Hiking & Backpacking

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Falling

With my wrist in the strap of my trekking pole, I dangle over bright gray boulders bordering frothy water tumbling through the chasm. My brain is trying to comprehend what has happened. Just a few minutes ago I was hiking a wide, easy trail, and now I am hanging below it. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Colin Chapman

Meet Colin Chapman, a backpack, hike, and snowshoe leader, as well as a 2021 Super Volunteer. Colin joined The Mountaineers to participate in the Foothills Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) course and now he’s a leader for the course! Read more…

Trail Talk | Sourdough Mountain Magic

It wasn’t my first hike in the North Cascades, but my second that had me forever hooked on this incredible range of craggy, glaciated mountains. A warm, sunny morning greeted me when I hit the trail to ascend Sourdough Mountain. The day would leave a deep impression on me, forever securing Sourdough as one of my absolute favorite places in the world. Read more…

Trip Report: Clear Creek Intra-Urban Trail

Clear Creek Trail is an intra-urban, family-friendly trail located in Silverdale, Washington that winds through riparian zones, wetlands, and dense forests. This trail is open for walking, running, biking, or strolling leisurely with your kids. The best time to walk the beach is in the early mornings during low tide when you can observe wildlife and the many birds fishing for lunch around the estuary. My most recent visit was a quick jaunt with my pops and Bilbo the Adventure Dog to see the wetlands and the interior forests. Read more…

Try Car-free Hiking in the Puget Sound

It can feel like access to a reliable vehicle is the eleventh essential for lovers of the outdoors. Summertime, however, brings with it more options for hitting the trails via public transit; an eco-friendly choice that's also kinder to your wallet given current high gas prices (not to mention eliminating the worry of dealing with a trailhead break-in.)  Read more…

Bookmarks | Adventure Ready

The reputations of Katie “Salty” Gerber and Heather “Anish” Anderson precede them. Katie is a renowned wilderness instructor and guide who has logged thousands of miles on trails including the CDT, PCT, Colorado Trail, and Oregon Desert Trail. Heather is a record-smashing legend who was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for her 2018 Calendar Year Triple Crown (hiking the AT, PCT, and CDT all in one year). Now they have joined forces to combine what they’ve learned on the trail and through their expertise in nutrition and personal training to create Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training & Resiliency, new from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Nakashima

Meet Elizabeth Nakashima, a Foothills hike and urban walk leader, as well as the Treasurer of the Foothills Backpacking and Hiking Committee. Elizabeth joined The Mountaineers to train for a hike across the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and has been with us ever since! Read more…

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…