Hiking & Backpacking

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Ins and Outs of Women's Backpacking Gear

Purchasing outdoor gear can be a daunting experience. I understand. We’ve all been there, standing in the middle of a gear shop, surrounded by dozens of sleeping bags, a pile of backpacks, and enough sleeping pads to stack to the ceiling. It’s all a bit much. Read more…

Staying Prepared For the Best Kind of Adventures

Unprepared adventurers, if they’re not lucky, can find themselves struggling out in the dark, under deteriorating conditions — or worse. Perhaps they leave without appropriate clothing or gear. Or they go without being cognizant of weather or available daylight. A few face difficulty because they chose an objective they were not physically ready for. And some expose themselves and others to risk because they decide to continue the climb even though objective information suggests they would be safer turning around or choosing another destination. Read more…

Behind the Scenes: Pooping in the Wilderness

By the end of the day, I was finally able to look squarely into the camera and say, “poop” without laughing. Our film team let out a collective sigh of relief. We were officially finished with one of the most challenging storytelling tasks of the Backcountry Impact Series film project: human waste. Read more…

Did You Know? Butte Camp Via Loowit Trail

I’ve been slowly marking off the 100 hikes that Ira Spring and Harvey Manning published in their book 100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics. I recently completed my 40th hike from this well-used and much-loved trail book, enjoying a beautiful trip from Butte Camp to the Loowit Trail. Read more…

Staying Safe on Remote Day Hikes

Outdoor activities have the tendency to escalate into bigger and more complex pursuits, and hiking is no exception. Even if you start with only an interest in moderate day hikes, you may soon be eyeing longer and more difficult trails. With long hikes, you assume more risk than on a day hike near town, and you may find yourself in remote places without cell service and few people on-trail to help if something goes wrong. Follow these tips to navigate this middle ground between hiking and backpacking responsibly: Read more…

Day Hiking 101

Hiking is a great way to appreciate our lush forests, mountains, and rivers in the Northwest, especially if you’re just starting to explore the outdoors. Learn about how to choose gear, select hikes, practice trail etiquette, and more, to make the most of your time on the trail.   Read more…

Safety Stories | Beware of Slugs

Last May, what started out as a straight forward backpacking trip turned into a harrowing ordeal for Mountaineer member Michael Kelly. With humor and grace, she recounts the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculousness of having to travel five miles without the use of her right leg. Read more…

Adventure Hacks for the Over-Stoked and Under-Prepared

Luxuries that we take for granted in our homes – the convenience of a kitchen, the comfort of a light switch – are nonexistent once you’re off-grid. The need for self-sufficiency is part of the appeal of the outdoors, but it also offers the opportunity to find yourself in a position where you didn’t pack as efficiently or appropriately as you should have. The time will come when you open your pack and realize that you forgot an item integral to your comfort or sanity. It’s happened to all of us, and is often a sign that your stoke outweighed your preparation. Read more…

How To: Cross-Promote Other Committees as a Trip Leader

I belong to several committees in The Mountaineers (photography, naturalists, and hiking), and I work hard to integrate the work of all of our committees into each of my trips. I do this because participants, like leaders, have varied interests, and the more we showcase the great offerings of The Mountaineers, the more engaged our participants will be! Read more…

Secret Rainier | Copper and Iron Peaks

Mount Rainier National Park has over 100 climbable peaks (not counting Mount Rainier itself) either within or immediately adjacent to the Park boundary, and most are seldom visited and underappreciated. In this sense they are “secrets” and worthy of being featured in this Secret Rainier series, where we outline the benefits of these 76 scrambles, 15 hikes, and nine climbs. In this issue of Secret Rainier, we describe Copper and Iron Mountains. These two gems in the park require an arduous day but are well worth it. Read more…