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The truth is, many of us are stuck in the hills while we yearn for high peaks. After a taste of western living, the landscapes at home can sometimes loose their sheen when compared to scenic vistas and shiny blue water. We want to go camp, hike, or paddle but the views pale in comparison to the dramatic photo albums we reminisce over at night, drooling on our keyboards. Whether it’s due to a fantastic job, love for family, or college degree, the outdoor adventurer can grow unsatisfied and unmotivated to enjoy the land right outside our door. How do these hills become beautiful again? There is excitement and beauty to be discovered in nature wherever you are! Here are a few tried and true motivators to get out and enjoy those rolling bumps we like to call “Missourah.” Take Bacon. If there’s anything I’ve learned from camping over the years, it’s to bring good food. If there’s anything I’ve learned about assembling a good meal, it’s to always include bacon. I don’t know about you, but the best breakfasts I’ve ever had have been in the backcountry. There’s something about that blazing heat and open flame that cook up the crispiest, yet perfectly chewy...
Stand up paddle boarding has spread like wildfire, and grown enormously in popularity in recent years; and why not? It looks like crazy awesome fun! From oceans to rivers and lakes, adventurers are taking their paddle boards on all kinds of water for beginners to SUP masters. Homo sapiens have been paddling crafts of this design for thousands of years, and tracing the exact history of SUP can differ depending on which dude brah is telling the story. Ancient cultures from South America and Africa used canoes and long boards to travel up and down rivers with long poles to propel and steer themselves. These homemade crafts were used for travel, fishing and hopefully picking up dates for a night out! Surfing however is typically linked with Polynesian ancestry, and the story of Captain Cook first encountering native Hawaiians “hanging ten” in 1778. Paddle boards today come in all kinds of unique shapes, sizes, designs and price ranges for anyone who’s ready to give it a go. Lots of outdoors stores and SUP shops will even let you demo a paddle board before buying. Here are some tips to guide you on your journey to SUP nirvana! Obviously your board...
At first thought, mosquito bites, blisters and chaffed body parts don’t sound too romantic. Yet all of these things are part of backpacking. If you’re an avid hiker, you know to always pack bug repellent, wear wool socks inside of your boots and bring Vaseline. As unromantic as it seems, couples flock to the wilderness to get closer together, reconnect and adventure side by side. Afterall, backpacking requires trust and most times you’ll be spending a lot of time with that other person out on the trail, especially if you’re trekking through the backcountry together. If you’re planning the adventure of a lifetime, or the most romantic adventure ever to exist, take some inspiration from these four ideas. Sweet, Sweet Sunsets There’s something so romantic about watching the sun go down over the horizon. Spend the evening in each other’s arms and gaze at the orange, pink and blue sky until the sun disappears. Bring a blanket to sit on or a hammock to string up to take it all in. Make sure you bring a heavy-duty flashlight for the trip back to your car or camp spot. If you want to catch a sunrise instead, wear a headlamp on...
Car topping is a great and efficient way to get your kayak or outdoor gear to your final destination. With more and more products being introduced in the roof rack and kayak market, it can be confusing picking the right roof rack, let alone figuring out the specifics of how to car top your kayak securely.
When backpacking, it may not be essential to create a fire each day if you are equipped with a Jetboil or quick stove, but quite often you might want to for either for warmth or to mix up your cooking. There are many options for starting a fire that range from very primitive to high tech, but with any method you’ll need something to initiate the initial spark or flame. Each time I go camping I always give myself a few choices for my flame/spark creation. For my first option, I currently have a Gerber edition fire starter, but there are many kinds on the market to accomplish a quick spark. These are reliable and lightweight but can prove to be a real challenge if the materials you are trying to light are damp with moisture. Don’t be fooled, starting a fire with one or two strikes is harder than they make it look in the movies. Also, don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t work and you have to fall back on another option. Keep practicing! I also carry with me a trusty BIC mini lighter for an instant flame. If those two options are not working, I travel with one...
While spending time outdoors and trekking through forests, mountains, plains, deserts, or wherever else you are headed, there are some important things you should do to ensure your safety while you are exploring. Many of the steps are simple and do not take much time, but they can be life saving and will help keep you from getting into danger. If you are making plans to head out soon, keep these tips in mind:   Always tell a friend where you are headed. Make contact with a friend and let them know a little bit of information about your upcoming journey before you leave, even if you’re not traveling alone. A few key elements to include are exact location and route you are taking, who is with you and when your expected departure and return dates are. Also be sure you have each other’s phone numbers not only in your phone but written down. This is important because if your phone dies you can still contact them with a friend’s phone since you still have their number handy.   Have enough water and/or water filtration solutions. This is maybe the most important aspect to plan for before leaving on an extended...
Fishing is an excellent way to bond with your kids while soaking in some quality outdoor time. But younger kids can’t always handle all of the complexities of fishing. The good news? You can ensure that you — and your children — get the most out of every fishing outing if you keep their ages in mind and make a plan.   Toddlers & Preschoolers: Along for the Fun Taking a child under 5 fishing is an exercise in patience — it’s less about actual fishing and more about manipulating and interacting with the outdoors. Most importantly, make sure you’re prepared for your little fishing companion to want to splash, throw rocks, paint with mud and catch frogs instead of fishing. There aren’t many preschoolers who would be content to sit around waiting for a bite, and you’ll probably really regret it if you try. In fact, you’ll probably do most (if not all) of the fishing duties, and you’ll also likely stick close to home instead of planning a full-fledged vacation that centers around fishing. Look for small ponds or rivers with easy access for the best results. However, even the littlest guys can have some fishing success, especially...
The whole camping experience isn’t exactly cheap, especially if you’re starting from scratch with gear and supplies. Check out these eight camping hacks that’ll save you money on your next big trip.
Summer can be one of the best times of the year for kids, but in some areas, the weather can be brutally hot. However, with the right type of activities and set up, you can still have fun under the sun without getting overheated. If you live near a beach, don’t let the heat stop you from taking your kids to play in the ocean. When heading out for a day at the water, be sure to pack a few essentials that will help keep your little ones cool and having fun. The first item I recommend is a mister or water sprayer. These can be found in many stores such as Amazon. The second item that helps reduce the heat and gives you and your kids a break is a tent. Not many people think about taking a tent to the beach, but it can provide a great refuge from the sun. Be sure your tent has good ventilation as that will be key to keeping it cool inside. You can find some great tents at REI and other outdoor retailers. The third item to take a few dish rags with you. You can make these nice and wet or leave...

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