Summertime is almost here, and with it comes the chance to have great adventures. Unfortunately, the season is rife with pitfalls: biting mosquitoes, sunburns, huge crowds, and even animal attacks. Luckily, Aurora Photos has some of the best outdoor, adventure, and travel photographers in the world, and we turned to them to give some tips on how to have the most fun this summer.
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1. To preserve memories of summer adventures, keep your camera handy. The best camera is the one you have with you. You don’t need the newest gear either; work with what you have until you’ve outgrown it. –Ethan Welty
2. Think twice about taking a super expensive camera or lens to the beach that is not sand proof. Sand WILL find the inside of your lens and camera body, and cause damage – Scott Goldsmith
3. Sleep in beautiful places. That way you are already in position when sunset and sunrise roll around to capture beautiful photos. –Ethan Welty
4. Coffee shops (NOT Starbucks) always have local event guides with upcoming shows/concerts/cool things for the locals. It’s a great way to get into the local vibe with ease! –Tim Martin
5. Just a few simple words in the local language helps exponentially and makes people much more receptive to you as a tourist! –Tim Martin
6. One of my favorite places to go in the entire world during the summer is Door County, Wisconsin. Shopping, theatre, great Lake Michigan Beaches, canoeing, awesome fishing, parasailing, horseback riding… awesome choice of activities. Also, traditional fish boils are a must and Door County has the best cherry pie you’ll ever have in your entire life. –Marc Sirinsky
7. Always pay in local currency – even if you are paying by credit card. Most hotels, shops and high end restaurants will give you the option to pay in US Dollars but the rate they charge is usually 10-15% more than the actual exchange rate. Select the local currency option and eat the 1% fee your credit card company might charge. –Tim Martin
8. When wrestling a fifteen-foot female anaconda, DO NOT let go of her throat! The males are only about three feet long — much easier to deal with. –Robert Caputo
9. I leave a bottle of sunscreen, bug spray, a basket or bag and a sharp pocket knife in the car in the summer so I’m always prepared for spur of the moment walks on the beach or in the woods that might yield wild edibles. –Stacey Cramp
10. Three things to always bring on a hike: layers, a pocketknife and snacks. The bottom of a mountain will often be much warmer than the top, so make sure your top layer is waterproof. Dry fit shirts are invaluable…even for just walking around and shopping in hot, humid weather! –Marc Sirinsky
11. White water rafting with kids can be an amazing experience, but don’t expect the first time to go without a hitch. But with the right preparation and planning, fun whitewater is on the horizon. The number one priority when rafting in general is to come prepared for the rapids and different weather conditions that mother nature can throw at you. Make sure kids have a strong swimming foundation, always wear a life jacket even when swimming, even in gentle rapids. Bring extra food, snacks and water for the kids so their comfortable and make sure to take fun breaks and engage in on and off river activities to break the trip up. A good water fight, swimming, inflatable kayaks or inner tubes allow the children to engage in river activities beyond the whitewater. – Greg von Doersten
12. As an added bonus, here are some videos from Corey Rich that will get you amazing nighttime and campfire photography AND keep you from getting burnt in the process!