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How to Make A Backcountry Thanksgiving Feast

If you’re heading to the backcountry this Thanksgiving, you don’t have to forego a traditional holiday meal just because you’re away from civilization. With a bit of early meal planning and a trip to the grocery store, you can feast on turkey and all the trimmings while you’re enjoying a night under the stars.

With this meal plan, you won’t spend a great amount of time prepping and cooking. But, you might need to pack a few items that aren’t as lightweight as what you’d typically carry into the backcountry. No, you don’t have to tote a Dutch oven, but you might need to carry a few canned goods, as well as extra pots and bowls to prepare and serve all of the food. If possible, eat your Thanksgiving feast the first night of any multi-day trip so you don’t have to carry the food weight for long. Also, you’ll need to adjust the following recipes to suit the size of your group.

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10 Amazing Fall Hikes Across the Country

There’s nothing quite like hiking during the autumn months. The bugs and crowds of summer have largely disappeared, and the wonderful mix of explosive colors, crisp, nostalgic breezes, and deep blue, cloudless skies have taken their place. Here are 10 amazing hiking destinations that will be perfect for witnessing the change in seasons.

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Halloween Hikes: The Spookiest Trails in America

There’s nothing like a scary story or creepy folklore to add some extra spirit to your hike. And there’s no better season than fall—the time for haunts and haints—to point your hiking boots in the direction of the spooky trails across the United States. The these hikes all feature some association with the supernatural (or, in one case, with a resident creature called a “cryptid”), from a little but mighty portentous black dog to a caterwauling spirit giving voice to her grief alongside one of the greatest canyons on the planet.

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The Spookiest Places in National Parks

America’s National Parks are home to beautiful vistas, miles of backcountry adventures—and stories that nightmares are made of. Wait, what? That’s right: Dig a little deeper into the history and legends of these beloved outdoor playgrounds, and you may find yourself quickening your pace on the trail. From creepy creatures to mysterious curses to downright terrifying tales, here are some of the spookiest spots in our national parks.

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8 Pro Tips for Spending a Year Living Out of Your Backpack

Taking a year to backpack abroad after college is an idea that just about every young person toys with at one point or another. After all, riding trains to places with unpronounceable names, tasting exotic foods, and meeting fascinating people in faraway places sure has more of a romantic appeal than growing your LinkedIn network and emailing out (unanswered) resumes and applications.

While I’d spent most of my young life vaguely planning a post-college backpacking trip, I spent senior year intensively laying out my grand escape.

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How to Introduce a Loved One to Adventure Travel

“Are you crazy?” my friend exclaimed. “He’ll never want to travel again!” I simply smiled. We were catching up and discussing my upcoming travel plans, which involved a multi-day jungle trek with my city-slicker brother in tow.

I’m a well-seasoned travel vet, with more than 35 countries on my passport. On the contrary, my younger brother had never left the country. Somehow, I had managed to convince him to come trekking and surfing in Colombia with me. We decided on the destination together. He wanted to visit some place tropical, but one that didn’t have a resort vibe. I can’t resist the temptation of a good hike. After a month or two of back and forth, we settled on Colombia.

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Backpacking

A Beginner’s Guide to Camping Gear

When you first start camping, it’s not easy to know what you will need. Plus, you have to decide which items you should buy, and what you can rent or borrow from your own household supplies. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of gear that you should take on any camping trip, whether you’re car camping or backpacking.

Of course, these aren’t necessarily the only things you might want to carry, but these essentials will put you on the path toward a successful camping trip. You can rent most of the equipment here, but if you plan to start camping regularly, some things (like a good tent and water bottles) are worth the investment.

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Insider Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

From the rocky outcrops of the Talladega National Forest to the waterfalls of the Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama is home to many excellent backpacking trails that practically beg for an overnight adventure.

If you’ve only done day hikes, however, a longer overnight trek through the backcountry can seem slightly intimidating. But with a little research and planning, your first backpacking trip can be an amazing experience that paves the way for future adventures.

The rewards are well worth the planning and effort. Deep in the woods, you’ll discover the kind of scenery, solitude, and natural wonders that many people never experience. At night, beneath the stars, far away from civilization and crowds, you’ll savor a sense of calm that’s hard to find in today’s fast-paced, tech-saturated world.

To help you launch your first outing, we’ve compiled 10 insider tips to help you plan your route, choose the right gear, and travel comfortably and safely in the backcountry. Follow these guidelines, and your first backpacking trip will likely be the first of many.

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Sunrise on a peak like Skylight can be an incredible experience.

The 10 Best Day Hikes in the Adirondack High Peaks

For those on the West Coast, 4,000-foot peaks might not even be worth blinking at. Not so, in the East. With our cities, and even most of our trailheads, sitting at less than 1,000 feet above sea level, it’s the comparatively small 4- and 5,000 footers that tower above. But even if these ancient, weathered peaks may be somewhat modest in size compared to the behemoths of the West, it certainly doesn’t make them any less spectacular.

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Pro Tips on How to Find Your Secret Wilderness Hideaway

There is a string of mountains in Colorado I hold near and dear to my heart, where green high-alpine valleys dotted with wildflowers like confetti meet dizzying rock spires, and steep, grassy hillsides tumble into the shimmering waters of untouched lakes. The effort to reach this pristine wilderness is not for the faint of heart: Getting there often involves steep elevation gains, poorly maintained trails, or sometimes, no trail at all. It took me four years to find these spots, and I could spend a lifetime discovering every valley, ridgeline, and high alpine creek among them.

This glorious sense of discovering something new is at the heart of exploring the wilderness, but it’s getting harder and harder to do these days. People are getting outdoors in record numbers, which is generally a positive, but one downside is the increasing difficulty of finding that “secret” spot that no one knows about. But it’s these very places that keep the adventure alive. Here, a few tricks to finding your secret wilderness spot.

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Looking for Gear? These Northeast Retailers Got You Covered

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a simple walk in the woods. The smell of fresh air, the sounds of birds chirping, the wind whistling through the elms, and the friendly chatter with other hikers. It also doesn’t hurt that, when you’re out of cell service, the pace of things slows down, and you can really take it all in.READ MORE

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How to Go Beach Backpacking

What’s better than a vacation on a tropical island, walking barefoot down a soft sandy beach, listening to the soft lapping of waves and seagulls, or spying breaching dolphins and curious seals in the surf? Ditching the beach crowds for your own private wilderness, and forgoing the ritzy resort hotel with its fuzzy bathrobes and redundant oceanside pools for a tent and a bed on the world’s best natural mattress—the sand.

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Tips for Hikers on Preventing and Treating Blisters

What’s a hiker’s worst and most common enemy? Bears? Weather? No! It’s the common, but painful, blister.

Even a short day hike can seem like a death march when you have blisters, but there are ways to prevent this suffering, or at least reduce the pain. The key is to know potential pressure points where a blister can form, and to know how to recognize when one might be forming. Plus, you can take certain precautions before hitting the trail.

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7 Reasons Why You Want Wool for Working Out

There are a lot of misconceptions about wool still flying around in the outdoor world: rumors that it’s hot, scratchy, or generally uncomfortable. However, these assumptions are the farthest thing from the truth. People in cold climates have worn sheep’s wool clothing for centuries. Now, modern technologies allow manufacturers like Minus33 to create new fabrics out of this time-honored material that can stand up to warm weather and cold weather alike.

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Pro Tips on Building the Perfect Campfire

Building the perfect campfire: an indispensable skill for any outdoors enthusiast, given the life-saving properties of an emergency blaze—not to mention the fundamental bragging rights. (Take that too far, though, and you’ve got one of those arenas prone to obnoxious contests and condescending tutorials by insecure campers compelled to demonstrate their outdoorsy and macho bona fides.) Really, there’s no one formula that translates to the “best” campfire: There are certainly various options for fuel arrangement and materials, as long as you understand the basic principles of combustion.

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Keep Your Gear Like New: Cleaning, Repair, and Storage Tips

After a few days in the great outdoors, the last thing you want to do when you finally get home is tackle the task of cleaning your gear—we get it. But, as any outdoor enthusiast knows, gear is pricey stuff—and that’s if you buy it once. However, putting in just a little bit of time and effort into keeping your gear cleaned, fixed, and stored properly has big impact on its lifespan and performance.

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Promoting Safety in the Outdoors: Minus33’s Work with the hikeSafe Program

Even the most experienced hiker has had the unfortunate experience of being out in nature unprepared. Whether it was getting caught in an unexpected storm, having a piece of gear break, or running out of water on a hot day, we’ve all been there. And that’s what inspired the creation of hikeSafe, “a joint program between the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHF&G).” Originally developed in 2003, hikeSafe strives to educate people before they head out into the White Mountains and wilderness in New Hampshire.

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How to Make Your Life Adventure Ready

Some epic adventures are worth quitting your life for. We’re talking about the months-long bike tours, the overland trips, and the long distance backpacking trips. In between the epics, though, are a thousand tiny ways to get into the woods, from impromptu paddles to single-night backpacking trips.

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4 Rookie Mistakes Made by First-Time Backpackers

“Where is it? It has to be here somewhere.”

I was standing in a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park staring at a mess of gear strewn across the pavement.

“Where’s the rainfly for the tent?”

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Backcountry cooking with a view

How to Plan a Menu for a Long Distance Backpacking Trip

For many of us, menu planning for a backpacking trip is a last minute consideration. Stop off at a grocery on the way up to the mountains and grab the essentials: mac and cheese, ramen, oatmeal, and, of course, bars, bars, and more bars. But the longer your hike (around the third day of a backpacking trip is usually when it becomes tough to eat another energy bar), the more important it is to vary your diet, both to maintain a high interest in your food and to keep your energy levels up and active. If you’re planning your first long hike, whether it’s for six days or 60, you’ll want to spend some time considering what to eat, how much, and when.

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10 Amazing (and Attainable) Thru-Hikes Across the Country

Weekend backpacking trips are one of the greatest gifts of the summer. You can get so much in just two to three days: a breathtaking vista, a serene mountain lake, a secluded old-growth forest. The only problem is that all too soon you’re back at the trailhead, preparing for the long drive home and wondering how you’ll get through five more days before your next big adventure.

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23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel

So much to do, so little time. From the rolling mountains of the Southeast, to the jagged peaks of the West, to the river canyons, waterfalls, and old-growth forests of the Pacific Coast, the Continental United States is home to a lifetime’s worth of places to visit and things to do.

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The Most Freakish Animal Noises You’ll Hear in Nature

Wolf howls to coyote choruses, coughing deer to croaking ravens, chiming spring peepers to melodic whippoorwills—animal sounds add immeasurably to our outdoor-adventuring soundtrack. And sometimes what they add is all-out freaky: demonic, ghostly, or at the very least unsettling vocalizations that sometimes don’t seem quite of this world. Here, with the darker afternoons and longer nights and the extra dose of spookiness that come with them, lend your ears to some of the creepiest critter sounds in North America.

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