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...

How to Fuel Up For Outdoor Activities as Vegetarians and Vegans

Posted by ANNIE NGUYEN

How to Fuel Up For Outdoor Activities as Vegetarians and Vegans

Whether the reason(s) is out of love for animals, avoiding harm of sentient beings, weight loss, health, environmental consciousness, or other personal motives, switching to a plant-based diet is becoming more widely accepted. The most well-known options are vegetarian or vegan.  The diets in a nutshell Vegetarian: does not consume any formerly living creature with a brain. The most popular type is lacto-ovo-vegetarian, meaning the diet does not include any meat, seafood (would be pescetarian), or poultry, but does include dairy products and eggs.  Vegan: does not consume any formerly living creature with a brain nor any products from these...

So You’re a First Time Backpacker, Huh?

Posted by ERIN MAXSON

So You’re a First Time Backpacker, Huh?

Ah, yes. You’ve finally manned up and purchased your first backpacking backpack. You’re filled with excitement at the thought of wandering into the wilderness with nothing but your pack and some MREs.  That is until you pack up your backpack with all your gear, bend down to pick it up, and then fall back over. We’ve all been there.  Packing for your first backpack trip is exciting (and it should be!), but as a beginner backpacker, we all packed heavy duty equipment and gear, extras we didn’t really need, and tried to struggle our way through our first overnight hike. ...

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