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Sport Spotlight

Tips for outdoor recreation and outdoor sportsOutdoor Sport Spotlight

Wild or mild outdoor sports and recreation are a passion of the camping.com editors.  Here we profile different sports and outdoor recreation activities.  We'll give you tips on getting started, tell you about the great places for outdoor sports and show you what gear you need to be comfortable in all conditions.  So whether you're a seasoned outdoor sports enthusiast or a enthusiastic beginner we have tips and advice to make the most of your outdoor recreation passion.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling


If you are looking for a fun and relatively simple water sport learn how to snorkel. Snorkeling is a great way for everyone with the ability to swim to discover the wonders beneath the waves. Any body of water can be adequate for snorkeling -- warm tropical areas with coral reefs provide some of the best snorkeling. This is a great sport for the entire family and is relatively easy for beginners to pick-up.

Beginning Snorkeling
A first time snorkeler only needs the ability to swim and a few basic pieces of equipment: a mask and snorkel. It is very important to remember never to snorkel alone. For beginning snorkelers, practicing in shallow water can be a great way to learn to use the equipment properly. It is important to learn how to breathe through the snorkel and become comfortable wearing the mask. You also need to learn to take proper care of your snorkeling equipment.

As you snorkel you will notice that waves and splashes can get water into the snorkel. Clearing your snorkel of this water is very simple; exhale through your tube forcefully, which will blow the water back out of the snorkel. Also, you will notice that sometimes your mask may develop a tiny leak, which will fill it with water. To clear your mask, lift your head out of the water and pull forward on your mask to open a gap at the bottom of the mask. This will allow the water to flow out of the mask.

While learning to use the snorkel you can also learn to use snorkeling fins. The fins allow you to move through the water more efficiently.  You must learn to keep the fins underwater while using a comfortable pace.

Diving
After you have become more proficient at using your snorkeling equipment, you can really begin to experience the wonders that snorkeling allows you to see. Learning to dive with your snorkel in deeper water allows you to see a large variety of sea life.

There are many methods of diving underwater. To prepare to dive with a snorkel, take a few long deep breaths. This clears your lungs and can increase your time underwater. When resurfacing from a dive, slowly exhale, but remember to conserve enough air to clear your snorkel when you reach the surface.

Safety
There are a few important safety precautions to be aware of when snorkeling. Most importantly, never go snorkeling alone. Always be aware of your surroundings, such as tides, currents, and rocks.  These are all easy places to get hurt while snorkeling. Conserve your energy to avoid exhaustion and stay near enough to the shore that you will be able to return if you get tired. It is also important for snorkelers to be familiar with first aid and CPR, just as you should with any water sport.

As on land, you should stay a safe distance away from any marine life. This is both for your protection and theirs. The seabed can also be a danger to a snorkeler, especially in areas with coral reefs. Coral can easily injure a snorkeler if brushed up against or stepped on.

In warm climates where snorkeling is especially popular, sunburns can pose a danger to snorkelers. Always make sure to wear good waterproof sun block. A rash-guard is also a great way to protect your body from sunburns.

Snorkeling Locations
You can snorkel in any body of water: oceans, lakes and rivers. Snorkeling is especially fun in the warm ocean waters of Florida and Hawaii. These tropical waters provide some amazing opportunities to view colorful marine life. If you travel to the Big Island of Hawaii you can see green sea turtles and colorful fish. In the Florida Keys you can visit untouched reefs and shipwrecks.

Some of the best snorkeling can only be reached by boat. Also, snorkelers with more experience can try guided boat trips and snorkeling charters that provide opportunities to snorkel in open water.

Many popular snorkeling areas have rental snorkel equipment. This allows inexperienced or first time snorkelers to try snorkeling without investing in the equipment. These places thoroughly sanitize all of their equipment. If you are uncomfortable with renting equipment or if you discover the wonders of snorkeling and wish to continue, it is well worth the investment to purchase your own equipment.

If you are planning a trip to a tropical area and are looking for an amazing, but simple aquatic experience, give snorkeling a try. You can have an amazing underwater adventure at relatively low cost. Visit local tourist information spots to learn about the best places to snorkel.
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