Before taking a recreational trip outdoors this summer, take a trip through cyberspace. You'll find tons of information without ever having to leave your computer terminal.
By looking at weathercams linked to the main National Weather Service page for the Los Angeles area, http://www.nwsla.noaa.gov, you can get an advance look at weather conditions at your destination.
For forecasts and conditions anywhere in the world, The Weather Channel, http://www.weather.com/twc/ homepage.twc, has information available by simply entering your city and state.
Find something interesting to do but don't know where it is or how far? Mapquest's interactive atlas, http://www.mapquest.com, gives door-to-door directions and mileage by entering the starting and destination addresses.
STUFF TO DO
Biking: http://www.latimes. com/HOME/DESTLA/BIKING lists trails all over Southern California, with many in the Valley and Ventura County regions.
Hiking: The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter holds organized hikes of various difficulty across Southern California for singles, twenty- and thirty-somethings, bicyclists and novice hikers. http://www.edgeinternet.com/ angelestrips.
The Southern California Hiker web page offers chats, forums, information, gear, links and places for hiking. http://www.geocites.com/ yosemite/9900/sch.html.
Adventures: California Adventures' page lists activities (bungee jumping, fishing charters, gondola cruises, hang gliding, horseback riding, hot-air balloon rides, kayaking, scuba, skydiving, white-water rafting) and companies that offer these services, including customer feedback. Offered in various areas. http://caladventures.com.
Channel Islands National Park: The visitors' center is at Ventura Harbor. The five-island national park offers hiking trails, a lighthouse exhibit, wildlife observation and campgrounds. http://www.nps.gov/chis.
Fishing: General information for all of Southern California, including updated conditions and contacts for lakes. http://www.fishersnet.com.
Staying in: If all this outdoor stuff isn't for you, step inside the great outdoors to visit all five of California's ecosystems (redwoods, deserts, valleys, high sierra and coastal areas) in one day at the American Wilderness Zoo and Aquarium at Ontario Mills. http://www.wildernessexp.com.
California Trout: Statewide conservation group for protecting and restoring trout and their habitats. http://www.caltrout.org.
Friends of the Earth: News and information about environmental advocacy. http://www.foe.org.
National Outdoor Leadership School: Nonprofit educational school teaches wilderness skills, backpacking, kayaking and mountaineering at locations around the world. http://www.nols.edu.
Sierra Club: Offers outdoor news and information about nationwide and local outings. http://www.sierraclub.org.
The Wilderness Society: Offers conservation issues, research material for wilderness uses and land management. http://www.wilderness.org.
Most major magazines have web pages with specialty information, sometimes with features not in the print version.
Backpacker magazine: http://www.bpbasecamp.com.
National geographic society: http://www.nationalgeographic. com.
Outside magazine: http://www.outside.starwave.com.
Field and Stream: http://www.fieldandstream.com.
Outdoor Life: http://www.outdoorlife.com.
Taking a trip and want information, from the latest fishing news to nightlife happenings? Most major newspapers post every story on the web. If you don't know the name of the newspaper in your destination city, go to http://www.ajr.org. The American Journalism Review lists links to newspapers by state and city.