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Growing up I ran the urban streets and tracks of St.Louis, Missouri, but eventually running became something I had to do and not something I wanted to do. I stopped running shortly after this. About a year later, I discovered trail running and rediscovered my love for running. When I first started trail running though, I was shocked with just how difficult and exhausting it was. I say this not to discourage but to make you aware that the first time you try this you may get discouraged too. Here are some trail running tips I wish I knew before I hit the trails. 1. Safety Making sure you are safe is one of the most important things you should do when trail running. A good rule of thumb is never trail run alone. Invite a friend or have your furry friend tag along. I do understand though that running with someone else isn’t always entirely possible. Just be sure to tell someone when and where you are going. You never know what may encounter on the trail and it’s always a good idea to have a safety backup. Be as prepared as possible. I compiled some questions to ask...
After a quick goodbye to Mom and a swift traverse through TSA, I rushed to gate A22 and eventually found a seat in the waiting area. Feeling cumbersome with my new Osprey backpack that was purchased just 3 days before, I slumped down in an open chair. As I anxiously awaited for my plane to board, I was feeling out of my element. This was my first trip to Colorado, not counting a ski trip when I was younger, and I would be hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains for the first time. My trepidation regarding my lack of Rocky Mountain experience was heightened when one of the three teenagers sitting across from me motioned to my bag and sarcastically said to his friend, “Joey you should’ve gotten a bag like that, that blue-green is reeeeally your color.” They all laughed mockingly, and initially I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious. However, I smiled to myself, ignored their trivial words and daydreamed about my adventurous week ahead. Time passed and I eventually boarded my plane, shoved my backpack into the carry-on overhead and buckled into window seat 20F. Thankfully, I fell asleep within 15 minutes after take off and awoke...
Hammocks are great. They’re comfortable, relaxing, and portable! But what if I were to tell you there’s more to a hammock than just their serene qualities?
To my wonderful mother: Thank you for teaching me to love the outdoors. While most of my friends grew up with Disney Land and Six Flags, I grew up with weekend trips to Rainier with my family, scraping my knees on mountains instead of concrete. I have my mother to thank for that, who dragged my dad, my 2 brothers and I to nearly every national park in the Northwest USA (and Alberta) by the time I was 11. That’s right- In addition to my birth, these great genes, and thousands of dollars, I also have some of my best memories to thank my mother for. Now that I’m close to graduating college, I’m hoping it’ll be my turn to treat her and drag her all over the world. Take your Kids Exploring- even if they initially might not want to. I’m not going to lie- when I was younger I didn’t appreciate campouts nearly as much as I should have. Did I whine about the long car rides? Yes. Not being able to shower for 3 days? Yes. Waking up with the first crack of sunlight? Oh, absolutely. To anyone who’s experienced Mother Nature full force, you won’t be surprised to...
The Blue Ridge Parkway is dubbed as “America’s Favorite Drive” and it definitely lives up to its name. There are more than 450 miles of road to drive and nearly 100,000 thousand acres of land to explore! Here are five must see places on the Parkway!
Before, during and after a long day of backpacking, paddling, climbing, exploring or adventuring, it’s absolutely necessary to eat right, eat well, and eat a lot! Food tastes a thousand times better out on a trip anyways, so you might as well put in a little extra work and make your trip meals the bomb!
  I have the pleasure of attending Appalachian State University settled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Below is a list of some of the must haves that the majority of students here at App State agree are must haves to go to school here!   1. Rain Gear Unfortunately, the weather is so finicky that there is no telling when it is going to rain so it is good to always be prepared and carry around a rain jacket! Rain boots are also a must have, because the ground gets muddy very quickly, and during the winter the rain gear becomes snow gear!   2. Chacos Chacos are hands down the most comfortable shoes out there! They are the perfect footwear for hiking, swimming, waterfall jumping, and just walking around campus!   3. Flannel Flannel is perfect for adding finishing touches on an outfit and it provides a stylish extra layer to protect from the brisk mountain wind!   4. ENO Everyone knows that the first rule of going to school in the mountains is bringing a hammock with you! If it is sunny and warm outside you can bet that there will be dozens of people putting...
Arizona is one of the most underrated states. No seriously. Aside from the city of Phoenix (which I am convinced is the new Portland), some of the raddest sights to see, places to go, and people to meet are in northern Arizona.
  There are thousands of ways to be outside on a daily basis; sometimes you just need a few new ideas to do it.  These are my top five ways to enjoy the great outdoors.  Mother Nature is calling, are you going to answer?   1. Hammock! One of my favorite ways to enjoy being outside is to set up my ENO hammock in a tree and hang out – pun intended. The best part of hammocking is the versatility. Hammocking is a must after a long hike or, when you want to be rocked to sleep beneath the trees for a refreshing nap. I bring my hammock on every trip that I take. It is always strapped to my backpack waiting for the next adventure. Hammocking is effortless, and the most convenient bed on the planet!   2. Run! Run! Run! Oh the joys of endorphins! Running is one of the healthiest forms of therapy. As a runner, I cannot wait to be outside and breathe the fresh air. The only requirement is a good pair of running shoes.  From there, you are ready to go on an adventure of your choice.  Running is one of the simplest ways...

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