Reviews

The best travel films for hikers and nature lovers to watch during self-quarantine

Posted by on Apr 9, 2020 @ 6:35 am in Film Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

The best travel films for hikers and nature lovers to watch during self-quarantine

While some may miss the bustling chaos of city life during the worldwide lockdown, others sheltering in place can’t wait to break out of their cabins and into the great outdoors — void of walls and screens. It may be awhile before we can break free and run wild — and in less than 6 feet of one another. But in the meantime, we can turn to storytellers and movie makers who have made some of the world’s most stunning, natural surroundings into secondary characters in their films. In many of the movies, a protagonist sets off on a...

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“Through the Great Southwest:” A Documentary about The Arizona Trail

Posted by on Apr 8, 2020 @ 6:49 am in Film Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

“Through the Great Southwest:” A Documentary about The Arizona Trail

Through the Great Southwest is a newly released documentary film in which Darwin Rakestraw makes his directorial debut, in partnership with the Arizona Trail Association. The film follows the community behind the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) that spans the length of Arizona, between Mexico and Utah. A trail deeply diverse in geography and history, the AZT is truly a modern multipurpose trail—loved and used by an array of hikers, runners, riders, equestrians, and supporters from across the state. The film showcases the stunning...

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100 Hikes of a Lifetime by National Geographic

Posted by on Feb 18, 2020 @ 5:53 am in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

100 Hikes of a Lifetime by National Geographic

This ultimate hiker’s guide, from the celebrated Appalachian Trail to Micronesia’s secluded Six Waterfalls Hike, treks through 100 energizing experiences for all levels. Filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, wisdom from expert hikers like Andrew Skurka, need-to-know travel information, and practical wildlife-spotting tips, this inspirational guide offers the planet’s best experiences for hikers and sightseers. From short day hikes–California’s Sierra High Route, Lake Agnes Teahouse in Alberta, Norway’s Mt. Skala–to multiday...

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The Outdoor Books that Shaped the Last Decade

Posted by on Dec 27, 2019 @ 9:15 am in Book Reviews, Conservation | 0 comments

The Outdoor Books that Shaped the Last Decade

Digital media continued its march across the cultural landscape in the past decade, but its proliferation didn’t diminish the importance of books—even if these days we’re thumbing through real pages less often than we’re swiping pixels on our screens. Books challenge our perceptions and paradigms, provoke curiosity, and inspire action. And for many of us, engaging with big ideas felt more important during this decade than ever before. These stories made us marvel at the seemingly impossible limits of the human body and feel enthralled with...

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Stories of the Appalachian Trail: A Recommended Book List

Posted by on Oct 24, 2019 @ 7:06 am in Book Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

Stories of the Appalachian Trail: A Recommended Book List

Thru-hikers and section hikers always have a story about what brought them to the trail. The Appalachian Trail in particular is swarming with folklore, so nearly everyone remembers the first story they heard about the 2,000+ mile footpath that weaves uninterrupted from Georgia to Maine. Sometimes the magic is captivated in a single moment; for others several instances over time bound them closer and closer to the trail. You may find magic in the words and stories of others. Reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson you may be intrigued. You...

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12 books that are the perfect gift for your favorite hiker

Posted by on Oct 23, 2018 @ 9:10 am in Book Reviews | 0 comments

12 books that are the perfect gift for your favorite hiker

As it turns out, Americans really like to hike. In 2016 the Pew Research Center found that half of Americans had gone on at least one hike the year before. And it’s not just hyperactive 20-somethings. Another study revealed that nearly every age group likes hiking the same amount. With numbers that widespread, it’s likely that you’ve got someone in your life that finds peace while trekking through the outdoors. So whether it’s your active teenage niece, your spiritual, 30-something friend, or your walk-loving...

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Just Off for a Walk by Stephen Reynolds

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 @ 12:40 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Just Off for a Walk by Stephen Reynolds

Perhaps you’re planning a trip to the United Kingdom in your future, and looking for a chance to explore the scenic countryside. You’ve seen pictures of the majestic coastline in travel guides and thought that maybe you would like to take in some hiking along the sandstone and limestone cliffs that overlook the sea. Enter Stephen Reynolds. What happens when a 37-year-old office worker, who exercises marginally less than the average cheese sandwich, decides to walk 630 miles of challenging coastline in one go? Will he go on an epic...

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Survival Axe Elite by Innovation Factory

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 @ 7:06 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Survival Axe Elite by Innovation Factory

Designed by firefighters and built in the U.S., the Survival Axe Elite (formerly the Lil Trucker) includes multiple tools for many occasions. It’s the quintessential gadget for campers, contractors, RV-lovers, and good old fashioned zombie hunters. Some of the features include a replaceable folding saw, a glass breaker, a can opener, a hatchet blade, a hex wrench, a strap cutter, a hammer, a nail puller, and even more. Here are the special features and functions: Fully re-sharpenable Hatchet Blade Hammer Pry Bar/Wedge Sharpened Hook...

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Pentagon Patroclus Vest

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 @ 3:04 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Pentagon Patroclus Vest

Made from lightweight and breathable Nylon Taslon Ripstop material, the Patroclus Vest from Pentagon features warm duck down insulation, full front YKK VISLON zipper, fleece lined collar for added environmental protection and two roomy hand pockets with soft inner lining for extra comfort. In addition to that, the vest comes with a YKK secured chest pocket with internal security loop, elastic arm holes and fully adjustable elastic cords on the bottom hem. With soft and fast-drying properties, the Pentagon Patroclus Vest is in tune for hiking,...

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Potty Packs – Travel and Outdoors Toilet Pack

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 @ 11:44 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 1 comment

Potty Packs – Travel and Outdoors Toilet Pack

Are you an outdoors lover? Have you found yourself in a filthy pit toilet at a trailhead, or five miles into the wilderness with the sudden urge to go? Just think about your own experiences. There is likely a time where you may have given your left sock for one of these products. The made in the USA Potty Pack toilet pack combines everything but the toilet, all in a light weight, compact package. Included are a seat cover, 4 feet of two-ply toilet paper, wet wipes and hand sanitizer. The wet wipes are made with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. Follow...

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Fuel the Outdoors Dehydrated Meals and Snacks

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 @ 6:56 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Fuel the Outdoors Dehydrated Meals and Snacks

Pennsylvania is home for a couple who recently started a home-based business to combine two of their passions: hiking and cooking. They make dehydrated meals and snacks. While this is not a novel concept – theirs are made really fresh just like you would at home, with some ingredients right from their own garden and others sourced locally. After all, why can’t we eat the same level of food while we’re hiking as we do at home? Fuel the Outdoors is an Etsy shop that presently offers more than 20 hydrated meals and snacks to...

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Helikon-Tex Outdoor Tactical Shorts

Posted by on Jul 29, 2017 @ 7:19 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Helikon-Tex Outdoor Tactical Shorts

The cut and pocket layout of the Helikon-Tex tactical shorts retains a civilian outlook. The OTP® design allows you to carry all essential equipment, and anatomic cut does not hinder movements. Elastic waistband and Velcro-closure allow a degree of adjustability within size. Large belt loops allow wide belts to be used. The jeans cut on the rear part of the pants prevents them from sliding down. Pocket layout allows distributing the load close to the center mass – around hips and waist. Pocket edges are reinforced to withstand constant...

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An American Legend – Horace Kephart – His Life and Legacy

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 @ 4:26 pm in Film Reviews, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Inspiration, Reviews | 0 comments

An American Legend – Horace Kephart – His Life and Legacy

Horace Sowers Kephart (September 8, 1862 – April 2, 1931) was an American travel writer and librarian, best known as the author of Our Southern Highlanders about his life in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina and the classic outdoors guide Camping and Woodcraft. Kephart’s vision helped to establish Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His life as an author, scholar, and outdoorsman is told in captivating detail in this historic documentary with never before seen photographs, documents and original music and art. Libby...

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Firebiner by Outdoor Element

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 @ 8:04 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Firebiner by Outdoor Element

We all love a good carabiner. We use them to clip our keys, our camera, our water bottle, or a myriad of other products to our backpacks, to shelves, to fences, to belt loops or to whatever we need at the moment. You want your carabiner to be strong, lightweight and maybe have some other functionality like a bottle opener. The Firebiner is all that, plus it has the ability to make fire easily with patent-pending EverSpark technology. It has a titanium coated stainless steel body: construction rated for a minimum of 50 pounds of gear (not for...

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The Nomadik Outdoors Gear Subscription Boxes

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 @ 10:45 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

The Nomadik Outdoors Gear Subscription Boxes

You subscribe: to have outdoors gear delivered directly to your home. Nomadik curates: by seeking out high-end products and testing. Then delivers: every month Nomadik delivers the box to your doorstep. Subscription services are gaining popularity in the shopping world. Last month I told you about Trailfoody, monthly trail food kits. This month I introduce you to The Nomadik, a new startup that aims to keep your outdoors gear closet stocked with products you will need on the trail by delivering subscription boxes on a regular basis....

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Trailfoody Food Kits for Day Adventurers

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 @ 11:23 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Trailfoody Food Kits for Day Adventurers

Having trailfood ready to go, you get out the door faster and get to the trailhead sooner. Wouldn’t you rather be there already instead of futzing around for food? Trail food has to get you to those special places, sure. But Trailfoody believes that taste is part of the adventure too. Each month, Trailfoody selects premium foods that are healthy, have the right nutrient mix for outdoor activities, and also have great taste. Trailfoody is a monthly subscription service that sends you packages containing atisan crackers, dried fruits, energy...

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Urban Canairie Hat

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 @ 11:59 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Urban Canairie Hat

The main reason you get so hot while wearing a regular cotton baseball or military style hat is because those hats actually trap and retain heat from your head, on your head, compounding the problem. The Urban Canairie hat employs an exclusive patented design to keep your head, face and eyes in the shade while minimizing heat build-up on your head. The main functional features of the Urban Canairie hat are an oval, head shaped flat top and a surrounding mesh vent strip that promotes the movement of air around the crown of your head. This...

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Wisport Whistler 35 II Rucksack

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 @ 12:07 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Wisport Whistler 35 II Rucksack

Part of Wisport’s line of the latest generation of survival backpacks, the Whistler 35 II Rucksack was developed in collaboration with Polish Military Forces and offers a great amount of carrying space in one unified and comfortable to carry body. Wide and ergonomically shaped shoulder straps, together with a padded waist belt help to distribute weight evenly and relieve pressure from your back. The belt can easily be detached from the rucksack enabling different carrying configurations. The expandable main compartment of the Whistler...

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The North Face Chilkat 400 Snow Boots

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 @ 2:47 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

The North Face Chilkat 400 Snow Boots

This waterproof leather utility boot rated to -40F offers 400g of PrimaLoft® Silver synthetic insulation for outstanding warmth and protection in the coldest conditions. The North Face Chilkat 400 Snow Boots‘ impenetrable moisture barrier guarantees dryness and the insulation traps hot air for reduced heat loss and increased warmth. The upper is leather and the lower is waterproof thermoplastic rubber. The TNF Winter Grip outsole and IcePick temperature-sensitive lugs offer excellent traction on ice and snow even without spikes. Finish...

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Traveling with Baggage: A Guide for the Hesitant Hiker by Sarah D. Tiedemann

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:59 am in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Traveling with Baggage: A Guide for the Hesitant Hiker by Sarah D. Tiedemann

Follow Sarah D. Tiedemann on her journey from being a nervous wreck to walking cliffside along Kauai’s most perilous trail, snowmobiling through herds of buffalo in America’s oldest national park, and hiking to a windswept summit in the dead of winter. Troubled by anxiety from an early age, Sarah knows just how difficult it can be to step outside your comfort zone. Do you want to travel to places you’ve only dreamt of? Do you want to navigate trails in breathtaking locations? Do you want to try camping, canoeing, zip lining,...

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Pentagon Gen V2.0 3-in-1 Parka

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 @ 9:55 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Pentagon Gen V2.0 3-in-1 Parka

Made up of two jackets — a water repellent outer shell and a warm padded inner liner blouson, the Pentagon Gen V 2.0 Parka provides an excellent solution for even the most demanding cold weather outdoor tasks. The outer shell is Storm|Tex laminated and fitted with a two-way YKK main zipper, concealed storm hood, multiple zipped pockets and a supreme mesh ventilation system. Combined with the fully detachable warm and padded liner blouson, this parka allows for efficient air circulation and offers excellent protections against the...

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North Carolina Waterfalls by Kevin Adams

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 @ 12:47 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 2 comments

North Carolina Waterfalls by Kevin Adams

Third Edition The first two editions of North Carolina Waterfalls sold a combined 65,000 copies. Now, waterfall photographer Kevin Adams is back stronger than ever. This new edition includes 300 full waterfall profiles, in addition to 700 descriptions of others nearby. It adds 400 waterfalls not covered in the 2nd edition, and full color photos now enliven each profile. “I was rebitten by the waterfall bug,” Adams writes. “And I can say with certainty there’s no turning back. The two years I worked on this project were...

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JOBY PowerBand Lightning for iPhone

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 @ 1:05 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

JOBY PowerBand Lightning for iPhone

JOBY energizes smartphones on the go with the JOBY PowerBand for Apple® or Android® smartphones. The JOBY PowerBand’s slim and compact design frees consumers from relying on affixed power sources and works with many smartphone sizes including the Apple iPhone 6, 6S, SE, 6 Plus, and 6S Plus, as well as Android models such as LG G4, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy S6, S7 and Edge+ models, among many others. This versatile power pack provides additional hands-free power needed for smartphones while also providing a solution that will grow...

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Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder and Insulating Sleeve

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:36 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder and Insulating Sleeve

This durable leak-proof hydration bladder includes an additional insulating sleeve that is ideal for extreme environments. It can also be used as an effective pouch to strap your bladder to the outside of your pack, on your boat, or anywhere there are straps. The Crystal Creek Hydration Bladder is great for hiking, biking, trail running, hunting, and more. The large capacity helps you to stay hydrated on your longer treks, and the positive flow valve gives you hands free rehydrating. Wherever you need access to your water source you’re...

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Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo

Posted by on May 26, 2016 @ 7:30 am in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo

In Christine Carbo’s exciting suspense novel Mortal Fall, a wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in this haunting and compelling new crime novel set in the wilds of Glacier National Park. Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber or a distracted hiker—will meet tragedy somewhere in the rugged confines of the park. But Paul “Wolfie” Sedgewick’s fatal fall from the sheer cliffs near Going-To-the-Sun Road is...

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The UK’s Top Wildlife Hikes

Posted by on May 11, 2016 @ 8:49 am in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

The UK’s Top Wildlife Hikes

Discover some of the top places in the United Kingdom renowned for their unique wildlife. From Wales to Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, this infographic from Hi-Tek UK is sure to give you some great suggestions for hiking near treasured wildlife.     Infographic courtesy Samantha Pierrie of Hi-Tec UK. Check out their new selection of hiking boots and sports footwear....

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WoolPRO Juno Cool Knit Merino by Merrow

Posted by on May 6, 2016 @ 10:16 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

WoolPRO Juno Cool Knit Merino by Merrow

The Merrow Sewing Machine Company, based in Fall River, Massachusetts recently launched a new Merino wool clothing company called WoolPRO. They knit and sew everything themselves, and spent several years developing the fabrics for their products. They introduced a new stitch called Activeseam into the textiles market, and created the first branded stitch. Diversifying into wool production with this Activeseam stitch in 2012, and building a knitting and sewing facility to support the development and production of their new products, over the...

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Alps Mountaineering Featherlite Air Mat

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:39 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 2 comments

Alps Mountaineering Featherlite Air Mat

The ALPS Mountaineering Featherlite sleeping pad is one of a series of ultra-lite pads coming from this small company located in rural east central Missouri. ALPS offers performance-oriented packs, tents, sleeping bags, furniture, air pads, and air beds — a good start for those backpacker/campers who love the adventurous life. Since the ALPS Mountaineering Featherlite sleeping pad does not contain any foam, once inflated, all you have is the weight of the fabric and air. If you choose the regular size, your pad will weigh just over one...

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Adventures of a Trail Stooge by Chris Quinn

Posted by on Dec 6, 2015 @ 3:03 pm in Book Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Adventures of a Trail Stooge by Chris Quinn

This journal follows Chris Quinn, aka The Esteemed Stooge, Sir Charles Guilons on his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Starting atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, Sir Stooge makes his way over more than 2,100 miles of earth to summit the beautifully lonesome Mount Katahdin in Maine. Along the way, he meets some great friends: from Tangy and Munchies in Georgia to the silent John in the Wilderness, and all the rest between. Through the beauty of the Earth, the laughs, celebrations, struggles, and pain, Sir Stooge learns some things...

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Merrell Phoenix Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 @ 12:54 pm in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

Merrell Phoenix Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Enjoy fleet feet for your explorations with these low profile multi-sport shoes that provide plenty of support and cushioning – without the weight. With a flexible sole and supportive arch shank, this waterproof mid will keep your feet dry and comfortable. A lightweight cow suede/mesh upper with bellows tongue keeps out debris, the waterproof membrane keeps your socks and feet dry, and a sticky sole prevents accidents on a slippery trail. Disclosure: Sole Labz contacted me to try one of several styles of hiking footwear. The one I chose was...

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NiteIze Inova STS Headlamp

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 @ 11:59 am in Gear Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

NiteIze Inova STS Headlamp

The INOVA STS Headlamp from NiteIze makes hands free illumination simple, versatile and comfortable. It features an innovative Swipe-To-Shine™ interface that allows for simple access to multiple modes – all with a swipe of your finger. Its lightweight body, high quality woven head strap and waterproof construction makes the INOVA STS Headlamp an indispensable lighting tool anywhere high quality hands-free illumination is needed. Disclosure: Versa Marketing, Inc. contacted me to try one of the NiteIze Innovation brand illumination...

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The Long Start to the Journey

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 @ 8:51 am in Film Reviews, Reviews | 0 comments

The Long Start to the Journey

A Story of the Appalachian Trail In the winter of 2013 filmmaker Chris Galloway set out to thru hike the Appalachian Trail starting on Springer Mountain, Georgia and walking over 2,000 miles to reach Mount Katahdin, Maine. In the course of his seven month trek, Frost (as he came to be known on the trail) trudged through deep snow drifts on the Smoky Mountain crest, savored a brief Appalachian spring, and battled clouds of mosquitoes in a record-breaking rainy summer. He experienced grief, growth, and triumph, from the joy of getting engaged...

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