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 25, 2019

Are Outdoor Preschools the Wave of the Future?

A child staring into the distance with sunglasses on

A group of toddlers waddle down a muddy path at Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, Oregon, alternating between moving at a snail’s pace and running full-speed ahead. A handful of parents and caregivers are standing back, letting the children lead the way. No one is in a hurry and there’s no obvious teaching […]

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February 17, 2019

Gear Review: Women’s REI Co-op Flash 45 and 55 Backpacking Packs

Whether you want to travel super light or feel super comfortable, you’re going to need the right backpacking pack for your outdoor adventures. And you’ll want your backpack to work as part of a seamless camping system that includes your pack, shelter, sleeping bag, pad, stove and other essentials. Together, these items comprise your core […]

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February 15, 2019

Would You Create Your Own Thru-Hike?

Thru hiker with pack on walks across cracked desert, mountain in the background.

Minutes after beginning the descent into an 800-foot canyon that's home to Big Jacks Creek, a piercing rattle forced Jason “Ras” Vaughan to freeze. He could see the snake curled between rocks only a few feet ahead. Up on the ridge his wife, Kathy Vaughan, was waiting to find out if there was a safe […]

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February 14, 2019

Your Outdoor Love Stories

Three people leaning against a wall that says "no parking," laughing.

  Editor’s Note: Stories have been lightly edited for length and clarity. Whether holding hands with your kiddo during their first hike or bumping into the person who becomes your partner on a summit, many of us have that one most magical moment of love. This season, we’re celebrating those small moments, when love takes […]

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February 11, 2019

Would You Thru-Hike the PCT for Your Honeymoon?

The couple hugs with a backdrop of tall, snow topped mountains.

REI members Kathleen Ughetta and Andrew Wood were married December 15, 2018 in Lake Placid, New York. Their love story unfolded in the great outdoors. And it began in elementary school. Ughetta remembers Wood playing high above her on the monkey bars in fourth grade at Lafayette School in Chatham, New Jersey—and Wood doesn’t. But […]

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January 30, 2019

Why Has No One Completed a Winter Thru-Hike of the CDT?

Lone thru hiker walks through snow with bright blue sky in the background.

Postholing through feet of snow in cold rain, wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour winds, cold snaps that would eventually lead to frostbite—and that was just a few weeks of Justin “Trauma” Lichter’s winter thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2015. In other words, a winter thru-hike can simply be considered […]

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