hiking

October 12, 2018

New Ruffwear Jackets Get Two Paws Up

I am River. I have many important jobs. I’m the one who keeps the floors spotless, alerts my family if any intruders get too close to our house and makes sure my human gets enough exercise. I was also recently tasked with testing out two new jackets with my friend, Arrow. If I’m honest, the […]

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October 5, 2018

14 Epic Funny Outdoor Fails We Can All Relate To

We’ve all made mistakes in the great outdoors. It’s just part of the journey. Maybe it’s a trip over a rock, packing two left climbing shoes or hitting an icy patch on skis. Whatever it is, we’re big fans of looking back and laughing at our goofier trials and tribulations. That’s why we’ve collected the […]

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October 4, 2018

The Rigorous Testing Behind GORE® Gear

If you’ve been outside in the rain, you’re probably familiar with GORE®, best known for its waterproof, breathable and windproof GORE-TEX® fabrics. Many consider GORE the gold standard—not least for their Guaranteed to Keep You Dry® promise. You might not know it, but to keep that claim, they test each and every piece of gear […]

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September 22, 2018

West Ridge Nature Preserve: A Hidden Oasis at One of Chicago’s Busiest Intersections

There are precious few places in Chicago’s urban sprawl where you can truly lose yourself in green space. West Ridge Nature Preserve is one of them. Where most urban nature lovers have become familiar with large, well-kempt parks like Lincoln and Grant, West Ridge is overgrown and uncultivated. That’s by design. Though the 21-acre park […]

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September 20, 2018

There’s No Running in Forest Bathing

The guard shuffled toward me. No running, no running, he whisper-shouted, waving an orange baton in my direction. Clad in a navy-blue suit with a crisp white shirt, his face wore a genuine look of concern. I slowed to a walk and replied, No running, no running. I nodded my head apologetically. The entrance sign said “no sporting […]

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September 18, 2018

On the Trail Again: 50 Years Later

As hikers whizzed past us with their ultralight packs and trekking poles flying at their sides, we plodded along with our 50-year-old backpacks. “You’re carrying too much weight,” a male hiker in a hurry shouted as he turned to acknowledge us. Perhaps we were, by his standards. But our hike was not about speed. My […]

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September 17, 2018

7 Ways to Rekindle Your Sense of Awe Outside—and Why

Hikers on a trail

Awe comes in many forms. It’s the amazement that arises with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as catching the northern lights, or the wonder of taking in a transcendent performance, or the quiet “wow” you utter while watching a magnificent sunset. As human beings, we have a natural capacity for awe, but in the midst of our […]

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September 15, 2018

2018’s Best Hammocks For Outdoor Adventures

A woman lying in a hammock

There’s nothing better than hiking to a gorgeous alpine lake on a summer day, stringing up your favorite hammock 200 feet from the sparkling water, and taking a leisurely nap in the trees. We love hammocks for everything from park naps to backcountry camping, and so does everyone else it seems: According to Ad Age, […]

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September 7, 2018

13 Public Lands You Might Have Missed

Filled-up campsites, parking woes and crowded trails are just part of getting outdoors sometimes. Instead of going to the parks everyone knows about this National Public Lands Day, why not hit some less-crowded gems? We asked REI employees to tell us about their favorite public lands—the ones that likely aren’t on your radar. They each […]

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