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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 19, 2018

Here’s How the Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S. Earned Their Rank

A cyclist biking alongside a highway

Whether I’m running to the local co-op market to buy groceries, checking out a book from the library or meeting up with friends at the wine bar, chances are I’m going to ride my bike. That’s because I am fortunate to live in a centrally located neighborhood within a network of bike trails and bike-friendly […]

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September 18, 2018

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody & Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

I don’t often have a new favorite piece of gear; I have a …
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

2: A Unique Relationship

Bryce’s brother Tyler died in a climbing accident but because of his death, …
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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