Backpacking

Discomfort: A Call for LGBTQ+ Representation in the Outdoor Community

Let’s talk about discomfort.
For the outdoor community, discomfort has long manifested as: rain, freezing temperatures, endless climbs, swarms of bugs, swollen feet, lack of hygiene, norovirus, snakes, Rocksylvania, empty water caches, fatigue, broken gear, lack of good coffee, and the occasional annoying hiker. When a cisgender heterosexual white male sets foot on a trail, he will encounter some or all of the above. He chooses to experience discomfort. He weighs the pros and cons of those discomforts, ...

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Solo Distance Hiking and Kids: Six Things I Learned

There is nothing quite like a good, long backpacking adventure. Everything from the physical exertion to the trail’s beauty is rewarding and rejuvenating. Be it a day, long weekend, or something of the thru-hike variety; it is an experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. But what happens when pursuing this enriching endeavor means choosing between time with a child and time on trail?
Like many of us, I find solace in the woods and I am a better human (and mother) because of it. ...

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Gear Review: HOKA ONE ONE Torrent

The Torrent is HOKA ONE ONE’s foray into their version of minimalist footwear, and its introduction in 2018 showcased a shoe unlike any of HOKA’s maximalist, heavily cushioned trail runners. The Torrent is light—9 ounces each for a men’s size 9—and skips a rock plate in an effort to shave weight. The stack height is 23/18mm for the men’s Torrent, compared with 32/28 mm for HOKA’s flagship Speedgoat 4. The result is a pared-down trail runner with excellent stability and a feel for the trail, ...

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Out There: A Voice from the Wild by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend (born 1949) is the hiking author who’s influenced me most. He’s written over 20 books, including Cicerone guidebooks,  and countless articles I started with High Summer: Backpacking The Canadian Rockies (1989). He’s most famous for The Backpacker’s Handbook. But If you’ve never read Chris Townsend, I’d recommend you start with Out There: A …

The Kindness of the AT Community

I started writing this post back in May, the week after Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK. The theme for this year was Kindness. I attended a webinar on this theme and was amazed by how interesting the topic was. My key takeaway was that being kind to others not only helps them out but also improves your own mental health. And that kindness is, and always will be, far more contagious than COVID-19. ...

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SHT Gear List

I will begin my Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) thru-hike in precisely seven days. As of June 1, the SHT Association recommends that SHT users #RecreateResponsibly.
The intention of this hike is to raise money and awareness for PGM ONE, People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, and Environment. I don’t work for PGM One.
By hiking the SHT, I am choosing to speak out against racial injustice in the United States—brought to light by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

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Appalachian Trail Workers Get ATC Approval to Resume Maintenance

Volunteer trail workers have been given the go-ahead by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to resume maintenance on the Appalachian Trail, months after trail work was suspended in late March because of COVID-19.
The ATC said in a post here on Friday, June 26, that trail maintainers would be expected to follow health and safety guidelines set by the National Park Service and the ATC.
The ATC statement on trail work came more than a week after the trail organization said here that it was likely within the next few weeks to recommend that thru-hikers and all other hikers can return to the AT “assuming there are no significant negative changes in the current (COVID) trends.”
Access to the trail has reopened gradually in past weeks, ...

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Climbing Mt Arrowsmith, Vancouver Island

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.  Mount Arrowsmith 1,819 m (5,968 ft) is the most prominent peak seen from my parents home in Vancouver Island. It’s close to Port Alberni, B.C. The most popular hike to the top is called Judges Route.  Details. 6-7 km (4 miles) roundtrip elevation gain 1,000m (3,280ft) Finding the trailhead can be …
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