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The veteran of more than 20 long-distance wilderness hikes, Liz Thomas knows how to navigate the most remote, wild places on earth. In 2011, she set the record for the fastest female thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and she’s gone on to make a living as...

Blog

Brandon Brown’s approach to building bikes is as much a life philosophy as it is a principle of mechanics. “When your system is stiff, if one thing goes off—that creates friction, and friction binds,” he says.  “Building some flexibility into the system makes the whole thing run smoother....

Blog

Lisa Bauman-Cook has spent thousands of hours crawling, shimmying, scrambling, and rappelling into caves across the western United States. But do not call her a spelunker. 

That term, she says, was coined by mid-20th-century tourism boosters to entice customers into caves. As a result, in...

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We were honored to welcome Rue Mapp to our annual conference of volunteers last week. Mapp is the founder of Outdoor Afro, a national social network that connects African American outdoor lovers to nature—and each other. 

Mapp launched Outdoor Afro as...

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There’s something about time spent in nature that makes us feel better. Whether it’s a quick stroll around the block to think through a problem or a weekend in the wilderness to clear your head, you’ve probably experienced a boost just from getting outdoors. But why?

It’s a question that...

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If you’ve ever explored a national park—especially one of the busier ones, like Yosemite or Yellowstone—you might have noticed all kinds of staff working to make your visit a good one: from the friendly face that greeted you at the entrance gate, to trail crews and firefighters, botanists and...

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Tim Kovar is afraid of heights.

It wouldn’t be remarkable—most of us get a little nervous off the ground—except that Kovar makes a living teaching people how to climb trees. From the towering redwoods of the California coast to the steamy Amazon Basin, Kovar has introduced more than 10,...

Firewatch, by Campo Santo
Blog

No surprise for a bunch of park people, we’re usually the last to know about a new video game. We level up with a steep hike, and our idea of multiplayer is Frisbee on the grass. So when does the virtual world catch our eye? Well, when it looks like this:

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Kids play in a stream at Storymill Park
Blog

A decade ago, Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods sounded the alarm: our culture's increasing alienation from the natural world is taking a toll on our kids. In the wake of the book's success, Louv co-founded the Children & Nature Network—and this month, Louv released his...

Two men hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Blog

If there’s anything we appreciate more than the Appalachian Trail, it’s the dedicated volunteers who maintain it. Jim Sullivan is one of them. In August of 2013, he was working on a stretch of the trail that runs through Stamford, Vermont, when he came across a “For Sale” sign in the trailhead...

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