Born in Oregon 1969
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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

Hiking and Backpacking Meal Plan

Whether you’re hitting the trail for a day hike or a week-long backpack, your food plan is vital to keeping those hoofing-it muscles of yours going and your all-around spirits up. We’ve written here lately at the Mountain House blog about how to devise a camping meal plan; today we’ll narrow the focus to the backpacking meal plan specifically, with a few words as well about dayhiking cuisine. Remember, eating’s one of the deepest pleasures of the backpacking experience: Your trail-weary body craves food to an almost spiritual degree—the kind of well-earned, satisfying, pure hunger that a couch-potato or car-commuting … 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

Bear Country 101

For more than a few hikers and campers in Canada and the USA, there’s no greater fear than an encounter with a bear. Bears are the classic bogeymen of the North American wilds: the go-to explanation for any thump in the night outside the tent or crash in the underbrush along the trail. The danger they pose, however, is vastly overrated, and every outdoorsperson should appreciate the ecological value and brawny spirit represented by these intelligent, resourceful beasts. Your average bear will normally go out of its way to avoid a run-in with a human being. Many bad bear/human encounters … Continue reading

Traveling Over Snow: Tips on Safe Snow Travel

Snow can be both boon and bane for outdoor travelers. When nice and firm, it can be a pleasure to scuff along, above all the terra firma messiness of brush, gravel, or deadfall. When soft and powdery, it invites long cross-country ski or snowshoe outings. But then there’s the flipside: the half-melted slush absolutely exhausting to traverse for long distances, the rock-hard, ice-glazed slopes, the deep, brittle-crusted drifts you maddeningly posthole your way through. Not to mention, of course, all the outright hazards of the snowscape: crevasses, cornices, avalanches, weakly frozen-over bodies of water, etc. Here we’ve rounded up a … Continue reading