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March 6, 2020

Best Hikes Near Palm Springs

You’d be forgiven for believing California’s Palm Springs is only about second homes, swimming pools and midcentury modern architecture. After all, the Coachella Valley’s unofficial capital has houses enough for double its number of actual residents, and 90 percent of those homes feature some kind of pool. But there is so much more to do […]

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February 29, 2020

My Experience on NOLS’ First-Ever Leaders of Color Backpacking Trip

Four women pose with heavy packs beneath a bright-blue sky

n day four of a recent New Mexico backpacking trip, my hiking boots heavy and wet, I paused to catch my breath on the banks of the Gila River and realized I was seeing something I’d never witnessed before: Nine people of color, carrying more than 400 pounds on their backs, crossing a river dozens […]

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February 26, 2020

How to Find Less Crowded Trails

Two hikers taking a break on a trail in the mountains

During these challenging times of spending long hours in our homes and keeping our distance from others, hiking can offer a welcome respite of fresh air, exercise and a chance to clear our minds. Even cities taking the most strict measures for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic acknowledge the benefits of getting outdoors: “Spending […]

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February 26, 2020

How to Find Less Crowded Trails

Two hikers taking a break on a trail in the mountains

Searching for a peaceful wilderness experience only to end up feeling like you’re at an amusement park is a serious buzzkill. With hiking rising in popularity around many high-density metropolitan areas and in national parks, popular and easily accessible trails are getting overrun. If you’re looking to escape the hordes but aren’t sure how to […]

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February 25, 2020

Best Hikes in Italy

The sun sets behind rocky spires with two lakes in the foreground.

Hiking in Italy is a breath of fresh air. Literally. From the crisp, high alpine winds to the warm Tuscan coastal breezes, a trip to the boot can leave you refreshed, relaxed and content like few other destinations. If you’re heading to the northern end of the country, be prepared for mountainous terrain and variable […]

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February 22, 2020

Camp Recipe: Maple Glazed Trail Mix

Maple glazed trail mix in reusable bag

This sweet and crunchy oven-baked trail mix is the perfect on the go snack. Loaded with maple glazed nuts, tart dried cherries, and dark chocolate chips, this mix is way better than store-bought—and way cheaper. This trail mix has the taste and texture of a deconstructed KIND bar. Maple glazed almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and […]

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February 20, 2020

REI Presents: Venture Out

Venture Out Project participants at Mt Ida

In 2014, I quit my corporate job and decided to make a huge life change. I was tired of running on a virtual, and also very real, treadmill every day. I was tired of sitting under fluorescent lights daydreaming about a life in the mountains. I was tired of not living my life authentically, of not being true […]

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February 14, 2020

At Home on the Appalachian Trail

Miss Janet poses in front of her van in an aqua shirt

For the past eight years, Janet Hensley has lived in a van from March to November, never straying more than a few minutes from the Appalachian Trail (AT). The 56-year-old trail volunteer spends most days shuttling hikers from trailheads to hostels, doling out trail magic—small but significant acts of service—among the thru-hiking community, tallying 40,000 […]

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February 13, 2020

First Look: The 6 Coolest Winter Camping Products We Saw at Outdoor Retailer

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro Stove

We’ll be the first to admit: Winter camping is a little bit masochistic. But these new pieces of gear are designed to make it a little more bearable, if not downright fun. The North Face Assault 2P Tent Waking up and crawling out of your tent to freshly fallen snow is one of the best […]

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