20181004-BCBS-rookiebackpacking August 30th, 2019

4 Rookie Mistakes Made by First-Time Backpackers

“Where is it? It has to be here somewhere.” I was standing in a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park staring at a mess of gear strewn across the pavement. “Where’s the rainfly for the tent?” One thousand miles away in my apartment in Dana Point, Calif., that’s where it was. Because I didn’t double-check […]

HemphilBald1(O) August 23rd, 2019

10 (More) Amazing Hikes in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States, covering 520,000 acres and making up one of the most phenomenal outdoor playgrounds in our country. It’s a park that is filled with history, wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls, rivers, breathtaking views, and absolute magic. It’s an area so vast that […]

26645453056 e02ae2b17b o August 19th, 2019

Insider Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

From the rocky outcrops of the Talladega National Forest to the waterfalls of the Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama is home to many excellent backpacking trails that practically beg for an overnight adventure. If you’ve only done day hikes, however, a longer overnight trek through the backcountry can seem slightly intimidating. But with a little research and […]

201608_Lake_James_State_Park_Charlotte_CA_paddling July 26th, 2019

The Best Paddle-In Campgrounds in the Carolinas

Imagine unloading your kayak or canoe and setting up camp on an island in the middle of a mountain lake. A brilliant Carolina sunset reflects on crystal clear water as you finish tying off your hammock. Or maybe you’ve reached a coastal oasis accessible only by your own paddle power. At night, you fall asleep […]

20170804_Colorado_Leadville_Mt Elbert Camping July 19th, 2019

How to Elevate Your Backpacking and 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, […]

Vallecito Creek is ideal for day hikes and extended trips. July 12th, 2019

5 Awesome Durango Backpacking Trips To Do Before Summer Ends

Okay, Weekend Warrior, you know the drill: It's almost midweek and you’re already thinking ahead to the weekend’s adventures. But where to go this time? When there are so many choices around Durango and beyond, it’s easy to fall back on the usual suspects. So why not try something new? Here, five awesome Durango backpacking […]

San Francisco June 21st, 2019

Northern California Swimming Holes: 6 Spots to Beat the Heat

When the sun breaks through the fog and the thermometer climbs above 70, the normally steely waters surrounding San Francisco appear bright and tempting. At the slightest hint of summer weather, eager beachgoers flock to the city’s shores, only to realize that the fog is minutes from cloaking the city in a dismal gray, and—no […]

20171010_Washington_Shi Shi Beach_Camping -01 June 14th, 2019

How to Go Beach Backpacking

What’s better than a vacation on a tropical island, walking barefoot down a soft sandy beach, listening to the soft lapping of waves and seagulls, or spying breaching dolphins and curious seals in the surf? Ditching the beach crowds for your own private wilderness, and forgoing the ritzy resort hotel with its fuzzy bathrobes and […]

June 7th, 2019

The Best Summer Wildflower Hikes in Aspen

Mid- to late-July in the Elk Mountains—the Rocky Mountain range that stretches between Aspen and Crested Butte—is prime time for wildflowers. The Elks are widely considered to be one of Colorado’s lushest regions for flora, making it a must-visit destination for photographers, hikers, and anyone who can appreciate stunning scenery. Whether you're up for a […]

20170828_Backpacking_01 May 28th, 2019

8 Pro Tips for Spending a Year Living Out of Your Backpack

Taking a year to backpack abroad after college is an idea that just about every young person toys with at one point or another. After all, riding trains to places with unpronounceable names, tasting exotic foods, and meeting fascinating people in faraway places sure has more of a romantic appeal than growing your LinkedIn network […]

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