Caving

Travel Tip Tuesday!

We’re back! After a brief hiatus to handle a family emergency, we’re back in Florida.

This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday is all about how to save money WHILE TRAVELING. So you’ve already hit the road, you’re on an adventure and you want to be sure you stay within your budget. The tips below will help effectively budget your money and not go broke while traveling.

How to save money while traveling:

Forego fancy restaurants – Utilize the local markets and vendors to make your own food or eat the street food (which is MUCH cheaper than restaurants, usually). That being said, you’ll want to navigate street foods carefully and have anti-diarrhea pills handy.

Save the souvenirs – My first trip to China, I bought 3 tea sets (I’m an impulse buyer) without factoring in that China was only the first stop on my itinerary. The lesson: Buy souvenirs and ship them home or stick to smaller items that you can easily put it your pack and carry with you (jewelry, magnets, etc.)

Tipping – An easy way to save money while you’re traveling is researching local customs to see if tipping is necessary. In the U.S., we tip for everything but in some cities in China, it’s rude to tip. Do the research and you may be able to save a chunk of change.

Taxi Troubles – If you can get around without using a taxi, do it. If you can’t, try to negotiate the fare before getting in. (If you’re a woman, fight hard. There are many countries that will try to take advantage of you if you’re a foreign woman).

Exchanging Money – Exchange money for the currency you want BEFORE you get to that country. Don’t exchange at the airport and if you use a kiosk, don’t forget there are fees. I like to use ATM’s… but watch out… there are international and bank fees that apply to ATM’s, too.

Tours and Tickets – This is my weakness. It’s so tempting to book every boat charter, snorkeling trip, zip line and caving tour out there but these activities will drain your bank. Set a budget and stick to it. Or investigate what the tours do (where they go, how they get there, what’s included) and do some of the same activities on your own.

For more tips and tricks to saving money while overseas, check out AirTreks Travel Blog.

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Categories: Adventure, Alcohol, Around the World, Asia, Asian Food, Australia, Backpacking, Bracelet, Camping, Caving, China, Circumnavigation, Climbing, Europe, Explore, Extreme Vacation/Adventures, Food, Fresh Food, Gear, Globetrotting, Hiking, Jewelry, Nature, Packing, Planning vacation, RTW, Seafood, South America, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Travel Tips, Trek, Trip planning, Vegetarian, World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New To The Collection Is…

…the Base Camp 3-color paracord bracelet! One of our goals when we’re on our trip around the world (in Nepal) is to hike the Mount Everest South Base Camp Trek. The trek is about 8 days and will require us to acclimitize to the high altitute (over 17,000 feet). While we’re not professional mountaineers, we’ve been obsessed with Mt. Everest for a long time. We can’t wait to see the mountain in person and to step foot in base camp will be a great accomplishment for us. This bracelet was designed with our upcoming adventure in mind!

The Base Camp - 3-color paracord survival bracelet

You can check out more of our paracord gear and travel accessories at our online shop! We love custom orders and have tons of colors to choose from! Have a knot you’d like us to tie? Message us!

Find out more about how your purchases will help us travel around the world and be sure to hit up our itinerary to see all of the sweet places we’ll be visiting! And if you have any travel tips/advice, we’d LOVE to hear your stories.

Categories: Accessories, Adventure, Asia, Backpacking, Bracelet, Bright colors, Business, Camping, Caves, Caving, Circumnavigation, Etsy, Explore, Gear, Globetrotting, Hiking, Jewelry, Knots, Nature, Nepal, Outdoors, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Paracord Dog Collar, Paracord Pet Gear, Paracord Pet Supplies, Paracord Watch, Pets, Rock Climbing, Survival gear, Top Knotch Gear, Tourist Site, Trails, Travel, Travel Tips, World's Largest | 1 Comment

New Buckles!

Just in: Colored reversible side-release buckles!

Jazz up any survival bracelet with our new colored sie-release buckles! Want one on your bracelet? Check out our online shop!

Categories: Accessories, Adventure, Backpacking, Bright colors, Camping, Caves, Caving, Circumnavigation, Etsy, Explore, Gear, Globetrotting, Jewelry, Knots, Mountains, Nature, Outdoors, Packing, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Rock Climbing, Survival gear, Top Knotch Gear, Trails, Travel, United States | Tags: | Leave a comment

CYBER MONDAY SPECIALS ALL DAY!

***CYBER MONDAY SPECIALS ALL DAY AT TOP KNOTCH GEAR!***

  • 8:00am-2:00pm (EST) – 25% OFF entire purchase with code CYBERKNOTCH
  • 2:00pm-6:00pm (EST) – FREE matching key chain with every purchase – no code needed
  • 6:00pm-11:59pm (EST) – FREE SHIPPING on all order with code CYBERGEAR

Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/TopKnotchGear to start your shopping!

Categories: Accessories, Adventure, Backpacking, Bracelet, Bright colors, Caving, Chain Knot, Circumnavigation, Cyber Monday, Etsy, Family, Globetrotting, Jewelry, Knots, Mountains, Naturalist, Nature, Outdoors, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Paracord Pet Gear, Paracord Pet Supplies, Paracord Watch, Pets, Random, Rock Climbing, Survival gear, Top Knotch Gear, Trails, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip Tuesday! – What kind of packer are you?

Travel tip #13:

Part 1: For this week’s travel tip (sorry, we missed last week), try taking this quiz provided by Independent Traveler to see what kind of packer you are! Once you answer the questions, some tips will be generated that will help you fit your packing style. It’s fun and easy!

Take the quiz here: http://www.independenttraveler.com/packing-quiz/

Part 2: Tell us which kind of packer you are on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TopKnotchGear) and you’ll be entered in a contest to win our newest paracord key chain with a bottle opener carabiner! It’s just perfect for those summer brews and you can customize the paracord colors! We’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner on Thursday, May 26th at 12:00PM EST.

WIN THIS! To enter, take the packing quiz and tell us what kind of packer you are - post your packing-type on our TKG Facebook wall!

I’m a last-second lightweight packer!

I always bring my pack as my luggage. If it doesn't fit in my pack, I don't bring it and I don't think twice about it. The quiz had me pegged!

Categories: Adventure, Africa, Airplanes, Asia, Australia, Backpacking, Beijing, Caves, Caving, China, Circumnavigation, Cuba, Explore, Globetrotting, Hiking, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Latin America, Mountains, Nature, Outdoors, Packing, Parachute Cord, Random, Rock Climbing, South America, Survival gear, Thailand, Trails, Travel, Travel Tips | Leave a comment

Our Travel Bucket List!

  1. Visit the wonders of the world.
  2. Cross every longitudinal line and every major meridian.
  3. Step foot on all 7 continents.
  4. Hike some of the Annapurna circuit.
  5. See Mount Everest (bonus points for climbing to base camp).
  6. Hike some of Kilimanjaro.
  7. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
  8. Kayak through the mangroves in Everglades National Park.
  9. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  10. Visit all National Parks in the United States.
  11. Become fluent in French and Spanish. (Bonus points for using it abroad).
  12. Become certified SCUBA divers.
  13. Teach English abroad.
  14. Volunteer with a children’s organization abroad.
  15. Install water filters in a 3rd world country.
  16. Experience a sunrise in the Serengheti.
  17. Party on top of a skyscraper in Hong Kong.
  18. Climb a mountain (the entire thing – height doesn’t matter).
  19. Star gaze in South America.
  20. Take a National Geographic Linblad tour.
  21. Spend an extended time at a Buddhist monastery.
  22. Take tango lessons in Argentina.
  23. Visit the Amazon rainforest.
  24. Hug a koala.
  25. See the fjords in Norway.
  26. Celebrate Oktoberfest in Germany.
  27. Learn wine appreciation – and become connoisseur.
  28. Visit a medicine man and/or a shaman.
  29. Get our fortunes read overseas.
  30. Sleep in a hammock on a beach.
  31. Take a roadtrip across the U.S.A.
  32. Hike the Appalachian Trail – the entire thing!
  33. Swim with dolphins.
  34. See a whale in the wild.
  35. Swim/slide off of a natural waterfall.
  36. Hike the trail to the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong.
  37. Go on a mediation retreat.
  38. Take a helicopter ride over a volcano.
  39. Hike a volcano.
  40. See the cherry blossoms in bloom in Japan.
  41. Visit the family castle in Scotland.
  42. Eat authentic Italian food – in Italy.
  43. See the Olympics in person.
  44. Have a romantic dinner in Paris.
  45. Visit the Holocost concentration camps & memorials.
  46. Celebrate New Years in different countries (specifically Sydney and Hong Kong)
  47. Visit Iceland.
  48. Experience the Iditarod in Alaska.
  49. Experience Holi Day (Festival of Colours) in India.
  50. See the dragon boat festival in China.
  51. Carnival in Rio.
  52. Visit the Mount Gay Rum distillery in Barbados.
  53. See the Tour de France.
  54. Smoke a real Cuban cigar – in Cuba. Whilst drinking Cuban daiquiris.
  55. See the Northern Lights. (Bonus points for getting crystal clear pictures of them.)
  56. Go on a bike tour of Vietnam.
  57. Take cooking classes in India and Thailand – learn to make authentic coconut curry!
  58. Eat fresh seafood (this is a big deal for us because we’re both long-term vegetarians)
  59. Rock climb at Joshua Tree and Red Rocks
  60. Photograph penguins in their natural habitats.
  61. Visit the Jane Goodall Sanctuary in South Africa.
  62. Witness a tea ceremony in Japan.
  63. Live out of a pack for an extended period of time (which we’re planning to do anyway!)
  64. Celebrate the Festival of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico
  65. Experience the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
Categories: Adventure, Africa, Airplanes, Alcohol, Animals, Asia, Asian Food, Australia, Backpacking, Beijing, Caves, Caving, China, Circumnavigation, Communication, Cuba, Disaster Relief, Donation, Drink, Explore, Family, Food, Fresh Food, Global Aid, Globetrotting, Hiking, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Latin America, Love, Mountains, National Geographic, Nature, Night Market, Outdoors, Parachute Cord, Paracord, Photography, Plants and Flowers, Random, Rock Climbing, Science, Seafood, Snorkeling, South America, Summer, Survival gear, Thailand, Tourist Site, Trails, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vietnam, Volunteer, Water | 2 Comments

The World’s Biggest Cave

Under the ground in Vietnam is a natural wonder that is absolutely stunning. Son Doong is the world’s largest cave. In fact, it’s so big that you could fit a half-block’s worth of 40-story buildings inside it! It stretches for over 3 miles and in parts of the cave, there are stalagmites 230 feet (70m) high! The cave even has it’s own weather! Sitting under a 985-foot (300m) skylight is a lush rainforest home to critters that have yet to be discovered by science. We’re not sure if the cave is open to backpackers like us (or if you have to be a National Geographic genius to get in) but we’re crossing our fingers we can explore some of it when we visitVietnam on our trip around the world!

Fore more information and other pictures, check out this National Geographic Article:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090724-biggest-cave-vietnam/

The huge river that runs through the cave.

Son Doong Cave in Vietnam

The cave is the size of a city!

After you figure out how to navigate the slippery rocks, you'll get to the rainforest inside the cave.

Rainforest INSIDE the cave

Inside the cave are plants and animals that have yet to be discovered. Amazing!

Categories: Adventure, Animals, Asia, Backpacking, Caves, Caving, Circumnavigation, Explore, Globetrotting, Hiking, National Geographic, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Plants and Flowers, Random, Science, Stalagmites, Tourist Site, Trails, Travel, Uncategorized, Vietnam, Water, World's Largest | Leave a comment

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