March 26, 2021

Gear I Hold Dear: My Camping Pillow

my camping pillow

I always thought that camping was supposed to be uncomfortable. Everything from abandoning four walls and a mattress to rubbing your heels raw from big miles in big boots to sticking to the plan even when the skies open requires some amount of resilience. I believed that part of the glory of backpacking is in […]

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March 11, 2021

First Look: New Hiking Boots from REI Co-op

The secret is in the name. When Isabelle Portilla and her team of product designers and strategists began noodling on the idea of building REI Co-op’s first-ever footwear line, they went straight to the heart of the business: co-op members. “They told us they were ready for us to enter the footwear space,” says Portilla, […]

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March 9, 2021

Gear I Hold Dear: The Pocket Burrito

pocket burrito

Don’t choke on your granola bar. This is serious. I know the internet is filled with controversial opinions, and I don’t mean to add to the noise, but when it comes to gear that is literally held, there is nothing dearer than a burrito. Simply extricate it from your pocket (or the top lid or […]

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March 2, 2021

A Favorite REI Pack Gets a Sustainable Upgrade

Two women dancing on the beach; one of them wears the undyed Flash 22 pack from REI Co-op

Like most good ideas, the latest version of the REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack started out as an accident. In the summer of 2019, the REI materials team fielded a call from their textile mill in Daegu, South Korea. The glitch? The mill had accidentally made too much of a highly technical, bluesign®-certified fabric while […]

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February 11, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Personal Locator Beacons and Satellite Communicators

Garmin inReach Mini

Nobody ever wants to have to call for help on an adventure. But when you do need a hand—whether it’s because you missed a turn and can’t find your way back or because you took a tumble and broke a leg—you’d better make sure whatever lifeline you have works. That’s where a personal locator beacon […]

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January 22, 2021

A Climb for Greater Accessibility

Quinn Brett enjoys a reflective mountain panorama at Lawn Lake

n a breezy October day, professional big-wall climber Quinn Brett clipped the climbing rope for protection at the bottom of the Boot Flake, an exposed pitch about halfway up the iconic Nose route on El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park. Brett and her climbing partner Josie McKee moved fast and light up the 3,000-foot […]

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January 22, 2021

Hiking Through Illness

The cancer diagnosis felt like the ultimate betrayal. I was a healthy, active, middle-age woman who seldom got sick. In the summer of 2020, I learned I had cancer in my lungs though I’d never smoked a day in my life. Nothing had prepared me for this. I instinctively began thinking through all the things […]

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January 15, 2021

Op-Ed: Why Communities Need One-Time Emergency Park Funding

Two runners wind their way through a community park in Austin

This Op-Ed represents the opinions of The Trust for Public Land. When the pandemic upended the ways that Americans work and play, people turned to parks. As museums, performance halls and gyms closed, green spaces offered their own kind of theater in the dance of light on a stand of pines, their own music in […]

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December 30, 2020

Recreate Responsibly: An Activity-Specific Guide

Two people and dog snowshoeing in wooded area.

Editor’s note: This article was first published on May 29, 2020. It was updated on Dec. 30, 2020 with the latest winter guidelines for responsible recreation. With winter in full swing, many continue to venture outside to ski, snowshoe, hike or play in the snow—and find solace in nature during the current pandemic. But spending […]

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