outdoor activities

September 12, 2019

Where’s Debbie? A Look at the Volunteer Force Behind Northern California’s Downieville Classic

The Start Mountain bikes are everywhere: on car racks, in truck beds and vans, leaning against buildings, and pedaling up and down both lanes of this rural mountain highway. The ones with bibs zip-tied to the handlebars are about to race a 26.5-mile course that climbs 4,500 feet and descends 5,700 feet. It’s the first […]

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September 11, 2019

Dog-Friendly Hikes in Colorado

A dog hikes through a field of wildflowers.

Although it's difficult to officially poll them, we're pretty sure Colorado's dogs are some of the happiest pups around: There's no shortage of dog-friendly hikes to tackle in the Centennial State with your four-legged hiking buddy. With so many options to choose from, we turned to Hiking Project, REI’s digital trail guide and online hiking […]

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September 11, 2019

How to Use Bear Spray

A person holding a can of bear spray at the ready

If you spend time outdoors in bear country, particularly grizzly bear country, bear deterrent spray should be on your never-leave-home-without-it list. But, carrying it is not enough to keep bears away. You need to know how to use bear spray effectively, and without hesitation, because an up-close encounter with an aggressive bear is no time […]

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September 6, 2019

Best Hikes in Los Angeles

The foreground shows the narrow knife edge of the Devil's Backbone with the mountains landscape behind.

Despite its reputation for urban sprawl, greater Los Angeles is actually a hiking hotbed. From on-trail views of iconic landmarks to stunning waterfalls to rugged summits, hikers of all abilities have plenty of opportunities to get out of the city and explore. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top hikes in LA as […]

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September 6, 2019

This Backcountry Hut Has a Story to Tell

ast winter, on a ski tour in the backcountry outside of Whistler, British Columbia, Julie Brenninkmeyer crested a hill and spotted the Kees and Claire Hut for the first time. The cabin—which opens to the public on September 7—is located at the base of the jagged Fissile Peak on the edge of the glacially formed […]

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September 4, 2019

Uncommon Challenge: Take a Cot Instead of a Pad

Take a Cot Backpacking

hen I tell my friends that I’m bringing a cot on our backpacking trip, they laugh with delight. None of them have ever heard of a backcountry cot before, and as I struggle to find a place for the unusually large bundle in my overnight pack, teasing ensues. The story of how I got to […]

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September 1, 2019

11: A Woman Knows Her Place

Women are a lot of things. We’re complex, we’re coffee-fueled, we smell good—sometimes …
August 30, 2019

Are Green Spaces in Cities as Good for Us as Green Spaces in Mountains?

The Golden Gate Bridge in the mist

I’ve experienced it over and over again, and I bet you have too: When I’m going through something stressful, I find that one of the only things that really makes me feel better is getting outside. After I lost my job during a round of layoffs last year, I spent the following weeks trail running […]

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August 30, 2019

Gillian Larson Has Completed the Pacific Crest Trail Twice, on Horseback

Steep switchbacks flanked by tall evergreens slowed the progress of Gillian Larson, age 22, and her mother, Jodi Johnson, age 53, hiking the High Sierra Trail in the summer of 2013. As they plodded along, Larson's mom distracted her with the story of Heather "Anish" Anderson, who had just completed a thru-hike of the Pacific […]

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