Hiking & Backpacking

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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…

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…

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…

Peak Performance: Summit Day Preparation

When preparing for a new alpine summit, most people know to increase their targeted exercise. However, it’s equally important to consider your mental and skill-based preparation. This will allow you to feel calm, confident, and practiced on your summit day. Below are a few strategies to help you get ready: 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…

New Course – Yoga for Hikers, Backpackers, and Trail Runners

You’re invited to participate in the Foothills branch’s newest course, Yoga for Hikers, Backpackers, and Trail Runners. Designed for outdoor athletes, this course will cover the fundamentals of yoga, how to utilize the practice for athletic recovery, and how to utilize the practice for strength. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Conbere

Meet Susan Conbere, a Foothills backpack, hike, and snowshoe leader. Susan also leads the Staying Found course and is an active member of the Foothills Backpacking and Hiking Committee. Susan earned Super Volunteer and Key badges in 2020 and 2021 in recognition of all she does for The Mountaineers!  Read more…

Ananth's Rainier 100: A collection of thoughts on 100 peaks

Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) is one of the oldest national parks in the country, and also one of the most visited. Home to the highest volcanic peak in the contiguous United States and the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska, it’s no wonder that people come from near and far to appreciate its beauty. Read more…

30 in 30: Climbing Mailbox Peak 30 Times in 30 Days

Gaining 4,000 feet of vertical elevation in only 2.5 miles, Mailbox Peak definitely stands out among the more challenging hikes of the PNW. I am a regular in a crew of Mailbox enthusiasts who have visited the mountain hundreds of times over the past several years. In that time, I've witnessed droves of hikers suffer through great pains to reach the top. I've watched them rejoice as the summit first came into their view, and their eyes light up as they took their first picture next to the iconic mailbox. It has been an honor and a privilege to share in their experiences. For me, there would be no other mountain more fitting for my endeavor.  Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Phoebe Smith

Meet Phoebe Smith, a Foothills hike leader, active member of the Foothills Hiking Committee, and secretary of the Navigation Committee. Phoebe earned Super Volunteer and Key Leader badges in 2021 in recognition of all she does for The Mountaineers!  Read more…