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20181004-BCBS-rookiebackpacking

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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20181017-Washington-Wonderland Trail2

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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20181023-red fox

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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winter camping kitchen

10 Tips for Winter Camping in Colorado

There’s no need to wait until warm weather to snooze under the stars. Winter camping in Colorado is a magical experience. The summer crowds are gone, a gentle quiet washes over the woods, and you don’t need to venture far to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. If you’re keen to give winter camping a try, follow these tips to make the most of a snowy night out.

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20171114-Alaska-Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ocean

8 Reasons the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a Must-Visit Destination (for the Bold at Heart).

If you dream of treading untouched wilderness, watching caribou stream across pristine tundra, and viewing polar bears prowling the coast, there’s one place on Earth with your name on it: The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Although the refuge often makes headlines for the decades-old battle against oil drilling that would disrupt its delicate ecological balance, this 19.2-million-acre wildlife sanctuary is truly remarkable for its immaculate wildness. It is a life-changing, otherworldly experience for the few hundreds of people who are bold enough to visit in any given year. Here are eight reasons why you should be one of them:

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20181106-West Virginia-Dolly Sods WIlderness

Snow Caves, Igloos, and Fending Off Frostbite: An Icy Cold Winter Adventure

A chemiluminescent spark flashes through my neurons, jolting me awake from my shallow slumber. Cold air pierces my lungs as I shoot up and simultaneously slam my forehead into the icy shelf just inches above my shivering body. My hands and feet are numb, and I fight off panic as I try to figure out if I can actually move my frozen digits.

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Tips for Staying Warm Outside this Winter

10 Tips for Staying Warm Outside This Winter

Despite the cold temperatures, winter is a fantastic time to be outside. Yet the season is often viewed as something to be endured rather than celebrated. But those who think that way haven’t spent much time enjoying the cold weather. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking, and winter hiking are all excellent ways to spend time outdoors—and if you dress right, you’ll most likely be zipping off layers before you’re through. The key to any winter outdoor adventure is understanding how to dress—and that includes adjusting as your body warms and weather conditions change. With some basic knowledge and a few key pieces of clothing, it’s easy to remain comfortable—and warm—as you enjoy all that the season has to offer outside.

Here are 10 tips for helping you stay warm as you spend time outdoors this year.

 

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20180920-100 mile wilderness

How to Tackle a Long-Distance Hike in Winter

Hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, which begins on Georgia’s Springer Mountain and runs all the way north to Mount Katahdin in Maine, is certainly a hardcore adventure. But making it through the 100-Mile Wilderness in Maine—generally considered the wildest, most remote section—earns another level of bragging rights. Signs posted by the Maine Appalachian Trail Coalition at either end of the trail sum it up nicely:

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andrew-deslauriers-269459-unsplash

How to Protect Yourself from the Elements on Your Next Hike

Whether you’re hiking in the mountains, the desert, or anywhere in between, preparation for the natural elements is a big part of planning any outdoor trip. Exposure on a hike can mean many different things, none of them good: lack of shade or shelter, prolonged time spent at altitude or in extreme temperatures, natural obstacles, and biting or stinging insects. They can vary from mild annoyances to possibly life-threatening injuries—and all should be taken seriously. It’s important to reduce your risk where you can and plan for the worst-case scenario when you’re far away from help. Cover these bases, and you’ll be well on your way to making sure you remember your outdoor adventures for the right reasons.

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tommy-lisbin-224276

Winter Camping: Pro Tips on Staying Warm and Savoring the Solitude

Winter doesn’t mean the camping season is over. With proper gear and planning, savvy outdoor lovers can immerse themselves in nature year-round—and savor the solitude and serenity of a winter landscape almost all to themselves. Cold weather camping is quiet and peaceful, and comes at slow, even introspective pace, since most other campers are long gone, but the sunsets are every bit as beautiful, and the campfires are even more comforting. Here’s how to do it, without dropping a bundle on gear.

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00-20170301_NewHampshire_Washington_Winter

The Insider’s Guide to Mount Washington in Winter

Temperatures flirting with 20 below and winds gusting over 50 miles per hour aren’t exactly what you might expect when you start the drive up I-93 north from Boston under cool, but clear, winter skies. But in just a few hours of driving, you can quickly be transported into what, without hyperbole, can be described as the world’s worst weather.

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Layers For Biking

Wool Layers for Biking

It’s all about the layers. Even more so in the rainy, Pacific Northwest winter. Cold is one thing, but when you add rain into the mix things can get tricky. With the perfect system of Minus33 wool attire I can stay comfortable on the trails and ride my bike all season long!

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