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  What’s the best outdoor school in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic? Blue Ridge Outdoors’ Top Adventure College Tournament, asks readers to pick the winners. Colleges and universities meet in head-to-head matchups in a 32-school bracket. In each contest, the school receiving the most votes advances to the next round. Larger schools (more than 5,000 students) go head-to-head on one side of the bracket, while smaller schools square off on the other side. The two division winners face off in a David-meets-Goliath championship to determine the regions’ best outdoor school. Will your alma mater take the tournament crown? Rally students, alumni, and supporters around your favorite college or university! Click HERE to vote!    
Back To SchoolWhether you are excited or not, it’s that time of year again. A new school year is beginning.  Being prepared for a new semester is very important. You want to make sure you have everything you need so the transition from beach towels and bathing suits to books and calculators goes smoothly. These are my top 5 things that help me make the transition back to books and schedules a little bit less painful. Planner Okay, so as I embark on a new year, the first thing I buy is a planner. Planners help me stayed organized so when teachers bombard me with assignments and things I will need for class; I can make sure I have what I need to keep the transition back to the real world as easy as possible. Planners aren’t just good for the beginning of the year though, they help me stayed focused and organized throughout the entire year. It’s also a great way to look at the semester and find the best weekends for outdoor adventures.   Backpack The ENO Rothbury backpack was designed to make everyday life easier with its padded laptop sleeve, durable build and its many easy access storage compartments....
“Yesterday we went on a 7.2 mile hike and on the way down the mountain we ran into a little problem. A random hiker’s dog was struck with heat exhaustion with 3 miles left to go and couldn’t make the rest of the hike."
As my summer vacation came to a close and I flew back out to Gunnison, Colorado to begin my sophomore year as a Recreation and Outdoor Education student, I couldn’t resist reminiscing about the wild adventures that my first year of college had brought me. From rock climbing in Indian Creek, Utah, to canyoneering in the North Wash of Utah, to local expeditions of backpacking and backcountry skiing— I had had quite the year. As I made the journey west and moved into my on-campus apartment, my excitement grew about what this year would hold for me. Syllabus week came and went, and my friends and I started brainstorming for our first trip. Nothing big, as none of us were acclimated to the 8,000 ft. elevation yet, but something memorable and something to properly kick off our year at Western State Colorado University. We ultimately settled on a 4.5 mile hike up to Green Lake, located in Crested Butte— just a 35 minute drive from our campus. The night before, I packed my backpack with my sleeping bag, warm layers for the night, random (but essential) foods, and finally, my DoubleNest ENO hammock accompanied by Atlas Straps to ensure a...
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Making a video of a trip is always a great idea for many reasons.
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...
I found out about the Pinnacles National Park back in 2013 when it was officially declared the newest National Park in California (it had previously been a national monument) and I have wanted to visit ever since.
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...

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