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Backpacking Tips from a Dietitian: The health benefits of herbs and spices

Herbs and spices have been used around the world for thousands of years to support human health. This still holds true today. Herbs and spices  can be incredibly helpful for the modern day adventurer, especially when out on the trail. Naturally occurring compounds in plants called phytochemicals, designed to protect the plant from infection and illness, have also shown health benefits for humans as well. Read more…

Six Must Do's to Stay Safe on Mt. Rainier

The weekend of July 8, I was helping lead a Mountaineers climb of the Emmons Route on Mt. Rainier. Our team was fortunate to have great weather and even better route conditions, and everyone on our two rope teams made it safely to the summit and back to the White River trailhead with no mishaps. Read more…

Where to Buy Affordable Gear

“Contrary to the examples that most blogs, magazines, and brand-name catalogs present, a backpacking hobby doesn’t have to be expensive, extremely arduous, or put on hold until you are at your goal weight.” Shared in the opening pages of How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Diana Helmuth, these wise words are written with backpacking in mind but apply to all things outdoor gear. Read more…

New Route Update: South Early Winter Spires (SEWS)

South Early Winters Spire (SEWS) is a popular climbing route in the North Cascades. The highest summit of the Liberty Bell Group, the climb offers outstanding views of Liberty Bell and the North Cascades. Climbers flock to SEWS as a great option for their first alpine climbing experience because of the quality of granite rock and the relatively easy climbing and great scrambling. Read more…

Volunteer Opportunity - Olympic National Forest Sustainable Trails Survey

Join the Olympia Branch as they work to support the Olympic National Forest's Sustainable Recreation Study. The study is designed to engage the public in the care of trails and gather feedback on individual trail management. Read more…

Looking for Seattle First Aid Volunteers

The Seattle First Aid Committee's role is to ensure that our members and leaders have access to classes that allow them to gain and maintain first aid skills. During the past two years, the committee has lost a few core members due to job changes or moves. The Seattle branch is grateful that we've retained Mary Panza as the chair, but she can't do it alone. We are looking for both in-person and remote volunteers to support our community's First Aid education.  Read more…

The Case for Geotagging

I took two years away from social media for a much-needed cleanse several years ago. Before going off the grid, I posted three times a day, intending to gain traction for my hiking blog. But as much as I enjoyed beautiful landscape photos, I found I needed a break from seeing evasive posts from the self-proclaimed "influencers" or "inspirers" with a large following on Instagram and Facebook. Read more…

Did You Know | The Perseid Meteor Showers

After a long, hot day on the trail, you’ve finally settled in at camp. With the tent pitched and your Mountain House Creamy Mac n’ Cheese devoured, the temptation to sleep can be overwhelming. Every bone in your body is telling you to climb into your tent and get horizontal. But you have to fight it: if you hold off long enough, you may get lucky and witness a remarkable natural spectacle in the summer sky. Read more…

How To Make a Backcountry Poop Kit

It took a lot of practice, but I finally learned how to poop directly into a dog bag. I’d been getting outside for years – crag climbing and backcountry skiing mostly – and I wasn’t a fan of carrying a trowel and digging a six-inch cat hole. Instead, I’d find a private space, answer the call of nature directly onto the ground/snow, then pick it up (double bag!) and pack it out (toilet paper too!). Read more…

Make Your Own Backpacking Meals: Comfort food alternatives to commercial freeze-dried backpacking meals

Most of us have done it more than once in our backpacking lives – tear open a foil packet, pour in steaming water from the camp stove, wait ten minutes, then shovel the contents into our mouths in the hope that the quantity is right, the food is palatable, and the salt content doesn’t cause congestive heart failure. Then we rinse and haul the bulky foil packets back out to the trailhead. Read more…