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Born in Oregon 1969
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Spring Backcountry Safety

It was a long, gnarly winter in many parts of the country, but spring is most definitely here and undoubtedly singing a very sweet siren song to any and all outdoors-folks. It’s an exciting time to get into the backcountry, whether on skis or snowshoes or along hiking trails that have thawed out. The days are lengthening, the angle of the Sun is increasing for warmer weather, and the intoxicating phenological signs of the season are unfolding: north-bound flocks of waterfowl, melodious songbirds in the budding thickets, frog choruses from the marshes and hollows, wildflowers starting to strut their stuff … Continue reading

4 Freeze-Dried Camping Food Concoctions

The art of freeze-drying food started long ago by a random act of mother nature. The Ancient Incas, living at high altitude in Peru, kept their crops in locations where the food would freeze, and the low air pressure vaporized any water within it. During World War 2 there was a need for food and medical supplies that were durable and shelf stable, to send to troops overseas. It was from this need that modern freeze-drying was born. Today, we enjoy the benefits of that freeze-dry know-how with tasty, long lasting freeze-dried meals that are reliably delicious at the campground, … Continue reading

Cave No Trace

by John Waller With a heavy clunk, Phyllis removes a metal bar that gates a cave entrance in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. It’s a small entrance, with an upward grade and not much room to spare when a body wiggles through. At the age of 77, Phyllis Bonneau is an unlikely character to push forward into this dark hole. With a few grunts and the sound of knee and elbow pads grating across limestone, she emerges through the hole: A cave system, miles in length, sprawls before us in the blackness. I’m with my buddies Scott, Liam, and … Continue reading

Backpacking in America’s National Parks

You can have an amazing time in the extraordinary national parks of the United States without setting foot on a hiking trail, let alone spending a night (or seven) in the backcountry. But there’s no question that these expressions of “America’s best idea” offer some of the very finest backpacking opportunities anywhere. Backpacking may be your only choice to truly explore large portions of big, remote parks. It can also allow you to shed the crowds in some of the most popular ones, such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Great Smoky Mountains, and discover solitude and deep quiet. And backpacking can … Continue reading

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