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Some backpackers who don’t mind lugging the extra weight bring everything but the kitchen sink (and, hey, there are portable backcountry sinks on the market, don’t you know) with them into the wilds. At the other end of the spectrum are the ultralighters with their minimalist gear. There’s no rulebook dictating the contents (or weight) of your pack, but there are certain essentials all backpackers ought to have on hand to cover their bases. After all, only you know what special gadgets and creature comforts will make a backcountry trek most enjoyable for you, but no matter what you need … Continue reading

What Every Backpacker Needs in their Pack

Some backpackers who don’t mind lugging the extra weight bring everything but the kitchen sink (and, hey, there are portable backcountry sinks on the market, don’t you know) with them into the wilds. At the other end of the spectrum are the ultralighters with their minimalist gear. There’s no rulebook dictating the contents (or weight) of your pack, but there are certain essentials all backpackers ought to have on hand to cover their bases. After all, only you know what special gadgets and creature comforts will make a backcountry trek most enjoyable for you, but no matter what you need … Continue reading

Help Maintain New England Hiking Trails

Live in New England or plan on visiting soon? Here are 5 volunteer opportunities to help keep trails in tip-top shape! Hiking trails don’t maintain themselves. Whether you’re a backpacker who has traversed the trails of New England, an avid hiker, or someone who’s just plain passionate about the outdoors, volunteering with one of these organizations is a great way to give back to the places you love, and to make sure trails are in good shape for others to enjoy. New England Forestry Foundation The New England Forestry Foundation uses Forest Stewards to protect and maintain trails weaving through … Continue reading

Hiking for Beginners

Hiking is a pastime open to people of all walks of life: young and old, athlete-level fit and…err, not so much. Requiring no special training, skills, or fancy equipment, it’s a downright democratic pursuit that serves up enjoyment, scenery, exercise, and mental stimulation all in one deeply satisfying package. If you’re considering dipping your toes into the perambulatory waters, we say—DO IT! Hiking connects you to your primal roots and to the natural world, provides a hearty physical workout, and sharpens your senses and cognition alike. It’s also a wonderful bonding activity and social outlet among family and friends, and … Continue reading

Let’s Celebrate Something We All Share: Our Public Lands!

If you’ve been in the U.S. for more than a few days, chances are you’ve enjoyed spending time in some type of public land — a beach, campground, lake, monument, wildlife refuge, forest, grassland, marine sanctuary or any local, state or national park. It would be almost impossible not to step foot in public land, given that 30 percent of America’s land is public land. Here’s the “Catch 22” — we get to enjoy these public lands — but our public lands don’t always enjoy us when they are overused, littered, neglected or impacted by other issues such as invasive … Continue reading

The 10 Best Hiking Trails in the U.S.

Here at Mountain House, we contend (and we have a feeling our blog readers will agree) that some of the very best the United States has to offer can only be appreciated on foot, away from roads and cities amid the country’s sweeping wilderness landscapes. Here we’ve pulled together our roundup of the best hiking trails in the U.S.—that is, our roundup for today, because if you ask us tomorrow we may well be swapping in other equally praiseworthy routes. When it comes to top-grade trails, a Top Ten list seems woefully inadequate—but like our loyal Mountain House-scarfing wilderness warriors, … Continue reading

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