KWEEN WERK on the Necessity of Representation in Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

Posted by BRI SULLIVAN

KWEEN WERK on the Necessity of Representation in Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

Parker McMullen Bushman, aka KWEEN WERK is a vibrant, joyful Black hiker and environmental educator who is setting out to discuss representation and education in conservation and outdoor recreation. Her spirit and love for the outdoors backs her message that outdoor recreation is for everyone and looks many different ways. We'll let Parker share about her finding her career path, finding her love for nature and more!  KWEEN is actually an acronym that stands for Keep Widening Environmental Engagement Narratives. I started KWEEN WERK because of my own experiences facing the drastic lack of representation in the Environmental Education and Outdoors Recreation...

Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire, on the Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail

Posted by BRI SULLIVAN

Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire, on the Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail

Meet Sirena Rana, Founder of Trails Inspire! Serena just published her book about the Arizona Trail (AZT) titled, "Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail", which highlights 30 of the most scenic and accessible parts of the AZT.⁠⁠⁠⁠We asked Sirena to share more about her journey to long trails, her book, and celebrating Arizona:  Like many in this state, I was not born here but I adore my adopted home. One of the best things about Arizona is the incredible variety of environments available for outdoor recreation. Want towering Saguaro cacti and exposed rock formations? Sky Island mountain ranges that rise thousands of...

How to Spot Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

How to Spot Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac

There's nothing worse than the most amazing hike you've ever been on ending with a giant poison ivy rash. Nothing. Worse. So I put my Girl Scout cap back on, and I compiled the ultimate guide to avoiding poisonous plants in the first place. Some quick basics - there's three common plants to watch out for: poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. They all share the same irritant, which is an oily sap called urushiol. Just one nanogram can cause a reaction, and it coats all parts of these plants. So, here's what to look for. Poison Ivy Think,...

15 Places Where You Can Enjoy Fall Colors

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

15 Places Where You Can Enjoy Fall Colors

Happy October! The month of spooky scaries, pumpkin flavored treats, and the prime-time of leaf-peeping (which is an actual term, by the way). It's my favorite time of year, which is why I rounded up the best places in the US for those magical fall colors. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas This forest is home to 1.2 million acres of fall wonderfulness. There's no shortage of reds and yellows among that white oak, shortleaf pine and river birch that live in the Ozark National Forest. Along with that, there are plenty of mountains, springs and rivers to keep you buys for...

Rock Stacking & What it Does to Nature

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

Rock Stacking & What it Does to Nature

Let's talk about rock stacking. There's lots of reasons that people stack rocks on top of each other out in the wilderness. And there's quite a few reasons why people shouldn't stack rocks on top of each other out in the wilderness. A long time ago - I'm talking ancient history - people stacked rocks, so it's not a new concept. Over the years, cairns ("mounds of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark") have had a lot of different purposes. They've been used to show explorers the way through new territory, to mark where something's been buried, to...

5 Myths About the Outdoors

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

5 Myths About the Outdoors

Legends and stories passed down through generations have lead us to believe some pretty wild things. I mean, I take everything my mom says as the 100% truth, so heck yeah, I believed eating carrots would give you x-ray vision. I, sadly, learned that this is not true, along with these five outdoor myths. MYTH: It's a-okay to leave orange peels on the ground outside. Yes, fruit peels/cores are biodegradable. No, you can't leave them wherever you please. If they aren't native to that ecosystem, then they're harmful to the wildlife in that area. Just pop it back in your...

The Best Hiking Snacks

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

The Best Hiking Snacks

When I'm planning on hiking my way through the weekend, I've got one thing on my mind - SNACKS. Sure, I've packed up all my gear, but I know that if I'm going to make it out on the trails, I'm going to need some darn good food. Here's my go-to list: Granola Granola is truly the hidden gem of all snacks. There are so many mixture options that it never gets boring. I've always got some granola on me, because 1) it's DELICIOUS and 2) it's a pretty good source of protein, fiber and iron. You can go the...

Would You Jump Off a Cliff Just Because Your Friends Did?

Posted by MIKAELA RULAND

Would You Jump Off a Cliff Just Because Your Friends Did?

My mom always asked me as a kid, “would you jump off a cliff just because all your friends did?”  I never jumped off a cliff with friends (helloooo, fear of heights!), but I definitely fell victim to my fair share of peer pressure over the course of my adolescence.  Now that I’m older, I recognize that doing something “just because everyone else is doing it” is silly, but that doesn’t mean the pressure isn’t still there.  Do it for the ‘gram! - it’s a phrase for a reason. We’ve all seen people on the internet do incredibly stupid things...

How Did People Hike Before the Internet?

Posted by MIKAELA RULAND

How Did People Hike Before the Internet?

I often wonder, "How did people hike before the internet?" as I’m scrolling through Instagram, taking screenshots of hikes to add to my bucket list. I follow mostly outdoorsy people on Instagram, and I’ve noticed that the popularity of trails comes in waves. One day I’ll see someone post a gorgeous picture of a trail I’ve never heard of before (which, I of course, screenshot and add to my list) and then in the coming weeks it seems like everyone I follow has hiked that trail. I start to get serious FOMO and knock the trail to the top few...

Let's Keep it Wild(life)

Posted by BROOKE EWING

Let's Keep it Wild(life)

There is nothing more exciting than a wildlife sighting in the actual wild. It beats the zoo by like 1000. We search out places where we might gain access to some of these animals in their natural habitats, or sometimes our meeting them is chance and unexpected. But there is a reason the term is WILDlife. Don't ruin the moment by being "that guy." You the one - the guy who tries to take a selfie with a bison, or pick up a rattlesnake, or collect all the starfish from the beach and take them home where they dry up...

Safety Tips for Hiking with Dogs

Posted by RYLEE STOULIL

Safety Tips for Hiking with Dogs

If you're about to hit the trails and want to take your furry friend with you, there are a lot of safety precautions that need to be taken. These are some guidelines for having the best hike possible with your pup. Gear Always have more water than you think you'll need. Your dog will need to take frequent water breaks, especially if it's hot. Make sure to have something for them to drink out of, like a collapsible bowl, with you too!  Always use a leash. Most trails require this anyway, but even if they don't, we think you should. It's...

Summer in the National Parks

Posted by BROOKE EWING

Summer in the National Parks

Summer is a great time to visit our National Parks, especially with kids. When Arizona goes postal with its 120-degree days, we take full advantage of summer break and head north.  We have a bucket list that includes some we've seen and some we haven't, and we are actively trying to see them all. Here's a little peek of what has made it to the top of that list over the years.  Acadia National Park (ME)  It's not the closest park to Arizona, I know. But everyone needs to see Maine in the summer, and Acadia is the best spot...

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