backpacking

August 6, 2020

Gear I Hold Dear: My Flash 52 Backpack

rei co-op flash 55

I don’t get warm fuzzies when I reach for my Flash 52, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. This pack has steadied me as I shimmied across cliffs, and carried my filthy-wet gaiters when I couldn’t bear to touch them myself. It’s helped me reach distant campsites that seemed beyond my range. It […]

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June 22, 2020

Tested: The Best Backpacking Tents of 2020

backpacking tents

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path. Take the long way home with the year’s best backpacking tents. These eight dependable shelters prove that you don’t need to sacrifice quality in order to create the perfect backcountry living space. Our 15 member-testers spent last summer and fall evaluating […]

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March 11, 2020

Best Hikes in Montana

Wildfloweres bloom on the hills over the turquoise Grinnell Lake

Montana’s web of rivers, lakes, mountains and meadows means you could throw a dart at the state map and end up with a bucket-list adventure. And with more than 10,366 miles of trail cataloged on REI’s Hiking Project alone, you may need to resort to dart throwing. Or start here. We’ve rounded up some of […]

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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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January 29, 2020

Top Hikes in France

THe rugged mountain peaks of the French Alps.

France's varied and beautiful terrain makes it hard to pick only a handful of hikes to highlight. From the sun-soaked French Riviera and the rugged French Alps to the rolling hills and meadows of the central provinces and the sheer, white-chalk cliffs of Normandy, the opportunity for exploration is practically endless. Add the country's history, […]

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July 2, 2019

In Search of the Perfect Sports Bra

A variety of sports bras.

I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with one sports bra. Yes, one. For six months. Am I crazy? Probably. But that’s beside the point, which is that I searched for the perfect bra for months, and when I found it, it was all I needed. Of course, I didn’t realize finding it was going to be […]

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June 25, 2019

The 7 Coolest New Products for Backpackers We Found at Outdoor Retailer

Black Diamond ReVolt 350

We scoured the massive show floor of last week’s Outdoor Retailer trade show in Denver in search of the most exciting pieces of backpacking gear hitting shelves—and trails—in the coming months. From stoves to sleeping pads to backpacks, the innovation of your favorite brands didn’t disappoint. Backpacking gear is getting lighter, more comfortable and more […]

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June 11, 2019

The Best Snack Hacks for Any Outdoor Adventure

Snack Hacks for Any Outdoor Adventure

Few things inspire as much passion as adventure snacks. They’re a great way to motivate and reward yourself, friends and kids during your outdoor adventures. We asked REI employees and members how they get creative with trail snacks and they delivered. Use these ideas to spice up your next outdoor excursion, or to come up […]

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May 16, 2019

Beat Bugs: Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent

Thermacell Radius resting on moss on a gray rock.

The sun was setting over a still, high-desert lake along the Pacific Crest Trail, 15 or so miles south of Timberline Lodge, Oregon. It was August 2018, I was well into my 24-hour birthday hike, and I wanted to enjoy the last rays and a snack before trekking on into the night. I sat down […]

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