Uncommon Path

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 16, 2020

Innovators: Tim Leatherman

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  Like microbreweries and chocolate shops, the Leatherman factory in Portland, Oregon, offers public tours. Visitors come to watch silver ribbons of steel cut into intricate shapes by a massive press that booms like a giant’s footsteps, applying 300 tons of pressure with […]

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June 7, 2020

Head to Head: This Little Light of Mine

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  1. Best for Running: BioLite HeadLamp 330 Weight: 2.4 oz. (with batteries) Battery: Lithium-ion rechargeable Max brightness: 330 lumens Max burn time on lowest setting: 40 hours Price: $59.95 For nighttime jogs, you’ll want a headlamp that has good front-to-back balance with […]

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June 7, 2020

Material Science: Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Systems

sleep systems

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  The Sleeping Bag Many bags you’ll find at REI come with two temperature ratings: one for comfort and one for a lower limit. The labeling looks like this. Comfort Rating (T-Comfort): If the ambient air temp outside is this number or higher, […]

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June 7, 2020

Uncommon Challenge: Shifting Gears

bike commuting

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  y bike tottered. My screaming quads and rasping lungs made their opinion very clear: No gear was low enough for this hill. I was biking through SeaTac, Washington, on my way from Seattle to REI Headquarters in Kent, where I’d started working […]

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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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June 7, 2020

This Land Is MILCK’s Land

Singer-songwriter Connie Lim

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  Singer-songwriter Connie Lim, who performs as MILCK, became a leader of the Women’s March movement when her song “Quiet” became the inaugural uprising’s anthem in 2017 and garnered 14 million views in just two days. The song gave a voice to women […]

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June 7, 2020

Photo Essay: Greetings from America

White Sands National Park

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  Using memories from her childhood summer road trips as a narrative spine, photographer Jennifer Emerling creates her own contemporary “postcards.” For this ongoing project, she looks to capture shared instances of joy, traveling to places where tourists from around the world converge. […]

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May 13, 2020

Baby’s First Thru-Hike

The Muldoons in front of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the culmination of their Camino Francés hike.

A version of this story appeared in the summer 2020 issue of Uncommon Path.  Ever since they met while studying abroad, REI members Pablo and Rachel Muldoon talked about trekking the Camino de Santiago, a network of trails established by religious pilgrims in the Middle Ages. Of the many routes—all leading to the saint’s purported tomb […]

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