5 Adventure Travel Gear You’ve Probably Never Heard Of | Tech US News

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I have just returned from the Adventure World Travel Summit (ATWS) in Lugano in the sunny canton of Ticino in Switzerland. One of the best things about attending ATWS, which is an annual event organized by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, is meeting new, emerging and lesser-known adventure travel companies. Many are quite small and specialize in one corner of the world or offer a unique style of travel that the larger, mainstream carriers don’t have. These small tour operators share their knowledge and passion for their destination and manage the logistics and details of each trip, offering competitive prices. Here are five companies worth a visit.

Upplevelsebolaget

Upplevelsebolaget may be a challenge to pronounce, but simply put, the company offers outdoor adventures in western Sweden and beyond, from sea kayaking and hiking to mountain biking, rock climbing and cross-country skiing, among other activities. “Sea kayaking among the thousands of islands in western Sweden is ideal because there are no currents or tides in the Baltic, it has a smooth coast and the waters are warm in summer,” says Joakim Hermansson, who founded the company in 1994. AA travel typical might be a three-day sea kayaking tour called “Wather Islands Kayak Luxury”, three days of sea kayaking with accommodation at an inn on the island of Storö. In winter, the company goes further afield, offering alpine ski trips to Norway, Morocco and Japan.

Hinoki Travels

Hinoki Travels designs custom trips to “reconnect with your senses and the natural world” while supporting local communities. Founder Bethany Betzler splits her time between Chiang Mai, Thailand and Michigan. She creates trips that deliberately move at a slower pace, points out lesser-known spots in a destination, and ensures that each trip has a reduced ecological footprint. Bhutan was his inspiration to create Hinoki Travels and he works with other destinations in Asia, such as Ladakh, in northern India, and the colonial station of Darjeeling. In North America, he chose destinations such as Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Dominica in the Caribbean. Ultimately, these trips are “custom retreat experiences designed to reduce stress and spark creativity.”

Adventures in Norway

Norway Adventures specializes in customized and small group tours in Norway, offering hiking, kayaking, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Husband and wife Rogier and Anne van Oorschot create group trips for just seven guests. They also arrange customized tours for individual travelers. They want you to experience Norway off the beaten path, staying at farms and cabins in remote areas. For example, their “7-Day Norway Fjord Hiking Vacation” trip explores some of the country’s beautiful and rugged terrain. Walks can be made along the Atlantic coast, white sandy beaches or high sea cliffs, away from tourist areas, with transport by van and ferry. Accommodations include huts where the guide prepares evening meals. Price from NOK 15,650 (approximately $1,482 per person).

CODE

New Zealanders Mike Harris and Shannon Walker are the founders of KODO, which creates adventure travel in Japan. They offer personalized trips that establish a deep connection with the culture. One itinerary consists of walking the UNESCO-recognized Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountain range. Another is to hike the Kiso Valley along a preserved section of the Nakasendo, the path that linked Kyoto and Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period. Other trips focus on spending time with the Yamabushi, the mountain priests of Japan.

Flashpacker Connect

Founded in 2015 by LeAnn and Brandon Morris, Flashpacker Connect offers affordable small group travel in the wildest parts of the world, travel you won’t find from major tour operators. Consider “Bolivia: Amazon Jungle to the Salt Flats,” a nine-day trip for $1,600 per person. It’s one of the many South American adventure trips they offer. In Asia, they have a variation on the bucket list trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Called “Everest Basecamp with Three Passes”, it is a challenging 19-day trek on the so-called three-pass circuit, and is priced at $2,100.

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