Lake Tahoe is adequate enough to supply each person living in the U.S. with 190 liters (50 gallons) of water per day for 5 years.

4.) 99.994% Pure Water

Lake Tahoe’s  freshwater is one of the purest and freshest in the world, garnering 99.994 percentile in purity, while commercially distilled water is at 99.998%. Tahoe water is acknowledged as being among the best tasting water in the world. This is not some processed water in a fancy and expensive bottle, but humble tap water. The water that comes out of the faucet is not only cleaner, safer, and healthier than bottled water, it is also much better for the environment.

5.) No one and nothing has aged as gracefully as Lake Tahoe

At over 2 million years old, Lake Tahoe is considered an ancient lake and is included among the 20 oldest lakes in the world. It has remained pristine for many generations because residents within its community are committed to preserving the Lake’s captivating beauty. If you are planning to visit this immaculate place, please support local communities by adhering to the cleanliness and preservation guidelines in their tourist areas.

6.) The main body of Lake Tahoe is incapable of freezing.

Heat stored in the Lake’s massive amount of water, in comparison to its relative surface area, prevents the Lake from reaching freezing temperatures under the existing climatic conditions. On rare occasions, Emerald Bay has developed full or partial ice cover, and thin ice sheets can form on shallow nearshore waters under icy and calm conditions.

7.) An average of 3 million people visit Lake Tahoe each year.

The year-round resident population is 40,000, while the total population, with visitors,  can reach 300,000 plus on peak seasons. Lake Tahoe offers engaging and fun activities, after dark adventures. Events that take place every single day around the lake and the calm and rejuvenating picturesque beauty of the site, attract 2.7 million tourists a year.

8.) Famous Place for Famous People

A few prominent people were attracted to the beauty of Lake Tahoe and decided to set down roots in the area by taking up residence near the lake. A few recognizable names are: Charles Bronson, Cher, Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minelli, Wayne Newton, and the Captain and Tennille.

9.) 100-years of Film-making history at Lake Tahoe

Cinephiles and “The Godfather: Part II” avid fans, know that the movie, as mentioned earlier, is one of the greatest films ever shot in Lake Tahoe.

Over 120 films have been shot in the region over the past 100 years, starting off not long after the turn of the 20th century, when cinema, as a creative means, was launched to the world.

Here’s a list of the Top 5 Movies Shot in Lake Tahoe/ Truckee Area

  • The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • The Gold Rush (1925)
  • The Bodyguard (1992)
  • True Lies (1994)
  • Her (2013)

10.) How much water is in Lake Tahoe?

At 1,645 ft deep, it is recognized as the second deepest lake in the United States and one of the deepest lakes in the world. Lake Tahoe has enough water content to engulf the Empire State Building in New York, which stands at 1,454 feet at the tip. If we poured Lake Tahoe’s water out into an area the size of California, the water would reach a depth of 14 inches or 36 cm deep.

11.) Tahoe South gets enough snow to cover a three-story building.

According to U.S. Climate Data, South Lake Tahoe sees an average of 408 inches of snow or approximately 34 feet each year. Typically, a story is about 10 feet, meaning there’s enough snow to cover a three-story building. Of course, that’s just the average. The Lake Tahoe region has been known to have 500+ inches of snow in past  years.

12.) Lake Tahoe is enwreathed within five peaks that are over 9,000 feet.

If you are an adventure enthusiast and get an adrenaline rush high from hiking or trekking, you will adore Lake Tahoe. The five peaks that circle the Lake are comprised of Rubicon Peak (9,183′), Mt Tallac (9,735′), Pyramid Peak (9,985′), Mt Rose ((10,778′) and Freel Peak (10,881′).

13.) Crystal Bay is the deepest part of Lake Tahoe

Measuring in at a staggering 1,645 feet, Crystal Bay is the deepest part of Lake Tahoe. The California/Nevada state line is situated at Crystal Bay, and you can stroll from one state to the next along the calm waters of the bay.

14.) Lake in the Sky

Drifting along the lake while the water is calm will make you think twice about which way is up and which is down. Thirty-nine trillion gallons of pure, crystal clear water can give you a perfect, real-life reflection of the sky, hence, the name Lake in the Sky. This is perfect pausing a busy life to reflect and refresh yourself.

Conclusion

All of nature is beautiful and we are blessed to be surrounded by some of the most majestic scenery on the planet. There are many ways we can help in protecting our planet. You can start by learning more about the places you will visit and observe the locals’ means of preservation. Maybe it is simple, but if we apply those practices wherever we go, we can make a positive impact.  Learn ways in which you can protect our beautiful planet and pass that information along to others. As we all know, knowledge is power!

10 Awesome Lake Trout Fishing Gear to Try Right Now

Fishing ranks as one of the most satisfying outdoor activities. Trout fishing, in particular, is a rewarding challenge which requires knowledge of fish habits, stream characteristics and weather patterns. 

Over 49 million Americans fished in 2019.  Way, way up from the 7 million figure that was listed in 2006.  Only running activities had more participants.

These are some of the reasons people listed for why they like fishing:

  1. Camaraderie with fishing friends
  2. To get outside and enjoy nature
  3. To be on or near the water
  4. The adventure of catching our own meal
  5. Fishing is a new challenge every time you hit the water
  6. Reduces stress, and is a healthy activity

It has been said that only 10% of all fishermen catch 90% of all the trout. I would dispute that saying.  Americans are not a nation of people who will continue to participate in an activity that does not produce results or give them something back in return.

For fishing to have garnered 42 million more members in 12 years, more than 10% of anglers  have to be getting some kind of results! 

You might be looking for dinner, peaceful scenery or just some time on the water and lake trout fishing will provide all of those.

We have listed some fishing gear that will be helpful to you in this quest and be in that “10%”.

PRODUCT

SUMMARY

10pcs Fishing Lure with 2 Tackle Boxes: Spinnerbait Kit by Tbuymax

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Tbuymax 10pcs high quality Holographic Spinner Lure kit comes with assorted bright colors and sizes.

SF Fly Fishing Landing Catch and Release Net

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The landing net comes in a 2-piece set with a new, strong and durable magnetic net release. The frame and handle is made from laminated bamboo and hardwood.

PowerBait Glitter Trout Bait

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Add ultimate scent and flavor to your trout presentations with Berkley PowerBait Glitter Trout Bait.

Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The perfect fishing vest for both men and women.  The vest keeps your fishing gear well-organized and all of your gear is quickly within reach.

Dr. Meter Electronic Balance Digital Fishing Scale with Measuring Tape

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

You can put this scale on the net, set the tear weight and then put the fish back in the net for a clear, easy weight.

FISHINGSIR Fly Fishing Flies Kit

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Created by fly-fishing professionals and 100% handmade. Flies come in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can match the hatch at any time.

KastKing FluorKote Fishing Line

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

KastKing FluoroKote is a combination of the No.1 selling KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line with high-tech 100% fluorocarbon coating that reduces the line's visibility when immersed in water.

Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

Durable, sensitive fishing rod engineered for Trout angling.

Dr. Fish Fishing Bead Bait Egg Kits

Overall Rating : 4.0/5

Made of high quality plastic material, lightweight and durable. Floats on the surface when dropped in water.

PLUSINNO Fishing Net

Overall Rating : 4/5

Easy to fasten and made out of durable nylon mesh.  There is a special belt clip for easy carrying.

PRODUCT REVIEWS


Life-like swimming actions are irresistible to big Fish. Its classic blades are shaped so as to spin like a propeller when the lure is in motion, creating varying degrees of flash and vibration that mimics small fish or other prey. The two most popular types of spinnerbaits are the 'in-line spinner' and 'tail-spinner'. Machined-brass main body. Steel-stamped blades are silver-plated or painted.

Pros:

  • Less expensive than similar lures
  • Purchasers like the included boxes for carrying the lures
  • Users felt they caught more fish with these lures

Cons:

  • Rooster tails can come off easily
  • Spinner action did not always work


It is easy to grip and feels comfortable in your hand.  There is a special coating on the wooden surface which makes the frame waterproof and resistant to abrasion.  Soft rubber mesh bag is flexible with tough mesh holes so that the fish is not injured in the struggle, and the fish can be released quickly and easily.

Pros:

  • Unit can lay almost completely flat for storage
  • Lightweight, floats and is tangle free
  • Rubber mesh will not catch fly hooks when a fish is caught

Cons:

  • Smaller fish slip through the webbing
  • Users would appreciate a deeper net


This moldable, floating dough disperses Berkley's exclusive PowerBait formula, a scent and flavor attractant that will keep fish biting down longer. It also features crystalline glitter that reflects light and increases visibility, ensuring more strikes. Berkley PowerBait makes novice anglers good and good anglers great.  Berkley scientists have spent over 25 years perfecting an irresistible scent and flavor - the exclusive PowerBait formula. Fish love PowerBait so much they hold on 18 times longer, giving you the time and confidence to feel more bites, set more hooks and catch more fish.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lasts a long time
  • Floats

Cons:

  • If it dries out, it does not work
  • Falls off if not put on correctly


The vest has large pockets, small pockets, mesh pockets, and water resistant pockets...this vest has a lot of pockets!  The breathable mesh allows air to flow freely so that you can stay cool when the temperature rises.  Adjustable straps makes this vest fit for both men and women.  The vest even has a drink holder.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable fit
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Great product for the price

Cons:

  • Zipper can unzip on it own
  • Some felt adjustable vest was still too big for women

The best part is that you don’t have to stab the fish to get the weight.  The 50kg limit falls well within the requirement for travelers, making this a perfect scale to weigh your luggage.   Weighs up to 110 pounds.

Pros:

  • Night vision LCD display
  • Built in tape measure
  • Can rotate 180 degrees

Cons:

  • Hook can be hard to weigh larger fish
  • Not waterproof


FISHINGSIR large selection of flies includes trusted patterns, such as Adams, Woolly Bugger, Elk Hair Caddis, Griffith's Gnat, Stimulator, Egg Fly, etc. Used by anglers around the world.  The 64, 100, 110 and 120 piece fly kits give you the best value and are great for casting practice.  Choose from dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, steelhead flies and saltwater flies.

Pros:

  • Good selection in kit and great for a newbie to fishing
  • Realistic looking
  • Compact case

Cons:

  • Can lose feathers easily
  •  Flies are small

The combination of the two materials maximizes the advantage of fluorocarbon invisibility with the low memory and superior castability of copolymer. KastKing fishing line sinks faster with low absorption. Low Stretch makes KastKing a great upgrade from mono line and ideal low cost alternative to fluorocarbon line.The combination of the two materials maximizes the advantage of fluorocarbon virtually invisibility in water. The unique fluorocarbon materials make the line superior abrasion resistance and offer great knot strength.

Pros:

  • Performs like a higher lb. test line
  • Very little line stretch
  • Abrasion resistant

Cons:

  • Inconsistent results with line
  • Line can snap easily at times


Blank specially designed for use with light lines and dough baits.  24 ton multi-modulus carbon composite blank construction delivers strength and sensitivity.  Double-locking reel seat holds reel securely in place.

Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts help prevent line slippage

Pros:

  • Great rod if coupled with a great reel
  • Reasonably priced
  • Well balanced with a sensitive tip

Cons:

  •  Can be a bit stiff


 Reusable, long-term preservation and convenient to carry. Comes in high quality box sorted by color.  Must have for making spinners and lures, texas rigs, Carolina rigs, fluke rigs, deep drop rigs for both saltwater and freshwater. Color assortment with high reflecting rate, takes advantage of a fish’s natural instinct to be attracted to bright colors.

Ten Colors: orange, lemon green, purple, yellow, blue, chartreuse, red, clear, green (glow), pink (glow).

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Great selection
  • Good Material

Cons:

  • Doesn’t always float
  • Small in size


Folds, and so is convenient for storage. Mesh prevents fish hooks from getting snagged.  Is both waterproof and has a non-absorbent coating. The handle is skid resistant and comfortable to hold. The net allows you to catch and safely release the fish without harming your catch.

Pros:

  • Great for fishing from a kayak
  • Sturdy
  • Great for sand crabs

Cons:

  • Only telescopes a couple of inches

Fishing for lake trout can be done throughout most of the year.   Lake trout (salvelinus namaycush) is a freshwater char that lives in lakes in northern America. Trout go by several different names.

It is also referred to as mackinaw, namaycush, lake char, touladi, togue and grey trout.  It is also known, in the Lake Superior region, as siscowet, paperbelly and lean.   Those with dark coloration are known as mud hens.

The lake trout live through the Great Lakes region and Canada. They are also found in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and in the areas of New England.  Although not common, lake trout are also present in California, Utah, Colorado, Kentucky and Tennessee.

A lake trout will prefer lakes with relatively deep waters, those up to 100 feet deep.  Depending on the lake, like those that are spring fed, trout may found closer to the surface.   Their diet consists of other fish and aquatic invertebrates. When the trout reach over 12 inches, they only feed on other small fish.

A good rule of thumb when fishing for lake trout is to familiarize yourself with the underwater topography of the lake you are fishing in.  Using a depth finder can also be helpful.  These fish will typically be near sandbars, rocks, shoals, and wrecks.

Trout will also move in response to the weather and temperature. They seem to move around near the surface the most when water temperature is in the low 70’s and search out the depths when the water temps are in the low 80’s. The reason for this movement is that the lake trout is following baitfish. 

The best time of the year to fish for lake trout is in early spring. The fish are hungrier and less discriminating about when and where they feed. That can mean that they might be easier to catch during the day and near the surface.

The type of equipment that is used for fishing lake trout is the same that can be used for any type of fish.  There are, however, some pieces of equipment that are better suited to use than others.

Fishing rods, in general, fall into one of three categories: spinning, fly and casting rods.  Spinning rods work the best for catching trout. 

When looking for a reel for the rod, you can choose between a conventional, spin-cast or spinning reels.  Spinning reels are often used, as they are easy to operate. Equip your reel with a good quality line that is the correct pound test for the size fish you are going for. Most trout weigh between 2 and 10 pounds, but fish going up to 40 pounds are not uncommon.

It is a good idea to have more than one type of lure when you are going out on the water.  If one lure is not getting bites, you can switch and try another.

Here are some of the lures that have been used successfully in catching lake trout:

  1. Bugs:  Beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets naturally fall into the lake or river and get eaten by the trout.  You can purchase them from a bait shop or buy imitations.
  2. Swimbaits:  The paddle tail swimbait lure can be purchased in a variety of colors and sizes.
  3. Tubes:  These fishing tubes look like the zooplankton that trout like feasting on.
  4. Worms:  Trout love worms.  Use live worms or imitation worms that come in various colors.
  5. Salmon eggs:  Use with a size 6 hook.
  6. Spoons:  The spoons are tipped with feathers, and are especially effective in colder weather.
  7. Spinners:  Spinners and roosters are the most commonly used lures for trout fishing regardless of where you fish.

Here are some additional tips for trout fishing:

  • Fish finders:  This tool can increase your odds of catching lake trout.  There are a variety of fish finders out there, with some of them being relatively inexpensive.
  • Bait:  While there are all types of bait and lures, live bait (night crawlers, minnows, salmon eggs) can be very effective.
  • Location:  Generally, lake trout tend to stay in the same area.  So if you catch a trout in a specific area, chances are that there are more in the same place.
  • Depth:  Trout tend to like cooler water, so as the temperature rises, you will need to fish deeper.
  • Fishing club:  Consider joining, or visiting one in your area.  Most clubs will have a group leader that are proficient in lake fishing.
  • Weather:  You have a greater chance of catching trout when it is raining.
  • Taste:  Smaller trout taste better than larger ones.
  • If you have caught a fish and you want to release it, here is what you need to do:
  • Always use a barbless hook as it will prevent injuring the fish
  • Ensure you always wet your hand before you handle the trout.
  • Avoid removing the trout from the water.
  • Don’t make the fish tire too much. You can do this by landing the fish quickly.
  • If you’re interested in taking a photo, then have your camera set before lifting the trout out of the water.
  • Take the picture quickly and land the fish as soon as possible.
  • Don’t forget to revive the trout in the water before letting it go

IN CONCLUSION


Getting into the out-of-doors and enjoying nature is an activity we should all strive to do on a regular basis.  There are over 49 million Americans who agree, and they do so by fishing.  

Fishing is an activity that can be done throughout a person’s entire lifetime and you can gain experience that can be passed down to future generations. Lake trout fishing can enhance your time outdoors with a lifelong activity that can be shared with family and friends.

What is Blue Mind Theory?

There’s nothing quite like sitting near the ocean - or any body of water, really. Have you ever noticed how you feel instantly more relaxed and less anxious whenever you’re near natural bodies of water? 

The calming effect of water is true for pretty much every human. We’re now learning that it’s much more powerful than we ever could’ve imagined. 

More studies are being conducted on the effect that the bodies of water are able to have on the human mind and body, and the findings are incredible. More and more people are becoming aware of and using this phenomenon to heal themselves from stress, anxiety, addiction and more.

The Blue Mind Theory


The fascinating effects of water on human emotions and psyche is being studied and has been named the Blue Mind Theory. “Blue mind” is characterized as a mild state of meditation that evokes a sense of calm, peacefulness, happiness and contentment. 

It’s your brain’s subconscious, positive reaction to being on, in or near water. You instantly feel a higher sense of wellbeing, slower breathing and lower heart rate. 

Alternatively, there’s also the “red mind” state, which is a state of over-stimulation, anxiety and stress. Red mind is a product of everyday modern life - constantly being connected, pressured and angry. 

Although red mind might seem like it should be avoided at all costs, it can have it’s benefits when used constructively to balance and reduce life’s stressors. As with most things in life, it’s all about balance. 

According to Dr. Michael Merzenich, a neuroscientist at the University of California, the brain is constantly working to record events and objects around you, and trying to interpret their meaning. 

Unlike a hectic city street, where your brain is working overtime to keep up with your surroundings, a body of water offers a high level of predictability. This predictability allows your brain to take a break and feel safe. Even images and art simply depicting water can make you feel more safe and relaxed.

Since the sights and sounds of a body of water are somewhat consistent for the most part, whenever the slightest thing happens - like a bird passing by or a big wave crashing - you experience a sense of pleasant surprise and a small hit of dopamine. It’s provides the perfect balance of stability and change, which allows you to enter a state of involuntary attention, or the brain’s default setting.

Even if you aren’t able to get to a pool, pond, river or ocean, there a number of ways to take advantage of the calming power of water. You can get yourself in a state of blue mind pretty much anywhere. Here are some simple ways that you can interact with water on a daily basis and enjoy the benefits:

Go For A Swim

You don’t have to travel all the way to the nearest beach to achieve blue mind. If you can make it to a nearby lake or pool and jump in, you’re good to go. 

Swimming can trigger similar feelings to the ones you experience when doing things like hatha yoga. The deep breathing, gentle movement and stretching all combine to put you in that mild meditative state. 

Additionally, aerobic exercises like swimming trigger your brain to release your body’s natural pain relieving compounds (endocannabinoids and endorphins), which allows you to release stress and tension in your body and mind.

Have a Bath

Therapeutic water immersion has been around since the early civilizations. Relaxing in a tub water can instantly reduce stress and anxiety, and relieve muscle strain. Immersing yourself in water levels out your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which control your “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” modes. This way, you’re able to adjust to and handle daily stressors much more efficiently.

If you aren’t able to lay down in the tub for awhile, even just a quick 10-minute shower can have a significant effect on your stress and anxiety levels.

Get a Fish Tank or Visit The Aquarium

For everyday zen, consider adding an aquarium or fish tank to your home. Researches at the University of Pennsylvania found that aquariums were an effective way to reduce anxiety in oral surgery patients, which is why it’s so common to see aquariums and fish tanks in dentist’s offices. Gazing into an aquarium creates a feeling of serenity. 

Another study found that observing an aquarium for at least 10 minutes can significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate. This is especially true when observing aquariums with plenty of biodiversity and color.

Have A Glass Of Water

Even slight dehydration can have negative effects on your body’s ability to function properly. Your body is comprised of up to 78 percent water and your brain is even more. Your levels of anxiety, fatigue, reaction time and overall ability to focus can be greatly compromised if you’re not hydrating yourself. 

Proper and adequate consumption of water is our most important interaction and relationship with water. If you aren’t taking care of this, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the psychological benefits of water and blue mind.

How The Ocean Provides Relaxation

Although the blue mind theory applies to any and all bodies of water, there’s nothing that compares to the level of blue mind that the ocean can put you in. There’s a reason why beaches are a favorite spot for vacations. 

People love to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and head for the ocean to relax and recharge. Being next to the ocean gives you a sense of calm and peacefulness that you can’t get anywhere else. 

How is the ocean able to relax you and put you in the state of blue mind like nothing else can? It’s easy to understand if you break it down.

Fresh Air

When in or right next to the ocean, the are that you’re breathing is called “sea spray”. Not only is it much fresher than the heavily polluted air that you’re breathing in crowded cities, it’s actually rich in a negatively charged hydrogen ion particles. These types of particles neutralize harmful free radicals in the air and absorb oxygen. 

So when you breath in this air, your serotonin levels balance out leaving you feeling much calmer and relaxed. 

When you’re in a relaxed state you begin to breathe deeper and through your diaphragm, which will then put your body in a parasympathetic state. This will make you feel even calmer and allows the functions of your body relax as well.

Calming Sounds

Have you ever noticed that every sound machine has an ocean setting? The rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the shore is soothing for both your body and mind. The repetitive pattern is able to put you into that meditative state that can slow down racing thoughts and ease worries. 

In 1997, there was a study conducted on cancer patients to see the effects of recorded water sounds on their chronic pain. Just 15 minutes of creeks, oceans and waterfalls shown to reduce the levels of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine by 20 to 30 percent.

Soothing Scenery

The ocean is vast and peaceful. Looking out at the open water allows your brain and eyes to take a break from the excessive stimulation of your everyday life. These days, we’re constantly looking at bright screens and navigating through busy streets, and it can be very overwhelming to our senses. 

So when you finally get to look at something as peaceful and consistent as the ocean, you’re immediately sent into a state of relaxation. Not to mention, the vast and unending view allows you to forget your worries and gain some perspective on how small we really are.

Sunlight Exposure

In moderation and with the proper protective precautions, sunlight can have many amazing benefits, and you will get a lot of it when you spend time at the ocean. Soaking up the rays of the sun trigger your body to release endorphins, which help to improve your mood and sense of wellbeing. Sun exposure is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, which is essential for a healthy immune system and strong bones.  

Water Sports

Water sports like surfing, sailing or paddle boarding are healthy ways to obtain a natural dopamine high. You get to enjoy the natural calming characteristics of the ocean while also enjoying the endorphins, stimulation and novelty that come with water sports. It’s so fun and restorative engage in a gentle activities, remain calm and experience a change in scenery.

Health Benefits

Although it might sound a little “out there” there are many scientifically studied and proven health benefits to be gained by exposing yourself to the power of water and entering a state of blue mind. It goes way beyond just simply relaxing and soothing the mind, although there is a ripple effect that can be set off from just that. 

Reduced Symptoms of PTSD

Activities related to water can help decrease the perception of stress in people with PTSD which helps to relieve anxiety, depression and panic attacks. The predictable nature of water allows a hyper-aware, traumatized mind to slow down and feel safe. It can also significantly improve sleep quality which can sometimes be an issue associated with PTSD.

Addiction Recovery

Blue mind has the power to aid in the chemical and mental withdraws associated with addiction. Things like surf therapy are becoming popular techniques in aiding addicts with their recovery process. 

Water activities and sports are an effective and healthy way to simulate a high using the body’s natural chemicals like endorphins and dopamine. 

You’re able to experience that chemical rush while enjoying the relaxing, non-threatening atmosphere. There’s a reason why people who surf often are generally more relaxed and easy going - they know how to ride the waves and go with the flow of life. 

Lower Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is your body’s stress response hormone. It’s necessary for protection and certain bodily functions, but excess cortisol in the body can be very damaging. It can ultimately lead to high blood pressure, insulin resistance, obesity, impaired cognitive performance and more. 

Using water as a means of stress relief can greatly reduce high levels of cortisol in your body to help you remain relaxed, calm. Even though you don’t mentally feel the stress, that doesn’t mean that your body isn’t having a stress response to the constant stimuli and pressure of daily activities. 

Natural Pain Relief

Immersing yourself in water makes you feel light and buoyant. This takes pressure off of your bones and muscles, while allowing you to still be active and move oxygen rich blood to any injured or tense areas in your body. 

If you aren’t able to physically get in the water, just being near it and taking in the sights and sounds trigger your body to release it’s own pain reducing chemicals that soothe you and raise your pain threshold. Mediation and rhythmic breathing similar to the waves of the ocean the feelings associated with blue mind have been used as a tool for pain management for thousands of years. 

Conclusion

It’s easy to brush off blue mind as being an effective treatment for anything, but it’s scientifically backed and the benefits are significant. It’s a simple and natural way to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and pain. It can even help boost creativity and help with symptoms associated with PTSD, addiction and other conditions. 

Blue mind is something that all people can experience and benefit from on a daily basis. The human body has a natural attraction and positive reaction to bodies of water. Being in, on or near any body of water can affect all of our senses and have many calming benefits to our minds and bodies. 

In today’s world we’re more stressed, pressured and overworked than ever. You might not even realize how much your need to disconnect and recenter, but once you do you’ll find that you have more focus, creativity and emotional resilience.

 

The Best and Healthiest Natural Foods for Your Lake Living

You look forward to your time at the lake.  Life moves, not so much at a slower pace, but time moves at a pace that you can dictate.  You zip through the necessary chores, and have time to spend on the water or in the hammock.

It also seems like mealtimes are more of an event at the lake.  When you are home, breakfast is what you rush through to get out the door.  Lunch is in a bag or on the go. Dinner is what happens when you get home and before helping the kiddos with homework or running to various practices before you fall into bed. 

At the lake, there is time to contemplate what comes next.  Time to think about what would be good to eat, what might be easy or involved, and what you could make as a joint venture with family members. 

It is also a time when you can take the opportunity to truly enjoy natural foods with a mindfulness that this food is an essential fuel for a strong and healthy body.

If you are smart (I am sure of it!) your lake house does not possess a big screen TV, but it has a big table.  A table for playing board games and eating family-style healthy meals. 

People have made the connection between food and well-being at least since the beginning of written history, although it has been as much a matter of educated guesswork as it has been science.  

There is no doubt that natural foods are much better for the body than highly processed foods. Processed foods are usually loaded with added sugar... or its evil twin, high fructose corn syrup.

Processed, packaged foods contain chemicals that prevent the food from spoiling. They can also contain chemicals that give the food color, flavor and texture.  They are low in fiber and nutrients.

All the more reason to skip the processed offerings and concentrate on healthy, natural food not only while you are at the lake, but also in your everyday life.

We are very fortunate to have an abundance of natural foods readily accessible and the lake house is no exception.  The time at the lake house provides us the opportunity to consider those healthy options.

It is no longer a difficult proposition to find healthy food. Increasingly, both grocery stores and restaurants have healthy, natural food options.  It used to be considered a fad to seek out natural foods, but no more. The correlation between the food we ingest and the resulting health benefits, or health issues is clear. 

Which brings us to ask, what are the healthiest natural foods?  While you are at your lake house, you should have no problem stocking up on the options.  Here is what you need to look for:

  • Whole grains:  Wholemeal bread, pasta, and cereals in which each grain included the germ and bran. 
  • Fruits and Vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Choose a variety to maximize intake of nutrients. 
  • Protein: Vital for repairing tissues. Sources are meat, fish and eggs. Beans, nuts, quorn and soya are also good sources of protein. 
  • Dairy:  Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Fats: Unsaturated fats will help reduce “bad” cholesterol.  Get these fats from avocado and oily fish. 
  • Sugars: Limit the amount of added sugars in your diet. The American Heart Association  recommends limiting added sugars to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for a man. 

 

There are so many choices for natural, healthy foods.  Those times at your lake house can be full of family, fun and natural foods.  We have prepared a list of healthy, natural foods. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of what healthy foods to choose when you are shopping for your lake house meals.  I am sooooo excited about number 42!  

There are also some recipes at the end of the list use natural, healthy foods.  They might provide a fun option to try at the lake!

Natural, Healthy Foods:

  1. Apples
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Blueberries and cherries,grapes, grapefruit,kiwi, lemons, mango, melons, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries and raspberries
  5. Oranges
  6. Eggs
  7. Lean beef
  8. Chicken breasts
  9. Lamb
  10. Almonds
  11. Chia seeds, nuts and peanuts
  12. Coconuts
  13. Macadamia nuts
  14. Walnuts

  1. Asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, squash, swiss chard, turnips and zucchini.
  2. Bell peppers
  3. Broccoli
  4. Carrots
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Cucumber
  7. Garlic
  8. Kale
  9. Onions
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Salmon
  12. Spinach
  13. Black beans
  14. Beets

  1. Lentils
  2. Sardines
  3. Shellfish
  4. Shrimp
  5. Trout
  6. Tuna
  7. Brown rice
  8. Oats
  9. Quinoa
  10. Legumes
  11. Green beans
  12. Kidney beans
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Dark Chocolate  YAY!!!!! Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber and magnesium, and is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants in existence.

Here are a few recipes that should be easy and fun.  We hope you enjoy them!

  • Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • maple syrup to serve (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a blender, combine the peeled bananas, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt.

  2. Allow to blend until mixture is as smooth as you want it and blended well. Allow the batter to stand for 10-20 minutes until thickened slightly.

  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

  4. Fry spoonfuls of batter until golden brown on both sides.

  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice

  • Baked Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 3 tablespoons margarine (a healthier option than butter)

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)

  • optional: fresh rosemary and lemon slices for garnish


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet or large casserole dish.

  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side just until browned. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together chicken broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.

  4. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake 20-30 minutes (closer to 20 for smaller chicken breasts, closer to 30 for larger) until the chicken is cooked through. Every 5-10 minutes spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken.

  5. Garnish with fresh rosemary and lemon slices if desired and serve.

  • Steak Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4-inch-long pieces, then cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons stevia (a sugar substitute)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 pound snow peas or green beans

  • 1 12-ounce can baby corn, drained

Instructions:

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chile pepper, sugar and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef, toss to coat and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Remove the beef from skillet and set aside. Allow the liquid in the pan to reduce until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and scallions and cook 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the snow peas, baby corn and bell pepper and continue cooking until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return the beef to skillet and toss to combine. 

Total: 30 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

Yield: 4 servings


  • Baked Salmon in Foil

Ingredients:

  • 4 (5 ounces each) salmon fillets

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 2 chopped shallots

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Sprinkle salmon with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

  3. Place a salmon fillet, oiled side down, atop a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely; seal the packets closed. Place the foil packet on a heavy large baking sheet. Repeat until all of the salmon have been individually wrapped in foil and placed on the baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve.

Total: 40 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 4 servings


  • Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

  • 5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped

  • 2 bunches mint leaves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish



Instructions:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve to remove all moisture.

  2. When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Spoon onto endive spears, top with avocado, and serve.


Total: 40 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 20 min

Yield: 8 servings


  • Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli 

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into florets

  • 2 large stalks broccoli (1 pound), cut into floret

  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt




Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Place cauliflower and broccoli into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the dish and bake for 1/2 hour. Remove the cover, stir and cook for 30 to 40 minutes more, until vegetables are tender and nicely browned, stirring occasionally.

Total: 1 hr 15 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 servings (1 serving is 1 cup)


  • Avocado Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of thick bread slightly stale

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1 small red onion

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Sea salt

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 fat clove garlic




Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread on both sides - either in a toaster oven or under the grill until it's a medium-dark brown. If it's too lightly-toasted, it won't hold up beneath the toppings.

  2. While the bread is toasting, finely chop the tomato and onion, and place into a bowl with 1 tsp olive oil, a few grinds of black pepper, and a smidge of sea salt. Mix together so everything has a light coating.

  3. Open up the avocado, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh into a bowl, and gently mash it with a fork.

  4. Once the toast has cooked, rub the clove of garlic over each slice. If you have any left over, mince it up, and sprinkle over the toast.

  5. Spread half of the avocado over one slice of toast, followed by half of the tomato and onion mixture.

  6. Repeat for the second slice.

  7. Finish by grinding some more black pepper over the top.

  8. Serve immediately.



  • Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or cherries

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey or to taste




Instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

  2. For non-dairy smoothies, substitute 1 cup rice milk for the milk and yogurt. Or, use soy yogurt or milk instead of dairy. 

Total: 5 min

Prep: 5 min

Yield: 2 servings




Great Winter Weddings at Emerald Lake Lodge

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and one that deserves a one-of-a-kind location. You plan, dream, and look forward with anticipation to this epic day.  

A winter wedding is especially magical, with the landscape decorated in white, all sparkling and glistening.  

There are other advantages to a winter wedding besides the pristine landscapes.  Wedding event planners say that there is actually less stress to a winter wedding.  Most of the events are indoors, so wind, rain, heat, and having to put up an outdoor tent to provide shade for guests are not situations that need to be planned for or stressed over.

A winter wedding also offers better rates for venues.  The majority of weddings take place from May to September.  Dates in peak times book up quickly and come with hefty price tags as you compete with other couples.  

The May through September time period is also busy with graduations, family reunions and vacations.  This can make for a stressful time for wedding planners, the couple and their guests. There may even be those who cannot attend a wedding because of conflicting obligations.  This period of time is jam-packed with activities and events that can add major stress to the proceedings. 

Another factor to consider is that travel and hotel stays are at peak pricing in the summer. A winter wedding allows guests to take advantage of off-season pricing for their travel and accommodation options.

The winter months offer more options at venues, too, and more flexibility to come in and set up early or break down late, as there's likely not another event right after yours that the venue needs to prep for.

There is yet another reason to have a winter wedding. It is out of the ordinary, not run of the mill.  Your wedding will be remembered and not a carbon copy of summer events.


This brings us to the Emerald Lake Lodge. Emerald Lake Lodge is the perfect location for a romantic, secluded and memorable mountain wedding in the winter.

Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada.   The lake is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds with the Emerald Lake Lodge being a high-end lodge perched on the edge of the lake.  

With a winter wedding at Emerald Lake Lodge, you are traveling back in time and following the footsteps of legendary guide Tom Wilson, who discovered this magical location over 130 years ago.

Tom Wilson came across this pristine lake, famed for its jade-colored waters, in 1882, during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Wilson stumbled upon it by accident. A string of his horses had gotten away, and while tracking them he entered the valley. The lake had an impression even on him, the most seasoned of explorers: "For a few moments I sat [on] my horse and enjoyed the rare, peaceful beauty of the scene." 

This discovery soon brought others to the valley. They were looking for the extraordinary.  They found that when they arrived by rail and horse drawn coach to the shores of Emerald Lake, and the Lodge was built in 1902.

The lodge definitely has one-of-a-kind, stunning scenery that is unduplicated and unlike anything else.  The Emerald Lake Lodge serves up the breathtaking backdrops of the Rocky Mountains and the secluded Emerald Lake itself.  This is not a run of the mill wedding venue.

The Emerald Lake Lodge is the only property on Emerald Lake, and is located about twenty minutes west of Lake Louise.  

It is an historic property that includes 85 comfy and cosy units that are situated in 24 chalet-style cabins. Each unit has its own wood burning fieldstone fireplace, a balcony or patio and each unit has a magnificent view of the property. 

Majestic and alluring, the wilderness surrounding the Emerald Lake Lodge remains largely unspoiled. During the winter months, the lodge is nestled under a thick blanket of snow and a calmness and serenity falls over the mountains. The natural beauty of the landscape is emphasized.

Wedding photos taken at the Emerald Lake Lodge would be like no others. The Lodge offers unparalleled natural beauty.  And these unique memories will last more than a lifetime. Photos from that day will be moments frozen in time, and not just for you. They will serve as a historical record for generations to come in astonishing and spectacular surroundings.  

While you are at the Emerald Lake Lodge, you and your guests can de-stress in the gorgeous outdoor hot tub while taking in the stunning views. 

Moving indoors offers the chance to play on the snooker table or catch up with the latest news on the big screen TV.  This will be the only place to watch, as none of the units have televisions, with allows time to detach from the outside world and be present in the here and now.

On the second floor of the Lodge are sitting and reading rooms, and a games room complete with slate billiard table, the aforementioned big screen television and computer with internet access.

Choosing a winter wedding at Emerald Lake Lodge gives your guests a variety of options to experience something different in the out of doors.

A myriad of outdoor pursuits brings exhilaration and joy to the participants. Your winter wedding guests can experience skiing, both downhill and cross country, skating, ice climbing, dog sledding, or snowshoeing.    

Your winter wedding at the Lodge can also include an exclusive, nature-inspired CRMR (Canadian Rocky Mountain Resort) cuisine created from fresh, regional ingredients. Their culinary team will work with you to plan your perfect and distinctive wedding meal.

The Emerald Lake Lodge will provide a memorable and unique stay for your winter wedding guests. The Lodge is a rare blend of old and new.  Modern comfort flanked by hand-hewn timber and stone. And the place for a spectacular winter wedding that no one is soon to forget.

 

AWARDS

Emerald Lake Lodge was  rated 8.1/10 for the 2018 Guest Review Awards presented by Booking.com. This award is given to hotels who demonstrate passion, commitment and hard work towards all guests.

At the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festivals, Emerald Lake Lodge was awarded a Gold Award.

TripAdvisor 2019 Guest Excellence Rating. Over 1,028 TripAdvisor travelers have given Emerald Lake Lodge and excellent rating. 

The  Mount Burgess Dining Room has been named one of the 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World as ranked by The Daily Meal! It’s quite an illustrious list, and we are so proud to be a part of it!

DatingAdvice.com's Editor's Choice Award. Emerald Lake Lodge has been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for top romantic destinations. 

Sunset Magazine named Emerald Lake Lodge one of their top 9 cozy winter lodges.

Why You Should Take a Nice Afternoon Tea on Lake Windermere

Standing alone, as from a rampart’s edge,

I overlooked the bed of Windermere,

Like a vast river, stretching in the sun.

With exultation, at my feet I saw

Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays,

A universe of Nature’s fairest forms

Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,

Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay.

William Woodsworth​​​

Afternoon tea is awesome, but an even more fantastic experience would be tea by the lake, Windermere Lake to be specific. 

The history of the lake district, the tradition of taking afternoon tea, and the origin of tea itself, are fascinating subjects. If you are truly brave, you can delve into what type of pot the tea should be in, milk in the mug first? Or tea first?  Even a debate as to how the water is heated, along with the best way to do even that small task.

WATERPROOF HEATMAT


Rather than get into all of that debate, we are going to concentrate on what is indisputable, the scenic beauty of Lake Windermere and the joy of an afternoon tea by the lake. 

Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. It has been one of the country's most popular places for holidays and summer homes since the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway's branch line in 1847. 

Forming part of the border between Lancashire and Westmorland, it is now within the county of Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.

At 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 220 feet deep, Lake Windermere is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period.  

The lake contains nineteen islands, the largest being the privately owned Belle Isle, which is about forty acres in size. The lake is also fed by numerous rivers. 

The fort of Galava was built by the Romans at the lake’s northern end, and for more than a thousand years,  the lake was an important waterway for moving heavy materials. 

Fast forward to the end of the 18th century and the beauty of the lake area was attracting visitors. “Guide to the Lakes” published by Wordsworth in 1810 promoted the lake as a popular destination.

When the railway reached Windermere in 1847, it brought  with it an influx of visitors. The village of Windermere grew up around the railway station, which was located about a mile and a half from the lake. 

By the late 19th century, the area saw wealthy businessmen building mansions overlooking the splendor of the lake.  Many of those former homes have since been turned into hotels, from which you can enjoy tea by the lake. 

There are also passenger services that operate the entire length of the lake.  Some of the boats operate just part of the route, or they offer an out and back service, while others will run the whole distance. 

Windermere is an area where you could immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of England.  Participating in afternoon tea by the lake would complete the experience. 


Afternoon Tea


The custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China.  This was made popular in England in the 1660’s by King Charles ll, but it was not until the mid 19th century that the concept of “afternoon tea” was first conceived. 

That being the case, the most quintessential of English customs, afternoon tea, is a relatively new tradition. 

The custom was introduced to England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840.  It seems that the Duchess would be come hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. With dinner not due to appear until eight or nine o’clock in the evening, this can be understood.  

It became the habit of the Duchess to request a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake to be brought to her each day about four o’clock.  She then began inviting friends to join her.

It did not take long for this pause for tea in the afternoon to become a fashionable social event, with the society women changing into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock in the afternoon. 

A traditional afternoon tea would offer a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are also served. The upper class would pour the tea from silver tea pots into delicate bone china cups. 

Another fast forward in time finds that in the 21st century, afternoon tea at the Ritz is now one of the hardest-to-book dining experiences in London.  And outside the famous Betty's Tea Rooms in Yorkshire, the lines circle the block. 

There are currently almost 1,500 different teas in Britain. They all vary in style, taste, and color. Which makes you wonder, what ones of those 1,500 are the favorites for afternoon tea?

Earl Grey


The first and foremost tea favored across the pond is black tea. Earl Grey is one of those teas.  It is a robust tea infused with just a hint of bergamot oil. The oil comes from the bergamot orange, and so it adds just a suggestion of citrus.

History says that this tea could be named after Charles Grey, the British Prime Minister in the 1830’s.  But Twinings Tea company says the tea was presented by a Chinese envoy to Lord Grey. The one thing that is known for sure...Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise drinks ONLY Earl Grey. 

Darjeeling


Next in popularity is Darjeeling, a tea light in color with a mild floral aroma.  This particular tea originated in India and is available in black, green, white or oolong tea. It is distinct for being refreshing and thin-bodied.  

Breakfast Tea


The most common of all tea types in Britain is breakfast tea.  And yes, you can have breakfast tea in the afternoon. This tea is a blend of black teas.  It has a full-bodied, rich flavor with a strong aroma.  

The drinking of this tea for breakfast can be traced back to colonial times. 

Green Tea


The tea leaves for this type of tea are minimally processed.  As the tea has gone through less oxidation, the tea is light green in color and has a mild, slightly “green” flavor. 

Japanese green tea has been considered the gold standard for green tea. This tea is brighter green in color and can have a bitter aftertaste. 

Oolong Tea


This tea is processed by letting the leaves wither under a strong sun, which triggers oxidation. After the leaves are dried, they are curled and steeped.  

With careful preparation, the tea brings out its roasted aroma and a fresh fruity taste.

WHERE TO PARTAKE

It would be hard NOT to find a place to have an afternoon tea by the lake in Windermere. Here  are just three of the many places that we found offering an afternoon tea.

Lakeside Hotel and Spa
Newby bridge, Cumbria

Relaxing afternoons by Lake Windermere – Catching up with friends – Celebrating.

Nothing works better than combining the panoramic views from Lakeside with a unique afternoon tea experience.

Our SWEET Afternoon Tea starts with pickled beetroot and goats cheese salad, continues with smoked salmon éclair, avocado en croute and a selection of finger sandwiches, before moving on to buttermilk and currant scones and a creative selection of sweet treats.

Our plant-based VEGAN options are equally appealing whether savoury with: parsnip croquettes, broccoli & avocado, onion Mexican bean burger…or sweet with: coconut & chocolate mousse, lemon drizzle cake, panna cotta passion fruit…

For the meat-eaters our SAVOURY Afternoon Tea includes a pickled beetroot and goats cheese salad and tasting of soup before moving on to the main event featuring lamb slider, honey glazed smoked sausage, scotch egg, crackling & sage dust…there will be scones and something sweet to finish.

​Laura Ashley Hotel
The Belsfield, Windermere
Kendal Road
Bowness-on-Windermere

Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, Windermere, is in the heart of the Lake District National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017. Situated on the Eastern shore of Lake Windermere, directly overlooking the “Belle Isle”, The Belsfield is set in 6 acres of landscaped gardens. The hotel offers unparalleled views over the lake and beyond, to the farther shore where the often snow-capped Langdale Pikes and the Fairfield Horseshoe can be seen.

The house became a hotel in 1892 when Lieutenant A. D. Macleod became proprietor. His tenure was marked by his colleagues by the presentation of a rifle, now displayed in the corridor along with historic photographs and other information about The Belsfield’s history.

For a quintessentially English experience, The Belsfield offers delicious Afternoon Tea with beautiful views of Lake Windermere. 

Our expert chefs have designed a sumptuous menu to cater for all tastes and dietary requirements, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Afternoon Tea, as well as Traditional Afternoon Tea. Each may be accompanied with a choice of loose leaf teas or, for the ultimate luxury experience, a glass of champagne.

Storrs Hall
Bowness-on-Windermere,
Cumbria, LA23 3LG, UK

Storrs Hall Afternoon Tea is served daily between 12.30pm and 4.30pm. Celebrate a special occasion or catch up with family and friends, whilst you relax in one of our comfortable lounges or conservatory. Wherever you choose to sit you will be able to enjoy wonderful views over the grounds to Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells.

Our Afternoon Tea

Indulge in delicious homemade cakes, pastries and freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and preserve. All of which are served alongside a selection of finger sandwiches and a choice of tea blends and infusions.

A delicious gluten free option is also available.

Top Dog Training Schools in Salt Lake City

You love your dog. Even if they’re a loud little barker and tugging at their leash, you still love them. But to be honest, it might be a little easier on you if they were well trained. Having your dog trained means that they’ll be easier to handle and you can relax more when they bark or when you go outside.

It’s often hard to train pets yourself, though If you live in Salt Lake City, you’ll definitely want to check out these top dog training schools.

TOP DOG TRAINING SCHOOLS IN

SALT LAKE CITY

It’s all about connecting with your local experts so that you feel comfortable about the person you’re leaving your dog with.

Of course, it’s important to find a professional trainer that can handle problems with aggression, obedience, or house training too. Let’s take a look at these top schools to find one that works for you.

This locally-owned business works with certified professionals that offer customized training so that your dog can get help on the skills that they’re struggling with. Just call in to make an appointment, but that’s not the only contact you’ll have until training is over.

Your training professional will keep you updated every day with a video of your dog’s training. This means that you can see what your trainer is doing and that you will know how to use those skills yourself when you get home.

You can also have a proud dog mom or dog dad moment when you see how well your pooch is doing.

That's what The Canine Mind is all about: not only training your dog but providing you with skills you need to help handle your dog efficiently. You'll be educated and empowered along with your dog through a positive process focused on you and your pooch.

Looking for some top dog training in Salt Lake City? Bark & Biscuit might be the best option for you. They’re a full-service professional dog training company that specializes in high-quality and personalized dog training. They have a broad range of services available to you, which will help with problems like obedience, stopping your dog from lunging at people or other dogs, putting a stop to excessive barking, housebreaking issues, and even any destructive behavior. If your dog has a problem, these are the guys who can help.

They don’t just help your dog either. Check out Bark & Biscuit for unlimited email, text, and phone support, which means that you will have access to all the necessary training tools that will help you feel comfortable disciplining at home. You’ll even have admittance to free pack walks to help reinforce some new skills.

Military boot camp is traditionally very difficult, and while this K-9 Boot Camp is similarly comprehensive, rest assured that there will be a lot of positive reinforcement in doggie camp. They work to train your dog to a high level of obedience while giving you access to professional trainers.

Take your dog with you to many fun places without worrying about barking or running, and let them teach you how to get your dog to obey commands. They work off of nine basic behaviors such as sit, down, stay, loose-leash walking, and so on. As long as your dogs are over six months old, they can learn a lot from this school.

Don't think that you'll be abandoned once training is finished either. They offer numerous follow-up sessions after your training is done, which means that if you need some refreshers, they'll be available for you.

As far as dog training schools go, the Innovative K9 Academy is a great option for professional services. They specialize in obedience training, behavior modification, daily exercise, distraction proofing, and good socialization. You will miss your dog though since they do stay with the business for the duration of the program. This is a great opportunity for your dog to interact with other dogs, and for the trainers to impart the maximum amount of training possible over time.

One thing that some schools don’t offer are courses for puppies. It can be difficult to discipline a puppy when you look at those adorable little eyes, but trust that these guys can help you out. They work in puppy training courses, adult dog training, group socialization and obedience classes. Your dog can get used to being with other dogs while learning the skills that they need to be a part of the public world. Rest assured that your trainers will pay attention to detail when it comes to your dog, and will work with you, being the professionals that they are.

Dog Town is a great option to be aware of since they not only help your dog with training, but they’re great for professional boarding if you need to leave town for a few days. Rest assured that their training is just as good as their boarding is.

The staff are both professional and kind and will be more than happy to take a look at your pooch before you sign them up, and will make sure that you feel comfortable with them as your dog’s trainer. They know that you might be a little nervous leaving your dog, but that’s why they’re more than willing to have you stick around for a while until you can be sure that you feel completely comfortable.

They train dogs of all ages and sizes and do boarding for all dogs too. The staff works to understand each dog, so you can rest assured that your dog will be safe and comfortable during training and if you ever need to leave them for a day or two while you’re out of town.

Choosing the Perfect School for Your Dog

You have a lot of dog training schools to choose from. They’re all great options, but which class you take your dog to depends on your pooch’s personal needs, and what you feel comfortable with, too. While all of these schools will help ensure that your dog has good manners in public, let’s take a look at what else you should consider.

The Right Trainer

The best trainer will understand your dog’s behavior while teaching and motivating you, as their owner. They might not rely on a single style of training but instead, use various tricks from different styles. No matter what training they use though, check that they’re certified by a professional organization, and don’t just sign your dog up for classes without checking out the trainer first.

Go and chat with the trainer before you take any classes. Ask to observe a class or two before signing up. Look for a trainer that’s patient and creative, and that ensures that both owners and pets have a good time. Avoid anyone who uses harsh methods, or that yells at dogs or people. And after class, walk up to a few of the people in the class to get their feedback in person.

Questions For Your Trainer

If you’re looking for a trainer, try to ask them a few questions to fully understand their training more in-depth. Use open-ended questions so that they can explain everything to you rather than you leading them to certain answers.

Think about questions like what training methods the trainer uses, their educational background, their equipment, and how they follow-up with students after the class is finished. You can even ask for a list of clients that you can call as references, and don’t forget to ask about the services they provide for you as the pet owner.

Puppy School

Consider what kind of training your potential school offers. Top dog training should have a trainer that’s got the personality you’re looking for, but the training program they implement needs to be top-notch too.

For instance, you can look to see if a dog training school offers puppy courses. Puppies can learn well from 6 to 14 weeks of age, and there are lots of places that offer training for older puppies too. Some schools offer classes for puppies of different ages, but these classes are perfect for giving your pooch the chance to socialize with other dogs while they’re still young. Especially if you’d like to get them used to spend time with other pets in the home.

Adult Classes

All schools offer adult dog classes but remember that when you’re looking at these classes, the trainer and methods used are the most important. Your trainer needs to be someone you can work with, and that has a patient attitude even with the loudest and lesser behaved dogs.

Advantages of Training Your Dog

There aren’t actually any real disadvantages to training your dog, besides perhaps that you have to spend the time to actually take them to train. But as a good dog owner, you know that it’s best to be there for your dog and that training will do a lot for your pup’s life, improving both theirs and your own welfare. Let’s go through a few more advantages too.

Benefiting Dog and Owner

Both you and your dog will benefit from giving your dog the proper training. For one thing, you’ll be able to bond more with your dog, and training can be a good opportunity to exercise and be outdoors together. When your dog is trained, you’ll no longer have to worry about them barking at people in public or running off without your command.

Safety

When it comes down to it, training your dog is an integral part of their safety. If you can control your dog with voice commands, you can protect them much better when they don’t have a leash on. For instance, if your dog accidentally gets off their leash, you can call them back to you.

This means that they’ll be much less likely to run in front of a car. Even if you just leave the door open in your home, you won’t need to worry about your dog getting out accidentally.

Just call them back and you know that your dog will be safe. And in the off-chance that your dog does get lost, having them trained and well-behaved will mean that it’s much easier to get them back to you.

Sociability

Even if you don’t have another dog in your family, it’s important to get your dog used to being around other dogs. You might be walking along outside and you see another dog. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to restrain your dog until the other owner pulls their dog along and out of sight.

Make these experiences with other dogs more positive for your dog. It will help too if you want to add an additional pet to your family, or even if you’re dog-sitting for someone else for a few days. Ultimately, this will relieve some of your dog’s stress and make their interactions much easier to manage.

Boarding Situations

Should you ever need to go out of town for a few days, it will be much easier to board your dog somewhere if they’re well-trained. They should be trained to even follow the orders of another person, which means that you don’t have to worry about your dog’s safety and well-being even while you’re out of town somewhere.

Whether you’re leaving your dog at a boarding facility or with a friend, having your dog trained properly means that the person watching them can relax—and that they’ll be more likely to take your dog again if they need to!

CONCLUSION

It’s important to train your dog. Not just to sit and shake, but to stop excessive barking and feel comfortable around other dogs. This is why you should take a look at some of these top dog training schools in Salt Lake City, and go through them to see which one might work best for you and your dog. When you’re done, you’ll be able to have a much better life with your pet!

Learn How to Tie A Hammock: Lake Camping 101

Lake camping is incomplete without setting up a place to relax and listen to the beautiful sounds of nature. Hammocking is the perfect way to relax, read a book, take a nap or even sleep under the stars while being surrounded by nature.

However, many people don’t realize that there is a lot to learn about hanging a hammock. This includes knowing what kind of straps to use, how to tie a knot, and where to hang the hammock.

Thankfully, you can hang a hammock pretty much anywhere. You can hang your hammock next to the lake during a lake camping trip or even suspend it above the water for extra adventure if there are available anchor points. You can also hammock up in the mountains, by the ocean or even in the city for some at-home relaxation.

The trickiest part is knowing how to suspend a hammock from a pair of anchor points. To hang a hammock, you first must find some sturdy trees to use. You can then use a rope to suspend your hammock using one of many knot options to attach it to the tree.

However, knot tying is a skill that can take many attempts to perfect, so specially designed hammock straps can be a great, eco-friendly alternative for the novice hammock. Using hammock straps will help you hang your hammock quickly and easily so you can enjoy relaxing during your camping trip.

PRODUCT REVIEW

HAMMOCK STRAPS
EVEREST ACTIVE GEAR

These hammock straps are not only extremely easy to use, but they are also very environmentally-friendly. The straps have 14 loops spaced every 3 inches, so they are very easily adjustable and quick to set up.

You’ll have your hammock hung in under 2 minutes and you don’t have to learn any fancy hammock-hanging knots, making these straps perfect for the beginning hammock fanatic.

They are also very light so they won’t add too much weight to your hiking pack and they even come with carabiners for hanging. Also, these are tree-saver hammock straps that are one inch wide.

This means that they won’t damage trees and tree bark the way regular ropes and hammock straps do. And in addition to being friendly to trees, these straps are also very friendly to your wallet. They are very affordable and overall a very great deal for awesome, easy-to-use hammock straps.

BEST FEATURES:

  • Tree-Saver Design
  • Lightweight
  • Easy Setup
  • Affordable

Where to Tie a Hammock on a Lake Camping Activity

Next to the Ocean

One of the most relaxing places to hang a hammock is next to the ocean. Tropical countries, like Guatemala or Costa Rica, have some of the most beautiful spots to hang your hammock right next to the sea. You can doze off to the sound of the waves crashing and then wake up for some fishing or stroll through the tropical jungle.

Above the Water

Instead of hanging your hammock next to the ocean try hanging it above the water for a little extra adventure and fun. Some places, including the Caribbean and the South Pacific countries like Fiji and the Solomon Islands, have warm, shallow waters from which trees and rocks protrude.

Try hanging your hammock here, above the water, and switch off between swimming and sunbathing.

By the Lake

If tropical isn’t your vibe but you still love the sound of the water, try hanging your hammock during a lake camping trip. The United States Northeast has some beautiful wooded areas abundant with serene lakes.

The fall months make for the perfect time to go when the humidity is gone, the bugs are away, the leaves are changing color and geese are flying ahead on their way to a warmer climate for the winter.

High Up in the Trees

Anyone can tie a hammock between two shorter trees and hang a few feet from the ground, but it takes a real adventure guru to attempt hanging from some of the tallest trees in the world hundreds of feet above the ground.

Colorado and California in the United States are among the best places in the world to experience this extreme kind of hammocking. California Sequoias makes for the perfect hammocking spot meters above the ground if you can get up there in the first place.

Among Mountains and Glaciers

A visit to some of the beautiful glaciers in the world can require a lot of hiking through the mountains. Thankfully, mountains are full of wooded areas and large boulders to hang a hammock from.

Glaciers are one of the world’s most incredible and breathtaking natural formations, so why not take a break in your hammock and enjoy the view? It’s the perfect hiking activity.

In the City

If you’re a city-dweller, don’t think you have to travel far to an incredible natural landscape to be able to enjoy hammocking. There are many great places to hammock in the city. Some extreme hammocks have hung slacklines far above the rooftops in Austria, so you can try hammocking in the cities you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

Hammocking in the city will give you a unique perspective of the bustling, busy life that takes place within it.

How to Tie a Hammock

Look for Some Anchor Points

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do when you’re planning to hang your hammock is looking for some anchor points. Anchor points are any two objects that are spaced properly and strong enough to support your weight in the hammock, usually trees or even large rocks.

When looking at potential trees to use as anchor points, first pay attention to their distance from each other. Trees that are too far apart will force your hammock to stretch to reach them and trees that are too close together will result in a lot of sag from your hammock, so look for trees that are 12 to 15 feet (or 6 to 8 steps) apart.

You’ll also want to make sure that the trees are nice and sturdy. To hold the weight of a human, trees need to be at least 15 cm (or 6 in) in diameter. The trees should also have no signs of decay. Look above you to check for dead, unstable branches.

Set Up Your Suspension System

After you’ve found the perfect anchor points, it’s time to begin hanging your hammock. To do this, you need to use ropes or straps that wrap around the tree to which you can attach your hammock. You can use anything from a regular old rope to specially designed hammock straps that have special loops built into them.

The best kind of straps to use are 1-inch thick and flat so they don’t damage the bark of trees. You should also make sure you’re wrapping the straps around the tree at the height of your head to make sure there is plenty of room beneath your hammock.

If you’re using a rope to hang your hammock, there are a couple of different methods you can use to set up a suspension system. One way to do it is to tie a bowline hitch. To do this, first make a loop with the rope, using the working end to wrap around the tree multiple times.

Then, pull this end back through the loop so that the two ends of the rope are now parallel to each other. Using this working end, pull it under the other end then back through the loop, pulling tight to form the knot.

Another method is to use a taut-line hitch. This type of knot is best used for tension lines, clotheslines and for hanging food, but some people trust it for easy hammock hanging. To hang this knot, first, wrap the rope around the tree, then wrap one end, the working end, over the other and loop it three times.

Next, pull the working back so it’s parallel again, then pass it under the other end, creating a small loop. Finally, pull the working end through the loop you created and pull it tight, forming the knot.

Knot tying with a rope can be pretty difficult, especially if you’re new to hammock hanging. This hanging method is not only difficult to perfect, but they’re also not easily adjustable once you’ve already tied the knot.

For new hammocks, simply using hammock straps is a lot easier. Hammock straps come with loops built into them and many come with multiple loops that make it very easy to adjust once they’re already wrapped onto the tree.

Hang your Hammock From the Suspension Points

Whether you’re using hammock straps or a rope, you shouldn’t hang your hammock until you’re confident that your suspension system is sturdy. When it is, you’re ready to hang your hammock!

Carabiners are by far the easiest way to attach your hammock to the suspension system. Most hammocks and hammock straps come with carabiners or other hanging tools, or you can simply buy them.

Test It Out

Now you’ve picked your trees, tied your suspension system and successfully hung up your hammock, but the work isn’t over yet. Next, you need to try your hammock out so you can make any necessary adjustments before you go to bed down or take a nap.

First, try sitting down in your hammock. Your feet should be able to comfortably touch the ground, but there should still be about 50 cm, or 20 in, beneath you, just like sitting in a chair. If your hammock passes this test, next try laying down just like you are going to go to sleep.

Some people prefer a lot more sag in their hammock while some prefer it to be pretty tight, but you won’t know your preference until you try laying down in it. The amount of sag that your hammock has largely come from the suspension angle, so try it out to see if the angle needs to be adjusted.

 Adjust the Straps

Finally, it’s time to make your last adjustments based on your hammock comfort test results. If you noticed that your butt was touching the ground during the sitting test or there was less than 50 cm beneath you, your hammock needs to be raised.

This means that you need to re-tie the suspension system at a higher place on the tree. Remember that head-level is a good rule of thumb, but if head-level is too low for you, try standing on something and hanging it a little higher.

If you didn’t find your hammock comfortable to lay in, the issue is probably in your suspension angle or the angle at which the hammock is hanging about the tree.

A high angle is going to result in a tight hammock with very little slack whereas a low angle is going to result in lots of slack in your hammock.

One way you can measure the suspension angle is by using your hand. Make an L shape with your pointer finger and thumb and hold it out so that your thumb is pointed at the sky.

Ideally, the suspension line of your hammock should run from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pointer finger, creating a 30-degree angle.

However, some people may want a higher or lower angle than this depending on their sleeping preferences.

CONCLUSION

Hammocking is a fantastic activity for a camping trip that will allow you to sleep under the stars without laying directly on the ground. Many people love the feeling of reclining in a hammock and hearing beautiful nature sounds.

There are many places you can hang a hammock, including by the ocean, in the mountains, or on a beautiful lake camping trip.

Anyone can start hammocking in any of these beautiful places once they learn how to hang it properly.

There are many different methods to hang a hammock using a set of hammock straps or even a rope. Hammock straps are by far the easiest way to set up a suspension system for hanging a hammock and are much friendlier on trees than regular ropes.

Our Pick of the 7 Best Lake Weed Cutters for 2019

Ah, the lake!  There is no doubt that it is a wonderful and restful place to be!  Truly, there are few places that have the same ambience of sun, sky, water and well-being.  

The lap of the water against the shore has a natural rhythm that calms and refreshes. I find it one of the most soothing sounds, one that comforts and lulls you while promising adventure just off shore!

The very air around the lake is full of nautical smells that beckon you to participate in the secrets held in its watery depths. 

It is not over the top to say that being at your lake house is rejuvenating to mind, body and soul. 

The tempo of the water currents helps us to slow down and brings our minds and our bodies back into rhythm. 

During our everyday lives, we are focused on what comes next.  Work, meetings, emails and agendas. If you have kids added to the mix, there is school, practice schedules and homework. 

Never a dull minute, and rarely time to relax. 

The time spent at your lake house holds great benefits for banishing stress, clearing the mind, regaining focus and spurring creativity.  In our everyday lives, we tend to have a myopic view of life, and life at the lake enables us to expand that view. 

Which brings us to the lake house itself.  The sanctuary, the breath catcher, the stress reliever. While you are at the lake house, there are necessary tasks to be done.  The sooner you complete those tasks, the sooner you can get to what really matters...reconnecting with yourself, the ones you love and nature. 

Yard and lawn maintenance will be one of those necessary tasks at the lake house.  And one that you will want to accomplish as quickly and as effortlessly as possible so you can kick back.

 As is the case, mowing a lawn also involves weed whipping it.  Keeping the weeds at bay will also cut back on bugs and crawly critters, as it will help eliminate their hiding places.

There are also the weeds near the water that should be dealt with, as this also helps with the health of the lake itself and your corner of it.

 To help you with the control of these weeds, we have compiled our picks of the Best Lake Weed Cutters for 2019. 

PRODUCT

SUMMARY

WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12" Cordless String Trimmer & Edger 

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

This first trimmer on our list is a double duty piece of equipment.  It is a trimmer and edger. Even though it has an edger, I am in hopes that your lake house has not one sidewalk and that you don’t feel anything in your light of sight needs edging!

Jenlis Lake Weed Razer, Weed & Grass Removal Tool for Lakes & Ponds 

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

With the Jenlis Weed Razer, you can remove aquatic vegetation quickly and easily from narrow spaces between docks and boats, or wide stretches of shoreline.

Midwest Rake Company 86036 Lake Rake with Float

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The Midwest Lake Rake is of a different sort of implement than the Weed Razer that we just reviewed. This looks more like a conventional yard rake, and you can use it as a landscaping rake, for dragging in cut weeds from the water or for dressing the beach.

The WeedBlade - Lake & Pond Aquatic Weed and Water Grass Cutter

Overall Rating : 4/5

Here is a weed blade that includes a carrying case, two extra extensions and cut resistant gloves and blade sharpener.

Weed Razer Jenlis Express

Overall Rating : 4.5/5

The little brother of the previously listed Jenlis Weed Razer 48 inch cutter, this tool has a 30 inch cutting path.

Crystal Blue Lake and Pond Weed Cutter

Overall Rating : 4/5

Pond weed cutters can be used to help supplement any type of chemical treatments you might be using.

Aquatic Lake & Pond Weed CUTTER

Overall Rating : 3.5/5

This heavy duty rake can haul in heavy loads of dead vegetation as well as dig down and help pull out weed stems and roots from the beach bottom.

PRODUCT REVIEWS


  • Worx offers Free Spools for Life.  Visit their website to get 6 replacement spools for the cost of shipping. This trimmer/edger has a 4.5 star rating with 1,718 reviews on Amazon.

    • TRIMMER & EDGER 2-in-1:Easily converts from a string trimmer to a wheel edger in just seconds

    • INSTANT LINE FEED: Innovative push button Command Feed spool system for instant line feeding. Plus, Free Spools for Life!

    • BATTERIES ARE INCLUDED: 2 powerful and lightweight 20V Power Share MaxLithium batteries come with this tool, and can be used on any other tool in the WORX Power Share family

    • RUBBERIZED WHEELS:  Support and guide the edger, giving you straighter lines and cleaner cuts

    • HEAD TILTS 90°: So you can trim and edge on sloped terrain, and get to tough-to-reach places

    • SPACER GUARD: Adjustable, so you don’t damage plants, landscape features, and lawn ornaments while you’re trimming

    • SPECS: 7600 rpm no-load speed, 12” cutting diameter, 5.3 lbs machine weight, 10’ cutting line length, 0.065” line diameter


  • The Razer will slice through weeds and grasses in just minutes from your lake or pond. It will help control milfoil, cattails, grasses, and lily pads that grow around your shoreline or beach access. This piece of equipment received a lot of great comments about it’s performance, but one thing that was stressed was that this implement is SHARP!  It needs to be sharp to do the job effectively, but make sure that you are careful when using this implement. Using cut resistant gloves would not go amiss, and definitely don’t let the kids around it. 

     

    • INCLUDES: Weed Razer, 25 ft of rope, instructions, weed deflectors, blade sharpener and covers

    • REALLY, REALLY SHARP: The v shaped head has razor sharp blades with a 48 inch cutting path; lightweight construction (8 pounds)

    • GETS THE JOB DONE: With little resistance slice through vegetation including milfoil, cattails, lily pads, grasses and more

    • EASY TO USE: To clear your lake shore and beach, simply throw into your lake or pond and reel back in

    • CAN BE USED IN SEVERAL AREAS: A great tool for boaters and swimmers to clear out weeds around the dock, shoreline, and beach areas


  • This looks more like a conventional yard rake, and you can use it as a landscaping rake, for dragging in cut weeds from the water or for dressing the beach.  Hopefully, you will be dressing the beach only if you are hosting a big party because, remember, the lake house is for relaxing. 

     

    • WIDE WIDTH: 36" width aluminum head

    • RUST PROOF: 11' 2-piece blue powder-coated aluminum handle with push pin splice

    • FLOATS: Detachable polyethylene float

    • GENEROUS LENGTH: 50' rope


As with the previous weed balade that we reviewed, please remember that, while effective, these tools need to be used with caution and care.  You want to spend your time at the lake house communing with nature, not getting stitched up.  

 

  • INCLUDES: Aquatic Weed Cutter + 2 Extra Optional Extensions + 25ft Rope + Blade Sharpener + Protective Storage / Carrying Case

  • EASILY CUTS: through nearly all types of aquatic weed at the base such as milfoil, hydrilla & lily pads.

  • RAZOR SHARP: V-shaped blade design cuts a 4 ft wide path with each pass - handle is extendable handle from 5ft to 9ft.

  • EFFECTIVE: Comes with 25ft rope that attaches to the top of the handle for long throws cutting and deeper water

  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you are not completely satisfied with how well the WeedShear cuts, simply return it for a full refund. No questions asked!


It would be idea for smaller areas, or if you want a lighter, less intensive piece of equipment. Even though it is a smaller version, it has 4.4 stars out of 5 star customer reviews.  

 

  • REALLY, REALLY SHARP: The v shaped head has razor sharp blades with a 30 inch cutting path;
  • INCLUDES:Contains Weed Razer, 25 ft of rope, instructions, blade covers; Weights 6 pounds;
  • GETS THE JOB DONE: With little resistance slice through vegetation including milfoil, cattails, lily pads, grasses and more
  • EASY TO USE: To clear your lake shore and beach, simply throw into your lake or pond and reel back in
  • CAN BE USED IN SEVERAL AREAS:A great tool for boaters and swimmers to clear out weeds around the dock, shoreline, and beach areas.


This tool is a great alternative to taking a more natural approach to pond and lake care and weed removal. There are many states that aquatic herbicides are restricted for sale, which makes the pond weed cutter the best option for lake clean up.

 

  • Eliminate weeds around your docks and swimming areas

  • Has the preferred cut width of 42" to easily cut the base of the weeds

  • Includes razor sharpener, rope and blade covers

  • Cuts and uproots aquatic weeds, not intended for use on cattails

  • Weights only 8 pounds

  • USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN USING THIS TOOL


  • The rake teeth also extend above the top of the rake giving you the perfect tool for grooming and leveling your beach sand. 

     

    • You can cut, rake, skim surface weeds, fork and collect more efficiently.

    • The razor sharp V-shaped blade design cuts a 4 ft wide path with each pass 

    •  3 piece extendable handle from 5ft to 9ft - Includes 25ft rope & blade sharpener. 

    •  Cuts milfoil, hydrilla & lily pads.

    • A multi-use tool - rake, fork & skimmer. it features a 3ft wide head, 9-inch long heavy-duty tines, 7ft handle with curved grip, 27ft rope and detachable float kit

    • Money Back Guarantee

IN CONCLUSION


The tools we reviewed above will help you to keep the weeds at your lake house at bay.  As it is with weeds of any kind, prevention is the best control. If you prevent the weeds from infesting your lake or pond, it will be your best bet for keeping up with the ones that do show up. 

The way to do this is simply a matter of vigilance and good management practices. So many of the old sayings we often hear are based on experience. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ is one of those.

It means that, if one solves a problem while it is developing, you will save yourself time and work in the future. 

So too with weeds.  If we control them early on, the less time you will need to spend on them in the future.  Here is another saying: ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.  

Some of the weed problems in the lake come from weeds that are not native, and it is best to prevent introducing them to your lake.  You can do this by making sure you clean and inspect boats, trailers, fishing tackle and anything else that goes into or near the water. 

Even run off from other bodies of water could also bring in unwanted weeds.  

Lake weeds start in the shallow areas, because the sunlight can reach the bottom of a shallow area. Weeds can’t grow without sunlight, and if you can prevent that, you can cut down on weeds.  

If you keep your lake deep, to a depth of more than 20 inches, you have a good chance of preventing lake weeds from starting in other areas. 

If possible, a good depth to try and achieve is two to three feet.  This will help prevent weeds from getting the sunlight needed to take root.  You will still have algae and free floating plants, but it will help prevent the weeds that have a root system. 

We spoke about runoff earlier.  If you use fertilizer on your land or in your landscaping, the runoff from this fertilizer feeds lake weeds and can boost their numbers. If possible, create a buffer zone between the fertilized areas and the lake.  

If you want to put in a buffer zone, you could put in trees or natural plants between the fertilized areas and the lake.  Plants that prevent erosion and don’t require any chemical assistance are a good choice. If this is not an option, try to make sure your fertilized plantings are about 100 feet from the lake. 

Addressing any issue with weeds as soon as it is noticed is the best advice to be given.  Weeds grow like...well, weeds! The longer they are allowed to grow, the more time, money and effort it will take to get them under control. 

You are not trying to eliminate all the weeds from your lake, that is not feasible or even wise.

You want a certain amount in your lake. If you aim at about 20-25% of the lake containing vegetation, that is a good balance to have.

The products reviewed will help you to maintain that balance. If they are used on a regular basis, the time spent doing so should be minimal.  Which will bring you closer to doing what you really want to do...nothing!