hiking

September 11, 2020

Gear I Hold Dear: My Compass

In 1992, I became plus-or-minus the 30th person to thru-hike the Colorado Trail. Though today the 485-mile trail is signed, marked, mapped and waypointed well enough that a hiker or mountain biker can travel all the way from Denver to Durango with minimal fear of experiencing orientational discombobulation, it wasn’t so three decades ago. The […]

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September 8, 2020

Best Hiking in Florida

Hikers on a trail in Florida

Florida doesn’t have the summit vistas, alpine lakes, red rock canyons or broad glacial valleys that define our nation’s other hiking hot spots. But if you’re not hitting the trail in the Sunshine State, you’re missing out. Mighty mountain landscapes are replaced with dense forests teeming with life, inky waterways that are home to alligators, […]

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August 20, 2020

Gear I Hold Dear: My Box of Maps

topo map

From where I sit, I can see the blue-blazed Northville-Placid Trail snaking through the rough-and-tumble High Peaks Wilderness Area in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. It jumps sky-blue streams and emerald-green meadows, passing three-sided lean-to shelters named for the water they overlook. I can pick out Big Eddy, a giant whirlpool along the Cold River, and […]

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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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August 5, 2020

The Best Hiking Gear for Dogs

adventure dog

You have good gear—why shouldn’t your doggo? Whether you’re in the market for a new leash or your fluffer’s first pack, find the perfect addition to Fido’s kit among these 10 staff picks. Wolfgang Man & Beast LokiWolf Collar Looking to upgrade your pooch’s necklace? Made in partnership with Loki the Wolfdog (of Instagram fame), […]

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July 28, 2020

How COVID-19 Could Impact Our Outdoor Habits

Person walking on a sidewalk

Editor’s note: Please consult the CDC or your state health department for information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. When spending time outdoors, please recreate responsibly. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 20-year-old Julia Madajczak, a Polish au pair working with a family in Virginia, liked spending time with friends outdoors. They’d hang out in the evenings, playing […]

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July 22, 2020

Good Gear: PrimaLoft Creates a New Way to Make Insulation More Sustainable

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. insulation

For more than 30 years, the process of creating synthetic insulation at PrimaLoft’s Vietnamese manufacturing facility was mostly unchanged. Webs of synthetic insulation would pass along giant conveyor belts, where they were teased by industrial-size hairbrushes and layered into sheets, before entering ovens the size of school cafeterias. Intertwined in the tangle of polyester fibers […]

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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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June 7, 2020

In Praise of Taking the Long Way

Hikers on a trail

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  When I lived in Los Angeles, I developed the habit of exploring the city by following a simple rule: Never get from start to finish the same way. There was beauty in covering 10 as-the-crow-flies miles in a meandering walk that often […]

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