5 Ways to Beat the Cold on Winter Hikes

5 Ways to Beat the Cold on Winter Hikes

When winter arrives hiking and backpacking just get better. On high mountain trails, the bare trees allow you to see for miles, and the cold, clear air creates perfect conditions for brilliant sunsets. Plus, you don’t have to suffer the heat and mosquitoes that descend on trails in summer. Still, some people avoid trails in winter because they think cold temperatures will make them uncomfortable. But, if you take certain steps and follow the advice of seasoned hikers, you can beat the cold and remain warm, content and safe during cold weather. As you contemplate a winter outing, consider the following five tips offered by veteran hikers. 1. Layer Your Clothing The key to staying comfortable on the trail in winter is to regulate your

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5 Backpacking Skills to Master in the New Year

5 Backpacking Skills to Master in the New Year

If you're new to backpacking and you've done a short trip or two, you might be eager to try a more challenging hike. Maybe you want to do a longer trip and backpack for a week or longer. Or, perhaps you'd like to explore a place that's more remote and wild, such as a Wilderness area. If you're going to go big, you need to improve your backpacking knowledge and skills. As you hike more miles, tackle tougher terrain, and move farther away from civilization, you'll face more obstacles, and you and your hiking partners will have to rely on your own know-how to overcome them. Make this the year that you take your backpacking skills to the next level to travel more safely and

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10 Tips for a Successful Family Camping Trip

10 Tips for a Successful Family Camping Trip

For many of us, some of our fondest memories of growing up come from camping with our families. You just have to smile when you recall the fun of jumping into a cool lake on a hot summer day, chasing fireflies under a starry night sky, or making S’mores around an open campfire. Even if you’re not a hardcore outdoors person, you can make those same memories for your family. The key is to put some effort into planning your camping trip so that it will be memorable, fun for everyone, as stress-free as possible, and safe. Here are 10 tips for taking a successful family camping trip. 1. Make a Dry Run…or Two It can be a little frightening for children to sleep outside

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Winter Camping: Pro Tips on Staying Warm and Savoring the Solitude

Winter Camping: Pro Tips on Staying Warm and Savoring the Solitude

Winter Camping Pro Tips: Winter doesn’t mean the camping season is over. With proper gear and planning, savvy outdoor lovers can immerse themselves in nature year-round—and savor the solitude and serenity of a winter landscape almost all to themselves. Cold weather camping is quiet and peaceful, and comes at slow, even introspective pace, since most other campers are long gone, but the sunsets are every bit as beautiful, and the campfires are even more comforting. Here’s how to do it, without dropping a bundle on gear. 1. Remove the Fear. Our instincts are a major obstacle to winter camping—and for good reason. Hypothermia and frostbite are very real threats for the ill prepared. Luckily, staying safe and comfortable does not require much beyond some solid

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Start a New Tradition with a Campfire Holiday Feast

Start a New Tradition with a Campfire Holiday Feast

Campfire Holiday Feast – We can all agree that tradition is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Sharing a tradition builds family bonds and provides the comfort of familiarity, but after a while the years can start to blur together until no one can remember what year Uncle Johnny lit the neighbor’s yard on fire deep frying a turkey, or when Grandma’s pecan pie won first prize in the county fair. And while carrying out the traditions themselves can be more cherished than the secret family recipe they are built around, every once in awhile, change can be a welcome breath of fresh air. We believe in the invigorating power of that fresh air, which is why we are proposing something a

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How to Elevate Your Backpacking and Camping Food Game

How to Elevate Your Backpacking and Camping Food Game

Elevate your camping food game – Food tastes better in the outdoors… we’re pretty sure it’s science. But no matter how delicious your favorite freeze-dried meal is, or how much you swear by tortillas and peanut butter, trying something new never hurts. It’s easy to enhance backcountry meals without much extra effort. Whether you’re car camping, out for a backcountry weekend, or in it for the long haul, here are a few ways to elevate your food game during your next trip. 1. Car Camping The sky’s the limit regarding weight/packability when car camping. Get a good cooler, bring a spare fuel canister, and stash a few extra garbage bags to pack out waste. Prep each meal as much as possible Prepping meals at home

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Why I Couldn’t Wait for My Daughter to Join the Boy Scouts

Why I Couldn't Wait for My Daughter to Join the Boy Scouts

“Mom—is this for real?” That was the text message my Eagle Scout son, who was halfway across the country serving in the military, sent me on the day that became a life-altering moment for our family. He was referring to the announcement that girls would be able to join all programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). This was stunning news. My 10-year-old daughter, Michaela, was in school at the time. I immediately sent an email to her teacher asking her to tell Michaela these words: “You get to earn your Eagle.” When Michaela first heard it, she couldn’t believe it. “I sat at my desk thinking it must be a joke. Then, I felt excitement rush over me like a wave. I

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Brew Guide to Making the Best Camp Coffee

Brew Guide to Making the Best Camp Coffee

Brew Guide On chilly mornings, unzipping your sleeping bag can feel more daunting than the miles you’re about to put in on the trail. Unless you’re the type that relishes leaping out of your tent into the predawn air, you probably need the promise of a warm cup of coffee to lure you out of your warm nest. Fortunately, brewing in the backcountry (or frontcountry) can be just as easy as brewing in your kitchen—only with much better scenery. Few experiences can match stealing a few moments of morning stillness on the edge of an alpine lake, coffee in hand, as you prepare for your day on the trail. Here, a guide to brewing camp coffee that’s tasty enough to savor while you watch the

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Motorcycle Adventures in Southwest Virginia

Motorcycle Adventures in Southwest Virginia

Motorcycle adventures in Sturgis, South Dakota, is what pops into most people’s minds when they think of motorcycle rallies. While this rip roaring party of a motorcycle rally is perhaps the most iconic, it hardly speaks for the lot of ‘em—there are a variety of places and ways to embark on a motorcycle adventure across our grand country. If you’re on the hunt for a spot steeped in natural beauty with options from serene rides to blood-pumping dirt road adventures, look no further than Southwest Virginia. Housing key sections of the increasingly well-known Dragon Motorcycle Series and offering some of the most customizable motorcycle touring you can get, zooming through Southwest Virginia on two wheels is a trip to remember. Two Slices of the Dragon

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Trail Gourmet: Southern Recipes Perfect for Camping

Trail Gourmet: Southern Recipes Perfect for Camping

Southern camp recipes that are sure to inspire even the pickiest of eaters. Long-distance backpackers regularly joke about the things they can’t wait to eat when they get off the trail. And let’s face it—just about any restaurant menu sounds better than the same old noodles you’ve been eating for a week. Not to worry, though—there’s a way to stay on the trail and satisfy those cravings at the same time. Forget the freeze-dried pasta and boring hot dogs: these Southern-leaning dishes are not only delicious, they’re a cinch to make outdoors. (Note: The following recipes yield about 2 hearty servings each.) Cheesy Grits Grits are a Southern favorite, and while they can be eaten any time of day, there’s nothing like a savory breakfast

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