13 articles Tag outdoors

Portland: Plenty of Water in this West Coast City

Portland: Plenty of Water in this West Coast City

Since moving to Portland less than a year ago, I’m still in awe of the nearly constant presence of water. It falls from the sky, though not nearly as much as I expected, and it pools up in small ponds around town, and some wetlands a bit farther out. But water’s real presence can mostly be found in the rivers. As an inner Southeast Portland dweller, that mostly means the Willamette, and occasionally the Columbia. …

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Clothing for Winter Hiking: What to Wear

Clothing for Winter Hiking: What to Wear

Even with snow and rain and ice, hiking in the winter can be a great way to stay in shape and enjoy the outdoors. You just have to be prepared. And that brings up the question, what clothing to wear? I’ve been hiking in winter for many years, and here’s what I’ve found almost always works. Avoid Bulk I was a Boy Scout, and they taught us the mantra “layers, not bulk.” Big bulky coats, …

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REI’s Flash 18 Day Pack

REI’s Flash 18 Day Pack

Rating: 4/5 Pretty Darn Nice I’ve used this pack to summit Colorado 14er Long’s Peak and for many smaller day hikes. Its so light and packable, you can bring it with you inside your overnight backpack for a day hiking pack option. This is a frameless, basic pack, really just a stuff sack with shoulder straps. That makes it very light and versatile, which all works well as long as you don’t need to carry …

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Hike: Dowdy Draw-Spring Brook Loop, Boulder, Colorado

Hike: Dowdy Draw-Spring Brook Loop, Boulder, Colorado

This is a great after-work hike if you live nearby, or a mild weekend hike if you only have a couple of hours. You’ll find nice open areas with views of the mountains and a bit of ponderosa pine forest on the Spring Brook portion as well. These trails are very popular with mountain bikers, so be careful when coming around the bends. Quick Facts Hike Dowdy Draw-Spring Brook Loop Highlights Open views, prairie with …

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Book Review: The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka

The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide By Andrew Skurka Published 2012 Full color, 224 pages Publisher: National Geographic This is the book I wish I had years ago when I first started backpacking. Read The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, and you may look at backpacking differently. This is not a day hiker’s book. It’s really for a subset of backpackers, what the author calls Ultimate Hikers. Ultimate Hiking is his term for those seeking a lighter …

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Packing List, Rocky Mountain National Park (3 Nights, Summer)

Here’s a list that worked well for me on an easy four day/three night hike with a single back country site in Rocky Mountain National Park. What you bring will depend on the time of year and location. This was a relatively easy hike with warm and dry conditions, although I was prepared for rain. Note: bear canisters are required for food storage for back country camping inside Rocky Mountain National Park. The extra weight …

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Hike: Lawn Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Hike: Lawn Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

A nice mountain hike through varied forest to an alpine lake, with interesting eroded areas due to a 1982 dam failure. A long uphill climb brings you to a high valley surrounded by high peaks and with with scenic vistas to the South. Allow most of the day and watch for quickly changing weather conditions. Quick Facts Hike Lawn Lake Location Rocky Mountain National Park, off Old Fall River Road Map GPS, trailhead 40.407059,-105.626857 Overall …

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Hike: Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

Hike: Blue Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

A stunning trek hike through taiga forest to an alpine lake, complete with late snowfields, a waterfall on the far bank, all surrounded by towering peaks. This trail is not too difficult for most hikers, yet the elevation gain can be quite taxing. You’ll be rewarded by impressive views and if you’re hiking in summer, the wildflowers are spectacular as you approach the lake. Quick Facts Hike Blue Lake Location Indian Peak Wilderness, accessed via …

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Kahtoola MICROspikes® for Winter Hiking

Rating: 5/5 You’ll love them! I’ve been using Kahtoola MICROspikes® for a few years, and they really help make icy winter hikes a lot more enjoyable. MICROspikes® are basically small crampons (spiked cleats that attach over a hiking boot or shoe) made easy. They consist of a rubber fitting and some chains that hold the 3/8 inch (10 mm) spikes in place underneath the sole of the boot. They have smaller spikes and are more …

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Hike: Chautauqua Trail Loops (Boulder, Colorado)

Hike: Chautauqua Trail Loops (Boulder, Colorado)

A spectacular Open Space and Mountain Park system around Boulder, Colorado gives residents and visitors access to mountain hikes just outside the city. Chautauqua Park provides access to many of the hiking trails on the foothills (west) side. There are many loop combinations from this trailhead, so you can make it a very short walk or a longer hike, depending on what you feel like and how much time you have. The city trails also …

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