March 8, 2019

The Best Down Jackets of 2019

A woman gazes at a rushing river surrounded by evergreen trees

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Mastering a true layering system takes work. But once you’ve done it, we think you’ll never go back. Layering systems are typically made up of a base layer, a mid layer, an outer layer and possibly a weatherproof shell, which allows you […]

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March 6, 2019

National Park Service Saw More Than 300 Million Visits in 2018

Hikers in Grand Canyon National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) saw 318.2 million recreation visits in 2018, according to an announcement released yesterday. This is the third highest number of annual visits on record since 1904 (when the NPS started tracking visitation numbers), though it is about 12.67 million visits fewer than 2017. The announcement also showed that visitors spent […]

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March 6, 2019

Easy Seat

Camper with pink coat on sits in orange Flexlite chair while two people filter water in the background.

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  The Flexlite Air story begins with a problem: how to create a camp chair that weighs just 1 pound. Why a pound? For the luxury of a real camp chair, backpackers told REI they’d be willing to carry an extra pound, but […]

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March 6, 2019

Your Definitive Guide to the Best Base Layers Money Can Buy at REI

A base layer top, water bottle, passport and map laid out in a cabin

Why do you need to buy base layers? When you get warm, your body begins to sweat. Sweat is great—it’s your body’s way of keeping you cool—but if that sweat stays trapped next to your skin for long enough, it can lead to a range of miserable and even dangerous happenings like chafing, overheating and […]

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March 4, 2019

Through the Arctic on Two Wheels

In early February, as temperatures in northern Canada hovered between -20 degrees Fahrenheit and -40 degrees Fahrenheit, four retired pro-cyclists made a first-ever, self-supported fat bike traverse along the shores of James Bay, Ontario. Situated on the world’s third largest muskeagh, or bog, the region is roadless and unreachable by land 10 to 11 months […]

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March 2, 2019

Put a Hike to This North Carolina Lookout Tower on Your List

A view of blue skies and mountains in the distance from Rich Mountain Lookout Tower

One of Pisgah National Forest’s historic fire lookout towers has been restored to its former glory. Rich Mountain Lookout Tower, near Hot Springs, North Carolina, was built in 1932 and was used to detect fires in North Carolina and Tennessee for more than 60 years. But the tower fell into disrepair after regular use was […]

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March 1, 2019

The Best, Comfiest, Stretchiest Yoga Pants You Can Buy at REI

Women standing at the top of some forested concrete steps with yoga pants on

If you plan to practice yoga even occasionally, you’ll need to buy a good pair of yoga pants. Yoga pants typically stretch easily and fit close to your body, thus allowing you to bend into contorted positions while remaining covered. Good yoga pants will also breathe well and wick odors away, and they should be […]

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February 28, 2019

8 Best Hikes in the Grand Canyon Area

  Within striking distance of Flagstaff, Phoenix and Las Vegas, Grand Canyon National Park is great for weekend jaunts or week-long stays, and is suitable for anyone from avid hikers to those new to the sport. The breathtaking views and gorgeous trails make this area well worth the visit; plus, as one of the Seven Natural […]

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February 26, 2019

The Best Warm and Breathable Fleece Jackets of 2019

Hiker puts on a North Face fleece

Why should you buy a fleece jacket? Fleece jackets are breathable, cozy and warm, which makes them a mid layer ideally suited to outdoor adventures when you need to adjust your outfit according to your level of exertion and the weather. Fleeces are also a stylish, everyday jacket option for people who live in colder […]

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