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Born in Oregon 1969
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We’ve never lived in an era in which wilderness travelers are so robustly equipped to find their way and to be found. Between basic smartphone maps and fancy handheld GPS units, modern technology is a wonderful resource for the backcountry (check out our roundup of our favorite navigation apps right here) That said, the realities of the wilderness require that we don’t rely exclusively on such devices. Signals and batteries fail, computerized systems go haywire, digital maps lead us on technically impossible routes. Whether you’re a mountain climber, a backpacker, a backcountry skier, or anybody whose recreational inclinations or professional … Continue reading

Map & Compass Basics for Navigation – Part 1

We’ve never lived in an era in which wilderness travelers are so robustly equipped to find their way and to be found. Between basic smartphone maps and fancy handheld GPS units, modern technology is a wonderful resource for the backcountry (check out our roundup of our favorite navigation apps right here) That said, the realities of the wilderness require that we don’t rely exclusively on such devices. Signals and batteries fail, computerized systems go haywire, digital maps lead us on technically impossible routes. Whether you’re a mountain climber, a backpacker, a backcountry skier, or anybody whose recreational inclinations or professional … Continue reading

15 Awesome State Parks in the USA

State parks in the U.S. offer some of the country’s most accessible outdoor recreation and protect some of its great landforms and ecosystems, historic sites, and scenic sightlines. Whether you’re overnighting or just spending a memorable couple of hours, the following are a top notch sample of U.S. state parks. This isn’t an attempt at a “best-of-the-best” list, but rather a celebration of the sort of natural wonders and recreational activities American state parks harbor. Some of these rank among the best-known, most-visited state parks in the U.S.; others are quite a bit more off-the-radar. All of them, though, are … Continue reading

10 Epic Backpacking Trips to Take in the US

The United States has no shortage of fantastic backpacking routes in virtually every corner of the country. They include, of course, some of the best-known long-distance hiking trails in the world, including the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. In this roundup of some of the very best backpacking adventures in the country, we’re only including one of the formally designated National Scenic Trails and otherwise focus on shorter, but no less spellbindingly beautiful routes. Take it from us: A Mountain House meal tastes delicious amid the backcountry scenery of any of the following multi-day traverses! (1) The Presidential Traverse (New … Continue reading

Tips on Loading Your Backpack

There’s nothing really more fundamental to backpacking than sensibly loading your backpack (such as with our lightweight Pro-Paks). That might seem overly obvious, given the name of the whole pursuit, but actually many backpackers sort of wing it when it comes to packing—not necessarily in terms of what they’re packing, but how they’re packing it. It’s all too common to simply stuff gear in willy-nilly, then tough out the awkward load during the trip. A poorly packed pack (how’s that for alliteration?) costs you in aches and pains, accumulating fatigue, maybe even a few tumbles on the trail. Here are … Continue reading

Great Long-Distance Trails in the USA

There’s magic and mystery in a long-distance footpath, and America’s blessed with some of the finest—and most famous—in the world. From the rhododendron tunnels of the Appalachian Trail to the lined-up volcanoes of the PCT, stupendous landscapes and stupendous adventure await on these backcountry (and frontcountry) traces, whether you’re hopping on for just a couple of days or doing an ambitious thru-hike. And you’ll certainly appreciate your Mountain House along the way… Let’s take a freewheeling tour of America’s National Scenic Trails: hopefully spurring some fond memories for anyone who’s hoofed it on one or more of them, and otherwise … Continue reading

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