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Woman on top of Guadalupe Peak National Park.

Solo Backpacking: How to Safely Hike Alone (as a Woman or Otherwise)

Think you might want to go on a solo backpacking trip? We highly recommend it! It offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the outdoors at your own pace, listen to the sounds of nature, make new trail friends, and enjoy some quiet time with just you and your thoughts. I’m a big fan. But not everyone feels comfortable hiking or backpacking alone, especially women. But it’s not just women who are often afraid to embark upon a solo hiking adventure: people of color and LGBTQIA+ folks, even men from time to time, often feel uneasy on their own in the outdoors, too. Fortunately, there are ways to assuage that fear and go boldly into the backcountry with no company but your own. Here are a few tips on how to safely hike alone.

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Man hiking on a snowy ridge with a backdrop of mountains.

Hiking Spikes: What Kind of Traction Devices Do I Need for Winter Hiking?

Winter is a phenomenal time to get outdoors to explore. There are fewer people crowding trails, it’s quieter, the views are spectacular, and frankly, snow makes everything more magical. But if you don’t have the right gear, getting out to hike in snowy or icy conditions can seem scary. But it doesn’t have to! All you need are the right tools and gear to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground (literally). And that means hiking spikes. But if you’re wondering what kind of traction devices you need for winter hiking, we’ll break down the three main types, right here, right now.

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Backpackers on a hiking trail.

Backpacker Dictionary: 19 Popular Hiking Terms You Need to Know

Avid outdoorists are often guilty of getting so immersed in the culture of outdoor recreation that we throw around technical and highly specialized terms as if the whole world uses them in casual conversation. Usually, they don’t. Sorry about that. So we thought we’d throw together a quick backpacking dictionary full of commonly used hiking terms so if you’re new to the whole trail slang thang, you can nod knowingly when someone talks about getting beta for their thru-hike where they might have to do some bushwhacking and hope they don’t have to call SAR if they lose sight of the cairns. See what we mean? So read up and a carry on a hiking convo like a pro!

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sustainable snacks in compostable packaging: Shar trail mix

Sustainable Snacks in Compostable Packaging to Fuel Your Adventure

The best snacks for hiking aren’t always the best snacks for the planet. Take jerky, for example: a perennial hiker favorite, is made from animal protein and therefore extremely harmful to the environment. Other snacks, like trail mix, are packaged in wasteful single-serve bags. Even multi-serving hiking snacks are almost always sold in single-use plastic or foil-lined bags. So if you’re looking for more sustainable snacks to keep you fueled on the trail, check out these snacks in compostable packaging for more sustainable snacking.

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backpacking in Banff National Park in Canada

The Outdoor Guide to Layering: How to Layer for Outdoor Adventure

Winter is coming. And yeah, that oft-quoted phrase carries extra negative connotations this year (thanks, COVID). But the one thing it’s always mean: it’s gonna get cold. Even down here in Texas where, I kid you not, the high today is 44º. (Don’t laugh! That’s cold for those of us who can’t run far enough south to escape cold weather!) And though winter means more people will likely be hiding indoors this season, that’s certainly not necessary. In fact, for quiet, secluded trails and lots of vacancies at campgrounds, winter is a great time to get outside and beat the crowds. But the key to keeping the cold at bay during outdoor activities this season: our outdoor guide to layering.

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