Betting - Glossary of common betting terms - ESPN.com

Twilight's Ultimate Guide to the MLP Fandom (version 3.0)

Hello everypony, Twilight again! Seeing as it has been about two years since my last compiled guide, enough time for the show to finally end, I feel it is time to pull out the old guide, blow the dust off, and revise with some more modern fandom relics on top of all the old ones! Nothing has been removed from the old guide, but a lot has happened in two years, and in light of recent copyright laws being passed, and the takedowns of several World Heritage Videos, I feel a revision is in order. So, without further ado, here is...

Twilight's Ultimate Guide to the MLP Fandom (version 3.0)*

Hello there! For whatever reason, it seems you've stumbled upon this humble guide to the My Little Pony fandom. Perhaps you're a new brony looking to see what the fandom has to offer, or maybe you're an outsider coming to see what all the fuss is about. Or perhaps you're already an experienced member of the fandom, just looking to see if there's anything important you might have missed. Whatever your reason for reading this might be, I hope you'll find this guide enlightening.
A good chunk of this guide is basically just a list of what I consider to be the best original animations, songs, comics, artwork, and stories created by the fandom. It will almost certainly be missing some things, as I definitely can't claim to have seen everything the fandom has to offer, but I'm confident I've covered a good chunk of the more popular works.
Keep in mind that unless otherwise stated, the links posted here make no attempt to avoid spoilers for new members of the fandom. The list itself should be reasonably spoiler-free, but click on one of these links without having seen every season of MLP and all the movies and all bets are off (again, unless otherwise stated). That means if you're viewing this list on Reddit using RES and you're concerned about spoilers, make sure none of the below links are expanded before proceeding. Feel free to check with another member of the brony community if you want to be sure that a particular fan work is spoiler-free before you view it. Anyway, read on (and into the comments!) for a massive list of some of the greatest works in the MLP fandom!
*Version 3.0 Edited and Compiled by u/str8aura with gracious permission of template usage from u/Ajedi32

Animations

The MLP fandom has a number of very high quality (sometimes even as good or better than that of the original show) animations depicting all sorts of things, including original stories, crossovers with video games, interpretations of events from the show, and more.

PMVs

Often animators will set their animations to music. Sometimes music from outside the fandom, and sometimes original music from brony musicians inside the fandom. These animated music videos are referred to by those within the fandom as PMVs, Pony Music Videos

Fully-Animated PMVs

These PMVs are composed primarily of original animation from the MLP fandom. There is some overlap here with the "animated" category above, but I tried to put all the videos where the music is a large part of the focus of the animation in this category.

Mashups & Typography

These are PMVs composed using simple motion graphics and/or carefully selected clips and screenshots from the show or other fan-works. These PMVs are much more common, as they're easier to produce than fully-animated PMVs. Here are a few select stand-outs.

Music

As I mentioned in the previous section, there are a number of artists in the MLP fandom who create original songs inspired by the show. Some of these are remixes of songs from the show, while others are entirely original.
There's lots of pretty amazing stuff here; definitely more than I can cover in this post, so here's a sample of some of my favorites. (I tried my best to cram these into just a few major categories, so sorry if the genres don't fit perfectly in all cases here. I'm open to suggestions if you've got any ideas on how to categorize these better.)

Pop (sort of)

Metal

Mashups & Remixes

Classical

Instrumentals

Musical artists

Here are a few of my favorite musical artists in the fandom, some of whom are responsible for the songs mentioned in the section above.

Analysts & Theorycrafters

Some members of the fandom find it fun to critique episodes of the show, or to spend time coming up with theories and headcanons explaining details about the world of Equestria which are not fully explored in the show itself. Here are a few of the more popular ones (including a small sample of some of their best works).

Blind Commentators

Want to relive the joy of seeing the show for the first time? Want to hear what others thought of an episode? A number of people have recorded themselves watching MLP (and related fan works) for the first time (i.e. "blind"), and sharing their thoughts with you as they watch.

Art

There's really so much great content in this category that I can't even begin to compile a comprehensive list of "the best". Below is a small sample of artwork the fandom has created. Beyond that, I suggest you check out what's on DeviantArt and branch out from there. I also have my own collections of my favorite artwork of canon and non-canon characters on DeviantArt which you're free to check out.

Comics

Some of the artists in the community have used their skills to create comics about the show. Some of these are random silliness and gags, while others feature original stories.

Character Blogs

These are basically blogs where the featured characters respond to questions from the readers. Try a few, you'll get the idea.

Longform Story Comics

Shorts

Fanfictions

And of course, like just about every other fandom in existence, MLP has a number of fanfictions written about it. I personally haven't explored this area of the fandom too much, but here are a few works others have frequently recommended to me. For discovering more stories, FIMFiction.net is a good resource, along with some of the reviewer sites and groups out there like Seattle's Angels and the Royal Canterlot Library. Better yet, if you want an actual, physical copy of some of these, Ministry Of Image has quite the collection!

Games

A number of creators have teamed up to create full fledged video games based on the show. For discovering more games and mods, right now Equestria Daily is probably your best bet. Remember, most of these require Flash Players, and those won't be available for much longer.

Mods

Fansites

Trying to find more awesome pony content? Looking to talk with other bronies? There are all sorts of places on the web for that!

Parodies

Some animators have created parodies of the original show. Lots of random humor and crazy shenanigans here. If you've ever seen any fan-created "abridged series" of other shows, you should a pretty good idea of what these are.
Note that some of the videos in these series may include strong language and mature humor, so be warned.

Memes and Culture

There are a are number of popular memes in the fandom. I don't necessarily consider these to be "top quality" animations or photos (though some of them are pretty funny), but nonetheless they're important to understand in that they give you context for understanding cultural references and inside jokes in the fandom.

Background Ponies

Throughout many episodes in the show you'll often see random ponies placed in the background for the purposes of filling out a crowd or livening up the town. They're basically nameless "extras". Except, thanks to the fandom, they're actually not nameless. In fact, most of these random ponies have names and backstories given to them by the MLP fandom. Here are a few of the more well-known background Ponies:

Continued in the comments

submitted by str8aura to mylittlepony [link] [comments]

CreateYoureReality NBA Analysis and Picks 3/28

Last Post Recap: Singles (3-8, -8.62U) Parlay(1-1*, +15.2*U) BBDLS (0-2, -2U)
Recap: This was a rather interesting day with something I have never considered before to make note of for the future. So, I am rather new to sports betting and with each sport there are little things you need to learn that will help you make better decisions as time goes on. Yesterday... I felt very good about POR crushing it. b/c of that I keyed on the two players I thought would get the most usage and have the best opportunity of covering prop spreads. POR did crush it, but what I didnt consider is that the coach would pull all the starters for rest after 20 mins of play. POR played with their bench for the second half of the game and it killed our props in that one. Anyway, good note for the future, be wary of player props in potential blowouts (unless you are taking the underdog teams players that would have the chance to play from behind, continuously trying to score.) So anyway, that pretty much killed our singles yesterday. Our parlays went good, going 1-2 with one of the losses getting refunded for going 3-4. Its getting closer and closer to the end of the season, I dont know about you guys, but I am so ready to hit a BBDLS for over 100-1. A few more games today than yesterday, lets see what we can find!

Analysis:

ORL/DET: ORL kept it rolling with their 6th straight win in MIA. DET off 3 straight losses. My stat project this one at -3/4 and Vegas is the same. With ORL recent history you would think the line would adjust slightly in their favor but the 0 movement is probably due to the fact that DET is 9-0 in its last 9 at home. The O/U is super low as it should be. Id be surprised if both teams break 100 unless this goes into OT. This is one of those super close spots where anyone can win and 3.5 is a lot for a game projected 206...Ill probably stay away from a side.

BK/PHL: BK off a tough double OT loss to POR. PHL off a horrible offensive showing failing to put up 100. BK was getting dominated by Nursik before he went down. Im gonna look at JE to do the same, hopefully without going down.

DAL/MIA: DAL riding a decent week with an upset over GS and a close loss to the kings. MIA has had an up a down week going 2-2. I really like MIA to get back on track with a win here but 7.5 is a decent amount of points in a low projected total.

TONY: TOR is looking strong coming into the playoffs. NY is looking strong going into the draft lottery. Love TOR to keep rolling but again, 11.5 is a high number and KL is taking a day of rest for TOR.

LAC/MIL: The LAC are one of the hotter teams in the NBA this month going 11-1. MIL are 3-0 since the return of the GF. This is my favorite game of the day but Im not sure if there is a side to sweat. I realllly like LA but Vegas has pushed the spread in MIL favor. I know MIL is a top team and gets attention just because they win...but LA is a huge market and the clippers should be getting visibility there. I may stay away from singles in this one as I think MIL could win a blowout, or LA could win an upset.

SAC/NO: SAC is 3-1 over the last week but went 1-1 OTR. NO only played 2 games last week and lost both. Something is weird about this one. Part of me kinda likes NO to come out big and win this one. This is probably a good game to look at some props in.

DEN/HOU: DEN 3-1 in the last week and looks pretty playoff ready. HOU is 2-1 in the last week and 2-2 in their last 4. I have this at 3 so the slight vegas adjustment is favoring HOU. However, "game to go into OT" is only +1300...same as it is for the ORL/DET game, even though there is almost a 3 point differential in the game spreads. What does this mean?

CLE/SA: CLE riding 3 straight losses since the MIL upset. SA was on a winning streak this month until last week going 1-3 last week. SA plays way better at home so I would look for them to get back on track here pretty easily.


Today's Singles (Overall Total: 201-190-2, +55.63U)

Basic Parlay(31-57, +19.7U) and BIG BOY DADDY LONG SHOT PARLAY (2-42,+9.75U)
Basic: \**Note: there is a promo this week, all parlays over 4 teams that dont have a -300 or longer if all legs but 1 hit, I get refunded my bet****

BBDLS:
submitted by CreateYoureReality to CreateYoureReality [link] [comments]

[BATTLE] Allah Provides - The Battle of Baku

[M: Alternatively, the Third Battle of Critfailistan. Nevertheless, the end of this battle was super fun to write.]
Alwand bin Yusuf bin Uzun Hasan gazed across the border of lands that were once called Shirvan. Ismail and his ilk had trampled upon his ally in the north, and for that, they would pay in blood. Yet Ismail seeks to oppose an expected counter-attack at Baku! He builds slightly above average defenses (11) along the southern and southwestern approach (7, rather than along any specific route / road he simply focuses on the directional area instead of specific defensive positions) to Baku, and begins to lay in wait. Meanwhile, Alwand has determined that the first thaw of the season is the opportune time to catch Ismail off guard, and orders his troops into a route along nearby mountains and mountain passes, rather than the expected leveler ground along the coast. Yet, as fate would have it, though the first thaw had come... it was not yet the end of winter. A fierce blizzard the likes of which none in this army have ever seen sets in throughout the course of their travels, obscuring vision and chilling men to the bone (1/critfail). Temperatures dip down to -8 degrees Celsius (historic low of Baku is -11). The blizzard stays almost entirely in the mountains, and berates the attackers endlessly (18/20 for ferocity of blizzard), while Baku itself down in the valley away from the mountains stays far less bone-chilling, but with very little visibility (4/20 for ferocity).
Alwand attempts to do his best to stick with the plans given, marching with flanking groups to prevent any of Ismail's men from attacking them in hiding - possibly from caves, alongside ditches, or other undetectable locations. This does not go very well for those marching on the mountains (6), with the horsemen's horses quickly becoming stuck or injured on the terrain or due to the significant snowfall and freezing temperatures. Rather than waste the horses, the meat is used to supplement dwindling supplies and cloth those that did not pack for a suddenly resurgent winter (14). With rampant issues slowing down the army's march, one of his generals proposes that they stop and let the men rest after a grueling march with little land gained. Alwand accepts (14), succeeding in noting the need for his men to rest, though in doing so inadvertantly allows some of his men to freeze as they rest, losing men along the way (7). Alwand notes this after a few hour's rest, and decides the best course of action is to get as far down the mountain pass as possible to avoid the worst of the weather and getting snowed in. The march doesn't go well (6), and they don't reach Baku for quite some time, with the blizzard worsening all the while.
Alwand is sure Baku should be right here, but his scouts report back that they can't see more than a few yards ahead of themselves in this grand storm (5). Now that he is out of the mountains, Alwand feels a little more comfortable setting camp, but still worries that he isn't entirely quite sure of where exactly he is, despite his strong feelings of Baku belonging where he is right now. He sends out a perimiter check, finding nothing (3)! Ismail decides to step forward for a moment, peering into the depths of the blizzard. He thinks he can almost see something, but can't make it out clearly. He waives at it as if to brush it off, and orders the men to make camp. Alwand's men begin to disperse into their own groupings momentarily. Yet in reality they are mere yards from the defenders (20).
Ismail peers over the defenses he's erected, and sees figures moving just a few yards away (17). Those aren't supposed to be where the patrols are... He looks to his most recent patrollmen, confirming that they are back. Without a word, he motions to his archers, and personally goes to each fortification emplacement to instruct the archers to make ready on their location without making a sound and signaling for general quiet. Then, he orders the archers to fire, landing very short of their marks (4) due to the blizzard. The attacking encampment fails to hear or spot anything, attributing a few whistles to the wind (5). Ismail was certain he saw something, he'd bet his life on it (15), and decides to just throw everything and the kitchen sink at it just once - worst case they lost a shot's worth of arrows and a rock or two for the trebuchet's. He orders a mass volley, a few of which hit their mark, and begins to cause mass panic in the enemy camp (9)! Alwand realizes what is going on (16), and attempts to unite his troops, but not a single person seems to hear a single order he's giving out (1)!
Ismail let's loose a fierce war cry as nearly his whole army charges forth (18), though due to the deep snow fails to advance too far too quickly(4). The charge is lackluster as they slip and root themselves in the snow, trudging while still yelling at the enemy. The charge disorganizes into a brawl, with the ranged cavalry not being able to tell friend from foe in the blizzard, as both sides get caught up in the poor visibility! Ismail begins to roll in the advantage (9) due to the vastly disorganized army(6)! They move ever forward, as the Quyunlu forces begin to retreat inward! Ismail makes an encirclement move as Alwand attempts to re-organize and stage a breakout! Ismail completely surrounds the enemy (19), cutting off any hope of retreat, and continuously pushes in, taking advantage of the vastly disorganized army's state of being (6) and the complete exhaustion from the march. Alwand launches one last desperate attempt, succeeding in a final breakout with only a portion of his army (17), with Ismail's troops too focused on the remaining encircled troops to take much notice - their backs are open(4)!
The armies clash, and they are equally matched (16 vs 17), with Ismail having the faintest of success! It quickly devolves into a bloodbath!
Morale: 16/20 for Alwand, 17/20 for Ismail (Yes; they rolled the same numbers twice)

ROUND ONE

ROUND TWO

ROUND THREE

Ismail attempts to encircle the entirety of Alwand's forces again, succeeding in doing so, but in the process draws too close and gets caught up in the bloodbath again! (10 vs 6)

ROUND FOUR

ROUND FIVE

ROUND SIX

Alwand knows clearly that he can't continue like this - there needs to be a breakout, and fast! Alwand tries to get out (2), but Ismail maintains his encirclement (6). Suddenly, Ismail spots Alwand (20). A knowing grin spreads on his face, and he dismounts, throwing caution to the wind and risking his own life to confront Alwand in personal combat (5/20 for 'don't be an idiot' roll). Surprising Alwand, Ismail draws his sword and takes Alwand off guard (9vs5)! Alwand flails and falls to the ground (7), with Ismail triumphantly standing above him (19). "My father has been avenged, but you? I had no quarrel with you!" The forces around them nearly stop fighting as they watch, the split seconds passing them with indecision on if they should attack one or the other. "Idiocy will be the cause of your death, not revenge."
Suddenly, Alwand expertly jumps up, slashing across Ismail's face from ear to the end of his chin, as Ismail's gloating gets the better of him (19). Enraged, the two begin a heavy exchange of blows, parries, and the like, Ismail avoiding death by mere inches (17) with Alwand gaining back his lost ground in the process! The two, clearly exhausted (7vs8), continue on like this for a moment as they enter the center of the encirclement. Fighting is fierce around them - the respect and lull of the outer forces is replaced instead with a frenzied fight for survival in a blizzard barely letting someone see five feet from their own face. Ismail gains a slight upper hand(8), and grins, realizing the exhaustion of his older counterpart(7). The grin is replaced by a scowl (10) as Alwand wipes the smile from his face with continued defiance (12). Alwand stares stoically back at him, ever at the ready. "Yours is not a rule based on justice, but lust for power. I will win because I must. Allah provides, and today he provides me with victory!" He begins pushing Ismail back (17) out towards the outer circle of fighting, pushing him back all the while. Ismail keeps up with the blows (13), the two men visibly exhausted, and Ismail not nearly as prepared as he thought he was. Their blows slow to a near crawl as the two stand panting, looking at each other with burning rage of hatred while the din of battle echoes around them. (6 vs 4)
Ismail closes his eyes. "Allah provides." Then, with lightning fast reflexes (18), kicks Alwand's shin, caving it in with a loud 'crunch'. Alwand yelps out in pain as his leg is now bent at a 90 degree angle in completely the wrong way (3). Crimson red bleeds into the snow as Alwand bends down to a knee, shouting "Allah take you!" out to Ismail as he does so. Ismail smirks. "And Allah takes, too." Ismail's smirk grows into a grin (11) as he looks at the battle behind them, with Alwand's forces being slaughtered nearly wholesale in the process. "Today, I think, He's taking from you." Ismail grabs Alwand by the hair, holds his blade to his kneck as Alwand grunts in pain, before gritting his teeth and looking up at his better, resolved to his fate(4). "Those who steal what is not theirs never prosper! There are those who uphold Allah's will, defenders of the defenseless that will enact judgement upon you - the house of Osman will see you dead within months!" Ismail lets out a dark laugh. "You're right about one thing. They will see me." Alwand grimaces, before closing his eyes and nodding, accepting his end as Ismail beheads him.
After a month (16) of preperation, Ismail sets his army south and captures the Aq Quyunlu border regions, but due to the massive losses of the battle isn't able to take more. He maintains the preserved head of Alwand, and captures the border regions simply by showing the head and stating that they will be next if they do not bow and convert.

BATTLE RESULTS

[M: Fun facts of this battle! There were over 55 rolls performed, the most I have ever done for a battle. This is due almost entirely to the fact that both the defenders and attackers did not account for the possibility of a critfail'd weather check - the first of this season, by the way - and as such, almost all tactics had to be rolled for in terms of quality and action. Some of these rolls are not displayed due to them not coming into effect, such as various failed rolls for leaders to spot other leaders on the battlefield - only a crit or near crit results in this in my battles, and this is the first battle to do so. From about the third or fourth roll, all player tactics went out the window. I'll now take some time to answer some questions before anyone asks them on battles like this. The following takes place entirely in Meta.]
"Why didn't X wait out Y effect?" Rolls cannot be circumvented under almost all circumstances (the only circumstances I am aware of that trump rolls would be if an NPC nation is claimed, and a player decides to act out diplomacy that rolls conducted for said NPC nation - see, Portugal; Dithmarschen). If you roll a critical failure, that critical failure must be present in the section that it was rolled in. In this case, it was a weather check. I took into account the time that the battle post was made (9AM GMT on Monday) to determine that it would most likely take place in February if the game was played in 'real time' - if it was during the later spring, massive and terrible mud slides and constant, hard hail / rain would have probably prevailed, or sweltering heat in the summer. There is no 'waiting out' a critfail - if you do, you just simply critfail... later.
"That's stupid, no army would feasibly march into a bliz-" Oh?
"Why wasn't a player asked for clarification on these specific circumstances?" I know someone's going to go 'That's a bad slippery slope fallacy argument thingy' when I say this, but it's because it's a slippery slope. It's better to not clarify ANY actions from a player than to start seeking clarification on certain actions. Example: Let's say I ask for the Aq Quyunlu player's opinion on how he should approach this battle. This would probably take a good day, as he's not active on the Discord and thus only reachable by PM's, prolonging the time of the resolution. In addition, this now means that if another unexpected occurence pops up in another battle, players will then expect moderators to clarify specific orders mid-battle, and if they don't do that, the player in question will demand a re-'trial' of the battle, prolonging the resolution even further by causing a re-do of the whole thing (and probably at less quality due to being rushed at resolving an event already finished). In order to avoid this, and in order to encourage good orders rather than good reaction, nobody is clarified on any orders whatsoever to create a level playing field where only initially posted battle tactics are taken into account. The only exception to this would be 'flavor' (See: The Knights' invasion of Tripoli; he had already rolled a 19 to break the awkward standoff, but he was the one who decided the specific roleplay'd action that represented the roll of 19; similarly if either of the players were online on the discord, I would have asked for elaboration on the words Ismail or Alwand spoke in these instances).
"Why is the discord so important?" It's not, for mechanical purposes, but for small things like elaborating on flavor, it'll get you a quick question or elaboration prompt from me if you're online while I moderate these things (which is usually late at night).
"Why are rolls so numerous / so important?" For this specific battle, there were a great deal of rolls simply because the nature of the battle did not unfold at all like either party planned for it to unfold. Due to the presence of such an unaccounted for situation, I rolled accordingly for how well improvised and unplanned-for actions came into account. Note that there are hidden modifiers for certain troop stats, certain actions, and the like, based on the quality of orders, troops present, troop composition, and more - simply because it isn't explicitly mentioned doesn't mean it wasn't taken into account. Due to the nature of XPowers, many fights turn into "I have a gun" vs "I have a bullet-proof-vest" arguments in tactics and in actions, and there must be a break between those two actions that doesn't just fall hard-line in with how tactics or actions are expected to go. When these things aren't rolled for or given at least some kind of balancing act of randomness, you end up having Season 4 problems where literally every force did "Night attack spreads caltrops on field, muskets form defensive positions, pikes cover muskets, cavalry flanks" and got good bonuses because of it and it just started becoming problems of 'immovable force vs unstopable object' arguments. I understand people wanting battles to be even more realistic, but we're trying the best we can to manually get these out without them becoming just statistical assessments that are produced from the click of a button on a calculator. If, for some reason, you really don't like the way in which battles are moderated, there is an old honor system that I'm personally willing to accept where two players can fight a battle with their proportionate budget / army size represented on Medieval 2: Total War, record it, and post it to represent the battle. Note that this is just me, I do not speak for the whole mod team.
submitted by Cerce_Tentones to empirepowers [link] [comments]

HOW TO PLAN A HIKING TRIP?

Guys, check out my latest blog post - the original is a two-part sequence, however I merged it to create a one piece and it is what I post here. I've removed all the links (you know the rules here) so if someone wants to read another post mentioned here, you can check out my subredit or the link in my bio)
All comments and recommendations are welcome, as usual.

Introduction

Adventures are unpredictable by definition. However, careful planning is the key to having a safer, and more enjoyable hiking trip. Whether for an overnight trip or a multi-week journey, you will reap the greatest rewards by preparing for your adventure.
Experienced hikers know very well that “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. In its simplest form, planning means packing your gear and setting off with no prescribed route or goal in mind. This is what you can sometimes do in areas you know well, especially when the weather might affect any route plans you made. You can even do that in areas you’ve never visited before, especially if you have an affinity for the unpredictable. However, a reasonable hiker prefers to plan his trip, including the route and his timing; know the potential hazards; check the weather forecast (if you start planning your trip weeks or months in advance, you can use historical temperature data and base your decisions on it), water availability and sources, terrain features, vegetation and wildlife and dangers related to them; select proper and tested equipment, including comfortable hiking footwear, clothing, and gear; and consider all other small details that can turn an adventure into a disaster.
The most important questions you should answer are the following:
These are the main questions you need to answer during the planning stage of your hiking adventure. This will allow you to fine-tune your gear and food selection, develop a realistic timeline, and anticipate potential problems.
Partnering up is easy if your soul mate also enjoys backpacking and has a similar level of fitness. But it gets more complicated if your physical preparation level isn’t similar or you have different goals. You need to sort out potential issues in advance and relinquish unrealistic expectations.

Evaluate your experience, skills, and knowledge. What are your goals?

Pick realistic goals, and save the ambitious projects for when you have the experience and fitness to pull them off. Especially before doing a long hiking trip, it is wise to do a couple of day hikes or two-day trips to evaluate your fitness, your hiking shoes or boots, your gear (hiking pants, shirt, rain jacket, sleeping bag etc.), and your partners. A big trip may quickly be cut short by a pair of ill-fitting boots or bad physical condition.
Many backpackers dream of hiking a long-distance trail in one continuous journey which is a major undertaking. Sometimes, people set off on one of these with just a hazy idea of the route yet they complete the whole trail. But far more give up within the first few days or weeks - and this includes those who do some planning. There are various reasons for failure. Heavy packs (full of irrelevant things), sore feet, exhaustion, unexpected weather, rough terrain, and trail conditions are among the most common. Detailed planning is advisable for a long-distance hike, especially one that will take several weeks. A gradual progression should precede a really long trip. First, try hiking shorter but still challenging trails, and then you will have enough knowledge and determination to finish a long walk.
Preparation for a long trek means dealing with logistics, picking proper footwear and gear, knowing the specific hazards related to the trail you’ve chosen. Thus, preparation can be one of the most challenging parts of the whole hiking experience yet it’s very important that you not only prepare for your trip but you do it properly.
The first step in planning ahead is choosing a trip that is appropriate for your skill level. Too often people get into trouble because they underestimate the challenge of their route or overestimate their individual capabilities. You need to be realistic about how the demands of the trip you are considering align with the reality of your physical ability. For more info on the features of good hikers, you can read our post here.

Select an area

You can do that with some help from the Internet, guidebooks, maps, magazine articles, hiking blogs, local outing clubs, and guides and outfitters. First, of course, you have to decide where you want to start and finish. Most people have their own preferences based on the nature of the terrain, great stories they’ve read or heard, even on some stunning pictures and photos. Once you have chosen your partner(s) or decided to solo hike, pull out the guidebooks and pick a trail. In addition to trail descriptions, better guidebooks will include time estimates, elevation gain and loss, and warnings about less-obvious hazards. This way you’ll get some valuable preliminary information. If you are going into less-traveled areas, you may have to glean this information from Internet blogs or topographic maps. A Web search with Google is a good place to start. Once you’ve selected an area, you can obtain up-to-date information from the land managers, fellow hikers, Internet or state/local agencies and institutions.

Obtain up-to-date information

Sorting the obtained information – what’s useful and what’s irrelevant?

It doesn’t matter how much information you have. It’s important to have enough relevant information. The Internet can overwhelm you with a massive amount of information, so you will need to sort out what’s useful from what’s irrelevant. Many Web sites are updated regularly and provide a ton of (both relevant and irrelevant) information for your hiking trip. Up-to-date local knowledge is still important. Especially in remote areas, locals can be an invaluable source of information.

Plan routes

Most beginning backpackers usually stick to trails or established routes and limit the amount of off-trail hiking into the wilderness. But even if you plan to be on a trail all day, look carefully at the map before you set off and identify some landmarks to keep track of your progress.
First, pinpoint your starting location. Then, trace your planned route carefully making note of key features you will pass on the way. It is a good idea to hike with a map in an easily accessible pocket to consult it if necessary.

Main problems to solve for long hiking trips

Hiking around the world

Hiking in a foreign country makes planning even more complicated because in addition to applying for a permit, you’ll have to have a valid passport, go to the embassy and apply for a visa (if you go to a country like Nepal), buy a plane ticket, arrange travel insurance, and be vaccinated against tropical diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, Trypanosoma etc. (if you go to a tropical country). There’s usually some seasonality and it might be more convenient to visit a place popular for summer trekking, for example, off-season when there aren't so much buzz and hiking enthusiasts around.

Emergency planning

Emergency planning ensures that you are prepared for the unexpected, that people know where and when to look for you, and that your actions are rational and predictable in spite of the emotional trauma associated with any kind of emergency situation. A contingency plan should lessen the risks involved and increase the probability of being found in case of an emergency situation. Creating an emergency plan and leaving it with friends or family means safer hiking trip for you, fewer headaches and less unnecessary panic for your family (and friends). Additionally, carry a first aid kit in an outer container made of durable nylon to protect contents. Among the essentials in your first aid kit, you should include some analgesics/antibiotics/anaphylaxis (Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Sting relief pad etc.), bandages, antiseptic towelettes, blister care pads, gauze sponges, safety whistle, water-purifying tablets, extra shoelaces, fire starter, duct tape, multi-purpose tool. Anyway, its exact content depends on the features of the place you will go for a hike, the chronic diseases you have, and your previous experience.

Meal planning

Planning meals is an essential part of planning a hiking trip. You need to eat regularly throughout your hike. Having three solid meals a day with a snack or two in between is recommended. Food plays a large part in how much you enjoy the outdoors. You’ll need lightweight, non-perishable, high in calories foods that taste good. Exhaustion after a long day on the trail can make you think about skipping your dinner which isn’t good for your health and fitness; however, knowing that you have some tasty food in your pack can make you change your mind. A warm and tasty dinner can not only make you feel better but also boost your morale. In our post about packing for a multi-day hiking trip we mentioned that a 90 kg person burns around 550 calories per hour of hiking (it usually varies between 450 and 650 depending on the terrain, weather, your fitness etc.). Thus, you’ll need a lot of energy on the trail. So when planning your meals, look for foods rich in carbs, fats, and sugar - such kind of foods will provide you enough energy for a long hiking day.

Planning and packing your backpack

When packing your backpack before hitting the trail, the little things can add up to make a big difference later. If you start out with a good organization system, life in the backcountry will be simpler and more pleasant. Plan carefully the contents of your hiking pack considering the duration of your trip, the expected weather and temperatures, the features of the terrain, the potential dangers on the trail, and your specific needs.
Do the packing the day(s) before the hike when you are not in a rush. Lots of novice hikers try to pack in the morning of the hike and as a result forget some important things like toilet paper, flashlight, fire starter, raincoat etc. It can be daunting to pack for your first wilderness adventure and you don’t want to exacerbate things further by doing it in a rush. Make detailed lists, and note what you do and do not use so that on future trips you can fine-tune the packing. Eliminate redundancy when pack planning. When deciding what to cut, think twice about eliminating insulation and food. A fleece or a sweater doesn’t weigh a lot and won’t slow you down significantly but can be very useful on the trail. It helps to have things you will need during the day near the top of your pack. Keep things like spare clothes and food there for an easy access without having to unpack other gear. Carry snacks in hip belt pockets and have your water bottle located so you can reach it without removing your pack. You can check out our posts about packing for a day-hike and packing for a multi-day hike. You will find some further recommendations on packing there as well as lists with basic and extra stuff essential for a hiking trip.

Conclusion

Planning a hike, whether for a weekend or a summer, takes time and energy, and the adventure itself can vanish in a welter of lists, logistics, maps, and food. Detailed planning is advisable for any hike, especially for a long-distance hiking trip that will take several weeks or months. Planning such a walk can be difficult, however. Sometimes, the process of planning your hiking trip can be more daunting than the hiking itself. Remember that compiling information takes time, and there are always gaps - you can’t avoid that. However, this shouldn’t discourage you because as soon as you take that first step into the wilderness, all the organization fades into the background. Then it’s just you and nature.
Trekking, like any other activity, is usually more successful if the participants are ready and if they have some idea of what to expect. So be ready to meet the challenges, be prepared to be flexible and to make the best of all circumstances.
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HOW TO PLAN A HIKING TRIP?

HOW TO PLAN A HIKING TRIP?
Guys, this is Part 1 of a two-part sequence on planning a hiking trip. 

Introduction

Adventures are unpredictable by definition. However, careful planning is the key to having a safer, and more enjoyable hiking trip. Whether for an overnight trip or a multi-week journey, you will reap the greatest rewards by preparing for your adventure.
Experienced hikers know very well that “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. In its simplest form, planning means packing your gear and setting off with no prescribed route or goal in mind. This is what you can sometimes do in areas you know well, especially when the weather might affect any route plans you made. You can even do that in areas you’ve never visited before, especially if you have an affinity for the unpredictable. However, a reasonable hiker prefers to plan his trip, including the route and his timing; know the potential hazards; check the weather forecast (if you start planning your trip weeks or months in advance, you can use historical temperature data and base your decisions on it), water availability and sources, terrain features, vegetation and wildlife and dangers related to them; select proper and tested equipment, including comfortable hiking footwear, clothing, and gear; and consider all other small details that can turn an adventure into a disaster.
The most important questions you should answer are the following:
  • Who will be joining you?
  • Where will you go?
  • When will you go?
These are the main questions you need to answer during the planning stage of your hiking adventure. This will allow you to fine-tune your gear and food selection, develop a realistic timeline, and anticipate potential problems.
Partnering up is easy if your soul mate also enjoys backpacking and has a similar level of fitness. But it gets more complicated if your physical preparation level isn’t similar or you have different goals. You need to sort out potential issues in advance and relinquish unrealistic expectations.

Evaluate your experience, skills, and knowledge. What are your goals?

Pick realistic goals, and save the ambitious projects for when you have the experience and fitness to pull them off. Especially before doing a long hiking trip, it is wise to do a couple of day hikes or two-day trips to evaluate your fitness, your hiking shoes or boots, your gear (hiking pants, shirt, rain jacket, sleeping bag etc.), and your partners. A big trip may quickly be cut short by a pair of ill-fitting boots or bad physical condition.
Many backpackers dream of hiking a long-distance trail in one continuous journey which is a major undertaking. Sometimes, people set off on one of these with just a hazy idea of the route yet they complete the whole trail. But far more give up within the first few days or weeks - and this includes those who do some planning. There are various reasons for failure. Heavy packs (full of irrelevant things), sore feet, exhaustion, unexpected weather, rough terrain, and trail conditions are among the most common. Detailed planning is advisable for a long-distance hike, especially one that will take several weeks. A gradual progression should precede a really long trip. First, try hiking shorter but still challenging trails, and then you will have enough knowledge and determination to finish a long walk.
Preparation for a long trek means dealing with logistics, picking proper footwear and gear, knowing the specific hazards related to the trail you’ve chosen. Thus, preparation can be one of the most challenging parts of the whole hiking experience yet it’s very important that you not only prepare for your trip but you do it properly/in a proper way.
The first step in planning ahead is choosing a trip that is appropriate for your skill level. Too often people get into trouble because they underestimate the challenge of their route or overestimate their individual capabilities. You need to be realistic about how the demands of the trip you are considering align with the reality of your physical ability. For more info on the features of good hikers, you can read our post here.

Select an area

You can do that with some help from the Internet, guidebooks, maps, magazine articles, hiking blogs, local outing clubs, and guides and outfitters. First, of course, you have to decide where you want to start and finish. Most people have their own preferences based on the nature of the terrain, great stories they’ve read or heard, even on some stunning pictures and photos. Once you have chosen your partner(s) or decided to solo hike, pull out the guidebooks and pick a trail. In addition to trail descriptions, better guidebooks will include time estimates, elevation gain and loss, and warnings about less-obvious hazards. This way you’ll get some valuable preliminary information. If you are going into less-traveled areas, you may have to glean this information from Internet blogs or topographic maps. A Web search with Google is a good place to start. Once you’ve selected an area, you can obtain up-to-date information from the land managers, fellow hikers, Internet or state/local agencies and institutions.
Photo by Andrew Gosine

Obtain up-to-date information

  • Weather and average temperatures Part of your research should include prevailing weather patterns for your destination. As mentioned above, you can first examine historical temperature data and base your decisions on it. As your departure date gets closer, start following the weather on the Internet - get the most reliable and comprehensive weather forecasts. Nowadays, forecasts can be extremely punctual especially for 4-5 days ahead (specialists reliably predict the weather up to seven days in advance, though keep in mind that this might not be relevant for the mountain weather) and getting caught unprepared is foolish.
  • Daylight How many hours of daylight do you expect? If there will be night hiking, you’ll need lighting (a headlamp or a flashlight) and warmer clothes. On summer trips, there is enough daylight for up to 14-16 hours of hiking per day. This means that you need only a low-powered headlamp/flashlight for camp chores unless you decide to go on a night hike. Additionally, you don’t need warm clothing to have a good sleep. In contrast, you need a high-powered light for hiking after dark and warmer equipment for your winter hikes.
  • Sun exposure As we mentioned in our post about summer hiking (you can read it here), sunburn is easier to prevent than treat. Keep in mind that direct solar radiation can be very dangerous, especially between 10 am and 2 pm. The amount of sun exposure is a function of various factors such as cloud cover, vegetation, elevation, surface reflectivity, and the strength of the sun. These details can be obtained from different sources.
  • Terrain (including elevation gain and loss) The terrain is among the most important factors when choosing proper hiking footwear for your trip. For rough and rocky terrain (especially if you go uphill) you can play it safe and pick up hard-wearing hiking or backpacking boots. They offer better ankle support, more control, and stability in comparison with light low-cut shoes such as trail-running shoes or standard hiking shoes. However, they’re too heavy and need to be broken-in before your hike; otherwise, they can ruin your hiking trip. Additionally, trail-running shoes today are lightweight, more durable and reliable (than before) and provide enough comfort on most kinds of surfaces. Your clothing also relies very much on the terrain you choose for your hiking trip. If trail quality, signage, and maintenance are poor, you need to bring better navigational aids and more protective clothing. You can get familiar with your planned route by looking at pictures and reading descriptions of it.
  • Time estimates If you don’t have experience with mountain trekking, you will be surprised that going uphill can take so much more time than hiking on even terrain. But it’s true and you need to take that into consideration when planning and estimating your timing.
  • Hazards Do your research and make sure you know what kind of hazards you may encounter during your trip. Check out our post on hiking hazards and you’ll be much better prepared for a wide range of hiking hazards. Remember that preparing for a disaster does not mean that you can always avoid it; however, you’ll have a much better chance at dealing with almost any extreme situation you encounter on the trail. If you are a novice to the outdoors read our post about the essentials for beginning backpackers here. Anyway, the outdoors is not as dangerous as typically portrayed by sensationalist media stoking fear of the unknown. Nonetheless, people do get sick and injured out there, sometimes fatally. Natural hazards include unpredictable mountain weather, technical rock faces, rockfalls, crevasses, contaminated backcountry water sources, river crossings, flash floods, wildfires, and avalanches.
  • Vegetation It can be among the last things most backpackers check out when planning their trip, but don’t be fooled by that fact - knowing what kind of vegetation it’s not the same to hike in an arid area with a few cactuses and crossing thick forests (with thorn bushes) or fields lush with grass. For information about vegetation density and types, check topo maps, analyze satellite imagery, find pictures and descriptions posted online.
  • Wildlife and insects Use blogs and forums to find relevant information about the wildlife and insects that can be a concern. The possible presence of dangerous animals (mice, raccoons, bears, and snakes etc.) affects how and whether you store and protect your food, where you cook and camp, where and when you walk (avoid night hiking in snake country), and whether you need to carry anything for self-defense. Relentless swarms of mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums can completely ruin a trip. There are so many potentially dangerous animals for a hiker so you need to be well-informed in advance about the dangers related to wildlife on a particular hiking trail.
  • Remoteness Depending on the location, you need to carry one or more of the following: mobile phone in a shock and waterproof case, GPS, personal locator beacon (PLB). If something unexpected happens or if something goes wrong you may need to self-rescue, await an assisted rescue, or apply medical treatment.
  • Water availability On any walk, you need to know where water sources are and what the condition of the water is likely to be. Water supply is among the most important things you want to know about a region you’ll be hiking in. Having an access to enough drinking water should be one of the major considerations in planning your hiking trip. There are some places where water sources are generally reliable and others where many water sources dry up during the arid summer months. Before relying on a water source marked on a map, consult someone who has personal familiarity with the landscape or check guidebooks and online trip reports for past observations.
  • Precipitation Your footwear, clothing (including hiking pants, shirt, a fleece, soft shell or an insulated jacket), shelter, the types of materials you use, and water availability will all be affected by the amount and frequency of precipitation you can expect during a trip. In prolonged rainy weather, waterproof shoes or boots won’t protect your feet from getting wet – actually, in such kind of weather you’d better bet on a pair of lightweight trail-running shoes since they’re breathable and will get dry much faster than a pair of boots.
Photo by Matthew Henry

Sorting the obtained information – what’s useful and what’s irrelevant?

It doesn’t matter how much information you have. It’s important to have enough relevant information. The Internet can overwhelm you with a massive amount of information, so you will need to sort out what’s useful from what’s irrelevant. Many Web sites are updated regularly and provide a ton of (both relevant and irrelevant) information for your hiking trip. Up-to-date local knowledge is still important. Especially in remote areas, locals can be an invaluable source of information.

Plan routes

Most beginning backpackers usually stick to trails or established routes and limit the amount of off-trail hiking into the wilderness. But even if you plan to be on a trail all day, look carefully at the map before you set off and identify some landmarks to keep track of your progress.
Photo by Matthew Henry
First, pinpoint your starting location. Then, trace your planned route carefully making note of key features you will pass on the way. It is a good idea to hike with a map in an easily accessible pocket to consult it if necessary.
(End of Part 1)
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PLB Battery Life. A PLB comes equipped with a long-lasting lithium battery. This battery remains dormant until you flip the switch to activate the PLB. Government regulations require a PLB with a class 2 battery (the type of compact PLBs sold for backcountry use) to be able to transmit at -20°F (-28.9°C) for 24 hours. A permutation wager that involves a total of 15 bets on four selections (4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold). Lucky 31: A permutation wager that involves a total of 31 bets on five selections (5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and 1 fivefold). The legal sports betting world is changing. Quickly. New states are opening their arms to the world of legal sports betting and are opening opportunities for you to take part in making legal sports bets on your favorite teams in casinos, race tracks and through online betting. After all, the best team in baseball wins 3 of every 5 games, the worst team wins 2 of every 5 games. Even if you’re dangerously in love with the chalk, you aren’t betting the Pats over the Browns. Over the last decade, only 28% of MLB games ended decided by one run. Last season, 56% of one run games were won by the closing line favorites. Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) New York Giants (+4.5) In this case, you can bet on either two outcomes: you can put money on the Eagles to win the game by 4.5 points OR MORE, which makes them the

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