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As we get ready to say farewell to 2020, we’re highlighting some exceptional, touching ENO stories you’ve shared with us. For all the early morning hikes, meaningful hangouts with someone special, and making time to rest and recharge— we are grateful you utilized your ENO gear during this challenging year.
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...
The modern reality is that kids are going farther away for continuing their lives after high school than their parents’ generation did. Whether it is the 45-minute drive to the state university or taking the dream job on the opposite coast, any distance can be enough to change many dynamics. However, just because the frequency or duration of time spent with loved ones isn’t the same doesn’t mean the bond has to deteriorate. Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, my dad and I were always close. I started Scouting in the first grade and he was involved every step of the way, even after I left home for college. There is something about camping every month and going to work with each other that creates a unique bond between father and son. The bond that my father and I have is special, but not unique. Nearly everyone can stop right now and think about a family member or best-friend that they wish they had more time to spend with. So here is my advice to making sure that bond stays strong, create tradition. Creating Tradition Moving four hours away put an end to camping every month, but it didn’t take...
Perhaps you’re a city person who craves the great outdoors, or maybe you were born to live in nature but have chosen a city-bound career. Either way, you’ve resigned yourself to always sacrificing one for the other. Sacrifice no more, because you really can have it all. Here are four U.S. cities that provide the best of both worlds.   Washington, D.C. After picturing the White House, most people think of D.C.’s museums, monuments and the staggering variety of world cuisines. You may not realize, however, that D.C. also boasts more acres of green space per capita than any other comparably sized U.S. city. For hikers and kayakers, the city’s Rock Creek Park has 40 miles of hiking trails and Class III and IV rapids. The C&O towpath is a cyclist’s dream, starting in the city along the Potomac River and ending 185 miles later in Cumberland, Maryland. Cycle less than 20 miles on the C&O (or drive less than five miles from downtown), and you’ll find a challenging and beautiful hike on the Billy Goat Trail, rock climbing in Mather Gorge and kayaking along the Potomac. Venture a little farther out and find yourself in the Blue Ridge Mountains...
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...
Positivity and Perspective Growing up, my dad used to tell me ‘…train your brain to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones.’  Of course, being a teenager, I would let his advice go in one ear and right out the other! Guess what? It was actually a good suggestion. There is more than one way to view any situation you encounter.  It is vital as you enter each one, to challenge yourself to search for the positive. Your attitude is the most important aspect of your life; since it shapes all that you encounter. “Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.” –Cheryl Strayed   Meaningful Relationships Into the Wild, is a true story about a young man who gave up everything to go into the woods, alone. He strove to understand life’s meaning and redefine the true meaning of friendships and relationships. Christopher McCandless had it all, in terms of success in today’s world. He had two loving parents, a degree from Emory University and lots of money.  Unfortunately, for some reason his life was missing something. He took a venture into...
When you first come out of the ‘vegan closet’ you get a lot of interesting questions like, “Oh.. you’re a vegan? So you eat like…grass..?” No. Shocker alert! Vegans don’t eat grass.  Wikipedia defines veganism as the ‘practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals’. Veganism is very interpersonal. Being vegan isn’t something you can decide in a day. Before you become vegan, there are multiple things you need to know and consider.   The first thing you need to do before you make the decision is, do your research! Look up the pros and cons and make sure you’re sure you want to alter your lifestyle. The next thing is to be prepared; people are really curious and intrigued so be prepared to answer tons of questions! Being a vegan is hard sometimes, you need to be open to options and be able to adjust. Most places when you eat out don’t have vegan options. Check out the menu before going or else you’ll get stuck eating salad. A really tricky thing about being vegan is knowing how to read labels. A few examples...
Waiting in line at the grocery store with the slowest cashier in history is a different experience than waiting to see a deer walk into a field. Personally I much prefer the woods to Walmart.
Anxiety, panic, and stress can be crippling, and it doesn’t always happen at the most convenient of times. When you’re anxious, you are not able to function at your healthiest or happiest, and can cause you to spiral down even more. Obviously, you can’t eliminate stress entirely, but you can minimize the ways it affects your life. Here are some tips to help you start, especially when you’re out and about. 1. Practice Mindfulness Mindfulness is basically being aware of your body and being fully present in the moment. It is very calming and can be done anywhere. All you need is space to breathe, and maybe some quiet. Take in a deep breath through your nose and concentrate on the way the air moves through your body. Think about how your stomach moves, where the breath goes, and let it out. Repeat. Body scans are another way to calm yourself. Start at your feet and focus on them, noticing everything you’re feeling. When you’re done with that, move up to your calves, and then your thighs, and then your back, and so on until you reach your head. Be aware of your senses. You can also practice grounding, if...

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